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Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

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?

6 Apr 2014

March Favourites

Wow, that went quick!

Here's what I've been loving this month.


Eve Lom Cleansing Balm - £85!

About 10 years ago this was THE cult beaty product, but it seems to have fallen out of favour when Liz Earle created a cheaper version.  I can't believe I forgot how good this is.  Lovely texture for massaging and strangely comforting smell, I have broken out the muslins (of which there are many due to multiple kiddies) and my skin is much smoother because of this hideously over-priced cleansing balm. Here is a smaller one at Feel Unique, it has doubled in price since I last purchased it!

MUA Undress Me Too Palette - £4.00

No surprises here, see this post for me waxing lyrical. I find myself reaching for this at least every other day along with my trusty Revlon "attitude" quad.  I like the sheen that these shades give, they are suitable for everyday wear, my only bug bear is their staying power but this could be due to my skin.  To combat this I regularly apply over a base coat of Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe.

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream - £6.50

I have covered this in my Hand Cream Round Up post.  This has really helped with my super dry hands, I think mainly because I have forced it into my routine by applying it both morning and night after cleansing, so I don't forget it.

Phyto 7 cream "Or" Hydrating Day Cream - £13.50

I had my hair professionally highlighted this month (OMG! real hairdressers!) and so it is somewhat similar to straw so I cracked out the big guns, and tried this classic hair treat. So glad I did, my hair feels back to usual now (well at least while it's on it does.)  I love the gold packaging and you just need a pea sized amount on your hair after washing and before styling.  It doesn't weigh down fine hair and helps my hair look less frizzy at the ends. It is not super cheap but nor is it top end prices either.  I got it as part of a travel kit of Phyto products including a makeup bag for £12.99, which was a stellar deal but it is normally £13.50.  


Non beauty

Web- Caroline Hirons site

A reader recommended this site to me (thanks you Diane!) Such a lot of info, so few hours in the day. I like her no-nonsense attitude even if some of her points I disagree with, her skin does look though. I have been trying out her routine for about 2 weeks now, it's hard to say whether there have been any improvement. So far I have noticed softer skin, but also more oil.  I am going to stick with it for at least a month though so I can see how it fairs over a full cycle.  For newbies to her site I recommend starting with the cheat sheets.

TV - American Horror Story Series 3 - Coven

I loved the scone series of this too.  The acting is top notch, it looks beautiful and has great story lines.  I like how each series has the same actors, but as different characters and in a different setting. It raises a lot of questions about racism and women's appearances, so not just some Hollywood tripe.  It also stars Jessica Lange, Gibourey Sidibe and Kathy Bates!


Food - Granola and Yoghurt.  

I have had to stop eating this as it feels so healthy, but it isn't!  I get the creamy Greek Natural Yoghurt from Lidl (£1 for 4) the yoghurt is really creamy yet tart, perfection!  I also use Lidl's crunchy oat cereal with tropical fruit (it got a Grocers award for taste). I put it in a french glass yoghurt pot, and it looks so cute, this also stops me eating too much.  I could eat this for every breakfast and every snack, I must stop, not good for the waist or my teeth.


Well that's me for this month, It was really hard limiting my choices as I have tried lots of new things this month but I only wanted to cover those I could honestly hand on heart recommend.

31 Mar 2014

Hand Cream Round Up

I have kids, I have 3 kids, one is only 3; therefore I spend A LOT of time cleaning, so my hands are dreadful.  I know I should wear gloves while cleaning, but I should also not snack between meals, or drive above the speed limit, but I still do.

So... I am always on the lookout for any cream that stops my hands looking like a Somali riverbed in a drought.

I have tried many, many wonderful potions from hemp cream to Clarins.  Not many are really up to the job, but here is my humble opinion on all of the ones I have tried.


