Sunday, 16 December 2012

What I Got up to this Weekend

My friends and I do love getting dressed up and stopping over at each other’s houses for a spot of afternoon tea. Here I have to confess that we were indulging in a spot of gossip when we were caught in the act by an unexpected visitor entering our drawing room…

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Only joking :) This is a shot of me and my friend dressed up as Victorian ladies at the History Studios in the Trocadero, Piccadilly Circus. This is actually the second time we’ve been there for a photoshoot because we found it so much fun the first time when we dressed up as Tudor ladies. (I don’t have any scanned images from that shoot unfortunately). It’s a fantastic treat if you love the idea of dressing up and having a professional take your photos. The staff are all very friendly and helpful so I definitely recommend the experience.

Victorian ladies generally didn’t wear much if any make-up as it was somewhat frowned on at the time. What they lacked in cosmetics though they definitely made up for with their wonderful accessories and elaborate clothing. My friend and I both loved the hats and I definitely think it’s a shame that they’ve fallen so much out of fashion these days. You don’t really need to wear any make-up for these shoots as the images are light and colour corrected afterwards but we decided to wear a teeny bit of pink lipstick in our photos. I think it matched our outfits perfectly.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in Liason

Even though I had the day off work on Friday I had to stay in most of the day waiting on deliveries. The present that I’d bought for myself was the last item to arrive but it was worth waiting for. Allow me to introduce Illamasqua intense lipgloss in Liason, a creamy concrete grey.


This is going to be my weekend staple lip colour this winter. Weirdly enough it’s super flattering and I think adds a touch of cool sophistication to a look.

The packaging is a squeezy plastic tube with a hard tipped plastic applicator. I find it quite hard to get an even application with straight from the tube and because the colour is so intense and shows up any uneveness I like to apply it with a lip brush. After I have the shape painted on, top-ups from the tube aren’t a problem.

Here I have some pics of me wearing Liason with a couple of different subtle shimmery eye looks. (Unfortunately all my pictures look quite blue at the moment because I need to adjust the white-balance on my camera.)



I love the “ice-queen” look that you can achieve instantly with this gloss. So cool!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Purple Smoky Eye with Vintage Bourjois

I picked up several Bourjois vintage items in TKMaxx a few months back. There were a selection of eyeshadows and blushers produced with limited edition packaging back in 2010 so I know the stock must have been a couple of years old when I bought it, but I’m not too worried about using older eyeshadows and I was a sucker for the cute packaging which features vintage style illustrations of scenes from Paris.

I’m not the biggest fan of Bourjois eyeshadows as I find them a bit sheer and chalky but sheer eyeshadows can have their advantages too. I don’t always want pure intense colour on my eyes and sometimes prefer to build intensity up by layering sheerer colours rather than having to blend out super-dense ones.



I just went for a classic 3-colour smoky eye here, using silver as my lightest base colour all over the lid then layering a mid tone and dark shade at the edges of my lids and along my lashline to build depth. I really like this combination of colours – it’s slightly unexpected, and also a good way of avoiding black eyeshadow, which I try not to use if I can avoid it (I just think that with my pale skin and dark hair and brows black eyeshadow is very difficult for me to pull off without looking like a vampire…)

Here are the actual products that I used – three eyeshadows and one rosey toned blush.

The shades clockwise from top are: 72 Violet Absolut; 25 Argent; 95 Rose de Jaspe (blusher); 04 Noir Precieux (a blackened purple). I’m not sure if the actual shades themselves were limited edition or not.



Since I’m such a fan of this packaging, I really could just customise more of the make-up I already own by sticking stickers on it. If I ever get round to trying that out I’ll post some pics!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Flowers on the Beach

Today I have a slightly different kind of post, which is filled with photos that I took in Scotland when I was back there for a few days this summer. I’m mostly inspired by the colours that I see around me, so I thought I’d share a few of the flowers that I spotted when I went to the beach for a bit of inspiration and relaxation. A bit of colour is always nice in the middle of winter. Enjoy!













Saturday, 8 December 2012

First Christmas Make-up of 2012

I was invited to a tree-trimming evening last week at a friend’s and I figured that I might as well do some party make-up. I like to take advantage of any excuse to whack excessive glitter all over my face :)

As a disclaimer, the lousy winter light has been killing my photos lately. Here I had to take photos under artificial lighting with a flash so they’re quite orange and shiny. Just the kind of flattering finish I love lol.



I used eyeshadows from my Accessorize You are Everything palette (silver and purple on the upper lid) and the turquoise from my MUA Dusk till Dawn palette on my lower lash line. Incidentally I’m not wearing any mascara in these photos – my eyes tend to water when I go out in the cold and I didn’t want to end up with mascara running all down my face by the time I got to my friend’s, but I don’t think this look misses mascara too much because I’m wearing so much eyeliner that the lashline stands out anyway.



Both of these palettes are fantastic for creating simple but striking looks as they contain a really good range of well-pigmented colours. Oh and did I mention that you can pick up both of these from selected Superdrugs and go home with change from £15? Definitely worth checking out if you like your bargain eyeshadows.

