Review: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Friday, October 30, 2009

What it says on the tube: This overnight replenishing mask with nature's most nourishing nightcaps, Plant Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid and Apricot Kernal Oil, instantly queneces compromise skin with deeply satisfying moisture. Avocado Oil and Mango Butters build up a reservoir for tomorrow. And Japanese Seaweed helps prevent future moisture loss. Skin awakens refreshed, replenished, ready to face the day.
Twice a week or as desired, gently massage onto clean skin at bedtime. Tissue off excess.

I'm familiar with the Origins brand and regularly use Modern Friction and Never A Dull Moment in my skincare regime which I adore so I was expecting good things from this.

I followed the instructions and massaged it onto my face and tissued off the excess, only to have annoying bits of tissue left all over my face. Grrr. The mask itself feels like a light moisturiser and
the formula reminded me very much of Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel - they even smell similar.

I think instructions on the amount needed would be helpful in order to avoid the tissue fiasco but
It felt somewhat cooling on my skin and I went to bed with high hopes of waking up looking 10 years younger.

I awoke the following morning to find a small cluster of whiteheads had formed overnight on my chin. Nice. They were easily exfoliated away but I didn't appreciate their impromptu appearance and put it down to the mask 'drawing out impurities' as I slept. My skin didn't look any brighter but had a faint softness about it.

I decided to try again 2 nights later and used less on my face which resulted in no issues with tissue (rhyming not intentional), and I had every intention of giving the mask a chance to redeem itself. Again my skin didn't look any better in the morning, but luckily I didn't wake up to find anything that resembled the start of toadstool season on my chin.
To be perfectly honest my skin again felt a little soft to the touch but looked really dull and lacklustre - basically how I look when I sleep in my make up (Yeah I know, tut tut. Bad Yinks!).

I've used this a total of four times now and have concluded that this just isn't working for me. I was disappointed that it didn't leave my skin looking refreshed, boost its moisture or even make a visible difference to its texture. I had high hopes for this mask which has just been released but sadly it just didn't tick any boxes for me. Nil point!

: £20
Where can I get it from
: Origins, Origins counters. Available from November 2009 (but it's on the site already).

Review: MAC Cleanse Off Oil

Friday, October 30, 2009

What it says on the MAC site: An industry-strength, oil-based makeup remover that's gentle on the skin. Botanically formulated with oils of olive fruit, evening primrose and jojoba seed and absolutely 100% mineral oil free. Massages onto the skin to loosen all makeup, including waterproof mascara. Emulsifies into a lotion-type liquid with water: rinses off easily, no tissues required - and no residue! Protects with Vitamin E. Skin softening and conditioning. Good for all skin types.

I read a review by TalluluhBella a while back which spurred me to make this purchase. I hate taking my make up off in the evenings. I find it tiresome, boring and anything that eases this process is a good thing for me!

MAC Cleanse Off Oil appears to be one of MAC's better skincare products but I was still hesitant about its performance after being less than impressed by their Moisturelush Eye Cream which ended up being used as a B2M half way through usage.

I like the sleek, minimal packaging the oil comes in and I find the nozzle on the bottle fairly easy to control without too much product spilling out. I apply this to a dry face, massaging it firmly all over. I rub it well into my mascara and can see it loosening up. I tend to massage continuously for at least a minute.

However, I do find that when concentrating on mascara removal, my eyesight is temporarily clouded when I add water! The first time this happened it freaked me out a bit and I hurriedly rinsed it off my face but my eyesight remained blurry for at least a further 2 minutes. Luckily it doesn't sting or irritate but it's not the best feeling when you cant see properly! I find it impossible to remove my mascara properly without rubbing the oil thoroughly onto my lashes, so the cloudy sight is something that I either have to put up with or I'll just have to avoid trying to take my mascara off which means more work with an additional make up remover afterwards.

When water is added the oil transforms into a milky solution. It's fairly easy to rinse off and doesn't leave an oily film on the skin. My skin necessarily feel soft once I've patted it dry with a towel but it doesn't feel tight either which I'm glad about. I then use my usual cleanser to wash my face as normal.

By the time I use my toner I literally have to scrutinise the cotton pad to view any dirt that it's picked up. I also sometimes swipe make up remover over my eye to see if any mascara has been left - the pad comes away completely clear. I do pay special attention to my mascara when using the oil but I have to say I'm impressed with how easily it removes waterproof varieties.

I haven't yet decided if I'll repurchase this and I still have approximately half left. I like the feeling of the oil when I'm massaging it in but I'm not a fan of 'milky' cleansers, even though this one is effective. I'm very aware that far less make up is left on my face after use so I know it really does work at removing it which is fantastic but the burred vision really isn't sexy!

