Sunday, 14 November 2010

Louis Vuitton Speedy 35, but which style?

I have wanted a designer bag for so long, something worth the money i'll be investing in - a bag for life kinda thing. I've thought long and hard whether I really want to spend so much money on a bag, but I know if I don't ever have one I'll always regret it. So after years of dithering and changing my mind, I always come back to Louis Vuittons Speedy 35
The only dilemma now is which style to choose? Please vote in the comment box which is your fave, I'd love to hear what my fashion savvy followers think.

(From left) Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene alongside an Alexander Wang 'Rocco' bag. My two fave bags, not forgetting a Chanel tote.

Audrey Hepburn papped with her Louis Vuitton Speedy sporting the classic Monogram canvas...Do I really need more of an excuse to buy one these bags? She's one of my fave style icons...

Louis Vuitton Speedy in the Damier Azur canvas. Picture from Chictopia by Rahpunen.

The monogram canvas has until now always been at the top of my list, but after much thought and research I've began to think that it might not be for me. I like the cowhide handles how they look when they are first bought before they age and discolour, going a dark tan colour. Then there's the fact that this particular style is on every market stall being sold as a replica. There's nothing wrong with replica's guys,  heck, I even had one at some point. But now I want the real thing... 
So i'm thinking the Damier Ebene is most likely going to be my first (and last) designer handbag. I really didn't like this style upon first seeing it, but boy, oh boy, it has grown on me! I like how it's a bit more casual and less 'flashy' than the monogram canvas. Plus it looks like it'll go with any outfit. I saw the Damier Azur loads in Miami and it truly is beautiful but i've heard lots of people saying they take a lot of looking after to keep them clean with them being so light. 

Cast your vote lovelies! xoxo

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Get NAKED...Urban Decay's Naked Palette Review & Swatches

Better late than never...

Ta da! All hail this fabulous and most comprehensive nude palette I have EVER purchased! And (dare I say it..?) the BEST palette I've ever tried too.

There are 12 TDF shades to choose from, meaning endless opportunity for creating new looks for your eyes. There is also a mini Primer Potion and a double ended eyeliner in Whiskey (the brown liner) & Zero (the black liner). 'Naked' is a bit of contradiction here, although almost all of the colours are indeed nude, except for Creep and Gunmetal, the looks they can produce are in no way subtle or barely there. I mean, of course, you can create a perfect nude eye for work with this palette, but it is also ideal for dramatic eyes for evenings too!

So I thought i'd do some swatching so you can get to know all of these gorgeous shadows a bit better :) I used Mac's Prep & Prime (£16.50) on my arm because it is so creamy and I was covering a large area. As you can see from my fingertips after I used it, it's pretty shimmery, and can make your face look a bit greasy but that doesn't matter much when you've put foundation and powder on. It worked as a fab base for the shadows anyhoo!

Here's the first 6 shadows from left to right...
1. Virgin 2. Sin 3. Naked 4. Sidecar 5. Buck 6. Half Baked

These are the lighter half of the palette, definitely 'nudey' shades.

Now for the latter 6 shadows...

7. Smog 8. Darkhorse 9. Toasted 10. Hustle 11. Creep 12. Gunmetal

A noticeable change in depth of colour here, the latter half of the palette is much darker and can provide some really dramatic smokey eyes. I like how it has a black (Creep) and a grey (Gunmetal) for the classic smokey eye look, because I use these colours the most so it's nice to know they're there If I go out and fancy using them.

This is another pic of the last 6 shadows in different lighting showing the glitter.

I'm not a big fan of thick glitter particles in shadows, they just stick out and don't feel right. Sidecar & Gunmetal have these pesky particles but I've used Gunmetal and it doesn't have loads so it's subtle enough. My fave's are Naked, Hustle and Creep. I love them all but my least faves/used are Sin & Toasted. I think I just need to try them out a bit more.

I took my time in getting this palette because I was planning on using my holiday money when I went to Miami but I bought it in the 10% sale at Debenhams, making it about £24.00 from around £27. I didn't get it 'til last week. It was worth the wait though and I'll treasure this palette. I'll def be getting some more when I go to America again, as I hear it's Limited Edition in the UK. Boo.

