Sunday, 29 July 2012

Sleek Glory and Honour

I have so many Sleek palettes and blushes already that I wasn’t going to buy anything from their current summer collection but I’ve caught Olympics fever this week so I picked up two of their limited edition Olympics collection pieces this weekend, the eyeshadow palette in Glory and blush in Honour.  There’s also a bronze tinted lip balm in the collection but I don’t like the taste of the Sleek Pout Polish so I gave that a miss.

I quite like the outer cardboard packaging design – it’s good fun.




The eyeshadow palette Glory is inspired by the London Underground network with the colours (which include a gold, silver and bronze) named after and representing various tube lines. As ever there is a thin plastic film overlay with the colours of the shades.


Top Row – L to R Bottom Row – L to R
Tube – v. light gold District – metallic green
Overground – white gold Hammersmith and City – metallic pink
Bakerloo – bronze Picadilly – royal blue shimmer
Jubilee –  silver Circus – yellow shimmer
Platform – matte grey Victoria – ocean blue shimmer
Northern – metallic black Central – matte red





The two blues swatch amazingly and Picadilly in particular is almost duo-chrome.  The textures of all the shadows was lovely and smooth to apply. Oh, and as an aside, the colours on the bottom row in particular are quite accurate to the colours of their corresponding underground lines! I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this palette and creating some bright, shimmery looks over the next few weeks.

I was umm-ing and ah-ing over whether to buy the blush in Honour or not.  It’s a shimmery bronze that’s quite dark for my skin, but because the colour is lovely and so pigmented I thought I would be able to use it as a bronze eyeshadow if not as a blush and decided to go ahead and get it.




Check out the brilliant pigmentation in the swatch above!  Amazing.

Bought in Superdrug: Sleek Glory palette - £6.99, Sleek Honour blush - £4.29

Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Darling

This is a recent release in Revlon’s “Just Bitten” series of lip products which, as per the name, are supposed to leave a flush of colour on the lips for a “just bitten” effect. I paid £5.99 for one on special offer in Superdrug, with the standard price being £7.99.


I’d had my eye on this colour for a couple of weeks since having had a go with some testers a while back so whilst killing some time in Superdrug today I decided to just go for it and pick one up at last. A word of warning – the colours appear completely differently on lips than the packaging would suggest so I do recommend trying out the testers before choosing a colour. The product is shaped like a chubby crayon and has a wind-up mechanism at the bottom so you don’t have to worry about sharpening.  The packaging is slightly misleading though I think in that only the top third contains any product – cheeky!  Altogether you get 2.7g which is much less than a standard lipstick, and in addition this product is much less pigmented, which I know it is designed to be but to me the pricing still seems a bit off.  I think it’s in fact around £4 too expensive and should retail for £3.99 but I’m not a cosmetics company boss I guess!

The product feels quite solid and waxy to apply and you have to give it a good rub to get the colour on the lips and as you can see below I didn’t manage to apply it very evenly, though from a distance it looked fine.  Once on it’s very comfortable and moisturising to wear and the colour, while subtle, does last a good few hours – I would compare the wear time to that of a good quality lip gloss.


Overall I do love certain aspects of this product such as the colour, the fact that it’s moisturising, and the wind-up aspect of the packaging, but I do feel that it’s overpriced and I wouldn’t buy this again for £7.99.

*UPDATE* 18/10/2012

I just wanted to add a quick update to this post as I actually seem to be one of the only people online who doesn’t actually like this product!

Having been able to test it out for a while now I have to say that it’s not actually as moisturising as I first thought, and I still maintain that the texture is very hard and difficult to apply to the lips. I have to press so hard to get any colour payoff on my lips that it can actually be painful to apply! I’d be really interested to hear if anybody else has noticed the same issues with this product, or could it be that I just picked up a duff one?? In any case I won’t be picking up any more of these.

Pastel Tipped Nails


So after the first week of sunshine here since summer officially began I painted my nails a bright peachy colour (Peach Melba by BarryM) which looked very summery in the bottle but unfortunately clashed a bit with my pale skin once it was on my nails. It’s also a bit of a difficult consistency to work with and while I did manage to get even, opaque coverage in two coats I really had to be careful when applying the colour.

I decided to add some lilac tips which would clash even more with the peach than my skin which seemed to work and make the manicure much more wearable for me.  The lilac I used was the shade Wink from Illamasqua which turned out to be a good choice as the thick consistency made it much more forgiving than a runnier polish for painting the tips.

I find it very, very difficult to paint tips like this but I’ve tried a few manicures like this lately as I think the end result looks cute so hopefully I’ll get better with practise. I don’t use stencils/templates but just paint the base colour, wait for it to dry then paint the tips freehand.  My technique is to take most of the varnish off the brush on the side of the bottle, lay it on my nail tip, then try to hold the brush still while I rotate the nail to paint the tip.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

30th Birthday Make-up

Here’s a shot of me in my birthday make-up earlier this month, for some reason looking rather coy.  I’m not sure why!


I love how this look turned out.  I used plenty of gold highlighter on my cheeks, temples and nose which translated into a lovely glow, and since it was my birthday I went for colour on both my eyes and lips, which I think worked together really nicely in the finished look.

