Saturday, 30 July 2011

Sleek MakeUp Pout Paint

Hey Ladies,

I'm sure you've heard about Sleek MakeUp's new offering in the lip department & I thought I'd tell you my thoughts on them as well as some swatches & mixes I made! I am too bloody good to you sometimes I swear!!

Image totally Stolen from Sabrina at A Little Obsessed
Cloud 9, Peek-A-Bloo, Mauve Over, Peachy Keen, Pin Up

My Mixes
The new Pout Paints are due to be released next month they are intensively pigmented lip paints, they will cost £4.99 and are available in 11 shades from the bright pink all the way to every day natural shades which leave your lips with a satin finish.

Firstly they are a great texture, nice and thick so not messy at all, you do need to apply them with a lip brush but if you want a less opaque effect you can apply a lip balm to your lips first and then rub a tiny bit of your chosen shade in with your finger it will be less intense and doesn't require the brush so if you want one for everyday use it is a more practical way of using them. They are long lasting and the shade range is great and the fact that they're easy to mix means you only need a couple and you can create something from say a bright pink to baby pink (using the pink one & white one just in case you didn't guess)

They have been compared to Obsessive Compulsive Cometic's Lip Tars and rightly so, highly pigmented lipsticks in liquid form that are designed to be mixed in order to create custom shades. In terms of how they rate against Lip Tars it's tough, they are easier to apply as they are thicker in consistency, I do however prefer the minty taste of the Lip Tars compared to the orangey pout paints, in terms of shade range the more established Lip Tars are ahead of the game & their shades are amazing really, their brights are just neon bright whereas the Pout Paints whilst very nice are more muted in comparison and similar to other regular lipstick shades that are available whereas some of the Lip Tars are completely unique (Anime I'm talking to you). Obviously in terms of price and availability the Pout Paints win hands down, £4.99 is an amazing price and will be available nationwide if you pop into Superdrug.

Now my thoughts on these type of products in the mass market is do we need them? Yes mixing our own shades is a nice idea but how many people could actually be bothered & 'regular' shoppers who wouldn't even have heard of these type of products or the concept of mixing their own shades will see the blue shade & run a mile, will they actually work? I don't know, they are useful for makeup artists but I know I'm to lazy for lip brushes and mixing pots. One of my mixes, the one on the far right (the lightest pink) is the exact same shade as Mac Chatterbox, so how original can you be?

Nice idea & I will definitely have a look at the other more wearable shades but I know I won't have many mixing nights because I'm one of those people who will mix the perfect lip shade & then never be able to create again & get rather mad! Oh & some shades stain like a mofo, but so do my Lip Tars!

I do suggest you go and try them as they are really good despite me not quite seeing the point of them! Maybe i'm too much of a critical blogger, hell as a liquid lipstick you can't go wrong with these if you like the shades, the red is gorgeous!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sunday Summary

Hey Ladies,

Another busy week here, it's work work work & no time for YouTube videos sadly! I need some quick video ideas so I can do them after work! Anyway here's my week!

Caffeine, Crisps, Enormous Desserts & Blue M&Ms make me happy
My healthy diet as you can see above!! :) my friend did share that dessert, it was amazing served in a giant glass! I love mid week dinners after work with a friend it made my week fly by!

Been so fashion inspired lately, made a few cheeky purchases throughout the week & yesterday, need to do a haul video but not had time this weekend.

I mainly wanted to say today that I am completely saddened by the loss of Amy Winehouse.

I can remember the first time I saw/heard her, she was on the Jools Holland show & this was before she released her first album & I just loved her, her voice and style of music was exactly what I listen to. The top played albums on my iTunes are Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye & Maxwell so Amy Winehouse just fits into my taste of music. Sadly with the press these days they are more interested in tragic stories than successful ones so she obviously became known for her behaviour rather than her talent and I think most of us saw this coming but recently although she was still a mess it wasn't like those days with her ex husband and she seemed happier and healthier. What a loss of a true talent and I just hope she's happier now than she appeared to be in her life. Although you can't really help people with addictions unless they want to change I just wish her parents would have done more, ie her Dad stop focusing on his singing career and more on his daughters life. (I have some serious beef with that man)

And of course what a horrible time for Norway too, it's so sad when a silly girl who's self destructive life comes to an end takes the focus off a tragedy like the killing of innocent people, my thoughts are with family and friends of those whose lives were taken away.

What a horrible weekend this world has seen, mine was quite nice barring the bad news!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Product of The Week!

