Saturday, 27 February 2010

FOTD with Sleek Eye Dusts

Just a short one - this is a look I created using Sunset and Blue Lagoon eye dusts from Sleek.

What do you think?

Sleek Eye Dusts

I'm not exactly on a spending ban, but have been doing a bit of credit bashing of late, so when I spied these little pots in Superdrug (£2.99) each I figured I could get my fix without breaking the bank.

Although they are absolutely gorgeous colours (I adore the yelllow!), I'm not entirely sure when I'd wear them and fear that they are just going to end up in my 'face painting' kit rather than my make-up bag.

They are highly pigmented and the colour goes forever; you'd only need the tiniest dot to cover an entire lid. However, the packaging is infuriating and my poor bathroom will be stained in beautiful rainbow colours for a few days at least. Lipglossiping had similar issues but she created a beautiful EOTD with 'Livid Lilac' (also her pics are FAB!)
From left to right: 'So Sleek', 'Fantasy', 'JetSet', 'Sunset', 'Blue Lagoon'

Friday, 26 February 2010

LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub

I'll just say this is a sugar-based, chocolate and peppermint scrub that you massage into your lips, leaving them soft and pouty, then you get to lick the sugar off.

I am trying very hard not to eat it with a spoon.

LUSH Daddy-O Shampoo

I am normally steered away from LUSH by the over-powering soapy smell wafting out the door, but today, seeking solace from the painfully bitter sleet that started pounding on my delicate head, I found myself wandering in...
Trying to look like I was a real customer and not a 'crazy lady' I started picking up bottles and realised that the tester I was holding smelled divine. This shampoo is formulated for blonde and grey hair, but it is apparently good on any other colour too.
It's bright purple and claims to brighten blondes, leaving it soft and shiny. Now any true blonde out there knows that shine is not something that's easily achieved. Since it was only about £4, I bought it and made my way back out into the snow. Enter bathtime; within seconds my entire flat was filled with the amazing smell of Parma Violet sweeties and even as I'm sitting writing this, I keep getting wafts of sweet shop. Yum.
Now here's the thing. Usually with a 'shine' shampoo, it turns my hair into a soft, sloppy, 'can't do anything with it' barnet. My hair might be shiny, but it looks like a 3 year old's hairdo. This didn't!! My hair actually appeared to have a bit more body than usual! AND it ws shiny! WTF? This is a MIRACLE!! OMG I love this shampoo!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover it is suitable for Vegans! This shampoo is a little bottle of wonderment. Have you tried it? What did you think?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Beaute 'Fever' Liqui-Gel Stain

First of all, apologies for the horrendous pics today. I took them last night and unfortunately it was pitch dark by the time I got round to doing it, so stuck with the awful orangey lamp.

Anyway! My growing love for Beaute continues to bloom with my 3rd purchase from Coco Beau. This is one of the Liqui-Gel Stains in 'Fever'. It appears a little on the purple side on the official pic above, but it is blood-red in real life.

It is of a thicker consistency than other stains I have tried - Benetint is very watery, but this is like the syrupy sister. It blots on without running on your lip and is easily blended with your finger, or for a more 'just got out of bed and looked fab' look, blot on and just smoosh your lips together. It dries quickly and tastes sweet, without a horrible synthetic sickly smell.

It is marketed as a Cheek and Lip stain - I have only tried it on my lips, but as a stain 'uberfan' I am taking an educated guess that it will great for the cheeks too.

The first pic is the stain alone and the second is with a slick of very sheer Chanel red lipgloss over the top. I have worn this out twice now, both times for about 5 or 6 hours and it has not rubbed, or started to disappear at all - no touching up required.

It retails at £25, so quite pricey, but if you're like me and enjoy no-fuss products, then you'll get your money's worth.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Make-up Bag Essentials - Benetint

There are some products that we flirt with; we spend £££'s on trends, colours, technology, only for them to fall by the wayside after a couple of weeks because you suddenly realise that the colour is crap or it isn't doing what you hoped. Then there are the products that you inevitably fall back on when your new flirtation ends. That's what this mini-series is about; the oldies, but goodies.

Today is Benefit's Benetint. This was actually one of the first two products I ever owned from Benefit (the other was Bad Gal Eyeliner) and believe it or not, it was given to me by Mac on our first Christmas together in 2005 and so, that Christmas, 2 Great Loves began.

