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Angelil

Classics & English (Exon 2004-7); Linguistics (Oxon 2007-8). I live in France, where I work as an English teacher & freelance beauty writer.

Reviews written

since 12/03/2004

98

Kiehls Lip Balm 1 17/04/2009

A miracle for your lips

Kiehls Lip Balm 1 also available in a scented version and as a World Aids Day limited edition --What does the promo say?-- "Relieves cracked or chapped lips with cotton seed oil and protects them with SPF4 sunscreen. Not tested on animals." --Packaging-- Finally a Kiehl's package which is travel friendly and not useless! The Kiehl's bottles are notorious for their brittleness and general breakability, but this is a sturdy, no-nonsense white plastic tube with black writing and screw-top lid. All very unisex. The only weakness is the fact that the nozzle is not tapered in any way, meaning that it can be a little rough when dragged over the lips. --Application-- Just squeeze the tube a little to bring some of the balm to the surface of the nozzle. Rub onto lips, either using your fingers or directly from the nozzle, and you're good to go. --Scent-- None. --Appearance-- This is officially the love child of a high octane gloss and a high quality lip balm. Doesn't have any of the usual lip balm opacity or matte appearance, delivering instead a lip-gloss style shine (perhaps not so good if you happen to be male). The balm itself is clear/transparent. --Texture/consistency-- Soft, smooth and not at all runny or sticky. A class act all the way. --Does it do what it says it will?-- Incredibly, this is probably the most modest promotional statement I've ever seen on a product. What it doesn't tell you is that this is like the Atrixo of lip care; in other words, nothing short ...

Christian Dior Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect 157 Jersey Pink 17/04/2009

a water-like sheen of colour

Christian Dior Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect 157 Jersey Pink # of shades available: 14 --What does the promo say?-- "An ultra-shimmering reformulation of Dior's cult-favorite, Dior Addict lip gloss. Lips go high-tech with shimmering, multi-dimensional reflective pigments that deliver mega-watt shine and color that lasts for hours. The innovative, "water-like" formula goes on smooth and fast with a silky brush applicator that keeps you in perfect control." --Packaging-- A very sleek, glamorous affair, with the canister of gloss suspended inside a transparent, larger, square container. The lid is square and silvery, with a rounded decoration on top that bears the Christian Dior initials. The word 'Dior' is also subtly visible on one side of the container in raised letters. Disappointingly, the whole lot is made of plastic, but this somewhat obviously makes it more travel-friendly, and most glosses, even the high-end ones, come in plastic these days. --Application-- Just as the promo says; the brush is small and smooth, allowing for very precise application, and the whole thing runs very smoothly. One coat is OK, but feel free to add more to make one application last longer. --Scent-- None. --Appearance-- Really shimmery, pretty and yet somehow still natural. With the gloss available in various shades of pink and brown, there is bound to be something to suit everyone, from the darkest Carribean skin tone to the lightest alabaster. --Texture/consistency-- Very light - as they say, it's almost like water. Smooth, ...

Too Faced Eye Shadow Candy Bars 17/04/2009

Great eye shadow, shoddy shimmer brick

Too Faced Eye Shadow Candy Bars Retails at: Sephora, www.toofaced.com, ASOS, HQHair, Debenhams, Boots, House of Fraser # of shades available: at least 3, but this seems to depend on country + stockist --What does the promo say?-- "These glimmering bars of candy colors are created using four complimentary shades of sugary shimmers that can be used individually as eye shadows or combined together as an all over illuminating face and body blinger! Candy bars have never been more decadent!" --Packaging-- Too Faced is probably Benefit's nearest rival in terms of kitschy, leap-off-the-shelf packaging, and this is no exception, combining a girly pink box with a funky shiny black case, all of course topped off by their characteristic swirly vintage script. Utterly vintage with a twist of modernity. The case itself is a bit big, though, giving the impression that you get more product than there actually is, and while you get a decently-sized mirror, no brushes are included (although this is less problematic than it sounds - see below). --Application-- No brushes are included, but fear not, as this applies very well indeed with your fingers when you have no brushes to hand (although I have one of the lighter compacts - Tropical Truffle - so don't know how you'd get on with finger application if you had one of the darker palettes). Just smear onto your eyelids in any combination you choose - the choice of colours seems to adapt well to any manipulation, whether you choose to use all four colours at once ...

