Thursday, 21 June 2012

Benefit Birthday Suit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

I'm a little bit obsessed with cream eyeshadows lately! I find they're much quicker and easier to apply than powder shadows, they don't have any fallout and they last pretty much all day.

All of this applies to Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows (an apt name - they don't crease at all). As soon as I swatched Birthday Suit at the counter I knew I had to have it. You'd be forgiven for feeling a little underwhelmed by it in the pot, but once swatched it shows such a subtle, lovely champagne colour. Perfect for days when you don't want to go all-out with your eye makeup, but just want a little je ne sais quois.

Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow retails at £14/4g, which is a little pricey but they are such good quality. I think I'll be nipping back to Boots for more.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

NARS Orgasm

You all know this little gem. NARS Orgasm blush is probably as cult as a product can get—and with good reason. There are countless reviews of this floating around the blogosphere, but I'm going to throw my penny into the mix.

I suppose this is also kind of a 'shopping the stash' post as well. In March, I wandered into Harvey Nichols on a uni day and walked out clutching my little box of Orgasm, my first ever NARS purchase thanks to all the raving I'd read. For weeks, it was all that I wore, I was that enamoured with it. But after a while, I noticed the application wasn't quite as good as it was when I first bought it, and it sat in the back of my box while I moved on to pastures new. Recently, on a whim, I pulled it back out and fell in love all over again.

Orgasm is a flattering pink shade with a finely milled golden shimmer. I find that if it can look too ruddy on my pale skin, so I have to be careful applying, but it's a shade that flatters all skin tones. The shimmer isn't overbearing at all and if you're in a rush you don't have to apply a highlighter as this does a good job highlighting the cheekbones too.

Overall, it's just really, really lovely. If you're interested in NARS products but you're not quite sure where to start, I'd say this is one to go for.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

July 2012 Magazine Gifts

I went on a bit of mission on my lunch break today, one which turned out to be a little detrimental to my bank account. I'm sure by now you've all heard about the Benefit freebies in July's issues of Glamour. I don't know about you, but I like magazine freebies for trying new brands. I've never tried any Benefit products before, so I snapped up three copies - at £2 each, you can't really go wrong, can you? I'm really excited to try these out as they're some of Benefit's most popular products. (The other two copies went into the staff canteen - doing my little bit for the planet!)

But Glamour aren't the only magazines offering some incredible freebies this month, and I can see some more magazine purchases in the near future. Make sure you get to your local newsagents and pick up some of the amazing offers as they're selling out fast!

Other gifts:
RED - Jemma Kidd eyeliner or mascara
ELLE - Reiss tank top
EASY LIVING - Rituals body scrub or lotion
MARIE CLAIRE - Ciate nail polishes (choice of three shades)
HARPER'S BAZAAR - Leighton Denny nail polishes (choice of three shades)
INSTYLE - The Body Shop mascara or two eyeliners
WEDDING - OPI nail polish

Instagram #4

1: the bf's sleepy cat; 2: lunch break at Costa; 3: night-time routine;
4: wraaaaaps; 5: ginger kitten that hangs out on my street; 6: the bf's cat again - she's so photogenic!;
7: the reddest watermelon I have ever seen; 8: running shoes; 9: the bf enjoying himself at the local aircraft museum.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Maybelline 24Hr Colour Tattoo

You've probably all heard about these time and time again by now, but here's my contribution! These are a cream eyeshadow not totally dissimilar from MAC Paint Pots. They're quite hard at first, so finger application is definitely the way to go with these - as soon as you swirl your fingertip in the pot they melt into a light creamy consistency that is really easy to blend onto the eyelid.

I bought mine (when I actually found them) while they were on 3 for 2 at Superdrug, so I picked up On & On Bronze, Eternal Gold and Tough As Taupe. On & On Bronze instantly became probably my favourite eyeshadow I own: it's a lovely neutral shade that is so quick and easy to apply, either on its own, with a colour in the crease, or as a base. It is so pigmented, lasts all day without creasing (I have no intention on testing it for 24 hours!) and doesn't really fade much. It's definitely a must-have in my routine now.

