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Showing posts with label Makeup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Makeup. Show all posts

26 Nov 2015

What to buy in Kiko

If you ever happen to find yourself in a Kiko store and you're not sure what to buy, then this is the post for you.

I recently found myself staying right next to a Kiko store in Rome and hadn't a clue what were the best products to get.  I knew they have a cult following and can be hard to get hold of, or expensive in the UK, so I had a good old trawl around the beauty blogs and found the products with the most mentions.  I then went in armed with my uber-list and bought it all!  It was only £30 for all 9 products  (it would be more like £50 in the UK)

Ultra Tech Curve Mascara - £7.90

This was a steal. It really does curl the lashes and gives some decent length and volume too.  The wand is a small plastic curved affair and works perfectly.  You need a few strokes of the wand to get the kind of coverage I like.  It was on offer when bought it, and was only 3.90 euros, which is less that £3 so I bought 4!

Double Glam Eyeliner £6.90

This was recommend as a dupe for the Urban Decay 24/7 liners that are reknowned for their stay-put-ability.  I swatched this shade on my hand and the blue glittery end is just beautiful, it is such a deep blue and has a jewel tone to it.  Both ends are equally smooth and glide without any drag.  I do find the black end to be a little soft and so is better for a full on smoky eye rather than a daytime look.  Both ends have some serious staying power, I just swatched them in the shop end then had a shower and washed my hands twice, it still didn't budge.  I ended up having to use eye makeup remover to get it off my hand.

Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow - £6.90

I bought these in 2 shades as I couldn't make up my mind.  The first one is a bronze golden shadow (06 Golden Brown) and the second a shimmery navy (17 Midnight Blue.)  Both are a stick format and are super pigmented.  I apply them to the lid and then blend them out with a brush as they are too dark for my eyes on their own.  I would use them a s a thick eyeliner without smudging.  These again have great staying power.  The bronze is definitely my favourite.  It gives a nice sheen and some depth.  I like the navy, but it is a shade too dark and so looks more grey on application.

From Top - blue eyeliner, navy eyeshadow stick, golden eyeshadow stick and purple super colour liner

Mixing Solution

I have been trying to get one of these for a years, but I refuse to spend £15+ for the privilege of MAC's offering.  When I saw this for £3ish, I jumped at the chance.   It is designed to be used with a loose eyeshadow like MAC Paint Pots or Barry M Dazzle Dust as it gives the powder something to adhere too and makes the colours more vibrant.  The main reason I bought it was for intensifying eyeshadows to use as smudgy lines.  I have been using saline drops so far, which works well, but I wanted to know what the proper version would be like. I must say, so far so good.  I don't think it is necessarily much different than using saline, but it does add a little more staying power and the dropper is handy.

Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush £7.90

I have always wanted a NARS multiple but the price has put me off.  What happens if I spend £30 and the shade isn't quite right!  I decided to try one of these as they are often touted as a good dupe.  I really like the blend ability of these, You just dot the colour on and you can either rub it in with your finger or a buff in with a blending brush.  I went for the shade 06 Geranium as it has a more dusky colour to it.  It is a dark, peachy rose, if that makes sense, and is super natural on my skin.  It has no shimmer at all, which is exactly as I wanted it.  There is however other shades with a sheen if that is what you are looking for.  I have enough highlighting products at the moment so stared away from the glitter, and they can be a bit tough to get right on older skin.

Super Colour Eyeliner in 110 Pearly Regal Purple - £6.90

Love, Love, Love this.  It has the nicest wand and the colour is just sublime, it a vibrant deep purple and is shot through with fine glitter. It is great to add some shine to your eyes and looks perfect with hazel eyes.  I would just as happily use this on the school run as for a Christmas Party.  The applicator is excellent as it has just the right amount of give and so is a doddle to get a nice tight line along the lashes.

Nail Varnishes

I bought 2 of these as they were about £1.40 each!   These are just their standard formula. Both are great neutral rose colours that you could wear all week and they would go with whatever you choose to wear.  I got 486 Tea Rose and 375 Bois de Rose.  They have good coverage, a decent high shine finish and last as long as any other nail varnish does on me.  I found the brush wide enough to coat the nail in one go, which is my standard test for ease of application.  They don't necessarily need 2 coats either. Result!

