Sunday, 29 April 2012

Found–MUA Pro at Marble Arch!


So I finally managed to track down a Superdrug store that stocks the MUA pro range last week, at last!  I may well be the last one in on this secret but basically this range isn’t stocked at my nearest Superdrugs on High Holborn, Tottenham Court Road or The Strand so I was quite excited to find it at Superdrug Marble Arch the other week.  I don’t get that far down Oxford Street normally so I decided to try out quite a few products. (Although this range is also available from the Superdrug website).

They have a really cute collection of Love Heart (a kind of sherbet sweet available in Britain) nail varnishes out at the moment (I think it’s limited edition for Spring 2012) so I picked up a couple of bottles (£2 each) in the shades Love U 24/7, a glossy purple, and U R Fab, an intense berry pink.  I have tried both these shades out already although I don’t have any pics of me wearing them on my nails to post at the moment – I will amend that next time I wear them and get some pics up though as I think these are both great products.



They apply true to the colour that you see in the bottle and are about 80 – 100% opaque after one coat so I apply one or two coats to get full coverage – which I think is pretty amazing considering the price.  The only slight problem is that the short handle and brush make them a little bit tricky to handle but it still doesn’t really affect the application too much.

Next up as I can never seem to have too many lip glosses I grabbed a couple of Out There plumping lip glosses (£2 each) in the colours Nude and Candy Pink.



I’m not such a big fan of these unfortunately.  I love the colours but the formula is quite thin and although that makes it comfortable to wear on the lips I don’t find it to be either very pigmented or long lasting.  In fact I felt that the swatches on my skin gave a bit of a false impression of how pigmented these were so I took a couple of pics of the glosses on my lips.  The skin swatches were quite thick as I managed to dump quite a lot of product onto my skin but once applied to the lips the colour is a lot weaker – especially the shade Nude.  I also get the feeling that the tubes don’t contain that much product as they are quite thin and a lot of space is taken up by the applicator, which is a not-very-fluffy doe foot applicator.  I don’t really like it as it doesn’t seem to pick up much product each time so I end up having to go back to the tube about three times to end up with the coverage that I want on my lips.


Finally I decided to try out a couple of the eyeshadow trios as I just think that they look so cute – I love the packaging and the raised circular shape of the shadows themselves.  I ended up getting two quite similar shades as I’m currently just dipping my toe into neutral shadows (usually I’m a bright and bold eyeshadow kind of girl) so I thought this would be a good way to find some shades that I like.



For £2.50 you get a generous portion of three complimentary shimmery shades and a double ended foam applicator.  I do like all these shades although I do think that the two darker shades in the Chocolate Box trio are a bit similar.  I think the quality of these shades is great; they are really pigmented, smooth and non-crumbly in the pan, and they last all day on me over an eyeshadow primer.  The swatches below though were made on my bare skin with no primer underneath so that gives some idea of just how pigmented they are.

I don’t know if I’ll be picking any more colours up as I think I have the other shades that they do in my stash already but I do think that I’ll get some good wear out of these this spring.  Big thumbs up for these from me!


top row: Pink Sorbet, bottom row: Chocolate Box

Rimmel Stay Glossy Shades for Summer

I hope my title isn’t too misleading; this post isn’t about an upcoming new collection but just a few pics of some lipglosses that I picked up from TKMaxx that I think are nice shades for summer.  I just checked the Rimmel website and only one of the shades (Endless Summer) is listed as currently available but discontinued Rimmel products are quite widely available at a range of discount retailers.

I got a pack of four lipglosses for £7.99 which was a bit of a bargain as they usually retail at over £5 each.  The pack contains three different shades, Endless Summer (x2), Immortal Charm and Summer for Life.



Endless Summer is actually my favourite shade but even so, I don’t know that I’d ever use up two tubes of it so I’ll probably give one away to a friend.  It’s just a nice pinky neutral with a hint of shimmer.  Immortal Charm is a very similar shade while Summer for Life is more orange – although it’s by no means a bright orange and I would still class it as quite a neutral shade.  I would happily wear any of these shades for any kind of daytime look (work or play).

I’m quite a fan of this formula, and while I don’t know about its claims to last up to six hours it does have a nice thick, creamy (non-sticky) consistency that wears on me for two to three hours.  That’s typical wear for a lipgloss for me because I generally can only go for  a couple of hours before I have to drink a cup of tea or coffee or eat some food which of course I wouldn’t expect any gloss to last through!

