Friday, 31 December 2010

Layla and Buster getting together for Christmas

I couldn't get my pictures I took back home up over Xmas, so I'm getting round to it now. I feel slightly ashamed at myself, looking back through my camera that the vast majority of my photographs are of the dogs, not my family! What can I say...

I drove up to my parents house in the Midlands on Tuesday night after taking some tests for my course in the city. I'm so glad we decided to drive up that night as early Wednesday morning brought a lot of snow to the region. I feel like the snow has followed me because we had a lot in the South when no other regions had any, and the South escaped it this time around! I don't mind the snow when it doesn't disrupt my plans, but no-one loves it as much as Layla seems to. She had a lot of fun running around in the snow, and even helped my boyfriend build a snowman.On Christmas day she opened her presents. She figured out how to do it once she's watched everyone else open theirs. I think she liked her presents, although a squeaky snowman was broken before it was out of the wrapper.On boxing day, her best friend Buster (a Maltese terrier) came over to visit. They become very energetic together, chasing each other and play fighting. Here's a rare calm moment I was lucky to capture.

Happy New Year everyone!

Lush Wild Child gift box and a few extras...

First of all, I loved the name of this gift box from Lush. Wild Child is full of sweet and fruity scented goodies. It contains the blackcurrant fruit pastille scented shower jelly Sweetie Pie which I have previously reviewed. It has the Rockstar soap which is the same fragrance as Snow Fairy shower gel. Bubblegum lip scrub, Up you Get shower emotibomb and Happy Hippy shower gel. It's a great set with a good mix of products in it and I will review these items individually at a later date.
I also got a few extra Lush bits as stocking fillers, you're never too old for a stocking!Daddy O shampoo which smells like parma violets, I've never tried a Lush liquid shampoo so was quite excited about this.Honey trap lip balm, again another product I have not tried before, I've already clumsily dug my nail in it.

Mask of Magnaminty which I have used about 3 times since Christmas already, it's great stuff. It has a few little exfoliating bits in it which is a nice touch, and it tingles but not in an acid way, but in a natural minty way!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day festivities

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas day whatever you got up to! I was so happy to spend time with my family. I haven't been home since the summer nearly six months ago so it's really been so nice for me to be back here and escape London life for a week.

Christmas Day was spent having a lie-in, eating lots of breakfast, and watching lots of films. We had a white Christmas here in the Midlands. Although it didn't snow, it's been below freezing since it snowed a couple of days ago so the snow has remained on the ground and rooftops, as has the rather pathetic excuse for a snowman my boyfriend and I made. My Mum was working so Christmas didn't start officially until she came home. We waited until she'd finished to open our presents, admittedly, the child in me found this a little difficult! The build-up to Christmas always seems a bigger deal than the day itself, and today it was hard to believe that Christmas is over for another year. I enjoyed today just as much, my brother and sister-in-law came over with their puppy Buster so with two dogs under the roof it felt like a full house hold. I brought my camera down with me but forgot my computer lead so I will have to wait until I get back to show you the photos, both of the dogs, and of my lovely pressies.

I really hope everyone has had as lovely time as I have. I'm now really looking forward to NYE and having a get together in London before the reality of returning to work kicks in!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Giveaway!

It really doesn't seem that long ago since I did my 100 followers giveaway. I decided to do another since reaching 250 followers seems like a big milestone to me. Since I have been all over the Sleek Sparkle palette since it's release, and since it's Christmas time, I think a Sparkle palette is the perfect giveaway gift (sorry if you have it already!) so here's an opportunity to get hold of one.

I wrote a previous post about this palette and another post with a FOTD using the palette which you can check out if you want to see how pigmented and wonderful the colours are.

The giveaway is international so wherever you are in the world I will post it to you! The only requirement I ask is that you are over 18 years old, or if younger, you have parental permission to enter the giveaway. You must be willing to provide an address I can post the palette to via email.

Since this is a followers giveaway, you obviously have to be following my blog. To enter, please leave a comment below, and keeping it Christmassy, I want to know:

What is the thing you love most about Christmas time?

The winner will be picked randomly. For an additional entry to the contest and therefore a greater chance of winning, you may post a link to my giveaway on your own blog.