The only thing that I think would make it better for me personally is a silver shadow because when I use Creep and Gunmetal for a dramatic smokey eye, I often use silver for the inner eyelid to soften the look. I know it's not a nude shade but, you know what, neither is grey and black :p

Much Love

Psst! I'd love it if you could follow me on Twitter! Tweet me at (@Brill_Brunette)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Matte Is Murder - The Original Matte Polish by ManGlaze ™

I was put off trying matte polishes for a while after hearing many negative reviews on their quality and lifespan. A lot of matte shades have been said to dry and go gloopy on the brush before you've even finished painting your nail and supposedly chip very easily. To me this sounded like a waste of money; why would I want to buy a matte polish that wasn't very fun to apply and then not even last very long once applied?!

But hurrah! My curiosity got the better of me after reading a review on Twitter, a month or so ago. The twitpic of the nails after applying Matte Is Murder just looked so frickin' good, i knew there and then I had to atleast try it for myself.

I purchased Matte Is Murder and Fuggen Ugly, I thought i might aswell seeing as the shipping cost as much as a polish and save me having to pay twice if I liked it :p Which i kinda knew i would. The website to purchase ManGlaze's polishes from is, I had a little look on eBay but to my dismay I couldn't find any bargains, or any ManGlaze items at all, so unless you live in America you'll need to purchase direct from their website. Delivery to the UK took around 3weeks for me, but that included a bank holiday, so i'd say around 2-3 weeks. I did get intouch with ManGlaze in the end, fretting that my parcel was lost with how long it was taking, but they replied very quickly and assured me they would get my polish to me irregardless which was reassuring.

Anyway! ManGlaze, although it sounds like it is, is NOT just for men! Hell no. Matte Is Murder is divine. It is effortlessly edgy and versatile - i just love how you can dress it up with some gloss for a more glam look, or wear it alone for some rock chick appeal. On first glances, the polish black polish swimming around inside the bottle sparkles from the flecks of shimmer mixed in. This surprised me somewhat, that it looked too shimmery/slightly glittery to be matte and edgy. But once applied it leaves you in no doubt as to whether it is just another gloss or a quality matte polish. The application with the thin standard looking brush was effortless and it just went on like a dream. I did need two coats just to be sure that there would be no patches showing through and to ensure a full bodied colour. I was equally surprised at how fast it dried Matte, it seriously just transforms right infront of your very eyes from wet looking to uber Matte in 10-20seconds! In terms of its longevity, i can honestly say it did me proud, as I didn't apply a topcoat, preferring the edgier look with no gloss which lasted me around 7 days. This might seem short to some people but i use my hands ALOT at work and i'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for my job my nails would have lasted a good few days more.You can buy topcoats for matte nails but I didn't bother as it really is super chip-proof!

I really cannot fault this Matte polish at all. It irritates me to think that ManGlaze were the 'original' creators of matte polishes and then lots of big brand names jumped on the bandwagon and made poor quality copies. Atleast that seems to be the general opinion, I guess i'd need to buy and try some to see if this is the case, but then again, why would I when i have Matte Is Murder in my stash? :)

Monday, 30 August 2010

'Dead Beautiful' - Vamp Lips Courtesy of Dior.

Achieve super sexy vamp lips with Dior Addict Lip Color in Pinstripe Plum 989 (£21.50) & Ultra Gloss in Black-Tie Plum 982 (£19.50).

Dark plum lips as seen on the runway at Proenza Schouler.

Psst...Some tips

*Keep your lips in tip top condition, so that the finished look is the best it can be. Use a good quality lip scrub to buff away flakyness and leave lips smooth. Try Bodyshop's Lip Scuff £7.50, as some can get pretty expensive, like Benefit's Lipscription at £23.00, it works just as good! If you have dry chapped lips, invest in a creamy lip balm because any flakes and you won't get an even coverage.
*I'd say this is a MUST - use a primer. I use Mac's Prep & Prime lip primer £10 which conditions the lip and creates a silky base for the lip colour to adhere to. It really does make lipstick last much longer and glides on easily.
*If you want to pout like the pro's at Proenza Schouler, try dabbing at the lips with your index finger to make to give a stained effect for ultra va-va vampness!

A word of warning before I begin, this look really isn't for the faint hearted! As you can see, this lip colour is very dark and intense, not to mention perfect for A/W10! There's two big lippy looks for fall this year, and they are the polar opposites of each other - buff nudes Vs super dark vampy shades. I've gone for the dark lip because, well, I've just never tried it before! When I had my nose in the August issue of Vogue, I saw lots of dark plum/berry lips, and models pouted perfectly vamp lips at on of my fave designer catwalks: Proenza Schouler.

