Wednesday, 21 March 2012

River Island Lust List *I want so many pretty things*

There are SO MANY THINGS I want from River Island at the moment! Taking a break from studying, I visited River Island's website and spotted so many cute skirts, dresses and jackets. I'm seriously lusting over so much, so here's a little selection. Roll on payday!

Blue floral playsuit £18
I've never worn a playsuit before but this one is so cute, from the blue colour to the floral print and floaty fit. I like the v-necked front, making it wearable during the day with a vest top underneath if desired, and for evening without! 

Pink Aztec print mini skirt £15
 I'm so happy that this skirt is only £15 as it means it's in my price range! I'm a fan of pink and neutrals and I really like the Aztec print. I want to start wearing skirts now that it's warmer outside, and printed ones seem easy to dress up and down. I'm going to have to try this beauty on next time I go shopping.

Mid denim crop jacket £45
I really really REALLY want a cropped denim jacket, as well as a pastel coloured blazer and a black leather jacket, although I'm not sure I can afford to part with £45 on one item :s It is really nice though, and would go with everything (such as the playsuit and skirt above..!) So I guess I could count is as being an investment buy. Cost per wear would be peanuts!

Pink skinny trousers £20 on sale!!!
 These are on sale for £20! I need them in my life! I've wanted some colour-pop jeans for ages, and I love light pink. I'm not sure if they'd be acceptable work wear, BUT I could always test them out and see if anyone says anything. *Sigh* these are gorgeous. 

 Lace belted skater dress £35
As well as skirts, I really want to make more of an effort to wear dresses, especially as they're so easy to wear; all you need is a jacket (hello cropped denim!) and some pumps and you're good to go.

Until next time! :p

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Collection Cosmetics Cream Puff in 'Cotton Candy'

I used to love a bit of Collection 2000 (now called Collection after a branding re-vamp) when I was younger, and I've discovered some products that have sneakily become staples in my make-up bag over the past few weeks. I now use Collection 2000 loose powder every day to set my make-up as it's brilliant at preventing shine. 

My latest finds are the Cream Puff Moisturising Lip Creams (£2.99 each in Boots & Superdrug stores), and I was drawn to 'Cotton Candy' as I wanted to try out a brighter pink than usual. Collection describe the product as being a 'velvety soft, matte finish lip cream'.

'Cotton Candy' 
Swatch of 'Cotton Candy' Cream Puff
The colour of the cream pretty much matches the colour of the packaging, which is handy as it means you don't have to fiddle around with numerous testers in store! 

Creamier than a lipstick while matter than a lipgloss, the texture is a cross between the two; smooth and easy to apply, without being glossy and without being drying, it sets quite quickly once applied, in doing so reminding me more of a lip stain. Yet it feels much creamier than a stain; it's hard to describe! Once dried it leaves a gorgeous matte opaque texture/colour. It has a lovely sweet, creamy 'candy' smell, without being overpowering. As for pigmentation, it really does resemble the colour of the packaging, and can be layered to give deeper intensity. 

I paired it with a lip pencil from Boots 17 in 'Buff' (£2.59), drawing around the lips with the pencil first in order to lock in colour and prevent any bleeding:

As a very natural shade it doesn't show too much but I find it helps secure colour and provides a good outline for when applying bright colours. 

I applied two layers of 'Cotton Candy', waiting for it to dry in-between to judge whether or not I wanted more colour. Here's the result:

Close-up of 'Cotton Candy' 
Considering this little gem only costs £2.99, I'm very impressed and really like the matte effect it leaves on the lips. It may look a little drying in the close-up picture, but it really doesn't feel that way at all, I think it's more to do with my camera!I'm usually a little tentative when it comes to brighter colours but the matte texture makes it flattering and it's extremely comfortable to wear. A true beauty bargain that delivers on it's promise :) 

Friday, 16 March 2012

My cry for the perfect nude lip, answered by e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color!

I think I've worked out where I've been going wrong in my hunt for the perfect nude lip. I've always equated nude with beige, or with brown, when actually a much better nude seems to be one with a red tint. Red! The colour I've always shied away from! The colour I always tend to avoid when lipstick/lipgloss shopping! Well, it seems I was being rather narrow minded in my quest for nude, but to my joy and astonishment I seem to have stumbled across the very colour I was unknowingly looking for...

e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color Natural 
Enter e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural (£3.50). It might not seem that red in the picture above, but wait until you see the swatches. As part of a recent e.l.f order I popped one of these in my on-line basket, intrigued to see if it would be a good fit for me, the on-line swatch showing a pinky brown nude colour and the 'Natural' name tag luring me in. Perhaps this could finally be the one...  

