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The Beauty Bite: July 2011

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bobbi Brown SPF15 Tinted Moisturizer - Alabaster Tint

Several years ago I remember eagerly curling up on the couch, working my way through a full 2 hour Bobbi Brown QVC show; desperate to see just how much coverage the concealers gave, how bright the blush applied, how full the lips could get. The next day I sat on the bus crawling through central London traffic, patiently waiting to get to Brent Cross in order to physically see and touch these wonderful tools for myself. I can remember the SA offering me a make over, sitting me down on a tall leather stall, buffing on powder, telling me that I needn't bother with lipstick because my natural colour was so pretty. As a teenager being bullied at school over my appearance it made me feel calm hearing someone tell me I was alright. She didn't push me to purchase anything; instead she sent me home with a little tester of foundation to try out next time I "went to a party". From that moment on Bobbi Brown instantly became my favourite.

Since this love affair began my most used Bobbi product has always been the SPF15 tinted moisturiser. I relied on the old formula for years even though the lightest base wasn't exactly a perfect match for my porcelain skin (you can see a swatch here). When news hit the product was not only being relaunched with new packaging but also additional shades , I was curious to see exactly what choices were to be put on the table - after all, Bobbi is internationally famous for her wide spectrum of foundation tones. Earlier this month I picked up a bottle of 'Alabaster Tint' and I couldn't be more pleased. Pale ladies, this is for you!

Alabaster Tint swatched/ blended

Containing the likes of Jojaba oil, this richly hydrating formula glides onto the skin effortlessly, providing light, natural looking coverage that instantly leaves your complexion looking smooth, luminous and bright. Whilst the smell still isn't my favourite in the world (cucumber sandwiches, anyone?), the texture is an absolute dream to work with, masking the face with sheer, seamless coverage that swiftly evens out skin tone. This has become my ultimate go-to base in the mornings, with the added SPF becoming highly appreciated on those scatty days when I forget to apply sunscreen.

Alabaster Tint applied to bare skin (photo taken around 5 minutes after application)

Available in an oil free version too, the new shade range is a massive step up from the old selection. Whilst the choice is still relatively low compared to other Bobbi bases (7 colours instead of the normal 15), if you match any of her existing foundations shades you should sit comfortably within one of the new tinted moisturiser brackets. For me, Alabaster Tint is a far superior match to what was previously on offer, taking it from a shade I was only able to wear 6 months of the year to something I can use in my routine even during winter.

Extreme close up of product on skin.

Whilst the face might appear a tad greasy after initial application (5 to 15 minutes after blending onto skin with my fingers), the finish does soften and become more subtle than sweaty. Lasting around 8 hours in moderate heat, once removed my skin feels super soft, making this a great candidate for those of you who suffer from slight dry patches on your cheeks. Priced at £27 for 50ml, this is a pricey option and something that I would strongly suggest trying out before opening your wallet, if only to see how it sits on your skin. For me, it's the perfect light weight base and something I know I'll be repurchasing for years to come - after all, no one does 'my skin but better' like Bobbi.

Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer is available from BB counters worldwide and for £27. It is also available in an oil free version.

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Friday, 29 July 2011

17 Hot Pink Miami Pop Lipgloss

If you're looking for a few last minute bits and pieces to liven up your holiday cosmetics wardrobe than this juicy, purse friendly gloss is a great way to go:

Released as part of 17's limited edition Miami Pop Summer Collection, this vibrant Hot Pink lip colour makes for perfect wear throughout the day. Priced at a reasonable £3.99 this is an ideal item to chuck into your beach bag, keeping your pout effortlessly plump and peachy whilst you lay back, relax and soak up the rays.

Hot Pink Lipgloss swatched

Hot Pink Lipgloss applied to heavily pigmented lips

Glossy, bright and comfortable to wear, this semi sticky formula mightn't be everyone's cup of tea in terms of texture. Yet as a cheap and cheerful seasonal purchase, I'm sure this will become a welcome addition to many make up bags across the nation; I know I've been thoroughly enjoying using mine.

17 Hot Pink Lipgloss is available to buy for a limited amount of time from Boots stores nationwide and for £3.99

*this item was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Edward Bess Pure Impact Mascara

Dang it!

Whilst I've been sitting on this review for a month or two now, in typical sod's law style this fantastic product has only gone and been discontinued! As irrelevant as it may be, it still seems somewhat beneficial to discuss this offering from Edward Bess - a man who made his name with Lipsticks - if only to give a brief idea of what might be found in his follow up mascara, 'Bess Lash'.

