Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Carmine Take Two

Hey beauties I am back with my second Carmine box review. I was so excited when I received my box (although a bit annoyed that the person who delivered it left it lying upside down outside my front door - I mean, anyone could have taken it!!!). I was about to head out and opened the door to find the lovely surprise. I headed straight back in to my house to open this baby!

I was not disappointed! Another fabulous box from the people at Carmine. Five products in this box, three of which are FULL SIZED!

The Organic Body Lotion from Neom is a lovely Lavendar/Rosemary scented cream. It's great if you like those aromatherapy type smells but some may find it a little strong and overpowering on the skin. Personally it doesn't bother me too much and I love using this cream after coming out of the shower. It makes my skin feel soft and smooth and very moisturised!

Carmine sent around an email to its subscribers asking what colour our brows are so that they could make this box a little more personalised for each customer. My brows are jet black and the Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink I received was in the shade "Sable" a very dark brown colour. I swatched the product on my hand and to tell you truth I was disappointed. I already knew I wouldn't have much use for the product as the hairs in my brows are extremely thick and I never really fill them in with anything. However, I still wanted to see how the Brow Ink turned out. The product claims to be a "semi permanent ink which allows you to draw-in individual hairs". I have to say I fail to see how this would be possible as the ink started bleeding in to my skin the moment it made contact. It also wipes off with a little water. Not entirely impressed with this product unfortunately.

I love the creamy formula of the New CID i-Pout lipstick which I got in shade 1309 "Fuschia". It isn't a colour I'd normally wear but on application I found it to be quite sheer and I liked the look of it. It's also buildable on the lips for better coverage and a stronger colour pop. It glides on to the lips and leaves them feeling quite moisturised. The lipstick has a mirror on the lid and a little button which turns on two small lights on the inside of the lipstick allowing you to apply your lippie with ease in even the darkest of places!

Dainty Doll is the cosmetics range by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts. This eyeliner pencil is easy to use, the product is a little hard on the skin at first but the colour is gorgeous and is highly pigmented! I received shade 004 " Shake Your Tail Feather" which is an emerald green colour with subtle shimmer in the formula. This would look great on it's own or can be used to add a glam pop of colour to a dark smokey eye.

And now for the swatches of the above three products:

From left to right: New CID i-Pout lipstick "Fuschia", Dainty Doll eyeliner "Shake Your Tail Feather", Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink "Sable"

The last piece of this month's Carmine puzzle: Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream is an anti-ageing formula which you apply to your skin at night and allow it to work it's magic while you sleep! This is the only product I haven't tried from my box and I will probably pass this on to my mum as I don't feel I have much use for it yet (fingers crossed!)

Overall I am pleased with my box and apart from the slight let down from the Brow Ink I definitely feel I have again got my money's worth. Looking forward to next month's box - watch this space!

Have any of you had a more successful story with the Brow Ink? Would you recommend Carmine to any of your friends? What are your thoughts on beauty boxes in general?

Numera x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I have seen this on quite a few blogs that I follow and I really liked the idea of sharing just an image with you every so often. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words..

Christian Louboutin Metallip 120 suede and metal pumps
RRP £635

Source: Net-A-Porter

Numera x

Monday, 21 November 2011

EOTD: The Naked One

Hey lovelies! A while back I did this look on my younger sister. I was actually just bored and felt like playing around with some makeup and decided to focus on eyes. She kindly agreed (or rather, got bullied) to being my model for the day!

What I used:
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in "Original" all over the lids and a little under the eyes
  • From the UD Naked Palette - "Buck" all over the lid; "Sin" for the inner corners of the eyes and to highlight just under the brow bone; "Smog" blended in the outer 'v' and a little bit of "Half Baked" just in the middle of the eyelids
  • Chanel Le Crayon Kohl Intense Eye Pencil in "Noir" on the lower and upper waterlines
  • Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner in "Black"
  • Covergirl Lashblast Volume Waterproof mascara in "Very Black"
  • Maybelline Superstay 24Hr Concealer in shade 3 "Medium/Beige" very lightly applied under the eyes
  • HD Brows shade "Dark Brown" to fill in the eyebrows very lightly
I have never been a big eyeshadow person. In fact, I hardly ever used to wear it at all! I've always loved how eyeshadows look on others but never really wore anything more than eyeliner and mascara myself. I have recently become more and more interested in wearing colours on my eyes (and trying looks out on others!) and so above is actually my first ever attempt using Urban Decay's Naked palette.

What do you think of my first attempt? Do you have any "Naked palette" looks to share?

Numera x

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Instagram Fever

I absolutely love the Instagram app on my iphone. It's such a simple app to use and I find myself becoming addicted! Just a small sample of some of the pictures I've played around with using Instagram.


 From top left:

1. Pineapple head shisha - they last absolutely ages! 2. Tuna nicoise salad from Pret a Manger - it's healthy and tastes delicious, this makes a fabulous light lunch. 3. Beautiful flowers from someone special <3 4. Golden Syrup flavoured Oat So Simple - breakfast is the most important meal of the day and these keep me feeling full right up until lunch time. 5. Strawberry, banana and white chocolate waffles - dessert time! 6. A little preview of my workspace. 7. AMAZING mocktails - Strawberry Daiquiris from Maedah Grill in Whitechapel. 8. Can you say NANDOS???

