Wednesday 29 June 2011

Jameela Jamil named as the face of Nails Inc

It was announced today that television presenter, Jameela Jamil is the new face (or should that be hands?) of Nails Inc.

I always associate Jameela Jamil with wearing bright, bold colours so in this respect, I can understand Nails Inc's choice and the fab press photos certainly support this.

On a personal note, I have to say that I'm a little disappointed at the news. Nails Inc was founded based on the idea of New York nail bars, where chic & sophisticated women maintain their beauty regime in spite of busy schedules. Although I've never met her, Jameela Jamil has never struck me as the most intelligent woman and certainly isn't someone that I'd aspire to. What do you think of the news? What would be your ideal celeb/ brand link?

Happy Birthday Skin Deep!

Today is my 1st blog birthday! Please, help yourself to a virtual cupcake, they're calorie free don't you know...

The year has absolutely flown by! We've seen the launch of brands including Une and the sad departure from UK shores of Le Metier de Beaute. A beauty obsession with the Middleton girls went global, nail art made a comeback, we learnt the meaning of the word "vajazzle" and lashes went as big as you dared. What has been your highlight of the year?

Thank you for all of your support in the past year, it truly means so much and without you, Skin Deep wouldn't be what it is today. As always, I love hearing your comments and feedback so please continue to keep me updated with your thoughts particularly themes you'd like to see more of on Skin Deep.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

New Urban Decay items

I recently blogged about Urban Decay's new Meltdown Makeup Remover (click here to see) but it's taken me a little longer to write up details of some of the new makeup launches they sent me to trial at the same time.

First up, Canonball Mascara.

I'm not usually a fan of waterproof mascaras but understand that for many, they are a summer essential.
I prefer a thick brush so was a little disappointed to discover the fine wand but overall, I liked the bright & bold packaging. The first time that I used this, I found it handy for adding definition but after some practise, when I had a little more time on my hands, I realised that it also offers fantastic lengthening benefits. As is my usual complaint with waterproof mascaras, I found it felt heavier on my lashes than I'm accustomed to. In terms of longevity, I was impressed- this stuff simply does not budge!
As this is £15, I personally wouldn't repurchase as there are other mascaras out there which better fulfill my needs, often at a lower price but if you're seeking an effective waterproof mascara, this delivers.

Lip Love in Taunt (second from left in image)

I always rave about Urban Decay eye makeup yet I've just realised that this is the first of their lip products that I've trialled. I have to say, I'm impressed.
I was sent Lip Love in Taunt and I can't think of any skintone which this nude shade wouldn't look good on. It's incredibly wearable, adding shine without a wag-like high gloss finish. Although it contains honey (and tastes equally good), I didn't find there to be any stickiness.
I like the packaging and think that it looks more expensive than most UD products. At £12 each, I think this compares well with similar products.

Finally, I'm absolutely THRILLED to share the news that UD have finally repackaged their cult Eyeshadow Primer Potion into easy to use tubes. It's one of my all time can't-live-without products in spite of the wastage which is associated with the traditional packaging so I'll definitely be stocking up.

Sunday 26 June 2011

This week I'm loving....

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sea Star Bronzing Blush, £29

The annual Bronze Goddess summer range from Estee Lauder is highly anticipated each year and the clever bods at the cosmetics giant are yet to disappoint. I'm loving this collectable compact from the current collection which looks as pretty on the face as it does in the palette.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Blind Test: Lip & Cheek Tints

This month's Blind Testers have been busily testing two Lip & Cheek Tints, designed to give a perfect natural hint at rosiness.

First up, MeMeMe Cosmetics Pussycat Cheek & Lip Tint, £5.25 from the affordable makeup range which undeniably takes inspiration from Benefit.

Two out of three of the testers preferred this wallet friendly option, stating, "Loved it! I never liked the idea of a water based blusher but I would chose this over powder blush anyday- 10/10". Testers described it as "easy to use and stays the whole day", "good strong colour" and one in particular was desperate to be told what it was so they could purchase a full size.

The other sample was of Benefit's cult Benetint. It's not a cheap option at £24.50 but the bottle will last & last.
Testers stated, "seemed a bit more watery and was a tad darker although I still liked it" whilst another said, "not a fan at all- it was thin and watery. Very little colour and just too much like hard work due to the consistency. You'd need a lot to get some colour in your cheeks. I actually gave up on this so can't comment on its staying power."
The third tester who chose this as her preferred option was impressed with the quality and said, "the colour looks more natural."

