Friday, 30 December 2011

My Cream Blush Collection

I have recently become more interested in cream blushes after years of thinking I couldn’t wear them as I have oily / combination skin. Turns out that I can wear them, I just needed to purchase the correct ones and ensure my skin was prepped correctly before applying.

I currently have 5 cream blushes and they cover a wide spectrum of colours and shades, although I am always looking for more!.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges in Tawny, Fresh Melon and Calypso Coral – these blushes are contained within the colour strips palette that I came out last year and although these particular shades are no longer available as they were limited edition, there are many similar colours available on her website. The shades I have here are Tawny, Fresh Melon and Calypso Coral. The coral shade in particular is my favourite.

I love the Pot Rouges as they were the first cream blushes I tried and they showed me that it was possible to wear them. I apply just a tiny dab of these with my fingers and blend them outwards for a healthy flush. They are very pigmented so you only need a tiny amount and therefore they will last ages. They can also be used on the lips but I find them quite drying when used in this way so I prefer to use them only on my cheeks. 

Elizabeth Arden cream blush in Plum – I received this as part of a goody bag at a Britney Spears fragrance launch event some time ago and was really pleased with it, despite it looking quite scarily dark in the pan. I do feel that Elizabeth Arden’s packaging could feel a bit more luxurious for the price though as the product is not cheap and plastic, lightweight packaging is something I would expect from a drugstore brand.

Top Shop cream blush in Neon Rose – When Top Shop’s makeup range was initially launched, this was the blush everyone seemed to be talking about and despite it looking very scary and bright in the pan, it is a lovely wearable coral (can you tell I love coral shades?!). It blends easily to a powder finish and easily lasts as long as my other cream blushes from higher end brands. The finish and consistency of this blush in the pan does seem to be significantly dryer than my other cream blushes but I think that may be due to the fact that it blends to a powder finish unlike the others. I have owned this for over a year though and it has not yet dried out and I am using it on a regular basis. I also have to mention the packaging of this product which is very cute, and the addition of a mirror in the lid is an added bonus.

L to R: Neon Rose, Plum, Tawny, Fresh Melon and Calypso Coral

For me, the key to using cream blushes effectively, without them disappearing within a couple of hours, is to ensure my skin is prepped with primer and that I don’t have too many layers of products underneath the blush. I moisturise first thing in the morning after my shower, then apply my primer and foundation / tinted moisturiser after which my blusher is applied. I take time to do this though and wait for each ‘layer’ to dry fully. I also often use a powder blush in a similar colour to set the cream blush if I want to ensure it stays put all day, otherwise, I need to reapply a little after about 5-6 hours.

What is your favourite cream blush?

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge -£18
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream Blush -£22-23
Top Shop Cream Blush -£6

Where to Buy
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge -Bobbi Brown
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cream Blush -House of Fraser, Debenhams, Boots
Top Shop Cream Blush -Top Shop

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Review: Neal's Yard Seaweed Salt Scrub

As part of my efforts in attempting to use more natural products and reduce the amount of chemicals I use on my body on a daily basis, I decided to give a couple of products from Neal's Yard a try.

For those of you who are not aware, Neal's Yard is a company who pride themselves on producing products that are free of parabens, sulphates and all other potential nasties and indeed this product is 6% organic.  The Seaweed Salt Scrub claims to stimulate and tone for fresh smooth skin, by gently exfoliating dry patches.  

On first impressions, the packaging for this body scrub looks quite plain, however, Neal's Yard say that all of their packaging is designed to keep out the light to ensure ingredients are preserved and do not lose their efficiency quickly.  I rather like the packaging as I think it goes well with their brand ethos and lets the products and their ingredients do the talking.

Upon opening the scrub, you are immediately hit with a strong sea smell, however this initial scent is not unpleasant and merely smells like a walk along the beach on a crisp autumn day.  When squeezed out, the scrub does not look overly attractive and is a medium brown colour (I will leave it up to you as to what that reminds you of but for me it was not chocolate mousse!).  Neal's Yard suggest that the product should be used once a week but I found the grains contained within the scrub quite fine and I usually prefer a more scrubby scrub, if that makes sense!   I felt I needed to use this about 3 times a week to get any benefit and even then, it did not really exfoliate adequately.  I did find it fairly moisturising, probably due to the essential oils within it, but I don't tend to have super dry skin so a scrub that has moisturising properties is not vitally important to me.  