I also like the applicator of this gloss.  It’s a flocked doe-foot material but the shape is flatter and longer than a typical doe foot and I find that it picks up just the right amount of product, and is also a good fit for my lips being neither too big nor too small.  I’ve put a picture in below just for reference to show the size of the applicator next to the tube itself.


And finally here are some skin swatches – I wasn’t having much luck taking photos of my lips today so I just took some photos of my arm instead.


From left – right: Endless Summer, Immortal Charm, Summer for Life

Some Eyeliners for Spring

Bored of black eyeliner? 


I am at the moment, so here are the alternative colours that I have been wearing lately.


Clockwise from top left: Fashion Secret Gel Eyeliner in Cute Route by Fashionista (around £6), Precision Ink in Scribe by Illamasqua (around £17.50), Sun Club Gel Eyeliner in BBC All Night Brown by Esssence (around 3 euros) , Metallic Liquid Eyeliner in No. 6 by Barry M (around £4.50)

Cute Route is a bright lilac, with a rather nifty brush built in to the lid.



I actually think the brush is quite good and it’s nice to get a brush with the product for two reasons: you don’t have to buy one if you don’t already have one, and it makes the product much more travel friendly (and after all, liquid eyeliners always come with an integrated brush).  This eyeliner is quite creamy and can be used all over the lid as an eyeshadow but worn that way it creases quite quickly on my eyes so I think it actually performs better as an eyeliner.  It lasts all day on me if worn as an eyeliner, although it is the worst performer in terms of longevity out of the selection of four. All in all I wouldn’t buy this product in a very common colour like brown or black, especially not at £6 which could buy a very good quality eyeliner from another brand, but the range does have some interesting colours so they might be worth checking out if you’re looking for a more unusual shade.

Scribe is Illamasqua’s newest shade of liquid eyeliner and came out with their recent Spring Summer 2012 collection called Human Fundamentalism.  It is a very expensive product but I purchased it for being such an unusual shade – glossy opaque white.  I don’t begrudge the £17.50 for the quality of the product but I do feel that you only get a tiny tiny amount for the price – only 1.8ml.  I think that either the price could easily have been reduced or the quantity increased as I think I will use this up quite quickly (I wear liquid eyeliner very often so it’s one of the make-up products that I do tend to use up).

The product is quite opaque although as you will see in the swatches at the bottom if you are drawing a thin line you may need two coats to reach full opacity.  That doesn’t really bother me though as I have a few eyeliners that require two coats and the product lasts all day on me without flaking or smudging even with two coats. The formula is water-resistant but not waterproof which is great as it doesn’t run when I get watery eyes but also it can be removed easily at the end of the day with some normal make-up remover (unlike so many waterproof products that have to be removed with oil).  The applicator is also my favourite kind for liquid eyeliner; a semi-flexible felt tip that makes drawing flicks and wings a breeze.


I bought the brown gel eyeliner when I was in Germany last year for the Eurovision Song Contest.  There are a few drug store cosmetics brands that are available in Germany that aren’t widely available or available at all in the UK, including this brand, Essence which is available in several European countries and America but not the UK to the best of my knowledge.  This eyeliner was part of their limited edition Summer 2011 collection but they are always putting out new limited edition collections so if you come across one of their stands it’s likely you’ll find some interesting products similar to this.  I do like this eyeliner; it hasn’t dried out at all since I bought it, it has a smooth consistency that’s easy to apply, and I like the golden shimmer the colour has to it.  My only complaint is that it smells very synthetic and chemically, but at least once it’s on my eyes I don’t have to smell it!  I’ve tried some eyeshadows from Essence as well and I have to say that they are very good quality given their low price point.


I like to apply gel eyeliners with a rounded brush like the one below.  It’s just a synthetic haired brush that I got in an unbranded large brush set from e-bay about four years ago.  I find this shape easiest to control for both thin and thicker lines.


This metallic pink eyeliner by BarryM is such an interesting colour.  In the close up below  you can see that it’s actually a micro-glitter suspended in a gel, but the glitter particles are so tiny they give a metallic shimmer effect on the skin.  The applicator is a bit hard but it’s still flexible enough to draw both thick and thin lines.  When this shade is worn as an eyeliner it just seems to light up the eyes somehow…I really love the effect.  Definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in a slightly different kind of eyeliner – and for such an unusual shade I think it’s a total bargain at less than a fiver.


