Sunday, 28 October 2012

Boots Mini Haul

I really shouldn't be spending money at the moment, but i'm a real sucker for makeup, and with Boots having their 3-for-2 offer on at the moment, my willpower just disappeared!

Here's what I picked up...

Collection 'Extreme' Coloured Lengthening Mascara - £2.99
I came across this by chance (i.e. I was crouched down looking at something else, and this happened to be in my eyeline!), and decided to try it, as i'm on a mission to find eye products that make my brown eyes (cheesy beauty expression coming up) 'pop'. I've used it once, and whilst it isn't overly obvious i'm wearing purple mascara, I quite like the subtlety of it as I don't want to look like an 80's throw back!

Collection Lasting Perfection Conclear - £4.19
I think everyone and their gran know's about this, so i'll not say too much about it - basically I had ran out and needed a new one!

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Pomegranite - £3.99
One of the newer Barry M products, I've seen these 'gelly' nail varnishes on various blogs, so decided to try one out for myself. Compared to the other Barry M range shades that are available, the shades in this particular new range are a bit limited, and a tad...gaudy for my liking, but i'm sure they'll launch more.

Collection Glam Crystal gel eyeliners in Hustle and Le Freak - £2.99 each
I have been dying to try these ever since it was mentioned by Pixiwoo that Leona Lewis' makeup artist used these on her for one of her recent X-Factor performances. They are AMAZING. Hustle on initial impressions just looks like a silver gel, but on closer inspection is actually made up of different multi-facited pieces of glitter, not dissimilar to Model's Own Juicy Jules or even the Gosh Holographic nail varnish. Le Freak (love the name), on the other hand, is a beautiful bright turquoise that I have been wearing on my upper lid (it really does bring out my green eyes!)

Collection Extreme 24 Felt Tip Eyeliner in Purple- £2.99
I knew I had to go back and buy this after swatching it one day and finding that it did.not.budge from my hand! I really like felt tip liners, and whilst this isn't the finest of tips, it still helps me achieve a more accurate application than the tradtional liquid eyeliners.

Have you bought anything from the 3-for-2 offer?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Strike Two!

I don't know if you've noticed, but at the top of my blog page on the right hand side there is a '30 before 30' list - which, as the name suggests, is 30 things that I would like to achieve before my 30th birthday, dum, dum, dum! - that I started some time ago.
I haven't filled up the full list of 30 items (and i've also since removed a couple - mainly No.8 which was "have a baby, ideally at 27". That ain't happening any time soon!), but of those that are there, I have managed to tick a couple off so far.

Yesterday I achieved another one. I went to the cinema myself.

Admittedly this isn't exactly as amazing or awe-inspiring as doing a bungee jump or something, but it is quite a taboo thing to do, especially in the UK, and one that I have always wanted the courage to do, but was never quite brave enough!

I'm quite pleased I did it though (to see Taken 2), and I would certainly do it again now. Get me!

I had also ticked another off the list earlier on this year (but I forgot to update), which was to see a West End Musical (does the Victoria Apollo count as West End..?)

I was down visitig my friend who stays in London, and we went to see Wicked which was just (said in a Craig Revel-Horwood voice) Fab-U-Lous! I'm not usually into musicals and whatnot (they can verge on the too-cheesy for my liking), but this was just beyond words, and I can see why people go and see it time and time again (one of my friends has seen it 7 times!).

Defying Gravity was my favourite song - I actually want to buy the sound track for my car!

Now I need to figure out what I want to achieve next...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What's in my bedside box?

(FYI, there's a corresponding YouTube video to this here)

Possibly a bit random, but being the nosy parker that I am, I love all sorts of 'what's in my...' tags (recently I can't get enough of those relating to supermarket/grocery hauls. Sad but very true), and this one I just decided to make up myself, given that I  have quite a stash of goodies to aid my beauty sleep at night!


Nail file/cuticle pusher - pretty self explanatory!

Badger Balm Cuticle Cream - A gorgeous little all-rounder that I have previously reviewed, I not only slather my cuticles in this, but also use it on my lips and any dry spots.

OPI Avoplex - A type of cuticle oil, I have been alternating this with the Badger Balm.

OPI Nail Envy - I don't really abide by the recommended 'rules' when using this -I use it as a base coat, and also whack it on most nights (if I remember) as an extra top coat, and it seems to  be working well.

Garnier Hydralock Hand Cream - Not one that I would buy now (given my goal to be cruelty free), I bought this a while back, and have been using it in an attempt to work through my stash of hand creams! I will admit that it is an excellent night-time hand cream, as it is incredibly thick.


Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub - As you may know, I am a Lush junkie, and bought this on a whim. It is essentially sugar, jojoba oil and colouring/flavouring (so essentially you could make it at home) but it's a lovely wee treat none the less.

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - One of my mum's cast off's, I have been slathering my lips in this after using the lip scrub. I know it has been classed as another 'all round' product that you can use on cuticles and even all over your face, but it's a bit too sticky and brown for my liking to do that!


