Monday, 29 April 2013

Real Techniques: Expert Face Brush

Ok, so, I really did not need this, but in the perpetual quest for a flawless base I decided I'd use up some Boots points on the Real Techniques expert face brush. I'm glad I did.

I have a bit of a collection of Real Techniques brushes, they are great value for money and I am always impressed with the finish they give, so, decided that this would be money well spent.

The first thing I'll mention the bristles are, made from super-soft taklon, they survive wash after wash and don't shed, a problem I've encountered with brushes with natural bristles. This brush is easy to hold and handily (no pun intended) stands on its end when you aren't using it. It's a bit of a multi-use tool, i use with thicker liquid foundations, cream blushes and for blending and buffing make-up I have applied with my fingers. There's a great tutorial HERE on how creator, Samantha Chapman, uses this brush.

The result - the flawless base I've been searching for. I'd go as far as to say this brush is up there with some of the more expensive brushes in my ever-expanding collection. Have you tried this brush or any others in Samantha Chapman's collection?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

French Fancy: BIODERMA Sensibio H20 Micelle Water

I've heard A LOT about this product, itseems to be a staple for make-up artists and enthusiasts. However, as I rarelyhead across the English Channel, it's been pretty difficult to get hold of, until now. Whilst perusing on, I discovered the much-coveted micellar water was at last available to us in good old Blighty and ordered a bottle tout de suite. I've been using this for a goodfew weeks now and thought it was about time I shared my thoughts . . .

BIODERMA Sensibio H20 Micelle Water (also known as Crealine H20 ) is available here intwo sizes - 50ml and 250ml . I'd say the 50ml is more for travel, so, I opted for the 250ml, which was £9.99. This micellar water is for sensitive, normal to dry skin (also available for oily skin.) At first, I was not wowed – I expected big things given all the rave reviews I have heard from various bods in the beauty world, but after using for the last few weeks I’ve realised what all the noise is about. This is a super-mild cleanser, when swept across the face on some cotton wool, leaves my skin soft, clean and soothed. It’s alcohol and soap-free, so doesn’t dry or irritate the skin. It’s so gentle, it can be used to remove eye make-up (excellent time-saver, no more separate eye make-up removers), but so effective, it takes away every last scrap of my waterproof mascara.

My only negative,  I find need to use twice or three times to get rid of all my make-up and know my skin is completely clean, no bad thing for my skin, but the bottle has gone down pretty fast. I find I am preferring this to my usual cream cleanser – my skin justfeels so clean and I can skip a toner.

I’m now on the lookout for the 500ml bottle, as I think this is going to be repurchased many times and has found itself well and truly at home on my bathroom shelf. A big, fat recommendation from me! Have you tried this product?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Crème Jeunesse des Mains: Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream

It's a tradition in my family, every Christmas my dad buys me a mini-torch (even though I've lived in London for the last decade, they've proven useful once or twice, lost keys etc, but I'm not much of an adventurer ) and my mum buys me a tube of Clarins Hand Cream - guess who I take after more?

So, having consistently used this since I was old enough to appreciate the wares and fares Clarins have to offer, I reckon I'll be giving a pretty fair review. Firstly, if I wasn't gifted this year in year out, I would definitely spend the £20 to invest in a tube. It's worth it for the scent alone - ummmmm, pleasantly floral and distinctively Clarins. It's light in texture and not greasy, leaving the hands soft , smooth and nails hydrated. It softens skin around the nails and makes it easier to deal with, less snagging of little rag nails. I don't tend to use this if my hands are in a complete state, I would use something a bit more waxy in texture that survives a few hand washes, but it's the perfect hand cream to have in your handbag for every day use. You don't need to use a lot, one 100ml tube will see me through until at least October, so again, worth the money. The packaging, as ever with Clarins, is simplistic and elegant. If you haven't yet tried this hand cream, I'd recommend – its on offer at for £16.00 - bargain!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Elizabeth Arden – Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion

I find it difficult to get a Day Cream that's perfect for under my make-up. With combination skin, I find that some just aren't hydrating enough for the drier areas of my face. I have the common problem of an oilier T-zone and dry skin on my cheeks so getting the balance right is essential if I want hydration in the right places and a good surface to apply make-up over.

I am a massive fan of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, as this was such a hit with me (see my review here), I thought I'd give some more products a go. This product has been a god send. Visible Difference Skin Balancing Lotion for combination skin is SPF 15, so is perfect base under foundation. It's light but hydrates the skin perfectly, not forgetting the dry areas and not overloading the oilier areas. In essence, it does strike the perfect balance for me and my skin feels great all day long. I love the packaging, it looks great and has a handy pump-dispenser. It  is slightly fragranced, it's a fresh not overpowering scent which doesn't last long.  The only negative is the price, it costs around the £30 mark, however, as I only use as a day cream, I have had this for quite a while and find 1–2 pumps are adequate. I would highly recommend, if you want to spend a little more. Its available here for £27.50 at, which slightly less than I paid and in my books, worth every penny. I'll definitely be trying out a few more products from this range.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Time to Prime: Revlon PhotoReady™ Perfecting Primer

I'm not massively into primers, only using them on days when I need my make-up to last longer than the working day and know I wont have a massive amount of time to reapply. I love Benefit Porefessional, buts it's expensive and I only use on special occasions. I was on the look out for something a bit less costly, that I could use more often – here's where Revlon comes in. This scary white-coloured primer was a fraction of the price. Revlon PhotoReady™ Perfecting Primer comes in a handy pump bottle, so you don't need to worry about too much coming out of the tube, I find that one pump dispenses just enough. I tend to use this on the oilier ares of my face, on my nose, chin and fore head, I don't really need to use anywhere else. The results? Well, it provides an even surface, it's undetectable in colour when smoothed over the face (so, you needn't worry about the garish-glowy white) and covers over any open pores on my chin and it helps my make-up last all day in the areas I find it disappears more quickly. It slightly calms any redness on my chin and nose also, letting my foundation do it's job. My one gripe, after every use, a little bit dries in the pump-opening, meaning you have to pick it out every time you use. But in all, well worth the £11.99 I paid for it. Have you tried this product? What were your thoughts?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Time Ticks By - Gents Bracelet Watch from Sekonda