The giveaway will be open for one week, so you have until 31st December 2010, 17:00 GMT to leave your comment. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

FOTD using Sleek Sparkle Palette

Just a quick post to show you a look I created today using the Sleek Sparkle palette. I'm obsessed with this palette lately so there may be a few of these posts to come. Today I used a couple of colours from the palette to create a yellow and green look. I'm really happy with the outcome, I generally love these colours together anyway, I usually use gold mixed with green so this is just a bolder twist on that look. It's hard to find a true yellow eyeshadow with good colour pay-off but Sleek doesn't disappoint. Here I used the colour Tinsel all over the lid, and Mistletoe in the crease. This is a perfect combination to be used with Nylon on the brow bone. Nylon is a colour I love but usually find difficult to pull off, it has a slight lemonish tinge to it, which works well with the yellow and green. Tinsel is a shimmery but non-glitter shade, whilst Mistletoe is one of the glittery eyeshadows, this works quite nicely if you want just a little glitter but not full on glitter city.
Other products I used: Une Skin Glow foundation in G06, Maybelline Falsies mascara, Une eye kohl in black, MAC Springsheen blusher, MAC Creme d'nude lipstick. Lighting is crappy bathroom lighting I'm afraid, the best I can do during these dark winter days.
Hope you like this look and it's convinced you that the Sparkle palette is actually wearable! The shades are very bold, and I literally only touch my brush in the eyeshadow to get enough.
Has anyone else got their hands on a Sparkle palette yet? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Lush Xmas Collection

I find it hard to get into Christmas this early on, aside from getting all my shopping out of the way, I don't really like to think about Christmas until a couple of days before. Popping into Lush and looking at all the Christmas goodies helps me feel Chistmassy.

Recently I picked up Sugar Plum Fairy sugar scrub, I wrote about a previous sugar scrub experience on here before. This contains plum kernel oil which is fantastic for dry skin. I thought it was unusual to find a scrub which is used to exfoliate, also contains a decent moisturising ingredient. It's good because it should replace any moisture you might lose from removing the dead skin. It apparently has an almondy fragrance to it aswell, the sweetness reminds me of marzipan, but in a good way. A lovely little Christmas scrub, and great value at £1.95 too.
Along with this, I got Christmas Eve bubble bar. It contains ylang ylang and jasmine which instantly puts this in my favourites. I loved the Youki-Hi bath ballistic but it was sadly discontinued. That contained nearly the same ingredients and smelt the same as this so I am tempted to stock up on this beauty. It does look glittery, (and I've discovered I'm no longer a fan of copious amounts of glitter in the bath, yes it looks pretty but it is incredibly inconvenient to remove!) but it's only on the outside of the bubble bar which I'm glad Lush realise is all you need. The rest of the bar crumbles and bubbles away to leave your bath water a lovely relaxing midnight blue colour.

So that is all I've picked up from the Lush Christmas collection, there's a little bit too much to choose from, it seems to grow every year. There's a few other things I'd like to try though, those gingerbread bubble bars look too cute, and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't get a bottle of Snow Fairy shower gel.

What are your Lush Christmas favourites?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Winter Warmers

I am someone who loves snow. But more when I don't need to be anywhere or do anything, i.e. over Christmas is a great time to snow for me. When everything seems to grind to a halt and I have to come home it's a little annoying. Today we were finally hit by the snow that has been threatening us, never appearing and seeming to fall everywere else, and it got us pretty good. I made the effort to get into my work only to do half a day because everything was cancelled. I would also enjoy snow a little more as someone I overheard today said "I wish snow was warm." I do too! I will just enjoy it by looking from my window in the warmth and comfort of my flat. Here's a little snippet of south east London just after sunset.My journey to work can take me anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour since I rely on public transport so when it's chilly I need to find ways to keep myself warm. At the weekend I had a little ponder around TK Maxx for a flask, I went there specifically because I wanted a proper design brand that would keep my drink hot, not just one that looks pretty. Thermos is a godsend as far as I'm concerned. I'm also loving cable knit clothing like this assymetric jumper and tri-flower headband I purchased in New Look. Thermal leggings are from Primark, I usually wear these under something when I'm not indoors. The socks are tube socks for skiing purchased from a sports shop. All in all, I'm pretty toasty. "Warm" smells are a huge hit for me this time of year too. Since around Halloween, I can't get enough of anything cinnamon or gingery smelling. I found this candle in TK Maxx by Our Own Candle Company. TK Maxx is a great place for jar candles like this. They don't sell any Yankee candles, but there's a few brands pretty similar, I particularly like this one because they're made from soya, and I love the tankard design. This one has three scents so I shouldn't get bored of it and it really fragrances my room nicely. This one is priced at £6.99 which isn't bad value for a candle of this quality, and there's lots of other lush scents to choose from.

What are your favourite winter warmers?

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sleek Sparkle Palette

Sleek have released a new limited edition palette that looks very fitting for the run up to Christmas and New Year. I snapped one up as soon as I saw them after missing out on the Bad Girl palette that was full of great smokey colours, similar to the Graphite palette. This one features a lot of darker sultry colours with glitter particles to create some great looks for the party season. Although a lot of the shades are darker toned, theres also a bright pink shade thrown in there and a yellow gold and silver which are shimmery rather than glittery, and of course there's a matte black shade as with pretty much all Sleek palettes.

