Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Wishing for an Indian Summer

I love the summer. Sunshine, warmth, going out without a jacket and just feeling the sun on your back.

So when we get good weather I really try and make the most of it, cos it doesnt last!

The weather has been horrible this last week: rain, wind and storms. In fact, I've already had to get the Uggs out from under the bed and even had a couple eveings on the couch with the blanket and mini hot water bottle!

Really hoping we get a bit of an Indian summer and Mr Sunshine gets his hat on for a few more days before the Autumn comes.

If you are waiting for your own storm to pass then I shall leave you with this...


Monday, 29 August 2011

Top Foundations incl Holy Grail!

One thing you should know is that I try to be a “One at a time” kinda gal. I wish I had the finances to try everything out there and build a humongous make-up collection but hey, I have bills to pay and there’s a recession on! So these are the ones I’m either using just now, or have recently finished.

Benefit Playsticks

Image from benefitcosmetics.com

You don’t hear a lot about this foundation and that’s a shame cos it was my holy grail for years, a wee gem. It’s obviously in a stick format but don’t let that put you off, it’s really handy if you’re like me and due to sleeping in most mornings, have to do your make up in the car or on the train. You can either run it over the main areas of your face and blend with fingers or a foundation brush OR use the brush to pick up product from the stick and apply to your face. I would describe the coverage as medium to full and easily buildable. It contains green tea, chamomile and gingko biloba and as I struggle with oily/combination skin and breakouts, I feel like it’s kind to my skin rather than clogging it up. It has a lovely clean smell, slightly medicated.  The playsticks do not contain SPF, so obviously you would need separate SPF if you were going out in the sun. Although the staying power is quite good, I did find myself needing to top up my make up around mid-afternoon. I have used this in “Paper Dolls” and “Tea Party”.

Estee Lauder Double Wear

Image from esteelauder.co.uk
This bad boy is well-known for it’s coverage! If you want a foundation that covers everything – this could be the one for you. I think it was the first “full coverage” foundation I ever tried but as much as I liked it, I didn’t re-purchase. I loved the coverage and the matt finish but if there were any areas of dryness on my skin they would appear flaky and it was sometimes hard to avoid that “caked” look. It does offer some protection from the sun with SPF 10 but this can also have the effect of making your face appear pale and “ghostly” in photographs.  (This tends to happen with most foundations containing SPF but some are better than others). I used the shade “2N1 Desert Beige”.

Revlon Colorstay

A wee drug-store/ high street number for you now and it’s fab! I had heard a lot of good things about this one so I was keen to try it out and see how it compared to some of the more expensive brands. This one comes in two formulations – for dry skin and for oily skin. I use Oily in shade "180 Sand Beige". Again this is a full coverage matt finish and it comfortably lasts the whole day. Like the double wear, this only comes in a non-pump dispenser. I think that’s probably because the consistency is quite thick and dries quickly so would probably block a pump dispenser. Although it’s thick, it goes on really nice (I use my fingers and blend with a brush) and I’ve never had it go cakey. It does have a slight painty smell to it which I normally don’t like, but it wasn’t bad enough to put me off. For the £12 price tag I think this product is fantastic. I put it on a par with the next one from Chanel...

Chanel Matt Lumiere

This was a bit of an accidental find. I had a palaver earlier this year when I made the mistake of buying an expensive foundation without first asking for a sample. But that’s another story... This foundation is lovely; it’s what I've always been looking for. Beautiful matt finish, medium to full coverage, no “dewy” or shimmery finish, just flawless, healthy looking skin! The “dewy” look can be lovely on some people but it’s not for me so if you tried the Pro Lumiere and didn’t like the finish, you might like to give this a try. Again, I apply this with my fingers and blend with a brush. It has an SPF of 15 and for me, manages to avoid the ghostly look in photos. It comes in a pump dispenser which is great although it does tend to clog a little. A little pricey at £33 but I would say this one is my favourite although the Revlon is very very close.  It's great to see this product getting a bit more hype these days because in my opinion it really deserves it.

Unless I’m lucky enough to get a pay rise this year, there’s a good chance I’ll be re-purchasing the Revlon. But the Chanel is a nice wee treat if you can afford it! Between these two, I have finally found my "holy grail" and I can honestly say my foundation search is over! Happy days!


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mini Haul: H&M, Primark

Some recent purchases I thought I'd share with you. 

Such a cute top. I spotted it when a saw a girl taking it into the changing rooms and even though I’d already queued and paid for the rest of my stuff, I had to go back and get it! H&M £12.99.

Long cameo chain, Primark.

Soft knit slouchy jumper and long feather chain, both H&M.

What do you think? I dont quite have the abs for these shorter length tops but I'm layering with vest tops to avoid showing any tummy!

