Musings of a self-confessed beauty addict from the heart of London!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Stylist Live - My thoughts

So, the first ever Stylist Live, an exhibition which in essence is the living embodiment of the magazine.

I am the hugest ever fan of Stylist. It's free, but very hard to get hold of as I never seem to be around when they distribute it. I usually end up with a 2nd or 3rd hand manky copy someone drops on the floor. That's how hardcore I am, I actually pick it up from the pavement in order to rifle through a copy. I used to have the app which downloaded the new issue straight to my phone but it ended up using so much memory I had to delete it. Anyhow, I like the paper version so much more; I can linger over the pages without squinting.

I was one of the first to secure tickets for this much-anticipated event back in the summer when they were first released. Could. Not. Wait.

On Friday morning I met G outside the Business Design Centre in Islington. We were there before doors opened along with other die-hard Stylist fans. We were given fabric 'goody' bags on entering and a voucher for free bubbly.

On entering we walked through a giant version of the Stylist front cover, presumably the effect is of one literally walking into the magazine itself. Clever.

The hugest sponsors of the show were right there at the front; Nars, Ford, Swarovski and Aveda (Aveda had a big stand in the middle of the hall). They undoubtedly had the biggest stands. Being such omnipresent brands this didn't interest us as much as finding more niche exhibitors.

I guess if I'm honest I was a little underwhelmed in what was on offer on the exhibition floor. There were some niche brands of clothing, jewellery and stationary, but I was expecting to see far more variation in products on offer. There was very little on offer in terms of homeware and food, and the price brackets for a lot of stands were pretty high. Fine jewellery, custom-made shoes, stunning stationary (gorgeous, but let's face it, a bit useless) and some expensive accessories boutiques. If there were show discounts or perks available then these were not advertised that clearly overall.

I bought one thing, a very pretty little necklace by Finchittida, a jewellery brand I'd never encountered before. The basis of their designs is perspex, except it doesn't look like perspex. The designs were imaginative, creative and extremely beautiful and I really wanted to try on everything. There was a gold perspex crown which I just HAD to try on. Crowns really need to become a 'thing'.... everyone needs a crown. I learnt that it was a huge injustice that I do not currently own a crown. I will definitely consider the possibility of commissioning Finchittida to make me one of their custom-made £150 crowns. Yes I will, Mr P.

Custom-made crown by Finchittida. I would have uploaded the photo of me wearing it but I look like such a goofball because I was so freaking happy that it didn't really do justice to the regality of the thing!

Food wise, I was somehow expecting to graze on lots of lovely samples, being the gannet that I am. There really wasn't that much on offer. I suppose I was at the wrong show for snacking! However, there were not many options for eating lunch, one main restaurant where the queue was ridiculous and one macaroni cheese pop-up where we ended up satiating our hunger with a huge pot of Anna Mae's bacon-topped mac'n'cheese. Yummy, but I didn't exactly feel as light as a fairy afterwards.

For me the main event was attending the talk by Pixiwoo. I love Pixiwoo. They (their videos, I mean) kept me company in the lonely Brussels days and formed the basis of my make-up obsession education. :) I couldn't believe I was finally going to see them in action!

I found the talk interesting and the sisters themselves are very engaging individuals, easy to like and actually a little bit shy. The problem was the layout of the staging. We were all seated on one level at the front, the stage was not that high and when they sat down they couldn't be seen. They needed to be on taller seats, like bar stools so they were raised up. I wanted to take photos of them together during the interview but my view was totally blocked by the sea of audience in front of me.

Sam Chapman explaining shadow sticks
I managed to get some photos during the smokey-eye masterclass, because, thankfully they had the good sense to place the model on a high chair and Sam was standing up. Perhaps because we spent most of the talk trying to see through the crowd to the stage, we left feeling slightly underwhelmed.

The main draws for the whole 4 day event were all the talks and demonstrations which were timetabled throughout the days.  Appearances by various authors, chefs, TV personalities and the Stylist team themselves. Quite a few of the 'learning labs' were filled up quickly as they were free events with limited space, proving just how much interest there was, especially on the journalism related topics. Next year perhaps Sylist should consider offering a multi-day ticket for those who want to attend talks which are scheduled on other days. I would have dearly loved to have seen Nigella and Lisa Eldridge but my ticket was only for the day they were not there.

