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Friday, 31 December 2010

Finding the perfect match

After reading this post on Karla Sugar I'm reminded of the importance of viewing swatches before you buy make-up online. Not just any swatches, as many as possible, on as many different skin tones as possible. The difference a skin tone can make to the colour of makeup is incredible. In the spirit of helping you dear reader, I will do a series of swatch attack posts showing - in natural light - the colour of all the lip products I own. This will likely take some time so please accept my apologies in advance. I'll also put up a picture of my un-coloured lips for comparison.

The best way to gauge what will suit you is to find a reviewer with similar colouring, for reference my stats are as follows.

Eyes - Blue/green with bronze central heterochromia

Hair - reddish brown/black

Skintone - Cool

Skinshade - NC-15 ish

L-R Me, Holly, Hana
That photo looks to give a pretty good idea of skin tone, though the night time lighting pulls a bit yellow. It also shows how subtle differences in skin tone as well as depth can make a difference to colour. Hana for example, looks fabulous in purple eyeshadow, but I can only get away with the very coolest tones comfortably, and even then if I blend out into an out and out cool shade. Yet, as you can see in the photo there, our skin is practically the same.

Holly as you can see has a much warmer tone and looks beautiful in rich bronzey golds the likes of which I can only dream. :)

Mac Craving Review

After falling in love with the delightful scent of mac lipsticks I couldn't resist using a bit of Christmas money to order another. The swatches on the mac website aren't too bad, but the colour descriptions I find to be twaddle. I always look for real life swatches if I can, but even then skin tone differences can cause the colour to pull another way.

After a long time choosing and many google searches for colour swatches (the swatches on Karla Sugar are AMAZING) I decided on "craving".

The amplified creme finish is an odd one. It actually reminds me more of Ellis Faas creamy lipcolour than a usual stick lipstick, it's almost a thick ink. The lipstick doesn't feel like much is on your lips and has a slight sheen to it, though not at all as much as something with creme in the name normally has. Craving is VERY pigmented and yet doesn't bleed. You should be careful with application though as it stains! The colour melts into your lips (exfoliate first for optimum results!) though I find it works better without a balm under as the extra moisture just makes it slide off.

This photo was taken with my laptop through facebook to show off my new favourite lipstick colour. I haven't altered the colour in any way, nor did I use flash. The odd white cast to my face is caused by the illumination of the screen, normal skin tone can be seen on my arm at the bottom left of the photo in case you were wondering. Not that much difference, but that's what a healthy dislike of the sun does to you. (Speaking of which, can you please make shades lighter than NC-15 mac?)

Craving as I would describe it, is a plum tinged pink that looks deceptivley warm in the stick. On me it seems a cool toned pink, which is exactly what I wanted, I can't pull off warm toned colours near my face.

I found the way to get what I consider the best result from this lipstick is to just rub my lips with a toothbrush (first thing in the morning when I brush my teeth - lazy) apply a good slathering of lanolips 101 straight after and then get dressed, do the rest of my makeup and lipstick last when the ointment has sunk in properly. For a faster way i'd exfoliate, moisturise, let it sink in a moment then wipe off the balm to leave a dry canvas for this ink stick to adhere to.

Transfer is surprisingly little, I adore this lipstick!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I live! Also, Merry Chrimblybob!

Well hello there!

I know the beauteous Sammi has been keeping up with her blogging diligently, but I have been failing to update! For this, I am sorry! However, in the coming few days I will have quite the number of posts, reviews, swatches and rants for you all to enjoy.

For now I shall say Merry Festive season! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day :)


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Guerlain Meteorites

Thanks to my lovely parents I received Guerlain Meteorites for Christmas, and Belle de Opium, which I adore.

The meteorites as we know come packaged in a beautiful silver cylinder with a little puff, more for protecting the perles than application, they seem best applied with a large fluffy brush.

There they are applied, sorry for the miserable expression, I was focused on covering up some of the flash that was washing the colour out.

The meteorites give a moonlit glow to the skin and gift a soft focus effect, blurring pores and generally improving the look of skin. The soft powder also helps set makeup which is handy.

Love them. Well worth the price IMO.

Saturday, 25 December 2010


Merry Christmas one and all!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Things I need, things you need

Owning suitcases full of makeup and beauty products, it's not often that I hit pan, nevermind repurchase. There are however a few products that i've repurchased time and time again. That's not to say that I've stopped looking for one I might like better, but in the case of these items, I've never found one, definitely an achievement!

The Body Shop - All in one face base

I use this in Shade 02, the lightest they sell. To be honest this is still too yellow and dark for my skin tone, 01 was lovely, but it was discontinued in this product a few years ago, much to my disappointment. I hate the way liquid bases feel on my skin. This powder base gives brilliant coverage, lasts all day with minimal oil breakthrough and gives a soft matte finish.

