Thursday, 31 December 2009

Beauty Product of the Month:December - Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel

This has been my staple shower gel every winter time for about the last 3 years. It's a candy scented, glittery gel that lathers up really well in the shower. Don't be put off by the glittery bits though because they don't show on your skin! I think it might be a love it or hate it kind of product, because it is pretty strong and bordering on sickly sweet. I love Lush shower gels though because the scent really lingers on your skin unlike conventional shower gels where the scent tends to get washed away.
This is one of Lush's limited edition products that only gets released in the run up to Christmas. You can no longer buy it on their website, but if you're quick it should still be available in the Lush stores.

Happy New Year's ladies, hope everyone has an amazing evening. I'm off to Bristol for a change of scenery. I've always wanted to spend NYE in central London watching the fireworks at south bank but decided it's probably a bit too cold and overrated, and going out in London afterwards would be mega expensive, so I'm going to spend it somewhere not ridiculously overpriced!
See you in 2010.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Makeup Product of the month: December - Barry M Nail Paint, Racing Green

It’s not ideal, but since I forgot to bring my camera cable, I have had to make do with a stock photograph, apologies for that. I’ve chosen Barry M’s Racing Green Nail Paint (number 299) as this month’s make-up product of the month. I did blog about this product a while back, I bought it a while back, originally just to match my army girl outfit for my friend’s hen do. I didn’t own any green nail varnish, and had no reason to, green nails were, in my opinion, kind of ugly. Anyway, in search of a wearable green shade to complete my outfit, I reached for Barry M, knowing they offer the best range of different shades, almost every colour you could think of. There were some pretty vibrant, loud shades of green to choose from, but I went for Racing Green as it appeared the most wearable. I’d describe it as a classic, royal green. I’ve been sporting it a lot lately because it’s also a very festive colour, perfect for this time of year, as deep, dark colours always work in the winter. It's dark enough so that the colour isn't so in-your-face green.

This is one of the original, older nail paints, but the formulation is just as brilliant as the new ones. With a top coat this will easily last for 3 days chip free.
I'd just like to wish all my followers a very Happy Christmas, hope everyone's enjoying the holidays!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas Wishlist....

So with Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to compile a little polyvore with my Christmas wishlist. Some of these things I may be lucky to get, but for now I think the Balenciaga bag is just a little out of my reach! How gorgeous is this raisin coloured bag though? day!
Xmas wishlist
Xmas wishlist by onyx86 featuring Hollister Co. jeans

Monday, 30 November 2009

Beauty Product of the Month: November - Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Facial Exfoliator

This is by no means a new discovery to me; I’ve loved The Body Shop Tea Tree range for a number of years now, and wonder why I haven’t mentioned it sooner. This is a product suitable for weekly to twice weekly use to use in place of your usual facial wash. It’s meant for oily skin, and I wouldn’t recommend using this product any more than twice a week because it has quite a rich formulation. It’s described as a “polish”, and is very thick and creamy. The exfoliating beads are very gentle so it shouldn’t irritate your skin. After using for a few months either once or twice a week, this has helped to minimise the number of breakouts I get. Tea Tree oil is famous for its blemish beating properties so I’d highly recommend trying out this range. I’ve also used their face mask (not as luxurious as Lush’s face masks, but still great), the facial wash and the pure tea tree oil which you can apply directly to your spots overnight, or dilute and use as a toner.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Lush Humperdink

Yesterday I went to Leicester for the day. It was a bit of a mission from London, I had to get up super early. I had to go though because I had a dress fitting for my best friend's wedding. Its' the first time I've ever been a bridesmaid so I'm quite excited. I met with my parents for lunch afterwards because it seemed silly to travel all that way, be really close to where they live and not see them. I wandered around the shops afterwards and because it's now properly cold in England, all I could think of was getting back in to my warm flat and taking a bath.

I love the range of Christmas goodies they have in Lush, and this year they've really gone all out with the selection of bath and shower goodies. I'm a little bit addicted to the Snow Fairy shower gel and have used it the last two winters (if there's still some left by spring I put it away!), but never tried any of the bubble bars or bath ballistics. The bubble bars are my personal favourite, a bath is just not the same without bubbles! I found this little one called Humperdink which is supposed to be a Christmas elf. I think they put the eyes on too low, but if you use your imagination you can kind of see it. This is also supposed to be special to Leicester but I checked on the Lush website and they have this exact bubble bar available on there but under the name Wee Harry. Anyway, this has a gorgeous cinamon and spice scent, very nice for the winter time, and very relaxing too. I only used a third of this bar and that was plenty. I think I will have to check back at Lush and try out some more of their Christmas goodies, especially a bit nearer the time to get me in the Christmas spirit.

I hope everyone's had a great weekend so far. I'm off to see Paranormal Activity later. :s I probably won't sleep tonight.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Make-up Product of the Month: November - Barry M Blusher

I’ve just discovered Barry M’s latest addition to their range, the collection of blushes. I went for the most neutral, earthy, inoffensive shade, number 6. These blushers are seriously pigmented hence why I started off with a safe colour choice. I was really attracted to the vibrant pink shade, (number 2 or 3 I think) which is comparable to MAC’s Dolly Mix. After trying this out I’m definitely going to return and try out some other shades. Aside from the one I bought, the rest are a lot bolder, along with the Dolly Mix dupe there is one that reminds me of NARS’s Taj Mahal. I’ve never experimented with orange toned blushers but I think the price of Barry M definitely allows for trying out new colours without feeling like I’ve wasted money if I don’t like it.
(blusher without flash)

The perfectly pigmented, matte blusher is highly sought after, and this ticks both boxes. I personally love a bit of shimmer in my blush, but for a more natural day time look, matte is more preferable. So if you are on the hunt for a really pigmented blusher but could do without the shimmer that often comes along with it, then these are worth a look.