Thursday, 17 November 2011

NOTD - Autumn Loves

Hello beautiful people! So this is not exactly today's nails, it's more the last few weeks and the colours I have been wearing since the weather began to change towards autumn here in the UK.

This is "Mushroom" by Barry M. I picked this up at Superdrug for a mere £2.99! What I love about Barry M Nail Paints is that you really get good value for your money. I applied two coats of this colour plus a top coat and my nails did not chip or show any signs of wear for over a week. The colour is true to what you see in the bottle (see the left photo). I took the right photo with flash but it just washed the colour out completely. "Mushroom" is a great autumn colour and would suit any skin tone and at £2.99 you really can't go wrong!

"Raspberry" is another favourite of mine again by Barry M. The left photo, taken using flash, has completely changed the look of the polish and it appears like a magenta/fuschia pink shade. That's not the case really, it's more of a burgundy red with a hint of pink - much like the photo on the right. Once again I used two coats and a top coat. What I find great about Barry M Nail Paints is I don't have to put up with any streaking or bubbling which I have found in the past with other brands. I love how this looks against my skin tone and I used this on my toenails also.

I love nude colours and "Nude Beige" by Models Own is the perfect colour for me when I feel like wearing something a little more natural looking. The colour is almost exactly what it claims to be - a nude/beige shade, but I find it has slight pink/mauve undertones also. I love how this looks on my nails, it's such an elegant, neutral, classy shade which again, would suit most skin complexions. I wore this on my nails most recently and I got some many comments on it! If you're looking for the perfect flesh coloured nail polish for everyday wear, this is definitely the one to get.

That's it for now, those are my top three autumn shades to wear on my nails - love all of them!

What are your favourite colours to wear during autumn/fall? Would you recommend any other colours/brands for me to try out? I would love to know what you think, so please leave me a comment and share your thoughts!

Numera x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Beauty Boxes - yay or nay?

There is a lot of hype surrounding monthly beauty boxes such as Glossybox, Boudoir Prive etc. For those who haven't heard too much about the concept you basically pay a monthly sum of £10 (plus p+p) and every month a small box of "goodies" is delivered to your door. A mish-mash of beauty products, hair products and (rather underwhelming) perfume samples is what I found in both cases. I was not overly impressed, but I was content to hold out for another month's subscription to give both another chance.

Then I discovered Carmine.

My first impression of the sleek black box (which is much stronger and sturdier than the girly pink boxes from Glossybox and BP) was definitely positive. I like the fact that Carmine has deviated from the pink, the look is edgy and elegant.

So on to the contents of the mystery black box..

I was surprised and impressed with what I found inside my box. There were some familiar brands and some new unfamiliar ones which was great for me as I love to try new products.

The Trind Nail Repair Natural formula is applied like a normal nail polish onto bare nails. It strengthens and protects your nails which is probably great for those who have weak, brittle nails. I was fortunately blessed with rock hard, strong nails which rarely break so I have had little use for this product but I would love to hear reviews from anyone who has actually used this!

I absolutely love body butters, moisturising creams and anything that makes my skin feel smooth and soft, so the Balance Me super moisturising hand cream was a pleasant find in my Carmine box. The formula is not greasy at all and it leaves my hands feeling super soft and silky. The smell is a typical aromatherapy oil type smell which I personally am not fond of. But it's not so overpowering that I can't overlook it because the cream itself works wonders!

The Fratboy all-in-one shadow/blush from The Balm is my favourite product from the Carmine box. The colour is a peachy/coral/apricot toned blush which can also be used as an eyeshadow. I've even used it on my lips on top of a little lip balm (to create a creamier consistency). The colour brightens up my complexion when used as a blush, although you do need to use the product with a light hand as the colour pay-off is pretty intense. The small compact fits neatly into my bag without feeling heavy or bulky, although since using it I haven't needed to touch up my blush at all. The swatches show up a little more pink than the actual blush looks on my skin, the right swatch is blended while the left is the product unblended.

The Caudalie quenching sorbet creme has a great creamy consistency and really refreshes my skin. I haven't used it too much yet, but I am quite content with the product so far.

I found it almost impossible to photograph the swatch of the Daniel Sandler Eye Delight shimmer dust which I received in the shade "Ice" (Carmine also gave samples of the shade "Peach" in some boxes). Personally I am not too fond of glitter when it comes to make up, however I can see myself using this in the inner corners of my eyes and under my waterline to bring a look from day to evening.

Overall I would say that Carmine wins hands down over Glossybox and BP. Saying that, I remember how excited Glossybox customers were after the release of their first box (containing the full size Nars "Orgasm" Illuminator). I really hope the excitement is not short-lived with Carmine as it was with Glossybox. I guess I'll have to wait for the next one to find out!

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which do you prefer? Do you think they are worth the monthly price?