GOSH liquid eyeliner

This comes in a huge range of colours, creme, glitter and metallics, paints on smoothly and more importantly, sets and stays where you put it. This really doesn't come off until you want it to.

Barry M Nail Paint in Turquoise

With a heavy hand this gorgeous Tiffany-esque colour goes opaque in one coat, two thin coats dries quickly to a satiny finish. I prefer to keep this glossy with a shiny topcoat but it looks stunning under all sorts of layers. I've used glitter top coat, Illamasqua prism, silver tips or even tiny jewels. Very sweet.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Fixing my poor nails

Scrubbing off the glitter top coat from my nails today I noticed the surface is looking rough and damaged. I raided Heidi's polish drawer and found a collection 2000 nail care strengthener.

Painting it on my nails it has a thin oily consistency that looks glossy and immediately smooths the surface somewhat. It also says it can act as base coat which is handy! Let's hope it works. 

Mac Sweetie

My first MAC lipstick arrived yesterday. I chose "sweetie" after much deliberation and it arrived not much more than 24 hours after I ordered it. Excellent service indeed!

With a sweet vanilla scent that is found in all mac lipsticks this is a beautiful pinky shade that is from the "lustre" finish range. The colour is sheer, almost too sheer in fact, but lovely never-the-less. :)

Disappointingly it seems to fade within as little as an hour and considering the short amount of time it lasts I'd have thought it would be much more moisturising and glossy. I do like sweetie, but I wanted so badly to adore it. I would purchase again from mac, their service was incredible and the quality of the packaging, including the scent is well worth the reasonable cost. On my next lipstick purchase I think i'll stay away from the lustre finish and give satin or matte a try. If you have any colour recommendations let me know!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Collection 2000 Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner

Browsing Boots today while Heidi shopped for gifts I noticed that Collection 2000 was still on 3 for 2. After hearing rave reviews over their glitter eyeliners I picked up a few of the felt tip liners in black and teal. My favourite colours!

Swatching these on my hand the colour comes out clear and true and matches the colour on the base of the tube exactly. They draw easily on the eyelid which Is brilliant as I usually end up drawing the line too high and then struggle to fill it in down to the lashes. Tightlining is not something I'm good at!

These liners are about 2 or 3 pounds each. A really good buy! 

Smoothest line i've ever managed!

Easy to do my usual cat flicks with.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Soap and madness

Boots gift of the week is always a good deal, but today you can get your mitts on a huge soap and glory gift box worth 60 quid for only 25. With soap and glory being one of the few brands that does what it promises this is an amazing bargain. Review to follow...
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Monday, 13 December 2010

Early o'clock

Actually managed to make it in this morning across the sheet ice. Took about 20 minutes to get to the bus stop and it usually takes about 3! After a heroic 3 hours of decent sleep thanks to waking up every ten minutes or so and panicking that I'd slept through my alarm I finally got up at early o'clock, 5 am, otherwise known as "at least two hours before reasonable o'clock".

Christmas nailpolish on today to keep my spirits up and remind me that time to sleep Christmas holiday will soon be here. Number 17's shimmery ivy coloured "exquisite" needs three coats to not look like a streaky mess but the final result is a stunning green with a beautiful depth. Layered over alternate nails is an NYC red jelly with twinkly glitter. Keeping the sparkle just to odd fingers stops it from bring two overdone I think as well as keeps my dreams free from nightmare images of chiseling glitter polishes from my finger tips.

I do adore glitter nail polishes, but come removal time, give me shimmer or a nice metallic any day!

I apologise for the lack of photo, but the cold weather we've had (known in the tabloids as the big freeze!) led my camera screen to shatter (-11 degrees!!!) so I'm waiting impatiently for the replacement to arrive. So far I've been really happy with Kodaks customer service.
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Thursday, 9 December 2010

We're all animals

As this intriguing blog post shows.

Only celebrities can design their own fragrance?

Not anymore!

Image property of Epically Epic Soaps @ Etsy

Epically Epic (Great name!) soaps from the glorious Etsy let you choose your own scents to combine into your prefect custom blended fragrance. The list of choices is huge, so huge that I had to message and ask for help in choosing the perfect blend for my sister. I messaged the owner and got a super quick and helpful response, I really felt that the owner knows their stuff!

For myself I've asked for the smell of gingerbread cooking, my favourite smell!

At only $8.50 each these oils promise to melt into the skin, linger better than water based scents and last longer in the bottle to boot!

As soon as these arrive I'll post up a review but if you just can't wait here is a direct link!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Who owns who?

Ever wondered who owns who in the beauty industry? Or noticed that innovations in high end brands filter to some "lower" companies faster than others?