The catwalk show was great fun and was definitely one of the highlights. It was a catwalk of affordability, ie, high street fashion, creatively put together and pretty inspiring. They showcased five trends, my favourite being the Period Drama trend because obviously that's what would go best with the crown I'm going to may one day purchase.....

The Sweet & Sour trend, pastels and neons
We were in the front row, or FROW, so I got some good images (well, good-ish, I'm pretty inept with any camera if you haven't noticed that already).

Anyway, the inner tart in me wants these shoes....

 The even bigger tart in me wants these ones.....

I wish I could pull off cropped trousers but I'd end up looking like a dumpling that got dressed in the dark.  Love the colour palette here though.

I fell crazy in love with this Topshop silver dress, but sadly would have no occasion to wear it and probably would chicken out of wearing it even if I did. I have an inner exhibitionist who likes to remain.... hidden!
Topshop silver dress

One of the more fun, slightly gimmicky experiences on offer was the Swarovski photo 'booth' experience. We got to wear lots of gorgeous Swarovski jewellery and pose for a 7 second film which was turned into a tiny flickbook. G and I mucked about for 7 seconds and came away with an adorable memory for a lifetime. It was a pretty cute way to close our day, which despite the small niggles, was really a fabulous day out.

Here we are on the cover of Stylist!

Hahaha....not really!

One day though, one day...... and when I am I will be wearing that crown!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Laura Mercier Masterclass @ Harvey Nichols

Darling readers!

Is you ok? IS YOU? Good, coz I wanted to know!

Sorry to go all 'ghetto grammar' (a phrase of my coinage.... you're welcome) after my long absence (again!) but I'm obsessed with Glozell right now and her customary introduction.

Anyway I'm back (yes I am), and with a stonkingly awesome thing to write about. Remember I told you about this lovely girl I encountered back in February who encouraged me to get back into blogging? No, of course you don't, but I won't hold that against you. ;) Well, the lovely Vicky works for Laura Mercier and leads the team at Harvey Nichols, which, if you haven't been, is a cute little corner shop down Knightsbridge way where you can pick up a pint of milk and .... um, Prada.

Gorgeous Vicky invited me to this very exciting VIP event they were holding upstairs in the fifth floor restaurant which was a masterclass with some of Laura Mercier's top make-up artists. There would be make-up, bubbly and canapes. Hel-lo???

The event was last Wednesday 7th October, so I'm writing about it now while my mind is still fresh (well, I've had a coffee this morning so that'll do).

When I walked into the room on the fifth floor of Harvey Nics, I was greeted with prosecco and was immediately struck by how beautiful the place looked. Stunning floral displays, a long beautifully-dressed table laid out for the select few attending, and the impeccably neat and tempting displays of make-up in the numerous mobile units the artists were using. I refrained from diving in and swatching everything, mainly because I had prosecco in one hand, my phone camera in the other and a misguided sense of dignity (yeah, right....)

The inimitable Laura Mercier

I just loved this illustration of Laura at work!
The biggest surprise came when Vicky asked if I would mind being their model for the masterclass! Terrified at the thought of being bare-faced to start with, I knocked back my prosecco and then agreed to be cleansed of my current make-up in preparation for the artists to work their magic. I did explain to them that my face was 'weird' and perhaps not the best example to work on but they shushed me. To be honest, I feel that I know what looks best with my strong features and I'm always fascinated to see how the professionals view my face.
Base products laid out ready for my face!
 I was to have 3 artists work on me. The first, Sasha, was to work on the base, ie foundation, contour etc. The second, Trevor, would do my eyes, and then finally Chris would do my lips.

Sasha explained very clearly what she was using and why she was using it at every stage.  On my face went the Radiance primer, Silk Creme foundation, Secret Camouflage, Secret concealer around my eyes mixed with eye serum, cream contour from the new contour kit, a bit of blush from a cream stick, and some setting powder.
Sasha answering questions from the table.

