Liz Earle Camellia Healthy Glow cream blusher review

Liz Earle have gone from strength to strength over the past few years. Previously known only for their skincare, they've launched a whole makeup line, as well as their new Strengthening Nail Polishes. 

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the makeup, as I often find when skincare brands start doing makeup products, it doesn't always work, but I've been seriously impressed with what I've tried so far. Like their skincare lines, all of Liz Earle makeup is not tested on animals, and cruelty free.

Liz Earle cream blusher Camellia

Liz Earle cream blusher Camellia

Liz Earle cream blusher Camellia

I've been testing out one of their Healthy Glow cream blushers* over the past few weeks and love the soft, creamy texture, which applies easily and blends out to a very natural finish. The blusher has a sheer texture to it, making it easy to build up colour to the required look, and unlike some cream blushers I've tried before, won't leave you looking like Coco the Clown. 

There are a total of 7 blushers in the cream range, and Camellia is a soft, rose pink that will look very natural on paler complexions. I find it best applied using my fingers - sweeping over cheeks and blending in using my ring finger. 

Wear time is pretty good, and I get about 8 hours out of this blusher before needing a little top up. It doesn't go patchy or streaky, but fades gently throughout the day, so if you do want to re-apply a little more before a night out, this can be done without needing to take your base off and start again.

The cream blushers retail at £16.50 for 2g, and I would happily invest in more shades. I think that these would be great for someone that has shied away from cream blushers before because they often tend to be so pigmented, as these will allow you to build up colour to the desired shade. 

You can find Liz Earle cosmetics online from Liz Earle and in store at selected John Lewis and Boots stores. 

Do you like the look of this blusher?

*PR sample  



Braun Silk Epil 7 Epilator review

Hair removal is one of those things that we all have to do, but let's face it, it's a bit of a pain in the bum. Whether you prefer shaving, waxing, threading or a hair removal cream, each has it's own set of up and down sides.

I recently lost my epilation virginity, thanks to the Braun Silk Epil 7 epilator*. I'd always shied away from epilating before after hearing stories of large amounts of pain, but thought it was time to push aside my fears and see what it was like for myself.

Epilators work by using tiny sets of tweezers on a rotating head to pull out hairs at the roots, leaving you fuzz free for weeks at a time. They look a little like a men's electric shaver, only with a different set of attachments at the end.

The Silk Epil 7 is a mid-price epilator which can be used on both wet and dry skin, so perfect if you prefer to do your hair removal in the shower. It has a selection of different heads that can be used to adapt the epilator for more sensitive areas, including the face.

Easy to use

It's very easy to use - you simply hold the epilator flat against the area you wish to remove the hair from, and move it slowly over the area, allowing its set of 40 tweezers to do its work. There are two speed settings to choose from - one is a little slower and more gentle, the other is faster and more efficient. I found the slow speed best for me as I was new to epilating, and the faster speed was a little more painful. The epilator gives a massaging sensation as it works to help soothe the plucking feeling, and also contains some cooling wet wipes that can be used before you start for extra soothing properties.

Another feature of the epilator I really like was an inbuilt light on the front. This may seem a bit odd, but it actually really helps you to see if you've missed any hairs along the way, so you don't end up with a random tuft left over at the end.

The epilator is designed to work effectively on hairs over 0.5mm long, which is very short, so you don't have to have lots of unsightly regrowth before using it again, unlike waxing. I also found I got at least 2-3 weeks of hair free-ness before needing to epilate again, which is around the same time as with a wax.

The pain factor

Now, I can't lie, I found epilating pretty painful. When I did my legs, it was fine until I got to the knee area and then I had to go in quite short bursts, with a few seconds break in between. I'd say that my pain threshold is average, but I can't see myself ever voluntarily epilating my armpits (massive ow) or bikini line. I will definitely be using it regularly on my legs, but I'll be sticking to waxing and shaving where anything else in concerned.

The Silk Epil 7 costs just over £80, which is really only 3 full leg waxes, so is a definite good investment if you plan to use it regularly. They're sold online and instore at Boots and online from Amazon.

Have you tried epilating before?

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Halloween nail art and outfit

It's not long now until Halloween and my thoughts are turning to a potential outfit for the party I'll be heading off to on Saturday night. I was really excited to be contacted by New Look to create a Halloween outfit from their fab selection of Halloween inspired clothes, and thought I'd do some spooky themed nail art to go with it.

I decided to go for a Vampire inspired outfit, which on the night, I'd match up with a heavy, smokey eye and a red lip.

