Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Drugstore Chronicles: Duds and Darlings

Who doesn't enjoy a cheap thrill? Well, I say "cheap", but with cynical multi-buys being the only way to get it cheap, it's normally the £10 mark for drugstore makeup... But nonetheless, it's always fun to discover a drugstore favourite. My favourite today has been going strong since 1952! So it's doing something right...

Now first of all a quick note on the duds. Both were flung mercilessly into the bin; if makeup doesn't "spark joy" it goes in the bin. Firstly, an ugly stick: Collection yellow corrector. I love the Collection lasting concealer in Fair. Personally I only wear it for short outings as I find it does fade and separate. But for a few hours it brightens and conceals. My favourite concealers are Bobbi Brown tinted eye brightener (which someone told me is being discontinued so I may have to buy a few backups!?) and the classic staple, Lancome Effacernes. The Collection yellow corrector was a brilliant idea, but it's a very ashen yellow and needs to be a warmer yellow. It separates and makes foundation on top separate and it literally makes everything it touches go uglier. The second item flung in the bin was the long-awaited to our shores, Maybelline age rewind Brightener. It gives no coverage and goes on patchy, I have no idea how it won so many fans.

Enough negativity! The anointed one, step forward! It's Revlon Fire and Ice. Of course it is! This is a lipstick I'd had my eye on for ages but never felt I wanted to spend £8 when I had Guerlain Gina for my orange red lipstick needs. But when Colgate toothpaste had the inspired idea to give away lipsticks with toothpaste, I grabbed it. It's exceeded all my expectations. It's creamy and long wearing and it's a real head-turner. It brightens your face, and your mood. I think it's a red that makes you look younger. And it's got that potent touch of blue-red (the promised "ice") which stops it from being Ronald Macdonald and tropical. I line it with a browned red to keep it even more sedate, but for nights out I'd line it with MAC Cherry.

If you have been on the fence about it, check out the deal if you're in the UK via Boots (N/A link) ( and you'll find it for £5.99 - plus you get a toothpaste. This lipstick is better than many of my MAC quality lipsticks as it's only a tiny bit drying, or rather I should say, it's not actively hydrating as my Rouge Gs are. Apparently Rouge Gs are being discontinued! I'm not sure if this is a vicious lie. Gina is a fabulous warm red with a tiny sparkle. But I wouldn't give up Fire and Ice and I don't think they have the same aura. Fire and Ice is more retro in its gloss finish and it has a subversive coldness within the warmth. It's more high maintenance than Rouge G, as it doesn't 'set', but I'm not one who touches or licks their lips so for me it's not a problem. A shade like this defies the whims of fashion, and I'm glad I've got this classic in my collection.

Revlon Fire and Ice swatch

 Applied straight from bullet

 Lined with L'oreal Bois de Rose lipliner

The full face truly retro finished result (excuse the PJ top) 


Please share any drugstore faves you have? I'm sick of always throwing out 3/4 of my purchases!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

MAC Whisper of Gilt is coming back! Third time lucky

Yes! For the third time now, MAC is re-releasing Whisper of Gilt. This will be its fourth outing to date and I do just wish it would be included in the permanent line-up, but for whatever reason, MAC has made it clear that it wants to hold onto the ethereal image of a lost-in-the-mists-of-time perfect highlighter. And adding a snowflake to it has just sealed that reputation. How beautiful???

The only thing is, it's 7.5g instead of 9g. But, one look at that cracked frozen ice packaging and embossed snowflake - all is forgiven. I sold my Whisper of Gilt, reasoning that Anastasia So Hollywood was a dupe. And reasoning that Guerlain Cruel Gardenia was a superior near-dupe. But the truth is, I've missed it ever since. The reason I loved Whisper of Gilt is that it's gold but it has a slight peach glint to it which makes it melt into the skin. The last incarnation, as part of the Nutcracker collection (and in a miserly segment as a duo) looked more gold than I remembered. I've taken @trendmood's picture and put it alongside the original and beloved, and for now, I can spot that same peachiness that made it so special. Of course, since the heady days of that initial Whisper of Gilt release, there have been so many wonderful highlights which include the same 'wet' finish, so it's a little late and perhaps a pyrrhic victory, but nonetheless, one of the champions is set to return - and I for one will have it in my sights. NB: Judging from the wintry theme it is likely to be the next Christmas/ holiday's collection.

