Saturday, 30 July 2011

NARS Orgasm Illuminator


I received the NARS Orgasm Illuminator as part of May's Glossy Box. I actually missed May's subscription, but I won my box in a giveaway by Jen over at Mizz Worthy! June's box was so-so, I'm looking forward to receiving July's. I think it'll be the deal breaker as to if I continue subscribing or not. Anyway, back to the NARS!

As I've mentioned before, NARS is a brand that I've had a bit of a distance flirt with, but never really plucked up the courage to invest in a full-on love affair with. I adore the brand in principle & I'm always lemming after other people's purchases (see The London Beauty Review and Just Nice Things but be prepared to break your credit cards out the freezer). But, I'm getting there, building a little NARS collection and this product currently takes pride of place in it!


I do love a good highlighter. I much prefer adding well-placed light than leaving it up to my skin's own devices (read oily). As a whiter than Snow White girl, I often prefer pinkier highlighters that I can layer over my blush. I was certain this was going to be too dark and too orange for me to even contemplate wearing.



But once it's blended out into the skin, it looks amazing! (obviously I don't wear this much!). A little smoothed over the top of the cheekbone, down the centre of the nose & it's like I have an amazing flushed tropical glow. It also maintains it's glow once it dries, without being over glittery. I was really impressed by the fine-ness (?) of the shimmer - not too chunky.


I found that after about 6-ish hours wear, it will be almost completely gone, but I can live with that! The tube is massive 30mls and considering you only need the size of a micro-pea, this will last forever. Making the £21.50 price tag much less 'need to hide the receipt from my husband'.

You can buy yours here.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sleek Rose Gold Blush


In Aberdeen, this blusher only became available last week, even thought it's been part of Sleek's range for, ooh, about a year? I've been aching to get my mitts on it FOREVER and I finally snapped up the last 2 on the shelf. I am now religiously checking my local Superdrug for back-ups as I will need this blush in my life, for the rest of my life.


It's really not much to look at in the pan; in fact, it looks weirdly grainy and like it will look like you've been slapped, really hard, across the face. But a gentle sweep across the cheek & it transforms, giving a very high-end finish.


The complexity of the 2 colours is stunning - the gorgeous tropical pink, mixed with the gentle gold flecks make it an obvious, out-right dupe for NARS Orgasm blush, but at a 5th of the price.



I don't say it often about products, but you need to go buy this. Now. Immediately.

Available in Superdrug stores and online at around £4.50.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

EEK!! What am I wearing on my nails??

Ever since Ruth (distinctly more 'fashion forward' than I) over at A Model Recommends, posted about her EEK Nails a couple of months ago, I have been dying to have a go. She had hers done by a professional in a professional salon, with professional tools. I grabbed a BBQ skewer & some Chanel, Andrea Fullerton & BarryM and made some magic!




Have a few meetings today, first day back at the office after 2 weeks off. Will be interested to see what my colleagues think. Work appropriate? Probably not. But I care not a jot! What do you think? A bit of fun or sheer ridiculousness?

Monday, 25 July 2011

TRESemme Giveaway Winner!

Drumroll please....

The winner of the giant pile of TRESemme goodies is.....


Congrats!! I will email you for your details & you should receive your prize shortly!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

'Get Lashed London' Lash Boost Serum - Week 1


I have had enough with my sparse, short lashes! I don't know what it is recently, but they are dry & I seem to have a couple of bald bits! So, I have picked up the Get Lashed London Lash Boost Serum from Boots. It cost £25 which I thought was a reasonable price - I'm interested in trying the more expensive ones as I've heard amazing things (DuLash, I'm looking at you!), but I wanted to give a high street brand a run for their money first.

I obviously don't have much to say yet! I've used it a couple of times and so far, it's fine. It doesn't sting at all, but I have noticed my eyes go a little bit bloodshot for maybe 10 minutes, but they quickly go back to normal. My eyelids are also not stained after using it. So, here are the 'before' pics..




Friday, 22 July 2011

GlossyBox July


There has been a lot of mixed reviews of GlossyBox over the last few weeks. They completely out-did themselves in the first box, with the full-size NARS product. In the 2nd box, there were no full-size products and one of the samples was Batiste. In this box, there are a few full-size products (depending on which box you get) but also a slightly bizarre, passive-aggressive note from GlossyBox...

"The products you receive this month pack quite a punch... Please do remember that GlossyBox is a luxury sample and product miniature subscription service. Whenever possible, we are happy to place full-sizes in GlossyBox. We hope you appreciate it when you receive them, without expecting it to be a regular feature"

(Does this remind anyone else of the email that will sent around an entire office reminding everyone that putting a non-recyclable item into the recycle bin is against company policy, when one person does it?)

