New Year beauty resolutions!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The new year is almost upon us, so it's time for me to star over again *Stuffs the last chocolate truffle in my mouth*

Right, let me get straight to the point. I need to make some changes and those changes will be ...

1. I will really try to take my make up off
every night. Some nights I really struggle to do this menial task as I'm so tired and all I want to do is fall into bed instead of engaging in a 10 minute regime in a cold bathroom. Also, there's no point in using all these great skincare products if I'm not doing my part and allowing them to work to their full potential.

2. I promise to drink at
least 2 litres of water. Every day! My skin will thank for me it as it's quite congested at the moment, what
with all the fatty, calorific food I've been gorging on over the festive period.

3. No point in drinking so much water if I'm still stuffing my face with crap. I'm gonna make a conscious effort to improve my diet and get fit. I used to be sooo fit but now I'm literally struggling to breathe after just walking up three flights of stairs! Not a good look at my age. I also know losing a few pounds will do wonders for my confidence and I'm sick of not wearing what I want to wear cos I feel so dumpy! *blows the dust of my Nell McAndrew fItness DVD* I'm definately gonna be joining a netball team as that was my sport of choice back at school and uni and it certainly kept my fitness levels up.


4. I will wear brighter lip colours a lot more. I haven't ventured out of the front door wearing MAC So Chaud or Ruby Woo yet and I shy away from them thinking I look ridiculous. I really wanna step out of my safety net when it comes to my makeup in 2010, so will try my best to up my confidence and just walk out of the front door instead of pouting in front of the mirror.

5. I will stop buying so many blushers. For crying out loud the last count was 54! Enough. I only have 2 cheeks!!


6. I will experiment more with my hair.


7. I need to focus on my priorities so there won't be as many frivolous "because I want to .." purchases as there were in 2009. If I want to achieve what I need to, I need to stop buying so many cosmetics. I have more than enough to see me through to 2025! When I think about the money I spent last year, I do actually feel a bit sick!

8. I will master the application of false lashes.

9. I aim to pick ten different products to use at some point every week. I have so much make up that it's easy for me to stick to the same products that happen to be in my make up bag and use them forever instead of reaching for new shades. I must make use of all the gorgeousness instead of admiring it from afar!!


10. Seriously, there is no reason to spend in 2010 as much as I did last year on make up. Over the past 12 months I've built up an impressive collection and I promise to make good use of it or to just get rid of what I no longer want. No hoarding! I will be much more selective and only purchase makeup that is unique in comparison to other items within my stash.

What about you ladies? Any beauty resolutions or are will you just take it one day at a time?

MAC Warm & Cozy and Love Lace

Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Warm and Cozy is finally available on UK shores, so off I went to the Covent Garden branch today to have a look. This collection is pretty safe, filled with warm nudes that will universally flatter all skintones and I think it's quite nice. Boring yes, but still a nice collection. It's freezing cold outside so I'm all for an easy neutral face to wear so I concentrate on keeping my ass warm!


I already own a hefty number of nude shades so didn't go too crazy on this collection, instead just picking out the products that compliment the ones I already own.



The promo pics for this collection are so ...warm and cosy!

I don't have the patience (or time) to copy and paste the entire collection and any MAC fan worth their favourite LE lipstick has already seen the products in Warm & Cozy a million times already.

However, for those in the dark, or who want a quick reminder of what they're dealing with, check out the collection in its entirety here on Temptalia.



Warm & Cozy display stand

So, what did I get?

Travel make up made easy

Monday, December 28, 2009

As a few of you know, I really wasn't impressed with The IMATS in January, but am giving it another chance next month. However, I did pick up an item that has proved itself invaluable. There was a father and daughter duo, selling magnetic, mirrored, empty palettes that are perfect for depotted eyeshadows and blushes off a stall. Best of all they were only £10 a piece. At the time I remember her (Danielle) telling us that she was still searching for a supplier so was only selling them through word of mouth and off her website - DLSH. She also sold other portable make up storage too.

I pull this palette out every time I travel or am away from home for a couple of nights. As I've depotted all my eyeshadows, travelling with 5 full palettes was a nightmare, so being able to pull out the colours I want to take with me makes my make up packing so much easier. I love that she had the brainwave of including a mirror in the palette too - it's perfect.

