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Monday, 31 May 2010

Creamy Lip Palettes

The latest products from Coastal Scents are these lip palettes. I was sent these for review but I feel that at $9.95 they are a bit more expensive than I expected. They are bigger than most lip palettes and the lipsticks themselves are very creamy and pigmented.

There is something for everyone in these quads, whether you're a powerful red/orange, juicy berry tones or a cool nude pink kind of girl.

My current favourite from these four quads is the Sunkissed palette which is just perfect for a summer holiday. Sunkissed contains three matte shades browny pink nudes which are perfect for beach or day wear, then amp it up with a bronze shimmer for the evening. I can see myself taking it on holiday! Be careful where you keep it though, it's packed with oils which can readily melt in moderately hot temperatures!

Decent packaging and a generous mirror make it easy to slip in my bag for the day or evening. The only thing I find with palettes is that there is only one brush, which tends to end up a frightening mess. I tend to replace these with a bunch of cotton wool buds which are infinitely better and disposable.

Power Play

Juicy Pinks

Passion Berry

Sunkissed swatched. The fifth swatch is a mixture of the darkest two colours.

I talk a bit more about the Sunkissed palette in my May Monthly Favourites video

You can find the lip palettes on the Coastal Scents website.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Liz Earle Foot Treats - Get ready for Summer!

Those of you who dislike feet and pictures of feet, should not scroll down!

I used Liz Earle's new Foot Scrub (100ml for £10.25)and Foot Repair Moisturiser (100ml pump £12.25). The absolute acid test is on my heels, which are cracked and yucky.

Before - cracked and rough

After, smooth and soft

Now I wouldn't say that this product is A-mazing but it delivers results. I previously used Burt's Bees Coconut foot balm which was just plain sticky, it worked too but I'd have cat fluff covered feet before long.

I was sent this product for review, but I think I would definitely buy the Foot Repair Moisturiser again. The Foot Scrub probably not because I am quite faithful to my Pumice and Cloth (special scrubby cloth that I am testing!). Both of which kick ass with rough skin. If you don't have either of these and wish to invest, then you won't be disappointed with the Foot Scrub. Since The Body shop stopped making the Pumice Foot scrub, I have nothing better to recommend!

Once again, I apologise for the pictures of my heels. It could have been worse, I could have shown you my "alien toes" as one ex-boyfriend called them... :)

Do you have any tips for gorgeous feet I should know about?

You can find more information about these products on Liz Earle's website.

Shimmer vs Matte Eye Shadow

Below is a tutorial on how you can use matte and shimmer eye shadows to create different effects with your eye shadow. You can even change the shape of your eyes, something I've always wanted was to have the thin sultry cat eye, which I can only achieve with matte shadows. Do you have any tried and tested techniques that help you create the look you're after? Please do share!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

In the Waiting Room!

I received the new Flight Essentials Kit from Liz Earle today, RRP £15.75. This is in my waiting room (aka desk) to be reviewed! It contains four items and also a small zip bag (not the one shown unfortunately, that's the summer beach bag that comes with the foot products!).

For more info on the kit and to order, check out the Liz Earle Website.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Urban Defence Tinted Moisturiser Review

I always use a high factor sun cream whether it's cloudy or sunny, it is THE secret to keeping your skin looking younger for longer. (Not Pond's cold cream as Kylie would have you believe, she's Australian she should know better). It's taken me a long while to find one that it doesn't irritate my skin and make me look purple

£17 for 30ml pump dispenser

As soon as I heard about Urban Decay's latest offering, I was interested to try the new SPF20 tinted moisturisers. I have been hankering for their liquid foundations as I liked the colour range of the mineral but alas I live far from a UD stand so I always forget on the rare occasion I am near one! I received this sample in the colour Bodyguard, I think there are three colours in the range and they are priced at £17 and due out soon (exact date pending!).

I thought £17 was quite expensive for a tinted moisturiser in a 30ml pump dispenser. That was before I used it on a hot sunny day. One pump of product does the whole face, ears and neck. The texture is dry not greasy so it doesn't melt or sweat off. It does gather if you're wearing sunglasses and sweating in an open topped car in traffic and it's 30 degrees Celsius though but I think that can be forgiven. Packaging is simple and clean, portable and lightweight, perfect for keeping with me during the day. One use in the morning lasted me through to the evening.