The blushers are £4.40 each, a bargain for 7g of product and especially good value for money because these blushers tend to stay put all day without the need for reapplying. I also don’t need a lot of product as a single wash of colour I find is enough.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

100 followers giveaway announcement

Thankyou to everybody who entered my giveaway. I assigned all the entrants a number and used to select a winner. Congratulations to Erica, you're the winner! I have emailed you so I'll get your prizes sent out to you soon. Thanks again to everyone who follows my blog, I hope to hold another contest some time soon.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Bourjois 1001 Lashes Mascara Review

I briefly mentioned this mascara in a recent post but didn't give much of an opinion on it. It turns out I really like this mascara. I have quite low expectations with Bourjois, I find their eyeshadows quite boring and not very well pigmented, their nail varnishes chip super quickly and anything else I've tried to be a little overpriced for the quality. That said, I do really like their mascaras. I went through a phase of wearing nothing but the Volume Glamour mascara, I loved the plumped up lashes I found myself with, that no other mascara could match with just one coat.

I've since become very fussy about what I want my mascara to do, and I no longer just want volume, but length and separation too. (We girls are allowed to be fussy!) I can't really fault Rimmel's Glam'Eyes mascara for achieving all three and that mascara has definitely earnt its place as one of my HG's. I would say the 1001 lashes mascara is on a par with Glam'Eyes. It might not look much in the picture below, but this is just one coat, and I've found that it's very easy to build up for a more dramatic look. Also I'm not blessed with very long or thick lashes!The bristles are shaped very similarly to Glam'Eyes and aren't at risk of snapping off, they're firm but flexible. What makes this mascara unique is the shape of the wand, the bristles are kind of twisted around which actually helps to coat more of your lashes. I would highly rate this mascara, it's good value for money, (on offer right now around £6 at Superdrug I think) and is a pretty innovative design.

I love the super sleek packaging too. I did at first think this was a lash primer because of the white packaging, but I've found it's easy to pick this out of my mascara collection amongst all the black tubes!
Bad points? I've noticed that as the day wears on, I end up with a slight black mark on my brow bone from this mascara. That's because it really curls my lashes up to the point where they keep touching my brow bone. Slightly annoying yes, but it goes to show what it can do for my sparse eyelashes. If they bring out a hardier, waterproof version I think my problem is solved.
Just another reminder about my giveaway. I will be picking the winner really soon, so you have one more day to leave a comment if you want to be entered!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

100 Followers Giveaway!

Hurray! I’ve reached 100 followers now and decided I really want to do a giveaway as a way of saying thank you to everybody who’s followed. It really means a lot that people take the time to read what I write so wanted to give something back! It’s really simple to enter, the only condition is that you are a follower of my blog. You can also leave a mention of my competition with a link on your own blog if you would like, but it's not compulsory.

Here are the prizes, (each of your choice!):
1x Barry M Nail Paint
1x Barry M Dazzle Dust
1x GOSH eyeliner
1x Sleek Eyeshadow Palette

I will post the prizes anywhere in the world, so this is a good opportunity if you live outside of the UK to get your hands on some great UK brands, but if you're under 18 please get parental permission. Just leave me a comment below to tell me you want to be entered. Contest closes at 10pm GMT on Tuesday 10th November.

Friday, 30 October 2009

A few little things...

Just wanted to share with you a few things I've bought in the last week or so. I love this floral top from New Look, it's a long length so looks great over leggings, though I've noticed a few people wearing this as a dress! I'm wearing it over tights for the purpose of the photo, but ordinarily would wear this over black leggings. Floral prints have been everywhere I know, but I thought this print was so cute I had to jump on the bandwagon. The outfit on the left is from Topshop. I bought a black high waisted skirt and this gorgeous pink cropped camisole top, it's kinda hard to explain what it is but I fell in love as soon as I saw it! I tried it on with the skirt and really liked the two together. Apologies for the snooty looking pose, I had it on self timer on my shelf, and I was looking down at it.In the picture I'm wearing it over a pink vest top, but as it's sheer, you can wear it with a different coloured top underneath for a different twist on the same outfit. This is good for me to be able to mix an outfit up as I get bored easily! Hopefully you'll be able to enlarge these photos to see the beading embellishments on this top. It's lovely detailing, one of the reasons Topshop is amongst my favourite high street shops. It came with a packet of spare beads which will be useful, I've already had to sew on one of the bead clusters as it got caught!
A few things I purchased in Superdrug today.
1001 lashes mascara which I admit I bought because of the sleek white packaging! I've only used this over mascara as a top coat so can't write a proper review on this yet, but what I can gather is this is a good mascara. It has a twisted brush which really felt like it was separating and coating my lashes really well.
A bottle of Batiste because I forgot to bring any with me and I can't live without it! This is in a travel size bottle which will be very handy. I also brought a travel size bottle of Palmer's Cocoa Butter because I needed something to really moisturise my legs as they'll be making a very rare appearance tomorrow night with my costume (I'm the sort of person to never get my bare legs out!).
Since the theme tomorrow is army girls, or "combat chick" as it says on the costume packaging, I bought Barry M's Racing Green nail paint. It's a very deep, dark green, which I thought was the most flattering out of their green collection, and they have the biggest green collection over any other brand I've seen I might add! Thanks for reading, have a fabulous weekend!


