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August Beauty Roundup

August 26, 2015

Another month has passed and it’s now time for the usual beauty roundup- with all the nice things I’ve tried and bought.

Makeup Brush Scrubbing Tool – I found this through someone’s blog (I honestly forgot where) and thought I’d give it a go. Can’t go wrong for 99p, right? It’s a great tool for cleaning your makeup brushes, all you have to do is pull it over your fingers, drop some soap on it and rub the brush hair on it. A lot easier than doing it with your hands.

Topshop Gel Liner in Ink – I had never tried liquid liner before so gave this one a go. Keep in mind that you need to apply this with a small and thin brush. Easy to apply and no smudging, which is just what the doctor ordered.

Topshop Chameleon Glow in “Shuffle The Cards” Eyeshadow – I saw this one on the makeup stand and being the magpie that I am, I had to snag it. It was the first time I ever bought a Topshop eyeshadow, by the way. It’s got a lot of glittery particles, but it’s not too pigmented, so you can wear to the office without looking like a total drag queen. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that it doesn’t really work for the office. I used it over the Urban Decay primer and it held for almost all day and you can layer it on other colours for a more dramatic effect, if you do want to stand out a bit more. Doubles up as a facial highlighter.

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation (*) – As always, you will see me gushing over anything by Make Up Forever. The new 4K is the latest in their range of foundations, replacing an old formula. This foundation is easy to apply and provides extremely good coverage without appearing caked. With 40 different shades to choose from, it’s easy to find a perfect match. Finish it off with the Make Up Forever HD powder.

Unite 7 Seconds Condition (*) – Brought this sample back from my visit to Blo and no I don’t want anything else. It’s just the best hair detangler I’ve ever had the opportunity to try, especially as I dye my hair – it repairs hair and locks in colour, among other things. I think I’m going to invest in a full sized bottle.

Too Faced Melted Metal (*) – I have to say that I’d never tried this brand before, but I think I like it. The colour you see above is called Tutu and makes your lips look all pink with a nice shimmery finish. It also smells rather sweet, which I think is nice. I would think of this as an upgraded gloss.

Hugo Boss for Men (*) – I got it as a gift and although it’s a fragrance for men, I find it quite refreshing. As there is no Mr in my life, I shall wear it myself, thank you very much.


Batiste New Stylist Collection (*)- We already know Batiste makes great dry shampoo but they’ve decided to take it up a notch and come up with the new Stylist range. This range includes the Frizz Tamer and the Texturizing Spray you see on the photo above. The Frizz Tamer has been invaluable over the last few days of rain (who knew it was still the Summer, right?) to help keeping my silly hair in check. For tips and ideas on how to use the products to their full potential, check out Batiste’s youtube channel.

CK One Perfume – What can I say about CK One? I walked into Superdrug one day, looking for my usual shampoos and ended up coming out with the shampoos and a bottle of CK One, that cost me only £20. They have amazing promotions every now and then, and for some reason I thought I’d buy this one as I’ve used if when I was in uni. Proust’s madeleine and all that, I guess.

Unite U Oil (*) – another little sample I brought back from Blo. A luxury argan oil that leaves your hair feeling soft and despite having silicones mixed in with a very high percentage of argan oil, it’s still fairly light. It also helps cut down on the blow dry time, so it’s especially useful on those days when you just have to fly out the door but still need to wash your hair. Instant moisture and shine in a small bottle!

Have you tried any of these? Any pressing recommendations?

Items marked (*) have been received as samples.


June Beauty Roundup

July 27, 2015

That time of the month has finally arrived, and I don’t mean THAT time of the month. I mean the time to share and talk about the beauty products I have tried and added to my beauty regime this month.

Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (*) – Definitely one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried. The wand is shaped like a a cone (it looks like a tiny Christmas tree) and is perfect for applying the product from the inner to the outer lashes effectively. The mascara product is quite liquid but thick at the same time and a single application is generous enough to make your eyelashes pop out like you’ve put on some fakes. I’d definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to try a new type of mascara.

