Shake it Baby!

I don’t recall where I first saw these intriguing new lip oils, but I do remember knowing that I had to have one.  Despite my best efforts, I am really not a lipstick fan.  I just can’t cope with the amount of effort that goes into finding a suitable shade, formula and finish. Not to mention all the lining, applying, checking and reapplying that goes on.  I will wear a nude lip occasionally, but that’s as far as it goes.  Lip oils, and tinted balms though? These I can get on board with.

 

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

There are fourteen shades of Juicy Shakers to choose from, and it – quite literally – took me three days to decide which one to buy.  I eventually opted for Freedom of Peach, and Mangoes Wild.   If you’re a regular reader, then you may know that I have been loving peach blushers recently, so Freedom of Peach seemed a no-brainer for me.  Mangoes wild is a sheer, pretty red.

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild

 

 

Being lip oils, the colours are sheer and subtle, and leave lips glossy but not sticky.  When left to their own devices, the liquid separates inside the tube, and they need to be given a good shake before applying.  The little sponge tip collects just enough product to cover the lips.  To get the best results, you then need to dab the applicator on the lips.  They can be built up to get a (slightly) more intense colour.  After the oil has soaked in/ been licked off, then the lips will be stained.  It probably goes without saying that – out of the two shades I own – Mangoes Wild leaves a more obvious stain behind.  Now, if you’re looking for anything more than a subtle wash of colour, then these won’t be for you, but on light make-up days, or when you just don’t fancy wearing ‘proper’ lipstick, they are perfect.

 

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

lancome juicy shaker lip oil gloss freedom of peach mangoes wild
L-R: Lancôme Juicy Shakers Freedom of Peach; Mangoes Wild

 

 

 

The scents are gorgeous and fruity, and are apparently individual to each Juicy Shaker.  I have extremely dry sensitive lips, and I am always nervous about trying any new lip products.  Even lip balms have been known to irritate, but I have absolutely no issue with the Juicy Shakers.  They do a fantastic job of leaving my lips feeling moisturised.

 

As much as I love the Lancôme Juicy Shakers, I can’t say that the formula is completely unique.  They are very similar to the YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oils, which I also love.  The packaging is very different though, and it is strangely satisfying to give the tube a good shake, and watch the colour transform from an oily mess to a smooth beautiful gloss.  Get yours for £18 here.

 

What do you think? Have you tried a Juicy Shaker yet, do you plan to?

 

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Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation : Tried and Tested

Foundations can be very hit and miss. Especially if, like me, you have dry skin.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather not bother than have cakey, lumpy, dry patches on my face.  Overall, I don’t have a lot to cover, but there are some occasions when a BB cream just isn’t enough.  There has been a lot of hype around the new Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation.  Maybelline presumably sent a huge batch out to all the beauty vloggers on YouTube, because they all suddenly started featuring it at the same time.  So, being the mug that I am, I decided to jump aboard and try it out for myself.

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As I mentioned above – and in my haul post here – I have dry skin.  It’s bad in the summer, but in the winter, it’s just….uggh.  My problem areas are around my nose, and on my forehead.  So the idea of a matte foundation kind of makes me want to run away screaming.  So far, my favourite two foundations are the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation.   I wrote about both here if you want a read.  FYI: I have never bought a high-end foundation. Say what?!

So, how does the Dream Velvet Matte Foundation shape up? Overall not bad, not bad at all.  I have worn it a few times, and have mostly been impressed.  The colour, 10 Ivory, is excellent for my pale (but not the palest) skin.  I have yet to figure out if I have warm or cool undertones, for the record, so I can’t comment on that.  The texture is soft, moussey, and almost fluffy.  I found that it is most like the Bourjois Nude Sensation Foundation in texture, but the Maybelline foundation is slightly thinner and lighter.

 

Maybelline-Dream-Velvet-Soft-Matte-Hydrating-Foundation

It applies really nicely, and goes on smoothly. ( I am just going to stop here and say, Maybelline, what the heck were you thinking with this little sponge doohickey? It is some sort of joke surely? It certainly cannot be used to apply foundation with, it is too small and rubbery.  Useless.  Don’t bother buying it, even if it is on offer) Right, anyway, back to the foundation.  Applied with a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, it leaves a smooth matte base.  One thing to be aware of is that (in my case) the foundation applied much more evenly on exfoliated skin.  I also used my favourite moisturising primer (Too Faced Hangover Primer).  I wore it for around six hours each time (that seems to be my average for needing to look presentable, after that I am ready to wash my face and get my PJs on), and it lasted well.  There wasn’t a lot of fading, in fact it wore extremely well.  It didn’t go patchy, and still looked natural at the end of the day.  The first time, I did apply my Pixi Glow Mist, which may have defeated the purpose of the matte foundation, but I just couldn’t help myself.  After that though – in the interest of giving a fair review – I did refrain, and left the foundation to do its thang.

