Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Products of the month: January 2013

In the spirit of shaking things up on Kimtopia, I've made a change to my monthly favourites post. I've decided to limit myself to 4 products. That's one for each week of the month. I expect sometimes I'll find it hard to narrow it down, but that's a challenge I accept! 

♥ YSL Rouge Volupté Lipstick in 01 Nude Beige ♥

This is a product that I ummed and ahhed over for the longest time. I thought it might be the perfect nude but then I was worried about 'concealer lips' and whether it would look good with my skin tone, and really was the hefty price tag worth it? Well, the fact that this lippie has made it to my favourites post has to say something right? I can tell you that yes it is the perfect nude, the formula is brilliant (even if the scent is a bit floral and strong), I don't look like I've slathered concealer all over and it does indeed work with my pale skin tone. I'm not entirely sure I'd shell out another twenty odd pounds for a replacement though. I love it and it just pulls any look together. I'm sure there's probably a good dupe out there somewhere though. If you've found one, I'd love to know!

♥ Soap & Glory Endless Glove ♥

During the recent cold snap, I've been using this several times a week to ensure my hands stay in tip tip condition. Its a lovely moisturising treatment for your hands that works best overnight and you wake up to beautifully nourished skin. I was dismayed to learn it was a one-off product in the Perfect Manicure Christmas gift set however I've since spied it on the shelves in a dark pink bottle :D It's great as a treatment or if you have particularly dry skin, you can use it as an intensive moisturiser. Soap & Glory products are currently on 3 for 2 in Boots so well worth adding to your basket!

♥ Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink ♥

My go to blush of choice recently, this is an absolute winner from Max Factor. A cream to powder finish, its so easy to apply and I find it lasts on my skin all day without the need for touching up. Soft Pink is a beautiful shade. Well pigmented, it gives me a lovely, natural flush of colour. Definitely one of my top 5 cream blushes!

♥ NYX Eye Pencil in Sapphire ♥

I haven't dabbled too much with NYX as a brand, and I hadn't heard anything about their eye pencils before I saw this in River Island a few months ago. It was super cheap so I picked it up to try it out. The colour isn't quite what I expected - I was thinking a lovely shimmering sapphire blue but there is no shimmer in this at all. Saying that, it's a gorgeous deep blue in a creamy, long lasting formula. There aren't many liners that I can say last all day on my waterline but this baby certainly does. It looks great with blue eyes too. If you have any NYX Eye Pencils to recommend, please let me know :)

♥ ♥ ♥

That wasn't as hard as I thought! Which products have you been loving lately?

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Monday, 28 January 2013

Guest Post: Shine Busters!

I'd like you all to give a warm welcome to my first guest post writer, Aniqua! A fellow twenty-something graduate, Aniqua is currently in the middle of a beauty PR internship and today will be sharing her tips on achieving a London commute-worthy face that lasts the whole day.

Hola Munchkins!
My name is Aniqah and I write over at And laugh at guilded butterflies and am thrilled
to be guest blogging on Kim’s blog today!

Today’s topic of conversation is one that I am sure many of you are familiar with – the commute! Now,
my commute involves the yukky tube, which inevitably leads to an increase of surface oils and dirt on my already oily skin. I have to say, for someone who has for years been used to looking as flawless as I possibly can, the addition of the commute to my life was making me almost distraught! One night, whilst lying in the bath with a clay mask on, I had the bright idea of mixing in the wonderful oil-absorbing beauty of a mask with my moisturiser. Bingo!

Except not quite bingo. It seems that alchemy with a clay mask is an exact science – a bit like baking – too little of the mask and it has little-to-no-effect, too much and the skin looks cracked (as if a mask has been left on too long) and foundation appears dry and patchy. However, once you have figured out the ratios of you pseudo-chemicals, then serious BINGO!! You’ve hit the jackpot!

