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18 Sep 2014

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 review

If like me you love a bargain then this is the post for you. This is one of the best deals I have seen for a while. I have mentioned in a previous post that I love Latest in Beauty’s Boxes.  I like knowing what I am getting in advance and so they are ideal for people like me who are far too fussy about products to spend £10 on what is essentially a lucky dip.  The first one I ordered contained 3 decent sized samples of Caudalie's Polyphenol range for £9.95 inc P&P, the contents are worth around £30!

Here's what I got for my money.

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 sample reviews latest in Beauty
Look how cute the mini pipette bottle is, that is going to go in my collection of "things to repurpose for travelling" which inevitably get forgotten when I actually travel.

Full price for 30mls is £35 so works out at £11ish.

Caroline Hirons rates this, which is always a plus for me, as everything she reviews I agree with (except using flannels not muslins).  I really like this serum, I am alternating it with Soap and Glory's Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Serum and it is great.  The glass bottle with pipette is a really nice touch and give it a sciencey feel along with making it feel like a quality product.  The texture is nice and silky, yet it sinks in almost immediately.  It is packed full of antioxidants such as polyphenols and stabilised vitamin C which are supposed to zap all the nasty free radicals created by suns and pollution damage. I will have to wait a couple of years to see whether this truly works, but it does seem to plump fine lines, which I guess is the hyaluronic acid at work. Overall a really nice product which I will repurchase when I have enough money to spend on nonessential skincare items.

Full price for 15 mls is £26 so works out at £8ish.

This is the real star of the box.  It can be worn under makeup and feels lovely on, not tacky or overly slippy.  It contains Matrixyl 3000 which is one of those ingredients you usually only get in top-end anti-wrinkle creams. This, along with Retinol, is one of the few proven ingredients that can reduce signs of ageing. I apply this both morning and night and it really smooths the lips ready for lip products.  I am definitely getting this again, it seems to be lasting really well, as you only need the tiniest amount.  For £26 for 15ml this seems pretty good value for the quality of the ingrediants.

Full price for 40ml is £29 so works out at £11ish

I like the idea of this, as it supposedly protects skin while smoothing and hydrating. I have a sneaky feeling that, like most SPF's, it breaks me out.  I am pretty gutted about this as I thought this was perfect to wear when going out for a run (trudge around the park) as it is light yet protects me from the sun.  I will however try again in couple of weeks time when it is a different time of the month (ahem!) Currently not re-purchasing due to bumpy skin.

I am really happy with this box and will definitely repurchase the Eye and Lip Cream, and probably the Serum.  I have even considered just buying another box as it works out cheaper than buying them full price!  I have been using them for 2 weeks now and have not got even vaguely close to using them up.

Has anyone else had any luck with this range.  It's aimed at those who are 30+ and I can see myself trying more and more from their lovely looking arsenal of anti-ageing products. I always avoided them in the past as they seemed like one of those organic/ineffective companies but I will eat my words.  I like Caudalie.  Now I just need to learn how to say it, good job I'm a blogger not a Youtuber.

16 Sep 2014

At Last - A Beauty Box that isn't a Rip Off

I don't know where I first heard of Latest in Beauty (LIB), beauty boxes, but what made me look twice was the unique idea, that you got to see what was in it before you paid.  Now I'm sure this spoils the fun for a lot of you, but for me it was a godsend.  I hate the idea of handing over money for a pile of tat I could get in the Poundshop for less, but just wrapped in a pretty box.

LIB is different to other beauty boxes because they list all the products that the box contains and you just buy it the same way as you buy anything else.  I think this is great as it inspires them to keep creating great boxes and also means that they will get lots of repeat customers as they will hopefully like the contents seen as they already know what they are getting. My favourite part is that I can research the products and see whether they are likely to be useful to me or suitable for my skin/hair.  You can even create your own box if you like, I wasn't so keen on this part though as the products were a little less exciting.

