Saturday, 29 August 2015


What's a girl to do when she's got more lipsticks than storage? Depot them of course!

I always fancied one of those Bobbi Brown Artist Palettes - a double sided palette with a 54 strong rainbow of lipsticks. Sadly the £190 price tag stands in my way. But with a £10 palette from MAC and a bunch of my own lipsticks I've made a decent dupe!

Depotting your lipsticks is a great way to condense your kit. If you're doing a job there's no point carting around 20-30 lipsticks. Not only does it take up vital space in your kit, but those bullets all look the same - it's no fun turning each one over the check the colour and it certainly ain't efficient! It's also the perfect solution for using up all those lipsticks you bought but barely use! 

With of Without Heat?

I'm depotting sans heat. You can melt your lipsticks in the microwave or on a tea spoon over a bare flame but, and it's a big BUT, it can change the formula of the lipstick. Lipsticks with shimmer tend to separate and mattes never quite return to matte. Yes it looks tidier but be warned, you might spoilt your lippy.

What to depot your lipsticks in to?

Let's talk containers. There's lots of options - JaponesqueVueset, Muji or some kind of pill box or button storage. I went down the MAC route because it's a pretty cheap solution and let's be honest, it looks the part. The large pro palette cost £10 and the insert's £2.50. The wells are quite small, they hold around a third of the lipstick - that's a third of the palette and two thirds for you!

Before you start...

Organise your lipsticks. I'm not gonna lie, this was my favourite part. I played around with every possible order - light to dark, A to Z, before I finally settled on a colour order - Nudes, pinks, browns then peaches. Make a note of what's where... it's a lot harder once they've been depotted. At some point I may even get a label maker and pop the shades underneath the palette.

What you'll need

Lipsticks - OF COURSE!
A palette or pill box
Chopping board 
Kitchen Roll
Cotton buds (Qtips)

How to Depot Lipstick

1. Make sure your palette is cleaned/sanitised. 

2. Take a spatula and behead your lipstick. My sister watched open-mouth during this part, but worry not, we'll reattach it later.

3. Scoop out all the lipstick inside the tube - You won't believe how much product is hiding down there. 

4. Pop the product into the well. Push it down and smooth over with the spatula. Don't worry if it's messy, you can clean up once you're done. 

5. Stick the pointed head of the lipstick back in the bullet - good as new! 

6. Repeat for each well - yup, it's a labour of love, and wipe your spatula or palette clean with kitchen roll or tissue between each one.

7. Take a wet wipe and some cotton buds and tidy up the sides.

8. Pop the insert back into the palette and voila...

Yes, I realise there's two empty wells. Makes sense to leave a couple of spares for the lipsticks I haven't bought yet. Next, I'm going to do the same for my brights, berries and reds!

Don't forget if you've emptied out any MAC lipsticks, back2MAC them.

for all of you that asked for names...


Sunday, 23 August 2015

HD Brows, More Than Just Brows

Apologies that it's been a little quiet around these parts lately. I beat myself up when I can't post as regularly as I'd like, but LIFE HAPPENS! I'm also full of cold right now (it's August, what's with that?) and all that nose blowing's done something to the brain cells. Bare with me, I'm doing my best...

They're synonymous with perfect brows, but did you know HD Brows also do make up? Or like me, you knew but haven't tried it yet? See, I'm a touch it, feel it, swatch it kinda shopper and since the make up line is only available online (but that could be changing, more on this later), it's put a barrier in my way. Then came along The Definition Tour. In a nutshell the lovely boys and girls from HD Brows travelled around the country doing demos and showcasing their wares. Finally i got to touch n feel n swatch and take home my top picks from the capsule collection...

Conceal & Correct Palette light/medium £25

I bought this with my bridal make up in mind but I've totally hijacked it for personal use. It's got the maximum coverage down! It's thick, yet creamy and feels almost lightweight. It packs a punch covering nasty blemishes, imperfections and the tricky under eye area. With three shades to chose from you can colour match to perfection all.year.round!

