Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Best of Jubilee Beauty


I never expected to get as sucked into the Jubilee as much as I have been. It started with a union jack teapot and some limited edition Haribos and before I knew it I’m stock piling Pimms and bunting and can’t buy anything that isn’t emblazoned with a crown, a flag or a bus! And it’s not just food and drink, the beauty world has gone Jubilee mad too. Some of the biggest beauty brands have launched limited edition versions of their best products... from patriotic polishes to flag emblazoned hand wash. Here’s my pick of the best Jubilee beauty.

OPI  Great Britain Great Nails
  
Treat your perfect ten to some royal styling with this OPI Great Britain, Great Nails Jubilee Collection. This trio of must have hues will have you ready to celebrate the Jubilee in style. What are you waiting for? Get your hands on your limited edition pack before everyone else does!
This pack contains...
OPI Red Nail Lacquer- The shade that started it all, this OPI Red hue will take you from public to princess in minutes!
OPI Happy Anniversary Nail Lacquer- Well Happy Anniversary to you! This glittery silver is the perfect party hue.
 OPI Blue My Mind Nail Lacquer - This sizzling sapphire hue will certainly blow your mind!
All full size 15ml bottles. Available from Look Fantastic £22

Neal’s Yard Mint & Bergamot Hand Wash and Hand Lotion


Emblazoned with the Great British flag, this hand care kit from organic and natural skincare store Neal’s Yard is spot on for giving your bathroom a stylish touch of patriotism over the Jubilee weekend. 
Enriched with shea nut butter and evening primrose oil, the hydrating hand cream will soothe even the most sensitive of skin, while the refreshing smell of freshly picked organic garden mint is Britishness at is best.
£11.65 each

Mavala Brit Pack  Trio  

If you don’t fancy painting your nails red, white and blue but do fancy a sparkle or two, this could be the set for you! Get set to party like a queen with Mavala’s Brit Pack Gift Set. This super glitzy set contains a trio of show stopping polishes that will be sure to get your nails to be the talk of the day! Containing Mavala Red Diamond No 210-  A luscious red glittery polish, Gold Diamond No 212- A glittery gold polish and Pure Diamond No 213 - A sliver glittery polish.

£8.95 from Beauty Bay All 5ml bottles


Special Edition Chap Stick £1.22


Now this one’s too cute for words. Needing no introduction at all, the original chapstick has been “union jacked”. A little piece of patriotism for little more than a quid!


Nails Inc Best of British



Founded on British soil by Thea Green in 1999 (who was later awarded an MBE for her services to beauty) Nails Inc are honouring Queen and country by launcing a limited edition Best of British nail varnish trio. Celebrating the Union Jack’s iconic shades, the best-selling royal blue hue, ruby red and iridescent white are the perfect paints for giving talons a British touch at any Jubilee gathering.

3 Full Size bottles £22 from Debenhams


Steam Cream Multi-use Moisturiser

Always at the cutting edge of cool and quirky designs, Steam Cream has released some very cute tins emblazoned with iconic red busses, jewels and crowns. And I thought I couldn’t love Steam Cream anymore! 
£12.95 for 75g



Anyone else got any "Jubilicious" treats?
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Thursday, 24 May 2012

It’s the Anniversary Edition... Glossybox UK May 2012


I cannot believe that Glossybox UK has been going a whole year– Happy Birthday Glossybox! To celebrate the occasion this month’s box is jam packed with birthday treats... all for us!



 
Neal’s Yard Remedies Rehydrating Rose Daily Moisture 45ml £12.00


It’s great to see a full size products and I’m thrilled it’s a facial moisturiser. I’ve just used it this morning. Initial findings are pretty good. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly and smells gorgeous. It’s probably not as rich as I like, but on a hot sweaty day like today it’s probably perfect for controlling the oil in my skin.

