Lovely Followers

Thursday, 28 January 2010

How to disguise flaky nails

My nail saga continues. I am using some Mavala products to see if they will help with the flaking and peeling. I think that the reasons my nails are bad is because of antibiotics I am taking.

My nails are very short, only about a third of the tip length shown above but I have used a blush bronze french tip to add some interest. It also makes them look longer without making my nail beds too short.

I've then added two coats of Mavala Colorfix, an acrylic reinforcer to protect from chipping. I was sent this my a kind PR who took pity on my poor nails. You can see on the middle finger how far the flaking goes back down the nail bed. It's not good. I am reassured that with this technique I can manage until I finish the antibiotics and my nails get back to full strength.

This Mavala Colorfix is pretty good. Dazzling shine, quick drying and very helpful in the battle against chipping. I used to just use a clear hardener from Sallys, which was recommended to me by my manicurist friend, but this is better. So I might be recommending it to my manicurist friend as well.

Have you any secrets for longer, healthier looking nails. I'd love to hear them? Would you like to see a tutorial on how to get an easy french tip, I never used to be able to do them. Even with those nail tape guide things. My manicurist friend taught me a foolproof (well it would have to be for me) method that I am happy to share!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


So this post isn't make up related but you still might find it useful.

Have you been sent a multimedia message lately that is a link to p0rn0graphic website? Thought nothing of it, deleted it and went on with your life? I received a few over the last year and I always deleted them. Mine were from 89069 and we're full of links to RudeTubex or Rudebox or something.

What I didn't realise until I looked at my itemised billing, thanks Orange for taking that away, so now I have to either pay or look it up online.... that I've been charge £1.30 for every text that I've received from 89069. How is this allowed? I have never subscribed to any text service, no I don't download ringtones, wall papers or lovemeters etc...

So I looked up this number and it lead me to this forum of similarly affected people. Some people had been charged hundreds of ££ because their phone company would not block these numbers.

This is not legal. According to a law in the UK passed in 2006 says that it is illegal to text someone who has not subscribed to a service. I am absolultely 100% certain I have never subscribed to any text service. I am not that stupid.

My mobile phone is registered with the Telephone Preference Service, which is a database of numbers that cannot be cold called. It is the best thing I have ever done as I never get any of those cold calls in the evening about new window, phone packages, the Conservative Party etc... It's FREE, do it!

So anyway, I went to this website WhoCallsMe and looked up the number. Posters had tracked down the operators of this service and suggested I call or email them to sort this out.

I emailed them today, with the above subject header, and received a telephone call saying that they were going to refund the charges and bar any further texts from their company to my phone number. I have of course reported them to PayPhonePlus who can investigate and get compensation and will only drop my claim when the cheque clears in my account... Even then cheques can be reversed so I don't fully trust this company to honour my compensation but I'm not going to give them my bank details! I should have just asked for a store voucher instead!

If you've been sent these messages and you haven't subscribed you will be charged a lot of money.

Do these things!
1. Get evidence in the form of your itemised phone bill
2. Find out who the company is who is sending you these messages
3. Contact them and get them to stop,
4. Demand all charges are refunded.
5. Also make sure they bar your number from their databases so it doesn't happen again.

This is so frustrating, as it can happen any time from any company and I won't know about it unless I pore over my itemised bills. Orange won't block these numbers even if I ask them to. If it happens again I have to chase it down and I might not be successful.

This is illegal and these people are getting away with your hard earned money. I blame the mobile phone operators who pass on the MMM charges to the customer because they have been billed by the MMM sender. Some mobile phone companies will bar, and I shall be investigating these closely and changing providers as soon as I can.

Here's the details you will need for 89069 MMM

WIN (Wireless Information Network) Ltd
1 Cliveden Office Village
Lancaster Road
High Wycombe
HP12 3YZ
Tel: 01494 750 500

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sleek MakeUP - Face Contour Kit

The Sleek MakeUP machine keeps a turning! This face contour kit has been out for a while, I remember looking at it before Christmas and thinking it looked ok but I was not in the market for a contouring powder. I prefer to do contouring using foundations or concealers of the cream variety.

I think this product is really great for a quick swipe here and there but it is not easy to blend or very precise. It can often just make your face look blotchy. The powders themselves are soft, well pigmented and very dark, girls if you're Caucasian, this isn't for you. Sleek MakeUP does cater really well for my skin tone, I have not been brave enough to try any of their foundations yet but I think on my next trip to London I might pick up a couple of shades to try.