5 years ago, I'd never heard of 'tints'. I'm not sure if Benetint was the first one on the market? Maybe someone can enlighten me? And I'm not even sure that I would have had the guts to go for something like this, if it hadn't been bought for me. Now, 5 years later, I don't recall what life was like without it. I use it all the time. It doesn't matter if I'm tanned, pale or inbetween. It works. And it always looks fab. We've had our ups and downs - the first time I used it as a lip tint and realised it had wiped off the inside of my lips, leaving me a ring of pink round my mouth. The first (and only!) time I spilled it over the cream carpet in my new, rented flat. It wouldn't be a good makeup day without 1 stained finger tip from patting it onto my cheeks.
So, this is for the girlies amongst you, who tend to stay on the safer side of makeup purchases and have never understood this blood red bottle of ink, winking at you from the Benefit stand...
I gently tap off the excess from the brush on the inside neck of the bottle and dot 5 or 6 drops onto my cheek in a circle, like here. I didn't demonstrate on my cheek as by the time I'd taken the photo, it would have stained in dot format and I was leaving for work shortly after these pics were taken... On your cheek, it wont 'spread' like it has done in the lines on my hand, unless your face is as lined as the back of my hand!
I pat the dots with the pad of my ring finger until all the dots are blended and there are no discernable lines. I repeat if I want more of a girly flush. It's then stuck fast for the day and wont budge or need touched up. If you don't like a lot of fuss, this could be your wonder product.
The 'before and afters'

It is available from most Boots stores, Debenhams and online. It's RRP is £23.50.

What are your 'can't live without' products?

Perricone MD 'No Foundation Foundation'

"New generation of foundation that let's your skin's natural beauty, but not it's flaws, shine through".

It's a lightweight foundation which contains (natural) SPF30, delivering a soft, dewy radiant finish, whilst providing what I reckon is a light to medium coverage. The actual product is kind of almost gel like, definitely more of a tinted moisturiser consistency than the double-cream consistency of traditional foundation, but still manages to deliver a decent amount of coverage. .

I'm delighted with the presence of SPF30, courtesy of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Alpha Lipoic Acid smoothes skin texture and deal with pesky fine lines; my skin did feel smoother - I particularly noticed it on the back of my hand after rubbing away the swatch!

Ok, so I've told you what it is and does, but what did I think? Well, it glides on beautifully and gave a brilliant even finish to my skin tone, covering all the minor blemishes and blotches, without it looking like I was wearing a full face of foundation. It did definitely give a dewy finish, which I was worried about due to my tendency for oily-ness around 4pm, but it seemed to stay under control. For me, I'm not sure the coverage would be enough for a night out, as I like a full coverage in candle-light, but for everyday wear this would be great. It wouldn't be Perricone without a funny smell, but this one is light, fresh and citrusy.

Unfortunately, it only comes in 1 'universal' shade, which is slightly disappointing and in the icy white winter sunshine, this is defintely 1 shade too dark for me. However it will be brilliant once I have a touch of summer sun on my face. I actually think it will be a great summer foundation since it's so light. It looks much darker on the hand swatch than it actually appears once properly applied onto the face and anyone who is darker than 'porcelain' would probably find the shade easy enough to work with.

Although I received this free of charge, it retails at £41 for a 30ml bottle. I only used a pea-sized amount, so can imagine it would last for at least a month, using it every day. You can check out for stockists.

Overall, a thumbs up from me!

FOTD Featuring Beaute 'Girlina'

Morning beautiful people! Today this little beauty popped through my letter box from the fabulous peeps at Coco Beau, I ordered it on Saturday and it cost £22. It is of course, Girlina Weightless Lip Creme by Beaute. You saw me rave about 'Trace' a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I tried it, I knew I'd be back for more. I also ordered 'Fever' stain, which I will post in a few days.
The colour is very Barbie-esque and is a little scary on the swatch, but once I had it on and blended properly on my lips, it just melted into this amazingly beautiful girlie pink colour. So today's FOTD is dedicated to the team at Coco Beau who are lovely and are probably sick of hearing me rave about how fabulous they and Beaute are! Enjoy!

Products used are: Pro Lumiere in 10, Benefit Dandelion, Benetint, Chanel mascara (sorry the 'type' has rubbed off), Shu Uemura eyebrown pencil and Beaute WLC in Girlina

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Difference Between Men and Women

This conversation just ensued between Mac and myself. Background information; we have just bought a house and Mac has spent at least 83 hours so far 'researching' exactly which new TVs will go where ...