New Look Halloween outfit
Vampire sweatshirt £17.99, Ring selection £9.99, Baroque skinny jeans £24.99, Black and Red shoes £24.99
Halloween nail art

My nail art focused on a halloween theme, and created a few looks around vampires which will work nicely with my outfit. I went for a mix of dripping blood, vampire fangs, a golden bat and a scary pumpkin. These were surprisingly easy to do using my Models Own and Rio nail art pens, although my other hand was a little less successful as it was a bit wobbly! I think for the big night itself, I will go for a selection of the fang and dripping blood nails.

Which one is your favourite?



Birchbox Limited Edition Christmas Gift Box

Birchbox are a monthly subscription beauty service that send out a surprise box of beauty products once a month. I've received several beauty boxes from them this year which have had an amazing array of luxury samples inside, including a Beauty Blender, OPI nail polish and Elemental Herbology skincare to name a few.

October Birchbox UK
The October Birchbox
The October box* was amazing (picture above) and had a large sample of a Laura Mercier primer I've been wanting to try for ages!

This year, they are offering a gift subscription offer for Christmas, which includes a special limited edition Birchbox full of goodies worth over £60 from Liz Earle, Macadamia, Molton Brown, Givenchy, Twistband and Teapigs.
Limited edition Christmas Birchbox gift UK
Limited Edition Christmas gift Birchbox

The special boxes give you something to put under the tree if you fancy buying a gift subscription for someone (or yourself!) and I predict they will be very popular.

A 6 month subscription will be £50 plus P+P, and a 12 month subscription £90 plus P+P, making it very good value for money (Birchbox is usually £10 per month plus P+P). Both of these will come with the gift box above.

The limited edition gift subscriptions go on sale on the 18th November from the Birchbox website. Will you be ordering one?

*PR sample



Love to lounge

As the weather gets colder and the dark nights draw in, I love nothing more than coming home from work, getting into something snuggly and cosying up on the sofa with some trashy TV and a hot water bottle.

I recently dipped my toe in to the world of onesies, which has made lounging all that more comfortable, although it's not exactly a glam way to do it!

Image courtesy of Simply Beach

For a more grown up approach, I've been using this lovely set from Lepel* which consists the most comfortable pair of pyjama/lounging bottoms (£23) I've ever tried, with a matching silky finish vest top (£20). Both are made from a stretchy jersey fabric, and trimmed with black satin. The trousers have a really wide leg, which makes sitting cross-legged on the sofa much more comfortable and I'd say that the sizing is pretty accurate.

Image courtesy of Simply Beach
Sitting sleeveless isn't always the best option, especially when it gets chilly, so I've also layered this Charnos long sleeve top* (£30) over the top. It's super soft as it has a bit of silk in, however the sizes do come up a little small, so don't be afraid to go up one size if you prefer a slightly less snug fit.

All three pieces will be getting a lot of use from me over the next few months, and I can quite happily lounge around the house on a Saturday morning in them, knowing that if the postman rings the doorbell, I don't have to open it in a leopard print onesie!

You can find all of these piece from Simply Beach, who also offer a wide selection of lingerie.

*PR samples



Beautiful Brows brow kit review

Brows are one of those things that can have a massive impact on your face. I'm terribly guilty at not filling mine in very often, as finding a brow powder the right shade is a bit of a nightmare (ok, and I'm lazy). 

Beautiful Brows provide a great solution with their complete brow kit. Coming in 5 different shades (slate, light brown, dark brown, chocolate and black), the brow kit features all the tools you need for perfect looking brows. Inside, there's a brow powder, highlighter, tweezers, double ended brush, highlighter brush and a set of 3 brow stencils. 

Beautiful brows brow kit

Beautiful brows brow kit

Beautiful brows brow kit

Simply select the stencil required for your chosen brow look (bold, natural or sleek), hold the stencil against your brow, before applying the powder to the gap in the stencil. This should leave you with perfectly arched eye brows. You can add a small amount of highlighter to the brow bone afterwards and that's it! 

The kit is extremely easy to use, although I did find holding the stencil against my brow a little fiddly. In the end, I gave up and just used the brow powder and brush which worked fine, but for brow newbies, the stencils should come in very handy.

Having blonde brows, I'm always a bit worried that the powders will make my brows look far too dark, but the light brown shade is really good for a natural look on me, and actually blends quite well with the red tone to my hair. It also lasts well throughout the day and doesn't need topping up at all, even after a 14 hour day - in fact, it needs a good makeup remover to take it off! 