Price wise I think it's reasonable for £15. A similar product by Shu Uemura costs more than double and arguably does the same job.

Price: £15.00
Where can I find it? MAC, Freestanding MAC stores

More additions to the Sleek palette family - Sunset & Graphite

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just when you thought theyd churned out enough, Sleek have created and released yet more eyeshadow palettes. Now I could have sworn they tweeted on Twitter that the Curious palette would be the last one but they appear to have changed their minds.

First up an eyeshadow palette which goes by the name of Sunset. Full of warm peaches, golds and even a shimmery red eyeshadow the palette is reminiscent of erm ..a sunset!

I can't help but think this wouldn't have looked out of place had it been released in June, instead of October but hey, it's here now. Luckily this palette is perm so there's no need to break your neck to buy it.

Next is the Graphite palette - an ode to the smoky eye. I've been waiting patiently for the past fortnight to see this in person and it's a fairly decent smoky palette for under a fiver. This is LE, so do rush to buy it if you want it.

The shadows have the usual smooth, shimmery formula, are rich in pigment and swatch extremely well without the use of a primer. The critic in me has noticed that at least 3 of the grey shadows look exactly the same unless you're staring really intensely at your swatches but for £4.88 I won't complain too much.

I know a few UK bloggers have snapped these up already, what do you think of them? In all honesty, although I joke about it being a habit to buy the latest Sleek palette, I'm also thinking enough is enough now. The colour spectrum's been covered well and they're great for travel but I'm a bit bored of them of this being the main thing Sleek appear to advertise.

I was pleased to see new nail polishes, blushers and new eye dust shades at my local Sleek stand and I picked up a polish to compare quality. I only own one red polish so I picked up Geisha's Seal 42 as I had dupes of all the other 7 or so shades that were available.

Geisha's Seal 42

International chicks, sit tight! I know you're itching to get your hands on some Sleek goodness. I saw them mention on Twitter than they're hoping to begin shipping internationally next month. Fingers crossed for you!

Price: £4.88
Where can I find them? In various Superdrug branches nationwide.

Review: Korres Extra Moisturising Body Butter

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What it says on the tube: Smoothing and moisturising cream for all over the body, ideal for dry elbows, heels and knees. Shea butter in combination with Sunflower, Almond and Avocado oils nourishes the skin, thus restoring its elasticity and smoothness.

Korres Natural Products is a brand that until recently I'd heard of but had never gone out of my way to explore, assuming it was too expensive. I dunno why, it just sounds posh and the packaging looks like something that wouldn't look out of place in Space NK.

I'm fussy about the kind of body moisturiser I use and prefer butters over lotions which as I've mentioned before, I don't find moisturising enough. I was sent Korres Jasmine Body Butter to try and after almost 2 weeks of usage I think I've gathered enough thoughts of the product to form a balanced opinion.

Korres body butter is quite thick, but not so thick that it becomes a mission to rub into the skin. It moisturises well and makes my skin feel really smooth and soft. I'm not overly keen on the smell so have stuck to using this after my evening showers as it tends to have faded a bit by the time I'm ready to go to bed. Personally I find the Jasmine scent too overpowering for me and I'm not a fan of 'vintage' floral smells either so the smell just isn't working for me. Obviously if you're a Jasmine fan, then you'll love this!

Scent aside, I like the product itself. It contains a lovely mix of shea butter, almond oil, sunflower and avocado oil which keeps my skin effortlessly moisturised and supple. It isn't greasy and for me isn't priced too badly at £11.50 considering The Body Shop butters are priced at now £12.20 a pop. In fact I'd happily buy this over TBS butters as it feels richer and moisturises a bit better than my beloved Coconut body butter because of its richness. The Korres butter is also silicone free and mineral oil free - what the benefits are of this I don't know, but it sounds good doesn't it?!!

I have no hesitation about buying this for myself and using it as a treat as it feels so luxurious on my skin. However I don't want to 'waste' it if that makes sense, because I use body butters like they're going out of fashion and I can easily go through this tube in a fortnight if I'm being indulgent.

The tube it comes in is reminiscent of the ones you can get toothpaste in with the push down nozzle and I'm a bit concerned whether I'll get all the product out as I near the end of it. This is the only thing that may stop me from repurchasing.

I'm keen to have a sniff of the other scents in the range. I've already been cheeky and have been searching Ebay listings in the hope of picking up a bargain. Overall, this is a lovely body butter that actually does what it says it will.


