The Nail Files: Nubar Reclaim

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An impromptu dinner date with The Beauty Slice, British Beauty Blogger and the ladies behind The London Beauty Review, a couple of weeks ago, led me to discover this diamond, Nubar Reclaim, which Gemma (one half of LBR) was sporting on her talons.

I'm a big fan of Nubar polishes, with the exception of one shade I've tried, I've found application a breeze and love the huge range of colours to choose from.

Nubar Reclaim is part of the Going Green collection, an ode to Nubar's commitment to a clean environment and producing products which are free from  DBP (phthalate), formaldehyde and toluene, and are vegan and cruelty free.

Reclaim is a funky holographic green, two coats is all that's needed to give a perfect finish and it dries quickly too. It looks amazing in natural daylight and will look lovely on all skin tones.


I've had it for two days now and have sealed it with Nubar's Diamont Topcoat. No chips - yet. To view it on a paler skin tone, look no further than the fair hand of Gemma of London Beauty Review.

You can pick it up for £6.80 from  Feelunique.com (who offer free worldwide delivery too).

Eva's an Angel!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I love Eva Mendes, she's one of the few women who truly captivate me with their beauty. I think she's breathtakingly gorgeous and that a few women in the public eye could learn a thing or two about remaining classy and grounded from her.

Mendes was recently revealed as the new celebrity face of Angel by Thierry Mugler, taking over from fellow actress Naomi Watts, and looked stunning as she took to the red carpet at a fragrance launch in New York last week held to welcome her aboard.


Images courtesy of Splash News
Eva pictured with the former face of Angel, Naomi Watts.

The new Angel ads that Eva features in,

Ironically as much as I love Eva, I'm not a fan of of the original Angel fragrance, although I did like the hair mist when I tried that many moons ago.

Do you think Eva's a good choice or would you have preferred to see somebody else become the new face of Angel?



The Nail Files: OPI Pamplona Purple

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shame on me! I've owned this for months, purchasing it one of my visits to see the OH and chucked it away with my other polishes, forgetting all about it.

A silly idea conjured up with a work colleague last week, to cram our desks with as many nail polishes as possible without drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves, resulted in this rich purple creme from the Espagna collection (Autumn 2009) being resurrected from the shadows.


I always thought it looked a bit 'blah' in the bottle, but two coats resemble a vivid aubergine purple (a little less blue based than my photo depicts!). It's a lovely shade of purple which looks gorgeous in daylight, which may explain why I was less than impressed with how it looked indoors! I've abused my hands a lot over the past two days, and its bore the brunt of my carelessness pretty well, resulting in minimal tip wear.

This baby is definitely gonna be rocked repeatedly throughout the colder months. Love it!

Eyeko Liptastik Glossy Lip Pens

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To date, I haven't really been taken with Eyeko cosmetics. With the exception of their nail polishes, which I've not experienced any problems with, I haven't tried any other cosmetic products as they don't appear to particularly compliment deeper skin tones.

I was sent a couple of their Liptastik Glossy Lip Pens to try and I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. Liptastik Glossy Lip Pens act as a liner, lipstick and gloss in one, giving lips either a hint of colour or full on coverage. It's really easy to control how much colour apply to your lips using the swivel tube and they're really moisturising - so no need to prep lips with lashings of lip balm beforehand.


My only gripe, and it's a small one, is that I wish could swivel the tube of colour down further so that they don't accidentally catch on the plastic tops once I've finished using them.

They come in three shades:
 Loudmouth (Hot Pink)
Lip Lover (Bright Red)
Hot Lips (Fuschia) - not swatched

A nifty product which eliminates the hassle of carrying both lipstick and lipgloss around. I really wish they came in other shades though, I'd love a nude, coral and purple Liptastick pen!
 
How much are they? £6.50
Where can I buy them? Eyeko online



*PR samples

Unum Beauty Blogger Challenge - Conclusion

Monday, June 27, 2011

I completed the last day of the challenge yesterday and surprisingly still has money left in my wallet. A shift of plans, meant that I didn't go out after all, therefore I had no reason to spend any money.


A grand sum of  £14.99 remains and with that I could have bought a cheap high st cleanser and moisturiser or focused on make up and made the money stretch to a mascara, blush and lipstick/lipgloss. Either way, the limited amount would not have given me the freedom to purchase the brands that I'd usually bring home.

A couple of points were raised in my last post which I'll address. The £95 payment your employer would pay in the event of sickness would not be expected to cover any rent/mortgage payments - that's just not feasible. You would need to apply for housing benefits from your local authority, which can be a lengthy process depending on your situation. As for medical prescription costs, if you're not working, then you wouldn't be expected to pay for prescriptions here in the UK.

I'm thankful that I'm in full time employment, as the thought of being unable to work and still having to cover my current outgoings on £95 a week, doesn't bear thinking about. When I started this challenge, my aim was not to change my day to day routine and I tried to do as much as I usually would had a financial restriction NOT been in place - which in turn has proved just how difficult it would be to maintain the same social habits or miscellaneous spending that I currently indulge in.