As for the other two shades, I was less impressed. Tough As Taupe doesn't seem to warm up as much as On & On Bronze so it's kind of hard to apply, and I find the shade itself pretty difficult to wear. I was really disappointed with Eternal Gold. It looks gorgeous in the pot, but applies patchy and faded.

At £4.99 each, they are excellently priced though, and the pigmentation issues could be worked around, so they are definitely worth picking up.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Instagram #3

1: lonely duck - he got so close to me!; 2: Costa's new iced lemonade - delicious!; 3: cheeky Chinese on the train;
4: Operation Buh-Bye Milk Bottles is a go!; 5: trying to quit nail-biting so on go the false nails; 6: train lunch;
7: the perks of a window seat; 8-9: playtime with the bf's cat

Thursday, 24 May 2012

LUSH Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

Hi, everyone! I've managed to drag myself through exam period (I still have one left but it's one I'm confident with) and I'm back to the blogosphere. Today's post is about a product that I first noticed in one of Essie's LUSH hauls and decided I had to try out.

This is LUSH's Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub, a body scrub - you couldn't tell, could you? - with plenty of fine sea salt in to exfoliate your skin until it's baby soft. LUSH says you can use this in three ways: under the shower for a gentle scrub; straight from the tub if you like it rough; and for washing your hair and adding volume (think LUSH's Big Shampoo). I never tried using it for my hair, but if you have, let me know how you found it.

Just look at that colour! It looks delicious. It also smells delicious, and as soon as you twist off the lid you're hit with a lovely waft of mimosa and orange flower. In the shower, it exfoliates really well and leaves your skin incredibly soft. I did feel a lot cleaner coming out of the shower than I do after using a shower gel, and kept stroking my arms afterwards!

But for all of the positives - lovely smell, great exfoliation - it's not on my repurchase list. Rub Rub Rub costs £7.75 for 330g which isn't so bad, but I went through this tub so quickly. To cover my whole body I had to use three or four good handfuls and I didn't get very many showers out of it. I don't know, perhaps I used it too often, but I did alternate between this scrub and a shower gel and still I felt like I didn't get enough use out of it.

But hey, you win some and you lose some. It's a good product, if you don't mind repurchasing fairly frequently. As for me, I'll be rinsing the pot out, ready to trade in for a free fresh face mask.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A Short Hiatus

Unfortunately, I have exams in the next three weeks, so I won't be blogging until after then. As much as I'd love to ramble on about beauty, I'm going to have to be rambling on about neuroscience-y stuff instead. So, until then! Wish me luck!

Friday, 4 May 2012

April Haul

It's not often I splash out on a lot of products at once. Unfortunately, last week my bank account was left feeling a little hurt! This month saw me making my first MAC and Illamasqua purchases, and branching out in terms of eye makeup.

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush (£26): I hear so many good things about MAC brushes, but I went for the Real Techniques brushes first. This was kind of a impulse buy: Real Techniques do have a contour brush that I haven't yet tried for contouring, but as soon as I stepped up to the counter I found myself asking for the 168. I haven't used it too much yet, but so far so good.

Eylure Katy Perry 'Sweetie Pie' False Lashes(£5.95): I've never worn false eyelashes before, but these look so natural that I decided to give it a go. I haven't tried them yet - I'm a little scared!

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in 'Deauville' (sample): Another product I've heard nothing but good things about. I was matched to Siberia a couple of months ago, but the sales assistant applied it so thickly, and over the makeup I was already wearing, that I walked away and promptly tried to forget about it. Everyone kept raving on about it though, so I nipped back to the NARS counter and got a sample instead.

Illamasqua Powder Blush in 'Unrequited' (£16.50): I drool over Illamasqua's blushes all the time so it was about time I purchased one. The sales assistant put this on me and it added such a lovely warmth.