(I couldn't get any close-up shots of my mouth because I'm still fiddling around with my camera, but hopefully the pic above shows the red-ness of it!)

e.l.f Studio Matte Lip Color 'Natural' 
I can't even begin to praise this little pencil enough. I tested it out today, having waited a few days (I know! Crazy! To think what I was missing out on!) First I used it to line my lips. So far, so good, I thought to myself as I drew it on; smooth, easy to twist up, soft enough to prevent dragging, and a nice colour. I proceeded to fill in my lips, noticing how creamy the consistency of the pencil was, and how it left a lovely matte texture. And then I noticed that it had a slight red tone to it. Not beige or brown-nude, but more of a pink-red. And it hit me that I'd assumed I'd need a paler shade. But no! 

The longer I left it on, the more excited I became about it, due to it's staying power- a lunch of chicken pie and chips, and three cups of tea. Which is pretty impressive if you ask me. The matte texture remained; the colour didn't bleed; it didn't disappear, it didn't leave me with an awful red-pink lip line. 

I am truly converted to the joy of a natural reddish lip. It doesn't feel garish, it doesn't feel as if it's 'too much'. It feels like the  nude lip I've been searching for all this time. 

Thank you e.l.f!!

Ooh, a mystery parcel, what could it be...? The Goddess Collection from MeMeMe!

Last week I was at home, studying (ahem, well, blogging) when a mystery parcel arrived. What could it be? I was sure I hadn't ordered anything and so I was sure I wasn't expecting a delivery. 

Upon opening it, I came face to face with a MeMeMe Goddess Collection make-up set :D

I immediately got on the phone to the boyfriend, and lo and behold, he'd spotted it on Groupon for the bargain price of £12.99 and ordered it for me :) Amazing! A boyfriend who actively encourages my love of all things beautiful :p

MeMeMe Goddess Collection

 Retailing for £29.99 on MeMeme's official website, this is something I probably wouldn't normally purchase, BUT, it being my first foray into MeMeMe cosmetics, and it being such a great bronzing kit, I've had to reconsider my stance. The set consists of five products, meaning you actually save a bit of money buying it as a set, rather than purchasing the items separately in Superdrug stores. 

Lipgloss, liquid highlighter, nail polish, shimmer brick & eyeshadow quad 

As written on the back of the box, the set consists of:

  • Goddess Eyes Baked Powder Eyeshadow Quad Palette
  • Sunbeam Illuminating Complexion enhancer & radiating highlighter cream
  • Bronze Shimmer Stack- High Pigmentation bronzing powder compact
  • Nail Gloss in 'Elegant' Opulent High Gloss finish with Maxi-brush
  • Light Me Up Lipgloss in 'Captivate' frosted brown with built in light & mirror

First up, Goddess Eyes Baked Powder Eyeshadow, consisting of a pearly light gold, a strong gold-bronze, a nude-brown gold and a darker shimmery brown. (I love neutrals and golds!)

I'm afraid the picture isn't great but I hope you can make out at least three of the colours on my arm. The pigmentation is strong, meaning only a little is needed at a time, and the colours complement each other very well. 

Next up, Sunbeam Illuminating highlighter cream:

Highlighter fluid straight from the bottle...

... and blended into skin 
This reminds me of other popular liquid highlighters such as Benefit's Moon Beam. It has a good consistencey: creamy and not too runny, and it blends in easily. It gives a subtle gold shimmer, perfect for using to highlight cheekbones/browbones. 

Now for my favourite part of the set, the Bronze Shimmer Stack, which again reminds me of more expensive brands such as Bobbi Brown. This gives a gorgeous rich flush of colour, a blend of gold and bronze without the dreaded orange. I can't wait to use it when I'm on holiday this summer to give my tan a boost.

Bronze Shimmer Brick
One sweep with bronzing brush 
Applied to skin with brush 
As you can see in the picture, the pigmentation of the bronzer is strong, which means starting with a light sweep rather than loading your brush up with lots of powder. I love the colour it gives, and I bet it will work excellently at contouring cheekbones and highlighting a tan. I'm also tempted to try it out on my legs, brushing a light layer along the shins to illuminate.  You can also use the individual stripes of colour as pretty eyeshadows. 