I finally have to mention the scent which was the biggest negative point for me.  It is very, very strong and takes over the bathroom for a good half hour or so after you are finished showering. The initial scent you get when sniffing the product is not the same as the fragrance when using the scrub, as I find it reminds me more of a derelict beach with lots of smelly seaweed on!  I was expecting a seaweed scent but I did think it would be a more beachy scent, like that of a summers day and for me the scent in this scrub was a major turnoff.

Based on a combination of factors, mainly due to the scent and the fact that it was just not scrubby enough for me, I would not repurchase this product. I think this was possibly a bad choice by me though as I tend to prefer fruity scents and if you like more earthly notes, this may be more to your liking.  

Price - £16.35
Where to buy - Neal's Yard

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Website of the Month: BuyaPowa

Over the last couple of months, there has been one website that I have purchased from more regularly than any others - Buyapowa. Before I start, I just want to make it clear that I have not been asked to write this post by BuyaPowa, I am just really pleased with the service I have received from them!

You will be familiar with Groupon, itison and all of the other hundreds of group buying sites available out there, and BuyaPowa is just the next incarnation of this. The main premise is that products are available in limited quantities for a short period of time at a greatly reduced price.

Products can be requested by users and it is predominantly beauty products, mostly from mid – high end brands such as Mac, Bobbi Brown, Benefit and Chanel! The way it works is that you register your interest on the forthcoming co-buys area which lists the products coming up for the next week or so and when the buy goes live, BuyaPowa email you to let you know the product is available for purchase. Initially there will only be a couple of pounds discount but the more people that purchase, the bigger the discount, and it is usually £7-10 off, even when you include the postage which is a very reasonable £1-1.50 depending on the size of the product.

You enter your payment details when you commit to purchasing, and BuyaPowa email you at every step of the co-buy with alerts as the price is driven down. So far, I have never bought anything which didn’t sell out or go for the lowest possible price, however as there are fairly limited stocks of the products, they are snapped up very quickly so you need to be on the ball if you want to snaffle one of the most wanted items such as the Urban Decay Naked Palette, which sold out in just over an hour last time, although if an item sells well, it will usually come up in another co-buy a few weeks later.

Postage and packaging is, as I mentioned earlier, very reasonable and in general is fairly quick. When I have had to change my postage address at the last minute, I sent them an email and received a prompt reply advising me that it had been changed and indeed it was. Another thing I like is that when I have purchased Chanel items they also always come wrapped up in gorgeous Chanel gift wrap,  and in a cute Chanel bag which you would get if purchasing direct from a counter, so it is perfect for a gift either for others or yourself, and you still feel like you are having a luxury shopping experience!

I cannot praise BuyaPowa enough and I have been really pleased with their customer service. My only slight grumbles are that I wish there was a facility to log in using something other than Facebook so I didn’t have to type in my address details every time. I also can’t login to websites using Facebook at my work when doing some lunchtime online shopping, so this isn’t an option for me. The other factor that bothers me ever so slightly is the name, but that is just because I am a stickler for correct spelling!! Still, I would urge those of you who haven’t had a look at the website to investigate as there are more products made available daily, so there is bound to be something you are interested in. If there isn’t you can always request a co-buy and if enough people request it, it will become reality!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a very quick post to say I will be taking a break over the next few days but will be back next week.

Have a fabulous Christmas!


Friday, 23 December 2011

Red Lips Week: Mac Hang-Up and YSL Rouge Volupte in Forbidden Burgundy

Mac Hang-Up and YSL Forbidden Burgundy

For the final post in this week of red lips, I have decided to focus on two darker options - Mac Hang-Up and YSL Forbidden Burgundy.  These are almost plummy shades, which give a more vampy look than the classic red for the festive season.
L to R: Mac Hang-Up and YSL Forbidden Burgundy

Mac Hang-Up looks almost black in the tube but goes on a darkened, deep red.  It is a cremesheen, which I find lasts around 2-3 hours on me and can be a slightly drying formula..  It is slightly glossy, which is not apparent in the swatch above,  but it gives a polished look on the lips.

