Lovely Followers

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sneaky Stena Line purchase.

Bored out of my brain on the ferry, I am writing this from the lounge. Thank heavens for free wireless internet! There is free wine but I think that mixed with the motion will not have a good result...

The small shop on the ferry wasn't a total waste of time, although it had mainly all the same lines as the last time I was on the ferry, dusty and unloved, a few boxes of chanel and dior as well as the ever present clinique and clarins sets. However, I was delighted to find a few Urban Decay products on a display in the shop. Not deterred by the messy and dusty display I decided to not purchase the shadows as they had all been opened or likely shattered from being tossed about the shelf. I decided to purchase the mini 24/7 glide on pencil set. It was obviously meant to be as I had cursed myself that I missed out on the set from Urban Decay last Christmas. I know that Urban Decay are bringing out an anniversary set next year and I intend to purchase that one too. I have a few UD pencils mainly black, brown and purple (lust) and I think they are unsurpassed in terms of quality, colour and longevity.

The set of 24/7 pencils comprises 9 travel sized (about 1/2 the full size) and one full size in Zero (black). The travel size colours from left to right are all creamy metallics: Eldorado (gold), Whiskey (taupe brown), Stash (dark khaki green), Mildew (olive), Electric (turquoise), Ransom (indigo), Binge (dark blue), Rockstar (plum) and Gunmetal (grey).

Shaky picture taken using my phone and in the lounge!

Back to my New Year break, see you when I get back!

What are you favourite eye liners?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Post Christmas Cleanse and De-Stress

Feeling a little stressed post Christmas or wanting to prepare your skin for New Year's Eve? My de stress facial will help!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

Have a wonderful holiday!

A few new videos will be up on my channel shortly, to see you through the festive holiday and prepare you for New Year!

I have given everyone strict instructions not to get me any cosmetics for Christmas but I think I'll be hitting the sales come Boxing Day!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Gone but not forgotten, the exit interview!

This is a post about some products I have recently finished and I thought I would give them an exit review.
From left to right

Alva Sanddorn Facial Tonic £15.50/100ml. A pretty great toner even if I do say so myself. I used it remove my cream cleansers. It is great for dry skin as it is alcohol free and very gentle. It doesn't have a sticky feeling that you can sometimes get with alcohol free toners that rely on lots of glycerin to hydrate. Although is contains a few oils it does not feel oily either. It also doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. I did power through it quite quickly and I'll give a few other toners a go before I decide whether to purchase a new bottle.

Amie Bright Eyes Very Gentle Make-up Remover. £4.75/125ml. I used to be able to buy this at Superdrug but I haven't been able to find it but it is available from the website. I did like this eye make up remover, it really is gentle on the eyes with no drying or stinging. It does lift off make up and shadow very easily. However it is no match for waterproof, cream or pencil/wax make up, that's half of my eye make up! So I won't be replacing this bottle.

Faith in Nature Seaweed Shower Gel & Bath Foam £3.70/400ml. I think this range is superb if you're looking for a eco-ethical-conscious brand. It's such an easy buy and choice. The smell and bubbles were acceptable however I did have to use a lot of it in a bath. As a consequence, I rocketed through this bottle! I would buy this again, simply as I support this brand. You can buy it from Oxfam stores, so I am only too happy to buy and also give at the same time.

Original Source Summer Shower Gel. Prices range from £1 to £3 depending on offers. Available from Supermarkets and Chemists. A brilliant all round shower gel that both my husband and I use every day. I have just started using the Winter edition (Pepper and Cardamom) which is heavenly. I normally stock up on these when they are on offer, as well the handwashes. I will certainly be buying more of this in the future, but perhaps not this scent. I am more keen on buttery/woody scents than fruit.

LUSH Breath of Fresh Air Skin Toner £3.25/100g bottle. I mainly used this during the summer as a skin refresher, a lovely fresh rose and rosemary scent. I have since repurchased this in the larger size and Eau Roma which I think will suit me more for winter. I use this to remove cream cleaners or a quick spray if I've used a wet cloth to remove face wash products.

Liz Earle Hand Repair £14.50 for 100ml. This is a small travel sized tube, and I am quite glad I find that some Liz Earle face products for me tend to be quite dry and sticky. The exception being the Foot Repair Cream which is marvellous. Since I have finished this tube of Hand Repair I use the Foot Repair on my hands. I do love the smell of this hand cream however, a delicate orange flower is one of my favourite scents.

So that was my mini exit review for a few products I have recently finished. Do you have any products that you'd give an exit review, or recommendations?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Clearstep Braces - Thoughts and Experience

If you're unhappy with your teeth and have been thinking about visiting your Orthodontist, here are my thoughts on the Clearstep plastic brace system. I have been using this system for about 4 months and I have about 3 months left to go. I will then wear a retainer at night forever to keep them in position.

If you've had Clearstep or Invisalign then let me know your thoughts too. Don't mind the camera in this video, the tripod was gently sliding off to the left!

The nails wraps I am wearing in this video are from Rebel Nails, and I am currently on day 10 of wear. I might change them soon but they show no signs of coming off by themselves!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Winner of the Coastal Scents Brush Set is...

"Gracefulswirl", you're the winner, please contact me with your address so I can send you your prize. It will be posted after Christmas now as I fear it will get lost in the snow otherwise!

If I don't hear from Gracefulswirl over the next couple of days I will pick another winner from the comments from the original post.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Wintry Lips - Just say No to chapped lips!

I'm sitting here in my pyjamas and I reach over to my bedside cabinet for a lip balm. I realise that this lip balm is always there as I actively keep it there. Rather than my absent minded product strewn desk in the study. It is my favourite and most intensive over night treatment.

Nip + Fab is a brand that has received a lot of attention both good and bad because it is a cheaper and "cut down" version of it's sister-more-expensive brand called Rodial. I personally wouldn't justify purchase of a Rodial product unless I couldn't find a more cost effective version. I don't think my practical outlook on cosmetics or wallet for that matter are the target audience for Rodial.

That being said, I was keen to try Nip+Fab products. I have tried the Tummy Fix, Lip+Nip Fix and Under Eye Concealer. The concealer is brilliant however far too light for my skin tone and too pink. However I have given my tube to a friend who thinks it's great. Better than her touche ├ęclat that she buys in duty free every year! The tummy fix whether psychosomatic or real seems to work for me. But you have to be religious about using it morning and night or it all goes to pot. I noticed a firmer tummy but have since slacked a bit about using it now that I am getting to the end of the tube. I am saving it for special occasions when a super flat tummy is needed, think little black dress or bikini.

Back to the Lip+Nip Fix. It is an odourless**, pale brown, viscous, lanolin substance which is is incredibly difficult to squeeze out of the 15ml tube. However a little goes a long long way! It melts with body heat in to a non sticky or greasy feeling balm. It has many uses rather than the obvious lip and nipple balm. I use it on knees and elbows, scratches and grazes, emergency eye shine and eye brow tamer and cuticle cream. You can also use it whipped up as an emergency make up remover. This is one handy little thing to have.

As I don't use Vaseline (for cruelty free reasons) this is a brilliant alternative. For Lanolin allergy sufferers, this is sadly not for you.

At £7.95 it is an expensive lip balm, but a cheap multi-purpose balm. Consider the readily available alternatives such as Elizabeth Arden which the smell is so overpowering that I can't bear it anywhere near my nose and mouth and it's suddenly not all that expensive.

You can buy Nip+Fab products from their website or see their website for retail stockists.

This is my second tube of Nip+Fab Lip + Nip Fix, the first was provided for PR purposes.

** Today I noticed it smells a bit "sheepy". I suppose that's the Lanolin. It's not overly unpleasant but noticeable.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Lust

Hankering for more purple liners I bought Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Lust the other week. I have been impressed with the staying power of these liners owning a few that came in UD sets, but I haven't had any of the coloured ones. Just brown and black ones.

Having used this a few times now, I think I can comment on it. They are smudgy and soft but have great staying power.

White skin

My skin

Lust is a deep indigo colour with significant silver shimmer. You can buy these liners for £11.50 from various retails stores on the UK.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Ask Jasmine - Mascara Alternatives.

Q: LOVE your videos! I am (almost) 33 years old and embarrassingly JUST NOW learning how to use makeup correctly (foundation? concealer? :-D ). Your videos have helped immensely.

I occasionally am afflicted with mild angular blepharitis outbreaks (red, irritation at the outer corner of my eyes) and find that removing mascara is evil as it tends get stuck right at the corners and under my eyes when I use make-up removers, aggravating the condition.

Do you know of any alternatives to conventional mascara that is super easy to remove?

A: Have your eye lashes dyed as even if your eye lashes are already dark it will lengthen them as it dyes the very tip of the lashes which are transparent.

Curl you lashes using a mechanical curler and then use the clear mascara to hold the curl. However this won't create volume, but you can achieve this with lash infills(extensions which are place between your lashes) but they are expensive to maintain.

Using a thin eye liner creates volume as well. Use this video from my channel for tips.

Also consider using strip lashes as an altenative as they are easy to remove (with a warm damp face cloth then gently pull the lashes away).

Friday, 3 December 2010

Christmas Giveaway #7 - Brush Set by Coastal Scents

Please follow and leave a comment below. I'd like to know your top tips with brushes, which brushes do you like best and why?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

e.l.f Bamboo Complexion Brush vs ecoTOOLS Powder Brush

This is such an obvious post, but I thought I'd head it off at the pass. e.l.f have launched their eagerly awaited sustainably sourced Bamboo Brushes. It's natural to compare them to their main competitor and probably inspiration, ecoTOOLS. ecoTOOLS started life just like e.l.f in the US. It is sold mainly through large chemists and supermarkets such as Walmart. They have finally made their way over to Europe and can now be found mainly in Boots and Tesco.

As a side point, please let me apologise for the state of my e.l.f powder brush, I use it every day so in these photos it isn't clean! But it is normally a soft creamy white colour and when washed, returns to that colour.

The main difference is the price, as expected the e.l.f brush is slightly cheaper at £5.50 and the ecoTools brush is £8.99. The e.l.f Bamboo brush range has a static price of £5.50 a brush whereas the ecoTOOLS are priced differently depending on the brush, so some of the smaller brushes like the angled eyeliner ecoTOOLS brush may be cheaper by about 50p.

Both brands are also available in sets which offer significant value for money if you are interested in more than four brushes. The 5 piece ecoTOOLS is around £14.99 and the e.l.f set is £20.

I will say that having tried both sets, they are identical types of brushes however there is a difference in the e.l.f eye brush as it is basically a C brush which is dense and fluffy, whereas the ecoTOOLS is flat and so not as versatile. That's the main difference I can see.

The density of the brush head is very similar, it is very hard to feel the difference.
The e.l.f brush is softer though.

The ecoTools brush head is slimmer and more tapered. The e.l.f Complexion brush head is fluffier and bigger.

The e.l.f brush is slightly longer and the brush head is bigger. They both weigh about the same.

It is refreshing to see that both are good quality brushes that have considered environmental impacts of their manufacture. Do you consider ecological sustainability when choosing whether a brush is good value?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My favourite Cruelty Free Brands

Being cruelty free is getting a lot of attention at the moment thanks to Pixiwoo's interest in animal testing of cosmetics. I am really happy about their decision to investigate this area and have offered advice on how to go cruelty free in the future.

A few years ago it was very difficult to lead a cruelty free lifestyle, it is very difficult to find and get information from companies about their manufacture and ethical concerns. This has left the way clear for lots of new and exciting ethically and environmentally conscious companies to break in to this area and lead the way. Slowly other companies are seeing the potential of the green conscious currency and are putting in the effort to become cruelty free. I am delighted to see mainstream brands like Superdrug, Argos, Marks and Spencer and The Co-operative taking the lead in this area.

I decided to write down some of my favourite brands and items from their ranges I like and why. Obviously not all cruelty free cosmetics perform fantastically, as with all make up - what suits one person won't suit another. I hope you consider these brands above others, simply because they share the same beliefs that beauty doesn't have to cost the earth, cause pain and suffering to animals or exploit developing countries.

Make Up

e.l.f - Star products for me are Eye Liner Pens, Eye Brow Lifter and Filler, Mineral Booster (tinted).

Beauty Without Cruelty - My favourite products are their lipsticks - so creamy and incredibly pigmented.

Lily Lolo - although I am in between shades, the mineral foundations are lovely. Even more so are their blushes, which are pigmented, soft and matte. At 75p a sample you can afford to experiment until you find your perfect products.

Urban Decay - Although a lot of this brand is about shimmer and rock, you can't fault their soft and pigmented eye shadows, creamy lipsticks and I am a fan of the cream to powder foundations. As for the 24/7 Liners, well they are the best I've tried. Smudgy and pigmented. This is rather an expensive brand for fun items like eye shadows, but the boxed sets are good value. The Naked Palette is my latest purchase.

Skin Care

Karin Herzog. These have really helped my rashy, red and sensitive skin become more bearable and dare I say it normal! Again on the more expensive side, but the Glyco Rose Serum is one of my hero products.

Liz Earle - I feel that this is an expensive and yet fairly ordinary brand. I also think that the skin care range is quite strong for sensitive, easily annoyed skin. I don't tend to buy this very often but the footcare range and also the new shampoo are rather good. Since there is only one type of shampoo for the moment, it is good for all the family. My sister does quite like the Cleanse and Polish.

Alva - This unassuming brand has quite bowled me over, simple packaging, no overly irritating perfumes or colourants. Effective and gentle products which have calmed and soothed my skin without making a big deal of it!

Lush - I use the Lush spray toner to remove cleansing oils, such as Dermalogica Precleanse, and to freshen up on hot days. It's cheap and cheerful, reliable and effective.

Hair Care
Naked Hair Care - Available in Boots and online. I quite like the conditioning treatments.

Original Source - Easily available in High Street stores and supermarkets. Items are cost effective and there is plenty of choice of fragrances and hair types.

Naked Body Care - My favourite from the range is the Cocoa de la Mer bath foam, it has an unusual but feminine scent which I reach for most bathtimes!

Original Source - Again a large choice of fruity fresh products for shower and bath. Passionfruit is one of my favourite scents.

LUSH - who doesn't love a bath ballistic?

Faith in Nature products can be found in Waitrose and Oxfam stores, I like to buy in Oxfam because then I am getting something I want and the profits go to a charitable organisation. Charity and cosmetics, two of my favourite pastimes!

O.P.I - My favourite from the ever growing range is Going on Green.

e.l.f - again a growing range of colours. The formulas vary depending on which shade you go for, the latest matte shades are creamy whereas the shimmery shades tend to be sheer needing more than two coats.

BWC - just relaunched with exciting and contemporary shades, beautifully glossy and hard wearing.

Rebel Nails - I first sought these out as an alternative to nail polish as my nails were very weak and needed a rest from polish and remover. These are easy to use and you can achieve fabulous designs and finishes without being a nail artist!

Marks and Spencers, The Co-Operative Faith in Nature (found in Oxfam stores nationwide)
These brands are cruelty free so you can get your washing up liquid, dishwashing detergent, baby products and all household products here.

Clothes - I haven't explored this totally yet, I do try to buy ethically on the High Street but I am very happy to recommend Rapa Nui. They kindly sent me a Bamboo T-shirt and some socks. I liked them so much I went back and bought two more tops and a top for my hubby too! These are the softest and lightest T-shirts and so comfortable! I will be back for the rest of the range as soon as I can!

I would be delighted to hear about your favourite ethical and cruelty free brands, I am all ears/eyes! Specially with Christmas coming up and I like to buy ethically for friends and family wherever I can.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tool Turnabout Brush Storage Carousel, wheeee!

Since this kitchen utensil gadget came in to my life, the chaos on my desk has considerably reduced. The Pampered Chef Tool Turnabout, although not an essential brush storage product, really is great. It has 15 compartments in three tiers on a rotating carousel which makes sorting, storing and reaching your brushes really easy. I have all my brushes organised by type and sometimes brand. The Tool turnabout was originally designed for the kitchen worktop but it holds pride of place on my desk holding all of my brushes, yes all! Just for information, I keep dirty brushes in a separate glass vase.

If you'd like to win yourself an early Christmas present, simply enter the giveaway here. Don't leave comments here or on the post as they will not count! Hurry as there's only a day or two left to enter!

If you're not lucky enough to win one from R8Beauty then the Tool Turnabout priced at £18 is available from the Pampered Chef website through your local agent.

Monday, 29 November 2010

A bit of nail fun, purple snow!

O.P.I Purple with a Purpose + e.l.f nail polish in White. A touch of silver glitter dusted daintily over the top completes the Christmas look!

It's all a bit Cadbury's and doesn't help me kick the chocolate habit during the day!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Blog Giveaway #6

The winner of the Glitter Gal Smoky Eyes kit is Hilda, you can read her blog here.

I am a huge fan of the Eyeko Fat Balms, my favourite is the Cherry colour. It is perfect for my skin tone and I use it daily as a blush and lip tint for autumnal looks. On the cheeks it's lovely for dry skin and in this cold weather for soothing and protecting lips.
So I have two more Eyeko products to giveaway on my blog!

All you have to do to enter is follow and leave a comment below, answering this question. What is your favourite lip product and why?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Blog Giveaway #5 Christmas

Firstly, the winner of the Myreen Young Rich Night Cream is Ally E. Ally, could you please contact me via email with your name and address for your prize.

On to my next giveaway!

Every girl needs a smoky eye look to rely upon for the festive party season. This is a lovely little kit from Glitter Gal is perfect. I was really loathe to give it away I liked it so much. I haven't used it obviously but I have been tempted! I am also a big fan of their holographic nail polish which is beautiful (especially the black!)

If you'd like to win this smoky eye kit, then all you have to do is subscribe to my Youtube, follow my blog and leave me a lovely comment below.

I'd like to know your top secret eye shadow tips for getting the perfect smoky eye!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Blog Giveaway #4 Myreen Young Rich Night Cream + Winner of Magic Lips

The lovely Sarah at Blusher Obsession guessed my guilty secret! I own 114 lipsticks! Sssshhhhh, don't tell anyone!

Enter below my next Christmas giveaway for a full sized brand new Myreen Young Rich Night Cream (RRP £23). I have been using the cleanser and I think it's a lovely organic skin care range.

All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment with a skin care wonder tip for everyone else! What is your favourite skin care treatment and why?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Ask Jasmine - Puffy Eyes

Q: Jasmine, I'm also an avid fan of your vids and blog. I hope that you can help me concerning my eyes. I always wake up with puffy eyes. Even after cooling them they need ages to go down. I hardly feel the drive to do my eyes (I prefer nude eye make up at the moment) but I have to. Otherwise I look like a zombie on ecstasy. ;-) Anyways, is there an opportunity to do a natural eye make up to veil or cover my puffy and baggy eyes? Thanks for your help, dear!

A: Cooling with a eye patch is always a really good idea first thing in the morning as it brings the worst of it down. Aloe vera gel applied to the area as well will help. If you're in a rush in the morning so don't have the time (who does!?) then you need to take a look at your moisturiser. Sometimes we use eye creams and moisturisers which are too rich for our skin. They sit on the surface all night long and make the skin puffy. Avoid using a rich cream around the eyes at night or use a gel. If you are going to use an eye cream, it is best applied about two hours before you go to sleep, otherwise skip it and put some on in the morning.

A good brightening concealer will really lift the area, concentrate is at the edges of the bag, where is meets your "normal" skin. Avoid shimmery eye shadow whilst your eyes are puffy as that draws attention to it.

If you have a question or a suggestion for the person who asked this question, please leave a comment below!

Magic Lips Giveaway and ecoTOOLS winner

The lovely Jenny has won the ecoTOOLS brushes, you can watch her YouTube channel here too.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is guess how many lipsticks I own, the one who is the closest wins this lovely Magic Lips Case and three Magic Lips lipsticks!

Don't forget to follow my blog (there is a link at the top of the page) and subscribe to my Youtube channel for more articles and contests!

Monday, 15 November 2010

BWC Winner and a new Christmas Giveaway - ecoTOOLS brush set

I'd like to congratulate "Augustine" the winner of the BWC Accessory kit from last week's giveaway, Augustine, please email me your details to claim your prize!

The next giveaway is something very lovely and perfect for Christmas. I believe that 2011 is going to be the year of the Bamboo brush! e.l.f are launching theirs in Europe next year so I will be doing a comparison when the time comes with these lovely ecoTOOLS brushes.

The ecoTOOLS brush handles are made from sustainable bamboo with a recycled aluminium ferrule and synthetic taklon hairs. Three big thumbs up from me for sustainability. ecoTOOLS also won the Annual PETA award for Best Cruelty Free Make-up Brushes. The kit contains 5 brushes; blush, eye shading, eyeliner, lash/brow groomer and concealer.

This kit was sent to me for review purposes but RRP is £14.99 from lots of nationwide stockists (such as Superdrug, Tesco and Boots).

Watch the video and leave a comment below if you'd like to enter this giveaway to win the set featured. Comments on the video have been disabled.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Digital Art for Christmas

I am utterly thrilled with my new digital artwork, designed by

Joanna is a fellow YouTube and Twitter friend, and also based in Oxfordshire. I absolutely love this portrait. Joanna took this photo of me from my Twilight tutorial:

To create this digital portrait

For anyone who has tried any digital artistry or even attempted to resize a photo in Photoshop, you'll appreciate how much work and skill goes in to creating artwork of this quality.

Joanna has created a video of the simplified steps to creating this artwork and you can see it below.

If you'd like to give a creative gift this Christmas contact Jo at her website and use my exclusive discount code FRIENDS50 to get a 50% discount until the end of November 2010 (I do not receive any part of the sales generated and neither would I accept them!).

I have commissioned Joanna to create a family portrait for me as I think her work is so beautiful. I plan to give these as gifts all through the year. I will receive the complete digital artwork for me to print as many times as and to whatever sizes I like. You're not just paying for a one off piece of art. If you can't decide on a photograph, then why not buy a gift voucher so that your recipient can decide which pictures to digitize for themselves.

Thank you so much for creating this artwork for me Joanna, you can see it proudly displayed on all of my Social Media channels!

See the gallery of Joanna's work here on her website.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Blog Competition - Christmas Gift Giveaway

I'm starting a new feature on my blog about Christmas present ideas, there's no point waiting until December 1st as most people are already thinking about what to buy! I've done my Christmas shopping so I hope this helps you!

I am also giving you the chance to win the items I present! So watch the video, if you'd like to win, just leave a comment on my blog (video comments have been disabled) and I'll pick a weekly winner!

Winner will be announced on Monday 15 November when another exciting giveaway will be posted, what will it be... I have several more to show you!

*I was sent this by BWC for review and with their permission I decided to give it away!

Ask Jasmine - Face and Neck Foundation Matching

Q: My problem is - as much as I might like the foundation on my face, altogether it still makes my face look pinkier than my neck, if that makes any sense. Is there something that can be done other than swapping foundation or applying it all over my neck? This is probably a dumb question, since it looks like using another foundation would be the sensible thing to do, but I have tried so many others and I never liked the way they looked, full of streaks from my fingertips and/or not even at all. And of course, being constantly on a budget I'm not able to pay for high end make up - and I don't even think that would be a safe solution.

A: It is difficult to give advice about foundations when I really need to see you and your skin to make an assessment of a suitable foundation for face and neck.

It's a common problem in tanned women to have a mismatch between face and neck. Whether your face is darker or lighter than your neck. I use a mineral foundation on the neck area which is the same as my face as it is quick to apply, doesn't use too much product and is less likely to come off on clothes as liquid/creams.

I would find an inexpensive mineral foundation and buff that over face after foundation and on the neck to even out the tones. Minerals are pure pigment that can be built up to the layers you like and still feel light enough. It should cover your foundation and bring your neck in to harmony with your face. There are many reputable brands, the ones I have most experience with are Urban Decay, e.l.f and Barefaced Beauty as they have the best colours for tanned skin.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Ask Jasmine - Eye Bags n Wrinkles!

Q: Can you please tell how to get smooth eyes like yours? You have no wrinkles or bags. I have bags and wrinkles and I really want smooth eyes just like yours. Do you use any products?

A: Prevention is easier, cheaper and more effective than curing them so I'll start with a few common sense products I have used for about 10 years:

1. A good eye cream at night, I have used many and I currently use Alva eye cream.

2. A moisturiser or foundation with a Sun Protection Factor of 30.

3. Do not smoke! Top cause of premature ageing is smoking. Quit as soon as you can.

4. Hydrate yourself from the inside. Water is the best beauty product there is, set yourself a target to drink a litre a day, that's only five glasses. One with each meal and then one between, that doesn't sound so hard?

As for bags, there is no miracle way to get rid of those either (other than surgery which is an expensive and last resort). Things which help a little are gels (such as aloe vera gel). They have a tightening effect, but use a little or it can feel uncomfortable. The effects are of course temporary and you will need to use it several times a day to keep up the effect. Natural oils from your skin will negate the the effect.

The use of brightening concealers help flatten the bags and lift the wrinkles; concentrate it in your wrinkles and at the edges of the bag to give an optical lifting effect to the bag edges blending it in with the rest of the face). Nip + Fab have an excellent eye brightening products which works very well (use sparingly and work quickly). I use the e.l.f undereye concealer and highlighter in medium blended in with fingers or a fluffy brush and set with powder.

Fillers are also an answer whether surgical injections or surface fillers which contain silicone which you can go over with your concealer or foundation. I have seen cosmetic fillers by several companies, but haven't used them myself. Soap and Glory is the most recent I have seen. Use them around the outer corners of the eyes and lips/nose for best effect.

If you have any Questions for me or indeed product recommendations which can help please leave a comment below!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Experimental Candle Making!

Being a huge fan of good quality candles, I thought I'd try and make a candle myself!

1. Start with a double heater, which is bascically some tin foil in a saucepan. Make sure to leave enough to make a spout to pour the wax.

2. Whilst your wax is melting on a very low heat, gather together the candle holder and wick.

3. Thread the wick in to the disc holder and tie a knot in the bottom. Keep the wick about 5 cm longer than you need.

4. Glue the wick holder disc in to the bottom of the holder. This stops the wick moving as the wax melts. Once it is set, tie the wick to the pin (or a clothes peg) and balance that on the holder to keep the wick straight whilst it cools.

5. Add essential oils to your melted wax. I am using Geranium and Lavender. For a small candle like mine (which is about three tea lights) I have used about 4 teaspoons of oil mixture. Yes that's a lot of essential oils but otherwise the scent doesn't carry at all.

6. Pour the wax in to the votive holder, keeping a little in the pot for later. Always be careful when pouring the hot wax! Once the candle has set you'll see that there is a dip where the wick sits. So pour the wax that you kept back to fill in this dip.

The candle smelled very nice when burned, it's a clean and relaxing scent. Even Mr OJ noticed and remarked on it. To be honest it's a bit of a faff making your own candles but if you have the time, equipment and want a special scent that you just can't get anywhere else... why not? It's also a great way to use candles that may not have completely burned. I have a Christmas candle that I have remelted and put in a new holder as I had half of it left.

I'm may experiment with different waxes (I prefer soya to paraffin because it does not leave soot everywhere) and different essential oils. I am not sure Jonathan Ward has anything really to worry about, his candles are superb!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Ask Jasmine - Flaky, weak nails.

Q: Hey Jasmine, Not sure if you'll know the answer but you might :D I've been having problems with my nails, but just on one hand, they are splitting, but it's like a layer peeling off, and every time it's nearly grown out it happens again :( any solutions??

A: If you haven't already switch to an acetone-free nail polish remover (I use Superdrug). Buffing your nails once a week (again the Superdrug 2-step ridge smoother and shiner is brilliant) and using a rich cuticle cream every day before bed (such as LUSH lemony flutter or Mavala) really helped me.

The other thing is that you have to give your nails a break from nail polish for at least a month. Not even clear nail varnish, they should get better after this. Also check your vitamin and mineral intake. A supplement is really useful. Invest in a glass nail file, I saw a few in Boots the other day. These are much kinder to your nails, keeping them strong and not letting water get in between and weaken the nail layers.

If you're missing your nail polish, try Rebel Nails stickers for special occasions, I found this brand whilst I was searching for something whilst I was on a nail polish break! I also saw some on ASOS and in Superdrug also but reviews have said they aren't as good as Rebels. Avoid stick on nails as the glue is too strong and will pull any weak nails apart.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Sale Update, thank you.

Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who bought something from my Breast Cancer charity sale of pink items, the total raised was £32.00! The receipt is below.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Ask Jasmine - Oily eye lids.

Q Hi Jasmine
Thanks for all the informative and helpful videos!
Please could you advise me, im from South Africa and we dont have much high end brands besides MAC. I really need an eyeshadow primer and the paint pots dont work for me :-( i have really oily eyelids. I tried importing but Urban decay, Too Faced, benefit, elf & Mary Kay do not ship to this country. We have here what you guys call drugstore brands,please could you suggest something.

Hi, if you can't get a specific eye lid primer then try using your eye shadows wet. Make a light paste using water and your favourite shadow (loose shadows work best). Apply to your lid in a wash of colour, and then use a dry shadow over the top to set and blend it. That works an absolute treat for me if I haven't got a primer handy.

Apply foundation lightly to the eyelid and powder with transluent powder to set. That should act as a primer also. Never use a moisturiser on eye lids either that just adds more oil that they don't need.

Any tips you may have that can help, please leave a comment of question below.

TV show - e.l.f Christmas swatches

If you missed the UStream today about the e.l.f Christmas ranges, you can watch it again here!

Thanks again everyone who made it and contributed!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

e.l.f Christmas Range - Internet TV show this week

Now that e.l.f UK has had a pretty decent restock this week, everyone will be itching to order their Christmas goodies as well as their staples. I have some stunning Christmas presents from the new range that went live last week to show you.

It always helps to see them being used and to be able to ask questions about them before you order. So why not drop in and see me on Friday this week (5 November 2010) at 11am UK time. You can find my channel here. I shall do my best to record it (technological prowess depending) so it can be repeated for those who are unable to see it live on Friday!

Click on the image to go straight to the Christmas shop, browse and if you have any questions, bring them on Friday!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Do not fear the Red lipstick!

As a child, red lipstick was pretty much the colour every Indian woman wore, that or some sort of dark maroon. It was just a given that it would be my first real lip stick and I am still drawn to it now.

To me, nothing makes me feel more powerful and feminine at the same time. I suggest you try it for a day and see how many doors are opened, people glance your way or engage you in conversation in shops. Whether that is my confidence coming through or the draw of the red lipstick I don't know but it is fun. The power of red lipstick is quite intense.

How to wear such a commanding colour? Simply is the answer, always. In the video below I have teamed a neutral eyelid and slightly smoky top lash with a red lip stain. I also used a lip lock pencil in place of a lip liner as I find these work much better and being colourless it requires no great skill or time to use. It is a must with red lipstick, or you run the risk of smudging, bleeding and you may end up looking like Robert Smith (The Cure) on a bad day.

Lipstains Gold is not a new brand but they are at the forefront of "staining technology". It is the only brand I know of that have created a true red, not a pink but a hot red lipstain. It doesn't remain impeccable for 12 hours, it requires a touch up or two. I have found that it still looks great after eating and drinking. Also even taking it off of an evening, the next morning my lips have a slight tint. The texture is light and balmy, it does go slightly dry on the lips but not as much as other lip stains I have used.

What are you memories of red lipstick?

Friday, 29 October 2010

Christmas shopping

The old saying is correct, you generally give presents you yourself would like to receive. This year is no different. I've already finished my Christmas shopping so here's the list of items I have bought for friends and family! If you are a friend or family member, I suggest you don't read on unless you want to know what I've got you for Christmas. If you're not on the list, it may mean you are getting a non-beauty related product! I will be posting about non-beauty gifts later as I have found some lovely items that the guys will enjoy that might just give you some inspiration.

Mother in Law
The hardest person to buy for, it's a minefield when dealing with MILs. An extravagant present seems patronising, a small gift seems mean, so I went safe by choosing a Liz Earle Superskin Gift Set (£42). The set contains six items (cleaser, tonic, 2 cloths, facial moisturiser, body moisturiser, and superskin concentrate) in a pretty blue box with matching ribbon. Result, no wrapping needed.

Sister in Law
A less fraught decision, I erred on the safe side by selecting a gorgeous candle that no one could possibly dislike. Jonathan Ward Amber Collection Soya Candle in Mombasa Club 1932. A warm, aromatic, spicy and sophisticated candle that I have found hard to match in terms of quality. I have tried various other candles (NEOM, Jo Malone, AVEDA etc...) and these are pretty good for the price and the scents are so unique. When buying someone a candle for a present, which can seem a bit small and insignificant, bear in mind that these are high quality soya and high concentration essential oil based candles, they are stronger, require less burning time and do not produce soot which is better for your furniture and health. The person receiving it might not appreciate that but after using it they will never go back to a cheap paraffin candle again! I bought my Jonathan Ward candles from Wholefoods for £30 (£20 for the medium size). You can also purchase from other reputable stockists and online.