Available from www.dlshinc.com

I know Z Palettes have since become very popular and stock similar palettes which come in two sizes (minus the mirror) on their website, but for anybody going to the London IMATS next month, Z palettes will be there so you can pick a couple up. I'll be picking up the smaller size which will come in handy for shorter stays away from home when I was to take fewer shades away with me.

Hopefully Danielle from DLSH will be there again too if you'd prefer a mirrored palette.

A couple of changes

Monday, December 28, 2009

The domain name vexinthecity.com finally became available again on Boxing Day, so I snapped it up before somebody else got click-happy!! After stalking it for 4 months, my perseverance has finally paid off and it's also perfect timing as I'm in the process of changing my blog template/layout again.

Blogger will automatically redirect you to my new URL so you don't need to amend anything in order to keep tabs on my blog posts.

Revlon Photo Ready - a high st version of MUFE HD?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hmmm so having bought Make Up For Ever(MUFE) HD foundation during the hype, I was initially impressed but the novelty soon wore off. However, after a conversation with Miss Virtue two nights ago, I'm wearing it today and like it all over again (urgh, I'm so fickle), so news of a new, cheaper equivalent has made me sit up and take notice. Meet Revlon Photo Ready foundation, which is already causing quite a stir amongst the beauty obsessed.


Unsure of who this image actually belongs to as it's on MUA and a couple of forums - thanks whoever you are though!

Likened to its pricier predecessor which had lovers praising its ability to create a flawless base and banish pores, a cheaper version is surely something to be welcomed with open arms.

It's not officially due out until March 2010 but has already been spotted in various drugstores stateside. As a result of its premature release, not all shades are available to purchase as yet - as luck would have it, mine (Caramel) is one of them.


Reviews are varied, as read on Makeupalley, but I'll reserve judgement until I try it out for myself. My boyf's under strict instruction to bring a bottle of this (and the matching translucent powder) for me in February, if my shade Caramel has hit the shelves by then.

The pump applicator alone gets a huge thumbs up from me as tipping my Colorstay onto my brush or back of my hand irritates the hell out of me. I'm also liking the inclusion of SPF20 too.

Priced $13.99, it's been spotted in CVS and is (was) on BOGO so check your local branches to see if it's still on offer.

Ok, where are my U.S chicks at? Have you tried this yet? What do you think?

Oh Em Gee! *squeals*

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Well that was the shortest blogging break ever! Sorry but I had to do this post - today! The first preview of the SATC2 trailer is out. I saw it this morning when I logged onto Twitter and almost had a heart attack (yes, another one - SATC will be the death of me!) out of sheer excitement as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes.




Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind makes me feel nostalgic about NYC so I'm glad it's featured in the trailer - very fitting!

I can't believe we have to wait until May 28th 2010 to see the film in all its glory ...*sighs*

Thank you

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Well 2009 is almost over and I just thought I'd take a minute to thank my regular posters and new readers for your contributions to my blog this year. When I started my blog in May, I never imagined it would drum up the interest it has and I'm truly grateful for the love so many of you have shown. I've met a number of you throughout the year at either blog events or blogger meet ups and have met some really cool people. I'm sure that will continue throughout 2010.

It had been my intention to complete a couple more posts this week, but I've realised it's just not gonna happen as I've just been too busy with Christmas preparations. However, I'll be back on the ball sometime next week, complete with indigestion after the festive feast I'll have consumed!

I also want to thank those who have recently tagged me to complete various blog posts doing the rounds over the past few months. On top of my usual blog posts which I struggle to fit in around my busy schedule at the best of times I find it quite hard to complete tagged posts too, but just wanted to thank you and let you know that you've not purposely been ignored!!

To those celebrating, I hope you have a lovely Christmas and I look forward to sharing more swatches, reviews and haulage with everybody in 2010 xxx


Korres cosmetics & giveaway

Friday, December 18, 2009

My love for Korres continues! I really like some of the Korres skincare products I've tried recently and now I've had the chance to play with their cosmetics.

I love the pretty outer packaging

Not so keen on the white casing...