The Poundshop Chronicles: Rimmel Kate waterproof gel eyeliner in Emerald

In the olden days, pound shops were a rarity and usually called themselves, rather frustratingly, "pound plus" shops; indeed Poundland (the current giant of pound shops in UK, fondly known as the pand shop) has its own share of £2, £3, £5 and even £10 offerings. However this post will refrain from a discourse on the evolution of pound shops and when a pound shop is no longer a pound shop. Because, here is a beauty product - and it is - in fact, just one shiny pound!

Previously this happily sold for £6.99, and having now tried it a few times, I honestly would have felt that even at full price it was a good purchase. It's a very Kate Moss colour so it doesn't feel like a cheap celeb cash-in. I've always adored Kate Moss' makeup and the way that she is not afraid of colour, she just wears it on her own terms. Her fashion and makeup choices always look like she is the one in control - all too often a wild colour or outfit can look self-conscious, or worse, like it's wearing you! But never with Kate Moss.

It's not a bright emerald but rather a smoked out and blackened emerald. Still, it has an unmistakable jewel tone to it and I love it for the summer to wear instead of a black. It's really hard-wearing and even in our current heatwave it has not smeared at all. I've only used it as a liner but I expect it would work well as a base to a smokey eye. (In the picture below you can see all my eyeshadow has pitifully smeared and creased but the liner has stayed as true as it was when first applied.) The brush included looks worthless and was tossed in the bin; I prefer using a Louise Young eyeliner brush. The other negatives are the plastic pot which, although very cute, is rather flimsy and may not keep the gel fresh, and also the fact that this does say "Made in China".

At the time of writing, my local Poundland had at least 5 still left on the shelf. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be available online. If anyone has any trouble getting one or is overseas, perhaps I can do an extravagant giveaway contest... If I can get any more. Let me know in the comments if you've tried this, or what other finds there are for a pound?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Lancome Sourcils Gel eyebrow gel: REVIEW!

Well it's another Lancome product review! I find myself becoming quite the fan. Lancome is a ubiquitous beauty hall staple, and as such, does get picked on for being "bland". True, their packaging and products don't call for much drama, and when they do try drama (cf. that rose petal highlighter or the big glitter palettes Lisa Eldridge designed) it never convinces. What I like about Lancome is that when they have a good product, it sticks around (no impetuous limited edition games with their staples) and it works. I have always had their effarcernes concealer on hand - and their Bifacil makeup remover, and their eyeliners and lipliners are always reliable too. Previously, indeed, I liked their Crayon poudre for eyebrows, in the shade Taupe. This review is for their latest eyebrow product, a gel pot, called a waterproof gel-cream or by its proper name, "Sourcils Gel". At the same price as their pencils but containing a generous 5g of product, it's a great buy. Let's look at the shade 04 Chatain (French for chestnut). I picked this up going by google images from blog posts, and I'm thrilled with it.

My favourite product for brows is still probably Billion Dollar Brows powder in Taupe. I find the shade so lovely and I like the soft powder retro look. It's long wearing and creamy and it seems to last in its pot too. Having said that, it's 2g and I've already hit pan twice - there's no denying this Lancome will outlast it. And it's a very similar shade:


It's got the same minky richness that is so hard to find in a cool brown (they often tend to be greyed or flat yellowed tones, this seems almost mauveish if that can be). The Lancome Chatain is denser/ more concentrated than my Billion Dollar Brows Taupe. Compared to MAC brow gel it's less creamy, but similar in concept. The shade I have in MAC is beautiful, but it's a far more simple and rich darker brown - shade: Deep Dark Brunette.