I haven't had a watch for years, my last one was expensive, I accidentally dropped it by the swimming pool and smashed the face into smithereens. After searching high and low for someone who'd mend it, and without any luck, I swore I'd never spend a fortune on a watch again. Recently, out of nowhere I've been hankering after a watch again, tired of scrabbling around in my bag looking for my phone to find out what time it is. So, I thought I'd look for a cheaper alternative to the Michael Kors beaut I've been lusting after. So, for the first time in my life I actually willingly went for the cheaper option in this Sekonda Gents Bracelet watch. I have looked at many fashion watches in stores like Oasis and Urban Outfitters, but I ended up buying in H. Samuel (I know, I think this is the one and only time I've been in this shop) as from searching for watches on the web, they had a really good and very reasonably priced range and there is a store local to me. Also, they were ale to take out the extra links on the strap (actually, removed most of the strap), so the thing stays on my wrist. I paid the princely sum of £29.99 for this watch, and i really think it looks great on. I chose the sliver colour in the end with the white face, as most of my jewellery tends is silver or platinum. Larger watches are very of the minute, so, if I'm going to save the big bucks for something classic that'll see me through more than a passing phase of mine. Here are a few more budget alternatives I've seen whilst searching:

Silver Face Casio £30 from Urban Outfitters : Retro look, perfect to add some edge to a feminine spring look

Round Dial Bracelet £40 from Oasis :  Simple, gold, classic look – would look elegant with a bit of a tan and a white shirt in summer

Round Face Analogue Bracelet Watch £35 from M&S : Gold? Silver? Can't decide – here's the perfect compromise

Are you with me or against on the masculine watch trend?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Get Your Glow on - Nars Illuminator in Copacabana

I love a highlighter and I love Nars so this product was a rather obvious choice for me. Nars Illuminator in Copacabana is a pretty, iridescent, pale pink shade. This is a super-sheer highlighter, that when applied to the cheekbones gives the loveliest light-reflecting glow. It can also be mixed with foundation and gives a luminosity to the skin like you've never seen before. A word of warning, a little goes a very long way - so whilst £22 is quite a lot of money, I'd say its well worth it, the tube lasts a very long time. This highlighter is also available in Nars' other trademark hues - Lauguna, Orgasm and Super Orgasm. Copacabana looks great when my skin is at it's palest, in the dead of winter, I might invest in the Laguna for the summer months. This is a great multi-purpose product and a useful addition to any make-up bag. Have you tried any of the other shades?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Show Stopper Red: Topshop Nails

This is my first dabble in the Topshop make-up range. My local store doesn't stock it, so whilst a bit further afield - I picked up this nail polish. Having a good old route through the shades, I was rather inclined to choose a spring-like pink, however, as a creature of habit, I just couldn't bypass this amazing red - I think you'll agree, it's a show stopper scarlet. Another (rather stupid) reason for my choice was the name, Collegiate, as I went to a collegiate school, though I may have been suspended for wearing such a brazen shade, back in the day. Anyway, firstly, I just love this colour - it's amazing, isn't it? This zingy red is the perfect bright to add a splash of colour to an outfit, I love to wear with Breton stripes. The formula is great, it's easy to work with, just two thin coats are needed. The finish isn't shiny or isn't matte - nice kind of satin-like finish. I can't say much for the longevity, I only painted my nails with it yesterday, but so far, so good. The brush is pretty average for as far as nail brushes go - it's easy enough to use. In short, I just LOVE this colour. Have you tried any Topshop nail polish?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Statement necklaces from H&M

For something a bit different and in a quest to write some fashion / lifestyle posts, I thought I'd do a post on statement necklaces. In the fashion stakes, I'm not really a trend follower - the older I get the more I feel I know my own style, it's pretty conservative and I opt for a clean, classic look. The white shirt is a staple in my wardrobe - I couldn't live without it and the statement necklace brings it a bit more up-to-date. Here are three necklaces I have picked up in H&M, I can't find them on the website but have seen recently in store. I like wearing under the collar of a plain white shirt, for an understated look.

For some inspiration, H&M have some very pretty jewellery at some very reasonable prices here are some that caught my eye.

Sparkly Stones £12.99
Beaded Bib Necklace £9.99

Zara are also amazing for a statement necklace – again, they're not overly expensive and definitely set off an otherwise plain outfit. My current Zara favourite is this one.

[Shirt pictured is from Uniqlo here. ]

Monday, 8 April 2013

Benefit Box Blushes - Sugarbomb & Dandelion

I'm a big fan of the Benefit box blushes, the quirkiness of the packaging just draws me in. My collection started when I left my make-up bag at airport security, realising when I'd gone through the gate (really) – not the cleverest thing I've done. So, in a quest to restock my make-up bag, I bought two shades from Benefit. The first was Coralista, which I have reviewed here, the second, Sugarbomb. And Dandelion, because, well, after owning the latter, I just wanted it.

As with all the Benefit blushes, they come in cute boxes which are rather bulky in a make-up bag, but very pretty to have on your dressing table. As you can see, I have carried Sugarbomb around a fair bit and the box has scuffed up slightly. The box also comes with a little brush, which I don't tend to use, but it's perfectly functional.

Sugarbomb is a luscious quad of four shades - mauve, coral, pink and bronze, these can be used separately with a small brush, or together. I'd prefer to mix the shades, which results in a gorgeous depth of colour - not quite pink, not quite coral – but somewhere lovely in between. I use this quite sparingly on my fair complexion, I don't need a lot for a healthy glow. There is a subtle shimmer that highlights the cheekbones, but which isn't overpowering. It lasts all day on my, perfect for the 9-5 day, I'd top up a little is going out after work. In all, a great all-rounder and ideal for an everyday blush.

Dandelion is is the most gorgeous dusky pink, so pretty and perfect for spring. It gives a lovely flush of colour to the cheeks and is a nice blush for those days where you want the 'no make-up' look. Used lightly, it gives little in the way of colour pay-off, you have to build up the colour before you really notice it. It looks lovely on the fairer skin tones, I'm not sure it would really show up on darker / olive skin tones as it's so pale. It's staying-power is as above. I can't say I use this as much as Sugarbomb, but it's a handy shade to have when you want to look more natural.

Have you tried these blushes? What's your favourite Benefit shade?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Vichy Laboratoires Normaderm

I like to try skincare products for a few weeks before I feel i can give them a fair review. I bought these two Vichy products a month or so ago,  mainly to feed my addiction to French pharmacy brands. I have loved everything i have tried from Vichy, so with a bit of a February-lackustre complexion, I knew they'd be a good choice.