Where can I get it? Korres, Selfridges (London), John Lewis, Liberty, House of Fraser, LookFantastic (currently on sale on there), ASOS

I'm on Bloglovin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I've been registered on Bloglovin for a while but haven't really bothered with it but you can follow me here. Be sure to let me know if you're on there too, though I can see a LOT of you already are ;-)

Illamasqua blushes - Sin & Thrust

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I've acquired two more lovely shades to add to my sacred blush collection - and best of all they were technically 'free' as they were bought with funds from my blog sale (See? I've done really well with this 'makeup ban' since I got back from NY!)

I was checking out blog posts on my dashboard last Sunday when I noticed Gossmakeupartist had added more items to his blog sale. I was quick enough off the mark to bag Illamasqua Sin and Thrust and am even happier now that they're in my possession.
Both are brand new, and I bought them both for £12 inc postage! BARGAIN! One blush costs £16 - you do the maths!

I've wanted Sin since I swatched it at the Illasmasqua bloggers event and Thrust is a shade that I'd typically go for so I snapped them up (they were sold as a pair) and they arrived yesterday morning. I barely had time to take a look at them yesterday but I've just had a play and wanted to share as these shades look great on darker skintones.

They're not as shocking on the flesh as they look in the pan and have a silky finish that distributes colour evenly which you can gently build up that won't end up looking garish - great for daytime. Because the colour can be built up gradually I see no reason why these shades wouldn't compliment pale skintones either.

I can't wait to get my hands on the other Illamasqua blushes I want...but I'm not allowed to buy them until next year!

Review: Palmers Body Butter

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flicking through Cosmopolitan last night I came across an advert for the new Palmers Cocoa Body Butters. Palmers is best known for its cocoa butter which was the body moisturiser of choice in a lot of households as I grew up so I'm very familiar with the brand and its many products.

I noticed that the butters came in four scents cocoa, olive, shea and coconut. Anybody who knows me well knows that I LOVE coconut products. Shower gels, scrubs, butters, hand creams, candles, if it's coconut I want it. Coconut and vanilla are my favourite scents and make me veeery happy. I also prefer butters to lotions as I find them more moisturising being as they're a thicker consistency. I made a mental note to check these out when next in Superdrug or Boots.

Well less than 24 hours later, I bought the coconut body butter and tested some on my arm from the lid when I got home. I'm not happy. It smells revolting and seriously smells like one of my random hair pomades - which is fine for when it's on my scalp but I don't want to walk around smelling like a tub of Blue Magic thank you!

When I sniffed the jar instore I could smell coconut, not the same scent as The Body Shop coconut body butter which I'm familiar with but I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately I couldn't test it instore so I had no way of knowing what it would smell like once applied to my skin. I wish I'd picked the olive one instead as that smelt more neutral. I've literally used the butter that was on the lid. The butter is the pot is untouched and shall remain so as there's no way I'm using it.

It does the job of moisturising well and is easy to rub in. It's not too thick either. My lower left leg is soft and has held in the moisture, but it's left a sticky tackiness to my skin which is a big no-no. I'm very fussy about the body moisturiser I use on my skin. I don't want my skin feeling sticky after use and this has done just that. The scent on my hands at the moment couldn't be further than coconut if it tried.

This product gets a big fat fail from me and I'll be looking to Mama Vex to take this off my hands - if she'll have it!! The only saving grace is that I didn't pay full price for it.

If you want to try one out for yourself they're currently half price in Superdrug for £2.93 and the offer ends on October 27th.

** Update** I successfully exchanged it for the Olive body butter which my nose likes a lot better. I'll stick to using this after an evening bath or shower though as the 'sticky' feeling disappears after a few minutes - minutes I don't have at my disposal when I'm in a rush to get out of the front door.

Where can I find it?
Superdrug, Boots

Barbie Loves Stila in the UK after all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I just spotted this info on Specktra and thought I'd share as a lot of you loved the Barbie Loves Stila palette I bought in NY. It's available here on Beauty Bay. Not in the same LE packaging, but whatever it's the eyeshadows you want not the packaging.

Same goes for the smudge pots they're here and look similar to the ones avail in the Barbie collection, although there are no swatches available and they go under different names. It doesn't take a genius to work out what's what though.

Happy spending x

Preview of Jimmy Choo for H&M women's collection

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We don't have long to wait now until the latest designer collaboration for H&M hits stores, which is bound to see the repeat scenes of fans (nutters) queuing from 5am in the freezing cold anxiously waiting to get their hands on their desired must-have item(s).

First impressions? Initially I was quite excited for this collection, but having now seen the items up close, I'm quite disappointed. I feel there's no stand out item that looks unique enough to warrant me leaving my warm bed and braving the arctic conditions that will be no doubt freestyling over my face in a months time. However, I really liked the belt when I saw it being fitted on one of the models in a preview pic a few months ago and and I still like it now. The thick chunky metal/diamante bracelet and zebra studded flats have also caught my attention ..but do I love them enough to leave my house at stupid am?! Probably not ..