The kit is very sturdy and although a little large for an overnight bag, I'd definitely take it away with me for longer breaks without worrying about it getting broken inside a suitcase. 

Beautiful Brow kits are £38 each, and can be found in selected salons and online from Beautiful Brows.

Do you like the look of this kit? 

*PR sample



Why I love YouTube tutorials

As a beauty blogger, I love trying out new looks and testing new products. I spend a lot of my spare time reading blog posts or on YouTube watching videos on my laptop.

My favourite types of YouTube videos are tutorials. These have been so helpful in the past for practicing new techniques like contouring, inspiration for fancy dress looks, and sometimes for just drooling slightly over some of the nail art I know I’ll never be able to create myself!

Some of my favourite videos are from Tea and Lead's blog, who I’ve watched a LOT, for help with up dos for my hair, and her beehive tutorial is so helpful!

I also love Islaay’s nail art tutorials, who makes it look so effortless, and every time I see her in person, I want to sit her down and make her do my nails (no joke).

YouTube is one of those magical time vortexes you can visit and get lost on for hours on end – you start watching a nail art video and before you know it, you’re watching a cat in a wedding dress walk down a makeshift aisle (we’ve all been there).

I’d love to hear who your favourite YouTuber’s are, and feel free to share your favourite video!

*Sponsored post


Pur Minerals 5 piece starter kit

I'm a big fan of mineral makeup so I was excited to find out about Pur Minerals and their recent launch into M&S beauty halls across the UK. Hailing from the US, Pur make a range of mineral makeup, including everything from foundation, lipstick and mascara.

An ideal introduction to the brand is their 5 piece starter kit*. This includes some of the most popular items from their range, and is everything you need in order to create a simple makeup look. 

Pur Minerals Starter Kit

Pur Minerals Starter Kit

Pur Minerals Starter Kit

Pur Minerals Starter Kit

Pur Minerals Starter Kit swatches

Inside the kit is their 4 in 1 pressed powder, mineral bronzer, primer, mascara and chisel brush. The 4 in 1 acts as a foundation, setting powder, concealer and SPF 15 and is best applied using the flat topped chisel brush included in the kit. To use, simply swipe the brush over the 4 in 1 and apply to the face using small circular motions. I found that it gives a nice, light coverage when used as a foundation, but for me, it really works best as a setting powder over my liquid foundation where it gives a lovely glowy finish, and keeps my make in place for hours. 

The bronzer looks quite dark in the pan, but used lightly it gives subtle warmth, even to pale skin and can be easily used by a wide range of skin tones. Sweep a small amount over cheekbones using the chisel brush and build up the colour if you prefer a more bronzed look. 

The mascara doesn't really do it for me, as it gives lashes a very natural look and I prefer what can only be described as 'mega volume', but if you like evenly coated, separated lashes, this will be great for you. 

The starter kit comes in a range of 8 shades and I tested out 'Light', which is the second lightest shade. I was somewhere in between Porcelain (the lightest) and Light, so if you are uber pale, then definitely go for the Porcelain set. They offer a great range of shades and go right down to 'Medium Dark' in the starter kits. 

The kit costs £39.50, and is a great way to test out the brand. I'm now keen to try more products from them and really like the look of their blushers and Untamed eye shadow palette. You can find Pur Minerals online and instore at M&S beauty.

Do you like the look of this kit? 

*PR sample 



REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm and Micellar Water review

REN are one of my favourite skincare brands. I'm a long term fan of the Hydra Calm range, designed for sensitive skin, so was really excited about the launch of the Rosa Centifolia cleanser range.

Made up of 6 different types of cleansers, the Rosa Centifolia range provides gentle, but effective ways to cleanse, using rose at the heart of each.

The 3 in 1 cleansing water* is a gentle, rose water based makeup remover, similar to Bioderma. It has a very soft rose scent to it, and is best used on a cotton pad, swept over the face to remove makeup. I found it very effective at getting rid of my foundation and I've regularly been using this as a first cleanse, before moving on to the cleansing balm. It's also nice used as a gentle toner and is alcohol and soap free.

REN do say that it can also be used around the eyes to remove eye makeup, however I found it less effective at getting this off. I do wear a lot of eye makeup, which I think didn't help, so if you only wear a light amount of eye makeup, then this should be fine for you.

The No 1 Purity Cleansing Balm* is a really rich, oil based balm. To use, squeeze a small amount out of the tube, massage gently into the skin and then using a small amount of water, emulsify into a milk consistency. Rinse off using warm water and a flannel or muslin cloth.

