Sunday, 31 January 2010

Homemade Exfoliator

As promised, I tried out Rae Morris' recipe for homemade exfoliator, using nothing more than a regular cleanser and Bicarbonate of Soda. When I spotted this in her book I reviewed last week, I thought it was the end of spending £20 a month on my favourite exfoliator. Hurrah!
I followed the instructions, mixing 1 teaspoon of bicardonate with a sploosh (my word, not hers) of my regular cleanser. It says to use any waterbased cleanser - I used Philosophy Purity Made Simple. I've no idea if this is water based or not, it works and I love it. So, it made a lovely fluffy paste in my hand and I slapped it on.
The first thing I noticed was how 'soft' the grainy bicarb bits felt in comparison to my normal exfoliator. I scrubbed and washed it off. This, however, is where it all went wrong. I couldn't seem to budge the bicard granules, no matter how much I splashed and everytime I patted my face with a towel, it scratched where there was residue. I admit this is probably my fault, but due to the fact I had to get in the shower to wash it off properly, I will not be doing this again! The excessive rinsing/rubbing/patting to get rid of the residue has left my cheeks very red and tender :(
Give it a go if you fancy and let me know how you get on. Be prepared for the taste of the soda running into your mouth when you wash it off!!

**please note, Rae recommends in the book not using this method if you have sensitive skin or are undergoing any type of chemical peel treatments. I agree. So please exfoliate sensibly.**

This is my usual exfoliator, available from Boots for £10. It warms in your hands so when you put it on, you get a lovely warming sensation across your face - it's not hot though. It brightens and smooths like no other exfoliator I've tried and it has never scratched my skin.


(Pic from Google Images)

Last night, I stayed in and was dainty and girly; I played with my make-up, watched Gossip Girl and spent hours at deciding on which elements to add/discard to create my perfect, custom-made wedding shoe.

Meanwhile Neil (note how he is not called Mac today... He's in the doghouse) was out at something called a 'headwetting'. A tradition (pfft) I am pretty certain was a scheme cobbbled together when he and all his mates were 15 and developing a cunning scheme to dupe their future wives into additional boozy nights out. Like a pact; they are now on their 3rd Headwetting, each ending in a similar manner.

The night begins with Neil professing that since the new dad will be shattered and not up for too much of an eventful night that he will be home 'early'. He then rolls in at between 3am-4am. Last night's was a whole new level though when he appeared in the bedroom covered in blood claiming he had injured himself. Leaping out of bed thinking he'd been stabbed on his way home, I soon discovered the truth of the matter which was he had bashed his head on a wall and knocked a crater in his ear. After a quick call to NHS24 and him refusing to go to A&E, I furiously wrapped the ear up in plasters and returned to bed.

20 minutes later, at about 4.20am while Neil was blisfully snoring his head off, I got up to sleep on the sofa. Which is where I remain writing this. Still haven't decided if the fact his ear is twice the size of his other one and bright purple will be penance enough. Maybe I'll get some TCP to 'clean' it, before adding a comedy bandage that he will need to sport at the office tomorrow. Hmmmm

While I sit here and wonder how it is possible that the smell of stale beer is managing to override my expensive fancy air freshners, I feel like Monica in the episode of Friends where she is moving in with Chandler and she cries " and I have to live with a boy..."

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Celeb Copy Cat - Rihanna 'Hard' Video

Obviously I look nothing like Rihanna, but her makeup in her latest video is fab, so here are a couple of looks inspired by it. See the video here

Friday, 29 January 2010

Chanel Particuliere Nail Polish

Anyone who has ever dared utter the words "Amanda, your nails look nice today" will be well versed in my love for Chanel 'La Vernis' Nail Polish. I can talk for hours about it's merits, whether that be the amazing true colours, the brush, the smooth application, the fact that one coat is usually guaranteed to cover impeccably or its stayability & non-chipibility...

My favourites (and I am never seen with bare nails) are Rouge Noir, Vendetta, Blue Satin and Dragon -I definitely am a big fan of the classic dark colours. I am not a hater of the lighter colours, I just sometimes find the Chanel pales a touch 'Country Casuals'. After reading a review of Particuliere (505) at I wasn't convinced that I would become a fan of this brand new colour either.
However, I'll never say I dislike something til I try it, so I popped down to my local Chanel counter and picked myself up a bottle. So actually I really like it! I don't think it's quite 'nude' - think it's too coloured for that, but it is definitely a lovely, sophisticated brown. I often think browns can look a bit ashy, but this is not grey. It's gorgeous. See pics below - unfortunately, the light tends to change the tone slightly depending on daylight/artificial light, but this is as close as.

