Monday, 29 April 2013

Rimmel Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in 004 Deep Blue

I’m not the biggest fan of gel eyeliners but sometimes it’s the only form of eyeliner that comes in the colour that you want.

I was looking for a navy blue eyeliner a few months back but after browsing in Superdrug for a while I gave up on the idea of finding a navy liquid liner (I don’t like felt tip pen eyeliners; only liquid liners that are applied with a brush or felt-tipped applicator dipped into a pot) and decided to give this navy gel offering from Rimmel a try.


I have to say, it’s not cheap with at RRP of £6.49 for a tiny 2g pot, but thankfully I do find the quality to be very good and I’m quite happy with my purchase. The packaging is very familiar to me now as it’s the same as the kind used by MUA and Barry M for their gel eyeliners; a small plastic pot with a screw on lid that contains a built in brush. I find this packaging quite practical and almost always use the brushes. I find it so convenient that you don’t have to hunt around for a clean eyeliner brush to apply your liner with – it’s right there in the lid, safely packed away from dust and dirt.


The liner is quite pigmented and I generally only need one swipe for an opaque line. It lasts all day on me and I have quite oily lids so no complaints there either. The consistency is very thick so it’s very easy to apply.


I’ve found the navy to be a really versatile colour; perfect for when you want to add intensity but avoid the harshness of black or the warmth of brown. In the pics below you can see the liner paired with a cool silver shadow and a more tropical teal and green look.



Thursday, 25 April 2013

Cruelty Free Favourites

Just a bit of a medley post today with a list of some of my favourite cruelty free products. Hopefully you’ll find something new and interesting in the list.



I have a few of their brushes and I love them all, they’re such good value and quality. The bristles are synthetic, the ferrules are made of recycled metal and the handles are made from bamboo. I particularly recommend their flat top buffing brush for foundation – the soft, dense bristles works well with creams, liquids and powders for full coverage.


Above: Ecotools buffing brush

MUA Brushes

This budget range contains all synthetic haired brushes and with prices starting from £1.50 is definitely one to check out if you’re on a budget. The quality is not as high as Ecotools but the brushes that I have – the angled contour brush and fluffy eyeshadow blending brush – are good enough to do the job.


Lush do a brilliant range of long lasting bright cream lip colours. They’re expensive at £14.50 each but at least the quality is excellent to go with it. The glass dropper style bottles look really cute too.


Above: Lush lipstick in Believe (note: I used a colour effect on the photo above so it is not a true colour representation).

Cream Eyeshadow

B. Cosmetics do a range of long lasting, vibrant cream eyeshadows that are as good as any I’ve tried.


Above, left to right: B. Vibrant Eye Shimmers in Royal, Copper, Poseidon


I don’t like strong perfumes that can be smelt metres away or leave a trail so I tend to opt for solid perfumes these days. My favourites are the aromatherapy balms from Badgers Balms and Lush Gorilla solid perfumes. As they’re solid, they’re also perfect for packing into your handbag for top-ups during the day whenever you feel like an aromatic pick me up, and you don’t have to worry about your colleagues giving you the evil eye for spraying clouds of perfume in the office or toilets.


Above left to right: Badger Yoga & Meditation Balm, Badger Sleep Balm


My current favourite shampoo is the amazingly uplifting Big shampoo by Lush, but for a budget everyday version I use cherry and fig shampoo by Superdrug. All Superdrug own brand products are Leaping Bunny certified (although not all brands that are sold in Superdrug are).


Above: Lush Big shampoo


Urban Decay and Body Shop make my favourite eyeshadows and are both certified cruelty free BUT both brands are owned by L’oreal – it’s a bit of a cruelty free conundrum as L’oreal is not certified cruelty free. It comes down to your own standards as to whether you can consider these individual brands as cruelty free when their parent company is not.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Blackbird Nail Varnish in 09 I Need You

This is the second Blackbird nail varnish that I bought when I visited Hamburg in December. You can see Free As A Bird, a brilliant azure blue, in this post.

Both polishes are great value for money, with a nice, creamy consistency that’s opaque in two coats and lasts on me with a top coat chip free for up to four days. You get 8ml for €2.49 – sadly for us UK based nail varnish fans though this is only available in Budni stores in Germany as far as I know. One to look out for if you’re ever in the area though!


I need you is a creamy brown that makes my nails look like chocolate buttons, mmm…

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Match Your Makeup to your Handbag

Make-up has always been heavily influenced by the trends at global fashion weeks, so here is my fashion-inspired trend du jour: matching my make-up to my favourite handbag. What do you think? Is this a trend that could/should catch on?!


Trend-setting aside (he he), coral just happens to be my favourite make-up colour at the moment because it matches my thank-goodness-it’s-spring-at-last sunny mood!

I’m wearing a coral coloured Hello Kitty lipstick in the shade Betz Believe, a bright orangey pink from my Sleek Respect iDivine eyeshadow palette, and a coral blush.


I think this lipstick is amazing – but I don’t know if it’s available anymore as the stands seem to have disappeared from all my local Superdrugs! It has a very nice, creamy consistency and good coverage in just one swipe. Hello Kitty, if you are out there reading this, please come back to Superdrug soon – I’m a big fan of your range!