If you fancy trying any of the above, Kiko now offer free delivery in the UK.  It can take about 7 days to arrive, as it comes from Italy.  But for those of you not lucky enough to live near Westfield or Oxford Street, it 's ideal.  The prices in the UK are identical to Italy's Euro price which means that you pay a slight premium as the fx rate is around 1.4 euros to our pound at present.  It is still great value for money though and easily on parr with brands such as Bourgeois and Revlon.

4 Sep 2015

August Favourites

August has been a great month for finding some real stand out products, here are those which made me smile.

A Heat Protectant You Can Spray on Dry Hair

Get Heated Repair Thermal Protect Mist  £9 *

Like many people, I don't use heat protectant every day as I don't use heat on my hair everyday.  I air dry whenever I can and it is only when I wake up the next morning that I decide that I want to curl the ends/straighten a kink out etc...  This is when I need a heat protector I can spray directly onto dry hair and that takes a minimal time to dry. 
It can also be used to add moisture to the ends, smooth through dry hair to make it look more sleek and obviously for it's intended purpose of applying on wet hair after washing as a protectant.

The spray nozzles leaves a fine mist and the product is easily combed through the hair, it dries super quickly so you can start work within seconds.  It barely has any grip when dry which is great as you can run the straighteners through without it catching. The other stand out feature was the smell, it smells lovely and fresh, which is ideal for a mid day freshen up. All in all a fantastic product and at a really good price, it's only £9.

A Peptide Packed Super Light Moisturiser for Under Makeup

Fake Bake Beauty at Home Skin D-luxe Moisturiser £17.50 *

Who knew Fake Bake did skincare, or for that matter makeup and bath products? They are also really good.  I tried a few of their new offerings ( a lovely cleaning balm, yummy smelling coconut bodyscrub which will be can be bought directly from their website or at parties thrown by consultants (good at home business idea for busy Mums.)
I particularly liked the moisturiser though as it sinks in so quickly, is not at all greasy, has a ton of great ingredients like Matrixyl 3000 which is a peptide combo that helps plump, improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles. It also has a pump top, Yay my favourite.

Long Lasting Non Cakey Foundation Spray

Urban Decay De-Slick - Travel Size £8.10 (full size out of stock everywhere!)

I am sure I have mentioned this before on the blog as I use it to make my makeup last as long as possible, but I have found another use for it.  Wayne Goss (who in my opinion is the best makeup artist and most lovely of guys) did a post about a hydration spray that Jane Iredale has launched which you use to take a the powdery look off your skin once you have applied a full face of makeup. It looks lovely but I have enough makeup and skincare to kit out all the Kardashian's at the moment so I had a play with my Serozinc and then this. I figured that this would work just as well as I often find myself giving my face a mist with it to give me a slightly more dewy/less matte look.  I am pleased to report that this works perfectly and can still help extend the life of your makeup too. I have the old style bottle, the new one is a bit nicer looking.

Sleep in a Jar

Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep only £19.87 for now at Escentual or 3 for 2 at Boots *

I mentioned this in my holiday skincare post (see link)  I used this every other day whilst on holiday.  I was in the sun most days and my normally oily skin can become a bit parched and wrinkled.  Whilst it didn't make me look completely recovered by morning, my skin looked substantially less thirsty and dried out.  I was concerned that the cream would be too heavy for me and break me out but luckily the gel balm consistency just quenched my poor skin and left me blemish free.  My only slight disappointment is the packaging, I don't like jars, I find them unhygienic and difficult to use with slippy hands.  I nice pump wouldn't have gone amiss, however I do have some small plastic spatulas that I use for skin creams that help keep the contents of the jars hygienic so I will have to use those.  I fully recommend this cream for those of you with normally dry skin as I feel it would be perfect.  It contains hyaluronic acid (to lock moisture in,) salicylic acid (to keep pores clear) and niacinamide which helps even your skin tone.  To round up I would say this is a great everyday capture all moisturiser that most people could benefit from adding  into their routine.