It's been an interesting week to say the least. I've been forced to re-evaluate my spending habits for a while now (with marriage comes responsibility!), so this challenge has further reinforced my belief that it pays to have something stashed away for a rainy day.

For more information on Income Protection check out www.unum.co.uk/askunum



**Produced for Vex in the City by Yinka to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Vex in the City.



Sleek Caribbean Collection + Swatches

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Another one?!" I hear you cry. Yep! Sleek MakeUp are really spoiling their fans with releases this summer. With weather to match in the UK at the moment, the limited edition Caribbean collection couldn't be launching at a better time.

12 tropical inspired shades, packed full of juicy colour. This palette isn't for shrinking violets! The eye shadows remind me of the colour scheme found in the limited edition Circus palette, which was released last spring, so if you missed that, here's your chance to bag some affordable brights!



Sleek have had some fun naming these eye shadows which are named after some well-loved cocktails. My favourites from this palette are all shimmer finishes - Tequila Sunrise, a super intense burnt orange, Green Iguana (a close dupe for MAC Shimmermoss) and Green Martini, a sexy moss green. I must say that the pigment in the shimmer shades, in particular, is very impressive.

Also in the collection is a super bright orange matte blush - Aruba (RRP £4.29), and a matching tangerine pout polish by the name of Bonaire (RRP £4.29). If you're not too sure about rocking orange, then check out the hot pink equivalents which are currently available in the Meditteranean collection (again, limited edition).


The pout polish isn't too bad actually. I'd wear it with lashings of mascara, a highligher (perhaps MAC So Ceylon MSF) and bronzer for a sun-kissed look. Aruba blush can pass for a cheaper version of NARS's Taj Mahal - minus the shimmer, but it will still give cheeks a warm glow, as my lighter swatch reveals.

The Caribbean collection lands on shelves on 6th July. Available in Superdrug stores and online at www.sleekmakeup.com


*PR samples

Beyonce. Glastonbury 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011


... the reason why I'm still shocking out, and doing spontaneous random dance moves, despite having a migraine!

Palmers Release Daily Facial Skincare Range

Monday, June 27, 2011

Palmers, best known for their iconic cocoa butter products, have ventured into facial skincare and released a range of products designed to help achieve a more even, radiant and fresher looking skin.

By combining the highest quality cocoa butter with key soothing botanical extracts such as aloe vera and evening primrose, together with its anti-aging retinol and peptides, the skincare line which is aimed at all skin types, including sensitive skin, aims to tackle the first signs of lines and wrinkles.

The range includes:

Daily Cleansing Gel £3.95/ 150ml
Daily Calming Facial Lotion £5.95/ 100ml
Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub £5.95/ 150g
Night Renewal Cream £6.95/ 75g
Line Smoothing Eye Cream £6.95/ 15g


The range is easy on the pocket with prices between £3.95- £6.95. It's out now and available from Superdrug.

I'll be reviewing individual items over the upcoming weeks, so do check back to see how I got along with the line.If there's a particular item you're curious about, let me know in the comments and I'll start using the one with the most votes first.



 *PR samples

I Hope You Remembered ...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

...to collect your second token in today's Fabulous magazine, found in tabloid newspaper, The News of the World to claim two free Nails Inc polishes - Atomic Orange and OMG! (Oh My Pink!)



 All you need to do is collect three out of four tokens (the first one was printed last week).
 
What's that? You forgot? Ooh better get yourself down to a petrol station or ask your newsagent nicely if they have any spare out the back - or just collect next week's as normal if you collected last weeks token.

Sleek MakeUp Oh So Special Palette + Swatches

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another day, another Sleek palette! (I'm sure I've used this line on more than one occasion).

Hot on the heels of the Monaco eye shadow palette which was released three weeks ago, Sleek MakeUp have launched the Oh So Special palette.

Oh So Special is a step up from your average nude palette and combines peachy nudes with sophisticated browns and purples for a classy alternative to your eye make up. Perfect for day time, this palette with allow you to create sultry eyes for night too.


I can wear most of the twelve shades comfortably. I really like Celebrate, a deep metallic blackened purple, Glitz, a gunmetal grey with the teeniest hint of blue and matte browns Boxed and Wrap Up. I'm not so keen on the peachy tones, but purely because they aren't colours that I tend to wear on my eyes. I'd wear Gateau though, which is a duochrome pinky gold.


I think this palette will sell pretty well. It's fresh, feminine, yet still enables you to create a variety of looks.  Priced £6.49, it's already out in Superdrug.

By the way, I read on Sleek MakeUp's Twitter timeline that another nude palette is due out in August. Great news for neutral e/s lovers!

What are your thoughts on the latest Sleek Palette?


*PR sample

Loving it! Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Well it's finally out - Illamasqua's new foundation, Skin Base. I've used it for two days and love it so much that I've already bought a full size bottle - huge thanks to Sheenie, one half of Just Nice Things for picking it up for me today!

I was given sample shades in no 15, 16, 17 and 18 and quickly realised that 15 was the best match for my skin tone (although I'm thinking I could maybe mix it with a teeny bit of shade 16 if I tanned quite heavily). For reference, I usually use NC50 in MAC and no 6.5 in Bobbi Brown foundations.