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Ageing – Anti-Imperfection – Anti-Wrinkle – Resurfacing Care 
As suggested above, this product does many different jobs, targeting fine lines, wrinkles and imperfections at the same time. I'm very conscious about ageing, though I don't use a lot of products specifically for anti-ageing, it was really the ingredients that drew me in – having previously read that LHA and glycolic acid promote cell renewal, together with Vitamin C, Vichy claim that these ingredients work well together to target the skins imperfections, such as texture and enlarged pores. To add to these brave claims, this is also paraben-free and hypoallergenic, so suitable for sensitive skin types. I have combination skin and find this product gives me just the right level of hydration, it's definitely not drying, I wouldn't recommend it for those with dry skin. It leaves my face feeling moisturised, but not greasy. The cream has a lovely rich formula and feels luxurious when massaged on to cleansed skin. I mostly use this in my evening skincare routine – it has no UV protection which I look for religiously in a day cream. As recommended, I don't use this on the eye contour area, sticking to a separate eye cream. Since using this product, my skin feels smoother and looks good, I've also found my t-zone less oily. It's a nice product, I'd definitely repurchase. It's around £15 in Boots, but I feel Vichy quality it's worth the money and it's currently on offer  here! 

Vichy Normaderm Exfoliating Gel Scrub
I tend to exfoliate just once a week, my sensitive skin can't take any more often than that, but once a week gives me a more glowy skin and keeps any dry patches smooth. The gel is soap, paraben and alcohol-free. The 'micro-beads' in the gel formula, when gently massaged on to damp skin remove dead skin cells and help unclog pores. I don't find the gel scratchy or abrasive like I have with other exfoliating products. For me, the best time to use this is after a shower or bath when my pores are open, it leaves my skin feeling refreshed, smooth and clean. I'd recommend to those looking for a gentle exfoliator, it's around £10 in Boots and again on offer at the moment here at

Monday, 1 April 2013


I'm not sure what the cause is, but boy, are my hands in a right old state at the minute. It could be my mild obsession with hand washing - when you live in London and use public transport, you see some pretty gross things on a daily basis, my antidote to this is washing my hands, a lot. Or, it may be because I left my nice expensive gloves on the Northern Line and refused to buy a new pair as I really thought spring was just around the corner - I was very wrong, if the recent temperatures are anything to go by, should have bitten the bullet and bought a new pair. My hands are dry, cracked and sore – I needed more than my usual hand cream and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is just a bit waxy to use durning the day. I did a bit of research, and as I am a big fan of La Roche-Posay products, I thought I'd give CICAPLAST BAUME B5, a go.

This rich and luxurious balm is paraben and fragrance free, it can be used on the most sensitive skin – it's suitable for irritated and problematic skin. It contains copper, zinc and magnesium which combined are claimed to aid optimal skin recovery. This product works with immediate effect - one application and my hands transformed from the texture of sandpaper to silk. The formula is soothing,  I honestly thought I heard my hands breathe a sigh of relief. I can't recommend this product enough – it's well worth the £15.50 I paid for this in Boots and as it can be used on the face, body and lips, I'd say it's a great investment. Have you tried this wonder-cream?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Polish by Barry M in Lychee

The Great British weather is less changeable than the colour of my nails. So, apologies for the number of nail related posts - it can't be helped, I have an addiction. I've never tried a Barry M nail polish before, but when I went to Boots yesterday to buy cotton wool (having given myself a firm talking to at the door and telling my self that I would not buy ANYTHING apart from the cotton wool) I ended up coming this Barry M Nail Polish too. Well done, me - but what the hec, it's gorgeous and was only £3.99. Well, who could resist this shade? Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Polish by Barry M in GNP 10 Lychee, is such a divine nude. Natural looking, subtle and elegant. Just perfect for Monday - Friday.

For such an inexpensive product, I was very surprised with the quality. The formula is just right, two coats and the finish was opaque, good for a light shade. It's lasted pretty well, I painted my nails on sunday afternoon, no chips, so far. The brush is pretty standard, quite thin and takes a few strokes per nail but perfectly functional. The finish is, as the name suggests, shiny, but not mirrorball-shiny, just right shiny. I am definitely going to buy some more shades in this range, who knows, with the official change in season just around the corner, I may even branch out frommy red and nude nail obsession and buy a nice pinky shade for spring. Who could resist at this price?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bourjois Smoky Eye eyeshadow Palette 04 Nude

Eyeshadow is never really my highest priority. I have a few I like, rarely branch out in terms of colour and actually if I had to live without it, it probably wouldn't cost me a thought. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the smouldering smoky-eyed look, but I have a staple few graphite greys and silvers that achieve this – mostly from MAC, which repurchase time and time again. I have tried one or two of the Bourjois singles eyeshadows in the past, they didn't wow me and felt I was drawn in by the cute pot it came in. However, the sultry smoky look isn't for the office and I fancied a change from my normal slick of eyeliner.

Whilst browsing a few months ago, this little trio caught my eye (no pun intended). The shades in this Smoky Eye Palette are just delicious - a shimmery gold and metallic copper, alongside a deep chocolate brown that adds a bit of drama. I have worn the gold and copper on their own, when I have been short of time, they are perfect for everyday wear and they really make a blue eye zing. The darkest shade is also great to use along the lash line, a softer alternative to using a kohl pencil or a liquid eyeliner. There's a brief tutorial on how to apply the three shades together on the back of the packaging, can't say I followed these instructions, but its a nice touch, I guess. The packaging is pretty basic and the applicator is ok, personally I'd prefer to use a brush for eyeshadow. I do find I need to use quite heavily to get any depth of colour - they aren't overly pigmented. I don't use a primer on my eyelids and this does tend to last all day and doesn't gather in the crease line.

In all, a nice little palette that won't break the bank. They have a great shade range, six in total to choose from. Have you tried any of the Bourjois Smoky Eye Palettes?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Rapid Ruby

A lady can never have too many red nail polishes in her life, it's an instant glamour fix and looks great all year round. I for one, have a LOT of reds, I am what you might call obsessed with red. I just LOVE a red nail and think nothing really says chic like it. This fabulous claret by Rimmel London is a the perfect shade for a no-nonsense chic nail. I've said it before and I'll keep on saying it - the 60 seconds polish is the business. It's my go to polish for a super-speedy DIY mani - there's a big tick in all the boxes - staying power, formula, brush, shade range, ease of application and best of all it's budget price tag! Go on, give it a go.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

You can't avoid reviews on the Bourjois Healthy Mix range. I've already written a review on the Healthy Mix Serum and was curious to try the regular Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, so at around £10, I thought I'd see how it stacked up against it's serum sibling.

