Tuesday, 30 June 2015

MAC Faux Lipstick... Don't Tell the Others, but you're my Favourite!

I probably say this (I definitely think it) every time I buy a new lipstick, but you're my favourite!

I absolutely adore this colour. I feel like it's the one I've been looking for... without even knowing it. I have a terrible habit of going to the MAC counter and being drawn to the lipsticks I already have.  Angel and Creme Cup are two of my all time favourites, but lately I've been craving something slightly darker, less pale pink and more, (I cringe at myself for saying this)... Kylie Jenner-ish!

MAC Faux (Satin) £15.50 here is a neutral medium pink with a hint of mauve - I feel like it's a darker, non-frosty version of Angel. Similar to syrup but less plummy. It sits in the same family as Brave, Twig, Mehr, but lighter and a little less brown.

The Satin lipstick has a creamy demi-matte texture, it glides on easily and lasts for absolutely AGES! You know me, I love a cremesheen, but they have to be touched up every five minutes. Satin's go on and stay on. Super pigmented and completely opaque - the colour you see in the bullet it the colour you get on your lips. I love it so much I used it for my sisters prom make up... the perfect compliment to a dramatic smokey eye.

Fancy trying Faux, or any other MAC Lipstick? Don't forget to enter my giveaway - Win ANY MAC Lipstick or Eyeshadow


Sunday, 28 June 2015


I woke up this morning feeling generous... isn't it about time I did another giveaway?

Fancy bagging a free MAC Lipstick OR Eyeshadow? Yep, absolutely any lipstick or eyeshadow from the permanent line and it’s as easy as peas to enter. All you have to do is pick the shade and follow me... simples!

1.    Leave a blog post comment telling me your favourite MAC lipstick or eyeshadow (if you have one) and which one you’d like to win in the giveaway (they don’t have to be the same and you can change your mind if you win).
2.    Follow me through Google Friends Connect or Bloglovin' AND Twitter (links on the right).

3.    OPTIONAL: You can earn extra entries if you follow me on Instagram, Pinterest etc.

The giveaway is open internationally, for new and existing followers and ends at midnight on Sunday 19th July 2015. You know the drill; entries received after this point, will not count, but may still be charged.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for following me and good luck!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

YSL Touché Éclat Blur Perfector #nofilter Needed

Yves Saint Laurent Touché Éclat Blur Perfector is exquisitely packaged. I mean, who wouldn’t want to “powder their nose” in public with this stunner. But is it as good as it looks?

Powder’s a thing of the past, or so they told me at YSL. Why apply lotions and potions to make the skin look pretty and glowy, only to dull and disguise it with a powder? I guess you’ve got a point. But am I ready to switch to these new powder/balm hybrids? I wasn’t sure….

Picture the scene, you’re at a YSL masterclass with renowned Make Up artist Frederic Letailleur. You’ve put in a little extra effort – classically chic no-make-up-make-up, flesh blow dry, manicured nails. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself until you catch your reflexion in the mirror. A combination of the bright (and unforgiving) lights of the make up hall and glass or two of prosecco, means you’re feeling the heat and the dreaded T-Zone shine was setting in. Just before I ran off scrambling for blotting powders, Fred suggested trying the Touché Éclat Blur Perfector. Using a foundation brush he lightly dabbed the product on my shiny spots, handed me the mirror and I was BLOWN AWAY. Shine be gone! I looked airbrushed… me, but through an Instagram filter. I had to buy it then and there!

So what is it? A multi-action invisible, weightless balm designed to mattify the skin, minimise pores and blur imperfections. Touché Éclat Blur Perfector £29.50 FeelUnique can be applied all over as a complexion perfector, as a finishing touch to complete your make-up routine, or as a perfecting and mattifying touch-up during the day. It comes with a sponge applicator and a handy velvet pouch.. more on this later.

As a setting product

Given the way Fred used it on me I’m thinking I can use this in place of my regular powder. I applied my usual base and instead of setting with a powder, I took the sponge and dabbed the balm around my T-zone. BIG MISTAKE! All this did was disturb my base and cause my foundation to slide and go patchy. I then consulted my blogging community – am I using it wrong? Turns out, this is actually a common side effect. Oh bugger, have I been duped?

As a primer

Turns out, this makes an amazing primer. The blurring properties of this balm are exceptional. Using a foundation brush, stroke on a light veil all over the face. It gives the most even, smooth canvas. Pores appear minimised and my skin feels like cashmere.  

