Estee Lauder Spring 2012 - Topaz

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Check out the upcoming spring collection from beauty giant Estee Lauder.

The inspiration behind their latest collection, again pioneered by creative Makeup Director, Tom Pecheux, is none other than the south western state of Arizona, which Tom sought to express through his latest offering.

Named Topaz, it includes wearable hues whilst exploring the depths of colour made visible in the Arizona desert - soft browns, caramel hues, turquoise complimented with a pinch of coral.

 "A vacation in Arizona has inspired me to create this collection, where I enjoyed the warm sun, the incredible colors of the desert and the shadows playing on the sand and rocks. I thought of an impressively healthy-looking woman whose personality has a strong fantasy element. I wanted to convey a range of strong, yet gentle colors all this. " - Tom Pecheux , Creative Makeup Director , Estée Lauder

The Arizona desert

The collection includes:

Pure Color Sensuous Rouge Lip Color:

Sultry Caramel
Sensuous Nude
Sublime Nectar

Pure Color Five Color EyeShadow Palette Topaz Mosaic

Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée Topaz Chameleon

Pure Color Gloss Citron Kiss

Pure Color Intense Kajal Eye Crayon:

Dramatic Black
Dramatic Teal

Sumptuous Extreme Mascara (not pictured)

Pure Color Nail Lacquer - Teal Topaz

I like the look of the nail polish, I like pretty teal shades. Also at first glance, the eyeshadow palette, reminded me of the Extravagant Gold palette in the 2010 Christmas collection. In reality I'm sure they'll be very different but the colour arrangement made me think I'd seen it somewhere before.

I predict the Illunminating Powder Gelee will sell out, it's bound too. I think it may be too cool for my skintone but we'll see. I still haven't got round to swatching and reviewing the original one which featured in the Modern Mercury collection (bad beauty blogger)!

What do you think of Topaz? Hit or miss?

Topaz will be available in February 2012.

Sales Swag: Sam Edelman Rowin Boots

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Another purchase made, this time from ASOS during the sales before Christmas. I think these will get their maiden voyage tomorrow. I'm loving the nod towardsVictorian fashion, whilst still looking modern. Supported by a hidden platform heel, these feel pretty comfy ..however we all know how misleading the 'Carpet Test' can be!

I'll report back soon on these babies...

Models Own to Open The Bottleshop

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Models Own have gone from strength to strength since laucnhing three years ago and now they're opening their first Bottleshop (obviously, shaped like a bottle - duh!) in Westfield London, Shepherds Bush in April 2012.

The Bottleshop will be located in prime position opposite Apple, Topshop and Zara and will be home to over 200 polishes, their full nail accessories line as well as store exclusives.

If parting with £10.50 for a nail polish is out of budget over at OPI's superstore Colourcopia in Westfield, this may well be a pocket friendly alternative.

Let the nail wars begin!

Coming Up: MAC Naturally and MAC Perfectly Finished

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I know quite a few people are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next MAC collection - MAC Naturally. The annual 'nude' collection from MAC won't disappoint those who favour an understated look for their daily face. MAC Naturally sees the return of MSF's Redhead and Blonde, which first featured in the Brunette, Blonde and Redhead collection, which debuted in January 2008 (my goodness, that seems so long ago!).

A Perfect Day - light neutral pink (a)
Beach Sand - light tan (c)
Sweet Sunrise - light neautral peach pink (l)
Pillow talk

The wee coquette
Fresh air - light pink
Naked space
Hot spell - bronze w/multi coloured pearl pigments

Mineralized Eyeshadows:
Daylight - peach w/ midtone blue lavender veining
In The Sun - gold w/ violet veining
Summer Haze - palest gold w/ deeper gold veining
Cloudy Afternoon - cream w/ gold, grey and pink veining
Twilight Falls - cool brown with bronze veining

Eye Pencil:

Zoomfast black lash


Mineralized Blush:
Subtle Breeze -blue pink
Fresh Honey - warm apricot
Early Morning - peachy pink

187 brush
286-duo fibre tapered brush (perm)

Personally I'm gonna skip the MSFs as I have quite enough already, but I guarantee they'll be the first to sell out, so don't get caught slipping if you do want to treat yourself to one (or both) of them.

I'll definitely take a closer look at mineralize blushes Fresh Honey and Early Morning, I know that much! Maybe one of the eye shadows too and lipsticks too, we'll see...

Also, the popular MAC Mineralize loose foundation is getting  new packaging, and a new Mineralize Concealer is being introduced in a second collection - Perfectly Finished.. Apply this base with the MAC 188 Duo Fibre Brush and you're good to go.

Check out these swatches I found on the interweb for you to look of MAC Naturally which is already available to buy across the pond.

I hear MAC Naturally and MAC Perfectly Finsihed will be available in the UK on 2 Feb 2012 ..don't quote me on that though, I'm not as hot on MAC release dates as I used to be!

Will you be parting with your pennies for anything in either collection?

The Nail Files: Cold as Ice - China Glaze Sea Spray + Sephora by OPI Flurry Up!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I like glittery nail polish, I think it makes nails look girly and pretty, but I  hate the tedious task of taking it off. Sitting with my nails covered in polish soaked cotton wool and tinfoil in an attempt to remove it, makes me itch. I feel as if my fingers have been cut off!!

Anyway, I thought I'd rock China Glaze and layer Sephora by OPI's Flurry Up!, over the top as my latest talon experiment. You know how much I love my flaky top coats, so naturally I also picked one up in silver (which I forgot to include in my recent nail polish haulage post) as well as bronze.

Sea Spray is a very cool pale blue with fine silver/blue shimmer immersed in it. It took three coats for me to reach opacity (to my liking). It's not a colour I'd typically wear, but  it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would.

Flurry Up! (love the name), is quite simply the silver equivalent of Only Gold For Me.

I was unsure about this when I first created this look, but last night when I was out it looked quite cool each time it caught the light. I haven't decided if I'll wear this to work tomorrow ..probably not, as I'm into changing my polish every couple of days at the moment. Helen from Just Nice Things, will be so proud of my enthusiasm right now...

Hmmm what should I wear next?

Sales Swag: Sam Edelman Kellan Wedges

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My name's Yinka and I love shoes.

I told you I got a bit happy during the sales, I don't think you believed me. Summer is nowhere to be seen - yet, but when that yellow circle in the sky does make a reappearance, these babies will be getting their premiere outing.

I adore the leather weave detail on these wedges, the lace up fronts and the 70s vibe they give off. I'm also semi-confident I won't be running into a million girls wearing these, this spring and summer either!

I love wedges, easy to walk in, and easy to dress up or down. I stumbled upon these by accident, and what a happy accident they were. I almost bought them for much more on but bagged the best bargain ever and snapped these up for just £40! YES £40! They were originally on sale for £60 down from £200 or something silly like that, over on, but I received a call informing me they'd been damaged  but that I could have them for an additional £20 off and still return them if I didn't like them once they arrived.

That sounded like a fair deal, but luckily 'damage' was so minute that I spent a good five minutes searching for the problem and let out a dismissive "Oh! is that it?!" once I came across the teeny weave detail which had snapped at the back of one of them. You can't even notice it!

I've decided to have them dyed a little darker though so that that they reflect the shade they are in the promo image. They currently blend into my legs a bit when I tried them on. I recall my Mum used to dye her shoes on a regular basis when I was little, so I'll pick her brains when I get round to buying the dye, etc The sizing is generous on these. I don't think I've ever bought a pair of shoes which feel roomy in my life!

I'm so pleased with these, I rub my hands in glee every time I open their box!

Big Apple Beauty Buys - Nails

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Each time I'm in New York, I take the opportunity to update my nail polish stash. We're charged £10.50 per bottle for the privilege of owning an OPI polish in the UK, which I just can't bring myself to part with. I tend to place orders with Transdesign and Head2Toe Beauty who sell the likes of Essie, China Glaze, Misa, Orly, Barielle and a host of other polish brands really cheap, as well as picking up random polishes in the drugstores over there (CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, etc).

Now that OPI has been pulled from unofficial online stockists, I have to get my fix from the limited shades on offer in drugstores which is a little frustrating as I can't get shades from old collections from yesteryear anymore. Still at $8 (plus tax, don't forget the tax!) a pop, I can't complain too much, I suppose.

Annoyingly, Richaud was distracting me as I was browsing, and I made a boo-boo with my order forgetting to include a few shades which were on my list and instead ordering a couple which I had meant to delete from my basket. Always the way ...never let a man talk to you as you're placing a beauty order! The lesson has been learnt - the hard way.

Here's what I bought home with me:

1. OPI - Lucky Lucky Lavender
2. Misa - Grey Matters
3. Orly - Je T'aime
4. Misa - Dirty Sexy Money (One of my fave polishes EVER! Can't believe I've never done a NOTD post with it)
5. China Glaze - Sea Spray

6. Orly Fancy - Fuschia
7. OPI for Sephora - Domestic Goddess
8. Orly - Frolic (which totally isn't the colour displayed in the photo!)

9. Orly Androgynie
10. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fst Dry Nail Color -  Bronze Ablaze
11. Sephora by OPI  - Traffic Sopper Copper
12, Sephora by OPI - Spark-tacular!
13. Barielle - Blackened Bleu

As if I don't have enough....

The polish drawer! 

Expect a plethora of NOTD posts as I have more than enough to get through!! Which polishes are you diggin' at the moment?

NEW! Sweet Treats From The Body Shop

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I have a love/hate relationship with The Body Shop. There are some products they make which I'll happily repurchase for the rest of my life. These being Coconut Body Butter (even though they tampered with the original formula), Hemp Hand Protector and Sweet Lemon Shower Gel - you can add Grapefruit Shower Gel to that list too actually. I love the special offers they often do on their website, which I think are really good value and I'll always pop into a sale of theirs to see what I can find. On the other hand, I think some of their products are very hit and miss.

I recently arrived home one evening to find this parcel from The Body Shop waiting for me. An unexpected arrival, I wondered what on earth it could be, but didn't get round to opening it until a couple of days later. When I did open it up, what I found inside was a preview of their upcoming new products - plus a cheeky Willy Wonka style note!

(Excuse the initial photo quality. I took a few of the pics with my phone as I was minus a working camera last week!)

My last experience with a chocolate scented moisturiser, was a major fail. I loathed it and it almost made me gag, so I wasn't best pleased to see another staring me in the face. Introducing Chocomania (£12.50), a choolate inspired body butter, As I unscrewed the lid, I prepared to be hit in the face by artificial smelling faux chocolate fumes....

The Vanity Project: ColoredBeautiful

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I wish I had more time to sit and watch You Tube beauty videos. I have dozens and dozens saved in my favourites, with every intention to watch later but only a handful are viewed during snatched moments of free rtime . It was sheer luck the day I stumbled upon Ebony aka ColoredBeautiful a few months ago, but I've made the time and put in the effort to watch every video she's uploaded since.

Charismatic, sassy, warm and extremely talented,  freelance make up artist Ebony creates make up looks with effortless precision and artistic flair. Despite being heavily pregnant and having a crazy schedule, she was kind enough to answer a few questions right before Christmas (my timing is spot on, huh?), which I've wanted to know ever since I discovered her amazing talent on You Tube.

1.   You have lovely skin, I'm jealous. Apart from great genes - which skincare products do you swear by and what do you do to maintain its healthy and supple condition?

Thanks! I keep my skincare routine rather simple. I find that a consistent regime of cleanse, tone, exfoliate (once or twice a week), and moisturise…gets the job done. Of course diet and water intake plays a huge part in skin care…but I'm guilty of not drinking enough water and my skin does suffer at times. Here are a list of the products I'm currently using:

Cleanser: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Wash – (love this)

Toner:  Thayers Original Witch Hazel w/ Aloe Vera

Exfoliator: Exfoliating Facial Sponges w/ Black Soap cleanser

Moisturizer: Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrait or a Shea Butter Mix

2.    What are your must have blush shades?

1.       Russet (La Femme)
2.       Taj Majal (Nars)
3.       Aruba ( Sleek)
4.       Sun Power MSF (MAC)
5.       Purple Passion (La Femme)
6.       Suede (La Femme)

3. You're well known for your wig videos on your You Tube channel. Which has been your favourite to wear so far?

I honestly don’t wear wigs that often in my everyday life. The wigs I have worn out would be:

·         Beshe Drew Wig
·         Mommy Wig (Janet Collection)
·         Beshe Shelly
·         Afro Curl Wig (It’s a Wig)

I have a few lace wigs that are really nice, but I’m so used to my natural hair that’s its taking me some time to wear them for an extended period of time. I will eventually.

The infamous Beshe Drew Wig video - It was this video which led me on a crazed manhunt around Manhattan to almost every beauty supply store on the Upper West Side! I found it - eventually!

4.    What tends to be your daily  face? 

·         Graftobian HD Foundation (Ginger)
·         Neutral Eye w/ a pop of color (eyeshadow colors vary from gold to subtle duochrome colors), with a      colored eyeliner.
·         Mascara on natural lashes
·         MAC Sun Power MSF on cheeks
·         Nude or Coral lip (shades and brands vary)

5.    As a make up artist, what tends to be the first thing you notice about other women's make up?

As a makeup artist, the first thing I notice about others’ makeup would be THE BROWS. If the brows are too strong…that takes all of the focus away from the face. I also notice incompatible lip colors. Lip colors that are too bright and not blended well.

Sales Swag: Topshop Android Boots

Friday, January 20, 2012

I still haven't braced the sales taking place instore and and I really have no intention of doing so either. I think I did pretty well bagging a number of bargains from the comfort of my sofa!

I've been looking for a pair of ankle boots to take me from day to night which wouln't cripple my feet and I liked the look of the Topshop Android boots, but didn't want to fork out a silly amount of moolah for them in the run up to Christmas.

When I spied the Topshop Android boots a few months ago, I really liked the look of them, but resisted paying full price, having a sneaky feeling they'd go in the Christmas sale - and I wasn't disappointed. Overall I wasn't impressed with Topshop's offerings in their sale but I'm very pleased with these and love the suede panel detail on them. Despite them being an eye-watering five inches, they're quite comfortable too. Result!

Did you manage to bag anything worthwhile in the Topshop sale or were you disappointed with it too?

The Nail Files: OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window

Friday, January 20, 2012

I love the names of OPI Polishes - the more random, the better and the name of the latest polish to grace my talons is no exception.

Pea soup anyone? Uh-oh Roll Down The Window is an opaque khaki green creme, which is the making of military green precision after three coats. It appies smoothly and topped off with a high shine topcoast isn't as murky and ugly as it looks in the bottle. In fact I think it makes for a pretty chic autumnal/wintery shade.

To spruce it up, I'll definitely layer OPI for Sephora Only Gold For Me over the top.Priced £10.50, It can be found in the OPI Touring America collection, which is still available to purchase on Lena White.

*PR sample

WIN a £350 Shopping Spree and Max Factor Make-up Courtesy of Tampax

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When Mother Nature brings your monthly gift, Tampax is here to help. Tampax is offering one lucky winner a fantastic £350 of Arcadia Vouchers, which can be spent across seven high-street shops including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins. You’ll also get a goody bag full of Max Factor make-up and a year’s supply of Tampax* so you can outsmart Mother Nature and feel great at any time of the month.

With extra touches to help make your period more pleasant Tampax® Pearl features a unique placement grip and Soft Touch™ applicator for an incredibly comfortable experience. With easy-to-open tabs Tampax® Pearl has a quiet, purse-resistant wrapper. As experts in monthly protection, Tampax want you to feel fresh and look your best every day.

Visit for further information.

For your chance to win just answer the following question: Who brings your ‘monthly gift’?

a) Sister Nature

b) Mother Nature

c) Auntie Nature

Please email your entry to and include your answer, name and contact details.

Terms and Conditions

1) The winner will receive £350 Arcadia Group vouchers, a selection of Max Factor products and a year’s supply of Tampax supplied in £50 vouchers. No cash alternative.

2) The competition can be entered by email

3) Competition closes Sunday 19th February 2012 at midnight (GMT).

4) The winner will be notified week commencing 20th February 2012

5) UK entrants only

*Sponsored post

Review: Titantic Spa

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Although I had time off work to unwind over Christmas and New Year, I still feel in dire need of more relaxation. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind and I've found myself feeling slightly more stressed out than usual at work. I'm starting a new role next month (hurrah!), but with it comes the tedious task of a handover and tying up loose ends before I move to my new department.

I do try and make the time to pamper myself, indulging in home facials time permitting and relaxing super soaks in the bath, but there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Back in October, I had the pleasure of spending an overnight stay at Titanic Spa. I hopped aboard an East Coast train with a few others and settled down for the 2 hour journey to the UK's first eco spa. Tucked away in rural Yorkshire and set within a converted textile mill, it houses treatments by Decleor, Carita, Elemis, Jessica and Pink Boutique.

Image courtesy of Beautywowza

The check in process was swift and we were served drinks on arrival, and handed our itineraries as our luggage was taken to our rooms. We were then taken to the spa restaurant, where we helped ourselves to the buffet lunch on offer. The food was healthy, but surprisingly tasty and filling and left us ready for a fun afternoon trying out the facilities available to us.

The Nail Files: OPI Warm & Fozzie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What other way to ease myself back into bloggng, than doing an obligatory NOTD (Nail of the Day) post. The only polish (other than Rainbow Connection) to grab my attention from the recent and hugely popular, OPI Muppets Collection was the metallic bronze copper Warm & Fozzie.

Warm & Fozzie is a high shine metallic, enriched with fine gold flecks. I'm pretty sure I can see a hint of pink in it too. I was a little hesitant of it clashing with my skin tone and I'm still not entirely convinced that it works. Application was a three coater, it applies thinly, so no need to worry about glooping.

My photo was taken with flash, but in daylight, I think my skin tone looks a little ruddy against it. I plan on layering it over a chocolate brown polish to give it another dimension. It's a lovely shade, so I'm not giving up on it yet. I know I can make this work for me.

This has sold out on official OPI Stockist Lena White (there's a sale on the site at the moment, by the way), but you can still find Warm & Fozzie priced £10.50 over on The Urban Retreat Boutique - or elsewhere cheaper, if you get acquainted with Google!

*PR sample

Ummm Hello!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yep I know, I've been totally AWOL on the old blog lately.

I haven't blogged for almost three weeks, which I think is the longest time I've gone without writing a post since I started writing I just needed time away from it all to be honest and I wasn't in the mood to spend evening after evening writing blog posts after a day at work. Life is not a dress rehearsal, and so I've been busy living it!

This blogging malarky isn't easy as many of you know and considering I only have a few months left in the UK before I move to New York, my spare time is precious.  Family and friends come first and I've just been enjoying quality time with La Familie, my friends (they were neglected far too much in favour of blogging antics in 2011), watching trashy reality TV (Yes, I will be watching Love and Hip Hop Episode 9 before I go to bed tonight) and generally not stressing myself out about having to finish a review or making sure I have enough content to go live for the week ahead as it was just stressing me out.

So instead, I simply switched the lights off on the blog and 'went on annual leave' - it's only make up, not brain surgery! My blogging mojo is back now and I have a new camera (I'm having SLR drama at the moment, don't ask! *eye roll*), so now I can actually take pictures of the gazillion items I want to share with you all.

Besides, I've been active on Twitter (@VexintheCity), so I didn't fall off the edge of the planet entirely. Speaking of Twitter, if you follow me, you know how I roll. When I rant, I don't hold back and this morning, a flippant tweet I had sent dismissing the uproar over a scene in Coronation Street (a popular soap opera here in the UK) on Monday night made its way onto the Daily Mail website. Considering I check its showbiz pages at least 12 times a day, dare I say I'm quite proud of this achievement! LOL

So whilst some losers, people felt the need to complain to Ofcom about a fictional TV show showing a young actress being smacked on (her padded) bottom, I on the other hand, didn't see what the fuss was all about. Some children need disciplining! Would you like me to list the numerous household items I found connecting themselves with my skin during my childhood?!! Where shall I begin? Wooden spoon, belt, slipper, get the idea! I wish I'd just received a slap on the arse!

Anyway I digress. Typically the one time I get a tweet featured on a national newspaper's website, it also has an eye-watering grammatical typo in it. I should have just tweeted the original tweet, which was gonna be 'Hundreds complain' over Corrie's smacking scene. Get an effin grip!' - hence the typo, as I was tweeting under (not literally) my desk at work at the time and only had one eye on my phone! I've learnt my lesson, if in doubt, just stick to the original trail of thought and swear regardless.

Anyway, the moral of the story is rant away kids, you just may find yourselves on the Daily Mail website! Ha!

I hope 2012 is treating you all well so far! If not, stay positive and keep smiling, things will get better :-)

Let the blogging begin! 

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The sky's the limit! I hope 2012 brings you happiness, good health, success and amazing memories xxx


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