Saturday, 28 September 2013

Escentual Haul: Dior, Guerlain & Vivienne Westwood

I just realised why this post has taken me so long to put together. Over 100 final photos (so in reality, hundreds more that were disregarded)!! That's a lot of work just resizing, tagging and adding the frame, never mind taking the photos, swatching and writing the post, plus inserting all these images one at a time (thanks for that Blogger)! The haul isn't even particularly big, but as my favourite art teacher once said "if something is worth doing once, it's worth doing properly" and for the past 20 years I've adhered to that. I could take a couple of blurry, unlabelled shots and expect 50 people to comment, but I'm not sure I see the point in blogging that way. Actually, I tend to not get many comments on posts like these (although a lot of views), but for me it's about making sure I've shown you every angle, every detail and that I've gone into some accuracy about the item.  Writing beauty posts like these (minus the tedious editing process) is something I really enjoy though, so I'll continue to do it and in this detailed manner, because that's my style. Phew, anyway, let's get on with the goodies.
Do you remember my story about travelling to Dundee to sniff some Vivienne Westwood perfume? I did so because I really wanted the GWP, but wasn't sure which fragrance I should buy. Until they make sniff screens on computers, it's something you still have to do in real life! Unless you're not too fussed and feel you could read what someone else has to say about it and trust that,but my nose is quite sensitive and I prefer to try in person. Boudoir was a no-no as I already own that and as it's quite heavy, I don't wear it too often, so don't need another. So I looked to the Alice range and decided on Flirty Alice, the lilac one. It's a limited edition scent and just comes in the one size (75ml) rrp £45, I believe it was £38.25 at Escentual.
On top of the already discounted price, this was the bank holiday weekend at the end of August and if you spent a certain amount you either got 10 or 15% off. I spent enough for the 15% discount, so got it for a really good price (£32 ish if I recall correctly) and got my lovely notebook too. The fragrance reminds me of Parma Violet sweets, you know those little hard purple things you used to (or still) get? It's much lighter than Boudoir and much more suited for daytime.
The notebook is stunning. It's something I would have no issue paying for. It comes boxed (even that is beautiful) and features this gorgeous sketch on the front. It's hardback and on the top of each (blank) page is the VW orb logo. There's even an orb marker on ribbon to keep your place. It's worth the splurge on the fragrance if pretty stationery is your thing. Last time I was in Debenhams they had this gift, so although it's a month on, I believe it's still available.
Next on my shopping list were some Dior items from the new Autumn collection I'd been coveting. A day after I'd taken these photos, I realised the lipstick I'd bought was still in the jiffy bag and I'd forgotten to photograph it with the others. So there were in fact five Dior items, not four, silly me!
I've really fallen in love with Dior again. You know I bought a lot of items from the summer look, but Mystic Metallics was on a whole other level for me, I love every single item. As always, Escentual are so great with the swatches on their blog and it really helped me narrow my selection down to these four things (one was from the main collection). I'll get that odd one out of the way now, it's a Mono Backstage Eyeshadow (the same as 'Spencer' I bought last time) in 616 Sequins.
Last time I was at the Dior counter (sussing out the MM collection while sniffing the VW fragrance!), I spied this amazing gold sparkly eyeshadow. Now Spencer was pretty sparkly, but this is like major glitter! Being Dior though, it's not your teen, chunky, sooo not for daytime glitter, it's finely milled, feels smooth to apply and actually has very little drop-out. It's a pale yellow gold and it was a nightmare to photograph because my camera just hates full on shimmer.
When swatched, it appears almost like a loose powder rather than pressed. The glitter particles appear suspended in a clear film and are incredibly twinkly. I wore this once last week and every time I caught reflection of myself in the mirror, I had to stop and stare and marvel at how pretty it is. In saying that, I'm pretty sure it gave me a migraine, because out of the corner of my eye I could see something reflective!
Onto the Mystic Metallics and despite these, I honestly don't buy eyeshadow very often, because I literally own hundreds of palettes and shadows that I know I'll never use up in one lifetime. So it has to be something really mega to make me buy it.  That was definitely the case with the coveted Dior quad or 5 Couleurs to give it it's proper name. It came in two variations, I got 384 Bonne Etoile and I'm utterly blown away by how amazing this is. I already own a couple of older quads, but this one is exceptional quality and the colours are fabulous.
The embossed star logo on the shadows is just a bonus for me, as if it wasn't pretty enough already!  The true amazingness of the shimmer or metallic finish is best seen in the images with the camera flash. At £41, £34.85 at Escentual (and £29.62 with my discount), I did think twice about paying so much for something I didn't really need, but I can honestly say this is worth every penny! I tried the lightest shade (top right) first and I've not got much further because I'm obsessed with it! It's a different kind of finish to Sequins, but again it is so beautifully twinkly, it's absolutely stunning to look at. I feel so guilty at night when I look in the mirror about to wash this off, as it's still looking as sparkly and as peppy as when I first applied it. It's completely mesmerising. I would've been happy to pay the full price for this shade alone!
