Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Now, this isn't a haul as rather excited little squee over some new shoes I bought yesterday.

Yesterday was quite a successful day actually; I went to see Take That which was absolutely brilliant! Didn't get any photos unfortunately because my camera is rubbish but suffice to say I wish I was going again tonight! Gary, Robbie, Mark, Jason and Howard, you were bloody brilliant! :D 

I also had quite a successful shop. I say successful but perhaps expensive is more like it! Not only did I hit up the Bobbi Brown counter (more of that later), but I also found the shoe department in House of Fraser. 


It was heaven. 

I've always admired shoes in department stores but never bought any because to be perfectly honest with you, I've never been able to afford them. However, there was a sale on, and after trying on various pairs (wish I could have bought them all), I came home from Cardiff with these:

Sorry about the slightly dark and fuzzy photos but aren't they just the most gorgeous pair of shoes you've ever seen?! I've been looking for a pair of going-out heels in ages and these are the ones! I can see them going with most stuff in my wardrobe, plus they're actually really comfy considering the height! 

They're leather as well so hopefully those nasty blisters will be kept at bay, plus the zip at the back that normally rubs on every other pair of shoes has a decent amount of material covering it.

They're by Kurt Geiger and were on sale in House of Fraser. I'm not going to tell you how much for because for expensive items like this, I feel like I shouldn't as some might see it as boasting. However, I did get a mean saving through sale buying so I can feel slightly less guilty over the price (suffice to say it is a lot more than I have ever paid for a pair of shoes in my house).

Now I just have to learn how to walk in them...

Monday, 6 June 2011

Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser

I've never had particularly inspiring encounters with tinted moisturisers. Most tend to have strong orange base tones that turn me into an oompa-lumpa, or have a tendency to bring me out in a lovely, itchy rash due to some not-so-desirable ingredients. One even exploded all over my bag once due to the less-than-ideal packaging which quite frankly was a nightmare. But my main reason for staying clear for so many years was that most tinted moisturisers are simply far too dark for my pale skin.

When I heard Clinique was bringing out their Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser, I did get quite excited as I always do when a new product launches. Clinique is a great little brand that serves up some amazing products - I'm thinking their Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Balm here! Was this tinted moisturiser going to become the answer to all my problems?

Here's a picture of the packaging, complete with lovely reflection of me and the camera:

Packaging-wise, it's okay; not brilliant but not the worst I've ever encountered. Because it's a squeezey bottle, sometimes it's hard to control the amount of product that comes out so you end up wasting some. However, it stops the packaging from getting super messy so I suppose that's a plus.

Ignore the weird expression but hopefully you can see that the tinted moisturiser gives a lovely, dewy glow! All I'm wearing here is literally the tinted moisturiser - no mascara, no lipstick, no eyeshadow *gulp*!

For those with dry or normal skin, the product would be perfect to use by itself (though very dry skins might need to throw in another moisturising agent to really get the best of it). However, those with slightly oilier skins might need to use a light dusting of powder to set it. It applies really nicely though and is fairly easy to blend out, with texture becoming thicker as it warms. 

The coverage is sheer and doesn't cover my freckles, but can be built up to cover minor imperfections, eg: change in skin tone. 

The SPF 15 is also a great addition for those of us short on time, though I do wish Clinique had included a slightly higher factor. Typically, tinted moisturisers tend to be worn in the summer when it's vital to wear a high SPF to protect against sun damage. I would be reluctant to take this abroad as the SPF is nowhere near the factor I need to protect my pale skin from burning.

I wish I could say this was my only negative about this product, but unfortunately, there's lots more; a pity because I really, really wanted to love it.