Here’s a quick run-down of how I created this look:

  1. My current favoured foundation for dewy-finishes is Rimmel Wake Me Up which I apply with a flat topped foundation brush for quick, even application.
  2. I applied an eyeshadow primer across my eyelids up to my brows and while I waited for it to dry I swept a gold powder highlighter across my cheeks, cheekbones, temples and down the bridge of my nose with a duo-fibre brush.
  3. I patted a light shimmering gold across my eyelids up to the crease, then blended a bright violet eyeshadow across and above my crease in a winged arc from the inner corner of my eyes to the end of my brows.  I then added a quick slick of mascara.
  4. I had a lot of colour on my eye lids at this point so to balance the look I filled my brows in lightly with a black eyeshadow (to match my natural brow colour).
  5. I filled my lips in with a matte red lipstick then patted an antique gold pigment on the inside of my lips with an eyeshadow brush.

I like wearing make-up that’s slightly “theatrical” for nights out - I have so much make-up that I like to use a lot of products for special occassions otherwise most of it would feel really neglected!

Olympic Flame

I spent about three hours this morning watching the Olympic men’s road race and it was soooo exciting! Honestly, I’ve never really watched cycling before but I think I might start now. I’ve been totally sucked in to the Olympic atmosphere here in London – in fact I’m also watching men’s gymnastics as I type! Olympic fever of course had to spread to my make-up too, so today I created a look inspired by the Olympic flame.  It’s actually pretty subtle I think and it’s a lovely fiery colour theme for an every day look.  This was also the first time this year that I decided to add some bronzer to my look as I actually got a tan this week for the first time in literally years (a decade, perhaps??) from all the sun we’ve been having in London so I thought I’d make my face match my arms and neck.  Generally I just try to avoid the sun as whenever I’m caught in it I’m sure to end up burnt, yuk.


Oops…smudged my mascara in that top pic!  Never mind.  I also forgot to add my gold lipgloss in Stranger to symbolise lots of gold medals for team GB and all the other fantastic athletes competing in London – I’ll have to remember to include that in my next Olympic look.  Anyway here’s a clearer shot of the colours I used on my eyes.  I used an antique gold pigment on the inner corners, a bright orange on the centre of my lids, and a bright red to create some wings in the outer corners.


As you can see, I’m still growing my eyebrows out. I decided to stop plucking them frequently in order to grow some fuller eyebrows and I have to say it’s been an interesting experiment so far. After 15 years of plucking I have bald patches in my brows and stray hairs underneath for the first time but I think they look really nice and strong from a distance so I’m going to keep up my brow routine of basically doing nothing with them except plucking the stray hairs from underneath my brows once every two or three months.  I’m toying with the idea of beginning to fill them in but to be honest I’m not keen on making my make-up routine even more high maintenance, I favour the somewhat lazier fling-it-on-and-go school of make-up!

My Illamasqua transformation

My friend took me to the Illamasqua store on Beak Street yesterday for a “transformation” as one of my birthday presents.  I suppose the fact that they call their make-overs “transformations” is the clue that you can ask for something as dramatic as you like!  I told the make-up artist that I liked bright eyeshadow and ‘80s make-up and this is what he came up with on me:



I think it was a really fun look that reminded me of so many things – new romantics, Starlight Express, early sci-fi movies, and even Peking Opera somewhat. It was also a good experience to wear a look outside of my comfort zone – usually I never wear liquid eyeliner on the lower lash line and I’m actually a bit scared of red eyeshadow but it gave me some ideas on how I could pull them off.

I wasn’t actually going out in the evening though as it was the opening ceremony of the Olympic games and I had made plans to stay home and watch it with my boyf with some Chinese take-away so I toned the look down somewhat when I got home by removing the eyeliner on my lower lash line and the blush. This is a shot taken after I’d eaten my dinner so the lipstick was mostly gone but I think the eye make-up like this is something I’d probably wear for a night out.



Incidentally I really enjoyed the opening ceremony of the games and now I’m in full Olympic fever mood so I have an Olympic inspired look coming up shortly!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Gold Glitter Gradient Nails

Hello again!  I’ve been away on a couple of trips the past couple of weeks visiting people and places so I haven’t updated my blog for a while.  I have loads of exciting new things to show on my blog over the next few days but to start off with I’ve just got a quick post to show the nail design I’m wearing at the moment.

This was super easy to create because the glitter top coat hides a multitude of sins.  I managed to smudged about half of my nails before I applied the top coat but after a couple of coats of glitter and a top coat they were looking perfect again!




I love how fiery and warm the design is – a bit of warmth is definitely welcome at the moment as the weather has really failed to deliver so far this summer!  I used a bright orange Barry M Nail Paint and a Color Club gold glitter top coat.  The Barry M paint was still quite translucent after two coats so the white of my nail tips was still visible, which was an interesting effect (a bit like having orange jelly nails) but this colour is best avoided if you’re after opaque coverage.  However the gold glitter was quite thick so my tips were covered totally by the time the design was completed.


For tips on how to create a glitter gradient manicure like this I recommend this Youtube video tutorial by Illamasqua which creates the design using black and silver.  Have fun if you decide to give it a go!