...but all's forgiven cos of the pretty shades and the e/s is shade 34S, not 354 as stated in the pic!





Eyeshadow shade 34s is a deep bronze shimmer which gives a subtle wash of colour over the eye. I noticed a bit of creasing when I tried this out so a primer is needed. It doesn't show up on my skin as intensely as it does on my fingertip, but I guess it makes the shade more suitable for day to day wear. The formula is buttery soft and very smooth to the touch. Sunflower oil is one of the ingredients, said to be soothing to the most sensitive of skins.

The blush, shade 22 Purple isn't what I'd call purple at all. It's a dusty rose pink which give a beautiful luminous finish. Add NARS Albatross on top of this, as a highlighter and it'll look amazing.


I also gave the Abyssinia Oil mascara a try. Described as volumising, lash conditioning and strengthening, I was hoping for good results. It lengthens very well, but I don't think it particularly thickened the look of my lashes.



Korres Abyssinia Oil volumising/strengthening mascara

One thing I did notice is that my lashes weren't crunchy when they had dried. In fact when I flicked my finger back and forth over them, it actually felt as if I had barely any product on them at all. I guess this was courtesy of the abyssinia oil which I could feel when I rubbed my fingers together.

I'd like to believe that with continued use, my lashes would maybe benefit from the presence of this ingredient, but who knows if it would make a long term difference. I chop and change between about 6 mascaras on a regular basis so it's unlikely I'd ever use it for a long enough period to find out. The brush is quite small but good for coating each lash from root to tip with ease. I think the size of the brush contributes to its natural look as there's not a lot you can do with it that would mess up your eye look. the bristles are pretty 'safe'.



The mascara is fine for every day use and didn't flake or smudge. It wouldn't be what I'd reach for if I wanted the wow factor but for a day out shopping or a casual meal out with friends it's fine.

And just because I'm nice and am (finally) in a festive mood, I've decided to give one lucky reader a couple of Korres products to play with.

Up for grabs is Abyssinia Oil volumnising/strengthening mascara (dark brown) and a lip butter (Wild Rose).



If you'd like to win these then keep reading:


* The giveaway is open to all my blog readers, both UK and International. However, I am NOT responsible for the prize once it's posted! All I ask is that you have the courtesy to drop me a line letting me know that you've received it safe and sound.

* Leave a msg in the comments box, along with your email address saying "I want some Korres".

* One lucky reader will be picked randomly and will win both items.

* Giveaway closes Friday 1st January 2010 at 8pm (GMT)

Beauty bargain of the day - Soap & Glory Big Thrill Hat Box

Friday, December 18, 2009

In case you've been living under a rock, the Soap & Glory Big Thrill Hat Box went on sale today at Boots reduced from £50 to £20.


Set includes:

* A limited edition Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss 7ml
* The Daily Smooth Body Butter 250ml
* Clean On Me Body Wash 75ml
* Flake Away Body Buff 50ml
* Girligo Moisturising Mist 100ml
* Hair Supply Hair Mask 50ml
* Hand Food Hand Cream 50ml
* The Greatest Scrub of All Facial Smoother 125ml
* Clean Mary Facial Cleansing Milk 75ml
* I-Foam Body Wash 200ml
* Butter Up Body Butter 200ml
* A super sized Sudsy Puff
* A beautiful striped drawstring bag

It will remain priced at £20 until Dec 24th or until stock lasts.

I stayed up until 3:30am repeatedly trying to place an order but the website predictably crashed as half the country appeared to be trying to order it at the same time! I woke up in a daze at 5:30am and was able to order one with no trouble. Then, as I got back into bed, decided that I quite fancied one for myself *rolls eyes*, so off I went to my local Boots store to pick one up at 9am. In my rush to get there, I managed to slip on the ice and end up on my back but more importantly I managed to get my hands on another one!

The things we do in the name of beauty, eh?


The website has again gone into meltdown, but if you get a chance, pop into your local branch and pick one (or three) up, these will make fab Christmas presents as well as a treat for yourself whether you're a certified Soap and Glory fan or are trying the brand for the first time.


Let me know if you manage to get your mitts on one!