For Touch ups

Primarily I wanted this for touch ups. A pretty little compact I could keep in my bag and use as my secret weapon to combat the shine. This super light-wright balm sweeps away the shininess without dulling skin, but application can be tricky. You know how it comes with a sponge applicator, well the sponge doesn’t fit into the compact. The two fit separately in the velvet pouch, but it’s not long before the sponge starts to get dusty/hair/full of bits! A few people suggested dabbing the product on with fingers… I’m fine with this but the warmth and oils in the fingers interfere with the product and further cause slide and disruption. In my opinion this product is best applied with a traditional foundation brush. But it’s hardly a handy touch up compact if you’ve got to start carting around a foundation brush!

I am a little disappointed with Touché Éclat Blur Perfector. It’s not quite the revolutionary product I was expecting. Its blurring properties are stronger than its blotting power and application is confusing but I think YSL are on to something. A few tweaks here and a change to the packaging/applicator there and I could love this. Powder, you’re safe for now..

Who’s tried this? Do you love it or loathe it? 


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Beauty Blight... When the products you love are discontinued

Proving all the money in the world can’t safeguard you from the ultimate beauty curse that is discontinued products. Even Kim K experienced the true grief of a make up junkie after her favourite foundation was discontinued. You may have seen in the press she tweeted Armani when she discovered her go-to Designer Shaping Cream Foundation had been given the chop, but committed the ultimate twitter faux pas misspelling GIORGIO’S first name – the response was hilarious – an offer of some foundation… with a side of shade.

It got me reminiscing about the beauties I’ve loved and lost over the years. My number one most loved, most missed (it’s been four years and it still hurts like hell) MAC Blushcremes. That soft, creamy tackiness was perfection in a pan! Amazingly pigmented, exquisitely bendable and the most long lasting of any cream blush I’ve known. The cool pink toned Ladyblush was my go-to for an unparalleled fresh, dewy, healthy glow (wearing in the picture above). I stockpiled as many as I could and still have a little of Lilicent (peachy pink) remaining, but between me and my Mum, the stocks soon dwindled. Damn you MAC, I’m still so annoyed by this… Cremeblend’s just don’t cut it!

Proof they’re serial offenders when it comes to the act of discontinuation… MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation was a constant on my makeup menu for a long time. It always provided a coverage and glow I could rely on. I managed to track down a couple of bottles on eBay/Depop – I’ve still got a little NC25 and 30, and even though they’re probably too old to use, I guard them with my life!

Benefit Her Glossiness Lipgloss, I think the shade was They didn’t Hear it from Me (the one pictured above is Your people, My people). Cica 2006-2007 this was all I wore on my lips. How I loved that nudey pinky peachness! It went perfectly with my grey smokey eye (the only one I knew how to do back then) and it was the first gloss I came across that had that crème finish. Before that it was all that shiny, sticky, shimmery nonsense. Once that bit the dust, that was me done with lipgloss.

Researching discontinued beauty products I’ve just stumbled upon something shocking… Has Benefit Bella Bamba been discontinued? Please noooooooo! That’s a beautiful blush – see my review here. No need to hit the panic button just yet, between the box I have left and the Cheeky Sweet Spot Palette I picked up at Chrsitmas, I probably have enough supplies to last me a while, but when they’re gone, THEY’RE GONE!

So what have you loved and lost? If you could bring back one product, what would it be? 


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Pimp My Hot Cloth Cleanser

Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Jasmine & Osmanthus Limited Edition £20.75

As with any relationship, it’s good to spice things up from time to time. As much as I love and am devoted to Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - I mean I’ve gone on, and on, and on about it! I’d be lying if I said my eye didn’t wander from time to time. But Liz, being the genius that she is has sprinkled a little aromatic magic on her iconic hot cloth cleanser to keep things fresh.... and fruity!

Just in case you don't know the deal with Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser -  a beauty icon of the highest order it's won over 100 beauty awards and one is sold every 23 seconds! It’s rich, yet gentle and delivers instantly visible results, and for a limited time is available in Jasmine & Osmanthus flavour.

This enchanting limited edition cleanser captures the precious beauty of opulent jasmine blossoms with the enveloping sweet floral softness of sun-warmed osmanthus petals. I don’t mind admitting I didn’t have a clue what osmanthus was, but the good people at Wikipedia inform me it’s a flowering plant native to Asia. It’s every bit as rich and creamy as the original Hot Cloth Cleanser, but with a sweet, summery  twist. The lush, yet delicate floral aromas are sweet and sensual. If you’re a C&P devotee, it makes a really nice change – tricking your senses into thinking you’re using a new cleanser, and it really is very fresh and summery.

The limited edition bottle comes in the larger 150ml size with a handy pump action - one pump does the whole face and comes with limited edition silver trimmed muslin cloths.

Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Jasmine & Osmanthus Limited Edition £20.75 Available now direct at Liz Earle, available from John Lewis, Boots in July. 


Monday, 15 June 2015

Beauty Storage on the Move


My static beauty storage needs are taken care of, I’m still pretty happy with my Ikea Hemnes dresser and acrylic Muji Drawers but when it comes to beauty on the move… I didn’t know where to begin. Now that I’m doing a bit of freelance make up I need to be able to take my stash with me, and a Cath Kidston wash bag ain’t gonna cut it.

In an ideal world (when I’m a fully-fledged MUA and whizzing around all over the place *I hope) I’d have one of those zuca trolley cases with the MAC Pro Travel Case neatly slotted on top but for now I wanted an affordable mobile solution that allows me to transport a good stash of products (in an organised manor, of course).

After a lot of research – you know me, nothing left to chance – I went for the San Remo Beauty Box from Amazon £41.99. This is an ideal storage solution for Make up artists, mobile hairdressers, beauty therapists or any one with way more make up than one person should own! I am REALLY happy with the quality of this box. It looks professional, sleek and stylish! It’s incredibly strong and robust with sturdy, smooth hinges and handle. It’s light-weight yet has enough space to hold all of this…

The toolbox style case is lockable and opens up to reveal three trays – one deep, two shallow. Slide them to the side and you’ve got a really large, deep, freestyle compartment where you can store bigger/bulkier items or insert your own dividers to organise to suit YOUR needs. That was the appeal with the San Remo, I have a LOT of palettes and needed a deep compartment to stack em’. Rather handily it also fits my brush roll on top of the trays and the doors still close. I wish I could say it stores all of my make up – it doesn’t but that’s because I have too much. As I continue, okay, start to declutter and down size I’d expect one day soon it will store all my stash. It would also be a really good solution for anyone that doesn’t have to luxury (or desire) to store their beauty wares on show and wants an organised solution they can store out of sight. That’s another thing I love about it, when it’s not in use it slides neatly into the bottom of my wardrobe, unlike the trolley cases which are pretty bulky.

Let’s talk weight – empty, it weighs just 3.4kgs, but when you start to fill it with lotions and potions, it gains weight and fast. This probably isn’t ideal for traveling around on buses and tubes, but for throwing in the car or building up the biceps, it’s perfect. Also, how much fun did I have merchandising it!

Check out the San Remo Beauty Box here


Friday, 12 June 2015

Birchbox Blip or Beauty Box Boredom?

It's not my style to go trash talking a brand... But I'm really disappointed with Birchbox lately. Last month's box was such a let down.. That when this month's box landed, I didn't open it for 2 days... A sign that beauty box boredom has set in? Or simply a Birchbox blip?

Since making the switch from Glossybox (I mean, that got BAD) to Birchbox back in June 2014, I've been really impressed by the quality and more importantly the consistency of the brand. As with any beauty box subscription there's always the odd product where u think meh, but on the whole, box after box, birch has pleased. Until May's box...

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser | £27

I would have been so happy with this, BIG Caudalie fan, BUT they sent me LIGHT. I'm not light! They (beauty box providers) make a fuss about updating your profiles, I do it, tell them i'm medium-tanned.. they send me light! Insert angry face here.

Wah London Press on Nails Full Size | £7

Are you kidding me with these? I'm not Sandra from Gogglebox! Yellow/turquoise/black stripey nails... come on!

Parlour by Jeff Chastain Sea Salt Spray | £17 (not pictured)

I told a lie earlier, I did take something out of the box - this sea salt spray. In my quest for bigger, more texturised hair, a sea salt spray comes in handy... sadly this one made my mane greasy. THUMBS DOWN.

Jelly Pong Pong Caribbean Sun Bronzer Duo in Martinique | £15.95

Okay, getting better, Who doesn't love a blusher/bronzer duo? But, and I'm honestly tired of saying that word, it's a bit teenie, I struggle to get a brush in it and it's a tad too sparkly for my likes.

Absolution Youth Activator Mask Sachet | £29

Face masks always come in handy, so I was happy enough to see this.

BONUS items...

Number 4 Lumber d'hived reconstruction masque and a pack of colouring pencils.... to colour in your box... I'm not five!

Such a bad box, not one product I'm interested in. It actually sat there all month until June's box dropped. And when it did, gone was the usual excitement and anticipation, I simply let it sit in the pile of post. June's box marks a collaboration with French Sole, with three stylish boxes and shoe bags to choose from. I chose the signature Parisian bretton stripe box, but got this one instead...