By itself, the finish is definitely matte, but not overly drying.  It took a little while to ‘settle’ on my skin, and looked infinitely better around 30 minutes after application, than it did initially.  By then my skin looked a lot more natural and less like a mask.  The coverage is medium, and although I didn’t have a great deal of luck building it up (it started to cake on me), that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

 

Can I recommend the Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation? In a word, yes. I think it is a good foundation for the price point (it’s £7.99 here), and if you can find your shade in the limited selection, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  Personally, I prefer a more dewy finish, but if we have a hot summer (ha – as if) then I think it would be more successful on my skin.

 

What do you think? Are you keen to try this latest offering from Maybelline, or are you going to give it a miss?

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Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl Mascara

Jelly-Pong-Pong-Fairy-Lashes-Curl-Mascara

I was very intrigued by the Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl Mascara, when it came in my October Glossybox .  I will confess to having a little tiny obsession with finding the perfect mascara. I’ve mentioned it before, but I would really like to find a black mascara that thickens my lashes without giving me deadly spikes.  I also like them to stay curled, and ‘upright’. I have tried more than I should admit to (here and here are a couple, but I mention one in nearly every blog post; sorry, not sorry), and have multiple tubes on the go at all times.

So.  This Jelly Pong Pong mascara is supposed to continually curl lashes throughout the day.  Now this is not the time to get into a discussion about whether they mean continually or continuously, because I can’t say with certainty that it does either.

I have used this mascara a few times, and while being lovely, it certainly didn’t spontaneously curl my eyelashes.  However, ignoring my interpretation of Jelly Pong Pong’s claims, this is actually a really nice mascara.  It isn’t overly wet, but isn’t dry and clumpy either.  When I used eyelash curlers prior to applying, my eyelashes didn’t droop and straighten, which is a massive plus.  Despite being large and poky, the brush is fantastic for separating the lashes and giving lift.

If you want fairy lashes and don’t mind the high price (£17.95 here), then I would definitely recommend the Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl Mascara.  Although it isn’t exactly what I have been looking for, it is pretty darned close, and I will definitely continue to use it.  Whether or not I will repurchase, I am not sure as £18 is a little more than I would like to pay.

 

Have you tried the Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes Curl Mascara? What is your holy grail mascara?

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Easy on the Eyes : A Book Review

Easy on the Eyes is a new book, written by make-up artist to the stars Lisa Potter Dixon, which showcases eye looks that can be created in 5, 15 and 30 minutes. I have never bought a make-up manual before, but thought I would give this one a go. Everything I know about make-up application, I have either picked up by simply experimenting, or – more recently – by watching YouTube.  I was hoping for lots of detail, with nice clear pictures and a decent amount of looks that I could butcher  recreate in my own time.

 

Easy-On-The-Eyes-Lisa-Potter-Dixon

 

 

The book itself starts with the basics; covering how to get the best possible base, how to perfect your brows and apply mascara like a pro.  There are also several pages dedicated to applying false lashes.  Then on to smoky eyes, eyeliner techniques and glittery intense looks.

What I do like about Easy on the Eyes are the clear, detailed pictures and easy to understand instructions.  Ms Potter Dixon is clearly very down to earth, and it comes across in the style of her writing – it’s almost like chatting with a friend. I would say, though, that this book is aimed at someone who perhaps is a beginner with make-up; I am certainly no expert, but I don’t feel that I have learned any new techniques as such.  That’s not to say I haven’t picked up a couple of little tips along the way, though.  For example, applying mascara to the lower lashes first, so as not to end up with black smudges along the upper lids.

I also like that it is broken down into different time frames; allowing the reader to choose based on the time available to them.  The more time you have, the more detailed the liner, for example.