I find that the balm is best used at night, as it's great for giving a really deep, but gentle cleanse and is very effective at removing all traces of makeup. It's also good for dry and sensitive skins, as it contains chamomile and pink violet leaf extract to soothe and calm redness and lecithin, which helps the skin to retain moisture.

For me, the balm is one of my favourites and I would happily repurchase once this tube runs out. The only small negative for me is that it's quite hard to squeeze out of the tube due to the thick texture, but that's something I can live with.

The 3 in 1 water costs £13 for 200ml and the Cleansing Balm is £23 for 100ml. They can be found in store at Liberty, Space NK and other REN stockists as well as direct from REN online.

Do you like the sound of these cleansers?

*PR samples


Where to shop for beauty in London

The idea for this post came from the lovely Sandra at Beauty Balm after leaving a comment on my 1st blog birthday giveaway as something she'd like me to write about - thank you Sandra!

London has so many great places to go shopping for beauty, but if I had to pick 10 this would be my list of must have places to go. They're all great for different reasons, whether it's the variety of brands, exclusive products or natural products.

makeup for ever counter

Situated near Bond Street tube station on Oxford Street, the Selfridges beauty hall is a mecca for any beauty fanatic. They have so many brands to choose from - whether it's skincare, makeup or hair care. As well as dozens of high end brands in the main beauty counter, they also have the Beauty Workshop, which stocks smaller brands at a range of prices, and plays host to the Blink Brow Bar, a nail bar and a set of beauty therapy rooms for treatments.

Across town in Knightsbridge is Harrods. Another iconic London building, the beauty hall here really focuses on high end, luxury brands. You can find everything from MAC to Creme de la Mer and I'd highly recommend taking a pit stop at the bakery in the food hall when you need a break from the beauty department.

Harvey Nichols Beauty Mart
Beauty Mart is a hand picked selection of products from two beauty gurus, which you'll find on the third floor of Harvey Nichols in Knighstbridge. You won't find entire brands here, instead there will be maybe one or two hand picked products from dozens of brands that have all been given the Beauty Mart seal of approval. Check out the Daniel Sandler makeup, EOS lip balms and Balmain hair care. It's just up the road from Harrods, so easy to squeeze both into to your trip across town.

Inside one of London's most beautiful shops, just off Oxford Circus, you'll find a more unusual selection of beauty brands. Liberty don't stock the usual counter giants, but concentrate on brands such as REN, Ellis Faas, Bobbi Brown and Aveda. Make sure you also take a trip to the third floor where they have their bath and body store, for lovely candles, bath oils and soaps.

Illamasqua are such a creative makeup brand and if you're in London make sure you visit their flagship store on Beak Street (near Liberty). The make up artists that work there are fantastic and often made up in very dramatic looks and are on hand to advise you on all their products. I love the Reflection eye shadow palette, liquid liners and their amazing blusher selection.

Situated in Carnaby Street, Pixi have become a bit of a cult favourite for their Glow Tonic exfoliating toner. If you're making a special trip, call in advance to see if they have it in stock as it often sells out as soon as they get a new delivery!

MAC pro store
Another Carnaby street favourite, the MAC pro store has the widest range of MAC products you'll find. It's always busy and the service can be a bit hit and miss, but for all those pro products, this is the place to go.

Whole Foods Piccadilly
What looks like a health food mega store is also home to an amazing selection of natural beauty products in their upstairs floor. There are often demonstrations from brands (as well as food tastings downstairs), and it's a great place to pick up Zoya, Weleda, Jason, plus dozens of others. Find it just off Piccadilly Circus.

John Bell & Croyden
The Queen's pharmacy, JB&C mix traditional pharmacy products, with masses of French skincare, the entire Korres makeup line and not forgetting, Bioderma. I can easily spend several hours in here exploring the aisles, so make sure you leave plenty of time for a browse! It's tucked away in a street just behind Debenhams on Oxford Street, so easy to get to on your way to Selfridges.

Boots near Bond Street
Well, Boots had to come into this list somewhere! Between Oxford Circus and Bond Street tubes is what can only be described as a mega Boots. They have every brand going from YSL to Sinful Colours, and it's my go to place to stock up on hairspray and check out all the new releases at the same time.

Where are your favourite places to shop for beauty in London? 