I started off with the Caudalie Ployphenol C15 box for £9.95 inc P&P! I did a quick price comparrison and the products work out as worth around £30. I had been wanted to try Caudalie products for a while as wanted to incorporate a really good antioxidant and skin protector into my routine.  The prices had however put me off, the last thing I need is another unsuitable beauty product remonstrating me from my dressing table.

I enjoyed my first foray into the world of Beauty Boxes so much that I have already purchased their latest offering.  It is called the Glamour Beauty Power List 2014 and has a host of 5 star products that I had been interested in trying for just £16 inc P&P. I even had a 10% off code so it cost just over £14 all in.  This was such a good deal I bought two, one for me and one for a giveaway  as they look so good.  It has Liz Earle, Laura Mercier and Bourjois to name a few, it also includes a whole years subscription to Glamour magazine on your iPad.

See my post here for a full review of the Caudalie Polyphenol goodies I got.  I will also be posting the giveaway soon after I receive the Glamour Box, so keep your eyes peeled.

Latest in Beauty have not sponsored this post, nor do I receive any commission from my links, this is just something great I wanted share.

15 Sep 2014

FAB First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads Review

I have been using these for about 2 weeks now so I feel it is time for a review.

I first read about them on Caroline Hirons blog.  What attracted me to them was the promise of a gentle exfoliation and brighter skin. I regularly have congested skin and as I get older, my skin has also dulled.  I use Aspirin masks and my Clarisonic to help with exfoliation, but I wanted something more regular, so I took the plunge with these.
They weren't cheap at £16, but then neither were they crazily expensive. You get 60 pads which I use once a day, so I should get 2 months use out of them (look at me and my super-advanced maths!)


They are labelled as fragrance free but they have a very definate smell, that whilst not unpleasant, it is not entirely delectable either.  The packaging is pretty unimaginative, but does the job.  Each pad is soaked in the exfoliating liquid and has a smooth and a more textured side.  I use the more textured side in my cheeks, chin and forehead and keep the more delicate side for my eyes and lips.  I find that they are very generously soaked, but in an ideal world I would just buy the lotion and use my own cotton pad.

I have noticed a real change using these. When I first started I had just returned from holiday and my skin was slightly thickened due to the sun and I had a tan.  I wanted something to soften my skin and help bring down my tan to a shade that was somewhat closer to my usual foundation and concealer shades.  These did both these things really well.  I think my skin looks much fresher after using and I will definitely add these to my long term skin care routine.  They also don't sting or make your skin feel stripped.  The inclusion of glycerin and hyaluronic acid makes them beautifully moisturising on my oily skin. The active ingredients are lactic and glycolic acid along with a variety of fruit acids which work to dissolve any dead skin cells of debris on your skin.

Would I buy them again?  Without a doubt.

9 Sep 2014

How To Highlight Your Own Hair


I did a post about home highlighting a couple of years ago but it was pretty minimal and didn't give too much advice.  The main reason for this was that I didn't want to encourage people to try it unless they felt confident.  I have since realised that people will always give home hair styling a go if they are that sort of person anyway, and it may be helpful to share what I have learnt in the 3-4 years I have been doing this.

It isn't perfect, there is some colour bleeding but I often get that in salons too.
This should take around an hour and half.

Warning.  I am not a trained hairstylist and this is just what works for me and my hair.  Please research thoroughly before attempting.

Products & Tools

This is very important - you must buy professional tools. You can't expect a semi professional job with dye bought from Boots.  The first time you buy all this kit it will be about £40.  But then it will do at least 10 half head highlights so it works out as a complete bargain.  This is what I use, but you could use different bleaches and developers and still get decent results, this is just what I have tried.

Wella Blondor Lightening Powder- around £15
Wella Welloxon Developer 12% 40vol- around £13 - I use 12% 40 vol
Ultrameche Long Box of 250 Sheets- around £12 (I use the generic brand as they are identical, I use around 10-16 a go)
Mixing Bowl and Brush - around £2 (though mine was £1 in Poundland, not always in stock though) any old plastic bowl will work though
Tail Comb - around £2 - try Wilkies, Superdrug or Poundland if you don't have one hanging around at home.

