Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Irregular choice — Otters ankle boot

What better place to debut the newest addition to my boot collection than at LFWend? My sister and I stumbled across the brand Irregular Choice whilst waiting to meet Safira and Aysha at the Bourjois pop up shop.

The shop is colourful and full of the most creatively styled shoes and boots. They all have interesting heels, patterns and fabrics. As soon as these ankle boots caught my eye I loved them and even though I initially resisted, I ended up going back for them!

Unfortunately, I don’t have an outfit post to show how I styled the boots, but the colour and relatively simple design means that the boots can be used to dress up any simple outfit and give a more edgy look.

My favourite feature is the heel, which is 10cm tall and made from perspex. The heel colour fades from  black to clear and also has a leaf design. The height of the heel makes them relatively comfortable to walk around in all day. I also love the sole, I was actually sad to have to walk in them knowing that the sole would get ruined!

The boots also come in gold and purple shades (the purple in particular looks amazing!)

I would love to know if any of my readers are Irregular Choice fans? They aren’t a brand I had noticed in the past, but will be sure to have my eye on them now.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Liz Earle and I – product series

I have been a user of Liz Earle since for about 10 years, my mother brought me a today’s special value from QVC and since then I have been hooked. To date I think I have tried almost everything she has to offer.

Two of her products really stand out for me in terms of how they helped me to deal with my skin, cleanse and polish and superskin concentrate. When I finally resolved to improve my skin, I switched from using acne-prone targeted products to using gentler, more natural products – one of which, was cleanse and polish — and I quickly noticed a huge difference in the condition of my skin, how much I would break out and a reduction in the scarring.

I wanted to start a series reviewing selections of her products. I have always brought the QVC special value sets, which has allowed me to restock on favourites as well as try out new products and I have a firm list of favourites.

Although I am big fan, two things stop me using her products exclusively. The first is the price, although I have heard Liz describe herself as "masstige" In my opinion her products hit the higher end of the scale, and this is partly the reason I always buy from QVC. The second is that I have tried to switch to more natural products but I am not sure how well Liz Earle products fit into this. I have read articles, which suggest that the products are marketed to appear natural but they are not actually so, but I need to do a bit more research into this before I make up my mind, or say any more on this blog for that matter!

Let me know if you are a fan of Liz Earle products, what your favourites are, and what are your misses. I am hoping that the series will help anyone who hasn’t tried her products yet or can’t decide what to try next.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Quick review: Benefit POREfessional

After attending the Benefit event at the end of November last year, I was really glad to have received a porefessional in my goodie bag.

As the name suggests this product is meant to minimise pores — my major skin complaint — and to my  pleasant surprise, it does!

It is a beige coloured, silky/silicon feeling cream that spreads easily on the skin and immediately reduces the appearance of pores. It also gives a matt finish, so would be great for anyone with oily skin.

I apply a small amount to my nose and cheeks and then use the remaining residue on my fingers on my forehead and chin, a little goes a long way so I am expecting that it will last ages! It leaves my skin feeling really soft and smooth and acts as a great base for makeup but can also be used alone.

At £23.50 it is not cheap, but I have already purchased my own and Benefit are currently selling it in a set with Erase Paste and a sample size of Girl Meets Pearl for the same price — I am not sure if this is a permanent addition to the range so those of you who want to try take advantage of the set.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

My experience at the Benefit brow bar

Benefit’s brow bar were also present at LFWend and offering a discounted price on all their service. Having grown my eyebrows out since my HD brows experience, they were in desperate need of a tidy and I decided to take advantage of Benefit’s special offer.

Because my decision was quite sporadic I didn’t go any of the sensible things a beauty blogger should do like take “before” shots and pictures of the stand but hopefully you can still get a good idea of the service.

I was cautious after my HD brow experience, which I think left me looking uneven. So the first thing I did was tell the “brow man” that I am aware that one of my eyebrows sits higher than the other and is more arched and that I wanted them as even as possible.

The first step was to dye my eyebrows, the colour was left on for 1 minute. The same as HD brows, he mixed a bit of the colour with a blue dye, which is meant to give a more glossy and natural finish. My eyebrows immediately look better dyed, being naturally very fair.

He then waxed my eyebrows, which involved me pulling a few funny faces, and after plucking out the odd hair I was done!

In all not only was this treatment quicker, but I preferred the finish so much more. My eyebrows were even and he caught every hair and I will definitely revisit Benefit in the future.

On the day Benefit were also offering a deal include eyelash dying, which I also tried. This involved me sitting with my eyes closed for 15 minutes with the dye on my lashes. That was the longest 15 minutes I have experienced, especially with the noise and bustle around of other people shopping. The urge to open my eyes was so strong, but at the same time I was very aware that I had dye on my lashes and I was worried what would happen if it did get into my eye.

After the first 10 minutes or so one of my eyes started to tingle, which only increased my paranoia! But I was reassured that it is completely normal and that usually people have one eye that is stronger than the other, which is why I only felt it in one.

I have to admit though, once the dye was taken off I really didn’t see a huge difference. My eyelashes are naturally dark and this didn’t do much to make them look darker or thicker — but they do seem to look more curled and I can notice the smaller lashes toward the inner corner of my eye more.

I expected that dying my eyelashes would mean I could get away without a mascara every day, but maybe that is not what this treatment is intended for? I personally wouldn’t repeat this treatment again, for people with already dark lashes it isn’t going to add much.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Back to shellac – Tropix mix

In preparation for my holiday I decided to re-apply Shellac to my nails, which should hopefully last me the three weeks I am away.

