Wednesday 30 April 2014

Xenca perfection concealer

Foundation is something that I reserve for special occasions. If my skin tone is looking uneven or I have a blemish, I dab a little concealer and I am good to go. Needless to say that it is a  very important item in my makeup kit.

I discovered Xenca through my Souk Souk box, having fallen in love with the lipstick, I was rather intrigued to try out their concealer*.

A good multipurpose concealer is a rare thing. I do not use concealer for under eye circles, which a lot of concealers seem to be targeted for. I use it to even out skin tone around my nose and to hide blemishes. So I need a formula that would be pigmented and lasts all day. It can't be too thin or overly creamy.

The consistency of this concealer is pretty spot on. It goes on like a dream. Once on the skin it has a slightly dewy finish (unless you set it with powder, than it looks completely matt). You are supposed to set it with powder, but as I break all the makeup rules I wanted to try it without this step, and it lasted all day without sliding off. Of course it lasts even better when you set it with powder, but I like the way it looks without, and I don't always have time for the extra step.

Even though I don't use this as under eye concealer, you totally can, it really is very versatile. The only problem, at the moment there is only one colour. It was described as medium and when I first opened the pot, I was worried that it might be too dark for me. But in fact it is actually a little light.

On my hand it is a perfect match, but as the skin on my face is a little darker it doesn't completely work. I have light skin with olive under tones. This concealer is not pink or overly yellow, so if it was just a little bit deeper it would be perfect. I think it would work for most fair skin toned people. Because it is so blendable and pigmented I can use it at light coverage, however if I try to cover an active pimple (which it does perfectly), that is when you can see that it is that little bit too light for me. Such a shame as pigment and staying power are so good.

Packaging is reinforced cardboard. It also has an outer box, which I keep mine in. What I noticed is that if I hold my pot upside down the lid will fall of, therefor you really need to keep the outer box, which prevents this from happening (now it maybe just my pot, but better safe than sorry). At first I thought it to be a little inconvenient, but than I keep outer boxes for most of my makeup, and I honestly prefer the fact that it's cardboard and not plastic, as the little cosmetic containers are not recyclable.

The makeup that I tried from this range has been absolutely fantastic, at the moment the eyeliner and mascara are not all natural (they are working on making those natural), but the rest of the makeup range is.

* This was a PR sample, as usual the opinions are completely my own based on my experience with the product

Monday 28 April 2014

Red Apple lipstick review

There is something very sensual about the whole ritual of applying lipstick. The colour that I choose reflects my mood and the occasion. Certain colours require confidence yet others build that confidence up. A quote from Breakfast at Tiffany's springs to mind: "A girl can't read that sort of thing without her lipstick". Of course lipstick doesn't solve your problems, but it can make you feel a little bit braver and make you look fierce while facing them.

I have heard so much about Red Apple lipstick* (the name always makes think of Snow White and the seven dwarfs), and I was beyond excited to try them out when the opportunity came along. The lipsticks arrived in a cute printed cloth bag, with a little leaflet, that gives you tips on how to make your lipstick last longer.

I chose two colours from different collections and they behave slightly differently, but are both layerable, as all the lipsticks are mineral based.

Lovebird. Is described as a light and delicate pink that borders on hot pink. I have to say I was not prepared for how bright this colour appeared on my lips. In the tube it looks rather innocent, but on my lips it is a full on coral pink.

This formula is on the matt side and I preferred it at half intensity. I would apply it a little heavy handedly and than blot once. After that it lasted the whole day and stayed exactly the same even after lunch. I would say you can easily go without reapplying for about eight hours, if worn this way. I didn't feel that it added moisture to my lips, but it definitely wasn't drying.

It didn't smell of anything and even though I like it, this lipstick is not at all what I expected. It is not a see-through colour, and it is not at all timid. This is a day colour with a bit of a punch, not a nudy pink.

Reddy or not.  As the name suggests, this is a hot red pink colour. Think strawberry punch. Out of the two this is my favourite and the one that made me fall in love with the Red Apple lipsticks.

The colour is absolutely gorgeous and uber flattering. It is a bit of a twist on a classic red and the first layer is a little sheer, which makes it very easy to wear during the day. If you are one of those people that prefer to have fewer things in your makeup bag, this is your ultimate day to night lippy, just add an extra layer or two and you have super intense colour worthy of a red carpet event.