La Prairie Anti-ageing Eye and Lip Contour Cream review

La Prairie are a luxury Swiss skincare brand that have been around since 1978. Their extensive range offers visible results, and includes an exclusive Cellular Complex made up of glycoproteins, horsetail and ginseng extracts that are known to stimulate the skins natural renewal process.

I've been testing out their Anti Ageing Eye and Lip Contour Cream which is a new addition to their anti-ageing collection, designed for people showing early signs of ageing. It's a thick, velvety feeling cream to help smooth fine lines, plump the skin and hydrate around the delicate eye and lip areas. 

La Prairie anti ageing eye and lip contour cream

La Prairie anti ageing eye and lip contour cream

Packed full of hyaluronic acid, shea butter, amino acids and much more, they explain that the cream is designed to reduce puffiness and dark circles, as well as plumping skin and smoothing fine lines.

The product comes with a small silver applicator (the cooling wand) that has a ball shaped end for easy application. Simply apply a small amount to the area around the eye using the cooling wand and pat in gently. The cream can also be used to help hydrate small lines around the lip area, but it's not recommended for use as an actual lip balm. 

As much as I wanted not to like this product for the sake of my bank balance, it really is fantastic. I immediately found that my under eyes look more hydrated and the fine lines less visible after application. After using it for a month, I'm really pleased with the effect and although nothing can get rid of the wrinkles entirely, I do feel like they are less visible. 

Now, at £126 for a 20ml pot it's not cheap, however in a month I would estimate I've used maybe a eighth of the jar. You only need a tiny amount as it is so concentrated so will last you around 6 to 8 months. 

It won't be a product I repurchase on a whim, but it's definitely something I'll be considering treating myself to again for my 30th birthday next year. You can find La Prairie in selected House of Fraser stores and also online. 

Would you try anything from La Prairie?

*PR sample



Shopping my stash - October

I'm several weeks into my spending ban and I've decided it's time to make the most of my stash and pick out some items which I haven't used for a while, and some I haven't used at all (bad Kat). 

Vivo Colour Block Dreamy* - this is the first bit of makeup I've ever tried from Vivo, but it looks a lot like a dupe for Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette. The shades are gorgeous neutrals and I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to the Urban Decay one. 

Bourjois cream blush shade 03 - I've been neglecting this colour blush for a Liz Earle one lately, and it's time to get it back out of the drawer. The formula of these Bourjois blushers is amazing - they stay put all day and give a natural flush of colour.

Illamasqua Wink and Hemlock* polishes - I bought Wink in the Illamsqua sale a few months ago and have actually used it yet. Hemlock is the most lovely pearlescent top coat that I plan to layer on top for a sort of custom shade polish. 

Tony Moly Petite Bunny gloss bar - This was a random ebay purchase from Asia a while back after having a 'that's so cute!' moment at the little bunny ears design. It's actually a really soft, slightly tinted lip balm and I'll be popping it in my handbag. 

Mane n Tail Hoofmaker hand cream - this hand cream was originally created for horse hoofs, but was so successful at softening the hands of the people looking after them, that it's been bottled and being sold in Liberty! It really does make hands super soft and now the weather is getting colder, I'll be keeping this on my desk at work to stop my hands getting dry and chapped. 

*PR samples


Bare Minerals Power Neutrals palette review

A long term lover of Urban Decay's Naked palette range, I was excited to see the new launch from Bare Minerals on a recent trip to Selfridges.

The Power Neutrals palette is a collection of 8, mineral based eye shadows that come in a handy travel sized compact, complete with mirror and double ended brush. There's a mix of mattes and shimmers, and every single one of the shades is wearable for both day time and evening looks.

Bare Minerals have added a SeaNutrive Mineral Complex to the shadows, which contains a mix of anti-oxidant rich sea minerals, borage oil, caffeine and cucumber to help reduce eye puffiness and offer anti-ageing benefits.

Bare Minerals power neutrals palette

Bare Minerals power neutrals palette

Bare Minerals power neutrals palette swatches
Top row - Boss Lady, Moneymaker, Schmooze, Boardroom
Bare Minerals power neutrals palette swatches
Bottom row - Exec, Payday, Magnate, Get Ahead
The shades are:
Boss Lady - shimmer bronze
Moneymaker -dusty olive
Schmooze - bronze sheen
Boardroom - deep chocolate
Exec - polished slate
Payday - light granite
Magnate - nude peach
Get Ahead -rustic taupe

All of the shades are very pigmented and blend superbly. I find that they last about 10 hours without a primer before any fading happens, and they easily see me through a full day at work. The palette is just small enough to fit in your makeup bag, and the small brush that's included is fine for travelling or touch ups on the go. My favourite shades from the palette are Schmooze and Exec and I can see myself easily hitting pan on them.