I refuse to line the pockets of those who will be rushing to grab the cheaper accessories and listing them on Ebay before I've even woken up that morning if I decide not to go!

Prices will be start at £30 but personally to me, it makes no sense in forking out £200 for the most expensive item in the collection when you can save a couple hundred more pounds and get a pair of heels direct from Jimmy Choo, not H&M for Jimmy Choo which will be spotted on the feet on more than just a few girls on a Saturday night. I guess that's just the inner snob in me coming out. If I'm gonna fork out on a pair Jimmy Choo heels, I don't want to be one of 10 different girls wearing them in the same club!

Click here for more collection pics - click on the page numbers above the comments.

What do you think? Will you be rushing to H&M at the crack of dawn to secure your spot in the anticipated queues?

Jimmy Choo for H&M will be released on November 14th in 200 stores worldwide. Clothing, bags and accessories will be launched for both men and women.

(May I just add that the 14th falls on a Saturday so the crowds are likely be even crazier than the ones seen during the past designer releases which have all fallen on a Thursday. Gah ..I think I'll stay in bed and save my energy for the Boxing Day sales!)

Review: MAC Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What it says on the tube: After cleansing, while your face and hands are still moist, smooth a small amount evenly over clean skin. Leave on the skin for up to 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Use 1-3 times per week.

Currently available with the limited edition MAC Style Black collection, the Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask has proved to be one its most popular products - and with good reason. Formulated with volcanic ash and natural oils, this ash-black facial mask deep cleanses and treats the skin leaving it super soft and smooth of abrasions.

I tend to squeeze a drop a little larger than a five pence piece in my wet hand and distribute it evenly over my cheeks, chin, nose and forehead whilst in the shower. I then leave it on to do its job as I shower - for no more than say 7 minutes I'd imagine. Just before I rinse it off, I gently massage my face which reactivates the heat again - only lightly though. I use this right after I use MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and they compliment one another perfectly.

I'm not keen on the smell, it reminds me of soil or herbs and I've taken to holding my breath as I rub it on and rinse it off again. I have a sensitive nose though so you may not find it so unsettling. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh. I love the thick texture of the mask and the way it heats up on contact with water. The heating effect lasts for only a few moments but that's the best part for me. It feels so good on the skin. Sometimes I can feel a very faint tingling on the skin but that's happened approx 3 times since I've begun to use it, and only lasts for a few seconds.

I read that the heating effect is nothing more than the result of a chemical reaction of one of the minerals in the product and that the sensation it causes isn't actually stimulating your skin in any way. It's a gimmick. Gimmick or not I don't care, I love that element of the product and the most important thing is that the results from using this mask are instant. Like the VAE it can get quite messy when rinsed off so I stick to using it in the shower and not the sink as cleaning up the black residue can result in a mini workout.

I feel no tightness on my skin prior to moisturising as I have done with other clay masks in the past. When I step out of the shower I can actually get distracted by the TV for 10 minutes without feeling my skin start to crack through lack of moisture! I've thrown away my Elemis and Avon masks because they don't give me the results I've grown accustomed to since using the Thermal Mask.

I have two tubes but I'm so paranoid about them running out that I'm altering my usage to once a week.

LE skincare makes no sense in the long run. What's the point of releasing a fantastic product that your customers love only to snatch it away again after 6 weeks - or even less should it sell out! MAC need to seriously think about making this product permanent along with the VAE too.

Price: £13.50
Where can I find it? MAC online, MAC stores and counters nationwide

Recs please!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hi guys!

Can you rec some really good beauty blogs for me to check out please? Preferably ones with good swatches, reviews and FOTDs.

Chances are I may already follow some that are suggested but post away anyway - because I can't possibly be following them all!

Thank you!

OPI/Dell partnership

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dell have teamed up with OPI to present an array of LE laptops in some of OPI's most popular nail polish shades. There'll be 26 in total and they'll include shades such as Russian Navy.

The collection will launch with six Christmas (holiday) collection colours:

Kyoto Pearl
Shimmery white satin.

Princesses Rule!
A bright sparkly pink that’s tiara worthy!

Up Front & Personal
A golden glitter you’ll really “sparkle” to!

Dear Santa
Please bring me this glittering holiday red!

Holiday Glow
Charcoal grey glowing with a touch of silver.

I’m Not Really a Waitress
A vivacious chianti red.

The OPI colour options for Dell Mini, Inspiron and Studio laptops will be available in the Dell Design Studio at first in the U.S. and later in other countries.

The remaining 20 shades will be released when the collection launches on November 2nd. Check the third paragraph for a link to Dell's Flickr account for more sample images.

