Thursday, 31 March 2016

REVIEW + COMPARE: Insta-ready makeup?

I don't really do Instagram and I rarely take or post selfies anywhere but the latest craze of 'insta-ready' beauty is intriguing, as it's promising to make you always look 'selfie ready' with minimal effort! And who doesn't want that?! As you age, you become more averse to heavy coverage foundation and start looking for those products that will make you look flawless yet with
little powder to settle in pores and lines...

After being in love with my BareMinerals Complexion Perfection but feeling it was too dewy, I was on the hunt for the next new thing. But I still don't want a face that looks like it's covered in makeup.

I saw this new offering from Physician's Formula on Tati's YouTube video, became obsessed with it and eventually managed to get it from the US for about $25. It's called 'SuperBB #instaready BB cream' and I got the shade 'Light'. There is also a colour 'Light/Medium' which is a bit darker but not by much.

And of course, with my luck, Rimmel then brings out a very similar product over here for a fraction of what I paid in import duties. This product is called '#Insta Flawless'. It retails for £6.99. I chose the colour 'Light/Medium' for this one. There is also a 'Medium/Dark' which is a bit darker, but again, not by too much.

Swatches for comparison

Rimmel on the left, Physician's Formula on the right

Rimmel on the left, Physician's Formula on the right
These both claim to be a perfecting skin tint/BB cream so not a foundation. They are super friendly for travelling as they come in a tube and are best applied with fingers or, if you must use tools, a beautyblender.

So what do they do? Colour-wise they are near identical; the Rimmel does run more warm toned than the Physician's Formula. If you like to compare to MAC shades, and who doesn't, I would say they are close to a NC20-25 (Rimmel) and NW20-25 (Physician's Formula).

I would say the Physician's Formula feels a lot lighter in texture and slightly more fluid to apply yet provides more coverage. You can build this to an almost medium coverage and it makes large pores look better. It has SPF 30 built in, so does smell a bit more sunscreen-y but technically has no scent. It has a slightly satin finish.

The Rimmel is definitely less coverage, it doesn't really build. You can use this almost like a primer according to the sales blurb so I guess that's why. The colour payoff is quite minimal, but there is some nice blurring of pores. It comes with SPF 15. Same light perfumed scent like most other Rimmel foundations. It dries to a dewy finish.

So which one of these do I prefer? Physicians Formula - I love the perfecting coverage that still feels like I'm not wearing anything!

The only drawback is the colour choices for both of these; they both only come in two colours, neither which cater for the deeper skin tones. When I start to get tanned in the summer, I may have to move away from these.

You excited for any of these?? :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

BEAUTY LAB: High street contouring kits

I am not a lover of the hard core contouring/sculpting trend that's sweeping the world of beauty.  I ain't fooling no one I got chiseled cheeks by slapping on some brown and shimmery powder in certain places. I like a bronzer to do just that, bronze... Not make some weird brown patch of dirt on my face where I supposedly have a chiseled cheek. Cuz, yeah, that's what it looks like ya'll. Leave the Kardashian look for the Kardashians...

That doesn't mean I've not fallen prey to the palettes. Or the lighter touch of contouring. Because I have. I first bought the Makeup Revolution palette last year, then I got the Collection one. And now, the Rimmel one. Note that they are all under a fiver. Because I believe in the high street!

Anyway. Are they actually any good? Let me give you the low-down.

Makeup Revolution Iconic Blush, Bronze and Brighten "Rave"
Makeup Revolution Iconic Blush, Bronze and Brighten in "Rave" - £4
Bronzer is matte, the highlighter and blush have a fine milled shimmer. This is definitely the wrong colours for me. I had to buy this online so relying on online swatches can be sketchy. The bronzer is quite light but it's also very warm toned, in the wrong way. Make me look a bit weird if I try to contour with this bronzer. The blush and the highlighter in this palette however are gorgeous, but I've never used the bronzer again. The powders are finely milled and soft with decent pigmentation. There are four colour ways for this palette I think, so something for everyone. I don't think I will repurchase however as the bronzer isn't the right shade for me. The packaging is good, looks chic and it comes with a mirror.

Best feature? The packaging and the texture of the powders!
Worst no-no? The bronzer shade

Collection #BlushAndGlow
Collection #BlushAndGlow - £4.99
Bronzer and the blush underneath it are matte, the highlighter and the other blush are shimmery. I've used this to death, this is my second one!! All the shades just suit me so well! If you are not fair or Scandinavian colouring, you may not be so lucky as it only comes in set of shades. The powders are soft and pigmented. The only thing I don't like about this is the cardboard packaging; it's quite flimsy and looks cheap with it's plastic film see-thru lid... You can read my full review here. I will buy this again but would definitely love it even more if they put into a plastic packaging?!

Best feature? The colours and the texture of the powders!
Worst no-no? The packaging...

Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette "Coral Glow"
Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette in "002 Coral Glow" - £4.99
Bronzer and blush have a very fine shimmer, highlighter has both shimmer and fine glitter. The shimmer in these powders is not glittery - the bronzer and blush are more glowy than shimmery. You can definitely still contour with this if you are fair! In the US these come in three shades but the UK only has two? Powders are a bit more dusty than the other two palettes - there is some kick back when you apply these. The packaging is nice, albeit it does not have a mirror and is a bit less sturdy that the Makeup Revolution one.

Best feature? The packaging
Worst no-no? The slightly too powdery texture

There is a much hyped Maybelline sculpting trio in the US, MasterContour Pro Palette, however it doesn't seem to have made it over here? It is supposedly very good. Maybe there will be space for one more palette in my collection when it comes out :)

Have you tried any of these - what did you think? Do you have a fave sculpting/contouring palette?

Monday, 28 March 2016

NOTD: H&M "Orchid Bee"

I saw this on H&M online and bought it. Nothing else to say. And I love it.

If we're gonna psychoanalyze, I guess it has to do with my undying love for this particular type of green nail polish. And in particular Rimmel 60sec "Arresting". If there ever was a love that was meant to be, written in the stars, etc.. :)

This is 2 coats with Seche Vite top coat. Some minimal brush-stroke but who the hell cares?? Goes on smooth as butter and dries fast. My goodness I love this, may even have to buy a back-up. This is the top polish of the year, I just know it already!

What you can't pick up in the photo is that the nails also have some of the peach duochrome effect you can see in the bottle. This is a true queen of a nail polish; looks like H&M has done it again!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

NOTD: H&M "Copper Rose"

So I recently hauled some of the new H&M nail polishes (we'll never know why one day they just didn't sell any nail polish and then one day - BAM - they're back?).

I bought this thinking it would be more rose copper than it is? It's basically just a cool toned light gold, or is that just me?... I won't get started on how brush-strokey it is either. This is 2 coats with Seche Vite top coat. I think I would have liked it more if the colour would have been more coppery and rosey?.. As it is, I just don't love it.

I wish H&M would roll out their new cosmetics line to their stores?.. I find the swatches online are iffy, at best, and it would have saved me £3.99 if I'd seen this polish IRL before buying it. So yeah, who else would love the H&M cosmetics in store??

Please excuse my crappy cuticles. Nothing is healing them any more, it's like they've decided to punish me for the rest of my life :(

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

LIFE ADMIN: My fave Android apps

Going paperless and wireless is my life ambition right now. Having a powerful smartphone and a 10.1" tablet has been big steps towards getting there. I've always been tech savvy and believe if you understand technology, you can make it work for you instead of making you feel enslaved by it.

So I wanted to start the new 'Life Admin' theme off by giving you my fave apps and why the work for me! I won't link to these, as everyone uses different platforms I felt you can just search the name in your app store.

I will say right now that I have never owned a Mac product/iPhone/iPad
so I don't know how these apps work on that platform!

Kindle / Zinio
I love both books and magazines and this gives me an (un)healthy amount of both to take with me literally everywhere! And reduces the need for a new lounge table when our old one finally collapses under the weight of my accumulated reading materials...

Everyone needs a task managing app. I found that this works for me, and I have paid for the premium version. It is multi-platform too so you can use it on your device, your laptop and even in your Outlook!

Google Calendar (Android only)
It syncs with a lot of other calendars like Facebook which is handy. Usually I use my work Outlook account for calendar things, so I only use this to track home appointments.

Since I discovered this handwriting note taking app I have used it successfully for copious note taking, both with and without a stylus. I love how you can export to .pdf (so I can share with everyone) or even save the raw editable format to my Dropbox for posterity. I paid the nominal fee to get unlimited notebooks. I will do a separate 'Life Admin' post for tablet accessories such as the stylus.

Dropbox has successfully been my cloud storage for the last few years. The main thing I use it for is automatic upload of my smartphones' photos. I tend to keep files on Dropbox that I wish to have access to 'wherever' but it's definitely not my main digital filing; for that I use external hard drives. It works seamlessly between my Windows computer, laptop and all my Android devices.

Acrobat Reader
Being able to read .pdf is essential. It is a truly cross platform file format and a life saver if you want to take large reference documents on the go (such as legislation or manuals!).

Blogger (Android only)
Because I like to be able to quickly post things on the go on my phone! :)

What's your favourite 'life admin' app??

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

REVIEW: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor "Seduction"

Sometimes I think nude is a good idea. But it never works out for me. I should learn. Although it looks dark, this is actually a light creamy nude on my lips; my natural lip colour is a couple of shades darker than this. I have included a rare full face photo to show you how it looks on the lips 😳 Yes I also have new glasses, and slightly wet hair because it always rains in Scotland!

Geeky specs and nude lips.
I had seen Tati's video on these  and decided that I wanted this one. I liked the fact these are supposed to be wax-less and gel based, and matte. I decided in my "wisdom" I was gonna go for "Seduction" and not "Devotion" which would probably have been better for my colouring. I really need to stop thinking I suit nude... I had to order online from Superdrug, these haven't made it out in stores yet.
A lot of reviewers have said they don't feel it's matte and it's still glossy?.. Mine did dry down, as you can see in the face shot, and it was definitely satiny. Maybe it's meant to be put on in just one, thin layer like I did? I somehow don't think the darker shades would be full coverage in one coat though.

The product does feel a bit 'silicone-y' on your lips the whole time, not dry. I found that eating breakfast biscuits and having a coffee meant I had to reapply, never mind having lunch. I hate the scent of this product, but thankfully it doesn't linger. It's a weird mix of vanilla and cheap perfume. It did dry my lips a little bit but overall it was an OK product.

So what's the verdict? No, I don't think I will get more of these. These are £8.99 so they are quite pricey for a high street product and although I think it's OK it's not a long term relationship for me. I still prefer my Collection Cream Puff lip cremes and Matte Lip Butter. And they are both less than £3! So you could get both, and still have money over for a Starbucks coffee.

Have I told you I love Collection cosmetics? 😇

Sunday, 20 March 2016

REVIEW: Yves Saint Laurent Huile Volupte tint in oil "Peach me love"

I was doing some birthday shopping for myself (well, why not) back in January and I was getting a makeover and a sample of the *new formula* YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat (which I LOVED and will do a separate review on) but I actually ended up just buying this lip product. Just like that. £23.50, gone. What was I thinking??

Well, I was being made over by a lovely lady who had this particular lip oil on. It looked amazing. Not too glossy, not too lipstick-y and opaque which is so fashionable right now, not too dark a colour. Just amazing. I was like "can I try some of that?". Bad move. I had to buy it.

It smells fabulously of watermelon which I love; I hate the current fad of cake/vanilla/old lady perfume that seems to be the trend with lip product scents right now (I'm looking at you, Revlon). It has a peculiar wand which actually is genius for depositing just the right amount of product.

It works! :)

The formula is great. It's a tint in oil - no stickiness! The oil is very hydrating for the lips. The wear is a couple of hours for the glossy part, but because it is a tint in oil, the delicate tint stays put and sometimes I just use my EOS lip balm over the top to freshen it up (it's £23.50, you gotta make every drop count).

"Peach me love" swatch
I've now tried two lip oils from the high street, GOSH and Isadora (available at, and none compare to this. They are more of a light lip gloss, they do not have the velvety softness of the YSL. I am hoping to try the Lacome Juicy Shakers lip oil so I will compare it to that once I've tried it.

Worth the splurge? Hell yes, I will be buying this again! I have used it for a couple of months almost every working day, so you can get some mileage out of it. There are lots of colours but "Peach me love" is the one for me :)

Oh FYI, for some reason the names of the colours is different across the world - if you are in the US this colour is called "Papa don't peach"...

Friday, 18 March 2016

NOTD: Rococo "Love Potion"

This is the third and last Rococo polish I got in the Boxing Day sales at Space.NK! Now if you look at that post and compare the promo shot of this polish to my NOTD you wouldn't know it was the same polish... I was a bit disappointed when it came, and why it's taken me so long to wear it.

I must say I love the other two Rococo polishes, but this one not so much. Despite being quite opaque, the formula is runny and it kept flooding my cuticles as you can clearly see. The colour is more purple than pink, and also the duochrome shimmer is barely noticeable. Overall score - meh.

Not gonna make it to my top ten I'm afraid...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

REVIEW: Rimmel Kate Sculpting Kit "Coral Glow"

From L to R: Blush, bronzer and highlighter

From L to R: Blush, bronzer, highlighter
I love how I refuse to do the whole contouring thing but have collected a few of the high street contouring palettes. More on that in another post... :)

I saw this in Superdrug the other day and thought 'oh shiny and new and not expensive' so bought it. The shades are so pretty, but really far too light for my skin (I am a MAC NW25/30)! I am at my palest on the inside of my arm and you can see the colours are very natural but pale. All the shades are shimmery but not glittery; the blush and bronzer are more glowy than shimmery.

It won't give a full on contour on my skin; the bronzer just isn't dark enough. But it will do a lovely 'sun stripping' (if you're into that)!

The kit comes in two shades in the UK, this one which is "002 Coral Glow" and a darker version called "003 Golden Bronze". I could only see "Coral Glow" in my Superdrug but if I see the other one I will likely get that. This baby will be shipped off to my friend who has pale as snow skin! :)

It is a teensy bit more powdery than my beloved Collection #BlushAndGlow palette but not chalky. There is slight kick back from the powder when using synthetic brushes but didn't notice any of that with a natural hair brush. It has a sturdy plastic case so you could probably put this in your handbag for touch ups without too much worry (I am not a toucher-upper so I can't vouch for this). Also of course good if you are travelling as you will have a blush, bronzer and highlight all in one palette!

Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5, it's a decent product for £6.99 and well worth trying if you are very very fair!

Monday, 14 March 2016

NOTD: Nails Inc by Marie Claire "Moonlight Shadow"

Wow time passes so quick lately. I am super-busy right now, and don't seem to have time for blogging?? I have so many blog posts half-written and the new acquisitions are building up but there's not enough hours in the day...

But I made time for nails so here is today's NOTD, a freebie from the April issue of Marie Claire (UK edition). It is a weird mix of teal, green and grey. I don't have anything else like this?

The formula was a bit weird. Kind of sludgy. The first coat was horribly patchy. I almost didn't put a second coat on but glad I did, it miraculously turned into the opaque creme look I know from the older style Nails Inc polishes.

I did 2 coats here with the the Bourjois 3D gel top coat. Not sure it's a top ten material but it's a unique colour for me anyway! And that's rare when your nail polish collection is as large as mine... :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

RAPID REVIEW: Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb

I still have very dry skin, and I've been looking for something other than Diprobase to put on my face... I can only use it for so long before the paraffins start irritating me. 

I saw this by chance in Superdrug and obviously went for it! The promise that it will rehydrate for 24hrs, hydrate 10 layers of skin (scientifically the epidermis only has 4/5 layers but let's not nit-pick...) and plump your fine lines was just too alluring!

All the claims aside, the products do deliver! As I explain in the video, the day cream has a texture similar to a sun lotion, and the night cream feels like a Japanese sleeping pack, both very comfortable on parched skin. The day cream is great under makeup. They do what you expect in terms of how much they seem to moisturise and there is no real scent to the products which is nice.

They have a long ingredients lists, so I have included the photos (I love when bloggers post these, as some brands don't always show the ingredients list on their website):
Day Moisturiser
Night Moisturiser

The only thing I don't like is the packaging design. The pump bottle is very hygienic and practical; the tub is crap. I wish they had packaged both products in the pump bottle and made the design a bit more luxe. I know price may go up but they're worth it; ditch the blue and the weird pomegranate bits, Garnier!

Overall these are a phenomenal find at £7.99 each and if you have dry skin I urge you to give these a go! Cover the packaging design with washi tape if need be to make it prettier on your bathroom shelf :)

- Do what they claim!
- Price point and availability
- Texture and scent very nice

- The design for the packaging and the tub for the cream (unhygienic)

Check out the Rapid Review video here:

No, this post is NOT sponsored and I bought these products myself!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NOTD: Maybelline Color Show 5th Avenue Mattes "Traffic Stop"

Holy crap I *love* this!!!

I was in Tesco with my li'l Bro after picking him up from the airport yesterday and we browsed the beauty bit (well, I was, my brother couldn't care less...)

I just saw this, picked it up and just, bought it. What an amazing red! :) Then realised it was a matte. OMG even better; really don't have anything like this! Totally worth £3.99.

I did 2 coats here over base coat. The formula is thin but so easy to apply. I must say it is weirdly sheer-ish, if you hate VNL you may have issues here. Usually mattes are very opaque so I was surprised, but the formula I feel I get a good finish with 2 coats :) I skipped top coat. The finish dries to a satin finish, very lovely.

This is probably going to make it into my Top Ten nail polishes this year, for the colour alone never mind the good formula and the fact it's an interesting finish.