I would have liked to see a little bit of variation in the looks that are created, most of the tutorials seem to be for a smoky eye.  In addition to this, I think perhaps Easy on the Eyes could have gone into more detail about different eye shapes and the techniques that suit them.  There are just a few lines of text about each eye shape, with an illustrated picture of the eye shape in question, but I think pictures of real eyes would be more helpful. What with the author being Benefit’s head make-up artist, the book is choc-full of their products, which may influence younger readers towards buying Benefit.  Obviously, this is fantastic for Benefit, but it does make the book feel more like one massive advert for the brand, rather than Lisa Potter Dixon’s talents.

 

Overall, Easy on the Eyes is an attractive book that would make a great gift for a young-ish girl (or boy!), or someone who is just starting out with make-up.  It is easy to read, and simple to follow, with techniques that can be adapted to suit the individual wearer.

 

Have you read Easy on the Eyes? Can you recommend any other books that detail make-up application?

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W7 Eyeshadow Palettes : Review

 

W7 In the Buff, In the Night Eyeshadow Palette

W7 is a brand that I have not had much experience with, but I have seen other reviews of their products recently.  The general consensus seems to be that their range is good quality and affordable, so I thought I would check them out.  They started in 2002, and have apparently been building gradually over the last 13 years.  Prices are reasonable, although I found them to be not particularly consistent across online stockists.  For example, the two palettes I have range from around £4 on Amazon, to £9.99 on the W7 website (which you can’t purchase from, incidentally).

The W7 In The Buff Eyeshadow Palette contains 12 nude shades; 3 mattes and 9 shimmer shades.  The colours are typical nude colours; golds, browns and taupes.  It also has a matte black, which is a useful addition to any palette.  The colours are reasonably pigmented, although not intense (which allows the colour to be built up) and blend well.  I also found that they lasted well on my eyes – although admittedly I don’t usually have an issue with creasing or shadows relocating elsewhere on my face.  When buying eyeshadow palettes – which I do frequently – my main concern is whether I can create a complete look from it. I don’t want to have to rummage around in my collection to find complimentary colours, or a transition shade.  So it is pleasing to me that the In the Buff palette contains both light and dark colours, in shimmers and mattes.

 

W7 In the Buff Eyeshadow Palette

 

W7 In the Buff Eyeshadow Palette

 

The W7 In the Night Palette, on the other hand, contains only one matte as far as I can see (it’s black).  The colours are fab though; if you like smoky purples, pinks and heather/greys.  And shimmer.  Again, the colours are fairly pigmented, and easy to blend.

Unusually for an eyeshadow palette, they also both contain a decent brush.  It is double ended however, and has one of those useless sponges on the other end (why do they even bother – I always put these straight in the bin).  They also both come in a tin, rather than a plastic palette, which makes them sturdy, yet lightweight.  They remind me of the tin pencil cases we used to have at school, except these don’t have tippex graffiti on them.

 

W7 In the Night Eyedhadow Palette

 

W7 In the Night Eyeshadow Palette

 

 

 

Having looked at the website (here) I can see that the range is impressive, but the buying options seem limited, as I mentioned earlier.  I haven’t personally seen anything by W7 in an actual shop (as opposed to a virtual shop – my favourite kind).  I bought these both from Amazon, and didn’t pay more than £5 for either, which I think is pretty good value.

 

Have you ever tried anything by W7? Is it stocked in a store near you?

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Models Own Chrome Eyeshadow Palette : A Review

If I remember correctly, the first time I saw the Models Own Chrome Eyeshadow Palette was on Instagram.  I pretty much decided I wanted it then and there, which is a daily occurance in the world of Joyful Things.  It took me a little while to track it down, but track it down I did.  Models Own is only stocked in Superdrug stores, and online (here and here).  My local Superdrug didn’t have it, so eventually I purchased it online.  I have had a chance to have a little play, and thought I would share my opinion here with you.

 

Models Own Chrome Palette-2

 

Models Own Chrome Palette

Although the actual palette is much smaller than I expected, it is excellent quality for the price (£5.99). It is good and solid, and closes with a satisfying click.  The six cool toned cream shadows range from a very glittery white, to a deep brownish bronze.  Being creams, the chrome eyeshadows are not the most user friendly.  The colours are soft, highly pigmented and blendable though, and I think it is worth the extra preparation to use them.  I would recommend anyone with lids that are on the oily side priming the eyelids properly, in order to minimise creasing. I don’t suffer from oily lids, and, even after setting with a powder shadow, I found that I had more creases than a pair of linen trousers on a hot day.