The product itself doesn't offer much in the way of coverage of blemishes and redness but it does brighten and even out the skin. I tend to dot a bit of concealer under the eyes and on the cheeks to even out the complexion further. I then dust over a gorgeous bronzer and I am good to go. I found I didn't need to set it with a powder at all.

One pump smeared around a bit.

Completely blended and no purple ashy residue = RESULT!

I wouldn't recommend this for serious sunbathing but as a daily sun protection moisturiser, it's no fuss and easy to use. I sometimes use my sunblock mixed with my mineral foundation but this is much less messy and not as greasy. If you have very oily skin, then this will be ideal, if you have dry skin then it may not offer enough moisture for your skin. Saying that I did put it on my sister and she has very dry skin, she felt it was dry but it didn't go patchy or cling to dry skin.

Bit o'bronzer for a summery look

What do you think of tinted moisturisers? Can you bear to part with foundation for the summer?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Decision Time!

This weekend is a filming weekend. I aim to do some looks and reviews. So again you get to choose!

1. Cleopatra inspired look - to go with Wiggy.

This was a practice, the tutorial will be more elaborate

2. Shimmer vs matte natural eye shadow look
3 Remake of "how to make your eyes look bigger" tutorial in HD

So please vote, vote, vote by leaving me a comment below, twitter or on my facebook!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Quench Hair and Body Treat!

I have been using this pot of Quench hair and body oil since before Christmas. I was kindly sent it by Karin Herzog.

It's another Monoi based product which I enjoy using before, after and during baths! I chose the Fahrenheit scent which is a blend of cinnamon and orange - Christmas in a jar as my husband calls it. He loves it but I have to ration his use as he is quite addicted to the smell. He always knows when I am using it as the smell is so concentrated. There are four other scents, each very intense, special and individual.

Since it's a solid product, it is easier to transport a travel sized amount, rather than a bottle of oil which will always leak!

To use, you need to take a bit of the solid product from the jar (using a spatula or plastic spoon) and either add it to a bath or put in your hands to apply to your hair and body. The solid product begins to melt immediately in to a light oil. I also apply this to my scalp if it is feeling dry and itchy as a nourishing mask, I leave it overnight and wash out in the morning. Problem solved.

At £29 for 150ml, if you fancy something luxurious, indulgent and very good for your dry skin, this might be for you! Better still, it makes a gorgeous gift as it comes gift wrapped in a black box with satin ribbon.

You can find more information about this and the other products in the range from the Karin Herzog website.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Meet Wiggy!

This my newest hair product. After such a massive trial getting it, I will explain below, I am delighted to show you my new wig!

You all know, in case you didn't, that I have incurable hair loss brought on hypothyroidism. Apart from that I am a fit and healthy person so mustn't grumble!

I have long wanted to try wigs but have felt a bit weird about it, after all I am a normal person not Lady Gaga! I decided to get fitted for a wig, after buying one via eBay and realising that I did not know what was going to suit me. So I went to a specialist in Oxford called Demop, who work with a lot of cancer patients. They were marvellous, I was made to feel very welcome and they were so helpful. They helped me try on about 10 different wigs and gave me honest and reliable feedback. I wish I had taken some photos of some of the more hilarious ones that just looked ridiculous on me - proper wiggy.

I decided to get a wig that looked like I was wearing a wig. That may sound weird, but I am not trying to hide my hair loss. There's no such thing as a perfect wig that will fool everyone! So I decided to go for a simple and bold bob wig. Unmistakably a wig but such a fashionable one that I think it will go down well.

It's so easy to put on, I simply put my hair in a pony tail and put the wig over the top. You can use wig tape or clips but I haven't needed them. You can also use a wig stocking cap but I found that just made the wig slide about and didn't feel comfortable as it was tight.