 Skin Base is available in 18 shades, so whether you're very pale or very dark skinned, you shouldn't have a problem finding a shade for you.  Check out the volunteer in my video that David Horne, Illamasqua's Creative Director made over at the Black Beauty Masterclass back in October - she's wearing Skin base!



When I saw the foundation a few months ago, it was being promoted as a force to be reckoned in comparison to other HD foundations. It now transpires to have also been inspired by cult Asian market Beauty Balm Creams (also known as Blemish Balms, which offer all in one protection and act as a moisturiser, concealer, foundation - thanks to Cosmetic Candy for that breakdown! ) Whatever the inspiration for this new formula by Illamasqua, I don't care - all I know is that I friggin' love it!

It glides onto my skin so effortlessly, leaves no cakiness and most impressively - for me, stays on all day. In all my foundation wearing years (I started slapping on the good stuff when I was 17), I have never had a foundation that hasn't slid off my face by 3pm. When I wore it on on Friday, I went to the bathroom (Arrrgh! American lingo is slowly taking over my soul!) at work at around 4pm and was amazed to see that the coverage had held up. AMAZED, I tell you!! I walked with a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

I only need a small amount to cover my face in its entirety and coverage is easily medium to full, yet doesn't feel heavy on my skin. I checked my face again when I got home from work and it still looked fresh having survived a journey home on the Northern Line!



If you're itching to try this for yourself for the next fortnight, Illamasqua will be on hand to give shade advice via e-mail, so be sure to take advantage of this if you'd like to try it but are unsure of which shade to go for - especially if you don't live anywhere near an Illamasqua counter. Shoot and email off to skinbase@illamasqua.com with a description of your skin tone and the foundation shade you currently wear and they'll do their best to match you to the best shade of Skin Base. 

Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation is now available at their flagship store on Beak Street, Soho and on counters in Selfridges, priced at £25 for 30ml.

Unum Beauty Blogger Challenge ..Part Two

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Since Monday I've been taking part in a challenge set by income protection provider, Unum, the UK's leading provider of income protection, to live on £95 - the payment your employer will pay each week for the first six months of sick leave, should you fall ill.

If you're gonna stay at home all day, not see your friends or indulge in any social activities, then living on £95 a week, may well be a piece of cake. Since I don't..I soon discovered that it wasn't that easy.

Before taking on this challenge, I was living life as normal, so be under no illusion that my cupboards were bare at home or I lacked basic home comforts. I was already in possession of a monthly travelcard, so what I did was automatically deduct the cost of a one week travelcard, which for my daily journey currently comes in at a cost of £32.30, leaving me £62.80 to leave AND purchase a beauty routine on, in seven days. Hmm ..

Monday: The week started off okay and I all I spent was £2.19 on a sandwich and 75p on an almond croissant. I have a bottle of Robinson's juice on my desk at work, so there was no need to buy a drink. Total spend: £2.94

Tuesday: By the time I got to work, I totally forgot I was trying to keep my outgoings down and ended up in Sainsbury's for another almond croissant. They're currently on 3 for 2, so it kinda made sense to embrace the discount this time and I bought an extra one for a colleague. I also picked up Look magazine (£1 this week) and in the evening unexpectedly ended up in Nando's. Total spend: £16.40

...and it tasted damn good too! (Nando's always does when I'm hungry. I'm well aware it's overpriced chicken n chips!)

I needed to get my fashion/sleb goss fix!

Wednesday: I bought a memory card for my new camera at a cost and it was also a colleagues last day today, so I gave a few pounds towards their leaving present and bought some goodies for their leaving "tea party" at work, Total spend: £21.97

Thursday: Couldn't be assed to cook any dinner, so went to the local chippie and indulged in chips and a battered sausage instead! I also paid for a £1.50 phone charger off Ebay which I forgot I had purchased! Total spend £3.50

Friday: Hmmm I found myself in Nando''s (again) today for a colleagues farewell lunch (Yes, the second colleague in a week, from my team leaving the company!). However, this time I made use of the fact that I had enough stamps for a free whole chicken, so shared that with a colleague and persuaded her to get us sides of chips! Due to an ongoing work discount, we get free bottomless drinks in this particular brand of Nandos, saving me a further £2.85. Get in - free lunch! Again, I also gave some money towards their leaving present. Total spend: £3.00

Saturday: I'm currently sat at home chilling, trying to get on top of my blogging, catching up on my fave reality TV shows (Basketball Wives fans - holla!) and yapping on the phone in-between. I haven't spent any money today ...although there's still time to order a late night pizza, but I'm resisting so far. Total spend: Nil

I have a day left ..and £14.99 to fund a beauty regime. Erm..that's the cost of a blush for me! Wish me luck.


**Produced for Vex in the City by Yinka to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Vex in the City.

Review: Spa Illuminata, Mayfair

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My skin's been through the wars lately, so when I was offered a chance to get some TLC at the luxurious Spa Illuminata day spa in Mayfair, I didn't need to be asked twice.