Hey Ladies,

Thought I'd do a quick product of the week today for you, aren't I good to you?! I have so many things I want to rave about at the moment but they deserve proper reviews, this one however I have mentioned in the past & I currently am loving it again!

E.L.F Studio Treat & Tame
'Create manicured and styled brows that are beautiful and defined. The special fiber infused mascara grips onto even your finest brow hair to create a beautiful healthy and enhanced look.'

I used the 'treat' side of this and it was fantastic at filling in my brows of any sparse areas I had but recently I've just been using the 'tame' side (mainly because I lost the treat side)

If you have overdone the brow pencil it is so good at softening the look of your brows, its also great if you're follicly challenged in the brow department because the fibres add a bit of texture to make them look thicker or if you're going for the natural look it's the quickest way to groom your eyebrows with minimal effort.

All that for £3.50 bargain & one I totally recommend!! 

Monday, 18 July 2011

Statement Fashion Pieces

Hey Ladies,

I thought I'd show you the process I go through when I'm going to buy a statement piece of fashion or a real investment piece (read expensive!) as it may be useful to some people.

I used to always just buy clothing without a thought in the world about what I would pair them with but maybe wisdom has come from age or the fact that my wardrobe is full of stuff i've never worn has lead to me being somewhat sensible in my fashion choices.

An invaluable tool for potential purchases I think is Polyvore, it basically allows you to piece outfits together and there's a massive selection of clothing and accessories to choose from as well as having the option of 'clipping' the items from websites (it can be a little tricky, but if you are unable to 'clip' them because of the site zooming in on the picture, just add the item to your basket & then 'clip' from the basket view)

So this weeks potential purchase are a pair of Topshop Jade Skinny Jeans, brightly coloured jeans are everywhere right now, they may end up looking crap on me (thank god for returns) but if the miracle that they do actually suit me occurs I have come up with two outfits that I know will suit them.

Click here for the items details (it'll take you to the site)
.... may have purchased the watch the night before I decided I NEEDED the jeans! ooops!

I love being able to plan outfits and it makes me think about existing pieces I have that can replace the above items, the bags for example can be switched with existing ones easily, the shoes again can be switched although I am getting some of the converse (if anyone can guide me on the sizing of them whether they are true to size/etc I will love you forever!)

I will mainly wear the jeans casually but a night in a bar wearing these would be easy I think i'd dare to pair them with some leopard print heels and then a loose fitted top like the cream one tucked in, they are really versatile and fingers crossed SUIT ME!!!

So there you go, I thought i'd introduce you all to my methods of thinking & show you the wonder of Polyvore if you havent already discovered it. (WARNING: you can lose massive chunks of your life whilst being 'creative')

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sunday Summary & My Week in Nails!

Hey Ladies,

Time for another summary of my last couple of weeks!

Anyones Weekend as soggy as mine? Source

1. New Job = Nicola constantly tired & grumpy!
I am officially employed again and discovered I actually enjoy not working much more than I thought I did, I miss my bed and time to do whatever I like. Of course having an actual purpose in life does brighten up my spirit, I am basically running a companies eBay account and doing the best bit which is basically organising and listing things, I get to make so many lists & the best thing is I dont have to pack orders or send them! This means that I no longer spend time on eBay it is saving me a tonne of money because it feels like work as soon as I see the home page.

2. Clothes Shopping = Nicola constantly grumpy!
Obviously new job means an excuse to buy new work clothes, well let me tell you I'm having some difficulties, my work is incredibly casual I mean I could go in my pj's and I don't think they'd a.) notice or b.) care. So I bet you're thinking that's great you can go to work in whatever. Yes & that's the problem I don't want to look too over dressed so half my wardrobe is useless and the other half is too summery because even on the hottest day my work is FREEZING! I am actually contemplating taking my fleece tomorrow! All I want is some black Converse, black jeggings and then casual tops & WARM cardigans, turns out it is impossible to get any of these apart from the Converse!

3. Nicola in Cosmopolitan & Company Magazine = Less Grumpy Nicola

Anyhoo ....

Instead of doing nail of the day posts this week I decided to compile them into a 'My Week In Nails'

Obviously enlarge to see the picture better, If I love a shade I will wear it for more than one day but I have to say I love all the nail polishes barr one this week!
1. Butter London - Aston
The most grown up nail polish I own, its a beautiful metallic dirty rose shade. Love the shade especially with another Butter London shade on my ring finger - Rosie Lee
2. Essie - Turquoise & Caicos
Seriously love this shade, it is an amazing summer shade & is really chip resistant, I wore with a coloured leopard print water decal from here.
3. Essie - Turquoise & Caicos
Two days in a row = love! I used a Mac Turquoise Glitter to create the ring finger, it was so pretty & sparkly!!
4. Illamasqua - Lament
The most loveliest neon coral ever! Total summer shade that everyone should own!
5. Illamasqua - Lament
Again two days in a row ... this time with the Zebra water decal, its such a great way to re-invent a manicure if you're a little bored with it!!
6. Illamasqua - Jo'Mina
The most amazing neon pastel purple if such things can actually be described as neon and pastel. Totally undupable and unique and again a must have. Love this shade, actually wore it for 3 days and that my friends says it all!
7. Essie - Canyon Coral
A really red toned coral, lovely summer shade but one I couldn't keep on my finger nails for more than a day, it's just too 'normal' for me I felt wrong as it just looked red in most lights & we all know I'm a unique nail polish wearer! Yawn Boring! (great pedicure shade for a holiday though)

So there's my week & nails to go with it!! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend, I have really not, got soaking wet on Friday, Saturday and Today! ah well i'm warm and snuggly in my bed with a cup of tea & ginger cake so who cares eh?

Saturday, 16 July 2011

My Daily Essentials

Hey Ladies,

I thought I'd do a post on my current daily essentials, I think when we use a product everyday we tend to forget to tell people about them as they just become that ingrained into our routines that we assume everyone knows about them!!

Shampoo - Tresemme Naturals Moisture Shampoo - £4 for 500mls
I have reviewed this product before here, and I remain still totally in love with the shampoo it just agrees with my hair, I can get away with no conditioner when I use this and although I go astray when other products get sent me I do always return to it, smells great, does its job & is such good value!

Leave In Conditioner - Paul Mitchell Super Strong Liquid Treatment - £14 for 250mls
I don't condition my hair every time I wash it, I just don't have the time which means I rely on  my leave in treatments to keep my hair in good condition & I have to say this one is just the best, to say it's so liquidy it is incredibly effective. It detangles, repairs, doesn't weight down your hair & isn't overly expensive.

Body Moisturiser - Garnier Hydra lock - £4 for 400mls
This is THE best moisturiser ever for the price point, it's like a body butter just thinner in texture but just as moisturisng and smells really nice, no particular smell (unless you know what Elemis Pro Collagen Marine cream smells like because its smells exactly like that). Does exactly what you need it to and relatively cheap.

Cream Eyeshadow - Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner - £14
I use one of these every time I apply makeup, they are without doubt the best cream shadows available in my opinion, they really do not crease all day & are an amazing base or if you're in a rush come in amazing shades that can be worn alone (If I am doing this I like to dust a tiny bit of translucent powder over the top to ensure maximum wear) They are a little pricey but come in loads of shades & last forever!

Nail Polish Base - Orly Bonder - £9.25
I use this under every manicure to ensure it keeps my polish chip free as long as possible and it really does do the trick. 'Nuff said!

Setting Powder - Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation - £29
Yes it may be a little expensive but if you use it as a setting powder and not a foundation it will last you forever, it sets your makeup beautifully without looking like you have powder on as well as giving you a tiny bit extra coverage for your skin. May be expensive but you feel so posh wipping it out on the tube ... I mean look at it!!

Concealer - Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer - £20.50
Again a little pricey but this stuff I use every day and have done for 2 years and my tube is still going very strong, It is amazing for the under eye area at covering dark circles without being too heavy and cakey! So worth the initial investment.

Mascara - Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash - £17.50
Initially I hated this mascara, after all the hype surrounding it, it totally let me down (I even included it in my products I regret buying video) but the formula has dried out a little and I have to say is AMAZING, it curls, lengthens, volumizes and makes your lashes incredibly black. Such a time saver in the morning & although expensive I have to say totally worth it!

Primer - Urban Decay Primer Potion - £12
I always avoided this purchase due to the bottle (totally not a problem anymore) I always put up with my Too Faced Shadow Insurance in its glorious squeezy tube however it all separated and went weird so I bit the bullet & purchased the UDPP, never looked back I have to say. It's £12 and lasts forever so when it comes time to depot I just wont bother & buy another it's not the biggest investment for another so I wont mind wasting some. Makes eyeshadow last & last and is good value for money.