Palettes are priced at £5.99 in Superdrug and if you go now you can take advantage of the 3 for 2 offer which is available on all cosmetics.

Here's a break down on the colours:

Cranberry: a hot magenta pink with glitter particles.
Dream Maker: a greyish, silver blue with glitter particles.
Galactic: a medium royal blue with glitter particles.
Twinkle: a navy blue with glitter particles.
Starlight: a dark grey with glitter particles.
Noir: a matte black.
Illusion: a dark midnight purple with glitter particles.
Festive: a rich plum purple with glitter particles.
Mistletoe: an emerald green with glitter particles.
Glitz & Glamour: a smokey off black with glitter particles.
Gold Ribbon: a shimmery yellow with a hint of gold.
Tinsel: a shimmery light silver.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Accessorize Make-up

This was unbeknown to me, but I discovered last week that Accessorize now have their own make-up range. I don't know if this available to buy in the Accessorize shop too, but I found it in Superdrug. It had replaced the Elite range of make-up that I rarely purchased anything from and I wandered over to look at this new range, not realising at first it was by Accessorize, it was the pretty packaging that caught my eye first.I felt a little dubious at the fact it was Accessorize, not because I don't like the brand (you know I do!) but because usually I have been disappointed by own-brand makeup by shops that specialise in something completely non-makeup related, I'm thinking Topshop makeup here...
Accessorize makeup pleasantly surprised me though. It looks absolutely beautiful and even if I swatched it and there wasn't much colour pay-off, I probably would have still bought something based on looks alone, shallow as I am. The stand out products for me are the minerals, though I couldn't tell you what else is in the range since these were the only products I really looked at. The solo mineralised eyeshadows were just stunning, very reminiscent of MAC mineralised shadows, with two or three colours running through one another, giving off one shade when you swatch it all together. I thought I'd get a bit more value for my money and purchased a duo mineral shadow though. Again there were a lot of colours that appealed to me, I didn't catch the name but there's a gorgeous jade green light and dark duo. I went for a safe neutral that I can wear every day to start me off with this range and this shade is called High Maintenance (number 3). This is a perfect duo, the colours compliment one another very nicely, there's a lighter shade, which I'd describe as somewhere between MAC's Jest and Nylon, it's a great eye-awakening colour which I'm really in need of this time of year. The darker colour looks lovely worn alongside in the crease, it's a mix of Satin Taupe and Woodwinked, it's nice that even though these are neutral colours, I don't own any dupes for either of them, they are quite unique in their own right. I felt like I need to show you what these products look like swatched, even though this is the worst lighting, I find blogging is difficult in the winter months, I'm never home in the daylight to take decent photographs.

If nothing else, the photographs show you the effect they give your skin even if not an accurate portrayal of the colour. They are comparable to MAC mineralised products, they give the same shimmery, irridescent effect, although I'd say not quite as shimmery or pigmented which I think is a good thing in some people's eyes. I personally love the shimmer, but it's nice to own something a little more toned down. The left shows the High Maintenance duo. The right is the blusher in Pretty Pink. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite blushers I have purchased. The colour appears light and a slightly darker peachy pink with lilac veining. The overall colour on your skin is the lighter peachy pink colour. For some skin tones this might make a better highlighter than a blush, but I love that on my skin it just gives a dewy lift without making me look that done up. I usually go for colours like MAC's Springsheen which when I'm wearing it, is pretty obviously a blusher. It's not as obvious with Pretty Pink unless I layer it. I have been wearing both of these mineralised products together for the whole of this week and I feel like this is a natural looking, "glowy" makeup combination. I'm happy with everything about the product, from quality to price (I can't remember exactly but both products together were under £10) and I will be back for more, perhaps some of the bolder colours. The mineralised bronzers looked equally beautiful but I wouldn't be fooling anyone when it's nearly December, so I'll hold out until late Spring for those.
Have you bought anything from this makeup range?
What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Accessorize Latest Finds

Accessorize is pretty much my favourite place to buy accessories from. I picked up two pairs of earrings from there recently. A silver pair in this filligree leaf design which is also available in gold and has the matching necklace in both silver and gold. These were priced at £12.
I also got these cute gold bird stud earrings for only £4. I didn't mind paying the bit extra for the leaf ones because I don't wear drop earrings like this everyday, I prefer them for going out. Studs on the other hand tend to get worn out more quickly so £4 is enough to pay for a fashion pair like this.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