YSL Rouge Volupte in Forbidden Burgundy is a vibrant plummy colour which goes on to the lips opaque in one swipe.  Rouge Voluptes are very soft and creamy (I reviewed another of the range, Pink Caress, here), and as this shade is particularly dark, I would recommend the use of a lipliner to avoid any issues with bleeding over the lip line.  As with Hang-Up, it looks much darker in the tube than it does on the lips.

Both of these lipsticks offer an opaque plum colour in one easy swipe.  Especially suitable for vampy evening looks, these are the perfect choice if you are looking for something a bit different from your usual red lippy.  As the Mac lipstick is substantially cheaper, this would probably be my recommended choice for someone looking to dip their toe into a darker lip, however the formula of the YSL lipstick wins for me every time.

Mac - £13.50
YSL - £22

Where to buy
YSL - Department Stores,Boots, Debenhams

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Red Lips Week: Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry

Excuse my awful nails, I had spent half an hour trying to remove a glitter polish!
These Chubby Sticks were introduced by Clinique at the beginning of the Summer as a moisturising tint which imparts a hint of light colour and contains mango and Shea butter .  

The packaging of the Chubby Sticks make them ideal to take out and about with you in your bag, as they look like huge crayons which you can use to colour in your lips!  The outside of the tube is the same colour as the chubby stick itself, so you can see easily at a glance the shade you are picking from your makeup bag.  I do wish more companies would do this as it takes me forever to find the Mac shade I'm after when I have to look at the bottom of the tubes!  To sharpen the Chubby Sticks, you just twist up the stick from the bottom of the tube.  

The shade itself is a lovely wearable hint of red, less pigented than both of the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, but even more moisturising and I find myself wearing this a lot in the Summer.  It is not a replacement for lip balm though, but compared to traditional lipsticks, it is much more comfortable to wear.  I find it is a very neutral red, mainly due to its translucent shade, and you can easily swipe it on without the aid of a mirror.

For those who are unsure of wearing bright lips, these Clinique Chubby sticks are great for just popping on as they just give a hint of colour.  However their lasting ability is not great as I really only get just over an hour of wear, meaning I tend to either wear this in the Summer or if  I am just popping out to the shops for half an hour or so, as it makes me feel a little more polished but not overdone. They are also quite expensive for a balm, and you can probably get cheaper versions of these elsewhere in many of the shades. 

Price - £15
Where to buy - Clinique, Boots, Debenhams

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Red Lips week: Mac Ruby Woo and Russian Red

From L-R: Ruby Woo and Russian Red
Today's red lip week post is two of Mac's most well-known reds - Ruby Woo and Russian Red.
L to R: Ruby Woo, Russian Red

Ruby Woo is the warmer of the two, a brighter, blue-based red which is also probably the easier of the pair to wear.  It is a matte, as is Russian Red, and it can be a little drying if you do not apply some balm before slicking it on.  I never feel the need to wear lipliner with either of these lippies as they don't tend to bleed and once they are on, they stay put. 

Russian Red is a classic red, which seems to be more of a neutral red in the tube and goes on to lips fully opaque.  It looks much more blue-based in this swatch though. It is a matte but glides on easily and I don't feel like it dries out my lips as much as the Mac Cremesheen lipsticks, although again you will need to apply some balm before wearing.  It is not as bright as Ruby Woo but stays on my lips for around 4 hours, even leaving a slight stain after this time.  It is one of the classic Mac shades, and for a good reason. 

Although Russian Red is probably the most well-known of the duo, I feel Ruby Woo is probably the easier to wear, due to its brighter, rosier, blue-based shade.  Depending on your skin tone, either may suit you though, its just a case of trying different reds out to see if you suit blue or orange-based shades.

