Would you rather… tag

The lovely ginger loves make-up tagged me, asking me to do the Would you rather tag. As I haven’t done one in a while, I thought – why not!

1. Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, and lip glosses or lose all of your palettes and eye shadows?

Definitely eyeshadows and palettes. I think I could still create a lovely balanced look with a slick of eyeliner, mascara and a bold lip, but I’d look riddiculous with eyeshadow and no mascara.

Bye bye MUA palettes :(

Bye bye MUA palettes 😦

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?

I hate it when my hair gets too long because it gets in my way and annoys me, so I’d have to say I’d chop it off into a cute pixie crop (although I don’t think it would suit me) and then it would eventually grow back!

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek?

I think coral would probably suit my colouring more.

4. If you had £1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or makeup?

Definitely clothes. People buy me make-up all the time, but I always buy my own clothes, and there’s a lot I’d like to replace.

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner, or eyeliner as lipstick?

That’s a conundrum because eyeliner as lipstick would mean I basically had black or brown lips (I do own a couple of blues, but that isn’t much better), and lipstick as eyeliner would mean my eyelids were sticky. I think I’d go for lipstick as eyeliner on balance.

Lovely eyeliner colours?!

Lovely eyeliner colours?!

6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?

Being a Brit, I don’t know anything about Sephora, so I’d say MAC.

7. Would you rather only use one eyeshadow color or one lip color for the rest of your life?

If I could blend different shades of the same colour, I’d go for eyeshadow, and it would be classic browns. If it had to be one shade, I’d choose the lipstick over the eyeshadow.

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in summer or summer clothes in winter?

Hard question because I don’t want to freeze in winter OR boil in summer. As the UK weather is rarely hot enough to worry, I’d choose winter clothes in summer. Also winter clothes are layers of different things, so I could always take a few layers off.

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?

I’d say bright colours, because it makes nail art more fun.

These wouldn't have looked half as cool without bright colour!

These wouldn’t have looked half as cool without bright colour!

10. Would you rather give up your favorite lip product or your favorite eye product?

There is no way I am giving up my precious red YSL lipstick.

11. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or a messy bun?

I like ponytails, but messy bun is my go-to look because it makes my wispy baby hairs less obvious, so I’d have to pick that.

12. Would your rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lipgloss?

Easy question. I only own one lipgloss and that was a freebie. It annoys me because my hair sticks to it the second the wind blows…

It's pretty, but it doesn't compare to nail polish!

It’s pretty, but it doesn’t compare to nail polish!

13. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all or sharpie them in everyday?

I’d look rather bizzare without any eyebrows at all, so I guess I’d have to sharpie them in!

14. Would you rather live without makeup or nail polish?

I do love nail art and doing NOTD posts, but I think my face would look naked without make-up.

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I would like everyone who wants to to do this tag, especially:

Lead With The Hips

Joanna Loves

Beauty By Britanie

Cherry Blossom Pretty

Of Pirouettes and Concealers

Bethany Worrall 

Sam and Ro

Little Beauty Buddha 

 

No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser

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I am about to tell you something shocking and appalling. Recently I ran out of Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and I haven’t repurchased it. This is not because I have turned my back on it (you know how much I love it), it’s because I no longer live near a convenient stockist like I used to in Manchester. I could have ordered it online but I thought it would just get caught up in the Christmas rush, so instead I decided to have a look for a suitable alternative. I wanted something that would take my make-up off with ease, as well as cleansing my skin. I can’t be bothered with two different products late at night, and anyway, eye make-up removers often sting my sensitive eyes.

That’s when I happened upon the No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser.  Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I adore No 7 and think it is one of the most underrated make-up brands. I haven’t tried an awful lot of their skincare yet though so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

The No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser is much like Cleanse & Polish to use. You take a pump or two in your hands and rub it all over your face, including around the eye area. It dissolves all of your make-up, including waterproof mascara. You can then take the handy cloth that comes with it and use hot water to wipe the cleanser away. Finish by splashing your face with cold water to close your pores.

I have to say the cleanser works just as well as Cleanse & Polish. Honestly! It differs in the sense it is a slightly less dense cream and it doesn’t have the Eucalyptus scent of Cleanse & Polish (in fact it doesn’t have much of a scent at all other than standard face cream). Those trivial things aside, it is very difficult to tell the two apart. I haven’t been using the No 7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser anywhere near as long as I have used Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish so I can’t comment on the long term skin effects yet, but I highly recommend this to anyone who wants the magic of Cleanse & Polish but is on a tighter budget.