The Nail Gloss in 'Elegant' gives a solid colour with only one application, which is fantastic as I hate having to apply multiple layers of nail polish. The colour is a true molten gold:


One coat of polish
Last, but by no means least, Light Me Up Lipgloss in 'Captivate', a creamy frosted brown-gold colour that comes not only with a handy little mirror on the side of the tube, but with a built-in light to enable easy application even in the darkest of places! Ingenious :) 

Can you see the little light?!

At first I thought this might be a bit too bronze for me, but it actually shows up as a very nude shimmer, which I like. It also has great staying power! 

So there you have it, my introduction to MeMeMe cosmetics, a brand I'd never used before but will certainly be paying much more attention to the next time I'm in Superdrug/doing a spot of on-line shopping. The set may come with a price tag of £29.99 but the quality of each item in terms of pigmentation and texture makes it a good rival to more expensive designer brands offering similar products. Definitely recommended! 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Revlon Lip Butters in Strawberry Shortcake and Macaroon!

There has been unbelievable hype surrounding the UK release of Revlon's latest product, Colorburst Lip Butter, which I first spotted a few months ago in a couple of American magazines. Due to an accidental early on-line release from I was able to order two Lip Butters prior to their release, although I've only just received them today as I missed the delivery yesterday- boo! But rest assured, they're finally here!

Revlon Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake & Macaroon
I was a little bit concerned about relying on an on-line swatch when it came to picking the the shades, and indeed the actual products do look slightly different to the swatches provided by, but the difference is minimal and I can live with it! I went for Strawberry Shortcake as I like pale pinks, and Macaroon as it looked like the most mid-dark pink out of the bunch, and therefore like quite a natural shade.  

Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake 
Strawberry Shortcake is slightly paler than I was expecting when applied, with a slight lilac undertone, but you can build up the colour or keep it fairly sheer depending on how many layers you apply, making it 'pinker' as you do so. The texture feels smooth like a balm while delivering quite a punchy pigment (I'd read that they would be very sheer, but they definitely deliver a good shot of colour with one swipe). They glide on easily and feel moisturising and not at all drying- which is great, considering the product title! :p 

Strawberry Shortcake swatch 
Macaroon is slightly darker than I was expecting, more of a reddy-gold-pink than a mid-dark pink, BUT I'm actually really glad I went for this shade as it's very flattering when applied and not too garish. One swipe gives a shiny red wash, and of course you can layer it to intensify the colour. I'm not usually one for daring lip colours but this is slowly converting me! 

And here's the swatch...

Macaroon swatch
Overall I'm very impressed and glad I got my order in so quickly! They're available to order on-line at and will be released in Boots stores over the next couple of weeks. 


Price: currently two for £10 at, £4.99 each at Superdrug stores.
Packaging: attractive; 'sheer' plastic denoting the Lip Butter colour inside.
Texture: moisturising, balm-like, slight glossy finish
Colour: medium-sheer, intensified with layering, long-lasting (I've had mine on for an hour and a half and so far so good!)
Scent: faint 'lipstick' scent, not overpowering at all.
Ease of use: easy to swipe on without a mirror! Balm tip is shaped to fit the lip.

Friday, 9 March 2012

e.l.f Spring Brights gift box review and swatches!

I used to order from e.l.f (short for eyes lips face, an on-line company originating from America) all the time a couple of years ago but kind of fell out of the loop- until now! I received an email with a 20% off code and paid a visit to the website. The new gift boxes caught my attention as they each come with a selection of six e.l.f goodies, including a few items from their original range, a Studio item and a Mineral item (the original range of products cost £1.50, whereas the Studio and Mineral ranges cost around £3.50 per item). The gift boxes cost £12 each with a retail value of £16, meaning you're saving £4- every little helps!

e.l.f Spring Brights gift box 
I decided to order the Spring Brights box as the mint green nail polish looked lovely, and I'd wanted a gold shimmer stick for a while. It contains the following six items (see below for swatches too!), all of which tie into the spring-time theme of greens and golds:

Brightening eye color 'Teal Dream'

The eyeshadow colours consist of a pearly white, gold, mid-blue and mid-green, and are quite shimmery:

Swatches of 'Teal Dream' shadow quad 
Studio Cream Blush 'Heartbreaker' 
The cream blush looks like a rather bright pink in the pot, but rest assured it doesn't come out that way on the skin! It's slightly redder in real life rather than the super bright pink in the photo (silly camera!), but it gives a natural pink flush when applied.

You only need a little, dabbed on cheeks and blended into skin lightly with your finger tips. 
'Heartbreaker' cream blush 
'Mint Green' nail polish
I love the pale pastel green shade of this polish; I've tried a few from other brands that have been slightly too dark for my pale skin tone, so I was looking for a pastel green. This fits the bill nicely!

I only had time to paint one nail! 
Shimmer pencil in Grassy Green 
Nice shimmery metallic mid-green colour
I love the consistency of the pencil, as the nib isn't too hard and so it doesn't drag against the skin. It also means it's easy to blend.

All Over Color Stick in Toasted 

This shows on the skin pretty much how it looks in the tube above, a gold-bronze shimmery colour, and it blends easily. I'll be using it as a multi-purpose product: lips, eyes, highlighting cheekbones/collarbone/eyebrow bone. It also smells really good, like oranges!

Mineral lipstick in Party Pink 

I don't usually wear lipsticks, I'm more of a gloss girl as I'm always afraid lipstick will look too 'obvious' on me. I was pleasantly surprised by this shade though, as it doesn't come across too heavy-looking when applied, and it has quite a sheer finish. The colour is as pictured; a pinky-peach with subtle gold undertones. And for days when I feel like wearing gloss I can simply dab some clear gloss on top :)

Overall I'm very impressed with the selection of products and the quality of each item. The packaging of the Studio and Mineral products are particularly nice; sleek and black, they don't look as if they only cost £3.50 each when bought separately! The All Over Color stick is a handy pocket size, making it easy to carry around for touch-ups, and the eye pencil compliments the eyeshadow palette perfectly. And as for the nail polish, it fulfils my green colour wishlist :) e.l.f definitely offers great value for money, and the range of products and shades available on their website is impressive. I've placed a couple more orders with them since receiving this package... Keep your eyes peeled for future posts!

Full range of e.l.f products available on their website here

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Versatile Blogger Award! Plus 7 random facts about me...

I was super excited to see that Dipsy_Donz , author of the blog Love.Make Up.Fashion.Life. nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award :D Thank you so much! 

I hadn't heard of it before so I'm a little unsure about what I have to do next, but as far as I can make out you have to nominate a bunch of fellow bloggers, in doing so spreading the love in the blogger community :) 

The Rules

1.Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.
2.Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
3.Share 7 random facts about yourself.
4.Thank the blogger who nominated you.
5.Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

As I'm relatively new to beauty blogging I didn't think I'd be able to pick 15 bloggers, as I'm still exploring and finding blogs to read! But once I got going I realised I'm following so many great blogs that I'm determined to read much more regularly. Here goes! (In no particular order- they're all great!)

  1. Keeping Up With Carmen
  2. A.M.A xoXo
  3. Twenty One Forward
  4. A Child of Sundays
  5. the girl next door diaries
  6. Looking at a ginger in the mirror 
  7. What Charlotte Did
  8. Beloved and Beloving
  9. A Voice Released
  10. Bags of Beauty
  11. Beauty Badger
  12. Clouds Are Pink
  13. Em's Mixed Bag
  14. Hope, freedom & love
  15. Lotty's Luxuries
All of these blogs deserve recognition, whether they cover beauty, life or random stuff! All brilliantly written and often with great pics too :) 

Right, so, seven facts about me!

  1. I used to think that Cheerios had feelings. If I was almost finished with my bowl of cereal I'd make sure there were at least two hoops left, so they could keep each other company. The more I think about this, the more I wonder if this really happened... I'm sure it did though. Go figure.
  2. I hate clumps. Anything clumpy freaks me out, for example coffee beans clumped together, knobbly bits on tree trunks, stones clumped together on walls, M&Ms in a glass jar... Sometimes if things are really clumpy I feel physically sick and have to fight the urge to heave. 
  3. I'm clearly slightly bonkers.
  4. I'm addicted to magazines. So much so that I have regular magazine festivals: Magazine Tuesday is when all of the gossip weeklies come out and Midweek Monthlies is when the monthly mags are released, typically on a Wednesday or Thursday, hence the 'Midweek' part. Then there are the American magazines, the writing magazines, the history magazines, the home magazines, the baking magazines. So many magazines, so little time!
  5. When I was younger I thought I looked like a boy. I attribute this to the vast amount of comments I received along the lines of 'you look so much like your father!' I still have this hang-up; from time to time I convince myself I look like a male with boobs. It's a combination of my jaw line and the Massey square head shape. My head has sharp edges. To me, it's masculine. And to make matters worse, I can't even wear hats to hide it because they don't fit properly. Sigh.
  6. My obsession with beauty products started when I was approximately seven or eight. I used to beg my mum to let me buy Shout, Bliss and Sugar magazines (she disliked the 'adult content', ie, pages advising the best kissing techniques), so that I could copy the make-overs and spend my pocket money on Collection 2000 clear mascara, Superdrug's Secret Weapon hair mascara & roll-on body glitter, and those cheap fruit flavoured roll-on lipglosses you find on market stalls. In Year 7 I became known as the girl who spent her lunch money in Woolworths on the way to school each morning, on beauty products. Those were the days! 
  7. When I was younger I ALMOST met Geri Halliwell. She was auctioning off her her Spice Girls clothing and due to family connections (not to her, to the auction house!) I was invited to try her stuff on and to meet her. I got to try the clothes on, and I've got photos of me wearing the famous union jack dress and her platform boots; but unfortunately I couldn't go to the dinner she hosted. I did, however, receive a signed letter. So it wasn't all bad. P.S I was a HUGE Spice Girls fan and still am, although Mel C was my favourite because I was a voice snob and liked her due to her ability to hit the high notes. I used to watch their official Spice VHS video after school every day for about a year. Viva Forever!
And now, the Versatile Blogger Award logo:

