Monday, 27 June 2011

Sale Jewellery Summer 2011

Q: Hmm, what’s to be found in my two newest shopping bags?


A: A big pile of costume jewellery (mostly) picked up at half price in the summer sales.  Scroll down for my close-ups!

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woodland creatures stud earrings, £3.99 full price, H&M.
I actually picked these up full price in Feb this year but I thought they were so cute I’d post some pics.  My favourites are the hares and stags.  The hares are even both different – you can see that one has a bent ear.
lime-threaded dangle earrings, £6.25 half price, Topshop
ballerina & rose stud earrings, £2.50 at half price, Topshop
turquoise robot necklace, £4.25 at half-price, Topshop
I actually had the same pendant in a different colour and length before which I bought several months ago.  I can’t resist a piece of cute robot paraphernalia though so I went ahead and bought this second one too.
top: orange & metal earrings, £3.25 at half-price, Topshop
bottom: raven claw & turquoise earrings, £2.50 at half-price, Topshop
stag head necklace, £5 at half-price, Topshop
clockwise from left:
cube necklace, £8.50 at half-price, East
freshwater pearl earrings, £3 at half-price, East
blue wooden earrings, £3 at half-price, East
East is a great place to check out at sale time if you like jewellery made from natural materials such as wood, shell, stone and pearl.  They have a great selection marked down to half-price.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sleek Mediterranean Eye Look - Light Blue

Just a quick post for a quick look that I created using my new Sleek Monaco eye shadow palette.  I used the four shades at the left of the palette.

Here’s what I came up with.


I used my new Accessorize blush in Quiver on my cheeks which is a really pretty light pink - hopefully you can see the colour in the pic below.


I thought that the brown shade “Sand Walker” looked quite “meh” and bland in the pan, but once it was on my eyes I thought it was the perfect base colour to contrast with the blues.  I also like the way it reminds me of a stone, or a twig.

I was really pleased with this look and I think it’s a quick and easy way to wear a little colour to quite dramatic effect.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Accessorize Haul for Summer 2011

Accessorize is my current favourite make-up brand.  I bought loads of items from their collection over the winter of 2010 so imagine my delight when I discovered on a routine trip to Superdrug that they’ve just brought out a whole new range for summer 2011!

In the end it was £33 worth of delight!  Here’s an overview of what I picked up.



 The mascara was the first item that caught my eye as it has the cutest packaging ever – a pink background with a patchwork union jack on top with a liberal sprinkling of flowers for good measure.  It’s called “Collagen Mascara” and I bought the shade Ultra Black.  I’ve worn it twice now and both times it’s proven to be a nice every day mascara – adding good, but not overwhelming definition and lasting well all day.  The wand is a quite large typical wire brush with quite densely packed bristles that worked well on my sparse lashes.



I love pretty much everything about the Accessorize eyeshadows – the shades, the pigmentation, the packaging and the price.  This time I picked up a baked trio in 5 - Astonishment (greens) and a baked duo in 15 – Zoria (blue and gold).  All the shades are shimmery and the pigmentation is good to great.  Zoria has in fact become an instant favourite with me!



I don’t usually wear bronzer but the shades of the baked bronzer duo in Bondi 4 looked like they would be light enough for even someone as pale as me to get away with.  The lighter shade is a gorgeous highlighting gold and the darker shade also has veins of very light gold running through it and I think you can actually see the effect in the swatch.



Now although I love most of the Accessorize range I think the item that I love the most are their Merged Blushes.  I bought two of the three that came out last autumn/winter so I was super-excited (yes, I am easily excited Smile) to discover that they’re launched a whole new range of shades.  I had to grab shades 7 – Wowzer (what a great name!) which is a bright pink and 8 – Quiver which is a fawny-light pink mix that is best described by the word “cute”.

left to right: 8 – Quiver; 7 – Wowzer

Here’s a comparison with the Accessorize blushes I bought last year:

clockwise from top:
7 – Wowzer; 2 – Starlet; 3 – Pretty Pink; 8 – Quiver

You can see that Wowzer and Starlet are quite similar, but Wowzer has veins of purple running through it and Starlet has veins of gold and I do think the effect is noticeable in the swatches below.

Left to right:
Quiver, Wowzer, Pretty Pink, Starlet

I love these blushes because they’re so easy to wear and also versatile.  The texture is just right – hard enough that they’re not crumbly, but soft enough that you get enough colour pay off when applying them with soft blusher brushes.  The colours are strong but not too strong so you can build up from something quite sheer to bright pops of colour on your cheeks.  They’re all shimmery so they can also be used high on the cheekbones as a highlight.  Basically – love, love, love!

