Wednesday 29 February 2012

Review: 17 Miracle Matte Foundation

If you've been a regular reader of mine you'll know that I love a good foundation. After reading several postitive reviews on a new one that 17 had just released, I was eager to see the results. 17 is a brand that I haven't really sampled that often, apart from the odd eyeshadow, so I was going in with a pretty open mind...

After doing my usual skincare routine in a morning, out came my foundation brush and a few squirts of this and on my face it went.  The application on top of my daily moisturiser was absolutely awful, I can't even begin to describe the appearance and what was happening when the 2 products were combined. Whatever it was, they clearly didn't like each other! It was extremely patchy, and wouldn't sit on certain parts of my skin because of the moisturiser underneath. It dried very quickly so became really hard to work with and to blend in. I instantly took it off and tried without any base coat on my skin (although I begrudged doing this!). It applied a little more smoothly however still quite patchy. I also found when blending with the foundation brush, if I worked/touched on the same area twice, it would remove the foundation that was already there.

The consistency was thick and creamy, and yet the coverage wasn't all that good, which was surprising. On the few times I have used this, I have had to mix it with other foundations to get my desired coverage. If you have a blemish, concealer is definitely needed on top of this.

It states it is a matte finish, oil free product that will leave you shine free. If anyone suffers with shiny skin it is me, and this definitely didn't do what it said on the bottle. I was left with a dewy, shiny complexion, so as the hours ticked by, this foundation was going riiiiight down in my estimations!

The only positive factor I can take from this product is the packaging! I like the pump (and the fact that it's pink helps!), we all know a pump helps us to control the quantity that we use.

I am annoyed that I wasted my boots points on this, and it definitely proves what works for some won't necessarily work for others! That'll teach me from jumping on the band wagon!

Have you tried this product? What were your thoughts?


Friday 24 February 2012

Spring/Summer Fashion: Jeans

I know these have made several appearances over the years, but I think they're going to be big this year. I've got a stash of glossy magazines sat next to me waiting to be read, and after having a quick flick, I noticed there's a few pages dedicated to jeans. Celebrities have been sporting them and I've seen stashes of them in shop windows on mannequins just recently.

I love the plain coloured jeans, especially all the pastel ones. I just wish I had the legs to carry them off :-( Maybe in a few months?! There are some really pretty patterned ones out there too (I love River Island's black heart print and Missguided's polka dot print, too cute!) however some are a little outrageous for me, and only for the daring!

    Top Row L-R - 1, 2, 3
    Bottom Row L-R - 4, 5, 6, 7

   Will you be sporting any printed coloured jeans this spring?


Monday 20 February 2012

February's Glossybox - 'The Fashion Week'

For once someone was at home when my GB arrived so I'm not the last one to blog about it, so hopefully this is all fresh to you!

As always, everything was a surprise to me in this month's box. I try so hard not to read facebook feeds, and avoid all early blogging about it!

This months box (if you haven't gathered by the title) is all about keeping yourself glamourous in gruelling long hour days. Its all about multi-tasking with products when you are on the go.


Dr Bonner Magic Liquid Soap. A Combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, together with pure essential oils.
Como Shambhala Body Lotion. A revitalising blend of essential oils that puts you in a perfectly uplifted mood.
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm. Intense hydrating treatment for your hair.
DUWOP Venom Gloss in 'buttercup'. Combining subtle tinted lipgloss with DuWop's lip venom to create venom gloss.
BM Beauty Pure Mineral Eyeshadow. Award winning pure mineral eyeshadow. Cruelty free and suitable for vegeterians and vegans.


Dr Bonner Magic Liquid Soap - I thought this was some sort of hand sanitizer at first, so I could see myself getting some use out of it. However upon reading the (very long winded!) instructions, it appears you still need to dilute this with water. However on the upside, it appears you can use this as a facial pack, for your scalp or body. I haven't used this yet (I'm finding the instructions very 'jumbly' and off putting to read!), however it smells nice. It states it has coconut in it, however I'm getting a very strong smell of almond. Anyone else? This is the only 'multi-tasking' product I can see in my box in regards to this months theme.