  • Flexitol Hand Balm £5.10- This contains Urea (which is the main chemical in urine. nice!) it is really good but smells dreadful, reminiscent of old ladies in a care home. 5/5 for efficacy, 1/5 for usability because of the pong.
  • E45 Cream £2.39 - Everyone with kids has some of these supposed wonder cream lurking around, I can't see it's appeal, maybe if you have super sensitive skin. 2/5
  • Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector £5.00 - This stuff is amazing, it is so good at repairing chapped hands that even my Dad uses it.  Again the smell isn't it's strong point, but at least it's better than Flexitol. 4/5
  • Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream £5.00 - Royally pants, this stuff has a pleasant old fashioned scent but it is so watery, it even slides off my hand whilst I am replacing the cap, and does nothing for your hands. 1/5 (just because it has SPF 15
  • Nivea Cream £1.49  the stuff in a blue tub - Again I really dislike this, it is in no way moisturising enough, I can not ever imagine putting this on my face! 0/5
  • Neutrogena norwegian formula, concentrated £3.68 - This is almost impossible to rub in, it takes some serious elbow grease, and on the subject of grease leaves an unpleasant film on your skin.  I does do what it says it does though so 3/5
  • Clarins Hand and Nail Cream £21.00 - I really like this, it smells great, moisturises well and has a lovely texture that sinks in fast.  The only downside is obviously it's price £21 seriously!!! 4/5
  • Soap and Glory Hand Food £5.00 - I have several bottles of this easy to apply, great smelling hand cream.  It sinks in quickly and does a good job but it doesn't last past the next hand wash and is more of a quick fix 3.5/5
  • Molton Brown Hand Lotion Naran Ji - £20 - I absolutely love the smell of this and it absorbs super quick but like the soap and glory it is more of a quick fix, the smell is divine though (and has been renamed Orange and Bergamot) 3/5 due to price
  • Derma Guard Skin Protector £5.99 - The main function of this is a barrier cream which means you apply it before doing tasks that would damage your hands (gardening washing up etc...) it works great at what it is designed for but only survives about 2 or 3 hand washes (which equates to about 30 mins for me) I always have it in though for when I am doing things that would really attack my hands. 4/5
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream - £26 - this is too greasy for use on my hands as they remain slippy after application, but I love this for my cuticles, elbows, heels and lips, it reminds me of Kiehls lip balm. 3.5/5
  • Sanctuary Hand Cream - £3 - Again I love the smell, and always have this around as a nice pick me up in my handbag but it is quite a bog standard formula nothing special 3.5/5
  • La Roche Posay Cicaplast  -£6 - My new Hold Grail Hand Cream.  I apply this after cleansing my face both morning and night and the benefits last a good few hours.  It is easily absorbed has no smell and really sorts your hands out.  If it had a gorgeous smell it would get a 5/5 but for now a 4.5/5 will have to do

See, I told you I have tried a lot, I have had even more hand creams than buggies, and I have had 6 of them.

It may sound like I do nothing but wash my hands but I love to cook so I have to wash my hands all the time when doing that and with a dog, 3 kids, a large house and garden, I am kept pretty busy with housework.

I can only honestly recommend 2 of them for efficacy, the rest may smell nice, have cute packaging or feel nice to put on, but they are intended for people who work in offices not people who limescale remove showers and clean up after mini people.  If you have ever have the joy of washing and sterilizing bottles, only you can understand the utter ruin it can reek on your hands.

The conclusion has to be La Roche Posay Cicaplast or The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector.

Has anyone else tried as many hand creams and have some recommendations?

24 Mar 2014

Why I Love Retinol & Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Review

I'm sure I have mentioned it before but I love a good retinol cream.  I love how much difference it can make to sun-damaged skin.  What I love most though is that there is actual, real tangible scientific evidence that it works.  Most skin creams on the market are a jumbled up mess of misinformation and blatant lies. Retinol however works, like really works. It's a fact!

There are 2 types of what is commonly called Retinol.  True Retinol is actually called Retinoic Acid or Tretinoin (marketing as Retin A) and is an extremely potent acne and anti wrinkle treatment. It is  prescription only as it's so strong that it can cause extreme peeling and redness if applied without following carefully prescribed plans.

The retinol that we can buy over the counter is a derivative which converts to retinoid acid when in contact with enzymes in your skin.  These derivatives can also cause severe irritation and don't suit everyone, you usually have to build up your use of them so that you don't look like you have just gotten badly sunburnt. These commercial versions come in many forms such as; Retinol Palmitate, Retinol Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Linoleate and Hydroxypinacolone Retinol.

