Thursday, 29 September 2016

Michael Kors Wonderlust: Review


Michael Kors Wonderlust eau de parfum is a new floriental gourmand fragrance inspired by escapism and lust for life.

Smooth, warm and creamy, this is an elegant, womanly scent in a gorgeous amber and gold ombre bottle.


NOTES

Top: Italian bergamot, Almond milk, Pink pepper, Sicilian mandarin
Heart: Carnation, Heliotrope, Jasminum grandiflorum absolute, Jasmine sambac
Base: Cashmere wood, Sandalwood, Benzoin siam


I go quite lightly with Wonderlust as I find the initial spritz quite heady, though it really is quite soft once it settles on my skin. The jasmine, almond milk and woods are dominant for me and I find that I'm more drawn to this scent with every wear. 


Both sophisticated and comforting (an odd mix, but true), wearing Wonderlust reminds me of being wrapped in cashmere, pretty perfect for this time of year. 

Michael Kors Wonderlust is available now in 30, 50 or 100ml bottles. Find it at John LewisEscentual or Sephora (where it's also available in a cute 10ml rollerball.)  



Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Kypris: Luxury Organic Skincare


I'm one of those people who claims to care more about the effects of skincare than the packaging or experience of using it - and I DO - but hands up, I can't deny the absolute pleasure of finding all of the above rolled into one. I've been pretty smitten by my first experience of Kypris skincare, a luxe botanical brand presented in the most exquisite packaging.

Kypris Cleanser Concentrate is a light gel cream cleanser with 30 (!!!) active ingredients including moringa, prickly pear and probiotics. I use this after makeup removal or as a morning cleanse. It almost melts on contact with my skin and feels light and refreshing, yet doesn't disappear when massaged in. The texture is unlike any other I've tried and rinses off easily leaving my skin looking brighter and feeling calm. 


Kypris Heliotropic Pot of Shade is applied over moisturiser to prime skin for foundation, while protecting with a mineral-based broad spectrum SPF30. It leaves my skin feeling plumped and dewy and makeup applies beautifully on top. When using this I need way less foundation and find that my makeup lasts longer rather being sucked into my often dehydrated skin. If you struggle to keep using sunscreen over the Winter months, this will convince you. It's sold out in most places but I've tracked it down here

Kypris skincare is by no means cheap, but the quality of ingredients, effectiveness and integrity behind the brand have seriously impressed me. If you're looking for truly natural, organic products that actually deliver, this is a great place to start. The full range is now available in the UK at Selfridges and Cult Beauty.


Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.

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Monday, 19 September 2016

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation: Review & Swatches



I've been trying out Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation for Face and Body, which I think fans of a very natural finish will really enjoy. Recently reformulated, this waterproof foundation is described as hydrating and transfer-resistant with a glowy finish.

COVERAGE

The best way I can describe Water Blend Foundation is that it looks like real skin. Made with 80% vitamin-enriched water and moisturising pro vitamin B5, its sheer texture is best suited to those who enjoy a light, natural looking coverage that's barely detectable on the skin. One pump is enough to cover my entire face with a finish akin to tinted moisturiser, while two layers even out my skin tone, conceal redness and create a more even finish. I haven't personally tried MAC Face & Body, which seems the most obvious comparison, but from what I've seen in photographs, it appears to have slightly more coverage.

APPLICATION

The sheer, liquid formula spreads quickly and evenly without streaking. I've tried applying Water Blend with everything from a traditional foundation brush to fingers and my chosen method is to use a buffing brush (Bobbi Brown Full Coverage is my favourite) then go over it with fingers or a beauty blender sponge. I'm a big fan of the Barely range and have been using the Soft Definer (dry) with this foundation.

FINISH

It sets quite quickly and veers towards matte without looking flat or dull, lasting power is great and I don't really need to powder. While the coverage is light, it's more than I expected. I do tend to prefer a lighter foundation with added concealer where more coverage is needed, rather than a solid mask of coverage. Mid Winter, I'll opt for a medium coverage, but for now, I'm happy with this finish.

SWATCHES

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation swatches: Y225 Marble, Y245 Sand
I chose colours based on online swatches and what those of a similar skin tone to me were using. I assumed Y245 would work well for now when I still have a little colour and Y225 in Winter. In fact both were a little pale on me, though Y245 is perfectly wearable warmed up a little with Too Faced Sweetheart bronzer in Sweet Tea. I still think Y225 will be perfect in Winter, when I much prefer to veer slightly light - way more flattering and glow inducing.


There's not a huge leap between these two shades, though Y225 (Marble) is lighter and more yellow based, while Y245 (Sand) leans more neutral with peach/beige undertones. Available in 20 shades (less than the HD and Ultra HD foundations) it comes in several paler than mine and goes right through to Dark Brown. Make Up For Ever is consistent with its foundation colours across the board, so if you already know your colour, you can be confident about finding a good match. NB colours starting with Y are yellow based and those starting with R are red/pink based. 


I'm wearing Make Up For Ever Water Blend foundation in Y245 in this pic, warmed at my temples and cheek bones with Too Faced Sweet Tea baked bronzer. Blush is Tom Ford Frantic Pink and I used the Incandescent shade from my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette as highlight. Lips are Pixi Multibalm in Wild Rose (see previous post) and I used Zoeva Cool Spectrum eyeshadow palette (down to £15!).