I took some photographs today in natural daylight, before and after contouring. To apply the contouring powder I used several brushes - a small round domed brush for the eye area, an angled cheek brush for the cheek and then blended with my foundation brush and in the end resorted to fingers as it was blotchy.

There is noticeable definition under the cheek bones and some around the eyes. I found the eye area the most tricky in fact but I think the result of a softer, flatter and more open eye worked quite well. But if you're wearing eye shadow isn't necessary.

I liked using it along my jaw bone, it worked well to give it definition and was quite subtle after much blending. So my considered opinion on the shader is that it is a great colour for large areas but still blotchy. A cautious note though, if you're on the side of oilier skinned this is going to look terrible unless you have already set your foundation with powder.

The highlighter is quite silvery in this kit, which does no favours for my skin tone. It is smooth and creamy but there is also a chunky/sticky quality to it. This sticky quality (not lipgloss sticky) means that it will sit in any flaws on your skin. Which is why I don't recommend powder highlighters to people with skin issues (bumps, scars, wrinkles etc). Cream or liquid highlighters (of which Sleek MakeUp do a very nice illuminating fluid) are much better. Some powder highlighters can also irritate and this one did make my chin itchy.

You'll see immediately where the highlighter was used on the browbone, inner corner, top of the cheek, outer lip corners, chin ando the cupids bow of the lips. I only applied a small amount but you can see it looks odd on my skin. This is because my skin tone doesn't go well with silver, it really needs gold to be an effective highlight colour.

So all in all I think it's a great little compact better than the MAC shade and sculpt in terms of pigmentation. The Sleek one has a more orange undertone and the highlighter does actually highlight if a little too well!

Sleek MakeUP, thank you for sending it to me to review but this product leaves me cold. I wonder if you'd consider making a cream contouring palette with washable sponge wedge instead?

Sleek MakeUP Face Contour Kit is £5.99 from Superdrug.

Do you like contouring products, how do you find using them?

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Nails of the Day - Baby Blue

Just adorable isn't it? Just what I needed to lift my January Blues. I may not like wearing pastel coloured clothes but I love this fresh and uplifting nail polish. I am glad that it's not a glittery polish either, it's cute and fun without being over the top.

This polish is £2.50 from Marks and Spencers, kindly sent for my review. I went out and bought a few things from the range that I will review separately. However, there are 14 colours to choose from in this range.

Application wise, it's a two to three coater to get this solid pastel blue colour. If it was shimmery then you could get away with fewer coats but to get the boldness, there really needs to be a flawless cover. The consistency is also thin, be mindful to wipe the brush well before applying as with thinner nail polishes there is glooping before you know it!

It doesn't set that fast because I needed many coats, but perhaps the darker colours which I haven't tried need fewer coats and so are fast drying. Taking it off was easy, no mess or staining.

There was some tip wear and after a few days noticeable chipping. I think next time I use this, I may add some coloured dots and glitter. I can see my friends' daughters asking me to do their nails like this!

Friday, 22 January 2010

So what if I'm not a teenager!? Amie Bright Eyes Gentle Eye Make Up Remover

I began to wonder whether a certain PR company was taking it a bit far in sending me an item intended for "young skin". Well yes compared to an Octogenarian my skin is young but I would hardly consider myself in the flush of youth.

Always up for a challenge, I thought I would try it on my tricenanrian (30+) skin!

Ingredients list. No parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, mineral oil or animal extracts. Suitable for Vegans.

I used it to remove some make up - blue mascara, glitter, eye liner. I was not going to give it an easy test. I intended to take a photo of the cotton wool pad, but forgot. If I remember I'll do it next time!

The way I remove eye make up is simple, but just in case you wanted to know:

After soaking a cotton wool pad generously as I see no point in rubbing at my eyes. I just hold it over the closed eye for about 20 seconds. This allows the product to dissolve make up and absorb it on to the pad.

I gently sweep the pad down and out towards the ear.

Then turn over pad and gently wipe along the lower lash line.

Told you it was simple!

I was hugely surprised that my eyelids weren't screaming at me in pain and I didn't have to scrub to get anything off. It does feel cool as it evaporates and then a bit dry after using it, so I quickly follow with facial cleanser then moisturiser. Normally my eyes will stream through the night if a product has annoyed them. There was no streaming. Again I am very surprised!