I then went to the hair dressers for a regular trim and took the wig with me. The fringe was way too long and I couldn't see as it was down to the bridge of my nose! My stylist was excellent, took time and care to trim it to the correct length and now wants one herself! The wig looks and feels very natural, the hair is synthetic so it won't kink, lose shine or get split ends! It can't be styled using heat though. It moves like natural hair and is glossy. My head is really snug and warm too. It has a natural parting on the crown.

Do you know what the best thing is about Wiggy? NO MORE BAD HAIR DAYS! If I feel a bit crappy about my hair, I pop my lovely Wiggy on and I am happy!

So what do you think of Wiggy? Could you be tempted to no more bad hair days?

A huge lack of make up but I was excited about the wig! Focus on the wig!
OK, OK I'll put some lippy on! There!

This is a wig by Hairaisers called Holly, it was £45. I bought it from a wig website which I am loathe to recommend as they kept me waiting for over 2 weeks and didn't tell me it was out of stock when I ordered and paid for it!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Eye of the Day.

Today's eye of the day was an effort to cheer myself up and do something bright! I am also off to the theatre to see "Whose line is it anyway?" so wanted to wear something for the evening.

If you can think of an inspiring name to call this look I'd love to hear it!

Products used:
NYX e/s Walnut
The Body Shop eye shimmer* #07 over the top. combine a rusty brown with a blue eye shimmer and you get this awesome lilac/blue!
The Body Shop eye definer* Brilliant Blue
The Body Shop Warm Glow Bronzer
Bourjois Ultracare Mascara
e.l.f Eye Brown kit in Dark*

Items marked with * were sent to me for review, I am affiliated with elfcosmeticsUK.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Hair of the day!

These are my favourite hair extensions, I've mentioned them on my blog before but I hadn't shown any pictures. These are the 18" Clip in Remi Straights, they cost £55 for a six piece set (1X4 clip, 1x3 clip, 2X2 clip, 2x1clip pieces).

I like these because they are easy to care for, respond well to washing, styling and storage and the colour match is perfect. I am a 1b (natural black).

They have a blunt end cut as well and use more actual 18" sections than others I have used. So you don't get that lovely "rat tailed" look of cheaper extensions of variable lengths. They don't knot up as much as some extensions but I do carry an extension brush with me if I am out and about to keep them looking neat. My shorter hair tends to fluff up so I need to brush my hair to keep it neatly blended in with the extensions. I can't bear using straighteners on my hair but that is the way to blend them in.

I think these are perfect for my fine hair as they are silky soft, I wouldn't be able to get away with big thick clumps of hair interspersed between my fine hair. If you hair is very thick, these might be too fine for you.

It's hard to tell which is mine and which is clip in.

I shouldn't look so miserable as I am very happy with these clips ins!

The extensions featured here were sent to me free for review by Rapunzel Rapunzel.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

UNE Cosmetics

Released in March 2010 and available in a handful of Boots stores in the UK but it is available from TODAY on Boots' website.

I bought a few items last week. I've had a week or so to try and review them.

B06 Breezy Cheeks Blush £8.99 for 3.4g
B06 Breezy Cheeks Swatched.
This is a lovely product, looks greasy in the package but as soon as you take some on your brush or finger and apply it to your cheekbone it acts like a silky powder. B06 was the darkest available, and looks lovely on but I was hoping for more nutty spicy reds and plums which I feel are more suitable for asian and black skin tones. It is available in 8 shades, there are darker and I hope to try them soon. There were just four available in Boots and they are labelled differently on the website, so I am a little confused.

L14 Lip Toned Colour £7.99 for a 2g bullet
L14 Lip Toned Colour swiped on my hand.
L14 in the bullet
A very subtle and moisturising formula with no real scent or taste. This has made it in to my all time fave every day lipsticks. I can't wait to try the rest of the colours. Picking your perfect natural shade is easy, just go for the one which is closest to your natural lip colour but more intense in terms of the dominant colour (pink, peach, red or brown). £7.99 is on the side of mid range but worth it for something you are going to use every day and love!

G13 Skin Glow Foundation £11.99 for 30mls
G13 Skin Glow Foundation - unattractively blobbed on my hand!

