Friday, 29 November 2013

Maybelline 'The Rocket' - Did it blow me away?

Happy Friday Peeps!

Recently, I went out to meet some chums and in my haste, I completely forgot to put on mascara!  I don't know how it happened but luckily once I got into twon, there was a boots still open.  As I was running late, I prettty much grabbed the first mascara off the first make up stand!
As a result, I got 'The Rocket Volum' Express' by Maybelline in the shade 'Very Black'.  I should also point out that this is the waterproof version.   

Maybelline claim that lashes will have 8x more volume or Volum'(?) using their Jet Glide brush with Felxi-Fine bristles which prevent clumps forming.  The Brush is one of those plastic spoolies and it is rather fat.

My lashes with no mascara

My lashes curled with these eyelash curlers and one coat of Maybelline 'The Rocket' at 8.30am
With the fat brush, I do find it hard to not get mascara on my eyelid when applying.  This is fine for during the day when I don't bother with eye make up for work but if I had just spent ages doing a smokey eye, I would be a bit miffed!! 

This is my lashes at 10pm.  I have not applied anymore mascar nor have I curled them again.

My first impressions of this mascara were that it was absolute rubbish! It gave no lift to my lashes, it barely looked like I had even put mascara on and it was not improved with two coats.  However, when I applied it after curling my lashes first, my opinion has gone full circle to really rating this! Once my lashes are curled, I find this really helps them to hold a curl like no other mascar I have tried before, I don't know if it is because the formula is waterproof but it definitely holds its own and a curl.  As for the water proof part, it does the job, I managed to walk to work in the rain without having mascar all down my face, always a bonus! It does make it a bit more troublesome to remove though but just go gentle and try and use an oi based remover.

I would recommend this mascara if your lashes are long enough to be curled, otherwise I didn't feel it offered much definition itself.

Have you tried Maybelline Mascaras before?

Have you tried any coloured mascaras lately?



Thursday, 28 November 2013

Birchbox take two!!

I mentioned on my previous Birchbox post, here, that I used a code which allowed me to get another, free, box.  I was under the impression that the free box would be another October one but alas, it was Septembers! Not entirely the products I would have went for but can't complain really as it was free after all!!

Again, the box is packaged in the sturdy cardboard box, which is now currently storing some candles, the birchbox emblazoned bag, some info cards and a magazine giving you a more in-depth guide to the products included in the box.

So here's the menu, this box is geared towards London fashion week and how to recover from it! It also tells you which products are available in the Birchbox e-shop.

First impressions when I opened the box, before even opening the bag was that there was some sort of aromatherapy type product in and I wasn't wrong! The Aromatherapy Associates 'Revive' Body Gel is very strongly scented! So much so that the little teeny bar of Green and Blacks white chocolate (lifestyle extra) was inedible! My waist says that is not a bad thing! Again, a good mix of skincare and make-up products are included.  Molton Brown is a brand that I have never really gotten to grips with but am hoping this will change after using the 'Ylang Ylang' Nourishing Body Lotion.  Bioderma Sensibo H2O is a micellar water that is raved about on almost every blog out there so I'm interested to see if it's worth the hype.

Also included in the box were a ModelCo. Lipstick in the shade 'Kitty' and a lovely purple nail polish from  Révérence De Bastien in shade 'No 11'.  I can't wait to try the nail polish, it looks like a lovely autumn bright.  The lipstick smells like sweeties! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't think the colour is for me but I will try it out. If all else fails, I know my boss will suit it! 

And there you go, September's Birchbox.  A good range of products and many names that I have heard of so I am excited to get to try them out.

Do you get Beauty Boxes?

Have you tried Bioderma, does it live up to expectaions?



Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Argh! I got me some Lime crime!

**This is quite a long post with many pictures! Just an FYI**

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to order myself a few Lime Crime lipsticks.  I had put it off for so long as I don't wear lippie that much and they are relatively expensive but the lure of the unicorn proved too strong and I bit the bullet *pun totally intended*.

I ordered directly from the website, here and they arrived all the way from the US in about 8 days, not bad!

First off, the packaging!  Even the box was super colourful and really cute.  The lipsticks themselves were well wrapped in lilac and lime green tissue paper.

Even the invoice was lilac!! Also included was a Lime Crime badge, which was a nice touch.

Here is the sole reason for me doin' the deed and purchasing these badboys - HOLOGRAPHIC UNICORNS!!!!! Amazing, although I'm getting totally OCD about having them lining up now. 