I conclude that it's got nothing to do with how old you are, as lets face it we all use the same make up brands regardless of age, as to how effective it is at removing make up. I suppose this one is extra gentle for more adolescent skin, which is oilier and blemish prone. The joy of hormones eh? Apparently it was developed by a mother for her teenage daughter (Amie I presume?).

So thank you friendly PR for sending me this unexpected product, I wouldn't have looked at it let alone tried it. I think it's going to be something I will purchase again. It's not as good as my home made but it's a bit more convenient and certainly something I would use on shoots to wipe away fall out and mascara goops!

The company also sent me the Cleansing lotion (Petal Perfect Refreshing Cleansing Lotion) which I did not like, way too perfumed and sadly my skin was very irritated by this product. As soon as I put it on, it stung and had to be removed quickly. Smells wonderful but sadly this one will be given away to friends with teenage daughters with less sensitive skin!

Both products are available in Boots & Superdrug (some Waitrose stores) £4.75 for 75ml.

For more information see the website

IMATS Frenzy!

funny pictures

I can't wait until next weekend! It's IMATS 2010 (International Make Up Artist Trade Show) full of demonstrations from famous artists, speakers and then there's the trade exhibition. A make up haven for the obsessed and professional alike. I am really looking forward to seeing Alex Box, Eve Pearl and meeting up with blogging and YouTube friends.

There is something for everyones taste in make up at IMATS. From fantasy and special effects to every day and professional photoshoot supplies, or just the chance to have a chat with retailers and professionals. I am hoping to try out some new make up lines, chat over enthusiastically to bemused trade stand staff and marvel at the range available. Just don't forget to bring wet wipes, after all that swatching!

For more information about IMATS and to book your tickets - check out this website.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Weleda Sensitive Skin Range - Tried and Tested

Weleda is a brand I have been interested in for a while, but there isn't anywhere near me that sells it on a counter or where I can try a sample. I am such a fuss pot when it comes to skin care. Several horrific flare ups over the last few months have made me think twice. It's easy to get the name confused with Wella, Aveda so I wanted to know more about this brand.

I wrote to Weleda asking for advice on which products to use in their range for my skin issues. It was suggested I try their Almond range. They kindly sent me some to try out.

After a few days of trying the range, I broke out in dry, red and inflamed rosacea patches on my cheeks Uh oh, not a good start. Which is the sign that something is up with my skin and with products I am using. The guys at Weleda were very helpful and suggested using a facial oil before the moisturiser. At least the break out allowed me to make a tutorial about concealing, got to look on the bright side. Normally I have had to use steroid creams and anti histamines to bring down the inflammation, but it disappeared after a day or so.

The Almond Cleanser 75ml (£7.95) is I think a mid priced cleanser with no scent or colour. It is a very lightly whipped cream. It reminds me of aqueous cream minus the heavy greasy feel. I apply this lightly all over the face and then remove with a damp muslin cloth. It comes in a metal tube, which has no effect on the product, but it isn't something you see often. The only reason I pick this up is because this makes it easier for me to recycle. I reckon that a tube would last about six weeks used day and night.

This cleanser isn't meant for removing eye make up. I was advised to try using the facial oil (very useful tip). Then use the cleanser over the face to remove the rest. It's not my favourite cleanser as it makes my skin feel stripped of oil and slightly tacky. If you can live with that for the few minutes before applying your moisturiser, then it's a non existent point really.

The Almond Moisture Cream 30ml (9.95) is another mid priced light day and night product. I found that I needed a little more moisture so used it over a facial oil. You don't need very much of this when used with the oil and it provides lasting hydration through the day and night. If you don't feel you need the oil during the day, save it for your night routine.

The one problem I found and this is important is that my favourite foundation does not like it. It separates and goes clumpy especially under the eyes. This isn't any fault in the product, it's because it is water based and my foundation is oil based. Fear not, if I use it with a mineral, no probs at all.

Almond Facial Oil (around £9 for 50ml depending on where you get it!).
This light oil is fantastic and has many uses. I tried it as an eye make up remover, it did work but I prefer my not so secret rosewater and glycerin. But I could add some almond oil to the mix to add some extra nutrients? As an overnight moisture treatment combined with some facial massage it is wonderfully light. It has no smell so if you're sensitive to smells then this is for you. I wouldn't wear the oil during the day as it may be too heavy.

Would I buy the cleanser and moisturiser again? No is the answer. As a daily products go they are gentle on my skin and quite effective. I have no complaints there. I think that they are worth the money as they are organic and cruelty free too. I would say that these are for you if your skin is sensitive but not dry like mine as it doesn't work for me during the day.

However, the one thing I will keep using is the Almond Facial Oil as it is an amazingly simple addition to your night moisturising routine that you will see the benefits of using regularly and in a short time. A little goes a long way, just a couple of drops are needed before your regular moisturiser. It really boosts the skin leaving it soft and feeling good in the morning! I would repurchase this as it's hard to find high quality oils that don't upset my skin.

You can also add some to your bath as a moisturising treat. Use it to dilute your favourite essential oils for massage. A manicurist once told me that this is also an amazing daily treat you can use on your cuticles to strengthen up weak nails. I have some other products to try in the mean time so if they fail then I am going to try this.

It's pretty much the bees nees.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

YouTubers for Haiti - Can you help?

I was in town today and was checking out some of the sales. I have had my eye on two sets of knee length boots. I have been stalking a pair in Brantano of all places which are £85. I tried them on (again) and decided to buy them. I also found a lovely pair of Timberlands for £60 down from £105. I am such a rubbish shopper, I positively stalk items until they are either in a sale or items that I have fallen in love with and need! I don't know if I am alone in this method of shopping or stalking as it is more appropriately called by my husband.

I didn't buy either pair of boots, they weren't quite right and boots to me are an investment! I am prepared to pay more, that's not the issue, but they can't be "Ok" they have to be the "right" boots.

So when I got home I logged on to Twitter and saw that Gemma has started a fund raising effort for the distaster struck people of Haiti. Suddenly it was clear, and fateful, that I didn't buy the boots for a reason. I promptly made a donation to DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee) on behalf of myself and my husband. We had been talking about it last night that we wanted to make a donation that actually made a dent in our pockets. Money I could have blown on boots is now on its way to help people who need much more than new boots.

It makes me think of how I can be a better person and help people less fortunate than myself. I have a home, family, friends, clothes and food to eat, a job, a husband and a future. I am more grateful than ever for those things which give my life meaning. My thoughts turn to those who do not have those wonderful things. People whose lives have been devastated beyond recognition, who will probably never get over the loss and suffering, and ultimately may still die from the after effects of the disaster.

You do not have to donate of course, I do not want to pressure or patronise. I am lucky I have just started a new job so I can give a little more than previously when I was unemployed and had very little. Even if all you can do is spend some time thinking about how the people in Haiti have been dealt a bad hand by fate, that's a precious gift. I certainly feel that I need to spend a little less time gazing at my belly button, stressing over little things and looking and reaching out to the world community.

You can donate here but check out the videos below for more information.

Thank you Gemma for your hard work and big heart.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

International Swapping and Non-UK Brands We Want!

Can you help me with a survey and some international swaps? I am interested in trying new make up from around the world. So I'd like to know your opinions on what's good and why!

Part One: for UK and European Peeps
This part of the survey is about brands we'd like to see in the UK that we don't currently have.

Part Two: for rest of the World Peeps
This part of the survey is about the make up brands you have where you are and
that you think are brilliant and we DON'T have in the UK

  1. No personal information needed at all but I may need your address if you're interested in swapping.
  2. It should only take minutes of your time
  3. Your details remain confidential and will not be passed to any third party for marketing (I don't know why I have to say this but I just want to be clear
  4. You MUST be 16 or over years of age to take part as we may be swapping make up!
To take part, simply leave a comment below with your email address and where you are in the world so I know which survey questions to send you!

If you don't want to leave your email address, then please feel free to email me at the address below with where you are in the world:

If you have any further questions, please email or leave a comment below! Thank you very much! I appreciate your time and help!

Monday, 11 January 2010

For Blending Freaks

A bit more adventurous, I love to look at the pictures of this look! It is not for the faint hearted more like for those who like to blend! I think I used about 10 different pigments to create this look! I liked it so much I made it my YouTube channel icon!

Finally used the lashes I bought with Mizzworthy so long ago when we first met in London!

I might do a quicker version on my channel, even so it will be a long one!

Avril Lavigne inspired look

I was very excited to see my Avril Lavigne inspired look that I created for Barry M on their website! The rest of them weren't created by me and if I may say so aren't as good... ;P

It's now available on the iphone as a downloadable application, if you need a quick tutorial for your night out!

Take a look! Link to tutorial here. The video was modelled so it's just my fingers and techniques you can see!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Arabic Smoky Eyes! Dramarama! Tutorial now up!

(with flash)

(no flash)

(no flash)

(murky lighting!)

I hope you like this look, I will be uploading it to YouTube soon!

** here is the tutorial, it took all night but it's uploaded!**

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Jessica Nail Cure Review

For about six months I have noticed my nails have been on a bit of a decline. They refuse to grow without flaking and splitting. It was really getting me down! I don't have long nails but they used to grow fast and strong. I used to have a decent amount of nail so that when I did wear polish my nails looked good.

Now they are short, I am unable to grow them beyond the tips of my finger, without them flaking and peeling! I can only put it down to bad nail care, using acetone and wearing nail polish all the time. Very very bad indeed. Well I've learned my lesson, I won't do it again, can I please have my lovely nails back?!!

The answer is no, I have been using almond oil, lush lemony flutter, hand creams etc... to no avail.

I bought this Jessica 2 Step nail cure system from Cosmetic Candy's blog sale. I am a big fan of Jessica nail polishes so thought I'd give it a whirl.

You can read the simple instructions for the system in the picture below:

I was going to photograph my nails before using the system, but now I see there is little point! I am most displeased with the layers of polish turning a really unattractive yellow colour.

These photos are taken at the end of four weeks. I did take off the Step 1 before putting on Step 2 every other day for 2 weeks. It basically started to peel off in huge strips so had to come off. I think it took a layer of nail with it.

mmm yellow nails, attractive!

After 4 weeks of no polish apart from the 2 Step System, there is little change. I have noticed less flaking but not enough to call this month long treatment a success.

I guess it's back to the drawing board! Sorry peeps, I wish it had been a more positive experience. If you have tried it and found it a success, leave a comment.

Do you have any nail care tips for me? I have tried an almond oil soak as recommended by a manicurist, cuticle butter etc.., I get plenty of calcium, so what can I do? HALP!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Nails of the Day!

I decided to try out my new nail art brushes to create this simple and fun French manicure. I've been admiring my nails for about two days! It's a great way to make short nails look longer!

I used:
  • Basecoat - Jessica Nail Cure Step 2
  • e.l.f nail polish in Moonlight and Black Moonlight has to be one of my favourites because of the delicate pearly cream shine it gives my nails.
  • A silver nail polish that I dotted over the tip line to add interest. I got the silver nail polish in a swap with the lovely Suka and Spice (check out her blog!)
  • I also used a glittery topcoat over the black (Bourjois Club a Miami)

So far no chips, just a little wear, which is pretty good considering there is about five coats of nail varnish on the tip!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Enter my HD contest!

Long have I been ashamed of my woeful videos, so I've decided to remake those most demanded!

Please click on the link to go to the video and submit your comment and entry. You could win one of these lovely brand new artist brush belts and 12 piece brush set in metallic purple!

Don't forget to subscribe to my channel, have a look through the 170 ish videos I have to decide which you would like me to remake in stunning 1080p High Definition!

Charity Donation for Blog Sale

Thank you all who bought from my blog sale. I am donating half the monies raised to Macmillan Cancer Support. You can donate really easily by credit/debit card here:

You can also donate by post and branches of Natwest amongst other ways. For more info:

Thanks again!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter Lip Balm Review!

I bought this lip balm about a month ago on a trip to London, there was a 3 for 2 at Superdrug so I took a punt on a brand that was new to me and looked interesting. I keep it by my desk to use throughout the day.

Bloom Lip Balm (Kissable Lips) flavoured with lime essential oil.

The Good points:
A little goes a long way and it lasts for hours. It's great to use as a base for lipstick. I normally apply loads of it then scrub it off gently with a damp muslin. This leaves my lips soft and smooth. I then apply a bit to moisturise. It's not greasy, the texture is waxy and I use my nail to scrape off a bit and rub it over my lips. The smell is definitely the best bit about this lip balm, it is divine, seriously fresh and fruity. You get a mild hit of it when you lick your lips. This lip balm is also available in five other flavours/scents (Vanilla, Orange, Grapefruit, Peach and Strawberry)

The Bad Points:
I thought it was expensive at £6 but it has lasted really well. I have barely made a dent in it. I think the reason it's expensive is partly because it is a glass jar. I find this fiddly, breakable and you have to use your fingers to get it out. I much prefer sticks/twist ups). I don't think it will ever be safe in my handbag. Also, Bloom isn't available in all Superdrugs so is difficult to get hold of!

You know you need lip balm when there's this much snow!

Please don't call my snowman fat, he's very sensitive about it. He's hoping to lose some pounds before summer (heh heh)!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The things you find out after you're married!

I've been suffering (sympathy please!) from aching shoulders the last few months as I was in training. I was running miles and working up to 20 push ups a day. Full push ups too, not those half arsed knee ones and considering I was starting from a base where I could do none, this was hard work and has taken its toll on my body! (Where's that sympathy?!)

Also working at a computer every day for long hours in a bad posture has given be tight shoulders. I would often get a tension headaches.

My sister came to the rescue, she's an excellent masseuse. I gave her another Tisserand Oil for Christmas (the de-stress lavender oil) which she has been reviewing for me. I am sneaky giving her a present and then asking her to review it! My family are used to it by now. My excuse is that if I want a professional opinion, she is best qualified! When she came to visit she gave me a shoulder massage using the Energy Revive Body Massage oil from Tisserand. It's not a pleasurable experience at all as it's a sports massage. So after a small bought of agonising followed by relieving massage, I felt much better.

The people at Tisserand sent a couple of items to try because I am mad about Orange Blossom Oil fragrance! You might remember that I gave away five sets of five Tisserand goodies in a pre-christmas giveaway.

Here's a picture and what the Tisserand website says about this oil:

  • "95% organic
  • An invigorating body oil to re-charge a tired mind and body
  • Perfect in the morning to deliver get-up-and-go, or later in the day when stamina needs a boost
  • De-luxe skin conditioning, rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omega 5 & 9
  • Contains hand blended oils used by professional therapists
  • Euphoric organic bergamot oil
  • Energising organic grapefruit oil
  • Balancing organic lime oil"

So my sister, as a professional, says that this oil is better for massage than the De-Stress one from Tisserand because it is lighter and easier to work with muscles. It glides over the skin without dragging, but isn't too oily so she can pick up muscles and work on them without slipping.

She uses the De-Stress as a body moisturiser and loves the intense lavender smell. She uses it on her legs before bed to relax and moisturise overnight. What a good idea.

Since my sister lives too far away to give me a daily massage, my husband has taken over. He has certainly been hiding this talent from me. Every birthday he gets me a massage voucher for a local spa. He says he hates having massages and is rubbish at giving them. He SO lied about that as since I pleaded with him to give me a 10 min shoulder massage with this oil in the evening, they are feeling so much better. MEN!

Tisserand Massage oils cost around £8 and are available from their website

Monday, 4 January 2010

2009 Fave and 2010 Wishes!

I was going to do a blog post about my favourite cosmetics from 2009, but I'd already done that in a video on my YouTube channel!

So I asked some of my favourite YouTube Gurus and Bloggers for their top cosmetics from 2009 and what they hope to see in 2010 - here's what they said!

BritishBeautyBlogger: It would have to be Jonathan Ward Candles which are organic so must be cruelty free. think its at fragrancing is really high quality and cleverly done, and the burn time is good. Idon't often delve into the complex world of artisan fragrancing, but Jonathan interprets scents in a way that is sophisticated but easy to understand at the same time. If you think about multi layered scents and how complicated they are - and then they really only smell of one indisinguishable thing - these are a real addition to the candle market that make sense and scents.

MizzWorthy: I want to say the liquid metals from Illamasqua, but I know a lot of people dislike them as they can crease when worn alone (personally, I can forgive this, as I like them so much, but I understand why other people can't lol...). I suppose therefore I am going to have to say the liquid highlighter, which is expensive, but in my opinion well worth it - I describe this (to anyone who will listen) as candlelight in a bottle. It is quite simply the best highlighter I have ever used, and a teeny weeny dot is enough for both cheekbones. It can also be mixed in with foundation, used on collarbones and shins, and even on the browbone and I have used it as an inner corner eye highlight too on occasion. Eyeshadow, lipstick and blush colours may come and go, but dewy fresh looking skin will never fall out of favour, and this helps me achieve that look.

My hopes for products in 2010 - for companies to continue to innovate with different formula's and twists on the old favourites. For example, a mineral foundation that actually is longwearing, or a long wearing lipstick that doesn't lead to dry lips.

Sirvinya: I think my favourite product from 2009 has to be the Diorskin Nude liquid foundation. I think it was the first one I was 100% happy with, perfect colour match and it feels fantastic on the skin. For 2010 I'm hoping for finding a perfect drugstore mascara. The L'Oreal one I use has been discontinued so even though I love it, I don't think it counts.