Mac: Do you think we'll ever need a Blue-Ray player? or just a DVD player?
Me: emmm, we never watch DVDs. What is a Blue-Ray?
Mac: Discs. Never mind.
Me: But you told me a couple of months ago that Blue-Ray will become obsolete soon.
Mac: Yeah, but this is for HD.
Me: So why are spending £££'s on an HD TV if HD and Blue-Ray will be obsolete.
Mac: Not HD TV, HD DVD.
Me: Stop saying letters at me. Will I be able to watch QVC?

Nooberella's Fab Follower Giveaway!

To celebrate reaching the 100 follower mark, Nooberella at Nooberella's Secret Beauty Blog is doing a 'pick your own prizes' giveaway!
Check it out here
Some fab prizes and a fab blog! What more could you want!
A xx

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Not Makeup Related...

I have nothing to blog about today. No new purchases. I have no clean brushes to do a FOTD with and I can't be arsed cleaning them, so thought I'd take a break from the regular schedule and give you all something to giggle about... This is me through the ages!

Above is my twin brother, Richard, and I aged 5 with my baby brother Daryl

No excuse! No idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it!

This was me in my 2nd year of my Fine Art degre. My parents were so proud! Yes I have multiple piercings, although many of the studs have now been removed. I also have 7 tattoos, which is probably my way of rebelling now without having to have pink dreadlocks....

Friday, 19 February 2010

Hair Wand Vs Hair Straightener

Right, I have been wanting to do a vid for ages to show you techniques when using a hair wand and a hair straightener when you are trying to create a curl. I have now filmed the video 3 times. The first two attempts, my camera cut out at 6 minutes, just as I was getting to the bit where I use the straighteners. The 3rd attempt went well, except I have spent hours trying to convert it into the file type I need for YouTube. I've given up. It's obviously trying to tell me something...

This is the short version... I don't think the finished effect differs any. I can create the exact same curl when using either. I think straighteners have a slight degree of more flexibility in terms of the style of curl you can create but that's about it. If you just want straightforward curls, then either will be fine. Using the straighteners, I have managed to crisp my earlobe on more than one occasion. Using the wand, I have given myself a rather attractive 2 inch burn down my cheek. Also, with the wand, it's likely you'll be provided with a teflon glove - make sure you wear it on the hand you're holding the hair with and not the hand you're holding the wand with...

I use an AMIKA curling wand, which cost about £120 and my straighteners are SHE which cost about £20-£25. I don't need expensive straighteners, I have the straightest hair imaginable, I just use them for curling. They are both ceramic.

This is the side I curled using the wand.

This is the side I curled using the straighteners.

This is them both, helpfully labelled using my amateur Microsoft Paint skillz

EOTN (Eye of the Night!)

My friend Claire and I went out for dinner this evening so thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity and make my eyes fancy. They kinda ended up looking like I had 2 black eyes since the colours I opted for were cranberry & black.... It actually didn't look anywhere near as gothic as it does in the pics!Products used were...
  • Chanel Teint Innocence in 05
  • Benefit Benetint
  • Benefit Dandelion Powder
  • Benefit One Hot Minute Bronzer
  • Sleek 'Sunset' E/S Pallette
  • Shu Uemura Eybrow Pencil
  • Benefit Bad Gal Lash
  • Ruby & Millie Lipstick in Red Sheer

And just for fun, here's an 'out take' from the pics I took this evening. I don't always look fab you know!!

Free Standard Delivery at MAC


Free Standard Delivery...on us!

Place your order by Midnight this Sunday 21st February and receive free Standard Delivery.
Enter the offer code SHIPFEB at checkout
Enjoy! A xxx

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Dr Perricone Skin Clear Hydrator

So, this is a bit of a weird one for me! I recently received some samples from a PR for Dr Perricone MD Skincare; a jar of 'Skin Clear Hydrator' and a bottle of 'No Foundation Foundation'. Now firstly, as a regular consumer of Skin Clear Hydrator I was absolutely delighted to receive a jar as it retails at about £45 a pop meaning I have just freed up some space on my credit card to spend at Coco Beau...