Hope you're all having a good week.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Benefit "Brows a go go" Wowcher Deal

You might have seen this deal recently on WOWcher or some of the other daily deal type websites. I’m normally a huge fan of these things and although I hadn’t used Wowcher before, this deal seemed too good to miss.

I paid £10 to Wowcher then a further £2 for p&p via PayPal through this site - www.mygetgorgeous.co.uk

I received my “Brows a go go” kit on Tuesday and as soon as I opened the package, my heart sank. I just knew I’d been duped. I’ve had many Benefit products over the years and this just didn’t match up to the quality.

I’m well aware of the huge problem of fake cosmetics, but I thought this was probably just the stuff on eBay and that buying through a reputable company would be ok.

But as well all know, if something seems too good to be true – then it probably is just that.

From looking at the pictures you’d be forgiven for thinking it looked ok, and that’s why the fake cosmetic industry is so big, because if you’d never purchased Benefit before, you wouldn’t necessarily think there was anything wrong.

Now I do want to say that this might not be the case for all of the Benefit kits purchased through Wowcher, in fact I spoke to Sadie from www.brandnewbutterflywings.com who said that hers was fine. But I would say if you’ve received yours and you’re not sure, go along to your nearest Benefit counter and have a look at the one they are selling. If you think yours might not be genuine then give Wowcher a call, their number is on their site and they have been very helpful to me and confirmed that they will give me a refund.

By the way, when I was speaking to my local Benefit girl last night she told me that she gets people in regularly who have bought products from eBay and she’s had to tell them they are fake. More worrying than this, she had a lady in once who had bought a lot of make up at a wedding fair to use for her big day (she had MAC, Dior, Benefit the lot) and she had come in store to find out how to apply it properly. The girl had to tell her that it was all fake! So it just goes to show, this stuff is cropping up all over the place. It’s not like a cheeky wee fake handbag, you are putting this stuff on your face and god knows what’s in it. Personally, I’m not cool with that.

Two thumbs up to WOWcher for agreeing the refund.

Please let me know if you bought this deal and what your experience was.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

NOTD: Barry M Peach Melba

I think this is one of the newer shades from Barry M and even though it looked nice on other peoples NOTDs, it didn’t make it onto my wish list. However, when I was in Boots the other day I had a cheeky wee swatch over my Gellux and I was sold!

Well done Bazza, another good all rounder that may well become my summer “go to” polish.
By the way, my Gellux is still going strong after 1 week and 6 days. The original colour really is awful though... “Berry smoothie” = fail!


Monday, 15 August 2011

Just for fun!

Because I’m quite new to this blogging malarkey I thought it would be nice for you to get to know me through the magic of 15 Random Questions!

I don’t know if you can “Tag” people to do things on your blog or if that’s just a YouTube thing, but if you fancy doing this yourself then you’re officially tagged!

1.     Tell me something about you that most people don’t know? That I have a blog!

2.     What one make-up item could you not live without? Mac MSF Natural (Medium dark).

3.     What do you order from Starbucks? In the summer it’s a Mocha Frappuccino (light if I’m watching the cals) and in the winter I’ll go for a good old Americano or a Mocha. (I asked my sister this question once and she says “a ham and cheese toastie”. Lol, she’s all about the food!

4.     What’s your favourite blog? Ooft, there are so many great blogs that are fab in their own way. Here are my top 3 at the moment:
Vivianna Does Makeup – http://www.viviannadoesmakeup.com/
A Model Recommends – http://www.amodelrecommends.com/

5.     What is your favourite time of day? 5pm! Whether I’m loving or hating my job, I’m always glad to see 5pm and walk out the door with a smile on my face.

6.     What’s your favourite food? ALL food is my favourite that’s my problem! I especially love: Chinese, ice cream, pizza, crisps and dips, popcorn, nachos, Caesar salads, Buffalo wings, McDonalds and Subway. Yes my friends, I’m what you call a bit of a bloater!

7.     What colour shirt are you wearing? Black top and black cardigan, all black. Mourning the passing of a great weekend!

8.     What’s your favourite TV programme? Just now its BBC2 drama, “The Hour”. Also love Come Dine with Me, Grand Designs, Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore, the Kardashians, Hills and most other trashy reality stuff.

9.     What’s your favourite fast food joint and what do you order? Subway! A foot long Italian BMT on herb and cheese with extra cheese, not toasted, with tomatoes, olives, gherkins, hot chilli sauce on one end and southwest sauce on the other. And make that a meal with diet coke and a cheeky wee chocolate cookie!