I opted for an Aroma Export Nourish facial, which promised to rejuvenate, hydrate and plump my skin and I couldn't wait to be pampered for the next 1hr and 15 minutes. Spa Illuminata lies in the heart of trendy Mayfair and offers a range of relaxing facials using Decleor products. It also stocks the full range of Decleor products which are available for purchase too.


Upon my arrival, I was offered a drink (I opted for a glass of water) and promptly handed a quick questionnaire to complete which covered my skin concerns and what I wished to achieve from the treatment. One of the first things you notice about Spa Illuminata when you're taken off the main floor to the treatment rooms, is the decor which mirrors a Greek/Roman style spa. Marble walls, floors and tall concrete pillars are in abundance and add to the regal atmosphere.

My therapist, Grace, came to collect me bang on time (7pm) and led me into a softly lit treatment room, which was decked in variants of cream and beige. I was instructed to undress (leaving on my undies) and lie under the cool white sheet which was laid on the treatment table.

She soon returned and eased me into a relaxing, yet firm back massage using Decleor's Baume Relax balm which couldn't have come at a a better time, after a strenuous day at the office, hunched over my desk. It felt wonderful and was administered for at least 15 minutes. Bliss...

Next, she removed my make up and cleansed with Aroma Cleanse Cleansing Milk, followed by the Tonifying Lotion, which contains the Essential Waters of Orange and Lime Blossom.

My skin was then exfoliated with Purete Exfoliante which can be used daily and is formulated for all skin types. It didn't feel 'scratchy', which is good, as the texture is the first thing (alongside price) that I look at when shopping for an exfoliant.

I correctly guessed that a mask was going to be placed on my face at some point and the Aroma White C+ Intense Brightening Mask, from Decleor's new skin brightening range Aroma White C+ was the chosen product. A concentrated fabric mask, packed full of hydrating agents, as well as extracts of licorice, peony and vitamin C, the mask aims to even out the complexion, and help reduce the signs of pigment spots whilst preventing the appearance of new ones.

The fabric mask was placed over my face and left for ten minutes before being gently peeled off. I couldn't believe the difference in texture. My skin felt amazing. Grace then applied Vitaroma eye cream and finished off Aroma Night Neroli Balm which kept my skin feeling supple and super soft until the following morning! I loved this mask and was disappointed to hear trhat iot was exclusive to salons only. Not to be deterred, I searched high and low over the internet and found that it's available exclusively on the Decleor site - priced at £40 for five sachets. Hmmm... I'm waiting until I have another 'What the hell' moment, (or lottery win, whichever comes first) until that purchase is made.

What I really liked about this treatment is that I was made to feel so relaxed (I fell asleep as I was having my face massaged, and woke myself up with my snoring - twice!) and my therapist was full of knowledge answering my questions and also probing me for information about the products I used in order to get a better idea of my skin type. We all know when we're being fobbed with sub-standard textbook answers (I've been subjected to more than enough in my beauty-loving lifetime) but Grace was so personable, she really enhanced the treatment experience.

The facial left my skin feeling as soft as butter and was all I had hoped it would be - and I should think so too, given the price of it. To experience this facial, it'll set you back £110 - a drop in the ocean for Spa Illuminata's celebrity client list and loyal well heeled customers. For the average consumer, this will no doubt be a very special treat!

If you're looking for a soothing, tranquil pampering facial experience - complete with a thorough, relaxing back massage thrown in for good measure, then you can do far worse than check out Spa Illuminata.


http://www.spailluminata.com/ - check out the tour of the salon, facials and other body treatments on offer.


*I was a guest of Spa Illuminata.

P&G Summer Spa Update

Friday, June 24, 2011

Remember this post? Well the P&G Summer Spa event took place on Thursday 2nd June and was an outstanding success. Sorry for the delay, but I finally have the footage to share with you, showing how it went. Dozens of you voted for beauty questions to be answered via online polls and a couple of you even left your own questions on my blog, in the hope of them being answered.

The most popular question which was polled, was how to achieve the perfect bikini line using a razor. Nichola Joss from Gillette Venus and Braun answers this below...

loadUserVideoExternal('video6939',640,360,'693920110616113739.flv','http://www.pgbeautysummerspa-live.com/uploads/media/24/7231.png?20110625111702','7231','pandg');

And here's Caroline Barnes, make up artist and spokesperson for Max Factor 


To check if your question was answered, all you have to do is register, by clicking the link below, to view the clips from the P&G ambassadors. 

http://www.pgbeautysummerspa-live.com/register 

A list of 15 wildcard winners have been selected and I'll be in touch over the next week if you're a winner.


*This is a sponsored post courtesy of Handpicked Media


Review: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I treated myself to a new mascara a few weeks ago. I haven't bought a high end mascara in over a year, not since my YSL Faux Cils purchase dried up in a matter of weeks and left me extremely annoyed!

I'd heard a few things about Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill and had a 'what the hell' moment, caved in and bought it home with me. Harvey Nichols were giving 15% off all beauty hall purchases at the time, which softened the blow at the till as I paid, but I was aware of the gamble I was taking, having not tried a tester in the past.