Again, I picked shade No. 52 Vanilla, this suited my skin in the Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and rather than swatch again, I just picked the same shade. When I bought this it was the depths of December and if shade 51 had been available, I probably would have chosen it instead. My one bugbear about the shade range is all the lighter shades have a slight yellow undertone, not ideal for me. The formula is light and quite fluid, though not at all runny. I find it easy to work with and blend into the skin, generally using a buffing or stippling brush. It's buildable, though I find one pump of this foundation is enough for my whole face. The finish is somewhere between a matte and satin, when blended well it gives a flawless finish and isn't at all 'cakey'. Its moisturising and I don't feel it sitting on my skin. There's a list of fruity ingredients, it wasn't a selling point for me and I'm not sure I believe all their claims, but they give the formula a nice fruity scent, which is pretty short lived. It gives a nice evenness to the skin tone and for me, covers any redness in my skin. You can see how good the coverage is in the pics, my lovely blotchy red hand has been transformed. The staying power isn't fantastic - nowhere near the 16hrs claim on the packaging, though I feel it gets me through the working day, with a teensy bit of powder on the t-zone at lunchtime. I find a spritz of setting spray works better as a setting agent than a powder, I use my Eau Thermale Avène.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this foundation. There's a very fine line of preference between this and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. If I had to pick one, I think it would be the gel based Serum. It gives a slightly more dewy finish and just seems to last a bit longer on my skin. Definitely a good budget purchase - if you haven't already, give it a go!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick

As someone who really enjoys a good read, when trawling through many blogs, I tend to notice certain products trending. Yes, of course, there are the latest products available and those who blog about soon-to-be released products they have been sent to review, but there are some things that just seem to be written about time and time again. Kate for Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks simply cannot be ignored, more than a year after their release, are still a very much talked about in the blogging world. I'm not entirely sold on the celebratory endorsement but I was curious about what all the fuss was about and felt it was only polite I tried them for myself.

For me, one of Rimmel London's big selling points is it's affordability, at around a fiver, these lipsticks are such good value for money. The formula is great and fairly long-lasting, maybe not the 8hrs it claims, I'd say more 3 or 4. They feel moisturising and nourishing, they aren't at all sticky or tacky on. The shade range is fantastic and there are a number of shades available in a matte finish. I picked up the following three shades and I'm seriously impressed with all of them.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick 03
This is a nude shade, perfect for the polished look. It's not so nude it's undetectable and certainly doesn't give me that washed-out, where have my lips gone look some nude shades can. an amazing shade for everyday wear.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick 101
This pretty posey pink is perfect for spring. A light shade that brings light and life to the face, it's matte finish is perfect accompaniment to a fresh-faced dewy look and won't detract from those highlighted cheekbones.

Kate for Rimmel: Lasting Finish Lipstick 22
This bold red is a very brave move for me, I'm generally not, I repeat NOT a red lipstick girl. Well at least, I wasn't until I tried this. For me, not an everyday hue, but this deep and sumptuous red is just perfect for a night out - it will almost certainly turn a few heads!

Have you tried any of the Kate for Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipsticks?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Budget-Friendly Skincare from Nivea

We've all been there – spending what feels like an age trying to remove stubborn mascara, sometimes it just will not budge. As I see the years rack up, I am becoming much more conscious about the delicate skin around my eyes, dragging a cotton wool pad relentlessly over mascara clad lashes is just something I simply do not do and the use of an eye cream has become part of my daily skincare routine. If you have a similar philosophy, these two budget-friendly buys from Nivea will see you right.

Nivea Visage Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover
I LOVE this product. Nivea® Daily essentials Double Effective Eye Make-up Remover has a 'two-phase extra strength formula' and is suitable for all skin types. It really does the job and doesn't sting the sensitive skin around my eyes. Give it a good old shake and the two parts mix resulting in a refreshing formula, that when applied to a cotton wool pad and wiped gently across the eye, removes every last scrap of mascara and doesn't leave you with the oily residue some other eye make up removers do. For extra stubborn waterproof mascara, I tend to lightly press a soaked cotton wool pad and after a few seconds it just melts away! At £3.29 from Boots, this is a real bargain.

Nivea Visage Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
The next from the Nivea line-up is an eye cream, I'm not ancient, nor am I massively into anti-aging products, but as I get older I am particularly conscientious of dreaded crows-feet and fine lines appearing around my eyes (who isn't just a little bit worried?). I believe that taking care of yourself – getting plenty of sleep, eating well and staying hydrated play a bigger factor in the anti-aging process, but as most beauty addicts, I am a sucker for a product. This eye cream is light and refreshing - you only need a little, patting under the eyes and gently towards the nose, overloading this area of the face with any product won't do you any favours. It leaves the skin under the eyes soft, smooth and moisturised. Whilst any fine lines I have around my eyes have definitely not disappeared and I do still require a touch of concealer for dark circles - my eyes do feel happier. Who knows, maybe with more prolonged use, I might even look younger! I bought this for around the £10 mark in Boots, much more purse friendly than most eye creams on the shelves.

Have you got any skincare recommendations for the eyes?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Garnier Miracle Skin Protector: BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin

I picked this up by complete accident. Having used the infamous Garnier Skin Naturals BB Cream, I stupidly thought they'd just revamped the packaging and without reading, chucked this in my basket in the manner of a girl who knows exactly what she wants. When I did take the time to read the words on the tube, I realised that this BB cream was for combination to oily skin types – hence the difference in packaging. Not the one I'd bought before. But as it happens, this was a rather fortunate mistake for me, in the end that is.

I definitely don't have oily skin, but I do have the most atypical combination skin – throughout the day I see the shine creep into all the wrong places, especially t-zone area, in particular on my forehead, nose and chin. If I have the time or inclination, I do dust with a bit if powder at lunchtime. And then of course, there are the dreaded dry patches - nicely highlighted by using the wrong products. So as I'm the combi type, it tried using this anyway, I'd bought it and thought I at least had to give it a go.

Two things I noticed immediately were the colour and the consistency. It's much a much lighter shade than the original 'light' bb cream – in my opinion, much more suited to fairer skin (I have included a comparison) Consistency wise – it's much more of a liquid than a cream. I applied as I did the previous BB cream I had bought from Garnier, with fingers to the whole face. Wrong. A whole face was totally OTT, I was ghostly-pale and the mattifying properties clearly did not achieve a glowy look, more one-dimensional. However, as mentioned above, this spur of the moment purchase was not all bad. I watched a recent Lisa Eldridge tutorial where she used this product in a rather genius way . . . as a base and only on the areas where the shine creeps in. The result is fantastic, totally eliminating the lunchtime shine. Have you learnt any good tips from the make-up masters? Please share!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rimmel London Lycra Pro: Heart on Fire

Ok, so if the weather isn't going to warm up, I may as well do something about my choice in nail colour. Rimmel London's Lycra PRO in shade 327, Heart on Fire, is a serious hottie. I have been really impressed with Rimmel's line in nail polishes - they are such good value for money, have good staying power and the finish is lovely, it has a nice amount of shine. The brush, as with the 60 Seconds range, is flat, easy to use and one stroke coats the whole nail. The formula isn't too runny or too thick - again, it's easy to work with. This colour is just the business - oozes glamour and certainly brightened up my day. Have you tried this range?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Mac Studio Sculpt Foundation

You may have noticed – I have a bit of an obsession with foundations. I feel if my skin looks good, then then everything else is just a finishing touch. That in mind, I buy way too many and am always searching for the perfect one. I purchased MAC Studio Sculpt a few months ago, it was pay day, I found myself in the MAC store and left with this in a shopping bag. Oops. I have a lot of light / medium coverage foundations, I'm not an Estée Lauder Double Wear kind of girl, my skin just can't take it. Saying that, I was looking for a new foundation with a higher coverage than i normally opt for as I was suffering a bit of hormonal breakout. I read a few reviews on Studio Sculpt and had to try it out.