MAC Disney Venomous Villains Collection

You're quite possibly sick of the sight of this collection by now. I know it's been out in the States for a while, and in the UK since the beginning of October, but I got my Disney dose at the weekend after a bit of blog research to find out what products I was going to like.
It seems like I always go for cheek products in every collection. I'm not sure if that's a conscious descision or not. It was the last make-up product I got into, and therefore have the least amount of in my own collection, so maybe I'm making up for that. But I always get drawn to the beautiful packaging and the pinky peachy tones of blushers. To me they're the most fun and most appealing make-up product.
The packaging of this collection is pretty much everything you can hope for from Disney. Shiny, glossy black casing and bright, colourful cartoon print. I went for two of the Evil Queen products, Oh So Fair Beauty Powder, and Bite of an Apple Blush. I wanted Her Own Devices Beauty Powder to grab me, because I love Cruella and wanted to buy something with her on, but swatching it on my skin, I got nothing, it was pretty much invisible on my skintone. I've never bought a Beauty Powder before so I'm not entirely sure what to do with it, but judging by the colour which is like a dusky rose pink, I will use it as a blusher and highlight concentrating the colour on the tops of my cheeks. The colour is very similar to a No.7 blush I had in the shade Soft Damson which I loved and conveniently broke recently, so I needed to replace anyway. I do love me some peachy and coral toned blushers most of the time, but I feel that winter is the time to rock pink blusher as it's the colour your cheeks naturally go in the cold.

Bite of an Apple is a much bolder pink. It's leaning towards the red side of pink and I would use this just on the apples of my cheeks with Oh So Fair to create that Snow White rosy cheek look.

Overall I was quite impressed with this collection, it's a lot more exciting than some of the recent collections that have been put out. The only thing I missed that I would have quite liked to own was the nail laquers. I haven't seen any colours like those before, they looked really interesting to me. I suppose it's kind of a blessing because I'm a bit poor right now! I've just moved flat this week and I started a post-grad course at uni in September so that's why I have been quiet on the blogging sphere. I don't plan to give it up though and want to say a huge thankyou to everyone who's still following me, I kind of expected to lose a lot of followers but I'm glad to say that's not the case, so thankyou for that. Oh, and also I recently discovered the Luuux site. I joined a couple or so weeks ago, I thought if I enjoy blogging and could get a Balenciaga bag out of it then it's pretty foolproof right?

What are your thoughts on Luuux?

Did you buy anything from Disney Venomous Villains?

If you have the nail laquers, are you happy with the result?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

NOTD Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream

Sorry about the shoddy lighting. This is my latest helping of Barry M, Strawberry Ice Cream. It's a gorgeous pastel pink colour. I love the pastel collection from Barry M, it was definitely lacking amongst all the bright shades that were on offer. These are true Barry M pastels though, because they're still bright, they're not like a faded colour that you would expect from a pastel. They're pretty though, and if you're like me and don't own any pastel or even any light pinks, (I know, shock horror!) then this is a perfect start. I don't know how I've not owned any shades like this before. It's too pretty.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Would You Rather...Tali's Tag

I feel I've been rather absent from Blogger lately, I think we all go through this from time to time. I go from blogging every day to not blogging for a couple of weeks. Partly because of lack of time, partly because of lack of inspiration. Today I have both so yay!

Today is my boyfriend and I's 4 year anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been that long and I'm glad that we are both still happy. We're going to go out for a meal later to celebrate.

On another celebratory note, I was pleased to see when I logged in today I have 199 followers. I see 200 as quite a milestone, and it doesn't seem that long ago I reached 100. I don't want to be presumptious, but hopefully 200 is just around the corner! I know it sounds cliched, and fake, but I genuinely mean this: I would still blog no matter how many people were reading this, it's my little space on the internet to talk about what I love and I love interacting with those of you that share this interest with me and it just means even more that there's so many of you. Remove all the negativity and this is really a great community.

I thought I'd get back into blogging with a tag as I haven't done one in a while, and I came across Tali's tag that interested me so I'm going to go ahead and do that.