The packaging as I had expected is understated and sleek, much like Armani's designer wares, and resembles a gunmetal grey steel tube with 'Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill' embossed in large letters.


The brush (as you can see) is nothing special, but it works. The formula is quite dry, so none of that wet, tacky mess you find in other formulas when you pull the wand out of the tube (L'Oreal Voluminous I'm talking to you!). My lashes are separated and lengthened really well with minimal clumping. I've used this at least 15 times and I've only had one clumping incident, which was so slight it was barely noticeable. My only gripe is that it does smudge towards the end of the day, especially in humid conditions, which I don't appreciate given the price I paid for it. Actually this annoys me a lot. A waterproof version is available (I think - I may have just made that up actually), in hindsight I wish I'd bought that instead.


Overall it's a nice mascara, ideal for day time but it doesn't give me enough nearly enough volume as I'd like for an evening look (Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme gets full marks for that). I also think his will look even better on longer lashes. I'm using RapidLash again at the moment, so I'm hoping to have luscious lashes again by mid August if I continue to use it daily.

All in all I'd give it 7/10 - marks knocked off for lack of volume and smudging.

How much is it? £23.50
Where can I buy it? Giorgio Armani online, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges


Two Weeks Later: Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So I've been using the new Idealist Even Skintone Iluminator from Estee Lauder for the past fortnight. It promises to lighten dark spots and even skin tone and relies heavily on research which has 84% of testers claiming to see an improvement in even skin tone after just two weeks.

As promised, I've used this morning and night religiously for two weeks, paying particular attention to my forehead which displays dark spots left after an allergic reaction. I've been using it in the morning under my moisturiser and again in the evening after moisturising. It absorbs easily and leaves the slightest hint of a glow, but this is difficult to see by the time it has fully absorbed unless your skin is flawless (and if it were, you wouldn't be using this product anyway) and you're wearing no make up! Overall my skin texture is smooth and feels soft, but I could put that down to other skincare products I'm using or the fact that I had a facial a week ago.


I made sure to take photos before and after of the area I was hoping to see an improvement which can be viewed below:

My forehead - before and after.

The difference to the dark spots on my forehead are so slight, that they're barely noticeable. The most significant change has been the texture of my skin - my forehead feels like silk at the moment, with not one abrasion causing obstruction, however the same can't be said for my lower right cheek and jaw, which feels a little rough at the moment having flared up over the past couple of days. Overall my skin feels great though.

I'm not getting my hopes up though to be honest, but I will continue to use it for a further two weeks. If after a month I haven't seen a marked difference, then I'll be passing this onto my Mum who was eyeballing it the second it arrived in the post, and moving onto another product in the hope of combating my problem.

Given the price and promising research statistics, I was expecting greater results than this.

Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator can be found at Estee Lauder counters and is available is two sizes: 30ml (£46) and 50ml (£62) and is suitable for all skin types and tones.


*PR sample

Unum Beauty Blogger Challenge

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've always been a spender, not a saver and it's only been recently that I've re-evaluated my spending habits and have cut down on frivolous treats. Saying that though, as a beauty blogger I'm always keeping my eye on the beauty counters and displays and am tempted to throw cash down at the latest lipstick or mascara, all in the name of research!

The majority of us believe that the State would support us if we were unable to work due to illness or injury. But the reality is that the State benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which kicks in six months after sick leave begins, only pays around £5,000 a year (around £95 a week) for most people. (During the first six months of sick leave, your employer must pay you Statutory Sick Pay of around £85 a week).


This is 80% less than average UK earnings of £26,500 per year, meaning a huge drop in income for the majority of UK workers, if they had to go on long-term sick leave
Whilst many think this will never happen to us, in reality over 1 million UK workers of all ages get ill or injured each year, with 350,000 of them becoming long-term cases.

Who is Unum?

Unum is the UK’s leading provider of Income Protection – For more information, click here Unum
Income Protection is an insurance which pays up to 80% of your salary if you become unable to work due to illness or injury. This usually starts after six months of absence, and continues to pay out until you return to work or retire
Unum is undertaking an awareness raising campaign to educate the public on the protection gap, and to highlight the need for a back up plan

So! What’s the challenge?

Unum would like to see if I can maintain my quality of life on £95 for an entire week. This will cover food, transport and also require me to put together a basic beauty regime. I'm always up for a challenge, but I graduated from the school of 'Buy Now, Think Later' so whether or not I'll be able to do this or will end up with 10p by Thursday remains to seen! Keep an eye out for my update posts!

For more info:  www.unum.co.uk/askunum


**Produced for Vex in the City by Yinka to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Vex in the City.

Free Nails Inc Polishes - in Today's New of the World

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Make sure you pop out and grab a copy of the News of the World today, for they are giving away two limited edition Nails Inc polishes.

Starting today cut out and keep three differently numbered tokens over the next four weeks starting this Sunday from inside your NOTW’s Fabulous Magazine to get your mitts on this vibrant duo from Nails Inc.

Atomic and OMP! (Oh My Pink!) are perfect for summer (when it eventually decides to reveal itself, here in England!!)