Now, obviously, my day of commute-and-office-worthy-face doesn’t just consist of a little extra clay mask: here’s a little snapshot of my skincare routine:

This is a routine that I have tailored to control oil without stripping it unnecessarily, which could lead to extra oil production to compensate. Hero products include Soap and Glory’s Peaches and Clean, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, and my new purchase of Garnier’s Moisture Match cream.

When it comes to primers, I have a very on-off relationship with them: currently it’s a full-blown love affair. Philosophy’s The Present is the only one I currently trust. If I’m not commuting, this stuff superglues my make up to my face for the entirety of the day, but as it stands, it reduces the amount of shine that manages to peek through, and ensures that at the end of the day, melting of make-up hasn’t occurred to the point that my face is devoid of make-up. In fact, come 2:30p.m., if I haven’t used it I often glance in the mirror and end up thinking OMG I know I put make up on this morning!

On to bases – I have a few that I pick and mix between for their longevity properties: Givenchy Eclat
Matissime, Dior Forever and Estee Lauder Double Wear (Givenchy being the most natural finish, and Double Wear being the ultimate flawless).

I am a powder freak!! I need it for oil control, and I actually quite love a soft powdery look in the vein of the Hollywood Stars of Old. Choices of pressed powder are Rimmel Stay Matte and Givenchy Le Prisme, and the ultimate translucent setting powder comes down to the wonderful Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder.

Lastly, we come to the section of miscellaneous, and kicking off proceedings is the humble (or not so humble) toothpaste. In this case, I love the effect of Whiteglo – gently whitens the teeth whilst keeping the mouth fresh all day! A perfect lip completes every look, hence I line and lippy my lips as best I can, and try to top up throughout the day – I find L’Oreal’s Rouge Caresses’ to be moisturising and fairly long- lasting. Nails can make a huge impression, and mine are always, always filed and painted – Seche Vite is my hero here, no matter how late I paint them, they are perfect when I wake up. Now hair is one thing that can make or break my confidence on any day – when it’s done well (and by done I mean more than a quick brush), I feel it adds confidence to any look, but when not coiffed, the entire world seems to see me being less confident! Last little miscellaneous comes down to the best Shine Absorbing Sheets I’ve ever used – the Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets, which are pure genius.

At the end of the day, take your face off, double cleanse, treat your skin and relax – you made it through the day!

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Love A.x

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you to Aniqua for a brilliant post! Please pop over to her blog and have a read :)
If you'd like to guest post for Kimtopia, please drop me an email

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Friday, 25 January 2013

NOTD: LA Colors Color Craze Polish in Twiight

Products Used

Nails Inc Underground Base Coat
LA Colors Color Craze in Twilight
MUA Clear Polish

I picked up Twilight on a complete whim when I was in Westfield Stratford City last year. I'd never tried the brand before I saw it in Beauty Base and it was so cheap I thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the LA Colors polishes apply. Two coats and you have a beautiful opaque finish which dries fairly quickly. I've been super impressed with the wear too. I've had this polish on for 7 days and I've only got tip wear on one nail! They have every possible colour known to man in Beauty Base so next time I pop down to London I'll definitely be stocking up on a few more!

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried LA Colors? Do you have any colour recommendations for m? Which budget brand polishes do you love? I'd love to know!

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow

Ladies, I'm in love. With Chanel. Is there a better kind of love? 

Taking the plunge and buying from a high end makeup brand is always a risk as I'm afraid the product will not quite live up to my expectations. I'd been lusting after the Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Shadows since seeing them in a video from Lisa Eldridge. I knew I had to have one and I hotfooted it to my nearest Chanel counter to buy Illusoire. A good plan right? Wrong. Insert dramatic music here. It was sold out. I was put on a waiting list. "This is insane, are they really that good?" I wondered.

