Sunday, 27 November 2011

NOTD: W7 Metallic Mars

I'm actually cheating with this one a little, as it's not so much a Nail Of The Day, but of the week (i.e. I put it on like last Wednesday and have only just got round to doing this post!)

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that a couple of weeks ago I tweeted about buying 5 nail polishes from Savers for only £1.99 each:
L-R: Metallic Saturn, Metallic Neptune,Metallic Jupiter, Metallic Mercury and Metallic Mars
The picture doesn't do these little beauties justice; they are all metallic shades (with Mercury and Jupiter having very finely milled metallic particles through them for extra pazazz), and are stunning, stunning colours - I got so excited when I saw them (and the fact they are all named after planets in the solar system. ahem). I also think the bottles are very similar in size/design to that of OPI polishes.

This week I have been wearing Metallic Mars, a kind of deep wine/burgandy/bronze shade:
(Please excuse the horendous state of my nails, but this pic shows how the colour changes in different light: my ring finger looks bronze whulst the middle and index fingers are more wine-ish).

This particular polish is rather thin in consistancy, and on the first coat it hardly shows up on your nail - it actually took 3 coats of polish to get it this opaque - but it is very fast drying.

Length of wear isn't that amazing - about 3 days before chips appear (and that's with a top coat) - but the colours are so lovely and perfect for this time of year that I don't really care!

I'm not sure where officiall stockists of W7 are, but like I say I got mine in Savers and i've noted that TK Maxx are selling sets of them now, so it's worth having a look about.

What do you think?

Melanie x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Heart's Desire

Sometimes the prettiest of things can be found in the unlikliest of places... this case - Primark!

This was a checkout-queue purchase, which I actually grabbed thinking it would be a highlight, but it's actually a really girly soft pink blush with a hint of shimmer in it that looks really pretty blended out over cheekbones.
It's quite sheer, so there's no danger of very obvious dark blusher if you happen to go in heavy-handed the first time, and is very buildable.
I also LOVE the fact the little blusher 'balls' are shaped like teeny tiny love hearts!

They were originally around £2.50, but have been marked down to a pound, which makes me think they might be discontinued, so next time i'm in Primarni i'm grabbing a few more - they've make fabby little stocking fillers too :)

Melanie x
Monday, 21 November 2011

Review: Asda Skin System Eye Makeup Remover

Nowadays, whenever i'm on the lookout for new beauty products, 3 main creteria apply:
Cheap (in price)
Preferably cruelty free/not tested on animals

This little number could well tick all those boxes:
The Skin System Eye Make-Up remover is only £1.50 for a whopping (for an eye make-up remover) 150ml, and is widely available in Asda stores.

All suppliers used in the production of Skin System products are based within the Europe Union and have been audited within the last 2 years by an independent 3rd party to an ethical standard. 
Asda state as part of their policy that 'Asda is against animal testing and funds research into alternatives', although one has to bear in mind that this policy may only apply to the finished product, not the actual ingredients which may have been tested on animals, which is rather disappointing. Asda have yet also to adhere to a FCOD (Fixed cut off date) scheme.

Launched in September 2011, the range includes basics such as cotton wool pads and facial washes, to more niche, complx products such as wrinkle filler system - all at very reasonable, affordable prices.
All of the Skin System products contain the Algisium C2 Complex which works to improve the appearance of your skin by stimulating cell regeneration, activating collegen synthesis and protecting against free radicals to fight the first signs of ageing.

The Eye Make-Up Remover is suitable for sensitive skins as it is free from parabens, fragrance and artifical colours, and contains Vitamin E, white tea, shea butter and aloe vera leaf juice.

The specific ingredients are:
Aqua - water
Glyceryl Stereate SE - emulsifying agent
Isopropyl Palmitate - palm oil based emollient
Stearic Acid - fatty acid
Propylene Glycol - Synthetic liquid substance that acts as a pentration enhancer
Cetearyl Alcohol - mixture of fatty alcohols
Glycerin - fat/oil component
Decyl Oleate - naturally occuring fatty acid that makes make-up removal easier
Tocopheryl Acetate - Vitamin E
Butyrospermum Parkii Butter Extract - Shea Butter
Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract - Green Tea
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder - Aloe Vera
Carbomer - thickening agent
Triethanolamine - strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical
Disodium EDTA - type of preservative
Sodium Benzoate - preservative
Sorbic Acid - preservative
Potassium Sorbate - preservative
Phenoxyethanol - preservative- used as an alternative to parabens
Ethylhexylglycerin - conditioning agent and (surprise, suprise) preservative

Unlike the majority of oil-based eye make-up removers, this cleanser is of a cream substance, and quite a thick one at that, which means you only need a tiny (pea-sized) amount at a time (and therefore meaning it will last you yonks!)
The directions on the bottle instruct you to apply the make-up remover using cotton wool to remove all traces of make-up, but i've found that gently massaging it with my fingers around (closed) eyes for a couple of minutes and then gently wiping away with a cotton pad does the trick really well.

Despite the list of (what seems to be) largely chemically-based ingredients (then again, most beauty products these days are), I'm actually really impressed with this make-up remover.
It powers through my mascara and eyeshadow far better than even the Bioderma Crealine H20 cleansing water did; a product that is considered HG material for models, professional make-up artists and the like the world over.

