Monday, 2 December 2013

MAC eyeshadow in 'Coppering'

Recently I went to New York, and whilst watching the bright lights of Times Square flash and amaze I saw it. A MAC store. And that can only mean one thing....
Presenting Coppering! A Veluxe Pearl Finish with a rich copper colouring. It applies like an absolute dream, blends amazingly and lasts forever. The colour is either hit or miss.. for my colouring, Coppering goes superbly and brings out the blue in my eyes but for others it could leave you washed out. Wear with lashings of mascara - not necessarily black. A slick of dark grey or (if you are really daring) dark green eyeliner looks really fab with this. 
Got Cranberry? Great paired with it as a transitional colour on the lid, my favourite way to wear this personally.

L- Coppering next to Cranberry R- Coppering swatch

So have a look for this colour, I personally took a risk on it. I went in, swatched like a maniac and hoped for the best as I'd never read anything about it online.  And now its love. 

£10 on the MAC website for the pro refill.

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Friday, 29 November 2013

SEVENTEEN Quicker Slicker Colour in 'Wishing Star'

Beautiful, beautiful nails! SEVENTEEN Quicker Slicker Colour in Wishing Star.
Another new polish found whilst perusing Boots. This time a duo chrome, a silvery gold mix that in certain light looks purple. In the above photo it is layered over a metallic gold polish which really sets the colour off. This polish really is a compliment gainer, it catches the light and changes colour so it looks different all the time. Perfect, and fitting, for the holiday season ahead. 
If you really layered it up I think it could become opaque but over a similar rosy gold toned polish it really does become a show stopper.

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lush 'Dream Steam' Calming Toner Tabs

Good evening all!
I bring you today a review of something that I bought on a whim. And we all know how they go. Epic win or epic fail. So what do we have here? These are the Lush Dream Steam Calming Toner tabs. A mouthful? Totally. So what are they? A steamer mask to help clear skin and doubling up as a toner that you can use after the steaming (so not a total waste!). What does Lush say about them?

'A blend of oils for both mind and skin, skillfully presented in an easy to use tab. Steam clean your face whilst you inhale the mood-adjusting essential oils.'

 The main oils are lavender, rose, tea tree and chamomile blue which mix together to create a calming smell, not overpowering , and easy to inhale. When I purchased these the lovely sales assistant assured me they would help my dire skin clear itself up, and this point I was desperate so I would have tried anything. It's the same set up as any steaming.. you need a bowl, a big towel, some hot water and to ensure your woodwork stays in tiptop shape, a mat (that might just be me who needs that, after all I've already spilt a whole bottle of nail varnish remover over said table).

A little bit of fizzing later you are left with a yellow tinted water, and under you go. After 5 minutes I emerged, calmer, and with nicer feeling skin. No miracle though. The best bit is you don't throw the water, you keep it. You are left with a toner for your face which makes it pretty good value for money. If you use toner....

So I haven't really said what I thought up to yet and that is simply because I don't really know. To me it's a bit of a meh product. Yes, it is a steamer mask and did that job but it didn't work miracles and the toner water is okay if you use it. I tried and it rid my face of grime but I wouldn't hail it as an essential. I think it is just safe to say that I personally wouldn't repurchase but that doesn't mean to say I regret buying it. But I also don't regret buying another nail polish..

For £2.50 here, it may very well be worth you giving it a go. If you use toner, of course.
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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Bourjois Cream Blush in 03

Having never really tried a Cream blusher previous to this, plus the lure of Boots' recent 3 for 2 offering, picking up a Cream blush seemed to be a rather savvy idea. I decided on trying the Bourjois pots after recent reviews saying they were easy to apply and being the beginner that I am I wanted ease over skill.
I decided on 03, a soft pink which peachy tones. Perfect for fair skin. I'd just like to point out here the disappointment of 4 shades. Not exactly catering for every girl here now is it? I'd hope that in the future they will expand, because lets face it, they are onto a money maker here.
The Cream to powder formula seems to be a winner here meaning that there are no hair stuck to cheek incidents which I thought would happen (see I told you I knew nothing of Cream blush). Easy to apply? I like the blend ability of them (yes, now a word). You can pat them into the cheek with your fingers as they don't dry too quickly. Lazy girls take note though - a Real Techniques buffing brush seems to be the quickest, easiest and fuss free way to apply this. Literally, 5 seconds. Done. Dusted. Moving on...
I find they last a fair few hours - a touch up will be needed at some point in your day (good job they have a mirror!) and they are build able meaning if you want to rock the strong cheek then you can, with ease. They also smell of soap. A nice, floral soap way. Not a medicinal soap.

Finally, the price. £7.99, which is a decent enough price until you realise the tiny amount you get (2.5g). However, in this case, quality does prevail making this, in my eyes, a savvy purchase.
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Saturday, 9 November 2013

NOTD - Nails Inc 'Porchester Square' and No7 'Daisy Darling'

A nail combo match made in heaven? Perhaps better suited for easter (after all it bares a striking similarity to a Mini Egg) this combo is perfect for jazzy up a somewhat plain but polished look. Nails Inc Porchester Square (£9.35 here) is a classic, chic, on trend greige (grey/beige) an all-rounder, safe for work colour. However due to the upcoming festive season a bit of glitter turns this from safe to snazzy. I used No7 Daisy Darling from the No7 Summer collection (but available on the boots website for £6) to make it girly but gold and silver glitter would be great alternatives.
So, a different take on the beauty world favourite.. would you wear Porchester Square like this?
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

MAC 'Dubonnet'

What can I say about MAC lipsticks that I haven't already? Major Swoon.
Whilst sitting here this morning, watching my kitty knock all my birthday cards off, I decided to have a go. Talk about Dubonet.
A dark, vampy scarlet red, perfect for seasonal looks and the autumnal makeup look that hits our faces when fluffy scarfs and warm hats are taken out of storage. It's an unsung hero, no major hype in the blogosphere. Because it isn't too bright, it's an all rounder when it comes to suiting a skin tone. Pale girls, darker skinned types and everything in between will be able to pull this off which makes it pretty versatile, especially when it comes to makeup looks.
An amplified finish makes this lipstick easy to apply, creamy and rather pigmented. It's comfortable to wear, easy to apply and doesn't drag upon application. I think the fact it doesn't highlight flaws and dry lips makes this a win too.
Well... what more can I say. If i sing any more of its praises I might as well publish a book about it!
But take a look at the ones the bloggers don't talk about. Because that is where you'll find some real gems.

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

SEVENTEEN Phwoarr Paint in Medium

SEVENTEEN have really been upping the ante recently, and with their barrage of skin care releases there was bound to be some gems among them. I picked up the phwoarr paint on a whim as I needed a heavier concealer for the eye area. This comes in two shades, Medium and Light, which is very limited and such a shame as for a skin product it limits the market so much. The product itself is nicely packaged with a very helpful mirror in the compact. It is quite sturdy and not too cheap looking so not something I'd be shifty about whipping out in public.
So, how does it perform? It applies VERY thickly. If you have dry skin you are going to want to stay away from this as it will just stick where you don't want it to. I use it after moistirisng and that seems to be the best way to apply. Warm it up on your fingers and dab into the eye area. A brush can be used to blend it but to apply straight out the pan with the brush will make the job harder. Application aside, this is the bees knees. It really does work. It covers my eye bags with some major power and although it is thick, if you blend it properly it doesn't sit on the skin and look obvious.
Finally, the price.
£5.49 here. In all honestly, it's a bit of a steal if using a heavy duty concealer isn't a daily thing. If you want something for everyday use I would recommend something that is easier to apply though as it does take some working in.
You tried it? Let me know!
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Sunday, 6 October 2013

NOTD - Sinful Colours 'Let's talk'

Twirls. Dairy Milk.
Today I bring you a NOTD that couldn't conjure up tastier images if it tried. Sinful Colours 'Let's Talk', the colour of Cadburys. A deep metallic purple, opaque in two coats (one if you are lucky) and with a high shine without topcoat. These polishes, albeit cheap as chips don't compromise on quality and are up there with the big and the best in regards to it. The brush is thin so easier to do more tricky work but takes longer to apply. I wore this for 3 days with minor tip wear, but due to how different we all are, I won't comment more on wear time.
Overall, it is such a unique and statement colour that will have people questioning where you got it from. Sinful colours gets a big thumbs up from me!
Now for the best bit.
£1.99. 199 pennies.

Have you tried them? What colours do you swear by?
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Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Body Shop Muslin Cleansing Cloth

Short and sweet post today! As you more than likely know, The Body Shop is currently offering 40% off all orders (plus if you use the code 'HONEY' you get a free gift, winner) which makes these muslin cloths the bargain price of £1.50 (normally £2.50).
They are rather large so will cover the whole face and are a great way of washing off cleanser/face masks and removing makeup as they gently exfoliate at the same time. If i were you I would stock up whilst you can as these really are a worthwhile investment.
Do you use muslin cloths? Or do you recommend something else? Let me know!

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Friday, 27 September 2013

No7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Mask

Grabbed your attention yet?
No7 is a brand most of us have probably dabbled in (due to those wonderful £5 off skincare vouchers boots do). I myself have a lot of No7 products as their quality is worth the extra few pounds (an plus I stock up with those amazing vouchers). This mask, their Beautiful Skin Purifying mask is the bee's knees. Something I will repurchase again and again.

So what is it? It is a face mask that uses thermal technology to draw out impurities. Yes you heard that right. You apply it to a damp face, massage it in, leave for five minutes then wash away. The gimmick is that upon contact with the damp skin it heats, leaving a warm sensation that opens pores. As you can see its rather a thick cream that has exfoliating bits in it to, so great for combination skin.  When washed off you are left with soft skin (feels like a babies! Amazing I tell thee) that gives you that clean feeling. I follow with a moisturiser/cleanser depending what routine I'm going with that day. Good tip is to use a muslin cloth for removal and for extra gentle exfoliation.
The packaging is plain and simple, not OTT which is great and with a squeezey tube you can control how much you want to use. Good times!

Get it for £12.50 here or from your nearest Boots.
Well.. what are you waiting for?
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Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Nail Polish Collection

 (My Favourite Picks) L-R- No7 Crave Me, Models Own Beach Party, Barry M Greenberry, Models Own Ibiza Miz, L'Oreal Color Riche 820, Gosh Holographic Hero.

Here it is. A visual representation of where all my money goes. Lovely to be reminded..
In all seriousness, this collection gets quite a pounding. I change at least three times a week so it was inevitable a build up would happen. Compared to some my collection is modest, to others, excessive. However the colours in here are what work for me, and alongside the photos I will share my top picks with you.

The reds and Neutrals
Most reached for as these are my more corporate colours. The more boring ones lets say. My favourites are the Models Own Beach Party, China Glaze Pool Party and the No7 Gel Shine in Hotting Up. All of which I have reviewed seperately. I own a fair few Nails Inc polishes as the quality is great, but for the pricepoint I'd look towards brands such as Barry M and Models Own. Some hidden gems would be the SEVETEEN polishes, for their price they make a fab addition to your colour spectrum and keep up to date with trends.

The Blues, Greens and Purples
The most reached for? Fantasy Fire and Greenberry (Barry M). The ones I wouldn't waste your money on? Primark polishes. They take an age to dry. My only Essie polish is nestled here (To Buy or Not to Buy) a pale lilac with blue shimmer which is a gem but is getting bustled to the back the closer to the Autumn months we move. Try having a look at the Collection Hot Colours polishes. Cheap and long lasting, some of the most hard wearing ones I own.  Sinful Colours deserve a shout out here to, especially when they are £1.99 each so a great for on trend colours.

Glitters and Darks
My favourite! So much! Love the Nails Inc Graffiti polishes, the L'oreal Confetti and Cystallisme and the Barry M. Don't rate the Models Own  Silver or the NYC polishes because they take forever to try or chip easily. The 17 White polish isn't the greatest but Barry M and Models Own offer a great alternative! The Collection Gel Shine nestle on the top right is great to - dries to a really high shine!

There you have it!! If you would like to see an individual swatch of any of these, drop a comment or a tweet to me and i'll rustle something up for you :) Any of these your go to shades?

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Lush: Quick Reviews

A few quick reviews on some Lush products for you today guys. All tested when I was recently away in hotel for a night so was very relaxed and needed a good pamper! Heres the lowdown...

Sugar Scrub (£2.95 here)
Bit on an awkward one. If you use it directly onto the skin it is really scratchy and will leave you with red marks all over. I'd recommend running it under water, breaking a bit off then applying it to the skin from your hands so you can control the level of exfoliation more. It does it's job after you get over this hurdle and will rid you of all sorts of nasty dry patches. It's mainly made up of sugar, ginger and fennel so it's less perfumed but still pleasant. Rebuy? No, as I find pots are easier to apply in the shower.

The Big Blue bath bomb (£3.25 here)
Surprisingly, it turns your bath blue. Lavender oil makes it heavenly and relaxing (what you need from your bath bomb) and Arame Seaweed and sea salt to make your skin feel scrummy and soft. Oh, and it smells Devine. I only used half and its sufficient for a soak, so value for money wise it's a great investment for a luxurious bath. I genuinely feel better after using this. It does have bits of seaweed in so if floaty bits weird you out, it might be worth steering clear of this one. Rebuy? Yes.

Ayesha Fresh Face Mask Sample (£5.95 here for full size)
Featuring ingredients such as Elderflower, Rosemary, Kiwi and Asparagus, Lush states that 'This mask was designed for those times when you want to make a quick difference to your face, for a night out'. Did I find this? Well it was a great mask, it made my skin feel clean and fresh afterwards but I didn't feel like it appeared much different. It does smooth but I felt that brighten it did not. I think, as part of a proper routine, this would be a great finishing mask but as a stand alone product I'd try one of lush's other amazing offerings. Rebuy? Yes, as it smells pretty spiffy and my skin does feel nice afterwards.

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation

A foundation match made in heaven? With the launch of No7s Match Made service, offering the perfect match, the allure of the perfect colour was too much to resist. Off I went to my local boots, had the lady brandish the funky looking machine at my naked skin and five minutes later I walked out with this. Stay Perfect is medium to high coverage with a natural finish also offering SPF 15 which is always  important in skincare. It promotes a long wearing formula that is moisturising, a claim I would personally agree with. The boots website says 16 hours, but I can't say I have tested this claim. It is a hardwearing formula though, covers dark circles and evens out my skin tone. (See me wearing it here) Lovely!
The colour spectrum is wide in this range, but the very pale or the very dark skinned may struggle to find their perfect match. But what do I think? Its my day to day, go to foundation. It lasts as long as I need it too and makes me feel confident. The price? Is it worth it? For £14 pounds, it is mid range, and compared to Rimmel and Revlons new offerings it could be seen as a little less value for money than those however the quality speaks for itself. Theres never a bad skin day when I'm rocking this.

Get it here.
Tah dah!
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Winterberry Nail Kit

A bit of a different post today. Yes, it's about nails. But with a difference. My first foray into the hidden world of etsy, and some of the hidden gems they have to offer. Today I want to present to you the Winterberry Nail Art kit. A value for money collection offering all you need to do some easy nail art. If you head over to the Winterberry Facebook Site they update when these kits are avaliable as from what I've seen, they sell rather quickly! So onto what I ordered.

Containing  colours of nail beads (for the fish egg beady effect), 3 vials of glitter, gold foil, 1 pot of red flocking powder, a UV nail polish, dotting tool and orange sticks, 2 striping tape (gold and red) and finally some nail studs! A lot, I'm sure you'd agree.
At £6.25 a pop plus postage I think you'd agree, well worth keeping your eye out and getting one from the Winterberry Etsy Shop. Plus for my lovely readers, the lovely Rachel is offering you a massive 20% off by entering the code BEAUTYFACTORY20 which is valid for 2 weeks from today! Get placing those orders.

 My favourite combination has to be the glitter effect on the nails, it looks great and lasts a while too. Here I've done a few examples of what you can achieve, but for more experienced nail art affectionados I'm 99% sure you can achieve something better than I did. 

So what do you think? Worth a bash?
I realise this post sounds a bit PRish but I paid for this myself, I just think it's totally awesome and that you should get involved :)

P.S Enter my MAC lipstick giveaway here, it ends Friday so get your entries in now!

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Starting Off Project: Foundation

Foundation. The base. The saviour. The thing that can turn you from bright red cheeked, freckly, grey faced (that's just me) to fooling people into thinking you have the skin of a goddess. Well you've got to find the right one first. It's okay, no need to call 999, #theSOproject has you covered... 

What do you want your foundation for?
What are you trying to hide or gain? Not all foundation will be right. There's different coverages and finishes so you need to know what to target. Thicker foundations with higher coverage can hide a multitude of sins but in summer months won't last too long if you get too hot and sweaty. Also they are harder to blend. Trying to look fresh faced and natural? A tinted moisturiser may be the way forward. So write a few bullet points of what you want from your foundation. done?

What type of foundation should I get?
As I assume you've done step one this should be a lot easier. This is a quick and brief list of what you should mainly look for depending on what you want to gain.
Tinted moisturiser - for less coverage but to even out skin tone. Great for drier skin and younger faces where you don't need to be wearing a full face of makeup. Skips a step in a routine as its two in one! Winner.
CC/BB Cream - Claims to be the Pippa Middletons bum of the foundation world, these offer a combination of SPF, moisturiser, foundation, anti ageing, brightening and concealing properties.. The list goes on! If you are looking for a multi purpose product for your routine these are great and everyone from Superdrug to Dior have their own.
Mousse Foundation - Has a very light texture and can be layered for your desired effect. These are more weightless so better for those of you that like a fresher feel to your skin.
Liquid foundation - The most common, the one I find easiest to apply. Buildable, offering all different types of coverage.  Some are thicker, others thinner, it's simply down to finding your cup o' tea.
Powder/Mineral Foundations - Not something I have great experience with using, these are good for ladies with oily skin, great for summer when sweaty face could appear and it leaves your pores well alone.

Obviously I may have missed a few here but you get my drift, eh?

Which foundation should I get?
Well, the ultimate question and not a simple answer. Many factors to consider: what's your skin tone? Higher end brands tend to have a better colour selection than high street but doesn't necessarily mean they are better. You want to be illuminated or want a matte finish? Matte everything is a la mode this days but when you are ashen you want something that will brighten the face. Money is a big one, I favour YSL Touché Éclat foundation but also have a Rimmel one on hand which I use equally as much and there's a good 15 quid difference in price. Obviously, as you wear foundation for a long time, this is somewhere where spending serious moolar isn't wasted but just make sure it's in your budget, so when you run out you aren't left hight and dry sobbing in a corner as you either choose food or new foundation. Obviously I'm not speaking from experience here... At all.

Other advice?
Have a range of colours and types. In the summer you want a darker colour than in winter (unless you are a pasty ghost all year) and may favour a lighter coverage whereas in winter you'll want something with kick ass coverage.
Remember that how you apply foundation will affect the finish. Not going too much into tools here as there will be a post on it later in the series but finger application vs brush vs sponge all provide different finishes.
Go outside and test your foundation.
Shop lights make your foundation choice hard and deceiving. Get a mate to come along and ask if you look like you've been smacked with the makeup stick or look au naturale. Even if you are in a rush go outside... Just a quick glance and you'll know.
Less is more. You don't need to apply it all over your face, normally around the centre of the face. Also, more foundation will look less polished and less natural.

Hopefully this has been helpful for you. I have decided not to go into reviews of what I use as this post should guide you to choose your own. If you've any comments or questions, drop me a line here or on Twitter (I'm @chizzasaur).

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Friday, 6 September 2013

MAC 'Hang Up'

MAC Hang Up. Bold. Beautiful. Autumnal.
Yes, another MAC lipstick. I promise you I do buy other brands. I picked this up in a blogsale for a bargainous price without really doing much research into it. I googled swatches and what not, but had no idea what I was going for. As you can see, Hang Up is a deep berry purple shade perfect for the A/W trend of 2012 (maybe 2013?) which isn't too blue in base and makes teeth look super shiny white. It's a very very bold and vampy colour so good for making a statement or teamed with a simple cat eye.
Being a cremesheen formula, its staying power isn't the greatest (2-3 hours if you don't eat/drink) but it doesn't bleed and the best thing is the shade is buildable depending how vampy you want to go.

Overall it is a great shade and it really pulls a makeup look together. The icing on the cake to go with such a cliche. The best thing is it is a colour that can suit many hair, skin and eye colours so however intimidating it looks in the bullet (very) I would urge you to go to your MAC counter and have a play with it. 

Try it.. you know you want to.

Or.. try and win it for yourself by entering my MAC lipstick giveaway here!

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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Starting Off Project: Concealer

Good Morning. Here you are, ready to tune in to the second instalment of The Starting Off Project (#theSOproject). Concealer isn't something I use overly, I only own one, so today I'll do a mini review of the one I favour and some general helpful tips regarding concealer wear.

Put Concealer on top of your foundation, not under.
Your foundation will mask some of the areas you want to hide. It's fact. By putting the concealer on after you may use less, you may not need any and it means you won't rub away your hard work.

Different concealers combat different things
Want to cover redness? You'll be needing a green to cover that! Under eye? You'll be wanting something with yellow pigments and perhaps something
 that highlights and luminates rather than masks. A stick concealer is great for higher coverage but will need setting whereas something in brush form is easy to put on and blend without the need to blend as it will be a thinner consistency.

Apply with Clean digits/brushes
This is a given. But wash your hands after as well! Unless you want to rub all that all over your face? Thought not. Plus a clean brush or finger means you'll only be applying the concealer you want rather than the concealer from last week that's left on your brush.

Dab not Pull
When applying concealer, dab it in to blend. If you pull/drag it won't stay where you want it to (what you are trying to hide). Nobody wants that.

SEVENTEEN Hide Away Concealer cream (£3.99 here)
Now, everyone raves about the very good Collection Concealer however I've been using this and love it. Seventeen hide away concealer. Only two shades, so limited, but it dries to a matte finish and it's consistency is thick so is great for tackling unsightly blemishes that dare appear on my face. It does need to be built up but once on it does persevere and last all the day throws at it. This might be because I set it with powder though. If you are looking at higher end alternatives I wouldn't. There are more important areas to splash the cash (foundation, skincare) rather than something you don't need all the time.

Now this is my opinion, for more check out #theSOproject on Twitter, as ladies with more experience share their wisdom with you!!

See Starting Off: Skincare here.
Win a MAC lipstick in my giveaway here. Only over a week left!
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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Vintage Blush

Eyeshadows pencils. The spawn from the Clinique Chubby sticks, a year ago these were an obscure and uncommon product. Now every brand near enough have thrown an offering into the arena. This is COLLECTIONS offering, the Work The Colour Eyeshadow Pencil in Vintage Blush, a pale metallic pink. The colour itself is more neutral than pinky, making it a great base colour and perfect for brightening the eye area. To apply, draw it on. I like to blend it out at the edges with my finger and into the crease a little. For a pencil it is very soft and creamy, don't leave it too near a heat source or you'll end up with a hot mess when you remove the lid. Not exactly what you want now is it?
As a base I find it works really well, not only is the colour perfect (not too strong to overpower whatever you put on the top) but as it lasts a fair while it means less smudgy smudgy and more smouldering eye makeup look. It is a great product to have in your stash and with its pricepoint it would be stupid not to. Only £2.50 here (Normal Price £3.19).

Have you heard? I'm giving away a MAC lipstick of your choice here.. if you already follow this blog you're half way there! Oh livin' on a prayer!
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Thursday, 29 August 2013

SEVENTEEN Rock Hard Couture Nail Effect in Celestial Pearl

Whilst perusing the local Boots for a  new pink polish the other day, I came across this beauty. Having not read much about this is in the blogosphere, I was intrigued so naturally I decided to pick one up.
The SEVETEEN Rock hard couture Nail Effects are textured polishes but with more sparkle. I''m not the biggest fan of the texture effect as I pick at my nail polish, and they just feel weird and heavy on the nail. In terms of the texture though it's not overly gritty like the Barry M offerings. More spongey and marshmallowy. Yes, that is now a descriptive word.

The colour, celestial pearl, is perfect though. White, with glimmers of a champagne colour. Looks classy without being over the top. The textured effect also helps show off the colour as it adds extra dimension. I'd call it 'classy glitter'. It takes two coats for full opacity, which is fab. It takes a bit longer to dry as it is a thick polish due to its texture but once dried it had minimal chipping in the three days I sported this on my nails. Winner.

So if you want something a bit different, I'd recommend you try this. Yes, textured polishes may be so last season daaarling but there is still time to squeeze this into your nail wardrobe. And at £3.99 it's not going to break the bank now.

Did you know that by clicking here you could enter my MAC giveaway?
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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Starting Off Project: Skincare

The modern age means one thing: reviews are plentiful, lust is there and there are a whole sea of products all vying for you to open your purse to purchase. If you are new to this mess, where do you start? Enter The Starting Off Project (#theSOproject) the brain child of Steph over at Stephs Voice. An initiative for those who maybe need some guidance by those who have tried and tested many things, a collective of good (and questionable) advice!

Today, I'm going to talk about skincare. For reference, I have normal/combination skin that doesn't break out unless I'm having a hormone fight. Below, the products that you need, some alternatives to them and an explanation why. Oh, and nothing will cost more than a tenner. I'd like to point out that this stuff is normally on offer in one of the drugstores, so shop around. The links I've provided are for the cheapest at the time. Enjoy...

So you've woken up after a fitful nights sleep. You drank all that water you are told to before bed right? You KNOW that you are supposed to.. terrible. Drink more. In the morning I like to go the extra mile, as putting makeup on skin that isn't smooth takes more time and effort. I use Nivea Refreshing Facial Wash Gel  and depending on how the skin is feeling, either use a flannel to take it off or my Bodyshop Facial Brush, which for £4 is a bargain and if you take anything from this post go out and buy this. Once your face is clear of any dead skin cells, grime and buildup lets plump it up using a nice moisturiser. Firstly, buy one with SPF. Every little helps and all that. I use No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Normal Skin which is £12.50 but Boots normally have £5 off No7 skincare vouchers knocking around. I like the smell, it sinks in quickly and makes my skin feel plump and ready to go. For a cheaper alternative, use Nivea Visage Light Daily Moisturisng Creme. As you can imagine, this takes all of about 5 minutes, if that.

This is where a little more time is taken, as it is removing the build up of general dirt and makeup residue. Start by taking that pesky eye makeup off. I use Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover as it is hardwearing against that pesky waterproof mascara. And currently its £2.66. Once that is done I like to was the face. My current fave is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2 in 1 Wash and Mask as it washes the face, it feels clean after but also doubles up as a 5 minute mask for more in depth cleaning. Also currently £2.66. The Biore Nose Strips are used as and when I need them, at the most once a week. These things are handy to have in your arsenal of goodies. Finally, a night cream, mine of choice being the Nivea Regenerative night cream, £3. In the morning my skin still feels moisturised, thats why I use it so much. I really rate the range, and you should too.
As you can see there are no makeup wipes. Why? Because even if you are drunk this doesn't take long, it can be done and makeup wipes are work of the devil.

Notable Extras
These are for when my face needs a little extra, or there is a bit of residue left over. Fit these in between  the cleansing and moisturising stages. Lush Eau Roma water is a Lavender based toner water that removes any excess cleanser and doubles up as a facial spritz on hot days. I leave this in the fridge.
The Neutrogena Blackhead eliminating Cleansing Lotion is a powerful little tool I use when my skin is feeling clogged.. a quick sweep over the face after taking the makeup, used every other day, keeps spots at bay. Finally a hot cloth cleansers is a great tool to have if your stash. I use the Boots Hot Cloth Cleanser but Superdrug do a great alternative too.

There you have it. The routine. All under ten pounds. Your welcome.
Do you agree with any of these? Disagree? Lets start a discussion! Let me know what you think below.

Remember, you can win a MAC lipstick of your choice by entering here.

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Pinterest Picks 2

Another day, another load of useful pins to share from my virtual pin board.
Please feel free guys to leave your names for me to follow and check you out.
Today I've focused more on beauty rather than my mishmash like last time so I hope you enjoy, always leave a comment if you've any suggestions!

Nail Polish Trick

I am going to try this today. If it works, dear lord I will be a happy bunny.

Eyeliner Shape Step by Step

I cannot do my eyeliner. Fact. By trying out this helpful step by step though i did achieve something that could pass mid way as passable so great for movies like myself!
Colours to suit your eye colour

Now this in invaluable. Eyeliner and eyeshadow that suits your eye colour? In a handy chart? Amazing!
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

No7 Gel-Look Shine Nail Colour in Hotting Up

Recently featured in my Daisy Nail Art How To, this new offering has quickly become a firm favourite of mine.
No7 Gel Look Shine is tagged as giving 'spectacular coverage in one stroke' and a 'high gel shine'. But does it?
I present to you 'Hotting Up', a bright fuchsia pink. Brilliant, classic colour which is great all year around. It does cover well in one coat but I would recommend two to make sure every flaw is covered. For the shine... Well that it does live up to. For research purposes I did use a topcoat on one nail but you wouldn't be able to tell which. One less step on a manicure? Epic win.
So, if you are in Boots any time soon why don't you give them a whirl? For £6.50 you can't really go wrong...

...But you could get two Barry M Gellys for that price. Just sayin'.
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Monday, 19 August 2013

Rimmel Apocalips in Nude Eclipse

With the announcement that new shades are going to be released, I believed it the right time to pop my 2p (not cents, I'm english after all) in. Following on from my need to have more subtle, neutral colours for work this purchase seemed a given as I had never tried a formula such as this before. Rimmel Apocalips promise rich, intense colour and a satin smooth shine. I love this colour on me, however it does look akin to MAC Japanese Maple on these photos ( I promise they aren't the same).
Lasting power is good, they last a few drinks on a night out before topping up, and for normal everyday use they fare well also. For the price tag of £5.99 (or depending which drugstore has an offer on them) there are more than enough reasons to have at least one in your stash..

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Liebster Award 2 & 3

In the last few days, I've been nominated for not just one, but two Liebster awards, by Alice at Mutterings Of A Teenager  and Stef at Scottish Stefs Nails. If you don't know what its all about, its for those blogs than have less than 200 followers, as a way for you, the reader, to find new blogs and find out about the authors of them.
I've already done one, which you can read here last year so I won't be doing the whole hog again, but as Alice and Stef were lovely enough to nominate me, I will answer their questions and find another 11 facts about myself! So here we go:

11 Facts About Me
1. I don't like tomatoes but I love ketchup.
2. I like lager. And craft beer.
3. I love watching Come Dine With Me. I LOVE IT. I can't cook anything though..
4. My nickname is Lil Moo.
5. Oh, my names actually not Charlie either. It's Charlotte. (Oh Haiiiii)
6. I have a ridiculous bodyclock. It's currently 8am on a Saturday, I'm not at work and I've already been awake 2 hours.
7. I have a scar on my iris from when I got an eye ulcer. I was about a milimeter away from blinding myself.
8. I have been to 11 primary schools. I was always the new girl.
9. I prefer dogs over cats (I have a cat.. go figure)
10. I am not a vegetarian but often choose veggie dishes over meat ones as I prefer the taste.
11. I have 7 ear piercings.

Stefs Questions
1. Do you prefer prints or block colour?
I prefer block colour as it lasts for longer, in the fashion sense.
2. Are you creative, academic or both?
I would hope I was academic, I sure am not creative in the slightest
3. Name one blogger and their blog that you would recommend?
Adrienne at The Sunday Girl. Her massive following is because of her honest reviews and great swatches meaning a purchase is rarely a waste of money.
4. What's your favourite song at the moment?
Probably I'm Into You by Paramore as its definitely a treadmill song.
5.What would your ideal career be?
As a child I wanted to be an air hostess, now I want to be successful I'd love to be a high flying translator for some rich dude or dudette.
6. What are your favourite American TV programmes?
Franklin & Bash, Greys Anatomy, True Blood, Suits, New Girl to name a few! I'm slowly getting into suits but I'm all over True Blood.
7. What is your favourite nail polish brand?
Nails Inc as I've tried and tested them, I love them and their application and colours are great. That doesn't mean Models Own and Barry M don't give them a run for their money.
8. Skater dress or bodycon?
Skater dress as it hides last nights beer and curry podge. Bodycon dresses really make me feel self conscious at the moment.
9. What is your favourite make up product?
Foundation. I hate my skin for its uneven skintone, freckles and redness. If I can cover it, its all the better.
10. Boots or Superdrug?
This is hard! I prefer boots for the points but Superdrug tends to always have the better offers on!
11. Bright nail polish or nude nail polish?
Bright! Models Own Beach Party anyone?

Alices Questions
1.When did you first start wearing makeup?
If I remember correctly, Year 7 so would be 12/13? Granted it wasn't much but it was still something.
2. Favourite high street brand?
Rimmel, as their foundations do as they say on the tin, the polishes are hard wearing and durable, their face powder is one of the best and their lipsticks are brilliant with a range of colours. I think that about sums it up.
3. If you only had one day to live, what would you do?
Do something crazy, like skydiving or bungee jumping. Eat anything I wanted without issue. Blow my savings on gifts for friends and family (I wouldn't be needing it would I?)
4. All time favourite piece of clothing (include a picture)?
I dont have a picture as I don't have a favourite piece of clothing! I'm not totally into fashion, I wear simple pieces. My favourite thing I guess was my All Saints Jeans but I ripped them on a fairground ride so no pictures.
5. Why did you start blogging?
A few years ago whilst at uni. I didn't really put my all into blogging until a few months ago as recently there have been mucho changes going on.
6. What are your goals for life?
Buy my own house.
7. Would you rather buy one expensive product or buy a few drugstore products?
A few drugstore products, as some of them are on parr or surpass the higher end!
8. Who is your celebrity role model and why?
I don't have one as I don't think its possible to truly know who they are. There are those I respect but I don't see them as a role model!
9. Favourite scent?
Lady Million by Paco Rabanne
10. Who are your fashion icons?
This kind of follows on from question 8 however someone like Holly Willoughby or Angelina Jolie, they dress for their shape in well tailored garments that suit them!
11. If you could have anything in the world, what would it be and why?
My own house. Its my goal in life, it's what I really want. A sanctuary of sorts!

PS Remember you can win a MAC lipstick of your choice in my giveaway

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Giveaway: MAC lipstick of YOUR CHOICE

I've only recently got back into blogging, now my life has found a balance I can deal with. Over the last few weeks my blog has gone from strength to strength, the writing has improved and people have given me some feedback I really do appreciate. So with that said, I know some people don't have the cash to have the more luxury things and some do. But I want to give everyone a chance to get something for nothing, something they will love and appreciate.

I want to give you the chance to win a MAC lipstick. Of your choice.
How awesome is that?!!

It means you can pick something you love, which will make me happy. It really is a thank you for taking 2 minutes out of your life to read this blog.

- UK only, simply because of the postage extravaganza
- GFC, Twitter and Bloglovin' follows are mandatory entries (it is for readers after all)
- Runs for 4 weeks
- Winner will be contacted over Twitter.

Thank you so much. Really.
It means the world.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Soap and Glory Bodycare: Quick Reviews

L-R Heel Genius, Smoothie Star, Clean Girls, Slimwear

Every girl has (probably) either owned or used something from this iconic retro brand. No nonsense on the label, cute pink colours and retro glam all neatly containing some wonder products. Today I'm going to focus on a few, and give some 'quick reviews'.

Heel Genius (£5.50 here)
Socks? Check. Bed? Check? Heel Genius? Check.
This stuff is worth the hype. I used to work in a bar, constantly on my feet so they developed a very hard and crusty (sorry for using that word.. imagery or what) layer of hard skin. Massage into the feet before bed and go to sleep. You'll notice something in the morning but do it everyday for a week and you will have feet that are as soft as a babies bottom. It smells of fruits and mint, not an overpowering one but it is a strong scent all the same. Out of all the products mentioned this one would be the ultimate re-buy as for the price you can't go wrong. If you are going to buy anything, buy this.

Smoothie Star (£10 here)
Ingredients like Almonds, Honey, cocoa butter and oaks makes this smell divine. With its useful pump it means you don't over use the product and have to walk around like a zombie whilst it dries. It soaks into the skin with ease and makes it feel plump and soft. Works well on those nasty areas such as knees and elbows. I rate this more than the body butters and its great for after showers and everyday use, rather than a luxury treat. Did I mention it smelled divine?

Clean, Girls (£6.50 here)
Not quite the iconic Clean on Me body wash, Clean Girls is a much more girly and pleasant scent (in my opinion). Vanilla, musk, blackcurrant and freesias help make this body wash smell a lot more luxury than it really is. It lathers up really well so you don't need to use much (1 pump) and it locks in moisture so you don't get out the shower and have that tight skin feeling. I'd recommend this over Clean on Me anyway, but ultimately it depends what scent you prefer. Apparently boys prefer this to, if the other half is anything to go by. He often smells of this.

Slimwear (Discontinued but £3.99 here)
Advertised as an anti cellulite product, Slimwear was always going to be hit and miss. It didn't promise miracles but with morning and evening use it claimed it would firm, and I did notice a slight difference but nothing to hail the gods about. It was minty so gave that tingly feeling to legs, and moisturised well. It's a shame it isn't readily available anymore as it was an alright product after everything!

So my lovely bunch of readers, what do we think? You tried one of these? Inspired to or simply disagree?
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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Five Minute Face Version 1

Welcome to Five Minute Face!
In the morning, sleep is all I want. So if I can find a viable way to stay in bed for longer then yay for me! Five Minute Face is the result of 5 minutes make up application that makes me acceptable to the human race. Here is version 1....

Products Used:
SEVENTEEN Wild Metallics Eyes in Wild Nude (£3.99 here, review here)
HD Brows Palette in Foxy (£19.96 here, review here)
Max Factor False Lash Effect Masterpiece Mascara (Full size £10.99 here)
L'Oreal Color Appeal Solo Eyeshadow in Cream Lame (£5.99 here)
No7 Stay Perfect Foundation (£14 here)

Quickly buff in No7 Stay Perfect foundation over the face. Whilst this is setting, a quick go over the eyes with Seventeen Wild Metallics Eyes with a finger, This stuff is great as it lasts all day. Using The HD Brows Palette I give a bit more shape to the brow for a more tidy look (at the moment they aren't great, growing them out for a HD Brows consult and shape). Quick slick of mascara, the Max Factor False Lash Effect is great as it dries quickly and gives length to the lashes. Finally I used the L'Oreal Eyeshadow as a highligter on the cupids bow, top of the cheeks and the brow bone as it gives a healthy glow without looking too shiny. And here is the result....

... first time I've shown my full face on the blog. Hello!!! Ready to run out the door, coffee in hand.

How do you feel above Five Minute Face? Any tips? Let me know in the comments.
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Sunday, 4 August 2013

MAC 'Japanese Maple'

 I love my makeup like any other girl, but sometimes you've got to tone it down, take it back to basics.
A classic, effortless no makeup look (for me that involves a whole plethora of cosmetics though). This was the logic behind this purchase of MAC Japanese Maple. After many decisions, dirty tissues and an arm that could be mistaken for a paint mixing board I left £14 pounds lighter.
Japanese Maple a muted nude beige, MAC describes it as frosted, but I'd disagree. Frosted makes it sound dated and old. This is glossy and youthful. This lipstick is one of the Cremesheen and Pearl formulas (sounds snazzy eh?) which basically means its a creamy texture (Cremesheen) with the shimmer and sparkles of the frost lipsticks (Pearl).

In terms of pigmentation the colour isn't the strongest but it gives a subtle and natural finish that I feel comfortable wearing.
So, would I recommend this colour? Yes is the short answer but depending on your skin colour it may wash you out. With all MAC lipsticks though you are paying for the quality... And it does show.
Avaliable at MAC counters or online for £15.
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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Daisy Nail Art How-To

Nail Art. Simple Nail art.
Grabbed your attention yet?
Fancy some super cute, super easy daisies for your fingers? The best thing about this design is it is made up of dots so it makes adorning the right hand a doddle (why do you think all my photos are off my left hand - it looks better!). So Follow my step by step guide for cute daisies.
You can use any colour combination you like so grab some polishes and move to step one....
For the dotting tool, I used a hair grip. If you have fancy dotting tools they work just as well :P

Step 1)
Paint the nail in any colour you desire. Here I have used No7 Gel Shine in 'Hotting Up'
Step 2)
Grab your dotting tool of choice. I'd put a bit of polish onto a piece of paper for ease. Lightly dip it in then dob onto the nail (four dots close together)
Step 3)
Add Some more flowers. Remember the edges!
Step 4)
Now clean your dotting tool and grab your next colour, the one for the centre of the flower. Here I used Models Own 'Beach Party'. Put one dot of this colour to the centre of each of your flowers.
Step 5)
Now for leaves. Clean the tool, dip into your polish and apply two dots opposite each other. Do all the flowers or for a different take only add leaves to one or two. (Barry M 'Greenberry for those of you who are interested'
Step 6)
Whilst waiting to try, clean the nail edge with acetone and a brush/cotton bud.
Step 7)
When completely dry, top coat it baby! Dab rather than drag to make sure you don't smudge.
Step 8)
Admire your handiwork! Take photos, instagram that stuff!
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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pinterest Picks

Who would have thought it.. Another social media doo dah that I've got a slight addiction for. So, if like me, you want some more pins for your boards, here are my top Pinterest Pics for this week! They aren't all just beauty, rather a collection of interesting things. Hopefully some of them you'll love, some you might attempt and some you'll Pin..
Here's to hoping! 

Martha Stewart Fish Bowl Gelatin.

How chuffed would you be if that was placed in front of you? It's awesome for all ages! Not many ingredients, quite simple and a winner!
How to Make a Smoothie (Click for full image)

I love this. A five step graphic to making better smoothies with choices for all the steps. Great for those of us trying to eat more fruit and veg/lose weight. Personally have gleaned so much inspiration from this one.

Mint Nail Art

I say this now (before I've attempted it, granted) that it looks as if it COULD be easy to execute. A few colours, a few dots, a few lines... easily editable and the combination of elements make it really rather pretty. I'll get back to you on the ease scale...

Mac Lipstick Dupes (Click to see full image)

For the MAC lovers among us who may not have £15 to spend on a lipstick this helpful infographic means we don't have to miss out! Major Love.

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