Here's a quick face and eye of the day post as I haven't done one of these for a long time. I'm back at the parentals this week and really had to limit what I brought with me because I'm off on a hen party tomorrow, then travelling back home to London on Sunday and didn't want to haul a big load around with me. When I'm forced to pack lightly, I find out that I really can cope with just a few pieces of makeup. So here's a FOTD with a few of my favourite makeup items that I brought back with me.
On my face I am wearing MAC Select foundation in NC25, set with Rimmel Clarifying Powder. I am wearing Too Faced blush in Papa Don't Peach over my cheeks and cheekbones with MAC's Springsheen concentrated on the apple of my cheeks. On my lips is my new favourite lipstick: MAC's High Tea.
All the eyeshadows are MAC, and here is one of the looks I've created with my pan collection so far. I have green eyes, so I find warm, golden shades really bring out the colour of my eyes. I applied All That Glitters all over the lid, with some Woodwinked on the outer corner. I also used Woodwinked to line the underneath on my eyes which you can't really see in the picture, but gives my eyes that extra pop, and it's the perfect consistency to line your eyes with. I believe it's a veluxe pearl shadow, which just glides on effortlessly. I used Twinks in the crease which is a gorgeous dark, dirty plum colour, it works really well with the golden shades and is really warming to my eyes. Shroom is a safe highlight colour for anyone in my opinion, I used it here on the browbone and the very inner corner of my eye just to finish the look. My eyes are lined with Loreal Superliner (my fave) and I'm wearing Rimmel Glam Eyes mascara and Bourjois1001 lashes on top of that.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Review

I spotted these gorgeous nail lacquers in TK Maxx and was instantly drawn to them, not just for the colours but the amazing price tag. A box of three with a retail worth of £45 being sold for just £16.99! I don’t own any makeup by Yves Saint Laurent but have for some time been keen to try it out. Nail polish is always a good place to start and I liked all the colours that were part of this bundle. There is: number 28 – Starry Rose, number 37 – Dark Blue, and number 38 – Moonlight White.
(without flash)
(with flash)
I spotted the dark blue first and fell in love with the colour, it’s perfect for this time of year, a very deep blue which looks almost black, it’s only when you take the brush out of the bottle you can tell it’s really blue. Starry Rose is a very easy to wear pink, with a touch of glamour with the glitter particles which makes this a nice choice for wearing to go out. In the picture below I am wearing Moonlight White. I used to own a shade very similar to this years ago but failed to replace once I’d used it up. In the bottle it appears white, with a blue shimmer when you move it around. On your nails, the blue really comes out, as does a pink undertone, the overall effect is a pearl finish. It’s very flattering and suitable for any occasion, it makes a nice change to your typical white tipped manicure. The pictures are both taken in natural light.I would highly recommend any of these nail polishes, they dry very quickly, and after three days of wear have shown no signs of chipping. They do give off quite a strong odour when you’re painting your nails, which I guess is the price paid for the quality of the varnish, just make sure you’re in a well ventilated room would be my advice! I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay their RRP of £16 a piece, but for three, I’m very happy. You can look at all the shades available here:
and see that there are many classic shades to choose from. I have my eye on number 1 – sublime red. Has anyone else been impressed by La Laque?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Beauty Product of the Month: October - Naked Colour Protection Shampoo & Conditioner

There was a gap in the market that I feel Naked products have come along and filled very nicely. Natural beauty products that are effective and affordable. I was looking for a new shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair and attracted to this brand with its 97% natural tag. My hair has become somewhat damaged since summer, with constant washing and sun damage on top of the dying I’ve been subjecting my hair to. My hair is in dire need of some treatments and a good quality shampoo. I’m a big believer that nature knows best, with Lush being one of my favourite shops to buy from. What I like about Naked products compared to Lush is that they come in a conventional form, i.e. liquid form in a bottle. I know this is not great news for the environment, solid shampoos are a lot kinder, but this is what I’m used to and find the easiest method, in terms of storing and using the product. Using the Naked shampoo is different to more conventional, less natural shampoos however, and when applying to my hair, I did wonder where the lather was! I think we’ve become conditioned to believing that SLS’s are necessary for cleaning our hair, clothes, dishes, or whatever other products they can be found in. Whilst SLS’s are effective detergents, the lathering of these products is not responsible for cleaning and there are plenty of alternatives out there which are safer to use. Naked does not contain SLS or any parabens which are responsible for preserving the product, and it does not lather. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t clean effectively and you don’t need to use more of the product to compensate. My hair is naturally quite oily at the roots, so the only disadvantage with this product is I have to work it well into my scalp to remove the oil. I’m more than happy to do this though if it means using a shampoo that doesn’t have any grey areas surrounding the safety of it.

I love the smell of this shampoo, it contains sunflower extract and cinnamon with the latter lingering in your hair after washing. I suppose it’s not for everybody but personally I love this smell, and it’s proven to help preserve the colours in your hair. I use the matching conditioner, which is more sunflower extract based and still smells appealing even if I can’t quite place the scent. After shampooing, your hair can feel a little dry and limp, but the conditioner helps to put back the moisture and volume and after drying, I’m happy with the results. There are a few variations of this shampoo and conditioner for different hair types, and at the bargainous price of £3.91 for a 250ml bottle it’s worth a look at. Often in places like Boots this product is on offer too so there’s another incentive!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Make-up Product of the Month: October - MAC's High Tea Lipstick

I bought this lipstick whilst I was on the hunt for a shade a little bit different to what I usually reach for. I was after a nude shade, but the usual suspects from MAC, i.e. Myth, Creme de Nude and the like are not always what I’m looking for. I love Creme de nude, and it looks great with a smokey eye for an evening look, but on a day to day basis with neutral makeup, it can make me look a bit washed out, especially this time of year. Wanting to find a lipstick that would do more for my complexion led me to High Tea. It’s still a nude shade, but not in the same sense as Creme de Nude, it doesn’t make your lips paler than they really are. On the website it is described as a “beiged pink with small particle pearl” and the shade appears to be as light as the other nudes I mentioned. However, I really wouldn’t put this in the same category, and in person it is somewhat darker. It adds a nice warmth to the lips which in some lights, has an almost brown shimmer to it. If, on the other hand, you have quite pigmented lips, this would help to tone them down and I think this would also be a great nude choice for people with darker skin tones. So with that, I would class this lipstick as a more universal nude which unlike a “true” nude can be pulled off by most of us.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Beauty finds of the month so far

