Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My new eye shadow palette

With an ever increasing and slightly obscene amount of nude eye shadows in my collection, I decided, having seen it done on YouTube, to have a go and customising my own eye shadow palette. Not only would this save on packaging and space, but I thought it would encourage me to use eye shadows that were overlooked due to being at the bottom of the pile! I firstly needed to find a palette. I read lots of reviews and decided the popular z palette didn't seem value for money considering it was cardboard! I therefore ended up buying an 88 palette below, costing £4.09. It was cheaper than empty palettes online, so I decided to rip the cheap eye shadows out.

Cheapy ebay 88 palette
The eye shadows were really easy to remove and came out complete so I may save some and add to the finished palette!

Half way...
I decided to use the 'candle method' of depoting my eye shadows, as I was too scared of ruining my GHD's. There are lots of examples of this on YouTube, and I found it quite easy. Apart from  a candle I used some tweezers, a pin, and a sharp knife. I managed to depot a vast range of shadows and not crack any! I then purchased some self adhesive magnetised paper from Hobbycraft to stick in the palette and placed my depotted shadows inside. Despite appearing metal, I was disappointed to find that some of the pans still wouldn't stick (Boots 17, No7 and MUA I'm talking to YOU!!) so I've had to stick magnets on the bottom of those, covering the labels telling me what each eye shadow is!

The nearly finished article..
I'm nearly done now. I'm really pleased with it, it makes it easier to see what I have, and more importantly, what I don't have! This palette for a start contains no matte shades, particularly a matte black I think. I may increase my collection and then do the same with blushers! The above palette now contains a mixture of Boots 17, No7, Clinique, Kiko, Maybelline, Stila, and the MUA Heaven and Earth palette.

Monday, 17 October 2011

My new dressing table...

Back in April, while having a wonder round my home town with my sister, I spotted this...
in a second hand furniture/junk shop. I had been looking for a dressing table for ages, as my Argos corner desk really wasn't cutting it as a home for my prized make up possessions. I had been struggling to find anything I liked and could afford anywhere, but when I saw this, I felt inspired to do a renovation job! The dressing table has 6 drawers and matching stool, and has glass panels on the horizontal surfaces. I think it was on sale for about £80, I got it for £70 with free delivery. The table is in fact solid oak *please don't shoot me for wanting to paint it* I couldn't leave it like that could I?
After one coat of primer (Zinsser B-I-N primer/sealer/stain killer spray)

Completed drawers, complete with glass crystal knobs

The finished article!

Complete with stuff, and essential picture of the canine!

Products used;
1. Cheap foam roller and brush from any DIY store
5. Monsoon meadow wallpaper (to line drawers and surfaces)(I got mine in b&q for less than £20 a roll)
6. Sandpaper in various different grades

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Barcelona Haul

The Haul! A selection from Kiko, Cargo, YSL and Benefit

So it wouldn't have been a proper holiday without buying some new stuff to bring back - which is what I did! Full reviews will follow, but for now just a little summary of my finds!
YSL Rouge Volupte in Lingerie Pink
My first purchase, at the airport! Isn't the packaging just to die for? It was more of a rushed purchase than I would have liked, but I think the lipstick is beautiful. As it is so soft the colour can go on a little thick and make me a little washed out, but it looks beautful after a quick blot. Think I paid about £18 for it at the airport.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara
I had a make over at benefit in  a branch of sephora while I was away, and came away with this. Really like it, it makes my lashes exceptionally long, only negative so far is it seems quite difficult to get completely off!
Cargo Shanghai Palette
I also bought this little palette in Sephora. The white shade makes a lovely highlight, and the darkest shade is beautiful, but I'm not completely sold on the nude and pink shades, as the colour pay off doesn't seem great and they are a tad chalky. When used together they do make a nice neutral eye look though.
Kiko purchases
Kiko is a brand I hadn't come into contact with before, but had heard lots about. It is an Italian brand, who I believe have just opened their first store at Westfield in London. They do an amazing range of make up, and best of all, it's dead cheap! I've lost the receipt now, but the eyeshadows were around 4 Euro each, the nail polish was 2.50 Euro, the eyeshadow brush (MAC 224 dupe anyone?!?) around 6 and the duo fibre brush around 12 Euro. Initial impressions are fantastic, the nail polish (with Barry M topcoat) lasted a whole week without a single chip! I'll do another post with the eyeshadow shades but they were all light neutral/highlight shades.
Flormar Pretty Lipstick shade P311
Last but not least I saw a Flormar shop in the shopping centre by our hotel and popped in for a look - I cam away with this lipstick which was only 2.50 Euro I think! 

I could quite easily have come back with so much more, had Easyjet hand luggage restricitions not stopped me!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Barcelona! *Picture heavy post*

This is a long overdue post...
From 11th-16th September I went to Barcelona for a few days in my week off from uni. The weather was beautiful, the hotel was lovely, as was the little stash of cosmetics I brought back! For now though,  a few photos of our trip...
The view from our hotel room, and the AV Diagonal

Super king bed ♥

No prizes for guessing which is my side of the sink...

