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Friday, 15 May 2009

Curl it, Wave it, Straighten it, loads of fun with my hair!

RUSK Professional Ceramic Curling Iron, 38mm Ceramic Barrel, 30 Heat Settings

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This big boy is from Sally's and cost £21 in a sale, but do not panic that's why I love Sally's as there is always loads of choice of similar models. I think they were just having a clear out to make way for the nail art section which is now huge and full of exciting things that I am too chicken to use!

I bought this iron because I have a normal curling iron which just gives me small corkscrew curls and a straightener which is less controllable that this large barrel one. It heats to 205 degrees Celsius which is fantastically hot and not actually that necessary for my fine and straight hair which will pretty much do anything you want without using excessive heat. If your hair is thicker and curlier than use the hotter settings gently, quickly and avoid redoing the same section of hair. Also use a heat protection serum or spray to protect your hair whilst styling. I use one from Sally's which is made from Olive Oil it is comparable with Chi but a bit more expensive.

Vidal Sassoon Double Barrel Curling Iron with 3 Heat Settings for Fine, Medium and Thick Hair

Now this is a find, I was waiting for a bus and popped in to a charity shop on the off chance of finding a book I have been searching for but is out of print. There I spied this little double barrel curling iron for £1.75. It had been safety tested so I thought why not, if I don't like it I'll donate it back and someone else can have it. But I love it, it is so easy to use, less fiddly than a curling iron as it's just like a crimper (for those of us old enough to remember that craze!). I used it yesterday and the curl lasted all day and it is still in my hair this morning after a sleep!

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A general tip about heat styling that I have found useful, spray your section to be curled with a bit of hair spray first. The curl will last much longer than spraying afterwards alone. You probably all knew that anyway!

So Charity Shop is a big YAY in my book and also if you're on a spending diet like lots of people are, then it's a great way to get something fun and new for next to nothing. I also love clothes swaps and regularly hold parties with my gal pals and it's amazing what people don't want and when they want your clothes/shoes/accessories that you don't want. I think that's also why I love and too

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Skin Saving Essentials - Soothed my irritated and sore skin

Skin Savers
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
Those of you who have been following me on Twitter will remember that the other day I was very grumpy and not in a good mood at all. I had been suffering from a severe reaction to something and my face, ears and neck (and hands) were itchy, sore, red and bumpy. I don't know what it was but my fiance started to get the same rash (sympathy pains probably, he is very caring like that). We haven't been using any different products, but just to be safe I boil washed our bedding and steamed the carpets and mattresses and changed back from the washing powder we use to one I know is safe.

It has calmed down with the aid of some prescription antihistamines and steroid cream so I thought I would take you through how I nursed my skin through this painful period where even my usual cosmetics made my skin worse. These products literally saved my skin:

Aqueous cream: what would I do without this stuff, it is great for cleansing and moisturising areas which are inflamed. I used it as a cream cleanser and removed it with a damp muslin cloth then as a moisturiser throughout the day. You can get this from any chemist or pharmacy and it is very cheap.

Anatomicals cooling eye mask. Puffy the eye bag slayer, just perfect for me being a huge Buffy fan! £2.49 from Anatomicals

Aloe Vera Gel and Juice: Aloe vera is a natural antiseptic and contains loads of skin building amino acids which your body doesn't make itself. The gel was great for cooling and moisturising sore skin and reducing swelling. The juice helped to detox and cleanse my system of whatever was irritating my skin. Take it as a shot or in juice, initially you'll want to gag as it's a bitter liquid but it's very good for you, so just keep it down! Also drink plenty of water to help flush out your system when having an allergic reaction. I get mine from Holland and Barrett Health Food Store but you can also get them from some pharmacies too.

Mineral Foundation by Bare Faced Beauty and Mineral Concealer by ELF: for the days when I simply had to go out, and didn't want to face the world looking blotchy and red, I used a mineral make up. I really love these brands as the foundation colour "Sincere" matched with "Apricot" light blush from Barefaced Beauty and ELF Mineral Concealer in Warm are just perfect for me. Mineral make up is so fabulous for your skin because it doesn't contain any oils, free radicals (which damage the skin) or parabens (nasty chemicals). It's really light and doesn't clog up the skin causing spots and blemishes. Bare Faced mineral foundation was just brilliant as it evened out my skin tone and gave me a flawless complexion, can you tell that I am wearing it in the ELF introduction video? My face was red and blotchy but in this video it doesn't look like that! Seriously good stuff but make sure that you use the Kabuki or dense brush so that it is applied thinly or it will look cakey and weird. A Barefaced Beauty Starter kit, not the one in the picture, consisting of a full sized mineral foundation, setting powder and Kabuki brush costs £32 from the website

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

New ELF YouTube Channel

As I alluded to about a week ago, ELF has finally launched a YouTube Make Up channel and it aims to be a one stop shop for looks and reviews of their make up.  Yours truly was asked to do the intro video; they are very camera shy people at ELF!  You can see it below too.