Talika Nail Regenerator 17/04/2009

Restores your nails

Talika Nail Regenerator Retails at www.talika.com and at Sephora Contains myrrh (to purify, regenerate, strengthen, soften, and act as an anti-inflammatory), benzoin (to act as an antiseptic and astringent), and incense (to restore cells and to scent the oil). --What does the promo say?-- "Multiple wear and tear such as use of cleaning products, nail polish and acrylic nails, age and slow down nail growth by altering its structure. Nail Regenerator Serum nourishes, hydrates and restructures fragile and lifeless nails, stimulates the growth of dry, brittle, split and uneven nails, softens cuticles and heals damaged matrices. Made with three 100% natural powerful plant oils, Nail Regenerator Serum is a natural and regenerating treatment that increases your nails’ potential to grow." --Packaging-- A neat pen-like applicator, much in the style of pen concealers etc that are currently in vogue. The modern blue and orange colour scheme stands out beautifully and the clear top and bottom of the tube are reminiscent of Thierry Mugler's lipsticks. The logo is in white capital letters and is nicely calligraphed. The only downside is that there is a little leakage around the bottom of the sponge applicator, though thankfully this is well contained by the lid and is generally minimal. --Application-- The Talika website advises you to "apply the Nail Regenerator Serum on to the base (root) of the nails and gently massage each nail to release the active ingredients." Pretty simple stuff. It also ...

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Cream SPF15 (Normal/ Combination Skin) 17/04/2009

Smoothens skin, but does it really lift?

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Cream SPF15 (Normal/ Combination Skin) RRP: £47 for 50ml available for both dry skin and normal/combination skin --What does the promo say?-- "See more lift. Feel firmer. 92% of women do. This highly effective formula with our exclusive ExtremeLift3 Complex empowers your skin to look more lifted and more contoured--faster than ever. The rich blend of long-lasting moisturisers with super-energised nutrients relieves uncomfortably dry skin and creates a fresh, rejuvenated glow instantly. A gentle SPF15 sunscreen provides effective broad-spectrum protection. More lift. More radiance. More moisture. Now your skin can have it all. Clinical testing proves Resilience Lift Extreme firms skin's appearance up to 2X faster than original Resilience Lift." --Packaging-- Very pink and pretty but not especially modern. As with other Estée Lauder products, it's easily recognisable both as part of the brand and as part of the range it belongs to (in this case, moisturisers). In a pot, meaning wastage is minimal (unless of course you're stupid and you drop it). They need to work on a catchier name, though: this one is a bit long and not exactly easy to remember. --Application-- The Estée Lauder website advises application to the face in the morning after cleansing and the application of eye cream. No problem with this: it absorbs well and without residue. --Appearance-- Thick and pale pink. No visible residue left on the skin. --Scent-- Old-fashioned; a light yet intense ...

Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher 17/04/2009

Not so ideal for reducing pores?

Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher RRP: from £34 (sizes from 30-100ml) --What does the promo say?-- "Dramatically refinish skin's appearance and texture. See more clarity, smoothness and luminosity as it helps your skin get rid of dry, dulling, flaky surface skin cells. See more highly refined, virtually poreless skin. Enjoy our most dramatic skin resurfacing benefits—faster, more efficiently than ever before. • Refines the look of uneven skin texture, flakiness and roughness. • Pores appear 1/3 smaller—instantly. Smooth on Idealist and instantly enjoy that soft, seamless, silky feeling you love. • Includes 3 times more Glucosamine than original Idealist. • Pore Diminishing Technology significantly shrinks the look of enlarged pores. • Gentle-acting Chestnut Extract helps your skin get rid of dry, dulling, flaky skin surface cells. It's as if you're seeing the skin you were born with, all over again." --Packaging-- Beautiful luminescent and translucent blue glass bottle with a classic (but perhaps aimed at older women?) gold lid and clear glass dropper. Clearly recognisable both as part of the Estée Lauder brand and as part of the range of serums the brand offers. --Application-- Just apply a few drops to your face and neck along with your usual moisturiser. --Scent-- Very sharp and fruity, in a very pleasant way, and no wonder. It's packed with all sorts of fruity goodness, containing extracts of mulberry, grape, and saw palmetto. The overriding scent, however, is that of ...