Working her magic....
By the time she had finished, my skin was incredibly even and, yes, radiant. I had told her that my hugest bugbear was always being able to see my dark circles, whatever I happened to use. She had only used a teeny bit of concealer, and even that was mixed with serum..... I had my doubts about how much that could cover. Although I could still see my dark circles, the overall effect of me looking ill and tired was less noticeable, I think also due to the base being so perfected.

Next Trevor would do my eye make-up. I had pre-warned him that I had wonky eyes and was used to wearing more make-up on them to try and counteract this. For the purposes of the masterclass he wanted to do a very natural look using the 'sunrise' effect of going darkest at the lashline with colour gently bleeding out to almost nothing at the brow-bone.

He used the Eye Basics primer in Buff (which, if you read back on early posts used to be my eye primer of choice), and then followed with shadows (Buttercream, Fresco & Deep Night). The colours were incredibly natural and the focus was really at the lashline where he tight-lined with black cake liner. Interestingly he didn't line my waterline which, to be honest, I ALWAYS do as I feel naked without liner there. He said he didn't think I needed it. The jury is still out on that one! The huge revelation came with the brows. I normally just whip a bit of tinted gel through them as they are pretty low maintenance for me. Trevor used the Deep Blonde brow powder and Brunette eye pencil on them. By the time he had finished I had PERFECT arches. The best eyebrows I ever had in my life! I only hope I can try and replicate it, although it wasn't a quick process.... might have to save that for special occasions.

Chris was on lip duty and I was surprised that he was going to go for a vibrant deep purple lip..... something I would never even consider wearing.... until now!

Oh my days, when I saw the colour he would use (Lip Paint in Fuschia Mauve) I panicked a bit..... I do not consider my lips to be good enough to highlight, but for some reason everyone else does. Isn't it funny how we see ourselves? So on went the paint, and then a collective exclamation of admiration as my lips were filled with fuschia and my face came to life. I could not believe how daring it looked and yet, how refreshing and instantly brightening. Paired with the very natural eyes it worked so well! Chris really spent time perfecting the lip line with a pencil AFTER applying the lip paint and the result was just awesome.

Laura Mercier Lip Paint in Fuschia Mauve
He added a teeny bit of gloss to the bottom lip at the centre as the lip paints are not overly shiny, and I love the effect! Seriously, my lips don't normally look like this. I need this guy on speed-dial! My camera has problems picking up colours correctly so in reality there is more purple in this colour than the photo shows. Here is another one in a different light.

Still not great, but you get the idea. It's an instant teeth-whitening colour as you can see!

Oh God, you're going to want to see the whole of my face now, aren't you? Well, as you know by now I'm pretty shy and don't do photos of moi..... but seeing as you asked nicely, here I am with Vicky post-makeover.

It was almost impossible to get a decent photo of the make-up... my phone camera distorts everything, both colours and shapes so all the photos I tried to take did no justice whatsoever to the amazing work the team did.

After the masterclass everyone got a chance to try out the products and have their make-up done by the other make-up artists whilst I chatted with the lovely Laura Mercier team. I discovered that there was huge love and respect for the grand dame herself who had visited the store in person earlier that same day. The whole team were so dedicated to Laura and her ethos that this energy shone through in bucket-loads. You really get the impression that they are not there for the hard-sell, but to help women (and men!) achieve the best version of themselves through the confidence-boosting power of great make-up and skincare.

I've spent a lot of my life trawling around beauty halls and talking to staff there, and I can whole-heartedly say that it's rare to find such knowledge, passion and belief in a brand. Except really, these artists do not believe in a brand, but in a person and her life's work. I came away feeling uplifted by my evening there and so eager to try out everything again myself. If there is ever a chance for you to take part in such masterclass I would urge you to go!

Oh, and there was a goody bag too!

I was begging silently that something Almond Coconut would be in there and it was! The mini body souffle was still sealed and yet the perfume arose from the bag like ambrosia of the Gods! I could wax lyrical about this scent, but I won't because you all have lives to get back to. Also in the bag, was a mini lip glace, a mini blusher, a caviar eye stick in Amethyst (gorgeous, I used that the next day!) and the Radiance foundation primer.