Nail polish additions – I can’t resist a nail polish bottle. It’s a real problem for me, I admit it. We have been through this before but in case you missed it last month, here is a photo of the extension of my problem. These cute Nails Inc bottles have been the latest additions to my collection and I found them in TK Maxx. TK Maxx is great for a bargain and the beauty products on offer are no exception.

ARTDECO (*) – I have to admit that I didn’t know this brand existed until I was sent an email offering a couple of samples to try. With a name like that, I was sold immediately, as I love anything Art Deco! My ignorance of the brand is due to the fact that only now they are launching in the UK, despite going for 3o years already in Germany! For this reason, Art Deco are offering a 30% discount on all sales from the website on their most emblematic products. You can find them not only on the website but also at Debenhams. I have tried the Ultra Quick Dry Top Coat (seeing that I love my nail polish, this is great) and the High Precision Liquid Liner (great for my and both work really well

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Beauty – Liquid Collagen – does it really work?

July 13, 2015

You may remember that I had already tried a collagen supplement for a few months, aimed at improving the condition of hair and nails. The reality is, there are loads of different collagen supplements and treatments in the market these days and the majority will be designed to help alleviate the ageing process. You can find them in capsules or as a drinkable liquid and this is what I tried for a whole month this time. Do you want to know if it worked?

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June Beauty Roundup

June 20, 2015
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Every now and then I do a beauty roundup and as I’ve added quite a few new things to my beauty regime, an overview is now due. On my last trip abroad to Berlin, I had to exercise a great amount of self control to not go and spend too much money on makeup at the airport, as I realise I probably have enough products to last me a long time, but there’s always a few things you end up picking up here and there…

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel – Being the idiot that actually forgot to bring nail polish with me on my trip, I headed to Boots to get me some. This is rich, seeing the obscene number of bottles I already have. I didn’t want to walk around with bare nails the whole time so I had to bite the bullet and try to find a colour I didn’t yet have. This was a difficult exercise, because as you can see, I have plenty. I ended up settling on Wintermint (colour 040), whose shimmery mint with aqua glitter made me feel like I had mermaid nails. The selling point of this nail polish is that it has a light fragrance once it dries. I paired it with Revlon® Nail Care Quick Dry Base Coat and Revlon® Quick Dry Top Coat and it lasted me for around 5 days before it started chipping, so I would call it a great success. There was a promotion running and I ended up getting 3 for 2 in the end, which worked out really well.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – I have a problem when buying makeup: I’m a total magpie and always get attracted to colourful and glittery palettes, which means that I buy them and then realise I wasted my money because apart from the drag queen parties with some of my friends, when can I get to wear them? With this in mind I decided it was time to invest in a more natural looking palette, that I could make the most of in my day to day life. The Urban Decay Naked palettes are just this – designed to be worn every day, with most of colours being quite subtle yet pretty, with a couple of darker shades thrown in for a more dramatic look when necessary. I didn’t have a particular reason for picking the number 3, as I couldn’t decide so the really nice lady at the Urban Decay counter at Debenhams kind of made the decision for me. I already tried  a few of the colours and I have to say that I’m quite satisfied with the results. The colours are pretty and give you that subtle polished look which is so important in a professional environment. The pigment payoff is pretty decent and it comes with a double edged brush that’s actually pretty decent, compared to some of the eyeshadow applicators that come free with some makeup. I’m totally hooked and now I’d like to get all the other Naked palettes!

Make Up Forever HD Powder* – This is a real must have, in my opinion! As you may remember, a few weeks ago I stopped by at the Make Up Forever launch party here in London. That was when I first tried on their HD Powder and got completely hooked. Thankfully it was one of the products included in the goodie bag we got, but seriously, it didn’t really matter because even if it wasn’t, I’d be buying it anyway. As a woman in my late 30’s, anything that helps improve the appearance of my skin is something I’ll happily be handing my money over for and this is one of such products. It mattifies and softens the skin making it look smoother and more even look. Apply it over the rest of your makeup for best results, with a wide brush.

