Friday 30 November 2012

november favourites

November hasn't been a particularly experimental month for me in terms of makeup, mostly I've been sticking to old favourites that have been featured in previous posts. That being said, I've been making use of my stash of lip products (as I can actually see what I have now, thanks to my new storage system) and rekindled my love for one or two of them.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory - I always wear more foundation in the colder months, and seeing as I recently bought this from a blog sale I thought there'd be no better time to test it out. This foundation delivers a low to medium natural coverage and gives a lovely glow to my skin, a nice pick-me-up as it's been looking pretty dull as of late. It doesn't work too well around dry patches, but a bit of moisturiser beforehand solves that problem.

Barry M Glossy Tube in 11 - I haven't worn lipgloss in a while, I don't have any reason for this but after a few months of favouring lipstick and lip balm I started reaching for this squeezy tube fairly often! The colour comes out pretty sheer but delivers a tonne of shine and isn't sticky. I'm not too keen on the scent though, it's sweet but too artificial for my liking.

Ciate Lipgloss in Ibiza - Another lipgloss in a squeezy tube, but unfortunately this one has been discontinued. This was a freebie in Marie Claire last year, and it's a gorgeous raspberry pink colour with great pigmentation.
Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 107 - If I had to pick one lipstick to wear all winter, this would be it. Above I've shown what the lipstick looks like straight out of the bullet, but my preferred method is to use it as a stain by dabbing a little bit onto my lips, blending in with my finger and applying some sheer lipgloss or a lip balm on top.

Origins Super Spot Remover - Wow this stuff works. And fast. As soon as I see even a hint of a spot appearing, I apply some of this and it'll be gone by the next day. The bottle is tiny, but you need such a small amount that it'll still last for ages - the only bad thing I will say about this is that it dries your skin out like mad. All in all though, this is amazing.

I get to open my advent calender tomorrow - I'm a bit too excited about the prospect of that to be honest.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

christmas gift ideas for the beauty-obsessed

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming...
And for most people who are into makeup (hello!) you'll have some kind of Christmas wishlist packed with all things beauty, but sometimes you don't really know what to get for anyone else who likes beauty products. Well, there's an abundance of amazing gift sets that come out exactly for this occasion so I thought it would be a fun idea to round up my favourites from the bunch - this post is only covering things in the makeup and skincare region, there's a whole other world full of great bath and body gifts!




I really hope that the new Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is out in the UK in time for Christmas - it's released tomorrow (November 29th) in the USA so here's hoping! If you haven't heard the news, Temptalia reviewed it here.

Sunday 25 November 2012

notd | starry sky

This nail of the day is startlingly similar to the last one I posted, but I think it's different enough to justify posting it straight after the first one. After all, who doesn't love a bit of glitter?

I used Nails Inc Motcomb Street that came free with this month's Glamour magazine (more info here) as my base colour, and I have to say I was very impressed by it. It's a lovely dark navy blue and takes two thin coats to be opaque.
As for the glitter, it's a polish from Rimmel titled Disco Gold which I applied one coat of. Gold glitter topcoats are very few and far between in my collection, in fact I think this may be the only one I have. The glitter has a mix of orange and gold sparkles, and when the light hits my nails correctly I can sometimes glimpse a bit of green in there too - I can't help feeling that this top coat would look better over a dark red, I'll need to try that out one day.

Friday 23 November 2012

book review - the perks of being a wallflower

I'd completely forgotten about the whole book review thing that I'm doing on my blog - in fact the only review I've done so far was of the Maze Runner trilogy. Truthfully, I haven't been reading as much, but this past week I've experienced some very long train journeys, which gave me the time to read this book. 
 I bought The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky a while ago, when I saw it in Waterstones (I could spend countless hours in that store) and I was reminded of how many times I'd heard it mentioned to me. Also, a film adaptation of the book has recently been released, and a book that gets that famous has to be pretty damn good, right? Whilst I was in Waterstones I spotted they had another version of the book with the cover of it displaying a scene from the movie - I passed on that, I personally think that the version I own is much prettier. It's a fairly thin book, I managed to finish it in three days (although those train journeys were very long).
The book is set out in letters to you, a "friend" that the writer of the letters, Charlie, doesn't know - this is explained on the first page so as soon as you start reading you know what's going on. The letters document what's happening in Charlie's life, starting off with his first day at high school. Charlie is a very shy person, and so the majority of the book is taken up by him making friends and the experiences he has with them, as well as what's going on in his family, I'm not usually into books without a thrilling plot as I think that I simply won't find them as interesting, I'm definitely going to have to rethink that theory.
The end is certainly rather shocking but very satisfying too, in the way that you aren't left feeling that the book tapered off to an end but instead finished with a bang.
The book itself is written brilliantly, and definitely is a page-turner and I highly recommend it.