Price - £13.50

Have you tried any of Mac's red lipsticks?  What is your favourite festive Mac lipstick?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Red Lips Week: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Monte Carlo and Rebelle

Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo (62)

Today, I am introducing you to two of the more pigmented Rouge Coco Shines from Chanel - Monte Carlo (62) and Rebelle (63).  Admittedly these are not from my own collection, they are actually from my mum's, but I do tend to 'borrow' them whenever I am visiting!
Rouge Coco Shine in Rebelle (63)

Rouge Coco Shines are essentially a cross between a full lipstick and a balm.  They tend to look very pigmented in the tube, however they go on with a wash of shiny, often translucent colour, which is very wearable.  They tend to last only about 2-2.5 hours, due to their moisturising feel and shiny appearance and are very comfortable to wear.  The two I have picked for you are two of the red shades which would be ideal, again for those just venturing into the world of red lips and who don't want to make too much of a statement.  
From L to R: Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo and Rebelle

Monte Carlo is a berry red which looks very shiny when applied.  It has almost a pinkish tinge to it and is certainly more of a blue-toned red.  It suits most complexions and skin tones as my mum has quite fair skin, whereas I currently have rather tanned skin (NC30) and I think it suits both of us.

Rebelle is more of a classic red, which is more orange-based.  In the swatch it looks like it has less shine, but on the lips this is not the case and it is still very comfortable to wear and not at all drying.

Both colours are very easy and comfortable to wear, providing decent colour payoff in a moisturising formulation.  A good option for a wearable red lip if you are not yet ready to wear full on, opaque colour but would like to try something other than a gloss.

Have you tried any of the Rouge Coco Shines?

Price - £23

Monday, 19 December 2011

Red Lips Week: Becca Glossy Lip Tint in Grenadine

As we are now in the week before Christmas and I am starting to feel ever so slightly more festive, I thought I would do a short series on red lips.  Until a year or so ago, I would never have worn anything remotely red on my lips, but these days I have branched out of my comfort zone, explored some of the other options available and I'm now perfectly comfortable to rock a red lip.

Today, I am showing you Becca's Glossy Lip Tint in Grenadine.  I bought this lipgloss on a whim from Beauty Bay quite some time ago when they were on offer.  Although it looks quite scary in the tube, it is actually pretty wearable and is an easy way to ease yourself into a red lip.

Becca say that this is 'A long lasting translucent gloss that delivers radiant shine with a splash of colour and is completely non-sticky'.
The applicator is a brush which is not my favourite type of applicator but it does the job well, distributing the product evenly across the lips.  It is a gorgeous shimmery deep berry red, almost like a ripened strawberry colour, with no discernible shimmer.  It is not super sticky which is very good on windy days!  I also find I get around 2-2.5 hours wear with this which is very unusual for me with a gloss.  

This gloss glides on very easily and is just as pigmented on the lips as the swatch above.  For those of you who are unsure about wearing red lips, this is a good way to ease yourself into them as you can build up the intensity according to your comfort level and it also good for wearing on more casual, less formal occasions. I will certainly be purchasing more of Becca's Lip Tints in the future, based on the quality and pigmentation of Grenadine.

Price - £18
Where to Buy - Becca

Saturday, 17 December 2011

My Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Collection

A little bit of Chanel always brightens up one's life!  And these little pots of joy are so gorgeous, I initially swore I was only going to purchase one but have gradually been building up my collection.  I think this should be enough for the moment, although the black one in Mirifique has been whispering my name!

If you are unaware of these eyeshadows that have taken the blogsphere by storm, they are a cream / powder hybrid which glides onto the skin like silk.  You get a small brush included with each pot of shadow, although I prefer to use my finger to smooth it on as I think they work well with the warmth of your skin  You need to work quickly though as they set fairly rapidly and once they are on they don't budge!  I have fairly oily lids and with a primer they stay on for about 8-9 hours, and have around the same lasting power as the Georgio Armani Eyes to Kill shadows which I also adore. 

I first bought Emerveille and Epatant in quick succession.  Emerveille is a gorgeous peach shade with shimmer which looks amazing as a wash of colour across the lids for a easy daytime look

Epatant is a creamy green / grey which can either be smoked with a little grey for a twist on the classic smokey eye, or sheered out for a more wearable, daytime shade.  I often also use this as a liner and the brush with it is perfect as it is quite stiff and can be used to create a hint of colour beneath the lower lash line.

When finishing off the last of my Christmas shopping last week, I stopped by the Chanel counter, just for a look you understand (!), and discovered that, Illusoire,  the Illusion d'Ombre that I had been stalking for months, was finally in stock!   So I just had to buy it!

Illusoire is a mixture of several colours.  It is not purple, not grey, not taupe but more of a mixture of all three, if that can be possible.  It shimmers and sparkles under the light, making it a multi-faceted colour that can work for all occasions and is my favourite of the three shades that I currently own.

