Lovely Followers

Monday, 29 March 2010

Ooh Sparkly Nails - again!

The hand from the Addams Family "Thing" visited again so I gave it a make over.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Nails for the Day!

Lunching with a friend, I glanced at her perfectly manicured nails and asked if she did her own. She then told me that they were stick on nails! I had to have them, what with my horrible nails!

After searching a few high street stores I finally found what I was looking for in Boots: Stick on nails. These temporary, one day wear nails have a glue pad on the back of the nail which means they are quick and mess free. They cost I think around £6.50, I can't remember the exact amount. I think this is a lot considering they can only be used once and for 24 hours. I could have bought the 7 day wear nails from the same company which can be reused for the same price. The reason I suspect is that I am paying extra for my laziness and the components are the same (nails + glue). That and I don't want to wreck my already fragile nails with glue and acetone. They just need a gentle file once applied to remove any rough edges.

They look pretty unreal in the photo but they settle down once you get used to them. I really loved them as they were the perfect length and colour. I didn't try and paint them but if you do then please remember to use acetone free nail varnish remover. The glue pad does make then sit proud on the nail and if you have flat nails then these aren't for you. There is a flat nail version from Kiss as well.

I grew to absolutely despise the fact that the nail doesn't stick down completely at the cuticle end. When trying to brush and style my hair, the hair would get stuck under the nail at the cuticle end and stick to the glue, which is quite painful! The other major downside is that all manner of dirt and stuff gets trapped under the cuticle end and embedded in the glue. It is the perfect excuse not to do the washing up or any cleaning! It's also the most compelling reason to put these on last after your make up and hair is complete.

These nails were really easy to remove, I simply soaked them in hot water for 10 minutes and they came off with a gentle peel. They didn't damage the nails underneath and there was no glue residue.

Would I buy these again? I still have another set of nails in this pack which I shall save for a special occasion but then I don't think I will again. I don't like the fact that they aren't reusable. If I could get the glue pads off I would buy some glue and use them again. They are excellent for practising nail art though!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Urban Decay Stardust Eye Shadows

In my opinion I love Urban Decay shadows because they are creamy and pigmented and have an exciting colour range. However being older than the average bold colour wearing make up addict, I feel that they are too glittery for my deep set prominent eyes. So I was somewhat unmoved by news of the new Stardust Collection; a collection of 9 new shades of hyper glittery eye shadows. Comparable in price to other mid range shadows, this is an improvement because they contain 3.5g of product for £13.50 each (which is quite a lot more than their normal shadows). Still at £13.50 each you're going to have to really love these to get the whole set.

The two shadows I was sent are Bobby Dazzle (a nude cream similar to Sin) and Void (Charcoal Grey similar to Perversion). The glitter quotient may be high but it is a very finely milled and soft glitter.

When applying the shadows Bobby Dazzle doesn't show up on me as per usual with creamy nude shades. I am left with fine silver glitter which looks kind of cool. Void is a soft grey when used dry, with a silver glitter overlay. Now contrary to the press blurb, there is fall out but not as much as usual! Click on any of the images for a larger version.

The swatches below show the difference in pigmentation. I used them wet as well as dry and didn't really see much difference between the two in terms of the colour intensity. Perhaps the wet was a little more intense but not by much. I wouldn't say these are packed with pigmentation but very nice over a base or for a subtle wash of colour with a very fine glitter. But I don't think these shadows are about intensity, more about the lovely fine sparkle. It really is beautiful. Even for my near ancient lids I was pleased that it wasn't mega chunky glitter that generally doesn't do me any favours. Void isn't really suitable for every day wear but I would certainly whip this one out for a night out, it's quicker and less messy than pigments and glitter!

Am I going to buy the rest of the colours, no I don't think so, well may be just one...

I really like the smart and user friendly packaging, no breaking nails on these little compacts! See the video below for what I mean!