A treat from Zuneta - Hourglass Extreme Sheen lip gloss

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Zuneta is a company I've seen mentioned on a couple of blogs but I just haven't had the time to give it the once over for myself. It's a sibling run, online luxury beauty boutique stocking the likes of Korres (yay!), Jurlique, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Malin & Goetz and a variety of other brands, some of which are pretty hard to find at the usual beauty haunts we tend to frequent.

I was contacted by Zuneta and sent Hourglass Extreme Sheen high shine lip gloss in Siren as an early Christmas present to try out, and after checking the new look website out I was impressed enough to share the love with you guys.

Before I talk about the lip gloss I was sent, I need to voice how impressed I am with the Zuneta website itself. Upon registering, I was prompted me to share my skintone, skin type, hair type (they had 'relaxed' as an option which knocked me sideways!) and eye colour in The Clinic. Products were then recommended to me based on my profile. No more ordering dodgy make up shades based on misleading swatches. Every time you click on a product, the shades which will suit your skintone are clearly displayed. They even have video clips showing models being made up with the product you're viewing to coax you further into parting with your money!



Designed especially for the Holiday season, Siren is a described as "a stunning fire fuelled red with a hint of metallic".

Siren is a limited edition lip gloss shade which offers an insane amount of pigment - almost too much! When worn thickly I wasn't that keen with the finished look. I initially tried to wear it alone but it looked uneven when applied with the brush applicator so I wiped it off and lightly lined my lips with NARS Pop Life velvet matte liner first. I have full lips and feel it just 'blew them up', so I then sheered the application down to a much more wearable wash of colour, as shown below.

You can see just how pigmented it actually is on the swatch pic further down.


Siren worn a lil' sheerer (is that a word?)

Siren worn full on!

I like the metallic sheen this lipgloss gives off - tres futuristic, which is still visible even if you don't layer the gloss on heavily. It stays true to its word and does deliver extreme high shine. It's non-sticky (no, really it is) and pretty long lasting too. I've had it on for over 4 hours now and it looks as if I applied it 5 mins ago and I've smacked my lips together a ridiculous number of times - I guess that's where the claims of it being water-resistant kick in.

I'm amazed at just how moisturising this is, it's feels nice on my lips and isn't drying at all.
It even lasted through a glass of apple juice. Sure, it left an imprint on the glass but my gloss didn't budge and with a smack of the lips was back on form once more.

Unlike MAC lipglasses, it doesn't go all "bitsy" on my lips 20 minutes after application either, leaving that unsightly white line of gunk on my inner lip which I detest.


See how pigmented it is when initially swatched

It's pricy at £21, but if you choose the right shade(s) then I reckon your usage will balance the price out (well, that's one way of justifying the splurge). Hourglass is stocked at Sephora (Who knew?! Shows how much I'm NOT paying attention when I'm in there) and the lipglosses actually work out to be around £17, so if you're flying stateside any time soon ...ahem, I'm just saying!

Siren wouldn't have been my first choice of shade but I'm sold on these and am keen to swatch some of the other colours which are more up my street. I'm glad I had a chance to try this out beforehand, because had I splashed out on it and hated it, I would have been very, very annoyed! For those of you who love a strong lip, this shade will look amazing worn with a killer LBD this Christmas. Anyway, enough of me rambling on, check them out for yourself and make your own mind up.

Hourglass products can be found online at
Zuneta. Meanwhile my Zuneta wishlist is building up nicely for 2010!

Oh before I forget, on the back of the postcard I received was a 10% discount code off first purchases. Enter promotional code Z8641 as you checkout.

Have you tried these lipglosses? Do you have any other Hourglass or product recs from the brands sold on Zuneta? Lemme know!

Review: Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What it says on the website: Rose oil and wild Rose hip extract envelop the skin with a protective nurturing film. This rich, beautifully scented cream, with the extract of over 1,075 organic Rose petals in each tube, strengthens the skin and soothes redness and couperose conditions. The skin is encouraged to repair and restore itself as well as being calmed and smoothed.

Dr Hauschka is a German company which boasts a wide range of organic skincare products. I first purchased this a couple of years ago and I've repurchased it every winter as one of my skincare must-haves. It acts as a great barrier between my skin and the freezing winds my poor face is exposed to during cold weather.