These super versatile shadows are a must for any makeup bag, although they are fairly pricey, which is to be expected with Chanel.  Perhaps one to hint for  for Christmas?!

Price - £22.50

Friday, 16 December 2011

Review: Batiste Wild Dry Shampoo

Batiste have released a new scent of their every popular Dry Shampoo and I was lucky enough to win a can from the lovely  Phoebe at Peluxe.  I received it wrapped up in this wee bag which I will be re-using for one of my Christmas gifts.

Batiste claim that this new scent, Wild, is 'for daring girls who are in touch with their animal instinct. A feisty Oriental fragrance with loads of personality, it's the perfect partner when you’re out on the prowl.'

I have been a relative latecomer to the Batiste fanclub, with my trusty Label. M  Resurrection Dust (review here) being my go to product for when I need to refresh my hair or add a bit more volume if I am heading out after work.  This new product from Batiste is exclusive to Boots and it does certainly have a distinctive strong scent, with woody, musky undertones.  It works well through, exactly like all other Batiste products and does exactly what it says on the tin.  My favourite Batiste scent remains the Tropical one, as it reminds me of holidays, but this is a good addition to the range and one advantage of Batiste over other dry shampoos is that there is an added fragrance which can mask any unpleasant lingering odours that have adhered themselves to your tresses.

Not one of my favourite scents, but the product does exactly what you would expect and it is useful of Batiste to offer a selection of scents for what is, essentially, a very functional product.

Price -£2.99 for a large can
Where to buy - Boots

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review: Nars Orgasm Illuminator

On the whole, I really enjoy Nars products, but I do wish they would stop with the silly, juvenile names. I get that they are trying to be cheeky and provocative but it honestly seems a bit like they have asked a 13 your old boy to name some of them. But enough about their naming policy, how does their fabled Orgasm Illuminator measure up?

I first tried this product just after it was released as I received a very generous sample with another purchase from the Nars website. The sample lasted for ages and I immediately bought a full-size version which is still going strong.
Nars Orgasm Illuminator was launched to much fanfare around 18 months ago as the newest product to grace the ever popular Orgasm line. I already own the blusher and a mini version of the multiple (review here) and I was very eager to try the Illuminator to complete my trio of products. 

The first thing that struck me with Orgasm Illuminator was the scent which reminded me of chocolate orange. It was gorgeous! Thankfully it doesn’t stick around too long, otherwise my cheeks would smell good enough to eat, but it does smell rather delicious. The second thing I noticed is that it is quite runny and that you only need a tiny, tiny amount. A little goes a long way, and a tube will last you a long time. As you can see from the unblended swatch, it does look like a pretty pigmented peachy-bronze shade but when sheered out and blended in, it gives you a lovely glow and I find it is much more subtle than the Orgasm powder blush with less obvious sparkle, just a more underlying glow.

I apply it one of two ways:
  • I squeeze a little onto the back of my hand and taking a tiny dab, blend it onto my cheeks with my fingertips for a gorgeous glow. You can leave it like that and use it as a blusher, but I prefer to layer a powder blusher over it in a similar colour, either Nars Orgasm powder blush or Benefit Coralista is very similar. This ramps up the intensity a little and sets the illuminator, meaning your healthy glow will last much longer.
  • I have recently started to mix it in with my liquid foundation (Mac Matchmaster at the moment) on the back of my hand before applying all over the face. This gives a much more subtle effect and doesn’t in fact make you look like a discoball, as you may have imagined! This would probably look a little too sparkly on those with paler complexions but if you have a tan, it just enhances your glow.

A useful addition to the Orgasm family, this Illuminator is the perfect pairing with the powder blush and it a good way of adding a little sparkle or glow to your skin. For those who are expecting something akin to a crème blush, this is not the same, it is merely a liquid illuminator which you would use in a similar way to a powder one, and it is good to have additional formulations at your disposal. I personally love it, although I know some people have been disappointed with the pigmentation, expecting it to be as pigmented as it looks in the tube, but if you enjoy using the Orgasm powder blush, I think this would be a good purchase. Since I purchased it, I believe the packaging of the illuminator has changed slightly to a wider bottle and a flip top lid and the range has now expanded to include Super Orgasm, Copacabana and Laguna illuminators.