Como Shambhala Body Lotion - To me, just your average body lotion. Has a herbal woody scent to this, so for those that are more into sweet smelling products, this probably isn't for you. However it absorbs into the skin quickly and leaves it feeling smooth and refreshed.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm - I have yet to try this but am super excited as I don't think I have tried any Paul Mitchell products for a number of years now. My hair needs all the treatment it can get so I'm willing to try anything!

DuWop Lipgloss - Nothing special about this lipgloss. It offers a nice sheen to the lips along with a tingling sensation. The 'flavour' is nice, it took me a while to put my finger on what it reminded me of, but I've decided on bubblegum and peppermint mixed together! It glides on your lips easily however I found it a little thick. There is stickiness there too but nothing too unbearable. Nice to stick in my handbag for touch ups but nothing outstanding.

BM Beauty mineral eyeshadow in 'Platinum Tiara' - this item didn't really excite me. I have a tonne of eyeshadows, including mineral ones. I've never heard of this brand before however the colour is pretty. I'm glad I didn't get the pink one like some did. This is a lovely grey-ish brown-ish colour with silver undertones. As with all mineral eyeshadows, the consistency is lovely to work with, being very velvety and light to work with, leaving you with a gorgeous sheen to the lids. Although I do have a lot of eyeshadows, this will be a good one for travelling, helping me to create a smokey eye.

Overall views

I'm not overly impressed with this months box. The main reason being because I was given a repeat product (Como Shambhala I'm looking at you!) from a few months ago, which I was not happy with. I thought the idea was to sample new products. It's as if GB are running low on sponsors therefore resorted back to an old company. Not good.
I will however say that in terms of variety, this is quite a good box. It has ticked the main boxes - body, hair and cosmetics.
The item I was most excited about was the Paul Mitchell relaxing balm. The lipgloss and eyeshadow are nothing out the ordinary, although I think the main concept behind the eyeshadow being that it is cruelty free and suitable for vegeterians and vegans (which if I'm honest, none of that really bothers me). The 'magic' soap.. ok, we've never received soap before, and it can double up as numerous things for the hair/body, but I will sample it as a soap first before I decide on my next move! Possibly another good one to take travelling if you are unsure if the hotel provides soap (yes, some don't!).

What are your views on this months box?

On a side note, the little card included 'Expect the unexpected' mystery box....intriguied! More will be revealed on Feb 24th apparently!


Sunday 19 February 2012

Batiste - Pop Your Cherry!

I'm not really a hair person. Never have been and probably never will be. I'd much rather spend my time and money on cosmetics than hair products. My hair condition is disgusting. I'm naturally a copper colour, but have been dying my hair dark brown for almost 7 years now (thats pretty scary!).

As the years have gone on, I'm needing to wash my hair more frequently, probably because of all the gross build up of dye on my hair. It's now getting to the stage where I have to wash it every other day, sometimes looking dull after 24hrs. Not good! Washing and conditioning my hair isn't so much a chore, it's getting out the bath/shower and standing for 20-30mins on end blow-drying, then another 20mins to straighten. Some girls love it, treating it as part of their pampering sesh, but urgh, not me.

Batiste came along and banished all those 'can't be bothered' or 'haven't got time' moments. Welcome dry shampoo! All of you will be aware of dry shampoo by now (and if you aren't, where the 'eck have you been?!). Basically it's a spray in shampoo for those in between washes were your hair is looking a little dull/dirty and needs a new lease of life for a day (or two!). It's perfect for festival goers too who don't have access to shower facilities.

Batiste started to be a little more specific with their products after the release of the basic dry shampoo, and catered more for individual needs such as XXL volume (self explanatory!) and shampoo's for coloured hair, which has got to be my all time favourite. Not only does this banish oily roots, but it also masks my own natural roots and makes them less obvious, so when I'm being lazy and not in a hair-dying mood (which is all the time!) this little beaut comes out and hides them. Perfecto. XXL volume for me has pros and cons, it does give me volume (which I'm always looking for!) however it tends to make my hair tangled which is a bit of a let down.