Skin Deep's top tip? If you'd like to check Benetint out for less, there's a free sample with this month's Glamour magazine.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Speed Review: Sue Devitt Hydrating Marine Minerals Destination Eye & Cheek Palette

Sue Devitt may not be the most well-known brand here in the UK so to give you a bit of background, it's a range designed by the Australian celebrity makeup artist of the same name. Inspired by nature and Sue's global travels, the products are jam-packed with skin friendly ingredients.
I was sent the new Hydrating Marine Minerals Destination Eye & Cheek Palette in Beau Soleil from her Spring Summer 2011 collection which has been inspired by Sue's latest travels, this time to Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Describing her inspiration, Sue said, "Looking out onto the Bay from the shade of the Mangroves, I wanted to capture the golden glow of a Caribbean escape without the sun's harmful effects."
The palette certainly captures the warmth of the Caribbean. The colours are richer, with pinker tones than the image suggests and are very wearable for daily use.
I really like the multipurpose aspect of the palette as you can swirl your blusher brush around the four shades to use on cheeks or use each of the shades individually as eyeshadows. The colour is easily buildable making it particularly handy for creating a sculpted appearance if used on the face. The shades look matte in the palette but I noticed a natural, radiant glow when I applied it to my cheeks, without a hint of telltale glitter. For eyes, I used the top colour as a neutral base before blending over the bottom colour from the palette. It's a less scary and more grown-up way to tap into this season's trend for amber shades and I think these shades would look especially good on those with blue eyes.


Tuesday 21 June 2011

Speed Review: Frontcover

Frontcover is a brand I've admired from afar for some time but been a little late to the party in terms of actually trying it. I love the magazine themed packaging but was a little nervous that it would be a case of style over substance. Having finally gotten around to trying some of the baked eyeshadows, I'm pleased to say that I'm seriously impressed.

Although I like the idea of the magazine themed packaging enclosing a book of numerous eyeshadows, it's not the most practical for option for everyone- whether you're a girl who's constantly on the go or if you find that pre-selected palettes always contain a couple of shades you will never use.
Step forward their new empty compacts! For Spring Summer, the eyeshadows will be available to buy individually for the first time so that you can tailor make your very own eyeshadow palette.

Available from Boots, you simply purchase an empty sleek black compact, which contains a double ended applicator and features a generous mirror, then select four eyeshadows which securely click into place. They can easily be swapped around to suit the occasion.
It's such a clever little idea and I feel that the prices offer fantastic value for money with shadows at £4 each, the empty compact for £5 or a special price of £15 when you buy an entire set (4 shadows and a compact). My only criticism is that I'd have liked the magazine design to be carried onto the empty compact as I feel this is such an integral part of the brand's identity.

Here's my palette:

From left- right: Cloud Dance, Sunray, Bluebell, Bougainvillea Baked Eyeshadows

In the swatches, Cloud Dance is applied dry, the remainder are wet (Sunray appears to have a slight green tinge in the photo which I didn't notice in "real life"). Bougainvillea was my favourite of the shadows, creating a very pretty look when applied over the socket and taken just under the bottom lash line.
The shadows offer good pigmentation and I liked that this can be intensified by applying wet. I'm particularly impressed with the lasting power of the eyeshadows. Thumbs up!

Monday 20 June 2011

Speed Review: New CID i-Blush

I really like New Cid Cosmetics, not least because their functional packaging is ideal for girls on the go like myself. I've been impressed with the quality of the makeup I've tried to date and so was excited to hear about i-Blush, a Light Up Blusher and Highlighter Compact, £24.

Whilst I like the functionality of the packaging, with clever details such as lights and even some of their smallest products featuring mirrors, I do find that the white plastic feels cheap. To me, it's a real shame because it detracts from the quality of the products themselves.

i-Blush features a split pan with one side containing a very wearable peachy, golden pink blush and the other the golden highlighter. I really liked the colours and found that I was easily able to create a natural, glowing complexion, despite being powder based as opposed to my prefered cream formulas. In fact, the only difficulty I had was containing the mess- I found there was a lot of "drop" with these powders.

Have you tried New Cid i-Blush as yet? What did you think?

Sunday 19 June 2011

Fabulous Nails

Despite having a horrendously bad television advert, I couldn't resist telling you about the latest publication to offer a beauty treat this month.

The News of the World on Sunday's Fabulous magazine is offering this set of two Nails Inc polishes worth £22 when you cut out & collect 3 tokens. The offer runs from today for four weeks and the polishes can be redeemed in participating Tesco stores from 3rd July.
I was lucky enough to be sent a sneak preview. Whilst I've taken issue with the lack of chip resistance of Nails Inc in the past, I really like both of these shades, Atomic & OMP (Oh My Pink). I'm currently wearing Atomic, a tangy orange on my toenails and whilst I haven't been wearing it for long enough to comment on its longevity, I was impressed with the formula and only required two coats for fully pigmented coverage.
Go ahead, pick up these brights- it's bound to be miserable weather for the next couple of weeks with Wimbledon so you may as well have a touch of summer on your nails!