10.   Who’s your favourite You Tuber? Again this is tough because there are so many great you tubers who are different in their own way. Current faves:
Amarixe – lovely girl always got a smile on her face and interesting chat - www.youtube.com/user/amarixe
Charlotte – great make up videos; look out for her fabulous dressing table in the background! - www.youtube.com/user/CosmeticsCharlotte72
Louise – Laugh out loud funny, down to earth girl with a heart of gold - http://www.youtube.com/user/Sprinkleofglitter 

11.   If you could have one super power, what would it be? Time travel. It’s all about the winning lottery numbers!

12.   Before you started this survey, what were you doing? I was on my lunch break, tucking into a cup a soup and light chocolate mousse. (Fresh air basically, I’m still starving!)

13.   What’s your pet peeve? Apart from that phrase... I really dislike noisy eaters! And, something that’s kinda annoyed me recently, if you are a you tuber/vlogger and you live out your life on camera giving us details about your private life, you can’t really get annoyed when someone asks a personal question about something that’s blatantly obvious to the people watching. This happened twice recently, one person being cool about it and one person not so cool. If you don’t want people to know something – don’t show them it in a video!

14.   Do you ever leave the house without make up on? Rarely! If I’m just putting the bins out or getting something from the car, that’s fine. But even if I’m just going to the shop I would at least need a wee bit powder or concealer.

15.   Do you have any regrets? Not really. I sometimes regret not doing things I could’ve. Someone told me when I was younger that if in doubt about something you should just do it, because you end up regretting not doing things rather than stuff you did do. (If that makes sense) and it’s totally true.

I would love to see your answers to these questions! Or what you think about mine! Hope you had a nice Monday.


Monday, 8 August 2011


As I mentioned in my last post I was looking forward to painting over my Gellux manicure with some nice summery shades. So I popped into Boots the other day to pick up a new polish that would look good with a new dress. As usual I couldn’t make up my mind so I got two. Barry M’s Peach Melba and Rimmel’s Instyle Coral. 

Dress by Mariko, here

I eventually chose to wear the Rimmel one with the dress and think the colours complement each other nicely. I really like Rimmel polishes, they dont always have the most up to date colours but I find they apply like a dream especially the ones with the flat "Pro" brush.

Let me know what you think of these and if you have either of them in your own collection. What other colours would go with the dress?


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Vita Liberata and Gellux Profile

Yesterday evening I had an appointment for a “Gellux Profile Manicure” and a “Vita Liberata” Spray tan. Usually the Gellux would cost around £30 and the Vita Liberata £25 but I got them both together for £20 in a Groupon deal a few months back. 

The Nails...

Gellux Profile Manicure is a long lasting gel nail polish. It’s similar to Shellac and Calgel and having had the Calgel version before, I was keen to see how this compares. Previously I have had purple, pink and also as a French manicure but this time the colour selection was quite limited and “Berry Smoothie” was the lightest, most subtle colour available. I’m always amazed at the nice glossy shine it gives and this time was no different. I’m not completely sold on this colour but the beauty of these types of gels is that you can paint over them with any regular nail polish and it looks glossy and fabulous, ten times better than when it’s just painted on your bare nails. I think it’s safe to say I’ll have these babies covered with my own choice of colour most days!

This type of manicure has lasted me anything up to 2 and a half weeks in the past, so stay tuned to find out how the longevity measures up!

The Tan...

I have to admit that as with Gellux, I hadn’t heard of Vita Liberata before seeing this deal. After booking, I noticed it on the shelves of Debenhams alongside other high-end tanners, so I was safe in the knowledge that they weren’t just gonna spray me with some concoction they’d cooked up out the back! I’ve had a few spray tans now, for special occasions. I don’t mind doing my own tan from time to time but with a spray tan I’m more confident that I’m avoiding streaks/ brown hands/ etc. I usually get the Fake Bake spray for £20 and it has never let me down. 

Vita Liberata is available in 3 different shades and although I’m normally a “Just make me as dark as you can” kinda gal, today I was glad to have a choice of 3 shades. I still have a good natural tan base from my holiday in June plus a wee top up from some recent Scottish sunshine, so I went with the medium shade, “Ecuador”. The spray process  was pretty much the same as any other (oh yes, here I am - NAKED, wearing a paper thong and shower-cap, good job I left my dignity at home!) but the girl was very professional and as long as you keep thinking that she's seen it all before – you’re fine!

It’s turned out the perfect shade. It is lighter than the Fake Bake spray but only a little. It dried very quickly and there was hardly any trace on my clothes or bed sheets. It smelled nice on the day it was done but today there was the usual slight whiff of fake tan developing. It’s now 24 hours since spray and it’s looking great. Watch this space to find out how long it lasts and how evenly it fades! You can check out Vita Liberata here.

I’d love to know if anyone else has tried either of these products and what your thoughts were? Are you happy with the range of colours available for your Gellux/ Shellac/Calgel manicure?