English Laundry no7 for her Perfume Sample

Props to Birchbox they don't do this very often, but when I receive a perfume sample as one of my five, I can't help but feel a bit short changed.

Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes | £4.99

Always handy and with cucumber, aloe vera and green tea, promises to be refreshing!

Balance Me Body Wash | £9

I'm building up quite the collection of Balance Me products (me thinks Birchbox has secured a good deal)... just as well I like them.

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil | £16

Lightweight hair oil, glossy locks - blah, blah, BLAH! Very few people with flat, fine hair like hair oils and if they do, they use so little that one bottle will probably last a life time. I hate them! I don't use them and now I have 6!

Mirenesse iCurl Secret Weapon Mascara | £24

I haven't heard of this brand, but it looks like a substantial enough mascara. Will give it a whirl and report back.

BONUS items...

Temporary Metallic Tattoos - I'll refer you to my earlier statement, i'm not five and French Sole Shoe Bag - in a pattern I didn't pick!

June's box, slightly better than May's, but still only a couple of products I'll use and none I'm excited about.

I look up at the ten or so products in front of me and I think, whatta pile a crap. Most of this I'll give away to friends/family - great for them, but pretty wasteful. It comes down to that quality/quantity debate. Is it better to have one or two products you really want than ten things you don't want/need/use. So what's the solution? Ditch Birchbox, try another or sack subscription boxes all together? I feel like I need to give Birchbox a chance to redeem itself - but if they hit a hatrick, they're getting cut! Maybe the bottom has fallen out of the beauty box subscription market. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit sampled out?! I think the future lies with the one off beauty boxes - Glamour for Latest in Beauty, Tatler for Birchbox, that kind of thing. That way you're in control of what you're getting and when you're getting it!

Phew, rant over! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Are you a beauty box subscription fan? Are you feeling sampled out? Or do you still get kicks from the surprise?


Monday, 8 June 2015


This might surprise you but I don’t own, have never owned a YSL mascara. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I attended a YSL masterclass with international make-up artist Fred Letailleur and saw one in action. Amongst many of the products I fell for on the day (Blur Perfector, Blur Primer, Full Metal Shadow) Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara caught my eye… no pun intended!

If you’ve used it before and didn’t like it or heard on the blog-vine it’s clumpy, well listen up… it’s recently been reformulated. The unique triple-film complex remains unchanged – a coating film for intensity, a conditioning film for curve, a fixing film for long-lasting effectiveness. But the supped up version is now enriched with four sensuous oils that leave lashes more flexible, lengthened and feel more durably supple.

Can we just take a moment to admire the gold casing, I know it shouldn’t matter but it kinda does – how chic, how gorgeous! Definitely one to leave on show on the make up table. This mascara is a really good all-rounder – it’s got volume, length, curl and definition in equal, and abundant, measures. It works fast, one coat does the job and the formula is intensely black – we’re talking black BLACK and seductively glossy - notice a little blue flash in the picture above? That's the liner, not the mascara, but it shows you the contrast of the blue and High Density Black. For a false lash effect mascara, it’s not the most maxed out volume I’ve ever experienced (le Volume de Chanel, you’re safe) but it does a good job fanning, defining and fattening the lashes. Plus you can always up the ante with an extra coat or two but I was happy with the results. The wand is long, sturdy and straight - no fiddly, bendy carry on here and has what seems to me, a ma-hoosive brush head. It almost covers the whole lash line with one stroke, which is great when times against you.

It stays in place all day with zero smudging – I wore it to Zumba to put it through its paces, it passed with flying colours and, for me, the real acid test… it washes off easily with my trusted Cleanse & Polish – no panda eyes or fibre fall out, which I hate. Oh and it also has a lovely scent, I was sniffing the wand, what is it? I don’t know but it’s nice.

My first YSL mascara gets a good 8/10 from me.. What's your favourite mascara?


Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Iver Academy and becoming Brigitte Bardot


Last week I found myself at the legendary Iver Academy, being made into my screen idol Brigitte Bardot by hands that have touched Kate Moss and David Beckham… PINCH ME!

The Iver Academy is a professional hair and make-up school based at the legendary Pinewood Studios – they filmed James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars there don’t you know. The academy offers aspiring make-up and hair artists the best training in the TV, film, theatre and fashion from industry experts – we’re talking BAFTA and Emmy awards winning tutors with over 20 years in the business. If you want to work in film, TV, fashion… The Iver Academy is the gold standard in training.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to The Iver Academy blogger open day last week at renowned Greasepaint studios where the tutors have taught for the last 20 years – sadly Greasepaint is closing down and the tutors are upping sticks, well make up brushes, and heading to Pinewood. I was given the opportunity to be made up as one of my favourite TV/film characters and witness first-hand professional make up artistry in action. First of all, how difficult was it choosing ONE favourite character or look! I went through them all – Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Sharon Stone in Casino, Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, Elizabeth Taylor in, well anything… and then it hit me, Brigitte Bardot. The iconic sexy-sixties-siren, I’ve always been obsessed with her look (check my Pinterest) and it was one, with the right tuition, I hoped I could replicate.