  1. The colour selection is seriously limited. There are only six shades in the range so those with light or darker skin tones will probably struggle to find a match. I bought the lightest shade which is far too dark for me as demonstrated by the above picture.
  2. The product also goes very orange on me. Rather than looking tanned - something I could have coped with - I just look tangoed! Not a brilliant look!
  3. It's also not moisturising enough for me to wear without first layering another moisturiser underneath, something that completely defeats the object in my opinion. Granted, I have very dry skin but when I used this purely by itself, my skin was feeling horribly tight. 
  4. The price. £21 is - dare I say it - not too bad for a high end beauty item. However, considering my experiences with the product, I don't think it's worth that much.
In conclusion (gosh, this sounds like an essay!), I wouldn't recommend this product for anyone with pale or very dark skin as the shade ranges are poor. In saying that, if you can find a shade that works for you, this might be a great little tinted moisturiser.

Have you tried the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser? Let me know what you think! 

Saturday, 26 March 2011

17 Vintage Love Metallic Nudes Palette

17 is a brand that is severely neglected by my despite the fact that I've had some very impressive products from there! I like to think this is because it's only available in Boots rather than any product snobbery from me (of which I am sure I've probably been guilty of over the last year or so). I tend to shop in Superdrug for high street cosmetics as they do a wonderful 10% student discount that suits my pocket to a tee!

However, a short while ago (we're talking a week and a bit) I found myself browsing 17's counter. This eyeshadow palette was limited edition along with another that sadly, I didn't buy. When I went back for it today, there were none of either palette left which I think says something about the palette's quality.

The first thing I want to say about this palette is how beautiful is the design? Some people have said it reminds them of a snail, others a butterfly but I think we can all agree that it's beautiful! The palette also comes with a good size mirror, sturdy and cute packaging and a handy sponge applicator.

So here are some swatches that were taken in natural daylight. They are only very thin swatches - although the colours are very buildable, I wanted to review them on their initial application!

As you can (hopefully) see, the shades are all really pigmented with number three, aka the gold, being the stand out colour pigmentation-wise for me! Number one (the pewter/taupe-silver) is probably the least pigmented but even that packs a good punch and it's such a beautiful colour that I can't bring myself to worry!

I love the shimmer of these shadows, though in a way they're too shimmery for day wear. One colour paired with other matte ones would be fine but the whole palette is best reserved for night time when it's okay to resemble a disco ball (and I have, let me tell you :p).

The texture is also really smooth and silky, almost reminiscent of mousse eyeshadows! No hideous, chalky textures here!

One of the only drawbacks of this palette is that I don't think it would work well with ageing eyelids simply because the shimmer of the shadows shows up every imperfection. At eighteen, I like to think I have no wrinkles but a too heavy application made my eyelids look slightly crepey! This is definitely best used with a light hand!

All in all, I love this product! I am a neutrals girl and so something like this has automatic appeal to me! However, I really think this is a great value product and I hope 17 introduce new ones/palettes like this to the permanent range. 

17's Vintage Love Metallic Nudes palette is £5.49 for 4g of product and is available from Boots! 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

My Experience With Eye Lash Extensions

Sadly, I lucked out when Mother Nature was handing out eyelashes. Rather than being bambi-like, mine are the epitome of short and stumpy. Over the years, I've tried probably hundreds of mascaras with few successes and many more disappointments. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the beautician we've (my mum, and then when I was old enough, little old me) been with for years started to offer eyelash extensions. Because of the length of time we've been with her, I managed to get a discount rate, but prices seem to range from £30 up to £150+! 

I've considered for a long time trying something like rapid lash which supposedly is meant to make your eyelashes grow longer and stronger. However, I've also read about some strange side effects which slightly put me off (namely, eye colours changing and eyelashes becoming crispy so that they break off). Also, the £40 price tag sort of puts me off. Anyway, I decided eyelash extensions seemed like the better option to trial so here's my experience with them.

This was my eye before:

As you can see, my top lashes are short and straight making them a nightmare to curl!

This is my eye with eyelash extensions:

I admit, I was looking in slightly different places when I took the pictures but the basic idea is there. With the extensions, my eyes looked bigger, prettier and more awake. Without, they looked much smaller and squintier.

In an ideal world, I would have preferred to have thickness added as well as length, but she recommended starting small and then working my way up so that's what I did. I imagine if you had more eyelashes inserted, there would be no need for mascara. However, I still felt like I needed it when I did more dramatic looks because I didn't have enough volume. 

So nice to wake up and go - no need for mascara as eyes already look wide awake. 
Great for special occassions, eg: weddings, holidays etc
No need to fuss about with glue/false eyelashes all the time so very convenient
Can be worn swimming, showering, exercising etc as don't come off
    Take a while to apply (around an hour or two) which is a nightmare if you're fidgety like me!
    The application process was a bit uncomfortable. It involved sticking down the bottom eyelashes so they didn't get stuck to the glue! A strange and rather unpleasant experience in my opinion.
    Even with the tape, a couple of my bottom eyelashes got stuck to some glue on the top ones! It was very painful separating them - would not recommend it!
    The cost: not cheap!
    They need maintenance roughly every 4-6 weeks!
    You can use mascara but it has to be water-based.
    Leading on from that, you have to be so careful about what you put near your eyes. Oil-based products loosen the glue and you're advised to not even rub your eyes. For someone who sleeps with their arm over their eyes (don't ask why), it was awful!
    Some people may have a reaction to the glue (I have very sensitive skin/eyes and was fine though)
    Repeated useage may result in damage to your natural lashes.
    Only last for the cycle of your natural lashes, so when your natural ones fall out, so do the extensions. Not a problem until some start to fall out whilst others remain. I ended up having to cut the last few down to the size of my other lashes. About four weeks later, all but one are gone and to be honest with you, I just want it to come out!
      In conclusion... I loved my eyelash extensions when I had them and they were new. They looked fab and I think I'll definitely be getting them again when I go on holiday! However, I can't see myself wearing them all the time as I don't have the money or the time for the regular upkeep needed! 

      Gold and Coral Makeup Looks

      Now it's starting to get a bit warmer (in the UK at least) and shorts have begun to emerge, I figured it was a good time to do a gold and coral makeup tutorial. 

      Typically, when I think of gold and corals, I think of summer which is why I haven't done this tutorial sooner. Although not a key trend at fashion week, I think there is always a place for gold and coral makeup in the summer as it's just so fresh and has a tropical, beachy feel to it - not sure why, but it does!

      Anyway, instead of doing one tutorial, I decided to do two. Gold and coral is absolutely gorgeous on tanned and darker skinned people (my jealous pangs are stirring at the thought) who normally can get away with gorgeous, orangey metallic golds and beautiful, bright corals. However, in my personal opinion, gold and coral can be much harder for paler skins to pull off! Take a gold too orangey and it will look strange, take a coral too bright and it will completely overpower the rest of your makeup!

      To cut a long story short, I decided to make two separate tutorials: one that would look amazing on more tanned skin and one that's more flattering for people like me who hardly tan (summer normally brings me out in shades of lobster). That's not say that they aren't interchangeable - they are! I think people should wear makeup according to what they want and how they feel, not what people tell them - but I've tried to tailor it so each look is particularly flattering on whatever skin tone.

      Here's the first tutorial for more tanned/darker skin

      Product List:

      Benefit Perfect Match Foundation
      Clinique Moisturising Lotion
      NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil - Gold
      Collection 2000 Light Diffusing Concealer - 1
      17 Vintage Love Metallic Nudes Palette
      MUA Eyeshadow - 2
      Sleek Kajal Eyeliner
      Avon Supershock Gel Liner - Bronze
      Collection 2000 Big Fake Lash Mascara
      2true Bronzer - 2
      Avon Mineral Blush - Radiance
      Avon Magix
      Natural Collection Loose Powder
      Avon Brow Definer - Fair
      Bourjois Blush - Lune D'or
      Rimmel Lipstick - Coral in Gold
      Avon Gloss Stick - Coral

      And here's the tutorial for paler skintones!

      Products List:

      MAC E/S - Vanilla, Patina, Retrospek, Charcoal Brown
      Nars Multiple - Orgasm
      Benefit Blush - Coralista
      Lacura Shimmering Day Cream
      Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation - Ivory
      Garnier Roll On - Very Fair
      Lacura Concealer - Cashmere
      Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion
      Nivea Soothe and Protect Lip Balm
      Urban Decay Shadow Primer Potion - Sin
      MAC Liner - Powersurge, Buried Treasure
      No7 Exquisite Curl Mascara
      Rimmel Moisturising Lipstick - Soft Coral
      Avon Lip Glaze - Coral Reef

      Enjoy! x

      Friday, 11 March 2011

      Sarah Harding Makeup Tutorial

      Hello lovelies!

      Long time no posting! I know, I know. Fail! Promise I'll have another non-tutorial post up by the end of this weekend.

      Anyway, today's post is on this gorgeous makeup worn by Sarah Harding of Girls Aloud fame. I love the slightly vampy, dramatic edge and the wings at the edge of the makeup - pure gorgeous!

      Here's my inspiration picture I used for the look: 

      (Image property of people who took it - I'm just borrowing! Found it on the Daily Mails website if that helps! I know, rubbish disclaimer thing!)

      Anyway, here's my tutorial: 

      Product List:

      Sleek Palette - Black
      MAC E/S - Vanilla, Shroom, Mystery
      Lacura Blush - Sunset
      Collection 2000 Shine Away Compact Powder
      Loreal True Match Foundation
      Avon Gel Liner - Shimmer Black
      Lacura Concealer
      MAC Blush - Gana, Harmony

      Tuesday, 1 March 2011

      Soft Brown Eye Using All Avon Products

      I've been meaning to do a just Avon tutorial for a while and it's finally here. I decided to go for something simple rather than something overly complicated, and by using neutral colours, I wanted to ensure it would suit everyone. 

      Avon itself is a brand sometimes neglected by the beauty community as there's still an old woman/granny association it has. Over the last few years, the brand's become much more hip and really has produced some stellar products.

      Because my mum's an Avon rep, I myself have purchased many, many Avon products and here in this tutorial, I use many of my favourites! :)

      Avon Products Used:

      Mocha Latte Quad
      Super Extend Mascara - Black
      Moisture Seduction Lipstick 
      Illuminating Calming Effects Foundation - Ivory
      Diamond Shimmer Pearls
      Illuminating Face Pearls
      Brow Gel (can't remember the exact name right now but I'm sure I say in the video!)
      Winter Solutions Face Cream
      Anti Blemish Concealer

      Monday, 28 February 2011

      Model Monday: Anja Rubik Spanish Vogue Makeup Look

      Above's the inspiration picture I used for this week's Model Monday. I love everything about this picture! The makeup, the dress (oh my gosh, the dress is actually to die for!) the jewellery, and of course the extremely beautiful Anja Rubik!

      As it were, I came across this on a trawl across the internet for some inspiration and immediately knew this was this weeks look. I love the contrast between the purple and gold on the eye and then the nude rest of the face. Simply stunning.

      About the tutorial itself, I feel I should warn you that I find bright colours notoriously difficult to blend. It's not the formula's fault at all, simply that I lack the necessary patience to blend out properly. In saying that, I think we ended up okay, although perhaps her makeup was a little more rounded then mine was. 

      Products Used:

      Mac Paint Pot - Vintage Selection
      Sleek Original Palette - Purple
      MAC E/S - Dalliance (Peacocky collection), Vanilla, Mystery
      NYX Lipstick - Sash
      Yaby E/S - Eggplant
      MAC Eye Kohl - Feline
      Avon Super Shock Mascara
      Avon Calming Effects Illuminating Foundation
      Lacura Concealer
      Lacura Transparent Powder - 10 Translucent
      MAC Blush - Harmony, Gana (Mickey Contractor)
      Boujouir blush - 35 Lune d'or

      Hope you guys like it! Let me know what you all think!