Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

Happy New Year!

I wanted to title this post "F*ck Off 2016" as I must say that 2016 was probably one of the worst years I can remember and I'm getting on a bit (more on that in the new year...) I cannot wait to see 2016 rung out tonight! Apart from all the crap of Brexit, notable celebrity deaths and such, I personally had a very trying year. But that's all behind me and a fresh 2017 awaits!!

So I thought I would rustle up some of my beauty and lifestyle favourites from 2016 to remind myself it wasn't all a bunch of bullcrap...

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay hair care - still using this range, basically one year on! :) I've tried other ones in between, but I go back to this! Love me some Elvive!

YSL Huile Volupte lip oil - every day this is in my handbag - I have repurchased this!

Benefit Do the Hoola liquid bronzer - I love this liquid bronzer, nothing else to say!

Benefit Goof Proof eyebrow pencil - I enjoyed a few of the revamped and new brow products, and hated some, but this has been my favourite brow product this year!

Urban Decay One and Done foundation - I love this and use it almost every office day! :) It's not heavy or sticky, but does blur pores and gives subtle coverage.

NYX Cosmetics Lip Lingerie - best liquid lipstick bar none!

Zoya Pixie Dust 'Cece' - the whole Seashells collection was amazing but this is my top favourite!

L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Glow Mask - masks were all the rage in 2016, with no signs of abating. This was definitely my top 'glob-it-on' style mask...

Garnier Moisture Bomb sheet mask - ... and this was my favourite sheet mask of the year!

FitBit Charge 2 - absolutely love my FitBit! It's recently had some software updates too which makes it even more amazing. If you're half-assed about your exercise, get one of these for 2017 and you'll never look back!

And my No 1 beauty product of the year!?

Of course it had to be the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette 'Blackmail' - an amazing lipstick palette, well worth the £30 odd it cost :)

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Xmas NOTD!

Sorry I've been AWOL for a while, I've been so busy at work building up to the holidays! But one always need a nice NOTD to settle in for Xmas so I picked a favourite red glitter! :)

I can't find this for sale anymore, so I think it was a limited edition glitter Gelly last year? :( I would have bought another one of these if I could, actually. No matter.

This is 2 smooth coats with Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat. I absolutely love the intense red glitter you get from this, without having to cry when I remove it :) At this time of year I really struggle to photograph my NOTDs as you can see.

Love this so much! Anyway, I'm off to make my Xmas meatballs (I'm Swedish - of course you need meatballs at Xmas) and open presents! You can look forward to a low-down on what was in the No7 Advent Calendar and also what I got for Xmas before the year is out. And of course, best in beauty is coming on New Years Eve!


Monday, 12 December 2016

NOTD: KIKO Milano Smart Nail Lacquer "19 Pearly Hot Pink"

I got this in yet another foray into the new Kiko shop, and I bought one for my mum too, it looked that amazing!

I've used some really expensive and professional nail polishes in my time, and while that feels special, when you get a great budget buy that performs you just feel so good about yourself! This is one of those. The Smart polishes from Kiko retail at a refreshing £2.50 each and come in a variety of colours. I have a few more so there will be more of these coming up!

This is 2 coats of polish and my usual Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat. The formula is excellent. Nicely opaque in 2 coats, smooth and easy to apply. The brush is a bit small but with formula this good, that doesn't matter! It's a bit washed out in this artificial lighted photo but the colour is a really rich yet bright pink. This lasted the whole week before I started seeing tip wear.

I am loving this and can't wait to try some of the other colours I bought on Black Friday!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

No7 Advent Calendar #8-11

Oops so I forgot to post for a week almost... Sometimes, actual paid work just goes a bit insane and then you don't really have time for anything else.

No matter, I diligently opened my No7 advent calendar every day though! The only thing I am a bit meh about is the lip crayon. It's a nice formula, and quite glossy, but there isn't much colour payoff. I can't wait to get matched for a blush - I wonder if I'll come away with the same colour I would choose myself or something different?..

The mini brushes both seem REALLY nice, very soft and very dense. Nice one No7! :)

Thursday, 8 December 2016

No 7 Advent Calendar #7: Stay Perfect Eyeshadow "Wheatsheaf"

In yesterday's awesomely marked box (No 7, haha) came their iconic little eye shadow. It's a shimmery nude colour; just the type of colour of eye shadow everyone needs in their makeup kit :) I haven't tested this yet in terms of it's 'stay perfect' claim, but I will review it more in detail when I have!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

No7 Advent Calendar #6: Airbrush Away Primer

The cavalcade of the glory that is the No7 Advent Calendar continues! Box no 6 was this primer. I've never tried a primer from No7 I am curious to see how this wears under foundation. It's quite thick, but it's not sticky or feel heavy on your face. It is fragrance free as well!