Price –£21.50
Where to purchase -Nars, Space NK, House of Fraser, HQ Hair   

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Review: The Body Shop Earth Lovers Shower Gel in Pear & Lemongrass

I love shower gels! I know they aren’t the most exciting product every but I adore the endless fragrances and types available and I almost never repeat a purchase as I’m always in search of another must-have fragrance. Hubby on the other hand, is ever faithful to his trusty Original Source Lime shower gel and doesn’t like to stray…!

The Body Shop are a brand that I have come back to recently after several years in the wilderness. I read about their new shower gels some time ago and was particularly interested in them as they are 100% biodegradable and sulphate, paraben and colourant-free. As a beauty blogger, I feel like I probably subject my skin to quite a few chemicals on a daily basis and so I have been trying to purchase more natural or organic brands recently. The packaging is very clean and clear, which I feel goes to emphasise how natural the product is and you get a decent amount of 250ml for your money.

The first thing that struck me about this shower gel that was significantly different from others is how watery and liquid it was. You need to be REALLY careful when pouring it out, especially when you are half asleep in the shower in the morning, otherwise you will tip too much out, it will end up all over the bath and you will almost slip and knock yourself out (I know, I’ve been there!). Once you get over how liquid it is, and are used to the amount required, it is a very pleasant shower gel (shower liquid really) to use. The scent smells very natural, although I get more of the pear than the lemongrass and I don’t find it too drying on my skin like some foaming shower gels can be. As there are no sulphates included, it doesn’t foam so that is something you need to be aware of if you prefer your products to foam. Due to the lack of foam, I don’t think it would work well with a shower puff, although I haven’t tried it as I am not a big shower puff fan! 

The scent doesn’t last awfully long, perhaps because it contains real pear and lemongrass extracts rather than artificial scents. After showering the scent is pretty much gone from your skin and it doesn’t linger in the bathroom either - unlike Original Source Lime which I can always smell the minute I get in  the door if hubby has had a shower after his cycle home from work!

If you like lots of foam and strong scents, this will not be your cup of tea, however, if you like your bathing products to be more natural, this would be a good choice and indeed I could also see it working well for those with very sensitive skin as the Body Shop produce an entirely unfragranced version. 

Price - £5
Where to buy The Body Shop

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Review: Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder

I have to confess that prior to purchasing this, I knew almost nothing about bronzing powder or how to use it.  It just never figured on my radar and living in Scotland, you get used to not looking bronzed!

I found this on Buyapowa and promptly snapped it up as I had heard many bloggers raving about it.  I thought that if so many people praised it, it must be super versatile and easy to use.  So were they right?

The bronzer itself comes in a standard box which is used by Benefit for all their blushes, bronzers and face powders.  Many people are big fans of Benefits cutesy 50s-style packaging but its not really to my taste.  I find these boxes bulky and impractical for transporting and would much prefer something sleeker.  It is also a major pain if the cardboard gets wet...  A brush is also included with the bronzer, however I rarely use the brushes that come with makeup, preferring to use my own tried and tested ones.  I did give this a quick go but it was promptly discarded for a bronzing / blush brush as I found it picked up far too much of the product.
The powder itself is a matte dark brown which you cannot see that well in these pictures.  Believe me when i say it is quite dark and if you have very fair skin, I can see that it could turn quite 'muddy' looking on you.  it is super pigmented!  I did find it quite powdery and dusty, although it blended easily.

The swatches above show one swipe with my finger and also a picture of it blended in.

I've experimented with a few different ways of applying this and eventually settled on just dusting a tiny amount on my brush and then tapping it off before applying.  A light, light hand is the best option for this.  I have been applying a slight dusting over my cheekbones and temples and following it with some blush and I have found it gives me a healthy glow.  When blended out this looks lovely, but I cannot stress enough that a little goes a long way.  I can see this bronzer lasting forever, which makes it seem better value as it is usually £23.50, although I think I paid around £17 for it from Buyapowa.

Is it a holy grail product?  I'm not so sure and it is certainly not a must have for me, merely a nice product to own which adds an additional dimension to my makeup.  However, with practised application, I can see this becoming almost a staple during the summer and it will last forever.

Price - £23.50

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mini Haul and Wins!