Me at Camp Nou before the Barcelona v AC Milan game

Enjoying a diet coke on the beach

One of the 7 beaches in Barcelona

A comedy shot at Camp Nou..

We both absolutely loved Barcelona, it had the perfect mix of weather, culture, beaches, the football (kept the boy happy) and the food was beautiful too. I highly recommend it! We stayed at the Barcelona Princess, it was a little way out of town (15 mins on metro), but meant it was a little quieter, 5 mins from beach and directly next to the largest shopping centre in all of Barcelona! I would highly recommend the hotel, it also had a sauna, jacuzzi, gym and 2 pools, one on the 23rd floor with incredible views.

To finish off however, I would like to highlight the fact that a. I only took hand luggage, and b. My suitcase was MINISCULE!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A little poem

All good girls do love their brothers,
But you so good have grown,
That you love other girls brothers now
Much better than your own!

This was found in an old poetry book written by a distant relative of mine in 1908! The book was filled with handwritten poems, we are unsure if they were all written by the same person or if some were copied from elsewhere. This was my favourite though! How neat is that handwriting?!?

I heart PIE

What with it feeling bloomin' cold over the last few days, it feels like Autumn is well and truly on its way! I therefore felt the need for two things. Pie, and mashed potato! I decided on a steak and Ale pie, which I had never cooked before, and I entrusted the filling with my little slow cooker who took good care of it! Here are the results:

Do you like the wording on the top? Tres comical, no? I served it with buttery mash, potatoes and carrots. The recipe did 3 big portions and enough left over filling for 2 more portions the next day. Here is my mini version for lunch the following day:
It was really lovely and one of the best pies I've ever tasted, if I do say so myself! It was really easy to make, and perfect if you have a slow cooker, as you can just bung everything in and leave it for hours! The recipe for seriously steak and ale pie came from

Beautiful day in Chester

Walking back from uni the other day on my usual route around Chester race course, I felt the need to take a picture! We haven't had many nice days this summer, here is proof of at least one lol!

Mini make up splurge

The other day, while filling time waiting to meet a friend in town, I made a couple of purchases from both Boots and Superdrug!
Firstly, I took advantage of the 3 for £5 offer on Natural Collection at Boots. I'd heard good things about the lipsticks, so decided to get myself a trio of lip products! I purchased:
Moisture Shine Lipstick in 'Pink Mallow'
I'd heard good things about Natural Collection lipsticks and I'm actually really disappointed. This lipstick is, afterall, called 'moisture shine' and I found it to be anything but. It looked matte on my lips, so matte it enhanced any dryness and flakiness. The colour was nice, a pale pastel pink shade that suits my fair colouring, and the staying power wasn't bad for a lipstick that is £1.99 at full price. Not bad I guess, but it will be hard for me to wear as my lips are constantly dry, and I prefer a glossier look.
The gloss was probably my favourite product of the 3. The colour really complimented the lipstick, and when layered over the top is gave a nice shine and moisture that rectified the drying effect of the lipstick. It smells and tastes gorgeous! Has a nice consistency, although I did have a bit of a hair-stuck-on-lips moment when outside with a slight breeze!
Lip Lines Liner in 'Almond'
This is actually my first purchase of a lip liner, and I had read somewhere that these were not bad, so I decided to pick one up in a neutral shade to go with lots of lip products. Obviously I don't have experience with other lip liners to compare this to, but I felt the pencil was quite hard, and would benefit from a waxier texture. I had to press quite hard on my lips to get it to draw and this was quite uncomfortable! I didn't really feel it added any lasting power to my lipstick, and didn't appear to stay on too well. I have only used this pencil on one day so far however (at a family party where lots of drinking was involved) so I will try this again a few times before writing it off completely!

Overall I'm pretty happy with what I found for £5. I love the gloss, and I'm sure the lipstick can be improved with a bit of lip balm and gloss over the top!

Next I wandered down to Superdrug and bought this..

I have bought a few MUA products now, and was really popping in to see if the MUA Pro line had appeared at my local Superdrug yet, to no avail :o( However, I did eye up this blusher which I felt was a possible dupe for Clinique's 'smouldering plum', which I got in a GWP last year and is one of my favourite blushers.

The picture makes them look less alike, but it's actually not a bad dupe. The glitter in both blushers is very similar, however the overall colour of the MUA blush is more pinky than the clinique blush, which is more true to it's name and more 'plummy' in colour. I feel both would be very flattering on a wide range of skin tones, however the main problem I have discovered with the MUA blush is difficulty in blending, which I have never suffered with before. I have tried with my clinique flat topped blusher brush and a more tapered blush brush I have, and I really have to work hard to get it to blend well. However, if you have the time to put in the work, this is a good alternative for only £1 to Clinique's blush which costs £19 for the full sized version!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

L'Oreal Elvive

Having been an avid Tigi user for years, I purchased this the other day when flying around Tesco having forgotten to order more Tigi online. I picked it up as a. it was on offer, and b. it mentioned highlighted hair. I must admit to never having tried Elvive before, despite it being one of the biggest chemist brands of shampoo. My main concern was that it would be conditioning enough, but not weigh down my fine flat hair, or make it overly greasy, as I try to avoid washing any more than every 3 days as it dries my hair out.