Reasons to Love Retinol

  • Increased collagen production - which makes skin more plump and tight
  • Decreased Pore Size - makes skin look more flawless and stops as many nasties creeping into your pores and clogging them
  • Reduced Wrinkles - not just the appearance of wrinkles, the actual wrinkles themselves.
  • Prevents Future damage by upping the levels of protective substances in your skin
  • Improved Skin Tone - evened out dark patches
  • Decreased Oil Production - Yeah! for me, but if you have dry skin you will need a good moisturiser.

Words of Caution

You must wear a sunscreen when using retinol otherwise it negates all the good effects. I always apply it at night so it doesn't get any access to UV.  You must also keep it in it's original packaging as the ingredients degrade if exposed to light or air, so no small pots for travel.  Retinol is also not suitable for those with Rosacea or Eczema.

How Does it Work?

As we age or get sun damage, or skin cells stop functioning correctly which creates wrinkles or acne. Retinol works by "telling" your cells to behave in the correct way. Retinols aren't chemical exfoliators even though they may cause peeling, they change the entire way the skin functions. It usually takes about 12 weeks to see any noticeable differences in your skin.

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Review


My usual potion of choice is ROC Retinol Correxion, but I dislike the price, it usually comes in about the £25 mark.  However the Indeed Labs version is currently on offer at Boots and costs just £13.33.  This is actually annoying for me as I bought mine a few weeks ago and it cost £20.

My first impression is that I really like the packing, it is a pump on a tube so it's nice and compact.  It is really important that any retinol cream is shielded and air cannot get too it or it looses it's potency, so no clear bottles or jars.  The pump dispenses what I consider to be the right amount in each press.

The Retinol Reface claims to have 3 sorts of Retinol, yet only lists 2 and then another "retinol like" ingredient. Looking through the ingredients I can find these two - Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate and good old Retinol.  These derivative versions convert to Retinoic Acid on the skin and then they can start work.

The texture is creamy, as it is silicone based (which I know will not suit everyone.) It is fragrance free, so no unnecessary ingredients added and does not feel too thick on.  The cream sinks in quickly and leaves a matte finish, though I wear this at night so this is not essential

So far I am presently surprised as to the results, I will have to wait about 20 years to really know if it's working, but it keeps my fine lines at bay for now and hasn't caused any breakouts.

I have tried all the following creams and my favourites are the first two.

Does anyone else use retinol creams, and have an suggestions for well priced ones?

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. 

1 Mar 2014

3 for 2 Time Again in Boots

It's 3 for 2 time in Boots again, my favourite time of year.  They have extended the offer now, so you can get -

  • 3 for 2 across all make-up and tools
  • 3 for 2 across all haircare
  • 3 for 2 across facial, body car and indulgent body care

Luckily my local Boots is tiny so their makeup collection sucks, which stopped me spending money on more unnecessary cosmetics to fill my dressing table with.

Less luckily though it does a good line in "Indulgent Bodycare" so I got busy in the Sanctuary and Soap and Glory shelves. I came away with these beauties and all for £24.50.

After reading an excellent review of Soap Friction on the amazingly designed Agent Smyth blog, I had to try it and it does smell as gorgeous as all their products do.  I bought the Hand Food because I use the one in a tube all the time, but I thought this would be nice to sit this next to the sink for after washing my hands.

I have been after a new travel make up bag since I lost my last one and this one from Sanctuary is ideal. It is 2 halves that are transparent inside and they clip together at the top, I tried to take a photo to show you but it doesn't really show it well  (see below).  I thought I could use one half for make-up and the other for body items when I go away.  It is a good size without being enormous so ideal for carry-on, I have a lot of weekends away coming up this year, so this will be better than taking my usual monster. I really like the ribbon pulls on the zips too.  The bonus was it came with all of these treats too;-

  • Full Size Body Wash - smells divine and really moisturising too
  • Travel Size Body Scrub - great for my holidays
  • Travel Size Foot Butter - not tried this before,  but with Spring coming much needed
  • Travel Size Hand Cream -one of my favourites, I love the smell
  • Medium sized Body Butter - you can never have enough scrummy smelling body butters 



I also treated myself to this necklace from Dorothy Perkins, which had £6.50 on the tag but was only £2 when I got to the till, I love it when that happens.  I got a plain black loose cami too which was just £12, in anticipation of good weather to come.

Did anyone else spoil themselves in Boots?  What did you get?

Feel free to sign up to my blog with bloglovin (best way ever to keep track of all you favourite blogs) just use the link on the top right.