I love the MAC one, but for every day I favour a more blonde look overall. As brunettes with highlights know, if you pick a deeper brow you look more brunette, and if you pick a lighter one your highlights stand out more...Such is the science here at Ooglemakeup blog Towers. 🤓

I also have another much-enjoyed pencil which is more in line with the darker MAC gel, though a softer effect. I believe it's discontinued but it's the Dior sourcils poudre in the shade Sable. (They seem to be renamed...?)

Swatches: Dior powder eyeborw pencil in Sable, Lancome powder eyebrow pencil in Taupe, Billion Dollar Brows powder in Taupe, Lancome Sourcils Gel in 04 Chatain and MAC Deep Dark Brunette brow gel

Swatches as above, with Illamasqua Wolf eyeshadow at top for colour reference

At £19.50 I really think the Lancome gel is a brilliant and worthwhile alternative to powder pencils and powders which do run out fairly quickly with everyday use. I use an angled brush and only need a touch. The best thing about this is the shade which is very soft and natural, yet it adds impact to the brow. It also applies well over both the brow hairs and the skin itself. Sometimes I do think that a dark true brown suits me best as it makes my brown eyes stand out, but in surroundings where most around me don't wear much makeup, I find myself reaching for natural tones and effects instead. One of my favourite eye shadow shades is Wolf by Illamasqua. It has that - yes, wolfy - rich brown. Illamasqua Wolf, Lancome Taupe crayon sourcils poudre and this Sourcils gel in Chatain, all have that true, vivid cool brown that so often isn't translated into makeup properly. One thing which is strange about the Lancome gel and it's even more intense in other shades, is the presence of glitter. One never thinks of it, but brow hairs do have a gloss to them. Anyway, I've not noticed any glitter once it's on, only when I swatch it. I'm sure that if anything, paradoxically, it adds to the natural effect.

This lasts all day and really is waterproof (workouts, rain, humidity). In fact the only negative is that it's harder to take off than my standard brow powders. A small drawback - more than compensated by its performance.

Top marks

...Have you tried this?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Lancome Cils Booster XL: REVIEW!

How would you feel about a £50 mascara? Well inadvertently I seem to have been trapped into this.

I've always LOVED Lancome Hypnose. I loved Hypnose Drama too but nothing beat Hypnose for every day voluminous, soft, fluttery, dark lashes. However, perhaps due to ageing or perhaps due to wearing it for intense gym workouts (I like to think, the latter) - my mascara had not been holding up. A primer was therefore in order, as sacrificing Lancome Hypnose seemed untenable after so many years of loyal service.

For a while I'd been using L'Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara (red and white packaging) which did the job but didn't seem to maximise the Hypnose potential. After being recommended the Lancome version, and reading amazing reviews, I decided to try it. At £23.50, it's the same price as their mascara. And at a measly 5.2g, it's less than the portion of primer given in the L'Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara.

Part of me wanted to dismiss the Lancome instantly. After all, L'Oreal owns Lancome, so I hoped it was just the "same" product in sleeker packaging. The L'Oreal Beauty Tubes did its job after all. But having fianlly tried it, well, let me just say, my Beauty Tubes mascara is now in the bin.

The Lancome primer makes it look like your lashes have multiplied; a host of secret lashes seem to reveal themselves from some hidden depth. A coat of luscious thick lashes emerge once the mascara is layered on this primer. At first opening Lancome Cils Booster XL, my wand was utterly dry and I wondered if I'd received a defective or dried out product? But I swirled the wand and applied. The formula is white as with L'Oreal Beauty Tubes, however, the texture is far smoother and doesn't have the visible fibre strings that the L'Oreal Beauty Tubes has. It must be noted that L'Oreal Beauty Tubes only claims to be lengthening, and it is, but lashes (unless independently blessed) become long, thin and spindly and even a little gritty up close. The Lancome somehow lengthens and volumises. Perhaps the L'Oreal Beauty Tubes actually lengthens more than the Lancome, now that I think about it, but for me, volume is the most important. Using this primer is like applying my Hypnose 4 times layered. In some ways, this can arguably be said to economise on your mascara usage! The picture below is after only one coat of Lancome Hypnose over the primer.