From the Archives

I haven’t posted anything for almost a month, mostly because it’s been so dark here in London now that winter’s coming that all my photos look really crummy lol, so I thought that I’d post a picture taken a few months back when it was a bit more bright and summery.

Here I’m modelling yet another pair of cat’s ears (I have four now, I get a kick out of collecting them for some reason – these particular ones were Halloween specials from Accessorize) and some peach and green eyeshadow, probably Snatch and Grafitti by Urban Decay.


Stay tuned for some wintery posts coming up this week!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Glamour Daze–What I Bought Part I

This is Part I because I’ve been pacing myself with this massive collection and will probably pick up one of the crushed pigment sets too and feature that when it arrives.

Glamour Daze is the Holiday 2012 collection from MAC and as such is HUGE and if you like MAC then there’s probably something to tickle your fancy. As for myself, well, as a massive eyeshadow fiend it was no surprise that my first order consisted of two Extra Dimension eyeshadows and a Fluidline, all of which are limited edition shades.


Above: Glamour Daze Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Stolen Moment (left) and Divine Blue (right)

Below: Glamour Daze Fluidline in Catch My Eye


I really like the fluidline and think it’s the perfect wintery colour – a cool, shimmery silver. I’ve worn it a few times already and think it’s the perfect compliment to light, shimmery eyeshadows. Today I wore it with Urban Decay’s Uzi, a mega-glittery silvery white shade. It’s very easy to apply with a short, stiff brush and lasted on me all day.




Unfortunately I’ve found the eyeshadows to be more problematic, but first up before I go into details here’s a swatch of the shades on my arm.

Left – right: Divine Blue, Stolen Moment


To me, Divine Blue just doesn’t live up to the promise of the colour in the pan. I also struggled to apply it on my eyes. This shadow works best with a stiff flat shading brush. This is a plus if you like your shadows to be sheer but buildable, but I have to say that I was expecting better colour pay off.

Then there’s the problem of the price. These shadows currently cost £16.50 in the UK for a measley 1.3g. I’m sorry to say that 1) that is not enough for a single eyeshadow and I would expect at least 1.5g (which is the weight of normal MAC single shadows) and 2) that is simply over-priced for what you get.

In the original release of Extra Dimension shadows back in spring this year you got 2g of shadow for the same price. I’ve done some comparison photos for reference but as a matter of pure percentages that represents a 35% size reduction and consequently price increase.



Now I usually don’t hit pan on eyeshadows in any case and I tend to buy them because I want the colour, so that in itself was not enough to put me off purchasing some of the shadows from this new collection. However, these shades turned out to be so ordinary and unexceptional that I was really disappointed by them, and I’m really glad that I only bought two. I definitely won’t be buying any other Extra Dimension shadows from the Glamour Daze collection and if they are ever re-released in the future I won’t be buying them if they are priced like this again.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Shiny Ice-Cream Nails

Just have a quickie mid-week nails post today. This is my MUA nail varnish in Pistachio Ice Cream (£1) with a sparkly iridescent blue top coat by Andrea Fulterton.


Top: two coats of MUA nail varnish in Pistachio Ice Cream

Bottom: with sparkly top coat from Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique trio in Petrol in the Water.

This is the first MUA nail varnish from their £1 range that I’ve tried and to be honest, it’s pretty good for £1. The bottle is quite small at 6.2ml, but I actually quite like small bottles of nail varnish as I practically never finish full sized bottles off before they start going gloopy anyway. Unfortunately that does make the brush quite small and fiddly, and to be honest it’s not the best quality and a bit splayed, but as long as you take your time you can still paint your nails with it fine. The colour was opaque in 2 coats.

I really like this Andrea Fulerton polish. It’s a duo-ended bottle and you can use either colour separately or paint the top coat over the darker shade to create a completely different third colour. I will definitely feature some pics next time I wear this because the name is spot on – it really does look like the polarised reflections you see with Petrol in the Water.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mix-Your-Own BB Cream

I’m about to run out of tinted moisturiser, which I use through the week rather than foundation, so I wanted to pick up a BB cream but when I spotted this Colour Supplement in Lush this weekend I thought I’d give it a try instead.

It basically says it all on the lid – it’s a multi-purpose base colour that you can mix with your normal day moisturiser to create a tinted mosituriser/foundation with the level of coverage that you want, or just use it straight up as a concealer.


There aren’t that many colour options with only five shades altogether, but fortunately for me this one in light yellow is a good match for me. The product is not actually that thick and this jar is quite small – only 20g compared to the normal foundation size of 30ml but hopefully it will be long lasting since I’ll only be using a small amount each day as I don’t like wearing too much on my skin for work (I prefer a lighter look during the week as I’m out for 10 – 14h each day). This costs £8.50 so I’m hoping for 2 months worth of wear out of it.


I wore this today by mixing it on the back of my hand with my mosituriser. I think I used a bit more of the colour supplement than I needed, because I got even more coverage than I usually need. So basically I’m really keen on this product but I’ve only used it once and I’m just interested to see how long it will last me before I decide whether or not I would actually recommend it. I’ll update this post in a month to let you know!


