Sunday, 24 April 2011

Calling all Urban Decay Primer Potion Owners!

I thought I was down to the last dregs of my UDPP, but (in a moment of rare ingenious-ness from myself), I have discovered that if you remove the plastic stopper (as shown below) which is used to scrape off excess from the wand, when you then dip the wand in TONS more comes out!

When it appears to start running out after using this method i'm then going to investigate the various depotting methods (from hacking it open to microwaving!)

But for the moment i'm chuffed with this!

Melanie x

(More) Product Use-Ups - Would I Buy Again?

Happy Easter All, hope you're having a fab day and are making yourselves suitably sick on easter eggs hehe.

I've recently came to the end of some products, so I thought I'd do another "would I buy again" post for your reference.

1. Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo - approx £3 for 300ml (and usually part of deals/offers along with the conditioners), available at most usual cosmetic/haircare stockists including supermarkets
I don't know about you, but I seem to get through my shampoo far quicker than my conditioner (which is still on the go) - maybe it's cause I do the shampoo-twice thing...? I usually love the smell of Aussie products, but this one at first I wasn't too keen on -very sweet. It has grown on me however. I wouldn't say either this or the conditioner has made a major difference to my hair, but I do generally like the Aussie products and think they are a good, reliable range to fall back on. I might not necessarily buy this particular type of Aussie shampoo again, but am considering trying others from the range.

2. Mitchum Smart Solid antiperspirant/deodarant - approx £3 from most highstreet stores/supermarkets.
Mitchum has a reputation for being one of the more hard-core, no fuss deodarent/anti-perspirant brands out there (i.e. no fancy over the top advertising campaigns, just let the product speak for itself!), and for a long time you could only get it in the one "smell" (for both men and women)! But recently they've branched out into solid stick, roll-on and aerosol deodarents, as well as differing scents (mine was waterlily). It claims to leave no white marks, but I believe that any type of deodarant, from the cheapies to the most expensive, will leave marks if you don't let them dry before putting your clothes on, and this is no different! However it does do the job of keeping you fresh and secure in the knowledge you won't be sweating tremendously when you have it on. I probably will repurchase this after I use up my Dove Maximum Protection (review to come).

3. Pond's Hydronourishing Moisturiser - RRP £3.99 for 50ml from Boots, Superdrug and some supermarket stockists
Pond's is a brand which has been around from the year dot, and when I think of it I think of my Mum, and my Nana both using it; the cold cream cleanser in particular. However I picked up this moisturiser at the same time as the cold cream cleanser for the same price, and I have to say I didn't mind paying the £3.99 for this as I did for the cleanser! It is a simple, no-nonsense, does-what-it-is-designed-to-do moisturiser, which can be used in the morning and at night. Not too light yet not as thick and heavy as the cleanser, this is the one for you if you're looking for a no frills moisturiser with nothing else (such as SPF etc) added.
I prefer my moisturisers to do a bit more in terms of what they contain, so I probably won't buy this again as there's so many others out there to try!

4. Tesco Daily Care Coolmint Mouthwash - 89p for 500ml from Tescos
many of you will be wondering why I included such a random item, but recently tooth care has become VERY important to me after I had to get a root canal treatment on one of my molars. Whilst not half as bad a process as it's been made out to be, i'd rather not go through it again (nor have to fork out the £100!), and so i'm vowing to take much better care of my teeth (not that I was terrible before - I brushed religiously morning and night, just sometimes I'd miss a turn at night when really tired etc...), starting with using mouthwash after brushing. I plan to invest in an electric toothbrush at some point, and a jet flosser (flossing is one thing I have neither the time nor patience for!), but i'll need to save up first!

Melanie x
Saturday, 23 April 2011

NOTD - Revlon "Scented" Nail polish in 355 Mad About Mango

As it's such a lovely summary day today I thought I'd change my nail colour to reflect it!