I really hope you enjoyed this post (not sponsored, by the way, in case you were wondering)..... I loved every second of my time at the masterclass and can't wait to try out products I may have, ahem, 'acquired'. Write-ups coming soon (nudge me if I go quiet again!).

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

'Vichy Lift Activ Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes' Review

Hello chickadees!

How are you all? I'm sorry I came back and then abandoned you again. Life is crazy right now, what with Mr P and me up and moving house again. I'm surrounded by boxes and home improvement catalogues right now (and you know how much I love me a catalogue, right?).

I have so many things to tell you..... it feels like I just want to do one huge Skype conference with you all and chat about all the things I've been loving over cake and tea.

For now, I'll let the most unimaginative title do the talking.... I want to tell you about this eye serum which has literally CHANGED MY LIFE! Ok, not my life, but you know what I mean. It's bloody awesome!

You want the long drawn out story or the short one?

Too bad, I'm giving you the short one :)

I'm a very intuitive person, and quite often I'll be drawn to products with no rhyme or reason. I've not heard about this serum at all, and I wasn't looking for an eye serum while I was in Boots. I was at the Vichy section looking for the also awesome 'Night Detox' cream which is part of their Normaderm range (I really should review that too... ). Anyway, I saw this little silver vial and I instantly got the feeling it would be great.

I didn't really expect it to be as good as it is. After ONE application of the light, pearly serum my under-eye puffiness was GONE. I woke up the next day and I couldn't put my finger on what was different about my face.... until I realised that my eye-bags had literally shrunk! I was so flabbergasted I ran into the bedroom and woke up Mr P and started yelling about how I couldn't believe my new eye product had actually worked. Mr P flinched from this brutal awakening and then proceeded to snort himself back to sleep.

I use a bit of eye cream (currently Resultime by Colline) over the top as it's not moisturising enough on it's own (it's a serum, not a cream). If you're not careful and apply too much then it's tricky to apply concealer over the top as it tends to 'ball up' and flake off your face. Use a teeny bit in the mornings if you're putting make-up on top.

Vichy Lift Activ Serum 10 Eyes - light, fluid texture with a hint of pearl

No results as yet on my lashes, but it's worth it for how it instantly refreshes the entire eye contour. My dark circles look a little better simply by virtue of the fact that some of the puffiness has gone down. It's only been about 2 1/2 weeks that I've been using this but I don't think I've ever seen such good results so fast from any other eye product.

Looking online for it I've just seen that it's won the Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards 2014 for best eye cream! I'm not surprised. I'm glad I tried it before I knew about this, it shows that my results are not placebo induced.

At the moment you can get this with 33% off at  which makes it only £16.65. It's also widely available elsewhere, including Boots and other pharmacies.

I threw away the box but I sourced the ingredients list online:

Aqua/Water, Rhamnose, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, CI 77891/ Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicyloyl Phytosphing Sine, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide /Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Octyldodecanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Chrysin

As you can see this is not a 'natural' product. My skincare choices tend to be from more natural-based brands such as Melvita and Decleor, but to be honest, nothing so far has really cut the mustard when it comes to the eye area, hence my huge leap of faith into the non-natural market.

If it's results you're after, particularly on puffiness and dullness, then I would suggest you give this a go. It's not cheap as chips but it is in no way going to break the bank either. Anyhow, I don't believe anything cheap will work decently on the eye area.... I'm waiting to be contradicted!

What have you been using around your peepers?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A few winter saviours

Happy Sunday, my sweets.

I'm just out of the kitchen, finished baking some breakfast muffins for Mr P. I've boldly come up with my own recipe.... Banana, coconut and Brazil nut muffins. Fingers crossed they turn out ok. I've been quite experimental recently, daring to comfort bake without a specific recipe to hand.
It's been emotional.

Anyway, I got to thinking whilst creaming the butter and unbleached sugar together, that I should probably share with you all some of the other comforting things that have helped get me through this winter.

