Friday, 30 December 2011

Japonesque Brushes


For most people in the UK, MAC is the probably where you go when you want to spend some money on brushes, for a long time I only owned MAC brushes, until I started reading blogs and watching tutorials on YouTube and I started look at other brands for brushes. Japonesque is a brand that I have been really interested in, especially after hearing YouTube Guru and Make-Up Artist Lisa Eldridge talk so highly of the brand.

Japonesque were founded over 20 years ago, and make some of the industry’s most innovative brushes and tools (their range extends to palettes, tweezers, lash curlers and make-up cases) and now their range of Travel Brushes is available on the High Street at Boots and John Lewis.

I was sent three of their Travel Brushes to try out, and the first thing I wanted to mention was that unlike MAC whose Travel Brushes (the LE sets that often appear in the Holiday collection) are not made to the same quality as their usual brushes, Japonesque’s are made to the same standard and high quality finish, they just have a shorter handle.


Travel Powder Brush (£29.25) I am in love with this brush, I have been searching for a new powder brush for a while, since my MAC 168 has been shedding for the past year, but never got round to buying one as they cost a lot and I didn’t want to end up with another one that sheds! The Japonesque Powder Brush is natural fibres, and has a large, domed head. It applies my MAC MSF perfectly and when I apply it with this, it never looks cakey. It’s also the softest brush I own, when I use this in the morning it almost sends me to sleep! I haven’t experienced shedding and it washes well.


Travel Smudger Brush (£14.75) This brush is perfect for smudging kohl or eyeshadow along the upper or lower lashline. It works equally well with powder or cream/gel products and it’s now essential to me to get a perfect, soft, smouldering smokey eye!


Travel Brow/Lash Comb (£9.75) Up until now I was using a very old, No7  spoolie brush for my brows but this brush preps them perfectly for drawing them in and the comb is the best I’ve tried to get rid of clumps after putting on Mascara. Whenever I use my Benefit They’re Real, I tend to have a problem with it clumping on the second coat, this removes all of the clumps. and gives definition to the lashes.

You can buy Japonesque brushes online and instore at Boots and John Lewis. Where do you go to buy brushes? Do you stick to one brand or do you have selection?


Disclaimer: These brushes were provided by PR for review.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Lush Sale Haul


Hi guys, hope you had a lovely Christmas! I had a great Christmas and Boxing day but since then I’ve been working non-stop, I hate working in retail during Christmas when everyone else has time off! The only sale I was interested in this year was Lush’s 50% sale. I really loved all the Christmas stuff this year, and yesterday I made a trip to my local store. I picked up:

Snow Fairy Shower Gel

Glogg Shower Gel

Celebrate Lip Tint

Three Gold Rings Bubble Bar

Satsumo Santa Ballistic

So White Ballistic

Superstars Bubble Bar

Abombinaball Ballistic

My nearest store (Leicester) had quite a lot left yesterday, although they were out of anything Snow Fairy related (my boyfriend picked the Snow Fairy up for me from the Nottingham store). I never managed to get online while the sale was on, the website wouldn’t stop crashing on me, but I’m happy with what I got in store, my sister also managed to pick me up a spare Magic Wand, and some Candy Cane soap before they sold out, and I can’t wait to have some lovely, Lush baths!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Carmine: December Edit



Carmine’s December box is another brilliant box, and I feel it has outdone their November box (which I also loved) this box seems to be a lot more balanced, the range of products included is great. The fact that it contains a make-up item, skincare, body care, hair care and a brush means the box doesn’t lean to heavily on one type of item, where as the last box felt very make-up orientated.

In my box I received;

Japonesque Smudger Brush: I love that this was included in the box, up until recently Japonesque was pretty difficult to get hold of in the UK (I will be reviewing selection of they’re Travel brushes, that are now sold at Boots very soon!) and it’s a great way for people to be introduced to the brand. The smudger brush a really useful one to have in your collection, it’s perfect for smudging eyeliner, especially on the lower lashline.

Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash: This smells amazing! I love getting luxury shower products, as I wouldn’t usually spend the money on them myself. This is also full size, so you get plenty of time to test it.

KMS California Free Shape: This is designed to make drying you hair a lot quicker, it claims to make it 50% quicker. I hate drying my hair so I tried this out yesterday, after shampooing my hair (yes I forgot to condition!) and my hair took next to no to dry, and feels great. My hair gets weighed down really easily, and my hair still feels light, and as if I haven’t uses any product. Definite repurchase.

Institut Esthederm Time Technology Cream: I have used this a couple of times, and so far I’m impressed. It’s lightweight, and feels really refreshing on the skin. It brightens my complexion without making me oily/shiny. I was really happy to receive this as I wouldn’t have tried it otherwise.


MyFace Blingtone in Sp’ice’y: Another product I have glanced at Boots but never got round to trying. This is a glittery shadow, with a satin base. This shadow does contain a lot of silver glitter, but it will blend away if you want it too.



Also included was a a voucher for free Brow Threading at any Benito Brows, which I’m not sure if I’ll use as I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my brows!

Do you subscribe to Carmine? Or any other beauty boxes?

Friday, 23 December 2011

NOTD: Models Own Magenta Pearl with Accent Nail




Magenta Pearl is a beautiful pearlescent hot pink with lots of really fine iridescent shimmer. It’s opaque in two coats, and applies really well with no streaking. I wanted to make it a little more festive so I popped one coat of Deborah Lippmann’s Razzle Dazzle on to my ring finger.

Magenta Pearl is one of the best Models Own polishes I have tried and in my opinion it applies a lot better than the cream formulas.

You can find Models Own Magenta Pearl at Boots or on they’re website where it is priced at £5.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Cold Weather Essential: SilDerm Body Oil


I received the SilDerm Stretch Mark Massage Oil in my November Glossybox, and although it is aimed at pregnant women, I was really excited to try it out.

I normally forget to use moisturiser after I get out of the shower/bath but I have tried to make an effort this month to leave this near the tub so a can spray some on as while my skins still damp. Other than Bio Oil this is the first body oil I’ve tried, and as I didn’t get on with Bio Oil (it didn’t sink in, left me feeling greasy and my skin tacky) I wasn’t expecting to think much of this.

I also feel I should note that I like most women have a few stretch marks, but I don’t feel I have been using the oil long enough to judge whether it has helped them to fade (although it does contain Vitamin E which can help to reduce the appearance of scaring and stretchmarks) I will just be reviewing it on its moisturising properties.

SilDerm comes in a heavyweight glass bottle with a spray nozzle which makes targeted application easy and stops you using too much, it is quite heavily scented and is very herbal, so it may not be too everyone’s taste but I really love the smell! I try to apply while my skin is still damp and rub it in to my skin, concentating on the really dry areas; my elbows, knees etc. In addition too a new exfoliator that I’ll be reviewing soon, I feel like my skin is a lot smoother and softer since using this, and will definitely continue to use it.

I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks, and have barely used any product so I can see this bottle lasting me a long time, which is great considering it costs £34.95 for a 120ml bottle (you can also get a 30ml sample size for £9.99) and come next winter I can see myself repurchasing this.

You can find SilDerm on their website where you can also get a free sample.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

MUA Glamour Nights Palette


I finally managed to get my hands on MUA’s Glamour Nights Palette, and as usual with MUA Palettes it didn’t disappoint! If you’ve got a Christmas Party, Work Do or New Years Eve Bash to go to and want to wear something a bit bolder than a neutral or monochromatic smokey eye, you should consider picking this up.

The Glamour Days and Nights for me are the stand out products of the MUA line (perhaps along with the Heaven and Earth Palette) as they seem to have a very definitive theme, and the I can see myself using all of the colours. I can see the shades in this palette working brilliantly for a deep, sultry smokey eye with a pop of colour on the lid, and understated nude lips.

