Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Sniffing out a bargain!


In times of austerity it’s increasingly necessary to be more savvy with our “luxuries”. Now I can’t advocate cutting back, I’VE TRIED and failed! Instead I’ve learnt to sniff out a good bargain or two, and branch out to brands and shops I’ve never tried before.
Did you know that shops like Poundland sell make up brands including Rimmel, L’oreal and Revlon for, well, a POUND! In the past I’ve picked up a Rimmel mascara and a L’oreal concealer. Stock varies and they do tend to have the last popular shades, but if you’re prepared to rummage, there’s gems to be had.
It’s not restricted to the Poundland either, I found these beauties in a shop called Discount UK. You can spot them by the packaging, normally on display in purple pouches.

I picked up...
Rimmel Multi-Tonal Blush in Summer Fever £5.19 at Boots. Three gorgeous blush shades for just £1.

Rimmel Colour Rush Quad in Modern Glam.

What a find this was, currently selling at Boots for £6.63, again just £1 at Discount UK. It’s the perfect everyday eye palette with soft, silky and lightweight shadows.

Forgive the unruly brows, I’m still in the growing out stage. Read my post about bringing back the brows.

Two NYC nail polishes, which retail for £2.59 each, just £1 for the pair. There were tons of shades to choose from, I picked up very wearable cerise pink and purple.


Individually these items would have cost £17 at regular high street stores. Guilt free shopping, I love it!
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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Introducing SteamCream

Ok, I know I’m a sucker for funky packaging, but I’m no fool – the product’s still got to pack a punch, and this one soooo does!


Introducing STEAMCREAM – a multipurpose moisturiser made with unrefined steam that can be used on face, body and hands. The use of steam in its production makes Steamcream break down quickly as soon as it touches your skin, providing an intensive moisturising experience! Steamcream’s light, gentle and loosely bound emulsion allows each ingredient to break back down to its purest form and reach where it’s needed fast.

Made from the finest organic ingredients including orange flower water, healing lavender oil and soothing oatmeal and, now this is the exciting part, comes in a range of gorgeous little aluminum tins with cute designs including the lady bug, leopard print and the beautifully American kitch "Liberty" print that I opted for.


I can honestly say i agree with all the hype, this product really does do what it says on the tin. The first thing I noticed, other than the cool packaging of course, is the scent. It has the distinctive aromatherapy oils smell, reminds me a little of Sanctuary's night concentrate cream. It's light to touch - doesn't feel like a thick cream, more like a lotion, but behaves like one on the skin. It's super moisturising and leaves my skin so soft. I've found a little on a morning applied to my dry patches works well under make up, and on an evening I like to message a more generous amount into my skin. It's not greasy, but it is rich. I've been using Clinique's DDM for years, but this has won me over!




Steamcream is a perfect on-the-go product – convenient to slip into your bag, take to work, on holidays or to the gym. And it’s hand luggage friendly at just 75g!

Available from ASOS and Boots £10.50
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Address is Hollywood!

I'm having a bit of an OPI moment. Next on my "to try" list was My Address is Hollywood.


Ok at first it looks like your average coral pink, but look a little closer and you'll see it has gorgeous light reflective gold speckles, meaning it looks different in every light. I'd call this one a grown up pink with a very flattering creme finish.


I think OPI is unrivalled when it comes to quality. I applied two coats together with a top and bottom coat and it lasted a full SEVEN DAYS!



I purchased this one from ASOS for £8, Normally £10.50. The danger is - once you go OPI, you never go back!

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Best Cream Blush EVER... MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush


It's a little indulgent sharing this one now since MAC have discontinued Blushcreme - shame on you MAC! But Ladyblush remains one of my all time favourite products.

Perfect cream blush, how I coverted thee. Usually finding previous incarnations too pale, too bright, too thin, too gluepy, difficult to apply… Finally I found my perfect match with the fabulous Blushcreme.



Luxuriously soft and extremely creamy, this cream blush tenderly flushes the cheeks or brings them into full-blown rosy bloom. Available in 6 colours, it blends well and layers exquisitely. I’ve been using Ladyblush, a cool pink, which gives my face a fresh, dewy, slightly shiny look; whenever I wear it people comment that I look fresh and radiant. So much so, my friends and colleagues have switched from regular powder blush to this one and my Mum, who didn’t wear any blush has converted too.