It's a rich cream, which can initially feel quite greasy due to the rose oil in it, which is why you only need a small amount. I apply it by rubbing a small amount between my fingers to warm it up and then I gently rub it into my skin. I then wait a few minutes before I apply my make up. I do this as I like to think it helps my skin to absorb it properly. It's not a requirement in the usage instructions, this is just something I personally like to do, which works for me.

Rose Day Cream is known to improve and soothe skin conditions such as eczema and dry skin and I can certainly vouch for this as any areas of my face that require special attention really benefit from the richness of the cream and I'm left with healthy 'rosy' looking skin.

My skin is definitely a bit drier at the moment due to the weather and this moisturiser works really well at replacing lost moisture. Dry skin that surfaced a week ago around my nose due to the weather disappeared within 2 days after application. I don't always feel the need to use this daily and will use it as and when I feel my skin needs, especially if it's a day I know I will be outdoors a lot.

I tend to use this on very cold days and I find that it leaves my skin feeling nourished, a feeling that lasts throughout the day. For somebody who's not overly keen on rose scented products, I find the rose scent bearable and not overpowering. In fact I barely notice it most of the time and when I do, I find it to be quite pleasant.

It's a rich cream, which goes on greasy which is why you only need a small amount. I apply it by pressing a small amount between my fingers and gently rubbing it into my skin. I wait a few minutes before I apply my make up as I like to this this helps my skin absorb the cream better. It's not a requirement in the usage instructions and this is just something I personally like to do, which works for me.

Rose Day Cream has been known to improve skin conditions such as eczema and dry skin in general and the latter I can certainly vouch for as any areas that require special attention really benefit from the richness of the cream and I'm left with healthy 'rosy' looking skin.

Personally I find this far too heavy for use on warmer days. It would slide right off my face as my skin's much oilier in Summer. I only ever reach for it at this time of year, but what doesn't work for me, may well work for others so bear that in mind. If you have dry, sensitive skin then I think this moisturiser is a great recommendation. As it happens, my skin combination/sensitive and this works fine for me so I'd suggest you try a sample (readily available to order on the website) before splashing out on a full size bottle.

I'm not keen on the packaging and dislike the tube that it comes in. When I near towards the end of the cream, I find it difficult to get the last remains out and have resorted to slicing the tube open to reveal at least another weeks usage in the crevices. This would fare better if it were in a pump bottle.

Dr Hauschka recommends that this (or any other moisturiser for that matter) should not be used at night. Reason being that the skin uses this period to rid itself of toxins absorbed during the day, and any products that interfere with these natural processes should be avoided. Daily use of night creams means that the skin becomes dependant on external sources of moisture, rather than producing its own.

Dr Hauschka's theory makes total sense to me, but I'm not sure if I can make that switch and totally abandon my evening moisturiser. I know for a fact that my skin would take a turn for the worse, before it got used to only being cleansed and toned in the evenings. Since my current routine isn't doing me any 'damage, I'm reluctant to stop.

This gets a huge thumbs up from me and I love that it gives me a 'sitting by the fire' glow that friends and family alike have commented on in the past. I'll certainly continue to repurchase it for now, although I do have my eye on another product that I suspect may be a cheaper equivalent ...watch this space.

How much is it? £20 (30ml)
Where can I buy it from?
Selfridges, John Lewis, Dr Hauschka, StrawberryNet

Highs/Lows of the week and giveway winner

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've really enjoyed time I've spent with my parents lately. I'm so thankful for everything they do for me. They rock!

Had fun meeting up with some blogger pals earlier in the week at a network event and the fun and frolics continue over the weekend with Christmas drinks and beauty shopping browsing.

Ooooh! My boyf's posted my Christmas present and I'm under strict instructions not to open it 'til Christmas Day. I have no idea what it is but I can't promise I'll last 'til Christmas Day. (I hope he doesn't read this! LOL)

A couple of people have irritated me over the past couple weeks and their existence has been deleted out of my life - just in time for the years end. I can't be starting 2010 surrounded by cowardice and irritants. Good riddance!

I told my Mum about my blog the other day and she was so encouraging. I love my Mummy!