Presented in a slim and sleek black tube, this high end product pitches it's credentials as lenghtening, weightless and clump free. Armed with a slender brush, Edward himself describes Pure Impact as "offering the look of false eyelashes" - a description which instantly gets my beauty heart a racing.

Easy to apply thanks to both the size and shape of the wand, Pure Impact is a great mascara for layering thanks to the not overly wet texture of the formula. Admittedly, after 4 coats it does begin to clump in a rather unattractive manner, but so long as you're careful with the amount of product on the wand, 3 coats provide a deliciously dramatic effect. Ideal for smokey night time eyes.


After 1 coat of Pure Impact Mascara:

As the above picture shows, Pure Impact can also pull off a relatively subtle appearance when gently brushed through the lashes. It's this easy versatility that makes me simply love this product, especially when it gives such beautiful and delicate results. My lashes appear naturally curled and lengthened, holding up easily throughout the day without any traces of flakes or smudging. Whilst I do think this formula would benefit from more volume thrown into the mix, as a mascara that I can reliably turn to for both day and night wear, Edward Bess has done an impressive job at creating another make up bag staple.

Retailing at a price point to rival the likes of Chanel, I wouldn't say I'd necessarily choose this over my beloved Inimitable or YSL Faux Cils. Having purchased this earlier on in the year for around £15 in the Zuneta sale, I genuinely wish I'd snapped up a back up or two. Whilst the full price does feel a tad too high to me, I honestly think this is a great mascara and one that would work well for a wide range of people. If Bess Lash is anything like it's elder sibling then it's certainly worth investigating, especially if you're already a fan of the man himself.

*this product was purchased by The Beauty Bite*

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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen

It takes a lot to get me really excited about a specific make up product; after all, with factors such as quality, price and packaging to weigh into each equation it's rare I stumble upon something that genuinely ticks the boxes. However, lately I've become well and truly smitten with what can only be described as the ultimate fool proof liner from London based UK cosmetics brand Eyeko.

Long lasting with intense pigment, this smudge proof formula is literally effortless to apply thanks to the well designed soft thin nib, allowing for both swift, steady and smooth movement of the pen itself. Similar in size and weight to that of a regular biro, with this bad boy even a complete eyeliner rookie can whip up a clean and elegant line within a matter of seconds, perfect for those (ie: me) who don't have quite the steady hand needed for a quick application using just a gel ink and brush.

Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen in Jet Black swatched

Retailing at a mere £5.50, this is an ideal alternative for those who lust after the ease of Chanel's iconic Automatic Liquid Eyeliner but baulk at the somewhat impressive price tag. Having been rocking this daily for the past 2 weeks, I've been repeatedly blown away by the longevity of not only the line itself but also the depth of the pigment against the skin. Not once has it flaked or faded, smudged or strayed - allowing you to remain quietly confident that you won't spend the day with lashings of smeared liner across your lids.

Available in a trio of shades (you can also pick up Navy Blue and Fierce Purple), this is a fun and reliable addition to any make up bag, allowing you to create a variety of versatile looks within a matter of moments. In short: I think I'm in love. Like, properly.

Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen is available from selected stores worldwide and for £5.50

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Nude Replenishing Night Oil

Something weird is going on in the UK right now.

The sun has been shining.

Every day.

Whilst we're used to the odd burst of occasional rays, my skin has been thoroughly dumbstruck by the increased daily dose of vitamin D. Whilst my forehead gets sweatier and sweatier, I've been working hard to switch my focus from cosmetics to skincare. After all, nothing says refreshed less than a face full of melting make up applied over a dried out burnt up base.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, has been the product making the whole process effortlessly possible:

Nude Replenishing Night Oil is likely to have crept up on your beauty radar thanks to its astonishing score recently given by the Anti Aging Beauty Bible. Clocking up the highest rating ever rewarded to a single product, it would be fair to say this 15ml bottle comes packaged with a whole heap of high expectations; and you'll be pleased to know it doesn't once disappoint.

Containing Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9, this decadently scented oil truly feels like skincare heaven. Using one or two pumps to cover the entire face, gently massage the golden nectar into your complexion using firm, upward movements to give a radiance boosting facial. I've been treating my skin to a nightly treatment for the past 6 weeks and so far the results have been utterly fabulous.