3D Lip Gloss for luscious lips

Fake Bake Scream & Pout Shine On Glo Gloss in Sunset £12 *

I posted an Instagram picture of me wearing this a few weeks ago and it honestly does it no justice.  The tube looks a little lack lustre but the product is gorgeous.  It's silky smooth, has a lovely fruity scent and the gloss itself is clear enough to wear over most stains or lipliners and just gives a lovely 3D look to your lips.  I really like this product and have found myself wearing it most days recently.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush Dupe

Makeup Revolution Vivid Blush Laquer - £3

I have a couple of the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blushers already but wanted something a bit more corally.  I decided on a whim that I would give this a go as it was only £3. The consistency is less watery than the Daniel Sandler ones, but the staying power and blendablity are still there.  It takes only a fraction of a pump of the cute bottle to get enough blush for your face and so will probably last me forever.  The colour is a mid tone coral more on the pink than the orange side.  It has really high end packaging with a pump and a lovely matte lid with a satisfying click.   It comes in 3 shades, Bloom, Heart & Desire of which I have Heart.  You could buy all 3 though and still have change from one Daniel Sander.

*Sample received for review purposes

25 Aug 2015

11 Products You Need To Take On Holiday With You

Holidays require completely different makeup products than usual Most of my everyday products won’t stand up to the rigors of heat and water, nor do I want to wear a full face of makeup when spending my day by the pool.

A lot of products that advertise themselves as being waterproof or long wear really don’t live up to the claims. Very few products last 12 hours even in normal English conditions, so they don’t even stand a hope in 35 degree heat and constant dunkings in the water. I am not one of those women who sits next to the pool with perfect hair and makeup, I dive in head first and then spend the rest of the day alternating between drying off and jumping in. This means that I need products that are genuinely waterproof.

When I'm applying makeup to go down to the pool, I just usually wear a sunscreen, a bit of under eye concealer and a heap of mascara and that's it. I don't like the look of lots of makeup nor the feel. When you're wearing so few clothes, wearing a ton of makeup seems silly.
I try to concentrate on getting the evenest skin tone for both face and body rather than smoky eyes or dramatic lips.

I don’t use foundation on holiday as it feels too heavy over a high SPF facial sunscreens. I usually just take a few longwear concealers in varying shades to cover any dark circles and calm down any post-sun redness. The 3 (yes I bought 3!) that made it in to my bag this year are;

This is a new addition to my makeup bag and it lights up the undereye area beautifully and doesn’t crease ever. This is great news when you are starting to get fine lines under your eyes and are under no intention of accentuating them. I have this concealer in the shade, 02 medium which is my summer colour but still too light for my holiday colour so this is being used for just the first few days. The only thing that stops this being my holy grail concealer is the packaging, it is in a tube and you have to squeeze it out which can result in you being left with more than you needed.

This beauty blogger favourite is always in my makeup collection and because it is so cheap, around £4, you can buy it in your darkest shade and not mind that it will only be used for a few weeks. It can crease and definitely will wear off over the day but it is yellow toned so is good for muting sun frazzled skin and the wand applicator makes it quick to apply. I have it in the shade Dark 4 for holiday use and in 2 and 3 for usual use.

The best concealer for ease of application, it has sponge like head that you click product into by turning the base and then you just dot it where needed. Again this is yellow toned, I use the nude shade (the light shade is more pink toned) and is very light on the skin, it feels like you have nothing on and gives good buildable coverage.

I looked online to buy this for the holiday recently and found out it has been discontinued! The good side of this was that I could get it for £6 on eBay instead of £10 as usual, but it also means that I am now of the look out for a lengthening waterproof mascara that actually works, I've heard the L'oreal Shocking Extensions is exactly the same just rebranded. This has a slim plastic wand which is great for detail work, the lower lashes which can be a pain to coat are covered easily with this. It is a full on waterproof mascara and so needs a full strength oil-based eye makeup remover to get it off, but it really lasts, all day if needs be, and it never smears. I have oily skin and this even stay put on me. Because it is so “strong” it can cause breakage if you try to rub it off or pull at it, so fingers off whilst your wearing it.

I first bought this after a back-of-the-hand test in Superdrug, I went up and down the makeup stands swatching liquid liners on the back of my hand and then wiped them all at the same time to see which one stayed on. Bizarrely it was this cheapy number that refused to budge. I prefer a flexible fine tip brush applicator on a liquid eyeliner whereas this has a felt tip end but it has some serious staying power. I buy it in brown as the black looks too harsh against my skin.

I can't imagine there is anything left to be said about these, in case your late to the party they are easy to apply, super moisturising and this particular variation seems to be universally flattering.
These Chubby Stick dupes has a knock off from every major brand, from top end to bargain basement, but the Revlon ones I feel give the most bang for their buck, there's no need for a separate lip balm.