My boyfriends sister's new baby will hopefully be allowed home form hospital next weekend (just in time for Christmas - awww) after complications during his birth, two weeks ago. He's such a lil' fighter. Thank God he's gonna be okay.

My Ebay listings have loads of watchers - these people better bid!!

A pair of shoes I wanted a few mths ago from Faith turned up on Ebay a couple of days ago. I bagged them for £15 BIN. Who says you can't find any decent Ebay bargains anymore!

Really missing the bestie who's away for another 6 wks!

Had an argument with a very close friend last night, which although now resolved, has left me feeling a bit sad and distracted today.I'll be okay tomorrow. See? This is why the bestie needs to get her ass back to London!


Well done to Rhamnousia who's won my Revlon foundation giveaway!







Lady Gaga & Cyndi Lauper for MAC Viva Glam From Our Lips collection preview

Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, we knew it was coming and here's the proof. The first leaked shot showing Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper posing for the Spring 2010 Viva Glam From Our Lips campaign.


I like the fun element captured in the shot and Lady Gaga looks, dare I say it normal for a change! Well, normal in the sense that she doesn't have a frog hanging off her head. Cyndi doesn't look as tranny-esque as I thought she might either. Nice one MAC.

The Viva Glam Gaga lipstick and Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick will launch on March 18th 2010 stateside and globally throughout the month. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the MAC Aids Fund.

What do you think?

Source: Trendland

First look at SATC 2 Movie poster!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I LOVE SATC, love, love LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited to see what the SATC 2 movie poster looks like. I don't think you all understand, this has made my day! I've watched the first film so many times I know the script off by heart and I will NEVER tire of watching the antics of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha strutting their stuff in my fave city.

You go girl!

I have fond memories of hyperventilating in excitement standing outside 'Carrie's apartment' on the SATC coach tour last Summer. I half expected SJP to walk out of the front door! The state my friend and I were in, I think there's a strong possibility we'd have passed out in shock. I blame it on the NY heatwave which was in full force at the time. Ahem.

Roll on May 28th 2010. If I have my way I WILL be in New York when it's released in cinemas stateside. I can't wait to see what they'll be wearing in the film and whether they'll all live happily ever after in The Big Apple.

Whooooo! This poster has got me so hyped! up!!!

BaByliss Conicial Wand - first impressions.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

After being inspired by Dannii Minogue's loose waves on X-Factor (UK version of American Idol) this year, I decided to order a BaByliss Conical Wand to see if I could achieve something similar with my own hair. Well I finally got round to taking it out of its box last night - I mean I've only had it for a week!

It comes with 25 heat settings and in the instruction booklet that accompanies it, Level 25 is recommended for afro hair which is certainly hot enough to curl my hair wi
th ease. Other accessories include a heat mat and a three fingered glove to protect them from the heat of the tong barrel when curling your hair. Unfortunately the glove proves to be more of a hindrance than a help. The logic behind it is great, it just doesn't work that well in practise.


The BaByliss Conical Wand - not a sexual aid as originally thought, by some of my Twitter buddies!





Illamasqua website swatches - update

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm sure by now a lot of you have noticed that the Illamasqua website has had a few tweaks, including much needed swatches of almost all their products, shade by shade. The Illamasqua website is one of the few cosmetic brands to actually feature 'real life' swatches of their products, which inevitably makes choosing shades a lot easier for its customers who use their online purchasing facility.

I had waited with bated breath for the new look website after promises of better swatches, so was quite disappointed to see that these new swatches only benefited their pale skinned customers as there were no swatches available on any models with darker skintones.

Rather than remain disappointed about it, but not actually do anything, I emailed Alex Cummins, Junior Brand Manager who quickly responded telling me that:

"Yes - we are actually going to be hiring models to swatch all the Lure products with, however we wanted to get the new site up and launched before we worked on that. This project will be visited again after Christmas and so we will hope to have it on the site by March! We will need a model that matches every skin shade we offer".

Result! It's a shame they couldn't have been done at the same time as the current swatches as I'm sure there are an abundance of darker skinned models waiting to be booked for a job, but I'm pleased that this is something that Illamasqua had already taken into consideration and have on their "to do" list.