Noble Isle Cornish Hedgerows Bath & Shower Gel 75ml


I’ve never heard of this brand and shower gels aren’t generally something that I get excited about but it’s a good size and it smells lovely – very summery. The full sized product of 250ml retails for £20.00.

Collection 2000 Lasting Colour Gel Eyeliner in Brown 5ml £4.99

Although this is a full sized product, Collection 2000, or just Collection as it has been rebranded, is hardly a “luxury” brand so it’s a little risky of Glossybox to include it (remember the Bastiste backlash).  That said, I love gel liners and think Teal will quite suit my eyes. I’m looking forward to trying this one the most.

Eldora False Eyelashes £3.90


Are these a bit too TOWIE? They’re pretty and striking, but probably not my thing. Again, a full size products, I’m sure they’ll come in handy at some point... maybe I’ll be invited to a pimps and hos party!

Lolita Lempicka L’Eau en Blanc & Eau de Parfum, 0.8ml each


I sometimes feel a little short changed when Glossybox include these tinsy testers, but there is two of them and they’re very nice wearable fragrances. I might take them on holiday next month to save on weight. Both the L’Eau en Blanc and Eau de Parfum costs £65.00 for 100ml.

And finally, a couple of Brucey bonuses – a Glossybox pink balloon and handy little compact...

The anniversary edition gets a thumbs up from me. Thanks Glossybox for a great year of new, exciting and surprise products.


p.s don't forget to enter my Make Believe Tan Giveaway
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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Avon Lady Calling




Now I haven’t used Avon for years! Not since I was a kid and everyone used that SkinSoSoft stuff. For a long time it hasn’t been the “coolest” brand and if I’m honest I thought Avon was a bit naff. But Avon has come a long way since the early 90s and with celebrity endorsements and its products creeping into magazines “must have” lists I figured it was time I gave it a try. A woman at work “does” the Avon so it wasn’t difficult to grab a catalogue and browse the pages, which I admit, is kind of the best part. I was pleasantly surprised by their cosmetic lines – some very on trend colours and products for all ages and their prices are really reasonable. The major downside is that you can’t see, feel or smell the products before you try them, for that reason I’m unlikely to buy a lipstick or foundation from Avon.

Nailwear Pro+ in Aqua Fantasy £2.50, normally £6


This nail polish caught my eye straight away – I never expected to find a pastel aqua green in the Avon catalogue... and it was half price so there was no hesitation. I had no idea what to expect in terms of the quality, finish etc but I’ve got to say it’s one of the best polishes I’ve used, SERIOUSLY! Now I love the shade and it’s exactly the colour I wanted it to be from the magazine, but it’s the quality of the formula that blew me away. It’s very pigmented and opaque, I got full coverage from one coat, but added another for good measure. The brush is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  It’s one of those that’s really fat and coats the nail with one stroke, yet it’s cleverly curved and doesn’t overlap on the cuticles. The brush holds a generous amount of polish, but it’s not runny and doesn’t end up sliding down the nail (like my beloved Revlon ones sometimes do). As you can see the finish is a creamy pastel one and it lasted a good 4-5 days, which is what I expect. It’s so good, I’m about to order some more.


Nail Experts Peeling and Brittleness Solver £2.50, normally £5


I’ve been suffering from soft, peeling nails lately (probably a side effect of excessive painting) so anything that can improve them is worth a try. I have and love OPI’s nail envy, but this product is very different to that. It’s more of an instant fix nail hardner. Just one coat left my nails feeling noticeably stronger and very glossy. It even works well as a base coat, which many don’t – sometimes the nail polish doesn’t slide over nail treatments evenly. I’m not sure if this product will yield any long term benefits like Nail Envy, but for £2.50 it’s a great buy and something I’ll continue to use.

Angled Blush Brush £3.50 normally £7

I’m afraid this one is a FAIL! But for £3.50 it was worth a try. The size and shape of the brush is very good, but the bristles aren’t as soft and bendy as I’d like. Given the angle it’s a good brush for contouring, but I’ll not be swapping my MAC or Real Techniques brushes any time soon.