So, to be a little different and since I was going to be decorating anyway, I thought I'd give you an idea of it's durability. I often get comments that my nails only stay looking good because I don't have kids etc and A, my hands don't go through so much and B, I have time to maintain them, but with Chanel polishes, your nails will easily last 5-7 days with no chipping if you take the time to apply properly.
The above pic was taken a few minutes after application. The pic below was taken after 2 days of sanding walls, painting walls, removing flooring from my kitchen & bathroom, digging out sealant from around my bath, shifting endless furniture including my washing machine and fridge, filling holes with polyfilla etc... As you can see, after a very rigorous 2 days, only the very tips of the nails are even starting to flake. There is no actual chipping, or any other damage to varnish itself (my hands are a different story!). So anyone who has ever doubted if Chanel polish is worth the money - give it a go. You'll be impressed! Now, can anyone recommend a handcream that patch my skin back together....

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Holy Bad Mood Batmanda...

Today I woke up in one heck of a foul mood. It started off with a dream that I had; one of those morning dreams after you've already woken up and fallen asleep again - I dreamt that Mac and I split up and I woke up crying. It felt so vivid and awful, so I lay in bed for bit before realising that my head was pounding - I went to get paracetamol and there was none, so I took Sudafed instead hoping it was one of the ones which contained painkillers.

So, I did some tweeting, some emailing, some house hunting - all from the comfort of my bed. Long Live the Laptop. My head, however seemed to be getting worse, so I rose, got a protein shake and hopped in the shower. Then started the ridiculous downwards spiral...

I washed my face but then washed my hair with shower gel. I put 2 different primers on instead of 1 moisturiser and 1 primer. I couldn't be arsed with getting my make-up brushes dirty so I applied my Pro Lumiere with my fingers, which resulted in all my primer rubbing into lumps on my face and having to start again. My contour powder stuck to a dry patch on my cheek making me look like I had a beard. I finished my eye-makeup and realised I hadn't put my contact lenses in. I then ended up with big semi-dry blobs of mascara down my cheeks, which once dried were impossible to budge. To top it all off, I then sprayed hairspray onto my armpits. Awesome.

The rest of the afternoon wasn't much better, but it's non makeup related so I wont bore you with it!

FFS doesn't even cover it! Tomorrow better be better!!!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Stephanie Pratt Celeb Copy Cat

Stephanie Pratt can look stunning sometimes (forget the DUI mugshot!) and she has beautiful blue eyes, enhanced by the jet black mascara and blue eyeliner that she usually wears. Today's look is more inspired by her trademark look, rather than a 'copycat' and I certainly don't think I look like her, but you get the picture! I bronzed up with Benefit's One Hot Minute bronzer, Bobbi Brown gel liner in Cobalt and a blue ES from one of Sleek's palettes. Oh - and a bit of 'High Beam' on my cheeks and brow bone.

Let me know what you think!

A xx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ruby and Millie Nails

Ruby & Millie 'Neon' Nail Color in Green (710C) £9.50
Picked this up yesterday in Boots on a whim (encouraged by my £5 discount voucher!). For £9.5o I'm quite impressed! Actually thought I was going to hate the colour, even though I love it on other people, but now I've had 24hrs to get used to it, I'm really liking it! Probably more so than the yellow nails I was sporting last week. Like I thought, the colour needed 2 full coats to get rid of the streakiness of the 1st coat, but once it dried it was fine. So a thumbs up from me! Let me know what you think and I'll try and respond to your comments!
Amanda xx

Saturday, 23 January 2010

As Requested...

Here is 'Nude Matte' and 'Red Sheer' on my lips. I know these pics look like 2 different sets of lips, but they are both mine! And apologies for the poor lighting...

As you can see, the Nude really doesn't look like I'm wearing much at all, and the Red is super glossy!

Today's Haul

Finally had a day where I managed to spend more than 20 minutes in town, so spent most of the pm in Boots. Went a bit mad at Ruby & Millie, but they gave me heaps of £5 off vouchers, so thought it would be rude not to spend... So I got...

  • Benefit's One Hot Minute bronzer (Thanks for the recommendation Pixiwoo!)
  • Benefit's Bad Gal Lash waterproof (tried & tested)

  • Ruby & Millie Nail Polish in 'Green' - it's so soft and pastelly!
  • Ruby & Millie White Eyeliner

  • R & M Lipsticks both 'Red' and 'Nude' in sheer and 'Nude' in matte

From left to right... Red Sheer, Nude Sheer and Nude Matte.