Monday, 5 December 2016

No 7 Advent Calendar #4: No7 Limited Editions "Nude" nail polish

I guess I secretly also wanted Ciate's Mini Mani Month advent calendar, however I seriously cannot justify two expensive ones in the same year! Maybe next year :) So I was pleased there was a nail polish in today's box!

This colour is simply labelled as "Nude". It's a rich, cool toned beige, and it's highly pigmented! I  think I have the correct colouring for this nude, but not sure it's perhaps universally suitable?

This is 2 coats but it's highly opaque so I just needed the one really :) I topped it as usual with Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat, and it's sooooo shiny! This dries slightly darker than the bottle colour.

Day 4 and still loving the No7 Advent Calendar! :D

Sunday, 4 December 2016

No7 Advent Calendar #3: Protect and Perfect Intense Hand Cream

For Day 3 of the advent calendar it was time for hand cream! But not such a generous sample size this time, slightly disappointed... At 10ml I think this would only be good for a couple of days worth of hand protection.

As with yesterday's day cream, this smells and feels a bit like suntan lotion. I think the SPF that Boots use is the culprit here. It's not unpleasant in any way, however it feels weird I smell suntan lotion in the middle of winter... This is the day time cream, it alludes on the back there is also an overnight cream!

I am really loving this years calendar so far, best purchase of the year! :D

Saturday, 3 December 2016

No7 Advent Calendar #2: Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream

So for day 2 of the No7 advent calendar, they put in a 25ml luxury sample of their best selling Protect and Perfect Day Cream. I haven't really tried all the past incarnations of the Protect and Perfect range although I do remember trying the very first offering and not liking it very much... Here's hoping I was all wrong!

It smells and feels a bit like suntan lotion but is light enough not to leave a film on your skin. I will definitely be using this to see if it does anything for me, seeing as so many people rave about this range :)

Friday, 2 December 2016

No7 ADVENT CALENDAR #1: Lovely Lips Lips Balm "Parisian Pink"

For day 1 of the No7 advent calendar, they went for a lip balm; as the little note inside the box says "Mistletoe ready!" :)

Lovely formula, and just that hint of nude pink. Boots website say it has buildable colour, but it's definitely a sheer tint. I can see this being a staple in my handbag from now on! It's a good size but I am yet to decide whether the 2.8g in the bullet is a full-size, or luxury sample?

Love this one - can't wait to open the next one! :)

Thursday, 1 December 2016

NOTD: H&M "Glow must go on"

No secret I *love* the new H&M nail polishes :) Mixed reviews from the blogging community on the other products, none of which I've actually tried, but the nail polishes are pure gold!

So I had bought this on an order some time ago, but goodness knows why I've not used it?! I decided I wasn't really ready for the festive manicures just yet, so I picked this one out last night. You can't really see the pink duochrome in the photos, but on the nail it's there! Absolutely gorgeous glow!

This is 2 absolutely dreamy coats, the formula on this is superb! I topped it with my usual Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat.

I am one of the lucky ones who managed to get the Boots No7 advent calendar as well before it sold out, so this morning was the much anticipated premiere! :) But I won't reveal what the content of the box was until tomorrow, so that I don't spoil anyone's surprise!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

NOTD: KIKO Milano Smart nail lacquer "32 Peacock Green"

I did get a few nail polishes in my KIKO haul, and this is the one I decided to try out first! The more budget range in KIKO is called 'Smart' and has eye shadows and eye pencils too.

I did 2 coats, here, nice and smooth! The brush is perhaps a bit small but you can work with it. It is quite quick drying which is always great. I topped it with my trust Sally Hansen MegaShine as usual.

I can't get the camera to pick up the duochrome in this as usual. It's not as strong as some other similar ones I have but it's definitely noticeable even in lower light levels :) The base is also more navy than this bright blue. My camera always struggle with these type of polishes.

Anyway I really like this - good start for my first foray into KIKO nail polishes!

Friday, 25 November 2016


I tend to get over-excited about large discounts (January sales anyone?) AND new makeup so it was a no-brainer I was dying go to the store opening of the new KIKO Milano store in Aberdeen today. Also there is the Black Friday offer of buy 3, get 3 free. I mean, it's just a mindbogglingly good deal. It's online too, if you don't have a store near you!

So in the past I've resisted buying from the online shop as I like to try things before I buy. And there is a definite lack of swatches online for some reason despite KIKO being very popular in Europe so I am not sure why this is.

I wasn't the only one excited for the new store! As you can see - there was a long queue to get in... And once inside, there was elbows at the ready to actually get to see things. Then a gargantuan queue for the tills. In more quiet conditions I think I could easy be in there for an hour but my inner panic alarm was starting to go off within about 2 minutes...