Eyeshadow Palette Foxy £29
This palette is hawt. You can pretty much create any look you want with this - day-to-night it's got you covered. A collection of beautiful warm earthy tones - browns, bronze and gold, with a mixture of matte and satin/shimmer finishes. Pigmentation is good, not great, but layer over a primer to help the shades pop. They blend beautifully and last all day.

Translucent Finishing Powder £20

Such an unassuming little pan but it's actually kinda special. A lightweight, silky finishing powder that works on all skin tones, it mattifies the skin without dulling it and leaves behind a suitable radiance.

Faux Lashes Bombshell £17.50

I haven't worn these yet but c'mon, just look at them. Blooming' gawjus! Perfect for adding some natural volume without looking like you're actually wearing fake lashes. They're also Francesca Neill's go-to lashes, so chances are Alisha Dixon, Rochelle Humes, Cheryl Fernandaz Versini et al wear them!

You can buy Make Up by HD Brows from Beauty Bay | LookFantastic and direct from HD Brows Watch this space for a flagship store coming soon... you heard it here first.


Monday, 17 August 2015

The $2 Lipstick better than MAC!

If you haven’t tried a Wet n’ Wild lipstick yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? If you live in America, hot-foot it down to your nearest drugstore PRONTO, if you’re anywhere else in the World, get clicking on Amazon NOW.

What makes Wet n’ Wild Megalast Lipsticks so special? Well aside for the $2 price tag (or 1 or 3 depending where you shop) the pigmentation is phenomenal. What you see is what you get. They’re completely opaque – one swipe is all it took for these photos. In fact, I was tempted to just upload the photos and let them do the talking, but then I do love to ramble on. Of all the lipsticks I’ve ever tried (MAC included), these have my favourite texture and finish. They have a unique crème-matte texture – they look matte but feel creamy. Application is effortless with a glide-on buttery texture and unlike most mattes, they don’t set or dry out, the creamy matte texture remains - rubbing your lips together is totally allowed! Wear time is also pretty incredible – they keep going around 3-4 hours and don't dry my lips out.

My love for Wet n’ Wild lipsticks began in 2013 in my first US beauty swap. I’ve now got seven Megalast Lipsticks in the collection and I'd happily have more…

Pink Suga – despite the name I find this more peachy than pink. I’d sum it up as a peachy nude.
Just Peachy – a lovely mid toned pinky peach
Bare It All – A brown toned nudey pink, bit of a Teddy Velvet Dupe.
Think Pink – this was my first WnW lippy, a pale blue toned pink similar to MAC’s much loved Crème Cup and Angel.
Don’t Blink Pink – a bright berry pink, reminds me a little of MAC impassioned but more pink.
Smokin’ Hot Pink – a vivid reddy/pink – like a strawberry.
Cherry Bomb – how delicious is this one! A true dark cherry red. Strangely it’s less Matte than the others, maybe more of a satin. Don’t be fooled by the picture, I know it looks super sheeny – that’s the sun.

My most used shade is Think Pink, but then I have had that the longest. My current fave is Bare It All, a perfect everyday nude. And looking at these swatches I need to wear Cherry Bomb right now! The only thing I don't love is the packaging... it's pretty cheap looking and lids sometimes pop off when they feel like it. But if they started tarting up the packaging, they'd be changing a lot more than $2. It’s what’s inside that counts!

Super pigmented, completely opaque, long-lasting and cheap as chips, what's not to love?

*You can pick them up in places like Walgreens for $1.99, or on Amazon for around £5 with postage*


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Ultimate Brow Edit

This is it! The one you’ve been waiting for… The Ultimate Brow Edit. You know I’m brow mad – you guys tell me I’ve got good uns, I appreciate that (good brows is the new skinny, right?). There’s been some brow dramaz over the years, but thanks to RapidBrow (review here) my arches have been restored to their former bushy glory… well almost. I still need a little tweak to keep brows looking on fleek (sorry, I had to). 

