Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nailed: Neutral on Neutral

I tried something new today. A bit of a different twist on the neutral/nude reverse french manicures that have been cropping up left right and centre for the last few months...
Ciate's lovely Cream Tea, a brown-taupe with a tiny hint of silver shimmer tipped with my current favourite Nubar Gem, a lilac-taupe with fine holographic glitter.

A sophisticated way to wear holo don't you think? And only wearing a touch of it makes removing it so much easier!

Review: Rimmel Scandal'Eyes Mascara

Sorry for the lack of posts this week girls! I don't know where the first half of the week went... madness! But I'm back in blogging action today with a review of Rimmel's New Scandal'Eyes Mascara.

I was a big fan of Rimmel's last mascara release 'Day 2 Night', so when I saw they had released a new one I thought it would be well worth a try. I was wrong.
The mascara comes in a chunky orange tube. I quite like orange, so don't find this too offensive but if you like your makeup to look sleek and sophisticated you'll definitely find the packaging obnoxious. The brush is HUGE, which makes it a little tricky to apply. Some mascaras with huge brushes are fabulous and well worth the effort it takes to apply them without getting mascara on your eyelids, but when it comes to this one? It's just not worth the hassle. 
It gives you average volume, average length, and it's a pain to apply. Not really a winner.
I wouldn't have been quite so critical of this mascara had it not been claiming to 'take your lashes to the next level', leave them 'shaped, plumed and exaggerated to perfection' with 'scadalous eye-opening volume'.

Just compare the results to my L'Oreal Luminizer Million Lashes...
Time to up your game Rimmel!

Rimmel Scandal'Eyes Mascara is out now, priced at £6.99. Would love to know if anyone else has tried this?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Limited Edition Flowerbomb!

The lovely ladies at Viktor & Rolf sent me one of the new limited edition Flowerbomb perfumes that have been released just in time for Christmas…

The 50ml Eau de Parfum bottle houses the original Flowerbomb scent in a gorgeous metallic bottle with multi-coloured ribbons. I’m so in love with it!

If you haven’t tried Flowerbomb before it’s an addictively sweet floral fragrance. It’s not your traditional ‘floral’ scent. It seems much younger and more modern, but I think it’s something women of any age could wear. With notes of Tea, Jasmine, Bergamont, Patchouli, Freesia, Orchid and Centiflora Rose, it’s a relative bouquet of sweet, floral loveliness! It’s not cheap at £76 but it’s certainly the prettiest bottle I’ve seen… ever!

I’ve already got a bottle of Flowerbomb, so this week (as sad as it makes me!) I’m going to be giving this gorgeous bottle away… the perfect Christmas gift for someone special in your life, or even a little treat for yourself!

If you head over to my website, you'll find all the info you need to be in with a chance of winning!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lip Lust: Revlon Crystal Lilac

I’ve had my eyes on this colour for a few months now and Superdrug’s 3 for 2 offer pushed me over the edge to buy it. I absolutely adore the packaging, it’s such fantastic quality for a drugstore brand, they are chanel-esque in their size and shape, and also with the quilted design.
I’m always attracted to this kind of slightly iridescent lilac shade.
When I finally got round to trying it, I must admit I was a little disappointed! When I swatched it on my hand, it seemed a lot more pigmented than when I actually put it on my lips…
If you haven’t tried the Colourburst lipglosses before, they are definitely a love/hate kind of product due to both the formulation and the taste. A lot of people don’t like the taste, but I actually quite like it! It kind of tastes like rice to me (if you’ve tried these please let me know what you think in the comments… it’s a funny one!) The formulation is ever so slightly grainy too, which I’m not such a fan of.

Overall, this was a bit of a disappointment to me as I’d been wanting to buy it for such a long time. It’s one that I’ll use up, but not a favourite!

The Revlon Colourburst lipglosses are £7.99 and available from Boots and Superdrug in the UK.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nailed: GOSH Nail Glitter!

I haven’t seen or heard much about the GOSH nail glitters. In fact I hadn’t heard of them at all before I spotted them in Superdrug the other day. After a bit of research online, I think they must have been out for a few months but have so far managed to escape my attention!
These little pots of super-fine glitter drew me in because (as you all know!) I’m a complete glitter bug. The idea of using lose glitter to adorn the nails seems a little messy to me, but I wanted to try it as I’m always up for something new when it comes to nails.
The shade I chose was ‘Ruby Red’ which is actually more of a deep pink. It was a hard decision as there are 8 different shades, all of which are gorgeous but I think this was the most ‘me’.

The process of application is actually very simple…
You apply a clear coat of polish to the nails, dip the nail into the glitter pot, make sure the glitter covers the whole nail, carefully remove it from the pot, then wipe off any excess.

The result is gorgeous. It’s a matte glitter finish unlike conventional glitter nail polish. You can’t put a top-coat over it without turning your nails into a gloopy mess, so the glitter itself has quite a limited staying power (a couple of days before it develops some substantial ‘bald’ patches!) but it’s definitely a gorgeous look for a special occasion.
I think I’m more likely to use this again in nail art designs, or for the tips of my nails as the effect on the whole nail seems to be a little more hassle than it’s worth.

They are £3.99, so won’t break the bank and are fun to have a play with. I’m quite disappointed that they don’t have a true red shade for Christmas time, but definitely keep your eyes open for a video tutorial featuring these glitters soon! I think it could be really fun to play around with mixing different glitters on the same nail!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: L'Oreal Million Lashes Luminizer

I'm not sure how, but I seem to have avoided trying L'Oreal Million Lashes despite the fantastic reviews online, it's just not something I've thought of buying. Until now. I was in Superdrug the other day and of course I'm a huge sucker for their current '3 for 2' offer on all of their cosmetics. While perusing the beauty displays looking for makeup (that I don't need by any stretch of the imagination!) I spotted L'Oreal's latest addition to their Million Lashes range... the Luminizer.

These mascaras are designed to accentuate the colour of your eyes. They come in three shades: plum for hazel eyes, blue for blue eyes and green for green eyes. My eyes are about smack in the middle of being Hazel and Green, but I decided to go for the green shade, not really knowing what to expect (my previous experiences with coloured mascara have not been positive in the slightest!)

The mascara itself is essentially an almost-black forest green base, with a slight green glimmer to it... very pretty indeed. The brush is large and plastic, with fine bristles. It seems to catch a little excess on the tip which needs to be wiped off before use.

The effect of the mascara is fantastic. It's seriously volumising, yet defines the lashes just the right amount while adding a serious amount of length. I am  so impressed by this mascara I honestly can't believe I haven't tried it sooner!

L'oreal Million Lashes Luminizer (Green Eyes):
Normal Mascara:
As for the 'luminizing' effect, I'm not so sure. On the one hand, it is very subtle, which is definitely a good thing when it comes to coloured mascara. On the other hand, I'm not sure if it really 'luminizes' the colour of my eyes... maybe a little? What do you think? I think it makes them look a slightly deeper shade of green.

As it's L'Oreal... it's not the cheapest mascara on the high street at £11.29 but in my opinion it's well worth it! (And the Superdrug 3 for 2 offer is still on!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mini Avon Haul!

After posting about my Avon Glazewear lipstick in Coral Bliss last week, I couldn't resist placing an order for some more, however the swatches on the website are absolutely awful (They all look the same!) so I decided to simply order the whole line.

This sounds rather extravagant but considering there are only five colours in the line, and the lipsticks are on sale for just £3 each, I thought I might as well!

Left-right: Coral Bliss, Sunset, Apricot, Nectar, Peach Silk

So if any of you are thinking of purchasing one of these lipsticks... this post might help (as it actually has decent swatches!)

Left-right: Coral Bliss, Sunset, Apricot, Nectar, Peach Silk

The colours are quite sheer and glossy compared to traditional lipstick. I'd say they are the perfect halfway point between lipstick and gloss, and the packaging is so chic and pretty in a slim rose gold tube. There isn't the best range in colours, but my personal favourites are Coral Bliss, Sunset and Peach Silk. Nectar is a bit of a 'nothing' colour, and Apricot is a little more brown than I would normally go for, so I gave it to my mum (who loves it!)
 Coral Bliss
 Peach Silk

The more I use these, the more convinced I am that they are some of the best quality, great value for money lip products out there... love them!

On a side note, it seems to me that the names are are totally mismatched to the colours? 'Sunset' is more coral than 'Coral Bliss', 'Apricot' is not an apricot shade at all and would be more akin to the name 'Sunset'... very confusing!

Since buying these, the price has been increased to £3.50, but I still think they are fab.

What do you think girls? Will you be ordering any of these? Any favourites?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Westfield Wonderland: Harpar's Bazaar 'One Night Only' Event!

My sister and I headed down to the Harpers Bazaar ‘One Night Only’ Event at Westfield Shepherds Bush on Thursday and it was so fabulous I thought I should share a few pictures with you all!
The exclusive event saw the designer end of Westfield’s ‘The Village’ transformed into a relative winter wonderland of fashion, beauty, music and glamour for the evening.
The event was free to attend, but you had to register online for your chance to be allocated one of the 3000 tickets available to enter the area and be treated to free cocktails, champagne, canap├ęs, exclusive discounts in the shops and entertainment from some of the UK’s best up and coming music acts including Blue Robinson, Spark and Sam Beaton.
We were treated to a tour of House of Fraser’s newly updated beauty hall, which is now home to new Guerlain, Shiseido, Aveda, Espa, La Prairie and (most excitingly!) NARS counters. 
The Shiseido Magic Makeup Mirror was also there for the evening. I posted about this ages ago on my blog, but this is the first time I’ve seen the mirror in person and I can honestly say it’s fantastic!

The sales assistant gave my makeup-a-phobe sister a virtual makeover...
I also got a lovely hand massage from the Espa team at the ‘backstage beauty’ station, where the Hersheson’s blow dry bar were offering 25% off their services for the evening and Armani makeup artists were giving out gorgeous makeovers for free!
We were gutted to miss out on the chance to put a bauble on the charity tree. For £5 you could add a bauble to the tree and get a goody bag worth £65 in exchange! Understandably, these disappeared pretty quickly but I absolutely loved the idea… such a festive way to raise money for a good cause!
We both had such a fabulous time, I’ll definitely be putting my name on the list if they do this again next year! It’s such a lovely way to get some of your Christmas shopping done early while having a lovely girly evening out… It left me feeling so festive, I can’t believe it’s still November… Roll on December 25th!
For information on more exclusive events coming up at Westfield, check out their website.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Three of The Best... Christmas Candles

I am a self-confessed candle junkie in Winter. As soon as the weather starts to turn a bit colder, the candles come out. You can guarantee there will be a candle burning in my house every single day from November-January, mainly because I just can't get enough of Christmas scents.

Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Vanilla. I'm a complete sucker for anything that smells like festive baked goods so as you'd expect, I have tried a fair few Christmas candles in my time.

Here are my top three for the festive season.

Number one is the daddy of all Christmas candles. It's big, it's red and it has Santa on the front...

Yankee Candle's 'Christmas Eve' will get you in the festive mood in no time. With sugared plum, candied fruits and a dash of 'warm hearth' (whatever that is meant to smell like!?) this will fill your whole house with it's delicious scent in a few minutes. Make sure you buy the large size though, I find the smaller (or even medium) jars have hardly any scent payoff compared to the big ones. They have about 110-150 hours burn time too, so expect this to last you all season! (RRP £18.99 for the large jar, available from Clinton Cards. You can get them a little cheaper online)

Second up is my all time favourite autumnal candle from Slatkin & Co. 'Leaves' is a ridiculous name but it smells like winter embodied.

Cinnamon, mulled cider, mandarin and red apple combine to create the most heavenly scent. Everyone asks what this is when I burn it in my kitchen. It's meant to be one of their autumn candles I think, but it takes me all through winter and beyond. It has the strongest scent payoff I've ever experienced from a candle. I simply love it, which is why it's ever so frustrating that it's not available in the UK. And mine just ran out. I'm going to be stocking up on my next visit to the US! ($19.50 for the large size, available from Bath & Body Works in store and online)

Last but not least, for those of you who prefer a more sophisticated looking candle, The White Company's Signature Candle in 'Winter' is also divine.

This one is more obviously 'Christmas' to me. It has more of a strong scent of clove combined with cinnamon and dried orange. It's more expensive for less product, at £20 but if you're looking for a gift, this is a great choice! (£20 in stores and online)

Another candle that deserves an honourable mention in this post is Yankee Candle's 'Winter Wonderland'.

If you aren't such a fan of the spicy, cinnamon-based scents and prefer to go down the fresh/minty/pine route, then this is also lovely. It's white too, so a little more subtle than some of Yankee's other Christmas options. (RRP £18.99 for the large jar, available from Clinton Cards. You can get them a little cheaper online)

I'm feeling all festive now! What is your favourite candle to burn at Christmas time?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Valentino Valentina

I've been drying to try the latest fragrance from Valentino ever since I caught a glimpse of the gorgeous bottle a few months ago. Since then it's always slipped my mind to sample 'Valentina' every time I've been passing through a perfume hall, but this week I finally remembered and went over to have a look (and smell!)

There is no denying the packaging is stunning. It's ultra feminine, with something rather elegant about it (I think its the shape of the bottle neck?) while still managing to keep a hint of fun girlishness with the pretty flowers that adorn the front. I think these are made out of some kind of ceramic. From the pictures, I was expecting leather.

The scent itself is much like the bottle. Feminine and elegant, but nothing too 'out there' or wild. It's a 'floriental' as the fragrance buffs like to call it... a floral oriental that I adored upon first spray, despised after two minutes, and came to rather like once it finally settled into the skin after about twenty minutes. It's quite a nicely balanced fragrance, with notes of bergamot, white truffle, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, strawberry and quite a distinctive base of amber and cedar softened with a little vanilla.

Overall, it's a fragrance that I can't quite put my finger on. Part of me wants to love it, the other thinks it just isn't really 'me'. This is definitely more of a classically feminine, softly sophisticated scent and would make a great choice for those kind of people. I however, like to go for extremes... fruity, sweet, spicy etc. and somehow 'Valentina' is not quite extreme enough for my liking. I think this could be a good choice for my mum this Christmas though...

Valentina is available now, from £40 for 30ml Eau de Parfum. ( On a side note, the 30ml bottle actually only comes with two little flowers on the front, not three. A bit disappointing considering the price in my opinion!)

I'd love to know what you all think about the scent? Have you tried it yet?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To: Firework Nails

I created this look a couple of week ago when I was painting my nails late at night, with fireworks in mind. I can honestly say I've never had so many questions about my nails, both in person and in comments when I showed them in a video.

Despite lots of you requesting a tutorial, creating this look is just so easy, it really didn't justify a video tutorial, but to satisfy those of you who were asking about it...

It's the combination of three nail polishes: Zoya Gem, 2True Mysterious Turquoise (Shade 3) and Barry M Once Upon a Time (210), and you can recreate it in three easy steps.

1. Paint on one coat of Zoya Gem (or any deep purple)

2. Paint 1/3 - 1/2 of the nail with small, uneven strokes using 2True Mysterious Turquoise (or any shimmery blue-green shade). This doesn't have to be neat - the more uneven, the better!

3. Finish off with a thick coat of Barry M's Once Upon a Time (make sure you shake it before you apply to disperse the glitter properly!)

...and it's as easy as that! This look really reminds me of fireworks, and the dark colours are great for winter. I'm going to be wearing lots of different variations on this look over winter!

What do you think?