Bleaching Basics.  

You need both bleach and developer which activates the bleach and causes the chemical reaction that lightens your hair.  

Developer comes in 3 strengths
6% or 20 vol - good for toning 
9% or 30 vol - good for beginners or those whose hair is not naturally very dark
12% or 40 vol - for lightening very dark hair, works very fast

You can reduce the strength of developer by adding water, so if it is 40% and you mix equal parts of water to developer you end up with 20.  This is worth remembering if you want to tone later and not have to buy 2 bottles.

12% 40 vol is the strongest bleach available, don't get it on your scalp or it will burn it, ditto your hairline, hands etc..It can lighten hair from dark brown to medium blonde which is a lot of shades to pass through, my hair comes out pretty light with a minimal red tone when I use this, you can see the before colour in the pictures.

Before You Begin

Practise the winding technique to produce even thin strands before you start, there are good videos on youtube for this.  Basically you just weave the tail end of the comb in and out of your hair until you have and even amount of hair on each side.
Get your Easimeche opened before you start to section and weave your hair, just trust me n this, I usually use around 15 or so.
Wear a top that is easy to get off, so a shirt, vest top etc…

To mix your bleach and developer you will need a plastic bowl
The ratio of Blondor to Welloxon is part Blondor to 1 or 1.5 parts Welloxon
So if you use 20mls of Blondor you need either 20 or 30 mlx of Welloxon.  The more Welloxon you add, the slower the reaction time and less strong the mixture. I have always done this by sight without any issues, but I recommend using the measurements on the bowl.

Weaving and Colouring

This is where you need to be pretty dextrous.  You will need to work fast, this is very important as 40% developer works quickly and you don't want the back and front of your hair different colours.

Start by sectioning off the parts you wish to colour.  I am just doing my parting and so I have sectioned it off and tied the rest back, this allows me to see what I have still to do.

Now take a horizontal strip of your hair and weave the comb through. I use sections about 6-7cms wide and around 1cm deep, if I want a super natural results I use only 5mm deep sections. Make sure that the back part of the section gets put behind and then push the Easimeche as close to the scalp as possible. Press the hair onto the adhesive strip to hold it into place.  You can now paint on the bleach.  I use one hand to hold the hair on the strip, so it doesn't budge and the other to paint. Don't let the bleach go in front of the strip near the scalp, if it does wipe it away with a tissue or baby wipe.  This will stop the colour bleeding onto hair that you don't want lightening.

Now just keep repeating all the way to the front.  I start at the back so I can see what I am doing.  When you have completed it, just clip it all back and now it's time to wait.  One of the reasons I like to do my own hair is so that I can look ridiculous in the comfort of my own home.

Is It Ready Yet?

Patience, wait till the right colour is reached, don't be in a rush to see the results, you want pale caramel not burnt toffee.
Is it the same colour as the rest of your hair and not orangey?

  • Hell yes - then get yourself in the shower
  • Not Really - then sit tight for a few more minutes and watch some Youtube videos

Rinsing Out

  • I just get in the shower and pull the Easimeche out in there, once wet they just slide out.  
  • Wash very thoroughly twice with a good strong shampoo (I use Aussie Aussome Shampoo), taking care not to rub too much and tangle my hair up (wish the hairdressers were so gentle!) 
  • Put on an intensive conditioner and brush through with a paddle brush. 
  • Wait a couple of minutes then I rinse and dry as usual.  
  • I always add oil to my hair after washing, so use something very nourishing like Organix Oil or any of the silicone/argan oil mixes (see post on this here)

It Looks Kind Of Orange

Hopefully this hasn't happened to you if you have left the bleach on long enough and your hair isn't too dark to begin with. If it has though, it is because this is what happens when the colour is stripped from brown hair, the dark tones are removed easily but the red tones remain.  This is the number one problem when people lighten hair, whether in a salon or at home.  I have had orange results whether I have paid £200 or £5 so throwing money at it is no guarantee of success.  

