22 June 2009

Uma Thurman on Harper's Bazaar cover

How amazing does Uma Thurman look on the cover of Harper's Bazaar this month? I love this cover, so striking, and am definitely going to try that make up look! The cosmetics are by Givenchy...

Essential measures #1 Elizabeth Arden - Eight Hour Cream

I'm starting a new series of essential beauty items.

These are for products that I have to have in my beauty collection at all times, and which I have awarded gold star status for their effectiveness.

I'm going to start with an absolute classic, but one which actually seems to divide opinion:

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Not highly original perhaps, but I've been using Eight Hour Cream for years and I absolutely must have some with me at all times, otherwise I tend to get a bit sweaty palmed and panic stricken. Unlike some who advocate its use on skin, hands, eyebrows etc, I find it a bit heavy and gloopy for that (I sometimes use it on heels though), so I mainly use it on my lips. I never have chapped lips and I attribute it entirely to this product. If ever I feel my lips getting slightly uncomfortable, dry or tight in the corners, I just smother them in this and they are instantly relieved. I use it every night before going to bed, in the morning after brushing teeth and reapply it once or twice during the day. Its also wonderful for warding off skin dehydration on flights.

Some people complain about Eight Hour Cream having a medicinal smell - it is quite strong but personally I don't mind it at all - indeed I find something quite reassuring about it.

A tube at full price costs about £18 but you can often find it on offer at Superdrug here in the UK for about £12 (they also do cute limited edition smaller tubes), on eBay and sometimes in TK Maxx in box sets with a handcream. Pricy, but it does last for ages.

So that's the first in my series of essential beauty items - more to follow soon.

19 June 2009

New purchases

I believe the American term is a 'beauty haul' but I'm British so I'm just going to sensibly call them purchases.

Had a bit of a spree in House of Fraser yesterday. First up I bought a new Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in 63 Abricot. I saw this colour on a You Tube vid and my interest was piqued, and in the flesh it is even more stunning. I almost didn't buy it because of the price - surely the most expensive single eyeshadows in the market?? But I suspect I'll get a lot of wear out of it. The beauty is that its quite light so can be used for highlighting, blending etc but it also has enough depth to be used as on its own on the lid. I think it will look beautiful with greens and blues too though I'm less keen on the latter.

Next up I headed to the MAC counter with two things in mind - an eyebrow pencil and the 217 blending brush I've heard many raves about on You Tube and Make Up Alley. I'm usually faithful to my Laura Mercier eyebrown pencil in blonde (but nowhere in Croydon stocks Laura Mercier, yet) and had planned to get another pencil, however the MA suggested a powder would work better with my brows, and an eyeshadow at that! Sceptical at first, I tried the MAC charcoal brown eyeshadow with their 266 brush... and the results were spectacular! I had that soft, thick, natural look I've often admired but never been able to achieve with pencils - now I now why! Powder, it's the way forward people. Needless to say I walked away with the eyeshadow, 217 and the 266 brush. I do think MAC make up assistants are among the best - they really know their stuff and what will work, and are very efficient - that's if you can get near them as the counters are always so rammed. I don't actually have a lot of MAC products in my collection as I am a bit of a cosmetics magpie and tend to get distracted by nice shiny luxurious packaging a la Chanel. But maybe I'll explore further....

I also picked up across the road in Allders a Christian Dior Ultra Shine lipstick in Shiniest Meringue, on sale for £10.50. I love these lipsticks - I previously had one in Shiniest Papaya which was one of my favourite lipsticks ever - sadly discontinued. Shiniest Meringue is a subtle 60s pink - great for pairing with a smoky eye I suspect, though would probably work best with skin that has a bit of colour.

I haven't figured out how to upload pics etc but will hopefully have some images of the above in action in the not too distant....

18 June 2009

The ultimate beauty bible

I'm not talking about the book of the same name, which may be very good but I've never read it. I'm referring to what is possibly my favourite website and certainly the one on which I spend most of my time - www.makeupalley.com.

I've been using this site for years - it must contain several thousand reviews of beauty products including cosmetics, toiletries, hair styling tools, make up brushes and fragrances. It also has several very active message boards which I've only recently discovered - throw out a random question (it doesn't have to be beauty-related - there are numerous others including fashion boards, fitness boards and ones for general chit chat) and you'll usually have several responses in just a few minutes (my latest was to ask what make up would complement a royal blue dress - a bronze eye seemed to be the consensus!).

On first impressions makeupalley may look a bit dated and amateurish, but for me that's part of its charm. Its primary purpose is to be a beauty resource and all of the information is easy to access without distractions from fancy graphics etc.

As well as doing basic searches you can narrow your search down by the age of the reviewer, for example, a woman in her 30s would probably be more interested to hear what someone a similar age thinks of a face cream than say a girl in her teens or twenties. You can also search my most popular products, most reviewed and newest products listed, and you can add new products and brands if they're not there.

I think makeupalley (terrible name I admit but even so I'm quite fond of it now!) is the trip advisor of the cosmetics world. It's a fantastically useful resource - I've bought so many amazing cosmetics following recommendations on makeupalley. The uninitiated (poor souls!) may think its a bit over the top to research a beauty item online before buying, but considering the cost of some items nowadays, I actually think its very prudent.

Long may it continue!


Welcome to my blog!

I'm obsessed with beauty products so my blog will have a strong beauty bias but will also feature fabulous clothes, accessories and anything else that takes my fancy (perhaps a bit of culture thrown in now and again, for balance).

Forget Harper's... Amina's Bazaar is where it's at! Hope you enjoy...