Today it is the turn of the newly-purchased 355 Mad About Mango by Revlon, from a limited edition "scented" nail polish range.
Now, I don't know about you, but i'm not so fussed if my nails smell nice (who actually goes about smelling their nails?!), but I have to admit it is quite pleasant once the polish has dried.
I don't expect the smell to last very long however (after hand washing etc), but the scent and the cheery colour make me feel summary and happy!

It's not too dissimilar to the Shellac in Tropix I had put on a while ago...

These nail polishes retail at around £6.95 in boots, but they're currently doing a 3 for 2, so I picked up 044 Blue Lagoon (a stunning baby blue colour) and 042 Sunshine Sparkle (pastel yellow) as well.

I told you I was becoming nail-polish obsessed...!

Melanie x
Friday, 22 April 2011

Urban Decay Primer Potion Vs Mac Prep and Prime

Happy Easter weekend lovelies!

Now I don't know about you, but I am on a CONSTANT mission to find products that keep my make-up looking fresh and with that "just applied" look. So far on the face/foundation front i'm not doing so well (save for splashing out on Estee Lauder double wear which really doesn't budge, but i'm trying to do things on a budget where possible!), but recently i've been trying out some eyeshadow primers: MAC's prep and prime, and the infamous Urban Decay Primer Potion (I have the big 16.3ml version which I got as part of a giftset ages ago). 

Part of a "prep and prime" range including facial, eye, lash and lip primers, Prep & Prime Eye is described by MAC as A light textured cream to wear on the eyes as an undercoat to eye makeup. Primes the lids. Smooths textures, neutralises lid colour. It is £12.00 for 5g of product, and is available in light, medium and medium dark (I have medium as light wasn't available when I purchased).

Urban Decay Primer Potion, on the other hand, is also part of a (fairly newly developed) primer range offered by Urban Decay, although the primer potion was one of their original, and arguably the best, products. Beauty Bay describe it as a primer unmatched by any other in the beauty industry, and it's magic formula is heavy in silicon, making it very smooth and silky on application. It also is approximately £12 (varying slightly by retailer - Beauty Bay for example are offering it for £11.50), and although originally only available in the original nude shade, it is now also available in "Sin" which is a lovely champagne colour which can either be used as a base for eyeshadow, or on its own.

So what do I prefer? i think the results speak for themselves:

Eye primed with Urban Decay Primer Potion at 8am.
Eye at 5pm. The majority of my eyeshadow is still perfectly in place, and my eyeliner hasn't budged.

 Eye primed with MAC Prep & Prime Eye at 8am
Eye at 5pm. As you can see my eyeshadow has creased in the middle of my eye, and my eyeliner looks to have bled slightly, as well as fading at the "wing." I also sometimes tend to get transfer on my upper lid.

If you haven't guessed, i'm definitely Team Urban Decay on this one! I absolutely love it, and I think it's the first product that I can actually honestly say it does what it claims to do! I'm not so keen on the somewhat impractical bottle shape (i'm going to have to resort to sawing mine open soon!), and some people might think £12 for a small bottle is impractical, but honestly i'm willing to spend that bit more for it just because it works.

The MAC product on the other hand, I am not keen on at all. It's far too creamy and doesn't last on my lids at all, although admittedly I do notice the difference in terms of my eyeliner staying power if I don't wear it, as it does help my liner to stick a bit more, just not my actual eyeshadow!

Given that they are the same price, i'd advise anyone looking for an eyeshadow primer to definitely go with the Primer Potion. I realise Urban Decay products can be slightly more difficult to get a hold of (other than ordering online), but its worth tracking them down, especially if you've got a large branch of Boots near you.
I just wish the highstreet would produce a good eyeshadow primer to rival primer potion!

Have you found any?

Melanie x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

NOTD - No7 Stay Perfect Nail Polish in Milan

Evening Bloggers and Bloggees, I said i'd be back and here I am!

Another NOTD post for you this evening, this time in the form of the b-e-a-u-tiful No7 Stay Perfect nail polish in Milan, a stunning metallic pink infused with tiny pink and silver glitter flakes.