Here are the prices I paid – but please note that prices may be subject to change and should only be viewed as an approximate guide.

collagen mascara £6.50
eyeshadow trio £6.00
eyeshadow duo £4.50
bronzer duo £6.00
merged blush £5.00

Body Shop Summer Sale 2011 Make-Up

I haven’t bought anything from The Body Shop for ages but I happened to be wandering around Euston train station the other night and popped into the tiny store on the concourse and ended up picking up a couple of pieces of make-up that were reduced in their summer sale.

Their Spring 2011 eyeshadow palette 01 Boho Beauty is currently reduced from £15 to £7.50.  I don’t usually go in for nude shades but I have to admit that I think this palette is just so beautiful I had to succumb.


The cover was designed by students at the University of the Arts London College of Fashion, but actually I’m not that interested in the design – it’s the make-up inside that caught my eye!  The eyeshadows are buttery soft and super blendable, with three matte shades and one shimmer (the nude in the top left).  The darkest brown in the bottom right-hand corner is also a great colour for me to use for defining as it has plum undertones and offsets the lilacs and purples that I like wearing perfectly.


The palette is made of sturdy plastic and also houses a large mirror in the lid, and the kit also contains a mini eye definer in 02 Rich Brown and a mini eyeshadow brush.  The brush is actually pretty good quality – I can see myself getting some good use out of it.  The eye pencil is quite hard and takes a bit of warming up before it delivers good colour pay off, but once it was actually on my skin it did stay put well.


left to right:

eye definer 02 rich brown; eye colour New Nude; eye colour Vintage Apricot; eye colour boho brown; eye colour haute chocolate.

The palette contains 2.5g of each shadow which is very generous.  That’s similar or more than many brands’ single eyeshadows, so overall I think that £7.50 is an excellent price to get this palette for.

I also bought a somewhat more impractical tiny pot of pink Star Dust which is basically 1.5g of glitter.  I have to admit that I’m a bit of a glitter bug and at £3 I thought why not.


The colour is a dark fuschia that I actually think looks quite sophisticated.  The glitter particles are flat and round and therefore sit well on the skin.  Just be careful when you tip some out of the container though, as my first attempt ended in this:


I only wanted to tip out a tiny sprinkling - whoops!  Anyway while I had a big heaped pile of glitter on my hand I thought I might as well take a nice close up shot.


You can see the way the particles sit more clearly on my finger tip which I used to spread the glitter on my hand out a bit.


I love how sparkly the glitter looks in these photos – usually it’s difficult to convey the real texture of glitters and shimmers in photos.  This is how the glitter spread out just on my bare skin, but normally I’d wearing it on top of a creamy primer from my Sleek Primer Palette or a creamy eyeshadow stick to get it to stick exactly where I want and hopefully last all night.

Sleek Mediterranean Collection

Sleek released their summer 2011 limited edition Mediterranean collection last week which consists of the Monaco eyeshadow palette (£6.90), Monte Carlo pout polish (£4.29), and Santorini blush (£4.29).  I purchased mine from a Superdrug store and online prices may vary.

I really love the print they’ve chosen for the packaging - it makes me think of films starring Cary Grant or James Bond.  While the print appears on the blush and pout polish it’s unfortunately only on the cardboard box for the eyeshadow palette, which is the same standard black plastic as most other Sleek palettes.  It does however have the name of the palette printed at the bottom right to help distinguish it from the other palettes.


The packaging of my pout polish was sealed with an impressive amount of sellotape:


Well, at least there was no danger there of ending up with a product that had already been fingered in the shop!

The pout polish and blush both look like fantastically bright pink in the pans, but the pout polish is actually very sheer.  The blush, however, is as pigmented as an eyeshadow and is best applied with a light touch.
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Although I love the colour of the blush, I have to say that I won’t actually be using it because mine has a really really weird smell that I can’t quite put my finger on – like a strong antisceptic or something similar – could it be potassium permanganate?!  The smell is so strong that it’s even noticeable from picking up a tiny amount of colour on a blusher brush.  None of my other blushes have ever smelt like this including my other Sleek blush, Pan Tao.  Has anybody else had the same problem with their Santorini blush? I’m actually not sure what I should do with my blush now though I am considering taking it back to Superdrug as a faulty product.

I do like the Monaco eyeshadow palette though.  I could actually see myself wearing every single shade in the palette, and the shadows themselves are very pigmented.  As with all Sleek eyeshadow palettes though the shadows are very soft so it does need to be handled carefully to avoid breakages and therefore despite its neat, slim size it’s not best suited to travelling.
The palette comes with a clear plastic overlay with the shade names printed on them and the shadows are a mixture of metallic, shimmery and matte.  I had already had a play around with this palette when I took these photos as you can see from the squished surface of the metallic lilac shade Lotus Flower!