BeneFit Her Glossiness Next Question Please 17/04/2009

Good but overpriced

BeneFit Her Glossiness Next Question Please # of shades available: 8 --What does the promo say?-- "Gloss your way to the top? This impossibly shiny gloss glides on smooth for A-list lips that will give 'em something to gossip about. The luxurious formula with jojoba oil makes your lips feel five-star pampered - as if they'd expect anything less!" --Packaging-- In Benefit's usual style: a little bit diva-ish, a little bit cheeky, and a little bit vintage, making it above all easily recognisable as part of the brand. The tube is made of clear plastic, with the product name and brand logo laid over it in black. The screw-top lid with sponge applicator is also black. --Application-- Just slick it on using the applicator provided and you're ready to go in seconds. --Scent-- Absolutely gorgeous in all cases: plump, fruity, natural and delicious. --Texture/consistency-- Feels a little sticky at times, but usually fine, smooth and pucker-up-able. --Appearance-- Adds a little colour and sparkle while still looking natural and even giving your lips a little bit of a boost with a trick of the eye. --Longevity-- Stays on for hours, as long as you don't eat, drink, or kiss anything...as with almost any lip gloss, then. --Value for money-- Mixed feelings: looking at the price makes me think 'hey, that ain't bad'...but then you realise that Estée Lauder's lip glosses are the SAME price and that Guerlain's are only £3 more. So it's as with all things Benefit, then: not bad quality, but heavily reliant ...

Baxter of California Daily Protein Shampoo 17/04/2009

Stealing from our men's bathroom kit? Us? Of course not.

Baxter of California Daily Protein Shampoo RRP: $13 for 300ml --What does the promo say?-- "Protein, Coenzyme Q10, and nutrients promote hair strength, body, and manageability. Gentle formula removes buildup, and natural toxins like DHT, a male hormone found to be harmful to the hair's growth cycle." --Packaging-- Plastic bottle with simple flip-top lid. --Application-- As usual really: lather into wet hair, and rinse. Repeat and/or follow with accompanying conditioner if desired. --Appearance-- A clear gel that's very slightly off-yellow. Transparent. Leaves no visible residue in the hair. --Scent-- The tea tree smell is really invigorating and unusual for a shampoo. Wakes you up with its fresh, clean and distinctive smell. --Texture/consistency-- Quite viscous, which can occasionally make it difficult to dispense from the bottle. However, it is easy to massage into the hair and easy to rinse. --Longevity-- Results are positive both short and long-term, with smoothness and overall condition of hair being restored. I know this is a men's brand, but I may have to nick it. The Italian lime and bergamot ranges also sound delish. --Value for money-- Excellent: you're getting something from a specialist company in men's care, which also works quite well for women. Good stuff. It also costs less than brands that are better-known (e.g. L'Occitane, Kiehl's), for no apparent reason. Go and add this to the grooming routine of the guy in your life - or why not your own, for that ...

China Glaze Nail Lacquer 17/04/2009

Glaze those nails!

China Glaze Nail Lacquer --What does the promo say?-- "Why should you choose China Glaze nail polish? China Glaze is a brand that has proven its worth by the thousands of customers that continue to come back for more. With our experience, China Glaze nail polish stays on and looks beautiful at the same time! China Glaze nail polish is used in professional nail polish salons across the United States on acrylic nails and natural nails." --Packaging-- The brand name is clever and unusual, tacitly promising the same effect of a pottery-esque glaze on your nails, as if you yourself were a work of art. The logo is in keeping with this home-made, kilned imagery, simply comprising a monochrome flame. The lid is black and the width of the bottle tapers towards the lid. --Application-- The soft brush makes application easy. After applying a base coat, one stroke on the middle of the nail, followed by each side, should do it. Second coat optional, though finishing with a top coat is advised. --Appearance-- It certainly delivers on the idea of a glaze, offering a smooth, high-shine colour. The brand's range of colours also offers shimmery, metallic, and glittery variants. --Texture/consistency-- It certainly seems smooth enough, without being too runny, but takes a long time to dry. There is, however, certainly no stickiness or lumpiness. --Longevity-- Mixed feelings on this one: it seems to chip and smudge VERY easily on occasion, even when you think the stuff has finally dried. However, on ...