Have a lovely weekend

26 Feb 2014

What is Micellar Water and How Does it Work?

Ever since Bioderma Crealine went stellar in blogging circles I have been using micellar water (there's nothing like jumping on the beauty bandwagon.)  I was sold on it by it's promise of removing make-up without stripping your skin, so you could do a quick refresh if, for instance, you were planning to go out in the evening.  The one thing I have noticed most about it is that it reminds me an awful lot of gold old-fashioned toner.

I was intrigued to find out how micellar water works and how that differs to plain toner.

Here Comes the Science Bit ... Concentrate

The old school remedy to a grubby face was soap, and micellar water works using the same principle. Soap works by being able to bridge the divide between oil (your mucky face) and water (where you want the muck to end up.)  If you wash your face with just water it just slides about and comes off clean, if you add soap then the soap adheres to the dirt and the dirt can then be dissolved into the water and rinsed away.  There is obviously more chemistry than that, which is all to do with charged bonds etc.. but I am trying not to bore you.

Micellar water works by being like a very mild soap solution that can grab the dirt/make-up off of  your face and then it keeps it in the micellar water and the cotton pad transports it away.  Micellar water is much more mild than soap and most wash off cleansers but is still strong enough to remove waterproof make-up (debatable).

I have tried Bioderma Crealine, Lancome's and Garnier's blatant rip-off and was very impressed with all of them.  I don't use them every day but when I need a quick make up change they are indispensable.  I also use them to freshen my skin in a morning if I don't feel (read too lazy) like a full face wash.  I like Micellar waters as they don't moisturise at all and with my oily skin, anything that reduces oil is fine by me.  They are also great for travelling such as freshening up on a plane, though obviously you would need to decant into a travel size bottle.

So how does micellar water differ from toner?

From my extensive (cough cough) research I have ascertained that toner and micellar water are indeed a completely different animal.  They may feel similar on the face but toners have many different uses none of which should be primary removal of makeup.  So I can rest safe in the knowledge this is not just an old product repackaged.

grrrrr.. annoying photo where bottle isn't straight!

Which Micellar Water is Best

There are many high end versions available but I think as always you are paying a premium for the advertising and branding, so my favourite would be the Bioderma Crealine, with the Garnier coming in a close second, it also has the advantage of easy availability, I have even seen it in supermarkets!

 Are Micellar Waters Here to Stay

I would say that they are, but they will always be slightly niche as they don't give a through cleanse and are more useful to those of us with make-up obsessions than to the casual user.

If you have any comment or questions feel free to ask down below. I try to always reply.

Also feel to follow on Bloglovin (see top right)

18 Feb 2014

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter Review

When something costs just £3 you have to give it a try, right?

I have had a couple of successful purchases from this line, namely the blushers, so I thought I would give it a whirl.

This compact looks like cheap horrid plastic (which it is) but it has a swirly pattern reminiscent of so many high end brands, we're looking at you MAC.  When you apply this, it is not easy to see due to a lack of pigmentation, but it brings light to wherever you put it on your face and gives a pretty effect if used sparingly.  I apply it with a big soft powder brush to the top of my (non-existent) cheekbones, and it is actually pretty effective. It is quite pink toned so may not be suitable for those with warmer skin tones but it does a good job on those of us who definitely lean to the pink side.

This is not a top class highlighter but... it does the job.  It doesn't have the chic packaging or the silky texture of a high-end product but it does highlight your face. For £3 it's worth a go if your new to contouring and want to give it a go.

For a cheap dupe for Benefits High Beam here's the link 

12 Feb 2014

My Top 3 Affordable Foundations

I don't know about you, but I alternate between 3 foundations based on the needs of my skin and the length of time I will be needing to wear it for without touch ups. These are the three I swap between and regularly repurchase.


Bourjois Healthy Mix. Foundation - No SPF £9.99 here 

This is recommended by Lisa Eldridge and is a great everyday foundation.  It gives medium coverage and a lovely glow.  I need to set this foundation on the t-zone though to avoid greasy looking skin within the hour, but this is not a deal breaker.  It has a pump (that can fail if the product isn't stored upright) It smells delicious and is smooth to apply, it stays liquid for a decent time giving you time to work it in. It apparently has no SPF so should not give you a greyish colour but the ingredients contain titanium dioxide which a common ingredient used to give sun protection.  This a great foundation for days when your skin feels dry and you want to look more radiant. On normal to dry skin (instead of my oily face) I imagine it is an amazing foundation apart from the lack of SPF. I looks incredibly natural. Note - it has changed it packaging recently.