The three shades I bought were, 'Babette', 'Geradium' and 'Centrifuschia'. Each one of these cost $16.50, I think (the website is currently down so can't check but they certainly were not more than this).

I had originally ordered 'Great Pink Planet' but then discovered I had meant to order 'Centrifuschia', I sent off an email to their customer services as soon as I had realised my mistake and I got a reply within 24 hours to let me know my order had been changed! Big points to Lime Crime's customer service dept. for that! 

Poor 'Babette' arrived ever so slightly scuffed but she had travelled quite a distance so I let her off.

Nude usually isn't ma thang as my lips are naturally quite pigmented and with my pale skin, I'm aware I can look quite 'moon-faced' if my make-up doesn't bring out my features.

'Babette' isn't like all the other nudes out there though, she is an apricot based nude and so brings a bit of warmth to the features without making teeth look too yellow.  I wore this with a daytime smokey eye but I think I would love to try it with a full blown smoked out look. This was opaque in one swipe, I would like to find a lip liner to go with this.


'Geradium' is the most perfect pinky coral I have ever had the joy of holding in my hand! 

Making lips look full and juicy, the beautifully pigmented 'Geradium' goes on opaque in one coat and is just lovely, lovely, lovely! 
Please excuse the flaky bit in my top lip, that is not the lipstick, merely me chewing my lips whilst having a cold and missing a bit whilst exfoliating my lips!

'Centrifuchsia' is the diva of the group.  Again, superbly well pigmented, it goes on nice and smoothly with a nice sheen to it which after a few hours of eating and drinking is still firmly in place albeit slightly less shiny.

This picture is from the morning AFTER the hen night that that I wore this to, amazing staying power as I had taken my make up off when I got home!  Defo two thumbs up for this one if you need something that's going to last.  

A few more swatches, again, these were done with just one swipe of the bullet.

I would really recommend these, 'Babette' was probably the least long wearing out of the three, needing topped up after two hours with no eating and drinking.  These are superbly opaque and would be great to pop in your handbag for a quick burst of colour.  

I would love to see Lime Crime take out lip liners to compliment these shades.

*** Lime Crime are having a Black Friday sale where you can get 30% off from 9am EST on 29th Nov until 11.59 EST on 30th Nov.  This could help sway you if the $10.95 delivery is putting you off!

You can also get Lime Crime cosmetics from Cocktail Cosmetics, here.

I have a few more on my wish list, one being 'Poison Berry' and another 'Glamour 101', not bad for someone who 'doesn't really do lipsticks...'

Have you tried Lime Crime Lipsticks before?

What are your 'go to' shades? 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Meet the Infamous Mary-Lou Manizer

Ooooh, I love me some cheeky packaging! Benefit, Soap & Glory and now theBalm cosmetics.

Wanted for being too pretty, meet Mary-Lou Manizer. This is a golden honey hued highlighter that is rather multi-talented. 

Love the packaging! I'm all for the cheeky, retro pin-up style so this is right up my street, so kitsch it hurts!!

The compact itself is a sturdy silver job complete with mirror and weighs in at 8.5 grams of product.  For £15 this is slightly more expensive than Soap & Glory's 'Glow all out' luminizing powder, which retails at £11 for 7.5 grams.  I got this as a pressie fromThe Boy, it was in the feelunique sale and he got 10% off too as a first time customer (he bought my Caudalie Eau Fraiche that I posted about here at the same time). 

The highlighter itself is a golden champagne colour, usually I would go for a more pearlescent type such as Benefit high beam but I find this actually adds a really lovely warmth to my face.  
It can be used as an eye-shadow, an all over shimmer or as a highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones etc.  I particularly like a really light dusting of this down the centre of the nose.  

Look at how pigmented it is! 
It has a buttery soft texture although there is a little fall out.  Personally, I feel the shimmer would be too much all over the face but as a highlighter, this really is lovely. it is also great as a shimmery base for a smokey eye as it really helps brighten up the inner corners of the eye.

I use my Real Techniques blush brush or contouring brush for this along with a very light hand.

I have got my eye on several other theBalm cosmetics offerings, first on my list is the Nude'Tude palette.

Have you tried theBalm cosmetics before?

Do you like gimmicky packaging?



Monday, 25 November 2013

Cuticura, caring for your hands and health

As it is Monday *sigh*, the nail polish came off last night, okay this morning on the walk to work and my hands are now requiring a bit of TLC for the working week.  

I spend 70% of my day gelling my hands with the bog standard, 'is it just vodka?' hospital hand gel and it can really take it's toll on my hands.  Especially now the temperatures have definitely dipped here. 
 Sidenote:  One day, I will do a post where I DON'T mention the day!

