Friday, 31 January 2014

And the highlight of this post is...

You may, or may not, have heard that theBalm Cosmetics are releasing a new luminzing,highlightering, shimmery shadow goodness in the form of 'Cindy Lou-Manizer a.k.a.The Con-tour Artist'. The swatches are making me hyperventilate! It is very pretty and looks to be a great shade for us pale skin girls.  I am waiting patiently until it arrives on our shores though, shipping off of theBalm website to Aberdeen is $25!  Thats one dollar more than the actual item itself!
I digress, seeing the new release made me take another glorious look at my 'Mary'.  This is one of the best highlighters I have tried and I thought I would do a comparison with a product from another of my favourite brands, Benefit.  

Meet 'Moon Beam' liquid highlighter and 'Mary-Lou Manizer' powder highlighter.

So lets start on ease of use.  'Mary' is nice and easy, just lightly dust across where you require a little glow and you're done.  The 'Moon Beam' is a bit trickier because it is liquid.  A little goes a long way with these liquid highlighters and it's usually best to just put a few dots along where you need it and then blend.  This is the bit I struggle with as I often feel I end up undoing my base to blend this.

So colour wise, initially they would appear in the same colour family, so to speak,  'Mary' is a bit of a lighter, champagne gold whereas the 'Moon Beam' has a bit more warmth to it. However, once you get to blending, that changes more than I had expected!

The 'Moon Beam' ends up with a reddish, apricot tone to it which is totally different to the 'Mary'.  The change is quite drastic, and although it is very pretty, it has the potential to change the make up look that you were intent on having. It's still nice and shimmery but on my pale skin, to suddenly have reddish tones along the top of my cheekbones makes me look a bit oddly flushed.  Not ideal if you were aiming for Kim K. style contours.

A few more pics just because I was thrown by how much the 'Moon Beam' changed!  
It's very pretty and on skin with a bit of a tan, the apricot tones would look gorgeous but for now, 'Mary' suits my paleface and my needs much better.

'Moon Beam' is discontinued now but that's not to say it won't come back, however, I did some digging and found a blog post by What Larry Loves, which compares 'Moon Beam' with a super cheap, easy to get a hold of alternative, if the colour sets you aflutter!

I got my 'Mary' from feelunique when they had a 10% off sale however I have noticed it has went from £15 to £16! Sad times!  Save your pennies up and wait for the sales folks! 



Monday, 27 January 2014

Weekend Mani #20

So, last week when I posted my weekend mani, here, you would be forgiven for thinking that I had pretty much declared my undying love for 'My Current Crush'.  Being somewhat a polish harlot, I have a new love this week and it has left me wanting more! 

Meet 'Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow' an O.P.I Suede. 

This is why I love O.P.I.  This is essentially like a matte polish and was released maybe three years ago now, way before most other brands jumped on the textured bandwagon.

One coat in and things are looking a fair bit patchy but the essence of the colour was definitely there, a nice emerald green.  The shimmer appears very fine and not in a metallic or frosty kinda way. 

With a second coat, it begins to take on a whole new meaning! When first applied you can see glimmery, shimmery things starting to happen and then when it dries it has a gorgeous matte but better finish. 

This is two coats and the colour is a lovely, deep emerald green.  The texture feels quite nice too, there is no roughness to it.  As it is supposed to be a suede finish, topcoat is not recommended so that does narrow down wear time, I had a decent amount of tipwear 36 hours later but it was still presentable.  On the plus side, it dries pretty quick so you can do your two coats in less than 10 minutes. I have some pictures of this with various glitters etc which I might do as a wee collage, I just couldn't resist! 

Aaah, it's like someone took the evil dark fairy 'Maleficent' from Disney's Sleeping Beauty and bottled her! I love the almost villainous glow that the shimmer and finish to this polish evokes and it has definitely left me wanting to try more of the suedes.

Interestingly, the suedes are not really that similar to their namesakes which is a little bit bizarre, see what I mean here and here!

Hope you had a lovely weekend!



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Lazy Days and Hair Do's

A few weeks ago, after running out of my stock of Batiste and deciding I wanted a new dry shampoo in my life, I stumbled across this little nugget in sainsburys for half price, fate I tells ya!
I think this was actually released quite some time ago but ashamedly I admit that haircare and haircare products are not my strengths... I had, however, tried the shampoo and conditioner from this range and really liked it so thought I would give this a whirl.

