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.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Downsizing with DVD Palettes

Check out my latest stack of new eyeshadow palettes!


Well, sort of new. This week I got all crafty with most of my huge boxed palettes and depotted a ton of eyeshadows into DVD cases. There are empty palettes available that you can buy for this purpose; the one that springs to mind is the Z Palette which is available in the UK from the website Love Make Up, but they are quite expensive with prices starting at £9 (and going up to £16+ for a palette this size) and since I had a boxful of empty DVD cases anyway I thought I really ought to use them instead of spending a ton on expensive palettes.

My boyfriend was kind of impressed and shocked in equal measure when I showed him what I’d created ha ha. He was impressed by the idea – which unfortunately I can’t take credit for as it’s a well-covered topic on YouTube, where I first saw it, but shocked that I would want to get rid of all the cool packaging. However I had to depot one of my Urban Decay Book of Shadows as one of the shadows had gone bad so I had to get rid of it and also ideally re-house the others at the same time, and I was so pleased with the results that I decided to depot my Book of Shadows IV at the same time. The shadows just weren’t getting the attention they deserved at all because I never have time to deal with the unwieldy packaging in the mornings.

This palette contains the entire contents of my Urban Decay Book of Shadows II and IV.


As that was my first ever attempt at depotting I did crack and chip a few of the shadows, but the result is still honestly better than the set-up I had before, whereby the massive palettes had just ended up being stored out of sight and out of mind in a corner. You can see that all of the shadows have hardly been touched even though I’ve had the BoS II for about three years (!!) and the BoS IV for one year. Now they’re so accessible I use them much more.

I also went and depotted my massive Front Cover palettes. By this time I had done a bit more research and I used the oven-method as described in this YouTube video by Gossmakeupartist. It’s very simple and effective but you must pay attention and be careful when you do this as high temperatures are involved and you could easily burn yourself.

As well as empty cases to house the shadows in you’ll also need a tool to prise the eyeshadows out with and glue to stick them down into the new cases with. I used some nail scissors and an all purpose glue by UHU.


Here’s an example of how much space one DVD palette can save. This palette contains all the eyeshadows that were housed in this massive case.



I just wrote the names of the shadows on a piece of notepaper and stuck it to the front of the DVD case.


I also depotted some larger domed baked shadows. These are a bit higher than shadows in flat pans so they did suffer a small amount of indentation from the opposite side of the case, but again I would much rather have them in this much more accessible format and slightly dented than have them lying neglected in their original packaging.


I also created a DVD lipgloss palette which I think looks quite cool :) I just depotted these by prising them out of the cases with the nail scissors as they are cream products and would have melted and things might have become a little messy if I had heated them in the oven.


What do you think about depotting shadows into cases? Do you love your original packaging too much, or does it just sit around a bit neglected like mine did?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Autumn Glam Look

I do love the weather in London in the autumn; we’ve finally gotten rid of the sticky muggy humidity of the end of summer and the air has taken on an invigorating crispness that’s not yet too cold.

I’ve called this look “autumn glam” as it involves more than two shades of eyeshadow, which counts as glamourous for me. PLUS I even threw in some eyeliner and some eyeshadow along my lower lash line – which is really counts as going all out for me!



I’m wearing Illamasqua cream blush in betray – it’s quite a scary looking dark berry/rose shade in the pan but it blends out beautifully. I like applying with either a brush or my fingers then blending out the edges with a damp duo fibre stippling brush.




My eye make-up was mostly by Urban Decay (the shadows were all from my Book of Shadows IV). These colours are so typically autumn though that loads of brands have similar shades available, especially at the moment.