Finally here are some swatches on my skin.  I think it’s a nice little colour selection for spring and it makes a nice change to my usual black, blue and green eyeliners.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Brown Eyes

When I first started wearing make-up I felt that brown eyeshadow made me look a bit washed out and tired so I actually never wore any for years.  Lately though I’ve been discovering that as long as I stick to the right shades for my skin tone it can actually be very flattering and therefore great for quick everyday looks that bascially leave me a bit more polished looking than being bare faced.

My favourite way to wear brown at the moment is blended into the crease.  For the look below I smoothed a very thin layer of a matte grey cream eyeshadow over my lid up to the crease to act as both a base and base colour, then blended a medium warm brown shimmery pigment into the crease with a fluffy brush.  I then finished with a touch of sky blue eyeliner along my lower lash line and some brown-black mascara – I think the contrast of the blue and brown keeps the look fresh and makes me look more wide awake.

I also like to wear plenty of blush with this eye make-up as I think I can get away with it without looking overly made-up.



I recently changed my eyebrow routine and I really like how they look at the moment – I’ve actually just been leaving them for weeks and weeks and then just plucking the few stray hairs that don’t form part of the arch.  I think the extra hairs have created a nice strong shape that seems to suit my face pretty well.  Hurray for low-maintenance beauty!

I’ve also been growing my hair long.  I think I’ll leave it till it’s just below my shoulders before I bother going to the hairdressers again which should hopefully be by the end of this year.  I shampoo my hair everyday but I tend to only blast it with a hairdryer for a couple of minutes before leaving it to dry out naturally, and I only use conditioner once or twice a month.  I used to use conditioner every single time I washed my hair until one of my flatmates in my final year at uni (way back in 2004!) told me that she never used conditioner and suggested that I try it too and she was right – I actually just thought that I needed it rather than actually needing it.  I also love the fact that I save loads of money not buying conditioner and just buying cheap shampoo!  (I honestly don’t think there’s much difference between different shampoo brands and I’m perfectly happy with Superdrug’s own brand shampoo).  When I had short hair I never bothered with conditioner at all and I’ve only started using it again occasionally because I’m growing my hair much longer so I want to keep it in good condition.  I’ll probably buy some kind of oil (maybe argan, or hazlenut) in a month and start applying that to my hair after washing when it’s still damp and leaving it in as a leave in treatment.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

BarryM Body Glitter Gels and Some Fun Jewellery from Brighton

Just in case you haven’t noticed yet I looooove glitter so when I saw these little sparkly pots for just £2.99 each in Topshop the other week I couldn’t resist.  I usually buy BarryM products in Superdrug but I don’t recall having seen these in any of my local stores which I why I bought them in Topshop instead (the huge Topshop flagship store on Oxford Street sells several different brands of cosmetics and accessories on the ground floor in addition to its own Topshop ranges).


The product is called Body Glitter and it comes in various shades and designs.  They’re available in a range of shades and I picked the two that contained tiny shapes – one with silver stars and one with red hearts, both suspended in an iridescent glitter gel.  I know that you can also buy these tiny glittery shapes loose but I like this glitter gel as it makes them super easy to apply.


I took a few photos from different angles to try to capture some of the effect of the glitter .  The gels are quite concentrated so you do get a lot of shapes even when you pick up just a small amount of gel, and it’s also quite buildable so it’s easy to keep adding more product until you get the effect you desire.

My eyes were a bit sore today so I decided not to wear any eye make-up and just glam my cheeks up with a bit of glitter instead.  I think this is such a fun product as you just need a tiny amount to create a high impact party look - I simply took a bit of product on a finger tip and dabbed it across one of my cheekbones and temple.



Above: dewy foundation, shimmery blush, and BarryM Glitter Gel – 5 minutes to a fun glitzy spring time look!

Admittedly the effect can look like a strange spotty skin condition and dandruff (if you get glitter in your hair) from a distance, but I promise that it’s very pretty when it catches the light!  I enjoyed wearing this today anyway and I’ll definitely be wearing it again.  It was easy to apply and didn’t really flake off, although it would if you touched your face a lot.  It washes off easily with warm water.  I would also just add to be careful not to get any in your eyes as the edges of the stars and hearts would definitely poke a bit – ouch!

In the photos above I’m wearing one of the new pairs of earrings I picked up yesterday.  I went with a couple of friends for a day trip to Brighton which is full of quirky clothes and jewellery shops and I picked up some earrings from a fair trade shop.  I really like fair trade jewellery as it’s often made from natural or recycled materials, it’s creative and it’s usually very well hand made.