(2 coats with Seche Vite top coat on top)
In my opinion it isn't dissimilar to the shade "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry for OPI, just a little more intense, and more fine-milled in the glitter stakes!

I got this lovely shade as part of a No7 gift set received for my birthday last week - NOTD featuring the rest of the shades to come soon!

Melanie x
Monday, 11 April 2011

My Favourite, Favourite, Favourite Bloggers/YouTubers


Hello butterflies, I thought i'd spread some online love and go through a small list (in no particular order)of my favourite bloggers and/or YouTubers. Many (if not nearly all) of them might already be known to you, but please read on to find out why I love these fab folk, and where you can find them...

1. Ruth Crilly - A Model Recommends

Ruth is a professional model, and I remember first seeing her in the likes of Sugar and Bliss magazines in my younger days, but nowadays you're likely to see her gracing the pages of glossy mags such as Vogue.
Many "professionals" such as Ruth, Lisa Eldridge and Ashley Madekwe ("Bambi" in Secret Diary of a Call Girl), are increasingly turning to Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and blogging, which makes them a lot more accessible and "normal" to their public following! Ruth is really down to earth, funny/witty (her tweets never fail to make me giggle), and despite having a hectic work schedule, she still manages to post daily/regular blog posts and YouTube videos. She tends to focus more on product reviews, ranging from highstreet to high end, but also does tutorials and often takes her camera "behind the scenes" of photoshoots etc.

2. Lisa Eldridge - Lisa Eldridge Make-Up

I've only recently discovered Lisa's websites, believe it or not, and i've spent many a late night sitting up watching her tutorials and reviews. She regularly updates her blog/website with details of her latest work (she's worked on everyone from Lily Allen to Georgia May Jagger, on publications from Vogue, Glamour and InStyle), and has a section where you can request a video or "get the look" tutorial for her to do for you. It's really refreshing to get an "inside peek" into a professional make-up artist's trade in terms of hints and tips, and to see that she uses (and genuinely likes) highstreet/drugstore products as well as the higher end products.

3. Karris - Karrisx

I was so excited when I found Karris (originally on YouTube) because, like me, she's Scottish! (Yes such things excite me). There doesn't seem to be that many of us Scottish lassies on YouTube, but here's hoping we can change that sometime soon mwah ha ha.
But back to the matter in hand, I really like Karris's channel for a good mix of Tag videos (such as the "Look your worst challenge" which she did fabulously ha), hauls and reviews. She also occasionally touches on/discusses more topical ideas, such as cruelty free shopping, and is the queen of the "getting ready with..." videos, as well as OOTD videos!

4. Imogen - Foxy Locks

Imogen is a very successful business woman selling her own brand of hair extensions, and is the queen of all things hair related! If you're ever searching for "how-to" tutorials for getting those perfect Kardashian curls, cute Lauren Conrad plait or Blake Lively 'do, then Imogen is your gal! She also does haul videos, some make-up related tutorials, and often has great giveaways available, and her blog is great for regular NOTD features.

5. Kandee - Kandee The Make-up Artist/Kandeeland

Kandee is genuinely one of the happinest people you will ever "meet" (i.e. watch/follow!), and I have to say I now spend more time following her personal blog (she's recently had another baby, affectionately nicknamed "cupcake"), than I do her other blog/YouTube. She is one of those infuriating unplaceable people in terms of age (I place her to be around mid-thirties but she looks about 20, shes beautiful!), and is always so cheery! 
Like Lisa Eldridge, she is also a professional make-up artist, but juggles this with being a mum to four children (she often tweets around 2am that she is editing her videos with one hand whilst feeding the baby with the other!). Her video tutorials are AMAZING - she covers everything from simple prom make-up, to making yourself look like Cinderella or Betty Boop (complete with wigs and outfits)! She also often posts small, quick videos with hints such as how to prevent eyeliner "meltdown" and how to clean your brushes. Well worth a look :)
6. Holly - YM Beauty Blog

The lovely Holly was the first blogger to kindly feature in my An Interview with... post (something I hope to make a series of!), and has been seen in Pregnancy and Birth magazine, as well as regularly receiving top beauty blogger awards. As noted by Pregnancy and Birth magazine, Holly provides really accessible and open reviews of the latest beauty products, and her really pretty FOTD's are often featured in her blog which provides great make-up inspiration! I also like her YouTube channel for regular beauty hauls, current "loves" and some product demonstrations (most recently was the Babyliss Root Boost, for example).