What is your favourite eye shadow at the moment?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Products rediscovered! #1 Ripe Rose Lipstick

I've been tagged by the lovely Amy Dazzledust25 and I haven't gotten around to making a video about products I have rediscovered *smacks wrist*. I have had my thinking cap on though and here's my first product!

e.l.f Ripe Rose Mineral Lipstick is £3.50 from the e.l.f website.

I recently went through my mineral lipstick collection from e.l.f to try to write some words of wisdom about them. I put about six of them on my lips and marvelled at how different they all are. Really different in terms of pigmentation, texture and durability. Some are thicker than others, especially the more nude ones like Runway Pink and Natural Nymph and are designed to stay put. Others like Ripe Rose and Pink Petal are more sheer and moisturising.

As you can see on the picture below, ripe rose has a delicate but powerful pigmentation. Pigmented enough to even out my lip colour but delicate enough to impart a soft colour. It has a silky texture which gives my lips a gentle shine. I think this is a special colour, suitable for every day or even a special occasion.

This is one coat over naked lips and the photograph was taken without a flash.

e.l.f Mineral Lipstick in Ripe Rose was sent to me free for review purposes. I am affiliated with e.l.f UK but that hasn't affected my review.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Two Looks, One Palette!

Both of these looks were created using the Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette. Both sets of Lashes are from

Two very different looks from one awesome palette! Which do you like most and why?

These lashes glow in the dark!

These lashes feel really light

The Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette and Eldora Lashes were sent to me for free for my review.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette!

A full review will follow shortly but since I received this from Sleek MakeUP for review this morning I had to just show you some nice swatches and shots of this lovely set. I am itching to do some looks with it! Please click on the images for a full size shot to appear.

Have you tried it yet, what are your thoughts?

I am most taken with the red (bottom row, second in from the left). Yes I see a tradional bridal look coming out on now!

**** UPDATE **** The Sleek MakeUP Bohemian Palette is released 17th March 2010 and is available from Superdrug online and in store. The Sleek MakeUp website will also be running soon so you can order online directly!

Eyes Wide Shut - when blogging becomes a hazardous occupation.

I received a product this morning from a regular and lovely PR contact in a make up company. At first I was delighted, then my heart sank and I felt melancholy. The reason for that is not because I was disappointed with the product, far from it in fact. My experience over the last week with another company has just left me with a sour taste in my mouth about reviewing.

The point of this article is not to slur any reputations but to share my not so pleasant experience and some of the negative aspects of blogging about things we love!

This subject resurfaces a lot on blogs, twitter, facebook and in general chats with other bloggers. If you think PR agencies are frustrating and sometimes a little cold then after reading this, you will look at them differently. I now look at them with the fondness they deserve at trying to manage bloggers and their clients. I have never met an unfriendly or unprofessional PR company. To my face they are utterly lovely and if they have any opinions to the contrary about me I would hope that they would vent them suitably professionally manner too!

I must say this is a first for me and I will go on to explain the story for you. *deep breath*

I approach a company to review their products as they look interesting and I haven't heard of their products before.

A delighted owner writes back and sends me some products to try, I did not ask for any products in particular and said that any products would be gratefully received. To be honest, samples would have been fine but I was sent full sized products. I take my time in using the products and when asked how I am getting on, I tell them the truth. The products are lovely but there is an issue about one of them that I can't get on with and don't like.

Instead of asking for more details or offering me guidance, they simply say that it is a personal issue and that's the end of it.

I then make a video review listing it in my favourite products for it is still a wonderful product and has helped my skin no end. I of course mention the aspect I don't like, and probably in overly graphic terms but it's all true and I stand by it.

I then receive not one, not two, not three but four long, offensive and threatening emails from the owner who wants to pursue legal action against me unless I take the video down.

What would you do? I talked to a few colleagues and friends for their opinion. They see that I have done nothing wrong, phew.

I decided not to take the video down and replied to the emails in a very professional and polite manner. I could of course see that they were very upset that they had sent me products and I didn't give them a 100% glowing review and that I got some of the details incorrect about the method and system. I attempted to correct the mistakes with annotations so people now have the correct information about it.