But I made it! With a 6 product haul :)

However on my way home from work, I may have returned for another 6 product haul... Just too good a deal to pass up! Some of these products will be Xmas presents so it's not all for me :) Despite being late on in the afternoon, the shop was even more crowded... But I did get a free cupcake to keep me going in the queue to the till!

I can't wait to wear test it all, look out for the swatch and review posts! :) If you have tried anything from KIKO what's your favourite product??

Saturday, 19 November 2016

REVIEW: Boots Ingredients Sheet Mask "Super Hyaluronic" Hydrating + Nourishing

I am loving sheet masks, just like everyone else! :) I saw this and was like, yes, of course I need more sheet masks! And at £2.50 RRP so it won't break the bank either.

My skin is starting to go from it's well-behaved summer state to the angry, dry winter state so I am forever trying to quench it, even if I drink my recommended 8 glasses of water a day and use really rich skin care. I was drawn to this offering due to this, and I also bought the "Luminous Youth" one.

This is rather drippy, which is also my issue with the Garnier Moisture Bomb (still loving that by the way!). But it seems to stick to my face quite well but as with other sheet masks, it's waaaaay to large for my face.

Initially when I put it on, it did feel almost like it was stinging my skin... I did however stick with it, and it went away after a couple of minutes. I guess it was the hyaluronic acid doing it's thing.

When it came off, I was thrilled at the resulting soft, plump skin! :) As I've come to do, I then applied it to my chest as well. Well worth it for the price of a Starbucks Gingerbread Latte! I am now really excited to try the 'Luminous Youth' one, hoping it works well enough that I can get IDed for buying alcohol in the supermarket afterwards ;)

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

UPDATE: Essie Gel Couture Wear Test

What a waste of money!! After only a day, I had a lot of tip wear from very little typing, and by day 4, the chipping was so bad I wanted to take it off, but resisted. By day 6, this is what it looked like. It was even lifting in places along the sides. I've had cheap £2.99 normal nail polish that lasts better than this!

Please avoid this line like the plague. A short Google session later and it appears I'm not the only reviewer with these results...

Nil points, Essie.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

REVIEW: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette "Blackmail"

I had been lusting after this particular palette since I first caught sight of these as previews from US bloggers during late summer. I couldn't believe my eyes when I realised they had released over here and immediately ordered one! It's currently only on the Urban Decay website but I've been assured Debenhams will get one of them in (not sure which one, but guessing it's "Blackmail" as it's more sellable to non-bloggers).

This palette has more wearable shades that it's sister, the "Junkie" palette. It has all six new formulas from the Vice lipstick range. It comes with it's own little retractable lip brush but I found this to be a little too small for my liking, but perhaps girls with thinner lips might like it. I have ended up using a concealer brush from Avon which works wonderfully. I load the retractable brush with my chosen shade in the morning for top up during the day and just carry it in my makeup bag so I don't have to take the whole palette.

The only shade I think I may get limited wear out of in this palette is 'Blackmail' itself - it's such a dark matte shade I would  have a hard time pulling it off other than Halloween :)

My favourites so far, which may end up being bought in full size, are 'Sheer Shame' and 'Amulet'. If there was one washout it has got to be 'Vanished', which I found didn't do anything else for me than what a clear lip balm would :( I haven't done any swatches of these, as I was hoping instead to do some Lip of the Day posts...

The packaging is amazingly luxe! The inside has a huge mirror in the lid, and the lid stays up so you can use the palette as a proper makeup mirror. There is a cover that flips over to offer additional protection to the wells of lipstick. You could also use this as a palette to mix colours up if you wanted. The brush as I said is quality but a bit small for my personal preference. The only negative about the packaging is the finish attracts fingerprints like nothing else...

Loving this! I can't wait to wear more of these shades out and about :) If you love lipstick this is a great palette. This is £31.50, so for me, it's within the range of affordability and a nice thing to have if you don't already own gazillions of lipsticks!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

NOTD: Essie Gel Couture "Fairy Tailor"

I needed something new and nude for my nails for some upcoming events, so I decided on this combo - the new Gel Couture from Essie. Gel Couture is a no UV gel nail polish, so you have to use the proprietary top coat with this too. The polish and the top coat retail for £9.99 each but you can get buy 1 get 2nd half price in Boots right now on all of Essie's range!

I had seen some swatches of this online, and I must say I am possibly doing something wrong but this is very streaky. I followed advice from the Essie rep in the video in this review by Beautygeeks how to apply it and how long to wait in between coats, but damn, it's not pretty. It's wearable if you don't look too close (or know anything about manicures), and I intend to give this it's 14 day run for a proper wear test. Or as long a run as it gets before it's chip city. However based on this initial experience, it's likely this set will go to my mother...