KlaireDeLys: My number one product would be the HD powder from e.l.f. As soon as I've finished mine I'm going to buy an other one, it's such a lifesaver especially for photos and setting my make up. In 2010 I'm hoping we can see more makeup which is made naturally and for people with super sensitive and pale skin like me. (and affordable!)

Lipglossiping: I copied this verbatim as it's funny! I honestly can't narrow it down to 1 (and I've really tried!) - there's 2, so pick whichever one fits your article best! DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Illamasqua Brow Powder.
My hope for 2010 is less focus on innovation for innovation's sake!

Oh wait, did it have to have been released IN 2009?
Um.. if so...
erm... um... err...
*scratches head* oh yeah! Shu Uemura Painting Liners (released Spring 09)

GetLippie: kind of have three best products for 2009, feel free to pick one - I'm hellish indecisive!

1) Onix Brazilian Blowdry from Compton Hair - this has tamed and treated my insane hair, and now I'm finally a wash and go girl! No straighteners needed, and crucially, no worrying about my hair exploding when it rains!

2) Mavala Scientifique Nail Hardener - I have weak, peeling and stupidly stumpy nails. Or, at least, I did. I've been using this tiny bottle of magic twice a week for a while now, and I have *gorgeous* nails. And a new obsession with nail varnish! Seriously, this is the only nail system I've found that does exactly what it says in the tin, and you don't have to use it daily!

3) Cargo Plant Love Illuminator in Wind - Organic, cruelty-free cosmetics that seriously deliver results. This is a gorgeous pinky-gold-bronze bronzer/blush that is universally flattering and looks beautiful on everyone. I've used it every day since I got mine, and am considering a back up ...

As for 2010, I'm hoping to see more organic and cruelty-free colour cosmetic ranges arrive.

FilthyGorgeousMakeUp: Fave product of 2009? That is a tough one! I would have to say the ELF studio line in general as it is such great quality for the price- and if I had to pick one thing it would be the flat topped powder brush which I love!
For 2010 I hope that more companies start releasing more exciting shadow shades, esp in a matte formula, as I think it is really difficult to find a good matte as often they are chalky and hard to blend.
Helen's Nice Things: My favourite product from 2009 has to be Models Own nail varnish. The colours are superb, the application, wear and pigmentation is better than any other I have used,  plus they are inexpensive and always have excellent offers on their website - and importantly, the customer service is second to none.
I hope for more US brands to be more readily available over here without the expense of shipping or having to buy from a US importer who applies major mark-up on products.
Make Up Trials and Tribulations: My number 1 product of 2009 was YSL Teint Parfait, it's like a primer and foundation mixed into one.  It works a charm with my skin, it's hard finding makeup which matches Indian skin and this does it perfectly.  To add another string to its bow, it mattifies my skin and then makes me look glowing (not greasy) in photos.  It costs about £25 but I've been using it non stop for ages and a little pea drop lasts ages.

My other wonder product was the Biore warming face scrub, it is great to use everyday and it keeps the greasy skin at bay without drying you out.

What do I hope for 2010? Hmm..a primer which is cheap and actually works on my skin would be nice, a cheap gel liner which stays put.
Vexinthecity: MAC Thermal mask and Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. I love the effect they have my skin, especially when used together. They erase all abrasions and leave me with the smoothest canvas for my make up.
What I hope for in 2010 - That brands realise just how utterly pointless it is to release LE skincare. It doesn't benefit the consumer in any way whatsoever.
The Virtues of Beauty: My number product of 2009 has to be the Age Reform Exfoliating Cleanser by Murad and my hopes for products in 2010 is to see more of a colour range in drugstore foundations for woman of colour in the UK.
OogleMakeup Benefit 10. I used to value this for its brown shade, which is especially perfect as a soft contour. Initially, I ignored the highlight side - thinking it was way too subtle for my liking. However, one day I realised that it works brilliantly to set my undereye concealer: giving it a luminosity that works wonders! 

Benefit 10 therefore has two hugely flattering uses, in one neat package. And at a push, it can work as your eyeshadow too. Multi-tasking, and compact. Yes the cardboard box is horrible, but think of our environment! It's good to do your bit to avoid landfills, right.
My beauty hopes for 2010 are to see more genuinely innovative and multi-tasking products, and some better matte eyeshadows (as most out there are chalky horrors.) And a botox face mask?