More emails ensue with even more personal attacks, insults, threats and demands. I suggested a phone call but they didn't want that. I also suggested a blog review clearing up the inaccuracies they felt had come out of my video. But I would not take the video down as I stand by my review and there is nothing libellous contained within it. I think they preferred to just hurl abuse at me in emails rather than sort it out.

I don't really care to be honest. I read the exhaustive literature on the website and in the packaging. I followed it for a bit and it wasn't really suiting me so decided to use it how I saw fit and how I got results best. In my reviews I always say to go to the official website for more information, it is not possible to give every bit of information in a video that is five minutes long!

In the end, I decided not to respond to any more emails as it was not really a resolution that was wanted, just more abuse. I happily sent payment for the items as requested. I didn't even want half the products but paid for them all anyway.

I am not malicious though, I prefer not to mention the company because I do not wish to harm a business or bring about bad feeling. I am not recommending or warning anyone off the products either. I will simply seek alternatives when they are finished and tell you all about those! I believe in Karma, what goes around, comes around.

I believe that I have behaved with empathy, respect and honesty. I have paid for the products which were sent to me for free review, I now feel completely unbiased.

The owner then emailed me (more emails *sigh*) to tell me that they had been approached by another blogger to review the products. My heart sank again and went out to the other poor blogger, who I then emailed to warn her of the wrath of this company at any negative feedback.

The point is that the owner has the right to reply to the video, I have no problem with that. That is the beauty of the system. We review because we want products to be better, if they can be made so. I am not the expert, I am just someone who has an opinion and I am willing to share it. Instead of taking this opportunity, the owner has decided to take a heavy handed approach. I am not going to break my own rules and be pressurised in to taking down a review because they don't like it. If I did that, what kind of reviewer would I be?

The difference in dealing directly with a small company and with a PR agency is simple. Any PR which gets a brand noticed and establishes credibility is given a pat on the back when reporting back to their client. Good for them, they at least do some research spend time communicating with people, it's not an easy task at all!

I struggle to see how an honest review can be taken badly unless you truly don't want to hear about it? Name me a company that thinks that they know better than their customers? I feel that it is in the customers' best interest to have the opportunity to feedback and improve products for everyone else.

It makes me wonder if PR companies feel like this when I place negative reviews about products they have sent me? Of course I feel bad, but it is an opportunity to gain respect for taking that feedback and improving products that will bring in more customers.

I urge you all to make sure that when you review you are upfront with those expecting reviews. Make sure they know that just because they send you a product it does not mean you will review the product and more importantly that it will be a favourable one. A decent company will accept this point. I often send an email outlining the review so they have a chance to respond and help with any issues before the article is published. I personally think this makes for a more rounded review unless you like the shock value or writing scathing reviews! Be aware that scathing reviews work both ways and only dish it out if you can take it.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Dotty Nails of the Day

A bit of dotty fun using two favourite colours of mine, Kingfisher blue and Silver. I'm off to a party later so I thought I'd do something simple but eye catching on my nails.

I used Bourjois Cocktail a Barcelone, which is one of the mini range. It takes about four coats to get the colour in the bottle. Here I am wearing only two plus a topcoat. In real life it isn't as patchy as it looks in the photographs.

Then I took a dotting tool to create a mini crescent at the nail bed (not very good at these yet) and three small dots down the centre of the nail. I think I might for fun, dispense with the crescent and draw a shirt collar or dickie bow instead and make it in to a formal shirt!

It's not as elaborate as some but if you're a beginner like me and want to do something a bit special but not too over the top, this could work for you too.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Face of Australia Divine Shine Lip Gloss

Massive thanks to a lovely swapper in Australia who sent me this gorgeous lip gloss called Divine Shine. The colour is called Island Breeze and I just had to share the love of it!

I've tried a few Face of Australia products thanks to this lovely swapper and I have so far been really happy with the lip products the most. One of my new favourites is Amber Suede Lip Quench SPF30. I am very much looking forward to using this all summer long!

The colour of Island Breeze is quite complex, it looks a bit shocking in the tube!