I got a pair of bicycles made from wire and a pair of dragonflies made from  tin cans.  There was also some information on the packaging about the community of artists who had made the jewellery.  These were £4 each – which is really good value considering the quality and detail of the designs.  If you like costume jewellery then it’s definitely worth having a scout around a Fair Trade store as there are some lovely designs out there and the stock is constantly rotating too so there’s always something new to pick up.

I also bought this rather sparkly butterfly cuff from a small jewellery store as it was only £12 which I thought was a good price for all the detailing.  It’s inlaid with a ton of glitzy stones in an array of bright colours.



I am so easily suckered in to buying new costume jewellery, even though I know that I have so much already.  I really have to get better at remembering to wear it every day so that I can enjoy what I have more!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Barry M Fine Glitter Dust in Crimson/Pink

Originally I was going to post a look of me wearing this as my eyeshadow today but when I went to take some photos of the product itself for the blog I discovered that it said on the bottom “Not for around the eyes” – whoops!  So please don’t make the same mistake that I did if you have this product as it could cause major problems if it gets into your eyes (the glitter particles could be sharp and scratch your eyes bascially, ouch ouch ouch!)

Anyway I bought this product last weekend when I was feeling in a glitzy mood and the first time I wore it was on my cheeks anyway so I will still get some use out of it on my cheeks and lips.  I only have a couple of boring arm swatches of the product for you today but I’m sure to be using it again this spring so I will update this post when I have more pictures.


NOT for use around the eyes!!


Left: swatched with no base; right: swatched over a creamy base

I’m slightly disappointed with this product for two reasons: one that it can’t be used around the eyes (and also related to that the fact that this fact wasn’t clearly labelled on the stand when I bought it) and two because with a name like “fine glitter dust” I would have hoped for the product to have been pure pink glitter, but in fact as can clearly be seen above it is a silver glitter simply mixed with pink dazzle dust.  Although the effect is pretty it’s really not the effect I was hoping for – I wanted a coloured glitter, not a glitter suspended in pigment that will colour my skin.  I probably wouldn’t mind so much if I were primarily going to use it as an eyeshadow but really why would I want to for example dust my shoulders with this when it will leave them a blotchy pink shade instead of just with a fine dusting of glitter?  I don’t feel like I’m explaining myself very well but I hope you can see my point!

Barry M fine glitter dusts cost under £5 each and are often on special offer so at least they never break the bank even if you are disappointed in a particular shade.

My MAC almost-quad for Spring 2012

I decided to start filling up a customisable MAC quad eyeshadow palette as I’d read time and time again that the quality of their limited edition palettes wasn’t as good as their permanent eyeshadow line so I felt it was time that I started investigating the best that MAC had to offer.  Debenhams were running one of their 10% off beauty products promotions a few weeks ago (they actually run them quite often; every other month or so – I use the Money Saving Expert website to help keep track) so I decided to use the opportunity to stock up on some more eyeshadows (my biggest beauty weakness – I always lose my head when I’m confronted with all the pretty colours!)  In the end I could only decide on three shades for my quad palette though so here’s what I ended up with:


Clockwise from top left: All that Glitters; Passionate; Beautiful Iris

The empty palette normally costs £6.50 and the eyeshadow refills £10 but I got 10% off so I paid £32.85 in total.  Filled MAC eyeshadow quads which are released as part of their limited edition collections currently retail for £35 full price (or £31.50 with 10% off), so I paid as much as I would have for four limited edition eyeshadows, but at least I had the guarantee that all of these shadows were tried and tested good performers (as according to my beauty blog research!)

I wanted to try All that Glitters as the neutral shade in my quad to offset the brights and although it’s actually quite a nice eyeshadow I don’t personally like it that much and it’s my least favourite of the three.  It does have a lovely texture (hard, so not crumbly, but also creamy and smooth to apply) but the colour just does nothing for me.  I also think the name is kind of stupid to be honest!!  All that glitters is not gold…so why not just call it something related to bronze or copper then?! With a name like that I just feel that it should be super sparkly!  Anyway I digress.  On to the swatches.


