Friday, 28 May 2010

Beautiful Bride!

Today, I woke up feeling so so nervous! I was doing my first ever full on wedding for Fiona and was really freaking out! We've had plenty trials with her and her bridesmaids and I am normally totally confident making other people beautiful, but I guess the responsibility of today kinda got to me!
In the end, everything went swimmingly, everyone looked beautiful and there was not a bridezilla in sight! Was such a lovely, lovely morning and the bride absolutely shone. It was a pleasure and an honour to be a part of Fiona and Stephen's big day and I wish them all the love and luck for their life together as a married couple.
Check out some pics!

I did Fiona's base before her rollers went in, then we finished her off after her hair was done

2 of Fiona's bridesmaids... Lesley on the left and Claire on the right.
On both the girls, I used Bobbi Brown's foundation stick and Benefit Creaseless shadows, with Coralista for the cheeks.

Doesn't she look beautiful?
We used Chanel Pro Lumier in 10, Chanel Bronze Universel, Benefit Coralista, Laura Mercier E/S, Benefit Bad Gal lash (waterproof of course!) and Beaute Girlina on the lips!

And the completed party! Nicola (2nd from the left) was done by Morag, her own MUA but the other 3 were me and I'm delighted with how they all look!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pro Makeup Shop

Tonight I am quickly extolling the virtues of one of my current favourite websites... Pro Makeup Shop
I know many of you might already by familiar with this site, especially the hobbying and profressional artists amongst you, and I've kind of toyed with the idea of ordering in bulk from them previously, but always sticking to picking up bits in Boots or Sally's etc. But yesterday I received such good service from them, I felt I should give them a shout out! I needed a next day delivery, so rather than ordering through the website, I gave them a call and nothing was too much trouble. The important thing was my order arrived next day. Awesome.
The website is concerned with safe beauty and hygienic practices which you can read more about here. In essence, it equips artists with disposable tools to eliminate the risks associated with cross contamination and infections, bacteria etc. But for those amongst you who only ever do your own makeup, there;'s something for you too! Take your pick from mixing dishes for creating your own shades, colour wheels, false eyelashes, bags, brushes and the infamous Lucas Pawpaw Ointment...
A xx

Monday, 24 May 2010

FOTD with Chanel Bronze Universel

Hi lovelies,

Hope you are dandy!

Just a few pics to share some new products I am loving at the mo...

I've a bit of a early summer tan just now, so invested in a summer bottle of Pro Lumier in shade 30. I usually use 10, but 30 matches me much better just now. Whilst at Chanel, I decided to pick up some of the much talked about Bronze Universel to see what all the fuss is about!
I've been a massive fan of Benefit's One Hot Minute bronzer for ages, so didn't think even Chanel could tempt me with a different product, but oh it has been so worth the investment. I can't even write how much I love it! It looks way scary in the pot and it took about 2 hrs of Twitter chat to decide which brush to use to apply it (I settled on a BE Kabuki), but it's absolutely brilliant!

So, this is me with foundation only - Chanel Pro in 30

it looks really solid and orange, but it actually just blends away into a lovely natural glow and is more of a moussey texture. You get a heck of a lot of product for your cash too

This is a Victoria Jackson palette I have and the blusher (looks pale pink here, but is actually a lovely coral shade) is AMAZING!!! I usually use Benefit's Coralisat and this is almost the same colour, but it's matte.

And this is the finished face! The only other products I have on is some Barry M lipgloss and my Eylure lashes.

Loving the more natural, summery look!

What do you think then? Have you tried Bronze Universel? Do you love it or loathe it?

Friday, 21 May 2010

Clinique 'Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup'

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll be aware of how often I bemoan my often oily, slightly blemished, dull skin.

I was one of those annoying teens who never had a spot or blemish and didn’t realise how lucky I was. Unfortunately, at the age of 20 when I suddenly got hips and a decent chest, I also got spots. I don’t know what happened – maybe it was payback for being smug between 13 – 19! Until about 26, they didn’t bother me too much. But then I had a few problems with my pill; since then my skin has gone haywire.

I think I’ve mentioned before about how it got so bad I ended up being seen by a dermatologist at the SK:N clinic for a round of chemical peels. Pricey, but they have done wonders, bringing my poor painful inflamed skin, back to mildly spotty.