I've been on the hunt for a new laptop for months and have been umming and ahhhing about it. It would surprise none of my friends if I ended up choosing a laptop based on the colour of my fave nail polish shade!

Aussie Angel Pampering evening - London

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Saturday evening I shimmied down to celebrity stylists Adee Phelan's hair salon in Covent Garden for part 2 of the Aussie Angel events.

I was a bit dubious about letting anybody get their hands on my hair at first as I wasn't sure they knew how to handle afro hair. My fears were put to rest when I checked the website and saw that they actually specialised in treatments for afro hair too.

I took my friend Danielle along with me for the ride and we started the evening by passing through a cocktail bar after getting to the salon too early (this may have contributed to what happened to my state of health later in the evening).

After downing what looked like a fairly innocent concoction bar the strange flower floating on the top we walked back to the salon and were still the first ones to arrive (not cool - lol)!

We were offered champers and whisked to the sinks where we had our hair washed. The lady who washed my hair (I think her name was Victoria) gave me the most amazing head massage and washed my hair just the way I like it - really vigorously. I can't be doing with the softly softly approach when it comes to washing my hair.

I've never used Aussie hair products, always having assumed they were best catered for European hair. It just wasn't a brand that I considered when washing my hair. I wasn't expecting my hair to agree with the brand at all - but it's fine and did just as good a job as the brand I usually use in terms of a basic shampoo and condition.

Next, Gary one of the stylists blow dried and straightened my hair with GHDs. Using just a Shu Uemura oil he made my regrowth considerably disappear and made my locks really soft. To be honest my hair didn't look that much different than it was when I walked in - it was all in the texture, which Danielle can testify to. I was still missing moisture on my scalp though which I need but I sorted that out myself the next day. I was pleasantly surprised as I'd had visions of the evening turning into an ordeal because my hair wasn't cared for properly and it was nothing of the sort. I was really pleased with what Gary did.

I caught up with Charlotte and Natalie who also attended too. It was nice seeing a couple of familiar faces as I didn't actually recognise any of the other bloggers there.

It was a nice atmosphere, everybody was chillin, drinking and catching up.


Adee popped in briefly with his dog, Rocky, in tow but I think everybody was too busy fussing over the pup to notice him.

Dan with Adee's dog Rocky

When everybody had had their hair done, some of us moved on to a bar around the corner. It was quite late at this point, around 10pm and some people made their way home or had other plans. I can't remember what the bar was called - the champers had clouded my faculties at this point and I was on a downwards spiral as I hadn't eaten a proper meal since 2pm

The bar was adjoined to a hotel and we were rather silly en route to the bathroom!

Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol ....Sing it Jamie!

Dan auditioning for Playboy UK

We stayed for a quick drink, then walked up to Chinatown to get something to eat and ended up at an all you can eat buffet place which I thought would help make us feel better. I was wrong cos I still threw up 5 times in quick succession when I got home - chicken curry and all! Grim. I even left my jacket there too so will be popping back this weekend to pick it up...smh.

3 days on I'm still able to swing my hair back and forth with natural movement which is unheard of for my 7 weeks worth of regrowth! Thanks to the Aussie Girls Lauren and Claire and also Gary for a fun evening.

I'm looking forward to Part 3 - "Girls Night Out" but I'm sticking to orange juice!

Review: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Monday, October 12, 2009

What it says on the jar: Rapid, long-lasting hydration in a refreshing oil-free gel. Fast-absorbing formula with active aloe delivers a burst of moisture. Smooths, softens, plumps up fine dry lines. Locks in moisture all day. Helps skin better resist dehydration despite drastic shifts in humidity. Use whenever, wherever needed, under or over makeup. Or as a 5-minute moisture mask.

I have been using Moisture Surge daily (day and night) for three weeks now and I'm very pleased with the results so far.

I have combination NIGHTMARE skin and have been through SO many moisturisers over the years. My skin has the tendency to go from really oily to oily with random flaky patches on my nose and chin to sensitive. It's crazy.

If a moisturiser doesn't break me out, then it either doesn't moisturise enough and I end up with dry patches within a couple of hours or it's too heavy and leaves a greasy film that sits on the skin which results in a break out - it's a vicious circle.

Funnily enough the product that has worked for me isn't one that's geared to my specific skin type at all. Moisture Surge is suitable for all skin types.
Now Moisture Surge isn't a moisturiser in the traditional sense. It's a gel like (but it's not a gel) moisturiser which is very light and practically melts into my skin when applied and leaves it incredibly smooth and soft to the touch.