Has anyone else tried Avon lately?


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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Make Believe Tan Giveaway

Sometimes you've gotta fake it to make it! If you're ready to banish the pasty face and tired of waiting for the sun to make an appearance, you might just fancy winning this fab Make Believe Self Tan for the face. With inbuilt bronzer it gives the face an instant glow, whilst developing a natural tan over 2-3 hours, oh and it smells lush!  

This full size 75ml bottle retails for £25.49 in UK, find out more here. The giveaway is available to new and existing followers... I'm an equal opportunities blogger! Follow me via Google Friends Connect or twitter (links on the right) leave a comment at the bottom of this post "enter me etc" you know the drill. State whether you follow through GFC, Twitter or both and don't forget to include email address or username.


The boring stuff... One entry per person, open internationally, closing date Sunday 27th May 2012 23:59 gmt. Winners will be chosen randomly by http://www.random.org/ and notified before 30th May.
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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Two Styling Products I'm Loving


When it comes to hair, I’m quite set in my ways. My hairstyle rarely changes and nor do my styling products. Now believe me, I’ve played the field. I’ve got cupboards full of unloved mousses, shampoos and sprays to prove it. For me it’s all about the volumising products – anything with BIG, BOLD, HUGE or volume in the title and I’ve tried it. For a long time now I’ve been set with the John Frieda Luxurious Volume range – I love the Shampoo and conditioner and the moouse has been unrivalled... until now.


Umberto Giannini Volume Mousse for Big Hair £5.49
Part of the newly made over Incredible Body range, this is the best mousse I’ve tried for ages. Unlike many of the others I’ve tested (including Umberto Giannini’s Glam Hair Massive Mousse) the volumising effects last way beyond hairdrying. When the mousse is dispersed into my hand I found it a little thicker and creamier than my usual mousse, but once applied it’s very lightweight and soaks into the hair quickly. Applying to the roots and lengths before blowdrying I didn’t notice any stickiness or unnatural texture. The results – my hair felt thicker all over, not just at the roots and the volume lasted all day. The only downside, it made me hair more static than usual, but maybe that’s just me. I’m not sure if it’s better than the John Frieda one, but it’s just as good.


Umberto Giannini Glam Hair Rock ‘N’ Roll Extreme Hairspray £5.49
I’m a big fan of the Glam Hair range – I’ve got the shampoo, conditioner, backcomb in a bottle, tousled salt spray... but for me this Rock ‘N’ Roll Extreme Hairspray is the jewel in the crown.  I LOVE everything about this hairspray – the smell, the results, the packaging! It’s quite a light spray, not heavy or wet like some, yet it has a really strong hold. It’s not sticky or hard, but is very effective. It holds my volume brilliantly and gives my hair a bit of texture. I honestly think this hairspray is perfect! The only thing that would make it even more appealing would be if it was cheaper J That said there’s normally a 3 for 2 offer to be had and right now there’s a third off selected Umberto Giannini at Boots

Anybody else using these?
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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Holiday Shopping Treats


I think I enjoy holiday shopping almost as much as the holiday itself! I’m going to Greece next month and I’m already piling up the holiday “essentials”. I’ve tried hard not to buy too much this year, but with so many gorgeous products and great deals around it’s impossible.

Malibu Bronzing Butter SPF 8 £4.99

Now this smells divine! You know how a sniff of suntan lotion can instantly conjure up memories of holidays, well this does just that. It’s fruity and coconutty and has holiday written all over it. Enriched with antioxidants and carotene, the butter is very thick and luxurious, yet absorbs well and isn’t sticky. With an SPF 8 it does offer some protection, but let’s face it, not enough for the Greek heat. This is more of a pre-holiday treat to get my skin soft, supple and bikini ready. And IF the sun ever does shine in England it’s handy to have a bit of protection. Malibu Sun care is available from selected Superdrug, Matalan, Home Bargain and B&M stores.