As far as nightly treatments go this one has become an invaluable part of my bedtime routine. It doesn't matter if I clock in with a tired, dull complexion, I know that come morning my skin will be firm, luminous, clear and soft. Whilst I'm perhaps too young to sit here fully preaching the effects of the anti-aging benefits, I can honestly stress that my wrinkles - however small - have visibly become softened, particularly on my forehead. Beautifully scented with the delicate perfume of rose and vanilla, I've become selfishly addicted to lying in bed, allowing the light oil to slowly sink into my skin whilst I breathe in the calming fragrance. Utter beauty bliss.

There are many reasons why this oil is constantly showered with high industry praise; the main being because it works. Amazingly. Suitable for use on all ages, this moisturising formula is ideal for those with dry to normal skin looking for an intense, nutrient rich product. Once again Nude have proved just why they're the brand to watch when it comes to active skincare.

Nude Replenishing Night Oil is available from Space Nk stores nationwide and for £44.

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

17 Miami Pop Bronzer

As I write this I'm currently sitting in my living room, watching a dog urinate against a tree whilst heavy grey clouds rapidly fill the sky. It's at moments like these I'm hugely thankful make up brand 17 have taken inspiration for their latest range from the bustling urban heat of Miami; NOT the subdued glamour of my gloomy west London street.

The prettiest item from this limited edition capsule collection is without a doubt the gorgeous golden Miami Pop Bronzer. Weighing in at a reasonable 7.3g, this plastic compact emblazoned with two vivid pink flamingos is quite simply brash in its appearance. Swirls of gold and copper powder crushed together create a simmering marbled effect, packaged up neatly in a fluorescent orange case. Trust me, you won't be losing this in your make up bag...

Miami Pop Bronzer swatched/ lightly sheered out

As the above picture swatch clearly demonstrates, this bronzer is not for the faint hearted. Brimming with lashings of golden sparkle and orange based shimmer, it takes an extremely light hand to get the application both modest and workable. Fair enough, I'm sure there are a heap of young girls who will happily load this on without a care in the world, but for anyone who is even vaguely conscious about appearing tangoed, this rich colour is best left on the shelf.

Miami Pop bronzer lightly applied to cheek

After a few dodgy attempts with a hideously overloaded bronzing brush, I finally managed to get the colour transfer somewhat wearable against my pale, cool toned skin. In all honesty I do like the finish; it's very bright, very lifted, very luminous and relatively soft; kind of like a less graceful Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick. 5 years ago I would have certainly rocked this all summer - and considering 17 is aimed at teens, I can see this shade becoming a huge hit with the under 19's - but at the age I'm at now it's just feels way too overbearing for me. Which is a shame really, because I actually think the general formula and longevity is pretty cracking for the price. *sigh*

17 Miami Pop Bronzer is available from selected boots stores nationwide and for £4.99

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Monday, 4 July 2011

Ted Baker Skinwear

This summer sees the release of two limited edition Skinwear fragrances by british clothing store Ted Baker. Adorned in beautifully illustrated bird prints taken directly from this seasons latest collection, each 100ml Eau De Toilette was both designed, created and inspired with warm and sunny weather in mind. Perfect for wear in either a sweltering city or tropical island paradise.

My favourite is without a doubt the male scent; a cool and spicy mix of lavender, pepper and basil with deep base notes of cedarwood and patchouli. Initially my boyfriend was unsure about the vibrancy of blend, but like me, has become somewhat hooked on the dusky, subtle tones achieved after an hour of wear. Thankfully , due to the lightness of both apple and lemon peel, this scent is easy to wear both day and night, making the £24 price tag brilliant value for money. Whilst the packaging mightn't be the most masculine, it is very, very pretty, and though my boyfriend might be neutral to its charm, I think it looks downright gorgeous on our bathroom shelf.

Equally as lovely is the female scent, simply entitled Woman. With blends of ylang, cedarwood, basil and rose, in general this fragrance is noticeably rich when compared to my usual tastes. Again, like the mens formula, I find these tones to be at their most appealing an hour or so into wear. The top note of Lily of The Valley becomes more delicate and soft, making the aroma both understated and clean. Ultimately this comes across as a very girly scent, and encapsulates the aromas of summer gardens and balmy nights perfectly. Whilst this isn't the kind of scent I usually opt for, it works wonders during the day when paired with a pretty sundress and ocean blue skies.

Beautifully packaged, easy to wear and reasonably priced considering both their size and brand name, these would make fantastic gifts during the summer months. Fresh, fruity, fragrant and young, these are well worth a spray if you like your scents punchy and bright.

Ted Baker Skinwear is available from selected department stores nationwide and for £24.

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*