I hope that's all been done properly! 

:) xx 

So what could I afford if not luxuries? Essentials! Weekend haul!

Perhaps I was a little too harsh on Primark in my previous post. If there's anything Primark excels at, it's the three P's: pants, pyjamas and pumps. I can't get enough of them and I always find myself grabbing random 'P' items as I go through the store. The best part is, they're cheap! It doesn't matter if a PJ top isn't that strong material-wise because you only wear it to sleep in. And it doesn't matter if a pair of pumps suffer a little wear and tear after a few weeks because they're the kind of thing you might want to change regularly anyway, for colour-coordination/British weather purposes. 

And so, although I couldn't quite justify spending money on the fabulous outfit featured in my last post, I could justify picking up some 'essentials' this weekend; things I know I'll wear regularly, for work and play. Here they are!

Primark's finest:p a cute set of flowery pyjamas perfect for the upcoming summer weather:

Primark PJs
How sweet do the little blue flowers look? £3 top and £3 pants, I couldn't resist. 

PJ print
I also picked up some nude pumps for work/everyday wear, as I LOVE nude pumps and wear them throughout spring/summer until it gets too cold to go out with partially naked tootsies. 

£4 Primark pumps 
One last purchase from Primark: a pink scarf to liven up my usual array of white tank tops and black cardigans for work, particularly useful for fooling the kids at school into thinking I don't wear the same outfit every day (the shame of being told that I do has yet to fade). 

£3 scarf with tassels! 
Oh wait, that's a lie, one more thing made it's way into my arms, but it's an actual NECESSITY: a little black shoulder strap bag to use on nights out, as I can't keep lugging around my huge handbag! 

£4(?! I think!) Primark bag 
Moving on from Primark, I picked up a few bits of jewellery in H&M:

Bracelet £2.99, gold leaf design ring £3.99, set of three gem rings £3.99 
I love cheap jewellery as you can mix it up and chop and change whenever suits (although I wouldn't mind some real diamonds, if anyone has any to spare?!) Just a few items to jazz up my outfits. 

Next up was a quick trip to New Look, where I snapped up a new wallet and a pair of dangly earrings. I'm usually a studs kind of gal but I thought this pair in particular weren't too dangly and I like the mix of pink and gold:

£3.99 New Look earrings 
£6.99 wallet- I love a neutral! 

Finally, a shopping spree wouldn't be complete without a trip to Boots and Superdrug to check out any special offers etc... Lucky I did, because Boots 17 has a 3 for 2 promotion running and I decided to indulge, before heading to Superdrug to pick up L'Oreal's new Lumi Magique foundation and L'Oreal Triple Active day and night creams:

L'Oreal and 17 selection 
Oh, and you see that cute little pink-tipped blusher brush? That's from Primark too. So I actually seem to have gone a little Primark crazy this weekend. Who would have thought?! 

'Pink Grapefruit' and 'Glisten'
L'Oreal Triple Active Day and Night 

Swatches and reviews to follow! 

Of course, it has occurred to me that for the cost of all of the above I could probably have made a real crack at getting my hands on the River Island/New Look evening outfit I'm lusting after (see previous post). But sometimes in life you have to bag the essentials and lust after the luxuries a little longer. 

OK, so perhaps none of the above qualify as real 'essentials'... But when you have thirteen year olds asking 'Miss, why do you always wear the same clothes?' and your reply 'why do you always wear a school uniform?' doesn't quite cut the mustard, the pressure is on to at least fool them into thinking you're wearing something different each day. Which is where essentials such as scarves and pumps play their part!