Boots Soltan Family Pack £12.99

Suncream is sooo important – if you want to tan you’ve got to do it carefully and gradually... a lesson I’ve finally learnt. Gone are the days of factor 6 oil once a day! These days I normally start on a 30 and always use a high factor on my face.  I love this family pack from Soltan for three reasons 1) Soltan is one of the few brands with a 5 star rating against deep-down skin damage caused by UVA rays 2) it’s amazing value working out at £3.25 per 200ml bottle and 3) I love the handy zipped storage pouch. The pack contains Moisturising Suncare Lotions in SPF15 and SPF30, a Kids Moisturising Suncare Lotion SPF50 and a Moisturising Aftersun Lotion... all full size 200ml bottles. Generally I wouldn’t use the factor 50 but my little sister is travelling with me this year and she will.


At my last count I had 9 bikinis, I’m only going for 7 days... I’ll have to do a Kim Kardashian and change my bikini mid-bathing session. As unnecessary as it is, I couldn’t resist adding another two to the collection. This gorgeous H&M one caught my eye for obvious reasons! The bright pink will look perfect with a tan and each separate was only £3.99!


I love this animal print New Look bikini, which I picked up in the sale for £7.98. Most of my bikinis are halter neck so it’s nice to mix it up – not least for the tan marks. It’s quite a sophisticated bikini. The cups are padded and underwired and I love the tie detail at the bust.


I don’t think you can beat H&M for holiday clothes. Both the designs and prices are fantastic. This cover up is very striking and will be perfect to throw over my bikini enroute to the cocktail bar J It’s very light weight and has a pretty tie to synch in the waist. H&M multi coloured cover up £7.99


I haven’t had any gems from Primark for a while so I was ecstatic when I spied this gorgeous maxi skirt. It’s very similar to one I lusted after in River Island last summer, but far cheaper.  The high paper-bag waist is very flattering and comes with a skinny brown belt. It will be great for an evening on holiday but it’s not the kind of piece reserved exclusively to the holiday wardrobe. It’ll be great in this country too teamed with a leather or denim jacket – it’s all about the CPW (cost per wear). Primark maxi skirt £10

Anyone got any holidays planned? Let me know your favourite holiday products? I’ll be doing a holiday beauty feature soon so watch this space.
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Friday, 11 May 2012

This Week's Nails... Metallic 4 Life Nicki Minaj for OPI


I've waited so long to rock this polish and I've got to say it were worth the wait - I do feel a bit bad ass! I got this Nicki Minaj inspired polish weeks ago but my nails have been in such bad condition (brittle, peeling, breaking... all the usual perils of painting your nails every day) that I haven't dared use a glitter polish!

Metallic 4 Life, the jewel in the Nicki Minaj collection, is a jet black polish with millions of specs of silver glitter. Unlike many glitter polished it's very opaque and only needs two coats to achieve the bottle colour. With generous amounts of glitter it's very coarse but there's plenty of sparkle, especially under sunlight...



I love it! It's straight to the top of my lust list. It lasts for ages and it's really easy to cover up the chips. There is one downside... it's a pain to take off!


Nicki Minaj OPI polishes £8.25 from LookFantastic Here's the full collection...


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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Unsung hero... MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush


You could be forgiven for overlooking this little pot when you visit a MAC counter. It’s not the sort of product that catches the eye! It’s very unassuming, in fact the first time I bought a cream colour base, I ended up giving it away because I never wore it... but that was because I didn’t really know what to do with it – cream colour base is not the best description!

Cream Colour Bases form part of MAC’s permanent collection and are available in six shades from neautral to bronzy to brights. It’s a versatile cream based product that can be applied directly to bare skin, or layered over foundation, moisturiser and cream and powder products for a pearly GLOW... This shade, Hush is best used as a highlighter.