So, what makes it 'Pure'? No silicones, no parabens and no colourants is what! At a time where everyone and their grannies seem to dislike using silicone in their hair products, items like this can really carve a name for themselves.  It also contains organic green tea leaf extract which I'm struggling to find the benefits of (most folk associate green tea and organic with bring good off you but a lot of that is if it is taken orally) my best guess is that if helps protect the hair and possibly the scalp from UV damage. The question is, does it work?

First off, the smell, I would buy this for the smell alone! It's fresh, it's lemony, it's uplifting, I love it.  It has the same smell as the shampoo and conditioner and is very refreshing.  

But that's where I start to cool towards it, for giving my hair texture and a bit of 'grit', this is great, I have quite flyaway hair and this gives it a it more oomph, however, I don't find this makes my hair feel clean, in fact, after a while with this on my bonce, I'm starting to wish for rain on the way home.  

The spray is good, the nozzle doesn't clog and it doesn't make my dark hair look gray and ashy but it doesn't make my hair feel clean and refreshed as promised! 

I think my search continues for the best dry shampoo for dark, flyaway hair.  Any suggestions? 



Monday, 20 January 2014

Weekend Mani #19

Weekend Mani's are back!  I kinda lost my mani mojo although it is slowly but surely coming back, helped along by this little nugget right here.

Let me introduce you to 'My Current Crush' an O.P.I Liquid sand.

As with most of the Liquid Sands I have tried so far, you would get away with one coat, as in the pictures above and below.  That also had the added bonus of drying quicker if you are in a rush.

 This is two coats and it is perfectly opaque.  I really love this colour, it is just the perfect mid-purple and the silver glitter running through it just gives it that extra summin' summin'.

This post is a little picture heavy because I love it so... sorry.  I'm not sorry.

This was part of a set called 'The TXTure Effect' of which the other part was a 'Natural Nail' Base coat which is surprisingly something I have never tried from O.P.I before, I usually just use the Nail Envy as a base.

In sunlight this takes on an added warmth to it and the silver becomes more evident.  The texture is not overly abrasive, just enough so that every once in a while you find yourself stroking your own fingernails... just me then?!

As is standard, it features the O.P.I Pro-Wide brush for quick and easy application, unless you have tiny pinkies like me then the brush is a little bit too wide! 

I got this set in TKMaxx just before christmas for £12.99 and gave it to my mum to give to my brother to give me for christmas, yeah, that's how we roll at christmas.  I think most people are wary of buying a beauty products for someone has a stash to rival Superdrug but at the same time, I couldn't think of anything I would rather have than beauty, skincare or nails bits and bobs.  

Although Limited Edition, there are still one or two places where you can get this. 

I've never used this website before but they are offering free delivery as are Nail Polish Direct, here. If you do go a-browsing, particularly on Nail Polish Direct, watch out for some of the glitters that are priced at £19.95, I think 'The Living Daylights' and 'When Monkeys Fly' were the two I remember seeing priced as such.  There is no need for them to be that price, they are not hard to find so do shop around.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Hello Flawless Custom Powder Cover up - A review

A few months ago, I think October, I purchased Hello Flawless from Boots.  I hadn't intended to, I was on the lookout for a loose powder so to come home with a pressed, expensive powder was a bit of deviation from plan but I had high hopes as A) I have always loved Benefit and 2) I had seen a few good reviews about it.  So, does it meet those expectations?  All will be revealed...

These pictures were taken when I first got it and it was all pretty and new.

I love the packaging, its very similar to Topshop Cosmetics packaging though with the white background and black polka dots.  It comes with a handy instruction leaflet which gives you a brief 'how to' depending on the method of application and type of coverage required.

The compact itself contains 7g of product and has an SPF 15, I'm not sure how well it photographs with regards to flashback as it contains SPF so that is something to be wary of.  It has a nifty little compartment in which resides a wee brush and a wee sponge.  They are cute but as with the benefit blushes, the brush is a bit meh.