From left to right:
top row   bottom row  
bamboo matte summer breeze matte
aquamarine matte sand walker matte
midnight garden matte kiwi zest metallic
sunset metallic lotus flower metallic
washed ashore shimmer humming bird metallic
magenta madness matte moors treasure matte

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

My First Taste of MAC

Generally my beauty shopping philosophy is to go for medium quantity at a good price over high end products and MAC has always seemed to be just that bit over my budget.  However, I just couldn’t ignore all the hype and gushing about MAC products that I’ve been seeing on YouTube and other beauty blogs any longer and I had a bit of spare cash in my pocket so this month I finally capitulated and bought my first ever tiny collection of MAC.

I’d been so indecisive over what to get though that by the time I finally decided to order a couple of products from their limited edition Spring 2011 collection “Quite Cute” it had already been withdrawn from most retail outlets – silly me!  So I ended up having to order from Selfridges and pay an extra £5 for postage – grrr.  I bought the eye quad from the collection, one of the mineralize blushers in Sakura, and the finishing spray Fix+ from their permanent line.  Altogether these little beauties cost me £68 (incl. P&P):


They come in individual cardboard boxed with the names of the shades stuck onto the side.  The packaging of the products themselves is sleek black and transparent plastic.

OK so now onto the products themselves.  I’ll start with the Fix+. 
I do think the name Fix+ is a bit deceptive - you would surely be forgiven for thinking that it was promising to fix your make-up in place all day with a name like that, but I don't really think that's what this product is designed for.  I in fact bought this to try as an alternative to my beloved Body Shop Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz.  The prices aren't actually that different when compared weight for weight and the products themselves are pretty similar – they’re weightless, fragrant face sprays that refresh the skin both with and without make-up.  I discovered face sprays when my aunt bought me one as a gift one year and at first I didn’t quite know what to do with it and would reserve it for taking with me on holiday when I could spray it onto my face at the end of a long hot day.  Nowadays though I'm never without one and I use them every day – a quick spritz all over my face when I’m just out of the shower; after I’ve applied my make-up; when I’m feeling tired, hot, or before I go to bed…anytime when I want to freshen up really.  So I’m already a fan of Fix+ and I’ll probably buy it again, alternating it with the Body Shop face spritz.

I chose the make-up primarily for the colours.  If you take a look at the make-up looks I’ve posted on this blog you can see that I hardly ever wear black eyeshadow or eyeliner because I have quite small eyes and I just feel that black is usually too harsh on me and makes my eyes look so tiny they can almost seem to disappear into my head!  I love wearing light, bright colours during the day because I feel that they not only flatter my eyes but also light my whole face up.  When I saw the eyeshadow quad in the Quite Cute collection I thought the colours would be perfect for me, and I’m always especially eager to try out new lilac and purple eyeshadows because I have convinced myself that they’re the most flattering shades against my brown eyes.


This palette really is quite cute – well done to whoever came up with the name for the collection!  The shadows clockwise from top left are: Moshi Moshi! (light shimmery green); Goody Goody Gumdrop (light pink); Boycrazy (shimmery lilac) and Azuki Bean (bruised purple/aubergine).  The shadows are all shimmery, with Moshi Moshi! and Boycrazy being so shimmery and shiny they're practically holographic.  I would say that Goody Goody Gumdrop and Boycrazy in particular are very sheer which I believe they are intended to be.  On the one hand it does mean that you can build the colour up starting from a sheer wash, but on the other it can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to achieve the same colour on your eyelids as in the pan.  Boycrazy is my favourite shade in the quad though and I’ve worn it a few times already.  I’ve found that I can achieve a good colour by using a dense eyeshadow brush to apply it over a cream base – I just use a creamy eyeshadow in a light shade smudged all over my eyelid.  I think it looks great paired up with Moshi Moshi! as a highlight on the inner corner of the eye.

I actually prefer the blush to the eyeshadow quad.  It’s a 2-shade mineral blush with a bright pink heart baked into a lilac base colour.  I was quite intrigued at the prospect of a lilac blush because I thought it might go well with my cool complexion, but when you swirl a blusher brush over the product it actually picks up a lot of the highly pigmented pink heart and the result is quite different to either of the individual shades.  I like it because, well, I just think it looks quite cute.


Here are a couple of shots of me wearing Boycrazy and Moshi Moshi! from the eyeshadow quad and Sakura blusher.  (Unfortunately the lighting was terrible – sorry about that). I like the net effect – I think I look like a little dolly, especially with my pink pink cheeks!


Overall although I do quite like the make-up I’ve not been wowed by it which is slightly disappointing given how much money I spent on it.  I like the blush a lot but to be honest I can’t say that I think it was worth the £18 that I paid for it.  That’s a lot of money for a little bit (just 4g!) of product.  I think I probably will dabble in MAC make-up again because so many people love it I’m sure they make some fantastic products - so hopefully I will discover some of them next time I buy.