Review: Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint in Pink Bloom

Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint
I love buying products on a whim, Id wanted to try out a lip stain but none had really jumped out at me until I saw the Perfect Stay Tint from Astor. Astor says '2-step Perfect Stay Lip Tint & Balm offers weightless colour that won’t rub off or smear. Lips look flawless and feel great – and they’ll stay that way throughout the day'. This tint has a chunky marker pen style with a felt tip nib on one end and clear vitamin Anti-dryness Balm on the other. The thickness of the pen makes it really easy to control where youre putting the product and the lightweight waterbased formula can be used in a thin coat to give a bitten lips effect or built up for a more vibrant colour.
The shade I purchased was 105 Pink Bloom which is a gorgeous raspberry colour, half way between a bright pink and red. When I received it I immediately tried it out on the back of my hand and was greeted with pigmented colour that flowed easily from the nib and dried quickly. Because it's so easy to control where the colour goes and it stays in place Ive found I dont need to use a lipliner with this product, and the balm lasts a long time on the lips so having it on the end of the product is really handy.

Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint
Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint

The lip tint pen gives us two easy steps to application- 1. Apply the lip tint pen on clean and oil free lips. No transfer- all day. 2. Anti-dryness balm: extra comfort and shine.
Ive found that applying to clean dry lips is a really important step, dont be tempted to apply balm before you use the tint or it'll interfere with the nib and the product wont apply properly. Similarly any foundation or powder on the lips will stop the flow of product from the nib and it needs to be wiped on a clean tissue until it flows properly again. Ive found that holding the or standing the pen with the nib pointed downward for about 10 seconds before applying helps the product flow properly after its been stored sideways, helping the tint get right to the point of the nib so you can get a precise line to the lip edges before filling in with the nib on its side.

I was really interested in the 'transferproof' aspect of this product and was sceptical whether it would really last all day without smearing or fading. It took me a few attempts to perfect the application technique but, once I did, I was really impressed with the longevity of the tint on my lips. Even though the balm did wear off, the tint colour was still vibrant after hours of wear. For increasing the wear time of the tint I would recommend: as above, making sure the lips are clean and dry, waiting for a few minutes after application to let the tint dry properly then blotting with a tissue and repeating if needed, applying the balm once the tint is completely dry.

Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint Pink Bloom with and without balm
left- without balm / right- with balm (daylight)

Cheesy Grins: Left- camera flash / Right- daylight

Overall I was really impressed with this product and am so pleased with the colour. Astor's website shows the tint available in 26 colours ranging from bold to subtle and nude. I love the look of some of the nude colours but will have to seek out some reviews as my lips are naturally quite dark and Im not sure how the payoff would be from some of the lighter colours.
Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint & Care has an RRP of £4.99, I bought it from Fragrance Direct for £2.99 (I would first google the colour youre interested in, their shade images are a little off) and I think even at full price its well worth the money!

How do you feel about lip tints/stains? Have you tried any products from Astor Cosmetics?


Review: Epicare Wand

Epicare Red
 The Epicare in Red

If, like me, you're blessed with hereditary face-fuzz you will have tried waxing, depilatory creams, sugaring and any other manner of fuzz removal you can think of. I don't have particularly sensitive skin but have reacted to all the above with redness, soreness, dryness and usually an angry and widespread breakout.
The Epicare has been available since 1999, but I think its one of the least known facial hair removal products and I don't see it mentioned very often. The Epicare Wand is in essence a long, tight spring with a rubber handle at either end, it is based on the technique of threading and requires no batteries, cables, heat or really any skill either! Its also one of the least expensive ways to remove facial hair- for me a wax a local salon every 4 weeks (although id probably need it more often) would cost about £240 a year.

This method of hair removal is really simple:

Hold the Epicare by the handles
Bend the spring to make an inverted U shape
Place spring against your fuzzy face and roll the handles in between your fingers
The spring catches the hairs and pulls them out while you roll!

The Epicare Wand
The 'Inverted U' (look at those kitten scratches!)

Im not going to lie this method does hurt, however its much less painful than waxing and you get used to the feeling very quickly. The wand can be used on the cheek, chin and upper lip, I've also used it down my neck and very very carefully along my forehead in a thinner U shape to get into tight spaces (although Epicare advise against this). Unfortunately I've never been able to get it to work for my upper lip, maybe the hairs are too short here but this is the only place I still use cream.

Having tried quite a reasonable amount of other methods I've found this the easiest and least problematic, it's definitely my favourite and this is why:

Buy once, use for years / easy to clean (just pull outwards on the handles to release trapped hair) / no preparation/ no mess / doesn't damage the skin / very little pain or irritation / no need to wait before going over the same area or using again / range of colours!

Ive had my epicare for about a year and it still works the same as it did when it was new, sometimes I'll give it a wipe if it gets make up or moisturiser on it but apart from that its pretty maintenance free. My only gripe is that it doesn't work for me on very short hairs, such as upper lip mentioned above, but generally the shortest are the least noticeable anyway.

The Epicare Wand is available from Epicare UK for £9.95


March Wishlist 2013
1. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush- The Expert Face Brush is very similar to the Buffing Brush which is included with the Core Collection and is slightly bigger, with longer bristles and a rounder shape. The Expert Face Brush, despite being smaller has been reviewed as being perfect for buffing in foundation and using powder products as well. 
Even though I love the Real Techniques brushes Im not sure Id use all of the Core Collection so this seems a perfect option. Im also looking at the Deluxe Crease Brush, only available in the starter set, bah!