This was supposed to be a primer, and my intention was to use it to stop oil break through on an everyday basis. It unfortunately is a shade too dark for wearing at home, and it is nothing special when it comes to oil production either. What it can do though is blur lines and pores well. It's powdery silicone formula glides over your skin and feel completely weightless, it provides air brushing without the heavy layers needed. It doesn't last amazingly but it is enough when you just want a light touch.

I cannot recommend this highly enough, it is the easiest way ever to get natural looking filled in brows. It isn't cheap, but I got mine from my Mum for my Birthday back in February and 6 months later it's still going strong. It is a waxy, very fine pointed, dial up pencil. It doesn't need to be sharpened and the wax remains solid in the heat so it can be used whatever the weather.
I like that you can draw in individual hairs or just stroke it though to increase the volume in sparse areas. The colour choice is great too, I have ash brown which is a nice ashy medium brown and a near perfect match for my eyebrows, I want to get another shade that is a tad lighter to be able to achieve a bit more dimension, but it may have to wait till Christmas as I have spent enough recently.

I got this in a blogger goody bag recently and it is absolutely perfect for holidays. The colour is a bronzey coral with a gorgeous shimmer, I layer it over a pinky base such as the Revlon one above and it gives the most beautiful effect. I tried to capture it on camera but the sheen doesn't show up well. It doesn't look that promising in the tube, but when you open it up the wand applicator and lovely summery smell win you over. It glides on beautifully and is not at all sticky, so it feels very comfortable. It doesn’t last that well though, which is normal in a gloss, but that is a minor issue.

The original and in my opinion the best, what more can be said about this, it's a classic for a reason. I like the bronzey, goldy colours for evening as they look really pretty against a tan. My favourite colours are Half-baked (a true gold) and Smog (a dirty bronzey colour heavy on the sheen) I use the mattes to smooth the lids first then just a slick of a glitter over the lids and into the crease with a Real Techniques Shadow brush. Then I finish by rubbing some of Darkhorse (a grungey deep brown) through the lash line with my Laura Mercier smudge brush.

This is always in my makeup kit as I have the world's roundest face coupled with podgy cheeks so I need definition. I don't contour per se, more like just rub a little of the darker shade into what small amount of hollow I have beneath my cheekbones to give some attempt at bone structure to my face. I also use the high sheen blush as a highlighter and rub it from along the top of my cheekbones and back to the hair line to gibe a pretty flushed sheen. I also like the big mirror on this.

What I'm not taking on Holiday

Tinted Moisturiser

Hate this stuff, what's the point? If I want coverage I use foundation, if I want moisture, I use moisturiser. I find that having the two pre-blended means that neither is ever quite at the right level. Seen as I have oily skin anyway, moisturiser is never at the top of products that I turn too, I tend to find my serum or sunscreen provide enough protection and slip to make my skin feel comfortable so tinted moisturiser is a waste of time for me.


When your away you want to look sun-kissed and fresh, like you've just stepped off the yacht rather than heavy and try-hard like a TOWIE extra. Rosie from The Londoner, does this look best. She has freckles which she shows in all their glory whilst still looking picture perfect and the image of health.

What do you take on holiday? Is there any tricks I'm missing?

11 Jun 2015

Rimmel - What Sucks and What Rocks

I know this is going to be a contentious post, there is such a lot of love out there for at least a couple of Rimmel’s most terrible products, but I am going to stand firm and say these products don’t deserve the hype, but their PR team deserve some kind of award.

Pants Products

I love a good whinge.  So here are the worst products of the last 6 months, all these beauties found their way to my bin for a variety of reasons and should burn in the pits of hell.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

I can only assume they had a whopper of a PR budget because this foundation is chalky, short wearing and has an orange bottle! The only plus point for me is the pump dispenser which is mounted on a glass bottle, this gives it some gravitas at least, but with an orange pump, even that leaves a lot to be desired.  I give this 1/5 and that is purely for the packaging. Pooparama.

Rimmel Brow This Way

This is obviously a copy of Benefit’s Gimme Brow which incidentally I have not tried.  The aim is that you brush the mascara-like wand through your brows to give you a effortlessly groomed finish. The reality is, with just one stroke, overly dark clumpy looking, scary brows.  This is very dark for a colour labelled Medium Blonde (I have brown eyebrows and blonde hair so I err on the side of light usually) it is also clumpy which is not my ideal when searching for products to leave me looking more finished.