Just a quick post to show you what has arrived on my doorstep this week!

Neal's Yard, Seaweed Salt Scrub - this fell into my shopping basket when I was picking up a  few presents for people.  I like Neal's Yard as everything is very natural and full of essential oils.  First impressions of this scrub is that it has a VERY distinctive scent, but I will be testing it out over the next couple of weeks and will post a review on my thoughts soon.

Batiste Wild Dry Shampoo - I won this in a blog competition from the lovely Phoebe at Peluxe.  I haven't had a chance to use it properly yet but it is supposed to be an oriental scent and I really like the other products in the Batiste range so I am looking forward to using it!

N.Y.C Products - I won all of these from Emma at Fluff and Flipperies.  I've never tried anything from N.Y.C. before so I'm very much looking forward to to trying these out.

Nail Polish, Sidewalkers - a lovely looking concrete grey
Liquid Lipshine in Brighton Peach Beach - this looks gorgeous and I can't wait to wear this as I love peachy glosses
Metro Quartet Eyeshadow in Riverside Park
High Definition Defining Mascara

Hope you had a fab weekend - mine has mostly involved drinking mulled wine and Baileys and putting up Christmas decorations!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Versatile Blogger Award!

A while ago (well about 3 weeks ago to be exact) the lovely Claire Louise at Dolly Blossom  nominated me for the Versatile  Blogger Award.  I was very pleased to be recognised for this and if you haven’t yet discovered Claire’s blog I suggest you check it out now for a great mix of beauty and fashion discoveries.
The rules are:
1. You have to thank the person that gave you the award and a link back to there blog.
2. Then you have to share 7 facts about yourself.
3. You then have to send the award on to 15 other bloggers whose blogs that you appreciate and then let them know that they have been given the award.
So without further ado and waffling, I will give you 7 facts about myself:

1) I have a penchant for wearing VERY high inappropriate shoes for work.  My current favourites are a pair of 5 inch platforms from Ted Baker which hubby said makes me look like a 70s rockstar, but without the massive shaggy hair!  I’m only 5ft 4 so I really like to wear higher shoes when I can, although I always have a comfy pair of flats in my bag.  At my wedding in the summer, I wore an awesome pair of sparkly Jimmy Choos and they had a whole page to themselves in my wedding album!

2) I love travelling
and often spend time daydreaming about my next break.  I adore the planning stages of holidays and the lead up and anticipation of deciding what you will do, as well as sorting all the logistics out.  The only bit I don’t enjoy are the long haul flights and jet lag!

3) I REALLY want a Beagle!  Hubby and I both work full time at the moment and live in a small flat in the centre of town so we can’t really justify owning a dog yet, despite the fact that ewe both want one.  I’ve never had a Beagle before although we both grew up with dogs but I think a Beagle is the perfect size and I love the fact that they look like a puppy pretty much for their entire life!  I have heard they can be difficult to train though so I will have to be strict!

4) I adore reading,
and the Kindle I received for Christmas last year has totally changed my reading habits and I now seem to read even more!  We were running out of space in our flat for books as we both read a lot and this has temporarily solved the problem although I do still buy proper books every now and then.

5) A few years ago, I never thought I would say this, but I actually enjoy running and find nothing blows the cobwebs away and gets rid of stress after a hard day at work than going out for a run.  I’ve been running for almost 3 years now after finally deciding to lose weight and eat better.  I cut down on my drinking, to drinking only socially rather than in the house after a bad day at work, and started running a few times a week and what was initially just a  way to lose some weight has become a routine.  I often look forward to a run, plus it means that if I have a cupcake, I know I will have to run several miles to work it off!

6) I can’t stand eggs!  I don’t mind them when they are cooked, for example in cakes, but give me a plate of scrambled eggs or a muffin with poached eggs and I don’t like it at all. I am more of a pancakes girl if we go out for breakfast.

7) I still can’t drive, despite being 29!  I am in the process of rectifying that though as I am currently having lessons and am hopeful that I will pass in the New Year.

So those are my 7 facts, the blogs I have nominated to have the Versatile Blogger Award are:


Have a look at these fab blogs!
And yes, I know they are only 10 blogs there, but I have found that most people I follow have already received this award, mainly due to me taking forever to write this post!