Estee Lauder
La Mer
Bobbi Brown
Tommy Hifiger
Jo Malone
Bumble and Bumble
Lab Series
Donna Karan
American Beauty
Good Skin
Sean John
Acqua di Parma
Make up for ever
L'Oreal (partly owned by Nestle)
All L'Oreal brands
The Body Shop
Shu Uemura
Giorgio Armani
Helena Rubinstein
Vichy Laboratoires

Rimmel London
Jil Sander
Calvin Klein
And more brands of perfume than we could list including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie and the Beckham's scents.
Proctor and Gamble
Max Factor
Head and Shoulders
Herbal Essences
Hugo Boss Fragrances
Numerous other fragrances
Ultima 2
Elizabeth Arden
Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and many other fragrances
Alliance Boots
Toni and Guy (products only)
Kangol (products only)
French Connection (products only)
No 7
Johnson and Johnson
Piz Buin
Clean and Clear
Thierry Mugler

List from

Being aware of bullshit

It is important that we as consumers remember that the cosmetic industry is as much filled with lies and deceit as the magazine industry. At the end of the day these companies want us to buy things and whether we love them or whether they are bad for us is of little consequence. We bought it and we'll almost certainly buy again, if not from them, then from another company. Another company they conveniently also own.

Any belief I ever had that cosmetic companies genuinely mean what they say about their products was cracked the moment I learned that nearly all companies are owned by a few giants. Giants I might add who's own name brand products I'm not actually a fan of.

Of course there are people in the industry who want to make something new and are excited about innovation, there are products out there that most of us adore, it just means that we should be aware of what we are buying. Try to reward innovation and truth with purchases rather than reward bullshitting. IF we can that is!

On this note this post from highlights the cut throat world of the cosmetics industry. The blog is really interesting and well worth a read, it never hurts to be a little more informed as a consumer.

"Bullshit Short Story 1: The Brush Brush-Off With L'Ucifer

Once upon a time, in a little town somewhere in Germany, there was a small company who was little known to most of the world.  

But, to the people who work in mascaras, in spite of its size, its reputation of having the best mascara brushes in the whole industry was unparalleled - for it had the passion for innovating on brushes that had been passed from one generation to the next.  

One day,  they had the most fortunate news of having one of the world's top brand, who, (for the purpose of the story teller's preference for  a life outside of prison), we will hide under the name of  L'Ucifer - interested in their brushes.  This will mean an assured income not only for the current employees but for the children of their children beyond.  

Such was great news for this small german company in this small german town!

To finalize the partnership though, they were required to train a representative of L'Ucifer on their mascara brush know-how.

The small german company did as they were asked and gave L'Ucifer's rep the best training  and the most charming hospitality that this small village can muster - they regaled him with german beer and sausages as the little village knew how.  

After the training, all of them were so happy  - for this, was the start of a future brighter than they had ever known.

Days have passed but the finalization of the partnership, in one way or another got delayed.  Days went on, and it was becoming a blur.

One day- they did hear from L'Ucifer but it was not from the managers they spoke to nor the representative they had cradled in training.  It was but rather  from L'Ucifer's stable of lawyers.

L'Ucifer had patented all the technologies that they have been taught by our small german company. 

And the army of lawyers have dropped by to kindly inform our small german brush company that as they have become property of L'Ucifer, that the German company may never use their brush technology ever again.

What ensued after that, little more did I know of.  

But the question that came to my mind is - 

"Can any company who can do this really be worth it?""

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Diorshow Iconic and Philosophy Gingerbread man

Bought Dioshow Iconic mascara to attempt to beef up my wimpy eyelashes. One coat of it does a better job than most other mascaras i've tried. The plastic bristles make it easy to apply. I don't get on with bristly brushes, they don't seem to put any product on my lashes at all, just push them out of the way and do nothing!

I'd prefer the mascara to be more thickening, but thickening mascaras seem to only come on those giant vile brushy brush heads that do nothing for me.

I bought the waterproof version and In this regard it does exactly what it says on the tin. Tested in the blizzarding lately it doesn't budge until I purposefully wash it off.

My only real complaint is that it seems to have dried out in the two weeks i've had it. I know mascaras change consistency with use and this is not the only mascara that I've found too dry for my liking after two weeks of use. My no. 7 mascaras, max factor and bourjois all  did this. To be fair I like my mascaras to be thinner and wetter, the only one that remained suitably damp for my taste so far was bourjois liner effect mascara. If only it was suitably thickening and lifting for my flimsy eyelashes!

Considering this level of dryness seems to be the norm i'd wager most people wouldn't really consider this a flaw in the Diorshow and it certainly justifies it's cost as it did more for me in one coat than others do in three.

Sorry for the terrible photo. Freeing cold. Wrapped in duvet!

Today the Philosophy Gingerbreadman lipshine I ordered from ebay arrived. It smells and tastes amazing! It's a shame these things are so hard to get hold of because they really are lovely. This is the first Philosophy product ive had and I'd certainly buy some more!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Philosophy for christmas

I always read about the delicious sounding philosophy gift sets. Especially the Christmas ones! I've not yet had the chance to try some, but as soon as I can get my grabby hands on some I'll be reviewing them. Gingerbread man sounds scrummy. I adore ginger. nomnomnom.

Oh Origins, how I miss you

I remember when Origins use to sell their full makeup range in this country (UK) and I LOVED it. Three of my favourite make up products ever are from Origins.

Unfortunately only one is available in this country now. The FANTASTIC "Pinch your cheeks" is a beautiful sheer buildable blush stain. Just beautiful. Please. Please don't discontinue this one Origins!!!

Another favourite was their powder foundation. Best part for me was that they actually stocked shades that those of us with milky skin could actually wear without looking like we'd been tangoed.

The third, and now sadly, discontinued product. Was "Bite your lips" a sheer flush stain in a sleek metal tube. My favourite shade was "raspberry". Clinique "Black Honey" almost lipstick is the closest I've found to it, but nothing can replace this for me. Please bring it back!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words "It's Ms/Mr.> _________" and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty minutes.
6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and planning period.
7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
8. You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
9. You want to slap the next person who says "Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off."
10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says "Boy, the kids sure are mellow today."
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own needs.
17. You can't pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items!
18. You ask your friends if the left hand turn he just made was a "good choice or a bad choice."
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and finally,
21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Illamasqua Prism review compared to China Glaze Rainbow

Prism and China Glaze Rainbow

I finally got my hands on Illamasqua prism several weeks ago now, but the demands of my PGCE (that is getting up at 5.30 and home at 8pm) mean that I get about an hour awake in my own house every day and that's if I'm lucky. That hour is spent showering, eating dinner and packing things for the next day.

Now that i've managed to grab a moment to upload one of the many reviews i've got stacked up in my folder I'm pleased to show you PRISM.

The application is smooth. One coat is shown below with no cleanup. Where possible I like to use one coat, it dries fast and gives a natural polished look. I do this with all polishes. With Prism I can do it without streaks at all.  I did eventually layer three coats to see what it looked like, it was stunning. Unfortunately then I did the washing up and it started to peel off at the corners. Not quite sure why that happened, I think it's my nails rather than the polish.

Prism is very blue toned, whereas China Glaze Rainbow is very very pink. Both colours other than that have a very similar effect to them, but Prism dries quickly and to a glossier finish. Rainbow is a lovely pretty colour but takes an age to dry and I smudged it into my duvet last night so no photo. On a similar note, does anyone else find that some polishes seem to take forever to dry, but the minute you smudge it into something and spoil the finish it sets INSTANTANEOUSLY in the new horrible smudgyness giving you no hope of smoothing it out. >:[

In short, Prism is stunning. The colour is beautiful, drying time is fast, application smooth. The only thing I can fault is the brush because I love the new style wide ones SOSO much. Buy prism. And Rainbow. They're both fabulous. Great wedding colours too.

I mean to layer prism over a white polish to see if I can get a nice snowy effect so look out for that soon!

Stubbystubbystubby nails. They're back to normal length now.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells!

Christmas is coming! Hoorah!

If you're anything like me, you'll already know at least 15 things that you want for Christmas, heehee! I've done most of my Christmas shopping already and I feel super organised this year! I figured if I start early it will be less of a financial burden come December. Fingers crossed anyway. I always end up feeling like I haven't bought people enough when I buy the gifts early and probably spend twice as much. Duh!

Browsing my favourite beauty blog I came across this little box of goodness. Link to Lipglossiping where I found it.

Yes, your eyes aren't lying to you, that is indeed an advent calender filled with beauty goodies. I was actually expecting it to cost a lot more than £60 so I'm quite pleasantly surprised. Of course, I still can't afford it, but that's life!

If you fancy investing in this treat Selfridges is the place to go.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

New do & Soap and Glory love.

Last weekend I finally got a hair cut, after months of agonising over it and wondering what to get, Sammi convinced me to go for a Christina Hendricks - esque (though obviously I don't look anywhere near as GODDESS like as her) style and I was absolutely thrilled with the result.

Fringe ^_^

Whaddaya think? I love it, it is a big difference from my usual, straight and boring style and I haven't had any sort of a fringe for absolutely donkey's years! (... Not that I know how long a donkey's year would be...)

Of course, after having this overhaul of my hair, I decided to treat it to something new and as luck would have it, Soap and Glory had *just* released their new Shampoo and Conditioner, clearly a sign from the beauty gods that I should offer these up as a tribute to my gorgeous new do.

And boy what a tribute! As expected they smell fabulous and compliment each other very nicely, the shampoo lathers up wonderfully and rinses clean, the conditioner requires a bit of working through from the roots to tips (as recommended on the bottle) and it is well worth it to really get to full benefit. This was my hair after blowdrying;


See how bouncey ^^ I was very impressed with the volume and shine;

Check out that shine

Please excuse the emo looking pose, but check out all that shine! Wowza! And just for a finishing touch, this is how it looked after being straightened;

Check that out, frsrs, LOOKIT! I am going to give Soap and Glory, Shampoo and Conditioner full marks! If you want to try these out I'd rush to boots RIGHT NOW as they're having a 3 for 2 on all Soap and Glory products and these hair products are going fast. (for the third product I would recommend their hair mask, i will be reviewing it next as I am even more impressed with it)

Til next time!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Ciate Mistress, Silhouette and White Chocolate Scented Polish Remover

Hello all!

Apologies for my lack of posting for a while, being back at work has thrown me off a bit! But I am here again with a brand, spanking new review! Huzzah!

I recently gave in to temptation and bought two gorgeous red shades from Ciate; Mistress and Sihouette. I also treated myself to their white chocolate scented polish remover, in the hopes of repairing and treating mine and Sammi's poor dried out nails to something a bit fancier. And boy, did this remover deliver!

Not only did our nails feel genuinely nourished, clean and smooth after removing our polish but after it dried our hands smelt good enough to eat! At £14 for the 250ml bottle I would say it is a fair price. It has helped my nails no end!

Now, onto the polishes!

Silhouette, a pearly red with gold shimmer

Isn't it gorgeous? Silhouette is a wonderful colour and has fantastic staying power, lasted 3 days with no chipping and minimal tip wear, smashing.

Mistress, I'll admit it, the name swayed me to get this particular red

I haven't worn this beauty as of yet, however one of my friends was taken with the shade and she wore it, it lasted through 4 days, 2 of which were waitressing days! She also said it went on easy, no streaks and only required one coat for an opaque colour.

So all in all Ciate has proved themselves as premium as they claim! However at £9 a pot I will be selecting my purchases rather carefully! Still I highly recommend Ciate, if you want to treat yourself or have enough dollah :)

What I learned today...

If you don't make sure your cuticule cream is properly sunk in before you put varnish on, you end up with a patchy mess :(

After staining my nails with a weekend of intense colours and no base coat (shame on me) I now can't paint them their usual sheer/french look for the week.

To remedy this I dragged out my trusty max factor nail finity in rose petal and covered up the horrible mess i've made of my poor nails. Wanting something a bit more glossy (the nailfinities dry to a lovely satin finish) i've topped it off with Sally Hansen Star opal nail glaze. Which is a glorious long lasting sheer shimmer.

All finishes

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Free Ciate Nail Polish with Marie Claire

A Brilliant deal in this month's Marie Claire magazine as these polishes normally retail for £9 each. The magazine is only £3.50. I say "only". If it weren't for the free posh nail polish I wouldn't be too impressed at paying £3.50 for advertisements and one or two articles I could easily find online.

On the subject, Ciate nail polishes ASOS edition are down to £1 on ASOS at the moment so hurrah!

As it stands I've painted one coat of my free polish shade "dangerous affair" and it is streaky as hell. I'm going to do the second coat of course, but I always personally find that two coats makes my nail polish more likley to chip, not less! I can't get Illamasqua prism to last more than 5 hours with two coats, it peels off, but with one coat I took it off after 7 days out of boredom!


Ok second coat applied now. The colour is true to the bottle and very shiny. They dry quickly to the touch but with all nail polish i'd leave it at least 20 mins before doing anything that might scrape all your hard work off.

The brush in these is large, which is great, but the polish in this shade was a lot thicker than i'm used to and I made a mess all around the edges of my nail. I think if the brush was more shaped with a curve, like the fantastic (and cheaper) bourjois brush that application would be easier. Because the polish is so thick it does tend to drag unless you have a lot of liquid on the brush, though then you increase the risk of making a big mess!

 I like the colour and the gloss, it's not too warm on my pale skin, which is nice and the darker colour isn't as bad as some for making fingers look stubby. Just inspecting them closely, the application is smooth now, but all of the streaking and dragging in the first coat makes me think that i'm going to be seeing lots of tip wear in lieu of chipping, when ideally of course I'd like it to do neither, like the glorious max factor nail finity polishes.

As you can tell, so far i'm not incredibly keen. I do genuinely like the colour, which I wasn't expecting to, but the polish is just so thick and sticky and hard to work with compared to other polishes I own that I struggle not to be irritated.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Soap and Glory Fab Pore review

I bought this on my boots points the other day. I haven't had chance to take a picture yet.

The 15 minute facial peel comes in a small white pot and you get 50g for £7.00. Not a high price for a face mask really, but the amount they tell you to use (grape sized) and the size of the pot makes me wish it came in a bigger pot for more money.

Never one to follow instructions properly I applied it in my usual way in thin layers until It was opaque all over my face and found I used significantly less than the amount they recommend. It spreads easily as a white cream and is "wet" enough that it didn't drag on my skin and ball up on my fingers as drier masks can do. As it sits on your face it feels damp and cooling and not at all burny as the "peel" makes me think. It doesn't dry on the skin, so doesn't have the tightness usually associated with masks containing clay, but there's something about it that makes you think it's doing *something*.

Next I washed my hair and hoped that it didn't melt off in the humidity, which pleasingly it did not. Nor did I get patches where it splashed off, so hurrah there. After 5 mins I caved and wanted to see if it had any effect. The pot says to leave it on for 15 mins or 5 for a "quick refresh". This isn't a splash off mask, I rubbed it off under the shower head and then rinsed my skin with my normal clinque face soap before I felt it was really "off".

Looking in the mirror afterwards I nearly fell over! The pores on my nose and cheeks cause me misery daily. To me they seem vast and cavernous and they are all I see when I first look in the mirror. After just 5 mins in this they looked small, greatly reduced in colour, scrubbed out and not at all flaky and dry as I had feared.

3 days later the initial super tightening (which I assume is from the magical mushroom qualities of the product) has worn off somewhat, but my pores are still on the smaller side of "normal" which for me is simply astounding. Make up goes on smoother and doesn't sink into my skin towards the end of the day. This is simply the best facial product I have ever used and I don't think I'm alone.

This little pot of magic has clocked up 69 rave reviews on where it can be purchased, often on 3 for 2 (score!!!) in fact, you should probably just get some now, right away before I buy it all.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Quality, on the cheap.

After three days of wearing the Collection 2000 dupe, I was rather impatient to review it, yet have not had a chance to upload it, so here is the judgment of Midnight Rouge!

After three days of wear, there was some chipping on the tips of my weakest nails, (alas I have two that like to flake :( ) however this is to be expected from my nails.

Curse you weak nails! Aside from this however there was zero tip wear and my nails looked freshly applied on the other hand!

Glorious! They are still marvelously glossy and very pretty.

Let's break it down! Collection 2000 Lasting Colour, Midnight Rouge, COME FORWARD!

Colour: 3/5

It pains me to say that this colour was not very close to the Dragon's Blood varnish, it was far more on the burgundy side and didn't have that deep, red, glow that I so fondly remember of Dragon's Blood. It is however a beautiful varnish.

Gloss: 3/5

It wasn't *quite* as glossy as the L'Oreal varnish but it was still lovely and shiny, especially in the sunlight.

Cost: 5/5

At £2.49 you really can't go wrong with this varnish.

Wear: 5/5

Three days, minimal chipping and only on the nails of *mine* that I expect to chip, zero tip wear and no smudging. If I wasn't such an impatient lady I'd like to see if it could last ten days! I wouldn't be surprised if it did :)

Overall it kicked L'Oreal's arse! If you're looking for an affordable, lasting varnish, then I highly recommend this!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Things I Love and Things I NEEED.

Things I Love

Rimmel Stronger Nails - The only thing that worked to make my nails long, strong and resistant to the ridiculous frequency with which I change my nail varnish

Rimmel Matte Top Coat - HOMG *starry eyes* I love the matte finish this gives, it's so beautiful. (review to follow)

L'Oreal Super Liners - I have all three of these, the application is easy and they are so gorgeous on.

No 7 Perfect Light Loose Powder
- It makes my face look all matte and poreless ^_^

No 7 Liplicious Purple Liquorice
- Purple Lip gloss that's not sticky and is actually darkly purple, heaven for a purple addict like me.

Lush Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bombs
- Being a single mum, of a teeny 9 month old girl, I love these bath bombs, they are genuinely a freaking god-send.

Lush Big Shampoo
- This is my favourite shampoo from Lush, it makes my hair 80's big! Love it.

Lush Retread Triple Conditoiner
- Because I dye my hair and bleach it quite a lot, this conditioner is fantastic for keeping my hair shiny and healthy.


NARS Pruple Rain Nail Polish

Look at it! Look at that BEAUTIFUL purple, I need it in my life.

Urban Decay Apocalyptic Nail Kit
- Why can I not get this in the UK? :(

Urban Decay Lipstick Apocalypse Shade
- Lippy, deep, lovely, waaaant.

No 7 Essential Moisture Day Cream
- This stuff really is great and now it has come down in price I think I'll be snatching one off the shelves come pay day!

Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss, Repulse
- I covet this, as a dirty goff. I NEED IT.

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, Palladium
- The Blue is just gorgeous and I have heard good things from Lipglossiping.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Quest for Dragon's Blood; The Second Beast

What-ho fellow Dragon slayers! I have felled another beastie! This one goes by the name Midnight Rouge, of the Collection 2000 Lasting Colour line.

As you can see, it's new!

It appears that the blood of Dragons is known for its longevity and durability, as this one promises *up to* TEN DAYS of wear! At the small price of £2.59, I would pleased with one full day of good wear! It is becoming increasingly difficult to find varnish at a good price, especially when they all like to promise me the world with pretty diamonds and unicorns who crap rainbows... Moving along!

Initially I was struck by the ease of application, the brush is simply marvelous! I was able to do several of my nails with one sweep, magic. The formula is nice, not too thick for one that, once again, promises durability and I had no streaks, no bubbles, no drag, just a nice even coat.


I have to say, so far Collection 2000 are kicking L'Oreal's arse! That's right L'Oreal, we know you're not as premium as you claim!

I quite like the colour and opacity of this varnish, it only required one heavy handed coat and has a lovely, glossy sheen to it, the red isn't too lost in the darkness of the shade, so it's doing well!

Unfortunately the shade appears a bit more towards the mahogany red, rather than the sanguine, who knows, perhaps it will look better in the light of day, rather than the fluorescent lights in our house! We shall see....

Hanibee out! <3

War on Pores!

As someone who suffers from Oily Skin I am in constant battle with the pores on my nose and T zone. That's why when I read the reviews on this little pot of sexyness Soap and Glory's Fab Pore Facial peel I was bouncing with delight! Knowing that I have enough boots points to snag this little possible miracle makes me a very happy bunny indeed. *Grabby Hands*

I love Soap and Glory, all of their products I've tried have been wonderful and judging by the 69! rave reviews this one should be no different. Come to me little wonder pot, eliminate my pores and we shall be BFFs forevers.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

I Am Disappoint! .\/.

After deciding to give L'Oreal Resist&Shine Titanium a good chance, I am very disappointed to find that at the end of the second day my nails look like this;

This is not what I expect from a varnish that promises me 7 days of wear.

Incidentally, that is my 'I am disappoint!' face. Hopefully you will not see it too often, in this situation however is it called for!

As a dupe for No 17 Dragon's Blood, which was of the Rock Hard Nails line, it has lost quite a few points for me... Did I not mention I'll be scoring the potential dupes out of 20?... Well, umm... Too late now! We already started playing!

L'Oreal Resist&Shine Titanium! Come forward for judgement!

Colour: 3/5

Well, it's certainly red and dark red at that, however with the two coats required to make it sufficiently dark enough and streak free, the colour gets lost.

Gloss: 5/5

I cannot deny that this varnish is extremely glossy, it does look freshly applied hours after. Which I like.

Cost: 0/5

£5.99 for a varnish that simply does not deliver what it promises? On your bike son.

Wear: 2/5

I'll give it the obligatory 2 points for lasting through an entire day of my baby related chores, almost continual typing and washing up. But I am doing it begrudgingly, promising 7 days of wear and delivering this, is shocking L'Oreal. SHOCKING.

I would also add that the application, whilst aided by the smaller cap, was hindered by the ridiculously thin and rigid brush. Ah well, on to the next conquest!!

Hanibee out <3

DuWop Tinted Prime

I bought this last year but haven't got around to photographing it until now. I bought shade "Tango" which is described as a sheer blackberry.

Packaging -
A slim shimmery grey tube about three inches long. The product inside is a narrow pencil like stick with a slant top. It twists up and down and applies like a standard lipstick.

The formula -
Applies smoothly on the whole, feels rather waxy and drags a little but application has always been even for me. Pigmentation is good, sheer but definitely noticeable with a soft sublte sheen. There's no shimmer to this product and it actually looks quite natural in an odd sort of way. Prime venom makes claims to being a protective balm, and my lips do feel comfortable when wearing it, but I can't say that it feels particularly moisturising due to the waxyness.

The DuWop magic -
Of course the main selling point for this is as part of the famous "Venom" range. Once applied there is a gentle minty "humm" that on me lasts for about 20 minutes before fading. When applied the spicy scent is still detectable which is a little off putting if like me you are prone to headaches. As it write this my nose wrinkles up in discomfort, not because it's an unpleasant smell, it's quite nice in a medical sort of way, but because having something so close to my nose is aggravating my existing migraine. Ouch!
As far as plumping goes, I don't notice a major effect, but then my lips aren't small and arguably not in need of plumping. What it certainly does do, is make the wearer more aware of their lips, which feels nice. The confidence boost that you've got a little help probably goes a long way into that pouty lip feeling!

Applied alone over bare lips
As you can see the awkward patch on my bottom lip that resists being covered can still be seen, but in a sheer product that was to be expected.

This product costs £14.50 and can be purchased here. If you are looking for a nice balmy stain that gives a fuller appearance without the burn of some plumpers this is a good choice.

Other shades available;

Samba- Peach
Cha Cha - Nude

Guerlain, the stuff dreams are made of

Through my migraine induced haze of the past three days, with little more than enough energy to gaze longingly through the Debenhams website of lovelyness I have come to realise something.