Now back to the weird bit - I thought I was the only person who used Dr Perricone!! I'm starting to think I'm maybe the only person in Aberdeen as the rest of the 'blogosphere' appears to be awash with good and bad reviews of various MD products! I'm gutted... I thought I'd discovered a beauty secret!

(This is my own, slightly dusty jar!)

Anyway! I would like to note that I really genuinely love my Skin Clear Hydrator. I've been using it everyday for about a year. It all started when I was having a course of chemical peel treatments for a rather raging bout of acne at the Sk:n Clinic. In between treatments, I had to use a course of various topical lotions and potions, one of them being the SCH. As someone with oily skin, the search for a moisturiser that doesn't overload and clog my pores seemed eternal, however I can honestly say it hasn't even occured to me look elsewhere since using the SCH.

I've found a jar will last about 4 - 5 months. The above pic is the last wee bit of the jar I bought in September or October, so it does last for ages.

This is what it says...

"The oil-free hydrator helps to reduce surface debris while relieving dryness and increasing the skin's natural moisture. It encourages regeneration and renewal of skin's appearance to deliver a smooth and healthy looking surface. Provides anti-ageing benefits"

To be totally honest, I couldn't really care if it helped little old ladies across the street - the important thing is it doesn't turn my face into an oil slick after application and the best thing is my spots have never returned. My face always has a lovely baby smooth feeling after use and it sinks in quickly so you don't need to wait 5, 10 or 15 minutes before applying your makeup. Obviously I can't completely attribute my clear skin to Dr Perricone; it is just a moisturiser and there are many other things I do that no doubt help. But for me, SCH certainly counts as one of my ultimate wonder products.

Now I know those of you who have read other reviews of Dr P's products will be sitting there thinking 'is she not going to mention the smell?'... Yes, it has a funny smell but I like it. I think it smells like coffee and once it's sunk in to my skin, the smell goes away.

I obviously can't say if you'll experience the same results as I have and when I started using it, I was guided by a dermatologist as to which products would be best suited to my skin. You might want to consider popping into your local Sk:n Clinic and asking for their help regarding which MD products to use or you can check out the website for more details. If you do decide to give it a go let me know how you get on!

Look out for a future post on the 'No Foundation Foundation'. This is a totally new product to me and I can't wait to give it a go...

A xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

In reply to 'Anonymous Blogger'

Probably most of my usual readers wont be interested in this, but if you've been following the raging debate at MAF then here is my response to Anonymous Blogger who wrote that they were offended by my comments.

The short story is that I never intended to offend anyone and my comments perhaps betray me in the way I worded what I said. I certainly wasn't trying to insinuate that 'core' or popular bloggers are unwelcoming to newbies.

The fact that I said 'I wondered if I'd get lynched' and not 'I'm expecting to get lynched' suggests that I am perhaps slightly ignorant to how contradictory comments might be received not that I have made an assumption that blogger + lots of followers = bitches. Anyhoo, my response to the comments on MAF is below - it is still currently waiting moderation on the forum.

"I have been following the rest of this debate with interest since my initial comments, but hadn’t felt the need to comment any further until I read ‘anonymous blogger’s’ comments that she had taken offense to what I said.

My comment wasn’t intended to insinuate that I thought there was a ‘clique’ or an ‘inner circle’ or that I didn’t want to be rejected by the ‘cool’ bloggers for having my own opinion. Initially, yes I did consider not leaving the comment because I didn’t want to hijack someone else’s blog comments by potentially starting a debate about the product in question. I certainly wasn’t suggesting that the ‘main’ bloggers who are referred to throughout this debate would ‘reject’ me or not let me play with them. As someone who is new to blogging, I am still learning the etiquette and doubted myself as to whether it’s ok to disagree like that on someone else’s comments thread or if I should have written my own review on my own blog. That’s what I meant by being ‘lynched’ i.e was my contradictory opinion left in the appropriate place. Of course I wondered if I would be taken to task about what I said, but I think the fact that A) I posted the comments in the first place and B) that I did so under my real identity proves that I was less concerned with what other bloggers would think about me and more concerned with offering an alternative point of view. Something I would have expected would be welcomed?

I have, however been slightly offended, and am now feeling exceptionally defensive to read that it is assumed that I am scared to disagree with the popular bloggers because I am desperate to get into the ‘inner circle’. First of all, until this article, I hadn’t even considered there was an inner circle! Secondly, considering my physical location (i.e the north of scotland), it is unlikely I am ever going to meet these bloggers, and really join the ‘inner circle’ that is referred to. Sure, I follow many on Twitter and some even follow me back, but I thought that was because we had a shared and common interest, not because it’s intended that I be inducted into some kind of beauty blogging coven.

