The Broken Lipstick Vow

Can someone please bring me to the nearest hospital pronto? Because I think I'm suffering from amnesia. No I didn't accidentally hit my head on a hard surface and I certainly didn't sustain head injuries from a severe brain trauma. In unfortunate and tragic circumstances like these, they will certainly offer explanations for my lack of self control. But as I've been very fortunate enough to keep out of harm's way, what's my excuse?

What exactly am I going on about? See last year, I gave myself a challenge, the ever so catchy The No More Lipstick Challenge link . Fed up of accumulating so much lipsticks than I knew what to do with, I came up with the clever solution. What was the deal? I simply couldn't purchase another lipstick bullet until I've finished the 4 beautiful but easily forgettable lipsticks that were featured. 4 lipsticks? No problem. Well.... it seemed like a clever idea at the time. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have given myself such an unattainable challenge. Because as a 100% proud lipstick addict, I was destined to fail from the get go. If Superman has his kryptonite, lipsticks are mine. Trying to resist the urge and temptation to buy a new shade is futile. I'll never be able to turn down a lipstick, especially when it's whispering my name so lovingly. It would be like ignoring a crying baby. How mean is that?
Swatches left to right: Evasion, Sunset, Dating Coral

So how long did I last before I accepted my inevitable defeat and said my adios to the challenge? A MONTH. *gulp* It wasn't bad right? I mean it could have been a lot  worse...say a day or week. Okay.Okay I'll be the first one to admit it, as far as attempt goes, it was pathetic. It all started with L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in 301 Dating Coral then I asked my brother for the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 48 Evasion for my birthday last year and then I decided to buy Avon Extra Lasting Lipstick in Sunset. (just because I felt like it) So much for trying to control myself eh? ;) Told you I need to see a doctor soon, preferably McDreamy a.k.a Dr Shepherd at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital (well he's a neurosurgeon after all ;) - maybe he'll know the exact reason why my brain is incapable of saying no to more lipstick purchases. 

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse in 301 Dating Coral  is not a stranger here on Slave to Vanity. It made its first appearance as part of my 6 Shades of Summer: Lip Edition post but in a nutshell, it's a gorgeous soft pale muted coral pink with some peachiness thrown in . Lightweight and moisturizing formula, top off with a pretty sheen that makes my lips look slightly more fuller than usual? No regrets with this one. A year has passed since I purchased this and it has remained one of my favourites. Sure it doesn't last long but when it's a beautiful shade like this one, I can easily forgive.

Avon Extra Lasting Lipstick in Sunset a vibrant orangey red with dark coral written all over it, say hello to my Christmas lipstick of choice. It's a unique shade in my collection because it pulls slightly more orange under some lighting and then there are times it leans more towards a dark pinky red. My love for this shade is real. The creamy formula glides on easily and leaves a super opaque coverage with just several swipes. It has a creme, silky satin finish. The formula imparts the loveliest sheen on my lips and that, along with the vibrancy of the shade, brightens my complexion so beautifully. This is my go to lipstick for days when I'm faced with the dilemma of having lacklustre skin. However, Sunset has two noticeable flaws: 
1) It doesn't live up to its name and its claim- Extra Lasting? 8 hour wear without fading?  I don't think so, considering it transfers every time I eat/drink. If I refrain from eating or drinking, it lasts a good 4 to 5 hours before it starts to fade away. It leaves a beautiful soft subtle stain behind.
 2) It clings to and accentuates dry patches and overtime, it can start to feel slightly drying so preparing the lips with a lipbalm beforehand, wouldn't go amiss.