I think i've found a (better) £1.50 alternative!

Have you tried any of the Skin System products?

Melanie x

Friday, 4 November 2011

October 2011 Favourites

It's officially less than 8 weeks until Christmas. I don't know whether to be uber excited, or uber scared - it's my last Christmas as an unmarried woman eek!

Anyhoo, onto the good stuff - what have I been loving in the good old month of October?

Tesco All About Nails polish (L-R: Bronze, Emerald, Cocoa), 99p
I nearly overlooked these little beauties whilst browsing in Tesco for the new Vivo range, but luckily I happened to glance up and, ta-da!, there they were, all lined up in a wee row of their own.
There was actually an amazing array of colours on offer, but I opted for these 3 metallic shades as they're the perfect on-trend/Autumny-Wintery colours, and I LOVE them. The colour pay off is really good after two coats, and whilst they do require a top/base coat to increase their staying power, i'm not too fussed as i'm really pleased I got these beautiful shades for less than a pound each!

E.L.F. Zit Zapper £1.50
I bought this on a bit of a whim when trying to get the contents of my basket to above £30 (or was it £40?) to qualify for the last 50% off offered by E.L.F., and reckoned that since it's usually sold out I better add that bad boy to my basket pronto to see what the fuss was all about (and I was getting it for 75p. I do love my bargains).
It's packed full of spot-fighting ingredients (...I sound like a Clearasil advert), with a little roller ball mechansim that makes it easy to 'dispense' the right amount of product.
I wasn't expecting big things for this, but it really works: you can literally put it on a troublesome spot at night, and the next day it's completely flattened making it far easy to conceal.

E.L.F. All Over Colour Stick in Lilac Petal, £1.50
I'd heard mixed reviews about these little (they're definitely little - much more than I thought they would be!) colour sticks - such as that they dry out really fast - but I decided at 75p i'd give them a go (I purchased this and a kind of highlight shade).
I love using this over tinted moisturiser on days I just want a really fresh-faced, natural look as it gives a really pretty glow to your cheeks, and provides a perfect base for powder blusher if needed.

Boots 17 Starry Eyes trio in Galactic, £5.49
I actually bought this along with the famous beehive lipstick in order to 'qualify' for a free Femme Noir giftset (pics/review to come and some point) - yes I am a sucker for freebies.
It's a really stunning trio of metallic (not glittery) eyeshadows, which have good staying power (unlike some other 17 eyeshadows these aren't powedery thankfully), as well as a wow factor!

George (Asda) Shimmer Me! Brick in 04 Heaven Sent, £4.50
I think it is immediately obvious what this is a pefect dupe of (Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for anyone who needs help guessing!), therefore I had no hesitation at picking one up from my local Asda for only £4.50 (compared to £20-odd for the BB Bricks).
George have recently expanded their range from 3 basic shades (there were 6 different ones to choose from in my branch), but I decided to opt for this peach/pink/coral based product as I've found that bronze-based shades can make my pale skin look a bit 'muddy.'
Like the BB Shimmer Bricks, this adds a beautiful lift and glow to your cheeks, and I personally think it packs a bit more colour than the BB bricks.

Asda Skin System Eye Make-up Remover, £1.50
After the recent death of my Bioderma Crealine H20 Cleansing Water, I was on the hunt for a new eye make-up remover (preferably cheap and not tested on animals), but never thought I would find it in Asda!
You get a mahoosive 150ml for your money, and it's a really gentle yet effective cream make-up remover (which I've used as an all-over facial cleanser once or twice) - i'm impressed!

E.L.F. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Ash, £3.50
I can't believe the difference defining/shading/filling in your eyebrows actually makes, therefore i'm really glad I bought this little 'kit' as part of my last E.L.F. haul.
I actually thought the Ash shade would be too light for me, but it's actually perfect: the gel fills in my brows without being too dark and therefore glaringly obvious, although I don't use the lighter powder as i'm not really sure what it's for!

Eyeko Grafitti Eyeliner Pen (Black), £5.50
I got this as part of a little set from TKMaxx for around £8, and i'm really loving it so far: for someone who's not the best at applying eyeliner on my top lid, the felt tip applicator helps achieve both fine and thicker lines, and it really doesn't budge (however i've not tested it in monsoon-rain conditions as yet).

Favourite Blogger: Fee at Makeup Savvy
I can't for the life of me understand why this girl's blog didn't win an award at the Cosmo Blog Awards! I'm assuming most of you know of Fee's blog as it is rather amazing, but if not she's a beauty blogger (as well as very talented photographer and nail art designer) who focuses on inexpensive, 'drugstore' products - right up my (high)street!
Her posts are really original and often quite thought provoking, and her photos can make even the most mundane products look stunning!

Favourite YouTuber: Becca at Voussontbeauetbelle
I can't remember exactly how I found Becca's YouTube channel but i'm so glad I did - she's as funny (if not funnier) as the likes of ZozeeBo and Sprinkleofglitter, and if you like haul videos then you'll LOVE her channel, especially for the likes of Primark, Topshop and H&M.

What have you been loving this month?

Melanie x