On the lips it is more subtle with a hint of peachy coral shimmer. I wore this on its own and it made my lips look redder and juicy.

The gloss is quite sticky but not greasy feeling. It feels very moisturising over a lip stick too. I love this nude feeling gloss which you could wear anywhere. I love products that go with anything and are no fuss!

The best thing about this lip gloss is the smell! It's like ice cream and sweets all mixed in to one delicious extravaganza. I think this is perfect for summer but I am worried about attracting bees and wasps ha ha!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

e.l.f Studio Concealer Review

A few quick swatches of the new e.l.f Studio Concealer sticks which will soon be available. As with most e.l.f Studio products, these concealers are priced at £3.50 each. For 3g I'd say it's an average price, not cheap or high end. The product is small, when I twisted it up I don't know why I expected more but then I guess it reminds me of a lip stick. I would say it was about the same size as a lip balm in terms of quantity of product. I had to remind myself that concealers are the expensive bit of any make up kit because they are essential! We rely on our concealers, we don't want to have to reapply throughout the day them and we expect a lot from their performance.

The Studio Concealer is available in four colours, Ivory, Beige, Honey and Tan, I've swatched them below. Tan is a perfect match for my skin tone. I think the other three are all pink based so should do well on Caucasian skin tones of a pinkish undertone. Tan, at the moment is the darkest shade but I hope that darker colours will come out at some point. I think there will be dissent amongst the super pale that Ivory isn't light enough but feedback of this nature has been good as it has made e.l.f bring out new colours to suit. So don't hold back!

Click on any of the images for a massive full window pic!

Swatched on white paper.
The colour in the tube is different to a thin layer.

Swiped on the skin, no blending

Blended with a brush, tan is perfect.

It conceals dark circles with ease but will crease unless you blend and set it well. It sets fast and doesn't budge for anything other than soap or make up remover! I found it to be smooth feeling and I forgot it was there. When I did touch my face, the concealer felt slightly waxy but not irritating. I would be happy to forego colour corrective concealers for a thick layer of this concealer as it covered by red cheeks in the same way.

When you apply it first, every pore will be visible, I stared in horror at my reflection! Thankfully, after blending with a warm finger or damp sponge, it blends in very well. Do not, for the love of Dave, apply under the eye area direct from the stick. It will drag the delicate skin to bits. Do use a finger, brush or sponge for a more delicate touch.

I am not normally a fan of dry or stick concealers as they tend to cling to dry skin that I didn't even know I had! I tend to favour liquids or minerals but I think this one contains a lot of dimethicone to combat this effect.

How does this compare to the other Studio concealers, well the pencil concealer is still a favourite for spots as it contains tea tree oil and really is the thickest for complete obliteration of dark marks and scars. The under eye concealer and highlighter is still my favourite for lifting the under eye area. I think this one is a good all rounder because it can be used all over the face. It doesn't brighten like the under eye concealer or obliterate like the pencil but on days when you haven't got time for both, it will perform well enough to get you through the day.

Was there anything I didn't like, yes the cap kept falling off of one of them and I am still wondering if it could be bigger! For the price I would say it is good value but I am going to need to replace it quite often which is not too bad a thing if I have two as back ups! Would I replace it again when this runs out, I prefer the undereye concealer and highlighter, but yes I think I would, I feel that it's a pretty handy and effortless concealer.

The Studio Concealers* will be available soon (I don't have a set date yet) from

*The e.l.f concealer sticks were sent to me for free. I am affiliated with e.l.f but this has not affected my review of this product.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Favourite Skin Care Products

My latest video is a little list of my favourite skin care products at the moment! I feel I've got to a stage where I have a product for every skin care emergency!

You can watch the video by following this link!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hair Today, Gone tomorrow

This is a very hard post to write because it's a subject people just don't like to talk about, however it's quite important to me. It's been noticed on my YouTube videos that I have thinning hair. Well it's true, my hair is very thin, it sometimes makes me very unhappy and frustrated but I have to come to terms with it and get on with my life. This post is for anyone also struggling to meet expectations that other people have of us.