7. Vix - Vintage Vixen

Vix is a (as she says in her blog description) "jumble sale-ing, car-booting, skip-diving, charity shopping, revamping, hedonistic hippy chick in love with life, India and vintage clothes", who makes her living buying and selling vintage clothing. I actually discovered her blog on the Money Saving Expert Beauty Forum, and she's a fantastic inspiration for anyone ever considering searching Ebay, jumble sales, car boot sales or charity shops for some really unique bargains! When she's not in Goa she usually does daily posts on the treasure trove of items she's found (often for pence a piece!), and often advises on how to get the best out of jumble sale/car boot/Ebay etc shopping.

8. Sara Walker - SWalker Make-up

Sara is an aspiring professional make-up artist, and her blog/YouTube covers the usual mix of reviews, tutorials, hauls and TAG videos. She's fab for everyday look hair and make-up tutorials, but has also started branching out into more "themed" tutorials which would be great for Halloween!
9. Tiffany - Make-up by Tiffany D

I really like to have a blog/YouTube perspective from the other side of the pond (e.g. America), and Tiffany (also a professional make-up artist) provides the perfect blend of hauls, reviews and regular tutorials from the good old U S of A! For anyone who likes Blog TV she also has this channel here. It's good to see the similarities/differences between the products available in America and in the UK, and she has a regular stream of new products to review.

...and one more just because I can't believe how spoiled/lucky (delete how you see fit!) this girl is:

Do you have any favourite bloggers and/or YouTubers you think I should check out?

Melanie x
Sunday, 10 April 2011

Maybelline One by One Mascara Review

Happy Sunday everyone (although not so happy that it's Monday tomorrow bah).

My camera is still out of action at the moment, so i'm afraid my Maybelline mascara review is entirely on video format, which you can view below from my YouTube channel!

Hoping to be back with picture-posts soon!

Melanie x

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Style Crush - Christine Bleakley

I never used to be much of a The One Show (or indeed GMTV/Daybreak) watcher, but now that she's officially become a WAG (girlfriend of Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard) and is often in the celebrity goss mags, Christine Bleakley has crept onto my style radar!

She's definitely developed a very chic yet simple sense of style, and I can imagine she'd buy key pieces which might cost a fair bit of money but which will always look classic and will last a lifetime...

Got to love the nudes she's got going on!

I LOVE this jacket. I think I read somewhere it's from All Saints

Classic fitted blazer!

I want hair like this!

(The woman is never off her phone!)

I'm on the hunt for a scarf like this. And the bag...! Drool...

Who's style do you like?



...a simple side plait - fab if you've got no time to wash your hair as the extra oil helps keep the style whilst still looking lovely and chic!

Melanie x
Monday, 4 April 2011

Review: Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 Make-up Remover

Hello everybody, sorry for the recent slight drought in posting - I'm actually in the middle of compiling a list/description of my favourite bloggers/YouTubers, so bear with me on that one, but for now i've got a wee review for you in the form of Garnier Simply Essentials 2 in 1 Make-up Remover..
(I do apologise for the slight fuzziness/rubbish quality of this pic - i've had to use the photo function on my dad's camcorder as my camera is currently not working!)