This is where this handy little chap comes in...

Cuticura have been a brand I've known of for years.  It is one of those brands that are just 'there' like Atrixo or Pond's.  It's almost like, they do what they do and get on with it.  The fact that the company has been around for years and years without spending a bundle on flash adverts and celebrity endorsements, shows that their products must be doing something right!

The scent I have is 'Passion Flower and Mango' which is definitely a lot nicer than the plain stuff and makes me less fearful that my patients will think I have been drinking on the job!  It is a nice, fresh fragrance and the gel itself dries in really quickly, great if I need to put gloves straight on.  

It claims to kill 99.99% of bacteria, which again is great for this time of year in particular.  I have had my flu jab but that doesn't protect you from everything and so such anti-bacterial claims are very welcome.

It doesn't leave my hands feeling dry and tight either.

This comes in two sizes, 50ml and 100ml.  I like the 50ml for my uniform pocket, it fits perfectly.

They have a great range of products, more than I realised and I'm intrigued by their hand serums and the black pepper and pomegranate handwash sounds lovely for winter washing!

You can pick these up in Boots and Superdrug and they are only about £2 for the 100ml.  Alternatively, you could order it online with your grocery shopping if you shop at Tesco, here.

Have you tried Cuticura products before?

Do you carry hand sanitisers around or is that a bit OCD for you?




Sunday, 24 November 2013

Weekend mani #14

This weekend I am all about the O.P.I again although not with my usual enthusiasm.  Let me explain...

Here we have O.P.I 'Your Royal Shine-ness' with 'More Than A Glimmer' on the accent nails.

'More Than A Glimmer' (MTAG) is part of O.P.I's 'Pink of Hearts' duo which they release every year with the aim of raising money for various Breast Cancer charities.  The other part of the duo is 'Pink-ing of You', which is a pink creme.  The pack also comes with Pink Ribbon decals and some stick on gems too.  

From what I can gather, only a small percentage of the pack price will be given to charity (£2) if bought from Lenawhite, here, £18.80 and there is no mention of a charitable donation on Amazon, here, but it is cheaper at £14.99 with free super saver delivery.  One other bit of imformation that I cannot seem to find out, is if O.P.I cap their donations in the way that Nails Inc. and Real Techniques did.  Nails Inc. were only donating a maximum of £2500 from sales of their 'Pinkie Pink' polishes and Real Techniques were donating a maximum of $2500 from the purchase of their pink brushes.  I find this a bit cheeky as they really encourage people to buy their products for a good cause, when in reality only a small amount is going to the charity!
I should point out, they offered donations for certain tweets but again, that was also only up to a certain amount.  

Back to the nails...

'Your Royal Shine-ness' (YRS) is a fabulous sparkling silver.  This, to me is what a silver nail polish should be.  This polish is almost like a multi-faceted silver foil.  Perfect for christmas!! It goes on easily, two coats and your done, same old O.P.I pro-wide brush so application can be done quickly.  
This was part of a duo too, one of the Serena Williams 'Grand Slam' Collection.  This came with 'Servin' Up Sparkle' which is an awesome holo silver glitter fest! You can see it in action, here.

I then decided to matte it up a little.  I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the glitter.  I had got the impression that it was a matte, pastel glitter however the glitter was in a sheer pink matte base.  So the pink was the pastel part.  I almost felt like this was unneccesary since it's accompanied by 'Pink-ing of You'.  The pink to the base almost seems like it would limit which colours you could put the glitter over.  

I liked my idea of pastel glitters in a clear matte base better.

I like 'YRS' mattefied like this, it gives it a bit of an edge and almost makes it seem more of a pewter.  I like it a lot.  One day I would love to try this as a reverse mani with black or purple or navy or...

Thats that then, I'm off to practice my taping skills!

Have you tried any of the O.P.I. Pink of Hearts duo packs?

How do you feel about matte manis? 



Thursday, 21 November 2013

(Kinda) Homemade Lasagne

Hey Chummers,

So tonight I thought I would post a winter warmer of a recipe that is pretty easy whilst can also make you feel quite cheffy and like you have actually cooked something.  And it's yum!

Lasagne, yum yum yum! For this recipe I have used beef mince but you could use quorn or any other type of mince (think lamb would be a bit weird though, I am perhaps biased because I can't stand lamb.)

First up, I chopped up an onion, about 4 garlic cloves, some celery (bleurgh!) and grated some carrot. You can add peppers, courgette and any other veg you fancy really.