And this is it in it's untouched state, I got this in shade 'Ivory - gee I'm swell' which annoyingly isn't the shade I wanted as it is darker than 'Ivory - I love me' and yellower than 'Champagne - Me, Vain?'.  I wasn't informed by the Customer Advisor that there were two shades of Ivory! Grrr! for £25.50, I want this to be the right one for me.

It's not this little fella's fault though, although what happens next is not for the faint hearted and if you don't like cosmetic abuse, please look away now...

I broked it! *sobs* the works night out where I lost like half my stash? this happened.  I lost the brush before I had even used it, miraculously saved the sponge, cracked the powder so that I left half of it in my work chums hubby's car and the powder now comes out completely!  Whoops! 

This is the sponge, it's spongey... recommended for use if you want a fuller coverage and so you just pat it on the areas where you need a bit more coverage.

This is my hand with Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum on in shade '51 Light Vanilla'

And this is my hand with Hello Flawless over the top.  It may just be me that is hyper critical but how yellow does that look?!? The skin on my hand is relatively similar to that of my face, it is my neck that is really pale and man alive this is waaaay too dark and too yellow!

And again, at a slightly different angle to show it in a different light, it's still yellow folks.

This is it after I have taken my RealTechniques powder brush over the top and unforuantely, it's still yellow. 

And look at how much is left on the sponge, that is the one and only time I have used the sponge and look how grotty it is, there is so much product left on there.

There is a fair bit of fall out too when used with a powder brush, so if you are wanting to do some 'finishing touches' once you have put on your LBD then I strongly advise some sort of bib device.

So, onto the actual finish, is it worth it?  No.  I really wanted to say yes, I have a lifelong affinity to Benefit products and used to have quite a stash of them but this has me thrown which is why it's taken me so long to review it.  

The shade range is not exceptional, I really wish brands would start making their light shades lighter, they need to spend some time in Scotland and see what no sun does to a complexion! Apart from being too yellow and too dark, I found that when this was applied with the sponge is was a wee bit too cakey for me, but again I think that was more due to the shade rather than the formulation.  I would say I have normal/combination skin although on some of my spotty bits there was some dryness and I definitely feel that was accentuated rather than masked by this powder.  I felt that it oxidised during the day too, which means it got darker and more yellow! it does last fairly well on the skin, albeit clinging to said dry bits and can lean towards patchy on me as the rest of my makeup where I have lightly powdered this has disappeared and I'm left with a slightly yellow, flaky muzzle - schexy, no?!

As I say, I wanted to love this but as it turns out, I can't wait until it's finished.  I think I might try Soap & Glory's 'One Heck Of A Blot™'  next or if I'm feeling flush, I quite fancy trying out Illamasqua's loose powder,I have never tried any of their products but have always heard good things (the nail polish 'Facet' and the lipstick 'Shard' are both high on my 'if I ever put an order in' list, oh and so is Perseid, Raindrops and Pink Raindrops - uh oh!). 

Have you got a 'Holy Grail' face powder for me to try?

Do you find it easy to find shades to suit you?



Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sista's are doin' it for themselves!

In my quest for organisation last week, I was trying to figure out how to fix my saggy drawers *oh er!* there were lots of tips and tricks I could have employed that would have included glue and clamps and strips of wood and then I just decided to make things easier for myself...

Big drawers under the bed are the worst for sagging in the middle and then all your stuff gets caught in the back and then you can't get the drawer out, so annoying when space is at a premium! 

I took the bottom of the drawer out, measured the space allowing for the grooves and then the good part...

I took the measurements to my local B & Q, picked up some hardboard and got the lovely guy at the cutting bit to cut them to size.  You get three cuts free so it was great.

And voila, one fixed and functioning drawer! No waiting around for glue to dry, or partners to try and fix it, jobs a good 'un! 

Oh, and it only cost about £6 for the whole big bit of board which I then used to replace both of my drawers.

Do you do DIY bits around your home? 



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

To buy or not to buy...

Here is a wee round up of some bits and bobs that I have used up over the last month or so, I am on a mission to use up all my old or open products so I can start afresh with my shiny new bits!

I'm glad I have rounded all these up now and can put them out to the recycling!

So first up, The Hair...

