Saturday, 28 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: China Glaze "Moonpool"

I actually have a bottle, for realz :) I won this on an eBay auction back in 2009, for a reasonable price (below $30) and have kept it safe ever since. This is probably my "most VHTF" nail polish.

This still applies like a dream out of the bottle due to all sorts of nasty chemicals I am sure, but I got caught out like a rookie by cuticle flooding on one occasion as it's still so fluid! I did 2 coats here and a slick of Seche Vite. It may be a bit brush-strokey but not too bad from a reasonable distance. The golden depth to this polish makes it one of those polishes you just can't stop staring at, lethal if you're bored at work!

It's just the best polish ever. Maybe. I am not sure if I maybe love Rimmel "Arresting" more? I can have two favourites, who says I can't??

So that marks the end of our Vintage Valentine's - a month of vintage nail polish. Hope you have enjoyed some golden oldies and blasts from the past! :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ++

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel Play Fast "Camoflage"

Another of my Rimmel Play Fasts - this is the outrageously gorgeous "Camoflage". I have 2 bottles of this, just in case I am ever at risk of running out :)

I got this from a nice lady in a swap from Sweden years ago, and managed to buy a second bottle on eBay. I did 2 coats with Seche Vite. It has a great depth and really glows! I honestly can't say I've come across a polish like this one in another brand which it what makes it so special :)

Stay tuned for my very special last Vintage Valentine's manicure on Friday!!

Happy Factor
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

BEAUTY LAB: Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Puffy eyes and dark circles - who needs them? No one that's who. Who gets them? Most people. Unfair? Probably. Fixable? Must be. So I donned my lab coat (well, I wanted to but am still waiting for it to come back from the person I loaned it to) and got stuck into finding you some serious help for these two issues that often go hand in hand.

The proper name for these two conditions is periorbital puffiness/dark circles. The causes of puffy eyes and dark circles is debated, but it is thought that inappropriate diet, lack of sleep, allergies, medications and genetics all play a part. If it is very extreme, it can indicate more serious problems with various organs in the body such as the liver. I want to say here that what I am looking to treat is very mild symptoms that are merely cosmetic and do not link to disease. If you think your puffy eyes/dark circles could be linked to a medical problem, go see your GP.

I adopted a two-pronged approach - treatment and optical illusion.

Firstly I needed to find a product that would a) reduce bags and b) firm the skin of the eye area. A bit of anti-aging action would be good too. And it couldn't cost more than £15-20. I do not believe that there is such a thing as an eye cream that removes dark circles; the darkness is due to the skin being very thin and translucent here so the blood vessels are showing through and the skin gets thinner as you age. Sorry. But the darkness can easily be illuminated by makeup!

Step forth L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream! It is within the price range and available in your local drugstore. It promises to replump wrinkles with hyaluronic acid, reduce eye bags with caffeine and firm skin with Pro-XylaneTM. What more do you need? :)

2 weeks later I still have a bit of of a bag but it's a lot less puffy and could only get better with longer use.

For the optical illusion part I decided I would scour the internet for tips on how to disappear bags / circles with makeup. I found several good YouTube videos that seemed like they could be replicated so I went for it. My Wayne Goss attempt wasn't so successful but I think this was due to the product I was using reflected too my flashback (SPF + cameras is never a good thing). My second attempt with Bobbi Browns corrector + concealer kit was a success but the coverage is very heavy and the products tend to melt and crease into my fine lines after a few hours. My own tried and tested method worked well using a long wear concealer and highlighting pen.

The below videos from the Pretty Perfect Beauty YouTube channel showcases the different methods and products used in my Beauty Lab.


  • Don't use a highlighting pen all over you undereye area - this will actually make the bags look bigger (so go easy with the YSL Touche Eclat)!
  • A salmon-beige colour corrector will conceal dark circles but only use over the actual dark, shadowy areas or you may look jaundiced!
  • Apply concealer in a tick box shape from the brow bone inside the top of your nose down to your cheek and then up towards the outer corner of your eye. This is as to not blend too much product in the outer corner of your eye, If you have crow's feet, it may end up creasing in the lines! A lot of darkness also extends further onto your cheek than you think and this technique will make a huge difference.
  • Don't drag/overwork the skin around your eyes whether removing makeup, applying creams or putting on makeup. This will ruin the elasticity of the skin over time leading to more pronounced wrinkles.
  • If you have allergies, get some allergy eye drops from the pharmacy - you will not believe the difference after 7 days! Brightening eye drops (or drops specifically for contact lens wearers) does wonders too!
  • Don't be afraid to try different products/techniques until you find what works for you! :)

Products used in this Beauty Lab (no affiliate links!):
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Precision Eye Cream
bareMinerals READY SPF20 Foundation "R170"
Makeup Revolution Pro E104 Eyebrow Brush
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer "Cool Medium"
L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique highlighting pen "Light"
Bobbi Brown Corrector "Bisque"
Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit "Beige"
Synthetic lip brush
Synthetic precision/mini flat top kabuki brush (search 'flat top eye kabuki brush' on eBay)

Monday, 23 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: H&M Steel "Orange Sparkle"

The last week of Vintage Valentine's and I am continuing my foray into the deepest darkest corners of my Helmer drawers :) This is another one of my really old H&M nail polishes, from the late 90s. First I put it on as-is but I actually couldn't cope with the sheerness of it so I layered it over an orange creme, NYC Quick Dry in "Spring Street". That also makes it look a lot more like it does in the bottle. It has a very sheer gel like orange base loaded with gold and orange glitter.

Love this combo!! I am going to put it on my toes for the weekend I think, as I really need something cheerful on my toes right now.

I did 1 coat of "Spring Street", then I applied 2 coats of "Orange Sparkle". This polish is still amazingly fluid and not gloopy at all! :) But it does stink so it's probably all those nasties in there keeping it fresh. I sealed it with a thick layer of Seche Vite as it's a bumpy glitter. And oh my, it sparkles! :)

Happy Factor
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: OPI Designer Series "Extravaganza"

This marvellous polish is still available fairly readily but it was first released in 2007/8! I love this polish - it is super-smooth and glitters beautifully! It's one of the most expensive polishes I own, I think I bought this in Selfridges in London for £18.99 'back in the day'.

I did 2 coats here with Seche Vite top coat to max out the sparkle! I love the 2 Designer Series polishes I have, they look and feel so luxurious I am not really bothered about the price :)

Have you got any of the Designer Series polishes??

Happy Factor
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What's in my drawers?... PALETTES

So I was browsing around YouTube while I was off sick in January looking at videos of people storage solutions, and decided that I needed to tidy up my makeup box. Among other storage for beauty products I have this plastic underbed box which I keep in reasonable order but as time passes one forgets what one has stashed in said box...

It's a lot tidier than it was...
I thought I would show you my stash of everyone's favourite item to collect/hoard/obsess over - the makeup palette.

I tend to only buy palettes that I will use. And that don't cost £35. Therefor you won't see any of the Urban Decay, Too Faced or Smashbox palettes here!

I start off with my favourite one, one I have never used... It's just so beautiful I just usually take it out and look at it :) I doubt any of the colours would suit me, but it just looks so gorgeous :)

Boots Seventeen "Vintage Love" Eye Shadow Palette
To follow on a pastel theme, here is a palette from No7 from a couple of years back, again I am not sure the colours suit me but I have worn this a few times in the summer with a tan.

No7 "Natural Radiance" Eye Shadow Palette
On the flip side of pastels, check out this gothic gem, there are some serious smoky shades here and even though most are too dark for daytime wear I've managed to squeeze a few outings in with this one :)

Seventeen "Glam Rocks" Eye Shadow Palette
So I do have a Stila palette, but this was in the Boots January sales - last one left. It was under a tenner or something ridiculous like that. Some of the shades are very sheer in this palette, I have a review of it here.

Stila "Written in the Stars" Eye Shadow Palette
Now onto the more familiar budget palettes. I have quite a few MUA items, including my favourite eye shadow primer. This is one of their first palettes and it's is a clone of Urban Decay's "Naked" palette. MissBudgetBeauty has a nice comparison on her blog! This one has seen quite a bit of action.

MUA "Undressed" Eye Shadow Palette
And the ever-popular Sleek palettes - this is again one of their first ones. I just love it. It has shimmer throughout (apart from the black) so it is very flattering for older gals like me when you wanna kick things up a notch! :)

Sleek I-Divines "The Original" Eye Shadow Palette
I return to my favourite Swedish brand for this one, it is a very nice collection of matte nudes. This is well-used in the winter time but I find the creamy nudeness is too harsh for my summer complexion. I have a FOTD with them here.

Isadora "Creamy Nudes" Eye Shadow Palette
Strictly not a palette but a trio, this is again Isadora and this time it's baked shadows. These are a dream to blend into a really nice smoky eye and last forever if you use eye shadow primer! As with all baked shadows you can also use these with a damp sponge applicator for a more intense effect.

Isadora "Cool Browns" Trio Eye Shadow
And now some more things that are not strictly palettes...

I really like MUA stuff, this eye brow kit is amazing. Although I am too lazy for a full-on brow for everyday makeup, this kit is great for special occasions. I used it for my wedding :)

MUA Pro Brow Kit "Fair"
I love this kit from Boots No7. I believe it's a Xmas gift I got for Secret Santa. It has 3 shadows, a highlighter fluid, mascara and a shimmery lip gloss. If you travel light but need something to pimp yourself up now and then, this is it! :)

So what is the next palette I am eyeing up you ask? Well that's got to be the MUA "Winter Forest Matte" Eye Shadow Palette...
Or perhaps the Real Techniques 'Night Owl' Makeup Kit??

That's all folks, I will return with more "What's in my drawers?..." soon - there is lots to see! :)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

VINTAGE VALENTINE'S: Rimmel 60sec "Zeitgeist"

I decided it was time for gothic duochrome! This is from the same generation of Rimmel polishes as some of my all time favourites like "Arresting", "Mania" and "Stop Traffic". It's now a bit goopier than I'd hoped but with a careful touch, it looks absolutely stunning! This is a cheap brand doing expensive looking duochrome - I wish they still made this colour :)

I did just 1 coat! It is amazingly opaque but that comes at a price - slightly unwieldy formula. But it's all down to it's advancing age I am sure, this is a a quick-dry polish after all.

Happy Factor
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