The colour is very close to my wedding manicure from Essie, "Vanity Fairest", minus the shimmer. I really like a slick of "Vanity Fairest" and some super-shiney top coat for a last-minute chic manicure (sometimes need those), and was hoping this would be similar.

It does apply smoothly, and is fairly quick dry, but I just didn't feel the formula gave me the finish that I was looking for in terms of the coverage.

I will update you on the wear test in a couple of weeks time :)

Monday, 31 October 2016

HALLOWEEN NOTD: Orly "It's not rocket science"

So this is an oldie but goodie, and a perfect ghoulish slime green glitter for Halloween! This is 2 coats with a slick of Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat :)


Monday, 24 October 2016

NOTD: H&M "Jewel Beetle"

It's no secret I love the new line of nail polish from H&M :) Here is another beauty! I must say the greeny-gold duochrome does translate a bit more to the nail than you can see in my photo, and if your nails are longer than mine you will have a stronger effect as well.

Don't mind the ding in the polish on my ring finger which happened literally one minute after I had finished my manicure and I would've made it worse trying to fix it... :( Typical!

This is 2 smooth coats with Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat. Loving this - so autumnal! :) The formula of this is similar to the "Nocturne" polish I have from H&M; quite thickly glittery yet easy to apply.

I feel I should be pairing this with my dark red velvet sweater which I bought when I was 16 and I still have it (and it still fits!).

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

NOTD: Barry M Boots Limited Edition "Enchanted"

I never get tired of a limited edition exclusive from Barry M :) See the recent Superdrug exclusive here.

This is a perfect autumn polish! As you can kind of see better in the bottle, there is a slight gold duochrome to this. I think it looks a bit like one of those really nice maple leaves when they start to turn golden in the autumn :)

I did 2 perfect coats here. I am not sure if the super-wide brush is new, but for this polish it works really well! I finished off with a coat of Sally Hansen MegaShine because I am a speed dry junkie...

This manicure is certainly cheering me up; I have a raging cold again so I needed something soothing on my nails...

Friday, 7 October 2016

HIDDEN HEROES: Nivea Men Creme

Yes indeed, this post is about a men's grooming product. But not because of it's use on men, but on my hands!

It's no secret my hands, despite being primarily a nail blogger, are sorely neglected. Well, that's not true. They are hard-working, not neglected. Spending a lot of time outdoors, and doing things such as arts and crafts and cooking and cleaning, certainly takes it's toll on hands.

Until now I haven't found a cream that can actually hack my hand needs. So maybe I needed a men's grooming product because men's skin is just more neglected than women's so it's more potent??

Anyway, here is Nivea Men Creme. A classic moisturiser for 'the man'. Apparently you can use it on the hands, face or wherever you may need it. I find it's richer than your average cream, so can take a few minutes to sink in. It has a faint whiff of 'man-smell'; an unidentifiable cologne scent. This isn't unpleasant, far from it, and it's very subtle.

I would liken the effect of this to that of the original Nivea Creme minus the oily residue; the consistency is in between Nivea Creme and Nivea Soft. My hands are finally looking like they should. I try to put this on as often as I can, and I use it along with cuticle oil at night. This cream does contain some things I probably wouldn't use on my face, such as glycerin and liquid paraffin, but for hands, it's ideal!

For less than a fiver, and frequently on offer, this is one product you should try if you suffer dry hands! :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

XMAS GIFT GUIDE: Sleek 'Say the magic word' Mini Matte Me Collection

L to R: 'Birthday Suit', 'Rioja Red', Velvet Slipper' and 'Old Hollywood'
Yes indeed, as the Xmas gift sets starts rolling out into shops, I shall be bringing you the very best of the health and beauty gift sets which may actually get you some use beyond Xmas Day :) So no slippers and hot water bottle combos here...

This set from Sleek is available in Boots, and costs £5. You get 4 wearable mini versions of Sleek's popular Matte Me liquid lipstick. In terms of quality and wear time I rate these up there with the NYX Lip Lingerie, and the full size is £4.99 as opposed to £6.50 for the NYX. The arm swatches seem so streaky, I did these over twice to get rid of that but they don't play nice on my arm?? On my lips they didn't look patchy at all!

These are slightly sticky on the lips but I didn't find them drying. They do wear very well.  I found I had to use the Garnier bi-phase micellar water to remove the remains; once it's set, it stays. I even managed to eat chili con carne without too much damage!

In terms of colour, I think everyone can wear these with a bit of attitude! :) The light orangey red "Rioja Red" is super hot; boldly road testing this in the office attracted a lot of interest... Only for the brave and unabashed!! The plummy "Old Hollywood" is lovely if you like a vampy lip. "Birthday Suit" is a perfect everyday pinky nude which is already a staple in my handbag. And if you're into the Kardashian / 90s lips, go for "Velvet Slipper" (I hate that name..).

So for a fiver, I think this is a awesome stocking filler! :)

Monday, 3 October 2016

NOTD: Seventeen Colour Carnival "Green Gold Shimmer"

So this is probably one of my all-time fave nail polishes. And it's dirt cheap. So I of course have more than one bottle...

I think the naming of this one is wrong. It's descriptive, but I would have preferred something more evocative, such as "F*ckin' amazeballs green" or "So green I could die". Or, whatever.

This is 2 coats with Sally Hansen MegaShine top coat. Awesome. That's all I have to say. Got get one if you like green, they are £1.99 in Boots! :)

Saturday, 1 October 2016

MAKEUP STORAGE: Primark Acrylic Makeup Storage

So I spotted these beauties in Primark last week! I already have a luxury larger version of these but in clear acrylic for my vanity, but with so much good makeup to choose from right now, I thought I would use these as secondary storage.

They come with the little cushioned net inside to stop things rolling about and the inside of the drawers measure 16.5x9 cm. I bought 4 of these and I am going to stack them on top of each other, secured together with some blutack. Hoping most of my overspill makeup will make it into these so I can 'shop my stash' more easily on a regular basis :)

These drawers are £4 each, but they also had some other versions like lipstick holders. As these are going on my desk, I bought the black to match the decor, but they also had clear acrylic versions.

Friday, 30 September 2016

NOTD: Barry M Speedy "Slip Stream"

I played hand dummy today and had my nails done by my friend who is training; I think she did a sterling job! :)

I chose this polish as I don't have it myself. I am now kicking myself for not getting a bottle shot whilst she was still here, these manicure shots looks daft without the bottle...

This is 2 thin coats with top coat. True to the other Speedy polishes from Barry M it's a highly pigmented, very quick drying formula.

Lovely vampy purple, and highly appropriate for autumn!

That all important bottle shot, courtesy of it's owner...

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

FACE-OFF (or ON?): Drugstore foundations!

I've acquired some new foundations in the last few months and some you've already seen. I realised today that I now have so many un-reviewed ones that it was probably best to do a 'face-off' instead of doing separate posts (which other bloggers have done masterfully already). So here is a low-down on some recent high street/drugstore foundation releases and how I got on with them!

I will say straight off neither of these have had much 'face time' as I didn't particularly love any of them, and therefore I never reviewed most of these properly.

L'Oreal Infallible Matte
Hmmm not sure about this one but a lot of bloggers love it? I must say I found it highly mattifying and long wearing, but the shades were just a bit all over the place for me and I couldn't get a perfect match. Not very pore blurring, and it did cling to some dry bits on my face. I struggled to apply this, it was streaky with a brush and looked dodgy with large pores if I used the Beauty Blender..

Bourjois Air Mat
Hell no. I wore this once, then it shipped off to a palefaced friend. It was horrible on pores for me (they looked like craters), and very drying. And even in the middle shade it is very, very pale.

Maybelline Dream Velvet
I can't begin to tell you how much I hated this at first. Then I realised how to apply it. Using the flat side of the original Real Techniques blending sponge, swipe it on, don't dab. It then glides on nicely and doesn't settle in pores. And speaking of this makeup sponge, how pissed off was the beauty world when it's creators used said sponge in this way?? :) Hilarious. Anyway, would likely also work well with any old skool flat makeup sponge/wedges (don't bother with the stupid applicator Maybelline released to accompany this foundation). Wear time was about 5-6 hours before I started to look a bit dry and patchy.

Rimmel #Insta Flawless
Extremely light coverage, if any. Slight pore blur, but generally this was a waste of time for me. Only comes in two colours as well. More on it in this post here.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion
Not too bad! Very dewy, light coverage in a novel compact with a sponge. I apply this with a Beauty Blender, not the sponge it comes with. Looks nice on older, drier skin, and wear time was about 6 hours before it kind of just disappeared. Don't bother with this is you have normal/combination or indeed oily skin as it has a super dewy finish. More on it here.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless
Had such high hopes for this after lots of positive reviews... This was very drying and clung hard to any flaky bits on my face no matter what I did. I think this is definitely not for anyone with a hint of dryness. And it's not really poreless. In fact, I couldn't see any pore coverage at all. Poor shade selection too - I used the darkest shade they do in the UK at the moment, 230 Natural Buff, and it was still quite pale on my tanned face...

Have you got any favourite new drugstore releases that I should try??

Monday, 26 September 2016

XMAS: Some gift sets you can get now!

Yeah I know, I hate myself for posting this when it's 3 months til Xmas but you know what, Xmas gift sets or not, these will be useful. You can get both of these in Boots, right now.

Real Techniques has always been a fave for brushes for me - I love the Expert Face Brush, the blush, powder and setting brush; I use them almost every day. When I saw this set, I was like, yes, I think for £25 I need that. That's £6.25 per brush! Considering their Bold Metals range start at £12 each, that's a bargain and a half if I ever saw one. And everyone needs good eye shadow brushes. It won't be £25 for long though, so if you see it, grab it! At some point in October these will start selling for £40, or so the sign said. They also have a face set but seeing as I have enough face brushes to paint a whole house, I passed on those...

Sleek is one of those hidden high street heroes. I highly recommend this matte liquid lipstick kit in half sizes for £5, and they also have a set with a matte liquid lipstick and the coveted 'Solstice' highlighting palette for £10. How can you go wrong??

NOTD: Barry M Superdrug limited edition "Nutcracker"

I love me an exclusive Barry M nail polish :) Or any Barry M, usually. This is one of two exclusives now selling in Superdrug, £3.99, it's limited edition so if you wants it, go gets it! I hear two Boots exclusive is launching this week but not sure of the exact date.

I did 2 coats here but didn't really need to. I topped it with a coat of Sally Hansen Megashine.

How's this for a perfect nail polish for autumn?? :) Loving this, can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this through autumn and winter.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Makeup Obsession custom palettes

Top L to R: Eyeshadows "Daze", "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals"
Middle L to R: Blush "Fancy" and "Babe", Highlighter "Bronze"
Bottom L to R: Cream Highlighter "Radiance", Cream Contour "Light", Highlighter "Bare" and Powder Contour "Light"

You know when you're just cruising the internet and just happen on something then half an hour later you have bought something you probably didn't need? Yeah. That happened. Lucky for me I only spent Boots Advantage Card points, not money :)

I must say that this particular launch has completely passed under my radar? I can't even find hardly any blogger posts, Jane from British Beauty Blogger has one, and London Beauty Queen has one too. There are some swatches, but not that many. Small selection of Instagram posts. So I've included a swatchfest in this post for you! :) Boots pages have a few more nuggets of information, and a very short video.

I did go past the new Emporium stand in my Boots today where these are to be sold, but it wasn't all finished. But they did have all the colours out already, so I bought another blush and highlight.

Anyway let's get into this. You buy the palette, then you buy the colours, then click them into the palette. If you decide to swap things round, just pop the product out and it goes back into the hard plastic box it came in! This is great if you want to just take one or two of the products with you travelling. The boxes are also great as you could mix and match it on a weekly basis without having unprotected eye shadows lying around getting broken.

Of course I went overboard with the large luxe 12 shade palette in rose gold... It's not completely full, as I decided I could buy more later when I had made up my mind. I did get a bit of anxiety trying to choose the shades...

My only concern right now is I am not sure how the cream products will fare in the palette; they may dry up/attract dirt. I'll keep you posted.


Here is a list of the shades, and how I feel they swatch in terms of formula and colour pay off. I swatched these with an brush, as that is how I will use them.

Eyeshadows: "Daze" (matte), "Scene", "Cosmo" and "Precious Metals" (shimmers)

Blush: "Fancy" (matte) and "Babe" (shimmer)

Cream Highlight "Precious", Cream Contour "Light", Powder Contour "Light", Highlighters "Bare" and Bronze"
I wore the first lot today for the day. I put MUA Pro Base eye primer on under the eyeshadows, and they didn't start to crease or fade until middle of afternoon (I put them on around 9.30am). Good going for £2 each! The blusher in "Fancy" was hella lot more pigmented than I thought, so I ended up with a bit of clown makeup and had to reapply :) Rookie mistake! The contour (I used it as bronzer), blush and highlights (I layered the cream with the powder) wore flawlessly.

Overall I felt the colours I picked had great colour payoff and the formula was smooth, and the only one I didn't like much was the matte eyeshadow, which I found a little bit 'dry'. This is likely to be swapped out for a light shimmer I spotted called "Champagne" fairly swiftly.

That's it for this first impressions, I will update you on my adventures with this palette in a month's time, so please keep checking back!

PS: This is a perfect gift idea - I am planning one for my Mum for Xmas (check the number of shopping days til Xmas here)! Actually I hope she doesn't read this post... :(

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


Wearable fitness technology is all the rage right now. But I bought my fitness tech because frankly I'm fat and struggle to keep as fit as I should be, and I need something to help me keep motivated. That's it. I will eventually give a full review on this new bit of kit, however here are my out-of-the-box and setup first impressions. The Fitbit Charge 2 comes in 4 colours, and you can buy leather bands for it as well.

It comes in a box with a weird-looking clip-on charger and scant instructions. Good thing I am a thrifty consumer and had watched umpteen YouTube videos before committing to the £129 price tag, or I wouldn't have a clue how to set this up!

With so many different kinds of trackers out there, why did I choose the Fitbit Charge 2? Hard to say, but I think the features you get for the price is the dealbreaker. I am not an athlete so something that does the everyday fitness stuff is better for me.

The Charge 2 has a heart rate monitor, which is actually good if you like to keep an eye on what your blood pressure might be up to. People have rated it very good for sleep tracking which will be interesting! I also liked the sound of the interval training mode as I like to run-walk and not just run. 

I must also admit I was totally drawn in by the new 'Relax' mode where it gives you a 2 or 5 min guided breathing exercise...How much I'll actually use it I don't know but hey I'm gonna try it! And you can set it to issue buzzing reminders to get up and move every hour. That will probably get really annoying after a while but at the moment I am excited to try it out!

NOTE: you cannot just use this thing on its own to track your fitness! You have to use either a smartphone or a computer with the Fitbit app alongside it. There is a handy list on the website which devices and OS it supports. I use it with my Samsung Galaxy S5 with the Android app (I have Marshmallow OS). The app itself has such a vast amount of information you can collect that it will take you some time to get used to it all and to set it all up.

This syncs with your smartphone using Bluetooth. I didn't realise just how annoying this would be. I have never really used Bluetooth before and find it's a bit fiddly to get the devices to pair. But maybe that's just me - perhaps more experienced users will not have this problem. Once done that's it done though, I guess.

I also found that constantly using the Bluetooth (and Location, as it won't work with that turned off!) drains the life out of my smartphone battery like nobody's business?! I have now bought a Veho Pebble Smartstick emergency charger to deal with unexpected shortfalls, but I am also starting to switch Bluetooth and Location off and only syncing the Fitbit occasionally through the day to save juice. But technically this is an issue with my smartphone, not the Fitbit, so I should stop moaning.

The Fitbit app has so many variables and mode of tracking, you just have to spend some time to get to know it and your device! :) I enjoyed the silent wakeup alarm this morning, no loud beeping noises. However if you are a heavy sleeper you may benefit from a back up alarm...

The strap on this is changeable so that's good - I have heard people having to replace their whole unit on the preceding model the Charge HR as the straps have kind of disintegrated with sweating! The strap is soft and comfortable even if you are sleeping. Some reviewers commented that it was difficult to get off once on, but you only really take it off when you have a wash so shouldn't be too much of an issue...

The unit isn't waterproof - it is sweat and splashproof but you shouldn't shower or swim with it.

The only thing I am kind of thinking is a bit weak so far is the vibrating feature. It's very subtle and you may not actually notice it if you are exercising... But maybe I am just too hardened!

So here's to many fun months of tracking my fat ass around town :) Check back in a few weeks to see how I'm getting on! :)

Monday, 19 September 2016

NOTD: MAC Star Trek collection "Skin of Evil"

I saw the very first promo shots of this polish way back last year and knew I needed it. I wasn't sure what it would look like on the nail, and it wasn't what I expected. It was better!

I can't recall seeing the episode that this is named after, as I was more of a Star Trek: Voyager fan than Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Janeway was totally rockin'!

Anyway, veering off target. I did 2 coats here, and it's an amazing goldy-green shimmer base with larger green glitter particles. If you hate VNL, you need to put this over another polish, like the silver and gold from the same collection. But the sheerness of it makes it so sparkly! I did 3 coats on a nail wheel just to see what it was like but there wasn't much difference.

Love this, it will likely appear in the Top Ten at the end of the year! :) Now I will need to seek out the Lip Glass called "Khaaaan!" as well :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

REVIEW: Tresemme Expert Beauty-full Volume reverse system

So I am a sucker for anything new that will give me nice hair. So of course, I had to try the 'reverse hair washing' system from Tresemme. I don't think this is necessarily new, I think it may have been out for a while but passed under my radar.

I have fine, blonde hair; typical Scandinavian hair. It's also a little bit dry. I gave this system a good 2 weeks to work, washing my hair every other day or so.

So the gist of this system is that you put the conditioner in the ends, let it work for 1 minute then rinse out. You then shampoo your hair. Tresemme claim that this way you can condition your hair without weighing it down. I found the shampoo feels more like a 2-in-1 shampoo as it's very creamy, more on that below.

No matter how much I wanted them to, these products did not work for me. I found my hair to be very soft, but also very limp and flat. I tried varying the degree of conditioner I put in, but it was always the same. I also got a lot of flyaways, something I am not usually bothered with and my hair was also static a lot of the time.

I think the shampoo formula is to blame. It seems like it has something in it that coats your hair and just makes it a bit too heavy for fine haired gals like me. I think I could probably use the shampoo on it's own as a 2-in-1 shampoo if I go travelling?..

So sorry, Tresemme, I love your Deep Cleansing Shampoo but this system is a bust for me. I will be going back to my L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay shampoo and conditioner tomorrow!

Friday, 9 September 2016

**FREEBIE ALERT** NOTD: Ciate "Prima Ballerina"

The second of the Ciate freebies in October issue of Marie Claire (UK edition) that I picked up!

This feels autumnal even though it's a grey not like an orange/vampy or whatever. I was hoping this would apply OK to apply as some grey/greige are gloopy.

This is 2 smooth-to-apply coats, first I panicked as the polish seemed a bit thick and highly pigmented in the bottle but it self-levels nicely. I topped it with Sally Hansen Megashine,

I think this is definitely a bit more edgy but still an office appropriate neutral nail. Such a great freebie as these are full-size bottles as well. Bring on more like this! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

**FREEBIE ALERT** NOTD: Ciate "Dangerous Affair"

Marie Claire (UK Edition) is running Ciate freebies this month with their October edition - so be quick if you want one!

I love a free nail polish with my fashion magazine :) I got both the grey and this dark red one. I couldn't get a decent photo of this one! Very annoying. In all my photos it looks washed out on the nail as my camera tries to compensate the light levels. Bad camera!!! It's a vampy dark red creme, much like the bottle in this photo. The formula was smooth and easy to apply. I've worn it all weekend and it still looks good despite running a bumblebee information stall at a large event for kids in the weekend, and fiddling around inside the Husbands computer (broken, again).

I did 2 coats here with a coat of Sally Hansen Megashine top coat. Love this colour, getting me in the autumn mood :)

These are full size Ciate bottles, so excellent value for money with your magazine! I loved the previous Ciate release with InStyle magazine as well, "Rain Check". Well worth checking out if you fancy any of the four colours.

Friday, 2 September 2016

FIRST LOOK: Makeup Revolution Precision Pro Large Oval Face Brush

I saw these on Facebook and in seconds proceeded to order. I've been waiting for an affordable alternative to the highly hyped Artis brushes that I keep seeing on blogs. This is £12 from TAM Beauty website (not an affiliate link). Needless to say, as I won't part with £50+ for a brush to put makeup onto my face with, I've not tried the Artis brush. So I guess I can't really compare as such, but I will do a full review of how this particular brush applies and blends my foundation. If it does a good job, there is no need to want an actual Artis brush anymore! There is also a smaller face version of this oval face brush, if you find the gargantuan proportions of this bad-boy too much for you!

I went for the 'large' version as I decided I wanted the biggest mofo brush they sold; if I was gonna go there I was gonna go hardcore. And yeah, also the large oval looks like the Artis brush that Tati is using in this video, the no 7... It is indeed large! I have compared it below with a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

Bad-ass brush!!
It feels ridiculously soft yet springy, and it's amazingly densely packed. I have a feeling it may be a b*tch to wash, but that's a problem for another day. I can't wait to try this out - I think I will try it with my YSL foundation first to offer it some stiff work.

Keep an eye out for the full review in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

REVIEW: Seventeen Mega Matte Lipstick "Looking Buff"

The background is the cover of Johanna Basford's excellent new colouring in diary, review to come! :)

So I spotted these on Twitter maybe? Or Facebook. And was like 'yes of course I need more matte lipsticks I won't wear everyday!'... I was first drawn to the intensely fuchsia offering "Back to the fuchsia" but settled on this dark rosy pink nude instead. These are £4.49 in Boots. The colour of this may be a bit on the cool side for me once on the lips and set, but it's still a very wearable darker nude for those with highly pigmented lips like me.

I like the packaging, it's sleek and feels sturdy and, dare I say it, a bit more grown-up than the brand's target audience...

Best of all - this has no scent - yay! :) It takes a certain technique to work onto the lips as the formula is a bit stiff. Once on, you have seconds to blend before it sets rock hard. Once on, it's there. But despite this, it doesn't feel sticky or dry. It has a velvety feel and doesn't cling to a dry bit that I have. I removed this at the end of the day with a Garnier Micellar Makeup Removing Wipe without issue.

So how did it wear? Over half a day, I consumed some Maryland cookies (I'm classy, what can I say) and fizzy water. And milky coffee. After the coffee I noticed it had faded a bit on the back of the lips, like most of these matte lip products do quite quickly. I then had a nice nacho burger for dinner with Pepsi in the pub with my friend and my Husband. And sure enough, a greasy burger did kill it, I had to reapply. But damn. For £4.49 and after 6hrs, colour me impressed! I think this might make it long-term into my handbag. It's a toss-up which I like better - NYX Lip Lingerie or this?!