This is everything in my brow arsenal, the tried and tested pencils, powders and pomades… 

HD Brow Palette £25 – perfect colour match, never fails. 

You were my first! The one that changed it all. Others have come and gone, you’ve remained a constant. HD Brow powders are super pigmented, naturally matte, fantastically smudge-proof and seriously long lasting.  The Pro Eye & Brow Palette contains all the shades from HD Brows regular palettes, plus carbon – it’s basically a customisable brow wardrobe. A subtle gap-fill or full on scouse brow – this can do it all. Easy to use, simply brush, dab or spooly the powder where it’s needed for natural, long lasting brows. Full review and deats here.

The perfect choice for precise, strong brows!.So this one requires a little more effort and skill, but carry it off and you’ll arch out the competition. The formula is a stiff, creamy gel, which applied with a good angled brush (yup I love Anastasia’s Duo Brush 12) affords the most incredibly precision. It’s rich, super pigmented and completely smudge/sweat/water proof. So good, I have two shades… Medium Brown and chocolate. Full review here

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz £15.50 – Natural, Easy to Use  

There’s no denying Anastasia is le Queen of brows. If dipbrow aint your bag this gets the job done in a more discreet manner. Yes, it’s a pencil but used properly – short strokes, light touch, your arches won’t look drawn on. The tiny tip allows you to be precise and get right into those pesky little gaps and easily mimic natural hairs. Unlike most pencils, the formula is soft, almost powder-like and blends amazingly using the handy spooly on the opposite end. It’s one of the quickest, most fool-proof solutions in my arsenal. 

Benefit Gimme Brow £18.50 –– low key/off duty all-in-one 

A magic little wand. It doesn’t just tint brows or comb them in place. It magics brow hairs where they don’t even exist. The innovative brush-on fibre-gel adheres to skin and hair, filling sparse patches and thickening brows naturally. The tapered brush is tinie-tiny and absolutely perfect for shaping and filling the hard to reach gaps. Of all the brow options, this is the easiest and quickest to use - sweep' n go! It's just a shame about the price - £18.50 for 3gs OUCH!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel £16.50 – the finishing touch

If you’re bless with naturally full brows this could be all you need to tame/groom your arches. But for most of us this is an optional finishing touch. A slick of this after your pencil/powder/gel will keep your hairs in place and generally look more done – and this one doesn’t go crusty - bonus!

What are your go-to brow stylers? 



Friday, 7 August 2015

Call off the search. Perfect Base FOUND!

Call off the search! The quest for the perfect base is over… The aptly named Complexion Rescue!

Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream £26 is a game changer. A multitasking genius that combines skincare benefits and naturally radiant coverage in one. Think BB/CC/tinted moisturiser but better!

Remember back in April I went along to a bareMinerals event to mark the launch of Complexion Rescue. I came away with a sample and mused my early thoughts here. But to truly road test a foundation you need to wear it and wear it! How many of you have fallen in love with a foundation after one use, only to find it doesn’t agree with your skin a few weeks down the road? Well I was so impressed by my sample I purchased the full size product with my own hard earned cash - no PR sample or sponsored post here! I’ve worn it almost every day since April and now I can give you the real low down!

I’ll cut to the chase. It is unequivocally the best base I have come across. It’s my daily go-to. I’ve barely reached for any other base in the past four to five months. Initially I thought it might be more of an off duty base, but it actually provides more coverage than you might think! It alleviates the need for a heavy foundation, gives a smooth tint to the face and evens the complexion.

Formula and Application

Is it a gel? Is it a cream? The answer is BOTH! It’s lightweight and easy to apply like a gel, yet it’s rich and hydrating like a cream. Formulated with marine botanicals and mineral-infused water, it helps to replenish thirsty skin and lock moisture in. Oil, silicone, parabens and fragrance free – not only does it look good, it does good! It contains a non-chemical, mineral-based SPF 30, which doesn’t cause flash back. Completely fuss free application with the Smoothing Face Brush £24 – this nifty duo fibre buffs and smooths the product perfectly and allows you to easily build your desired coverage. Fingers work fine too and probably provide more of a sheer coverage. Either way it blends seamlessly with no demarcation lines.