I do wonder if others have found a magic formula layering two drugstore mascaras to get the same effect for less than half a ton. I never thought I would be prepared for a two step mascara process, let alone devote even more expense than simply using a high end mascara. I am wondering if this Lancome is so magical as to make any (even lacklustre, perhaps even a previously dismissed drugstore) mascara work miracles. I literally look like I've had lash extensions when I wear this Lancome Cils Booster XL with my Lancome Hypnose.

Sadly (and with the caveat that it mustn't dry out/ run out too quickly) this is now an absolute a must-have.

 L'Oreal Beauty Tubes base - notice the somewhat 'gritty' and spindly fibres

 Lancome primer - smooth, and doesn't look like much...

...BAM! Where did all those lashes come from?! A lustrous carpet of lashes

Lancome Hypnose over L'oreal Beauty Tubes. Lovely and natural long lashes, but no wow factor and no dramatic thickness. I can't return to this now!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Penhaligons Portrait Collection Cocktails and The Coveted Duchess Rose Review

Last night I went to Plateau in Canary Wharf to sample the cocktails inspired by the Portraits collection as imagined by Penhaligons. A complicated but brilliant concept. Penhaligons have devised several cliche - but irresistably fun Agatha Christie/ Dickens like personas. Take The Coveted Duchess Rose - her "biography" reads:  "Daughter of Lady Blanche and Lord George, Rose married a Duke to escape the stifling rigidity of her family and to become the Coveted Duchess Rose. At first naively romantic, she has now become disillusioned and frustrated in an unsatisfactory marriage. Always looking for fun and frivolity (and perhaps love affairs), her fragrance is a not so innocent fresh rose." So in turn Plateau have designed a corresponding cocktail: "the desirous and seductive character of The Coveted Duchess Rose has a delicate and woody scent, with notes of mandarin, rose, and musky wood that are reflected in the Duchess Rose cocktail with Ketel One Vodka, La Diabada Pisco, Rose Syrup, and Peychaud Bitters."

Well cocktails and perfumes are two of my favourite things! The cocktails are served with a sample of the eponymous perfume. I didn't really enjoy my cocktail and my friend didn't enjoy his Lord George cocktail, combining Atlantico Rum, Chilli Truffle Tea, and Lapponica Lingonberry Liqueur. But I am very fussy about cocktails and my friend also is always harping on about the "balance" of cocktail ingredients. And when it came to the perfumes, knowing each full size 75ml bottle is a rather suitably grand (perhaps they took the theme too far?) £178, we were similarly underwhelmed. His perfume smelt very soapy, to the sacrifice of many of the underlying notes. "It smells like my dad", he intoned solemnly. Indeed it mentions having shaving soap as a note, but that is all that could be smelt! Like the cocktails, these seemed one very overwhelming flavour masking any delicate additional elements. For instance, the chilli in the cocktail was imperceptible...


 Yes, I always match my outfit to the decor - doesn't everyone?

 Now to my own sample, which I've worn today. The first thing to mention is that oddly for an EDP it doesn't seem to last that long. I've just had to re-spray to reassess my thoughts. Unless it's just something you get used to, but I don't think so, as it's a strong scent! It blasts out but then suddenly, at some point, it's gone. And now, it's chokingly strong as I type this. Now wait, I do believe every woman should have one rose perfume because roses are beautiful and feminine and whatever your taste, once in a while at least, it's nice to just smell like a lovely generic pleasing and feminine rose. My rose perfume is a limited edition but you can find it online, read about it here, Clarins Par Amour Toujours. But the reason the Clarins perfume won me around is that it did something unexpected. My everyday perfume is DKNY EDP (the tall, glass bottle in silver packaging.) The Clarins perfume combined grapefruit with rose. Almost like a rose version of my DKNY staple: The grapefruit takes the edge right off the cloying molded rose smell. This Penhaligons interpretation, combing woodiness and rose, just smells, as I initially observed in response to the above- related dad comment, "like my grandma". So we had before us, a dad perfume and a grandma perfume. This rose perfume smells like rose pot pourri. I can't smell any subversive elements to what one would disparagingly conjure up when imagining a "rose perfume". It's dupeable, and not in a good way. It doesn't smell expensive or unique or interesting.