GOSH Long Lasting Brown Pen in '004 Wheat' (£6.49): Essie introduced me to this product, and after seeing how amazing her eyebrows looked using the A La Carte brow pen, I snapped this up.

GOSH Eyeliner in '003 Brown' (£6.49): I have been searching for a brown liquid liner for so long. This was in my shopping basket quicker than Usain Bolt.

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in '03' (£25): This was a total impulse buy. I never intended to buy anything from Illamasqua this month, but I nipped in for a look. The sales assistant was so nice, friendly and chatty but not pushy, so I agreed to be matched to this foundation when I asked about it. I just can't resist nice sales assistants, so I ended up walking out with a new foundation too.

MUA Eyeshadow in 'Shade 19' (£1): Nothing too special, just something to set my eyebrows.

MAC Powder Blush in 'Harmony' (£17.50): Searching for a contour product with such pale skin is a huge pain. A lot of people seemed to recommend this, so I bit the bullet - and I am impressed!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

For years I have shied away from eyeshadows. I never knew what shades would look best on my pale, cool skin and with my cool blue eyes, and beyond that I just never knew how to apply it to make it look good. And that’s before we start thinking about the crease and outer V!

I surprised even myself, then, when I jumped in with both impulsive feet and splurged on Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette, but I can’t say I’ve looked back.

It veers cooler than the original Naked palette which suits my skin tone perfectly, although there are some warmer shades in there. These tend to be the shades I ignore, though I can’t say there isn’t a shade I don’t use at all. Overall it’s a good selection of neutral shades, all of which can be mixed and matched. I think the palette is organised very well, showing obvious combinations of shades (Suspect and Snakebite sit together, for example, which just so happens to be my favourite combination in this palette), but there is absolutely no reason to stick to these subtle hints. Perhaps most importantly, the shadows have very good pigmentation and last most of the day without creasing (even without a primer); there’s very little fallout too, although there are a couple of shades, usually the really shimmery ones like YDK, that are the exception.

I wasn’t overly impressed with the brush that came with it at first, but it has grown on me. It’s really handy if you’re travelling as it sits tightly in the palette itself. The packaging is wonderful, and the large mirror inside is excellent, once again really good if you’re off travelling. Oddly, it comes with a mini lipgloss – the primer supplied with the original Naked made more sense – but it’s okay.

The Naked 2 palette retails for £36 which seems steep, but you get a good collection of shades here, most of which I use regularly. I think it’s definitely worth the money, and if I hit pan on all the shades I would go out and repurchase in an instant.

What do you think of the Naked 2? Better or worse than its predecessor?

Monday, 30 April 2012

Instagram #2

1: Draw Something; 2: Godzilla!; 3: messy bun attempt two - getting there;
4: currently reading: Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins; 5: nostalgia; 6: train travel essentials;
7: shopping - oops!; 8: stacking rings; 9: breakfast.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

To borrow a phrase from the lovely Essie, I never thought I would be one of those people – you know...Lush fans. I never understood the hype, the packaging looked a little tacky to me, and don’t even get me started on the price of just one bath bomb.

But I’d never really looked into their skincare before. While I was in the market for a new face mask, I decided to give Lush a chance. And I will never look back.

The fresh face masks have to be kept in the fridge, so I decided to go for the Mask of Magnaminty, designed to help spot-prone skin. It contains peppermint to stimulate the blood vessels under your skin, and ground aduki beans to provide gentle exfoliation. The result is a tub of green gloop.

It looks even less appetising on, but looking like She-Hulk for fifteen minutes is definitely worth it. The peppermint gives a cooling, tingling sensation. It feels great, really freshening, and it shows as soon as you wash off. My skin is brighter, tighter, softer, smoother and, best of all, my spots have disappeared. It doesn’t stop spots forming completely, but I’ve found that when they do form, they’re much more superficial. They’re smaller, less inflamed, and stay around for a day or two, no longer.

