Sunday, 29 January 2012

FOTD: it's Spring!

The trees mostly still have bare branches, but the grass is growing bright green and there were daffodils in the florist's shop yesterday. So it's spring! Yay!

Today's face of the day is a laid back look that took less than five minutes in front of the mirror - which is always good, really. Because it's Sunday and I like to let my skin breathe at least one day a week, I moisturised but didn't use foundation or BB cream today.

If you've read my blog before, you might know that I'm basically in love with my elf eyeshadows (on which note, they've got a free gift sale today and free shipping too, til 10pm). The only problem is that they have a lot of fallout. They definitely fall into the category of eyeshadows that you put on before your foundation. Today I decided to try and apply them with the minimum fallout possible. And I managed. The trick is to use your finger rather than a brush - somehow that reduces the problem hugely. It works because of how lovely and soft these shadows are - I've ordered another shadow and another blush, so there's now a queue of things to go into my elf palette (yes, all right, I forgot to include a second palette in my order...)
I used 'sage', a lovely lovely green, all over the eyelid, and 'wisteria', a pinkish lilac, above that close to the lash line. I really like the effect of that, and I think I'll team the colours up together like that again.

I used a metallic teal eye pencil - Boots 17's, though it's no longer in the range. It was a present from my lovely friend Philly (who runs her own blog) who had two of the Gift With Purchase that included the pencil (summer 09 as far as I can tell from the Internet) and gave me the second, because she's lovely like that. I guess the nearest equivalent now would be the blue eye version of the Photo Flawless Eye Pencil.

I used my elf blush in 'shy' which is a really pretty colour, as you can see on my cheek to the left of the picture - my camera isn't handling light and dark very well at the moment, as you can see, but the colours on the left of the picture are truer to life. Unlike the elf shadows, which are very soft and which I think I'll hit pan on very soon (especially sage), the blush is fairly hard, and despite having used it a lot I've barely made an indent on the top of it. I've ordered another elf blush as well, because I like this one so much. To finish off I used Boots 17 Mirror Shine lipstick in shade 'Belle' - which is, as others have said, fab. It's one of those your lips but better lipsticks.

The new No7 spring collection - floral brights

It may be only just above freezing outside, but in the world of fashion and beauty it's already Spring, baby!

The new range includes an eye palette, a cream blusher, a highlighter, and a lipstick, each of which I'm going to talk about. The lipstick and blusher are £10 each and the highlighter and eye palette £13.

The highlighter definitely looks nice, especially with the sweep of shimmery pink in it. I think that if I didn't already have a highlighter, I'd almost certainly snap this up - my only reservation Is the price. It's nearly double the price of Bourjois' highlighter, and £2 more expensive than Soap and Glory's, which has had rave reviews. If there is a sale at the end of this limited edition, though, I think that would definitely be the time to snap it up.

The eye palette is lovely, with shades of brown and a base pink, with a little yellow for the inner corner of the eye. If the shadow is of as good a quality as the No7 shadow I have, then I don't hesitate to recommend this.
My only reservation would be that most of us already have the more brownish shades from the palette and a base pink that we like - so it's really only that tiny bit of yellow that we're paying £13 for. Although that yellow is lovely, for those of us on low budgets it might be worth trying Sleek's acid palette, for £6.49 which has a yellow included in the bright colours in it. There's also a more russet-y, sophisticated, yellow in their Sunset palette, which, by the way, I definitely have my eye on.
These cream blushes are lovely and come in two shades, Blooming Pink and Blossoming Pink. They seem pretty similar but I think the picture is Blossoming Pink - the other shade looks a bit redder... I can't wait to go and try this - but again, price - £10 for a blush isn't really something I can justify, especially as soap and Glory's products are only a tad more expensive and this doesn't actually look that special.
The lipstick also comes in the same two pinks - the Blooming Pink (not the one pictured, sadly) looks like it'll be a stunner - its a dark reddish pink. These retail at £10, but somehow I'd be a little more prepared to pay that for lipstick than for blusher, maybe because the packaging is a tiny bit nicer...

Overall the range is lovely, if a bit out of my price range - I guess this is what advantage card points/ £5 vouchers (if they give them out again anytime soon) / birthday gift cards (hint hint)/ sales are for...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Two Things Thursday!

I've been thinking of starting a regular series with a round up of general news and so on. So here it is:

1) currently Maybelline Dream Touch Blush has £2 off at Sainsbury's, bringing it down to £4.49. I was sorely tempted, but couldn't justify it. Bought a book instead, because, you know, I clearly don't have enough of those...

2) if you haven't tried a scrub bar from Lush, put it on your 'things to to before I die' list. Seriously, they are amazing. I have serious problems with dry skin on my arms and legs, but the scrub bars fix it so well. I've also been using this facial scrub from Sainsbury's, which is good, even if the smell's not great - but that's just because I don't like grapefruit.