So there's my daily essentials, yes not major secrets in the beauty & blogging world but I thought I'd show you what I use, I'm so kind aren't I? I have't included my skin care because there's videos dedicated to that!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Liz Earle v Superdrug - Battle of The Hot Cloth Cleanser

Hey Ladies,

If any of you has spent any time with me on here, twitter or real life will know I am officially a Liz Earle addict so when I heard some rumblings on Twitter about Superdrug releasing a hot cloth cleanser I was intrigued, so I thought I'd try it out & compare the two for you ...

Liz Earle , Superdrug

Liz Earle , Superdrug
Texture - I tried to demonstrate with the pictures the difference in textures because they are completely different, although both creamy, they're creamy in different ways; the Liz Earle is a rich opaque cream, when you spread it on your face you can see the cream on your skin, whereas the Vitamin E one is more emollient and thin almost like a moisturiser & it disappears on your skin.
Winner - Personally Liz Earle but it's totally what you prefer, I wouldn't say one is any better than the other.

Formula - As expected Liz Earle is the more 'Natural' formulation, but the main ingredients are identical, as you get down the ingredient list the Vitamin E cleanser has added vitamins & perfume & parabens whereas the Liz Earle has natural extracts, no parabens or perfume.
Winner - Liz Earle, mainly to do with the perfume as I try & avoid added perfumes in skin care.

Performance - There isn't too much difference in how they perform in removing makeup and cleansing the skin, when taking off my mascara I think the Liz Earle is slightly more effective because it is a thicker formula but that could just be my imagination but I definitely notice after cleansing with the Vitamin E it needs a little more removing on the eyes whereas the Liz Earle doesn't.
Winner - Liz Earle, it removes eye makeup that little bit more effectively.

Smell - Liz Earle is much fresher smelling than the Vitamin E cleanser, it smells of eucalyptus & definitely brightens you up in the morning with an almost menthol-ish effect, the Vitamin E one I would describe as a much 'warmer' smell, like a rich almond smell very comforting,
Winner - I can't believe i'm saying this as I normally DETEST essential oil/herbal smells but I prefer the Liz Earle as it's just nice and fresh.

Price - There's no comparison with the price really, the Superdrug offering will cost you £3.99 for 200mls & a muslin cloth (although you can get it for £2.99 at the moment via the link below) and the Liz Earle costs £23.45 for 200mls & a muslin cloth. I don't think we need to do the maths on this one!
Winner - Superdrug, although I will say that you use more of the Superdrug than the Liz Earle due to the packaging, although I compared the 200ml sizes when you have the pump (100mls) of the Liz Earle it allows you to restrict how much you need for example one pump is full face of makeup & half a pump is morning wash & second night cleanse.

Overall - Liz has won 4 out of my 5 categories but this is down to my preferences for smells and textures, in terms of Performance they are similar I just find the Liz Earle slightly out performs in getting rid of my eye makeup.

Best For - I'd say the Liz Earle is suited for all skin types whereas the Vitamin E is more for normal to dry as it is packed with vitamins and it feels like it absorbs into your skin because of the formulation.

I have to say I'm really impressed with the Superdrug offering, it is good & does exactly what you need it to do, I have a tube sitting in my boyfriends house for when I stay at his house. I prefer the Liz Earle because I just love that little bit more luxury for my skin care but this is a great product if you're watching your pennies that month & will tide you over til you can get yourself another tube of the Liz Earle!!

You can get the Vitamin E Cleanser Here & the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Here (There's a great offer on where you can get three different sizes of the Cleanse & Polish (350mls in total) for £30.35)

I hope this was useful for a few of you if you had problems with Liz Earle or have never tried a Hot Cloth Cleanser it may be a good stepping stone before you try Liz Earle. Let me know if you've tried it & how you compare it to the Liz Earle!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation Review

Hey Ladies,

I'm sure you'll have all heard about the new Skin Base Foundation released from Illamasqua last month which is supposed to create the perfect complexion for all skin types, well I was very excited about the release as I love foundations & always in search of 'The One' so without hearing any reviews I did an online order as I was too impatient to wait to get to a counter. So having tried it out a few times I have concluded my thoughts and so am sharing them with you ... I'm good like that.

'Inspired by the beauty balm creams from Asia the Skin Base Foundation smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage and undetectable in a professional HD environment'

First of all to enter the BB cream genre it gives the impression of a certain type of product, ie light weight, light coverage, smoothing, effortless to blend & in general the shit!