I have good weeks and bad weeks, where my skin can swing from glowing in the morning to inflamed by tea time, but it has generally remained middling. Products such as Dr Perricone’s moisturiser that I’ve blogged about before generally keeps things to a minimum in terms of large blemishes, but I am still plagued by slightly dull, congested skin.

So, as I am always on the lookout for new things that might help, I’ve agreed to try the new Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup, to see if that can improve things. I took the ‘skin type’ test on the Clinique website and it diagnosed me as having type 2 combination skin, with my main priority as keeping oil under control.

The makeup works to get and maintain skin clear and lovely in these 4 ways...

Ease of Irritation: The presence of caffeine helps to reduce redness and soothes the skin

Control of Blemish Causing Agents: Hydroxydecanoic Acid is an ingredient that helps control the spread of blemishes

Exfoliation: Salicylic acid works as an exfoliant, working off those dead skin cell debris which can clog pores

Oil Control: Laminaria Sacharrina Extract is a sea algae which purifies and balances the skin, helping to regulate sebum production.

As the Anti-Blemish liquid makeup is all about natural, but good coverage whilst controlling oil, I’m game! I’m going to try the foundation over a couple of weeks to give it a chance to work its magic. In the meantime you can check out this tutorial or you can find out more here.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Eylure Semi Permanent Individual Lashes

Please be careful if you decide to try this product. I can't take responsibility if you decide to glue your eyes shut or end up with lash clumps stuck to your forehead for a month...

I'm on a roll this week!

In Boots last week they didn't have my usual Mister Mascara lashes so I picked up some Eylure Semi-Permanent ones, just to see if they were any good. They were £5 for the mixed box of lengths and the pack comes with both adhesive and adhesive removing dissolving stuff.

Before pic.

They were suprisingly easy to apply. Unlike strip lashes which are usually applied at the lash root, against the eye lid, these are glued directly onto the lashes, so as your lashes grow, these are supposed to naturally grow out with them.

The adhesive isn't gloopy white stuff you need to blow on; this stuff is clear and an entirely different type of glue. It dried really quickly and the lashes didn't move around while they set. You need to be quick to get it into place before it sets, but if you make a mistake you can use the dissolver to remove it.
This is one eye completed - as you can see, very subtle joins along the lash line

This is the completed result! The instructions suggest applying 7-14 individual clumps, but I only used 4 per eye! 2 Medium and 2 Short. I only used a tiny tiny stroke of mascara just to blend my natural lashes as they are very pale.

The instructions suggest avoiding the use of oil based make-up removers to preserve the life of the adhesive and they advise not to remove the lashes without the use of the dissolver.
The only 'down side' is that the 'long' lashes are too long for me, so I will probably only get use out of the short and medium. This means as well that there are no short enough ones for the inner corners of my eye. But I'm handy with a pair of nail scissors so might try trimming some of them down (before applying!!).
It remains to be seen how long they last! I will be amazed if they make it through tonight's sleep, shower and are still intact by the time I put my makeup on. But, I love the effect! What do you think? Will you give them a go?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Sleek Makeup 'Nailed' Polish


soooo, what's new? well exams are all over and I am loving it! Have had a couple of days off from work (back on wednesday) and I've been enjoying the sun! Hasn't it been lovely? I've even been learning to like my freckles!

I had been planning on doing a week's worth of blogs this afternoon, but instead I fell asleep in the sun in the garden, but I am now lovely golden brown (no I wasn't wearing an spf, yes I know how bad that is...)

Anyhoo! I promised a couple of reviews of things I'd picked up at the weekend - one of the LE Sleek polish colours included - so here it is! The bottle cost £3.49 and 4 colours were available. I picked up 'pastel pink'.

I've never used any of the Sleek polishes before (as you all know I rarely stray from Nails Inc or Chanel) so didn't really know what to expect. My observations are... The brush is fine, quite firm and easy to control. The polish is very thick and almost a bit gloopy. The colour is great though, 1st coat was minorly streaky, but after it had sat for a few seconds, it evened out. I applied a 2nd coat because, well... I always do!

Overall, very nice. I don't have great expectations for it last more than a couple of days, but the colour is lovely and very summery!

**forgot to say, it dried in seconds and within 10 mins was rock hard!**

Monday, 17 May 2010


Morning all!