I just had to have the matching gloss when I saw it glittering at me from the Dior counter. It is the exact same shade but when applied over the top of Pinstripe Plum it gives such a creamy and intense shade. The glitter gives the lips a pop, even though by now your lips will need no help standing out! FYI, this looks just as vamp applied alone, i'd describe it as giving the lip a just bitten look. Just look at this gloss though...It's beaut!

I'm not too keen on the brush applicator. It feels a little stiff, but other than this, I can't fault it.

This swatch is of 'Pinstripe Plum' on its own, and you can see it's a very dark plum. The lipstick is the latest version of 'Prune Smoking' which was available last autumn. I don't know if it's exactly the same and why they changed the name, but it certainly looks the same. I find the colour to be highly pigmented, easily applied and doesn't feel heavy or thick on my lips. Weightless almost. It has a slight sheen to it, which I like. I thought I would want a matte lip, but trust me, this looks pretty matte when applied and the sheen is just the right amount to make it look fresh, and like I say, give you that just bitten pout.

This swatch shows Pinstripe Plum with a coating of Black-Tie Plum applied over to achieve an ultra glossy vamp lip. You can see the little shimmery bits of glitter mixed in, the camera doesn't do them justice. It really does look dazzling with them mixed in. The gloss I would say isn't necessary for the vamp look but it really does make the colour so very intense and creamy. If you like to wear gloss then it's perfect but if you like lippy then it's fine to wear Pinstripe Plum alone. Both are vamp enough to wear alone, but the lipstick is matte and kind of more catwalk statement whilst the gloss gives the look a more polished and sexy finish.

There are so many cheaper alternatives available to achieve this look, so don't be put off by the price! I splurged on these with my birthday money and I had like £20 in Debenhams reward points. Revlon's ColorBurst lippy in Plum £7.99 and Mac's Cyber £12.50 are two fab vamp lip shades.

Much Love

Friday, 13 August 2010

Tag: You're It!

I was tagged by the lovely Sophie over at Sophie's choice, you should check out her blog, she's a fellow makeup and fashion junkie too :)
1) Post who gave you this award
2) State 10 things that you love
3) Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a lovely comment.

10 Things I Lov

1. Fashion (Piccie from Wildfox, one of my ♥'s)

2. Magazines (I always have my nose in a good mag...)

3. Leather.

4. My beautiful followers...Thanks for your support and inspiration :)

5. Makeup. What girl doesn't??!!

6. Partying.

7. Going to the beach.

8. I Tea.

9. Spending time with friends.

10. South Beach, Miami. I love this fabulous place. 3 weeks and counting!

These are my tags...Check out their fab blogs

Saturday, 7 August 2010

O.P.I's Lincoln Park After Dark - Vamp Nail Polish...ღ

This is my all time favourite polish - the uber vamp Lincoln Park After Dark, by O.P.I (£9.95). I actually first came across this colour in September 2009 after looking up one of my fave celebs signature dark nails in The Hills, Lauren Conrad. She keeps her nails pretty short and squared off too, which i was pleased about, as i can't leave my nails to grow long due to my work. It'd just be impossible, *sigh*. On a more positive note, i felt that keeping the nail short and straight gave the polish and overall look a more rocky/edgy feel. In my picture to the left i am wearing some falsies in order to give you guys a better idea of the colour etc as there's more to colour in than on my own nails, and will do in many of my piccies.

The vampish nails and makeup began hitting magazines and catwalks around fall and in sync with Steph Meyer's New Moon movie release, coincidence i think not, and vamp mania began. Either way, it all fell in perfect timing for winter when i ditch the bronzed and beautiful look for pale and interesting. The polish stood in contrast to the paleness and broke it up a bit. It was also a perfect choice for me as i was wanting to go dark but not too dark, as in black. Even though it's not black it is still very dramatic, i can only describe the colour as the darkest aubergine purple with a hint of dark cherry. I felt it needed two coats for an even application and to get the desired dark colour but i think this can be said for most dark polishes. If you want more of the cherry hue to shine through, i'd suggest that you don't layer it on too thick, as this only makes it appear darker. In my pic i've given my nails a generous one coat as i found that with my usual two coats it appeared black on my photo's so, although it looks a little streaky on my nails it shows the colour a little better for you. It looks fine with two coats in normal lighting, just not on my camera.. Chips would show straight away with this colour so be sure to use a quality topcoat; i used Nails Inc's Kensington Caviar 45 Second Topcoat, £11.00 and my polish lasted around 7 days. Without my trusty topcoat this polish wouldn't last out the day, i'm always using my hands, but there's no excuse not to use a topcoat as the shine it gives from the dark colour just looks super glossy, i love it.