Cleansing wipes - I am not particularly loyal to a certain brand of wipes (I just happen to have these ones from Primark), as I am very particular about doing the full routine of cleansing/toning/moisturising, however I like to have wipes to hand for extreme cases!

Sudocrem and ELF Zit Zapper - my spot saviours! I use the ELF wand for the occasional spot, whereas I like to slather the Sudocrem over larger, more troublesome areas on my face!

Body Shop Dry Oil - This oil can be used on the hair, face, and body, but recently i've been massaging a couple of drops into my face whilst using the Ying Yu Jade Roller (not pictured - review to come).


Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter - I bought this a while ago on a whim (because i'd heard so much about it) but didn't actually know what i'd use it for. Turns out it's PERFECT for giving your feet a treat - it's basically made of olive oil, camomile oil and vanilla and not much else, and I love smothering my feet in it and putting on some cotton socks, especially after using my Lush Volcano Foot mask.

Have you got any must-have bedtime treats?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

NOTD: Essie Bikini So Teeny

I haven't done any 'NOTD' posts for quite a while, largely because my nails have been in a horrendous state (nail biting is a nervous habit of mine - disgusting I know), but I have been doing my hardest to try and make them nice again!

Bikini So Teeny is one of Essie's latest shades from their diffusion line in Superdrug and Boots (and definitely one of their most popular), and when I saw Lorraine from The Current Custom wearing it, I couldn't resist and knew I had to try it!

It is an undoubtedly beautiful colour in the bottle: sky/cornflower blue with the teeniest hint of lilac, which is also shot through with a very, very subtle silver shimmer, although this is more apparent in the bottle than on the nails.

In the photo below I have only applied two coats, and as you can see the colour has came out more baby blue than that in the bottle - maybe if I applied three coats I would achieve a shade that was more true to (bottle) colour...?

I also applied Rimmel's Disco Ball (500) on my ring finger as I felt the colour was a little flat without a little bit of added sparkle!

The Essie polishes are not the cheapest - £7.99 for 13.5ml - but they certainly aren't as expensive as OPI for example, and are comparible in price with highstreet brands such as Revlon.

I am really impressed with the diffusion line of polishes- the formula has definitely been improved, and the brushes are SO much better, as you can see from the photo below (L: Island Hopping from the old range, R: Bikini So Teeny). The new brushes are actually very similar to the Rimmel Pro nail polishes.

For your information, unfortuntely, just as OPI was bought by COTY, Essie were bought by L'Oreal at the start of the year, and as such whether or not they have remained cruelty free is unclear.
I find this hugely disappointing, and something I didn't realise until after I had bought this polish, as I had assumed Essie were cruelty free.

Do you have any cruelty free alternatives?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Review: Physicians Formula Organic Wear Bronzer

Bronzer seems to be very big at the moment, and although previously I've never really bothered with it (i've always thought of myself as far too 'pale and interesting' for it!), the release of new shades/formulations recently has made me think that maybe there is a bronzer for me!

When it comes to bronzer, matte is definitely the way forward, and for a while the Bourjois Chocolate bronzer appeared to be a strong contender for my initial foray into bronzing/contouring.

However one day whilst browsing/fighting (it can be a bit of a jumble sale) through TKMaxx, I came across this, the Physicians Formula Organic Wear Bronzer.

(Excuse the battered outer packaging - i've actually had this for some time!)

TKMaxx (or TJMaxx if you live across the Atlantic) is actually an excellent place to pick up random American etc beauty brands not normally (or readily) available in the UK, such as Physician's Formula, which is primarily distributed/stocked in the USA, Canda, South Africa and Australia.

Formed in 1937, Physician's Formula make products (makeup and skincare) especially for sensitive skins, with the main product lines including: Mineral Wear, Happy Booster, Bronzers, Shimmer Strips, Eye Booster, pH Matchmaker, Youthful Wear and Organic Wear.

Organic Wear is the most relevant to this post, as it is the range that this particular bronzer is from.

The Organic Wear range (which also includes other items such as mascara, blusher, makeup remover pads and tinted moisturiser) is:
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals
  • 100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives
  • 100% Free of Parabens
  • 100% Free of Synthetic Fragrances & Colours
  • 100% Cruelty Free
  • 100% Free of GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
This particular bronzer is also formulated with 'Ecoblend' to condition, fortify and protect skin from environmental impurities.

Ingredients are:
(*Produced from Organic Farming).

The 'Eco-conscious' packaging (containing 9g of bronzing powder) is also very appealing, using 93% less plastic than a traditional compact (compared to comparable sized powder compacts on the market), and comes with a mirror and little goat's hair brush.

Out of 6 shades available on the website, I have shade 2241 'Healthy Glow Bronze Organics', which is a warm terracota bronze with a kind of purple-pink contrast shade that can be blended together to give the final effect colour.

I have been applying mine with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush, as it is the perfect size to sculpt under the cheekbones with.

