Saturday, 30 March 2013

Some Easter Weekend Online Beauty Offers


Image courtesy of Simon Howden/

Feel like treating yourself to some online beauty shopping this Easter weekend? I’ve been browsing the net and come across a few special offers you might be interested in (all UK based, international shipping may be available - pls see individual websites for full terms & conditions!)

MUA: up to 1/2 price sale on selected items – ends Tue 2 April 5pm.

My picks – I’ll be stocking up on Mosaic Bronzers and Lip Booms for £1.50 and Love Heart lip balms for £1 each.

Illamasqua: 45% off selected products which will be “hidden” across the site and hinted at with a different clue each day over the long weekend. So far they have posted discounts on a selection of eyeshadows, nail varnishes and pure pigments. My tip? Hold off until Monday if you can when all the offers will be revealed!

Debenhams: 10% off all beauty and fragrance. This is a good chance to stock up on items that are usually never discounted such as MAC permanent lipsticks, foundations, eyeshadows etc. Debenhams carry a wide range of brands so this offer is worth checking out if you like your high end make-up.


Image courtesy of Phiseksit/

Easter Manicure

If you’re looking for some Easter inspiration for your nails then I’ve got two polishes to show you today that might be just what you’ve been looking for.


Above left: Invogue feather polish in on the money (£3.49), right: Revlon nail enamel in 260 Girly (£6.49)

invogue is quite a new British brand that’s just launched in selected Superdrug stores and the Superdrug website. They have an assortment of different “special effect” nail varnishes with this one being a “feather effect”. It contains hundreds of thin coloured plastic strands in a clear nail varnish that are supposed to create the look of a feather on the nails. I’m not really sure that it looks like a feather, but I do think that it looks quite cool on. I applied two coats to achieve this opaque finish. Just a quick word of warning – the plastic particles are actually very sharp, so be sure to give the end of your nails a quick file once the polish has dried to prevent any accidental painful scratches or eye poking!

I thought that “Girly” was an interesting concept – different coloured glitter particles suspended in a semi-opaque polish. I applied three coats to get true-to-bottle colour payoff. I love how my nails now look like sweeties – perfect for the Easter weekend!


As you can see from the photos above, my cuticles have been suffering something rotten in the recent cold spell we’ve been having here in the UK. I’m trying to rescue them with cuticle oil but I just never get round to applying it often enough, poor cuticles!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Pink & Silver Glitter Stack from Claire’s

Well, in my previous post I did mention that I am a bit of a glitter fan…

Unlike my previous post though I have a product to share that I actually like quite a lot this time. I bought this stack of 10 pink and silver glitters from Claire’s Accessories for about a fiver - I can’t remember the exact price but it was part of a 3-for-2 offer so worked out about a fiver anyway. Unfortunately these state not for use on the eyes but if you use your imagination you can still get a lot of use out of them on cheekbones, lips, collarbones, nails and maybe even hair (although just watch out how you apply it so it doesn’t end up looking like dandruff!)


I would suggest using them in conjunction with a mixing medium, depending on where you want to wear them. I would go for hair gel for hair, vaseline for skin, and on top of vaseline, lipstick or gloss on the lips. You can also sprinkle it over wet nail polish or mix it in with nail polish in a palette to create a glittery nail varnish or top coat.

I’ve taken close-up pics of each glitter for this collage below, which you can click on for a larger picture. There’s a nice selection of colours, with a mixture of matte and holographic finishes. The glitter itself is also fine and flat, so it sits well on the skin. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of glitter and are looking for something a bit more substantial than individual glitter pots to dip your toes into.


Glitter Disappointment from Claire’s Accessories


Most people consider glitter to be more appropriate as an arts and crafts material for small children than as make-up, but y’know what? I love to incorporate glitter in my look whenever I feel like wearing something colourful, shiny and metallic and don’t care that it’s generally considered inappropriate on ladies aged over 18. Yes, I’m happy to admit that I’m a 30 year old glitter fan.

I thought that this eye glitter palette from Claire’s (£7), with its selection of 10 varied colours, would be perfect for weekends or jazzing up my eyelids and temples during the week for mid-week nights out. Unfortunately having used this a few times now I have to say that I’m less than impressed.

Each colour merely contains a dusting of glitter over a layer of vaseline-like cream, and the pans are very thin. I didn’t do any swatches for the blog because swatching alone would probably have used up about half of the glitter in the product! I’d used this palette about three times before taking the photos below. You can clearly see how I’ve already hit pan on the dark pink. The glitter itself is fine – very fine and flat so it sits well on the skin, but I was really disappointed by this as I feel the product is presented very deceptively. I also don’t understand why the glitter is not simply mixed with the cream all the way through instead of just finely layered on top.




Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Superdrug BB Cream–5 Min Review

This is a product that I picked up a few months ago and have been using pretty consistently since, and now that I’ve almost used it all up I thought I would write a really quick five minute post. It’s a budget BB cream so it’s probably a product that people are keen to try – but only if it’s any good of course.


This is marketed as a 5-in-1 skin perfecting day cream. The RRP is £8.99 for 50ml although it’s often of special offer and I picked mine up for a couple of quid less than the RRP. It comes in the shades Light and Medium, and it claims to:

  1. Even the complexion by providing light coverage
  2. Moisturise
  3. Contain skin-protecting anti-oxidants
  4. Contain SPF 15
  5. Contain UVA & UVB filters (thereby helping prevent premature aging caused by sun damage)

It’s also paraben free, cruelty free and suitable for vegans if those features rock your boat (personally I’m not so bothered by parabens but I love cruelty free and vegan products).

Here are a couple of pics of me wearing the BB cream. I have the shade Fair which I have to say does come out of the tube looking awfully orange and it does warm my skin up a shade or two, but since the product is very sheer it blends out OK on me.


The flash picks up on the slightly orange tone but I think it looks fine really.

The consistency is very creamy and the product is a good moisturiser but unfortunately it’s a bit too oily for my skin. While that does lend a certain radiance to the skin, if I don’t wear powder on top then it slides off my face by lunchtime.

This product is a solid three-out-of-five product for me; there are definitely plus points but the limited shade range is a major drawback and I wouldn’t recommend it for oily skin. I might consider repurchasing this for travelling with though as it’s convenient to have a moisturiser that also offers sun protection and some coverage – saves having to pack a separate moisturiser and foundation.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Spring 2013

Well I’ve given up waiting for the weather to turn before posting any spring looks. Yes, with snow in London even now it seems like we’re in danger of skipping from winter straight into summer this year and I could be wearing shimmery silvers and whites for a while yet if I want to continue matching my make-up to the weather, so this weekend I decided to throw a bit of colour in to my look with a bit of lilac and blue.



As you can see I’ve applied lilac liberally all around the inner corner of my eye as the shimmer reflects oodles of light and makes my eyes look more lively and awake.

I love lilac and blue eyeshadow…they are definitely two of my current favourite shades along with lime green and pink. A look containing all four of those colours would be my dream look but using more than three shades together usually involves more effort than I can muster!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The First of My Germany 2012 Posts

Well, it’s only taken me 3 months to sit down and write this first one, but now that I’ve started hopefully I will get round to posting the rest within a slightly shorter time period!

I visited Hamburg for a weekend Christmas shopping break in December and took the opportunity to pick up a whole stack of cosmetics while I was there. It sounds awfully decadent when I write about visiting like that but short trips to the European Christmas markets are quite a popular kind of holiday!

Whenever I’m in Germany (every other year or so) I love to buy cosmetics that aren’t available in the UK. First up I have a shot of a nail varnish that I bought from a drugstore, I can’t remember the name of the shop (I think it was Budni) but the brand is called Blackbird and all their colours cost €2.49 for 8ml. I was actually umming and ahhing as to whether or not I should buy any more nail varnish as I had bought so much recently but for the price I eventually decided that even if the quality wasn’t great it wouldn’t put too make too much of a dent in my holiday budget so I bought two colours. Today I have a shot of me wearing No. 6 Free As a Bird, a brilliant azure blue.

The consistency is perfect – not too runny and not too thick, quick drying and opaque in two coats. With a top coat I get about four days wear which for the price is a pretty good show.


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Urban Decay Glinda Palette

Today I have some pics and swatches of one of my latest acquisitions, the Urban Decay Glinda palette. This is one of two palettes that Urban Decay have released in conjunction with the Disney film Oz the Great and Powerful. I’m not a fan of Disney but I liked the colours in this palette so I decided to pick it up.



The palette comes in a cardboard box with a picture of Michelle Williams as Glinda on the back, along with the shades and names of the colours in the palette. Inside there’s also a card with the same picture of Michelle Williams and a guide on how to use the colours in the palette to achieve the look. To be honest though, Michelle’s make-up in the picture looks nothing like the look on the card which is a smokey purple as you can’t actually see any of her eyeshadow in the photo that they chose to use!


Shades from left to right, top row: Tornado, Aura (duo eyeshadow), Magic.

Bottom row: Illusion, Oz (duo eyeshadow), South

The lid of the palette is filled with a massive mirror, but it doesn’t stand up on its own so is quite awkward to use. I prefer to use a smaller, handheld mirror when doing my make-up.


