Saturday, 30 April 2011

MAC Haul - Quite Cute Collection

The sun was shining the other day and I found myself strolling down the Kings Rd in the direction of MAC. I've been wanted to get down there for sometime now as I have been eyeing up the Quite Cute collection ever since it came out. I don't think there could be a collection more suited to the things I like and I wanted EVERYTHING!

My little haul...

So, although I know the next collection is pretty much upon us, you'll have to excuse me whilst I take a slight pause on this one.

The Plushglasses

The Mac Quite Cute Collection introduces four new limited edition colors of Plushglass. The four shades are:

        • Bubble Tea  - a creamy pale nude,
        • Fashion Fanatic -a creamy pale pink
        • Girl Love Boy- a bright light blue pink
        • I Love U - a creamy mid-tone purple

I couldn't decide for ages but eventually I settled on I Love U which, when worn alone on the lips, looks like this:

These Plushglasses are lip plumpers and in the one I bought, there is definitely a good amount of whatever it is that makes your lips tingle! It isn't an unpleasant sensation but be warned if it's not your thing. The colour is a semi-sheer, pink-tinged lilac with soft white micro-shimmer - a bit milky but doesn't sit too badly on the lips if you don't put too much on!

The formulation of these also makes them good - no stickiness anywhere. 

MAC Cutie Eyeshadow Quad

  • Azuki Bean - mid-tone dirty violet (frost) 
  • Boycrazy - pale lavender with silver pearl (lustre)
  • Goody Goody Gum Drop - light white pink (satin)
  • Moshi Moshi! - pale white green gold (frost)

    I had read some mixed reviews on this quad yet still decided to buy it. I don't think you can have too many purple shadows and to be honest, once I saw Azuki Bean, I was sold. It is the most pigmented - not surprising as it is the darkest colour, but it also has a beautiful frosty finish. I do have a slight problem with Moshi Moshi - it is incredibly chalky. The pigmentation of some of the other colours are also on the poor side. Having said that, I don't regret buying it. With a good eyeshadow primer, they can be built up to create a rather pretty, pastel look for spring. Heavy duty? No, but I don't think that is what this quad was made for.


    • Play Time - creamy intense violet (cremesheen)
    I immediately gravitated towards this colour when I saw it - such a pretty colour... It is a lot more wearable than I initially expected and I have had it on since I got it!

    Mineralize Blush
    • Sakura Mineralize Blush - Lavender with pearly magenta heart. 

    This looks almost edible - like a big sweetie Nom nom nom!! The colours are beautiful and luckily, the heart is not an over spray. When swirled together, they create a muted, medium magenta pink with a soft frost finish and cool undertones. It is a little on the powdery side, but nothing I haven't seen before and nothing I can't live with. I think the colour pay-off is totally worth it. 

    I hope you enjoyed this post. Did you get anything from MAC's Quite Cute collection? What did you make of it? 

    Ciao for now x

    Tuesday, 26 April 2011

    Secret 1: Magic Make-up Remover (Sssshh!)

    There are a few products in my possession which I couldn't live my life without. They're not uber expensive, not particularly mainstream and in the majority of cases, I have discovered them by accident. It is only then that I have come to realise that I am on to a really good thing.

    As treasured readers of my blog, I thought, over the coming weeks, I would share with you some of these secret staples.

    The first and possibly my favourite, is Lid-Care - something I use as a make-up remover. I discovered this after an eye infection. My eyes were left really gritty and when I woke up in the morning they were always full of goop and lots of crusty sand. Gross I know, but not an uncommon problem. So, one afternoon I was picking up my Caudalie face products at one of the local pharmacies when I spotted  Lid-Care alongside the contact lens solutions.

    On the box it was talking about 'daily hygine' for your eyelids. Well, to be perfectly honest, apart from removing my make-up, I couldn't say I'd ever thought about washing my eyelids plus they always seemed to get terribly irritated. Anyway, I thought it was worth giving it a go.

    Here's what else it said on the box:
    • Removes crusting from around the eyelids
    • pH-Adjusted, oil free
    • Contains no potentially irritating perfumes or dyes
    • Ready to use, do not dilute

    Inside there are 100 cleaning pads & a 100ml bottle of sterile cleanser. 

    The consistency is like water - in fact, if you didn't know better you would think it was water. The idea is that you use two gauze like pads (one for each eye) and wet them with the solution. Once wet, you fold the pad over and rub the sides together to create a bit of a foam - then off you go! No manic rubbing needed, nor a whole packet of pads. 
    I have used high end products, such as MAC's 'Gently Off,' Lancome's 'Bi-Facil Double-Action' and Estee Lauder's 'Take it Away,' but nothing has compared to Lid-Care. It's just so easy to use and most importantly it manages to remove the toughest of all make-up - my waterproof mascaras, my Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner and all my creaseless creams. It's such a refreshing change from other brands that either leave your eyes excessively oily/ irritated or that simply leave you with hideous panda eyes. I seriously wouldn't use anything else now.