I am trying to complete my MAC palette, and getting there slowly. MAC shadows are a little pricey so I’m quite happy to fill just the one palette with colours for everyday wear and I’m choosing colours that I know I will wear frequently and not get bored of. The palettes are also useful for travel as it’s more convenient to have all my shadows in one place. Three of the shadows I chose I’ve seen blogged about a lot, and really felt these colours were staples that I had to have in my collection, they are: All That Glitters, Satin Taupe and Shroom. Shroom I think is the perfect highlight colour, it brightens your eyes without being too brassy like a pure white eyeshadow. My fourth choice was close to being Carbon which I consider another staple colour, but I noticed a close shade to this called Typographic. I think Carbon is such a popular shade as it’s possibly MAC’s darkest, closest to black shade. However, I think for a lot of amateurs like myself, black is not a very forgiving colour and unless applied flawlessly can really make your eyes look smaller. After swatching Typographic, which looks incredibly similar to Carbon on first glance, I could see that this was a more muted version of the colour, more of a dusky grey colour, and the consistency was more concentrated yet blendible, a combination I thought would work well for me, so I chose this as the darkest colour in my palette.

Also in the picture is the GOSH Extreme Art eyeliner. I was keen to try this out after being impressed with their various pencil eyeliners, and have not been let down by this. I like GOSH’s colour collection, although it’s not as big as I would like, I feel like they could provide a few more experimental colours, I do like the majority of colours there are to choose from. Some are quite different and might be colours I would usually avoid, for example I’m not a great lover of blue on my eyes, but in the form of a quick line near the lashes, I think it’s possible to be more daring and try out colours you’re afraid of or not used to. I do slightly wish GOSH would work on improving the brush because I don’t find it very user friendly. I have become accustomed to Loreal’s Superliner which as well as being of great quality, is honestly the easiest liquid eyeliners to apply I’ve ever used. So comparing the two, I find the shape of the applicator quite difficult to apply, it’s the same thickness from root to tip, not gradiated like the Loreal liner. I also find that it picks up slightly too much liner so I find myself getting eyeliner in places where it shouldn’t be like on my eyelashes. Hopefully with practice I will learn a better technique in order not to do this.

The other MAC product featured here is High Tea lipstick which I haven’t seemed to put down this month so I will write a little more on that in another post and include a few extra pictures. Sorry the picture quality is not great, the days are getting shorter now we’re getting closer to winter and the lighting once I’m home from work is not great.

Onto my latest hair product purchase, and right now I’m loving this straightening spray which bizarrely, (I found) is a Morrison’s own brand product. I will give a full review of this product very soon, but for now just want to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this product, quite smug in knowing I only paid £1 for it! It’s formulated with vitamin B5 which is a key ingredient in rival brands and seems to be giving my dry, lacklustre blonde locks more of a shine than it used to have, so I'll be updating with a full review of this product very soon.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Beauty Product of the Month - September: Blanx Intense stain removal toothpaste

(I know this is super late, but I still wanted to throw this in, and hopefully get back on track with my blogging now!)

Teeth whitening has now become as big an obsession in the UK as it is in the States. I’m sure the rise of celebrity culture has a large part to do with that, it’s rare to turn on the TV or open a magazine and not see bright pearly whites gleaming back at you, and I suppose like a lot of people, I too have looked at the possible ways of making my teeth whiter, and I’ve been slightly horrified at the lengths some people are willing to go to, to achieve such results, risking losing not only a lot of money but the health of their teeth.Toothpastes that are designed to whiten your teeth cannot change the natural colour of your teeth but can help to remove the stains. I haven’t been down the path of having expensive procedures at the dentist, but I’m happy to use safe whitening toothpastes. What I like about Blanx is it’s a little bit different to other whitening toothpastes on the market. It’s based on arctic lichen which was discovered by scientists in the arctic. They found that the native population had exceptionally white and healthy teeth from using lichen on their teeth and gums. Blanx is one of the least abrasive whitening toothpastes on the market which means it does not damage the enamel of your teeth.

I have read too many horror stories of teeth bleaching gone wrong that I have been put off from this process. In the short run, it can cause teeth sensitivity to hot and cold, in the long run, it can cause damage to your enamel. I recommend this product because it is perfectly safe to use and rather than harshly whitening your teeth, it’s aim is to return teeth to their own natural whiteness. I have used the other products in the Blanx range, but the Intense Stain Removal toothpaste is the only one I have noticed considerable difference with. I’m an avid tea drinker and had started to notice slight tanning at the sides of some of my teeth, and this toothpaste managed to easily remove it. Admittedly it is unnatural to have amazingly white teeth, but I can’t see this obsession fading away any time soon. If I knew a perfectly safe way to have the whitest teeth myself, I’m sure I would, but for now, I’m happy using this.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Fashion's Bright Side

In this season’s Style and Design supplement to Time magazine, there features a heading on the cover “Fashion’s Bright Side: 12 women who are redefining luxury in a new era.” Amongst articles on Donna Karen, a CEO of fashion label 3.1 Phillip Lim and ex-creative director of the label Rocawear, there’s a space dedicated to none other than Lauren Luke. This feature in the magazine takes the time to honour women whose role in fashion is significant and in keeping with the changing times. The stories of these women are truly inspirational and it’s refreshing to read about fashion with a heart so if you want to read more in depth about any of these yourself, go to:,28804,1921163_1921155,00.html

The piece on Lauren Luke calls her an “Internet makeup guru” which is what we all know and love her for, but reading about her in this particular magazine really made me feel so proud of her, cementing her role in the beauty industry. I’ve followed Lauren’s videos from the beginning and seen her rise to fame. She’s not only popular on the internet but increasingly more people are aware of her who haven’t seen her videos or the journey she’s been on. Lauren is finally being recognised for the talent that she has. So congratulations Lauren!