Estee Lauder Take It Away 17/04/2009

Oh no, they can't take that away from me...

Estee Lauder Take It Away --What does the promo say?-- "An exclusive, patented gel-creme that quickly and thoroughly removes all makeup even transfer-resistant and waterproof formulas and cleanses the face of impurities in just one step, leaving the skin soft, smooth and completely clean. Encapsulates liquid emollients in microscopic gel bubbles. When massaged into the skin, bubbles release emollients that penetrate and dissolve makeup and lift away surface oils and dirt. Immediately "melts" away even the most stubborn makeup. Lifts away dirt and impurities. Feels cool and refreshing upon application. Leaves skin silky smooth, with no greasy residue." --Packaging-- A pale blue pump-action plastic bottle, in keeping with all of Estée Lauder's other skincare products, and with the distinctive logo subtly displayed. However, at 200ml, a smaller available version would be useful for travel. --Application-- The Estée Lauder website advises users to "pump bottle twice and apply product directly to skin. Do not wet face first. Massage thoroughly. Transfer-resistant makeup may need additional gentle massage. For best results rinse off with water." However, as far as I could tell from the sample I was given, 2 pumps would probably be too much, so this bottle could turn out to be more economical than the application instructions make it appear. Rinsing off with water also does not seem to be necessary: no residue is left on the skin, skin feels adequately cleansed, and makeup is suitably removed, ...

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm 17/04/2009

Keeps your lips soft and smooth

Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm --What does the promo say?-- "A balm formulation choc-full of key ingredients. Because of its super-concentration, chapped, dry, cracked lips are a thing of the past. Instead lips are soft, smooth and given a new lease of life. Perfect for the entire family, it protects and delivers continuous moisture." --Packaging-- Classic Clarins in unisex white and dark red (although, saying that, their men's range is white and dark blue). Refreshingly uncomplicated. --Application-- The Clarins website recommends the following: "Apply morning and/or evening and several times during the day if needed. Gently squeeze the tube and apply pressing the slanted tip against lips." I'm surprised they actually recommend reapplication several times a day, as it implies that the balm doesn't hold for long. Is this a stupid mistake? Are they just trying to get you to apply it liberally so that you buy more of it? Or are they just being honest? --Appearance-- A beautiful peachy colour that looks wonderfully natural, while still delivering high shine on the lips, and which also makes lips appear bigger. --Scent/taste-- Unfortunately, this smells and tastes much like soap. A shame, as the peachy colour leads you to expect something fruitier. Even more unfortunately, the taste really lingers in the mouth if you happen to catch it on your tongue. Make sure you have a box of Tic Tacs ready. --Texture/consistency-- Wonderfully sumptuous and thick without being sticky, stringy or ...

Calvin Klein Euphoria Men Eau de Toilette 17/04/2009

Fruity, subtle, and sophisticated - what more could you want?

Calvin Klein Euphoria Men Eau de Toilette RRP: from £21; available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml --What does the promo say?-- "Euphoria is about sexiness, fantasy, and being captivating. Sexy and sensual, euphoria speaks to the woman who has the urge to break free from everyday life - to provocatively be part of an exciting world filled with pleasure, surprise, and temptation. Her fragrance is a contrast between exotic fruits and seductive florals, for a rich, creamy, seductive signature. Notes: Pomegranate, Persimmon, Green Notes, Black Orchid, Lotus Blossom, Champaca Flower, Liquid Amber, Mahogany Wood, Black Violet, Cream Accord. Style: Confident. Sexy. Chic." --Packaging-- An unusual sexy curved slope concept is what characterises this bottle, allowing light to reflect through the gutsy dark purple/grey glass intriguingly. --Application-- As usual: spritz onto wrists and décolleté, as well as behind the ears. --Scent-- The start is very positive, with the intense but not sickly fruitiness from the pomegranate and persimmon being the immediate first impression. However, this quickly fades into something subtler and creamier. It is certainly alluring, attracting positive comments from the opposite sex, and very individual: with it being only a little girly, but not overly so, it is undoubtedly an ideal scent for modern young women. --Longevity-- However, contrary to other reports that I have read, I did not find that this perfume lingered encouragingly on the skin. --Value for money-- Starting ...