Revlon Colorstay Oily/Combination foundation - SPF 6 - £12.49 here

I use this when my makeup has to stay all day , so lazy days or for "events". It dries quickly and so you have to work fast to blend this.  You need to do one area at a time so that the first blob hasn't dried before you have chance to blend.  It has a feeble SPF of 6 and no pump on the bottle but it is still a "must have" due to the fact I can go all day without a hint of oil. This foundation is great if you like the flawless look for your skin, I feel it can look a bit unnatural in it's perfection as it is full coverage, but sometimes it is nice to have a completely even base, particularly for statement make up. It doesn't feel heavy on at all and if I could only have one foundation this would be the one. It comes in a great range of colours and is good it toning down pinkish skin. It is also good at masking redness if blushing is a problem for you. I solve the pump problem by repurposing an old Lancome foundation bottle.

Rimmel Match Perfection - SPF 18 - £6.99 on offer here for £5
This is an easy to apply foundation with medium coverage and staying power it, stays longer than the Healthy Mix yet is more dewy than the Revlon, it is a good in-between and regularly can be picked up for just £6 a bottle. Other plus points are that it has an spf of 18 which is highly appreciated when on holiday and even better it has a pump, though I doubt whether anyone would need a whole pump to cover their face. I bought this as a cheapy foundation to cover me for the month or so in summer where my skin is most tanned, but it has ended up being a foundation i like to have on hand at all times. Again I would set this over the t-zone with powder is it has a "wet" finish.

Honourable Mention

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation SPF 15 - £8.99 here 
This is recommended by Tanya Burr and. I think it gives good coverage and a really natural looking finish.  the price is good and it smells lovely.  it has an SPF of 15 and a pump top.  The only issue i have is that the colour is slightly orange on, though this can be corrected with powder.  I wish this was stocked in a wider variety of shades as it is a good foundation.  It doesn't wear as well as the others, but can blended more easily, This is my least favourite of the 4 but I would still buy it if my usual colour was not available in the others as it does the job.

NB.  apply all my foundations with my finger tips, as i don't find that you can get such an even finish with a brush or sponge, they always seem to leave streaks.  I also prefer my fingers for hygiene reasons as i don't have to keep washing brushes, just my hands which I always do before applying my make up anyway. Another reason for using my hands is that brushes and sponges waste at least 50% of the product, so I have to re-buy more regularly and waste money.

24 Oct 2013

Bourjois Shine Addict Review

I have been running low on my beloved Lip Butters recently so I went down to my local (woefully stocked) Boots to see what I could find.  They only have 6 make up lines on sale there,  3 of which I have never bought a good item from.  The remaining 3 lines had either a grubby looking sample product and no actual product or the opposite, eventually I found this;

Bourjois Shine Edition Lipstick in the imaginatively named "02"


This is a very similar formulation to the Revlon Lip Butters of which I am a fan, but the most exciting part is the colour is absolutely great.  It looks pretty shocking in the tube but when applied is a perfect blend of warming coral and fresh rose.  Also the packaging is beautiful. What is not to like at 5.99

I have photographed it against my two favourite lip butters so you can see the formulation.


28 May 2013

May Loving.. Seche Vite and St Moriz review also Coralista dupe

I have been loving...

Seche Vite
Every beauty bloggers go-to top coat.   This stuff is absolutely amazing.  It give miror like shine along with amazing durability (5 days so far.) You need to apply it when the colour coat is still wet so that it bonds with it. Some bloggers report shrinkage (not a problem here)  but I love this stuff, makes even a mediocre nail varnish look expensive.

St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse  £4 ish
Another Beauty blogger favourite with the worlds poorest attempt at a rip off name.  If you have never heard of this, as many of my freinds hadn't, then let me introduce you. Since my holiday I have been using this every forth day and have stayed tanned.  The colour is lovely,  I use medium.  This self tan doesn't suffer with the same problem many others do, namely it looks okay even before yoiu have showered off the coloured top coat which you use to help you achieve an even application.  I apply it using good old latex gloves and give the bottle a good rinse down afterwards to keep it clean (some others had noted it gets a bit grubby looking).  I can't believe how cheap this stuff is compared to a spray tan and I don't need to get naked in front of a stranger.  The only bad point is that I can't do my own back.