Although a tenner is more than what some people want to spend on a polish, i would definately recommend this as an investment to any gals beauty stash. It is dramatic enough to make a statement on its own and can also be teamed with dark vampy eyes or blood thirsty red lips - never both! Remember to choose one or the other or it can look like overkill guys. Little really is more when it comes to some makeup looks, and you'll be surprised with the effect you'll get from just concentrating on one or two areas with vamp makeup.

In terms of wearability, personally, i feel i can wear it with most things and at any time yet some people may feel daunted by the deep shade and if you are pretty new to painting nails it can be a tricky colour to apply without hitches. But don't give up, any slips can be easily corrected with a cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover and dabbed away.

I'm giving this polish 5/5 - it's my signature colour which i always turn back to ♥

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The affordable alternative to Chanel's 'Particuliere' polish ❤

If you are like me, you'll have seen Chanel's 'particuliere' polish in magazines, talked about on the t.v and blogged about on the internet - (it is THE shade of the summer!) and you'll have been doing some research into a more affordbale version of this darker than usual creamy nude polish. Well in March, I saw a tweet announcing that Instyle Magazine had got together with Nails Inc and were giving away 3 different shades of polish. These polishes are £10.50 in the store but I got them with the magazine for £3.60! Bargain or what?!

There was Mink; a classy dark nude that wouldn't look out of place from Nails Inc's Griege collection. Then there's Beach; a bright vibrant coral red, and Candy - as the name suggests a candy pink. I didn't even need to think twice about which shade i was going to get... Mink was the kind of shade that had been on my list of lusthaves for sometime but I am trying to save up for a holiday so i've been biding my time. And thank God I did :) I was tempted to buy Candy too, but i've already got the bubblegum pink shade in O.P.I's Pandamonium Pink from the Hong Kong collection.

Mink is a beautifully sophisticated nude and is on trend with the likes of the most famous polish for the summer; Chanel's 'particuliere'. I nearly bought 'particuliere' a few times, as i just couldn't find a shade that looked similar and was affordable but still high quality. Both shades are darker than what most people think of as nudes and are not the typical pale beige. I have a an olive-y skin tone and i find that 'Mink' suits me perfectly. To be honest, i think it's a good all-rounder, and should suit nearly all skintones.

It gives off a very grown up and classy style, I feel like i want to don a pencil skirt, ruffled blouse and chic glasses before heading off to my swanky office! Who knows, maybe it highers your IQ too?! Hmm. Either way, i'll definately be wearing it to work and would feel confortable wearing it to an interview as it's not in your face but still screams grown up glamour. It really is very beautiful in a subtle way, and makes your hands look perfectly preened.

The only downfall i found was the brush is a bit hit and miss. I don't know whether mine is just a little out of shape but it didn't apply as smoothly as i'd have liked (or expected) from Nails inc. I found it hard get the right amount spread evenly on the nail, and the polish itself felt a little gloopy/thick. I ended up rushing to try and even out the gloop before it dried and this made it a little unenjoyable to apply but the end result is worth it. the shade is just what i wanted to so i'm willing to overlook these little niggles. I suppose the advantage of the thick feeling of the polish is that you'll definately not need more than two coats, if you are used to applying polish you may even get away with one if you master the brush!

The pictures i have taken do not have a topcoat on them, yet they still look ultra glossy huh? BUT! I emplore you not to miss this step as it will make them even more glossy (I know, right?!) and protect your polish from wear and tear, allowing you to enjoy this lush shade for even longer. So, wat are you waiting for? Hit up eBay and see if you can add this perfect polish to your collection too!

Much Love to all my beautiful bloggers


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

My First Chanel Nail Polish - Nouvelle Vague (Limited Edition, S/S 2010)

Ever since I can remember, I have always had a place in my ❤ for all things Chanel. I can't remember where I first clapped eyes on the iconic quilted 2.55 Chanel bag, but ever since, it has been my ambition to own one someday. I'd be better off with a tote, tbh, as I really do carry a lot of 'necessities' everywhere with me. Mini brushes, make-up compacts, my iPhone (which is pretty big I think!) and books/mags etc etc...