Brother in Law's other half...
This New Year my husband and I are a visiting family and are staying with my brother in law. So it is incredibly rude not to turn up with presents for his other half. I won a Body Oil from the other week and after trying it I decided to explore the range further and buy a bottle for the lady of the house! You can find Roger and Gallet products in most good department stores or explore for inspiration. Huile Sublime is just gorgeous, I have been using it after showers to moisturise and it is wonderfully uplifting and leaves my skin soft and pampered.

My eldest Sister
Bank Holiday Monday after Christmas is a always a chilled family day, my husband and I will be gathering at my eldest sisters house in Devon for a family party. My sister is a big fan of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish but I decided not to get her the same set as MIL, and have opted for a few other items from the range that she won't have tried.

My middle sister
A few weeks ago I purchased the entire range of samples from of the Face Atelier Ultra Foundation. I gave one of these to my sister to try. She took it with her on a mini break and said that it was excellent as a medium/full coverage foundation. So she wants a full bottle for Christmas. The easiest present I have ever had to buy. £32 for a 30ml bottle + shipping from the website.

I have a neice, she is nearly 10 years old. I think I may have corrupted this young lady already with make up. When she visits, she would quite happily go through my collection. Do you find that young girls are all fascinated with mascara? I figure it is an aspirational product for young girls seeing their mothers not leaving the house without at least applying mascara. Well I feel she's too young for make up but she is allowed to wear it for parties (and when she comes to visit her aunt). I know she has her eye on the e.l.f Mini Make Up Collection.

Best Friend
I have used my friends as canvasses many times. I know their faces, colouring and tastes. But I like to stretch their comfort zone a bit and get them using products which will deliver benefits and confidence. However, I have to remember that they are not make up addicts like me so I tend to over buy for them confusing them with new concepts such as eye lid primers and HD powder! So this year I am buying key must have items such as lipstains which last 12 hours. Great if you're a busy teacher, musician and mum! My favourite are from Lipstains Gold and my favourite colour (apart from Red) is Blush. £5.25 each or you can buy a pack of four for £26 from the website.

I hope this helps you with your choices for Christmas presents this year! Good luck!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Nails of the Day - Graffiti

Layla Cosmetics Graffiti Top Coat + Cetuem Metallic Gunmetal (#280)

I'm not really a huge fan of the black crackle top coats but I do quite like this combination. I bought the Cetuem Nail Polish at Olympia Beauty a few weeks ago. I can't use this too much as it is very strong smelling and a bit streaky. Most metallic nail polishes are like this which is why I don't own many.

R8Beauty has just given away 50 bottles of the Layla Graffiti top coat so I look forward to seeing the reactions and reviews from the 50 winners!

R8Beauty Giveaway Young & Pure Range

I have been testing this range for about three weeks and I have to say that it has been kind to my skin. Formulated for teenagers and 20-something men and women, I am more than a little out of the target market but no matter, the principles of good skin care remain. I have sensitive skin and it responds to products which are minimal and soothing.

The real surprise and absolute star of the range for me is the Eye Make Up remover (£5.49 for 125ml) It is wonderfully gentle and removes even waterproof make up. It's a formula based on coconut oil and ginger extract which also act to soothe and freshen the sensitive eye area. I am utterly hooked.

You can find out more and buy the range online from the Young and Pure website or if you'd like to win some of these products for yourself, simply enter the R8Beauty contest to win.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

R8Beauty Review Giveaway - Ultraglow Shimmer Pots

R8Beauty is a project I have been working on for nearly a year and over the last few months it has started to bear fruit. My role involves finding interesting cosmetics and beauty products for R8Beauty. Along the way I have tried some fantastic brands and products that are waiting in the wings for R8Beauty reviewers to try for free. It's been incredibly hard not to review them here immediately, I've even had to resort to sitting on my hands until the urge to photograph and type passes!

Now you know about it, I hope you'll enter the free weekly giveaways and become a fan of the facebook page to hear about the items I've hand picked for you to win. Reviews are confidential and rewarded with entry in to another contest to win even more products to try. It is free and secure to enter, your details are not used by any other company for marketing purposes.

Companies that have worked with R8Beauty in the earliest stages have been happy to report that they've received really useful feedback to improve their products and brand. They have also received greater hits and followers to their websites. More importantly, reviewers have had the the chance to try products that aren't even available to buy in Europe yet, which is always a coup.

If you're a company and you'd like to reach out to people with news of your new products, then please get in touch with me via email.

R8Beauty has its own blog here too.

For the latest giveaway, you can enter below or via the facebook page directly.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ask Jasmine

Helping others is one of the main reasons I started YouTube and Blogging! As much as I would like to reply to your emails individually, sadly I cannot. So if you've emailed me recently then I apologise if you are waiting expectantly for a reply.

It is impossible to offer the level of detailed advice I would give a client in a one to one consultation. Mainly because I don't have the amount of time necessary and I need to see you in person to look at you in 3 dimensions! My advice would always be to book a session with a make up artist for a trial and ask them personally.

What I can offer is a bit of encouragement, product recommendations that have worked for me, tips and general advice for issues many people face.

Do you want to know more about:

Creating looks
Application tips
Avoiding mishaps
Product recommendations

I will be picking a topic to talk about and answer those beauty related questions. Don't worry I won't be mentioning your names so feel free to email me in confidence.

You can also leave me a question below!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Dangerous Chocolate Cake

A big thanks to my colleague Soo, who gave me this superb recipe!