No 7 Stay Perfect Smoothing & Brightening Eye Base

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Does your eye make-up look perfect for a few hours but develop a crease where there is no eyeshadow left towards the end of the day? You need an eyeshadow primer! Up until now I have been using a fairly cheap eyeshadow primer from Rimmel which was perfectly fine but had a wand which discoloured quite quickly and didn’t look very attractive. On my recent shopping expedition to Boots, I decided to try something a little bit pricier.

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No 7’s offering is the Stay Perfect Smoothing & Brightening Eye Base. This is a small pot of a creamy substance, similar to a cream blush. Take a clean finger and use it to apply some of the base to your eyelids. I was a bit sceptical about the colour at first but It is nowhere near as pink as it appears in the pot. I don’t know why it’s pink at all to be honest, but if you are applying eyeshadow, that will soon cover it up.

There isn’t much to say about this product other than “it works”. I tried it with all the eyeshadows that tend to crease by the end of the day and it just doesn’t happen at all when I use this base, so it clearly does its job. I would say it is definitely value for money and I’m pleased with it.

Boots Beauty Advent Calendar Days 21-24

The day has finally come: time for my last advent calendar update. I am going to include my brief thoughts on the calendar as a whole at the end too.

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On the 21st I got a sample of Boots Botanics Heat Protection Shine Serum. I’m interested to try this as I don’t use a lot of hair products at the moment. For once I don’t mind it being a Boots own product as it’s a little out of the ordinary and the Botanics range is quite nice in general.

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Behind door 22 was a sample of Nails Inc polish in the colour Porchester Road. It isn’t something I would pick in a shop but actually it’s really nice and I wore it on Christmas Day with silver glitter over the top and it looked great. My only disappointment is the size – I don’t think a full size bottle would have broken the bank.

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I’m very intrigued by this gift: Umberto Giannini Backcomb in a Bottle. I hadn’t heard of this before but it sounds really cool, it is supposed to give you the volume and effect of back combing without having to wreck your hair by actually doing it. I’m looking forward to trying it!

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And finally, on December 24th I got a 17 (Seventeen) mascara. I was a bit surprised by this as I expected the best gift to be last. I’m sure this is great, but I think there were better gifts in the calendar.

So what were my overall thoughts? The calendar was a bit of a mixed bag. The nail polishes were a high point, as were the two Soap and Glory products. The Vichy samples are probably great for the older lady, but anti-aging is not something I think about yet. The low points were the terrible scrunchy and the perfume samples. I was looking forward to perfume samples but I was expected more than a tiny tube you could be given free in a magazine on any occasion. Overall I am glad I gave it a try, but I don’t think I would repurchase it next year as it didn’t wow me. I might look at getting a Benefit calendar next year instead.

Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow in Rose Vintage

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Unlike the lipstick I spoke about the other day which was very much a planned purchase following days of hunting, I bought this Bourjois Smoky Eyes Trio Eyeshadow in No. 5 Rose Vintage on a complete whim. Generally I wear brown shades, usually from my MUA Undressed or Heaven and Earth palette. This trio of shades seemed a really nice alternative; a nice colour variation but still subtle enough for every day wear. They have a bit of shimmer to them, which I like because I prefer shimmery eyeshadows to mattes, even in the day time. The few matte shades in my MUA palettes don’t get a lot of love if I’m honest.

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The trio comes with a little applicator which is a nice addition. I won’t get much use out of it because I find it very hard to blend for a smoky effect without brushes, but it would be good for travelling or emergencies. Unlike most eyeshadow palettes, the shadows themselves are raised in dome shapes, as the Bourjois blushers and single eyeshadows are. I find this an interesting visual feature, but I think it also helps pick up the right amount of colour. I guess it will be a long time till I hit pan too!

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I was really impressed by how well the colours in this palette blend together. It could give you a couple of different looks depending on how you like to wear eyeshadow, so it also offers a bit of versatility. As for staying power, the shadows are still in place 9 hours later as I am writing this (with no primer) so that’s a good sign! I’d never heard anything much about Bourjois eyeshadows, but I am impressed and I shall be on the look-out for others to try soon!