It’s quite easy to apply, it’s a little thick so to avoid the drag, simply pat on with fingers then blend with a brush – this and Mac’s 187 Duo Fibre brush are a match made in heaven, but foundation and regular blusher brushes work fine too.



The product is highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way, and it’s very easy to adjust the depth and intensity of colour. Ladyblush is a great everyday colour - for extra shine, apply on top of a highlighter such as Mac’s strobe cream or liquid. I also love lilicet – a peachy pink and posey – a brighter rosey pink, great for darker skin tones.

If you’re pushed for time simply pat on the cheeks and go. It's also really good on the lips...


Needless to say I was devastated with MAC’s decision to dicontinue these blushers. I hoped the cosmetic giant would come back with something bigger and better…. but their Cremeblend blushers didn't hit the spot.

Clearly I stockpiled, but they'll not last forever. I've searched high and low for something similar, the closest I've found is Stila's convertible colour. Anyone got any suggestions?

UPDATED: Read review and comparison with Stila's convertible colour here
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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Love it, Share it! ALDO Leopard Print Heels

For the love of all things leopard...


I've been searching for some classic leopard print courts and finally I've found them in the form of ALDO Mease Pointed Courts in Leopard Pony... let the shoes do the talking...




RRP £80, I found them on asos for £64.


Seriously hot, sooo on trend and just in time for the party season. The trick is not to wear too many animal prints all at once. Somebody stop me if I start to look like Bet Lynch.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Christmas Party Nails from OPI... Designer de Better!


This is my favourite shade from the OPI Muppets Collection. OPI nail polishes are quite expensive in the UK, RRP £10.50, but this was LOVE at first sight and I had to have it.

The Muppets Christmas Collection is a truly rocking range with glitters and shimmers. Designer de Better is a gorgeous metallic shimmery shade with tiny golden fleckles making it truly multi tonal. It looks amazing under artificial light – I’ve tried to show this in the pics but they don’t do it justice.


Quite rightly I expect top quality from an OPI polish and this did not disappoint. It’s very opaque which too often is not the case with glitter and shimmer shades. Two coats gave me full coverage! I topped off with a top coat and got a good six days wear.
That’s my nails sorted for the party season!
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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Christmas Gifts: What Women REALLY Want

 
Ok, when I say women, I probably mean me! I can’t speak for all woman kind but I can speak for my kind. It is possible to be a little more inventive than perfume and dressing gowns. Here are some cute, stylish and indulgent gifts that you won’t be sending back in the New Year.

OPI Christmas Mini Collection £12.95

All the shimmer and sparkle your nails will need for the party season. I love the OPI minis. It’s a great way to try lots of new shades without spending a fortune. This Christmas they’ve collaborated with the Muppets to create their seasonal range of glitter studded nail polishes. The pack contains Wocka Wocka, Excuse moi, Designer...de better and Warm & Fozzie. I have  Excuse moi and it is GORGEOUS! A lovely shimmering metallic shade and the quality is second to none. Available at ASOS

H & M Leopard print Gloves £6.49

You can’t go wrong with Leopard print gloves, in fact probably anything leopard print. I’m obsessed with it! These ones are really stylish and won’t great the bank. Available online in store for £12.99 -  I don’t know why there’s a price difference.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Gift Set £20.50

Lancôme mascara sets have been on my Christmas lists for, well longer than I can remember. Christmas isn’t complete without one of these bad boys in my stocking. I love, LOVE Lancôme mascara and these sets represent really good value. For the same price as the mascara itself you get a Le Crayon Khôl mini and a 30ml Bi Facial eye make up remover. Variations include Hypnôse, Hypnôse Drama and Precious Cells. Available from all good department stores including Boots – go on rack up your points.

Jimmi Jamms Heritage PJ set £28

I know this is a bit extravagant for PJs, yes you can get great ones at Primark for £8, but these are sooo cute, I can’t resist and don’t they look comfortable? Available at Boots and included in the 3 for 2 Christmas gifts.


Home Sweet Home Wooden Jewellery box from BHS £28

A nod to all things vintage and chic. Great for storing Jewellery, make up or anything else you fancy. Would look uber stylish on any dressing table/chest of drawers/windowsill or whatever you’ve got. Watch out for online and in store offers, there’s currently 20% off online.