Rimmel Apocalips

These lip lacquers were given the biggest of warm welcomes ever in the beauty blogging world, so I rushed out and treated myself to one.  I was hoping to have the longevity of a stain with the gloss of a, em gloss.  However I got the gloop of a nail varnish with the longevity of a packet of haribo in my 3 children's hands. Major fail and seriously hideous colours, to top it off these are £6.50 a go!  These are categorically not for me. If however you really like these horrid things then you can grab them for a bargain over on Ebay (£3 each here) because obviously they aren’t half as popular as the press and blogs make out.

Rimmel Kate Sacandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick

First off I am not sure why Kate Moss is fronting a makeup brand, she may have effortlessly cool style choices but when it comes to makeup I can’t remember a single time I have thought, I love that makeup look on her. Rant over, kind of.  This sounded ideal, I was thinking it would be similar to the L’Oreal Colour Tattoos which have really lovely sheen and can make any eyeshadow applied on top last longer.  Unfortunately it was just your bog standard old-school greasy eyeshadow stick with an insipid orangey pink hue which made your eyes look slightly irritated.  

Perfect Products

Now Rimmel is not all all cheap, nasty ill conceived tat, it has some really lovely products too, these are my favourites

Rimmel Stay Matte

Everyone loves this, what more is there to say.  Granted it is not as good as Soap & Glory’s One Heck of a Blot but it is a damn site cheaper and comes in many more colors for when you have a tan.

Rimmel Glam Eyes Liner

You rarely hear anything about this liner and I don’t know why.  If you like your liner to just add definition and to be a fine line, then this might be the one for you.  It has a brush tip and so the end bends when you apply pressure which means you can just lightly pull it across the top of your lash line and easy peasy lemon squeezey, you have a line of eye liner.  It is also works well to smudge out if you catch whilst still wet, so you can achieve a smoky eye.  I think this was about £5 and I have had it at least 1 year (note to Donna buy new liner before I give myself an eye infection) I like that it doesn’t dry out and it lasts well on your lids. 

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners

There has been a massive surge in lip liners post Kylie Jenner and her literally unbelievalble makeup trips with lip liner.  Both East End Snob, which is quite pinky and Addiction which is more brown and akin to Mac Spice, are great lip liners.  I don’t think they last particularly long when applied with gloss on top, but then they are not designed to.  These are super affordable and they apply so easily with barely any drag.  I particularly like that they don’t require sharpening, you just dial up the bottom and hey presto! More lip liner.  

Rimmel Stay Glossy

Llip gloss seems to have fallen out of favour recently, being replaced by balms and liners.  But in my world there is always room for a lip gloss particularly one that isn’t sticky and doesn’t catch my hair like a fly trap every time I open the car window.  This golss is really moisturising and feels really nice on, it isn’t a glass like finish, more of a sheen.  The colour though is neutral enough for most people to be able to wear it.  I use it on top of liners or stains to give them a fresh finish.  Again this is under £6, whats not to like.

Before anyone says it, I know these products may work for you but for me they were ill conceived money stealers. What are your favourites from the brand or major disappointments?

30 Sep 2014

Minimal Makeup

This is what I take when I am going to meet my Husband for lunch after making use of the gym near his office.  Quick and easy makeup must-haves.

Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer - does not budge
Revlon Colorstay - 180 Sand Beige - super matte
Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume - waterproof - lasts and lengthens
Lancome - Flash Retouche - banishes dark circles without looking white
Rimmel - Glam Eyes Liner - gets close to lashes
L'Oreal - True Match Powder in Golden Ivory - nice yellow undertones in a high street powder
Benefit - Browzings in Medium - had for 5 years and still going strong
Daniel Sandler - Watercolour Blush in Cherub - natural and long-lasting
Maybelline - Color Tattoo in On-and-on Bronze - everyday essential in my house
Maybelline Colour Sens Nude in Tantalising Taupe - moisturising, lets the eyes stand out.

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.

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.

23 Jun 2014

Revlon Matte Balms Review - Gosh They're Bright!

I have heard such a lot about the Revlon Matte Balms, mainly from Miss Budget Beauty, however, I wasn't sure if they would be for me as I don't like bright lips on me. I think it makes my face look unbalanced, so I rarely wear a bold colour.

The reason I succumbed in the end was that they were 2 for £10 at Boots, so I would get 2 rolls of the flattering-lip-colour dice for only £10.  I bought them in the shades Sultry and Standout.