If there's one thing that immediately springs to my mind about Illamasqua, is that they actually listen to their customers and take action where needed which I think other beauty brands could certainly benefit from doing. After all, we're the ones doing the buying so surely it pays in the long run to keep your customers happy.

In the meantime if you haven't checked out the new look website and swatches go and have a nosey.

http://www.illamasqua.com/


Now if only Revlon UK would stock the "missing" darker shades of Colorstay foundation (instead of forcing me to trek 3000+ miles for it!) and stop ignoring my emails querying it in the process!!

My hair care regime

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Afro hair is no joke. I still yearn for the day that I can 'wash and go'. It's not gonna happen - ever. I envied my white school friends whenever we'd go swimming when we were younger. I screamed (in fright) if so much as a drop of water leaked under my swimming cap, whereas they shrieked in glee as they dived head first into the pool without a care in the world.

These days I'm not so scared of water , although my reaction to being caught out in the rain without an umbrella, would have you think I was gonna turn into a mermaid a la Darryl Hannah in Splash! I tend to rely on certain products to keep my hair in check and they seem to do the trick.


I chemically relaxed my hair again in February after having it in braids for 9 months. Wanting a total change, I had it cut quite short and since then it's grown much quicker than it usually does when my hair is relaxed. I think this is solely down to the products I've been using and the regular trims I have (every 8-9 weeks).

I've been using ApHogee products for over a year now and have seen a big difference in the overall condition to my hair. My hair has always been quite fine when it's relaxed, although it looks much, much thicker when it's 100% natural.
So, what's my typical hair care regime?

I shampoo with ...
Deep Moisture Shampoo condititon with ...
Balancing Moisturizer

When I want to DEEP condition I then use ...
Pantene for Women of Color Breakage Defense deep conditioning mask.
When I use this, I stick a clear shower cap over my hair, wrap a towel around it and tend to leave it on for about an hour..sometimes longer before rinsing it out. When my hair needs a home treatment I reach for ... Two-Step Protein treatment
This stuff is great for strengthening my hair.
After I towel dry, I spritz some of this onto my hair... Pro-Vitamin Leave-In Conditioner

When I've finished shampooing and conditioning, the real work begins with the styling!

On damp hair, I use a 50p sized dollop of ..

FHI Hot Sauce
I love the fact it looks like a bottle of hot sauce! This helps to protect my hair against heat styling

I then divide my hair into 4 sections and blow dry each one. My hairdresser of choice is the

Wahl Propik 4000
which is much more powerful than the standard model that I previously owned

Sorry but that air dry shizzle doesn't work for me. I don't have the time and I'd only end up using a blow dryer afterwards to get the kinks out anyway so why waste 2 hours of my life air drying to begin with?!


I grease my scalp with ...
Motions Hair and Scalp Conditioner I then spread a bit of this over my hair and blow again for easy distribution for a few seconds Elasta QP Mango Butter (smells gorgeous!)

I then use my Windle straighteners to straighten my hair further
spritzing it with ..


Aveda Damage Control as I go

and voila I'm done!

It looks like a lot but my hair is never weighed down with product and they compliment one another well.

I probably have approx 30 different hair products but this is my main routine when I wash my hair. Sometimes I use pure coconut or carrot oil to deep condition. It depends on my mood and what my hair needs at the time.

I find taking care of my hair time consuming and my one of my least favourite parts of grooming. It does my head in! I bought fuchsia (it's a rinse, not vibrant pink!) hair dye a couple of weeks ago but am too chicken to go through with it. I don't want to upset all my hard work and end up with dry, brittle hair!


Giveaway: Revlon Beyond Natural & Colorstay Mineral Mousse

Monday, December 07, 2009

Holly, writer of The Yummy Mummy's Beauty Blog kindly sent me two new Revlon foundations to try, but as I'd suspected they were too light for me. I have one of each and have swatched less then a millimetre's worth of product on my cheek! Rather than have them sit in my stash gathering dust I'd rather they went to somebody who they'd suit and who could put them through their paces.

If you'd like to try them, keep reading:

* Giveaway is open to UK residents only (Sorry but my last giveaway prize went AWOL and left me considerably out of pocket, so I'm NOT risking this happen to me again). However, if you have family in the UK who are happy to send them onto you, should you win, then feel free to enter. I'll require a UK address to post them to.