Hope you are all enjoying some lovely sunshine today! So, here are the 5 lovely winners of the LE Chanel Books...

- Shineynewgirl

- Bigfashionista

- Lea

- Speed Queen

- Jiggliepuff

Thanks to everyone who entered and commiserations to those who didn't win.

Can the winners please email me on with your names and full addresses please!

A xx

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Random Haul

Totally random, but I went for a wee dander round town today and here's what I bought!
Nails Inc in 'New York'... with 2 500ml bottles of Diet Coke! Bargainlicious!
Sleek Makeup quick dry polish in 'Pastel Pink'... Limited Edition for £3.49. What more could you want?

How cute are these??

Bracelet from Accessorize matches my 'Nouvelle Vague'...

Finally is a GOSH 'Velvet Touch' Eyeliner in 'Bananas'... I'm hoping this will be good for replacing the dreaded surprised look that white eyeliner can give.

Full reviews on polishes and eyeliner coming soon...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Eucryl Tooth Powder

Just a quick one tonight and apologies there hasn't been much makeup recently. I've been all about the pimples, stained teeth and hair removal...very lovely!
Anyway, I picked this up in Tesco a couple of weeks ago after being made to put back about £70 worth of Pearl Drops stuff by the mean boy and am loving it! It cost about £2.50, so is about as bargainous as you can get!

You use it once or twice a week, just by pressing your wet toothbrush into the powder. Brush your teeth as normal and it foams just like a toothpaste. It has a pleasant minty/mentholy smell and taste and so far there hasn't been any sensitivity out of the norm.
I follow up by using my normal toothpaste after as would feel a bit weird not doing a 'proper' brush, but it seems to be having the desired effect. I definitely think my teeth are looking better, even the mean boy noticed after me smiling like a loon in his face...

This is the website, where you can find out your nearest stockist.

So, there probably wont be much else out of me now til after Saturday. I have my final Post Grad exam at 10am on Saturday and then will hopefully be minced on Cosmopolitans by 5pm. Wish me luck!!

A xx

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Elizabeth Arden 'Double Density' Mascara

I first started using Double Density mascara in 2007, after a week of extreme frustration with a couple of high street brands. I remember saying to the SA ' I want long, individually coated, thick but not clumpy eyelashes' and she placed this in my hand. I assumed she was wearing fake lashes, but she assured me she was only wearing the DD mascara so, at her word, I handed over £14.50 and went home with hope in my heart and a hole in my purse.

It was instant love. This mascara is bloody fabulous! It does everything I asked for, it's not too runny or dry, the brush doesn't tug your lashes (nor is the brush too large so you blob, or too small you need 18 coats) and it's a very deep true black. So I re-purchased and re-purchased until about 8 months ago when I went in for a tube and was advised it was discontinued!!!

Discontinued??? I stared at the SA in disbelief. Why would they do this to me? But, it seemed it was true, so I left empty handed. There are other mascaras I love, such as Benefit Bad Gal Lash and I have a back-up Chanel one, but nothing has ever been as good as the EA one.

Imagine my surprise then, about 2 weeks ago, when I was browsing the EA counter and spotted a full rack of the Double Density boxes! With no-one around to ask, I scooped up a tube and legged it (obviously via the cashdesk...). So, when I got home, I emailed the customer service helpline... Why was I made to suffer so? If I recommend it to my readers, will they suffer the same terrible fate? Or was the SA simply mistaken on the unfortunate day I was at the counter?

I can breathe a sigh of relief though as a very lovely person from EA has confirmed that the SA was mistaken and the mascara is not discontinued! Hurrah!! So, for as much as I do love other mascaras and stand by any time I've said in other posts that they're great, this is truly a HG product and would easily be reinstated as my Desert Island product! Testament indeed. Be warned though, the price has gone up to £19.

Pics show just one coat on natural lashes

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Braun Silk-Epil Xpressive Pro Body Epilator

Disclaimer - these are not my pins and I can't guarantee yours will look like this either if you decide to use the Silk Epil Xpressive Pro. Sorry!

It's that time of year again when we all start peeling off layers of Ugg boots, leggings, and wooly tights to gaze down at the furry, pale pins which masquerade as our legs. For me, this year requires double efforts as not only will I suffer the normal amount of skin exposure this summer, I am also getting married and going on honeymoon. So I need some seriously good looking legs!