It's probably the least attention grabbing colour of the bunch though as my swatches will reveal. I have dabbled with the centre copper shade once or twice and the pigment in this is so intense, I barely touched it and got a bold, opaque colour. The colours I haven't tried yet are a beautiful blue toned teal, which I think will look fabulous.  A dusky mint green, which is a little less pigmented than the others, but a very pretty colour.  Finally a really rather complex olive green with multi-tonal shimmer and a deep bronze cast.  The colours are so incredibly rich as you can see. I just dipped in once with a sponge applicator and swiped a few layers onto my hand and look how intense the swatches are. I think if there's one makeup item you buy this season, it should be this. I can't fault it.
While eyes go bold in this collection, lips are a little more muted. Ok, so I could've gone for the deep burgundy, but instead predictably opted for the nudes! I'm consistent if anything! This is where I really struggled to choose just one or two things. I ended up getting Addict Gloss in 311 Magic, the lightest of the four available colours.
It's a really light gold with beautiful shimmer (it's showing up darker in these photos). I might compare it with the other Dior glosses I recently bought in another post for you, if you're interested. It's possibly not very unique, but it's something I'll use a lot, so that's a winner for me. I'm also keen to pick up 364 Charm, which I believe my counter sold out of as they had some empty tester spaces on the stand last time I was there.
The lipstick which I first forgot to photograph is Addict Extreme in 369 Mystic. Again it was the lightest of the bunch and I don't have much to say on it. I find my swatch is looking a lot more orangey than I remembered.  It's a simple enough nude and I might also compare this with my other Extreme nude for you.
Finally from Dior is a nail polish which I picked up after liking the little duos I bought in the summer collection. There's a magnetic one in this collection, but I preferred the colour of this one. It's 992 Galaxie, a rich wine. I've been wearing it for the last couple of weeks (chipped to hell now as you can imagine). It applies a little darker than I expected from the colour in the bottle here. I think some people might not like the biggish flat brush. For me, it's great as I have large finger nails, but I suspect it will cause trouble for some. The silver lid pops off, so you use the round black one to apply, it's easier to grip. I like the brush as it means I can do a one swipe manicure and to be honest I could've left this at one coat, it was pretty opaque, but out of habit applied another.
Then I decided to go all-out and buy some Guerlain. Yeah I'm kinda hooked on the brand now. Their autumn (Voilette de Madame) collection is really pretty and although all of the colours aren't to my taste, I'm in love with the packaging. The thing I really did want was the Madame Rougit Blush 4 Couleurs. Now I'm warning you this one is pricey (as is most Guerlain), it's £42 (£37.80 at Escentual, £32.13 for me) and for someone who owns a lot of blush powders, it's not exactly essential, but I really wanted it.  
Like Dior, it comes housed in a velvet pouch and inside is a full size mirror along with the powder. Lift that powder 'tray' and underneath is an adorable bright brush (rather like my Dior one)! It's hygienic that it's kept away from the powder.
The blush itself is beautiful to look at. Made up of four colour stripes with the polka-dot 'net' embossed all over-the shimmering dots are just overspray and disappear almost just by looking at them! My Mum asked why I continue to buy pretty powders that I don't use, but I swear I'm going to use this one. It's not too pretty that I'll feel guilty swiping it. I even managed little swatches to prove I'll get stuck in! I dipped a cotton bud into each colour because I may have been trying to avoid the dots....but I promise I'll swish my big brush in next time!! You can see the colours vary, pink and peach. I think this will be a lovely colour when it's all swirled together. Guerlain are always quite strongly scented, I can smell this just pulling it out of the box, so that's something to consider before purchase.  The glitter in the swatches is from the items I swatched before (Dior Sequins) and not this was impossible to get all the glitter off! 
Unlike Dior, the lipsticks in this collection weren't my type of colours, but I really wanted one because of the limited edition packaging. I was mesmerised by the plain version of Rouge G I bought during the summer and this one comes with the spotty net effect on it! I bought the scary bright looking 862 Madame Reve, a neon orangey, red, pink hybrid. Actually when swatched it's a nice berry pink, deeper than I expected, although still not my colour. I'm looking forward to trying it on my lipstick challenge though and making it work.
Don't they look all pretty polka-dotting together?
I also decided to get the Rouge G I'd had my eye on all summer. Now I was flummoxed when I opened this one, because the colour was absolutely nothing like what I was expecting. I'd googled these lipsticks previously and 60 Gabrielle was a pale, milkshake pink. It's not at all, it's nude. As I'm not a die-hard Guerlain devotee, I don't know if there have been two different versions of this, maybe someone can shed some light on this for me? Certainly some images were pink and now that I re-look, some look more like the nude I got. Both are called 60 Gabrielle, which would be confusing though. Anyway thankfully I'm a fan of nude, so wasn't overly disappointed.
You can see there is a faint hint of shimmer in the bullet and the swatch. Not overly glittery. The case seems relatively plain, now that I have my fancy one to compare it with! These lipsticks are a nightmare to photograph by the way, because once you take them out of the case, there is no flat surface for them to sit on. You just have to hope you get a decent shot when they eventually stop spinning and rotating! In the case it's the mirrored surface that is difficult to photograph without a reflection of everything surrounding it and me taking the pic!
And that is it! What do you think, anything here take your fancy?