For those that have never used a dry shampoo before, you have to be a little careful when applying, as spraying too close to the hair will leave you with a nasty powdery white patch. Although nothing a good massage wouldn't sort out.

Each can is £2.99 for 200ml, but they always seem to have offers on so keep your eyes peeled. You can also purchase travel sized cans at 50ml for approx 99p. I love collecting travel sized products because we often go on weekends away, so I always look to pack lightly (so more shopping can be done!).

Batiste have recently released a fruity shampoo in a cherry flavour. The packaging is so cute and kitsch! I was expecting the smell to be really over powering, but theres just a subtle smell of cherry in there, so nothing too overwhelming. This would be perfect for spring!

I've tried numerous dry shampoo's from other brands including tresemme and superdrug's own brand, and Batiste come up trumps every time. It's definitely a product I always go back to.

Have you ever tried a dry shampoo? What are your faves?

Stockists - Superdrug, Boots, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Wilkinsons, Savers and Lloyds chemists.


Wednesday 15 February 2012

Review: Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation

Let me take just one make-up item with me on a desert island and I can guarantee it will be foundation. I'm a sucker for it. I wear it every day. Even to the corner shop. If my face isn't on and the doorbell goes, will I answer it? Will I 'eck! I haven't got the best skin in the world, in fact sometimes I've got the skin of a teenager, and it's kinda embarassing at times, espesh when I'm knocking on 27.

Last year, after many years of trial and error, I settled on a skincare routine which seemed to have the best results by far. You can find those magic potions in my blog post here. However, let the routine slip just a little and by god do I know it.

When my skin is at its best, I've probably gone out the house twice, maybe 3 times in my life with tinted moisturiser (and these are usually on holiday when the sun is beaming and my skin looks wonderful). But usually it doesn't see the light of day because I never wear it. In fact I don't think I own any now.

I'm talking as if I suffer with acne. I don't. It's just pimples, but I can never just have one. I always seem to get a few all at once if I'm going to get them, and they seem to like residing on my jawline area.

So, as you can imagine, over the years I've tried numerous foundations. I've covered every brand in boots available from cheapies such as Natural Collection, to Loreal and No7. I've tried the ones that are raved about on blogger and YT (Revlon photoready being prime suspect, which may I add, I wasn't very fond of). I don't have heaps of money (especially now I own a house) so I have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to price range, which is unfortunate, but life. I remember purchasing a Clinque foundation a few years ago (which one, I couldn't tell you), and although a little out my price budget at the time (I was at uni), I remember getting a lot of compliments on it, and secretly told myself that one day I would return to the 'luxurious side' of foundations because not only did I like the results, but quite clearly it was noticeable to others too.

Fast forward 5+ years and I move into my own house and upon sorting my make-up room out, I realised that I'd accumulated a large amount of foundations. I'm talking 10+ bottles of unfinished product. I made myself use them up before buying any more. Whether this meant mixing foundations that were too light/dark for me to get the right colour, I didn't care, I was determined to reduce the contents of my foundation drawer. Fast forward 8 months and I'd managed to get rid of the majority of my bottles (don't you just love the sense of achievement you get from it?!). On my Christmas list last year (as in 2011) was that luxurious foundation that I promised would eventually return to my collection. After doing research, I decided on Estee Lauder's Doublewear foundation as it seemed more suitable for my needs. I trotted off to boots to get properly matched up by the overly fake-tanned girl to ensure I was purchasing the correct colour (Desert Beige FYI).

Now for the review (I knew I'd get there someday!)...
It's bloody marvellous. The end.
(I wish it was that easy!)

Firstly the packaging - it comes in a navy box. Any foundation that has exterior packaging kinda shouts out luxury to me (the little things in life...). The bottle itself is glass. 10/10 (I love a glass bottle, although maybe not so suitable for travelling). Application - not so good. It doesn't have a pump but an open top, so its a case of pouring it onto your make-up brush which makes it more difficult to control the quantity of product required, for that I will give it a 3/10.
Consistency - It's a lovely thick creamy liquid which I love. This will be down to personal preference though as I know a lot of people prefer a lighter application on the skin.
Coverage - I'd say this is fairly high coverage, which I absolutely love. I still do use concealer with this, just for extra security though! It claims to last up to 15 hours. Now I can't vouch for this, simply because I haven't had it on 15 hours yet. I think the longest I ever had it on was 7 hours and upon arriving home there were no signs of slippage or cake-i-ness! (Although the OTT fake-tan Estee Lauder girl confessed she sometimes goes to bed with hers on and it's still on the next morning, nothing like trying to sell a product, yuck!). It is a semi-matte foundation which leaves you with a slight dewy natural effect which creates a healthy glow.

If you have read my skincare routine (the link that I posted above) you will know I suffer with oily skin. This little beaut is oil-free and again, after 7hrs, my face was shine free (and I didn't blot at all through the night) which is a massive bonus for me.

It is fragrance free and non-acnegenic which is perfect for skin like mine! It is also SPF 10, which is not something high on my list, but nonetheless, nice to know.

As previously mentioned, I don't have hundreds to spend on cosmetics and clothes like some. I have committements such as a mortgage, a car to run, a holiday to pay off etc etc so high end products are treats to me which makes me appreciate them that little bit more :-) At £26.50 a pop this foundation is a little pricey, and for that reason I keep it as a 'special occasion' foundation (sad but true!) otherwise I'd be getting through a bottle every few weeks! (You'd think I drink the stuff!).

Now I've spoke (in too much detail) about my current favourite foundation, it'd be rude not to include a FOTD to show you it in all its glory.... ignore the stray hair, how on earth I didn't see that in my face I do not know!

Some of you may recognise this from a few weeks ago. However it was the most suitable photo of me (in regards to lighting) with the product on. To see what other products I am sporting in this photo, see my NYE FOTN.

What is your favourite foundation? I'm always on the hunt to better the one I have! (Although I'd quite happily stick with this for years!).


Tuesday 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day NOTD

Valentine's day has been quite low-key for us this year. As I mentioned in a previous post we have always splashed out on presents, nights away in hotels or meals out. This year we both agreed not to go OTT so we ruled out presents, and just exchanged cards instead. He brought me breakfast in bed (for the first time ever in 4yrs and may I add it was a weird experience - a strange concoction of foods, majority non-breakfast related, bless him, can tell he's never done that before!).

Tonight we are going to our favourite Indian which I am looking forward to!

Just having a mini pampering sesh so thought I'd leave you with a NOTD, or should I said NOTN... sorry about the shadow - my camera casts a shadow over everything I photograph at night and I'm not very techy so unaware how to avoid this annoying problemo!

Polish used - Barry M 302 Fuchsia. Fimo hearts from eBay - they are actually white with pink edging but the flash has bleached them white...

I'm going to find something pink in my wardrobe to match my nails.. it has to be done tonight! Possible OOTN coming!

What are your plans tonight?


Saturday 11 February 2012

Review: Rituals Shower Gel

Picasa annoyingly wouldn't save my rotated photo of my shower gel, and I refused to put a lop-sided picture up so this photo is a stolen one..

Rituals Shower Gel
It's not often I do reviews but seeing as though I'm coming to the end of the bottle, I thought it deserved a mention.
Most of you will probably recognise it from December's Glossybox (which you can see here). I can honestly say it is sitting very high on my favourites list when it comes to shower/bath products.

Product Description
'This unique foaming shower gel gently cleanses your skin and leaves it silky soft & smooth. Squeeze a small amount of gel into your hand – in contact with water the gel transforms into a rich, relaxing foam.'