Ever since Ruth Crilly mentioned Bioderma Sensibio H2O Cleansing Solution in one of her videos I was desperate to try some, but not so keen on the average price of £14.00 (depending on where you source it from as it comes from France), therefore I decided to try and find something similar not only closer to home, but at a bargain price for penniless people like moi!
When I was browsing in my local branch of Wilkinsons I happened to come across this Garnier 2 in 1 Make-up Remover, for a bargain price of £2.99 for 200ml (even using my maths this is already better value for money: Bioderma is 500ml for £14 - you could buy an average 4 and a bit bottles of the Garnier cleanser instead for the same amount of money!). Like most Garnier products this is widely available to purchase in the likes of Boots and Superdrug, but also supermarkets and "discount" stores (indeed such as Wilkinsons), and of course online.

Like the Bioderma product, the Garnier make-up remover seems to be aimed at those with sensitive skin, and whilst my skin isn't particularly sensitive, I am making a particular effort to be a bit more kind on it.
The packaging states that there is no perfume or alcohol contained in this dermatologically and opthalmologically tested product, but has the benefit of plant extract and Pro-Vitamin B5 (otherwise known as pantothenic acid, which has natural broad abilities to moisturize, soothe, heal and regenerate the skin), making it gentle enough for even contact lense wearers to use whilst still tough enough to remove waterproof mascara.
To check the Garnier promise of using whereever possible, naturally derived active ingredients which have been carefully extracted to perserve their quality and purity, I decided to investigate the ingredients list:
HEXYLENE GLYCOL - clear, practically colourless liquid used as a solvent/viscosity decreasing agent
GLYCERINE - A natural by-product of the soap-making process, which has a number of applications, including (amongst other things) ice-cream, tabacco, and of course, skin lotions.
POLOXAMER 184 - Part of a group of other poloxamers which can range from colourless liquids to pastes and white solids, they help clean skin/care by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away.
DIHYDROCHOLETH-30 - (I couldn't find any "normal translation" for this!)
DISODIUM COCOAMPHODIACETATE - Made from the fatty acids from coconut oil, this also helps clean the skin/hair by helping water mix with oil/dirt so that they can be washed away.
DISODIUM EDTA - EDTA, also known as edetic acid, and its salts were developed to counteract the effects of hard water and heavy metal ions. By binding with ions they prevent the metals from being deposited onto the skin.
PANTHENOL - derived from Vitamin B5, it acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface, giving it a soft/smooth appearance.
POLYAMINOPROPYL - disinfectant and preservative used for disinfection on the skin.
BIGUANIDE - part of a class of disinfectants
PROPYLENE GLYCOL -  works as a humescent which causes moisture retention.
PHENOXYETHANOL - often used as an alternative to parabens, it is used as a preservative
SODIUM GLYCOLATE - Sodium Glycolate is the salt of Glycolic Acid and is used in cosmetics and personal care products primarily as an exfoliant or buffering agent, but also seen as pH adjusters and skin-conditioning agents. It is considered an AHA, or an alpha hydroxy acid, a type of ingredient used to diminish the lines on the skin by acting as a humectant, or absorbing “moisture in air and by exfoliating action to break the bonds between dead skin cells

(Items highlighted in green are those also contained in the Bioderma product).
Most ingredient information derived from

But does it actually work? YES. It's actually fab, and powers through make-up easily without irritating my eyes. This can be used all over the face, but I prefer to just use it on my eyes, which will make it last longer. To use you shake the bottle to mix the blue liquid (make-up remover) and clear liquid (cleansing water), and then (as in my cleansing routine post), I soak half a cotton pad in the mixture, place under each eye, then do the same to a pad on top of my eyelid. I let these settle for about 15-20 seconds to let the make-up remover get to work, then simply slide the pads off my eyes, et voila! quick and easy make-up removal! I love the fact i'm not having to rub at my eyes to get mascara etc off, and it doesn't irritate my eyes at all. Admittedly i've yet to try it with waterprooft mascara, but so far so good.

 If you are considering the Bioderma product or even just looking for a new make-up remover i'd really encourage you to try this first. Your purse will thank you!

Melanie x