Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Dolce & Gabbana Eye Shadow Quad Stromboli

There's something about Dolce & Gabbana that makes me go weak at the knees. I could easily live a very Dolce life wearing exquisite lace dresses with outrageous doorknocker earrings, sporting beautifully embellished pompadour shoes and lug around baroque inspired embroidered handbags (although I'm not sure where I'd fit in all my Pilates stuff) - and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Unfortunately my budget simply won't allow that - how rude of it..., but I can treat myself to the occasional little beauty product, to in a very small way participate in the extravagance that is Dolce & Gabbana.

When I first laid eyes on this beautiful palette I was immediately taken in and it has been a firm favourite of mine ever since. The Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Quad (£46) comes in an impressive selection of 16 different shades - all equally beautiful and seductive to the beauty junkie, but for me Stromboli (colour code 130) is the perfect combination of colors, equally wearable for both day and night time.

Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Stromboli

Now, let me start by saying that I KNOW that it's an expensive product, but as a magpie and packaging fiend, I didn't really stand a chance from the start. True to its brand, the golden metallic and VERY shiny compact is glamorous and opulent, turning every use of it into an indulgent moment and it comes with a velvet pouch to protect it and keep it equally shiny as long as it's used. The palette includes two little foam applicators, and although I prefer to use a good quality brush, these are actually not bad at all. Usually I don't expect a lot from these little token applicators, but after a lot of use these are still as firm (and attached to the handle!) as when I got them.

Stromboli is a palette with 4 velvet smooth golden, earthy, coppery colours - some matte and others with a delicate shimmer (you can find swatches here on Instagram):

Shimmery golden sand - lovely for day wear, or as an evening highlighter
Shimmery russet copper - great on its own (very dramatic on blue eyes), or as a base for an evening look
Matte intense cinnamon brown - nice basic shade for any look
Shimmery gunmetal grey - fab for a smokey eye or as an eyeliner 

Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Stromboli

All shades are so highly pigmented that you only need the lightest of dabs with your brush or applicator to get enough product to cover the whole lid, and you still need to be prepared for a fair bit of blending. Saying that, the formula is easy to work with to build intensity whether you choose to use them dry or wet and with absolutely no fall out - just the excellent quality I would have expected from this brand. Although it promises extended 8 hours wear, I have to say that I don't think that is the case for most of the shades, with the exception of the cinnamon shade. That's not entirely unexpected since there's definitely a correlation between the amount of shimmer and how an eyeshadow wears. I would say that the shades stay pretty perfect for about 5 hrs and then you'd need to touch them up.

When you've decided you've had enough of these glorious shades for the day, they came off easily, even with a very gentle eye make up remover, or cleansing wipe. This is a gorgeous palette which by its pure extravagance has that feel like a goddess appeal. If you were to buy only one single prestige brand palette - THIS would be the one.    

As you might expect, in the UK you can only get the Dolce & Gabbana range in Harrod's or in Heathrow Terminal 5, but you'll find some of the products at a discounted price on Amazon or Beautyspin.co.uk, (£35.17), making this luxurious palette even more difficult to resist... yes, you're welcome!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Manic. Monday: Speckled hen? NO, Speckled egg!

Despite being an avid reader of all the glossy fashion and beauty magazines you can find on the shelves in the supermarket, and being fairly aware of the current trends, in the end I've always "done my own thing". Today's nail polish in the first Manic Monday of the year, is the perfect example of that.

After this season's berry colours, glitzy black and gold designs, and vivid pop art looks I wanted something completely different to really put the Christmas season back in its box and when rummaging through my polsish stash I rediscovered this little gem from 2014. It's Models Own Speckled Egg Nail Polish (£4.99) which is a more affordable option to the Illamasqua polish that was flying off the shelves faster than you could say Speckled hen.... no sorry, I meant Speckled egg!
Models Own Speckled Egg - Duck Blue

Speckled Egg was released for Spring / Summer and  it's a lovely fresh and fun pastel based range with dark specks in different sizes, creating an eyecatching egg shell look. It's available in 4 colours where the base is either; dusky pale pink (Dove Pink), pale watery lilac (Swan Lilac), grassy muted yellow (Goose Yellow) or subtle sky blue (Duck Blue). My favourite is definitely the Duck Blue since the other colours in the range are a bit too muted, and the contrast with the speckles shows up the best. 

Like many of the Model's Own nail polishes, the formula is quite thin (but not too runny) and you do need several layers to get an opaque look and to get the optimal effect of the specks, and in the photo I've actually used 4 layers. On the otherhand each layer comes on streak free and the polish dries very quickly which means you don't have to wait around too long in between the layers, and once they've set there's no smudging, ruining the effect. The brush is of average width and is very pliable with a flat even tip, making it easy to work with avoiding messing up the cuticles.Unfortunately with that many layers of polish the finish is always going to be sensitive to any bump or scratching which will easily flake it and make it peel, which is why I wasn't surprised when it only lasted 3 days before it started to come off. Although it probably only took 1 minute to remove because of the thickness of the layering - it came off in one piece by simply gently peeling it off the nail.  
Even though it's an oldie, I still love this look and if like me you enjoy different nail polish effects, it's a must try - if nothing else, plan ahead and put it on your list of getting for Easter!