The packaging is pretty standard lip crayon packaging with a twist up bottom (hurrah for no sharpeners).  They smell slightly minty so nothing offensive.  The texture feels smooth and glides on really well without any dragging which a lot of other lipsticks suffer from.

The main point about these though is that they are ridicously pigmented, they make my deep red Chanel lipstick look wishy washy in comparison. On my first attempt I put on WAY to much and scared the bejesus out of myself. I then got busy with a strong makeup remover. My second foray into the the matte balm world was more successful.  I have found that if I apply around a tenth of the amount I usually would and blend in, then they make a great base for my lip glosses.  Both colours provide a nice depth of colour to my lips and a bit of moisture.  I can then apply the gloss of my choice without worrying that the moment all the gloss has evaporated away to wherever excess lip gloss goes, I won't be left with completely makeup free lips.  

I imagine the point of these was for them to be matte, hence the name, but for me, they are just great lip stains.

I have pretty much always taken a two pronged approach to lip products anyway as I find that must products give either too much or too little coverage.  I also find the colours to be just out also.  I like something warm yet with enough blue in it to make my teeth look whiter, which is a pretty hard thing to pull off.

I imagine that as the end becomes more blunted you may have to be a bit more careful applying these as the colour is so dark that you couldn't apply without a mirror, as I would usually with a lip crayon.

Here is me in Sultry with no gloss (not terrible) and then with the excess removed with a tissue and with gloss on top (much better, phew!)  The gloss is Rimmel Stay Glossy in Stay My Rose



And here is Standout, which most certainly lives up to it's name.  Please excuse the kitchen picture the light is pants in my house at 11am, so I have to take photos in bizarre places, hence the green coloured kitchen (it isn't green honestly!). I DO NOT like this colour at all.  So I have followed it with a picture of it applied as a stain with Tanya Burr Picnic in The Park Gloss on top.



So all in all, I am really happy with these but not for the reason for which they were intended, still though, £10 well spent.

Revlon Matte Balms - 4 stars - they are moisturising and super pigmented so will last a long time and well priced. I prefer Sultry btw...

1 Jun 2014

5 Product Face

Today is Sunday so I am not in the mood for a full face of makeup, I thought that this is an ideal time to she you my minimal makeup look.

This is what I choose to wear when I'm in rush in the mornings.  With 3 kids to get up and ready for school/nursery, mornings can be a bit rushed at times, but I am not the kind of women who leaves the house without makeup (well not usually anyway)

This is great look for travelling too, when you don't want to take a full make up kit.


The products I have used are available on any high street and are good multitaskers.  You will recognise a couple from previous posts as they truly are the Best-of-the-Best when it comes it to performance. I would give everyone one of these products a gold star.

Here is me first thing after cleansing, toning and applying sunscreen, so far, so bland...

  • I applied the Revlon Colorstay in Nude 100 to all of my face with my fingers and buffed in with a brush, I then applied a bit extra under my eyes to lighten the area.
  • Next I used the Maybelline Color Tattoo in On-and-On Bronze all over my lids and blended it up slightly from the socket.  This is a really pretty shade and I always get a lot of compliments when I wear it.  I lined my eyes with the same liner I used for my brows and then blended the two together to create a bit of depth.
  • I finished my eyes with a coat of L'Oreal False Lash Telecsopic  I have mentioned this mascara before, it is so good at giving a lot of length with just one decent application.

And that is all.


Less than 5 minutes and I look a bit more defined and tidier.  I think this is a good look for those who are just beginning to wear makeup or like a more natural look, this is the kind of look my Husband likes, he (like most men I know) like a make up look that is just a better version of reality, rather than a different you)

The foundation and mascara are both the top end of the high street but still, the whole looks costs less than £40.

23 May 2014

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation Review

I received a sample of this new foundation which promises to improve your skin while providing coverage.


I couldn't dislike it more.

After the disappointment of their Matte Maker Powder, I has hoped that this would be a great new foundation to add to my collection as I tend to like products with names like "superstay", I was so wrong.

I am going to list the ways in which it fails for me;

  • Awful/dreadful application - this drags on instead of gliding, it catches in every pore and imperfection, I needed to get very busy with the buffing brush to get this to look even.
  • Indifferent finish - neither matte enough to stop shine nor dewy enough to look fresh.
  • Feels greasy on the skin - I put this on an hour ago, and it still feels greasy (I will be taking it off very shortly)
  • Minimal Coverage - this didn't a terrible job of covering my hype-pigmentation, you can see nearly all my natural skin tone, which is not what I wanted at all!
  • No SPF - seriously, none!