As I noted above, matte bronzers are perfect for 'contouring', and this one is no exception. It allows me to 'pronounce' my cheekbones without being obvious or 'muddy' on my complexion, and has great staying power.

(Please ignor what looks like a moustache on me. Very unfortunate picture!)

I've had this bronzer for quite some time now, and despite using it every day it isn't showing signs of hittng pan any time soon, which is just as well given how hard it is to get a hold of in the UK!

I got mine for around £5 from TKMaxx (and am keeping my eyes open for it should it appear in my local store again - RRP $13.95 - but you can buy it online from the likes of Ebay for around the £10 mark.

Have you tried any Phsyician's Formula products?

Friday, 5 October 2012

Review: ELF Eyelid Primer

I have tried to write the intro to this about 5 times. So, to cut to the chase, i'm just going to say it: ELF's eyelid primer is not a good product.
I don't particularly like writing 'negative' reviews, but its all in the name of research!

99.9% of ELF's products are great: good quality and amazing value for money, but, like most product ranges I suppose, there is the occasional one that can only be described as a big fat fail.

As an eyelid primer, this product is meant to prep the eyelid for smoother, longer lasting and crease-proof eyeshadow.

Sadly, I did not find the consistency of this product smooth at all, but more chalky (as is evident in the last photo), and it itself creased into my eyelid, never mind any eyeshadow on top!

Similarly to the Urban decay primer potions, this primer is available in different shades, along with the original sheer forumla.
I went for Pearl as I had imagined it might even be nice alone on the browbone or in the inner corner of my eye, but it's quite powdery and not as bright as I would have hoped.

The saving grace for this product is the price: only £1.50 for 5ml, so I don't feel too guilty if I end up throwing it away!

Have you tried these? Maybe you've got a different opinion to me and actually like them...?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mini Haul

I know for a (technically still) unemployed person I may seem to be buying quite a lot recently, but (not that I should have to justify myself) I did save up quite a lot before I left my job, and well, I am on Jobseekers!

Not to mention the things I bought didn't really break the bank...

MUA Beauty Balm in Dark - £3
Ok I know I am about as far away from dark as, like, a polar bear or something, but I bought this with the idea of using it as a cheek bone contour, as per the infamous Kim K method!

MUA Eye Primer - £2.50
My Urban Decay Primer Potion is on it's last legs and i've heard quite a few good things about this.

MUA 'The Artiste Collection' Palette - £6
This is one of the newest palettes out, and combines 6 eyeshadows, 2 blushers, a bronzer and a highlighter.

MUA 'Undressed' Palette - £3
I always thought the 'Heaven and Earth' palette would be one of the first palettes I bought from MUA, but this one is much prettier! The shadows are really pigmented and I can't wait to use it.

MUA Lipgloss in shade 5 - free with any MUA purchase
This is slightly lighter in colour in real life (a little bit more peachy, Barbie pink), with slight gold glitter through it.

Snow White & The Huntsman DVD - £9.99 Morrisons
I had a £5 Morrisons voucher to spend, and was intending on just using it on magzines, but then I saw this hurrah. I went to the cinema twice to see it,and can't wait to watch it again at home!

Ying Yu Jade Facial Roller  - £23.33 (25% discount) Cult Beauty
I am a big fan of actress Susie Amy's beauty blog, Blusher and Blogging, and when she wrote this review on the Ying Yu Jade Facial roller, I knew I had to try it, especially when Cult Beauty had a 25% off offer on!
I only literally received this today so I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but what this space for a review!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Matalan Haul

I never used to be a Matalan fan - I always used to associate it with Mums/Nanas and general frumpiness! - but recently, especially with their amazing sales they've had on, I can't get enough!

The prices are actually comparible with the likes of Primark, and the quality is excellent. Some of their ranges - Be Beau and Et Vous in particular - have some really stunning pieces, and i'm also a big fan of their shoe and jewellery ranges.

I would definitely recommend you get down there and have a look if you've got a store near you - and they have a 50% sale on right now!

Here's what i've accumulated from Matalan recently...

Sandals - £1.00 (yes, you read right!)

Sandals £1.00

Patent t-bar shoes - £14.00 (just the 'right' heel height - not too short, not too high!)

'Doctor's bag' - £14.00

Snood/chunky scarf (Men's) - £1.00 (!)

Woolie Hat (Men's) - £1.00!

Frog ring (cutest thing ever!) - £2.00 (approx - it was in a previous sale!)

Top - £7.00

Pastel skinny jeans - £8.00 (very similar to the Topshop Leigh Jeans/Primark Super Skinny Jeans)

Floral print pencil trousers - £7.00

Tops - £7.00 each (perfect for work!)

Fine-knit jumpers - £7.00 each.

'Tweed' jacket - £30.00 (and pencil trousers - not seen - £14.00)

Blazer - £12.50

Blazer - £9.00

Cowl neck tops - £6.00 each

Super soft jumper - £7.00

Jumper dress - £6.00

Jumper (button detailing on cuff) - £5.00

What do you think? Do you shop in Matalan?