I've been losing my hair since I was 18. I was diagnosed with a not very rare disease in my early twenties. Hypothyroidism is where your body produces too little of a metabolic hormone which gradually makes you anaemic and exhausted. The opposite condition is Hyperthyroidism where too much of this hormone (thyroxine) makes your heart race and eyes bulge and lose weight dangerously quickly. Your thyroid and pituitary glands are parts of this regulatory circuit, for reasons medical science can't explain or cure, mine don't really work that well.

After feeling sluggish and unwell for years, I finally went to my doctor and had blood tests to confirm it. That was ten years ago so I am lucky, I was diagnosed early. My mother was in her 50s when she was diagnosed. We both now take medication which has no side effects and controls it completely.

Part of this disease, which not everyone has, is that my immune system makes antibodies which attack hair follicles. So my hair falls out faster than it grows. No one knows why some people get this and others don't, my mother doesn't have it. There is no treatment for this that doesn't involve immunosuppressants (which would leave me open to life threatening infections, that isn't worth it!) For others, the thyroxine hormone treatment restores their hair. This hasn't happened for me which is unfortunate.

According to specialists, I will never go bald as my hair grows normally. But my hair will always be thin and patchy. As time goes on, it gets worse. I think the time will come soon when I have to do something. Part of me just feels like shaving my hair off now rather than make the decision later on!

It's not easy for anyone who has lost their hair, through illness, accident or genetics. I used to model as a teenager, my hair was so thick that it used to break bands and the odd brush handle! I once had my hair done on stage and most of it had to be done behind the scenes as it took so long! So it's been very hard for me to come to terms with this condition.

It's ok for men to lose their hair, it is part of their ageing process. For women it is very different, our hair is part of our femininity and because it's quite rare to see a bald woman, we are made to feel inferior, less feminine and a failure.

I'd like to know what people leaving comments hope to achieve by pointing it out as if I don't know?

YouTube Comment:"You are nearly bald"
Answer "And what would you like me to do about this that I haven't already tried? Hmm?"

This person was so disgusted with the realisation that I was far from perfect, that they unsubscribed to my YouTube channel! That made me feel just great.

I wonder if they want me to scurry under a rock never to be seen again just because it offends them that this balding woman is called a beauty guru? I must also stress that I don't want pity, just understanding, after all it's only hair.

All I ask is that before leaving mean comments FOR ANYONE, put yourselves in their position. They are just as human as you are and just as easy to upset and hurt. I am older and wiser and it takes a lot to rile me. Some YouTubers are teenagers and so take comments to heart. If you still feel the need to type before you think, go ahead, I have nothing to be ashamed of and I will not be made to feel inadequate for something I can do nothing about.

A bit more info on hypothyroidism from this UK Website

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Favourite Lip Products Tag

The lovely Lozziecakes tagged me in her 5 fave lip products video!

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Beauty without Cruelty Lip Defining Pencil in Pinky Brown

Face of Australia Lip Quench SPF30+ in Amber Suede

Jelly Pong Pong Supermodel Stain in Cupcake Pout*

Essence Colour & Shine in 03 Trend Setter

e.l.f Minty Lipgloss in Seattle*

e.l.f Hypershine Lipgloss in Fairy*

Almay Stay Smooth Antichap LipColor in Tan

Here's the link to the video I've uploaded to explain why these are my favourite lip products!

Items marked with * were sent to me for review.

Do you have any absolute favourite lip products? Love to hear about them!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Something different with hair extensions

I haven't had a fringe since I was at school. I was playing about with some extensions thinking of doing a video about how I use them to create a fringe and use them in updos rather than just plonk them in and wear my hair down. Meanwhile this make up look kind of happened... Since the look reminded me of bridesmaids, I decided to create a look suitable for those all important Bride side kicks!

This is a really simple look that would be appropriate for a bridesmaid!

e.l.f cream eye liner in midnight*
The Body Shop Mascara - navy blue
Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again eye shadow
Bourjois Liner Stylo eye liner in black
Sleek MakeUP Oil Free Cream to Powder Foundation in Latte
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Cheeks and Lips in Velvet Plum
Clear Lipgloss

Items marked with * were sent to me for review purposes.