How Orangey is it?

It is just a bit yellower that I would like - Get busy with the purple shampoo ASAP. My favourite colour corrective shampoo is Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, just apply, leave on for a few minutes and rinse.  It usually takes a few rounds to achieve and major difference.

If it’s right up there with Wotsits and Cheetos - You will need to tone it.  Wella Color Charm T18 White Lady is supposed to be very good, you use this in conjunction with a very low strength (20%vol) developer to remove the last remnants of brassiness.  As you are using a bleach this will damage your hair and so follow instructions carefully.  I have not yet had to use this, but I am reliably informed that this will give you the cool tones you are looking for.

My Colouring Routine

I colour the central section of my hair (the pink) and then 4 weeks later, the sides (in blue) this hopefully helps negate damage, and helps keep body in the top (as the highlighting roughens the cuticle which makes the hair appear fuller.)

I don't tone my hair, as I feel it rarely needs it. I do have a full head twice a year at the hairdressers, where I get a 2:1 of blonde:cool brown put through my hair.  This brings the blonde back down and stops me having block blonde hair, it also sorts out the back.  I don't feel the need to have perfect blonde hair underneath as true blondes don't and it would be too damaging (plus expensive)


As you are almost certainly aware you have damaged your hair pretty severely by bleaching it.  You will now need to look after your hair to keep it looking good.  I use Intensive Conditioner all the time (at least twice a week.)  My favourite for price, efficacy and smell is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, as I have mentioned numerous times on the blog.
It is also unlikely that you will be able to grow your hair super long, mine is usually around armpit length, and it can rarely get longer than this without requiring trimming due to split ends.

Hopefully this is of help to some people.  As I mentioned I am not a hairdresser, but I have done this around 30 times and so I thought it would be fair to share what exact products and method I use.  In the last few years I must have saved over £2000. Please feel free to comment with any recommendations about better products or what works for you.  I am still learning all the time.

5 Sep 2014

Starting a New Exercise Routine - Running

September is my favourite time of year, new beginnings, fresh starts and the children go back to school, so I can actually get some stuff done.

I have decided to change my exercise routine from Zumba to running.  The two main reasons for this are timing of the classes and the cost.  The Zumba classes only run on an evening and by 6:30 I have no motivation left to go exercise.  I am very lucky in that my sons Nursery is opposite a beautiful big flat rugby pitch/village green with lovely views, and so I decided to make use of this free facility and start to run there.

Chipstead Meads
Now before you start having images of my sprinting round the field like a supercharged gazelle, I think I need to create a more honest picture for your head.  I haven't run for about 10 years and so my stamina is pants.  I have therefore decided to try the 5k Runner app, which has come highly recommended from a few friends who have begun running again.  It costs £1.99 for the full version, which you will need if you want to get past week two, but this is a bargain as Zumba costs me £5 a pop.

Each session gets gradually harder, you start off just running 1 minute at a time, then by week 4 you are doing 5 minutes runs interspersed with walking and then by week 8 a full 35 minute run.

Motivation Tips

New Kit
There is nothing like getting some new threads to make you feel ready for the task.  I am usually pretty good at not over buying in anticipation of my new found love of any sport.  I learnt my lesson many moons ago after several over-eager purchases (hello heart rate monitor and criminally expensive running shoes, that I just use to garden in).  But I did treat myself to some new exercise leggings, as I only have 1 pair.  I got these rather generic yet very flattering ones from Very.  They were just £22.  I have pretty generous thighs and they even make my thighs look presentable.

I wear Adidas Duramo trainers, I love all the Neon Nikes but as I have large feet, they just call attention to this.  So I have some minimal black ones.  I also have some Saucony white ones, but they look so large it puts me off wearing them.