Coralista Dupe (UK only sorry)
I have had Benefit's Coralista on my beauty products to buy last since Christmas after my Dad bought it for me as a gift, the price however has put me off until... I was in Superdrug the other day and they had 3 for 2 on all make up and I saw an amazing Coral blusher with gold flecks from Beauty UK (yep, never heard of them either) it was only £2.99 so worth a shot.  I believe the colour is called Rustic Peach and it is lovely on, a little goes a long way and really brightens up your face.


4 Feb 2013

Fake Bake Spray Tan Review

If you have ever wondered if you should try a spray tan, here's my advice.  Don't
The result 48 hours and a lot of scrubbing later is good but this is one fad I can gladly let by pass me.

I was feeling a bit white, with it being the middle of Winter and all, so on my husband and my Anniversary trip to Cambridge I thought I would try a spray tan for the first time.  I have seen some terrible and some great spray tans so I thought I would give it a whirl. See Picture 1 for the before shot.

I am notoriously difficult to please when having beauty treatments.  I do all my own manicures, pedicures, tanning, highlighting (mostly) shellacing and eyebrow shaping (with the occasional threading thown in).  The only help I will gladly receive is a full head highlight as I can't see round the back of my own head, and a massage.  I have had a few massages lately so I thought it was time to try something new.

I asked a friend first who gets a spray tan several times a month and she said Fake Bake can settle in your pores, I thought, how bad can it be? and plunged straight in. I made sure to shave and scrub my skin the night before and apply moisturiser that I allowed to sink in.

When I arrived at the Spa you have to remove all your clothes and put on a paper g-string. I had purposely brought a black Brazillian pair of pants so the tan line would be at least attractive, but I stupidly went with the paper underwear.  You then get moisturiser applied to your nail beds, elbows and knees  You have to wear your hair up, no make up or perfume and no deodorant.  The woman did not discuss what colour I was trying to achieve so I thought now may be the best time to bring it up, and asked for something medium in tone, Then the silly bit starts. You stand in a tent on some towels with stick on pads on your feet, whilst a woman sprays you with cold brown stuff and you pull various ridiculous poses to allow for even (hmmm!) coverage.

After this has finished you get to see the results, now bear in mind I hate bad manners and find it hard to be honest to people when things go wrong, What I thought was "What the F*** have you done to me" what I said was "Can I remove a bit of this?" I was handed a cotton pad and I proceeded to dab away at the sticky brown stuff.  Then they dry you with a hose and you are left to dress into loose clothes (I put on one of their robes, which I am glad I did as the mess was awful) I was told to wear no deodorant, make up or perfume for another 6 hours and then I could shower but to leave it on longer for the best result.

I then went into the spa changing room to change into my bikini as this was where I was meeting my husband and proceeded to get very busy with a box of tissues. After 10 mins of careful wiping and patting ( and a lot of of confused looks) I got the colour down to the shade in picture No2. To be honest this picture really doesn't do the orangeness justice as it was in daylight and so I was washed out (no really!) We then went back to the room while my Husband laughed at me and I washed my hands (after 1 hours not 6 hours) the idea of not washing my hands for that amount of time and also the colour of my palms and nail beds made it essential.

We then went into Cambridge. I managed another 2 hours before I had to buy some cleansing wipes and remove what was left of the face colour after my first wipeathon. See picture 3 (please excuse my expression I wasn't best impressed).  The colour of the residue is very red in tone and makes you look a bit burnt I was also attracting strange looks from several of the shop assistants (I couldn't really blame them either)

That evening I had a full shower and a whole heap of the colour washed off which left a not too unpleasant base colour, though with orange palms, nails and dark feet. Picture 4 is me today, so 48 hours on and 3 showers/baths since the application.
example of the orangey shade
I like the healthy colour but the rigmarole involved in applying it and the silly rules for the following 6-8 hours make this something I will never repeat.  It is so much easier to just apply your own from a bottle.  I have found much less streaks and a more natural cover with either my L'Oreal Sublime Bronze or the Dove Gradual Tan Moisturiser.

Sorry for another bad review but I find so few products/treatments live up to the hype and it annoys me that people aren't honest about them.