Boots hauls!

Over the past few weeks, I've been to Boots numerous times, so I thought I'd amalgamate everything I've bought into one big post.
This is really a bit fab. I've seen a few posts complaining that it didn't live up to its promises, but personally I love it. It is very light coverage, but I like that - there's nothing worse than looking 'caked' in foundation in my opinion. If you've got very pale skin, this probably wouldn't be the product for you - I'm not that pale but I found the 'light' shade to be perfect on me. 
Lots and lots of Natural Collection stuff!
I bought their 'LashCurl' mascara in black, and it's far better than I would have thought - I will do a review at some stage, but for now it's enough to say that it's properly black and that it actually does make the lashes look more curled, so that's good.
The green corrector stick is to help neutralize my naturally very rosy cheeks, and it seems to work, which is good - this is certainly something that I wouldn't buy from a posher brand when I know it's available and very good for £2.
The lipstick, in shade 'Rose Bud' is brilliant. A really good buy, in my opinion. It's pink and springlike without being too pink and horrible. I'll probably have to stop wearing it when I pick up a tan in the summer, but for now it's great. It doesn't come off on glasses etc either, which you would expect for the price. 
Centre front are bronzing pearls - I gave these a quick go just now and they're really good - I like that the different colours blend together. On the right is some loose powder - I'm going to give this a go. 
On top of the two little pots is a lip liner. I felt I ought to have one, and it's a nice nude/pink shade. 
I got these six products in two separate 'three for £5' deals.

This is No7's Stay Perfect Nail Polish in shade 270 - Jammy. It would normally be £7 but  I used one of those '£5 off No7' vouchers they like to give at the checkout.
It's FAB. The brush is really good, for a start. It's almost a one-coat polish, but the second just helps to add depth etc to the colour. I've heard that it lasts really well too.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Makeup from the poundstore!

Before you all cower in horror, I will give one bit of advice:
Only buy the brands you recognise - as well as the Rimmel stuff there were also some other brands whose names I didn't recognise, and you know what, their stuff might be worth less than a pound...

Anyway. On with the blog post. I had read on another blog (can't remember whose) that some pound stores have discontinued makeup for sale in them. So when I found myself walking past Poundworld on Saturday, I couldn't resist a look, and I found these really good Rimmel eye quads. These retailed at over £6 and are now only a pound each - bargain! There were a few different colours, but I picked up 016 - Urban Flower and 018 - Romantic Cool because I thought those were the shades I'd use the most.
And boy, are they good.
Here are the swatches:

 (urban flower)

 (romantic cool)
As you can see, the top right shade in each quad isn't particularly well pigmented, and the green in the urban flower one is also very sheer, but these are so smooth I almost don't mind. Also, a first for me: the applicators in the packs are actually not too horrific! Yay!

I wore the pale pink from 'urban flower' as an eyeshadow base yesterday, and it lasted really well so I'm happy about that.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Face of the day - family dinner

Quite a simple face of the day here - apologies for the photo, I wrestled with my camera for long enough...Eyes: I used the pale pink and the green from Rimmel's colour rush quad overshadow in 016 urban flowers and elf's sage colour from their elements range. I lined my eyes in collection 2000's Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner, which I decided on as a replacement for my liner that got dropped earlier in the week... I then used Natural Collection LashCurl Mascara in black which is amazing, and I will get round to doing a review soon, I promise...

Face generally: Boots 17's BB cream which I love - it's so light on, for a start, and it does enough of a foundation job for me at the moment. Then my new Benefit Watt's Up highlighter, which is courtesy of's giveaway. It's so amazing. Love the packaging as well - it looks like a lightbulb!
Then I used a really, really old Marks & Spencer blusher in Ginger, which I gaily went for with my total face brush and then realised I'd made a terrible mistake. Once I blended it out a bit though, and removed a little of the excess, it was fine. I then used the Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Rose Bud, which I picked up in a 3 for £5 deal as my third item and never expected to like as much as I do - the colour is lovely, it's long lasting, it doesn't come off on glasses etc, and it really is moisturising. Plus it was only £1.99

Monday, 16 January 2012

Emergency, emergency!

Right, so, due to my liquid eyeliner (which has gone from never-used to loved in the space of less than two weeks) smashing all over my bathroom floor I have started in my quest for a new one.
Here are the top candidates:

An exact replacement
It's cheap and I know it works, but maybe I should be more adventurous...

Collection 2000 felt tip liner (the picture's wrong for some reason - don't know why, I did look on the superdrug site but they didn't have it at all)

Some other liner - I have hours to kill in town on Saturday so will probably spend forever browsing both superdrug and boots. Suggestions very welcome :)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Company's New Look: February 2012

This month's Company magazine has a new look, and is only £1 to promote it. I buy it regularly anyway, and I was really looking forward to the new look.
To be honest, it seems like the main difference is that they've used matte paper rather than glossy throughout. I prefer this finish to be honest - my mum says that it's cheaper than glossy, so both me and the magazine are happy!