Well it turns out a crazy lady decided she didn't want her reserved Illusoire after all so I got my lucky mitts on it. Kerching! went the sound of the cash register as I dutifully parted with my £23.00. Yes, twenty three pounds sterling for an eye shadow. Maybe I was the crazy lady. I got it home, I unboxed it and I swatched it. I reapplied my makeup. I wore it every day for a week. Holy moly it is the best eye product I own. I think angels might actually sing when I open the jar. The shadow feels like a soft, bouncy mousse and is light, silky and an absolute dream to apply. It lasts all day with primer, and a good few hours without, probably longer if you don't have oily lids. I wear it as a shadow and sometimes just as a liner thanks to the super handy teeny Chanel brush that comes with it.

A few months later I finally tracked down Epatant in London town. I might actually *whispers*  loveitabitmorethanIllusoire. I might have also swatched every other Illusion D'Ombre in Selfridges. I might want all of them. But there's one thing I do know for certain. I'm not crazy. I'm just crazy in love. Oh, Chanel ♥

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried the Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Shadows?

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Monday, 21 January 2013

You Are My Sunshine

I have a new addition to my desk. Its basically artificial daylight and I love it. Step forward my new and much loved Lumie Desklamp.* Lately I seem to be going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark and beavering away in an office all day means I don't get to see much of the sun, not that we've seen much of it lately here! This is where the Lumie Desklamp comes in handy. With its handy 4 levels of touch control light intensity, it mimics summer sunlight which helps to boost concentration, productivity and mood whilst restoring natural energy levels. If you're not familiar with the Lumie brand, their lightboxes are aimed at combatting symptoms of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, with summer levels of bright light in the form of blue-enriched LEDs which are known for regulating our bodyclocks.

This has been an absolute God send for me. I had a serious case of the winter blues recently and I wish I'd had the Lumie Desklamp then! In a morning, I put the light on for around an hour (the recommended time - it can also be used for 30 minutes without the diffuser) whilst I'm getting ready for work and the light certainly gives me a boost and helps me feel more awake. It's just like having an extra window at your side, flooded with daylight. I feel awake, I feel energised and I feel happy. A perfect way to kickstart my day.

I also love using this in an afternoon. Actual daylight may diminish at 4pm and as a result I find myself thinking its actually much later than it really is and I feel tired earlier. If I'm pottering around sorting things out or blogging, I always have the light on and I feel like I get more done. As bloggers, we all know that with the reduced number of daylight hours comes a reduced opportunity for taking photos. Having the Lumie Desklamp at my disposal has enabled me to continue taking photos even as the daylight fades away. With its adjustable neck, I can angle the light where I need it whether that be for taking photos, blogging, creating nail art or doing my makeup.

Overall, I think the Lumie desklamp is a brilliant product and a very valuable addition to my desktop!

The Lumie Desklamp can be purchased from John Lewis

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried anything from Lumie? Has anyone tried the Bodyclock? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts! 

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Friday, 18 January 2013

Winter Makeup Essentials

With the recent influx of wintery weather, I've appreciated the extra time in my warm bed of a morning.   A big thick duvet and lots of pillows totally wins over extra time shivering in front of my dresser! I've been opting for easy peasy quick make up so I thought I'd show you my current makeup essentials that save me time whilst making me look relatively put together.

Winter FOTD

Winter makeup essentials

001. Flawless skin - Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in No. 21
I think this may be my favourite base product of all time. A pretty big claim I know but I've repurchased again and again and again. I cannot remember the last time this happened for me. The instant its on, my skin looks amazing. 

002. Say bye bye to dark circles and imperfections - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light and MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15
My absolute favourite high street product find of 2012 was Lasting Perfection Concealer. A quick swipe under the eyes, instant blending et voila. My dark circles are banished. On the odd occasion I have a blemish I use my trusted MAC concealer to hide them.

003. Healthy glow - Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink
I'll be honest, this wasn't a product I easily warmed to and I much preferred my Topshop cream blushes. However I found this stashed in my makeup drawer, gave it the benefit of the doubt and I'm loving it. Despite the name, I wouldn't call it a true pink, this is more of a coral-pink which works perfectly for my skin tone. Best applied with an elf Studio Powder brush.