I hit the jackpot again when I was paired with Academic Consultant Christine Vidler to create my chosen look. Despite refusing to name drop – I tried, I tried, good old Google informs me she’s worked on anyone who’s anyone - Kate Moss, David Beckham, Halle Berry, George Clooney… if she touched my lips and their lips does that mean I’ve kissed Becks? Christine is a genius. She know exactly what I wanted – 60s Bardot with a Ginger from Casino flavour and despite the fact I’ve had my long mane chopped (she didn’t know that until I got there) she transformed me into this…..

Key to creating this looks is big, BIG hair. Which on me, is a tad challenging since I have neither the volume nor the length. Christine and the team matched my hair to a long hair piece, which was taken off to be styled whilst they worked on what I’ve got. Lashings of setting spray, heated rollers, backcombing and enough hairspray to kill the ozone layer and voile – I had volume! I looked a bit like Tina Turber but I had real volume. Once curled, she fit the piece into my crown, blended into my natural hair and added a 60s bouffant. It looked amazing – surprisingly natural and I instantly loved my new mermaid tresses.

Brigitte Bardot’s trademark make up is all about the sexy 60s eyes - strong crease, cute flicks and BIG lashes. Eyeshadow is used to create a more defined crease – no blending or fading here, just wiper blade motions to create a defined arch. Christine created the perfect cat flicks using Bobbi Brown gel liner (of course) and gave me some tips for getting it right on myself – no need to attempt to draw one perfect line, mark where you want the flick to end and carefully work up to it. What I lack in head hair I make up on the lash front, so I didn’t technically need the false lashes but in the spirit of on-screen makeup we went with it for maximum effect. I’m normally not a fan of false lashes but Christine applied them so expertly I wouldn’t have even known I was wearing them. I tried my best to note down the products used, it’s not fully exhausting but between watching Christine’s every move and admiring my new long tresses I was a bit distracted….

Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Gel Cream
Bobbi Brown – CC Cream Warm Nude
By Terry – Cover Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation, mix of 8 and 10.
Laura Mercier – Translucent Loose Setting Powder
MAC – Mixture bronze and grey eyeshadows applied only in the crease
Bobbi Brown – Gel Liner
Eyelure – Lashes
Benefit – They’re Real Mascara
Bobbi Brown – Lipsticks Nude and Guava

Your chance to get a slice of the action…

Budding make up artists listen up! You can join the Iver Academy for their open day on Saturday the 13th of June in the events areas at Pinewood Studios. You’ll have the chance to meet the award-winning teaching team and find out everything you need to know about their industry courses – with everything from Advanced Certificate in Make-up and Hair Artistry, to Fashion and Beauty to prosthetics and airbrushing..

Find out all about The Iver Academy and its open day here.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Favourie Lip Combo

I do love a good lip combo. For a while there it was lip gloss OR lipstick and for a long time lip liner was off the menu but now, we’re all in. This is my current favourite every day combo recycling some oldies but goodies….

No7 Precision Lip Pencil Nude £6.95 Boots – a classic my-lips-but-better nude. I picked this up ages ago on a Lisa Eldridge recommendation – thanks Lise. It glides on with ease and provides the perfect base for applying any lip colour. Line the entire lips area for a more natural and long lasting look.

MAC Lipstick Hue £15.50 (£13.95 10% off Debenhams) is a perfect soft pinky nude. I love the shade, but the formula, not so much. It’s a lustre finish (semi-sheer, moisturising) which is usually fine, but this one tends to be more on the dry side on me and “sits” in the cracks. That’s why it’s ideal to pair with a liner, gloss or BOTH for maximum lusciousness.

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Buff £18.50 (£16.65 10% off Debenhams) A MLBB gloss. This ties the lip look together perfectly. Non-sticky, semi-sheer with a hint of rosey pink colour, it provides a pretty sheen and creates a fuller look… pout ready!

If you’re not sold on the combo thing – too much effort for everyday? I hear ya! BUT by lining the lips first your lipstick will last a hella lot longer and even when the lip gloss fades, there’s still plenty colour under there.

Lip combos, yeh or nay? What’s your favourite? 

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