Hush is a gorgeous peachy pearl shade with a frost finish that adds a really pretty glow to the face. I use it as a highlighter on my cheek bones, brow bones, forehead and the bridge of my nose to create an all-over healthy glow. It’s the perfect partner to a cream blush if you really want your cheeks to shine. I use a stippling brush to pick up the product, lightly dabbing it onto the apple of the cheek, then blend outwards before layering over the cream blush. It gives the cheeks more of a dewy sheen and catches the light perfectly.  
Be warned, it's smaller than a standard blush - Pictured here with Blushcreme Lilicent

It layers really well under and over products without going patchy. Sometimes if I’m not wearing foundation, but don’t want to look completely dead, I’ll dab some on my cheeks and forehead and I’m good to go.
It must be good because it regularly features on MAC’s Artists faves Cream Colour Base £14.50 in the UK
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Saturday, 5 May 2012

FREE Nails Inc with June's Instyle Magazine


It's my favourite time of year... Magazine FREEBIE time! A beach bag here, a mascara there - those UK Magazine's are so kind to us in Spring/Summer. Grab a copy of this months' Instyle Magazine, out now to bag an exclusive Nails Inc polish. There are three colours to collect Power Pink, Bluebell and Peachsorbet.



It's great to see some on-trend summer shades instead of the usual pink or red! I couldn't choose between the gorgeous pastel shades, but finally settled on Bluebell and Power Pink. I was going to complete the set with Peachsorbet, but it looked very pale, more of a pale pink than peach and I have lots of those.


Bluebell is a beautiful powder blue and Power Pink I describe as a lilac-pink, in fact it's a dead ringer for MAC Naughty Saute Lipstick (read my review here). I didn't have time to do the full hand but here's a quick swatch....


I got great coverage and true bottle colour with two quick coats. An £11 nail polish for £3.90... Love it!

Also check out this months' Marie Claire Magazine for a free Body Shop Lip or Cheek Tint and Red Magazine with free Jemma Kidd products.
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New Revlon Nail Shades


In my opinion Revlon nail lacquers are one of the best around, and probably THE best that price bracket. Great quality, great choice and a great price... what’s not to love? They’ve really sharpened their pencil lately with a HUGE range of colours it’s difficult to choose just one... so I got three! Well, it would have been rude not to whilst they were on the 3 for 2 offer. That said, with nearly 50 shades in Boots it was tough enough whittling it down to three!

Charming

The first that caught my eye! The sun was shining that week and I really fancied a nice pastel shade. Plus, as I discovered when I did my Easter Nails, I’m short on pastel hues, so this was a welcome addition to the collection. The shade’s very opaque, with decent coverage from one coat, although I needed three coats for an even coverage because the formula is quite thin. The shade is a very pale lilac and in some lights it did remind me of when I painted my nails with tip-ex in school (We all did it, didn’t we?) Overall, a very pretty polish, that will look even better when I have some colour in my hands.

Bewitching

This one’s a really sophisticated shade. I don’t normally go for reds. I have a few but wear them very rarely, but this one’s special. It reminds me of a light claret and looks soooo flattering on my fingers. Again it was very opaque after one coat and after a second coat I was all done.


The finish is slightly glossy, dries very quickly and lasted around 4 days before the chips appeared. I could have patched them up but it was onto the next one...

Classy

This is the one I deliberated over the longest! It was between this and a pale blue, which I rejected on the grounds that it was too similar to Charming. I liked the look of it in the shop, a nice creamy peach, but in reality it’s very nude. I’d call it a nude peachy with a glossy finish. Yes it’s pretty and classy, but if I’m honest, a touch boring. It’s the sort of shade I’d imagine Kate Middleton would wear.... perhaps I should pass it on to the Duchess, not sure I’ll wear it again.   

Revlon Nail Enamels retail for around £6.49 right now get 2 for £8 in Boots
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