004. Beautiful Brows - Illamasqua Brow Cake in Gaze
For perfect defined brows, Gaze has been my staple product for well over a year now and I'm nowhere near hitting pan. Its my perfect shade and I love to use my Royal & Langnickel Silk Greenline Eyeliner/Brow brush for precision application.

005. Defined peepers - Stage Line Professional Precise Liner in Black
I absolutely love felt tip style eyeliners at the moment. They're so simple to apply and it saves spending forever trying to use liquid liner!

006. For beautiful blues - NYX Eye Pencil in Sapphire
I picked this up in River Island months ago and I'm a teeny bit ashamed I hadn't gotten around to using it before now. It wasn't quite what I expected. When I heard the name Sapphire I was expecting a rich deep blue with some shimmer but this is a flat colour. I decided to use it on my lower waterline and loved the results. It defines without being as harsh as a black liner and it really brings out the blue in my eyes.

007. Luscious Lashes - Liz Earle Smudgeproof Lash Definition Mascara in Black and Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
On the quest for doll like lashes, I've been loving the Liz Earle mascara which has to be one of the most foolproof mascaras I've used in a while. It applies without clumping and I never seem to get it everywhere, although that probably says more about me than the mascara! I'm also a little addicted to using Clinique's Bottom Lash for defining my lower lashes.

008. Glossy smackers - MUA Love Heart Lip Balm in Kiss Me
For a quick splash of colour with a gorgeous glossy finish and no stickiness in sight, I've been loving this beautiful peachy-orange shade on my lips which just helps pull my look together.

♥ ♥ ♥

Which products have you been loving for these wintery mornings? Are you favouring quick and easy looks

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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

NOTD: Barry M Gelly Polish in Blackcurrant

Ladies, if you haven't tried Barry M's Gelly Nail Paints, I think you should. I've been incredibly impressed with the formula and the colour of Blackcurrant, which is a beautiful deep purple that has a lovely glossy finish. I've found as per most Barry M polishes, this is a firm two coater and effortless to apply. I fell in love the minute I applied it and I was incredibly surprised to have got a good 7 days wear without any chipping. I love it so much its become my go to polish and I've often worn it several weeks on the trot. And for me, that is unheard of!

Barry M Gelly Polishes retail at £3.99 online and in Boots & Superdrug.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried the Gelly range?

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Monday, 14 January 2013

Soap & Glory Perfect Manicure

One of my most loved Christmas gifts this festive season (aside from The Spice Girls' Greatest Hits CD - come on you know you secretly wanted it too!) was Soap & Glory's Perfect Manicure Kit. The beautiful tin contains a 125ml bottle of Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream, a 125ml bottle of Endless Glove Hand Mask, a large nail file with Soap & Glory's trademark pink houndstooth print and a pair of cotton moisturising gloves emblazoned with the Soap & Glory logo.

Hand Food has been a firm favourite of mine for years. Its the only hand cream I've repurchased again and again thanks to its deliciously sweet scent and and excellent moisturising properties - I'm never without a handbag sized version. Endless Glove is a new product from Soap & Glory that is exclusive to this set and unfortunately not sold individually. It smells absolutely heavenly and I've been slathering this on my hands and cuticles every other night before popping the gloves on. Next morning I have super super soft, nourished skin. It has really made a noticeable difference to the condition of my cuticles too. A definite winner in my book so I'm quite sad that its no longer available.

I think this is a fab gift and I really hope that they re-release it in the future. Fingers crossed they also make Endless Glove a permanent edition to their line of individual products!

♥ ♥ ♥

Did you receive any Soap & Glory goodies for Christmas?

EDIT 29/01/13 - Endless Glove is now available to buy on it's own :D

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Friday, 11 January 2013

Newsflash: Guest Posts!