I find when I’m out for the night I hate having to worry about my lipstick (or gloss on the rare occasion I wear it) smudging or transferring onto my cocktail pint glass, so I’d much prefer to go all out on the eye make-up and keep the lips simple. This palette is perfect for that, and with a good range of mattes and shimmers, including also a matte and a shimmer highlight, I don’t find I have to reach for shadows outside the palette to complete the look.

All the shadows last brilliantly over a primer, and stay on until I take them off. Over all the same high quality that you can now expect from MUA, with some great colours that you don’t normally see on the highstreet.

MUA GLamour Nights Swatches

You can find MUA Glamour Nights at Superdrug or on MUA’s website where it retails at £4.

You might have noticed I’ve been absent on here and twitter for a few days and it’s because I been very preoccupied with this little sweetie…


Me and Nik adopted Jenny, an 8 year old Jack Russell on Sunday, and since then it has been very much like looking after a small child. I love her to bits and have been spending my free time walking her or letting her sleep on my lap! Now she’s settling in I will be back to cranking out some blog posts!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Breathing in the Snow Flakes


MAC Essentials: Copperplate Eyeshadow

MAC Copperplate


A lot of make-up junkies begin they’re addictions at MAC, and lets face it it’s hard not too. What other brand that’s as easily accessible offers you the range that MAC does? But like most brands they have some brilliant, must-have products and some duds. I’ve bought a lot of MAC in my time, and I have my fair share of bad MAC products. I’ll be doing these types of post every now and then, and hopefully MAC will seem a little less daunting!
MAC Copperplate is a Matte² Eyeshadow, that in the pan looks very unassuming. On the skin it is a beautiful grey taupe. The  Matte²  formula is smooth and a lot more blendable that the regular Matte formula. This is one of the products that reminds me why I love MAC, its simple but its a beautiful colour and formula that will work for a lot of people and situations.

It is a pretty versatile colour and I think it adds depth to both warmer and cooler shades, if I’m feeling a little lazy but still want to look polished I know I can reach for this and blend it into the crease for a defined, put together look.

I can see this shadow work for a lot of skintones, although at first look it looks like it would work better for cooler skin, but paired with a warm brown (I’m thinking Woodwinked) I think it could work well for those of you with a warmer skin.

Do you have any must have MAC items? Any items you’d like some advice on?

You can get MAC Copperplate instore and online where it will cost you £11.50/£9.50 for the Pro Pan.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Everyday Essentials: Urban Decay Primer Potion

Urban Decay Primer Potion


So when I was in Nottingham at the weekend I finally caved and repurchased a tube of Urban Decay Primer Potion. I’d been without it for a couple of weeks and couldn’t live without it anymore! And now they’ve finally listened to their customers and gotten rid of the awful genie bottle packaging, its a lot easier to use.

I’ve tried this and Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and I find UDPP a lot easier to work with, it has a drier texture so I don’t have to wait for it to set. They both work in terms of keeping my eyeshadow on all day (and all night if needs be) but I prefer the application of UDPP.

Urban Decay Primer Potion costs £14.50 and is available at Debenhams. It is also available in three other shades.

What’s In My Glossybox? December Edit





So I got my Glossybox yesterday, and I’m pretty pleased with what I got. Not so pleased that the cap to my shower gel had broken and it leaked leaving everything else sticky.

I love the fact that the box has gone all festive and is red this month, I much prefer the aesthetics of this to the over girly pastel pink. All the products I received are ones I will get a lot of use out of and I think I would definitely consider repurchasing some when they’re empty! From looking on Glossybox’s blog it looks like all the products options were great, and I’m sure a lot of people will be glad to get a break from perfume samples (although I quite like receiving these).

The first product I want to talk about is the Deborah Lippmann Nail Varnish in Razzle Dazzle (it also came with a Sachet of Nail Polish remover finger mitts) I have been dying to try a Deborah Lippmann polish since I first started spotting them on blogs, and I almost bought a couple from House of Fraser this weekend. They’re gorgeous polishes and offer some of the prettiest glitters around, but their price point is a bit steep, at £14 a bottle. Now I know there worth the price I’ll be taking a second look at some of their shades!



Rituals is another brand I’ve been interested to try, there’s actually a store where I live, but for some reason I’ve never been in there. The Foaming Shower Gel smells amazing, a lovely fresh floral.


The FAB cleanser is nice, great for sensitive skin, it had a bit of trouble removing my Benefit They’re Real mascara but I always double cleanse anyway so it removed all my make-up in the end. I love that it is chemical and SLS free, and it has a lovely creamy texture.


The mascara is from Nouveau Lashes, a brand I’ve not heard of before. I’m very happy with the mascara it lengthens my lashes nicely and volumises without clumping. I haven’t tested it properly for wear yet, but so far so good. The packaging is perfect as well  gorgeous matte black metal tube (which I have got my fingerprints on already).


I also received the Cargo lip gloss in Morocco, which looks really pretty on and isn’t sticky or gloopy. I don’t normally buy lip gloss so it was nice to get one to try.

So shower gel leakage aside, this months box was a good one and I’ll be keeping my subscription. Also some more exciting news I signed my boyfriend up to Glossybox for Men, and he also received his box yesterday, so he’ll be doing a Guest Post about it very soon!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wednesday’s Quick Pick: Soap and Glory Hocus Focus

Soap and GLory Hocus Focus


Hocus Focus was another of Soap and Glory’s products I’d heard a lot about and have been wanting to try for a while. It claims to be an ‘instant visual flaw-softening lotion’ I’d describe it as an opalescent, sheer highlighter.  It looks off-white at first, but when it’s blended and the light hits it, it reflects with seriously pretty gold and pink tones. It gives you a lovely glow without making you look like a disco ball, there’s no glitter in the product which is a big plus for me.

I can’t really comment on whether it softens lines as that isn’t really a concern of mine, it does brighten my skin and stop my skin looking dull and lacklustre. Mixed into foundation it looks beautiful and really lifts my complexion, it also hasn’t broke me out when used like this so it should suit most skin types.

If you are going to be having your photo taken, especially if there will be flash photography involved, you might want to stick to using this on the high points of you face (cheekbones, brow bone, down the nose etc) this will stop you being left with photos that make your face look a shade lighter.

This is a really great, universally flattering product, and because the base colour is so sheer it will look amazing on pretty much every skin tone, and with what ever other products you want to wear it with!

Soap and Glory’s Hocus Focus costs £13.00 and is available at Boots.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My Current Lush Favourites


I’m a fan of Lush most of the year, but their Christmas stuff make me fall in love with going in their and finding festive scented soaps and bath goodies. I also braved the boxing day sales last year just to go grab some Lush Christmas goodies at 50% off! This year I have found a few new favourites, but I’ll also be including some permanent items that I like to repurchase.

Magic Wand Bubble Bar (£4.95) This is a new product this year, and I’ll definitely be stocking up before Christmas time is over! I love the regular bubble bars, (which retail for about £2-£4) but this is great because you can reuse it!I’ve used mine at least ten times, and I still have a fair amount left. It also smells like the Snow Fairy shower gel.Great to keep you in festive, girly baths throughout the festive season!

Candy Cane Soap (£2.75/100g) This is the perfect scented soap for me, I love a mint hot chocolate when the weather turns cold, and this smells so gorgeously of mint, but it still smells creamy and indulgent. The scent of this soap manages to linger around after I leave the shower as well, and who doesn’t want to smell like a Candy Cane?

Solid Cleansers (£5.95/100g) I bought Lush’s Herbalism Solid Cleanser because my skin was driving me insane and wanted to try something new. I now use it everyday, as it exfoliates and cleanses my skin. It’s great at reducing shine and keeping spots at bay.

Lip Tints (£4.25- £4.75) I’ve had the Snow Fairy Lip Tint in my bag all week, and I love using it. It smells gorgeous, a although it looks very bright pink it gives lips a gorgeous ‘my lips but better look’. There’s plenty of shades and scents to suit everyone.