The Power Neutrals palette costs £35 and can be found online from Bare Minerals, or from Bare Minerals counters.

What do you think of this neutrals palette?



Mark Hill Bad Girl Wicked Waver review

Mark Hill’s range of hair stylers has often caught my eye on a trip to Boots. The animal print packaging is really eye catching and so I was really excited to test out the Bad Girl Wicked Waver* wand. 

The Bad Girl Wicked Waver is different from a lot of curling stylers as it’s designed to give you waves, rather than any other type of curl. It has a wide ceramic barrel, which is formed out of what looks like small spheres along it. 

Mark Hill Wicked Waver

Mark Hill Wicked Waver

Mark Hill Wicked Waver on hair

My initial thought was that the styler looked a little like something that belongs in Ann Summers, but the unique design of the barrel is actually there to give you soft waves, which are different each time you use the styler. No two waves come out looking the same, giving a really natural, tousled look to the hair.

The Wicked Waver has an adjustable temperature gauge and recommends starting on a low setting and working your way up until you find the right heat for your hair. As I have fine hair, I started at 130 degrees, which created lovely soft waves, however they dropped out pretty quickly. I upped the temperature to 140 degrees and still got the wavy look I wanted, but the look lasted much longer. The maximum temperature is 200 degrees, which should only be used on very thick, unruly hair. 

I found the design of the barrel surprisingly easy to use. There isn’t a clamp to hold the hair in place, so instead you just wind your hair around the barrel, allow around 10-15 seconds (depending on hair type) and then unwind the hair, leaving a soft looking wave. There are two mini heat proof gloves provided in the box and I would definitely recommend using one on the hand that is wrapping the hair around the wand to avoid any unwanted burns. 

I’m really pleased with this styler. Despite having naturally wavy hair, mine can often look very frizzy and not at all styled. The Wicked Waver has helped me to create soft, defined waves with a high shine to my hair, giving the much wished for ‘rock chick’ look I always wanted. 

The Wicked Waver costs £59.99 and is stocked along with Mark Hill’s other stylers at Boots. It’s currently on offer at the moment for £29.99, which I think is a total bargain, so grab one now and put it aside for a fab Christmas present! 

Do you like the look of this styler?

*PR sample



Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturiser review

Laura Mercier are one of those stands that I spend hours poring over in Space NK. There's always a great mix of neutral shades and limited edition collections and I recently purchased their Spellbound illuminator which has been a firm favourite in my makeup bag ever since.

Her tinted moisturisers are a bit of a cult favourite and I've been testing one out for the past few weeks. The tinted moisturiser ranges comes in two types - standard and oil free. The oil free formula is designed for combination to oily skins and I've been using the lightest shade porcelain.

Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturiser

Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturiser swatch

Designed to even skin tone and provide a light coverage, you can also build the product up for more coverage in the areas that might need it (nose and chin in my case).

The formula is quite runny, and after trying a few times to apply it with my fingers, I found I got a more flawless finish with my Real Techniques face brush. It was also easier with the brush to build the coverage up.

Once applied, you're left with a lovely dewy finish to skin, and I found I got around 5 hours wear before needing a top up in my more oily areas. I would recommend setting the tinted moisturiser in place with a little powder, so although that might reduce the dewy finish, it will help keep it in place a lot longer.

I really like this tinted moisturiser. The colour is perfect for me once blended and is great for weekends and days when I don't want to wear a heavier base product. It also has an SPF 20, so will provide some protection from the sun, but don't forget the factor 50 if you're in sunnier climates!

Laura Mercier's tinted moisturiser costs £33 for 50ml, so isn't cheap, but really does deliver and I would quite happily repurchase once this tube runs out. You can find it in store and online from Space NK, John Lewis and Selfridges.

Are you a fan of tinted moistuirsers?



Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose range

The White Musk range has been part of the Body Shop's iconic line up for as long as I can remember. It was very popular back in my school girl days, and was something all of us wanted for birthdays and Christmases.

Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose eau de toilette

The Body Shop have just launched a new, more seductive version of their White Musk range - Smoky Rose, which includes a shower gel, body lotion, fragrance mist, eau de toilette and eau de parfum.

The scent that runs through the collection features cruelty-free musk, mingled with notes of black smokey rose and tobacco flower. It's a lovely mix of floral and musk and will work really well for evenings out.