N.B.  I  use sunbeds in the 2 weeks preceding any holiday where I will be in the sun so that my skin adjusts to the sun slowly and then I don't get burnt on holiday   I also suffer from Psoriasis and the UV rays help to calm the psoriasis down a lot.

17 Dec 2012

Essie Leading Lady

The most festive nail varnish EVER!

Both stylish and kitsch!

30 Oct 2012

Best Products for Fine Hair


If, like me, you have fine lank hair, you will know how frustrating it is to try and get some volume going on. Endless articles advising you to backcomb (the backcombing just shows through), apply mousse (goes crispy) and other stupid ideas just serve to frustrate me further.

This is my hair at it's most volumicious, rubbish, I know! but still better than it would be otherwise.

I also have hair that looks greasy if not washed everyday, and again, advice just to wash it less and it will adjust, must be written by those with dry hair!

Here are my life savers-

1. Big Hair Styler

I love this product, makes getting the blowdryed hair look effortless. Even for someone as impatient as me, this works a treat. Tip - hair must be almost dry before using.

2. Samy Icing

This is a great pick me up half way through the day when your hair has lost whatever oomph it had somehow managed to garner. You just spray it onto your fingertips and rub into the roots where you need volume. Feels a little crunchy, but brushes out and you can still run your fingers through most of your hair without them getting stuck.

3. Getting your hair highlighted

This sounds like overkill, but the roughed up hair cuticle that is produced from bleaching your hair means that your hair will look thicker. This obviously only works on those who like their hair to be lighter than their natural colour.

4. Dry Shampoo
I think most everyone in the world knows about this by now, but for those who don't this is a godsend for those of us who need to wash our hair everyday, the powder absorbs grease and also bulks up roots. I have taken to using loose face powder on my hair, i buy it in a translucent colour from a cheap brand then rub a small amount through my roots. I find the aerosol cans leave a white residue and also cost a lot for minimal product.

What are your favourite products?


25 Nov 2011

Felbridge Spa Review

I thought it was about time I wrote a review about one of my favourite places.

The Felbridge Hotel and Spa in Felbridge near Gatwick is my chosen place to escape from the world.
I have been here 4 times now and I'm sure I will again.  I can drive there within 45 mins, the prices are always good yet the facilities and service are great and I always leave feeling more positive about the world, which has to be a good thing with 3 kids.

Go to Felbridge Hotel Gatwick East Grinstead home page

The first time I visited was by accident.  I was supposed to be jetting of to The Grenadines on my honeymoon when a snow storm struck and we ended up snowed in!

We looked on the internet and found a hotel near Gatwick that we could try to get to, so we could get the next flight out instead and stumbled upon this gem.  I was looking for something that would still feel like a treat after the dissapointment of ou missed flight and this place really delivered.
We managed to slowly crawl our way there in the car and then we were shown to a lovely stylish modern room.

The beds are extremely comfortable, the decor tasteful and the bathrooms are stocked with Elemis. Hoorah!
We got changed and headed down to the Spa area for a massage and some Jacuzzi time.  The treatment rooms are clean and modern and the massage was much needed given the stresses we had just encountered.

Next we relaxed in the pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna and ordered a cocktail to sip whilst wallowing.

After the relaxation we headed back to our rooms to get changed and then to go dine in the 2 AA rosette restaurant downstairs.  The decor of Anise is in keeping with the rest of the hotel and the food is really amazing for the price.  My husband and I enjoy dining at 3* Michelin Restaurants and this compared very favourably.  I believe it has won the award for "Best Eating Experience in Sussex" and it is well deserved.

I absolutely recommend this place.  You can regularly get special offers that make the price very reasonable.  My Husband and I went back the following year on our anniversary and I have also been back for a girly break and a Hen Party.  Every time I have been happy with everything about the stay.  They also do a fantastic afternoon tea!

For £167 per person you can get this package on a weekend
  • Overnight accommodation in a Superior Double/Twin Room
  • One bottle of champagne on arrival
  • 25 min back, neck and shoulder massage
  • Full use of the Chakra Spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa pool
  • Dinner in the 2 AA Rosette Anise Fine Dining Restaurant (4 courses per person from the set Anise menu)
  • Breakfast in the Bay Tree Restaurant
LL x

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