I also wear a long line vest as I try to hide my thighs bum as much as possible (not fooling anyone)  I have this one and this, which I love, from NUX, it was only £12 in TK Maxx.  I must also mention the topic of sports bras, I use a Shock Absorber one that I have had for 3 years now and it is still going strong.  It cost about £35, so it wasn't cheap, but it is the best one I have ever owned.  It is supremely comfy, keeps everything in place and is actually quite cute in it's own right.

I have on different workout trousers in this pic.

Write a list of why you are doing it
Here's mine;
  1. To bring calm - I always feel much happier after I workout
  2. Space outside on my own- space to think, and plot and ruminate
  3. To maintain my weight, possibly loose some more
  4. For a sense of achievement.
  5. To set a good example for my kids
  6. To improve my skin, I find that exercise gives the best youthful glow
  7. To use my body for what it was built for
  8. To boost my metabolism
  9. To fight off ageing - I know that is not possible, but a reduction would do
  10. To help reduce back problems

Is anyone else starting a back-to-school workout routine, or got any tips for running?

7 Aug 2014

Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Review

I had to say goodbye to one of my favourite hair products this week when my Tres Semme Liquid Gold ran out.  I have really loved this and it has lasted me for an entire year. I apply 2 pumps after I have washed my hair, to help comb it through and it has done a great job at keeping my frizzy damaged ends under control.  You can also use a small amount to smooth ends once your hair it styled..


I popped into Superdrug to get a replacement and it was £7, I then saw this little beauty for £3.50 and so thought it was worth a try.

I need to mention the obvious here, which is why do I not use Moroccan Oil?  It is very simple, the price is ridiculous and the main ingredients in it are just silicones, the same as the main ingredient in Frizz Ease and these 2 little dupes.  I imagine the Argan oil helps, but I doubt it can be that effective at such small concentrations.  I may be wrong but I doubt it.  See this post on the hype around Moroccan Oil by a beauty product developer.  Also see ingredient list at the bottom for proof.

First Impressions

Packaging- I like the size and the design but not the lack of pump.  I must say that it actually comes out without getting all over the cap, but still I would prefer a pump.

Smell - gorgeous, really fresh and pretty.

Amount - 100ml compared to Tres Semme 75ml, bonus!  Considering Moroccan Oil cost 10 times the price for the same amount this is a serious bargain.

Sucky stupid lid...should have had a pump


Does it work?

Yes, yes and more yes!  This is even better than the Tres Semme, I thinks the 20 or so, Boots reviews giving it 5 stars speak for themselves.  I applied this as usual after washing and brushed it through with a paddle brush before bed.  I don't use a dryer on my hair unless it is a special occasion so I just let it dry over night.  When I woke up my hair felt really soft and healthy, it even seemed to dry quicker whilst I watched Hannibal in bed.

My hair after sleeping on it and without adding any product or styling

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely, hopefully at the same price though ;)

Word of caution regarding silicone use - You have to be careful using silicones in your hair to avoid build up, which is why I use Tres Semme Deep Cleansing shampoo once a month or so to strip (I use that word, as it is exactly what this does) my hair of all products build up.  Don't expect beautifully silky hair after using this, but expect very light flyaway hair with no build up on it.

Ingredients List for Morroccan Oil

INGREDIENTS: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Argania Spinoza Kernel Oil (Argan Oil), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed ) Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

Ingredients List for Organix

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Argania Spinoza
(Argan) Kernel Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Parfum, CI 47000 (Yellow 11), CI 21600 (Red 17), Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool

Ingredients List for Tres Semme

Cyclopentasiloxane ,Isododecane,Dimethicone,Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil,Zea Mays Oil,Tocopherol,Dimethicone Crosspolymer,Lycopene,Parfum,Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone,Benzyl Alcohol,Benzyl Salicylate,Butylphenyl Methylpropional,Citronellol,Geraniol,Hexyl Cinnamal,Limonene,Linalool

1 Aug 2014

Food Lately

I have been trying ridiculously hard recently to eat more veg and less meat and processed foods.