Solid Perfume (£4.50 - £10.00) I don’t love all of the scents available, but Vanillary is great for popping in your bag to top up throughout the day. I love warm, sweet, foodie smells and this is perfect for me. I use the solid version as I find it doesn’t have any alcohol type smell to it, which ruins a lot of scents for me.

So that’s my top five Lush products, I can see myself going back to Lush and having a little splurge soon. You might have noticed I’ve not been on here for a few days, I’ve had a busy weekend! Me and Nik went up to Nottingham for the weekend and stayed in the Park Plaza (gorgeous hotel) and did some Christmas shopping and cocktail drinking! I also had my work xmas do on Sunday which was great fun.

What are your favourite Lush products? Anything I should try?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Say So Long to Blackheads with Soap and Glory’s No Clogs Allowed Super Self Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask!

Soap and Glory No Clogs Allowed

Soap and Glory No Clogs  Allowed Box

I picked this up recently as the Soap and Glory facial skincare was on 3 for 2 at Boots and there were a few things I wanted to try but didn’t want to pay the full whack for. No Clogs Allowed Super Self Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask (try saying that in a hurry!) is something I was interested in as I’ve been trying to find something that would get rid of the dead skin (eww) that makes my skin look dull and break out. I’ve tried a fair few face scrubs and found them either too scratchy or completely useless. I’ve also tried not exfoliating, which really doesn’t work for my skin, my skin is really lazy and unless I make the effort to slough off those pesky dead skin cells, it just gets blocked up and then I get break-outs and blackheads.

When you squeeze out this face mask its a thick, white liquid with a grainy consistency, you are directed to apply all over the face (obviously avoiding the eye area) and scrub it in with wet fingers until it turns blue. You can then rinse it off straight away with the cellulose sponge provided, or leave it for up to fifteen minutes to really let it deep clean your skin.

The box also states that this contains ‘exfoliating acids’ and from the ingredients I’m assuming this refers to the Salicylic Acid, which in terms of getting rid of spots/blackheads is usually a great ingredient to look out for, and I’ve had a lot of success with it in the past.

I love the feeling of using this mask, you do feel it heating up, and the scrubbing action actually feels like it’s working, and doing something. When I rinsed it off, my skin felt a lot cleaner. and the blocked pores/blackheads I have on my nose, although they didn't vanish, they looked less prominent, and my skin felt much smoother.

I’ll definitely continue using this a few times a week and hopefully the good results will continue!

Well done if you made it all the way through that! I hope I didn’t ramble too much, but I think with skincare, it’s better to be thorough. I would also just like to say that I have oily but sensitive skin (and probably a bit dehydrated also) so although this has worked for me if you have very dry skin, for example, it may not work for you.

You can find Soap and Glory’s No Clogs Allowed Super Self Heating Deep Pore Detox Mask at Boots and costs £11.00

Sigma Brush Haul


Sigma Precision Kit

Sigma f50

When Sigma announced they were giving free shipping on all orders, I couldn’t resist getting in on the action.After doing a bit of research I settled on the Sigma Precision Kit and the F50.

I’ve never seen anything like the Precision Kit in the UK and retails for ($49.99 – GBP will depend on the current conversion rates) and it includes 4 synthetic duo fibre brushes; Sigma describes the brushes as;

P80 - Precision Flat The small, dense and flat top is ideal to conceal blemishes, sun spots and small imperfections on the skin. It can be used to stipple concealer on defined areas, followed by precise application of setting powder.

P82 - Precision Round The rounded top was designed to mimic your fingertips, making this brush ideal to apply eye shadow primers. It can also be used for the precise application of highlight shades on the bridge of the nose, cheek bones and cupid's bow.

P84 - Precision Angled The small angled top makes this brush perfect for precise contouring on the sides of the nose and contouring the hollows of the cheek bones. It can also be used to highlight the brow bone.

P86 - Precision Tapered The tapered shape of this brush is ideal for application of concealer under the eyes and on defined areas such as the sides of the nose, chin and around the mouth. This brush can also be used to perfectly apply concealer around the lips to prevent color bleeding.”