Top row shadows applied to bare skin; bottom row shadows swatched over a creamy base. L-R All that Glitters; Passionate; Beautiful Iris

All that Glitters gives the best coverage while Passionate and Beautiful Iris are a teeny bit chalky though they apply well enough over a primer.  Passionate is just the shade of pink I was after – it looks great as a block colour applied all over the lid but is also bold enough to create good definition when worn in the crease.  Beautiful Iris merely continues my obsession with all shadows of any sort of lilac/purple, and does impart quite a strong colour when applied over a base (though it appears very faint when worn alone).  However given that I paid £9 for this it does look similar enough to my £4 Accessorize eyeshadow in Iris that I really could have gone without it, oh well.

I was toying with the idea of a lime green/chartreuse shade for the fourth colour but to be honest there wasn’t a particular MAC shade that caught my eye so I ended up ordering the NARS eyeshadow duo in Rated R instead which there’s a photo of me wearing in this post.  So at the moment I don’t have any concrete ideas on which shadow to complete my quad with – so do let me know if you have any suggestions for me!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Illamasqua Lipstick in Drench

I found these photos on my camera which were taken in the winter before my laptop broke so I thought I might as well do a quick post with them.  I don’t wear it very often but this is what I look like with red lipstick on.  I’m wearing the lipstick a little bit inside my natural lipline in this picture to create the impression of a round lip shape which I sometimes do with intense colours.


I bought this in the Illamasqua winter sale so I got it for the bargain price of £7.50 but I’ve just checked and it is still available from their website albeit at full price (£15.50).  I guess they were selling off old stock in the sale.

I have to say that I don’t think the colour looks anything like the swatch on the website, unless they’ve completely reformulated and changed the colour – but then they might as well give it a new name.  It’s a really bright light red on me but comes up more dark raspberry on the Illamasqua website.


I really like the finish of this lipstick; it’s creamy enough to be non-drying but also dry enough to be long lasting.  I don’t have any problems with this colour bleeding and don’t tend to bother with lip liner when I wear it – I just apply with a small lip brush to create the precise lip shape that I want.  It lasts for four to five hours on me.  I like this colour as a red lipstick – I don’t wear red lipstick that often but I sometimes feel like it so it’s good to have this one in my make-up arsenal for those occasions when I do.

Chilled Pink Grapefruit trends for SS2012

I don’t obsessively follow beauty trends from the catwalk (after all, there’s not much point to trends other than to get consumers to spend more money on new products!) but I do like to swap the make-up colours and products that I wear every couple of months just to stave off boredom with my look.  So sometimes I’ll take inspiration from catwalk fashion and beauty trends but a lot of the time I just have an idea about a theme that I fancy developing in my make-up and I’ll swap my make-up bag around or pick up new products based on that.

So for spring/summer 2012 I think I will be mostly wearing:

  • red blushes (usually I swap to pink blushes in the spring but I felt like something different this year)
  • glitter – mainly on my eyes and cheeks
  • fake tattoos – for commitment free fun
  • colourful cut crease eyeshadow looks – I’ve been wearing this kind of look as my go to everyday look for the past couple of weeks and really like the impact you get from just a tiny bit of colour.  Will post some looks soon.
  • zingy bright eyeshadows – my current favourite shades are violet, lime green and royal blue.  Bright colours make me think of warmer weather so I’m being optimistic and getting into colour already!
  • baby blue eyeshadow – I probably like it because it’s the original beauty no-no!  I remember when I was a teenager magazines advised not to wear blue eyeshadow because it was what grannies wore, ha!  But even if that’s true, who says that grannies don’t have good taste anyway? Vintage fashions are always coming back with a vengence.

And I think that that’s definitely enough to keep me entertained until well into the summer months.

Tree Hugger nails

I bought a ton of new make-up this weekend…but don’t worry, I actually broke my New Year’s Resolution not to buy more make-up ages ago so all my guilty feelings are out of the way already ha ha.  I thought I’d start working my way through posting about my new goodies with a quick post on one of the new nail varnishes that I picked up.

Every spring I always go on the hunt for the perfect green nail varnish.  Ideally I’m looking for a pistachio, but this shade from China Glaze looked like good fun and only worked out at £5 thanks to a special offer (there’s a Sally’s Hair and Beauty on Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho that has a limited range of China Glaze polishes) so I decided to pick it up anyway even though my search for my ideal green goes on.


I only discovered China Glaze polishes in December but now I have five shades and a topcoat and I’m becoming a big fan.  They’re probably my second favourite brand of nail polish after BarryM even though the quality of China Glaze is slightly better but you have to love BarryM for their amazing range of colours at only £2.99 a pop (China Glaze costs around twice as much).