The palette also comes with a 3/4 sized 24/7 eye pencil in the aubergine shade “Rockstar” (which I now have about 3 different versions of from various palettes and collections…) and a super-saturated lip gloss pencil in a nude shade (not pictured here).


The palette is housed in the new “Build Your Own” packaging which to be honest I’m not a fan of. It’s very bulky and the eyeshadow pans don’t seem to sit quite right. I don’t know why they didn’t come up with a magnetic system seeing as their eyeshadows sit in metallic pans. Anyhow it is nice that you can pop the colours out and swap them around however the fancy takes you.
















Left to right: Tornado, Aura, Magic, Illusion, Oz, South, Rockstar


Above: Illusion, Oz, South, Rockstar

I do really like the selection of colours in this palette, with the duo-chrome sheens on Aura being particularly beautiful (my photos don’t do them full justice). I also like the fact that you can create both a subtle day time look or a smokier, more glamourous look with the colours in the palette.

The shadows are all smooth and pigmented, and there isn’t too much glitter in this palette thankfully which is usually Urban Decay’s weak point (in that their glitter eyeshadows tend to fall down from the eyelids and all over the face!). I would say that if you are interested in these colours and looking for a new everyday palette then this is definitely worth checking out. The price of £35 RRP actually represents excellent value for money when you consider that their eyeshadows normally retail at £14 EACH – so for the price of this whole set you would normally only be able to pick up 2 and a bit eyeshadows, but here you get 6 full sized shadows in 8 shades (thanks to the two duo shadows), a lip gloss pencil (also usually £14 each) and a 3/4 sized eye pencil.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Smokey Brown with MUA

MUA have just released a whole raft of new products so I placed an order last weekend and my goodies arrived a few days later. I had a chance to play around with them this weekend and came up with this look yesterday, where all the products that I used except for my face powder are by MUA.





Above: the selection of products that I used. Clockwise from top left: Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation in Porcelain (£5 RRP but purchased on special offer at £3), eyeshadow palette in Undressed (£4), Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit in Porcelain (£3.50 RRP but purchased on special offer at £2.50), Mega Volume Mascara in Brown (£3), MUA powder blusher in shade 2 (£1), Undress Your Skin highlighting powder (£3 RRP but purchased on special offer at £2), MUA Lip Boom in (£3)

I also used an Intense eye colour pencil in rich brown (£1 RRP but purchased on special offer as a free gift) which I forgot to include in my photograph, oops! It’s a brilliant product and I definitely recommend checking out their range of pencils. They basically tick all the boxes – soft and smooth to apply, highly pigmented and very long lasting. And as an added bonus, they even come with an integrated pencil sharpener in the lid!

If you’re interested in the maths then the total that I paid for all these products came to just £18.50 which is an absolute bargain for a full face of make-up. But let’s move on to some product swatches and mini-reviews to see if they are actually any good.

I haven’t swatched the Illuminating foundation on my arm but you can see it on my face in the pictures at the top of my post. It’s a very light, warm toned shade so it’s actually a pretty good match for my skin tone. I’m not a big fan of the consistency though, which I find to be a bit sticky and difficult to blend. It’s much easier to apply if worn on top of the Undress Your Skin Flawless Face Primer (also from the MUA Undress Your Skin Range, not pictured here) but I can’t really be bothered with the hassle of layering so many products just for the coverage of a foundation. I’ll definitely be using this foundation up but I probably won’t be repurchasing it.

I’ve already swatched the Undressed palette in this post. I really like this product and at £4 it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of neutral eyeshadows.

The Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit comes in three shades, of which mine is the lightest, and contains two concealers and a highlighter. One concealer is cool toned (excellent at covering dark circles under the eyes) while the other one is warm toned. My skin is very warm toned so it’s quite a good match for me already, but since there are two shades you can mix them to create your own perfect match. All three products have a very sticky, oily consistency which I think works well for the concealers (the lasting power is quite good as long as you set them with powder) but I don’t like this consistency as a highlighter. It’s also quite pigmented so for me it’s more similar to a cream blush. I would only use the highlighter in the summer if I was going out with very light coverage and not powdering my skin, otherwise I don’t think it would fit in with the rest of my make-up.






The Undress Your Skin highlighter has already been compared by some to MAC’s Whisper of Gilt extra dimension skin finish, but as you can see from my swatch above it’s a completely different shade. It’s a pale white pink but Whisper of Gilt, as the name suggests, is very golden (a light, yellow gold) and personally I think they’re completely different.



Above: Whisper of Gilt, and left-most in swatches.

The highlighter actually has quite a nice finish and it’s my favourite product from MUA’s new Undress Your Skin range.