At £4.75/125g (or £8.25/315g) it seems pricey, but a little really does go a long way. I’ve had mine for about a month now, using twice a week, and the picture above shows just how much I have left. I’ve actually been using more purposely just to try and use it up before the expiry date. I bought the large tub thinking a small one wouldn’t last long enough, but next time, I think I’ll go smaller.

What do you think? Has this helped your acne problems like it has mine?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Chanel Perfection Lumiere

Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere foundation was actually my first high end cosmetics purchase. As a milk bottle, I found drugstore foundations to be too limited in their shade ranges for my skin tone, and I had to suffer desperately trying to blend my foundation in and failing. I’m a sucker for a good advertising campaign, and Chanel drew me in with theirs: their biggest shade range yet, suiting all undertones? I was sold. Clutching my debit card, I nervously walked up to the counter in Boots and asked to be colour matched.

I was matched to 22 Beige Rose, the second lightest shade with pink undertones. Sadly, I’m still left scrubbing at my face in a last-ditch attempt to blend. In hindsight, I hold my hands up and admit fault: it was a perfect match under the artificial lights, but I didn’t bother to check in natural light – I was too excited! I should have asked for a sample rather than jumping straight in at the deep end, but there you go. I can make it work if I’m very careful about blending and applying powder afterwards, but it’s a lot of hard work. I also find that it does oxidise slightly through the day if I apply a little too much.

Really, though, it’s not a bad foundation by any stretch of the imagination. The above could probably be remedied if I’d just be more thorough with checking my colour match. It has medium, but buildable, coverage that evens out my skin tone and covers most blemishes fairly well. Despite that, it’s very light on the skin; you can barely feel it there. It’s also very long-lasting, both on the skin and in terms of the foundation itself: a little goes a long way. The matte finish is gorgeous, and it stays matte through the day when set with powder. And of course, top marks for the classic Chanel packaging.

The matte finish does mean it clings to dry patches though, so this particular foundation would be better suited to those with normal/oily skin. I don’t particularly suffer from dry skin, but it clings to any dried out spots I’ve got, and it’s not nice. I also find it’s hard to blend.

So, no, it’s not bad, but it’s just not great. At £36 it’s expensive, and I’ve definitely learned my lesson. Maybe I’ll go back and get a sample of the lighter shade, but to be honest, I’d rather look at alternatives.

What has been your experience with Perfection Lumiere? Should I give it another chance?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Instagram #1

1: spring; 2: The Fray's new album, Scars and Stories - love it!; 3: new camera;
4: currently reading: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins; 5: blogging; 6: messy bun attempt the first;
7: makeup wishlist; 8: #nowplaying; 9:'s face.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Perfume Essential

I love perfume. If I had the funds available, I'd probably buy a new fragrance every month (as it is, I usually end up wandering past Boots's perfume department, mostly around payday, whimpering pathetically at Coco Mademoiselle). I just don't feel fully dressed without a spray of whatever scent I'm in the mood for that day.

Of course, marketing needs have pushed for the aesthetics of perfumes to be increasingly out there: bigger bottles, bolder designs, stand-out shapes. It's all about branding and trying to catch the eye of your consumer. But therein lies one problem: who wants to lug around a heavy glass bottle of perfume shaped like, I don't know, a giraffe? Perhaps it's just me, but I like taking perfume out with me for a quick touch-up, and I can't always do that.

That's where atomisers come in. They fit in the palm of your hand and are so lightweight - perfect for travelling. They're not particularly a new concept, but they were retailing for £9.99 in Boots and I just couldn't justify spending that much after I'd spent £50+ on a fragrance.

And then I happened across these in Home Bargains for 69p. I will admit the manufacturing isn't as good as the ones in Boots probably were - there's some leftover glue in one of the apertures, for example. But they work just as well and it means that I no longer have to worry about getting caught short without my perfume on!