New Toy - FormSpring.Me/Oxfordjasmine

It's New, it's temperamental, and it's probably going to go the way of FriendsReunited but it'll keep me amused for a while!

Slinky - The Original Metal Spring Toy

If you want to ask me a question then please post to my formspring! It's a bit like twitter but you ask a question to me and I respond.

It doesn't cost anything and it's a good way to make sure I see your question.

I will do my best to respond to your questions!

Please have a look at the others I've answered in case yours has been answered previously.

Also no personal questions please, I prefer not to answer those!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

She's not your OLDER sister!

You have no idea how many times I hear this, and frankly am sick of hearing it! But yes she is, she is nearly 10 years older but looks so much younger. I hope this runs in the family as I want to look this good when I am in my forties.

When any woman comes to visit, they get a make over; whether they like it or not and my sister is no exception. To be fair, no one ever asks me for a make over, they just get collared in to it. I was keen to try a new foundation on my sister because I really love it. Like me, she is keen to find the perfect one that can be applied with minimum fuss to achieve a fresh faced, naturally radiant and flawless look.

So here are a few pictures of the transition:

My sister does wear make up normally; just a bit of concealer, blush and lip gloss. That's it! Here she is with No Make up. Still stunning (if she weren't my sister I would hate her, biatch)

A brief description of My Sis's skin:
Skin Type: My Sis has very dry but sensitive skin so I needed both a moisturiser and primer to prevent the foundation leaving dry patches as it was absorbed. She uses Dermalogica moisturiser and I used an Obsessed Minerals Beauty Fluid in Riviera as a primer. Being in her early 40s, she has only the minimum of a few wrinkles under the eyes and round the mouth.

Uneven skin tones: Like me and all asian women, she has undereye darkness and uneven skin tone on the forehead and round the mouth. Her eye lids are darker than the rest of the face.

Face shape: She has an even proportioned face. The eyes aren't too close or wide apart, the forehead, cheeks and chin are equally spaced and generous lips with softly square jaw line.

Eye shape: She has deep set eyes and they are slightly hooded on the outer corners. Her eyes are huge and she has amazing thick and long lashes. Her eyes tend to droop at the outer corners in an almond shape.

So here we are with foundation:

I used a primary layer of Coastal Scents Undercover HD foundation in Shade ST5, with another layer in specific places like under the eye, round the nose and chin. No concealer was needed. My sister has a pink undertone to her skin, whereas mine is orange. So we were not surprised with the big difference in shades we prefer in the range. I am a shade ST10.

Now we move on to the final look. My sister wanted a going out look that was polished and sophisticated, that she could also tone down to wear as an every day look.

Products used:
Eyes: MAC Brule (all over), Soba (crease) and Satin Taupe (top lash line and inner corner). Ricepaper to highlight.
MAC Teddy Eyeliner
Clinique High Impact Mascara in black.

Lips: MAC Retro Lipstick and e.l.f Studio Minty Lipgloss in Boston

Cheeks e.l.f Studio Peachy Keen, Sleek MakeUp Luminous Pressed Powder as a bronzer.

I can't show a full face shot for privacy reasons but I am grateful that she has let me show a half face portion!

Would you like to be my next victim, I mean volunteer?

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year's Eve Look of the Day! Happy 2010!

Here's my New Year's Even FOTD! I didn't do much this New Year's Eve, met some friends in the day and then went to see Avatar in 3D. If you haven't seen this film then you really shouldn't miss out!

I used my Urban Decay Book of Shadows II to create this look, it was a present from my sister!

Primer Potion (one of the four I have now!) over the lid area.

Mushroom is a grey looking shadow but on my skin it comes out as a lilac silver). I used it all over the lid.

Followed by Ecstacy (a very vivid purple) above the crease.

Then I used Perversion (very dark inky blue/black) in the crease and then used as an upper and lower eye liner.

As a brow and inner corner highlight I opted for the glittery Nylon, a champagne colour with huge sparkle.

On the rest of the face I used Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Velvet plum on the cheeks, followed by MAC Spiceflower on the lips.

I did this look whilst I was on BlogTV yesterday, just as a spur of the moment thing. I really enjoyed chatting with the little group of people who joined me. I may do it again soon and give you a bit more notice!

Even thought I was wearing 3D glasses and was in a dark cinema, I enjoyed this look and couldn't fault it for staying power!

Whatever you did, I hope you had a great New Year's Eve!

All the best for 2010!
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