I remember having a little bit of an issue with this gel at first.. it didn't seem to want to be used! I had a little squirt (as you do) when I opened my GB in my living room. All of a sudden I heard the Christmas tree make a noise, I looked and the shower gel had travelled a few metres from my feet, hitting the tree giving it a lovely snow effect, and making 2 white lines on the carpet in the process! A similar thing happened when I was in the bath, I went to squirt it (with a flannel over it this time may I add), and again, it jumped over the flannel and right across the room onto the wall. So warning - the pump/spray, whatever you wanna call it, its powerful!

The gel itself... well.. what can I say? It is the most creamiest shower gel I have ever used. It starts off as a clear gel like formula, and quickly transforms into a foam, then as you massage it into your body, it builds up into the thickest creamiest white lather I have ever seen. It feels so luxurious on the skin and leaves it feeling extra smooth. The formula and transformation process reminds me of shaving gel. I can imagine that would bother some people but it didn't me...

GB were dishing out a variety of scents and I received it in Indian rose and sweet almond oil. I'm not the best at describing scents, however I will say that it is nice and fresh, with a little bit of sweetness in there (which was probably the almond), but nothing too overpowering. The only negative I have with this shower gel (and this is only personal preference) is that the scent doesn't linger on your skin for very long after you've had a bath/shower. I like my products to leave me with an aroma! But again, personal preference... maybe the other scents were different?

The 200ml bottle has lasted me a long time with probably 1/4 to go. A little gel goes a long way with this product. At £6.50 a pop, although a little pricey just for shower gel (I'm used to spending £2 max on showel gels in supermarkets!) I think I would repurchase this if I was feeling a little flush with cash.

Rituals can be purchased in House of Fraser and John Lewis.
What scent did you receive and were you impressed?

See their products

On a side note - I've got Mon, Tues & Weds off work so a nice long weekend for me! I love time off, it excites me! (Although still no plans for V Day :-( unless he's planning to surprise me!)


Thursday 9 February 2012

Mr Lover Lover

The day filled with flowers chocolates and tacky teddies is almost upon us!
Me and my boyfriend don't go OTT. We did a little more in the first couple of years we were together, but as the years are passing by, we are doing less and less. Maybe it's a case of me getting older and not being as bothered and not getting caught up in the social hype of it all, who knows?

Valentines day creates a lot of debate. Some people argue that there shouldn't be a day dedicated to showing the ones we love 'how much' we really love them, because it should be like that every day. For others its a bittersweet day, a reminder of what they once had. For some it can bring bad or sad memories for many reasons.

Either way, here is a selection of potential gifts I chose, and for all the single ladies (put your hands up! Sorry, couldn't resist!) use it as a treat day ;-)

Top Row L-R: 9ct gold crystal heart earrings and pendant set, Thorntons chocolate heart collection, Lush 'PS I love you'
Middle Row L-R: Bea overknee heart tights, Topshop lace balconette bra, Vera Wang Princess Night
Bottom Row L-R: A random bunch of pink roses! MAC sheen supreme lipstick 'behave yourself', a candle-lit bath that I wish was mine!

How will you be spending Valentines day?

Don't also forget that it's a leap year this year which means girls who are tired of waiting for a proposal can take control and do it themselves on February 29th! But lets be honest, which girl would do that?


Sunday 5 February 2012

GlossyBox - Valentines Edition

This is probably old news to most of you now. I’m always annoyingly late receiving my glossybox because me and my boyfriend are always at work when it arrives, then I always seem to have a problem with the post depo just lately when I attempt to collect it so it prolongs the suspense (and not in a good way!). Subsequently, I’m late posting about it and by now you would have seen a hundred and one photo’s of what people received, so I expect this post to be neglected. Bless it. However, I’m still going to post it, simply for my ‘box of memories’.

Woah, what a long-winded intro!

Ok, I’ve seen mainly 2 varieties of the contents this week, and also varying opinions (as always!).