Watch out for my bargain beauty gift guide coming soon.
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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Meet Margin by Mac – my new Blush Hero



I’m developing quite a love affair for blushers. For years I was safe in the comfort of my regulars (Soft, safe pinks) but after I bought Mac’sMighty Aprodite blush duo (from the Wonderwoman collection) I discovered a whole new world of shades I’d never tried, and really suited. Blushers are pretty amazing, they have the ability to completely transform your look, and when you find a shade that’s just right for you skin tone – well, it’s pretty damn rewarding… cue Mac’s Margin.

My new blush hero, and an unassuming one at that. Don’t be fooled by margin’s appearance, it’s nothing special in the pan, you probably wouldn’t give it a second glance, I know I didn’t, but once applied it’s GORGEOUS! It’s name probably doesn’t help much – it’s hardly alluring like Dolly Mix or Ladyblush!

In the pan I’d describe it as a dirty peach – again doesn’t sound good does it!

in daylight

with the flash
On the face it’s more of a bronzy peach with a hint of berriness and a touch of shimmer. It instantly brightens up my face. It’s very flattering and works really well on my skin tone (NC25-30 if that helps).


The finish is a Frost. Just in case you don’t know, Mac powder blushes come in 5 finishes – Matte, Sheertone , Satin , Sheertone Shimer, Frost.
  • Sheertone are quite sheer, great for a hint of colour as they apply lightly
  •  Sheertone Shimer, like Sheertone, but with added shimmer/sparkle
  • Matte is flat and without any shine or sparkle.
  • Frost finishes are high shine and highly reflective because of the shimmer particles in them, but not glittery
  • Satin is somewhere in between matte frost but very creamy and applies like a dream.

The finish on Margin is incredible. Although a powder blush, it’s not at all POWDERY. The texture is creamy, all most butter like – I think it’s more of a forst/satin hybrid. It applies like a dream and imparts a fresh glow that lasts all day. I think I actually look like I’m wearing a creamy blusher, but unlike cream it’s simple to apply and allows you to be more directional.



Margin – Fast becoming my favourite everyday blush.

RRP £18
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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Discount MAC and other Make up Treats


If you haven’t already discovered the makeup section of Fragrance Direct, you should, and soon. In fact it’s such a little gem I’m scared to share it for fear of everything selling out.
Don’t let the name deter you, it sells so much more than fragrance. I first stumbled upon their make up when I was looking for a Revlon nail varnish that had been discontinued. Fragrance direct were selling it for just 99p! Since then I’ve been a regular customer. Recently they started stocking discounted MAC products, not I’m hooked!
I placed an order last week and this is my mini-haul.

MAC Powder Blush in Fleur Power RRP £18 FD price £9.99
This is a really pretty blush, one that I haven’t tried before. It looks very bright in the pan, but it’s a satin blush meaning it’s quite sheer. It is of course buildable. On the skin I’d describe it as a light, rosey pink. It looks very natural, has a warming effecy and leaves a nice sheen.

MAC Eyeshadow in Dazzlelight RRP £11.50 FD price £8.99

This is the perfect colour for opening up the eye. Great in the inner corners and along the brow bone. No glitter, just a lovely satin sheen.


Revlon Nail Enamel in Star RRP £6.99 FD price £1.75

A brilliant glitter top coat! Perfect teamed with Rock, a bluey purple (more purple than it looks in the pictures), which I’d purchased from fragrance direct a few months ago. I’ll put them together and share the pictures soon.


Royal Foundation Brush RRP £4.99 FD price £2.49

I’d heard that Royal brushes were good quality for the price and if this foundation brush is anything to go by, it’s true. The bristles are soft and densely packed.

The only drawback, delivery isn't free, but they charge a flat rate fee of £1.99 and they ship really fast. I'd love to hear your go-to sites for bargain beauty.
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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Free Nails Inc with Glamour Magazine


Did you pick up your copy of glamour magazine yet? I did warn you the other day.

I have a subsription to Glamour, which is great when there's a free gift, but it does mean it's like a lucky dip, you have no control over which one you get.

The four colours free with December's edition are Basil Street a plain beige, Tate a true red, Victoria a deep cherry red and Piccadilly Circus a very dark cerise/plum.

I already had Tate 



So really hoped Glamour didn't send me that one, and guess what... they didn't! I received Victoria, then bought Basil Street. The only one I don't have is Piccadilly Circus.


I'm a little annoyed with Basil Street, it's a dead ringer for Caramel, a limited edition shade I received in a Coke promotion. Oh well, it's beige nails all the way this season.

Either way paying £2 for an £11 Nails Inc polish is great value.

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