Soo. Yes, they totally have a point. In fact, they probably would be better off had they not included the NARS in the first box! I think some people have slightly over-raised expectations of what GlossyBox will deliver. Whilst it would be lovely to receive a box of current, popular products each month, it's just not realistic. And anyway, the reason I signed up in the first place was to have a reasonably priced way of accessing products I would never have tried! So, if that's what you want, go ahead & sign up. If, what you are hoping for, is a box of Illamasqua, NARS, MAC etc each month, then don't. You'll be disappointed, which is not GlossyBox's fault!

*side note to GlossyBox - your note kinda pissed me off!

Right! Onto this month's contents! I am mega-delighted this month, probably even more so than May's box. Boxes are starting to be tailored to individual preferences, so boxes do differ from person to person.


In mine, there is...

1: Ciate Nail Polish in Beach Melba (full size)
2: Etat Libre Eau De Parfum (sample size)
3: Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Conquer (full size)
4: Weleda Pomegranate Body Oil (full size)
5: Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe (sample size)


The stand-outs for me this month are (and it is complete coincidence that they are the 3 full-size products!)...

This smells absolutely divine & feels amazing on the skin. I've never tried Weleda before, but I adore body oils, so I am delighted to have been introduced to a new brand! This is a 100ml bottle which retails for £19.95!

Illamasqua is a firm favourite brand of mine, so regardless of what product of theirs was included, I'd be happy. I particularly love this colour & is one I would have bought for myself. RRP is £15.50



I'm not Ciate's biggest fan but I really like the look of this colour & hopefully this shade will change my mind! RRP is £9

Those paying attention will have already noted that the 3 products above have a total retail value of £44.45!! So, in my opinion, GlossyBox is a winner for another month. I will be remaining subbed.

Have you subscribed? Have you cancelled your subscription? What did you think of this month's?

A x

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation


It's not very often that a product comes on the market, so hotly anticipated which subsequently receives a very mixed variety of reviews (unless you count Glossy Box...). This is Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation; openly modelled on the 'Blemish Balms' flowing out of Asia at the moment. Blemish Balms are a foundation/skincare hybrid product which provide gentle coverage, helping to clear the skin, provide an SPF and some even lighten the skin.

Illamasqua's offering doesn't provide an SPF (yay for MUAs!) and it definitely does not lighten the skin. It does, however, profess to provide 'skin realism' - presumably nice even coverage without looking like you've caked it on with a trowel. The fact it doesn't have an SPF is not a problem for me - for my pro work, I need foundations that don't have them and for myself? *Shrugs*. I'll add one if I want one, no biggie.


So, thoughts? Well. I picked this up in London last month after swatching & sampling shades like a mad woman in store (I walked out & my friend Petra made me go back in & sort my face out it was so patchy!). My skin looked amazing - it should have done, I was wearing about 6 tonnes of the damn stuff! However, when I got home & tried it properly, I was slightly perplexed. I couldn't seem to get it blended, it looked thick & dry and just sort of sat on top of my skin like a weird imposter. I tried it out 2 or 3 mornings and eventually chucked it into a drawer after M said to me one morning "ooh I can see your foundation". After tweeting about it, Illamasqua tweeted back advising I should try using less product. So, feeling generous, I dug it back out, gave my skin a thorough moisturising and tried again. And, after a couple of attempts, it turns out that when the Sales Assistant told me 'you only need a tiny tiny bit' she was right!

The foundation is mega thick and it really is like nothing I've tried before. I find it blends best over well-moisturised skin. If I try to wear this over freshly clean skin, it just drags & looks crap. I would suggest this will be a good choice for those with oilier skin. If you have normal - dry skin, just make sure you're well moisturised! You might find your fingers will blend this better than a brush, too.


Once you've cracked the application, you're onto a winner. I ADORE the finish of this product - it's smooth, even, not too thick & just the perfect mix of matte-but-not-chalky. It keeps a slight sheen around the nose & forehead that you may wish to powder, but I find this just makes it appear more 'skin like'. The wear literally lasts and lasts and is one of the few foundations I have that I can still 'see' at the end of the day.

I've now also used it on a couple of jobs and it's looked fantastic on every person I've used it on. It photographs beautifully and thanks to the lack of SPF, there's no scary flashes, highlights or grey bits to worry about.