When I swatched it on the back of my hand in Sephora I wasn't that impressed as it felt it was too light to be able to make any sort of impact, however the velvet smooth patch of skin it left a few moments later closed the deal and had me walking towards the till clutching a box hoping it would have the same effect on my face.

It would appear that this is what my skin has been yearning for. Something light that doesn't irritate and which provides the right amount of moisture which lasts all day. It really does appear to keep my skin feeling supple and my dry patches are now a thing of the past. I wish I'd discovered this months ago, I really do. Being oil free, unlike some other creams I've used it doesn't tighten my skin yet combats shine really well. I've been reaching less for my MAC pressed powder which means less product build up on my face as the day goes on.

I can also use this throughout Summer as it's so light - no need to hunt for a separate moisturiser when the weather warms up again. It can be used on it's own, over a moisturiser as a moisture enhancer or as a five minute facial mask too. I switch between using it on its own or using it over a moisturiser when I'm out and about exposed to the elements for a mega-boost of hydration.

Speaking of hydration I've also been guzzling 2 litres of water almost every day since using this. The texture of my skin at the moment isn't down to the water consumption alone as it wasn't as smooth as it is now when I was alternating between 2 other moisturisers (which have now been binned) and still drinking copious amounts of water. I was still suffering from breakouts despite drinking lots of water which tells me the products just weren't agreeing with my skin.

A little goes a long way and I was able to use what was on the lid for over a week before starting on the jar contents. I even use this at night and wake up with baby soft skin that's plumped full of moisture. I think it certainly lives up to its name ..Moisture Surge. I'd even go as far as saying that this may now become a HG skincare product for me.
It even gives a great base for my make up. My skin isn't shining like a beacon after application and it's great for my primer.

It contains no SPF in it which doesn't really concern me that much but I use it over a moisturiser which contains SPF anyway (Personally I think the SPF thing is kinda overrated but it's been brainwashed into my head that I need to wear SPF so I do. I have older relatives who are exposed to the sun all year round who have great skin so go figure). Secondly Clinique claim this can be worn over make up. How on earth is this possible?! Surely you'd smear your make up all over your face. This isn't something that I'll be trying for fear of ruining my base.

Minor gripes aside, I'll definitely be repurchasing this and it is now a permanent addition in my skincare routine.
I love it.

Where can I find it?
All major department stores, larger Boots stores

** Please note that as with all my reviews, what works for me, may not necessarily work for you.

Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I was having a rummage through my eye shadows today when I pulled out MAC Metal-X cream e/s in Pure Ore.

"Hmmm that looks familiar" I thought as I swatched it on my fingertip, so I decided to swatch them side by side to see how they fared on my skin.
This looks uncannily similar to Illamasqua's liquid metal in Solstice, only it's a slightly darker gold. On my fingertip you can't actually tell the difference between them but on my skin, they differ slightly.

Solstice has a smoother texture when initially swatched but when they're both blended into the skin, they look more or less the same. I got so caught up in the hype of Illamsqua's liquid metal that I was sold on the claim that nothing like this has been formulated in the cosmetic industry before and that it really was unique.

If this isn't proof that I own too much make up I don't know what is. I don't just own Pure Ore. I own 4 other Metal-X eyeshadows too. I most certainly have no business purchasing Illamasqua's silver liquid metal because I own Cyber which is the MAC equivalent and ticks the same boxes.

MAC technically did 'liquid metal' first, unless somebody knows of another brand that released a similar product prior to Nov 2007.

If it wasn't for the fact that Solstice is a bright gold and Pure Ore is a dark gold, I'd be selling one of them as I wouldn't need both.

Here are swatches of the other Metal X shadows I own.

Plum Electric has somehow dried out a little and looks darker in appearance. It's currently sat on the radiator warming up!

Rediscovering these shadows that have been sitting right under my nose has no doubt saved me from future wasteful purchases should Illamasqua decide to release any other liquid metal shades in the future. They'll brighten up some future evening e/s looks too.

Moral of the story? Before you get caught up in the hype of a product, a have a look through your stash to make sure you don't already own the item in question!!

Do any of you own any of the Metal-X eyeshadows?

Stila loves Barbie All Doll'd Up palette - swatches & FOTD

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I bought the Stila Loves Barbie palette from Sephora when I was visiting Richaud and I love it!

The packaging's cute with a hologram Barbie on the front who winks at you when you move the palette from side to side. I managed to narrowly avoid disaster when I dropped the palette when I was getting ready to take pics of it - thankfully it didn't fall from a great height and the silver shadow was just left looking a lil' traumatised or I'd be writing a very different post right now!!!

The e/s are pigmented and lasted well (though I put that down to UDPP). These are my first experience of using Stila e/s and I'm impressed so far. I love the shades chosen for this palettes as they're all very wearable so I have no reason to neglect any of the trios as they're all shades my compliment my skintone.