SALE! is having a 15% off sale on Real Techniques brushes: use REALTECH15 at the checkout

2. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye- Ive always had dark circles under my eyes, even when Ive had plenty of sleep and have tried just about every high street concealer I can get my hands on.
The Bye Bye Undereye concealer was developed with plastic surgeons in Brazil and is now used to conceal bruising and swelling on the face and body of surgery patients. According to It Cosmetics, their Bye Bye Undereye is a 'full coverage, waterproof, yet moisturising, concealer with anti-ageing ingredients to combat dark circles while it conceals'. I'm sold! I can only find it online and it is quite pricey but from the reviews it sounds like it could be in the running for a HG product. Unfortunately Ill have to guess my shade from the online options, which range from light to deep. It Cosmetics also tell us on their website that '70% of skin stones are neutral medium' (Im hoping thats a typo!).

3. Maybelline One by One Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara- I just cant get enough mascara! Maybelline is my go to brand for mascaras and I own 5 different types, but after seeing photos and reviews of the separation this formula and brush can achieve Ive decided I have to have it! 
This Mascara has a 'lash- catcher brush' with 300 bristles which sounds ideal as my lashes are very prone to sticking together with absolutely every mascara. I also prefer waterproof mascara because when I go out I tend to sleep in my mascara (its a sin I know!), and with a non waterproof formula I usually wake up looking like a panda with 3 eyelashes because theyre so stuck together. Ive also got my eye on the Volum' Express Colossal Smoky Mascara (love the brush of the original Colossal) with collagen and matte shadow pigment, I told you I cant get enough mascara!

4. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk- The Jumbo Eye pencil has been reviewed as the perfect eyelid base for making shadows look more vibrant and keeping them in place, a highlight for the inner corner of the eye and as a liner for the waterline. It sounds like a mixture of all the things Ive been looking for recently, and for £4.50 it wont break the bank either.

5. Stila Convertible Colour for Lips and Cheeks in Petunia- Ive seen this shade on a few people and it looks lovely, so natural and healthy. Recently I had a brainwave and have been using (youre going to laugh at this) lipbalm and lipstick on my cheeks as blush, it actually looks pretty good! I swipe a few times then blend in, because the formulas are quite glossy it gives a nice healthy highlighted sheen as well as colour without being shimmery. Probably best not to try this out with a matte lipstick but my favourites for the cheeks are Bourjois Sweet Kiss in Rose Innocence and Rimmel Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake. A product that is actually designed to go on the lips and cheeks sounds perfect, and the packaging is so sweet too.

6. Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation in 52- I bought this foundation in shade 54 when it first came out and had never tried a Bourjois foundation before. As sometimes happens, the colour that looked perfect in the shop turned out to be completely wrong in daylight. I'd been happily wearing Healthy Mix Serum in 52 and Healthy Mix in 53 until I tried the 123 again the other day, the colour is still too dark for me but I thought the coverage and finish were lovely. The 123 Perfect is a matte foundation with yellow, mauve and green colour correcting pigments, and a velvety almost cream-to-powder style finish. Usually I find matte foundations a bit too drying and dullifying (is that a word?) for my skin, but it would be lovely not to have to powder and then repowder the centre of my face.

7. Mac Correct and Conceal Palette in Light- I saw a video review of this product and new I'd love it- I love correctors and use my Fraulein 38 corrector palette everyday, and I love Mac concealers but sometimes the NC20 just looks a little off in colour compared to my skin tone or foundation. The palette contains 4 different shades of Studio Finish concealer and two corrector colours, a peach and a yellow. Im toying between the light and medium, my nc20 concealer sometimes looks quite light for my skin, especially as I fake tan my face so am never truly the same colour every day, but the pictures Ive seen of the medium look really quite dark and I think shades that are too dark look much more strange than shades that are too light.

8. La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo- Maybe Im a little late on the bandwagon with this one but after seeing gorgeous Tanya Burr's results using this cream I dont think I can ignore the hype any longer. The Effeclar Duo contains Niacinamide and Piroctone Olamine to purify the skin and prevent breakouts, and LHA/Linoleic Acid to eliminate dead cells that clog pores.
Not everything works for everyone, but for a lot of people this has been a miracle product and at the moment my skin is blemish free for just a few days at a time, so I think this is definitely worth trying.

9. Sigma E25 Blending Brush- I only have a couple of blending brushes and theyre getting quite old and a bit scratchy so had a look for something new. Everyone's heard of the Mac 217, its been used in just about every pro tutorial Ive ever seen and it really is meant to be an essential bit of kit but not everyone has £17 to spend on a little brush.
The best alternative Ive come across is the Sigma E25 which sells for about £10 and is also available in travel size which is really handy. If youre on an even tighter budget then the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff Brush (made from goat hair) has some great reviews and sells for about £5, making it a great alternative to the Mac 217.

Do you have any of the products on this list, what do you think about them? And whats on your March Wishlist?



Hello Again! It's been a while...

Hello again everyone!

Ive taken quite a break from blogging lately due to illness, unfortunately the illness is still with me but Ive decided to start blogging again! I've been wearing makeup a lot more recently and have been working on some new posts and reviews, Ive got some interesting new products Ive discovered and am very excited to be announcing a giveway soon.
Im working on a few bits of the layout of the blog and the header, so sorry if everything goes wonky for a bit!

If youre not already Id love it if you followed me on Instagram, theres a widget to the right and you can find me at @taupeandpearl. I post a lot of photos of my kittens (well cats now!) but I do have a few of me hiding in there amonst the fur and filters.

And finally if any of you ladies are also living with illness, stay strong and Id love to hear from you.

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