This lipstick has a bit of a glossy finish and has a faintly sweet scent, I also found this version to be moisturising. I prefer this formula to Lovebird, but it doesn't last quiet as long. It does leave a stain behind, but it is not as intense in colour, so I do find myself wanting to reapply after eating/drinking. If you do want to improve longevity, you need to follow the steps of applying, blotting, reapplying, blotting. I don't, it's easier for me to just reapply after food, otherwise it lasts great.

There are no ingredients listed on the packaging but they are listed on the website here.

What sets these lipsticks apart, is that as well as not containing animal parts or by products, they are gluten free. And they offer a 6 month returns policy, so if you are not happy with your lipstick, you can return it within this time for a full refund. The quality of this lippy is so high, the only reason for a return would be if you chose a colour that isn't quiet right. But as these are so versatile when it comes to intensity, I think you could make any of them work. I am very impressed by the palette on offer, it was difficult to choose the ones I wanted to try most to begin with, and I am already adding other colours to my wish list.

* This was a PR sample, but as usual the opinion is my own and if I didn't love it I would not write about it, as per my disclaimer

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Kjaer Weis eye shadow

When a range of colour beauty products has been created by a makeup artist it always comes with high expectations. After all who knows more about flattering shades and great textures, than a person who uses these products every day on lots of different people.

Soon after trying my first Kjaer Weis eye shadow I knew I had to get my hands on a few other colours. Being not the biggest fan of loose shadows and generally picky when it come to eye make-up, my palette has become some what limited after switching from main stream brands. One of the great things about this brand is that all products come as refills. Not only does this allow me to create my own palettes, I also do not have to worry about disposing of the little tiny plastic pots that my council doesn't recycle. Select colours are vegan (all three eye shadows in this post are).

Earthy calm.

Is a warm brown ( a milk chocolate brown I would say). I really like this colour for day time use. Brown shadow is the one often recommended for blue eyed girls, but for the longest period I have sort of resisted it (even though I would use brown eye liner). Mainly because certain browns can make your eyes appear tired, almost as if you didn't get enough sleep. Well it does not happen with this colour, it just gives lovely definition and makes my eyes pop. All Kjaer Weis products are designed to be buildable, and this particular colour can be layered quiet intensely, which is how I use it when I apply it close to the lash line. It also looks great with a sheer application over the lid ( I also blend it out, for a more translucent effect), almost like when you apply bronzer to your eyes.


 Is a taupe, a mixture of grey, brown and violet (I would call it a mushroom brown). It is supposed to work for all eye colours and I can really believe it. I use this to line my eyes when I want a softer definition than a pencil would give, plus the colour is really quiet special. I don't think I have ever come across a taupe this flattering. I normally combine it with cloud 9 eye shadow, the two go hand in hand beautifully.


Is a browny gold, and is the colour I was most excited about adding to my palette. I love how it looks with a sheer application, it sort of makes me look a bit more awake, and makes my blue eyes look a little more vibrant. The golden undertone will make it a great addition to anyone's makeup bag. You can also layer it to appear darker, but it will not give as much definition as the other two colours. If you want to use it by itself, it is pretty perfect for a paired down look. I love combining it with earthy calm.

I really like the way this line approaches make-up. All the colours are vibrant and modern yet not really chasing the latest makeup trends. It is more about being flattering and enhancing. Although with the choice of colours in the range, you could pretty much follow most trends using Kjaer Weis, if you felt so inclined.

I only have one eye shadow case, the rest were purchased as refills, and went straight in to my z-palette. The quantity of the eye shadow does look less than some other brands, however you need to use it within 12 months after opening, and for me it is just the right amount of product. Any more and it would be wasted. All of the above colours have a slight pearlescent sheen to them, but they are not really shimmery (well maybe magnetic is somewhat shimmery, but even here shimmer is rather subtle). I find that this finish makes them more flattering than a completely matte brown would be.

The first ingredient in the eye shadow is talc, and I personally do not have an issue with it in regards to this particular product. I have not experienced any irritation, and my eyes can be sensitive. With regards to possible asbestos contamination, I feel that this company has made so many efforts in terms of sourcing their ingredients, and certification, that I am inclined to trust them and hope that their product is free from contamination. I do tend to be cynical when it comes to assurances from people who try to sell me stuff, but you do have to believe someone at some point, especially in the absence of a lab where I could test things myself.