Having previously asked for a sample of Studio Sculpt from MAC, I was colour matched with NC20 - not as alabaster as I'd like in February, but I'd say the best match in this line for my skin tone. This first thing I noticed about this foundation is the consistency - it's a lot thicker and more creamy than I would normally go for. I don't need a lot, just a pea-sized amount will suffice for my whole face. I find the only way to apply this is by using a buffing brush - in order not to look 'cakey', you do need to spend a bit of time really buffing this well into the skin, the result is a flawless, satin finish. It's definitely a medium to full coverage and quite moisturising – it is buildable, though I don't find I need to layer as I get enough coverage with just a small amount. I can feel it on my skin, but I would expect that with a foundation that claims it's water resistant and long-lasting. I find I get a full days wear, it's still in tact at the end of the day - even in places where my skin tends to get shiny, mostly on my chin and nose, this improves even more when I use a light translucent powder. Being a fair-skinned celt, an SPF is a necessity for me, this foundation has SPF 15. If you are looking for good medium to full coverage foundation, I would give this a go! Do you have any recommendations?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Rimmel London: 60 Second Nail Polish in Princess Pink

I've been looking for a natural-looking pink nail polish for an age, I own dozens of two colours, nudes and reds - it's just my thing, with the occasional metallic thrown in at Christmas for good measure. I wanted the French Manicure look, without the white tips. Low and behold, Rimmel London have come up trumps again with their 60 Seconds range. Shade 200, Princess Pink is a subtle, pretty, ballerina-pink shade, perfect for a natural nail. I like everything about Rimmel London's 60 Seconds range, the formula, the brush and its great staying power - my only bugbear about this particular shade is, as with most lighter colours, the number of coats you need to apply for opacity - an epic four in this instance. Saying that, the results are, as you can see for yourself, lovely! I got this on offer in Boots yesterday - well worth the £2.99 I'd say, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

L'Oreal Paris: Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation & Pure Light Primer

As I am sure with most beauty lovers, I get carried away with new and much-hyped products, forgetting that sometimes I don't give my older products a fair chance and pushing them, in a rather unloved fashion to the back of a drawer. These two have been tarred with that brush and whilst having a tidy up, I found them cowering at the back of that very same drawer (cue melancholic violins). Anyway, I wheeled them out and set them somewhere I could not ignore them, giving both a bit of a second chance hoping they'd wow me.

When I first tried this foundation I wasn't overly impressed, more to do with the shade than the actual product. I bought it in the height of summer, whilst my Celtic complexion will never allow me to be a bronzed goddess, I think it's fair to say I had a bit more colour in my cheeks (that or just a few more freckles), I was somewhere between two of the shades in the rather limited 7 available. I picked C1 Rose Pearl (NB colour in pic not great representation of true shade -sorry!), which at the time made me look rather rather deprived of Vitamin D or any form of daylight for that matter. Now, in gloomy February when I have next to no colour about me and I need all the help I can get when it comes to luminosity, this porcelain shade is perfect. It's a very liquid consistency and you only need a little product, it feels nice and light on the skin. I apply using my fingers then lightly buff into the skin with a brush. The finish is dewy and gives me a lovely fresh-faced glow. I personally don't find it very moisturising, I do find I need to use a moisturising primer before applying, it just seems to sit better on my skin when it's well-hydrated. I can imagine it looking a bit chalky on those with very dry skin. It lasts relatively well, definitely needs a light dusting of translucent powder to set, and I would have to reapply lightly after work if I were going out. In all, a good budget buy if you can find shade that's a good match for your skin tone.

Now, for the primer. L'Oreal's Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer certainly adds Luminosity to the skin. I'm all for a radiant glow, however, I do find it a bit much when used under the Lumi Magique foundation. Again, It's a liquid formula and a little goes along way. It's very white and very iridescent. I wouldn't wear this on its own - firstly, I find it a bit icy in hue, secondly, I look rather too luminous, making my skin just look shiny. Saying that, it's a great highlighter when applied to the tops of the cheek bones or under the eyebrows. I have also used mixed a pump or two with foundation, when I want a more dewy finish than the foundation I'm using achieves on it's own. I'm not mad about this and I'm not sure I'd repurchase, but it is a handy product to have, even if it is stashed at the back of a drawer.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Old favourites: Benefit and Nars Blushes

Benefit Coralista
This is not a new product and probably resides in the the majority of beauty enthusiasts make up bags, however, it is a goody. Many a pallid and washed-out day have been saved by it's gorgeous peachy coral glow. Coralista is super-pigmented, with a subtle golden shimmer - adding light and life to my sorry February complexion, lasting all day. I'd say the shade will suit most skin tones, and can be layered for depth of colour. As with all Benefit products, the packaging is fun and original, slightly chunky to keep as a staple in my make-up bag. I have the older version - which I think has slightly more product but no mirror in the lid of the box. I don't find the brushes particularly great, I tend to keep them but never use them. If you don't have this in your blush collection, I would definitely recommend it - it's my go-to glow for a grey day.