Anyhow this is what I used:

  • a light glittery gold highlight on the inner corners (Midnight Cowgirl)
  • matt vanilla shaded highlight just underneath my brows (Skimp)
  • medium gold across the lid (Baked)
  • a dark blackish green as my smoky colour in my outer corner and along the lower lash line (Cobra)
  • a very thin slick of brown eyeliner (24/7 Waterproof liner in Smog)

The Urban Decay 24/7 liner has definitely grown on me since I first got it; at first I thought they were a bit fiddly to use as they have the thinnest brush of any liquid liner I’ve ever tried but now I actually think they’re one of the easiest liquid liners to apply as the brush is quite short and stiff so you just need to rest it on top of your lashes and use them as a guide to get a perfect line. You can see in the photos above how fine a line you can achieve with them, which is good for me as I have such narrow eyelids – so they’re worth checking out if you like a fine line.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Accessorize Baked Eyeshadow Trio

This is a Christmas gift set that I decided to gift to myself! I’m a big fan of Accessorize make-up already and these colours were gorgeous and a total bargain at £3.99 when I bought them in Superdrug. They’ve since gone up to £5.99 but are part of a 3-for-2 on gifts promotion that’s going to be running for the next several weeks.



right to left: Molten Copper, Golden Caramel, Cosmic Rays

The eyeshadows contain a mixture of shades swirled together in beautiful patterns. I can’t decide if my favourite is Golden Caramel, which looks like the surface of a planet, or Cosmic Rays, which looks like a semi-precious mineral.





left to right: Molten Copper, Golden Caramel, Cosmic Rays

The quality of these shadows is fantastic. They can be applied wet or dry but to be honest I find them so pigmented that I find that they provide an intense finish even when applied dry. Just one word of warning – Cosmic Rays contains a lot of glitter and I did end up with quite a lot of fall out across my face when I applied it. I just tidied up by dusting some powder over my face lightly with a powder brush.

Cosmic Rays is just the kind of shade I like when I want a more intense look – it’s dark, but not black, and it’s quite a complex and interesting shade. To me the way the gold mixes in makes it looks like a blackened green or blue on the skin.



Thursday, 1 November 2012

Products I Would Not Buy Again–Autumn 2012 Edition

I really like the idea of this kind of post so I’ve called this the Autumn 2012 Edition hoping that I can make this a regular feature. While of course I love reading about products that other people really enjoy using it’s also useful to hear about products that are best avoided – it helps save so much disappointment and money too!

So without further ado, here is my current tray of shame. Some of these products are awful, and some I just don’t like. You can click on this pic for a larger view.