Here is Lauren's piece:,28804,1921163_1921155_1921160,00.html

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Make-up Product of the Month - September: Rimmel Clean Complexion Clarifying Powder

I wanted to give a little rave about a product I’ve been using a lot this month: Rimmel London’s Clean Complexion Clarifying Powder. I believe this is available in a few shades, but I bought the Transparent version, number 021 because I didn’t want the hassle of matching it up to my current foundation. I bought this because I find that when using a liquid foundation, if it isn’t MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid, then I need a powder to touch it up and keep away that shine. This product works beautifully for that and I love the fact that it contains natural minerals. I’m still a tiny bit sceptical of mineral products and how natural some of them are, and I’m not sure how this powder differs from Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder in Transparent. I haven’t used it so I can’t compare, but it is possible this is the same product marketed a slightly different way. Either way, it’s still great and I find if I apply on top of my foundation in the morning, I only need to apply it again in the afternoon to get my make-up looking new and refreshed. It’s very easy to apply but I would stress that this product is for setting your foundation and taking away shine, it will not provide any extra coverage. As for its claims it contains ingredients that help minimise breakouts, again I’m not so sure, but it certainly hasn’t increased my breakouts, so if this is a problem for you with other powders you have used, by all means try this.Clear complexion is widely available and is really cheap! I believe I only paid £3 for this. It’s quite easy to overlook because of its cheap and non-descript packaging, but it does the same job as its more expensive rivals so for that reason, I am featuring it as my MUPOTM. The only downside (and I have to say this because let’s face it most products have something you’d like to make better), is that it doesn’t come with a sponge applicator. Because I use this on the go, I prefer a sponge applicator just because it’s so easy, but I guess this leaves you the option to use a brush to apply it with if you would rather.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


I was very excited to hear I’d won a prize in let there be shopping’s contest. I won two products I have been quite eager to try. Firstly there’s the much blogged about Colorsensational lipstick by Maybelline in Ambre Rose. I’ve had a chance to try it out now and am really happy with it. I really like the consistency of this lipstick, it’s very moisturising and has a nice glossy feel to it, so I don’t feel the need to wear a gloss over the top. The colour pay-off is pretty impressive too, this is one of the most neutral colours in the range but still makes a considerable difference to my lips. I would recommend viewing these lipsticks for yourself, if you like your dark shades or reds, there’s plenty to choose from, but make sure you swatch them because I find the colours very untrue to the stickers on the bottom. I’ve never really found the colours of the stickers very useful, but they are particularly unhelpful with this range of lipsticks!
The second product I received was the Sleek pout polish in Electro Peach. I'm a huge Sleek fan so keen to try out any of their products, I haven't had a single disappointment yet which is great for a relatively new brand. The colour is very bright and conventionally a bit off putting for someone of my skintone. You can get quite a good colour pay-off with this product if that’s what you want, but I will use this in the same way I’d use a lip balm, just a small amount so the colour is a lot less scary. I actually love the smell of this, it reminds me of a Natural Collection set of stackable lipbalms I had when I was younger and used to death (they were such a novel idea, I wish they’d bring them back!). There are some key ingredients in here which are very beneficial for keeping your lips in good condition, those being: Jojoba oil, Shea butter, Sweet almond oil and avocado oil. I was quite surprised to see so many nourishing ingredients in one product, especially one not from Lush! May need to stock up on a few more of these, I'll see how I get on with it for a few days and see if there's any improvement to the condition of my lips.
So big thanks to Marcia for the prizes. xXx

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Weekend away

I feel like I haven’t blogged in such a long time, I’m so sorry! I’ve been pretty busy and exhausted after starting my new job. I’m getting in to the swing of it now so will be able to catch up with all of your blogs, and hopefully begin writing again. I just want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who’s become a follower, I’m getting close to the 100 mark now which is very exciting. When I get there I want to do a giveaway featuring some Barry M and Sleek goodies, but more about that nearer the time. It really means a lot that people take the time to read my posts and leave comments, and I still get excited when I see I have a new follower, so thank you so much, it’s really appreciated.

Anyway, before I sound completely cheesy, I'll move onto my weekend news. Because I feel like I’ve been working so hard during the week, it’s important to try and make the most of the weekend, so this weekend I got to go away with friends to the south coast and stay in a cottage in a place called Rye. It was very idyllic, I felt completely relaxed and it was almost like going back in time. I felt a million miles away from London, which sometimes is just what you need, at least for a weekend.

This is the cottage we stayed in, so pretty. It's in a tiny place called Winchelsea, the sort of place where everyone says hello to one another and is completely peaceful.

View from the bedroom, I could have got used to waking up to the gorgeous garden in the morning. I hope I get another chance to see this place, it's not really somewhere I could live but it makes the perfect getaway. It's particularly special to me because I'm a total beach bum at heart, and being from the Midlands it wasn't easy to just go to the beach for the day so I really savour my time on the beach, wherever it is.

(Back to make-up and beauty posts soon, I promise.)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Skincare Routine: Updated and budgeted!