Would you rather...
Never use mascara again or bronzer again?
This is pretty tough, but I would have to lump with giving up the bronzer, at least I could substitute it with blush. There's no substitute to mascara, except maybe false lashes but I couldn't be doing with applying them everyday.
Only be able to buy high end make-up or drugstore make-up again?
I like to mix the two! I'm going to say drug store though, high end is more of a luxury for me than a staple part of my make-up. Most make-up items have a drugstore brand that works really well, I couldn't choose just one drugstore brand though.
Be in love or be loved?
I think I'd rather love. I'm pretty sure if you love something enough it will eventually love you back. I can't imagine not having love for someone!
Go out with chipped nail varnish or unshaven legs?
I could deal with chipped nail varnish, I don't like it and I end up picking at it profusely if I see a chip and I have no access to a bottle of nail varnish remover, but hairy legs are a no-no.
Go out with messy hair or no make-up?
Messy hair all the way. It's not uncommon for me to not brush my hair some mornings.
Leave the house with an orange tan or peroxide-gone-wrong ginger hair?
Orange tan as tacky as it is. I've had bad hair experiences in the past and it makes you so self-conscious, people can notice it from the front, from behind you, your hair is really one of the first things people notice, so at least with orange skin I could try and hide my face a bit.
It were winter forever or summer forever?
Summer summer time! I'm a total sun worshipper, now the days are getting shorter it's increasingly hard to get out of bed, I feel like a flower that curls up without the sun! I'm not a fan of the cold either. I love most things associated with summer though, long days, ice cream, trips to the beach, generally being outside doing things you can't do in the winter.
Have permanent 2 inch roots or permanently unplucked brows?
2 inch roots are OK in my opinion. Unless you have black hair dyed peroxide blonde, bit too much of a contrast. I don't pluck my brows much, I plucked them a lot when I was younger, thankfully not too thin, so the unwanted hair has taken a hint over time and isn't growing back. So neither of these things really bother me.
Leave the house with dried toothpaste drool or crusty yellow sleep eyes?
Dried toothpaste, yellow eyes are pretty disgusting, at least toothpaste is a sign you tried to clean yourself.
Give up all MAC or all Illamasqua products?
Illamasqua, I haven't really jumped on board of the Illamsqua bandwagon yet. I'm quite easily swayed though, so it could happen.
I! If you want to do it!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Purity Organic Skincare - Product Range Overview

I've mentioned my love for Purity before and reviewed a couple of their products. Recently I entered a competition of theirs and although I didn't win, I was kindly sent some products as a thank-you for entering. I was really not expecting all these lush goodies, so it was a lovely surprise in the post. Below are the cleansing products. I have previously purchased the Conditioning Cleansing Lotion myself before, and this is a product I find very effective and kind to my skin. It has quite a milky texture and is a gentle way to remove my make-up at the end of the day. Because it's conditioning, it also leaves a nice smooth finish on my skin. I have also bought the Exfoliating Wash before which I'm sure I've reviewed so won't go in to detail here, but it's another great product and one I will repurchase when this runs out. I alternate between this and Lush's Angels on Bare Skin, and they both seem to do wonders for my skin. The Facial Wash is one I wanted to try out so I was happy to see this in my parcel.
A couple of products I probably wouldn't have otherwise purchased were the two anti-aging products. I'm still just about the right side of 25, and I don't really think about aging although I feel like the cosmetics industry would have me believe that now is the time to start taking action to help prevent the effects it will have on my skin. I'm not buying into most of the hype surrounding anti-age products, but I think these products are a little bit different from your average anti-aging product. I won't name any brands, but there are some that claim far too much than they actually deliver and contain such a cocktail of chemicals, they end up doing the exact opposite to your skin than you were hoping for. I remember a programme a while back which studied a variety of products. Whilst using the products, skin might appear younger, but once stopped, and the skin examined, it was clear the signs of aging had been sped up. The brands with the fewer chemicals came up tops and that's why I feel like I might be having my eyes opened to Purity for their anti-aging range, I've actually used the serum mask once and I have very positive thoughts so far, so a review will be to follow shortly. The original Facial Moisturiser is my current moisturiser, I purchased this myself with the Cleansing Lotion, so it's good to have a back-up when it runs out. The other moisturiser is the Regenerating Overnight Moisturiser which I haven't yet tried out. I tend not to use rich moisturisers as my skin is quite oily, but going in to winter time this is less of a problem, and it is always beneficial to your skin to give it a good hydration from time to time so this is something I'm looking forward to trying.

I'm going to give using the products I haven't reviewed a little while longer before I review them in more detail, but my initial thoughts are pretty good and of the usual standard I expect from this brand.

Have you ever tried Purity?

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

UNE Eye Pencils

I'm on an Une role at the moment. I loved the foundation so decided to branch out and try their eye pencils. If there's one part of your body that you might want to avoid products with man-made chemicals in it's probably your eyes, and these are the first eyeliners I've seen that are natural. I wear eyeliner practically every day, liquid on the lashline, and a pencil or kohl on the waterline, and have done for years, so I know I'm not sensitive to any chemicals, but it's never too late to try and be good to my body.