Nars Orgasam
Again, this is a much-hyped cult product, it has received a whole lot of love from many a beauty blogger. This divine blush gives a healthy flush to the cheeks, the most perfect pink glow. It's uber-pigmented, with a golden under tone that catches the light. This is a blush and highlighter all in one when worn higher on the cheek bones. The staying power is great - it last all day. My one and only peeve about this product is its packaging - the simplicity of it is sleek, though the rubbery texture its made from gets grubby so easily. Saying that, it fits easily into my make up bag and has a handy mirror in the lid. I held off buying this, trying other Nars blushes instead, I really don't know why I waited as it is just fabulous.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Rocket™ Mascara

Mascara is one of my lesser bought beauty products. I find one I like and stick to it, having been hugely disappointed in the past. I have two clear faves: high end - Benefit They're Real and high street - Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Falsies Flared™ Mascara. Both amazing, lengthening, flattering wonder products. So, when I went to repurchase the latter, I was taken over by my inner-economist on seeing an offer on Maybelline Volum' Express ® The Rocket™ Mascara. Given how much I LOVE Falsies, I thought I'd embrace this new addition with the same affection - I could not have been more wrong. Here I think it's fair to say that I was the fool - this mascara promises more in the way of volume than length, which it does adequately. It's brush is one of those hard plastic types and has very short bristles making it hard to remove excess product from. It's formula is fine, nothing special and requires the normal two coats I would use with most mascaras. I also find it takes a bit too long to set, leaving me with black marks under my eyes that I then have to try and remove without smudging my make up. On a plus, I found clumping has not been a problem and its pretty easy to remove at the end of the day, even with a gentle cleanser. In all, not bad just a bit, well...meh. I'll be sticking with my old faithfuls for the time being. Have you tried this product? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Rimmel London: 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Caramel Cupcake

From time to time I buy a beauty product that makes some pretty brave claims on it's packaging. Rimmel London's 60 Seconds Nail Polish is one of them - 1 second application and a 60 second drying time, ummm, well I was dubious, to say the least. So, does it live up to it's name? Errr . . . Yes. Was I pleasantly surprised with the results? Yet another big fat, yes. This is an absolute gem. The flat brush makes for a super-easy application, I've given my nails two coats en route to a wedding in a moving vehicle (yes, really). It lasts a good 3 days without chipping and Rimmel London have a great colour range to boot. This subtle nude is shade 500, Caramel Cupcake. It has a gorgeous pearly finish and looks great at any time of the year. I'm a big fan of the low maintenance nude nail, any chips are a bit less obvious than they are on a darker shade and I feel I look like I'm making the effort without looking over done. This is the perfect shade to apply quickly on a Sunday night to see you through the working week. Have you tried this speedy polish?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Revlon PhotoReady™ Cream Blush

Aside from lip products, I haven't tried much in the way of Revlon cosmetics - they've just never grabbed me, until now, well aren't these two shades just the perfect antidote for winter? I have to say, I was transfixed, I needed a new blush like a hole in the head, but somehow, I just could not leave these two zingy shades behind. There are three shades in this range, I couldn't choose between Flushed and Coral Reef , which are somewhat more vibrant than the natural-looking Pinched, so as they were on an offer, I bought them both. Who wouldn't?

The formula of these blushes is silky-smooth, creamy and feels light on the skin. It's more of a cream to powder blush, not at all greasy and very easy to blend. The colour can be built up to the desired intensity, which is a relief - nice as they look in the pot, I'm not a big fan of the clown-esque look. I've tried applying with a stippling brush but found that it was much easier just to pat the colour on to the apple of the cheek with my finger and blend out. The colour lasts well into the day, I'd only reapply if I was going out after work. The finish is somewhere between matte and satin, I can't see any shimmer, but this isn't such a bad thing and contributes to its natural finish. I think out of the two shades I bought, Coral Reef is more suited to my paler skin tone, but both are nice on, just in my case I need to use in moderation. With the packaging, it'a case of form follows function - it's by no means a thing of beauty, a transparent plastic pot with a branded lid, though it fits sleekly into my make-up bag taking up very little room at all.

In all, these are a nice alternative to the everyday staples I normally go to, they give a healthy pop of colour to my otherwise pallid winter complexion. Have you got a favourite cream blush?

Saturday, 9 February 2013

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse: Sweet Berry & Dating Coral

Lip products have not long been included in my daily make-up routine. I seriously cannot bear the feeling of sticky lip glosses and my lipstick application skills have not changed since stealing my mum's aged 7. That was until I spent a little too much time plastering my hands with swatches and reading beauty blogs, realising that there were just so many really wearable lip products that led me no where near a lip brush.

I stumbled across the L'Oreal's Rouge Caresse by way of a happy accident whilst searching for nothing in particular and finally, I have found something that I can apply with no mirror and my eyes closed (if i really wanted to do that.) Easy-peasy application, just like a lip balm and it lasts a hour or so before reapplying. It feels really moisturising and silky smooth. The colours I chose are two beauties perfect for everyday wear - Sweet Berry (103) is a gorgeous,well, berry shade – not too red, not too pink. Dating Coral (301) is too pretty self-explanatory in hue – the perfect shade to add a pop of colour to the face and lift the complexion. At around £7, these are a lovely affordable, easy-to-wear lip product – I'll definitely be stocking up on a few more shades.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Pretty in Pink: Essie Fiji

Pastels are something I tend to avoid, not only in Winter, but generally. I much prefer a colour with a bit more substance, in any season. That was until I discovered Essie in Fiji - just soooo pretty. This subtle ballerina pink is the perfect shade for a manicured look and is a refreshing change from the staple nudes and reds I tend to favour on my nails. I'm a big fan of Essie polishes and was delighted to stumble across them in Boots, meaning I no longer had to trek to a Beauty Hall in town to get my hands on them. The formula goes on like a dream, though I do find a slightly smaller brush easier to work with. This particular shade takes 2-3 coats for a streak-free finish, it lasts up to 3 days without chipping with a base and top coat. I have to say, this is a gorgeous colour that will see me through to the summer months – now, bring on the sunshine!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dr Jart+ Pore Refine: Bubble Foam

We've all heard of the Dr Jart+ BB Cream, it's been raved about incessantly on blogs since it's launch in the UK, a super product that's worth the hype in my humble opinion. However, I hadn't read much on other Dr Jart+ products, so when I saw this and was in the mood for filling my basket with all things skincare, I thought I would give it a go.

A deep-cleansing face wash, this product claims to use a 'dual-bubble mechanism' to remove dirt and clear pores. The formula is thick, creates a creamy lather and feels luxurious to massage into the skin, rinsing off with water. I have to say - I'm not seeing two types of bubble when I use this product, but I am seeing clean, refreshed skin. I was pleasantly surprised to note that Dr Jart+ lists a number of herbal extracts – Witch Hazel, Sage and Rosemary as key ingredients - which may contribute to why this wash feels gentle and non-irritating on the skin. I haven't noticed any difference in my pores, though only use this once or twice a week to give my skin a deep clean - maybe with more consistent use, I would see a visible effect.

I do really like this cleansing wash and I can't wait to try some of the other Pore Refine products from the Dr Jart+ range!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Revlon Just Bitten™ Kissable Balm Stain: 001 Honey

I succumbed to this, who in blogsphere has not heard of the Revlon Just Bitten collection? And there was the fact I am a complete sucker for advertising - Emma Stone, she sold it to me - we have but our hair colour in common, but I still thought with this product, I could be her. Maybe not.