* Leave a msg in the comments box, along with your email address saying "Send them to me".

* One lucky reader will receive both foundations.

* Giveaway closes Friday 11th December 2009 at 8pm (GMT)

Showing some love!

Monday, December 07, 2009

I could have sworn I did a 'Showing some love' post a few days ago but then I realised I did my last one late, halfway through November, hence the deja vu feeling.

Anyhoo without further ado here's what's been tickling my fancy
lately.






Dove Spa Hot Stuff Self Heating Sugar Polish

This was sent to me to try weeks ago and I've used it sparingly as I don't want it to run out as it costs £22. Hot Stuff, a Dove Spa product, (Yep, the people behind high street brand Dove now have a chain of spas with accompanying products) is a self heating sugar body scrub, which on impact with damp skin, gives you the same intense self heat feeling similar to that of MAC Thermal Mask. I'm big on body treats now that the weather's so harsh and I really like this scrub. It does does a great job of making my skin feel super smooth and I'm a sucker for self heating products as I love the way all warm and cosy on the skin. I'd only ever buy this when Dove Spa do their half price offers though! £11 sounds nicer than £22.


Boots Extracts Fairtrade Brazil Nut Body Butter

My Palmers Olive Body Butter was coming to an end so I picked this up from Boots a couple of weeks ago. It smells gorgeous and easily rivals The Body Shop body butters - they're cheaper too! Currently part of the Christmas 3 for 2 offer, I'm definitely stocking up! The Mango butter smells divine so that'll be a certain purchase. They moisturise well and I'm switching to these now over TBS Coconut body butter. Fab product!


Sleek Storm e/s palette

Sleek's Storm palette has always been my favourite out of all their e/s palettes. I think the colours are so easy to wear, particularly at this time of year. I love the shades and finishes for this palette and think it's pretty universal in terms of skintone suitability. Check out my swatches here It's what I've been reaching for most days when I feel like wearing something other than mascara on my eyes.


Barbie Loves MAC Beauty Powder in Pearl Sunshine (L) (LE)


I've been using this a lot lately to give my skin a healthy glow over either rosy or peachy blushes. This is WOC friendly and I use it as a highighter on my cheeks, along my nose and on my brow bones too. It doesn't make my skin look ashy and gives me a luminous glow over my blush. I love this so much that I have a back up. I love the packaging too. Move over Hello Kitty, you skanky cat!



Lush Snow Fairy shower gel

Mmmm sweeties! I hate dragging myself out of bed into the cold bathroom in the mornings but this makes it a little easier. If you like the smell of sweets, candy floss and vanilla then this is for you. It reminds me of when I was little and I love the way the scent lingers over the entire house long after I've stepped out of the bathroom. It's almost good enough to eat. It's limited edition though so grab a bottle (or two) quickly if you want to indulge yourself throughout 2010 until it's re-released again in time for Christmas. It doesn't dry my skin out so gets a big thumbs up from me.


Korres Pomegranate Cleansing Mask

Another lovely product from Korres, who have really made me sit up and take notice of their products lately. This mask is geared towards oily/combo skin and really works well for me. It's a clay mask that doesn't tighten after being left on for 10 minutes and leaves my skin feeling silky soft - possibly because it's creamier than your typical clay mask. Pomegranate is widely known for it's antioxidant properties, therefore it's anti-ageing, tightens pores and is blah, blah, blah amazing! My face isn't a shining beacon by 1pm like it usually is and I think it's down to this mask. Korres is definitely here to stay in my skincare regime!

Which products have made your toes curl this past month?












All I want for Christmas ....

Saturday, December 05, 2009


OPI for Dell Inspiron 1750 in Louvre Me Louvre Me Not
Denman medium Head Huggerbrush


Dior J'adore EDP



Michael Kors Ceramic Glitzy Watch
Bvlgari II EDP


Topshop RITZ Cross Over Mesh Sandal



There really isn't much that I'd like for Christmas at all (except a winning lottery ticket), but the shoes were purchased 5 minutes ago as they've been reduced, so Merry Christmas to meeeeeeee!

What would you reaaaally like for Christmas?





 

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