There are a few different eye pencils available, and this is where you need a beady eye because they all look the same, same white packaging, same square shape, and the concealer is the same format too which I found the whole idea of a pencil crayon concealer quite interesting. But anyway, thinking about it, eye pencils are one of the most annoying things to buy, they will be put closely together and get so mixed up, you reach for a kohl and you get an eyebrow pencil, I also don't enjoy sifting through them to find one that hasn't been blunted (real word?). That wasn't an issue with these pencils since they took me the best part of 20 minutes to remove the security packaging when I got home. Still, you might need to look at these closely since the only clue to colour is on one end of the pencil, the names give nothing away as they are random letters and numbers.
Below is the eyebrow pencil in B01. There were only two shades available, and since I'm blonde I went with the lighter shade. This was a bit of a mistake since my hair naturally is quite a dark shade of brown, and so my eyebrows are not really blonde. I usually find dark pencils a bit too contrasting with the light hair so I don't want to go any darker than my natural brow colour. The B01 pencil has a slight reddish tone, so I would say this particular pencil would be great for a redhead, or someone with naturally blonde eyebrows. I swatched it on my hand so see the colour but sadly I will have to sell this since it's really not a match for me, it's far too light. I may go back for the darker shade but have a feeling this may be too dark for me, and since the eyebrow pencils are all sealed and there's no testers, I might give it a miss. From the swatch however, I was pleased with the quality of this pencil, some eyebrow pencils have to be pressed quite firmly on the skin just to get any colour pay off. This usally means they stay put once they are which is important because you really don't want to see your eyebrows smudged half way up your forehead. But I liked the way it just glided on with minimal effort and was hard to rub off my hand afterwards. The colour is buildable, I just got a faint bit of colour to begin with, but it doesn't look like an obviously drawn on line, just feathered, evened out colour with no patches which would look very realistic on your brows. Not so in my case since it's about 3 shades too light but you know what I mean! I had a terrible time opening these pencils, and consequently ended up breaking this one. This is the Absolute Blacks KOHL which was available in two shades, this one and a very similar looking one which I think had a hint of blue, but it was difficult to tell the shade just from the end of it. This is a very highly pigmented pencil, it has a very soft formula, similar to kajal, which is why it broke so easily, but it means this goes on like a dream, so soft! Initially, I really liked how easy this was to apply and achieve a dramatic look if you wanted, but a few hours in and I was not so pleased. I'd only worn this in my flat, and a couple of hours later, I looked in the mirror and I looked like I'd been to sleep in my makeup. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but it was smudged up, to the point where I would be very wary about wearing this out in public. I've used a lot of kohls in the past, by many different brands and never experienced this, so it's a little disappointing, since this is the product I really hoped would work for me.

I'm not one to dismiss a product too quickly though and I gave this another try today, this time applying just to the waterline, I think I put a little on the lower lashline last time instead of liquid liner, and it seemed to fare better when not applied directly to the skin.

The third and final eye pencil I got was this Sfumato Eyes Pencil. Now I don't know what Sfumato means to you, but for me, it means a great quality eyeliner, one that is kind on my skin, and doesn't give me panda eyes. I went for S11 (I have to add at this point how much I really don't like the name format of Une's products, it makes them very unspecial and hard to remember) which is a deep dark brown with ash tones. I use this in the same way I would use the kohl, but I was very pleased to find this does not move about of it's own free will, but stays nicely in place underneath my lash line. It doesn't last as long on my waterline but I think that's pretty obvious, the only colour that stays there for long enough is black, any other coloured eyeliner I've used there has generally faded after a couple of hours, maybe less.There were also some glittery pencil liners available which looked fun and perhaps next on my to-buy list.

Has anyone else tried any of these pencils?
Also, please get in touch if you want to take the blonde eyebrow pencil off my hands as I might as well sell it.!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Loving and Disliking Part Une...

Some things I'm loving and disliking (Because hate's a strong word!) lately.


Sushi! Can't get enough of it lately

Katy B, there's something hauntingly beautiful about her voice, and in the genre she's associated with as a whole, I hope she takes off and gets the full credit she deserves.

Finding shoes that fit well. I love heels but it's so difficult to find the right combination of high heel, stylish and comfortable all rolled into one. Lately I've been successful in finding shoes that I like and don't hurt like hell either.

New beginnings. I'm excited that one chapter of my life has ended, and now another one is about to begin, exciting times ahead. :)


Breaking nails - I had them in such great condition, they were long, strong, the tips were white, so I painted them A LOT, and now I seem to be breaking them. :( Nothing lasts forever does it, but why is it when I break a nail it has to be so low down. Oh dear.

Shorter days, it's only September and it's noticable already that the days are getting shorter, booo!

UNE Skin Glow Foundation Review

In my last post I mentioned the UNE Skin Glow Foundation as my weapon of choice for my FOTD. Back in March, UNE received quite a bit of publicity as they were just launching and reaching out to new customers. Things got a little quiet since then, and admittedly, I hadn't heard of this brand until around a fortnight ago when I found the makeup stand at Westfield in Shepard's Bush, and came home with a bottle of this, bought partly on impulse, and searched the brand for more information.