If you subscribe to the channel and leave a comment on the above video, you could win one of their gorgeous mineral eye shadows.  I wish you luck choosing which you'd like to win as there are 18 different beautiful shades or you could opt for the lucky dip and let them choose for you!

So far there are 11 videos on the channel with myself, Natalya (FilthyGorgeousMakeUp) and Becky (Sirvinya) using their mineral range to create a range of day, evening and special occasion looks.  I think it's a great idea to have Gurus you know on the channel because we all have different skin tones, eye colours and shapes and facial features. You'll find a look suitable for your features and different tips from each Guru too.  I am so excited and grateful to the guys at ELF;  to be involved is like a dream come true as I have been a fan of ELF cosmetics since they launched in the UK in 2007.  

If you know about ELF you'll know that they are incredibly cost effective (as well as cruelty free) cosmetics and their products start at £1.50!  They don't sell in high street shops, only online at the moment at .  I have the Mineral Glow Bronzing powder and duo ended mascaras in my professional kit as they are amazing!  The mineral blushes are also very finely milled and just work so well (Rose is my favourite). 

If you're a fan of ELF or need to know more then check out the channel and website for more information.

Numerous queries about the Studio line have been coming in, I have no official date of launch yet, but I want to reassure you that they guys at ELF UK are working really hard to get it sorted as they know that we are DESPERATE to get our hands on it!

I just want to add a more personal note of thanks to everyone who has subscribed, commented, rated and emailed their support of what ELF and the Gurus are doing. It was a gamble, I was worried that we might be seen as less independent.  Our channels remain independent of any company.  My channel is my main priority; I am still loving working with loads of different brands, reviewing and making tutorials and will continue! 

Monday, 11 May 2009

Burt's Bees Smooth Feet Pamper Kit

I'm such a fan of Burt's Bees skin care range, I have the lip balms and hand balm so I guess the next step was the footcare kit - ahahaha just got my own pun there... *sigh*

This kit is just perfect for the gym, that little bit of heaven to look forward to after a punishing work out! I used it last week and it smells of coconut and peppermint, so good that I could eat it. It is so amazingly fragranced that the lady in the next changing cubicle asked what it was!

Available from
The kit consists of a good sized pumice stone and my feet feel loads smoother already just using that, a 123g tube of Coconut foot creme and a pair of the cutest yellow bumblebee socks, just wearing these makes me smile! There's also a little note about five steps to soft smooth feet which is not rocket science but helpful none the less.

This has now become part of my pre wedding skin and body care regime, and is the only reason I will drag myself to the gym as I have promised myself to use it only there as a treat!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Call me Unconventional but...

sleek gel eyeliners
Originally uploaded by oxfordjasmine
You all know how much I love products with many uses! Sleek's Ink Pot gel eyeliners can be used as an eye shadow base too. There are ten colours to choose from and I chose these two (zest and pumpkin) plus an obligatory black one. I wanted to experiment with waterproof make up for the holiday season which is nearly upon us. I for one am very excited about my holiday in July!

An average sized pot, available from most Superdrug stores and soon online at for under £5 each I think. Most of the range is quite well priced in that way.

I've been playing with the coloured ones as both eyeliner and also eye shadow base and had some interesting results. They dry relatively quickly and are are both rub proof and waterproof. They do not budge for anything except soap or make up remover! The density of colour is easily controlled by using thin layers to build up colour. It does not crease easily either especially if applied underneath eye shadow or loose powder. It does remind me of synchronised swimming make up though, all I need is Vaseline in my hair and the look is complete.

As a liner I would recommend it for every day, as a thin layer eye shadow base it is also good. In a thicker layer it can feel waxy to the touch.

The black gel liner is quite nice and easy to use with a long handled brush. It remains slightly shimmery rather than a matt look of liquid liner, quite nice for a night out I think. I am going to try it next as base for a smokey eye - watch out for the YouTube tutorial.

The one little annoyance is that the little brush it comes with is too small for me and it is easy to drop the brush or slip and end up with a streak where you didn't want it!

Here's the unconventional part...
I also tried something else with these two gel liners. Orange and yellow are two really good redness and dark circle combating colours for Asian skin tones. I think you know where this is going... I used the orange one under my eyes to cover dark circles and the yellow one on an upcoming red spot and then let it dry and put on some foundation. I was suprised that it did have really good coverage of dark circles and redness and no concealer needed.

Sometimes I use lipstick as blusher and eyeshadow for contouring, eyeliners for lipliners and vice versa... who says you need a dedicated product for a particular use or effect, not me!

Do you have any make up products that you use unconventionally? Do tell!
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