Here is a quick post with some of the great bits I have eaten recently.

Top Left - Taquitos from Wahaca
I cannot begin to explain how much I adore this place.  I first heard about after watching Thomasina Myers on Masterchef and I was delighted when she set up her own chain of Mexican street food restaurants.  This is some of the freshest, most vibrant tasting Mexican food you can find and it is astonishingly good value.  I always wangle a trip to Wahaca whenever I go into London with my Husband.

Top Right - Bunless Burger
This is one of my own creations.  I had a great bunless burger whilst out one night and so I tried to make my own version of it with more topping obviously.  This one is topped with cheddar, chipotle chilli sauce, Bacon and Jalapeños.  I then made butternut squash fries in the oven and served it with sautéd peppers and onions.

Bottom Left - Itsu Sushi
I miss this so much from the years I spent working in Canary Wharf.  The food at Itsu is so fresh and has fantastic presentation.  I was in London and needed somewhere to go for lunch on my own so this was my first choice.

Bottom Right - Charcuterie Platter
Another homemade one. I had something similar whilst out at the White Hart in Chipstead, and thought I would pay homage to it.  There is proscuitto, milano salami, vine leaves, red pepper houmous, olive ficelle, spanish tortilla, buratta, rocket, balsamic dressing,course pate and olives.

Here was the table I set for me and my husband, the kids were at their grandparents.

I have also being trying to liven up my lunches, so instead of something bread based, I have made fresh salad everyday.  Here was todays's asian offering...I got a little carried away with the Cayenne on the eggs!

30 Jul 2014

MUA Poptastic Palette Review

Seen as it's summer I thought a little colour may eventually be in order.  I went out to buy a Sleek palette but when I saw this beauty for only £4 I figured it was worth a shot.


As you can see in the picture below all the colours are highly pigmented and suffer from minimal fallout on application. I must say that I like the purples and blues the best, especially the shimmery ones.  I also have to question MUA's sanity in including a bright pink/red colour, this could only be worn a long distance from you actual eye otherwise your just going to look as though you have allergies.


With regards to lasting power, I have noticed the blue and purples can easily last the day.  Here is a picture of the same shades as above but after some vigourous rubbing, so you can see how well they last.

I would love to try some of the amazing eye makeup looks that you see on Pinterest but I don't suit full-on make up so here are the sort of looks I do with it.

As usual, they are hardly going to set the fashion world on fire with their originality to but sometimes it's nice to have a pop of colour.

  • 12 colours for just £4
  • Good lasting power on the darker shades
  • Some nice shimmer effects without being OTT
  • Great way to try some new looks without breaking the bank

  • Small size of each individual shadow
  • Packaging sucks as always, this is a shame as some of MUA other products have cute packaging
  • Horrid bright pink colour, should have been a shimmery dark emerald green in my opinion

All-in-all this is a great palette for trying something new and also to see what kinds of colours work well with your eyes/complexion.  

If it takes your fancy Buy here for just £4.

28 Jul 2014

Soap and Glory Make Yourself Youthful - Rejuvenating Serum Review


I have been craving this beauty ever since Sarah over at Seriously Shallow recommended it on her blog.  The main reason I love this so much is the packaging, could it be any prettier, it makes me happy every time I use it.

I picked this up at Boots for just £10 (the usual 1/3rd off Soap and Glory products offer.)  This is amazing value as you get 50 mls of it and it has a pump, so no nasty germies lurking around ready to create spots on your face.


The smell of this is lovely and fresh, it is a pink grapefruit style scent.  The texture is great, it is very silky yet not loaded with silicones, so it is thin enough to glide on without leaving any visible sign of it.  It feels very light on your skin and not at all greasy like some serums, so you can layer it with a SPF or night cream.

According to the literature it is jam packed with penta-peptides, which are the darlings of the beauty world right now.  This little beauty has as many as some of the best formulated, designer serums at a fraction of the price.  Plus, look at that packaging.

