Sunday, 29 May 2011

My First Summer Look of 2011

We’ve been having a bit of a strange time of it weather-wise in London lately - for the past fortnight it's been mostly sunny but blustery and not safe to go out without both a jacket and sunglasses since the air has been full of dust and fluffy seeds from the trees – yuk.  But today the air was warming up nicely and it felt like it might just be the start of summer after all – hooray!

In celebration I created my first summer inspired look of 2011, using amongst other things a whole new batch of make-up goodies that I picked up this week.

I wanted to get the new No. 7 summer 2011 “Sunset Metallic Eye Palette” and I also picked up a new tinted moisturiser that contains lots of UV filters and also offers a hint of dewy, sheer coverage.


Here’s a shot of my skin after having applied the tinted moisturiser (and half-way through my eye makeup!) - I actually think it gives quite good coverage for a tinted moisturiser.  The current price is £12.50 for 50ml which isn’t bad considering that foundations always seem to come in 30ml bottles (but you can always wait until Boots run a special offer on No. 7 – they seem to have one kind of offer or another on most of the time!)


I wanted to get the eye palette because I really like the metallic shades, which are a sophisticated shimmer rather than glittery.  The shades are also perfect for summer and make me think of Greek islands and Sorrento.  The shades are: very dark green, light gold, copper and olive green.  The consistency is smooth and the pigmentation is very good and there was no visible fall out when I applied the product using my normal eyeshadow brushes.  The palette contains 4g of product altogether and normal price is £13.50 but again if you watch out for special offers you can pick it up for much less.

I’ve included swatches from a couple of angles to try to capture the glimmer, and you can see how some of the shades look on my eyes in the pics at the end of this post.


I also bought a new Bourjois lipgloss from their Effect 3D range in the shade 23 Framboise magnific.  It’s super shiny and contains tiny flecks of sparkle and also claims to provide “Balm action moisture 8hrs”.  The consistency is quite thick and sticky and the applicator is a brush which I actually like - you can either use a mirror and apply the product very accurately following your lip line or just pop some in the middle of your lips and smear it out by pressing your lips together.

This product wasn’t cheap at around £6 for 5.7ml and that was on special offer (I think I paid £1 less than the normal price) but I do have to say that due to its thick consistency it is very long lasting and does feel very moisturising.  The sparkle may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I actually like it because I do think it creates the illusion of plumper lips.   The colour in the packaging is also very true to the colour on the lips as it’s qutie opaque.  I also used this in the look below so you can see how it appears on my lips in the pics at the end.


So finally here’s the look that I came up with today – lots of golds, browns and oranges that make me think of parched grass on sand dunes in the sunset.  It's actually quite a carefully constructed look for me as I usually prefer to just whack on one or two block colours - but it's not too much of a break from tradition as you can see that my much loved huge flick is still there!


Products Used (for more details on the Essence and P2 products please see my post Goodies From Germany Part 1: Eye make-up):

No. 7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser in Fair
Sleek blush in Pan Tao
MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers in Bronze (as highlight)

BarryM Shimmering Lip & Eye Crayon in Gold all over eyelid as base
Essence eyeshadow in 41…spotted! ( matte yellow) all over lid
No. 7 Sunset Metallic Eye Palette:
light gold as highlight in inner corner and blended above crease
copper blended across inner 1/3 of crease
dark green blended into outer crease and lower lash line
Essence Sun Club Gel Eyeliner in 02 All Night Brown to line upper lash line
P2 Open up your eyes! Eye brightener applied on outer 2/3 of lower waterline
Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect mascara

Bourjois Effect 3D gloss in 23 Framboise Magnific

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara

Phew, what an exhausting week I’m having at work!  I decided to perk myself up today on my way home from the office with a spot of impulsive make-up shopping and I grabbed a couple of things from Boots, but I just want to show you one of them just now as the daylight was rapidly fading by the time I got home so I didn’t have a chance to take any nice photos.

Bourjois have released a new novelty mascara called Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara that features a motorised wand.  You may have heard of motorised mascara wands before but as opposed to some others which vibrate from side to side, this brush actually rotates (in two directions, so that you can coat both top and bottom lashes, and it doesn’t matter if you’re left or right handed).

IMG_8779  IMG_8782

The blurb promises a false lash effect in just 30s.  Let’s see what the photographic evidence has to say for itself. 

First up, a couple of shots from a previous date of my lashes without mascara.  As you can see I have pretty short and wispy lashes:



And now for my pics from tonight after a spot of rotating mascara action:




Hmmm….not bad at all really!  I’m actually quite impressed to be honest, and I have to admit that this product is a lot of fun.  I showed it to my boyf and even he thought that the rotating mascara wand was pretty cool!

The only thing I would say against this product is that I find Bourjois mascaras quite a pain to remove.  They must use some kind of ingredient in all their mascaras that Rimmel (my usual favourite for mascaras) don't because they go all bit-ty when I take them off and I often end up with panda eyes the following morning even when I've tried my best to take them off the night before - pretty annoying.

Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect Mascara retails for around £12 in the UK but at the moment (please see above for the publication date of this post) you can pick it up at an introductory price of around £8 from Boots and Superdrug in the UK.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Goodies from Germany part 1: Eye Make-Up

I went to Germany last week to watch the Eurovision Song Contest in Duesseldorf.  The event itself was very well organised – easy to get to, well set out, and easy to get home from, and all the service people were very friendly and helpful.  I love watching Eurovision on TV every year but this was the first time that I went to actually see it live and I had a great time.  I definitely recommend it as a fun holiday!

I actually lived in Germany for a while and I have to say that it’s my favourite country in Europe (apart from my home, the UK of course :) ) so it was really nice to be back there for a few days and I took the opportunity to do a little make-up shopping of course!  Unfortunately it’s much more expensive to buy things there at the moment than it was when I last lived there in 2003 due to the current exchange rate of GBP – EUR.  However, there are still many good buys to be had and shopping in Germany can still represent good value.

If you would like to try out some German beauty products then I would recommend the store DM which is similar to Superdrug in the UK.  They stock international brands such as L’Oreal and Maybelline but also some low cost brands that are not available in Britain such as P2, Manhattan and Essence.  I’ve also just checked on their website and they say that none of their own brand products are tested on animals which is an added bonus (I try to avoid products which may have been tested on animals but sometimes it can be difficult to know), and they also stock many “bio” and “eco” products such as snacks made from whole foods, organic products, and beauty products with an emphasis on natural ingredients.

I picked up some Essence eyeshadows which cost 1.55 euros each.  Although this isn’t one of DM’s own brands it is not tested on animals either.  I’d never tried this brand before but the products looked cheap and cheerful so I thought I’d give them a go.


In the pic below you can see the names and the finishes. 

Clockwise from top left:

  • No.16 Go Glam shimmer effect
  • No. 41 …spotted! matt effect
  • No. 44 it’s up to you shimmer effect
  • No. 19 Disco Diva metallic effect




The colours are very soft and quite subtle on the skin, but they are definitely buildable.  In the swatch above I was trying to show that they’re blendable but unfortunately the picture didn’t come out so clearly.

I’ve only used these shadows a few times but it seems like I’ve used quite a lot of product as the embossing has noticeably faded:


However, at 1.55 euros a pop they’re really not going to break the bank and the large range of colours available means that you can experiment with loads of different shades and effects.  Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to stock up on some new eyeshadow monos.

I also picked up a chubby eye brightening pencil from the range P2.  This cost 2.25 euros, which again is a total bargain because it’s huge.  It’s a very similar product to the Eye Bright pencil from Benefit.  The consistency is very soft and it’s a light pink colour, and you simply pop it along your waterline and/or smudge it along the corners of your eyes and upper lash line to make your eyes appear brighter and your whole face look more awake.


IMG_8727 IMG_8728

IMG_8730 Oh dear, this isn’t a great photo at all!  I hope you can see something though.

Top: P2 Open Up Your Eyes! Eye brightener

Bottom: Benefit Eye Bright

Finally I also picked up a brown gel liner from the Essence summer collection for 2.95 euros. It’s a nice strong brown with a gold shimmer running through it that applies well with a slanted eyeliner brush.  I bought the brush that was also part of the summer collection for 1.45 euros and for the price it was a very good buy – a nice, fine brush that creates clean lines.




I do have some more products to show you but I think I’d best save them for another post as this one is quite long already, and I also have to go and finish my Swedish homework that’s due tomorrow now!  Hope you enjoyed this post, I will be back soon with more!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bright Blues

Hello again!  I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve actually been away on holiday – I went to Germany to go to the Eurovision song contest!  I had a great time and of course managed to pick up lots of goodies while I was over there, but I haven’t managed to organise all my new purchases or photos yet so in the meantime I thought I’d do a really quick post to show a couple of the eyeshadow looks that I’ve created over the past week.
I’m really into my blue eyeshadows at the moment and my top two recommendations are Radium by Urban Decay (I have this in my Book of Shadows vol. III) and the bright blue from the Sleek Sunset palette (this is part of their permanent line and is available from Superdrug).
My top two bright blue eyeliners are the blue metallic eyedefiner (an eye pencil) by The Body Shop and the metallic blue liquid eyeliner by Collection 2000.
Here are my pics – hope you like the looks.
Above: two-toned blue look with large flick
Above: blue and red
Created using two shades of blue eyeshadow (light and dark) with red in the outer corner, blue liquid liner and a tiny bit of blue glitter patted over the outside of the eye.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Discovering Sleek True Colour Lipstick

I actually usually buy lipstick out of necessity rather than on a whim because I only tend to wear very neutral colours, so I can happily wear the same lipstick every day for three months until it runs out or the weather changes and I want to switch to a different formulation.  However I was in the mood to buy some make-up after work this week and when I went into Superdrug I saw that there was a special offer on Sleek True Colour lipsticks to buy two for £6 (normally £3.99 each) so I thought I’d break out of my comfort zone and give something different a try.