I am bowled over by this lip balm / stain - it does everything I want my lipstick to do and more. Super-easy to apply with the crayon tip applicator, as someone with a slight phobia of applying lipstick with a brush - this is ideal. It's so moisturising and continues to moisturise, where some lipsticks dry out. It just feels so nice on, making my lips soft and feel cared for. It lasts well, needing to reapply after a few hours, though saying that, the colour is still slightly visible, it just loses the glossiness. I chose shade 001 Honey, which is a beautiful heather pink, subtle and elegant. In fact, I'm really regretting not buying some more shades as this was on offer for £5.99 in Superdrug, £2 off its original price tag!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Top Two High End Foundations: Nars Sheer Glow & Clarins Skin Illusion

Having already written a post on my two high street foundations, I thought I'd follow this up with a post on my top two high end favourites. I'll hold my hands up, I'm a complete foundations junkie - I'll willingly try almost anything that gets a mention in a blog, and so,I found these two gems.

Nars Sheer Glow: Light 4, Deauville
This is my absolute go-to foundation when I want to feel better about myself - it gives my skin the most amazing finish - dewy, glowy, need I bang on? This much raved about foundation gives a medium coverage, that's buildable and not at all cakey. I usually apply this with my fingers - I've tried using a brush, though find it soaks up a bit too much product. The hydrating formula sits weightlessly on the skin and covers over imperfections like redness or hyper-pigmentation, giving a light-reflecting satin finish that lasts a good 6 hours, slightly longer if I set with a loose powder. I can't praise this foundation enough, if you fancy spending on a foundation, look no further - this is the one.

Clarins Skin Illusion: 107 Beige
I was brought up on Clarins, my mum is a massive devotee of the brand and I used to "borrow" her collection of products as a teenager. So, with my inherited fondness of this make, I've tried a few of their foundations in my time. My all time favourite was their discontinued True Comfort foundation, in a quest to find a replacement, I stumbled across this beaut. This is a light and silky formula that gives a gorgeous perfecting, healthy-looking, satin finish to the skin. It just about sees me through the whole day, with a little powder on the t-zone at lunchtime. It feels hydrating on the skin and gives me that radiant glow we're all searching for. Before I finish - I can't fail to mention the fragrance when applying this, I can't quite put my finger on it but it's certainly fruity, though I can't say I notice it linger. This is a definite star in the Clarins line-up, definitely worth a go.

Do you have any top foundation recommendations?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lighten Up - L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Boudoir Rose

Ok, so I'll admit, I have a slight obsession with this nail polish. When i was picking up a lipstick in Superdrug today, I noticed there was a Buy One Get One 1/2 Price offer on L'Oreal cosmetics, it wasn't a hard to choose my 1/2 price second. With the ever so slight rise in temperature this weekend, I got a bit excited about the lighter shades of spring. Well, it's a little premature to start discarding the woollen layers of winter, but I thought a rosy pink would not look entirely out of place. Just 2 thin coats gives the most perfect dusky rose nails. As for reasons why I continue to by this L'Oreal polish, is it has great staying power - usually 3-4 days without chipping, I find the brush and formula easy to use and it's affordable, especially when it's 1/2 price. Boudoir Rose is a classic, easy-to-wear shade, the perfect colour to wave the January blues goodbye with.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Hocus Focus - Another Shining Star from Soap and Glory

I bought this on a whim, well, who wouldn't take advantage of a 3 for 2 offer in Boots? Even though I chose it in lunch hour haste, I was not disappointed. Soap and Glory's Hocus Focus says it gives a 'blast of brillance' to tired skin - check. It promises 'an instant visual flaw-softening lotion' - check, and to 'diffuse the appearance of large pores, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation' - check. It's a liquid skin brightener, with the most pearlescent shimmering effect.

The colour looks a bit scary when it comes out of the bottle (which, by the way, has a handy pump that dispenses just the right amount), it's quite white, very iridescent and very runny, but when applied to the skin, it's soft, glowy and just gorgeous. I tend to mix one or two pumps with my foundation, which instantly gives me a healthy looking glow to my skin, much needed at this time of year when I'm looking a bit grey around the gills.

This product is also a great highlighter, you only need to use a little, adding the perfect luminosity to the cheekbones. As with all the Soap and Glory products I have tried, Hocus Focus smells amazing, lightly scented with rose and bergamot, for those aren't keen on strong-smelling make up, don't fear, you don't notice when it's applied, the shimmer is much longer lasting than the fragrance. This is a super-duper product and certainly makes me feel and look much brighter on a dull winter morning!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Beige Countess (Shade 104)

With the glitter and glamour of the festive season now Well and truly over, I'm sticking to nail colours that aren't fancy or glitzy - just make me look like I'm taking care of myself in miserable old January. L'Oreal's Color Riche in Beige Countess, fits the bill perfectly. I love this polish (you may have noticed) it's moving in on my love affair with My Essie collection. This colour is the the most subtle and delicious nude. This shade takes 2-3 coats, it's quite a thin formula so each coat dries quickly and the brush is really easy to work with. It lasts a good 3-4 days without chipping, I'd also add a top coat too for a longer wear. I just love this nude, perfect for a little touch fuss-free elegance. Have you given up the glitter this Jan? What's your favourite low-maintenance nail colour of choice?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Eau Thermale Avène : Extremely Gentle Cleanser and Skin Recovery Cream

In the chillier months of the year, I find my skin is sensitive and more prone to redness and dry patches. Needing a lot more TLC than usual, I reach for more gentle products, that don't strip my skin of the little moisture it has left. My favourite super-sensitive cleanser and moisturiser duo are from Eau Thermale Avène, having just repurchased - I thought I'd write a quick post.

Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser is just what it says it is, this cleansing milk is, gentle. The formula is oil-free and more of a liquid than a cream - which you would expect, as the highest ranking ingredient is the spring water it's named after. It feels refreshing to massage into the skin, melting away make up. It's a rinse-free formula, so just needs wiped away with some cotton wool, leaving the skin soothed and moisturised. It's also gentle enough to use to remove eye make up, so no need to use a separate product. As someone with sensitive skin, I really rate this product, I like the fact it is soap free and made from mainly natural ingredients. The only bad thing I have to say about this product is it can take more than one application if you wear a lot of make up. I find after just one, I do need to repeat the cleansing process to get rid of every last scrap of make up.