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is available now at Debenhams or Sephora


Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Pixi Beauty Multibalms: Review & Swatches


Pixi Multibalm in Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 
Pixi Beauty Multibalms for lips and cheeks offer a pretty pop of twist-up, blend and go colour on the run. A semi matte cream to powder formula means that they blend well onto skin and set with a lasting finish. Aloe vera, shea butter and rose hip oil add slip, blendability and a comfortable finish. Despite a matte look on lips in particular, they still feel comfortable. The curved bullet makes application quick and easy in comparison to the original flat-topped NARS Multiples. These are also slimmer, similar in size to a fat marker pen, which for me, makes them less daunting to use.

ON CHEEKS: Pixi Multibalm applies well straight from the bullet, though I'd recommend starting with a brush or fingers until you gauge the pigmentation (it's good!). Using the flat tips of my first two fingers, I pat the colour onto my cheeks and finish by blending out with a soft brush. Less is more and it's always easier to add more than take away; if you overdo it or spread the colour too far, soften the effect by buffing in a little foundation. The finish is very natural and not tacky to the touch.

ON LIPS: Wild Rose is my standout shade, a gorgeous mauve pink that's right up my street. Baby Petal is a softer, more subtle version. As I'm not big into matte lips, I usually wear these over a clear balm for subtle sheen or add a touch of gloss on top; if your lips are very dry, you may prefer Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (6 shades) or Tinted Brilliance Balm. While they work fine straight from the bullet on full lips, I'd opt for a lip brush for a precise finish on thinner lips, or use a finger.

Pixi Multibalm in Watermelon Veil & Sheer Sculpt. 
The packaging is super cute and I love that the lids are colour co-ordinated to the contents, with a little stripe of the same colour on the bullet. The lids seem secure and so far, haven't popped off in transit, even when I've traveled with these (which they're perfect for!).


Even the boxes are pretty (good for gifting) in Pixi's hallmark mint green and rose gold packaging.


SWATCHES

Pixi Multibalm Swatches bottom up:
Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 

  • Baby Petal: soft peachy beige nude - great on both lips and cheeks
  • Sheer Sculpt: super quick and easy contour 
  • Wild Rose - mauve pink nude - love on lips and cheeks and my personal favourite
  • Watermelon Veil - a sugary pink that I think would work better on medium to dark skin tones
  • Soft Strawberry - berry red - prefer this on my lips though can wear sheered out on cheeks


Pixi Multibalm Swatches: Baby Petal, Sheer Sculpt, Wild Rose, Watermelon Veil & Soft Strawberry. 
I really enjoy using these and am always up for a product that enables quick and easy makeup application. Wild Rose is my favourite and I can see this and Baby Petal being used up the quickest. While I only contour occasionally, Sheer Sculpt is great for this - the perfect tone that looks very natural.

In comparison to similar products, I'd describe Pixi Multibalms as slightly more matte in finish than Clinique Chubby Sticks for Cheeks and less malleable (making them easier to control) than NARS Multiples.

You can see me wearing Pixi Multibalm in Wild Rose on my lips in this pic.

Pixi Multibalms cost £12 each and are available here in the UK or here in the US


Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples. See my full disclaimer here.
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Monday, 5 September 2016

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm (& a discount code!)


Yes, it's black. And it's one of the most delicious cleansers I've tried. Ever. In fact I'd go so far as to say that Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm is the best cleansing balm I've had on my face.

(Skinesis Ultimate CleanseEmma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm & Merumaya Cleansing Balm are my Top 3 to date, in that order.)


What's so good about it?

Made with Hungarian Moor Mud, it gently cleanses and detoxifies while nourishing the skin.

It's mineral-rich with hydrating sweet almond oil, uplifting orange blossom and a tonne of natural ingredients including vitamins and essential oils.

A big plus for me is that this cleansing balm is an absolute joy to use. Melting into an oil on contact, it feels almost spa-like when massaged into the skin, rinsing off quickly and easily. Incredibly luxurious, yet fuss-free, it leaves my dry, sensitive skin very calm and comfortable, with no tightness or residue.

I love that it's black, largely for the novelty of cleaning my face with something black (yes I'm like a small child), but also because it's free of synthetic colours, or fragrance, or parabens. In its au natural, raw form. 
One little scoop is all I need for my entire face, though I do sometimes use more and spend longer massaging it in.
Here's how it looks on the skin, becoming almost transparent by the time it covers a full face. Epic. (For a split second I actually considered a. trying to get this little bit back into the jar and b. removing all my makeup an hour after I'd applied it.)

If you can't already tell, I adore this cleansing balm, which is apparently suitable for every skin type. When I told the people at Omorovicza I was writing this review, they kindly offered a 15% discount code for my readers, which is good, as it doesn't come cheap. It is worth every penny though, promise!

Save 15% on Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm with the code PURIFY15 until 11 September 2016. 


PS My nail polish is Jessica Tangled in Secrets, out this month. You can see it better on my Instagram. 


Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples and purchases. See my full disclaimer here.

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