 

Models Own Chrome Palette Swatches

 

Some may consider the metallic colours a little too much, but I personally love them all.  I am not someone who shies away from glittery eyeshadows – I proudly wear shimmer on my eyes on a daily basis.  This is probably breaking all the rules – because I have moderately hooded eyes, and because I am over 25 – but I genuinely don’t care.  Life would be pretty boring if we followed the rules all the time wouldn’t it?

So, if you are looking for some bright shimmery eyeshadows for a very reasonable price, and aren’t opposed to using creams, then I don’t think you will be disappointed with the Models Own Chrome Palette.

Tell me, have you tried this eyeshadow palette, and did you like it?

 

You may also want to read: My Top Three Eyeshadow Palettes

 

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Review: Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara

I have been on the lookout for an amazing mascara since the beginning of time.  Not to brag, but I am blessed with pretty decent lashes, however that doesn’t mean I don’t want them even bigger and longer. I have yet to find the perfect mascara, but that certainly doesn’t deter me from excitedly buying new ones every time I enter a makeup selling establishment.  My latest purchase is the Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express (here)

Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara

Maybelline claim it will give colossal volume (9x the volume no less), with no clumps.  This mascara, although perfectly acceptable, did not give me colossal anything, and not even 2 times the volume, let alone 9 times.  The brush is quite large and nondescript, the formula is quite wet (and therefore heavy) and the smell is weird.  In fact, the scent is so strong I can smell it when it is on my eyelashes – which just seems so wrong.

  Now, generally speaking, I am a huge, you could even say colossal *snickers*, Maybelline fan.  I always gravitate towards the Maybelline stand before anything else when shopping, and would probably use my last £10 on something from them, over any other brand (assuming the kids didn’t need, like, food or anything).  So, I was disappointed that the Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara did not live up to Maybelline’s claims.

Having said all this, the price is decent (£6.99) and for someone with shorter lashes it may actually work. That may sound odd, but my lashes – although long and dark –  don’t hold a curl well (unless I go sans mascara).  Because of this I prefer a slightly dryer formulation that gives me length and fatness, without weighing my eyelashes down.  Maybe I will wait until this one dries out a bit more, then perhaps we can be friends.

In the meantime though, the search continues.

Do you have any mascara recommendations? Please let me know below! Or tweet me!! @JoyfulThings_J

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A Tool to Make Washing Brushes Less of a Chore? Yes Please!

 

Hands up if you hate washing your makeup brushes… I realise you can’t see me, but my hand is waving madly in the air.  I really dislike doing it, and the thought of it actually makes me a little cross.  Ridiculous? Probably, yes.  Anyway, while browsing Amazon looking for something completely unrelated, this intriguing little gizmo popped up in my recommended items. This tool has made washing my make-up brushes easier, and slightly  less painful.

 

DSC_0135
The BrushEgg

It is a little rubber sleeve that fits over two fingers, and it can be used to aid the cleaning of brushes.  The process couldn’t be simpler; just pop some soap/brush cleaner/baby shampoo on the end of the brushes (or directly on the BrushEgg) and rub it over the little grooves on the flat side of the rubber egg-shaped tool.  It creates a lovely lather, and all the grime and makeup can be washed away never to be seen again.  There were no instructions included (I like instructions, they are my friend), but according to the item details on Amazon, the technique is to create lather with the little nubbins (that is the technical term, in case you are wondering) on the end, and then use the grooves to agitate the bristles and give them a good clean.

 

DSC_0140

 

Using it is a little awkward; it is a pretty tight on two fingers, but too spacious for just one.  I was doing a mass clean when I used it, so it did get a bit uncomfortable towards the end of the process.  It definitely made cleaning my brushes easier and quicker though, as opposed to rubbing each brush on the palm of my hand, as I usually would.   There doesn’t seem to be any damage to the bristles, although it is quite soon to say for sure if regular use will be too harsh. The best thing about this tiny tool though? The price: find it for between £1 and £5 online.  This one cost me £1.40 from Amazon. It really is a good egg (yeah, I went there).

 

Have you ever tried anything like this? Do you use any other useful tools for the dreaded task of brush washing?

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St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower – As simple as it sounds?