There’s ten shades in the collection Opal 01 to Sienna 10. In April I was colour matched to Ginger 06, which was absolutely my perfect match. It’d say it’s ever so slightly on the lighter side now that I have some summer colour, I might have a look at Tan 07. For reference I’m MAC NC30/YSL BD 50/bareMinerals Original Medium Beige.


Is completely up to you. It’s fairly sheer but you can build up the coverage where you need it. It layers exquisitely and will never look heavy or cakey. There’s enough oomph there to cover minor blemishes and discolouration without masking the whole face. If you like a full coverage – Double Wear, Studio Scuplt, that kind of thing, this won’t be for you. But me, I’ve been heading in the lighter coverage direction for a while now and this has come at precisely the right time. It provides more coverage than any tinted moisturiser I’ve used in the past, even Laura Mercier, I’d definitely place it more in the BB/CC category. I’ve actually come across some people using this under their regular foundation, which is great way to benefit from its amazing hydration and skin tone evening properties, without compromising on coverage.


One word – RADIANT! Never has a dewy, youthful-looking glow been so easy to achieve. My skin looks revitalised, hydrated, plumped! It evens out skin tone and creates a more flawless complexion without masking your natural radiance. My skin can BREATHE and somehow it gets better as the day goes on! The hydration, the radiance, it lasts! I apply a little finishing powder to my t-zone to avoid excessive shine and it lasts all day.


RRP £26/$29/35ml Feel Unique | Debenhams | Sephora. Emphasis on 35ml, standard foundation size is 30ml so you’re getting more bang for your buck.

Complexion. Rescued! 


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#GoBronde... A Cautionary Tale

This isn’t the “ta-dah look at my lovely new highlights” post I hoped it would be. Sadly my DIY balayaye turned into a hair disaster but I wouldn’t be a very honest beauty blogger if I didn’t share the good, the bad and the downright patchy!

If you’ve been visiting these parts for a while now you’ll know I’m a fan of the L’Oreal Wild Ombre Kits. I’ve used them on myself twice before (see it here) with pretty good results, even my hairdresser was impressed. With two successful DIY jobs under my belt, me and my inflated confidence thought we were ready for the next trend, balayage. Cue L’Oreal #GoBronde. Have you seen the adverts? My hair queen J-Lo – I’m not a blonde, I’m a bronde! Yes, me too J-Lo. It’s a sign, let’s do this. 

A bit about the kits and the how to…

There’s five kits in the Glam Bronde range (£6/Boots), No 1 being the lightest, No 5 the darkest – I plumped for the “safe” middle option No 3 for light brown hair. They’re designed to give a brush-on balayage effect, adding subtle, blonde layers all over the hair for that just-back-from-holiday look. Similar to the Ombre kits they’ve very easy to use, instructions are clear, come with a “handy” triple-action expert brush designed to do the work for you etc. I even watched the recommended youtube video to pick up some tips, sadly I didn’t read any reviews!

My experience

Application was tricky! Unlike the ombre kits where you’re basically colouring in the bottom sections of your hair, balayage is designed to add small amounts of colour all over the hair. Application near the roots requires way more skills and I didn’t have a clue what the back looked like – it was a “reach-n-drag and hope for the best” approach. The brush ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. It does NOT distribute the product evenly, it dolloped the majority of the product at the roots, a patchy residue of colour in the lengths and by the time I got to the bottom there was nothing left. This meant I had to go back over at the ends, causing more patchiness. The instructions tell you not to apply too much pressure at the roots, and not to start too close to them, even with a light pressure and staggered starting points I still ended up with giant blobs of colour near the roots. Recommended development time is between 25 and 45 minutes, after 20 minutes my hair was already looking YELLOW! Sh*t, Sh*t, Sh*t – I quickly washed it, towel dried, looked in the mirror, gasped at the yellow/orangey streaks *Stay calm, stay calm* dried it, OH DEAR!   