Nothing very exciting here, this is a travel sized Batiste Dry Shampoo that I had originally planned on keeping in my locker at work for emergencies but laziness overruled this and it came home with me.  I don't think I will purchase Batiste again as the non brunette version makes my hair so white and dusty looking, I might as well just talc my hair. The one good thing with the Batiste Dry Shampoo's are that they smell lovely. I would buy the full sized over the travel sized in terms of price.

Next up, The Face...

I have quite a few face bits that I used up so thought I'd break them up into skincare and cosmetics.  
The sachet of Egyptian Magic, I got 3 x 3ml samples in a Birchbox and I have used them as sparingly as possible.  I really like this stuff and my skin really liked it.  It is desgined to be used anywhere and everywhere but after first trying it on my face, I had to keep it for face use only.  It is a balmy oil that melts with the heat of your hands, I put this on in the evening and by morning my face felt so much more hydrated.  It's not cheap at between £22 and £27 but I am 95% sure I will repurchase this.

Dermalogica Daily Microexfoliant. This is also a really good, gentle scrub which I also mentioned, here, my original bugbear still stands in that it is a bit of a faff trying to concoct the paste whilst standing in the shower. That aside, I would definitely consider repurchasing this and it lasts for a good while too. The one I have/had is the 30g I think, I got this with a glossybox last year, the retail size is 75g and would last a good 4 months at least I reckon.

Lastly, Dermalogica Total Eye Care with SPF15.  I have had this for ages, it seems to have lasted forever! I am not religious about using eye creams even though I really should be but I have used this one alot and it has lasted me well over a year I think.  Saying that, I wouldn't repurchase.  It has 'Optical Light Diffusers' to minimise dark circles but what it really means is that it has a bit of a tint to it which disguises dark circles for a small period of time.  I think I have enough left to take a few pictures and do a separate post.  

I have linked the Dermalogica products to as they are offering 15% off if you purchase two or more Dermalogica products and four free sample sachets.

Now onto the cosmetics, both L'oreal offerings.  The first in the form of their Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation in the shade 'Rose Pearl'.  This is quite light coverage foundation so if you need to mask blemishes, I am not sure I would recommend this, it can be built up but blemishes are best kept relatively matte, not illuminated.  The texture is lovely and it gives a nice, dewy finish with no signs of cakey-ness.  It lasts on the skin pretty well and doesn't oxidise.  It comes with a pump dispenser, always a big plus for me but the glass bottle, although nice, means that there was at least four faces worth of foundation left in the bottle! I don't like waste! Good shade range as always from L'oreal but the way my skin is at the moment, I wouldn't repurchase simply because I need a bit more coverage.

Lastly for this section, the L'oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer.  I have had this a while and it's never blew me away.  First off, its in a little glass tub, I like the glass, it gives the product a more expensive, weightier feel however the tub is not hygienic.  It does make skin feel nice and soft after you apply it (I'm guessing there are some silicones at work there) but it is quite tacky when applying it and needs to be rubbed/patted/massaged in pretty well.  I wouldn't say it had great resurfacing abilities nor did it really smooth out my pores but it did give quite a nice matte finish.  I think for the price, I wouldn't repurchase and would like to try some of the Bourjois primers instead.  

Almost there, finishing up with The Bod...

Soap and Glory 'Foam Call' Body Wash.  I'm sure you can guess it but I loved this.  It smells lovely and fruity and fresh whilst also providing a good lather and leaving my skin feeling clean and soft. Big bottle with a super handy pump dispenser (love these for shower products), I usually have to hide this from my partner! Definately a repurchase.

The Body Shop 'Merry Cranberry' Bath and Shower Gel (this years version linked, also get an extra 30% off with the code 19805 and you can also get topcashback!).  I actually got this last christmas as part of a gift set of which I still haven't touched the rest of the contents.  Does the job well, gives bubbles in the bath and lathers well in the shower.  It has a lovely scent which is very like cranberry sauce and not artificial smelling and more importantly, the scent actually lingers a while which I was quite impressed with.  I possibly would repurchase this especially if they made a gift set with this and a matching scented candle! Yum!