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Waterlily

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The title of the most expensive lipstick in my collection has been taken by this little beauty: No7 Moisture Drench in No. 11 Waterlily (£9.50). I have never worn a lot of pink lipstick in the past. I have been on the look out for one, but unfortunately with a very specific idea of the shade I was after. I had so many requirements – not hot pink, not baby pink, not orangey-pink – which made life harder still. I looked longingly at the Rimmel Moisture Renew line in particular (because I really love them) and there was nothing quite right. Eventually I spotted this shade in the No 7 range and it was so perfect; exactly what I wanted. It was more than I would usually spend on a lipstick but I decided it was worth it.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this lipstick. I guessed it would be quite moisturising from the name, and it didn’t let me down in that respect. It is very similar to the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks, except the moisturising feeling lasts much longer and it doesn’t dry out so much. I did some drinking and eating tests too. I applied the lipstick at 7.30am and then at 10am I had a cup of tea and some yoghurt and granola (fun fact). There was some transfer onto the cup, but not an excessive amount. I got my mirror out to check whether I needed to reapply, and I was really surprised to find I didn’t. In fact, I only reapplied the lipstick twice during the day in total. Despite the transfer of excess lipstick, the colour almost stains your lips and stays put for a really long time. I’m very impressed!

Has anyone else tried a No 7 lipstick? I find the brand hugely underrated amongst the blogging community. Some of their make-up (foundation and nail polish especially) is really good and doesn’t get the love it deserves.

November 2013 Favourites

SAM_1353L’Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo and Conditioner – These are the products I have had in my shower this month and I love them. They smell like shea butter which is heavenly and they leave my hair in really good condition. I reviewed the conditioner a while back here.

Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner – I go through phases of eyeliner a lot. I bought a couple of Collection felt tip liners a long time ago and wore them religiously for months. I then moved to pencil for a long while, and up until very recently I have been using liquid. Now that I am commuting and have a lot less time on my hands, I have migrated back to the Collection felt tips. They glide on effortlessly and are so easy to use so they take mere seconds to apply in the morning. They last all day as well. My only criticism is, you can’t curl your lashes after using them. If you do, the liner will rub straight off, no matter how long you left it to dry. This is frustrating, but luckily I have naturally curled lashes and a great mascara, so it’s not too much of a hard ship.

Kate Spade at Nails Inc. Big Red Apple Polish – Many of you will recognise this polish because it came free with Glamour magazine this month. I always buy Glamour instead of Cosmopolitan these days. It’s cheaper, has better stories, and has better free gifts! This polish is such a gorgeous red colour and is perfect for Christmas! I am all for orangey or pinky reds in Summer, but around Christmas time you really want a pure red red! I have been wearing it for most of the month. It is really opaque and, although it recommends two coats, you can get away with one. The only downside is, like all Nails Inc. polishes, I don’t think it has great staying power. If you haven’t put a top coat on it tends to start to chip towards the end of the nails by the end of the next day.

Accessorize Umbrella – It goes without saying that in the UK you need an umbrella pretty much all year round. The weather can be predictable, but only in the sense that it rains 9 days out of 10 in the Autumn. My trusty umbrella that I have had for a while broke earlier this month, so at lunch time I went looking for a bargain. I found this beautiful floral print umbrella in Accessorize and fell in love with it. The case for it was torn so I managed to negotiate a discount too!

MUA Undressed Eyeshadow Palette I have had this palette for a long time, but as many of you will know, I have always favoured Heaven and Earth because I found the shades more wearable. I decided to fish Undressed out again towards the end of October and I have been wearing shades from it ever since. My favourites are marked below. I like to combine 1 and 5 or  3 and 5 for a shimmery evening look, or 2 and 4 for a smoky daytime look. 

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Lush Cupcake Face Mask

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I bought this mask as part of a recent ‘accidental’ Lush haul. I’d never tried a Lush face mask before, but this one appealed to me because it looks and smells like chocolate and it would be an understatement to say that I like chocolate… I love the way Lush present the mask in a bowl with chocolate drops on top in the store, it makes it look really enticing. You can see an example on their website here.

The mask is particularly good for anyone with younger, more spot prone skin, or anyone with problematic oily areas. According to the Lush website, it has linseed  to nourish and soften the skin, fresh mint for toning, cocoa butter which is really moisturising and rhassoul mud to absorb grease and give a deep cleanse. I have had a rhassoul mud treatment before and I do think it’s great at cleansing and freshening the skin.

There is no other way to describe the smell of this mask except chocolate heaven! It smells like really rich dark chocolate in a pot and continues to smell like chocolate even when its on your skin.

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Once you’ve bought the mask you should keep it in the fridge because it contains lots of fresh ingredients. It also means the mask is pleasantly cold when you apply it to your skin. I don’t think I’d fancy applying lukewarm chocolatey mud to my face… It has a very thick consistency but it spreads well and evenly across your skin. I leave the mask a good 15 minutes till it has completely dried out and then I wash it off.

I really love this mask. Not only is it fun to apply, but it leaves my skin feeling really fresh and clean. It also only cost £5.95 which I think is quite good value. You get four or five fairly generous applications out of it and it feels like a high quality spa product.

The only downside is you will get in a bit of a mess. In fact ‘a bit’ would be an understatement. It takes a lot of warm water and soap to wash off and whatever flannel or face cloth you use will end up covered in it so will need to go straight in the wash. You are also likely to get it all over your sink, so don’t use it if you cleaned your skin an hour earlier! I totally think it’s worth it though and I can’t wait to try more Lush face masks. Any recommendations?

 

MUA “Dolly” Cream Blusher

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If you read my recent wishlist post you’ll know I’ve been in the market for a new blusher for some time, having used my Bourjois blusher to death. I decided to try a cream blusher for a change and for a more natural every day look. It occurred to me whilst browsing Superdrug that it’s probably not a good to spend a fortune on a cream blusher until you know you like them, so I decided to go cheap and cheerful and get one of MUA’s cream blushers. I went for the shade Dolly as it seemed the most natural one they had in stock. 

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The first thing that struck me about this blusher might sound a little silly, but really it’s kind of fundamental! It is so unbelievably hard to open! I don’t know if there’s something wrong with me and there’s actually a really obvious trick to it, but I have tried loads of time and the only thing that seems to work is brute force! This is pretty disastrous if you are either a) running late, or b) wearing really nice nail polish that took you hours. Can anyone help me or do I need to permanently snap the plastic clasp off?

Okay, so on to the product itself. The blusher itself is much like I imagine most cream blushers are: creamy! It glides really well onto the skin and takes hardly any effort at all to blend. I’m really pleased I picked this colour as I think it looks really natural on my skin and just gives me that radiant, fresh faced, effortless glow I’m after. I’d definitely describe it as a daytime blusher rather than an evening blusher though as it’s hard to build a significant level of colour. 

I was warned by a couple of people that I shouldn’t expect much from MUA cream blushers as apparently they are notoriously bad at lasting. I have to say I agree to a certain extent. If I use it in the morning I sort of feel like it needs reapplying by midday. I wouldn’t mind this at all if I could open the damn thing easily, I’d just keep it in my make-up bag in my handbag. Unfortunately, until I can work out how to open it, I am a bit stuck which is disappointing because in all other ways it’s lovely.  😦

FOTD #2

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I had some spare time on my hands before going out to dinner the other night, so I thought I would take the time to photograph my make-up ready to do a FOTD post. I don’t do these very often as I am still a bit self concious about putting my face out there on the internet, so please be kind!

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The basic face products I used were the ones I use pretty much every day at the moment: No 7 Stay Perfect Foundation in Calico, Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector Concealer in Ivory, a dusting of Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Powder in Light and then Bourjois Blusher in Lilas D’Or.

I took a little bit of brown eyeshadow and applied it to my brows for a little more definition and darker colour. For my eyes, I decided to go for a smokey bronze look. Instead of eyeshadow primer, I used a cream eyeshadow as a base – CK Calvin Klein Tempting Glimmer Sheer Creme Eyeshadow in Vintage Metal.

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I took this deep brown (1) from my MUA Heaven and Earth palette and blended into the outer corners of my eyes and into the crease. I then took a creamy colour (2) and blended it into the inner corners to really make my eyes pop. I used Collection Fast Stroke black liquid eyeliner and finished by curling my lashes and applying a couple of coats of Max Factor Clump Defy mascara.

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Apologies for the blurry photo there!

To complete my look, I used Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Heather Shimmer. I get a lot of stick from some people for using such a 90’s lipstick shade, but I really think it’s a timeless colour and perfect for Autumn.

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