 

I don’t want to Jinx anything, but it would seem that (whisper it quietly, we don’t want to scare it away) summer has arrived in the UK.  So that means it’s time to slap on the fake tan.  Now, we all know the dangers of frying in the sun or using tanning beds, so I won’t get into that here.  Suffice to say, it’s a pretty bad idea.

There was a time when I wouldn’t have touched fake tan with a barge pole; it was smelly, streaky and usually orange.  However, in the last few years, there has been such a huge improvement I have ventured into a bronzed new world.

 

 

St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion
St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion

 

I have to say, I do still prefer a gradual tanner, rather than a full-on tan in a bottle.  This is because I am a coward, and a messy one at that.  I still feel – as idiot-proof as most tanners are – there is too much margin for error for someone as careless as myself.  So when I saw that St Tropez had brought out a new in-shower lotion, I was quite excited.  It all sounded so easy! Simply wash in the shower as usual, then spread the lotion on, wait for three minutes and rinse off.  The tan the develops over the next few hours and voila! A gorgeous tan.

But is this just too good to be true? Well, for me, yes.  The first time I used it I followed the instructions to the letter, even turning off the shower when the tube told me to (the instructions that is, the packaging doesn’t actually speak).  I rinsed off (using just water) and carefully dried myself, and immediately got dressed.  So far so good, no stickiness or nasty smells evident at this stage. I had showered in the early evening, so I then watched TV for a couple of hours, eagerly checking my arms every 30 minutes or so.  Not much to see there.  Not to worry, I thought, it must need longer to develop.  Then I went to bed, convinced I would see a slightly tanned me in the mirror the next morning.  Alas, it was not to be.  I didn’t look ANY different. So, I tried again, repeating the steps that day, and the next, and the next.  In total I repeated five times before I ran out of lotion.  What did I see after all that? A little change in colour, but only very slight. Enough for me to notice, but I certainly didn’t look as though I had taken a trip to St Tropez in my free time.

So would I buy the in-shower lotion again? Well, actually yes.  The thing is, the colour is very subtle, but it is so easy to use that I think it could work as a top-up when using a proper fake tan, or if you have a ‘real’ tan, obtained the old fashioned way.

Just to break it down even further, here I present to you the Pros and cons, in my opinion:

       PROS

  •  Super easy to use, almost fool proof.
  • Quick.
  • It dries as you do, so no need to wait around feeling sticky.
  • No nasty smell, so can be applied any time of day.
  • Subtle colour for those with fairer skin.
  • nice colour (eventually) – not too orange.

 

      CONS 

  • Subtle colour, unless you’re prepared to repeat the process over a few days you may find it disappointing
  • Not cheap – £14.50 per tube – bearing in mind I used the whole thing before seeing much effect.

 

 

So, there it is, overall I think the St Tropez in shower tanning lotion is pretty OK, but don’t rush out and buy it if you’re looking to get an instant dark tan.

What is your favourite tanning mousse or lotion? Let me know in the comments if you can recommend an affordable, effective alternative.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Bitesize Review – The Balm Betty-Lou Manizer

Betty-Lou and I have a love-hate relationship.  I love the colour, the consistency, and the pigmentation.

The Balm - Betty-Lou Manizer
The Balm – Betty-Lou Manizer

 

 I also HATE the pigmentation.  Good grief is she scary to use.  The first time I tried her (other than swatching here, there and everywhere) I made the mistake of dipping my Kabuki brush straight in and rubbing it around like a woman possessed.  Then I swept it on the top of my forehead (y’know – like all the pros do).  Biiiig mistake.  I looked as though I had dipped my head into some shimmery cocoa powder, mixed with brick dust.  As I tried to get my panicked breathing under control, I took my trusty Real Techniques buffing brush (that baby can sort out all manner of overzealous makeup application) and buffed.  Then buffed some more.  I buffed as if my life depended on it.  Once the redness had died down – from all the buffing – and my eyes had cleared from the tears of fear, I took a look in the mirror.  Expecting to see a big brown mess, I was pleasantly surprised that I looked fairly normal, just gently bronzed.  It was then that I took a vow.  I promised myself that I would only place that brush back on my face with minimal bronzer on, and only after tapping the heck out of it first.

Since then, you’ll be relieved to know, I haven’t had another disaster involving Betty.  She has been kind to me.  I still get a little shiver of terror when I first go to apply the brush to my face though, followed by a sigh of relief when I know it’s all going to be alright.

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