I wanted to go for a neutral but bright colour to suit the weather. The salon I visited had a few swatches but two points worth bearing in mind when selecting your colour. The first is that the bottle looks nothing like the colour and the second is that the majority of swatches are done on the clear nail wheels, which again are not representative of the colour since they don’t take into account the colour of your nailbed. 

The colour I chose is a mix of colours Tropix and Ice Coral, with two coats of each applied. Tropix is a very bright orange/coral shade, adding Ice coral on top makes the shade completely different and tones down the brightness, the colour has a sheer finish and adds what looks like shimmer to the tropix colour, which is more matte.

I added the second coat to tone down the colour further and ended up with a nice peach-coral shade and finally the top coat gives the amazing shine, which was my favourite feature of the manicure last year. I have pictures of how well the manicure grew out last year and I expect this to be exactly the same.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

I’m going away...

Away on holiday that is!

I am off to Dubai for just over three weeks, I leave tomorrow morning and I am excited, nervous and exhausted all at the same time! I am in the process of finishing off the last little jobs and trying to remember if there is anything I have forgotten to do and pack! 

Never forgetting my blog, I have packed almost all the small samples of products I have in an attempt to test out lots of new products as well as free up even more space in my cupboards. I have also taken a bit of a risk by packing new makeup so I am hoping that I won’t end up regretting that. I do have some blog posts written but I am hoping I will still be able to blog whilst I am out there.

Let me know if you would like to see posts of my adventures as well as the usual reviews and makeup looks.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

February empties

It has been a good month for empties, I have almost got through all of the half used products in my cupboard, which means more space and the chance to start testing out some new products.

So here is what I finished in February….

L’Oreal gentle eye make-up remover — I did not like this at all, it didn’t remove all my eye-makeup first, second or even third time. Recommendations for a new, decent remover would be very welcome!

Body Shop vitamin C cleansing polish — I have reviewed this previously, nothing special and I doubt I will ever repurchase it.

Naked style gorgeous curls cream — I liked this but not as much as the Samy products I have used previously. Although my hair curled nicely, the product built up and left a greasy feeling.

Dove intensive repair — this was a sample I received in a magazine. It did leave my hair feeling soft immediately after washing and I liked that you only needed to leave it in a minute to get the effect, but the fact that it didn’t really last means I probably won’t purchase a full size.

Davidoff Cool Water — another perfume finished this month. Not one of my favourites but I am emotionally attached to it, it reminds me of University days, so I probably will end up repurchasing this at some stage.

Avon perfect wear liquid eyeliner —I really liked using this, but it dried up after about three weeks and although I would like to try the felt-tip style again I’m not sure if others will all end up in the bin as quickly too.

Johnson’s 3 in 1 cleansing lotion — this isn’t a great cleanser but it does leave skin feeling really soft and smooth and is great when you are feeling lazy and want to do everything in one quick step.

Clinque 3-step — I picked up the 3-step starter kit since always wanted to try it. The cleanser and moisturiser lasted me the whole month of February and I will have a review up soon!

Crest 3D whitestrips — Another product I have blogged about previously. I found these too harsh to use for a full treatment cycle but I would repurchase something else from the range.

Nail polish remover — just a cheap one from Asda that I am glad to be done with.

Body shop white musk body powder — I abandoned this for a long time but enjoyed finishing this up. I used it after showing and it left a nice subtle scent on my skin.

Chinese miracle — this was one of the first products I ever reviewed. Although I did like it I’m glad to have the extra space in my cupboard.

Well, even if I do say so myself I am pretty impressed! The plan for the month of March is to start using up all the little sample products I have accumulated, hopefully I will find a few gems and at the same time free up more much needed space. 


Friday, 2 March 2012

Bourjois pop-up shop haul

Close to two weeks ago I headed down to the Bourjois pop-up shop in Shoreditch with my sister and beauty bloggers Safira and Aysha.

The shop was set up to coincide with London Fashion Week and had discounts on products as well as the chance to have a makeover.

We decided to get there early and be one of the first 50 so that we could get our hands on a goodie bag, it also meant we had the place before it got too busy to get a really good look at some of the products on offer. The venue itself was decorated like a sweet shop for makeup lovers — with a lot of the eyeshadows displayed in jars and the rest of the products in different trays.

Contents of the goodie bag, I love the light up mirror and I’m also looking forward to trying out the cream wash

So here is what I picked up, I will of course review and/or show makeup looks with the products when I have had a chance to test them fully.

I knew I wanted to pick up the bronzing powder before I arrived, I went for the ligher shade, which doesn’t swatch well but I hope that it will allow me to subtly contour and that it can be built up for a bronzed looked.

I also picked up one of the eyeshadow pots in the shade 08, which is the nude/flesh tone I have been looking for. It has a slight sheen, but I am hoping to use this shade to even out the colour of my eyelids for neutral looks or as highlight, it blends in so well to my skin tone that I couldn’t photograph it well.

I also picked up three eyeliners. Two shadow and light in the shades gris and petale, and brun and caramel. I am not sure how to use these together to get the best look, but the shades are beautiful and apply smoothly. The petale shade I expect to be great for brightening up the eye. I picked up the contour clubbing waterproof eyeliner in blue remix, which is a vibrant turquoise colour. I only ever use coloured eyeliners on the lower lash line and I am hoping the waterproof formulation will mean that it lasts well.

Finally I couldn’t walk away without buying a nail polish. . . .  but I will save that for a nails of the week post.

I did walk away regretting not picking up the felt tip eyeliner, but I think I will make use of a £2 off voucher we were given. Are there any Bourjois fans out there and if so what else is worth looking out for?

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