I first bought a very nude shade called Barely There and a bright orange shade called Coral Reef.  The lipsticks in the range are available in either a sheen or matte finish but I much prefer sheen finishes so that’s what I went for with both (there are similar shades to these available in a matte finish but they have different names).

They come in individual cardboard packaging which shows on the front (bottom left) that you get 3.5g of product.


I don’t think the shades on the box are very indicative of the actual colours of the lipsticks though…see how similar both Coral Reef and Barely There look on the boxes.



but just check out the colours in the swatches on my skin!


Coral Reef is a bright orange while Barely There is very nude (maybe caramel?)

These lipsticks are so pigmented.  The best way I can think to describe them in fact is like pigment for your lips.  They are totally opaque with the result that none of your natural lip colour shows through the lipstick, and the swatches are quite a true indication of the colour you can actually expect on your lips.  Barely There reminds me a bit of the colour that Angelina Jolie used to wear on her lips when she was younger and wore them nude and pouty, so I would suggest this shade for achieving a similar effect if you are interested in that kind of lip look.  I am going to be whipping out my lip liner when I have a bit more time at the weekend to experiment a bit more with Barely There in fact!

Here’s a close up of the lipsticks to show you the packaging and lipstick in more detail.


Well, in fact I was so impressed by these two lippies that I went out and bought another two shades from the range today (could this be the beginning of my conversion to lipstick junkie?!)

This time I went for a slightly darker neutral called Liqueur that is more similar to my actual lip colour and a bright pink called simply Fuschia – but again both in sheen finishes.


And here’s a swatch.  Both absolutely gorgeous again!  If you like your lipsticks then I definitely recommend checking out this range in your nearest Superdrug – I think you really just have to have a play around with them to believe how pigmented they are.


Pastel Polka Dots

After not having bought any new nail varnishes for about a year I’ve gone a bit nail crazy over the past couple of months and added another two colours to my collection today when I picked up shades 317 Blue Moon and 318 Peach Melba by BarryM in Superdrug on my way home from work.  They normally retail at around £2.99 each in Superdrug for 10ml but at the moment they’re on special offer at two for £5.


I think these colours are so lovely and capture the early summer mood that I’m in at the moment so perfectly that I wanted to use them straight away so I painted all my finger nails with Peach Melba (2 thin coats dried quickly to give great opaque coverage), then decided to pop some Blue Moon polka dots on top.  Actually Peach Melba is such an opaque peach that I'm not really sure if it suits me that well on its own, but I think that it looks really nice together with a splash of Blue Moon.

I don’t have any special nail art tools so I just grabbed a wooden skewer from my kitchen, carefully cut the top off, buffed down the ends with a rough nail file, and used the rounded tip to create the polka dots on my nails.

For some reason they make me think of a French umbrella from the ‘60s…maybe because I recently saw the musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” in the West End.  Anyway, quite cute in any case methinks!


Showing off my finished nails with a bit of help from my favourite keyring…IMG_8429

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New Discovery: Organic Cosmetics in Covent Garden

I have rather exciting news for you today as I just discovered a lovely new beauty brand that I would like to introduce you to in this post!

I met a friend for a coffee in Covent Garden today and afterwards as we wandered about we came across the Melvita shop in St. Martin’s Court, just behind St. Martin’s Lane.  It’s a brand that neither of us had heard of before but one of the shop assistants offered us some fresh honey, ginger and lemon tea when we walked in and explained that they were a French organic beauty brand that had been established by a biologist and bee-keeper, so not only do many of their products feature honey, you can even buy various varieties of honey in their shop along with beauty products, which I thought was quite a quirky touch for a beauty brand!  The Covent Garden shop was their first UK store and they are in the process of opening a new store in Putney.

They make products for face, body and hair, with various ranges for dry skin, anti-ageing, oily and blemish prone skin etc. The shop itself is laid out in a brightly lit, open and accessible format.  There are plenty of testers and the staff are happy to let you browse whilst being on hand to answer any questions so I would definitely recommend a visit to this store if you are interested in organic and/or cruelty free beauty products.

My friend and I each picked one oil from their beauty oils range, which comprises 24 different oils with various properties that can be used on the face, body or hair.  My friend went for their rosehip seed oil which has rejuvenating properties while I decided to try their Nigella oil which is said to be purifying and is suitable for oily and blemish prone skin.  To use the oils you simply pump a small amount into the palm of your hand, gently rub your hands together to distribute the oil into a thin layer across your hands, and massage into your skin or hair to facilitate the absorption of the oil.  I tried it out today when I got home, but I guess it will take a while for me to see I can notice any discernable difference in my skin, but if I do I will definitely keep you posted!


Here’s the blurb from the box: