Monday, 27 August 2012

Everyday Look for Work Summer 2012



I’ve been experimenting with neutral eyeshadows a lot more recently but I still like my flashes of colour so this is a great way to combine both.  It’s also super-quick to throw together, so perfect for work, when I only leave myself about 5 minutes for getting ready in the mornings!

Here’s what I used to create this look…


I don’t bother with foundation during the week and stick to tinted moisturiser instead to save time.  I take out shine down the centre of my face with some powder then whack a light bronzer along my cheekbones (I don’t bother using bronzer to contour and instead just use it to add some colour to my face in the areas the sun would naturally hit first) and a bright blush on my cheeks.

I used Bondai bronzer by Accessorize which I also featured in more detail in my previous post, and my newest MAC blush in Solar Ray (also featured here). There are loads of pictures of it on my blog already but I think it’s really pretty so I’m going to include another one here anyway.


I have oily eyelids so in hot weather I use a silicone based eye primer to make sure my make-up lasts through the working day. The MUA eye primer is a bargain at £2.50 as it works just as well as other much more expensive primers of this type that I’ve tried before.


I can’t cope with more than two shades of eyeshadow for work, it just becomes too complicated for me otherwise. Lately I’ve been using shades 4 & 5 from the top row of the MUA undressed palette – I featured many more pics and details in this post. I use the shimmery brown over my lid to the crease then tuck a bit of the matte brown into the crease with a rounded blending brush.


The hero of this look is in my opinion the amazing green eyeliner – which is now discontinued!!  It’s from the range Glam Metallics by Collection 2000 which were such amazing products that I can’t believe that they were unpopular enough to be discontinued. You get a massive 6ml of eyeliner in the packaging – for comparison most of my other eyeliners are under 2ml.

The brush is thin but the consistency is nice and thick, a combination that makes for a very forgiving application. It’s very waterproof and doesn’t budge on me until I remove it at the end of the day with an oil based eye make-up remover.



Finally, when I’m going to work I tend to finish off my look with mascara and a nude lipstick or gloss on the bus. Actually I have developed the really bad habit of carrying about 15 lip products around with me at all times in my handbag – I think I should start concentrating on finishing off a couple to make my load easier to carry! I know some people hate it when they see people doing their make-up on public transport but I say hey, if it gives you an extra 5 min in bed then I’m all for it.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Some More Accessorize Eyeshadow Swatches

Last week I swatched a bunch of their eyeshadow duos and this week I thought I’d swatch some of their more autumnal shades as we do seem to be getting to that time of the year again (already?  Nope, I don’t know where the time goes either).

These aren’t all the Accessorize eyeshadows I own but they are most of them. I chose these shades to photograph today as they are the more earthly shades which seemed most autumnal to me. Although Accessorize eyeshadows normally retail for £4 each for 2.5g of product I got all of these on special offer so they either came with a set at a reduced price or I bought them on half-price offer for £2.





Vintage Rose


Purple Promise


Above left – right: Truffle, Vintage Rose, Purple Promise


Ultra Violet


Teal Tension





Below left – right: Ultra Violet, Teal Tension, Sage, Graphite


All of these shadows have a very creamy consistency (mineral oil is one of the main ingredients). Personally I like the consistency as it’s easy to get intense colour payoff from these shadows but I know some people prefer more powdery eyeshadows as they tend to be easier to start off subtle with and build up. All of these shadows last a full working day on me (I don’t usually wear make-up for more than 12 hours as I tend to wash my face when I get home in the evenings) over a primer.

The formula of Accessorize eyeshadows is very similar to that of the MUA eyeshadows I’ve tried and I’m sure there are similar shades in both ranges, so you may want to compare swatches of both brands if they are both available in store at the same time as the MUA shadows are even cheaper at £1 a pop.

My favourite shades out of this selection are Purple Promise, which is perfect for creating smokey eyes with and in my opinion more interesting than black and Ultra Violet, which is I would call a purple/blue duochrome.  However I know for a fact that it’s practically identical to shades by other budget brands too such as MUA, Colourworks and Sleek, so I would definitely recommend checking your collection first to see if you have something similar before buying this one (I actually discovered it’s identical to the purple shade in my Colourworks palette that I picked up last year). It is definitely a brilliant shade to have though as it’s just so beautiful and perfect for wearing both during the day and in the evening as it’s not so dark that it looks too smokey for the day but also not so light that it’s lost once the lights get turned down low.

Tropical at Last

Well, a teeny bit tropical…here’s what happened when I finally cracked out some bronzer and bright eyeshadows.



The green is from the Sleek Monaco palette and is the same shade that I used in my Limeade look a couple of weeks back. The blue is from a random eyeshadow palette that I’ve had for ages but isn’t available anymore, but it’s a very common colour with similar peacock blue shades widely available from many brands.

I’m very pale but I warmed up my skin with a warm toned face powder and a light bronzer from Accessorize. The bronzer is the shade Bondai and the powder is the shade Warm Honey, which is a shade up from the colour I use in the winter. I do recommend these shades if you’re pale but want to warm up your complexion without creating too much of a contrast to your natural skin colour by using shades that are too dark. The lighter shade of the bronzer can also be used on its own as a golden highlighter.


Below from left – right: face powder in warm honey, Bondai light shade, Bondai dark shade, Bondai both shades blended outIMG_1452

I only use face powder down the centre of my face because I wear either blusher or bronzer anyway on my cheeks and temples so they don’t need powder first.  Even if you don’t wear anything on the sides of your face just powdering the centre (forehead, nose and chin) means that you mattify those areas whilst the dewy finish on the sides of your face will create natural highlights – plus this is also a great way to make your powder last twice as long as you only need to use half the amount!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Quick–Half-Price No. 7!

Could Boots No. 7 be preparing for a re-branding? They’re currently running a half-price on all make-up special offer.  I’m not sure how long it’s going to last though so if you’re passing by a Boots this bank holiday weekend and you’re a fan of the brand then it’s probably worth checking out, as their offers are usually 3-for-2 which involves buying at least two products in order to make a saving.

I decided to take advantage of the offer to grab some pretty lip colours. I bought a Stay Perfect lipstick, a Liplicious glossy balm, and a long lasting Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer lip colour and gloss duo.

Stay Perfect lipstick in 55 Glace


This is a long-lasting lipstick with a dreamy creamy consistency (my favourite kind). I haven’t found it to be drying on my lips at all and in fact find it very comfortable to wear. This lasts a good four to six hours on me, depending on how much I eat and drink.

Liplicious Moisturising Balm SPF 15 in Purple Liquorice


I actually quite like this packaging – a squeezy plastic tube with a hard applicator.  The main reason I like it is because you get a massive 12ml of product because there’s no space taken up by an internal brush/doe foot applicator.


The colour looks very deep and intense in the packaging but in fact it’s a clear gloss with shiny purple and gold particles shot through. The coverage is very sheer and it adds a gentle, unobtrusive shine on the lips.  The consistency is smooth and moisturising so another hit with me, although not quite as long lasting as a lip gloss.

Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer in 30 Sugar Mauve


The No. 7 lipstain/lipgloss duos are my favourites of this type of product that I’ve tried and this is in fact my third one.  The lipstain does not budge once it’s on until you decide you want to remove it with make-up remover but it’s also surprisingly comfortable to wear. Again I don’t find it to be drying unlike some other long lasting lip products I’ve tried.  The gloss can also be worn alone and is a top-quality sticky lipgloss (I prefer sticky lipglosses as I find them longer lasting than smooth, light glosses) and comes with an excellent brush applicator.

I must be into my mauves at the moment as you can see from the swatches below that the lipstick and lipstain are very similar shades.  That’s fine though as I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of all of these.


Above left – right: Stay Perfect lipstick in 55 Glace; Liplicious Moisturising Balm SPF 15 in Purple Liquorice; Stay Perfect Lip Lacquer in 30 Sugar Mauve

MUA Undressed and Dusk Till Dawn


Above: the MUA Undressed palette

Superdrug’s budget make-up range MUA are great for amazing value basics.  I don’t really wear neutral colours that often so I didn’t want to fork out on an expensive palette but I did want to update the shade range that I currently own so I decided to buy a couple of MUA palettes last week.  I’ve been trying them out for the past week and have to say that I’m really impressed with them so far.

Each palette contains 12 x 0.8g pans of eyeshadow so 9.6g in total and retails for £4 normal price, but at the moment there is actually an offer on the Undressed palette which you can pick up for just £3 if you manage to find one – they have been selling out pretty quick.

First up, here are some close ups of the Undressed pans followed by some swatches.


Below: top row, bottom row. There are no shade names, just Shades 1 – 12.



The consistency of these shadows is quite simply impressive, no doubt about it.  For £4 it seriously makes me question what certain other brands are charging so much more for when such quality can be produced for so little cost. It’s clear to see that costs have been cut on the packaging but it’s perfectly functional and I personally find it very useful that the lid of the palette is transparent as the shades in the palette can be seen without having to open it. 

As far as the colours are concerned, there’s an excellent selection of mainly cool-toned neutrals in a mix of shimmer and matte finishes. Shade 2 (2nd from left, top row) looks angelic on my skin tone (even if I do say so myself ha ha) and Shade 4 (4th from left, top row) is the perfect everyday light brown for me.  I like to wear it with plenty of eyeliner as per below.


The other palette that I bought is called Dusk Till Dawn and it contains a brilliant selection of neutrals and smokey colours that fits perfectly with its name.





A word of warning – that beautiful deep blue (shade 10, 4th from left bottom row) does stain.  If you can’t resist wearing it I would recommend wearing it over a trustworthy base to try to prevent staining, unless you don’t mind (I personally can’t stand staining – when I remove my make-up that generally means I don’t want to be sporting colourful eyelids anymore!) However, I’m again full of praise for this palette which offers so many possibilities in a great range of shades and has sneaked its way straight into the top of my current favourites.

Tiny Glass Chillies and Enamel Orchids

After visiting the excellent Ballgowns exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington today I picked up a couple of pieces of garden-inspired jewellery.  As befits the UKs leading design museum the V&A boasts an amazing shop full of gorgeous stationery, clothing, homeware, jewellery and more inspired by their archives, current collections and temporary exhibitions which I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in search of a special gift or just fancy treating yourself.

This tiny glass chilli ring was so much fun I just had to buy it at £4. I love the colours and the detail.



Secondly, here’s a pic of my candy-stripe phalaenopsis orchid which lives on my kitchen window sill…


And here’s a pic of my new orchid earrings – realistic, right? 


That’s because they are in fact real flowers which have been preserved in some form of resin. These were quite expensive for me at £20 but I’ve been lusting after these since their release months ago so I decided I should finally stop merely obsessing over them and finally get round to buying them today. I spent literally minutes going through the selection that they had in the shop as, being real flowers, each pair of earrings was different.  In the end I settled on these because of the amazing veining detail. If only I knew the secret of setting flowers in resin I would definitely try making more jewellery like this myself!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Accessorize Baked Duo Eyeshadows

I truly believe that Accessorize is one of the most underrated high street make-up brands amongst beauty bloggers.  It’s really one of my favourite brands and I usually have to stop myself from buying all their new season products in one go, but I see hardly any coverage in the blogs I read.

Superdrug are currently running a special half-price promotion on these shadows so you can pick them up for less than £3 each for 4.5g of shadow– which given their quality is an amazing bargain.  I have nearly all of the current shades so I figured that now was as good a time as any to post swatches of all the ones I have in one post.


As an additional cute touch, all of the shades are named after ancient goddesses. All of the below swatches were done dry.

Shade 11 – Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love) – bright white and red-tinged glittery black



16 – Freya (Norse goddess of love/fertility) – a light bright gold and gold-tinged copper



14 Venus (Roman goddess of love) - a deep purple and beautiful unusual pink-tinged silver.



15 – Zoria (Slavic goddess of beauty) – bright light gold and turquoise



4 – Break Up (I think this shadow must actually have been from the previous collection but I decided to include it as I had already had the photos anyway) – white gold and light golden green



I love how the complexity of the beautiful patterns in the pan is translated when the shadow is applied to the skin, with unexpected streaks of colour and texture.  Every single one of these shades is smooth, pigmented and blendable.  At less than £3 a pop, I say grab ‘em while you can!