Every now and again I like to mix up my skincare a bit. I find something, or a combination of products that work for me, but then still feel the need to try something else, in case maybe it’s better. I’ve been on the poor side recently so I’ve been looking for inexpensive yet efficient products. I love the brand Simple, and have done for a long time now, I like that I’m using products that both do the job they’re intended for and are kind to my skin. Their oil balancing moisturiser is one I’ve stuck with even if I’ve changed my cleanser and toner. It’s not that I don’t want to try anything else; I know that one day my skin will change and I will need a moisturiser more hydrating, but for now this is the perfect moisturiser for me. Having said all this, I did actually change it recently! I ran out of my HG moisturiser and had to replace it, I only had time to go to one shop and they only stocked the light and heavy (or intense?not sure what it’s called) Simple moisturisers. I went for the light, and I think it’s great. I really don’t like to use perfumed moisturisers, or perfumed anything for that matter, on my face. This is just a really basic, no frills moisturiser that will suit most people, yet when I buy Simple I still feel like I’m buying a decent product, where the quality isn’t jeopardised. I’m also using Biore’s Pore Unclogging Scrub in place of my favourite face wash Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin, because it’s half the price! It does the job, but I don’t believe it’s a better product in any way and I can’t wait to go back to my Lush. The cleanser by Simple is pretty standard, not designed for a specific skin type as is the toner which I’m using in place of Lush Tea Tree Water, all to save the pennies!

I start my new job tomorrow (eeee!) so after payday I can carry on shopping as normal and would like to experiment a bit more with high end products, or at least return to my favourite mid-range: Lush, but really I’m wondering if I need to spend a lot on beauty products. I know I shouldn’t really moan about having no money in times like these because I wasn’t made redundant unlike the scenario for a lot of people out there, I left my job willingly to move to London, and luckily it worked out for the best. But in my time of thrift, I’ve learned how to budget properly and not waste money, important life lessons! I was thinking, when it comes to skincare, what products do I really not need to spend very much money on. For a face-wash, I like the product to be as close to nature as possible, which often means it’s more expensive. I prefer using Lush because even though the product gets washed away, there are no nasty chemicals in there which can make your skin worse. I believe a cleanser, since it’s a product that has a primary purpose to take off make-up and wipe away impurities, can be skimped on. It doesn’t really benefit your skin too much to have fancy ingredients. The ingredients will not stay on your skin long enough to make any real difference. Toners and moisturisers on the other hand stay on the skin longer. Toners leave a residue as they tighten and close your pores, and moisturisers are obviously designed to sink into your skin. So finding a good quality moisturiser that works for you is important, since this is also the base for your make-up. I’ve always felt like I would be willing to spend more on a great moisturiser, but then I’ve seen television programmes and read in magazines how Simple comes out on top even next to a brand like Chanel in a blind test and wonder if it’s really necessary to splurge, especially since I love Simple myself.

So I guess this is a post to show you what I’m using right now, and give you some ideas if you’re budgeting like me! But also to ask the question: which high end skincare products do you use that you don’t feel like you could find a drugstore equivalent to? Or are you happy using drugstore?

Monday, 31 August 2009

Beauty Product of the Month - August: Olive Oil

Before the month runs out, (honestly where has August gone?!) I wanted to post my products of the month. I haven’t really been spending recently which in a way is a good thing because it gives me the chance to recommend a product that I probably wouldn’t normally, but is a cheap and safe to use product. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have found efficient alternatives to using eye make-up remover, but I only started using olive oil to remove my make-up about 8 weeks ago. As you can see, in that time, I’ve only just used beyond the neck of the bottle which I think is brilliant for a two month period! One of the benefits of using olive oil over traditional eye make-up removers is the safety of the product. Not that eye make-up removers are dangerous, but you know that using olive oil, it’s 100% natural with no harsh chemicals. It’s also very effective in removing make-up. I tend to make the area around my eye wet with cotton wool first, and then apply a small drop of olive oil onto a cotton ball and just wipe. I was amazed at how little I actually need and made the mistake when I first used this of applying too much, and ended up with a stingy eye situation! I’ve since learned to ration correctly and find this as good, if not better than the more expensive brands I was using before. It doesn’t need to be a fancy brand of olive oil either, as you can see, I went for Morrisons own brand, which costs £1 for a 250ml bottle! It’s a great cost cutting technique and means you’ll have a few extra pounds to spend on something more exciting!

Make-up Product of the Month - August: Too Faced Brightening Blush

So here’s the second make-up product I picked up during my little birthday spree. You’ve probably seen it before because I don’t think it’s a new product, but I hadn’t and it was something that really caught my eye when I swatched it. It’s a “Brightening Blush” and comes in 3 different colours. You can choose from Pinch My Petals; a pink colour, Mocha Mi Amore; a brown; or the one I opted for Papa Don’t Peach; a soft peach colour (of course!). They are designed to be universally flattering which I honestly think Too Faced have nailed with the three colours they chose. Even the Mocha blush which is obviously darker than the other two would not look out of place on someone of pale complexion because these are sheer pigmented blushers which are really easy to build up if you happen to want a heavier application. You can’t really see how pretty the colour is until you swatch this product. The testers didn’t really look like they could deliver such a flattering, appealing colour, and if I’m honest it was the pretty packaging that drew me over to them. It comes in a box quite similar to the Benefit blushers and bronzers, square-shaped and made from cardboard. I love the retro design, built in mirror and polka dot pattern inside. Papa Don’t Peach gives my cheeks a lovely golden/pinky/peach glow which is just the right amount of shimmery without making my face look shiny. It gives me the exact effect I hoped and expected from MAC’s mineralise blushers that were released with the Colour Craft collection, but never achieved. This was definitely a good investment, is a product I know I will repurchase when I run out, and really want to recommend to you to go and check it out if you haven’t!
I attempted to do swatches for you, but it turned out better to just wear it! I've layered it on heavier than I would normally so you can see the colour better.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