I've popped a pic of the bullet of the red sheer as it's solid post box red in 'real life' but it's almost more like a lipgloss when applied. It's a beautiful shade.
The nude matte I think might become my new favourite daytime as the tone matches my lips perfectly so it just kinda looks like I've got lovely even toned, smooth lips rather than wearing an obvious lipstick!
I've never really been a big R & M fan, but the lipstick section was great - it just had the same 8 (?) colours but in 4 different textures. Fab!
I'll pop up a pic of the green nail varnish tomorrow - I've no idea how this will work out as when I tested it in the shop it was very very sheer, so it might need a good few coats!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rae Morris Makeup The Ultimate Guide

Rae Morris Makeup The Ultimate Guide: rrp £16.99 (again might be cheaper on Amazon)
What it says: "... Simple step by steps make even the most sophisticated and creative makeup easy to achieve..."

For those who don't know, Rae Morris is an award winning MUA who 'fell into' her career of make-up artistry in 1993. The emphasis in her book is have fun, be creative and practice practice practice!

About the book - it has to be said, I simply LOVE this book! I love the no-nonsense approach to the instructions and the honesty Rae has when advising if something is worth spending money on or not. There are whole chapters dedicated to 'eyebrows', 'highlighting' or 'contouring' rather than all these elements being lost within bigger sections. In addition, I love the fact it has a whole section dedicated to the 'over 40s' and to 'asian eyes' - I think this makes it more transferrable and useful to both beginners, aspiring MUAs and more experienced MUAs.

There is a lot of discussion on colours suitable for different coloured eyes, hair, skin tone etc and there is a section on 'colour theory' too. It covers techniques on how to achieve particular looks such as 'bronzed' or 'retro' which I love.

Best bits: just the general awesomeness of the book - it's layout, the instructions, the photography, the diversity... I could go on

Worst bits: I genuinely don't think there are any! Honestly!

Overall - buy it! ps, it's paperback - much easier to handle when balancing an eyeliner and mascara in your other hand!

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: £20 approx (amazon may be cheaper).
What it says: "This is the book that all women have been waiting for... one complete, lavishly produced volume... that shows you how to put your make-up on like a pro"

The book is split into 2 parts; Basics and Artistry. The basics section covers chapters on equipment, skin preparation, eyes and 'special applications' for women who may be pregnant, teenagers etc. The artistry section covers professional kit essentials, info on how to 'break into the business' and has an interesting section at the back on the history of makeup.

I really liked this book because of it's simplicity - I'm not convinced that professional make-up artists would find this particularly useful as it really doesn't stretch much farther than basics, colours, face charts etc, but for someone who is a beginner or who doesn't have much confidence in their techniques or abilities, then it would be great. It has a section on bridal make-up and I suspect it might be more useful for a bride who is planning to do their own make-up rather than an MUA who is planning on branching into bridal makeup. It might also make an excellent present for a teen who is starting to express an interest in make-up.

The basics section goes into some detail on different skin conditions, adjusting colours/blending colours to suit different tones, how to balance your face by changing the shape of your eyebrows, or lip colour. Also a comprehensive step-by-step instruction on false eyelash application.

The section on 'becoming a pro' is good - I like the fact it doesn't make you feel like it's an impossibility and the tips on listening, building your portfolio etc are good.

Best bits: It's simplicity, ease of use and overall likeable tone used throughout. Also, the photography is ace.

Bad bits: Hardback - grrrr, I don't know if you can get this paperback, but the hardback makes it difficult to reference whilst actually trying to do your makeup! I think it probably could've been a little bit more diverse too in terms of 'special applications'.

Overall: excellent book for novices and for those wishing to improve their basic skills, not so much for someone looking to develop their technical abilities.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

coming soon...

Quick Update: Anticipated Blogs will be...

  • Stephanie Pratt Celeb Copy Cat
  • Bobbi Brown book 'review'
  • Rae Morris book 'review'
  • Homemade exfoliator blog

As some of you may know, I'm off work at the moment with an on-going health prob and it has unfortunately has made me feel a bit poorly the past few days, hence not much make-up chat. But, it will resume shortly!


Amanda xx

Monday, 18 January 2010

Hello Late 20's. Hmph

I turn 28 in 2hrs. Officially out of my 'mid-twenties' into the 'late-twenties' and 30 is on the horizon. This is quite disappointing.

However, I remember reading in Just Seventeen when I was about 13 an interview with women who had been succesful in their careers, love life, all living the dream and all of them credited turning 30 with feeling more confident, finally realising their own sense of style, they stopped caring what people thought of them blah blah blah so I guess that is something for me to look forward to!