  1. Nivea Visage pure and natural cleansing lotion – this product claims “95% of natural origin” but, if that’s true, then I’m afraid their scientists spent too long focusing on ingredients and not enough time on coming up with a product that actually removes make-up. It’s rubbish. I wear eye make-up nearly every day and I need a reliable eye make-up remover. This unfortunately is not one. I won’t be buying this again.
  2. Illamasqua Base Coat – this is one of the only Illamasqua products I’ve tried that I don’t like. It’s very runny and while that makes it quick-drying I just feel that it doesn’t offer enough protection to my nails as I still quite often suffer from staining from coloured varnishes when I wear this base coat underneath.
  3. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain and Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm – I know that loads of people love these, but I really hate them both. The balm stain is so hard and waxy that I end up having to rub so hard for any colour payoff that it hurts! The Just Bitten Lipstain is a felt-tip style lipstain with a tiny waxy balm at the other end. It takes ages to apply because it dispenses colour so unevenly and to be frank it’s still impossible to get even coverage no matter how long you spend trying to apply the thing. I definitely won’t be buying either of these again.
  4. Accessorize Diamond Lipgloss – I love most Accessorize products that I’ve tried but even though these lipglosses look gorgeous in the tube, you have to apply a huge dollop to get close to the same effect on the lips and they just don’t last. It’s a shame as the colours are gorgeous and they do look so pretty.
  5. Collection 2000 Cream Puff – again this is a product that’s been raved about by so many beauty bloggers and vloggers and it does have a lovely texture and colour – but I just can’t get it to last on my lips. It lasts a couple of hours on me max. Maybe I talk too much or drink too much coffee or something, but in any case I prefer my lip colours to hang around for just a little bit longer.
  6. MAC Shadestick – these used to be part of MAC’s permanent collection but they were discontinued a couple of years ago and now just make occasional appearances in limited edition collections. I was curious to give one a try as I do like eyeshadow sticks, but once I got my hands on this I soon realised why they had been discontinued. It feels like such an old-fashioned product, like the kind of eyeshadow stick that was on the market 10 years ago. The packaging feels cheap and plasticky, and the product only fills the top 1/3 of the pen. It dries out quickly so you have to be very careful about retracting the shadow and clicking the lid on tightly after each use. Unlike the best modern eyeshadow sticks which are smooth and creamy it’s also so horribly hard that it is actually painful to apply as it tugs so much on the skin, and you have to press quite hard to get any colour payoff. Yuck. Definitely not a product that I’ll be buying again.
  7. Urban Decay Glitter Eyeshadows – this used to be my favourite eyeshadow – this particular shade is Midnight Cowboy, but I have the same problem with every single Urban Decay eyeshadow that contains any glitter. They suffer from terrible, terrible fallout that begins during application and then continues on throughout the day. When I was younger I didn’t mind having glitter all over my cheeks – just doubled up as an extra highlighter – but now I’m over that stage and I really prefer to keep my glitter where I originally apply it. My favourite glittery eyeshadows are the amazing Blingtones by Myface Cosmetics – super glittery effect, without any glitter! Does that sound confusing? Check out their website (linked in previous sentence) for more info.
  8. 17 Wild Metallic Cream Eyeshadows – these are yet another product that seems to be beloved by all in the online beauty community except for me! I really don’t get the hype over these. I bought 3 as I’d read such great reviews of them and there was a 3-for-2 offer on at the time and they looked OK when I tested them on the back of my hand, but the colour just ends up faded and uneven on my eyes and creases like mad. Not only will I not be buying these ever again, I’ll probably end up throwing these in the bin as I just can’t think of any way to get any use out of them.
  9. Rimmel Glam’Eyes HD Eyeshadows – these look really cute with their Union Jack designs, but they’re totally impractical and the quality is quite poor. It’s very difficult to load a brush with the eyeshadows due to the design and the texture is super-soft and crumbly so eyeshadow just gets everywhere when you try to pick it up on an applicator from the packaging. The colour payoff is poor too. I consider this to be more of a novelty product than useful make-up. I mean, they’re nice to look at, but ultimately that’s not really what I buy make-up for – I want to be able to wear it on my face! At £5.99 each they’re not cheap either.
  10. Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow – the colour payoff of these is just terrible. I loved the colour of this eyeshadow but in order to get decent colour payoff I had to scrape the surface of the eyeshadow and apply the resulting loose powder with a damp brush – waaaay too much hassle for an eyeshadow that should be producing good results straight from the pan.
  11. Stila novelty eyeshadow palette – it’s a bit of a shame as some of these colours are quite nice, but the design of this palette is so impractical. Some of the segments are so small that you have to use a pencil brush to pick any product up. While some of the colours have good colour payoff, many of the matte shades were quite sheer and chalky so I was really disappointed with this. This palette came out last year and I know they have released similar palettes this year with a snowflake design, but I’ll be steering clear.

Well I had fun compiling this list and I hope it was useful or interesting too. I will try to do another edition in late winter or early spring.

Hello Kitty Lipstick in Baby Doll

This is my 2nd lipstick from the Superdrug Hello Kitty make-up range. I really liked the first one I purchased in Betz Believe so I picked up another one when I was in Superdrug the other day. They’re currently retailing for £3.99.

You’re really going to hate this if you dislike really loud, excessive packaging and/or Hello Kitty. Otherwise, you’re in for a treat! :)




I think it’s quite difficult to get a good idea of the shades from the colour representation of the kitty-shaped lids, but fortunately you can just take the lid off and have a peep before you buy them. (Probably not the most hygienic way to show case lipstick, but at least you get to see before you buy I guess).

On my lips this colour comes up as a very sheer, shimmery peach. I love it. It’s also very moisturising so I’m going to get a lot of use out of this both wearing it to work and for evenings out when I want a nude lip to pair with more intense eye make-up. It’s not very long lasting, but I’m not that bothered by light shades fading away. I only get upset when dark lip colours fade away leaving an awful dark lip line and my pale nude lips in the centre, ugh.