Last but certainly not least we have Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 48 Evasion. My first ever taste of high end lipstick and what a taste it was. For a fail safe lipstick that perfectly matches and pairs beautifully with my daily uniform of a brown smokey eye, Evasion is my first port of call. A beautiful shade that can only be described as a peachy pink nude, it's definitely more pink than peach on my lips but it has enough peach undertones and a hint of coral warmth to prevent it from washing out my complexion. I tend to shy away from cool toned light pink shades but fortunately, I find Evasion to be a flattering shade against my complexion. As for its formula, it's moisturizing and feels very lightweight with a buttery soft, balm- like texture. Due to the sheer nature of the formula, I have to layer it on to build up the pigmentation (you won't get full coverage with this one though - think of it as a very fancy tinted lip balm with a slight slippery texture ) The Rouge Coco Shine range will never win an award  for being the best and most pigmented lipsticks around nor will it walk away with the award for the most long wearing lipsticks (Evasion lasts less than an hour on my lips) but the lovely, delicate pinch of colour that it offers and its glossy finish are its main selling points. It has the tendency to sink into lip lines, the more I pile on the layers for added pigmentation but a quick dab with my finger fixes this minor flaw. A Rouge Coco Shine is a luxury purchase for sure, setting you back 28 euro but the exquisite iconic Chanel packaging with those two interlocked, opposed letters-C is enough to sway me to pick up another shade. Next on my Chanel buying hit list? Rouge Coco Shine in Flirt, come to momma.

From writing this post, I've concluded that I have a penchant for collecting peachy pink and coral lipsticks and that my desire to assemble a lipstick army is a lot stronger than my willpower. So what does this say about me? I can never stick to my word...well when it comes to beauty that is. In other areas of my life, I pride myself in my ability to keep my promises. I'm a Scorpio, once we set our eyes on achieving something, we normally do. But when it comes to turning down a lipstick? I just don't have the heart. Hmm. Who wants to join the lipstick anonymous with me? ;)

*I've added five more lipsticks to my collection since I came up with this post which includes the Maybelline Colour Whisper Lipsticks. I didn't include them here because I'm going to write a full review with swatches.*


Festive nails with OPI Couture De Minnie Collection

You know the ever inspiring and motivational saying ''Go big or go home?'' I like to apply it in all areas of my life. Whether it's before a presentation, during a shopping spree, attempting to run (ha what a lie, clearly I'm not fooling anyone here) but you get the gist. After many years of shying away from OPI nail polishes due to its 12 euro price tag per bottle, I've gone from having 0 to 4 OPI nail polishes in an instant and it's all thanks to Leigh I was the lucky winner of her giveaway back in July.

OPI released the Couture De Minnie collection, a set of 5 limited edition beautiful red and pink nail polishes for the Summer of 2013. But the shades are suitable for wearing all year round and since it's Christmas today and all of the shades are perfect for the festive season, it's about time I share the prettiness.

(How cute are the bottles? SO CUTE ;) )
Swatches from left to right (second picture): Innie Minnie Mightie Bow, Chic from Ears to Tail, Magazine Cover Mouse and A Definite Moust Have

The Runaway Minnies set includes 4 shades from the collection, minus the beautiful polish called Minnie Style - a clear based glitter top coat containing gorgeous pink and white hexagon shaped sequins. (I really want it though, it's a beaut) A Definite Moust Have is described as a fuchsia by OPI but all I see is a vibrant coral pink. Magazine Cover Mouse is a berry pinky red with a sparkling texture, containing pink and gold sparkles. It's a liquid sand polish offering from OPI which is supposed to be worn without a top coat ,as it's meant to have a sand paper like texture after it dries. Chic From Ears to Tail is a light cool bubblegum pink, laced with subtle silver micro shimmers. So subtle that it almost remains undetectable under direct sunlight. Innie Minnie Mightie Bow is a crimson red with very fine gold shimmers running through it. Much like Chic from Ears to Tail, the shimmers are only really visible under direct sunlight. 