Iluminage TOUCH elos Permanent Hair Removal / Reduction System * – Last week I attended the launch party for this new IPL hair removal system that seems quite exciting. Having removed my upper lip hair via expensive laser treatments and having had a home IPL system before that worked but was too time consuming, this comes as an interesting alternative. The Illuminage system is different in a lot of aspects: unlike other IPL machines, it can be safely used on dark skin and it is effective on lighter hair. It’s not painful and promises results after 6 weekly applications. I haven’t started using it yet, due to lack of time but as soon as I have an update, I will keep you all posted.

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Maybelline Superstay 24 Dual Ended Lipstick Red Passion – I was looking for a long lasting red lipstick, as I had to attend a wedding a few weeks back and despite not really needing new lipstick, I thought that a long lasting lip colour would be good to have to wear on such an event. I went to Superdrug and snagged these two colours by Maybelline, that are easy to apply – you apply the colour from one end and then top up with the creamy transparent stick from the other end. This is because being a long lasting colour, it can be a little bit drying. To be honest, this is not the longest lasting 24 hr lipstick I’ve ever had but the colours are gorgeous. I also find that for some reason, the lighter red has a lower pigmentation and seems to last for less time.

Nair Argan Oil Shower Power Cream * – While I don’t manage to have my hair removed in a more long lasting way, there is always a need to get rid of it. I usually shave my legs but lately it hasn’t been the best of experiences, making my skin irritated and giving me razor burns. Sometimes it seems like someone butchered my legs, such is the extent of the cuts. The opportunity to try out the Nair Shower Power cream came just in time, as I was looking for a less aggressive alternative. It is easy to use, just spread it on your legs, underarm or bikini line, leave for 10 minutes max, hop in the shower and scrape it off with the spatula. It works like a dream and the argan oil formula leaves the skin feeling smooth and pampered.

InstaNatural Scar Gel Cream – For Old & New Scars * – This is a product that has been designed to help minimise the appearance of scars. Claims to be better than scar oils, which have somewhat recently become quite popular. I have been applying it to some minor scars I have from a laparoscopy I had a couple of years ago and it’s been helping with the appearance a little.
The texture of the gel is actually more on the liquid side and despite having a brownish colour, it’s not noticeable on your skin after application. It’s easy to spread and quickly absorbed by the skin.
If you are concerned about the type of ingredients on your beauty products and are looking to use something natural, than this is the one to use, as it’s based on natural ingredients such as sea kelp and green tea. The only turn off for me has been the scent. Even though it’s not an unpleasant smell, it’s a very active sweet smell that lingers for a while. If you are putting on perfume as well, it might be a bit confusing for the nostrils. Apply twice a day for best results.

Pure Gold Collagen* – Having tried other collagen products before in tablet form, I have now been given the opportunity to try the liquid treatment. I have been sent a 30 day programme of Pure Gold Collagen and I have started it a week ago. My skin has been a bit dull and with a tendency to get blocked pores and a few zits and my nails kind of falling apart, nail wraps are great but can destroy the nail’s top layers. I am hoping that by the end of the treatment, my skin looks glowing and my nails stronger.

Ella Henderson’s Limited Edition Batiste Dry Shampoo * – Batiste’s dry shampoo is of undisputed quality and is definitely a leader in this market, to the point that my sister, recently visiting from Portugal, bought a few to take back home, as unfortunately it’s not yet sold there, but is already a well known brand! (hint hint, maybe Batiste should be made available there too?). This time they have partnered up with Ella Henderson of X Factor fame, to make a special edition dry shampoo, that promises to freshen up your locks and leave you feeling like a star.

Note: Items marked with * have been received as samples.


Laser Hair Removal – does it actually work?

April 10, 2015

“Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature,” she writes. “With a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin, Denis Healey eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly nails like a Struwwelpeter …”

– Bridget Jones Diary

Hair. That thing that you tend to get annoyed with when it grows in other places other than your head and a few other selected places.

Despite a few women these days now foregoing hair removal in favour of a more natural look, the majority still worries about out-of-place hair, myself included. I am aware that the desire for smooth skin surfaces on women is a social construct but somehow I can’t avoid preferring a groomed look.

When it comes to hair removal, I must have tried most techniques available in the market: plucking, bleaching, shaving, waxing, IPLing and all sorts of hair removal machines, that have felt more like torture devices than anything else.

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