It also claims to -

  • smooth surface imperfections, reduce depth of fine lines
  • brighten, tone and tighten
  • refine pores, recalibrate uneven skin tone

I LOVE this stuff, I will update this post in a month or tw when I can tell you how well it worked over the long term, but in the week since I bought it, I feel like my skin has already improved.

Buy it here for just £10.67, plus the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleanser is just £5.33 and the Ultimelt hot cloth cleanser is just £6.67.

Absolute bargain.

22 Jul 2014

Superdrug Haul under £20

I have had a list as long as my arm for ages, of products I want to try or re-purchase but Superdrug and Boots have both been on 3 for 2 strike for too long.  In this dire situation there was nothing left for me to do but go on a budget beauty haul.  I absolutely cannot buy a product at full price when I know that sometime in the next month to 6 weeks I will effectively get a third off, and when you have as many beauty purchases as me, this adds up to quite a bit.

I went shopping looking for a jewel colours eye palette, some waterproof mascara, a face powder in my summer skin colour and an eyebrow pencil for lazy days.  Here is what I got

MUA Eyeshadow Palette in Poptastic

First I bought an eye palette from MUA, I was looking for a Sleek one but the colours in this one are better and it's half the price!  I love the quality of the shadows by MUA, there is only one major downside and that is the size of the individual colours, but at £4 I can't complain. I am really happy with this, and can't wait to wear the bright colours on holiday with a tan.  Full review to follow shortly.

Bourjois 1 Second Volume Waterproof Mascara

I hate the name, 1 second, really!!!  But I had heard good things about this mascara and the packaging is gorgeous.  I went for waterproof ready for my holiday as we spend most of the day in the pool when we are there, so I will give a full review post-holiday.  It has a very odd shaped brush but I have high hopes.  This was on sale at £7.99

MUA Pressed Powder


I had gone in to buy the Rimmel Stay Matte as it is my face powder of choice but when half the testers for the medium to dark shades were missing, I decided to try something new.  I looked at the powders on the MUA stand and they were only £1 each.  When I sampled it (yes MUA had samples, so there! Rimmel) it was really smooth, easily as smooth as high-end pressed powders and the colours were nice and yellow toned.  I decided that seen as they only cost £1, I would buy one in my current shade (I got no 3) and one for my holiday skin colour (no 4).  I figured I could also use the darker one as a subtle contour shade too in winter. The packaging is actually much better than the Rimmel or Maybelline equivalents and they blend in seamlessly. The only down point is the lack of powder puff, but I very rarely find you get one as standard these days even on an £8 or £9 powder.  I am really pleased with these and would happily pay more for them.

Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil


I usually use Benefit Browzing in the colour "medium" for my eyebrows but sometimes, when I am in a rush or travelling I find it too much of a faff.  I was looking for something that I could just apply in a hurry and that had a brush on the other end for the removal of foundation/facepowder out of my brows.  This seemed the closest colour match I could find, the blonde ones were all too light and the dark ones, scary looking.  It was only £2.99 and it has a lovely consistency, not too waxy that it slides, but not so hard that it pulls and drags.  The only thing that slightly lets to down is having to sharpen it, but at least I will be able to get a nice sharp point on it.  I got in the colour hazel.

Garnier Ultra Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Boring, Boring, Boring.... this was £2 something or another and looked like it would work (has an oily layer and a watery layer.)  I like that it is a small bottle, as it takes me a couple of years to get through a bottle by which point I am well and truly bored of the sight of it.  Apparently this particular one helps condition your lashes, I seriously doubt it, but for £2 who cares.  I like the purpley colour.  I think that its all I can say about it.

Overall I am ridiculously over-impressed by the items I got for just £20.  I feel I have some real bargains and lots of fresh new lovelies for my makeup drawer/holiday.

If you fancy reading my more full reviews of the MUA Poptastic Palette and the Mascara, follow me on Bloglovin to receive updates.