Featuring the Prowide brush by OPI, applying the shades is always such a pleasure. The brush of each polish is flat and wide enough that once lightly pressed down on each nail, it spreads out easily, distributing an even coat of polish. Whilst on the subject of application , A Definite Moust Have, Innie Minnie Mightie Bow and Magazine Cover Mouse are all one coat wonder because they have such a rich and saturated formula that reaches full coverage with one coat (in the swatches above I'm wearing 2 coats of each but that's due to my preference). All of the shades with the exception of Chic From Ears to Tail applies smoothly (yes even Magazine Cover Mouse with its sparkling texture). Chic From Ears to Tail applies quite streaky and sheer, thus it requires 3 coats to achieve a smooth even finish and full coverage. It's been a week since I first applied these and they held up exceptionally well with very little to no chips to report, despite the fact that I didn't use a top coat. (when do I ever use a top coat?)  As for its drying time, each coat dries within 1-2 minutes. Great job OPI, no wonder you're quite expensive. Impressive opaque formulas that applies so easily, dries quickly and chip resistant? My kind of polish. I love my Nails Inc nail polishes but these OPI offerings are quickly taking the top spot. Plus how adorable are the names of the shades? Trust OPI to come up with such clever names for them.

The stand out shade is none other than Magazine Cover Mouse. Why? I don't have any other nail polish like it in my collection. I haven't explored the world of textured nail polishes but based on my experience with this beaut of a i can't stop staring at my nails type of shade, it won't be long until I purchase another sparkling polish. Seriously I'm still looking at my nails as I type up this post. No prize for guessing what nail polish I've decided to wear for Christmas. :)

As mentioned above, the Couture De Minnie Collection is limited edition but I can still spot some online from places like amazon and eBay, averaging between £11-£12 for this Runaway Minnies set.

I'd like to take this opportunity to greet all the readers of Slave to Vanity and all of your loved ones, the loveliest Christmas. So whether you're an old or new reader or you just happen to stumble upon my blog today, I hope you enjoy the holidays and the festive fun that it brings. :)

PS. Leigh if you're reading this, thank you again for this wonderful set. I'm so incredibly thankful. From the bottom of my heart. xx


All Shades of Wrong : A beauty lesson learned.

Let this be a major lesson to all the beauty loving ladies out there, before purchasing a product please make sure you test it out properly. In natural lighting Never settle for the store lighting because boy are they misleading. If you choose not to follow this simple rule that many beauty bloggers live by, you'll end up with this. A pile of make-up purchases regret. It's a relatively small pile but a pile of regret that I can certainly live without.

So there I was, innocently cleaning and tidying up my room (a very rare occurrence), spending more time reorganising my make-up stash and less time, cleaning the mess that is my bedroom floor and even less time getting to grips with the vacuum cleaner - as per usual, what else is new here? ;) High five for me. This right here is pretty much a regular occurrence when it comes to the subject of cleaning and then BAM.

Swatches (left to right): Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour foundation in 400 Natural Beige, Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation in Medium Beige and 17 Lasting Fix lipstick in Dreamy (wrong shades in so many levels)

I saw these products and I swear, I died a little bit inside. Of what? Of shame. I've committed what perhaps many will consider the biggest beauty crime known to womankind. Wearing the wrong make-up shade. Okay in my defense, I bought these a LOOOONG time ago, like 3 years ago. Meaning I was absolutely clueless when it came to beauty products ( I haven't developed my obsession with beauty back then).When I came to my senses though and trust me I did- pretty damn quickly, these were shoved inside all sorts of hidden places in my room, never to see the daylight again. Why did I keep them after all this time instead of tossing them in the trash like any other sane person? Because aside from being a beauty obsessive, I'm also a beauty hoarder. Yes I'll never be caught outside in public wearing these products again but I can't let go. Feel free to call me crazy.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation in 400 Natural Beige: A shade that's 3-4 shades darker than my skin and I only have myself to blame. See when I picked this up in Boots, I was in a hurry and grabbed the one that  I thought was the closest to my skin tone. All the others seemed too pale/light. I did manage to swatch it and I naively thought that it was actually a pretty close match but clearly I had a slight problem with my vision that day because there's no doubt about it, it's too dark for me. It's actually the darkest shade in the entire line.And you know what? It's such a shame because I love the coverage that it gives and its semi-matte finish. It offers a medium to full coverage without feeling heavy/cakey on the skin in the slightest. Rimmel claims that it's ''transfer proof, hydrating with a lightweight feel'' and I'm happy to report that they were telling the truth. The formula is enriched with a revitalizing Mineral Complex and moisturizing Aqua Primer to keep skin energized and hydrated all day. Now let me get one thing straight here. Since I've only worn this foundation out in public, three times (3 years ago) I can't vouch for its long term hydration effects but that said, I did find it hydrating. Not overly so but just enough to make it comfortable to wear. As for its lasting power, I can't say it lasts for 25 hours but the coverage can easily last for an entire working/Uni day. Will I go back and maybe try a shade that suits me a million times better? Maybe but the strong foundation scent upon application is rather off-putting. It doesn't linger that long post application but it's enough to make me want to stay away.