Determined to be prepared, rather than wating to the last minute to bare all to my 'wax lady', I decided to invest in an epilator, so by the time the summer actually comes I will be all soft, silky and hair-free. My mum's face was one of sheer horror when I confessed my decision in Boots last week; she shrieked "have you no idea how much it hurts??" I replied, through gritted teeth, that yes I was aware that it would be sore, but I had no choice. My palms grew sweaty each time I picked up the box to take it to the checkout, I imagined what kind of state I would be in by the time I got home!

Knowing that the heat of a bath would help both open up the hair folicles making it less painful and the hot water would be soothing to dip a leg in when it all got too much, I decided to go for a wet/dry epilator, the Braun Silk Epil Xpressive Pro Body Epilator.

The guide suggests doing it in the evening, so any redness has died down by the morning, so that night I turned on the tap. My fellow Twitterers suggested a large vodka or a glass of wine before letting it loose on my legs, but thinking that alcohol and a hot bath would only lead to one thing... (a snooze!) I decided to go it alone. After soaking for about 20 mins, I gingerly applied it to my leg and grimaced, bracing myself for the wave of intense agony, but it never happened. Nada. The odd nippy pluck, but generally it felt like I was shaving my legs, not plucking out every little hair. I'm stunned! I also have not had any redness or rashes.

As it didn't get every hair out the first time - remember hairs grow at different rates - I have since epilated twice more and it gets easier and easier each time. The only weird thing is if you are holding your skin taut with your free hand, you might feel the 'pluck' of each hair, which might be a bit squeamish for some, but generally pain free.

So after a week, I have legs which are smooth and free from dry skin for the first time since I took up shaving them at the tender age of 12 and no nicks or cuts from a razor that's done. I honestly can't imagine going back to shaving! I paid £73 for mine at Boots, which seems a lot at first, but I figure I spend at least £10 a month on razor blades and would have at least 2 full leg waxes, at approximately £30 each, so over a year that could be £180. So in reality, I've saved £103!

Will you be giving epilating a go?

Barbara Daly Foundation

Barbara Daly's biography is amazing. She was the MUA on A Clockwork Orange, She was Princess Di's MUA on her wedding day and she has an OBE, to name but a few achievements. With Barbara's cosmetic expertise spanning 30 years, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised at the quality of the products I picked up at Tesco a couple of weeks ago.
I bought the 'Face Lift Foundation' (£7) and the 'Super Sheer Loose Powder' (£6).
You aren't going to believe me, but I would say this foundation is extremely similar to the finish you get with Chanel's Mat Lumiere. It has a lot of coverage, sets to a finish that doesn't need powdered and it lasts all day. It's seriously fabulous and I can't believe it was only £7. Even the pot it comes in is great as you can dip your foundation brush straight in, with no mess left on the back of your hand or fingers. The only thing I would watch out for is the shade you choose as I have found they tend to dry about 1/2 - 1 whole shade darker than it looks when you first apply it.

The Super Sheer Powder is equally as super, although as I've found I don't need any powder with the facelift foundation I haven't had the need to use it very much! It doesn't cake or settle on the skin, giving a truly natural looking matte/airbrush sheen to the skin. The packaging is awesome, with the dispenser inside ensuring you don't disappear in a cloud of powder everytime you open the lid. The powder gives enough coverage that you could probably get away with keeeping this in your drawer at work as your only touch-up product needed through the day.
One product I had in and out of my trolley about 4 times was the 'FaceLift', an illuminating sheer moisturiser that can be used under makeup or on it's own. On the back of my hand it looked great, but then I'd think 'what do I really need this for' and put it back. I regret not just buying it as it was only about £5 so maybe I'll get it next time.
What do you think? Have to you tried any of this range?