This picture unfortunately doesn't show how bad this is, if you click on it
maybe you will be able to see the full sized version which shows how it looks in real life.

I won't comment on the colour as I was unable to get a proper colour match as it was a sample so I will not judge it on this. If your interested the colour I got was Cameo.

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation 2 stars ( as it apparently photographs better than it looks in reality)

2 May 2014

How to Custom Mix Foundation

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a while.  I often blend foundation for one of two reasons, sometimes both;

  • To alter the colour 
  • To alter the finish/properties 

When I start getting a tan as Summer progresses I have no desire to keep buying new shades to get a good colour match. Another reason is that when I apply fake tan, I don't know exactly what shade I may be in the morning (neon orange anyone?)

I get around this by having a very light "Winter" shade of foundation and MUCH darker "Summer " shade.  The difference in my lightest and my darkest foundation is pretty stark.  My summer colour is for at the end of a 3 week holiday in the Sun and I tan easily so it's pretty dark. I also have at least one medium one on the go at any time, so that I don't have to mix too much.  Lets be honest I have 5 foundations on the go at the moment, but they will all be used up within a year max.

Yesterday I completed my first fake tan of the year. I did a thin layer of St Moriz on Tuesday night and then repeated Thursday night ready for a party on Saturday. My face had changed quite a lot, but as the colour will vary each day as the tan wears off/is reapplied then I start to mix my own custom colour.

My go-to foundation is always Revlon Colorstay as NOTHING lasts as well and it controls oil too.  The only downside to this foundation is that it can look overly matte on your cheeks and forehead.  To combat this I mix it with a small amount of one of my more luminous foundations (Bourjois Healthy mix or Rimmel Perfect Match) to give a more pretty finish.  Today I used my Rimmel Perfect Match in 400 (told you it was dark) I used perhaps a fifth of the darker shade but it changes the colour quite dramatically so only use a small bit.

Here is my skin using the 2 tone foundation.


Once I have applied the new "custom" colour I then use the lightest original shade to highlight, so it goes under my eyes and on my forehead and above my top lip (I have hyper-pygmentation there so any extra lightening is good.)  I guess I could then also use the darker shade to contour, but I have such a phobia of people seeing tide lines in my foundation that I nearly always don't do this.

It always seems to me that people are always searching for the perfect shade match when they buy foundation, whereas I just get a close match then adjust.

Another reason why I don't make an extra special reason to match my foundation exactly is because Bobbi Brown suggests that if you have pink undertones (that would be me) then you should use a yellow shaded foundation to balance your colour and avoid you looking florid.

Does anyone else do this and have any tips?

16 Apr 2014

Maybelline Matte Maker Powder Review


I picked the new Maybelline Matte Maker Powder up on a whim when I needed a new face powder. It was only £4 and seemed to be a blatant copy of Rimmel's Stay Matte (which I like but don’t love) down to the lack of mirror and powder puff too. That is unfortunately where the comparisons end. 

I put it on first thing on a morning with my usual make up look, over my foundation. It applied well but the colour was a little too light. I cursed myself for not going darker but they had not had the good grace to provide testers so I could try the colour out on my hand (I looked at both Boots and Superdrug) I went for 20 Nude Beige which was second to lightest as I still have my winter skin tone.  This was not a good choice, it is still very light. The texture is not as smooth as my L'Oreal True Match but not terrible, it did however leave me looking decidedly powdered rather than just matte. Fast Forward one hour and low and behold my shine was back. I didn't even get back from the school run before this needed touching it.  It promises to keep you matte with it's special oil absorbing formula, I think they may need to work on this claim.

I am now deciding whether to return this. I have done that before with a mascara that did nothing that it promised on it's packaging and Boots were happy to exchange it for me. I feel like some beauty companies are happy to promise the world with no come uppance and sometimes a point needs to be made. According to your consumer rights if a product is not "fit for purpose" then you have every right to return it.  Now I guess you can say that with beauty products that they can't work for everyone, but I figure a mattifying powder that doesn't keep you Matte is a pretty basic fail.

What do you think? Have you ever returned anything that didn’t deliver on it’s promises?