Do you use atomisers? Is £9.99 worth it to you, or will you try to run across a bargain first?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

No7 Vital Brights Collection

No7 aren't usually a brand I take an interest in. Maybe it's my own misconception but I've always felt that it was a brand aimed more towards older women and at twenty, a 'mumsy' image isn't exactly what I'm going for. I also feel that their pricing is a little steep, especially when compared to the pricing of a brand like MAC or Illamasqua. This spring, however, No7 teamed up with makeup artist Lisa Eldridge to create their limited edition Vital Brights collection. Couple this with another round of let's see how many £5 Off No7 vouchers I can fit into my purse and for probably the first time in my life I flitted around the counters in every Boots I went into, swatching the collection again and again.

In the end, I decided to pick up the two lipsticks and the highlighting powder.

L-R: Blossoming Pink, Blooming Pink

Blossoming Pink is a fairly nude pink, if slightly darker. I tend to turn to this when I want a 'my lips but better' shade in a lipstick rather than a balm. Blooming Pink is a scarily bright pink in the tube but is really a lovely sheer pink when applied. As for the formula, it glides on well with a creamy consistency. Once on the lips though, it isn't as much of a success story. Blooming Pink, for whatever reason, feels kind of sticky, and Blossoming Pink is fairly drying on my lips. They give a nice sheen to the lips, but I can't stand wearing them for long.

When the collection was still available, each lipstick retailed at £10, a price I don't think the lipsticks are really worth. For just £3.50 more you can pick up a MAC lipstick instead. I don't feel like I've made a huge loss as I picked both lipsticks up for £5 each using the vouchers, but they are certainly lipsticks I could have lived without.

Although I wasn't blown away by the lipsticks, the highlighting powder is a different story.

I will admit I don't have much experience with highlighters, either liquid or powder. This product is in fact the one that first introduced me to them, but I can say for sure that I won't be looking back. Even though I don't really have any point of comparison, I was really impressed with this highlighter. It's a lovely champagne colour, perfect for practically any skin tone, and isn't overly shimmery or glittery like some highlighters can be. It's really soft and easy to blend, and it just gives such a healthy glow to the face. I usually just use it above my cheekbones but have dusted all over before when I don't want a totally matte look.

I don't think packaging should be focused on too much in reviews, but in this case I can't not say anything! I absolutely love the casing design - the same design was on the box the lipsticks came in and I was sorely disappointed to find that it didn't continue on to the lipstick tubes as well. My powder is fairly well-used by now and that obviously shows in the picture, but when first bought the powder is set in this beautiful floral 3D design that is very reminiscent of the Laura Mercier highlighting powder. It's definitely a treat to look at.

The highlighter retailed at £13/10g when available, but I picked mine up for £8. That said, I definitely would have paid full retail price. If you're dying to try something from the Vital Brights collection and are scouring eBay (since they now aren't available in store), the highlighter is definitely the product I'd recommend.

Did you manage to catch the collection while it was in store? Which was your stand-out product?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I will never be anything but honest about the products I talk about on this blog. All products were bought by me, unless stated otherwise. In the event that I am contacted by companies offering to send samples for consideration, I will only ever accept items that are relevant to this blog; similarly, I will never review PR samples unfairly – if I think the sample is terrible, I will tell you so! I will never accept money for positive reviews.

Above all else, I hope to maintain this blog’s integrity. Honesty is, after all, the best policy.


What camera do you use?
I use a Fujifilm JX370 compact.

What program do you use to edit your photos?
Photoshop CS5.

What do you do for a living?
I'll shortly be entering my third and final year of a psychology bachelor's degree. Other than that, I work part time in a high street clothing store. Don't ask what I want to do after university - I haven't a clue!

About Traincars

I’m Nikki, a 20 year old psychology undergraduate with a side passion for beauty and skincare. I’ve long since realised that my boyfriend zones out entirely every time I go off on one, so I decided to set this blog up to connect with people who won’t! So, this is my little corner of the blogosphere where I’ll be reviewing my favourite (and not so favourite) products, as well as offering my thoughts on the latest cosmetics. Enjoy!

 For any business or press enquiries, please contact me at:
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