All the brushes are really soft, and dense (a lot denser than my MAC 187) and are perfect for blending concealer, primer or cream eyeshadows. I’ve tried them all out today, and loved the results. The P80 and P82 will be replacing my flat concealer brush (the P82 is perfect for blending concealer under the eyes, and gets in to the smallest areas brilliantly).

The F50 ($18.00) I will be using as a blush brush, I’ve not been happy with how my MAC 168 applies blush lately, and after a lot of reading decided a duo fibre would give me the sheer natural glow I was looking for. The F50 doesn’t disappoint, it gives a lovely wash of colour and allows you to slowly build up colour rather than have to try and blend out a too heavy application (looking like you Great Aunt Marge isn’t a hot look!)

I’m really happy with my brushes, and will definitely consider ordering from Sigma again, in fact I’ve already got my eye on the Synthetic Kabuki Kit….

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Puppy Dog Eyes


Glossybox November

Glossy Box


This isn’t going to be a massive post, as I’m sure you have already read a lot of Glossybox reviews for November. I’ve only just signed up, and I now subscribe to two beauty boxes: Glossybox and Carmine (see my post here) and I’ve also signed my boyfriend up to Glossybox for Men (he saw Murad on the possible brands and had an attack of excitement, bless).

I’ve read a lot of reviews of this particular Glossybox and I know a lot of people weren’t happy. I however, very impressed with what I received which was:

Arbonne Ultra Hydrating Hand Cream

Illamasqua Freak Eau De Parfum

Nail Rock Designer Nail Wraps

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Silderm Body Oil

If you want to see any reviews of the products, let me know, and I’ll write them up once I’ve tried them out properly.  This box has done what I expect from a beauty box, shown me some brands I’ve never heard of, and some products I wouldn’t consider buying without trying first.

I’ve also read a lot of peoples comments about perfume samples ‘not counting’, and that they can get them free at a department store. Well, my views on that are that I love receiving perfume samples, I’ve been wanting to try Freak for a while but I don’t have a counter near me, and don’t want to order it without having a sniff first! Also samples at a counter? I’ve never been able to get perfume samples at a counter, the only freebie samples I have  ever got were from publicity events in places like the White City Westfield. I never know where to start with fragrance and I’d rather have a few days worth to try that have to travel to a department store and spend ages spritzing those little bits of card.

Do you subscribe to Glossybox? What are your thoughts on the service?

Gareth Pugh for MAC (aka Packaging Porn)




Gareth Pugh for MAC

Gareth Pugh MAC Fervent

MAC Ferevent

My boyfriend saw me looking at this collection online and he was lovely enough to pick me up the lipstick in Fervent, a dark blue toned purple. The packaging is gorgeous, a heavy metal case that shuts with a very satisfying click. As usual with the Gareth Pugh collections, they hiked the priced up, and this lipstick costs £20.50. I wouldn’t have paid that myself, so I’m really happy my boyfriend picked this up for me!

Fervent is available at MAC stores and online.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas Gift Guides: Stocking Fillers

This has got be my favourite type of Christmas present to buy, I love buying people lots of little gifts! When buying beauty gifts, its important to stick to universal products/shades , nail varnishes, lipsticks fun products that whoever your buying for probably doesn’t consider a necessity. 

GIft Guide 1

1. Fashionista Magnetism Nail Lacquer: £6.00

2. Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie Housewarmer Jar : £7.25 - £18.00

3. Look Beauty Double Hit Lip: £7.00

4. Soap and Glory Glow Lotion: £5.11

6. Sleek Palettes:  £6.49

7. Lush Magic Wand Bubble Bar: £4.95

8. Look Beauty Nail Pops £5.00

China Glaze: Love Marilyn

China Glaze Love Marilyn

Now it’s close to Christmas, my new love for glitter nails is in full swing.  Love Marilyn is about as festive as it gets, a clear based full of red and silver glitter.