A fellow twitterer wondered what it does for open pores. I have quite a few enlarged ones around the inner areas of my cheeks (closest to my nose) and when I was having the problems with the application, this is where I noticed it most. However, as I say, once you've mastered blending it, you shouldn't have any problems. If your pores are excessively large, it might settle after a while, but you could try using a silicone primer underneath.


I chose shade 6 - according to the SA, it's the most neutral in the range & I'd have to agree. Having sampled all of the shades, many of them lean quite peachy & it's definitely a range I'd recommend buying in person, rather than guessing your shade & buying online. The only other thing I'd say about the colour is don't be duped by how light it looks when first applied - once set, it will change at least 1 shade darker. So, I'd recommend really taking your time to get your shade right.

Whilst we are talking about colour, I have to say, I was highly impressed with the wide range of shades available. There should be one for everyone, from the lightest to the darkest. I will definitely be investing in some for my kit, especially as good darker colours are hard to come by. You can also buy a white to lighten any of the colours. The numbering system is designed so you can easily choose 2 shades that will mix (to cover all seasons) which wont make them go ashy or too orange.

And, it wouldn't be a foundation post without a photo of how it looks on! It's not the clearest as I took it on the MAC instead of with the camera, but you'll get the gist. Overall, I give this foundation a massive thumbs up, if you don't mind putting in a little effort at the start, you'll get fabulous, long-lasting results.

Photo on 2011-07-15 at 17.25

It retails for £25 at Illamasqua counters & online

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


It is no secret that I am probably the number one fan of Top Model; the American one, the Australian one, the British one... I could go on! (I find it hard to call it Britain & Ireland's NTM - it's like when they changed Opal Fruits to Starburst.) Anyway!


I love love love BINTM in particular because of the edgier side it brings to the series - the American one is great, but it's so full of girls clapping each other & being 'friends'. If I want to see people championing each other, I'll watch the Biggest Loser.

You can imagine how excited I was when I realised I was working right next to Joy at IMATS earlier this year! I think I creeped her out a little though. She's so tall!


So, why am I telling you this? Well! Here's the exciting part! BINTM is currently sponsored by TRESemme (God bless their hairspray!) and I have teamed up with them to bring you a fantastic giveaway!

One lucky reader will win all of the goodies pictured below.

From left to right...
Naturals Non-aerosol Hairspray
Naturals Weightless Volumising Mousse
Heat Defence Styling Spray
Luxurious Moisture Shampoo
Luxurious Moisture Conditioner
Salon Sleek Smooth Memory Straightening Spray
Salon Smooth Serum
Salon Shine Glossing Spray
Thermal Creations Style Creator Spray
Thermal Creations Blow Dry Potion
I think you'll agree this is a pretty amazing prize! To enter you need to do the following...

1) be a follower of this blog (and I will check!)

2) leave me a comment telling me who your favourite model is & why! (please please include an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner & please make sure it's included in the model comment)

Tweeting about the giveaway or blogging about it wont get you an extra entry, but it's a nice thing to do, so go ahead if you want! I will pick an entrant at random. The competition will close at 9pm on Monday 28th July & the winner will be announced after Monday's airing of BINTM. This giveaway is open to residents in Britain & Ireland only (sorry international readers). My decision on the winner will be final. If the winner does not contact me within 48hrs, I will choose another winner.

And don't worry if you don't win this giveaway - you can also win goodies directly with TRESemme by uploading your best model pout!

That's it! Go forth & win!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

K & Co

Hey everyone!

I told you it would be ages before I was blogging again properly! Anyway, hope you'll be pleased to hear that Belle is finally settling in, she's getting less needy & much more confident, so she's needing less attention. Good news for the blog!

So, to get us going, I thought I'd start with something a little unusual. I don't normally feature shops, outlets etc on here, but when I was contacted by the PR at K&Co, I couldn't keep it to myself! I feel like I've stumbled onto a fab little secret of the shopping world!

Obviously catalogues have been around forever (I remember my mum buying my first pair of Adidas trackie bottoms from Littlewoods!), but with now they are online too, the prices & choices are so much better than I ever remembered! Having a browse through K&Co & you can literally buy anything - even makeup!

One of the reasons this jumped out to me was due to the range of gym equipment & footwear. I had blogged a few weeks ago about my new Reebok Easytones and a few people had mentioned on Twitter, emails etc that they haven't found the right pair in sports shops. on K&Co there are far more styles available, even some which are exclusives to the brand, such as these ones. Hopefully the people who emailed me will find something they like there!

Wanna win some prizes?

You just need to hop on over to my YT channel, subscribe & you're entered!