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Orange + Blue Glitter Crackle Nails

I wasn’t actually going to feature these nails on my blog as I painted them mid-way through the week and never thought they’d survive in a fit state until the weekend (now that we’ve turned the clocks back the only time I have enough day light to take any nice photos is at weekends) but who would have thought it – Saturday came and they were still looking pretty good. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – China Glaze No Chip Top Coat, I salute you!


Both the nail varnishes I used are by MUA; the orange is MUA Love Hearts I WANT U (around £2) and the blue glitter crackle topcoat is Glitter Nail Quake Blue (around £3). I WANT U is a great bright colour, almost neon in fact, but it did apply slightly unevenly. After 2 coats I thought I might as well bung some glitter on top to disguise the uneven finish.

I’ve featured this blue glitter crackle polish on the blog previously here when I wore it over another Love Hearts nail varnish, but that time in purple. I have to say that I much prefer it here. I think it works so much better on slightly longer nails and with a contrasting colour. When I wore it over a purple the colours were just that bit too close to each other and the effect was slightly underwhelming. I think it looks great teamed with this orange though. This is definitely a manicure that I’ll be repeating – especially on days when I fancy some bright colours or a shot of glitter to lift my mood!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Perfume Substitute

I’ve always had a couple of perfumes on the go but recently I’ve gone off perfume and I’ve only been wearing it a few times a month for a while now. It’s very easy to use too much as you stop being aware of the fragrance after a short while so there’s a real danger of over-dosing and leaving a trail of overpowering perfume or aftershave in your wake…I speak from experience as there are definitely some offenders at my work (sorry guys, but at least I’m naming no names!)

Instead I’ve been chucking these tins of fragranced balms into my handbag and applying them whenever I feel like a bit of an aromatic pick me up. Yoga and Meditation balm is quite zingy and energising, and Sleep Balm is very calming and relaxing. I bought both of these from Yoga Matters at the London Yoga Shows 2011 and 2012 but they’re available from many stockists of Badger Balm products.



The main ingredient in both balms is actually extra virgin olive oil and you can use them pretty much anywhere you fancy – I tend to rub a bit on my wrists and temples when I’m at my computer at work, or even on my lips if I need a bit of a stronger fragrance hit. They’re also great for taming flyaway frizzy hairs and adding a bit of scent at the same time – I just rub a tiny bit over my hands then run my hands through my hair.

The texture is quite hard, so sometimes I’ll scoop a bit of product out on the back of a fingernail – hence the dents you can see below. The Sleep balm contains twice as much product as the yoga balm but they cost the same. They have very different scents though.


These last for ages as you only need a tiny amount. I’ll definitely be trying out other products in this range when I come across them again. I think you can find them in yoga and health food stores and also some independent chemists.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Too Faced Shadow Bon Bons

I’d never tried any make-up by Too Faced before but this eyeshadow palette just sounded too delicious to resist, with its sugary treat inspired shades and names. I bought this from the Boots at Piccadilly Circus for £33.

The palette, which is covered in a lilac velvet effect flocked material with golden cursive writing, is reminiscent of favourite childhood fairytale books. It’s quite a recent release, having come out as part of Too Faced’s Love Sweet Love Christmas 2012 collection.



Above: there is a novelty mirror in the lid which is useable but due to the size of the palette I usually just use another, smaller mirror when applying these shadows.


Above: the palette contains twelve eyeshadows (0.9g each), a mini primer and a full sized mascara. You can click on the photo above for a larger image.

I got some nice photos of the swatches I did on my arm so I’ve included a few shots from different angles.


I haven’t tried all of these shades on my eyes yet as I’ve been using Cut the Cake, Framboise and Candy Rose so much since I got this palette but I did notice when I was swatching the shades on my arm that all of the shadows just glided on with a lovely smooth consistency. As I say though my current favourites though are Cut the Cake and Framboise which create a lovely daytime look with just the kind of intensity that I like at the moment.


Above: You can click on this pic for a larger image. I love the colour scheme - I think it’s really well put-together.


Above, top row of palette: Vanilla, Cut the Cake, Framboise, Coffee Bean


Above, medium row of palette: Peach Fuzz, Hot Cocoa, Candy Rose, Lovey Dovey


Above: bottom row of palette + primer: Naked Beach, Cinnamon Sugar, Marzipan, Liquorice Latte, Shadow Insurance Candlelight

I’d never tried Shadow Insurance primer before I got this one and I have to say that I do like it as a primer. The only problem I have with this one is that it’s a little bit too shimmery and I find that I have to be quite careful when I apply it as it can look a bit funny if it peeps out around the edges of the eyeshadow that I’m wearing. It works very well as a highlighter but again it just takes a teeny bit of care in application.

The tube of this mini-primer dispenses the teeniest amount of product which should cut down any wastage from accidentally over-squeezing. I’ve included a shot of the tip of the packaging held next to my little finger nail to give some idea of just how fine it is.



The Lashgasm mascara which is included is quite good; it’s very black and lasts well throughout the day. The wand is a spiky plastic applicator so if you like that kind (I do) then this should suit you quite well.

All in all I really like this palette and even though the colours aren’t as bright as the usual palettes that I’m drawn to I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it over the autumn and winter.