5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 TBS Flour

4 TBS sugar

1 ½ TBS cocoa

3TBS milk

2TBS oil

3TBS chocolate chips (optional)

1 egg

Splash of vanilla essence

1 very large coffee mug (I use the large cappuccino mugs)

Add the dry ingredients to the mug - mix

Add the egg, pour in the oil and milk - mix

Add the chocolate chips and vanilla – mix

Place in the microwave for 3 minutes (1000watts)

The cake will rise over the top, but don’t be alarmed

Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate (this will serve 2 people)

It's called dangerous chocolate cake as it's so simple and quick, you're now only 5 minutes away from fresh delicious chocolate cake!

Three must have for Autumn hand care!

It's time to break out the hand cream now that it really is Autumn. Windy, cold and rainy weather but it's not quite cold enough to break out the gloves! So I am doubling up on hand cream and nail care to keep my hands feeling soft, hydrating and youthful. It's true when they say that if you want to see a person's age, look at their hands (can't give those a lift!).

Three products I turn to are:

Liz Earle Foot Repair Moisturiser* - yes you read that correctly, foot moisturiser! Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Essential oils of Peppermint and Rosemary keep my hands soft but not greasy and the smell is also gives me a lift! Don't rub your eyes though, the mint may irritate.

"Unbelievable Nail Shiner" from Superdrug. What a great little product this is, only two steps to ultra shiny nails. Previously I used one that had three steps, this one is so much quicker and gives better results. It's only a few pounds as well so it makes for a perfect secret Santa or stocking filler with a bottle of nail polish for Christmas too. Using a nail shiner before applying Rebel Nails or nail polish will make application easier and improve the longevity.

Mavala Nutritive Nail Cream for Damaged Nails. This cream really helped me through a flaky nail episode. This is my second tube. If you have weak nails from either nutritional imbalance or wearing gels/acrylics. This is a wonderful way to protect and nourish you nails back to strength. Combined with buffing your nails will be super strong. You can use it even over nail polish, massage a small dot in to the cuticles daily.

*provided for review.

Do you have any must have Autumn treats?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Eye Candy Lashes - Giveaway

These gorgeous 50s and 60s inspired lashes will be available soon! To win some to review simply head over to R8Beauty.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette Smoky Eyes Tutorial

A much requested smoky look using the Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette.

Monday, 11 October 2010

My eyebrows through the last 15 years!

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. I was tidying up my office and I found a few old photos that I have scanned. Lots of embarassing photos, however, not the most embarrasing ones. Those are under lock and key...

Here I am aged 18, I was at my first University Ball, it was exciting, loud and fun. My eyebrows were thin and high. I started plucking my eyebrows when I was 15, with zero guidance I went mad and plucked them away with little comprehension of what I was doing. Girls these days are so lucky to have YouTube!

Aged 20, another University Ball. This seems like the only time I ever have photos from University. I didn't own a camera back then. I loved this dress, my best friend's mum lent it to me as I couldn't afford to buy or rent one for the ocassion. I have loved the colour ever since. I think I loved my hair, it was long and thick. I never used any products or styling tools, it seems to be perfect post washing. Not long after I was diagnosed with Thyroid Disease so it began to thin.

Age 22, I think at this point I started to grow up. I had been working for a few months, cut my hair to a short bob and periodically came back to University to visit friends from the year below. At this point I remember using a tinted moisturiser mixed with normal moisturiser as a foundation. A bit of red lipstick and eyeliner and I was done.

On holiday in Kavos, Corfu aged 24. I remember being quite lean and boyish when I was in my mid 20's. I am glad I have curves now! I think I used to be a bit of a tomboy.

That was a great holiday, I met up with all my University friends for one last summer before moving away to London. I started to grow my eyebrows a bit thicker but I was still unsure of their right shape, they are too far apart still. I don't remember wearing make up at all during this holiday because it was so hot and sweaty there was little point. I was also covered in mosquito bites!

Aged 30, I had just met my fiance and was beginning to settle down a bit. A few months earlier I had a spa day treat for my 30th birthday. I had my eyerbrows waxed and shaped. They came out like this! It took a long time to grow them back! I absolutely hated how thin they are. By this time I had invested in foundation. But not blusher, which would have improved this look and made my face look less round.

The foundation is in the wrong shade, but then there weren't many specialist make up brands for Asian skin so I had to do the best I could! I am wearing too much black liquid liner which makes my eyes look tiny. I have red low lights in my hair, I thought they were lovely, but in fact they are awful.

There are so many make up no-nos in this photo that I can't begin to describe how uncomfortable publishing this photo makes me feel! I just want you to see that it's taken me years to learn about make up and that my journey is not yet complete! It was not long after this photo that I went on a few courses to learn about make up and started my YouTube channel.

So that brings us to today, aged 34.5! I think my eyebrows are on track, the right (your right) needs to grow a little thicker but I like the shape at last. My foundation is sorted I am wearing the correct shade and using techniques to enhance my eye shaape and face shape I feel comfortable at last.

I hope you enjoyed my embarassing photo montage! I'd love to hear about your make up revelations!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Glitter gal Red 3D Holographic Nail Polish

If you want your nails to have the wow factor, a truly beautiful nail polish is this Glitter gal holographic in red. I haven't tried many holographic nail polishes as I haven't heard good things about application and wear from nail blogger friends.

This one was a dream to apply, the picture below is two coats, although one would have been enough really. With two you get an even deeper holographic effect. This polish dries fairly quickly and I would only put on a top coat if I were going to wear it longer than a day.

To completely pull off a good holographic, you have to buff your nails to a smooth and shiny finish, as every dent and bump shows up otherwise.

I just want to show you how gorgeous I think this colour is!

Mewser is less impressed, but seriously she knows nothing about cosmetics.

Glitter gal nail polishes are available from the Australian website for $AUS9.95 and they accept Paypal for international shipments.

This product was provided for review purposes.
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