I've been enjoying the eau de toilette*, which lasts a few hours on the skin, but for something that will last a bit longer, try the eau de parfum. Both are very reasonably priced with the EDT starting at £10 for 30ml and the EDP at £13 for 30ml.

I love the ombre effect on the perfume bottle and to me, it looks a lot more expensive than it is.

The rest of the range retails between £6.50 (shower gel) and £13 (EDP) and can be found online and in store at the Body Shop now.

Will you be trying the new fragrance?

*PR sample



1st blog birthday and giveaway

I can't believe that my blog is having it's first birthday! It seems like I started it forever ago, but also it feels like only yesterday. The time has gone amazingly quickly and I've loved every minute of it. I hope that I'll be celebrating my 2nd, 3rd and 4th blog birthdays in future years to come.

To say a massive thank you to all of you that have been reading my blog over the past year, I'm running a giveaway to win a surprise luxury goody bag. It's open internationally, and to enter, just complete your entries using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Thank you again for reading <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Illamasqua Colouring Pencils

Illamasqua are one of my favourite makeup brands. They come up with exciting collections every year and their latest Sacred Hour range is possibly my favourite of them all.

They have recently reformulated all of their eye and lip pencils, giving them a bit of a make over in look and formula. The new Colouring Pencils are available in 8 shades for eyes, and 12 shades for the lips. The eye pencils cover every shade from black, to sky blue, to white, while the lip pencils have nudes, reds, pinks and corals.

I've been testing out two of the new eye pencils* in S.O.P.H.I.E (black) and Seize (blue violet). Both have a really creamy formula, and apply really easily without any dragging on the lids or the waterline.

They're easy to blend (although I would recommend doing this quite quickly after application) and last well throughout the day. I've given S.O.P.H.I.E a thorough testing on my waterline, and it still stays put through a full day at work, which is pretty hard to find in black pencil liners! Seize doesn't have as much lasting power, and will need a little top up if you're out and about for a long day.

One thing I'm really pleased about is that the new design has a colour dipped end, which makes selecting the right one a lot easier, especially when they're all stored in my pencil pot (does anyone else have of these, or just me?).

At £14 each, they aren't the cheapest option out there, but these pencils are really long, longer than my pencils from other brands, so you really do get value for money.

You can find the whole range for eyes and lips from Illamasqua stores, or online from their website.

*PR samples


Lady Boys of Bangkok Halloween makeup challenge

Halloween is fast approaching and if like me, you enjoy a spot of fancy dress, it's a good chance to experiment with makeup and try something new.

I was really excited when I was picked to do a Halloween look as part of a Lady Boys of Bangkok challenge - they look so glam, and I wanted to do something to channel that, but with a gothic twist.

Stargazer kindly provided some makeup for the challenge and I decided to go for something I thought would work well for anyone dressing up as a witch.

Halloween makeup challenge

Halloween makeup challenge

Halloween makeup challenge

I created my look with some Stargazer lace eye tattoos, my Urban Decay Smoked palette and a dark brow pen. As someone with naturally blond eyebrows, it was quite fun to see how I looked with dark, bold brows, and I thought it really helped bring the look together.

On my lips, I decided to create a two tone effect, using a Stargazer black lipstick, with a hot pink Urban Decay shade in the centre. When merged together, the two actually formed a custom purple colour in the centre of my lips. 

I'm quite pleased with this look. I think I'll be doing some more before Halloween comes along, so keep your eyes peeled.

What's your favourite Halloween makeup look? 



Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Polishes review

Liz Earle have long been synonymous with skincare and last year saw them launch their first ever makeup collection. This year, they've gone one step further and developed a range of 12 nail polishes, all designed to strengthen your nails.

Liz Earle nail polishes

Liz Earle nail polishes

Liz Earle nail polish swatches
Old Velvet and Parade, both without top coat
The range consists of three main colour groups: classic nudes, bold brights and deep darks. Each shade has been named after a different type of rose, recognising the brand's botanical heritage.

All of the shades have been developed to help strengthen and protect your nails, each containing a mix of avocado and borage oils.

I've tested out Parade - a bright coral shade and Old Velvet - a deep vampy red and have found them realy easy to apply with no streaking and have a lovely glossy finish. Two coats is plenty for an opaque finish and I managed 4 days without chipping, which for me is a pretty long time. Liz Earle do claim that they last up to 12 days without chipping, so if you manage that, do let me know!

I have a feeling that the nudes will be incredibly popular, and there are 4 different nude shades to choose from.