I decided to recreate a look I watched on You Tube for a night out with the girls and I think it turned out pretty well. I love the bright teal shade in the top right hand corner, so teamed that with the grey next to it and the peach in the trio below, I used as a highlight. The shadows aren't named in the palette but that's a minor inconvenience IMO.

I'm having issues with my new camera so am using the old one for FOTDs for the time being. I can't get FOTD pics to come out the way I want them to, yet it's fine for close ups of objects or swatches. I need to play around with the settings a bit more. The colours were more vibrant on my eyes and should have shown up as they did in the swatch picture.

This is a great little palette and I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of it.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

I am so frustrated and annoyed right now as I've spent the best part of almost 6 hours messing about with my blog layout trying to downloads a 3 column template and have had nothing with trouble with it.

If it wasn't the header refusing to change itself, it was the text aligment of my posts that were out of sync, then it was my sidebar pictures that were uploading in odd sizes (I'm STILL trying to sort that out now).

In the end I had to admit defeat and g0 back to my original layout.

I've abandoned my original idea of getting somebody to redesign my blog - I can't be bothered and it's proving to be too much headache actually getting somebody to design what I want which isn't the hardest thing in the world.

I don't wanna move to Wordpress as the layouts aren't my thing.

How friggin hard is it to find a 3 coloumn minima black blog template that works?!! I need to step away from the keyboard cos I'm ready to smash it! I'm amazed that I've managed to get through this blog post without swearing once!


Showing some love!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Last month was so busy for me I just didn't have the time to do a post sharing the products that have been on rotation in either my skincare or beauty regime lately.

We're already 7 days into October so I better get cracking!
Here are the products that have been rocking my (beauty) world of late.

Nars Gina
Nars blush in Gina

I can't stress enough just how much I love this blusher. It's smooth, peachy with a warm glow, and has the right amount of pigment that allows you to build the colour up evenly without streaking. If I was forced to get rid of all my blushers and keep only 5 this would be one of them.

Since I bought this, I've used this blush at least every couple of days. I love it and this has become my fave NARS blush now. Here's a pic of me wearing it -

I look like a robot!

Fudge Hair Varnish
Fudge Hair Varnish

I love this stuff. I use this wax pomade to scrunch up my hair when I wanna funk it up a bit and for my ends. It doesn't weigh my hair down and doesn't leave any weird residue in it either. I had my hair cut short in Feb and this is what my hairdresser used as a finishing product. I was a bit dubious that it'd work as I've only ever seen it targeted at European hair but this is definitely relaxer hair friendly. I'm currently growing my hair out at the moment and this has helped to tame my mane a bit as it can get unruly when I'm halfway through a relaxer - WOC can I hear you say regrowth?! LOL

CND Super Shiney

CND Super Shiney high gloss top coat

I've had this since Feb or so and have used it on/off when I've remembered. I put it to the ultimate test when I got a pedicure done just before I left for NY. I gave the girl in the salon this to seal my polish with and hand on heart my pedi didn't chip for 16 days!! Every other day I'd tell Chaud "OMG it still hasn't chipped" in amazement (not that he gave a damn, but anyway!).

Now the weird thing is I've used this on my fingers and it hasn't lasted as long - but then I don't wear gloves when doing the washing up am forever bashing my fingers about all day long so I doubt there's any top coat that will last more than 5 days at the very most without chipping on my hands. I've painted my nails yesterday evening and my polish is still intact so far so I'll see how they fare. This is the top coat I'll be sticking to for my toes though. It gives your nails a gorgeous shine that gives an extra oomph to your nail colour.

Shiseido The Makeup Mascara Base

Shiseido The Makeup Mascara Base

Ok I raved about this on an old forum I used to frequent about 18 months ago and I still think it's the shit now. My lashes aren't the longest and although I noticed a mild difference after using Talika Lipocils, it wasn't enough for me and I purchased this soon after. I don't wear mascara every time I wear make up, but when I do I try to remember to put this on my lashes first. It really does appear to thicken and lengthen them. The base acts a primer which is a similar consistency to vaseline and when mascara is applied on top it really does the trick and makes my lashes look really prominent and boosting my chosen mascaras performance - irrespective of brand.

What have you been reaching for lately?

Style Black FOTD - Gilt-y as charged!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I had a play with Style Black's Gilt by Association last night when the "entertainment" that was X-Factor was over. I'm really glad I bought it and had no problem with fallout at all which I was pleasantly surprised at. I applied GAB by patting it all over the lid using my 242 brush after spraying it (the 242) with Fix+ to wet the e/s. The greasestick makes a great base for it to stick to and wasn't too hard to blend out either.