Eyeko skinny eyeliner in ‘Dover Grey’
Clarins extra firming night cream
Clarinis extra firming day cream
FAB Body Moisturiser (although for some reason my card states body wash)
MURAD Hybrids skin perfecting primer – dewy finish


Firstly I LOVE the colour of the box… you know when you smell something so good that you could eat it but are obviously not meant to… well this is what this colour does to me! The heart sticker and GB rock sweet were a cute little touch too.

MURAD face primer - I’ve been after a new face primer for a while now, so this was perfect timing. I’m a little apprehensive on the ‘dewy finish’ because my skin creates enough oil to give a free ‘dewy finish’ so I don’t need any more! I’m used to a thick velvet textured primer, so this looking and feeling like liquid foundation is a little scary! However I’m looking forward to sampling this properly.

Eyeko skinny eyeliner – This has a crazy long handle and half a pencil of product which is kinda annoying! The handle is used for precise definition, however I've tried using the handle and can't get on with it. IMO to gain precise definition you have to hold it close to the nib to have complete control (just like a pen!) so this makes no sense to me. There were 6 colours to receive, and reading some blogs, I’m glad I received the grey pencil as opposed to the midnight blue and powder pink. After swatching, this appears very hard-wearing so won’t be slipping off any time soon. It has a very subtle shimmer intertwined within the product and would create a fantastic smokey eye. Can’t wait to try this out properly.

Eyeko skinny eyeliner

Clarins day/night extra firming cream – Honestly? I’ve never tried any Clarins products however I was extremely pleased to see this brand in my box this month. The products themselves are maybe a little too old for me (I tend to find GB has a tendency to send products for the more mature skin on a regular basis), but I will still sample them.

FAB Body Moisturiser – I’m going to be honest – I have a tonne of body moisturisers now. However after sampling this, I’m liking the thick consistency and how fast the product is absorbed into the skin. There is no scent to it which is a bit of a let down for me as I like my products to leave me with an aroma! However the bottle is the perfect travelling size so I will be putting this in my ‘travel products’ box and it will definitely be travelling to Vegas with me…. The lucky buggar!

Overall I’m quite happy with what I received and will definitely be getting use out of all of them over the next few months.

Were you happy with your contents this month?


Thursday 2 February 2012

Tresor Paris Bracelet - Dupe!

Just after Christmas I was at work and was talking to one of my colleagues, and everytime she moved her hand, something sparkly kept catching my eye. It was one of the most prettiest bracelets I'd seen in a long time. I commented on how nice it was and she said that it was a gift from her boyfriend. That night I was browsing my Youtube subscriptions and began watching CosmeticsCharlotte72 'What I got for Christmas' video. How much of a coincidence was it that in her stash of christmas presents was the exact same bracelet I had been eyeing up on my friend earlier. Thanks to Charlotte I became aware of the brand and began searching and it wasn't till I browsed a few websites that I realised how expensive but popular these were. This particular bracelet retails at £149 and the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and a few from The Saturdays have been spotted with this bracelet. However, straight after Christmas with big gas bills looming, this was certainly out of my budget.

Instead I resorted to my trusty friend, ebay. Would I find a similar match? Of course I would, its Ebay! Admittedly I had to wait a few weeks for it to be shipped from Hong Kong, but for £3.99 inc P&P, I really couldn't complain! If that isn't a saving, I don't know what is!

The little sparkly gem of a bracelet arrived today and I am more than happy with it. I'm a little fussy with my jewellery and don't like anything that feels lightweight, simply because it feels cheap. However this has a little weight behind it so I was pleased. It also has an adjustable strap (I panicked at first thinking either they'd sent me a child's bracelet or my wrists had got extra fat overnight!). Some people might not like the rope around the beads, however I think the black against the crystal creates a very noticeable contrast, emphasising the 'crystals' a whole lot more.

I think minus the quantity of the 'white crystal' beads and an extra magnetite bead on each end, this is a fantastic resemblence!

To check out the real McCoy's, see the official website. They have a massive selection of different styles and stunning colours to choose from.

However, if like me, and the budget is a little tight, just a simple search on ebay and a vast array of them will appear.

Happy bidding!

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