The Results

Brassy, patchy and way too light. Bright blonde near the roots, orange/yellowy in the lengths. Obvious blonde clusters near the roots and around the back where I applied the product first, bright orangey blonde streaks near the front where my hair was already a bit lighter. All in all a complete disaster. Looked nothing like balayage, looked nothing like the box!

Did I mention this was on Friday night and I was going away for “surprise” weekend on Saturday morning! Cut to me spending the next hour panicking, asking google what do to, calling around hairdressers, texting my friends, more panicking. My regular hairdresser couldn’t get me in until Monday (and there was no way I wanted to go away for the weekend looking like THAT) thank heavens for the Metrocente (out of town shopping centre open until 9pm for those that don’t know). I actually went there with the intension of buying a hair colour stripper from Boots (worst thing I could have done) but fortunately stumbled across a hairdressers Sherlocks that managed to squeeze me in. They put a darker colour through my roots to disguise the blonde and a temporary toner through the lengths and ends to tone down and even things out. I was so grateful I nearly kissed the girl that did it. All in all I spent 5 hours and over £50 to end up looking, more or less, like a did before. Overall I’m a little lighter and a touch more “ginge” than I was to begin with but you live and learn and I will never do-it-myself again! NEVER!

Sorry about the lack of after photos – understandably the last thing on my mind at that point was a photo shoot. I did manage a dodgy quick snap in the hairdressers before the fix up began.

Lessons Learnt 

Read the reviews – I can’t believe I didn’t do this! I guess I was feeling falsely confident after my previous positive experience. I’ve since checked out the reviews and discovered most people have had a similar experience!
Don’t do it the night before you’re going away for the weekend!
Don’t leave it on for the full recommended time.
Don’t apply near the roots. 
Leave it to the professionals. There’s a reason hairdressers train. 

Have you tried the Bronde kits? Please share your hair disasters… it will make me feel better if nothing else. 


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Unsung Hero: Bobbi Brown Gel Liner

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner £18 has been providing bullet proof staying power for decades. In today’s fast-paced, launch-tastic, somewhat fickle beauty industry, few things stand the test of time, but when it comes to gel liners, Bobbi’s still unrivalled! It was just as I was opening a fresh jar, I realised it hasn't had the air time it deserves...

Okay, what makes it so special? For me, the first time I tried this, it was ease of use! I’d never used a gel liner, in fact I’d never used anything but a kohl pencil and I was blown away by how easy it was to apply and how professional my lines looked. If I want perfect flicks that last all day, this is where I go! And now that I apply make up on other people this has become even more of a god send. Have a look in any make up artists’ kit – I guarantee there’ll be a Bobbi Gel Liner in there… it’s a bridal make up must. Super rich and highly pigmented and jet black (Black Ink). It goes on black, dries black and stays, say it with me, BLACK! The formula, as the name suggests is a gel/cream. Soft and easy to work with, there’s just enough “play” time to before the product dries and once it does, it’s going nowhere! Applying the product with an eye liner brush, I like the MAC 210, it creates the most precise, perfect line, but if you want a messy, smoked-out look, simply smudge before it dries.

There’s only one minor bug bear with the product, and it’s true of most gel products, they dry out too soon. DO NOT LEAVE THE LID OFF FOR A SECOND LONGER THAN YOU HAVE TO. My top tip is once you’ve opened the lid and dipped your brush in, place the pot upside down on a flat surface to stop keep the air out mid-dip and as soon as you’re finished replace the lid securely. If you find it does dry out, I’ve got the perfect solution to breathe some life back into it… baby oil! There’s a whole blog post on how here.      

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner - the original and still the best! Who agrees?

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