Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nail of the Day: Gemstone Universe!

Today's nails are a quirky combination of two of the most recent additions to my collection: OPI's Congeniality is my middle name (from the Miss Universe Collection) and Andrea Fullerton's Gemstone Overcoat.

It looks kind of fiery and I like it! I'm loving the Gemstone Overcoat at the moment, it gives a similar effect to glitter, but it's a little more interesting and a lot easier to remove!

What do you think girls?

OPI's Congeniality is my Middle Name is available from (£10.50) and Andrea Fullerton's Gemstone Overcoat is available from Superdrug (£4.99)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(Very) Cheap & (Very) Cheerful!

Following my mild dissapointment over Sleek Makeup's nude eyeshadow palette last week, I got rather excited when persusing the aisles of my local Superdrug, I clapped eyes on this little beauty...

Even though I've been very impressed by the MUA products I've tried in the past, I hadn't purchased anything from the uber-affordable makeup line in over a year, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to dip my toes again.

When they first launched the line, everything was £1, but it seems that since then they've expanded their repertoire to include larger makeup items like this palette (which was a whole £4!)

When I got home and googled the palette, I discovered that this product has actually been creating quite a stir online this month and somehow I've managed to miss every single blog post about it! However, I figured if I hadn't already seen it, then some of you might not have either, so here we go... My mini review of the so called 'Naked Palette Dupe'.

The palette comes with 12 gorgeous shimmery, neutral shades, all of which I would happily use on a daily basis.

The formulation is smooth and the pigmentation is great. They are ever so slightly dusty in texture, but I can deal with that.

The one downside to these shadows is the staying power, which isn't great, but if used with a good primer, they will stick around all day (but probably not all night!)

The thing that stood out the most about this palette was the fact that all of the colours were lovely and nicely pigmented (where the Sleek Palette fell down!)

My overall thoughts?

Finally! A decent, drugstore alternative to the Urban Decay Naked palette! None of the colours are exact dupes for the Naked palette, but the overall concept is the same. If you already own the Naked palette, I doubt this will take it's place in your makeup bag, but for those of you who can't get hold of a Naked palette, or who don't want to shell out £30... here's your perfect alternative.

The MUA 'Heaven and Earth' palette is available from selected Superdrug stores, and online. Priced at £4.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nail of the Day: Chanel Peridot

As much requested on my latest YouTube Video... Here are a few pics of the much-talked-about Chanel Peridot up close and personal.

As you can see, the colour shows up slightly differently on the nails than it does in the bottle.

Disappointingly, there isn't the hint of blue you expect from looking at the bottle, but it's still a stunning colour. It reminds me of peacock feathers. Very unique.

As with other Chanel polishes I've tried, the formulation is quite thin. The application is very nice and it's opaque in two coats. The wear (without topcoat) is pretty average. I'd say about two days without chipping, but add a good topcoat and I'd say you're good for 4+ days depending on how you treat your nails.

What do you reckon girls? Worth the hype?

Chanel Le Vernis in Peridot is available now, online and at counters, but it's selling out fast!£17.50

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brand New Amazingness from OPI: The Miss Universe Collection

Good news for any fellow OPI and glitter fanatics out there... The 'Miss Universe' Collection is upon us and it's quite simply beautiful! I must admit, being a self-proffessed glitter polish obsessive, I got a little bit overexcited when I clapped eyes on these...

There are four shades in the collection, all suitably bling for any wannabe 'Miss Universe':

1. It's My Year

My personal favourite from the collection, this pale mauve and gold shimmer is really quite a unique, yet wearable shade. It reminds me of a more glamorous version of OPI's subtle duo-chrome beauty 'Significant Other Colour'.

2. Congeniality is my Middle Name

A deep pink with lighter pink and lilac shimmer. Looks fabulous in the bottle but the shimmer doesn't translate onto the nail that well. Although it dries to a slight red tone, it's still a gorgeous shade, and great for the Summer-Autumn transition if you like your shimmer to be a little less OTT.

3. Swimsuit... Nailed It!

A stunning deep blue shimmer. Definitely the second best (or equal!) shade in the collection. This colour looks even better on the nails than in the bottle.

4. Crown Me Already

(Top: one coat, Bottom: two)

A clear polish with mixed silver glitter. A great (and cheaper!) dupe for Deborah Lipmann's 'Today Was a Fairytale', it works really well as an overcoat but you can also layer it up and wear it alone.

These are definitely going to be amongst my Autumn/Winter staple shades this year! Have any of you got your eyes in this super shimmery collection?

The Miss Universe Collection is available now, online at and at OPI stockists, £10.50 each.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sleek Nude Collection... Close but No Cigar!

I was rather excited to hear that Sleek Makeup were bringing out a nude collection.

Famous for their highly pigmented, super affordable eyeshadow palettes, the Nude Collection palette looked like it was right up my street: a good selection of light to dark, matte and shimmery shadows in their signature sleek case.

But I'm sad to say, the palette had a problem. Almost all of the light colours are so badly pigmented they barely show up. This is something I normally expect from drugstore makeup brands, but it's quite unusual for Sleek.

Having said that... the darker colours are gorgeous and the matte black is great (quite a rare thing, even amongst high end brands!) Its definitely great value for only £6.49 but it could have been so much better!

As for the rest of the collection. It's pretty don't get me wrong, but it's nothing to write home about...

The blush (£4.29) is a pretty natural peach shade that is just a little too brown for my liking.

As for the lip conditioner (£4.29)? Woof loved it!

The aftermath... (Only the boyfriend could prize it out of those jaws!)

*Off I trot to wring her neck!*

Overall, the collection isn't bad, but I was disappointed.

The nude collection is a permanent addition and will be available from 31st August both online and in Superdrug stores.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Freebie Alert! Burberry Body Perfume Sample

We all love a good freebie, and this time Burberry have really gone all out for the launch of their new fragrance 'Body'.

They are giving away 40,000 30ml (Yes! I thought that was a typo too... but apparently it really is 30ml) samples of the new fragrance before the official release date on the 1st September.

All you have to do is 'like' their facebook page, then click on the 'request sample' button. I have a feeling that the 40,000 samples will move pretty fast so get your skates on ladies!

*Update: The offer is definitely open to the UK. For availability in other countries please check the facebook page (I can't list them all on here!)*

Lips I'm Loving... Vol. 2

I was having a root through my makeup bag this morning and thought I'd share my current faourite lips products with you all! Evidently I'm loving a good pale pink lip at the moment and these are the shades currently lurking in my makeup bag...

Clockwise from top left: Besame 'Cotton Candy' Lipgloss, YSL Rouge Volupte in 'Forbidden Burgundy' , Shiseido Shimmering Rouge 311, Smashbox Smile Brightening Lipgloss, Avon Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact Lipstick in 'Never So Nude', Nuxe 'Reve de Miel' Lipbalm

From top:

1. Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in 311 - This is my new favourite fail safe everyday lipstick... the perfect shade of pale pink (not pale enough to make you look ill!) with a creamy formula and non-gloss finish. I love the packaging too!

2. YSL Rouge Volupte in 12/Forbidden Burgundy - My only rouge volupte, this colour is my 'dare to wear' shade: a gorgeous vampy burgundy. I love the formulation and scent of the Rouge Volupte line... I've got my eyes on Sensual Silk next!

3. Smashbox Smile Brightening Lipgloss - I got this in a duo for breast cancer care last year and I'm not sure if it even has a shade name, but it's probably my most worn lipgloss overall this year. A gorgeous sparkly lilac that catches the light.

4. Besame 'Cotton Candy' Lipgloss - The newest addition to my makeup bag. The colour of this lipgloss is nothing unique. Its a very standard baby pink BUT it tastes like coconut. My all time favourite flavour for lips and... it's super creamy and moisturising.

5. Avon Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact Lipstick in 'Never So Nude' - The perfect 'your lips but better' shade with a super flattering, glossy finish. Perfect for slapping on without a mirror if you need to. I love the multi-faceted shape of the bullet too - Avon's lipsticks are great quality for their price.

That's all folks! What are your current favourite lip products?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall in The Beauty Hall!

Something fun for anyone who's out and about over the next few months...

Shiseido are sending their 'Magic Mirror' on a tour of the UK!

The state of the art 'Mirror' is a virtual makeup application program that updates in real time, so it shows you what the latest Shiseido beauty looks will look like on you, without having to take all your makeup off!

Because it works in real time, you can see what the makeup would look like as you move, talk and laugh!

It may be a gimmick, but it sounds fun to me!

The mirror can be found at the following locations:

House of Fraser, Oxford St: Now - 18th August
House of Fraser, Meadowhall: 29th August - 17th September
House of Fraser, Manchester: 19th September - 3rd October
Jenners, Edinburgh: 5th October - 19th October
John Lewis, Newcastle: 21st October - 4th November
House of Fraser, Westfield: 9th November - 29th November
House of Fraser, Milton Keynes: 1st December - 24th December
House of Fraser, Oxford Street: 23rd December - 20th January
Harrods: 23rd Janurary - 11th February

Will any of you be checking this out if it stops near you?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wonderstruck: Taylor Swift's Fragrance Debut!

As a huge Taylor Swift fan myself, I first heard the she was to release a fragrance when I was handed a flyer on my way out of her concert at the O2 way back in March, and as a beauty and fragrance fanatic, I was excited to see what she would put her name too.

I may be a little late on the uptake here, as I believe the first photos of Taylor Swift's perfume debut were released a few weeks back... But I've only just seen them so I'm sure there are a few of you out there who will be excited (or disappointed as the case may be...) by the following photo:
I have to say I'm not as big a fan as I thought I would be. For some reason the bottle looks a little dated and slightly tacky?! I love the charm detail, but something about it doesn't look quite right... It could be the mixed-font logo or the gold and blue combo, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Having said that... she could still pull it back with the fragrance itself and the description sounds good to me:

'The flawless beauty of freesia, apple blossom and raspberry spark a swirl of vibrancy and feminine allure. In the heart, a sweet surprise of blissful vanilla is embellished by airy, sun drenched honeysuckle and white hibiscus. Notes of golden amber and sandalwood are woven with a kiss of lush peach'

As for the name? Any hardcore Taylor fan will recognise it from her song 'Enchanted', which was penned for Owl City's Adam Young, and I like it. Somewhat magical, don't you think?!

I really can't wait to try this when it comes out in October... will any of you be keeping an eye out for this too?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again...

Some of you may remember me telling you about the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards last year? I was lucky enough to be shortlisted in the 'Best Beauty Blog' category last year thanks to all of your lovely nominations, and believe it or not... a whole year has passed and the awards are open for nominations again!

They have two beauty blog categories this year: 'Best New Beauty Blog' and 'Best Established Beauty Blog' which makes the running even more exciting!

So if you fancy heading over to the Cosmo website to nominate your fave beauty blogs, the link you'll need to click is here...


...and if you fancy nominating me whilst you're there, I'll love you forever!

My blog (this one right here!) would be in the 'new' blog category, as it's still under 18 months old, and my YouTube channel would be in the 'established' blog category (and yes - you can nominate both if you like!)

Even if you don't choose to give me a nomination, it would be really great for you all to head over there and nominate your favourite bloggers. It's fantastic to have a publication like Cosmopolitan embracing blogging, any extra support would be much appreciated!

Thank you lovelies! xx

Friday, August 12, 2011

Estee Lauder Rainbow Glosses

Thought I'd share this piece of limited edition loveliness from Estee Lauder with you all...
How cute are they?!

The Rainbow Gloss trio comes with Pink, Berry and Nude shades, each made up of three colours that (according to Estee Lauder!) stay separate even after several uses. I love how you can line them up so the EL logo shows across the three tubes too - gorgeous!

Sadly they are a travel exclusive so only available from airports... so you have to go on holiday to get your hands on them. Fingers crossed they still have some left next time I jet off somewhere!

Available now, priced at £36.72

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Charity Chapstick

Exciting news!

Chapstick have just announced that they will be releasing a special edition of their cult Cherry Chapstick in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

They've redesigned the packaging to be super girly in pink and purple, and have adorned it with the pink ribbon logo.
I'll definitely be picking up a few of these when they go on sale in supermarkets and pharmacies from September (in good time for October Breast Cancer Awareness month!)

Priced at £2.49 for a twin pack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The One That Got Away!

I must admit, I'm rather fickle with my skincare products. I rarely completely finish a product before I buy or start using the next one. Which is why I knew I had to blog about this little exfoliating duo when I reached to use them in the shower this morning and realised they were totally empty, and as far as I can remember... I've never mentioned them on my blog or YouTube channel!

Nubo's Diamond Peel & Reveal exfoliating duo isn't like other exfoliators. It contains real diamond dust!

It sounds a little over the top but I absolutely love this product (as the empty bottles prove!) Step one is a super fine diamond-based paste which you massage into your skin (surprisingly, it doesn't feel harsh on the skin.) Followed by step two, the 'activator', which fizzes a tiny bit when you massage it into the first layer. Wash it all off the the end result is super smooth, plumped and fresh looking skin - lovely! This is definitely the best exfoliator I've ever used.

It doesn't come cheap at £65 for the set (2x 80ml) but it lasts an absolute age. I started using mine in February, so it's lasted me 6 months using it once or twice a week.

If you feel like treating yourself (and your skin!) Nubo is available online here (with free international delivery)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Touche Eclat Meets it's Match!

A bold claim, I know.

YSL Touch Eclat has been considered a cult beauty product for donkey's years now and is widely acknowledged as being the best thing for concealing those pesky under-eye circles. But there's a new under-eye kidd in town (pun totally intended) in the form of Jemma Kidd's Wrinkle Rescue and Brightener Duo.

This nifty little double ended stick contains a wrinkle filling serum on one end (that seems better described as a primer to me) and a pink-toned brightening concealer on the other... and it works wonders!

Cue the rather unflattering before and after pictures...

(due to recently being ill and spending a whole day in bed... my eyes don't actually look too bad today... Don't know whether to be happy due to lack of circles, or sad due to less impressive before & after snaps... haha!)

Overall, I'm totally in love with this product and have spent the last few weeks convincing all my family and friends that it's the way forward (my mum is particular fan!) It is available in 3 shades, I have number 1 (the lightest).

I like to apply the serum with the little spatula, tap it into the skin with my fingers, then apply the concealer over the top using Jemma Kidd's Pro Crease Brush (06) to blend it in.

If you suffer from dark circles and need a little extra lift under the eyes, then this is a must have, in my opinion it knocks the socks off YSL Touche Eclat, which can be a little too light reflective at times. One of my most frequently asked questions is what is the best solution for under-eye circles, so there you have it!

It's not cheap at £24, but it's worth every penny! (And you can get it with free international delivery here... woo!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vintage Nails by David Barton

A few weeks back, I was invited by Maybelline to set celebrity manicurist David Barton a 'nail challenge' to create on my nails. Following a little help from my lovely twitter followers, I decided on a 'Vintage Inspired' look.

A few hours later in a dodgy looking warehouse in Dalston... this was the result!

If you want to see how David created the look, then check out the video below...

The products he used:

  • Maybelline Salon Manicure Base Coat
  • Maybelline Express Finish Onyx Black
  • Maybelline Express Finish Khaki Green
  • Maybelline Express Finish Top Coat
  • Gold Leaf
  • Various Gems & Chains
  • Tweezers

The look was surprisingly easy to create, definitely something I'll be trying at home!

What do you think of the finished look?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Urban Decay Does it Again...

You've all seen the Book of Shadows and the infamous Naked Palette, but Urban Decay's newest limited addition box of loveliness may just be my favourite of them all. Feast your eyes on the 15 Year Anniversary Palette!

The palette contains 15 totally new shades that cater for all tastes and eventualities, encased in a beautiful reflective case with bejewelled 'UD' initials in the lid...

As to be expected from Urban Decay, all of the shadows are gorgeously smooth and highly pigmented.

The colours range from pale champagnes and golden browns for everyday wear, pretty pastels for a hint of colour and a few shocking brights for those more adventurous evenings out.

All the shades are shimmery with exception of 'Blackout', a matte black.

Above from left: Midnight Rodeo, Midnight 15, Vanilla, Flow, Chase
Above from left: Tainted, Junkshow, Omen, Evidence, Deep End
Above from left: Deeper, MIA, Ace, Blackout, Half Truth

There are a few good dupes in here for some of the 'must have' MAC shades too... namely Naked Lunch, Woodwinked, Tempting, Knight Divine and Carbon (could be a good or bad thing depending if you own them already!)

Top from left: (Urban Decay) Flow, Chase, Deeper, Ace, Blackout
Bottom from left: (MAC) Naked Lunch, Woodwinked, Tempting, Knight Divine, Carbon

All in all, I have to say this palette is simply fabulous. The only thing I would have changed would be to include a mini primer potion like most of the previous palettes! It would look gorgeous on any dressing table don't you think?

The 15th Anniversary palette is £39 and available now from Debenhams online here and in store.