Girls, I fancy a shake up. That means new features here at Kimtopia in the coming weeks and months. One thing I'd love to do more this year is have more interaction with the blogging community. I've found lots of truly wonderful blogs lately via the blogs I subscribe to and so many of them deserve lots and lots of new followers so I would absolutely love to have some of you gorgeous ladies guest post for me and have some more exposure!
I'm looking to have two guest posts per month. I'd like the content to be relevant to the beauty blogging community as that is what this blog is primarily all about. So whether you blog about make up, haircare, skincare, or nail polish, I'd love for you to get involved! If you've got a make up look, a tutorial or a rave review and you'd like to feature on Kimtopia, let me know :)

If you fancy guest posting, ping an email to me with your details and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I'm really looking forward to working with you!

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you ever guest posted? How do you discover new blogs?

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Fragrance Sale

Girls, I'm having a new year clear out! I've got a few fragrances that I'm looking to rehome as they're just not for me. All details are below the photo :)

Clockwise from top:

Marc Jacobs Dot 30ml - 60% left - £20

Jimmy Choo 60ml - 75% left - £35

Lady Gaga Fame 30ml used - 1x - £20

Illamasaqua Freak has already been sold

The Body Shop Moroccan Rose 50ml - new - £5

*Please note all prices include postage*

Items will be securely packaged and sent via Royal Mail. If you wish to have recorded delivery please let me know. Once the package has been handed over at the Post Office I take no responsibility for it but will however obtain the proof of postage.

♥ ♥ ♥

If you're interested, please leave a comment below with your email address so I can contact you. Thanks ladies :)

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Monday, 7 January 2013

Cherry Culture Haul

Not being able to resist a good sale, I indulged in a Cherry Culture splurge recently for the first time in absolutely ages. I picked up quite a few bits and bobs which was impressive considering I only wanted three things!

♥ Eyes ♥

I've always struggled with false lashes but I've decided that 2013 will be the year that I master them. I picked up Ardell Invisiband 'Fairie' Lashes and a set of Duralash Naturals Individual Lashes. Start small and work my way up I think! Every blogger and their Mum would no doubt endorse the fact that I've also bought some Duo glue! Fingers crossed, my mission to apply false lashes effortlessly will be realised sooner than I'd hoped!

I've also, finally, jumped on the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil bandwagon. I picked up three good staple base colours, Black Bean, Milk and Yogurt.

♥ Lips ♥

Lately I've been in a bit of a lipstick rut and I remembered how much I loved the NYX Round Lipsticks. I picked up (left to right) Paris, Tea Rose & Fig. I also bought a L.A. Girl Neutral Lip Pencil which isn't too dissimilar from MAC Subculture. Cherry Culture also chucked in their own Raspberry Lip Balm as an added gift which smells and tastes amazing!

♥ Face ♥

I've always been a sucker for the NYX Rouge Cream Blushes and this time I picked up Rose Petal as I think this is one of the few I haven't already got. I've heard many US bloggers rave about Model in a Bottle and I decided to try their Long Lasting Eyebrow Sealer. I expect it'll be similar to the Illamasqua Sealing Gel but its more watery. I'll give it a try and post a comparison :)

♥ Nails ♥

It wouldn't be a proper Cherry Culture haul if I hadn't have picked up some US polishes. I bought (left to right) China Glaze Dance Baby, China Glaze Sugar High, LA Colors Jewel Tone, China Glaze Pool Party and China Glaze Wicked Style

♥ ♥ ♥ 

Have you taken advantage of any of the Cherry Culture offers lately?

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Friday, 4 January 2013

NOTD: Jewel Tone

Products Used

Illamasqua Base Coat
Barry M Polish in Retro Purple
LA Colors Jewel Tone
Seche Vite

♥ ♥ ♥

I picked up Jewel Tone when I ordered from Cherry Culture recently and I'm so glad I did. It cost next to nothing and it's absolutely beautiful. It's a clear polish packed with very fine purple and blue glitter. I used it over Barry M's Retro Purple and instantly fell in love. I wore this combo over the festive season and so many people commented on how pretty it was. If you're in London, I think I'm right in saying you can pick up LA Colors in Beauty Base in either Westfield shopping centre and I've even managed to find the brand unexpectedly in a local chain discount store. Keep your eyes peeled ladies!

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