19 Mar 2014

Help! I've left my makeup bag at home. Full Make Up Kit for £30

We've all done it, arrived at our destination to find we have left our carefully packed makeup bag on the dressing table at home.  Obviously you still need to look good, you've gone away for a reason, usually a wedding or party so no makeup isn't an option.  But neither is blowing £150 + to completely replace your existing kit.

This is what I would choose if stuck between the prospect of no make up and still having some money to enjoy the weekend/holiday . It is also useful for those of you just starting out on the slippery slope of wearing makeup, or looking for a fresh look.

You don't have to spend a lot to get a great result as it matters more about choosing well and finding the right colours than it does spending lots.  


Foundation - I have to go with Rimmel Match Perfection £6.99 It is one of my top 3 budget foundations anyway.  It gives a luminous soft finish and has a good colour choice. I often grab one of these when my skin is between shades so I can warm up or cool down an existing foundation (blends great with Revlon Colorstay as it extends the time you have till it sets).  This is a good foundation for both dry and oily skin, though it definitely needs powdering on the t-zone as it has a dewy finish.

Powder - Another Rimmel choice, their Stay Matte Powder at £3.99.  This is a a standard beauty blogger pick.  I use it in the shade "transparent", which although slightly too pale on my skin, works as a highlighter too, as I only powder my t-zone.  Minus points for lack of powder puff, so I have to invest in a brush, but I can at least use said brush for blusher and highlighting too.

Concealer - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in medium - £4.19  this is actually very light (I dread to think how light their other colours must be) so better suited to under eyes than blemish hiding, but can do both if you have pale skin  - I use this for my everyday face it's so good, 

Eyeshadow - MUA - Undress Me Too - £4, This is a high street dupe of Naked 2 by Urban Decay (check out the name).  I choose this as it has a good mix of matte shadows for use on brows and for lining, and sparkly ones for highlighting.  I use shadow as eyeliner anyway as I find it lasts longer and blends better.  The quality of these shadows is amazing, they are really soft and there is very little fall-out from the powder onto your cheeks.


Mascara - MUA Extreme Curl Mascara £2- This is amazing, it is very similar to Maybelline Great Lash.  I imagine if you need a mascara for volume primarily, you probably won't get on with this, but I prefer a lengthening mascara so I am majorly impressed for £2.  The applicator is curved and quite dainty so good for the lower lashes. 

Blusher - MUA Blush in Bubblegum - £1 - I use one of these on most days, they are highly pigmented with really cute colours, they are a bit annoying in that they create quite a bit of dust when used, but so do Benefit ones and they are 20 times the price!  Go steady as this stuff is potent.

Lip Colour - Maybelline - Baby Lips in Cherry £2.99 -  This isn't just a lip balm it's a lip colour too, it is buildable so just add more for a darker colour.  I would have chosen a Revlon Lip Butter, but at £7 a go, it will have to be these, I find these similar to Kiehl's Lip Balm as they give great shine without any tackiness, but they suffer from seriously naff packaging.

Eyeliner - MUA Intense Colour Eyeliner in Jet Black £1 Another top quality product from this budget line.  I use this to line my waterline with, but you could skip this step if you want to save a £1 or spend more on a lipstick.  The one in the picture is actually a different liner as I have lost my MUA one (bloody kids!)

Brsuh Set - Ecotools Mini Essential Brush Set £5.99 - I have a couple of their full size brushes and the quality is really good for the price, the fibres are super soft and they are good at getting the right amount of movement (or lack of it) in a brush. This set contains -
  • Powder brush (used for powder and then blush, and you can even highlight with the eyeshadow too) 
  • Eyeshadow Brush - Ecotool's brushes apply colour and blend well too, you will need to wipe between colours though, obviously!
  • Angled Liner Brush - to apply eyeliner, choose a dark shade from the palette and tight line your lashes and blend out with the eyeshadow brush or you can use a drop of water to make a more liquid consistency if you prefer cats eyes.  You can also use this to fill your brows using a suitable colour from the eyeshadow palette.

Total £30.19 (damn 19p over)

I applied the whole look yesterday and this is how it turned out. Not too bad for £30 including brushes, plus you'd get a few new items to add to your kit.  The only thing I'm not very happy with is the brows, maybe I could use hairspray or something to fix them better and use more colour.

The best buy has to be MUA Undress Me Too palette, this is an absolutely great little palette, and ideal if you have Urban Decay Naked but still want to try Naked 2. 

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