    There are also boxes of premoistened pads which, although less economical, are perfect for travelling and for handbag emergencies.

    You can buy Lid-Care online HERE £4.25 for either boxes. Bargain!

    So there you are. Secret number 1... really worth a try...

    Let me know in the comments below what you think of it and don't forget to follow if you aren't already!

    Ciao for now x

    Saturday, 23 April 2011

    Eyebrow Threading Review

    Yesterday I had my eyebrows threaded. For the first time. What?! I hear you cry - it is 2011 and everyone (including their grannies) has been doing it for years now. You can't go anywhere without tripping over a 'brow bar' - in the middle of shopping centers, department stores and even some street corners.
    I've always had a thing about my eyebrows. Whatever I do they just don't look quite right. It's not for want of trying - believe me my brows have undergone the most rigorous of changes. They have been bushy/plucked/waxed/dyed/drawn in and finally just left to settle in some kind of unsatisfactory state. So when threading came into the arena I thought I was a lost cause which was rather stupid of me given that as a make up artist I know that a well-groomed brow really does shape and frame the face.

    BEFORE: Oh Dear!
    So I decided it was now time to take the bull by the horns once again. 

    The Shavata Brow Bar I visited is inside House of Fraser in Victoria SW1. I was keen to try this particular place because of Shavata herself - the renowned threader to the stars. She has worked in the industry for over 20 years and the brow bars are an extension of her philosophy to give clients a 'mini face lift.'
    Once I arrived, I relayed my predicament to Poona, the therapist who was assessing the damage. I felt in very safe hands as Poona's brows were immaculate and lets be fair, mine couldn't really get any worse. She immediately told me that there were bits that I needed to let grow (places I'd been over-zealous with the tweezers) but that it wouldn't be that long before my brows would look how I'd always dreamed. Apparently, they weren't weird or malformed afterall. 

    The threading itself was relatively painless, basically just like a little pinching sensation and as the whole process took less than fifteen minutes, it was nothing I couldn't live with. The end result was astonishing! My eyebrows were neat, tidy and incredibly I had an arch. I have never had an arch.

    After my Shavata threading experience...

    So all in all, I am delighted with the outcome of my threading experience. It has taken 27 years but I think I'm finally happy with the way my eyebrows look.

    Showing my natural curls and my new eyebrows...

    There’s a whole line of Shavata brow grooming products which you can buy HERE. I bought the brow tamer for £14.50 which is absolutely genius.

    There are Shavata Brow Studios Manchester, Belfast, Leeds, Reading, Edinburgh, Harrods & House of Fraser in London Richmond, EC4, SW1, W1C.

    Hope you enjoyed this post. Comment below if you have your brows threaded or are yet to try it...and don't forget to follow if you aren't already!

    Ciao for now x

    Friday, 15 April 2011

    Super Quick Makeup!

    This is a very quick post to show you a makeup look I did a few days ago which I captured (rather badly) on my iphone.

    I was really late getting up and out the house, so instead of panicking and scrabbling around, I thought I would gain composure and show you that in actual fact, you don't need bags of time to create a nicely done makeup look. In total this took me about ten minutes to complete.

    I find the trick to doing makeup quickly but well, is not to do anything overly ambitious. I stick with products I can rely on and ones that I am competent using. This makes all the difference. I don't want to be fiddling around with eyeshadows that have mega fall-out or liquid eyeliner that I blatantly haven't got the hang of using yet. I stick with my staples; perhaps do things I wouldn't normally if I had more time (i.e. loose the brushes and apply with my fingers) and generally go for something very simplistic (no winged eyeliner today folks!).

    In this instance here is a list of the products I used:
    • Tinted Moisturiser: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser spf 20 (nude). When I am really short of time I usually pick my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser for the simple reason I feel I can apply it more freely than my foundation. I leave out primer on days like these and apply this product straight onto my face with my hands.
    • Highlighter & Eye shadow primer: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat - this is great to use as an eyeshadow primer as well as a highlighter when in a rush.
    • Powder: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish (medium).
    • Blusher: Stila Cheek Colour in Bud.
    • Eye brow pencil: MAC's in Stud.
    • Eye Shadow: Benefit's Creaseless Cream in Skinny Jeans. I can apply this with my fingers so no faffing with brushes. I build up the product on the lid to create a heavier, more dense colour then blend out towards the brow bone for a more sheer finish. 
    • Eye Liner: MAC Smoulder - a soft pencil that is just so easy to use - a real staple product for me.
    • Mascara: MAC Falsh Lashes.
    • Lipstick:Max Factor Lipfinity Lip Tint & MAC Plumful - For me, a strong lip colour is an easy way to create a 'madeup' look in very little time.   
    So there you are. Super quick makeup! I'd love to hear what you think. Feel free to write your comments below. And don't forget to sign up to follow ;)

    Ciao for now x

    Wednesday, 13 April 2011

    SNOG - tastic!