Now I'm going to write this review based purely on my experience with this foundation and ignore what I've read, because so far, I don't feel like this brand has been painted in a positive light which with my experience isn't rightly so, because I have nothing really negative to say.

So a quick overview of UNE, they are a spin-off company from Bourjois, but differ quite considerably to Bourjois, or any other make-up brand in that they are a "natural" cosmetic company. I think if any brand is deserving of that title, it would certainly be UNE since in the foundation alone, 98.2% of the ingredients are from natural origin, 17.1% are from Organic Farming, and many of the products, if not all, are free from parabens.

There may be a brand comparable, but when you walk into Boots, that's not neccessarily obvious, and that's what singles this brand out, is it's accessibility. Since buying the foundation in a large branch of Boots, I have now seen a stand in my local Superdrug, which I was pleased to find, and glad that this brand is reaching out as accessible and affordable. I opted for shade G06 which I think is around a MAC NC20-25. The foundation was priced at around £13 for 30ml of product. Not cheap, but then not vastly expensive either. It's mid-range, cheaper than a lot of foundations I've tried and a price I'm willing to pay to not put a cocktail of chemicals on my face. Don't get me wrong, I'll slap on MAC like it's going out of fashion, but I do think it's important to give my skin a breather from time to time, and I am one of those paranoid people who's a little afraid of chemicals. If I could choose a product from another and the only difference was the list of ingredients, then I'd obviously plump for the one without the artificiality, and I'm sure I'm not alone. So I applaud UNE for going against the grain and releasing an authentic natural range.

The real test is in how this make-up holds up. It's all well and good being natural, but if this make-up is gone without a trace in 2 hours, it's somewhat useless. NOT the case I'm glad to say! This is a "glow" effect foundation, and I am a combination/oily skinned client, so we are not traditionally a match made. I usually need something with "matte" in the title, particularly this time of year, late spring to early autumn and anything "glowy" or "dewy" on my skin usually=shiny. If I don't powder, I do notice a shine, but it's actually not something I can't live with, I don't feel like my skin is suffering under there, it's just a very natural look. It makes me feel like I can embrace the natural oily state of my skin, because it is still less oily than usual, and it evens out my skin tone, minimises my pores, all the while looking natural.
Here we have a blob. I wanted to give you an idea of the consistency and texture of the foundation. It looks like any other at this point I suppose.
Rubbed in a little, it's actually very smooth to apply, even on the dry skin on my hands it doesn't pick up any skin, just smooths over for an even texture. It's very creamy yet light feeling.
And rubbed in almost entirely, this is pretty much the coverage on my face, minus the cracks because my hands are a little dry lately. A little blob goes a long way which is another plus point, I don't like to apply a lot of foundation, I want a foundation that is going to last me a good few months so it's good value, and this definitely does the job.
So is this foundation for you? If you want heavy coverage then no, definitely bypass this, but if you enjoy make-up and want to go for a lighter, natural look than normal without skipping foundation it might be worth a look. I think this is great for people just getting into make-up aswell, people who might not have tried any foundations before, or if you have problematic, sensitive skin, this might be suitable as it's free from harsh chemicals. Even those make-up lovers who just want something for their down-days where you still want to wear a foundation but without the effort of a heavy coverage face, since this is almost like a tinted moisturiser. Since buying this, I've also gone back to my parents house to visit and lost my moisturiser somewhere in transition, so I use this after toning and it's become a make shift moisturiser/foundation. I love a good multi-use product.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

FOTD using UNE Foundation and Sleek Jewels palette and NOTD 1/9/2010

It feels like England is clinging on to Summer now with a little burst of sunshine, even though technically it's September, we're now officially Autumn. This time of year usually means finding transitional makeup, makeup that's suitable for both seasons. For me, that usally means finding rich, plummy, golden colours, at least for my eyeshadow. A palette I find perfect for those rich, beautiful colours is the Jewels palette by Sleek, so I dug that one out and will show you a quick FOTD.I used the champagne gold colour all over the lid, it's a perfect wash colour, and probably one of only two colours I can use all over the lid. Then for the crease I picked out the plum/purple shade, and used the silver on the inner corner. Still a pretty neutral look, but the purple livens it up a little. Sleek is fantastic for their pigmented eyeshadows, they look so multi-dimensional once applied, so much depth to the colour. The only problem is finding a palette with an entire range of colours that I can wear. I wish they would bring out a neutrals palette, like the Urban Decay Naked palette, it would be pretty near perfection in a £5 palette. Close up of the eyes - I used Sleek Jewels, No. 7 Amazing Eyes eyeliner, (I found another liquid liner that actually compares to my HG Loreal Superliner!) it was given to me by my Mum since she couldn't apply it, and it's surprisngly very good, and I'd say pretty fool-proof too, if you're a shaky-hand-eyeliner-applier as I am.