Bath salts

Not exactly groundbreaking news here.... but a lovely hot bath on a cold night is one of life's true pleasures. My most recent bathing discovery has been Dr Salts Muscle Therapy Bath Salts.

Dr Salts Muscle Therapy

You can be as generous as you like with these depending on how aching you are. They have a wonderful herbal/medicinal scent of Eucalyptus and despite not being the most thrilling bath product out there, manage to deliver pure relaxation on a hitherto unprecedented level. I literally slipped into the bath today and nodded off within 1 minute. These work on an emotional level too. Relaxed body, relaxed mind and vice versa. You get a whopping 1kg for anything between £5 and £6.99, depending on where you buy them from. I bought mine from Waitrose but they are quite easy to get hold of online, in Boots and other supermarkets.

Hydrating face mask 

My skin rarely gets so dry that it becomes uncomfortable, but even so I feel the need for extra plumping and hydration at this time of year. I've loved the Origins Drink Up mask for a while now and I'm not sure I've ever written about it.

Origins Drink Up

It's a luscious white creamy concoction which you smother your face with in a thick layer after cleansing and then let it work it's magic. I take it right down the neck too. Leave it on for as long as you like and then wipe off the excess with a tissue or damp flannel. My skin looks amazing the next day if I use this and super juicy. If you have dry skin you will love this. Origins also do an overnight version of this which I've heard is also amazing. I have to say that as someone who's always gone for purifying masks it's a welcome change to have this in my collection.

Hand cream with a pump

There are some amazing hand creams in tubes and pots, but in the depths of winter you need something with a pump that you can quickly dispense when you're literally rushing out the door. Put it somewhere where you know you'll be getting ready to leave the house, like the hallway or at the entrance to your bedroom or bathroom.

I have The Sanctuary 5 day Moisture Hand Lotion and it's been a true saviour this winter. Mr P likes it too and it's been encouraging him to moisturise his dry mitts more often.... simply because it's in a pump and he's way too lazy to employ fine motor skills and open a tube. Lots of people dislike the classic Sanctuary scent. I happen to really like it. If you don't then don't buy this. Scent aside it's actually a very good hand cream indeed. I'm not sure the moisture stays for 5 days, particularly if you're an OCD hand washer like I am, but my hands and nails do feel much better since I've been using this. It leaves a bit of residue on the surface of the hands but I like the glow it gives to the skin. Hands can look so beaten up a lot of the time and this is like a quick hand-lift. It's only £5.50 from Boots and you get a whopping 250ml of the stuff.

Lip balms in every pocket, in every bag

If I don't have a lip balm with me at all times I freak out and start chewing my lips like my mother didn't love me enough. Lips suffer so much at this time of year and you need to be prepared. Even Mr P is a freak about lip balm. I've had to stop carrying tinted ones as he would grab mine and smear it on, little realising that he was thereafter sporting a rather fetching berry-tinted pout.
If you're out and about choose stick balms. There is nothing more icky than seeing people on public transport dip their bacteria-ridden digits into a gloopy pot and smother it over their smackers. Eugh. They've literally just put out a welcome mat for a nasty virus.

(Sorry, that's my OCD making another appearance.)

Burts Bees make nice little sticks, as do Caudalie and Nuxe. I generally favour the more natural brands as they don't mask true moisture with petrolatum. Beeswax and shea butter are good alternatives as ingredients and feel (and taste) much nicer too. Going back to Burt's Bees, I have to say that the Pomegranate version has a very odd taste and I wouldn't recommend it. It performs well, but I just find the scent too strong and weirdly fake for a natural product. Choose one of the other flavours.

Winged liner

Ok, hear me out on this. I'm so wrapped up when I go out these days that the only thing that can be seen are my eyes. I don't want to get so lost wrapped in wool that I lose myself so I've been sporting a lot of winged liquid liner so that my eyes 'pop' and say 'hello, yes, there IS a person underneath the mountain of Zara scarf'.

You don't have to wing your liner, of course. Anything that makes your eyes look amazing whilst you're cocooned will make you feel surprisingly cheery. Winged liner takes a bit of practice and I have to say that the Dolly Wink liquid liner (Japan only I'm afraid) is hands down the best one I've found. Coming a close second, the DHC Liquid Liner, available from is pretty good, although still not as good as Dolly Wink.