No.7 Extravagant Lashes Mascara Review

I mentioned that I bought a couple of make-up products for my birthday. This was really reserved for me, I feel like I’ve been neglecting my wardrobe by buying so much make-up so wanted to buy more clothes than cosmetics. I will give reviews of the products I did buy though. First up, I chose this mascara because I thought it looked interesting. Extravagant Lashes Mascara has an innovative square shaped wand, which I was intrigued to see how it would work, I’ve only ever known mascara wands to be circular so was curious to see what effect a square shape would have on my lashes. At first I was not impressed with this mascara and would go so far as to say I hated it, now however, what started off as a negative review has turned into an actually this is ok review. My main reservation with this mascara is the fact that the bristles (I’m not sure you’d call them that but I don’t know what else to call them, I mean those rubbery bits!) are too far apart. As a result, you do get thick, long, curly, extravagant lashes, but you don’t get many lashes! To me they look too clumped together. The effect is even though, and I can see why some people would really like this effect because it does make my lashes stand out. Hopefully these pictures will better explain what I’m talking about.
One thing I have learnt with mascaras, perhaps rather belated of me, is that each one that is different in design needs a different technique to using it. I find some mascaras great at doing one job such as the lower lashes, and other mascaras horrible because they’re better on the top lashes. Extravagant Lashes Mascara I find to be rather difficult for the bottom lashes as well as the inner corner lashes, that’s mostly down to the sheer size of the brush, it’s pretty hefty! The first time I used this mascara, I had real difficulty applying it, hence why I was going to give it a negative review. But after realised I need to be extra careful when applying I’ve found a way to make it work for me. I really need to almost bury it into my lashes because if you can see it in the pictures, there are smaller bristles that help to separate and distribute the mascara. I think this is a flaw in the design, if the smaller bristles were closer to the top they would help to separate the lashes further. I’m not sure if I would recommend this mascara, or its’ £11.50 price tag. If you like your lashes blatantly looking like you’re wearing mascara then yes I would. I like the idea of extravagant lashes but if I was to recommend a mascara over this I would say Glam Eyes by Rimmel. It does Add Imageeverything, volumises, lengthens and separates beautifully. This mascara is by No.7 which if you spend a certain amount in Boots, you can get a £5 voucher for use on No.7, this is why I bought it, and think it is a more suitable price tag for the quality of the product.
Have a wonderful Saturday night :) xXx

Thursday, 27 August 2009


You may already have seen a picture of Layla I posted on Twitter, but I just wanted to show you a few more pictures. Layla is a four week old Lhasa Apso pup. She won’t really be my dog because I don’t live with my parents anymore but I’ll still feel like she is. I always wanted a dog growing up but we never got one because it wouldn’t really have been fair to leave her on her own during the day. Now my Dad’s retired, me and my brother have moved out, so it seems the perfect time for my parents to get a dog, to replace the kids! There were four puppies in the litter, three girls and a boy and I thought Layla had the nicest temperament, and she’s gorgeous. I can’t wait for her to come home, and I’ll be going back to see her as much as I can.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Birthday Weekend

Sorry I’ve been on the quiet side for the past week. I’ve been at my parents' house with my boyfriend. My birthday was on Sunday so I went back to celebrate with my family and friends. It was really nice to go back home to see everybody and breathe some fresh Midlands air. Saturday night was spent having a meal with my parents followed by a night out in my hometown. It was great to have a catch-up with everyone and my town is the kind that always feels like home, no matter how long I'm away, and I can’t argue with the cheap drink prices compared to London prices.

I did get some birthday shopping in too and wanted to show you a few things I bought courtesy of the bf, he gave me the money to choose my own pressies.
I actually spent most of my birthday money whilst I was still in London. I went to Bluewater for the first time a of couple weeks ago and LOVED it! It’s the most Americanised shopping centre I’ve been to in the UK which is a good thing because I love American malls, and I believe this is also the biggest one in the UK, I could be wrong, there’s probably an even bigger one by now, but it’s great all the same, definitely worth the travel out of London for the convenience of having everything under one roof. I love the fact it has a Hollister store too, this was the first time I realised we even stocked Hollister and it makes me very happy and nostalgic of my exchange year in Florida. Although the summery clothes have limited wear over here, there’s still some great pieces to layer. Unfortunately the price tags aren’t as I remember, I lived there during a time when I could just halve the price of everything to work out the price in £. Now things seem mega expensive! I only got this simple vest top in the end, I love the colour, and hopefully it should wear well, otherwise I can’t really justify spending £12 on such a top when I could have bought one for £4. Oh well, I love Hollister :p. Also in the picture, I bought another vest top from Topshop, love the lace detailing on the back, a couple of scarves from H&M, necklace from Accessorize, bangles from Muse, (a bargain jewellery shop which I’m pretty certain has the same distributors as Accessorize, Topshop and the like, very similar items), Too Faced Blush and No7 Extravagant Lash Mascara. I will probably do separate reviews on the makeup products because I am thrilled with one and disappointed with the other, can you guess which?!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

MAC Select Foundation Review, comparison to SFF

I’ve been using this foundation long enough to give a more in-depth review now. I originally changed to this from Studio Fix Fluid because it is easier to get lighter coverage from. I felt like SFF was too heavy for summer and although it doesn’t give you that caked on feel like a lot of foundations, it’s easy to feel cakey when the weather is hot and sunny, so I’m letting it breathe! Select is advertised as being “medium coverage” but in my experience I’ve found it easy to get a light coverage from it. The Mineralise Satinfinish foundation offers light to medium coverage, but I opted for this one over it because it’s more suitable for oily skin. Satinfinish offers a dewy glow, but I think us oily skin girls know this doesn’t really work for us.