    There's nothing quite like having a massive SNOG - utterly satisfying on so many levels. Luckily, the kind I'm talking about doesn't require a man or anyone else for that matter, it is a purely self-satisfying treat.

    Yes, there is quite a big place in my heart for SNOG frozen yogurt and I thought I would share with you the reasons why.

    Blueberry & Natural Snog with no toppings...

    Yummy scrummy!

    There are currently four flavours (but they often add seasonal specials like Spiced Apple or Passion Fruit): Natural, Green Tea, Blueberry and Chocolate -

    Whichever flavour you go for, the froyo is so smooth and refreshing and you're safe in the knowledge that there is no sugar/no fat and no other nasty ingredients in them. Yipppeee! 

    So the idea is that you decide what flavour you'd like (I can never decide so I get a mix of two usually natural and whatever takes my fancy on that particular day) and then you look at the toppings bar. Now the toppings bar is something else. There is such an array of treats! All the different fruits you can think of from pomegranate seeds to bananas are available, as are nuts, seeds and other healthy delights. But don't worry if you fancy something a little more indulgent. There are 'naughty SNOGS' such as mini Oreo's, white & milk chocolate cookies, gluten free brownies, chocolate stars etc. Hehe!
    Some nice person keen to get their mitts on their Oreo, cookie & strawberry SNOG

    It isn't just the fact that they taste amazingly awesome, oh no, these babies have an array of health benefits too:

    • No fat
    • No artificial sweeteners (instead SNOG frozen yogurt is sweetened with organic agave nectar)
    • Low calorie content
    • Low glycemic index (GI)
    • No artificial colouring
    • High in protein and calcium
    • Live and active probiobic cultures  

    On top of all that, each of the different flavours can offer their own health benefits too:

    • Green tea - perfect for an instant antioxidant hit.(Bonus SNOG uses the finest Japanese Matcha tea!)
    • Chocolate - believed to release the happy hormone, serotonin and contains lots of alkaloids. 
    • Blueberry - contains all the vitamins and dietary fibre that you would associate with this super berry.
    • Natural - all those pre and pro biotics!
    (Note: That's just the frozen yogurt...if you choose to have a couple of fruit toppings, think of all the extra vitamins you'll be getting!)

    And that's why I love having a SNOG.

    Uber Healthy SNOG!
    The shops themselves are pretty out there.The floor is lino with green grass printed on it, the ceiling is a soothing sky blue colour and there are little lights that hang down like clouds...

    Unfortunately, there are only a few SNOG shops around - all in London bar one. I shall list the locations below:
    • South Kensington
    • Westfield Shopping Centre
    • Soho
    • Kings Rd, Chelsea
    • Covent Garden
    • Dubai
    No where near you? Don't despair! You don't think I'd tantalise your taste buds like that without coming up with a plan B did you? The folks at SNOG have just released a new book.

    To be truthful, I have never been so excited by the release of a cookery/baking book before and luckily it hasn't disappointed. There are recipes for the frozen yogurts themselves and although they don't taste exactly the same as the shop ones (due to the manufacturing methods) they are still absolutely delicious. Other recipes include gluten free brownies, an amazing nutty creamy pudding thing and some awesome fruit concoctions. All uber healthy. (They even tell you on each page what's so good about each particular ingredient!)

    The book is available from amazon for £9.32

    Anyway, I really hope you've enjoyed this post. Don't forget to sign up to follow...

    Ciao for now x

    P.S. Look out for this!

    Wednesday, 6 April 2011

    Outfit of the Day

    The sun was shining in London today, so out came a dress.

    • Dress: Zara
    • Shoes: Dune 
    • Necklace: Vintage

    Lime Crime - Airbourne Unicorn


    Although I used fairly dark eyeshadow colours in my crease, the overall makeup doesn't loose all it's  playfulness, probably because I used my go-to lipstick shade - Liliac! Here's what I used to create the look:

    • Primer: MAC Prep & Prime
    • Foundation: MAC Pro Longwear SPF 10 (shade NW10)
    • Concealor: Benefit Boi-ing (02)
    • Powder: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish (medium)
    • Bronzer: NARS Laguna
    • Eye brow pencil: MAC's (stud)
    • Eyebrow set: Boots No.7
    • Blusher: MAC Breath of Plum
    • Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion
    • Eye Shadow: MAC Crystal, Digit, Scene & Knight Divine. 
    • Highlighter: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat
    • Eye Liner: MAC Smoulder 
    • Mascara: MAC Falsh Lashes
    • Lips: Barry M Lip Paint 129 / Lime Crime Airbourne Unicorn (I changed throughout the day)

    Let me know if you'd like to see make-up tutorials on here... oh and do sign up to follow me if you've enjoyed reading this. It's really easy. Just press the 'follow' button on the right hand side of the screen!