I put a wee glug of olive oil into a pan and put the pan on medium/high heat.  I then added the onions and celery and cooked them for a few minutes until they started to soften. Then I added the garlic and the carrot and again, left them to cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally so that things didn't start burning.

I then added the mince and let that cook through (known as browning it as the mince will go from pink to brown when cooked).   

Once the mince was suitably browned, I added a beef stock cube crumbled over the top and stirred it all in.  After that, I added a glug of red wine, a sprinkle of oregano and then after a minute or two, I added a good squirt of tomato puree and a tin of chopped tomatoes.

I never used to cook with wine, in fact, the very thought of having wine in my food would have really put me off but it definitely adds lots to the flavour of a dish.  The trick is to put the wine in before the rest of the 'wet' ingredients so that the alcohol can burn off a little (don't worry, that doesn't mean there should be flames!!)

Tomato puree is a handy ingredient to have in your cupboard and if you have an ice cube tray, it doesn't have to go to waste either.  I find the tubes of puree burst easily and so I pop the remainder into an ice cube tray and then you have handy little portions that you can just throw in your pan.

These were the last of the tomatoes off of our little tomato plant and so I just quartered them and popped them in the pan too.  I love cherry tomatoes, I can sit and eat them like most people would eat grapes or minstrels! Lastly, once everything else is in the pan, add a bay leaf or two.

I cheated with the white sauce! Shame on me, I know.  Usually I would make my own sauce but time was of the essence when I made this.  I use fried lasagne sheets but fresh ones are good too, or you could even make your own but you would need a pasta machine etc.  I grated some cheddar and got a small amount of parmesan cheese (just a smidge though as too much can make your sauce taste a bit sicky!)

Now onto the construction...
I layer in the bolognese type mixture *REMEMBER TO REMOVE THE BAYLEAF*.
The longer you can leaf the bolognese mix simmering on a low heat, the better, especially if you are using quorn mince.  

Layer on your pasta sheets

Then spread some of the white sauce across the pasta sheets and top with a sprinkling of parmesan and a handful of cheddar. 
Keep building it up with bolognese, pasta and white sauce until you have almost reached the top of the dish and then your done.  You don't want it too close to the edge because then it may bubble over and make a mess of your oven.  
Top it off with a couple of handfuls of cheddar and another small sprinkling of parmesan.

Cook for about 30-40 mins or until it is golden brown at a temperature of about 180 degrees C.

It may look a bit like a dogs dinner but it tastes yummy, the cheese is all melty, the white sauce is gooey and the bolognese has the flavour of the oregano and bay leaves to give it a herby edge.

Several things to note;

  • I don't tend to measure ingredients for dishes like this, I just go with the flow
  • you don't have to put wine in it
  • I usually put black pepper in to season but never usually use salt, beef mince can be quite salty as it is.

Let me know if you give this a try, it's great for a winter night with some salad and some garlic bread.  To make the salad a bit more exciting you could add some toasted pine nut over the top.

Whats your favourite winter comfort dish?



Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Tangle Teezer

Evening All!

So you may think that the image below is of some giant, purple beastie but fear not for it is none other than the original 'Tangle Teezer'.

I have had this for a number of years now and find it is such a handy wee tool to have around.  It helps to tame unruly, knotted hair and can be used when hair is wet or dry without causing damage.

It fits snugly into your hand so you can apply a good, even pressure when you brush but I must confess, the lack of a handle means I have throuwn this around whilst brushing my hair far more than intended.

The teeth are plastic and so you don't have to worry about being jabbed by metal bits and they are of alternate lengths to aid in the detangling process.

My one is starting to look a bit worse for wear now but it still does the job just fine.  I have very fine hair and although the condition is good, I do have lots of baby hairs round my hairline and my hair falls out quite a lot, i'm by no means bald but my other half does say that I cast as much as the cats! This doesn't damage my hair at all and I find my hair dries quicker once I have brushed through it with this.

There are lots of little teeth and so it really does glide through my hair with ease.  Great at the moment as it is so windy here just now and my hair sees more knots than the ropes on a sailboat. 

Binx likes getting brushed with this too... *not crazy!* I'm just pleased if he does decide to rub his face on this, it's not going to hurt him.     

The cheapest I can spot the 'Tangle Teezer' so far is on Amazon, here, for £8.49 and you can get free super saver delivery.

I can see this lasting me a long, long time although I would quite like to try the Micheal Mercier one purely because it has a handle!

Have you tried a 'Tangle Teezer' before?

Does your hair get knotted easily?