I am deeply in love with Guerlain. Everything of theirs I have tried has been flawless. Thoughtfully made, and with an attention to detail befitting such a graceful and renowned perfume house.

Guerlain Meteorites are right at the top of my Christmas wish list. Of course I lust after the pink version (with each subtle shade of pearl providing a unique benefit to skin's luminosity, shade pink contains a fresh mint sprinkling to balance the redness so common in fairer complexions.) Though each variation contains a carefully chosen blend of decadent powder pearls which when swirled together (ideally with the meteorites brush) gives mid-toned and darker complexions exactly the right kind of luminosity.

Stock image from Debenhams, where I intend to purchase this little pot of heaven as soon as I can!

Drummers in the Sky with Confetti

Last night I went to the Freedom Fest 2010 in Hull City Centre and it was absolutely fantastic.

I love street theater, it is always new, never boring and mainly, absolutely insane. Here are just a few of the fantastical sights I was able to see last night:

That, is a giant mobile, suspended high above the ground in the city centre, by crane. It holds several, amazing nutcracker-esque drummer men and one absolutely mesmerising acrobat. As the crane floated the mobile high above us, we were treated to a magnificent display of grace and skill. Then, much to my delight, they dropped confetti ^^

I fucking LOVE confetti...

Moving on...

The next magical event we witnessed was like a parade of dreams, we were ambushed by giant muti-faced heads...

A floating, firey, fish...

And most magnificent of all...


Unfortunately I was unable to reach it to sample its blood, shame too, I bet that Dragon's blood would have been beautiful!

As the night moved on and the monsters began to drift away, myself and my friends sat by the fountain to wait for the fireworks display to begin.

Myself and Haus Frau got rather wet as it poured down but it did not dampen our spirits, nor our makeup!

Just as we were getting comfortable and ready for the fireworks we spotted some commotion around the other side of the fountain...

Could it be?....



I love dinosaurs and I can tell you that this was a dream come true for me, as I got extremely close to them...

Extreeeeeeeeeeeemely close.

After these marvelous creatures had bounded off into the distance, we finished the night with a pretty, albeit brief, fireworks show.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

Quest for Dragon's Blood; The Journey Begins

My last post got me thinking; why, oh why have I not been looking for a dupe of No. 17 Dragon's Blood, all these years!?
It shouldn't be that hard a colour to duplicate, gothic is all the rage (again >_>) these days! Surely I can find another red that matches its beauteousness?

So in light of this revelation, I have donned my suit of armour, raised the colours and set out to find another Dragon to slay! This is a dangerous quest, it will be long and arduous, some of you may not survive, those who do will have the honour of decorating themselves with the blood of our fallen enemy! TO BATTLE!

The first Dragon slain goes by the name Burgundy Black and is of the line L'Oreal Resist&Shine Titanium.

It was a hefty beast, costing £5.99 of my shiny pennies but we shall see if it is worth the cost. The bottle is rather large and quite pretty, I like chunky bottles but I haaate using chunky lids for application, luckily this bottle top handily comes away to reveal....

TADA! A handily small cap! This made application far easier than expected, which I was happy with. My main quibble however is with the brush, it doesn't fan out to cover the nail efficiently and it meant I had to be careful to avoid bubbling.

Coming in at 9ml the formula is a rather thick one, as is often the case with varnish that promises 7 day wear, I applied my habitual two coats (I like things to be dark and opaque, it is the nature of a dirty goff) and was quite pleased with the colour.

Ok so, it's red, it's dark, it's shiney, it's certainly got a gothic vibe to it.... But is it sanguineous enough? Hmm... I know I'm being picky but something just feels off to me, perhaps I resent paying so much for a varnish, I'm going to give it three days of wear and see how it fares!

Hanibee out! <3

Friday, 10 September 2010

Mac Villains

I'd heard about the upcoming Disney Villains collection from MAC, and I hadn't expected to fall in love with it. Today I saw the previews over on Tamptalia and OH MY GOODNESS it's beautiful.

You simply must view this collection, I DEFY you not to want at least some of it. My personal favourites are the Maleficent colours, the sprakles, the duochrome, oh it's winter heaven!

Straight to the good stuff

Ellis Faas - Ellis Red

Finally the lip product I have longed for has arrived! *Happy Dance of Joy*

For about ten minutes I thought the product I received was broken as I twisted away at the end of the tube with no avail. Finally little red speckles showed up on the pristine white tip and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that when smearing it eagerly over my lips, the creamy red didn't drag or create lines of dense and shallow pigment. Once on it doesn't feel drying at all and I also don't feel like I have a sticky layer of gunk. I know it's there, but I don't feel like smearing it off again, which is too often the case for me. Sticky things make me ick.

It truly is a suit everyone red. It's not too warm, not too cool, not too neutral, it almost looks natural, in an unnatural way of course. 

In the hideous light of a laptop screen
I love it to bits <3