I tend to use Eau Thermale Avène Skin Recovery Cream alongside the Extremely Gentle Cleanser. I find when I do need to be a bit more careful about what products I'm using, this is the perfect duo to calm and soothe any irritation. This is a rich and hydrating cream, that aims to restore the skins natural moisture levels. I definitely see a difference in my skin when I use this as a moisturiser, I haven't noticed to have any impact on redness, but it does make my skin soft and supple. I probably wouldn't use this cream if your skin type is more on the oily side, it's definitely more suited to the drier complexion due to the richness of the formula. As above, I only have one negative - the lack of an SPF sways me to use this as a night cream, I'd just prefer my day moisturiser to offer UV protection. Saying that, Eau Thermale Avène do have daily moisturisers with sun protection, so I should probably invest.

In all, having sensitive skin is a bit of a bore at any time of the year, I think this is a fabulous brand for those with suffer with issues such as dryness and irritability, especially in winter. Do you have any recommendations to combat any dreaded winter skin problems?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Top Two High Street Foundations: Rimmel Match Perfection & Bourjois Healthy Mix serum

I'll be honest, I've always been a bit of a snob when it comes to foundation, tending to spend a bit more rather than less. However, since starting to read so many beauty blogs, I've realised there are some great products out there for a fraction of the price, that are used and trusted by those who really know their stuff. Realising that I can save a few pennies is always good, so here are my high street favourites:

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation: No. 102 Light Nude
This Rimmel purchase took me back a few years, the first foundation I ever bought was from this brand, in fact, as was most of my make up back then. I read a huge number of raving reviews on Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation and so gave it a whirl. I was sorely disappointed, the finish was lovely and I was impressed, my skin, on the other hand, was not as I found it reduced me to a bit of a spotty mess. It was with hesitation I decided I'd give the Match Perfection a go. I waited for the breakout, and waited, and was pleasantly surprised when not a single spot raised its ugly head. The finish is lovely, it's dewy enough to give me a fresh-faced look, but not super-shiny, for me it's similar to MAC's Studio Sculpt. The formula is thicker than expected, but easy to work into the skin - I use a buffing brush and find it blends well and gives a medium coverage and lasts a good 6 hours, slightly longer if use a primer though I'd prefer the finish without.

I chose shade 102 Light Beige, which was the most suitable out of the 11 shades available, its a touch too dark for me in the dead of winter, but in summer when i have a bit more colour in my cheeks, it's almost perfect. Rimmel claims this foundation has 'Advanced Smart-Tone Technology' that is supposed to help the foundation adapt to your skin colour for an 'undetectable' finish. I'm not sure if this is the case or not, but it's certainly earned me a fair few compliments on my skin and I'd say its great, affordable, everyday foundation that I will definitely repurchase.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation: No. 52 Vanilla
This foundation had so much hype, it seems it was almost rude not to try it. Given the endless number of amazing reviews this product had behind it, I had very high hopes for it.

My first impressions weren't as great as i had hoped. I bought it on the hop, having a particularly bad skin day and needing a quick fix before I headed for drinks after work. Though, giving it a second chance and applying with a brush rather than my fingers, I began to get what everyone was raving about. It gives a flawless, natural finish, that's glowy and fresh. It's gel based formula is light and easy to blend and build coverage. It feels moisturising and light on the skin, lasting most of the day - though I definitely have to set with powder, especially on the t-zone. I bought shade 52, Vanilla, which is perfect for my skin tone - to be honest, it doesn't really look like I'm wearing make up at all. Another definite repurchase for me!

What are your favourite high street bargain beauty buys?

Friday, 11 January 2013

L'Oreal Color Riche Nails: Addictive Plum

What better to do on a freezing January evening, than pamper yourself a little with a D.I.Y manicure. I have had this nail polish a while, but have favoured metallic and bright reds over the festive period, now the New Year has come, I'm back to picking easy-to-wear, everyday shades, that make me look groomed but not over the top. L'Oreal's gorgeous Color Riche polish in Addictive Plum is just the ticket, the perfect claret / burgundy red. The packaging is chic, a dainty bottle with a gold lid, small but perfectly formed, ideal to slip into your make-up bag without taking up loads of room. The formula and brush are easy to work with, you can get away with just one coat but two with a clear top coat, lasts 3 - 4 days on me without chipping. I'd definitely recommend and will be picking up a few more shades. What's your favourite go-to shade for everyday wear?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Pixi - Endless Silky Eye Pen in No. 3 Black Tulip

I read a lot of positive reviews on this eye pen and whilst Christmas shopping on Carnaby Street, decided to pop into the lovely Pixi shop and buy one.

I usually stick with a brown or black eyeliner, bright colours just aren't my bag, but to break from the norm (well, just a little) I chose Black Tulip - a gorgeous navy / blue black colour. It does come in some slightly more adventurous shades, including the most beautiful Teal shade, which if you like something a bit brighter, I know would look really pretty.

The best thing about this product for me is the texture - silky by name and by nature. It goes on like a dream, which for me is a mega plus point, theres nothing worse than feeling like you are dragging an eye liner across your eyelid. Another tick is in the staying power box - this lasts from morning to night, and is pretty budge-proof. It also looks great nice if blended out a little, for a subtle smoky eye, though you have to blend immediately after application as it sets, giving the staying power I just mentioned. The formula is also super-pigmented, so gives a really strong line and deep colour.

When it comes to eye make-up, it's important to me that it's hypoallergenic (which this product is) and free of anything the might irritate the sensitive skin around my eyes, being free of any nasties that might cause irritation - another big tick for Pixi!

Being the first Pixi product I have tried, I am pretty impressed and will definitely be purchasing more of their products. Have you tried any Pixi cosmetics you can recommend?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

R.S.V.P. - Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow / Liner

I got this as a housewarming present form my best friend (!) not knowing what to pick me for my new place, she went for the failsafe option of buying me some make up - you could say, she knows me too well!

I don't wear many cream eyeshadows and I am a big fan of Benefit Cosmetics, so I was excited to try this out. It claims to be a long-lasting cream shadow / liner, that's blendable, smudge-proof and crease-proof. This goes on like a dream, as the formula is silky and luxurious - R.S.V.P. is a gorgeous champagne / pearly oyster shade, it looks more of a pinky shade in the pot, but comes out as a nice subtle neutral colour perfect for everyday wear.

The really nice thing about this Shadow is it's really buildable, by adding a few layers and a smoky liner it also suits for a more dramatic evening look. I haven't tried using this as a liner as I would prefer to wear darker browns, greys or blacks along the lash line, but it is nice when you add a dot of this colour to the tear duct area to brighten the eyes.

Best of all don't seem to need the help of a primer - which I would need with a powder shadow - it lasts from morning to night without having to reapply. I have to say - after a full days wear, it does crease slightly on my eyes, but this is only if I build the colour with layers.

In all - I really like this product and am looking forward to trying some of the other shades. Have you tried it yet?