Tuesday, 31 May 2011

May 2011 Favourites

I cannot believe it's the end of May today. It will be Christmas again before we know it!
Well as with the end of each month comes the monthly favourites for most of the blogging/YouTube community, so here are mine for the month of May...

My Kindle! I am quite obsessed.
I always thought i'd be a total "bookie" (not in the betting sense, but rather someone who prefers to hold an actual book than an electronic one!), but I love this. its so portable and practical, and I love than I can download books whenever and whereever I want.
Priced at £111 or £150 with 3G from Amazon

Another favourite relating to my Kindle is the book i've just recently finished:
A Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin.
Despite being 900-odd pages long it is an entralling and interesting read, and has been made into a fabulous tv series (starring Sean Bean, amongst other familiar faces) on Sky Atlantic.

Mineral Glow Powder by K Co Uk Make-up. You can read why I love it here

Sleek Pout Polish in shade 946 Electric Peach.
This has featured on my favourites before and it's something i've just "rediscovered" in my make-up bag.
It's a really pretty sheer peachy-red which is very buildable, and doesn't dry out your lips. Whilst the shine might fade the colour acts as a sort of stain which stays put for some time. It also contains SPF 15 as an added bonus.
Available for approx. £3.99 from Superdrug

Boots Essentials Curl Creme
I had first heard about this on one of the MoneySavingExpert forums, and decided that at only £1.32 for a big 250ml tub it was worth trying.
It has really helped tame my curly hair: recently i've simply washed my hair, applied this then let my hair dry naturally. It helps reduce frizz and gives more of a definition to my curls

Superdrug MUA (Make Up Academy) eyeshadows in 19 Matt and 14 Pearl
I have to say i'm very impressed with the quality of these eyeshadows from Superdrug's own brand of make-up. They are very velvety, intense, true colours which last all day without fade (I have been using them over the top of my UDPP). At £1.00 per item across the whole make-up range you can't really go wrong, and i'm really eager to try more of the products on offer.

What have you been loving this month?

Melanie x

Monday, 30 May 2011

K Co UK Mineral Make-up Review

I have to admit, I usually steer well clear of tango-tanned, over zealous salespeople at events, but in this instance, whilst at the Ayrshire Wedding Show a little while ago, I was taken right in by the promise of glowing, natural-looking make-up!

The company in question was K Co UK, a mineral-based make-up company specialising in a range of natural beauty products which have been blended to give a natural glow.
Now, any mention of the word "glow" or "luminous" etc etc, and i'm there, as i'm forever on a quest to achieve beautiful, natural  glowing, Kate-Middleton-esque skin!

After having some of the make-up tried out on me, my lovely Mum bought me the set (offered by the company at the time of the wedding fair, although alternative sets are available on the website) for my birthday for around £25, which contains the following (full size) products:

Lip Shine Superieur in Diamond Pearl (RRP on the website is £4.99 but strangely says £9 above!)
This lip shine is part of a range of 6 other lipglosses offered by the company, and whilst it does offer a pretty shine, it's sadly nothing spectacular - and has a really strange plastic smell to it! I will continue to use it up, but I don't know if i'd pay £4.99/£9 (whatever the correct price is!) for it again.

Ultra Lash Mascara Superieur in Ultra Lash Black, RRP £8.99
I actually really like this mascara, particularly for creating a natural daytime look. It isn't at all volumising, but adds great definition, seperation and length, as well as a thick coating of colour to your lashes.
It also dries to an almost plastic-y finish (go with me here - it really helps with the definition!), which does not flake at all.

Natural Glow Mineral, RRP £22.99
Mineral makeup, adapting to your unique skin tones to produce full subtle coverage with a light difusing glow.
At first glance at this I thought it would be far too dark for my skin (and if applied with too heavy a hand you could end up looking like a bronzed tangerine...), but I have to say it's probably my favourite product out the set - now that i've figured out the best way to apply it!
I simply lightly swirl the kabuki brush (see below) in the mineral powder, tap off the excess on the back of my hand (so it almost looks like there's nothing on the brush) then buff over my face.
It's not at all shimmery and makes my face look really "alive", and I reckon it will last a really long time given a little goes a really long way.
It can also be used as a bronzer when used in a more concentrated manner over cheek bones etc.
The compact section on the website is worth checking out as they also offer different varieties of bronzers, highlighters, mineral powders etc.