The 18" Remi Straight clip in hair extensions were sent to me a while ago by Rapunzel Rapunzel. I am a colour 1B which is still slightly lighter than my black/brown hair but it's as close as I can get without a custom dye.

I have several sets of clips ins, some I keep curled for curly days, others have been cut to fit in with hair styles such as a long bob or choppy layers and fringes. I haven't cut these ones as they are pretty nice long, they don't tangle up too much and have a lovely shine.

I think as extensions go they are good for the price (£54.99). The hair itself is soft and doesn't feel too treated even after washing and styling. Saying that it is going to feel a bit wiry, my hair is baby fine so wouldn't make good extensions! I find that these blend in quite nicely though. I did still find quite a few white hairs in the extensions, something I always check before putting them in and remove. I still don't like the fringy bits that bulk out the weft at the roots. This makes using them in styles more difficult as they stick out at odd angles.

The clips are smaller than usual making them more comfortable. The one redeeming feature which sets them apart from others I have tried is this: the extensions are not thinned out towards the end. We can all tell clip ins a mile away because of that tell tale rat tailed look of thin chunky bits at the bottom of the hair. Cheaper extensions mix different layers, so you may think you're getting 18" but what you're getting is 14" with a few 18" mixed in. I hate this about clip ins and you won't know until you get them and open them! Rapunzel Rapunzel extensions have a blunt cut so you don't get those annoying ratty bits, thus adding to the illusion that it's your own hair.

I'll post some more photos soon of some styles I've created using them! What sort of things do you like to do with your clip ins?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

A bit of fun with Jewel Tones

Just a quick look today, totally random and inspired by jewel tones of blue and green. Being bright doesn't mean wearing light colours. I personally can't carry off light eye shadow which is why my looks are often darker. Using jewel tones and vibrant darker colours gives me a lift without looking washed out with pale colours.

Products used:

The Body Shop Eye Pencil in Bright Blue* it's a bit patchy as an eye shadow and will crease even with a primer, using an eye transformer over the top will intensify and set it.
Marks and Spencers Turquoise Mascara* Yes Turquoise and it really shows up too!
Obsessed Minerals e/s in Serenity*
Light Blue Glitter from Sallys (which as I found doesn't like to stick to eye shadow!)
White e/s from a random quad.

Items marked with * were sent to me for review, I am not paid to endorse those brands.

Monday, 1 March 2010

What the Frutels? Tried and Tasted, no typo intended

With Easter around the corner, all I can think about is chocolate. So it was no surprise when these arrived in the post that I decided to review them, for you obviously. With a name like Frutels, you're expecting a fruit flavoured sweet, but be prepared for a bitter dark chocolate which allegedly supports clear skin by dosing you up with vitamins and antioxidants and the like. I found these whilst I was looking at a report about innovation in cosmetics, I thought they looked intriguing so I requested a sample.

At 24 calories per ball, each ball being about 1.5 cm in diameter, you might think these are "good" for you but it's still chocolate at the end of the day. Each ball contains 2.5g of fat so eating a few of these on top of your normal food will push your fat intake up. It's like buying in to the idea of diet coke, so many people got the wrong end of the stick - "just drinking diet coke will make you thin? Even if you drink it with a doughnut?"

I am not a fan of dark chocolate, preferring the milk variety even more preferably with caramel inside, but these are quite intense once you get used to them. Once you get over the disappointment that it is dark chocolate, they give me a chocolate high without the sugar high and accompanying low. However, despite containing cocoa butter (not that nasty Orang-utan killing palm oil that cheap chocolate uses) it is still crumbly rather than melting.

I eat one of these every so often, have found that nothing has changed about my skin and if it did I don't think I could attribute it to this product alone.

Nope, no caramel here!

Frutels website is here.

I have a box for three lucky commenters! If you'd like to win one then leave me a comment with your funniest diet myth please!

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