My only concern was that when I lined my waterline with the greasestick I felt the same irritation I felt when I use my pearlglide liner in Russian Black. The glitter has a tendency to irritate so if you have sensitive eyes be careful as I can feel it every time I blink!

I was on the phone for a couple of hours and by the time I had finished rolling around my bed sharing my life story, my hair was a state and most of my lip colour had gone. I couldn't be bothered to reapply it as it had gone 2am and I just wanted to take my face off at that stage.

Doing close up FOTD pics has also made me realise how much weight I've piled on in New York. I've eaten nothing but crap, with the exception of Chauds Mum's meals for 2 weeks and it shows. My face looks pregnant!!! I took action yesterday when doing my food shop and bought lots of healthy food so I'm on a bit of a health kick at the moment to de-bloat.

Finally, stupid me forgot that I need a US to UK adapter in order for my new camera to work and was reminded when I switched it on and the battery promptly died *rolls eyes* So for the meantime it's back to my crappy Casio which snaps my skintone in every shade of black without being asked to as demonstrated below!

Sorry for the lacklustre expressions! LOL

Revlon Colorstay in Caramel (combination/oily)
MAC select cover up in NC48
MAC blush in Notable

MAC greasestick paint as base and halfway across my lower waterline.
MAC Gilt by Association e/s all over the lid
MAC Sketch e/s in crease and outer V
Maybelline Colossal mascara

NYX l/s in Power (blotted)
MAC Dazzleglass in Rags to Riches dabbed in middle of lower lip

Last bit of crack - promise!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

So collections aside, there were also a few perm items that I needed. I bought a few eye brushes from Sephora a while back and with the exception of a couple, they don't really do the job for me.

I needed a new powder brush as the large one I have (again from Sephora) sheds too much so I picked up the MAC 134 instead. I think I'll be able to control my application a lot better with it and it's soooooooo soft.

MAC brushes:

MAC Cleanse Off Oil
Paint pots in Delft & Constructivist
Style blush
Select sheer powder (NC45)
Sketch e/s (B2M)
Dazzleglass in Moth to Flame (B2M)

I have a lot of blue and green e/s and wanted a base to help them show up more - hence the Delft purchase and Constructivist I bought for my browns/bronzes.

I've also heard good things about the Cleanse Off Oil so am looking forward to using this prior to my cleanser to get rid of of my make up.

Sketch is one of those e/s that I should have but for whatever reason I don't. Well I do now so I can sleep soundly at night once more.

Moth to Flame d/g is so pretty. I swear a MAC SA was trying to tell me to buy this when I was last in NY and I was adamant I didn't want it. Hmm I should have listened to her. I want a back up, I love it that much.

My make up purchasing is now done for 2009 now. All I want is Plum Night nail polish by Revlon and that's it. I've already read what's coming up in the early 2010 collections over on Specktra and I'm pleased to say I only want a couple of things. I've pretty much covered all areas and colours within my make up collection so future purchases will need to be pretty eye catching in order for me to buy them.

I have so much make up and I'm looking forward to working my way through it all and getting rid of whatever doesn't compliment me or work well for me instead of hoarding it like someone off Life of Grime!

I'm gonna be adding a lot more to my blog sale over the next week or so so keep an eye on it (it's posted in the top right hand corner of my blog for easy access). I need to make room for the newbies so my loss may possibly be your gain!

MAC Dazzlecreme, Dsquared and Trends F/W '09 buys

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Following my Style Black purchases I also got my hands on MAC's other LE collections that are currently available.

I wasn't really impressed with the Dazzlecremes and only picked up Amorous which is a rich, crimson, sparkly red - very Christmassy. The other shades are non-offensive, dupable neutrals which I already own somewhere within my stash and to be honest bored me. I only bothered to swatch a couple.
Trends F/W '09 had me yearning for Faultlessly l/s and So This Season l/g - rich grape colour that looks super sexy on the lips. I'm really pleased with these two products and am looking forward to trying them out shortly.

no flash

with flash

Dsquared was put out on the shop floor on Monday instead of Thursday. Happy days as that saved me a last min trip to MAC the day I was due to fly home.

I love the greasepaint sticks. They are so pigmented and creamy and great used as a liner, base or smoked out on the eye alone. I bought both V and B to accompany Black which I bought from Style Black.
I also bought 2 Feline eye kohls as I've misplaced the one I managed to get a couple of mths ago. Lord knows where it is but I was impressed with its staying power so had to get a couple more while it was available.

with flash

no flash

I was pretty much planning on skipping all 3 collections (with the exception of Feline) and I'm glad I didn't as I've picked up some lovely shades to add to my collection.


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