It's Makeup Madness Fortnight here on Skin Deep!

Check in for daily makeup themed posts with the likes of Aveda, New Cid and Frontcover to name a few.

Saturday 18 June 2011

This week I'm loving....

Holiday hauling!

I thought you'd like to see a photo of the beauty goodies I picked up when I was whisked off for a mini-break in Madrid recently.

From l-r: Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner; Kiko Luxurious Lashes Maxi Brush Mascara, Sephora Power Mask, Sephora Lash Amplifier Tool, Bottega Verde Argan Butter & Organic Sesame Oil Conditioner for dry hair, Kiko Water Blush Cheek Stain in Pretty Pink

Saturday 11 June 2011

Skin Deep talks to...

Shelley McMurray of He-Shi,

In perfect timing for that all important summer prep, this month's expert interview is with Shelley McMurray of tanning brand, He-Shi. A true family business, the name He-Shi is based on a combination of Shelley and her mother, Hilary's names.

SD: What made you decide to develop your own fake tan?
SM: We recognised a gap in the tanning market for a self tan that was easy to apply, quick drying with an instant natural colour and minimal smell. We therefore decided it'd be great to create our own!

SD: What should readers look out for when choosing a fake tan?
SM: Always choose a tan that suits your skin tone or an intelligent product that is capable of adjusting to your skin tone. He-Shi makes this easy as it only comes in one shade- the colour adapts to the tone of your skin. It can also easily be made darker by applying another coat.

SD: Any suggestions on avoiding a fake tan disaster? SM: Preparation is key to achieving a flawless tan. Exfoliate well before tanning and do NOT apply moisturiser, as it acts as a barrier. A small amount of moisturiser on dry areas such as knees and elbows, however, will help the tan from sticking.

SD: What is the best thing about running your own company?
SM: Developing new products that consumers love is really rewarding and is definitely my favourite thing about running the company.

SD: What struggles have you overcome in developing the business?
SM: Being based in Northern Ireland is a challenge at times, however, short flights have become a simple way to overcome this problem and in fact, it's a great place to live and work.

SD: How do you envisage He-Shi developing? SM: He-Shi will always be a professional and premium brand, firmly supporting the professional industry it has grown up with. We have strong ambitions for He-Shi and plan to develop it with care. Because we are a family business, we can make sure that everything we do is dedicated towards the brand.

SD: What would you be doing as a career if you weren't running He-Shi? SM: I always had a keen interest in marketing so I think in some form, it would have been marketing. I did consider teaching until I did work experience in the field!

SD: If you could have created any famous beauty product or range, which would it be?SM: I'd have to say Benefit cosmetics. I love their beauty products and their quirky branding.

SD: What has been the highlight of your career to date?SM: Winning a Cosmopolitan Award for He-Shi in the same year we brought the brand to the UK market has definitely been a career highlight. We already knew that our Express Liquid Tan was the best around but it was great to get recognition from such a respected publication.

SD: What is your beauty pet-hate?
SM: Streaky, orange toned tan of course!

SD: What do you predict will be the next big thing in beauty?
SM: Eyelashes are becoming huge at minute (literally!) and 2 week mascara sounds really interesting

SD: What is your number one beauty tip? SM: A natural tan is the perfect accessory for any outfit.

SD: What is your summer holiday must-have?
SM: Our new He-Shi Travel Kit is our three step to the perfect tan in travel sizes. It contains the Exfoliating Body Wash, The Express Liquid Tan and the Day-to-Day Gradual Tan with our unique mini mitt for perfect application. He- Shi Day-to-Day Gradual Tan comes in so useful on holiday! It lightly builds a golden tan so applied daily it will make you look like you are tanning naturally- when in fact, you are tanning safely. I apply it in the evenings, shower in the morning and then apply high factor sunscreen on top.

SD: Finally, what does Skin Deep mean to you?SM: Skin Deep to me means looking after yourself and letting the inner beauty shine through... whilst rocking a gorgeous self tan!

If you enjoyed the interview, please check back later this month for my review of the new He-Shi Travel Kit.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Can't live without...

I've blogged before about my adoration of Leighton Denny and wanted to share with you this gorgeous polish from his summer '11 Gelato collection, which I'm currently wearing on my fingernails. Readers, I give you Lollypop.