    Ciao for now x

    Monday, 4 April 2011

    My March Favourites...(better late than never)

    All in all March has been a busy old month for me. So much has been going on work wise and as well as that, I have been struggling with a beastly cold. At times I really have felt 'oh woe! Woe is me!' Anyway, its not all bad. I've had some excellent products to help get me through the past four weeks and I'm quite excited to show you what they are. 

    My Les Tai Tai mirror has been a real saviour this month. I know they've been around on the scene a little while now as the mirror to own, but I have really appreciated why in the last few weeks! The beastly cold has caused much sneezing and all that goes with it - redness and dry patches etc. so being able to slip out a cute mirror from my bag to check on the state of things has been such a blessing.

    Apart from the awesome designs (and there are many...) there are two other things which make these compact mirrors indispensable. Firstly, they each have eight embedded LED lights (arranged to emulate a backstage makeup mirror) which light up when you push the button on the side - fantastic when you're desperately trying to put your lipstick on in the dark. Secondly, one side is magnified 2X - I just like to be able to sneakily pull out a stray eyebrow hair if I see one lurking. (Eww is that wrong?! It suddenly sounds so wrong!)

    I picked this up at the very beginning of the month and I have have hardly taken it off since. It's so soft and seems to go with absolutely everything in my wardrobe. I particularly love the slightly puffed sleeves - brings a little femininity into my rock chick look.

    This body scrub is an absolute staple in my shower. I start to have palpitations if the tube is nearly empty and there isn't a replacement ready. Seriously, I am not joking on this one. Nothing else makes my skin feel quite so alive and invigorated as this does. I use it every morning without fail and my routine goes something like this:

    1. Alarm goes off  - I don't move. 
    2. Alarm goes off again - I still don't move. 
    3. Eventually roll body into shower. 
    4. Squeeze a good amount of Liz Earle Energising Scrub onto my big body puff.
    5. Inhale all the amazing smells that are packed into this product (including damask rose water and sweet orange)
    6. Massage in circular movements all over body (paying special attention to thigh area!) - product lathers up nicely whilst the ground olive stones slough away any dead skin cells. 
    7. Feel the cooling, tingling effect on skin. Breeeeathe. 
    8. Leave shower awake, refreshed and so, so smooth. 

    Although it looks seriously dark in the tube, NARS Nana is actually pretty sheer on the lip. I feel very sophisticated when I'm wearing it and want to blow kisses at everyone I meet! (hmm perhaps not)
    As with most NARS lipgloss' the formulation is good - not too sticky and lasts a decent amount of time. A total win in my book.  

    Okay, so you've got the idea that I've been ill. This little bottle of goodness is what helped me get better, so I thought I would share it with you. Here's what the experts say:

    "Bio-Strath® is a balanced formula derived from the active principles of live herbal yeast which has been treated by a unique biological process producing a herbal yeast complex rich in vital nutrients.
    For many days, live active Saccharomyces Cerevisiae yeast is cultivated on the following wild herbs: angelica, balm, basil, caraway, chamomile, cinnamon, elder, fennel, horseradish, hyssop, lavender, liquorice, parsley, peppermint, sage and thyme.
    By the special process of plasmolysis by fermentation, without the use of heat or chemicals, the herbal yeast cells are burst open releasing their valuable nutritionally vital substances.

    Fatigue and tiredness can affect our daily lives and symptoms may include poor concentration, lack of physical or mental performance and feeling weary.
    Bio-Strath specifically strengthens resistance, accelerates health, speeding up the recovery time from colds, flu and other similar illnesses and strengthening your immune system."

    I have found this tonic a real pick-me-up. So if you feel like you're dying then it might be worth a shot. 

    I can't believe that a product that costs as little as this one, can be as good, if not better, than some of its higher end competitors. Yet it is. I have to admit that I haven't had a great deal to do with Collection 2000, but I am really impressed with this felt tip liner, and I have been using it the whole of March. It is so unbelievably easy to use, it hasn't yet shown any signs of drying out and it so inexpensive that I have two - one for my handbag and one for my makeup box. Only one quibble though, (well nothings perfect is it?!) it doesn't last 24 hours as it claims. But I'm not sure I'd want it to - who wants to go to bed with eyeliner on? Not me! 

    That's it for my monthly favourites, bit of a random collection of things I know, but I hope you all found something of interest. Please do follow me if you have enjoyed what you've read and feel free to comment!

    Ciao for now xxx