Bottom line: Lovely coverage and finish, lightweight feel and easy to blend but the strong synthetic scent upon application and the lack of suitable shades for everyone (there are only 6 shades to choose from) lets it down.

Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation in Warmest Beige is a great choice for a gal with sensitive skin like myself because during application, it feels so soothing as it's enriched with vitamin complex, aloe and lavender. It also has a light scent of the lavender which is detectable upon application. I found it quite soothing but I know it's one of those scents that people will either love or hate. It applies smoothly with the help of my  Real Techniques Buffing Brush and leaves a lovely natural looking, semi--dewy  finish. If only I picked it up in the right shade. Now this one is actually not my fault. The state of the swatches in Avon brochures are misleading 99.9% of the time but to their credit though, they do offer a 90 day money back guarantee. I'm currently kicking myself for not exchanging this shade for a lighter one when I had the chance because it turns out, it's pretty darn awesome. Can we turn back time?

Bottom line: Hydrating, lightweight and creamy formula that blends so seamlessly with a natural looking, semi- dewy finish makes this a winner but the very slim shade choices (there are only 5 shades) makes this a loser :(

Seventeen Lasting Fix lipstick in Dreamy this vibrant almost neon bubblegum pink with strong yellow undertones + my lips = match made in hell against my olive skin tone. It just looks so incredibly wrong, wrong side of the tracks if you will. What was I thinking 3 years ago, when I purchased this? I Do Not Know. I can count with one finger how many times I've worn this in public, yep just once.I quickly found out that Dreamy is a very unflattering shade on me. No one had the heart to tell me that I looked hideous, god bless my family and friends. If I have future plans to dress up as Nicki Minaj for Halloween down the line, then Dreamy will be the front runner, fo'sho. I don't even need to think about it. But alas, I have no plans so I think it's for the best that I leave this type of shades to Nicki because she'll always rock it better than I ever could. This is the first and last time that I'll gladly accept defeat :). Aside from the shade, I hate the formula. It has a semi-matte finish which unsurprisingly feels drying, right from the moment it graces my lips. It accentuates dry patches and seeps into lip lines. I'm a gal who loves her lipstick/lipbalms/lipgloss hybrids, so this was a no go for me.

Bottom line: If your name is not Nicki Minaj and if you have a tan/olive/dark complexion- stay away. Far far away. If you hate drying formulas and a matte finish- stay away too. Simples. Go for the Mirrorshine range. I love the formula of those. My favorite shade? Belle.

Take-home lessons here? 
1) Never trust the lighting in stores. It'll always lie.
 2) Common sense goes a long way. 
3.) When in doubt, ask for assistance especially if you're purchasing expensive foundations because if you're paying a small fortune for a bottle of the stuff, you'll want to get it right. Ask for samples. 
4) Get to know your skin and complexion inside and out. You'll thank yourself one day. 
5.) If you can't wear it, throw it away. 
And most important of all? When it comes to beauty, there's always room for error but there's always room to learn. You live and you learn. Just look at me. Fast forward to 2013, I've learned so much in the 3 years that I've been beauty obsessed.