Pocket Sized Mini Kabuki Brush, RRP £8.99
This is a really cute, densely-packed kabuki brush with synthetic bristles, which has been allergy treated esepcially for those with sensitive skin,
It's really soft and so far has only shed a couple of bristles, making it ideal to use with the mineral glow powder.

Diamond Dust in Dark Red, RRP £3.99
I'd say this mineral eyeshadow (not dissimilar to the Barry M Dazzle Dusts) is more of a bronze than a red as such, but it is a  beautiful colour and excellent value for money - the 3g pot will last forever given that the colour is so concentrated and therefore you only need to use a little at a time.
I've been wearing it as a base shade over UDPP and it lasts all day without creasing or fading.
 There are nine other shades currently available on the website - from blues to greens to greys to purples - and I'd be really interested in trying out some of them, especially given the price and the good colour pay off.

I do feel guilty for judging the proverbial book by its cover. From being completly sceptical in the beginning, I now actively use the products in this set on a daily basis to create a really natural, fresh look, and would recommend them. Some of the products (such as the mineral glow powder) may not necessarily be high street prices, but the eyeshadows are, and the website (which also offers other products such as hair straighteners, brush sets and mineral foundation) is definately worth checking out.

Have you found any new products/companies you would recommend?

Melanie x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Style crush of the week...Alex Gerrard

Ok, ok, this Style Crush may be considered a bit of a controversial one for some of you, given that the crushee is person is A. a WAG, and B. used to wear outfits like this:
However I think that Mrs Gerrard has definitely developed a more refined, elegant (and dare I say) classy style of late, and despite often wearing head-to-toe designer wear that is somewhat unattainable for the majority of us, her style can easily be replicated from the highstreet.

(She has a Rocco bag! So jealous)

Melanie x

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Snow White and the Seven(teen) Dwarves....

....here's what me and my family got up to at a hen do this weekend!

(I hid behind the camera for these but I was also equipped with a beard and silly hat. I was Sneezy for some reason!)

Melanie x

NOTD: Shellac Hot Pop Pink

Evening lovely folks,

thought i'd quickly share with you the colour which is currently gracing my nails: Shellac (read all about it here if you've never heard of it before) Hot Pop Pink.
I'm a big fan of Shellac, and usually go for a more neutral/pale colour which allows me to paint over them if I want to, but this time I thought i'd opt for something summary and very Barbie! It's actually very similar to Barry M's Bright Pink.

Melanie x
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cosmetic, haircare and perfume mini haul!

Bonjour mon amie,

As my Primark/Matalan haul posts (and my video on my YouTube) proved to be so popular, I thought i'd do a quick post on some bits I picked up from Superdrug, Boots etc last weekend.
I'm not going to go into too much detail, as I'm hoping to do a review on most of them at some point!

MeMeMe "Beat the Blues" highlighter in "Moonbeam" - £5.25 from Superdrug.
Benefit Highbeam dupe or what?!

Miss Sporty Liquid Eyeshadow in 200 "Sublime" - £1.99 from Boots (also stocked at Superdrug)
This is a beautiful golden colour which I am currently wearing all over the lid with MAC Wedge in the crease for a beautiful and simple daytime look!

Miss Sport Liquid Eyeshadow (as above) in 400 "Prime Time"
Really cute pale baby pink colour with a metallic finish

Miss Sporty Liquid Eyeshadow (as above) in 600 "Eye Jewel"
Metallic Silver colour which i've been wearing in the inner corner to waken up my eyes!

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in "Twilight" - £5.99 from Superdrug (currently on offer)
I have been dying to try this ever since Lollipop26 mentioned it on her Twitter, and being the Twilight groupie that I am I had to have this aptly-named one! I thought it would be a colour quite similar to my natural lip colour, but it comes out very dark and dramatic - like you've been drinking blood mwah ha ha

Boots Essentials Curl Creme - £1.32 from Boots
Can't believe how cheap this is for how huge (250ml) a tub! I decided to get this after hearing about it on the MoneySavingExpert Forum, as many people have said it has helped tame their curls. I've used it once, and so far it has helped give a bit more definition to my otherwise unruly hair!

Ok this isn't necessarily a "haul" as such, as my Mum and Dad got me it as a present from the Duty Free! Jean Paul Gaultier perfume in "Classque" - a summer take on the classic fragrance!