I am a very tricky customer when it comes to foundations. I challenge each, every and all foundation manufacturers to make me happy at a reasonable (under £25) cost. It cannot be done!

Seriously, all was going well until I tried the foundation, I was very excited by the pigmentation (just right for my skin tone which is incredibly rare for High Street make up) and the promise of the elusive skin glow. Did it deliver for me? I think you know where this is going, sadly it did not.

I applied it with every trick and technique I know, different moisturisers, primers and without anything. I could not get this foundation to stop blotching and flaking. In some cases it was rubbing off in large bits as fast as I could apply it. At £11.99, which again is mid range for a high street foundation, I expected more. I really should learn my lesson.

Brought to you by the same people as Bourjois, a brand I rate highly for kohls, concealers and mascaras. Une Beauty's ingredients are traded as 98-100% of natural origin so no silicones or parabens. Lots of interesting ingredients and no horrible smells either.

I can't wait to try the rest of the range and when I do I will report back to you as ever!

Monday, 10 May 2010

A summer must have - TBS Warm Glow Bronzer

This little beauty caught my eye the other week in The Body Shop, part of the new Summer range of baked/domed powders. It's a generous sized product at 9g. I went for Warm glow which contains less ivory and more pink. The other is called Golden Bronze and is darker with more contrast between dark brown and ivory.

I apply this lightly with a fluffy but small brush to emphasis high points on my face (eyebrow, cheek, nose and chin).

It's quite glittery rather than just pure shimmer so be aware that it might not be suitable in large amounts for day wear. A light brush stroke would suffice to add warmth even on the dullest of days.

You could also just wear this on the eyelids as a simple wash of shimmer to lighten and open up the eyes too. This makes it to my every day make up collection!

It just looked to gorgeous to ignore!

Some swatches on fingers show that it is not too glittery and looks quite natural.

Applied to my cheek and eyebrow, it gives my skin a real lift.

The ingredients for your perusal.

It was £14 but I think there are plenty of offers from BOGOFs to 30% off at the moment in store and The Body Shop website on these and other products.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

What are your favourite nail polishes?

O.P.I. Do You Lilac It? I love this matte silky perfect lilac colour. It cheers me up no end!

Eyeko Cosmic* I often just stare at my nails in wonder as it looks just like sparkling granite.
Eyeko Indigo* Another mesmerising shade of indigo blue. It goes really well with really dark blue denim skinny jeans.
Nubar Greener. I have recently got in to dark green, and I love this emerald shade.
Eyeko Posh Polish* I am the first to say sheep but this is a beautiful "greige" one coat wonder nail polish. If you put a coat of O.P.I Rosy Future over the top you get the most amazing lilac iridescence.
Jessica Breathless. I bought this the day before my wedding. I wore it on my wedding and honeymoon. It's special to me and I am a sucker for blue iridescence.
O.P.I Purple With a Purpose. The perfect Cadbury's purple!
Bourjois Club a Miami. This photo lets it down but this is the perfect sparkly top coat for any polish as it contain different sized disco glitter.
Boujois Cocktail a Barcelone. I bought this for my chief bridesmaid and we love it!
e.l.f Royal Purple* The most stunning colour.
Eyeko Coral* Beach holiday in a bottle.

Some of my photographs don't do these justice! I hope you liked my round up of my favourite polishes! I'd love to know yours!

Items marked with * were sent to me free for review, I am affiliated with e.l.f cosmeticsUK

Friday, 7 May 2010

I feel the need for Speed and Make Up!

Are you in a hurry? Sometimes when you're in a rush, make up is the last thing on your mind, perhaps this will help! This is my speedy everyday look!

What a terrible Top Gun quote but it seemed appropriate!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Eyeko Coral Nails - Margaritas by the pool please.

I looked at this colour with a mixture of disdain and wonder, isn't it a bit too "fun" for my nails?No sooner than putting it on did I exclaim in joy "this is just gorgeous"! My husband will testify to that!

