Saturday 30 March 2013

Elizabeth Arden - Bold Eye Pencil - Iridescent Teal

Elizabeth Arden - Bold Eye Pencil in Iridescent Teal

I received this Elizabeth Arden eye pencil this morning. I have been looking to update my eyeliner collection this year and two colours I wanted to add were gold and a bluey-green colour so this teal is ideal.

Not only is the colour vivid but the eye pencil goes on so smoothly. It isn't like most eye pencils as it doesn't feel like a dry pencil it almost applied like an eye pen. So far I've worn it for four hours and it hasn't faded nor has it moved on to my upper eyelid.

Friday 29 March 2013

Illamasqua - I'mPerfection - Scarce

Illamasqua in Scarce

As it is Easter I decided to choose a nail varnish that is not only a delicate pastel colour, great for Spring but also resembles speckled eggs. This is the second shade I have from the Illamasqua I'mPerfection range. I'd initially just purchased the green shade, Mottle, but I was so impressed with the quality that I wanted to purchase at least one more for the collection so I chose this delicate pink colour.

The nail varnish goes on easily and doesn't drag the particles around in each time you add a coat, I have found with some other nail varnishes with particles in when you add extra coats it can drag the other particles to the edge leaving a look of inconsistency but not here. I've only needed two coats here, I don't think another one is necessary as it already looks evenly speckled with plenty of colour. It dries relatively quickly and having used it in a different shade before I can tell you that it lasts a long time before becoming noticeably chipped.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Barry M - Gelly Naill Effects - Papaya

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Papaya

A gorgeous shade from Barry M. A pastel neon papaya colour. Goes on easy and looks great after only two coats. It really is high shine and dries relatively quickly - I'd say after only 30 minutes it is completely smudge proof which may seem quite a long time but it is a thick, gloopy varnish. Fantastic value.

Frontcover Metallic Pastels Eye Collection

Having pre-ordered this back in February as it was due out the first week of March I've been a little disappointed with the wait but I understand that there were problems. Although I have to say I'm happy to wait for something as amazing as this, I'm just happy to have it.

The Frontcover Metallic Pastels Eye Collection contains 10 domed based Eyepowder, 5 satin pressed Eyeshadows, 1 Gold Liquid Eyeliner, 1 Black Coal Eye Pencil with Smudger & 1 Double Ended Eye Brush all for only £22.
A close up of the eyeshadows

With this set you will have you Spring/Summer 2013 looks sorted. The set is a perfect mix of forever useful neutral shades along with a few on trend shades, from shimmering pastels, teal, heather and smoky shades I'm sure many of these items will be useful later in the year.

A few of my favourite shades
I've had a bit of a play with some of my favourite shades, Green Queen and Mystic Heather shown with eyeliner and mascara, Sweet Coral without. The reason I bought this box was because there were so many shades I wanted to try that it worked out great value just to buy the set. A perfect way to update your look in one box.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

What's in My Handbag - Korres Kit

The Welcome Back To Korres Kit

I was overjoyed to see this offer from What's in My Handbag, the Welcome Back to Korres kit, I already love Korres and believe in their products but I couldn't miss this bargain (£15, £12 with a voucher) and I had never considered using their nail varnish before but I always love to try new nail varnish.

The set contains the following;

Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter (full size)
Korres Guava Shower gel (travel size, 50ml)
Korres Basil Lemon Shower gel (travel size, 50ml)
Korres Wild Rose Moisturising & Brightening Cream (1 sachet)
Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum (1 sachet)
Korres Nail Colour in Baby Pink (full size)

So far I've only tried two of the products, the nail colour and the lip butter. I've smelt the shower gels but I always think you can tell the quality by the smell, plus I like to save travel sized products for eventual dream holidays once I'm well again. The sachets I'm saving to test, I don't know for when.

The lip butter is a really vivid red with a hint of pink that looks perfectly natural on the lips and really keeps them moist.

This nail varnish is called baby pink, compared to the picture on the site the polish is actually a very very pale pink almost white, as you can see, I actually prefer this but if you were expecting more pink you might be disappointed. I do believe this will make a fabulous base underneath certain effect polishes, feathers, glitter, caviar, etc.
I applied three coats to the thumb, two coats to the index finger and one coat to the rest. I feel it got quite gloopy by the third coat but mainly as I didn't wait for it to start to dry. If you can get it even if will be a wonderful pale colour, especially beautiful on the toes but I think one coat looks perfect on its own.
The polish contains myrrh extract, essential nutrients and vitamin B5 to strengthen your nails and keep them healthy and are also free from acetone, phthlates, formaldehyde, camphor, toluene and xylene.

Now the shower gels I have only smelt but for me that is enough. The basil lemon is fresh and zesty but nothing exciting but this could be because it comes alongside the guava shower gel. The smell of this is beyond gorgeous, immediately it transports you to the beach, it's smells like a mix of sunscreen and coconut. I'd like to say it smells like guava but honestly I haven't a clue. I know that I will be upgrading this and getting a full sized bottle by the weekend, it is divine.

As of writing the kit is still available from What's in My Handbag, but Amazon is a good place to find Korres at a decent price and if you can't wait and are lucky enough to live near a Waitrose you can also pick up Korres items in the supermarket. If you are completely new to Korres and want to learn more about them and their products then the best information is available direct from them.

Saturday 23 March 2013

OPI - Euro Centrale Collection - You're Such a Budapest

OPI - Euro Centrale Collection - You're Such a Budapest

Another fantastic shade from the OPI Euro Centrale Collection. A gorgeous periwinkle colour - although it kind of reminds me of parma violets, perfect for spring, that is as long as you aren't experiencing a few feet of snow like I am. I've applied three coats and took this photo 3 days after applying it so a minimum amount of chipping.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Swell Hair 3-step system

Swell hair is described as "A breakthrough 3-step system for fine, limp and thinning hair", although this isn't the first product to proclaim to do this. I have rather thick long hair that has been seemingly thinning at a rapid rate, this doesn't concern me as much as the lack of volume, my hair is seriously limp. It just looks flat and awful so I'm up for trying any product that sounds like it will give it "oomph". But I am a complete cynic as my success rate with these type of products isn't high but I keep trying.

I was lucky enough to get a trial of the 3-step system and was excited to give it my all in trying it out, the plan  was to use it every day to see if it would do the job. The three steps are Shampoo, Conditioner and Advanced root nutrient complex. The first two steps you would just replace your normal shampoo and conditioner, then, if you put anything in your hair before drying just replace it with the root nutrient complex and dry. The last step I messed up the first time I tried it, I know that must seem impossible to do but I sprayed it too close to my head which left it really sticky, I also used too much.

The results were beyond my expectation after the first try, I had thought I would need to use it time and time again to get fantastic results but I noticed a significant difference after the first go. Second time I tried it I made sure to spray a smaller amount from further away and the results were even better, I'm even writing this only after my second use. Unlike some volumising products my hair wasn't left feel gunky and weighted by the product. My hair was not only full of volume, felt thicker but also looked really healthy and shiny. It was a lasting result that could be brushed through, it didn't lose effect from this. I expect if I continued to use the product constantly I would see even greater results as the product claims it will give you stronger hair with less fall out but for what it does immediately is impressive in itself.

This photo was taken yesterday just to demonstrate the overall look but please note I haven't bothered with any styling just using the products and drying. I also warn you that I have been housebound for months and my hair hasn't been cut for around 9 months!

The product also boasts NO Silicones, Parabens, SLS, Chemical Build-up and has is 97% (minimum) natural sources.

Although this product is near perfect there are a couple of downsides.

  1. The smell - it isn't that bad it just isn't that nice, I can't put my finger on what it smells like but at least it isn't chemically, it is natural. I think I am so used to a product smelling of something gorgeous that in no way relates to the performance of the product. The smell is mainly noticeable when shampooing, once it is dry there isn't a strong smell to it.
  2. The price - it really isn't the cheapest product to use but it is worth it for the effectiveness. If you plan to use it a couple of times a week then it isn't much of a problem, if you are looking to use something daily then this might break the bank. To put it in to perspective the trial sizes are 50ml for the shampoo and conditioner and 25ml for the advanced root nutrient complex. I have rather long hair and will get six uses out of each of the shampoo and conditioner but the root nutrient complex will last me for at least 12 sessions. The full size shampoo costs £23 for 250ml, the conditioner £26 for 250ml and the advanced root nutrient complex is £30 for 100ml. At the moment they do offer the travel size kit which I have for £19, I would recommend giving it a go if you still aren't sure and to use all three products for full effect, I don't think anyone would be disappointed but you can never be too sure how it will perform on your own hair. 
Swell Hair is available direct from their website along with further information.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

OPI - Euro Centrale Collection - My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours!

Today I'm wearing OPI, My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours! part of the Euro Centrale collection. The colour really is paprika, a mixture of red and orange. The photo does not do the colour justice as the colour really pops, this will look fantastic when the weather is hotter. I always like OPI mainly because they do so many interesting colours with the most fantastic names. I picked up a few of the Euro Centrale collection which I'm looking forward to trying out this week. 

Saturday 16 March 2013

MAC - Archie's Girls - Veronica Double Trouble

MAC - Veronica Double Trouble

This was my first time using a MAC nail lacquer, to me the consistency seemed to be slightly runnier than other nail varnishes I used. I just couldn't get it on right, I made a mess with it, I got it all around my nails, on my skin, it wasn't the best colour to try and gently remove without removing anything else from the nail. The photos show what a poor job I've done but saying that it doesn't look too bad when you aren't paying too much attention to it but is noticeable on a close up photo. I also think it looks patchy, I only added two coats, I'm sure with a further coat they would look fantastic.

The colour is gorgeous and with a steadier hand this would look fabulous on. Another plus is that it dries super fast, great if you fidget like I do.

Friday 15 March 2013

Benefit they're real Mascara - A Comparison

I recently treated myself to the Benefit they're real! Mascara. I'd been wanting to try it for a while but was a bit cautious because of the price, I didn't want to waste my money on something  that wasn't going to work for me.

These days it has become the norm to wear false lashes day in day out, I love the dramatic look but it just isn't for me. I was quite happy with my lashes until I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror under shop lights in Marks and Spencer, I couldn't believe it, I could barely see my lashes. I've always considered myself to have good eyelashes, exceptional eyelashes even. Possibly a false confidence stretching back to an incident when I was about 4, I was in a clothing shop with my mum and the lady behind the counter complimented me on my eyelashes saying that I would possibly never need mascara they were so dark and curly. that has stuck in my mind even though I doubt I would have even known what mascara was then, maybe it stuck in my mind as I was given a giant plastic red gem that had come loose from what must have been a massive earring, I carried it with me for years.

I've been paying a lot more attention to my lashes recently, I've found some great mascaras but none with quite a false lash effect like the Benefit they're real mascara. It really works for me, I'm super impressed and feel it is worth the money. A friend even asked me if I was wearing false eyelashes which is pretty amazing and I got to say they're real! She described them as looking like a natural false eyelash which is true. Like with everything products work differently on others, where as the photo above shows the outcome nicely it also features the Badgal liner. Below is a photo of me with just the mascara on one eye and nothing on the other to give you on the true difference between me wearing the mascara and my natural lash. For me it's all I could need, I've also managed to wear it for 12 hours straight without it budging or flaking, and unlike false lashes, they don't end up going rogue.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Essie - Angora Cardi and BBF Best Boyfriend

Essie in Angora Cardi and BBF Best Boyfriend. Now I've purposely gone for a bit of a quick, sloppy application. Three layers of BBF Best Boyfriend first and then the tip and then some with Angora Cardi. Both great everyday colours, go on easily and dry relatively quickly.

Monday 11 March 2013

MAC - Archie's Girls

When I first heard about the collection I was super excited. Life then got in the way and I slightly forgot. Somehow I missed the launch but only by a few days. This is been the first of their collections that I have been really excited about mainly because it's Archie. As a child when ever we would visit the states I would buy Archie comics, I loved them, I loved how they were set in the past but relevant at the time. They were great comics.

By the time I got to the collection a lot of things were sold out on the M·A·C website, instead of shopping around I took that as a sign. I don't have much money at the moment but I wanted a few key pieces. Therefore I got one Betty nail varnish and one Veronica nail varnish along with a Betty lipglass which I will list below. I'm really pleased with the two nail varnishes, I think they will look fantastic used together.

It's funny, when I was younger I identified with Betty, now I'm older I much prefer Veronica's style but strangely I did hesitate at buying from the Veronica collection as I still see her as the trollop getting in the way of Betty and Archie's romance.

Items I have

Betty Lipglass - Summer Sweetheart
Betty Nail Lacquer - Pep Pep Pep
Veronica Nail Lacquer - Double Trouble

Items on my wishlist (that most likely will never be fulfilled)

Betty Pigment - Lucky in Love
Veronica Pigment - Black Poodle
Veronica Pigment - Magic Spells
Archie's Girls Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner - Lord It Up
Archie's Girls Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner - Black Swan
Betty Powder Blush - Cream Soda
Veronica Powder Blush - Prom Princess
Betty Lipstick - Betty Bright
Veronica Lipstick - Ronnie Red
Veronica Lipglass - Strawberry Malt
Veronica Nail Lacquer - Past Curfew
Just a Flirt Make-Up Bag
Yours Forever Tote
Archie's Girls five-piece Brush Kit

Nails Inc - Feathers - York & Chester

I was really excited when I saw the Nails Inc Feathers collection, after using it though I feel a little mixed. I bought York (peach and white) and Chester (blue, yellow and peach), I decided not to put another nail varnish underneath, something I slightly regret. I think these varnishes work best with a pale base coat, either white or a similar colour to one of the varnishes.

Out of the two I find Chester looks better, at least against my skin. In my opinion it also looks better on shorter nails rather than long, I don't know why but I prefer the look of it on my thumb nails than the rest. The texture is rough even with a couple of layers of clear nail varnish over the top. When I applied it I ended up doing 4 coats to try and get it even, although if used on top of another colour varnish this wouldn't be necessary. I thought initially that they would chip/peel off easily but it is rather sturdy and will most likely be a nightmare to remove.

Saturday 9 March 2013

What's in my GLOSSYBOX March 2013

Now I've been subscribing to Glossybox for a while but this is the first time I've blogged about it and it also happens to be my favourite box so far. This month, included in the box is the Glossybox published My Little Travelling Book. Now I never think these things make the box worth any extra cash wise I do think in the increasingly competitive world of beauty boxes it does give it some edge.

In order of joy,

Elizabeth Arden - Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Fragrance Free 7ml (Full Size: £25.00 for 50ml)

I always like trying new moisturiser. I've always been quite fortunate and don't really suffer from dry skin all the time but I do have dry outbreaks. Now I find these small samples don't go far, although with this it does say a little goes a long way, even so, with a moisturiser as expensive as this a bigger sample would help me make my mind up. I think with this I will wait for my really dry elbow breakouts and then seriously put it to the test.

TRESemm√© - Salon Finish Hair Spray Extra Hold 100ml (Full Size: £4.69 for 500ml)

I'm not a huge fan of hairspray, they never seem to work for me, especially as my hair is really long at the moment. At the same time it's nice to have something like this in my collection as I loathe paying for hairspray. Unlike hairsprays I've tried in the past the smell is really nice and it doesn't feel too sticky on my hair.

Nails Inc - Bruton St. 4ml (Full Size: £11 for 10ml)

I've love Nails Inc, I have been a fan for a long while after trialling them. Previously I felt like nothing would last on my nails until I tried them out. It was a revelation and have gone nail varnish mad since. I actually use my glossyboxes to store my Nails Inc nail varnish in, 2 boxes and counting. I wasn't disappointed to receive a miniature version of the nail varnish though, far from it, I'm over the moon. I love collecting the miniatures to take on holiday with me and this is a cute colour, I would describe the colour as old rose.

Jelly Pong Pong - Lip Blush Full Size (Full Size: £12 for 2.5g)

I love this item. I love it even more as it's a colour I wouldn't normally buy but having tried it on I love it. I usually go for more subdued pinks, any range of red and other natural colours. The lip blush itself goes on slickly, I found the colour was strong on myself after one application. My lips felt in great condition afterwards and the colour was long lasting, even when having a drink.

L'OCCITANE en Provence - Immortelle Precious Cream 15ml (Full Size: £43 for 50ml )

Now this made my birthday. Last year my partner very kindly bought me some perfume and bubble bath from L'Occitane, he receive some samples with his order including a sample for their rather expensive Divine Cream which he promptly used, leaving me heart broken even though it was nothing more than a sachet. Now this isn't the Divine Cream but it is an item I have wanted to try for a long time so to see a miniature jar of it really made my morning.

I can't wait for the next box now, I wish these things came weekly or that I could afford more than one.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Nails Inc - Royal Botanical Gardens

Nails Inc in Royal Botanical Gardens.

I will start by saying please excuse the poorly applied nail varnish, it was a late night rush job, I wasn't planning to keep this on for the weekend but I love it so much I'm not sure if I can be bothered to waste it.

As usual great to apply, really gorgeous pastel green colour, it's described as a mint but I would call it magic mint, okay not much difference I'm just being pedantic.I don't know if I'm imagining it but I swear it smells of ice cream, apart from the sticker it doesn't mention that so it could be just the power of suggestion.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Retro Topshop - Ocean Green

Retro Nail Varnish* 

Topshop in Ocean Green

Having a dig around my collection I came across a rather historic nail varnish. Now this was bought back in the nineties when Topshop first launched a make-up range. I seem to remember it may have cost £3, possibly less for some reason I imagine Topshop prices have frozen in time. I'm estimating I bought it around the age of 13-15 so this makes the nail varnish 15-17 years old. Not 100% sure but on the bottle it mentions the Burton Group so pre 1998 and I can't remember when the make-up range ended but I really liked the Topshop make-up range then just like I do now.

Amazingly the nail varnish is still pretty good. I only added one coat. Two would have been better but one would be ideal on your toes, that's if you could still get it. It did seem to take longer to dry than most modern varnishes but the one coat did go on pretty thick, I seem to recall it always did so I don't think it's just an age thing.

I do have some newish Topshop nail varnishes but I think I could do with investing in a few more, if the new ones last this long then they're certainly worth it.

*Well retro sounds better than old

Nails Inc - Basil Street

Nails Inc in Basil Street

Always LOVE Nails Inc, easy to apply and lasts forever. A nice natural colour, 2 coats applied.