I was pleasantly surprised! Firstly, the product has a gorgeous honey-like scent, which smells almost good enough to eat! I noticed the softness in my hair straight away as I rinsed the conditioner in the shower. The first time I used this I let my hair dry naturally, usually a recipe for a frizzy disaster, but this time, no such trouble! My hair dried really quickly, and was not only lacking in frizziness, it had that softness that made you want to touch your hair all day long! I can't find these on the tesco website at all, so it may be worth checking them out in store, or they are £2.69 each from Boots.

TJ Hughes Haul

I recently popped into my local TJ Hughes, to see if I could find any bargains during their closing down sale. I don't go there often, but do pop in on occasion to stock up on things like Batiste dry shampoo, and to find brands that have disappeared everywhere else (like Pout :o( ).

It was a sad sight to behold, with all the 'closing down' signs and 'everything must go'. There was still quite a bit of stock in the beauty section however, and this is what I came away with;

L-R St Moriz tanning mousse, Tigi Bedhead Dumb Blonde Coniditioner, Tigi Bedhead Dumb Blonde Shampoo, Batiste Boho Dry Shampoo, Goody Ceramic Hot Round Brush

1. St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse, £2.99 £1.79
I love this stuff, I don't fake tan regularly (because a. I can't really be bothered and b. I don't mind the 'pale and interesting' look!) but though I'd stock up. Not sure where I'll get it from once TJ Hughes has gone!
2+3. Tigi Bedhead Dumb Blonde Shampoo/Conditioner £6.00 each, £3.00
Dumb blonde was the first ever Tigi shampoo I owned, back in 2006! I've been an avid fan ever since, using only Tigi shampoos until just a couple of weeks ago when I ran out and hadn't bought in any more. I made a rush Tesco purchase of some L'Oreal Elvive (review to follow!), but when I found these in TJ Hughes I was overjoyed. The shampoo can be used on any colour of hair, smells lovely and fruity (not in the bottle though, it doesn't smell that nice till it's in your hair) and the conditioner is really nourishing for my long, fine, and increasingly straw like hair.
4. Batiste 'Boho' Dry shampoo £1.99, £0.99
Batiste is a staple for thousands of us these days, including me! I use it to freshen up my fringe between washes, I've never been able to get any volume from the stuff like some can (and I've not tried the XXL version yet). Boho is probably my least favourite scent, but it's all they had left!
5. Goody Ceramic Hot Round Brush
This was an impulse purchase - I am forever looking for anything that can help get a bit of oomph into my fine, flat hair, and I was hoping this was it! I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it, it was 50% off though and I paid in the region of £3. To put this in perspective, the same brush, in a smaller barrel size version, currently retails for £9.18 at Boots! First impressions are good, it is very light and easy to use, and has a button on the end which draws in the bristles to release your hair if you get tangled (which I often do!). A proper review on this one will follow.

So there you have it, a nice little haul I think, with some real bargains in there. I'm not sure when TJ Hughes will close for good, the staff don't seem to know either, so I might pop back for more...they had lots of perfume in there, sun cream, some premium skincare brands (e.g. Elizabeth Arden), and lots of make up/nail polish, but quite a lot of items were used/broken. Definitely worth a look if you are passing!

Monday, 15 August 2011

My first MAC lipstick!

I recently visited my nearest MAC counter with the intent of making a long overdue purchase of my first ever MAC lipstick! I had a few shades in mind, which I'd picked up from other blogs I read. I swatched a few lippies on my hand, including creme cup, angel, and shy girl. After a few minutes a SA finally came to help, and recommended to me a lipstick I'd not heard of before...Sheen Supreme in the shade 'bare again'. She told me it was one of her favourites, and she had worn it on her wedding day. She felt it would compliment my natural lip colour which is quite rosy and pigmented.
Here it is;

It is a pinky nude colour, a true 'my lips but better' shade for me. The picture above doesn't actually do it justice. I did try to take a pic of it on as well but the quality was rubbish so I gave up! The formula is beautiful, really smooth and glossy, it looks almost like a gloss on the lips but without that stickiness, just very moisturising. The only negative I would say is that this does not last that well on the lips compared to other lipsticks I own, around 1-2 hours I would say, although it did stay put through one shower which was very surprising..

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this lipstick, as it isn't a shade I'd usually go for (I usually buy pinker shades) and it wasn't a formula I'd heard of before! I love the sleek black packaging also which I think I prefer to the standard MAC lipsticks. Sheen supreme is definitely something I'd urge you to consider next time you make a MAC lipstick purchase!


So finally...I've gone and made myself a blog! After over a year of following lots of different blogs, from beauty and fashion to food and photography, I thought it was about time I made one of my own!

So, a little bit about me... I'm 25, a (mature!) student, studying in Chester and am originally from Essex.

Please bare with me while I get to grips with things. I'm intending to fill the blog with just about anything, although as the name would suggest, the main focus will be make up.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I will!