And the most exciting item 'til last... Sure Ultra Dry Anti-Perspirant.  Now, I'm not the sweatiest of Betties, especially not in winter time in Aberdeen but this claims to work for 48 hours, which quite frankly is a bit silly.  It's very rare that a woman will go 48 hours without a wash of some sort and it just seems like such a pointless claim, that aside, it gets me through my working day and my walks to and from work well enough.  The first handful or so times I used this, I really thought I was going to othrow it in the bin as the spray pretty much turned white and fell off where I sprayed it, to the extent that it looked like my underarms were snowing.  I was a bit worried the cats were going to sniff this white aerosol powder and do themselves a mischief, not ideal!  If you buy this, make sure you give it a really good shake the first wee while to avoid the dreaded white marks.


Thats all for now!

Do you have anything you are dying to go out and repurchase?



Monday, 13 January 2014

Splurging at Space.nk

I was very, very naughty on Christmas Day, whilst banished from the kitchen, my idle hands made light work of the Space.nk sale.

So, you can see I maybe went a bit wild and it is very Laura Mercier heavy but at 50% off who wouldn't?! 

Oh, and it was Christmas Day after all...

Here we have the Body and Bath Quartet in 'Fresh Fig'.  This contains a body wash, body butter, hand cream and 'Eau Gourmande'.  I want to eat it all! Last year, I had really wanted to try the 'Creme de Pistache' version of this but told myself it was far too extravagant, this year, I figured since I've waited a whole year, I'm gonna go for it! 

Next up is the Soufflé Body Creme Sampler Collection, again, these all smell good enough to eat.  This set consists of 'Almond Coconut Milk', 'Ambre Vanille', 'Fresh Fig' and 'Creme de Pistache'. 

The little, solitary candle is Space.nk's own Shimmering Spice Candle and it came really cutely wrapped with a wee bow on top.  This has an initial hit of orange and then a spicy kick - very christmassy and I reckon you could leave this out unlit and it would still fragrance the room really well.

Just to carry on the 'do I eat it or do I sniff it?' theme, there is the Votive Candle Sampler Collection.  This has a few familiar names in that there is 'Ambre Vanille' and 'Fresh Fig' however there are also two newcomers to my collection in the forms of 'Creme Brûlée' and my surprise favourite and an exclusive fragrance 'Tarte au Citron'.  I expected 'Tarte au Citron' to be really tangy and that the cats would avoid but it is sweetly mellow and definitely smells 'pudding-y'! 

Aaaaah, so pretty! I was so pleased I got this, at £32 it wasn't cheap but it has a lot of stuff in it, I will review at a later date as here is too much crammed in here to describe now. This is called *deep breath* the Luxe Colour Wardrobe Dual Decker Colour for Eyes and Cheeks. Phew, good job it's purdy!

A few samples included courtesy of Space.nk.  I have heard of Sunday Riley before so I'm keen to try this, although I may wait until I can see the sun until I use it.  Perfume samples are always handy for handbags, uniform pockets etc.  And lastly, a Goldfaden M.D. vital boost moisturiser, this might come in handy this week if the weather gets even colder and the air con starts taking it out on my face! .

Have you done any sales splurging? 

Have you tried any Laura Mercier products? 



Friday, 10 January 2014

Organised Chaos...

This week, I am trying to clean out our flat and organise all our cupboards and drawers but it is not quite going to plan - I am far too easily distracted! 

One thing I did spot on my second trip to B&Q today was a set of storage drawers which I bought last year and actually found really handy.  I have only ever seen them around this time of year in the shop so not sure if it's seasonal but if your looking for some storage that won't break the bank, this could be what you are looking for. 

For under £20, I have definitely put my set to good use.

In the top drawer, I store hair brushes, combs, hair bobbles and a few other bits.

In the middle drawer, I keep my haircare products such as serums, oils, leave-in co diopter, sectioning clips and Kirby grips.  I say I keep my Kirby grips there but I also keep them in the bedroom, bathroom, work bag, the boys dressing gown pockets...when I round them up though, this is where they live! 

In the bottom, big drawer is where the big guns live.  My hair dryer, ghd's and curling wand fit in this drawer perfectly.  

I think these are made by the 'Really Useful Box' company and true to their name, they are really useful! I couldn't find them on the B&Q website but there were loads of this colour scheme in store.  Alternatively, you could customise your own set, complete with stationary insert top, here

How do you store all your hair and beauty bits?