I don't know why I haven't bought any of Chanel's polishes before now, the price was a big factor; just over £16 is the most i've ever paid I think. I would always look them up on blogs and in magazines. I knew it had to be something special to make me splash out, and boy oh boy is Nouvelle Vague special :)

It has this summer's candy sugared shades covered, with this pale baby blue twist. I say twist because it looks blue with a hint of turquoise shining through. Infact, this is also my first light blue polish in my collection too! I didn't think it would go to well with olive/tan skin like mine is but when I saw it, well, I didn't care. Tan be damned! I was pleasantly surprised that the blue sat very nice with my shading, and even though it's eye-catching enough already, a tan really makes the colour 'pop' that little bit more!

It makes me think of holidays, pretty clear turquoise shallows and summer skies...

The only thing I don't like, which shocked me a little, is the actual nail brush applicator. It felt very thin and stiff, like an old fashioned, cheap polish I used to have when I was little. A little inflexible, meaning the application requires an extra steady hand. Requires a generous coat too, as the first coat can be streaky. Definately worth it for such a gorgeous summer shade though. It also has some of the best staying power i've come across in polishes, still going strong with no chips whatsoever after a week almost. Usually, with the amount I use my hands, I start to see little chips by now.

Friday, 11 June 2010

☆ .。. Mac Me Beautiful .。. ☆

I was having a sort out of my huge make-up stash, and I was re-united with loads of stuff i've bought but never really used. I feel as though i've had a mini raid of the Mac counter as I stumbled across a load of my fave eyeshadow pigments that have been gathering dust. A crime when they are sooo shimmery and easy to use. The pigments come in a little pot that stores a LOT of shadow! Even though £15 might seem a bit pricey, it seriously lasts forever (unless you *shock horror* you knock the pot over...), so they are a good investment. Mine never seem to go down, they are so pigmented and vibrant that you don't even need to use much. Some tips for using pigmented eyeshadow:
1. DON'T apply foundation until you've finished applying pigment/eyeshadow in general to your eyes to prevent fallout from ruining your look.
2. DAB the pigmented shadow onto your lids rather than sweeping it on straight away. This not only prevents fallout but ensures an even spread off shadow over the lid.
3. DON'T overload the brush. With pigment, little is more.
4. EXPERIMENT - pigments can be worn alone or blended with other shadows. They can be applied lightly for a sheer wash of colour, or built up for a more intense 'pop' of colour.

So here are my 8 pigment pots, RRP'ing at £120 but I got two of them from The Cosmetic Company at The York Designer Outlet which sells them for £11. That place is a must visit for any serious beauty addicts, there are bargains left right and centre, and the majority of the stuff is still current stock from Mac, Bobbi Brown & Clinique, to name a few.

From the back left we have 'Reflects Blue' 'Old Gold' 'Violet' and 'Spiritualize'.
From the front left there is 'Provence' 'Circa Plum' 'Golden Olive' and 'Deep Blue Green'.

I did some swatches, which turned out okay 'cept for the last two as they are very light and the latter basically a glitter pot so it didn't show up too well. The order in which I swatched them is from the very first picture of them in a line, for quick reference/comparisons. So it goes, 'Deep Blue Green' 'Circa Plum' 'Violet' 'Old Gode' 'Spiritualize' 'Golden Olive' 'Provence' and 'Reflects Blue'. Such pigmented colours look different in all light so i took a little video to give you a better idea.

I find that 'Golden Olive' works really well for asian inspired eyes, blended with a darker shadow such as Mac's 'Contrast' or 'Black Tied' £11.00 each. Dab a little in the corner of the eyes and blend out. The 239 Blending Brush by Mac is really good for these pigments, well rounded and fluffy. But there are plenty of other good brushes out there and some are a lot cheaper and just as good. Shop around.
'Dark Blue Green' is very dark and intense but reflects a gorge blue hue, so i like to put it over my Mac 'Blackground' paint pot, £13.00. As this acts as a primer I find and gives a solid background for the shimmer blue to sit against.
Provence is no longer sold at the Mac counters, nor is Reflects Blue, i picked these up the Cosmetic Company store. eBay and such like are great prices to find 'last seasons' shades that are still fab.

Tried any of these shades? What do you blend them with? I'd love to hear x