Other products I used
EYES: Bourjois 1001 Lashes mascara, topped with Rimmel Volume Flash the Max mascara; Eyeshadows primed with TFSI;
FACE: Une Skin Glow Foundation in G06 (Love this, review to come soon); Rimmel Clarifying Powder, MAC Refined Golden bronzer.
LIPS: Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Rose Pearl.
And not to leave my nails out, since I really love this colour, I painted them in Barry M's Racing Green, which is truly a gorgeous colour in it's own right, it reminds me of old Jaguars, not just the colour but the finish aswell. I decided to turn it matte out of curiousity, and it turned out pretty good. It's a slightly irridescent colour, and you can still see the other dimensions to this colour, just in matte form. I'm going to be sporting this a lot through Autumn I think. I prefer dark colours for my nails so I'm not going to miss the summer pastel shades too much.
What are your favourite colours for autumn?

Friday, 27 August 2010

NOTD Matte Barry M Shocking Pink

Whenever I look at Barry M, I always gravitate to the shades that are probably the most obscure and unusual, the purples, the blues, the greens...I overlook the more normal colours. I'm sure I could find a hot pink shade like this by most cosmetic brands. Truth be told though, there aren't many brands of nail polish that please me as much as Barry M in terms of quality and value for money. It's the most long lasting nail polish I've tried and that's comparing it with brands such as OPI and YSL, and this is cheap as chips, almost. So rather than reserving Barry M for times when I want to pick up a new, outlandish shade, I'm going to make a point of picking up more every day, easy to find colours, so this one, Shocking Pink, was a start. It's not neon and nothing you haven't seen before, just a good quality hot pink shade. I've noticed a lot of hype around matte shades lately and realise they are making a bit of a comeback. I wasn't about to go out and buy a load of matte shades, instead I found this rather amazing, (well it amazes me!) product from Rimmel called Matte Finish, Mattifying Topcoat. Does exactly what it says, and worked even better than I expected it to. I thought it might need a couple of layers to become completely matte, or that it might somehow change the colour I'd already painted, but it did neither of these. It's literally just a quick one coat paint job and it dries incredibly quick. It turns even a very glossy finish like Barry M's Shocking Pink into a completely matte finish.It's always a good idea to use a topcoat to make your polish last longer, so now I can use this in place of my normal topcoat and get even longer wear out of my nails with a matte finish. I'm very impressed so far, I've actually been wearing this for about 4 or 5 days now, and there is only signs of chipping on the corner of a few nails. I'm going to redo them today, because I feel like a change, but I could get away with probably another couple of days if I wanted.

I like that this topcoat is a true matte finish aswell, it doesn't have that semi-matte, more of a satin finish, it's a pretty straight, flat matte!

So for around £4.95 this is a great value nail polish if you want to update your nail look. Definitely more purse-friendly than buying a whole bunch of new matte shades which you probably won't get to finish the bottle of, and you have the added bonus of being able to transform any shade you own.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Cornwall August 2010

Last week I went to Cornwall for a couple of nights. I braved the six-hour drive on the way down there, and an even longer drive on the way back. We decided to take the "scenic" route which inevitably means the longer route. I hate motorways though, and some of the countryside we drove through was very beautiful so it was worth it. We took the road that passes Stonehenge which I'd never seen before. It was a bit surreal seeing it this close, it's somewhere I associate with having a lot of mystique about it, and attract a lot of tourists, but it was strange how isolated it is from anywhere else, it just kind of pops up in a field. Here's one of the shots I managed to take from the car as we drove by.
Once we arrived in Cornwall and checked into the B&B we went to the harbour for lunch. It was so sweet and idyllic, and obviously a lot of other people thought so too, it's so busy this time of year.After lunch, we decided to head to the beach to escape the crowds, afterall we'd left for a break from the chaos of the city. This was so not how I remembered British beaches to be, white sand, and clean turquoise sea, so beautiful. It wasn't very hot whilst we were there, in the low 20 degrees, so the beaches were pretty quiet. Next day we decided to go for a walk along the coast. The weather really wasn't typical of summer so we gave up the hope of having a beach day and soaked up the scenic coastal walk instead.
Near to where we parked, there were signs for the walk which took us up a steep slope to the cliff edge, then in the middle of the grass there was this giant hole which the picture doesn't really give you much of an idea of just how giant and deep it was. I think it was caused by the waves crashing underneath and causing a collapsed cave.
I saw corn and wall! Back to the start of our walk near the beach where we ate lunch that day, the houses in the background are so pretty.

So it wasn't quite the same as a summer vacation abroad, and if the weather had have been sunny it would have made it a million times better, but I still had fun and was reminded by the beautiful sites we have without leaving our shores.
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