Here's a link to buy the book with the same cover as mine at Waterstones for £4.89 with free UK delivery.
And here's a link to buy the book with a different cover on Amazon - £4.71 plus delivery (there's cheaper ones in the used and new section) and a link to buy the book from Waterstones for £5.35 with free UK delivery.

Oooh so many options oooh.
And just because sometimes I go a little crazy whilst editing my photos - 

Have you read the book or seen the film?

Tuesday 20 November 2012

feelunique wishlist!

This post is going to be something a little different as I've never done a wishlist before - I don't know why as they seem really fun, albeit an easy way to spend all my money. What spurred me on to create this post was that Louise over at The Beauty Of Louise is holding a giveaway to win £80 to spend on the FeelUnique website, this is my contest entry! You can enter here.

1. Benefit b.right Radiant Skincare 6 Piece Intro Kit, £10 - I've been intrigued by the Benefit skincare line for a while now, but the price tag has always put me off but this mini set seems perfect to try out everything.

2. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, £3.99 - I'm in need of a new pressed powder and this has been compared to the Mac MSFs, with the low price tag this will be something I'll probably end up purchasing!

3. Nubar Nail Lacquer in Pink Lily, £7.20 - Pink Lily is a gorgeous pastel light pink colour, and despite hearing amazing things about the brand I've never tried anything from Nubar.

4. JASON Brightening Apricot Scrubble, £5.29 - First off, Scrubble is an amazing word. I want it just for that. And I've seen a few reviews saying this is the better version of the St. Ives scrub (Evelyn's post is the one that convinced me), and all in all I just really want to give it a go.

5. Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Flush, £14.50 - I've been lusting after the watercolour blushes for a while now, they look so pigmented in swatches but for now I really cannot justify the price tag for a blush, especially as I already have far too many neglected ones!

6. Korres Mango Lip Butter, £6 - These have to be the most raved about lip balms on the blogosphere and despite me having a billion and one lip balms already, I still want to try this one out. You can never have enough of them, right?

7. Stila Living The Life in the Laguna Palette, £10 - Considering how expensive Stila is, this palette seems a bargain and would be great for travelling as it contains four eyeshadows, a highlighter and a blush.

8. Benefit Erase Paste, £19.50 - A mini Erase Paste was included in a Benefit kit that I own but unfortunately it's in the shade Medium, which is much too dark and orange for my skin tone. However, it seems to be a great concealer overall and I would love to try it in the correct shade!

9. Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Black Tulip, £2.99 - From swatches this looks like a really deep red, and I'm really getting into deeper colours so I'd love to wear this on it's own on my lips for a really dramatic look.

Total - £79.47
Would you like me to make a few more wishlists? This one was really fun to do!

Saturday 17 November 2012

notd | constellations

 Sometimes I find that the simplest combinations can be the best. Like if you throw together a plain black nail polish and a cheap glitter one, you end up with something that every time you catch a glimpse of your nails you just think "well isn't that pretty". Maybe I'm going overboard in my explanation, maybe I'm not - I just really really like this combo.
I applied two coats of Orly Black Out to get opaque coverage, then it took two coats of the Miss Sporty glitter polish (which has small silver glitter particles that glitter multicoloured, and bigger blue and pink glitters) to get the effect. My nails still looked glittery with only one coat of the glitter, but I couldn't resist adding more.
I really can't recommend the glitter nail varnish enough, especially as the price comes in at under the two pound mark.

Are you a fan of glitter nails?

Thursday 15 November 2012

five winter beauty essentials

As the days are getting shorter and we're getting well and truly into winter, I tend to switch out a few products in my beauty regime. Since I end up favouring certain items over others I thought I would share with you my top five essentials for this season!
1. Hand Cream
I've never really suffered with dry hands, but recently I seem to be reaching for some kind of hand cream rather a lot - I guess central heating does take it's toll!
My hand cream of choice is a miniature one by Lavera, it absorbs quickly, has a nice natural scent and delivers just the right amount of moisture. The other two shown in the above photo are also minis and are by Balance Me and L'Occitane.
2. Lip Scrub + Balm
My lips are always dry, but come the winter the dryness goes up to a whole new level - think how dry the Sahara is and you're halfway there.
As well as the self-explanatory Carmex lip balm, lip scrubs are also an essential to me to keep all the excess dry skin at bay, and although it's pretty simple to make your own (granulated sugar mixed with honey and a bit of water) the ones from Lush taste so good, although I must admit they are a bit overpriced.
As you can see my Bubblegum Scrub is looking rather worse for wear, I'm almost at the end of it though. The Lip Dip Scrub (discontinued) isn't as exfoliating, but it does taste like sherbet so that makes up for it.
3. Dark Nail Polish
I must admit, I do like my bright nails and I usually shy away from anything darker but lately I've really been enjoying my navys, dark reds and dark glitters. Pictured are Ciaté Wait Until Dark, Orly Ruby, Nails Inc Motcomb Street (freebie from this month's Glamour, more info here) and an Essence duo in Front Row or Backstage? and Ticket To The Show.
4. Body Lotion
As well as my hands, my body also feels the difference in weather and every few days I look forward to slathering some body lotion or other on as the next day my skin feel so soft, especially if I've shaved my legs the night before.
At the moment I'm using the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion* which is more moisturising than a normal body lotion, I'd say it was on par with a body butter, except it doesn't take as long to sink in. The main reason I like this though is the scent. Imagine the smell of cake batter and times it by a hundred and two and you have this. Ohmygod it is amazing.
5. Dark Lipstick
For me, berry colours and the colder months go hand in hand. I feel that they compliment my paler skin as well as playing a big part in making me look more awake and less zombie-ish.
My two favourites of the moment are 107 from the Rimmel Kate Moss Matte range and Urban Decay's Trainwreck. I'd say that the Urban Decay colour is the lighter, less pigmented version of the Rimmel lipstick (which I thought was rather strange, Urban Decay products are usually packed with pigmentation) so I use Trainwreck if I'm going for a more subtle look.
The Rimmel Matte Kate Moss lipsticks seem to be talked about a lot here in the blogging world, and I have to say I'm impressed! I took the photos above about a week ago, when I'd just bought it and so far I've worn the colour four times out of seven (and two have been non-makeup days).

Another product which I think deserves an honourable mention is a thick moisturiser, in the summer I have no need of one but in the winter I pile that stuff on to keep away those dreaded dry patches!

*PR Sample. All opinions are my own.

Monday 12 November 2012

uk magazine freebies - november 2012

This month Nails Inc have teamed up with a magazine to shower us in affordable versions of their products (£11 for a nail polish, really?!) and there's also a few other good bargains out there, here's what I've managed to find...
Glamour (£2) is offering a choice of four full size Nails Inc nail polishes. I got hold of Motcomb Street, mainly because it was the only colour left in my local newsagents, but it was the colour I had my eye on anyway so that makes me a very happy bunny. Motcomb Street a very deep navy, verging on the borders of black - very winter appropriate!
The other colours available are St James, which is a festive red, Elizabeth Street, a pale pink and Glamour Glitter which is a glitter I had my eye on, but when I saw swatches it looked a bit sparse for my liking. But all in all, I think all of the shades are worth getting, especially at a very reasonable £2.
The magazine also comes with a Debenhams Fragrance & Beauty Gift Guide, a sachet sample of the Rimmel BB Cream and another of the Nivea Express Hydration Primer.

Marie Claire (£3.70) has a choice of two Jemma Kidd products, the Skin Perfection Primer or the i-define Volumising Mascara. I heard somewhere that Jemma Kidd makeup is getting discontinued, maybe this is a way to get rid of stock?

Cosmopolitan (£3.50) has - in my opinion - a rather dull free gift with it, a full size 100ml V05 Smoothly Does it Frizz Free Crème but maybe it'll appeal to some people and I'm rather biased as I have no need for products of that kind. After all, the actual product on it's own only costs 39p more than the price of the magazine.

I've seen online that the Company magazines in WHSmith have a choice of two mini Jessica nail polishes (which retail for around £8) in different shades of red but since I don't have a Smith's in my area I can't confirm anything, although it's well worth a look and maybe someone can confirm or deny this deal?

Friday 9 November 2012

storage solutions

I've always struggled with finding ways to store my makeup, there are very few products on the market made specifically for that purpose and they come with a hefty price tag attached to them. Today I'm going to be sharing how I store my makeup, skincare, jewellery and nail polish and hopefully it'll be of use to some of you if you're stuck for ways to keep all your bits and bobs organised.
Most of my jewellery is kept on top of my chest of drawers, while the rest is tucked away in a beauty box to prevent it from gathering dust. My necklaces used to hang from the dress figure you can see in the photo, but as there weren't nearly enough hooks to hang them from everything was always tangled and it looked really messy, so I decided to buy a necklace rack and use the dress figurine for chunky bracelets. Although I have to double up the necklaces on the rack, they don't get tangled at all as they're hanging straight down and I couldn't be more happy with the way they're displayed.
I ordered a two tiered bracelet holder from eBay, and I love the way it showcases all my favourite bracelets - I also bought some earring holders from eBay which display the majority of my earrings and make it really easy to find and pick out a certain pair.
The last thing I use to store my jewellery is a jewellery box from Muji. The drawer on top has a flip-top lid, and both drawers have sections you can interchange, each drawer has four big sections and nine small ones - perfect for storing my rings and other more delicate pieces of jewellery.
You can find the necklace rack here, similar dress figures here, bracelet holder here, a similar earring holder here and the Muji jewellery box here.
Both my perfumes and skincare products are stored in Glossyboxes while my nail polish is kept in (the now discontinued) Carmine boxes. I find that beauty boxes are a great way of organising things, I also use a She Said Beauty box for keeping sachet samples of beauty products together and not scattered all around the place.
Old Storage
New Storage

My main reason for making this post is that I recently reorganised my makeup collection, which mainly involved buying loads of stuff from Muji, as my old storage just wasn't cutting it any more - basically my drawers were overflowing with products, and as I couldn't see all of my makeup at a glance I ended up not using most of it.
I bought three of the Two Drawered Wide Acrylic Box from Muji, and the top one has a flip-top lid. This houses the majority of my makeup, but I keep false eyelashes to the right of the drawers, and I have a Small Acrylic Pen Stand for my eyeliners, and an Acrylic Desk Pot 3 Partitions for lip balms and lipglosses that come in squeezy tubes. I keep my palettes inbetween my brush set and two Round Pen Pots with lids, which I keep my cotton buds and cotton pads in.
The Muji website also has 5 drawer units, which are cheaper than buying three of the two drawered variety, but keep in mind that the height of each individual drawer is less in the 5 drawered version, so for taller products like foundation that wouldn't be ideal.

 If you'd like to see a more in-depth view of what's in my makeup drawers, leave me a comment!

You can find the Muji website here, and I'm also planning on buying this acrylic letter holder from eBay for storing my palettes in.
I hope this post was useful or at least interesting, if you've done a post on your makeup organisation leave a link in the comments below!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

she said beauty box - november

After receiving last month's She Said Beauty box, I was rather apprehensive about parting with another £12 for November's box as I felt that the standard of She Said Beauty was slipping and I was thinking about cancelling my subscription. Luckily, this box has banished any of those thoughts - here's what was in it!
So...? Brit Body Fragrance - I remember using body sprays like this and Impulse from when I was around 12, but this one is nowhere near as sickly sweet as I imagined it to be (don't get me wrong, it's still sweeter than a pint of butter icing), actually I find the scent really quite pleasant after the alcohol-iness had faded away. A great alternative to carrying a big bottle of perfume in my handbag, maybe this'll make me start buying body sprays again, who knows?
The aerosol is a full size, contains 50ml and retails for £1.99.

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream - Weleda is a brand that I've had really good experiences with, their One Step Cleanser & Toner is currently on my wishlist after trying a sample from another beauty box so I'm rather excited to give this a go!
The full-sized product costs £14.95 and 30ml, making this 5ml sample worth £2.49.

Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo & Conditioner - Sadly I won't be able to use the conditioner as it's aimed for dry/unruly hair and that is definitely not my hair type and I don't want to overwhelm my hair, but I'll try out the shampoo and see how it goes.
The full size shampoo contains 300ml for £11.85 and the full size conditioner contains 250ml for £13.40 - together these 10ml sachets are worth 92p.
Makebelieve Enhance Sunbeam Bronzer and Brush - This has to be the star of the show, I pounced on the packaging as soon as I opened the box and couldn't believe my eyes when I found myself gazing at a full-size bronzer - with a brush, mind. Speaking of the brush, it's really soft but I find it to be the wrong size and shape for contouring, and would be better suited to powder foundation or something along those lines. Apologies for not having a swatch of the bronzer but the lighting was playing tricks on my camera and would not take a decent photo of my hand - rest assured, it is fairly pigmented but having not tested it on my face yet I can't tell if it'll be too orange. Also, it smells a bit strange.
It's RRP is £15. Yeah. Wow.
Yardley Royal English Daisy Eau de Toilette - I'm pretty sure I've had this in a beauty box before - it's an unoffending scent, described as a "fresh, green floral" and I couldn't put it better myself (mainly because I'm horrendous as describing perfume). Yardley is a fairly inexpensive brand, and this perfume is now on my huuuuuuge fragrance wishlist.
50ml retails for £9.99, and 125ml costs £14.95.
(This tiny 1ml vial isn't worth much - only a few pence - so I'm not including it in the total)

Murrays Manicure Matchbook Nail Files - I haven't got much to say about these, they're just some nail files that now reside in my handbag and I'm sure will be very useful. Ehh...yeah that's about it.
These are full size and cost £1.99.

The total worth of this box is about £22.39, so I definitely got my money's worth! I'm really excited to see what She Said Beauty have up their sleeves for the December Christmas Box, that month seems to be the best from what I can tell from last year.
You can find me on She Said Beauty here, and you can subscribe to She Said Beauty here.

Saturday 3 November 2012

benefit confessions of a concealaholic real vs. fake

A while ago I fell subject to buying fake cosmetics on eBay when I came across an offer on a Benefit Confessions of a Concealaholic kit. Unfortunately, the too good to be true price was just that and as soon as I started using it I could tell it was counterfeit as the quality just wasn't up to scratch, but on my birthday I was lucky enough to receive the real deal, so I thought I'd compare the two to spot the differences and maybe help someone else identify a forgery?!
If you find yourself in possession of fake/unbranded makeup, please don't use it as it most probably hasn't passed any health and safely regulations and it may have been tested on animals or contain harmful chemicals/be toxic.
The writing on the real cover is a darker purple, as well as the flap being able to drop down, whereas the fake stays where it is. Also, there's a ridge on the genuine version where the flap hinges on to the rest of the box, but apart from that the outside of the boxes are extremely similar.
The booklets inside have exactly the same writing, however the phony's paper isn't as good quality and the background is more yellow-toned and well as the purple writing being lighter. Basically, it look like a bad photocopy.
The authentic set also comes with a clear bit of plastic reading "Restore this clear cover to keep your kit fresh" which was a detail the makers of the fake set didn't bother to include.
The packaging of the That Gal primers are virtually identical, apart from the mimic is taller and there is more white space between the top of the tube and the logo. I haven't tried the fake product on my face but from what I can tell from swatching it is slightly pinker than the original.
There are a few more differences between the Erase Pastes, for a start the imitation's sticker is off-centre and is a lighter purple than the legitimate version. The consistency of the real concealer is far superior to that of the fake, it's much creamier and the colour is lighter and more peach-toned than the copy too - also, there's a bit of plastic on the inside of the lid and the sticker on the bottom has a serial number.

The fake versions of the Boi-ing concealers have a lot more of the metal lip showing, and the product they contain isn't as creamy as the authentic ones. The same goes for the Eye Bright and the Lemon Aid, the pigmentation isn't as strong (I had to really work with the thing for the swatch) and is nowhere near as creamy as the proper product.
The counterfeit brushes fell apart when I first opened the kit up, they feel the same as the original but the lack of care in making them is shown and was a massive giveaway that the set was illegitimate.

So I guess the moral of the story is be very wary of makeup on eBay! If the price is too good to be true it probably is, and it's well worth saving up a few extra pennies for the full price of the product to buy in a shop and not risking getting a fake!