I teamed the eyeshadow with royal blue eyeliner and mascara because I felt that my eyes needed the extra definition of some eyeliner with such an orange shade (to avoid looking like my eyes were just pink because I had an eye infection!) but I wanted something less harsh than black. I know that many people hate coloured mascaras because they find them a very “teenage” look or consider them to be unflattering, but to be honest, I really do think that certain shades can really be an asset in a make-up bag. Today for example I think black would have overwhelmed this look somewhat, whereas the blue lent it just the right intensity.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Chuck out Your Black Liner

Or if chucking out your black liner seems a bit dramatic, at least consider packing it away until the autumn! I love coloured and light eyeliners in the spring and summer.

Today I’ve got some shots of a pink eyeshadow teamed with an antique gold liner. I think it’s a great colour combo for the lighter, brighter days we’re enjoying now that it’s spring.



The eyeshadow that I’m wearing is Magic from the Urban Decay Glinda palette. I like to apply it over a creamy base for maximum colour payoff.


The liner that I used was Waterproof Gel Eyeliner by BarryM in No. 3. I actually picked up this product a couple of weeks back because I thought the colour was interesting but not expecting anything spectacular but I have to say, I think this product is fantastic and I’m really glad I picked it up. It is very long lasting and I just love the colour. I just wish that they had more colours in the range as I would snap up any more slightly unusual colours they came out with. I’ve done another post with more pics here.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

BarryM Waterproof Gel Eyeliner No. 3


This is quite a new offering from BarryM and although I’m not the world’s biggest fan of gel eyeliners the unusual colour caught my eye. The RRP is £5.49, which seems quite standard for a Superdrug-stocked kind of gel eyeliner – not so cheap and not so expensive.

The packaging is that common brush-in-lid style of pot that many different brands now use. Personally I find it very useful – not only because you don’t have to go out and buy a separate brush for doing your gel liner with, but also because this is a very nifty way of keeping your brush and product together and also keeping your brush clean.


The product itself is quite thick and creamy and I find it very easy to apply. Just one word of warning – try not to apply more than one layer, and don’t lay it on too thick and it will crack and potentially fall into your eye at some point during the day – ouch! If you manage to apply a nice thin even layer though you’ll have no worries about it coming off during the day. This is a very long lasting product.


The colour pay off is quite excellent which I hope you can see clearly in the swatch on my hand below. It comes up as a lovely and unusual antique gold.


The first time I wore it it did immediately put me in mind of another one of my gel liners, my MAC fluidline in Catch My Eye which I picked up from their holiday collection this Christmas just past (Dec 2012). As I mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of gel liners but I was drawn to the unusual colour.

A quick comparison shows that while these products are no dupes, it would be fair to consider them as sisters, and both add a lovely subtle metallic gleam to the lashline.


Above: MAC fluidline in Catch My Eye


Left: MAC fluidline, Right: BarryM Waterproof Gel Liner


Left: BarryM Waterproof Gel Liner in No. 3; Right MAC Fluidline in Catch My Eye

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Crazy Coloured Nails for Spring

I should definitely feature more nail posts on this blog. I have so many nail polishes and my nails are painted more often than not, but I think I’m probably too fussy when it comes to taking pictures of my nails.

There was the extra-long winter to contend with this year I suppose, which was a constant battle against strangely blue-toned light in all my photographs. And then there are the occassions such as today when I painted my nails with an awesome nail varnish and then, through no fault of the product but rather due to my own impatience and inability to sit still for more than two minutes I managed to smudge and dent it all over the place.

Case in point, Illamasqua’s nail polish in Radium, a shimmery toxic lime green:


This nail varnish has the perfect consistency, is opaque in two coats and dries fast in about ten minutes. I am simply a dope.

I didn’t want to add a third coat of Radium though so I thought I would try to save the day with a coat of crackle nail polish. This is really where crackle nail polish comes into its own, I think. Barry M’s crackle top coat in blue really saved the day.


Bam! Now that’s what I call colour. This is a seriously funky colour combination and the crackle hides all those pesky dents and smudges perfectly. Phew!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sleek Eau La La Liners

A quick google will reveal that these multi-use pencils are almost universally beloved across blog-land. I was rather taken in by the hype surrounding these products and I picked up four quite soon after their launch last year.


Above left to right: pumpkin, Red Sky Night, Moulin Rouge, Blue Moon

Eau La La pencils (£4.99) are waterproof and can be used on eyes, lips or the body and are available in 20 different shades from traditional nudes and neutrals to loud and bold brights. They have a lovely smooth and creamy consistency that glides on and lasts and lasts. When I wear them on my eyes they last all day long and while I don’t tend to wear bright lip colours all day long so I can’t confirm exactly how long they last on my lips, they certainly last several hours.

So far, so good. However, they do have a problem and that is with their formulation. I think that one or more of the ingredients evaporates from the pencils and leads to all of the problems I’m about to mention.