Right, that's it for now, the muffins are ready. They smell amazing!

What have you all been using and enjoying this winter?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

OMG she's back....

....and maybe here to stay????

I'm probably talking to no one right now, and perhaps ever again.... but if you are reading this then please, please leave me a comment or message! It's been so long since I last wrote that I'm sure this page has been the web equivalent of a ghost town..... echoes of previous posts howling in the winds.... html detritus blowing about.... you get the drift.

So think of this as a kind of re-development, a renaissance of sorts. I've been meaning to get back here for too long now, and it was only after a chance encounter today with a lovely make-up artist and hopefully, new friend, that I decided that I couldn't let all my writing go to waste. She was so enthusiastic when I mentioned I 'used to' have a blog that I really began to believe in it again and so, here I am!

This blog has always been my outlet for writing about something I love very much, all things beauty related. It's semi-autobiographical with a few nail polish shots and product reviews thrown in. I know that I have missed it, and I know that I need it back in my life. I welcome you to join in my journey here and add any contributions.

I'm also thinking of starting a Facebook page and.... I'm thinking of changing the title, but I'm yet to come up with something I'm happy with.

Until my first 'useful' post in ages, I'll leave you for now with a short list of a few of my current favourite products:


Clarins Instant Concealer, Dolly Wink Volume Mascara, Bareminerals Eye BB 5-in-1, Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow
Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow - simply gorgeous, medium coverage which gives  a stunning healthy look to the skin.

Clarins Instant Concealer - Amazing coverage, beautiful finish, much hyped, hype is deserved.

Dolly Wink Volume Mascara - The only mascara I've ever found that holds a curl and does everything you'd want a mascara to. Only available from Japan sadly.

Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB eye shadow - A surprise hit..... eye-smoothing, priming, colour... all in one. I love these!


Apivita Serums, Decleor Micellar Oil, Vichy Normaderm Night Detox

Decleor Micellar Cleansing oil - Nothing removes make-up, even waterproof, faster. Seriously. Nothing.

Actually, anything Decleor is pretty amazing.

Vichy Normaderm Night Detox - Fantastic at sorting out troubled skin overnight. Angry spots are calmed, and skin looks radiant in the morning.

Apivita serums - I have both the Radiance and Hydration serums. These are beautiful, light and mostly natural and I've noticed that they do make a difference to how my skin looks and feels.


L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate body cream

Anything from the L'Occitane almond range.

Anything from L'Occitane in general.

There you have it, my lovelies...... I've broken the spell of blogging inertia.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

YSL - Youth Liberator Foundation Review

Chickadees, it's been a while since I told you what to go out and buy (or avoid) so I thought I'd give you an excuse to go shopping (as if you all needed one...)

There are plenty of reviews on the net about this new offering from YSL, but I thought I'd give my tuppence worth anyhow.

I'll begin by saying that I've not liked YSL foundations or concealers before. I'd bought them and they've always turned out to be unusable. Surprise, surprise the products I'd previously tried are no longer available and YSL have manned-up and started to produce the goods.

Youth Liberator is a serum foundation. It is supposed to be one of the new hybrid foundation/skincare offerings which are now flooding the market. It's not enough that a foundation can instantly make the skin look better, but given time it apparently can improve the appearance of naked skin. YSL brought out their Forever Youth Liberator serum earlier this year (or was it last year??) and this foundation supplements the supposed effects of the serum (which I haven't tried).

YSL Youth Liberator Foundation

What's it supposed to do? Well, they say that it should give you a smoother, more even toned complexion and restore the skin's 'youthful brightness' (like 'young' people go about with light-bulbs in their heads, radiating that 'youthful glow' LOL). They recommend you also use the serum for increased effect, but I would take that with a pinch of salt...