The first considerable difference I notice with this foundation compared to SFF is the smell. Those that have used SFF know that the smell is not exactly desirable. Select smells less like Dulux, and more like how a foundation should smell. That’s not a major criticism of SFF because the smell does eventually fade, that or you just get used to it. With Select, I think I use a slightly bigger quantity than SFF, where a little goes a long way. I’m used to using one small pump full, but with Select, it’s more like one and a half. It is runnier in consistency and you have to blend it more to get the same flawless finish, but the matt effect is very similar. It holds my blusher or bronzer really well although I’ve noticed my tea zone looking oily after wearing this for the whole day, something that I didn’t notice with SFF. That’s not to say it’s the foundation, because I don’t, like a lot of people, set my foundation with powder, I don’t know why, it’s just a step I often miss out. Also this is the only liquid foundation I’ve worn over summer so it’s quite possible that SFF would cause me the same problem with oilyness. I think it is still a durable foundation, and maybe I am asking too much for a foundation to stay flawless and matte for a whole day. I’ve worn this on a night out and at the end of the night my make-up has stayed in place, and, blurry-eyed, I didn’t notice any oilyness which is impressive because I still must have worn it for at least 5-6 hours. Overall, Select has served me well over the summer, and I will continue with this into autumn where hopefully with less hot weather, it should prove even more durable. I have noticed slightly more breakouts since using this but I can’t say directly this is because of the foundation it could be a number of factors so I wouldn’t want that to put you off if you’re thinking of buying it. I’ve used SFF and expected an increase in breakouts since it’s chemically harsher, but my skin was just fine. I’d be interested to know if anyone else had that problem with this foundation though.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Why exercise doesn't make you thin...

If I had to choose between eating anything I wanted and exercising every day, or not exercising at all and eating an extremely healthy diet, I’d choose the latter every time. I feel healthy if I eat healthily and sluggish if I eat processed, fatty foods, even if I exercise to burn it off. Having said that, I was surprised to read in Time magazine an article entitled “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” and you can read it here.

The article starts by explaining that the concept of exercise being essential to lose weight is relatively new. In fact pre-1960, rigorous exercise was not recommended, particularly for older people who might injure themselves. Yet now, doctors encourage even their oldest patients to exercise because of other potential benefits of staying active, such as maintaining cognitive function.

It seems the reason why relying on exercise as a means to lose weight will not work is that the more calories we burn, the more we eat to compensate for the calories lost. To prove this, a control experiment was carried out with four groups of overweight women each undergoing different intensities of exercise. The control group did no more than their usual routine and the results concluded that the groups who exercised did not lose significantly more weight than the control group, some even gained weight. The reason behind this apparently is that whether exercise made these women more hungry than usual and so they ate more, or if a snack was eaten in reward for completing the exercise, more calories had been consumed in compensation and since we’re not designed to dispose of excess calories, it quickly turns to fat. It seems like the solution is simple, we just need to have more willpower, but the article counteracts this with a theory of evolution that we can’t for very long maintain willpower, the more we try the harder it is. Perhaps this is the reason behind so many yo-yo dieters.

None of this sounds very promising, but what I can gather from this article, is that there’s not much evidence to suggest that we need to do vigorous exercise, but simply keeping active throughout the day is enough. Another reason why strenuous exercising does not really help us to lose weight is the idea that if you were to go to the gym for an hour one day, you are more likely to remain sedentary for the rest of that day, and again another study supports this.
This is something I found easy to comprehend. I for one am guilty of eating more than usual after exercising. Does that mean I lack all self control? For me exercising is not about losing weight, it’s about keeping fit. I feel like the more I do, the more I want to do, and while I could just do simple things throughout the day like taking the stairs instead of the lift, I like the rush of endorphins I get after exercise and as long as it’s done safely, i.e. properly warm down the muscles afterwards, then I don’t see how my body is being put under too much stress. I certainly feel healthier if I’ve been for a jog and surely that’s important in actually being healthy? I thought the article over simplified the complex nature of humans and the fact that we’re all different. I know personally of people who have exercised, successfully lost weight and kept it off. I know changing their diet helped immensely but I doubt that simply walking more would be as effective as doing more vigorous cardiovascular exercise at shedding those extra pounds. Perhaps the key is to reward yourself with something healthy rather than calorific.

I did agree with the fundamental argument of the article and that was that we’ve moved away from leisure activities like walking and gardening, which used to be a big part of our lives. The point is we live in a world where it’s all too easy to not be active and have everything done for us. The most important thing is to remain active and enjoy what leisure activities you do. As long as shopping exists I think I’m pretty safe in keeping active.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Beach Chic

I'm not going on any beachy holidays this year. :( I'm not even going on a holiday of any description, or at least I haven't planned to. This summer has had it's good moments, a few hot sunny days here and there, but on the whole, a pretty dismal summer! I swear English summers never used to be this poor. I actually did this polyvore at the start of "summer" thinking that wearing an outfit similar to this on the beach would be a distinct possibility. Well it never happened, but I looked to it today to make me feel better and remind me of happy days spent on the beach. I love playsuits, and think a one piece outfit is ideal to slip in and out of on the beach, and I love the style and colour of this one, reds and oranges are perfect for the beach, complimented with metallic accessories.

Here's a breakdown of the items. I really want the sunnies!

Gold Snake Toe Post Sandals - Miss Selfridge, £18.00
Ditsy Frill Playsuit by Rare - Topshop, £25.00
Carved Oriental Flower Bangle - Accessorize, £6.00
Ethnic Sprial Cuff - Accessorize, £10.00
Baby Flower Cluster Earrings - Accessorize, £6.00
Straw Cowgirl Sun Hat - Miss Selfridge, £18.00
Aero Logo Tote - Aeropostale, around £3.00
Ring Bandeau Bikini - Topshop, £25.00
Saskia Rounded Oversized Sunglasses - ChloĆ©, around £213.00

Sunday, 9 August 2009


This was actually face of the day a couple of days ago. It was super hot today, so fotd quickly melted! Hopefully you can see the Patina eyeshadow on the lid here. The finish of MAC frost eyeshadows is quite subtle, but pretty, and I love the irridescent effect. I'm wearing Patina on the lid, Tempting in the crease, Hush as a highlight, and the darker shade from the Nars duo; Paris in the outer corner, Refined Golden as a bronzer and the lips are au naturel.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin