Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Urban Decay Oz Palettes - Swatches & Review

It's taken me forever to get this blog post up, as I somehow managed to lose the memory card that these pictures were stored on... but better late than never right?! Well I think so when it comes to these palettes!
You may remember this time last year, when Urban Decay released their 'Build Your Own' palettes? I gave them a bit of a bashing for their extortionate price tag (which, for the record, is still extortionate!)
 
Well, for the release of Oz The Great and Powerful, UD have created these two limited edition palettes in the same packaging as their custom palettes... but better!
In these, not only do you get an awesome limited edition palette (I personally love the designs!) but you get 6 full size eyeshadows (of which two are actually double shadows, so you get 8 colours, a mini-size 24/7 eye pencil AND a Super-Saturated lip gloss pencil... for £35
Glinda Palette: 

Theodora Palette: 
The two palettes are designed to re-create the looks of Glinda and Theodora from the film, but you can use them however you like (although they do come with a convenient face chart showing you how to apply the makeup in the style of each character). I'm not entirely sure why Rachel Weisz's character didn't get a palette, but there you go...
The quality and pigmentation of the products is as you would expect from Urban Decay... blummin' brilliant! Both palettes are actually pretty wearable too, depending on your colouring and taste, but they definitely aren't as bright as some of Urban Decay's other palettes.

Glinda Palette:
Theodora Palette:

They still have these in stock over at Debenhams, so hurry if you want to get your hands on one!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Barry M Textured Nail Paint - Kingsland Road

I picked this polish up a couple of weeks ago and thought I would do a little review for you all on here... I don't normally do nail polish 'reviews' as such, they are usually just 'Nail of the Day' type features (meaning that I usually like the products, and am simply showing me wearing them, along with a mini review)
This time is a little different though, as I was left really unimpressed by this polish. It's Barry M's Textured Nail Paint in 'Kingsland Road' - a lovely baby pink in the bottle, I was excited to try the new textured formulation, but when on the nails it honestly just looks like your polish has bubbled up, or you've got sand on our nails. Really not too appealing in my opinion. 
I normally love Barry M polishes, but I have to admit this one just wasn't for me. I definitely won't be using this more than once. 

I'd love to hear if any of you have tried one of these textured polishes yet, and what you think? You can pick them up now, from Superdrug, or online for £3.99.

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Many Faces: The Blogger


If you didn’t already know, last year the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow became the face of Max Factor and the ‘Many Faces’ campaign was her first for the brand, showcasing different looks for all of her different roles in life including Writer, Rockstar’s Wife and Business Woman.

Max Factor have challenged me to do the same using their makeup line. They invited me along to meet their head makeup artist (and seriously nice lady) Caroline Barnes, get to know the Max Factor line a bit better, and to talk through the looks that I wanted to create to represent my three roles. Over the next couple of months, I’m going to be sharing these with you here on my blog. I thought I would start with my favourite look, so here we go…

The Blogger.
Although my YouTube has always played a larger role in my ‘online life’ my blog is actually a huge part of what I do. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and take great pride in seeing all your reactions and responses to my posts. It allows me to be a little more creative, and gives me the opportunity to write, which is a secret love of mine.

The makeup look that I created with Caroline to reflect my blogging lifestyle is very neutral and relaxed. 
I adore metallics, especially bronze and rose gold so we chose a natural look with fresh skin using Max Factor’s new CC Cream with warm metallic accents on the eyes, lips and cheeks. My favourite product from the look has to be the Miracle Touch blush in Soft Copper.
This is actually one of the products Caroline recommended to me when we were talking through the product line, she often uses it on the cheeks and lips to tie a look together, as it’s really soft and blend-able. I love how dinky the packaging is too. I love Max Factor’s mascaras in general, but for this look Caroline recommended one that I hadn’t tried before, the Lash Extension Effect mascara. This is a fibre mascara, but because the fibre are so tiny, and the brush is so delicate, it’s totally clump free. Caroline told me that she uses it in a lot of her editorial work to get ‘perfect’ lashes.

For the nails I chose my favourite shade from the new Glossfinity range: Midnight Bronze.
I love this look so much and think it reflects the blogging side of my life perfectly. It’s still very Neutral and ‘me’ but with a pretty metallic twist. I like to keep my day to day makeup quite light when I’m blogging, as I’m constantly trying out new products and shades, so I don’t like to start with a full face of makeup as I usually end up adding something to it by the end of a day at my desk.
What do you think of the look that we created? Keep an eye out for my next ‘Many Faces’ look, which will be posted on here in three weeks time.

*This post is sponsored by Max Factor

Thursday, March 14, 2013

bareMinerals READY Foundation Review

I've always been a fan of bareMinerals products, but I must admit that I'm not a fan of loose powder in general, so while I love the performance of their products, I never use them consecutively for months and months... I'm just too clumsy and end up getting powder all over my makeup bag, dressing table and carpet (shhhhh don't tell Mike!)

The unveiling of their READY collection back in April last year proved that the quality of their products and pigments are fantastic, and now (finally!) they have decided that the time is right to unveil a READY version of their original foundation, I had to try it out.
The packaging is lovely, as with all of the READY line: nice and sturdy with a big mirror and matte finish.
The texture is not that of a super fine powder, and it has a hint of shimmer in there if you look extra close.

The application is similar to the original foundation, but without the messy tapping, you just buff it straight into your skin. You can get a higher coverage if you use a more densely packed brush (for a medium, more natural finish, use a fluffy brush)
Because it's not super fine, it doesn't create a mess and provides a lovely medium, build-able coverage. It's a natural finish foundation that is easy to top up on the go (and stays put well anyway so this might not be a concern)

Mug shot (with no other makeup, first thing in the morning, so yes my hair, eyebrows etc are all ceerazy!)
I really love the coverage bareMinerals products provide, it's almost like a soft focus look. It's got SPF 20 to boot (and personally, I find topping up with powder throughout the day much easier than using a liquid foundation, so you can top up your spf at the same time... perfect!) There are 20 shades too, so something for everyone.

It's not cheap at £25, but i think if you're a bareMinerals convert you'll know that it's worth it. It's actually the same price as their original foundation, and the packaging is much more luxe. I'm a big fan. I think this is a great step forward for the brand, and this will be becoming a handbag regular for me personally.

You can pick up bareMinerals' new READY foundation from feelunique.com with 15% off and free delivery!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It May Be Winter Outside...

But on my nails, it's SPRING!
I'm loving these gorgeous nail wraps by NCLA.
With a combination of mint green, geometric design and floral print, you couldn't get a more perfect nail look for Spring.

They take 5 mins to apply (no heat required) and you can get four sets out of one £12 pack (two mint green, two baby pink)

You can pick up NCLA nail wraps online at cultbeauty.co.uk - This style (Aly En Vogue) is coming soon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Collection "Big Fake Ultimate" Mascara Review

I picked up Collection 2000's Big Fake Ultimate mascara this week. I was thoroughly impressed by the original version, so I thought why not give the ultimate version a whirl? With ultimate in the name, it's got to be good... right?
Kind of...

The packaging is pretty much the same and it comes with a ginormous brush. I can't actually remember if this is bigger than the original, but to be honest, they are both substantial enough to be classed as 'supersized' in my opinion.

Although this makes for a nice shortcut to fully-coated, drastically volumised lashes, it also makes it hard not to get mascara all over your face in the process. I haven't been able to use this yet without having to tidy up my eye makeup afterwards with a cotton bud (I'm sure it's possible if you apply it very slowly and carefully, but let's be honest, who has the time to spend 15 minutes putting their mascara on in the morning?!)
If you're willing to look past the issue with the brush, this mascara really is rather impressive when you consider it's £5.99 price tag. It adds a lot of volume to the lashes, and serious length while still leaving them defined enough to look fluttery rather than clumpy.
In terms of staying power, it does tend to smudge a tiny bit throughout the day, but unless you're the kind of girl who needs waterproof mascara on a daily basis, it shouldn't be a problem. The only issue I had with this mascara was it's longevity in terms of looks... It strangely seemed to keep the length and definition, but loose a significant amount of volume throughout the day. Annoying, but not game-changing for me. I still really liked this mascara, and for £5.99 I don't think you can go too wrong. There's also a deal on in Boots at the moment where you get a free felt-tip eyeliner if you spend over £4.99 (The eyeliner is pretty good too!)

What do you think? Have you guys tried the original Big False Mascara before?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

L'Oreal GlamShine Stain Splash Review (YSL Glossy Stain Dupes!)

I finally managed to get my hands on these new lip stains from L'Oreal. They have been hailed as dupes for my beloved YSL Glossy Stains, and I've been keeping a beady eye out for their arrival in the UK, as apparently they've been out in Europe for quite some time.
They've finally landed on UK shores and I picked up three of the shades in Superdrug last week (They are currently 3 for 2!) 
So first of all... The packaging. I love it. It's actually much nicer than the YSL packaging in my opinion, and looks much more expensive than their £7.99 price tag. 
The formulation of the products is almost identical to the YSL. It feels like a cooling creme on application, but after layering, it leaves a super thick, glossy finish that stays put for hours, even after eating. The only differences in the formulation that I noticed were the scent (the L'Oreal version has quite an artificial berry scent which isn't as nice as the YSL) and the number of coats needed to achieve opacity on the lips (with the YSL it takes 3, with L'Oreal it's 4-5.)
The only real downside to these is the shade range. Out of the shades available, these were by far the best, sitting amongst a few terracotta shades and some dodgy lilacs. From having a peruse online, it seems that there are a couple of magenta/pink shades that seemed to be missing from the display in my local Superdrug (There weren't even spaces for them, so I wonder if they stock different shades in different shops?) Either way, the shades I chose were the most wearable amongst the selection I saw.
Lolita
Romy
Juliet
As with the YSL, these do change in colour as they dry on to your lips, so it's worth layering them up on your hand in the shop to see the true colours before you buy. Juliet is the perfect example of this, as it looks really pink in the tube but is quite a true red on the lips.

Here are a couple of images of the YSL, to remind you of the packaging and finish.

YSL Glossy Stain in 14 Fuchsia Dore
Overall, these didn't disappoint, and while they are currently 3 for 2 it brings the price down to just over £5 each... almost 1/5 of the price of the YSL. Love them. You can pick them up in Boots & Superdrug in the UK now (RRP £7.99)

Have any of you tried these new lip glosses, or the YSL ones? What do you think?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Barry M Pomegranate

I'm more than a little late on the band wagon with these. They've been all over blogs for the past few months, but to be honest, the pastels shades didn't take my fancy and this gorgeous pink had been sold out everywhere I looked before this weekend.

This is Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine formula in Pomegranate, a gorgeous vibrant pink-red. It's formulated to make your nails look like gel nails. The consistency is thick and super-opaque. The picture below is with one coat, without a top coat, so if you don't like faffing around with three coats of colour and a top coat, then these are definitely the polishes for you!
They have a lovely shiny finish and dry quickly, however, I would advise that you don't skip your base coat with this shade in particular (I can't say for the other colours, but I presume the pastels will be ok) but this stained my nails pretty badly.
Otherwise, I was really impressed for the £3.99 price tag. They're currently 2 for £6 in Superdrug too. Bargain. It seems that my love affair with Barry M has been rekindled...

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Top 10 Gifts for Mother's Day

Mother's day is fast approaching, so if you've yet to pick out something nice to give to your mum this Sunday, then maybe this gift guide will help! It's a run down of my top 10 gifts for your mum, catering for all budgets...

Lancome La Vie est Belle - If you want to go down the perfume route, this would be my top pick this Mother's Day. To me, this is a real 'signature scent', it's powerful and instantly recognisable. It's sweet, but I think it is better suited to more mature women. The bottle is stunning too. You can pick up a gorgeous gift set for £39 (£54 value) including free delivery here.
Isla Cashmere Scarf - OK, I admit it, this next gift is from my sister's company, but I can't tell you how much almost every woman in my life loves these scarves. They are 100% scottish cashmere, and therefore quite expensive, but definitely something to think about if you really want to treat your mum this year. They will last for years if cared for well and keep you warm and cozy in the winter months, while working well as an evening wrap in the summer. They're also fabulously comforting when travelling, so if you have a jet-setter mum, this would go down well I'm sure! £145 each, available from IslaCashmere.com
All About Mum Chocolates - If chocolates are your mum's thing, my chocolates of choice for gifting are always Hotel Chocolat. They're not too expensive but always delicious, and they produce really pretty, original designs and flavours. Their 'All About Mum' Mother's Day special selections are especially lovely this year. Available online and in-store, from £12.
A Picture-Perfect Frame - I spotted this photo frame the other day and fell in love with it instantly. The square mounts are perfect for framing Instagram pictures, so if you want to give your mum something to remember this year, why not add some gorgeous filters to your favourite photos together and pop them in a beautiful frame. This one is currently on sale for £26, from the Laura Ashley website.
Lov Organic Tea - If your mum is a tea fanatic, I would recommend taking a look at Lov's website. These organic loose leaf teas not only taste delicious (my favourite is Winter in Lov) but they come in gorgeous tins that you can reuse and re-fill. For the perfect gift for tea-loving mums, why not buy her a cute tea pot, or a vintage teacup too? From £9 available from the Lov UK website.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage - My mum is a total skincare fanatic, so she's tried her fair share of lotions and potions over the years. Her most coveted brand however, is Elizabeths Arden's Prevage. The products are super pricey, so she doesn't tend to buy them for herself very often, so I always know it's a safe bet when it comes to Mother's Day. My favourite product from the line is the triple defence SPF 50 moisturiser. It's a little more affordable than the rest of the line at £65, but equally as luxurious and effective. Prevage is available from Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide, but Triple Defence is exclusive to, and Currently 10% off at John Lewis.
Lancome Teint Visionnaire - For any make-up obsessed mums out there, Lancome's new Teint Visionnaire foundation would make a wonderful gift. It is a beautiful, natural finish foundation and concealer duo product with skincare benefits built-in. It has the same anti-ageing ingredients from Lancome's bestselling Visionnaire serum (which is £80!) so it's a triple-hitter and bound to be a hit with mum's everywhere. £36 with free delivery here, or at Lancome counters nationwide.


REN Rose Trio Gift Set - Ren is one of those brands that once you fall in love with one of their products, you're likely to become addicted to the whole range. The products are no-fuss on both the packaging and ingredient front, but they work. This little taster set of their divine rose body products is perfect for Mother's Day, and it's only £15, available from the Ren website.
Jo Malone Fragrance Diffuser - You can never fail with Jo Malone for Mother's Day (or any occasion really!) but my personal favourite product from the brand (and the one that I think is perhaps the best value-for-money) are the fragrance diffusers. These are so potent, the scent is likely to carry around your entire house, and they last for months. My personal favourite is the divine Pomegranate Noir. £45 each, available from the Jo Malone website, or counters nationwide.

The White Company Candles - If candles are your mum's thing, then my pick this year has got to be The White Company's 'Noir' 2-wick candle. The White Company candles always get a thumbs up in my book, as they are equally as lovely as many other high-end candles, but half the price of many (here's looking at you Diptyque!) The Noir 2-Wick is a little more expensive at £35 compared to £20 for the singles, but the scent is to-die-for and I love the sleek black glass packaging. Available from The White Company Website, or in store.
What will you be getting your mum this Mother's Day?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fragrance Friday: Burberry Body Tender Review


Today sees the launch of Burberry Body Tender, an extension of the Burberry Body line, this scent is a lighter, fresher version of the original Burberry Body and the campaign is fronted by model-of-the-moment Cara Delevigne.
The stunning visuals for the ad campaign were captured by Mario Testino along the river Thames, sticking to the brand’s British roots. The packaging and bottle are the same design as the original, with a hint of pink.
The scent itself is lighter, fresher and easier to wear than the original. While I think you would love this if you are a fan of the original ‘Body’, I also think that this version may appeal to those who were under-whelmed by the first scent. In my opinion, it’s a little younger and easier to wear, with top notes of lemon, green apple and absinthe. It dries down to a light floral of rose, jasmine, sandalwood, cashmere and musk. It’s smooth and not over-the-top, but still distinctly floral and very feminine.

The staying power is about average. While the strength of the scent is much more subtle than the original, it does linger on the skin for about 6 hours - pretty good for an EDT.

I think Cara Delevigne was the perfect choice as a face of the scent. If Rosie H-W was ‘Body’, Cara is ‘Tender’… Equally as gorgeous, but younger and more casual. This scent would make the perfect daytime scent for current ‘Body’ fans.

Burberry Body Tender is available now, Prices start at £49.95 for 30ml EDT.