This Coral polish in particular is easy to put on, has a lovely consistency and one coat is enough for a speedy application! I'll be slipping on a hula skirt and sipping my first margarita in the bar in no time whatsoever! I'd rather that than wait for a thick OPI to dry! I should also add that it looks fantastic on short nails as most brights tend to make me look like I have tootie frooties for nails. The picture below is one coat, yes ONE coat, and it looks great. One coat with no top coat lasted really well for a couple of days, a bit of tip wear but no snagging or chipping I am happy to report. It also feels very comfortable on as it is quite thin but well pigmented.

The downside is that it peels and chips like nobody's business if you don't anchor it down with a good top coat! Don't expect it to last as long as your summer holiday either, but what the heck. Doing your nails is the perfect poolside past time, that and reading a bodice ripper of a book! Another personal downside is that if you wear this colour in the evening, it does look like you've got Oompa Loompa Fluorescent nails!

This colour also reminds me of my very first nail polish at the tender age of 9. It was by Sindy (for those of you who don't know was the British version of Barbie). It smelled terrible and peeled in the most satisfying way as it wasn't real nail polish. Even though I didn't like it then, I like this now, it's weird what a bit of nostalgia will do!

This nail polish was sent to me free for my review, and boy am I glad it was as this baby is coming on holiday with me!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Beauty Room Tour Video

I've just posted this video on my YouTube Channel! Thanks to everyone for their help in advising me which videos to make this weekend!

What would you have in your ideal beauty room/study?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A One to One Session - Before and After Photos

This is the lovely May who booked me for a one to one session. May would love to wear more than just mascara and eyeliner but feels that in her professional job she needs it to be both subtle and natural. No problem, you know me I am the Queen of subtle work friendly make up!

May doesn't have a lot of time to put on her make up in the morning as she has a busy and professional, sometimes shift based lifestyle. For this reason I used as few products as possible to give May the optimum time to get ready before her work!

May's bare naked face!

The main aim was to even out the skin tone, and enhance May's lovely eye shape. So I concentrated on using a good primer and powder to reduce shine during the day. I also used a brightening concealer under the eyes. A light fluid foundation was used because generally May's skin was in good condition, with only a few breakouts on the jaw line, nose and forehead.

Smashbox Photofinish Gel Primer (around the nose and forehead)
Sleek Make Up New Skin Revive Liquid Foundation in Calico
e.l.f Undereye Concealer and Highlighter in Medium under the eyes and around the nose*
e.l.f Colour corrective concealer palette to conceal any redness and blemishes*
e.l.f Translucent Powder to set concealer*
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Eyes and Lips in Velvet Plum on the cheeks

May has gorgeous almond shaped eyes, slightly wide apart and partially deep set. So I used a neutral and matte shade first of all followed with a matte dark brown to contour the eye, bringing it slightly above the crease. The amber gold colour was used to add warmth to the eye.

A very fine line of black cream eyeliner was used between the lashes and on the top lash line to add definition and thicken the lashes. Brown pencil was used on the lower lash line, black could also be used sparingly.

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Matte cream e/s all over the lid and up to the brow bone
Matte Dark brown e/s in the crease and outer corner
Amber/bronze e/s on the outer corner and middle of the eyelid
Peachy e/s as highlight under brow bone and cheek bone
e.l.f cream eyeliner in black on the top lash line, very close to the lashes and not winged out.*
Dark brown eye liner on the lower lash line.
Bourjois Ultra Care Mascara in Black

Lip balm
Face of Australia Urban Spice SPF 20 lipstick applied very lightly (Similar to MAC Spice it Up or e.l.f Rustic Brick l/s)

A light dusting of e.l.f HD powder*

Before and After!

The aim of a one to one session with me is to be able to recreate this look for yourself, I choose products and colours that you'd like to use and teach you how to get the best from them. In a session such as this, I create the look first then we remove it and start again with you at the controls! With a bit of guidance and practice, you'll be able to get results like this in no time! Sounds like fun? Then why not book a session with me, either in person or via Skype video? Feel free to email me for more details.

Did you like May's make over? May feels confident that with a bit of practice she'll have this look nailed. I also told her that the techniques I used on her eyes can be used with any four complementary eye shadow colours should she like to experiment!

Items marked with * were sent to me free for review, I am affiliated with e.l.f Cosmetics UK.

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