I don't really have much else to say on the topic. As much as I love having birthdays, present giving (I have a twin brother) and receiving, dinner with loved ones etc I HATE that I'm going to be 28. The only thing that makes it better is knowing Mac is turning 30 in a couple of months.

*goes off giggling to self...*

PS Happy Birthday Richard! xxxx

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Orange Lips... Yay or Nay?

*edited to say I have reconsidered my comment that it looks horrendous on everyone - as VexintheCity rightly points out, probably lots of people look fab with orange lips!*
Hmmmm. grazia daily have an 'interesting' article on Orange Lips. You can read about that using the link below.
The Barry M lipgloss I used to test the look. Another hmmmmmm. I used the lipgloss '6' which is called Tropical Tango and it was £4.25. It was streaky, sticky and just generally not very good. However it smelled like a bag of skittles,(yum!). So if you like nice smelling, 'ok' lipgloss, then this is a bargain!
I have to say, I don't think this is a good look, but maybe some people can carry it off.
So anyway, figuring I'm not just going to slate it without having tried it, so here is the proof. It looks cack. Leave a comment if you have anything to add!
A xx

Friday, 15 January 2010

Recent Recommendations

As I have mentioned several times, my other blog got deleted but I had made some recommendations for a couple of products/brands that I thought might be useful to re-blog for you. I can't put pics up again as I deleted them off my laptop after I'd posted, naively thinking I would not need them again!

So, I'd mentioned my new Michael Kors watch - I love his accessories and can be viewed at

I'd also posted about a bracelet Mac had given me for xmas from HultQuist Copenhagen, which is gorgeous. You can check out their catalogue at
Beaute is a new cosmetics brand by Beau Nelson which has recently been launched in Canada and the US. I am currently coveting the 'weightless lip creme' so if anyone knows where I can get my grubby mitts on them, please email me!
As mentioned in the 'nails nails nails...' post, the 'Brights' look was achieved using the Acid Palette by Sleek Make-up. I spotted these palettes in Superdrug months ago but figured they wouldn't be worth the money. However after watching several Pixiwoo vids where they were used and after my friend Lisa buying one, I was convinced to give them a go. I picked up the 'Acid' and 'Sunset' palettes at less than £5 each and I have to agree - they're fabulous! The colours are amazing, they don't have that much fall-out and they blend like a dream. So definitely check them out. You can pick them up in Superdrug or go to
Also check out Pixiwoo at where you'll find heaps of tutorials on make-up application, trends and looks.
Finally, and I'm not going to say much but Mister Mascara lashes are brilliant. All of the pics below feature me (except the Gwen pics) wearing MM lashes and they are simply superb. You can get 2 pairs for £9.50 in boots or go to
Enjoy! A xx

Nails Nails Nails...

So, this is my 3rd attempt at this post! I put one up this morning and then deleted the post by accident, then I deleted my entire blog which is why you are now looking at this one with posts missing! Grrrrrr good thing I don't have any exams in the next day or so... ahem.

Right, when I posted the 'brights' look yesterday it had an explanation behind it, which was that when I was reading Feb's issue of Vogue, it had an article stating that 'Make Up is Back'. I was unaware that it had ever gone anywhere, maybe I've been out of touch and have been unfashionably parading around in eyeliners and lipglosses. However, I figured I would celebrate the return of face painting by doing something fun; the result was the pics you can see below. Do you like the pink feathers in my hair? They kept making me sneeze.

Whilst I was preparing for yesterday's bright look (which was done using a Sleek palette - you need to check these out!), I came across a few mentions of Illamasqua's new Pastels Polish range that will be launched at the end of Feb. Not willing to wait to try it out and unlikely Illamasqua are going to be sending me them anytime soon, I thought I'd give the yellow a go. I decided I wasn't going to spend more than £5 on something I was positive I would hate and I picked up Collection 2000's Hot Looks polish in 'Sherbet Lemons' for £1.94 in Asda (the price reflects the fact that it took 2 very generous coats to get an even finish - but it did dry very quickly!).

I have been pleasantly surprised! For someone who normally wears Rouge Noir, it feels a bit 'Runway Sports Wear', but actually it has cheered me up no end in this miserable scottish weather! So, my recommendation is a 'thumbs up'!!

Make-Up is Back!

Celeb Copy Cat - Twiggy

Celeb Copy Cat - Gwen Stefani

Celeb Copy Cat - Dita von Teese

Deleted My Blog!!

Arrrgghhhh!!!!! I just deleted my old blog by accident. So this is the new one. FFS!!!!