I'm a big fan of the fonts they've used a lot - 'SHOES' and 'alexa' being an example of each of the two. They seem either to be new, or used much more now than in the past. Alexa's look on the front cover actually seems really achievable, unlike most of the glossy covers, so I might have a go at that... I guess the key thing is that, to me, this cover looks friendly. Plus I like her lace sleeves.
(highlighting my own)
The 'high street' is a big part of why I like this magazine, so it was good to see that that's not going to change. Lots of the glossies (marie claire is especially guilty of this) fill their fashion section with the kind of brands most of us can only dream about. But Company knows I haven't got bottomless pockets.
The first of the Olympic beauty adverts! After reading this article I have got fairly sensitive to how silly they all are and how few Paralympians are featured. One thing that I wasn't a fan of about this advert - though it's minor and I'm being a pedant - is that Keri-Anne Payne is a swimmer. So she needs waterproof mascara. There is a waterproof mascara in the range - so have that one uncapped! Surely if you can convince the consumer it withstands kilometres of open water then you will convince them that it will survive crying at Love Actually... no?
(I know this isn't actually a gripe that Company could do anything about, just a gripe at Max Factor, but still... attention to detail, guys!)
I might be alone in this, but when a magazine rebrands or anything like that I'm always worried that my favourite regular features will be cut. Never fear! Bargain to blowout, showing progressively more expensive ways to achieve the same look, is still here, as are columnists Jameela and David Whitehouse and the rest of the gang. One thing I like is that we see more of the individual members of the team - we get comments from Oonagh, the Fashion Director, all the way through the magazine.
Just thought I'd show you my favourite pull quote from the issue - it's from Alexa Chung's interview, which was really good :). I thought it was slightly ironic that Company was Alexa's first 'glossy cover' and they're no longer glossy... just me, then.

The generation Company articles are something I've always liked about this magazine - instead of just wanting to be walking mannequins they know that their readers want to make something of themselves. This issue has three case studies of women who've made it to the top of their careers (including the PR boss for Benefit - jealous much?) and who can wear jeans to work. A little bit of an odd angle, but hey, it's always fun to read these stories and dream.
Another of the articles in this section was addressing the issue that women often undervalue themselves and don't negotiate for salaries - ending up with lower salaries than other people (often men, who statistically are more likely to have the gall to negotiate) doing the same job.
There was also a feature on a girl using prostitution to get herself nice shoes and so on - a bit same old, same old now, but still interesting.
One thing I liked about this page of the beauty edit was that it's proposing an alternative to bronzer and fake tan - this is definitely a look I'll be copying! It seemed slightly out of sync, though, with the rest of the magazine in that all of the six blushers featured are luxury brands - with the cheapest being the Clarins at £19 and the most expensive the Chanel at £46. I know they have the page where a musician's style is attempted using Rimmel products, but... could they not have found a Maybelline/Collection 2000/etc blusher to feature on the page?
Panda lips!! So cute, right? Couldn't resist showing them to you lot.
Totally unobtainably high-maintenance, though... and would probably look very weird on.

This was the inside back cover advert, and while I will confess with freedom that I'm not a fan of the shatter nails trend, I understand this trend even less. For a start, it looks almost identical to the shatter nails - if you already own the shatter polish, I see next to no point in purchasing a 'croc effect' polish.

Overall, a great issue, and it's great to see that my worries that the magazine would go downhill with its new look were completely unfounded.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Dancing On Ice, show 1

Since Strictly’s over, I’m watching Dancing On Ice. I do like it, no matter how much my brother mouths off about it.

Christine Bleakley got a lot of flack for apparently not being personable enough. Personally, I thought that while she could have been a little warmer, she’s probably just working her way into it.

She wore the red lip really well in my opinion, and I liked that it was mirrored by the dress without it being trashy – the high neck and low hemline helped, and she looked so elegant.

I think my favourite two looks beauty-wise were Jorgie Porter and Chemmy Alcott.

Jorgie’s was such a natural look, with a lovely air of youth and innocence. To recreate this look I would use my 17 All About Nude palette, but if I didn’t have that I would use a pale shadow (like No7’s Starry Night) blended with something like 17’s Walnut Pearl eyeshadow with a pinkish lip either from 17 Mirror Shine Belle or from a tinted lip balm.

It would be perfect for a summer day or a simple frock type day.

(I couldn’t find a better still, tried for ages, sorry)

The most interesting thing about Chemmy’s look was that she had a gold lip. I’m not entirely sure how I would recreate this, but in this month’s Company they featured a company called GlitzyLips ( so I would probably do that – Don’t Copper Me is the cloest to what she wore. This isn’t a look you could really wear anywhere, I don’t think, except maybe for Hallowe’en or a very extreme clubbing night.

All pictures from ITV except the last which is from