I encountered the first problem the very first time I opened and used the products. The lead on every single one pushed back into the barrel. You can see this clearly with the orange and red pencils in the shot below. However, having had the pencils for some months now I’ve recently encountered another problem, which is that the force of pulling the lid off actually pulls the lead right out of the barrel – this can be seen clearly with the blue and pink pencils in the shot below.


The next problem is that they are horrible to sharpen. In the photo below you can see how much I’ve sharpened the blue pencil already when compared with the full length red pencil. I’d love to say that that’s because I’ve gotten so much use out of it, but unfortunately it’s because the lead breaks so much whenever I try to sharpen it. The wasted product is so frustrating!



So there you have it – in a nutshell, a potentially great product is let down by a bad formula. My advice is not to fall in love too much with those bright colours because the hearbreak of all that wasted product just isn’t worth it!

Clog Planters

Today I have a quick picture post for some spring colour inspiration.

Aren’t these wall-mounted clog planters fun? I took this picture at the Klompenmakerij Marken – Clog Workshop in Marken, near Amsterdam, last summer. I love not only the innovative use that they’ve put the old clogs to but the wonderful bursts of colour.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Dainty Doll Bargain Pack

I picked up this bargain pack in TKMaxx a couple of weeks ago for £4.99. I haven’t seen Dainty Doll in many shops but I’ve checked the Boots website and the current prices listed there are eyeshadow - £11.50; lipstick £12.50; cream blush £13.50. So this set represented a saving on the RRP of £32.51, cool! (However, I can also let you in on a little secret that this selection of products and more are also available at a reduced price on Fragrancedirect at the moment if you’re interested in checking them out...)

I’m not sure how well known this brand is nor how popular it is really as it doesn’t seem to have wide distribution at the moment. It was launched around five years ago by former Girls Aloud band member Nicola Roberts who wanted to create a range specifically aimed at paler complexions. The products come in cardboard packaging with a cool illustration a lithe-limbed ginger haired beauty.


The packaging itself is very sleek and satisfyingly heavy, although slightly annoyingly the rubberised finish of the pans does pick up dirt and finger prints easily.



Above: eyeshadow in 004 Copacabana


Above: cream blusher in 001 Paper Roses


Above: lipstick in 006 Baby Love


Above left to right: Copacabana, Paper Roses, Baby Love

I bought the pack without being able to look at the products before purchase so it really was a lucky dip. I have to say though, I think I did well! The eyeshadow is insanely bright and pigmented but it’s just the kind of shade that I like. I also got incredibly lucky with the lipstick which is the same kind of cappuccino nude that I usually choose as my everyday work shade.

The cream blush is a lovely shade of pink but unfortunately it’s a bit too light for me – it does show up on my skin, but the finish is too subtle for me. This could be a great choice for somebody looking for an ultra-natural looking blush though.

In the shots below I’m wearing all three of the Dainty Doll products and also a light shade of eyeshadow as a highlight under my brows, a thin slick of teal eyeliner and some mascara.



Sunday, 7 April 2013

EU Leads the Way with Animal Testing Ban

There was good news for animal loving beauty fans in the EU last month as a new law banning the import and/or sale in the EU of cosmetics that have been tested on animals or containing ingredients that have been tested on animals came into force on 11 Mar 2013. Products containing ingredients that have been tested on animals in the past can still be sold in the EU, but no ingredients that are tested on animals after the ban will be allowed.


Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS/

I’m really happy about this latest development in the long story of the fight against animal testing. There is no scientific need to test cosmetics on animals and this move will go a long way in ending the cruelty and suffering that is involved in gratuitous vivisection. (Note that this ban does not apply to pharmaceuticals). In developed countries like the member states of the EU our great access to amenities and consumables mean that it’s easy to buy products without having to think about their origins or production, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t. I hope that the rest of the world looks to the EU’s lead and follows suit very soon.

However, it doesn’t mean that cruelty-conscious consumers can entirely relax their guard when shopping in Europe. Due to the vagaries of international laws, there will be some companies testing products on animals outside the EU for sale outside the EU that also sell the same or similar products within the EU, only having used non-animal tests on those. It’s a situation that is best described as absurd!

Once again I would refer anybody concerned about the origins of their cosmetics to explore the Leaping Bunny website as an introduction to the world of cruelty-free. (Please note that this blog is not 100% cruelty free).

If you are interested in finding out more about what the EU ban itself covers, excludes, or more about animal testing around the world then I’ve included some links to further information below.


EU bans sale of all animal-tested cosmetics

Europa (official website of the European Union)

Full EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics enters into force

The Body Shop

Celebrate the Ban


No cruel cosmetics

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Kew Gardens

Hi all, and happy spring! The weather has finally decided to catch up with the time of year and it was actually sunny and feeling a bit warm this afternoon in London – hurray!

I thought it would be nice to create another photo post with some bright images for inspiration now that the seasons are changing and people probably finally feel like playing around with all the bright and colourful colours that have been hibernating in their make-up bags over the long, extended winter.

I visited Kew Gardens with my boyfriend last month which is always a great day out with lots of different sights to take in each time, depending on the time of year and which plants are in season. On this visit we concentrated on the hot houses (of course – too cold to wander about outside all day long!) so there are plenty of cacti and orchid photos to enjoy – plus lots more!