Once you’ve collected your three tokens, simply take them along to any participating Tesco Extra or Tesco supermarket to claim your freebie nail polish duo any time between July 3-11.


Kate Moss Creates Make Up Line For Rimmel

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not happy with being one of the faces of Rimmel for the past decade, supermodel Kate Moss has now designed her own range of make up for the cosmetics brand. Moss was recently papped filming the ad for the tenth anniversary celebratory collection back in her home town of Croydon, South London.


The collection comprises of six lipsticks which embody Kate's signature on the back , and eye shadows in Union Jack casing. A sequinned leopard print lipstick pouch will also feature as a free gift with purchase.

Image courtesy of Sassybella

I've noticed some media outlets are predicting a stampede reminiscent of the crowds that queued outside Topshop for her debut clothing line. Somehow I can't quite envisage the same hysteria being mirrored outside Superdrug for a £4 lipstick!!

The collection will be in stores from October.

Will you be racing to pick one of these up? Personally this news doesn't stimulate any form of excitement from me whatsoever, but then I'm not the biggest fan of Kate Moss.


Scrubbing Up Well? Body Scrub Road Test

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Like many I love to pamper myself, but before I immerse myself in bath soaks and oils or indulge in a long hot shower, I like to buff my skin to perfection using a body scrub of choice. I'm all for keeping rough skin at bay and I'm always keen to try a product which promises super-silky skin.

I've had a number of scrubs on rotation lately and thought I'd share my views on a few of them.

 Click to enlarge

1. Dr Organic Organic Virgin Oil Body Scrub (200ml) £8.18 - A friend of mine is a big fan of the Dr Organic range, so when I spotted this in Holland and Barrett, I thought I'd give it a whirl. This scrub contains fruit oil to hydrate the skin and volcanic lava to exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. Paraben and perfume free, this scrub does a good job of smoothing skin. I don't notice a heavy scent when using it and like the way it gently lathers in the shower. Overall it's a very good buy.

2. Palmer's Cocoa Body Scrub (200g) £4.99* - In a word - fantastic. This really surprised me as I expected it to feel quite artificial and coarse, but in fact it was rich, creamy and left my skin feeling silky smooth once it had been rinsed off. The blend of pure cocoa butter, shea butter and vitamin e did wonders for my skin and it still feels great 5 days later. I'll definitely be repurchasing this.

3. Champneys Spa Treatments Watermint Body Scrub (200ml) £6.00* - I find the watermint scent too overpowering and similar to that of toothpaste, which is a turn off. The jojoba beads also felt quite coarse and scratchy on my skin too. Finally, I find this to be a little watery in comparison to the other scrub textures.

4. Soap & Glory Flake Away (300g) £6.64 - An old favourite of mine, I've repurchased this on numerous occasions. Peach seed, sweet almond oil, shea butter and sugar make up this yummy smelling scrub which leaves my skin feeling super-soft. It leaves a thin film of oil on the skin after rinsing, which boots its moisturising properties. Just be careful not to cause yourself an injury when climbing out of the bath or shower!!

 Click to enlarge
 
To enhance my scrubbing experience, I do like to use exfoliating gloves sometimes when I use body scrubs. I recently replaced my pair from Superdrug (which I've had for about three months) with a cute polka dotted pair from Wilkinson (99p) *


What are your favourite body scrubs?



*** Products with an * are PR samples which were sent for review consideration.

Another Nails Inc Freebie - Courtesy of Dove Beauty Finish Deodorant

Monday, June 13, 2011

To celebrate the launch of new Dove Beauty Finish Deodarant, Dove have teamed up with Nails Inc to give away two new LE polishes, free with the purchase of any two Dove deodorants purchased at selected Boots stores, while stocks last.


Take your pick from Havana - a creamy pale pastel pink


Or Copacabana -  a bright tropical coral


New Dove Beauty Finish deodorant includes effective protection and ¼ moisturising cream, as well as pearlescent beauty minerals which claim to enhance the natural look and feel of skin.


Choose from the following:

Roll-On (50ml) £2.24
Aerosal (250ml) £3.44 or (150ml) £3.20

The Dove ‘Beauty Collection’ is available in Boots stores nationwide between 15th June and 12th July 2011.

Give that their polishes sell for £11 a pop, Nails Inc never cease to amaze me with how much product they give away for free!
 

Recent Beauty Buys

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, high st fave Boots were offering 10 advantage card points per £1 spent - not one to turn my nose up at an opportunity to increase my points balance, I treated myself to a few items. Not that I need any more nail polishes you see, but I had a look at the Sally Hensen Complete Salon Manicure polishes which have finally made their way across the pond.

I'd previously seen shades Gray by Gray (350) and Commander in Chic (370) on a couple of UK beauty blogs and didn't really want to buy the same shades, but after Googling swatches for the best part of two hours, they turned out to be the only ones which stood out!