It's such a cheery, candy shade that I can't help but smile when I look down at my hands. As ever, the creamy formula applied beautifully and I only needed two coats for full coverage due to the rich pigmentation.
If you're yet to discover Leighton Denny polishes, I recommend picking up a copy of this month's Harpers UK which has a free polish (normally priced at £11 each) in a choice of three shades but I warn you, once tried, you'll be hooked.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Speed Review: Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser

Superdrug have really picked up their game recently, with massive financial investment enabling the changes. I've received a number of releases from the PR in the last couple of months, not least details of their Beauty Card launch but the one which really grabbed my attention was the introduction of Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser, launching Monday. I expect that this is going to be a huge success so I was delighted to be sent a sample to trial in advance.

Whilst I believe that you should spend as much as you can afford on your skincare, it's inevitable that luxury brands are only accessible to a few so I'm equally interested in hearing (& sharing) details of products which offer good value for money. I'm a big fan of hot cloth cleansers although they can be pricey (Liz Earle's version is without doubt the most popular affordable version). Superdrug's Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser seems to provide the perfect value option, offering a generous 200ml PLUS muslin cloth for just £4.99 (I'm hoping the boy won't confuse this one for a cleaning cloth as he did my precious Eve Lom ones which he "helpfully" put away with the Mr. Muscle & Cif under the sink!)! I quite like that it's not a pretentious offering. Superdrug isn't a destination shop but provides value items in a convenient manner and this is testament to that.
Unlike the tubs of balm and pump dispensers I've used in the past, Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser is a large tube presented in a box with aforementioned muslin cloth. The texture is similar to a thick body lotion and still does the job although doesn't feel as pampering as my favourite balms such as The Organic Pharmacy's Carrot Butter Cleanser. My skin has been quite sensitive of late and I was a little concerned to feel a slight tingling sensation upon application- I think I'd be fine if my skin was behaving itself but ingredients such as alcohol & parfum are listed quite highly so those with very sensitive skin might want to watch out. After use, my skin was left feeling deeply cleaned, soft and with a refined texture & appearance.
Overall, I'm impressed with this for the price. It's not going to replace my indulgent cleansers & I'm pleased that my first experience was with the luxury variety but if you're looking to cut costs, it'd be hard to beat this.

Saturday 4 June 2011

This week I'm loving...

It's no secret that I'm easily won over by a good collaboration and I'm absolutely smitten with this new Jon Burgerman tin for Lush.

Available for a limited time, the artist edition features Burgerman's signature adorable doodles and is filled with Bath Ballistics.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Speed Review: Phyto Phytokarite Ultra Nourishing Mask

I'm currently growing my hair and as such, taking extra care with the condition by indulging in oils and treating my tresses with a weekly masque. I've tried a number of different masques and this week, it was the turn of Phyto's PhytoKarite Ultra Nourishing Mask.

It took me a little while to get around to trialling this mask as the packaging didn't particularly excite me. There's nothing wrong with it as such but the box is rather clinical. The tub inside is much better, more akin to skincare and I really liked that the instructions are very clear with no room for error. Tip- if you are tempted to try this mask, be sure to go for this new packaging as I've heard less than favourable reviews about the old formula which is in different packaging.
I liked that the mask is natural, without parabens or silicons although I was a little concerned that this omission may leave my hair looking like a frizzball. The formula is a pale yellow, slightly sticky cream with a sweeter scent to the herbal one I was expecting- it reminded me of cake batter! If you find the thick formula difficult to work with, you may find it beneficial to warm the cream in your hands before applying to hair. The scent didn't linger in my hair once dry, it was simply left feeling clean. Although easier to rinse out than I expected, I did feel that a slight film was left on my hair. Having said this, my fine hair didn't feel weighed down at all- in fact, it felt more lightweight that usual.
My hair was left sleek (I needn't have worried about the frizz!) and super shiny as well as easier to style. I'll definitely use this again. Love it!

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Newsflash! Shavata takes to the skies

Eyebrow guru Shavata is accustomed to creating beautifully sculptued, sky high arches but soon we'll see her hitting new heights as she takes part in a charity skydive.
Shavata aims to raise £20,000 for her chosen charity, Breakthrough Booby Birds in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Beauty brands have been critised for their use of the charity logo in the past with little of the proceeds actually ending up with the charity so it's great to see that Shavata is showing her dedication to the cause in such a proactive way.
To kick start the fundraising, Shavata is offering eyebrow appointments at £35 on June 15th at her studio at the Urban Retreat in Harrods, with 100% proceeds going to the charity.
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