Of course I wouldn’t want to offend anybody on a personal level, but since we are all grown women, I would have expected that the bloggers who I may have a different opinion from would ‘respect’ me for offering to share that opinion? Not expect me, ‘as a newbie’ to be ashamed or scared that my opinion will rock the boat?

Once again, let me reiterate that my comment about being ‘lynched’ wasn’t intended to convey that I thought other bloggers are so precious about their own opinions, or that I felt they would be unwelcoming but that I was doubting my own position in terms of how best to convey my thoughts.

So anonymous blogger, I respect you for at least acknowledging that you felt uneasy about revealing your identity and I hope my post goes someway to explain my position on the whole ‘clique’ situation we appear to be faced with"

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

EOTD featuring Laura Mercier Eye Mosaic

I recently won a 'follower giveaway' at Makeup By Katy and received a whole pile of goodies at the weekend, including this Laura Mercier eye mosaic in Mediterranean Sea and a Jumbo pencil from NARS. I was grinning from ear to ear, having never tried either LM or Nars!

I used all 4 colours in the quad. The lightest yellow all over the lid as a base, the light blue across the dome of my eye, the bronze in the crease and the dark blue to line along my lashes. I used the NARS pencil on my water line which gave me brilliantly sparkly eyes where the light hit the shimmery bits (that's a technical term dontcha know...). Othe products used were Mat Lumiere in 05, my Beaute Weightless Lip Creme in 'Trace' and the lashes were finished off with Bad Gal lash in blue.

Let me know your thoughts, I love to hear your comments!
A xx

Monday, 15 February 2010

Mister Mascara False Lashes

A couple of you may remember me raving about Mister Mascara lashes on my old blog before I managed to delete the whole thing... Since then, I still get asked a lot about lashes so thought I'd repost: this time with better pics!

The link above is to the MM website, but I've never purchased from there, so don't know what it's like in terms of delivery etc. I tend to get mine from Boots so I can collect my advantage card points, where they are £9.50 for 2 pairs (incl glue + mini tweezers). Generally, you'll get a more natural pair and a fuller pair in the kit. The set below is from the 'Spiky' range and the ones pictured are the more natural ones.

If you have real problems applying lashes try watching some tutorials on Youtube and practice, practice practice! No-one is an expert at applying lashes first time and you will get there!

(I'm very ashamed of my chipped nails above but it was a stressful day at work!)

To give you an idea of how some simple lashes can transform your eyes, I've pictured each stage of my eye as I apply.

1st - no make-up.

A little cream shadow and lash line lined with Bobbi Brown gel liner along the top and underneath as shown in my previous post of Easy Eye Tips.

These are with lashes applied and a tiny slick of mascara to blend my lashes and the falsies together

I absolutely adore Mister Mascara lashes - I haven't tried a set that I haven't liked. The stems are always very flexible and I really like the glue, which dries almost clear. I probably wouldn't wear these without some eyeliner, but then I probably wouldn't wear any lashes without liner! I usually get at least 4 or 5 wears out of 1 pair, so for £9.50 you get about 10 wears if you treat them properly. I have tried other lashes such as Ardell, Girl's Aloud and Revlon lashes, but for me, these are a winner! If you give them a go, let me know what you think - just as always, be careful with your eyes and pointing sharp tweezers near them!

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow

This little baby was a birthday present from my darling lil brother (awwww I hear you coo!). It was £14 I think (he paid, I looked away...). You can peruse prices, other colours etc here

Anyway, let's forget boring things such as price and get onto the important stuff... How pretty is it?? Well! This particular colour is called RSVP and can be best described as an antiquey dusky rosey bronze colour. Gottit? Its absolutely beautiful on, changing shade in the light - looking more gold in some lights, more pink in others.
Application is fab - it's satin smooth to apply and is very easily slicked on with your finger tip. Blend quickly though as it does set into a stiffer powdery finish within moments. Presumably this is where the 'creasless' comes from - it doesn't remain as a cream on your lid, which would be great for my oily lidded friends.

(See next post for a review of the eyelashes I'm wearing - Mister Mascara lashes are one of my most favourite things!)