Rimmel 100% Waterproof Mascara 17/04/2009

a classic mascara mainstay

Rimmel 100% Waterproof Mascara # of shades available: 2 --What does the promo say?-- "A truly waterproof formulation, 100% Waterproof Mascara provides lashes with a natural looking, long-lasting coverage. This formulation is fast drying with a waterproof and run resistant finish. The combination of brush and formulation also helps to volumise, lengthen and separate the lashes." --Packaging-- Rimmel is known for its brightly-coloured packaging and this is no exception: the bright blue tube with its silver writing is bound to stand out from the crowd, and I'm sure it looks particularly good on the shelf next to Rimmel's newest offering, the bright purple tube of Sexy Curves mascara. --Application-- As usual - gently zigzag the brush through your lashes, building up layers for desired impact. --Appearance-- A really delicate, natural look initially, which can be built up with more layers for something bolder. The two colours available are also very natural-looking and are sure to match most people's colouring, unless you are very pale. --Texture-- One or two clumps are present, but not many. It's also quick-drying, meaning no smudges on your eyelids while you proceed with the rest of your makeup routine. --Longevity-- This is most definitely waterproof, protecting your face against any wetness, from rain to swimming pools to tears, meaning no more panda eyes. Saying this, however, it is a little difficult to remove, so make sure you use a gentle eye makeup remover while persevering ...

Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion 17/04/2009

A moisturiser for acneic skin

Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion RRP: £23.40/€28/$36.75 --What does the promo say?-- "Dermalogica MediBac Oil Control Lotion is recommended for blemished and breakout-prone skin, or for areas of excess oil production. A feather-light lotion containing microsponges to absorb oil on the skin's surface, helping to combat shine and maintain an all-day matte finish. Niacinamide, zinc gluconate, yeast extract, caffeine and biotin purify and inhibit overactive sebaceous gland activity while soothing aggravation. Salicylic acid clears congested follicles to minimise future breakout activity, while enantia chlorantha bark extract controls over active oil glands, helping to reduce oily shine on skin's surface. Naturally-soothing camphor, balm mint and cornflower cool and calm aggravation." --Packaging-- Classic Dermalogica: white, with their usual logo in a cool, unisex, professional dark grey. The green band is, I think, a recent addition, but it works well, emphasising the natural element of the product's ingredients list. Has a tapered nozzle for more controlled application. --Application-- After cleansing and toning, use this to moisturise face and neck twice a day. Simply squeeze onto fingers, and then rub into skin and allow to absorb. --Scent-- Citrusy, medical, and clean, though it's difficult to tell what specific ingredient this is down to. Certainly pleasant and nothing that the boys would be embarrassed to use. --Texture/consistency-- Smooth and without lumps. However, it is VERY runny ...

T. LeClerc Matte Fluid Foundation SPF 16 No. 1 Banane 17/04/2009

evens out complexion and provides a healthy glow

T. LeClerc Matte Fluid Foundation SPF 16 No. 1 Banane # of shades available: 6 --What does the promo say?-- "This matte-finish foundation is a hybrid of fluid and powder foundations, ideal for oily and combination skins. The formula contains rice starch, providing an opaque coverage." --About the brand-- Théophile LeClerc formulated a rice-based face powder in 1881. Its popularity exploded and a range of LeClerc face powders are still available today alongside eyeshadows, lipsticks and other cosmetics. (Not to be confused with E Leclerc, which is France's nearest equivalent to Tesco.) --Packaging-- An attractive opaque glass canister with pump mechanism, in a grey and pink box. The brand logo provides classiness and timelessness and the bottle itself is easy to use: just shake before use, and then press down once on the pump for a perfect amount of foundation. The only small problem is that the opening does 'weep' a little after you've pumped once, but there is also a see-through plastic lid to prevent leakage from this area. --Application-- "Shake the product well before use," advises the T Leclerc website. "Warm the foundation in your palm then apply sparingly with your fingers. Starting from the centre of the face, blend it off on the neck line." No problems here. --Appearance-- Unfortunately I was unable to choose my foundation shade, and the one I ended up with is a little too dark. However, it's versatile stuff and responds well to being blended with moisturiser, tinted moisturiser or suncream to ...
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