Does it deliver? The jury is out on whether I've noticed any improvement in my skin tone since using this, but it certainly hasn't done it any harm either. To be honest, after applying my usual skincare arsenal I question how much of the anti-ageing ingredients are absorbed from a foundation sitting on top of it all. That said, the effect on the skin is just lovely. It gives the appearance of healthy, glowing skin whilst having quite a satin-matte finish. I have combination skin which gets a bit drier in winter and I think this foundation provides a pretty good balance for me in that respect. It's not drying at all, although I find I need to make sure my skin is nicely moisturised before using it. It tends to go more 'glowy' as the day wears on so if I'm out and about I find I need to use a bit of powder on the T-zone. In that respect I'm not sure it's the best foundation for very oily skins.

The coverage is medium. Because of the term 'serum foundation' it makes me think that it would have been a lighter almost tinted moisturiser type, but in fact it goes on like a regular liquid foundation and covers a fair bit. I reckon you could build it up to full coverage if you so desire, or just use a teensy amount if you wanted less. Fingers or a brush will work to apply it, although as much as I love using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, I think I actually prefer using my fingers for this one, just seems to blend the product into the skin more effectively.

The shade B30 is a perfect match for my pale olive skin, though there are sadly only 6 shades as of yet. Not ideal, but if you find a match then definitely try it out.

Price wise it comes in at £34 a bottle. Not the cheapest around, but not the most expensive either. My other most-used foundation, Lancome Teint Miracle is £27.50. I have not yet decided which one I like better. Watch this space....

So, if you are in the market for a new foundation, one which would be suitable for night or day, with good coverage and a nice naturally radiant finish, I don't think you could go wrong with this one.

Plus, would you look at the packaging? Go on, look at it. like a bottle of some divine elixir which will make your dreams come true... Do you need another excuse?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Better kisses!

AKA, the ultimate cure for dry, cracked, flaky lips!

Ladies and (minority) gentlemen, I present to you...


This revolutionary method of caring for your lips is brought to you exclusively by yours truly and I've taken the liberty of trademarking it here, though legally I'm not sure where I stand on trademarking a process which essentially involves using two lip balms one after another. 

So here's the thing... Lips get dry, they crack in winter and get all flaky and shrivelled up. My lips have always been like this, also in the summer. So my little discovery has literally changed my life as I have not suffered from dry lips EVER SINCE. No exaggerations. I'm now very proud of my pout. 

Here's the lowdown. You need TWO lipbalms. 

  1. The first lip-balm should be  a drier waxy type, preferably based on natural ingredients. Basically anything that you need to massage on to the lips. These balms are usually found in pots. The best in my opinion is the Nuxe Reve de Miel (click here for my review)
  2. The second balm needs to be a balm/lip-gloss hybrid. A thick almost gloopy gloss, one that comes in a tube rather than a stick. My one is Eve's Kiss by Rituals

The process: Massage the drier, waxy balm into your lips. Massage well, making sure that your lips are saturated. Then apply the gloss balm on top, massage a little if you want to spread it out but it must sit on top and not be rubbed entirely into the other balm.

Do this at night and you will wake up with gloriously smooth plumped and moisturised lips. Do it in the morning before you put your make-up on and your lips will be luscious for the whole day. Do it during the day too and you'll give Angelina Jolie a run for her money.

Of course you all have lives and double balmingTM (lol) shouldn't get in the way of that, but I can assure you that just doing it an night is usually enough. If you're not well or if you're lips are in a more urgent state of flakiness, I urge you to double balm as much as you can. You WILL thank me.

If you're out and about just take any old lip balm with you to top up, you don't have to use the combo. I will say, however, that supermarket cheapies and petrolatum based sticks are NOT the best thing. Better off looking for something with beeswax, honey, shea.... something natural. Mineral oil gives 'slip' but it doesn't moisturise. Nice natural options include the shea based lip balms by L'Occitane, Burt's Bees honey based lip balms and Nuxe Reve de Miel in stick form (though this is not as effective as the pot form). If you can afford By Terry Baume de Rose (£35!!!) then go for it. 

The results are worth it, and I can't wait to hear from you if you try it. I've finally been able to use all the amazing lipsticks and glosses I have, everything looks 100% on a smoother, plumped up canvas. 

Pucker up, people, this is your lipstick renaissance!