Friday, 7 May 2010

Smooth Skin Challenge

If you're like me and you're almost getting to the point where the hype about Clarisonic is making you part with enough money to pay a month's rent in your quest for silky radiant skin, then maybe this post will inspire you to delay for another few weeks...
Having read umpteen blogs recently where bloggers have received the kit to try for a few weeks, I had started thinking that one of their buzzing miracles was my only salvation. I only have 15 weeks left til my wedding day and I am feeling distinctly more greasy bumpy bird than radiant bride. However, I spotted a comment by Vex In The City , on one of the aforementioned blogs that gave me pause for thought... I wont quote, but was along the lines that the same effect could probably be achieved using manual high street accessories.
Imagine my delight then, when the following day I was in the Soap and Glory aisle at Boots and I spotted the Face Massage Mini Mitt for only £4! It knew I have tired and sallow skin and I wouldn't be able to resist the very cute, pink pretty packaging. It was almost like S&G read my mind.
It claims to be 'energy boosting' which sounds like exactly what my skin needs. So! I am going to add this little baby into my routine, step up my exoliation with my favourite exfoliator (pictured below and can be bought from Boots for about £9.50) and start glugging down the pints. Of water that is... I plan to do this for 4 weeks; I'll take 'before' pics tomorrow and compare what my skin is like in a month. Wanna join me? Or do you think I should just get my credit card out now and jon the Clarisonic Crew?

Ps... Clarisonic, if you're reading... I have nothing against your new toys, I am mostly just jealous I can't try one. I don't reckon I could get away with adding one as an essential wedding expense...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

All About Face eyeshadow

Anyway! I am guilty of tending to ignore the more affordable items in favour of 'One day I will be able to afford it' items, so in a bid to redeem myself, I picked up this little pot of lovely bluey sparkle in Tesco for £1.49 (pat on the back for me!) It is a brand called All About Face and in actual fact, the choice in the range was quite impressive. Everything seemed to be £1.49 or 3 items for £3, which included foundations, blushers and a massive choice of individual E/S pans, like below.

Bad points? It's crumbly as apple crumble and when applied dry is about as exciting as porridge, but look at it foiled!!!!!
I found it made a fabulous eyeliner (foiled using Chanel (!!!) No13 Eyeliner brush) with a little drop of water. Other makeup on my eye is Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in RSVP and No17 Va Va Voom mascara in Electric Blue (I love this mascara!). Eyelashes curled using Shu Uemura curlers.

Something to watch out for, however, is the staining! Both these pics were taken after having the product foiled just long enough to take a pic (maybe 2 or 3 minutes) and removed with my strongest makeup remover. Eeek!!

What do you think? I love this look!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Mini Mondays... Giveaway! and Chanel Les Pop de Chanel Summer Collection 2010

There's been a buzz around beauty blogosphere about this collection for a while now and it's finally arrived!

Chanel's summery offerings include Limited Edition nail polish shades and lipglosses which, for me, absoloutely epitomise summer. Just looking at the display in John Lewis had me transported to another world where I could wear beach jewellery, sip ice cold Mojitos and where me in a white bikini wouldn't have small children crying in fright...
Unfortunately, Chanel are not miracle workers and I had to settle for taking home the last remaining bottle of Novelle Vague, the minty fresh turquiose pictured below, a shade which will go some way to helping me live my beachy, summer dream.

I'm thinking this will be perfect on my nails for my city hen do in London in June, or for my extended honeymoon taking me from the beach in Hawaii to the slick city streets of New York. As long as it's warm, this colour will be fab!
In other news (Giveaway!)...
Whilst I was at Chanel, we got talking about the blog (I had to tell her otherwise she would have though I was weird for taking pics of the display...) and she kindly gave me 5 copies of the Limited Edition collectors book celebrating the release of the Rouge Coco lipstick range t giveaway to my lovely followers! The book is a must for any Chanel fan, with some beautiful photography and graphics.

To win one of these books, you need to be a follower (I will check!) and just leave me a comment telling me your favourite thing about summer! Competition will be open until Midnight Sunday 16th May and winners will be picked at random.
Good Luck!

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone!
Last night, Mac and I went for dinner so I took the opportunity to try out a few newish products...

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Strut
Sleek Blue Glitter Eyeliner
Elizabeth Arden Double Density Mascara in Black (keep your eyes peeled for a post on this in a couple of days)
Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil, Seal Brown Hard 6

Barbara Daly for Tesco Facelift Foundation in 'Almond' (Post on this and other Barbara Daly products coming soon)
Benefit Benetint and Benefit Coralista Blush on the cheeks
Benefit Georgia Peach all over the face
Benefit One Hot Minute Bronzer
No7 Limited Edition Natural Radiance Highlighter


This is to try and show you the No7 Highlighter - it's fab!
A xx