I also purchased this from Superdrug, but had to leave it at Lee's as it was over the 100ml mark and thus I couldn't take it on the plane!
Simply Pure Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover 150ML
Superdrug Simply Pure Gentle Eye Make-up Remover - £2.59 from Superdrug
As well as being suitable for vegetarians/Vegans (Superdrug do not test any of their own-brand products on animals, hurrah), this make-up remover is paraben and fragrance free, hypoallergenic and is dermatologically tested, as well as being enriched with glycerine and Soothex.

What have you been buying lately?

Melanie x
Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Review: Maybelline SuperStay 24H Lip Colour

I have many guilty pleasures in life: DVD buying, chocolate scoffing, illicitly reading blogs whilst at work, and also watching trashy TV; most recently The Only Way is Essex (for those of you who have been living on the moon over the past few months, or more realistically, don't come from Britain, TOWIE is a British reality television show based in Essex which shows "real people in modified situations." It's jaw-dropping, can-this-be-real? stuff - check it out if you haven't already!).

Anyways, one of the more fashion-savvy characters/actresses/call-her-what-you-will, Lydia Bright (who coincidentally has her own blog, The Runway Towards the Glamourous Spotlights), was wearing a BEAUTIFUL shade of red lipstick in one of the episodes (a still from the episode can be found here on Lydia's blog), and luckily in one of her blog posts she noted down where she got most of her outfits/cosmetics/accessories etc from. The aforementioned lipstick turned out to be....

...Maybelline Superstay 24H Lip Colour in shade 538 Crimson Crystal

I was so excited I was off down to my local Boots before you could say TOWIE, as I was sure it was going to be a designer make-up brand of lippie, but the Superstay, with it's RRP of £8.99 is a bit more realistic for my budget!
Similar to others on the market, such as Maxfactor's Lipfinity, the Superstay is a two-step, double-ended lipstick: Step one = Intensive colour and Step two = Conditioning balm, and (according to the Maybelline website) there are THIRTY colour varieties available, although I would imagine the number would vary according to stockists, as my local supermarket only stocks about five shades, and my local branch Boots about ten.

So what do Maybelline say?
No other longwear lasts longer. Period. Our micro-flex formula glides on and looks gorgeous all day.
No crumbling, no caking, no fading, no feathering, no transferring. The 24-hour lipcolour that stretches the limits of long wear.

And what do I say? Well I decided to keep a little lipstick diary of how the lipcolour faired during a typical day for me:
- 8am: Applied lip colour (**love** the colour!), waited until I (thought) it was dry, and applied balm. Looked fab!
- 9am: Cup of tea. Couple of red spots on mug, although nothing like the usual colour ring associated with normal lipstick!
- 10am: reapplied balm as my lips felt a bit tight and dry. Had a glass of water. Again, red spots on glass.
- 10:20am: ate a banana. (by this point I was running to the nearest mirror. Colour still looked fresh hurrah).
- 10:50am: another cup of tea.
- 12:30pm: Had a sandwich, some carrot sticks and another cup of tea (yes I am tea obsessed). Lips feeling a bit dry and flakey.
- 2:30pm: (guess what) another cup of tea and an apple. Applied more balm as lips feel tight and "bitty" - like they're flaking. Colour still largely intact, although starting to come away from inside "rim" of lips, and I feel like it is emphasising the lines in my lips, rather than making my lips look smooth
-3:45pm: cup of tea and yoghurt. Loads of transfer on mug!
- 5pm: Ended up having to reapply colour as I got  the fright of my life: looked in the mirror and most of the colour had faded leaving me with a horrendous clown-like line of colour round the edge of my lips! Lips still dry.

So what's my verdict?
I have to say i'm a bit disappointed. I had such high hopes for this product: on Lydia the colour looked stunning and uber-glossy (although I have a feeling she might have applied her own gloss on top), and i've read so many positive reviews. I am thinking however that possibly I didn't let the colour dry for the instructed two minutes I was meant to, and therefore i've possibly ruined the results from the start!
I do plan to wear it again as it is such a beautiful colour, and I suppose I don't really mind re-applying the product if I had to, but suffice to say it is NOT a 24 hour product, and I hate feeling paranoid that my lippy's worn off to leave me with some dodgy-looking liner!

In term's of Maybelline's claims of No crumbling, no caking, no fading, no feathering, no transferring, I have to argue and say that it does fade/crumble/cake, and rather than make my lips look smooth I felt you could see every little line on them. I would agree however that generally it doesn't transfer (i.e. I could press my finger to my lips and the colour wouldn't come off), and the colour when first applied is beautiful.

Have you tried the Superstay 24H or anything similar that actually lives up to the claim?

Melanie x