Gray by Gray is a blue-y grey creme polish - which is a lil' darker in reality than my swatch depicts (check  out a better swatch of it over on Mizzworthy. I wore it last week and wasn't impressed over by its staying power, but then I didn't have a base coat or top coat on, so I'm willing to oversee the fact that it had chipped considerably by day three of wear. It's quite a unique shade, one which I haven't come across elsewhere so for that reason it's a good buy. However, I feel as if I've seen Commander in Chic in so many variations over the past 12 months. It's nice enough, a mid-tone taupe creme, but whatever, been there, done that. Both apply really so easily, thanks to their flat, wide brush. I think all nail polishes should have this brush by law!

I had to buy 17 Fast Finish in Knockout Red after seeing it on LionLoving Tiger. I'm not really a wearer of red nail polish, but this is lovely! A gorgeous true pillar-box, classy red. You can get away with just one coat and it applied like a dream. I can't wait to wear this properly and here's hoping it doesn't chip all over the shop less than 24 hours later!

Since 17 was on 3 for 2, I also chose 17 Last Fix polish in Sweet Kisses, a cute sugary baby pink, with the slightest hint of lilac in it. It didn't apply that well on the one fingernail I swatched it on, it took three coats to reach opacity and even then I could still spot the slightest of streaks in the finish. This one will give me headache, I can see it now. Oh and before I forget I picked up a 17 Lasting Fix lipstick called Toffee Waffles. I forgot to photograph it, and I dunno where the hell I've put it now. I want to wear it tomorrow, so here's hoping it materialises!


Finally, I bought Nubar Diamont Fast Drying High Gloss Seal & Shine Topcoat, which supposedly wees all over Seche Vite. I'm not impressed with Seche Vite, I still suffer from chips while wearing it and loathe the way it goes all gloopy in the bottle after a few months. Here's hoping Nubar Diamont comes up. It was recommended highly to me by both Helen of Just Nice Things and Luce from Get Lippie, so we'll see. It didn't cost the earth either, it was £5.60 from Feelunique (which offers free worldwide delivery).


Have you tried any of my recent buys?  What have you been buying lately (not that I need further encouragement to spend money).

Sleek Mediterranean Collection + Swatches

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The latest products from high street brand Sleek, landed in Superdrug branches on Tuesday. The Mediterranean Collection provides affordable, colourful additions to your summer make up. Inspired by the vivid colours of the Mediterranean, the limited edition palette features exotic brights complimented by a range of sea blues and greens.


You should know the score with Sleek palettes by now - 12 eye shadows, packed with pigment in sleek (no pun intended) compact plastic casing. The Monaco palette (£6.29 - yes, the price has gone up) is no exception as my swatches reveal:


I feel as if I've seen some of these shades before in previous palettes (perhaps in the Curious palette??), but I can see myself wearing a few of the shades - I'll probably get the most wear from Sand Walker, Midnight Garden and Aquamarine.With that said, the Sleek Storm palette is still my fave palette hands down!

Next up is the new Santorini blush (£4.29). A shockingly bright fuchsia, this cool toned pink may appear terrifying in the pan to some, but you can control the depth of colour, by using the slightest of pressure when applying it. Personally it's not one of my favourite Sleek products as I found its texture a little chalky. Deeper skin tones with have no problems carrying it off when applied with a light hand, and those with paler skin tones need to be even more careful unless your desired look is to emulate Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge!


Also included in this mini collection is Monte Carlo Pout Polish (£4.29)which is a tinted lip conditioning balm containing SPF15 and Jojoba, Avocado and Sweet Almond Oil, suited for all. This bright pink polish leaves a wash of colour on the lips - but for a stronger look, simply layer it on.

The Mediterranean Collection is available in Superdrug branches nationwide and online at www.sleekmakeup.com


*PR samples


Marc Jacobs Presents Oh, Lola! Lola's 'Lil Sister.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

After the success of Marc Jacobs Lola, it comes as no surprise that a sister fragrance has been created. Oh, Lola! comes in the same flamboyant bottle - but this time in pink.  The latest addition to the Marc Jacobs fragrance family is fresher, yet still shares similar vanilla and tonka bean notes featured in the original perfume complimented with pear, raspberry, frais de bois and peony top notes making it the a perfect candidate for a new girly scent.

Actress Dakota Fanning is Marc Jacobs new spokesmodel.

In case you didn't notice, Oh, Lola is a play on 'Oh La La' - clever eh?

Are you a fan of the original Lola fragrance? My bottle finished a long time ago and my Mum hijacked my second bottle! I distinctively remember Beauty Blogger land going a little crazy when it launched.

Will it emulate the success of Lola? Time will tell as it launches in August and will be priced from £37 for 30ml EDT.

When Zara met Kim.

Friday, June 10, 2011

When I was invited to the Kim Kardashian perfume launch, I knew I wouldn't be able to wrangle the time off work. However, not wanting to waste the opportunity, I called on the services of fellow beauty blogger Zara, writer of Mouldyfruit, who also happens to be a die-hard Kim Kardashian fan.


So dedicated was Zara, that she stepped straight off a plane on Wednesday morning after a hedonistic stay in Miami, hotfooted it home and then dashed back across the capital, looking as fresh as a daisy, ready to catch a glimpse of the ample-bottomed reality TV star whose family have taken America by storm.

Whether you're a fan or not, you can't deny that Kim looks fab!

Kim's first public appearance in London was to promote the launch of her debut fragrance, simply called Kim Kardashian (yeah I know, not the most original name - but it's cool, just concentrate on how fab her make up always looks to distract yourself instead!). Kim's appearance at the flagship branch of Debenhams on Wednesday afternoon caused mild hysteria on the streets of London, judging by images you can view here.


Time for me to pipe down now and hand over to Zara who shares her experience of Keeping Up with Kim Kardashian ...




vexk5

Hello lovelies it's Zara from Mouldyfruit and I'm taking over Vex in the City today to do a very exclusive and special guest post for my girl Yinka. A couple of weeks ago Yinka hit me up asking me if I wanted to attend a press event on her behalf and do a guest post about it. At the time I knew I'd be in Miami and would be returning on the day of the event so I was a little unsure,  but when she told me it was for Kim Kardashian's perfume press launch there was no way I could miss it! I HAD to be there!Kim Kardashian has always been such a style and beauty inspiration to me, everything about her just screams girly glamour! I was so excited to finally get to see the lady who is all over our TV screens and magazines and to smell her debut fragrance. So, there I was on Wednesday morning quite literally 'DASH-ing' (Geddit? DASH? As in her clothes store DASH? Hahaha ..anyway!) home from Miami to London and then straight back out to the Dorchester, situated on Park Lane

vexk4

A champagne reception was held in the hotel, in a small, intimate room upstairs. We browsed and soon came across the fragrance and homed in to have a sniff. I have to say being a huge Kim fan, it left me feeling a little disappointed. It's not what I had expected from her. I had almost envisioned the perfume to smell of an infusion of something sweet like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb combined with something super-sexy like Tom Ford's Black Orchid. Instead to me it smelt a little bit too floral and slightly dated, I don't see this fragrance being one I would wear simply because it's just not me. The fragrance notes include Orange Blouson, Pink Jasmine, Tuberose, Musk and Sandalwood. To me it smells very similar to a discontinued Space NK fragrance, which was either 'Tuberoli' or ''Champaca' ( I can't actually remember). In my opinion there was just nothing unique about the fragrance and I felt it didn't reflect Kim K in a way I had expected it to. 

vex8

vexk

After smelling the fragrance we waited eagerly for the lady herself to grace us with her presence. She took to the stage and looked as amazingly beautiful as you'd expect her to. Totally picture perfect, her hair was amazing, make up was immaculate, nails were nicely manicured and she looked impeccable  - Not a single flaw, almost like a Barbie doll. She wore a fitted pencil skirt, a black and white striped top, synched in at the waist by a black geisha style belt and she wore Christian Loubotuin 'Daffodil's' in lime green suede. It felt a little surreal as I was literally standing in front of her but she didn't even seem like she was real, I don't know if it was because of my lack of sleep or the jetlag, but I don't know her personality didn't shine as much as I'd hoped it to. She spoke for about one minute and that was it she was then escorted away. Check out my video below.


vexk2

vex9

vex11

vex12

She later came back and stayed for approximately 10-15 minutes taking photographs. It was over crowded and she just stood there striking the same pose over and over again, not saying anything. By this point I felt totally deflated - had I really rushed all the way from the airport to see this beautiful woman who I adore, just standing there barely saying a word. In all fairness I can imagine how intimidating it must be as the room was literally hounding her, but you'd expect her to be a little more accustomed to it by now. As I stepped up to take a picture with her I actually felt quite sad and so wanted to make conversation to try and catch a glimpse of that Kim we see on TV with that personality that we all love. So there I was trying to make conversation "Hi Kim it's so nice to meet you, I just flew in from Miami to be here today" ..and she pretty much ignored me and just smiled..UHMM!?! OK THEN! 

As I then walked away she gave me the generic "Nice to meet you". Yeah ...it was just great meeting you too.

vex13

vex10

Press reports later that day stated that Kim is facing accusations of cheating on her new fiance, basketball player Kris Humphries - it may explain the vacant, zombie like persona. Or maybe not.

It all felt a bit rushed and I couldn't help but leave feeling a little let down. The fragrance was nothing I had expected and that was the first disappointment and then the way Kim came across was another disappointment. I am a big Kimmy fan but maybe it's right what they say about you shouldn't meet your idols. I think she has become too much of a celebrity now and has definitely adopted that persona. I got the impression that people were too scared to get close to her when taking photos and acted hesitantly around her. At the end of the day she is just famous for being famous (well actually, we all know what catapulted her into the public eye to begin with. Ahem!) and her beauty has a huge role to play in that. I'm a little bit over it to be honest, will I continue to follow her blog for make up and style inspiration? - Probably! Will I look at her in the same way? - Probably not! 

vex6

vex7

If you want to try Kim Kardashian's perfume to see if it's for you, it's currently available at Debenhams and priced between £23-£40. 

Let me know what your thoughts are on the fragrance. Also what do you think about meeting your idols? 

Leave a comment below or tweet me @Mouldyfruit

Lots of Love




zara


 

© Vex in the City| Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: June 2011 All rights reserved
Design by Dolce Vanity Powered by Blogger