So having heard this was Illamasqua's take on a BB cream I was intrigued, the main disappointment in BB Cream terms is their lack of shade range (one shade definitely doesn't fit all & I can't believe Mac has released a BB Cream & not brought it out in their usual shade range something that they are the most known for, it seems lazy & to just jump on the bandwagon ... anyway more of that at a later date) so Illamasqua I knew wouldn't disappoint & would have every shade from early Michael  Jackson to Michael Jackson circa 25th June 2009 or even the 26th (which is correct as they have a totally white one)

I didn't help myself by buying the wrong shade but it is passable, I apparently have a tan who knew? For reference I bought shade 6 which is supposed to be like NC25, I'd say it was more NC23 personally (if Mac made that) it hasn't stopped me giving it a good test as I can just correct it with a bit of bronzer!

My Thoughts

Texture - Not at all what I was expecting, it is quite thick in terms of texture and quite dry feeling in terms of formulation. When I apply it to my face I don't feel it glides on particularly well to say it's supposed to be a primer and foundation in one or blends in the skin as well as others I have

Coverage - Again not what I was expecting, to me this is a medium to full coverage foundation, it really feels heavy & mask like on my skin, obviously to some people this will be what they are searching for in a foundation, me? ... not so much if I need a fuller coverage I go for my Double Wear as it's staying power is unbeatable and when used properly doesn't feel so heavy.

Price - £25.00 for 30mls Pretty standard I'd say these days for a high end foundation I don't mind paying that ... obviously & I have paid more for a good foundation

Lasting Power - It did well whenever I've used it, 8 hours in a hot pub & it didn't budge which is good, it doesn't claim to have any oil fighting properties so some oil did come through but nothing a bit of powder wouldn't have sorted if I was bothered enough!

Overall Thoughts - I think this foundation will be good for the oily skinned to normal skinned ladies who love a high coverage foundation, which on all counts isn't me, on me it highlighted dry patches and made me look a little dead due to the high coverage. One point I have to say is that it DOES photograph beautifully I will do a FOTD with it this week so you can see it in action, so if I have an occasion where where my picture will be taken I will wear this, for every day use give me the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua any day over it.

Another point I will make is that the Skin Base is nothing like a BB Cream, the skin care benefits are fairy low, there's no SPF & in terms of primer I definitely need one under it, in fact I apply a face serum (Balance Wrinkle Filler) under & over it to lessen the intensity of it & unhighlight the dry patches.

Overall I am really disappointed with this foundation, the thing is it's not a bad product at all, for some of you i'm sure it could potentially be a favourite, the reason I'm disappointed is because they've associated the Skin Base with BB Creams which gave me expectations which it just hasn't lived up to; minimal skin care benefits (which are mainly mineral oil anyway & you know how I feel about that) no SPF & lacks in the primer stakes.

I hope this was useful to some people thinking of purchasing it, if you like heavy coverage & have oily skin I say give it a try, if you've got dry skin or like light foundations then run away from the counter & go & see Chanel, they'll sort you out.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Easy Peasy Nail Art Tutorial!

Hey Ladies,

Want nails like this? Then get watching my video!

This is seriously so easy, they come in loads of patterns & are so cheap!! I get mine from here I totally recommend them, I ordered mine on the Sunday night & they were with me on Tuesday!! Can't wait to get more patterns!!

If you're struggling with the fiddilyness (yes it's a word) then you can slide the sticker off the paper on to your nail, just a little tip for you there!!

Let me know if you try this!!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sunday Summary - A few discoveries this week

Hey Ladies,

Well it's been ages since I did a summary post so I thought i'd treat you today with a few discoveries I made this week ;)

1. Don't drink a bottle and a half of wine & expect to be fine the day after.
2. Krispy Kreme Doughnut's do not cure hangovers!

& this particular one was hideous!
3. When you're still hung over 2 days later a Sausage McMuffin is the only cure

Meet my new bag - Tods D-Bag

4. But it's not a good idea walking up the giant hill in the baking sun

I actually missed bits out, its a beast of a hill!
5. Pink stripy socks don't match Aztec patterned hareem trousers! .... who knew!

However the comfiest form of trouser known to woman! 
6.  I love an accent nail I do! & found a super easy way to achieve nail art!

Tell you more at a later date! (OPI Mermaid Tears if your wondering about the colour)
So that's been my weekend really! I have been rather fragile & still am. The major lesson drinking is not big or cleaver ... it is fun though!

What have you all been up to!?