Perhaps this review is skewed as my favourite scents are somewhat sharper. My favourite of all time is Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil, and has been for years. However I do like my oriental or leather scents like Calvin Klein Euphoria, and I have a treasured vintage Donna Karan fragrance which now goes for hundreds of dollars online. It's just called Donna Karan. Described as "Fresh passions of apricot, bergamot, green notes, neroli, osmanthus, peach and pineapple burst out at the top, followed by a floral rhythm of carnation, cassia, heliotrope, jasmine, lily, orchid, rose and ylang-ylang at the heart of the fragrance. Bottom notes bring amber, benzoin, cedar, citruses, tonka bean, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, suede, patchouli and incense." Unlike this Penhaligons fragrance, which in theory, claiming notes of mandarin, rose and musky wood, the Donna Karan smells like an enveloping and complex world of an emotionally-charged fragrance. Donna Karan claimed she wanted the fragrance to smell like her husband's neck! You get that authentic raw emotion and conviction. With this The Coveted Duchess Rose, you get the same phoney and unconvincing cliche scent as you do with the idea itself.

I'm all for a sense of humour, but for £178 it's just not that amusing. Anyway although I didn't much care for the cocktails, it is probably the cheapest way to get yourself a sample of the perfume and I daresay the cocktail and tiny perfume sample are pound for pound equal footing, the tiny perfume sample probably winning out. (N.B if you're in London, check out BRUMUS in Haymarket; my favourite ever cocktail is the Turkish Old Fashioned. Funnily enough it's a rose-based cocktail, which is why I was excited to try this rose one. However it's far more delicate and delicious)

But hurry! It ends tonight. The four new cocktails will be available at the Bar up to 30th November. Each will be served with a sample of the fragrance in addition to the cocktail.

Have you tried this perfume? Please comment below with any thoughts...

OH P.S I've just started an instagram please follow me if you like, my interests are art, working out, cocktails (yes somewhat conflicting, sigh) and obviously makeup :) I haven't uploaded much but I hope to post makeup collection and so on too. I'd love to have hints and tips as to who to follow - and of course any readers who have instagram just let me know so I can follow you! Search ooglemakeup or click

Monday, 10 October 2016

Public Service Announcement: MAC Whisper of Gilt really, genuinely IS coming back!!!

In case you haven't heard (and if you haven't, get to checking Trendmood1 on Instagram and you will never be out of the loop ever again) MAC Whisper of Gilt is coming back! Last time I blogged this, I was let down, admittedly beyond all reasonable and acceptable limits. But this time I've waited until the cold hard proof....

And doesn't it look so delicious? A delicious biscuit ready to be devoured. I think the whole nutcracker theme and packaging this year looks incredible, one of their best yet if you ask me. And despite having decided that Anastasia So Hollywood (which has also seemingly disappeared, hmm) is identical even in my fanatical mind, and notwithstanding the plethora of liquid look powders available now thanks to indie brands etc all providing what we want, forcing MAC into a position of putting down prices to be noticed - yes even with all that as disclaimer - when faced with the mythical Whisper of Gilt, sitting there alongside its ginger friend, I'm powerless - and it'll be elbows at the ready for this one! 

Get ready to pounce. (Probably November for my fellow UK and int'l friends; October US)

What do you use for highlighting, is MAC whisper of Gilt still worthy of the hype?

*Picture credit Trendmood1 and original owner as watermarked.