The Mega Volume mascara has a plastic wand packed with bristles. It actually works quite well on my stubby, sparse lashes and I could definitely see myself buying it again as I find mascaras quite over-priced in general, especially as I’ve never found one that I’ve considered particularly amazing.

I’ve also reviewed the blush already which you can read about in this post. It’s not my favourite blush ever but they’re good to try if you want to find out which shades you like best as they are all wearable and only £1 each (so you could buy the whole range for £6!)




I’ve been meaning to try out the MUA Lip Booms for a while but I only got round to buying this one a couple of weeks ago. The Lip Boom contains a matte lipstick in one end and an extremely glittery lip gloss in the other. There are currently eight shades in the range but I have to admit that some of the colour combinations do seem a bit strange. I went for this caramel nude and orange glitter combo which I’m really pleased with. The lipstick glides on quite well for a matte finish (often I find matte formulae very dry) and lasts me from the morning until lunchtime. The lipgloss is a nice colour but it is very glittery and consequently a bit gritty. I tend to either wear it alone or just a dab of it in the middle of my bottom lip if I’m wearing it over the lipstick. I’m just wearing the lipstick in the first photo at the top of this post.

To conclude: a mixed bag of products but on the whole more hits than misses. My must-have from the new Undress Your Skin range is the highlighter, the Undressed Palette is great value for money, their eye pencil range is brilliant – the quality is simply incredible given that they only cost £1 each - and if you like matte lipsticks then the lip booms are definitely worth checking out because even if you don’t get any use out of the lip gloss £3 is still great value for money for a good quality lipstick.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

New Brand Alert – Introducing B.

This brand arrived at Superdrug a couple of months ago and to be honest I haven’t heard much about it on the blogosphere but I’ve tried several of their products now and I have to say, I think they’re all excellent.

I think my attention was first caught because it has the Leaping Bunny symbol stamped all over it, which is always a turn on for me. I’ve got a couple of their eyeshadow quads which I’ll show in another post, and several lipsticks and cream eyeshadows which I’ve got some swatches of today.




(My swatches are duller than the true colours due to my bad lighting, sorry! These lipsticks are much more vibrant in real life.)

The lipsticks retail at £7.99 which is quite expensive for a lipstick from Superdrug I think, but for that the quality is excellent. Orchid is my everyday lippie for work, and Bellini looks gorgeous paired with gold or warm-toned eyeshadows. Pizzazz is very bright and punchy and just the kind of colour I love for summer parties.



Above: Vibrant Eye Shimmer in Royal, Copper and Poseidon, RRP £6.99

These cream eyeshadows are smooth, vibrant and very long lasting – they last all day long on me (I usually apply my make-up just before 8am and remove it around 7pm) and can be worn either alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’m a fan of cream eyeshadows anyway as I like the texture and metallic finish you can achieve with them but if they’re long lasting too then it’s an added bonus. There are 8 shades in the range at the moment and I’m sure I’ll be picking most of them up over the coming months as the make an excellent cruelty-free alternative to some of the better known long-lasting cream eyeshadows on the market.

Jerome Alexander Stackables

I picked this set up in TKMaxx a few months ago on a whim but since then it’s actually become one of my go-to products that I use pretty much every day. I got mine for £9.99 and I think you can still pick it up for around this price from various sellers online.

The packaging is quite nice – it’s s sleek, gold stack that contains three compartments that slot together, with a mirror in the lid. You can take the compartments apart so for example if you just wanted to pop the powder in your bag you could simply take the top compartment with the lid and it would be a complete compact.


There are different versions of the stacking kit available. The one that I got contains a powder mineral foundation dotted with various shades of “colour correctors”, a highlighting and bronzer duo, and an eyeshadow quad in very warm shades of red, bronze and gold.





As you can see from the swatch above, the pigmentation in the eyeshadows is very good.

My kit also contained a set of brushes: powder, blusher and eyeshadow which aren’t pictured here. They are acutally quite good quality (which is quite unusual for brushed included in a kit) and I use them all on a regular basis. The powder brush is good for light coverage, but when I want heavier coverage I use a flat-topped foundation brush (mine is by ecotools, pictured below).

My winter morning skin routine has basically been to use a light coverage bb cream followed by the powder foundation on my t-zone. The powder is very buildable and I usually go for medium to full coverage, although I’ll be switching to the powder brush from the set and easing up on the amount I use in the spring as we get more daylight.


Below: Superdrug BB cream followed by Jerome Alexander mineral foundation


The powder has lasted really well and I’ve only just hit pan after having used it every  day for about three months. I would definitely consider repurchasing it – I’ve seen larger versions of the foundation alone available from Boots for £19.99, or there are various other products from the range available online.