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Emergency Makeup!

December 8, 2015

Somewhat recently I had an impromptu stay over at my boyfriend’s and I didn’t have the chance to pack an overnight bag… Fail! that meant I had to run out and buy not only an emergency outfit but also emergency makeup. That’s when I decided I should have a spare makeup bag at his… no point dragging makeup across town every weekend, right?

So I have been slowly been building up a spare set of beauty products at his, with the basics, so I never get caught out in this predicament ever again. These are a few things I have purchased in case of emergency and a few other bits and bobs:


I ran to Superdrug down the road and stacked up on a few basics:

Superdrug Hairspray Extra Firm 75ml (£0.89) – I don’t really like the smell of this one, but it works and luckily it doesn’t last for long. I use it usually to keep the flyaways stuck to my head. I also got a small bottle, so it can fit snuggly in the makeup bag, along with all the other products I’m now stashing away in his bathroom.

I also took advantage of the 3 for 2 promotion and got me some Barry M products – I like Barry M products in general as they are inexpensive and do their job. I picked up some Barry M Eye Define Liquid Eyeliner (£4.79) in black, Barry M Lash Vegas Mascara Black (£6.49) and a Barry M Cream Blush Peach Melba blusher (£4.49). The eyeliner is good and the brush allows for a precise application. The wand on the mascara isn’t all that great (I got used to the Makeup Forever one, that I really like) but the product is decent and does its job with competence. The blusher is OK and it was really the first time I have used cream blusher more than once in a blue moon. I’m not yet sure if I like it, though. I think I still prefer to apply it with a brush, I think I have better control over what I am doing that way.

I have also been using two great Dermalogica products: Sheer Tint SPF20 (£34.80) and Clear Start (£16.15). When it comes to skincare it’s always good use good products as there is no use scrimping on those.

The Sheer Tint (*) shouldn’t be confused with a BB Cream – it’s a lot more lightweight than that. It’s a moisturiser with SPF20 and a very light colour, that won’t cover imperfections entirely but will make it slightly more uniform, maintaining a very natural look, which I like, for a day-to-day look. Very easy to apply and as it has an oil-free formula, it doesn’t feel sticky on your face either. Lord knows I have enough oil as it is!

The Clear Start™ Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion (*) is also a hydrating product but I like to wear it on those days that I’ll just stay at home, lounging around in my pyjamas. It’s like a smoothie to your skin – with all the good minerals your skin needs to feel good. Although it’s directed to teens and young adults, as my skin tends to be oily (I’ve said that already, haven’t I?) I find it rather comfortable as it makes it feel a lot “dryer”.

As we are talking about a set of basic products, a nude and versatile set of eyeshadow is also necessary. The Catrice Chocolate Nudes Eyeshadow Palette was a gift from my friend Sandrine and I’ve been wearing it all the time – the tones are rich, some of them matte and others with some shimmer – with a good pigment payoff that’s easy to blend. I also find that it’s long lasting when worn over a primer. As I’m not that gifted as a makeup artist (I never really practised enough), I ind that with this colour collection I get decent looking results!

Another thing I had to get was the Superdrug Nail Polish Remover Acetone Pot, as there is something worse than being seen without nail polish – and that’s being seen with nail polish that’s coming off. It does its job properly and saves me from feeling self-conscious.

These are my emergency products – what are yours?

PS: Products marked with (*) have been gifted by the brand. Words and opinions are my own.


What are you doing for Halloween?

October 30, 2015
PicMonkey Collage

What do you do when you’re kind of useless at makeup? You ask a friend to share her amazing tutorials on your blog, of course. That is what I did and was delighted to hear that Sara from Mermade was happy for me to share her amazing makeup looks here at Hello The Mushroom.

Sara is a very talented makeup artist and master brow sculptor that I remember seeing playing around with makeup since Livejournal times. Sara is inspired by a lot of things that say a lot to me as well: drag queens, Japanese culture, and a lot of other fun and quirky stuff. She has become a specialist and a professional and I feel very proud to be able to share her work with you. If this doesn’t inspire you to look your best on Halloween, I don’t know what will!

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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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June Beauty Roundup

June 20, 2015
beauty 02 copy

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.

beauty 01 copy

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.