The polishes are £7.50 each, so at the medium end of the price point, but I would happily invest in more. I'd like to see the colour range extended as time goes on - perhaps including a topcoat and maybe some sparkles for the festive season.

You can buy Liz Earle nail polishes online from Liz Earle, in store at their shops and from selected John Lewis and Boots counters.

What do you think of this range?


Cover FX CC Cream review

Cover FX are an American brand that focus specifically on base products. If you visit one of their counters, you won't be greeted with a range of vibrant colours, but instead there'll be foundations, powders and concealers in every shade from porcelain to ebony.

The brand has recently launched a new CC cream* to their range, which is designed to offer a buildable coverage, while providing colour correcting properties at the same time. The formula is designed to react to your skins PH balance and colour correct accordingly.

Cover FX CC cream

Cover FX CC cream swatch

The CC cream comes in a range of 9 shades, and I've been testing out the lightest  one 'light'. It contains an inbuilt primer, plus SPF 30 and like all Cover FX products, is vegan, free from fragrance, parabens, gluten, mineral oil and talc. 

It has quite a thick consistency and a little bit goes quite a long way. Very often BB and CC creams are very runny and more like tinted moisturisers, but this is definitely more of an authentic, asian style CC cream. You'll need to shake the bottle well before application, as if you don't, you'll find the liquid comes out looking a bit odd.

I applied it using my fingers and with a brush and think that both ways work pretty well. I tend to go for light-medium coverage foundations and found the CC cream to give quite a high level of coverage, so if you usually find BB/CC creams don't give you enough coverage, this one might be perfect!

I got about 6 hours wear without a primer, and after that it did start to look a little patchy in places. With a primer, it lasts much better, up to about 9 hours.

The only downside for me is that unfortunately the lightest shade just wasn't quite right. I've tried other Cover FX foundations before and have found perfect matches, but the CC cream is just that little bit too yellow. I'm hoping they might introduce some more shades if it proves successful, but at the moment, the CC cream doesn't quite match me.

Cover FX CC cream retails at £32 and can be found online from Cover FX and at their counters in store at selected House of Fraser.

Do you like the sound of this CC cream?

*PR sample



Beauty news in brief #6

Topshop The Damned Collection

Topshop launch The Damned AW13 collection - a mix of deep colours, with new eye creams, lip velvetines and matte polishes, The Damned collection has everything you need for a gothic inspired makeup look. I've got my eyes on the matte polishes and the cream shadows. Out now.

Bare Minerals launch Survivor Moxie Lipgloss for Breast Cancer Awareness month - Survivor is a new, special pink shade of their fab Marvelous Moxie lip glosses that will raise money for Look Good Feel Better. £5 from every purchase will go to the charity, who specialise in helping women combat the visible side effects of cancer. Survivor costs £16 and can be found from Bare Minerals counters and their online stockists.

InStyle Magazine REN freebies - The new issue of InStyle Magazine has a travel pack of 3 REN skincare best sellers on the front. 10ml each of their EverCalm cleanser and moisturiser and a 3ml Active7 eye gel. The magazine is also on special off for £2 in certain locations, so stock up while you can!



October blog sale

As part of my spending ban, I'm trying to cut down on my stash, so I've decided it's time for a little blog sale. Most items are things I have duplicates of (shame face) or a lot of similar items, and most are brand new. The condition of each is listed next to the item.

1. Please leave a comment with any items you'd like, including your email address.
2. I will send you an invoice email for the total, including postage.
3. Items will be held for 24 hours - if you haven't paid in that time frame, the items will become available again.
4. Postage to the UK is £3 for up to 3 items, extra items over this will be an additional 30p per item. All items will be sent 2nd class - if you'd prefer signed for/first class, let me know and I will adjust the postage accordingly.
5. I'm happy to post internationally, however please be aware postage costs will be much higher and I will need to obtain a specific quote for each sale.

Happy shopping!

Maybelline Colour Tattoo  - Light in Purple - New, sealed - £2.50 - SOLD
Kiko Colour Shock long lasting cream eyeshadow - Fierce Violet - used x3 - SOLD
Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Liner - Black Plum Ink - used x3 - SOLD
Topshop Gel Liner - Black - New - £3
Urban Decay 24/7 waterproof eye liner - Perversion (black) - New, boxed - £8

Wet n Wild eye shadow trio - Don't Steal My Thunder - New, sealed - SOLD
Dior BB Cream - 001, lightest shade - New - SOLD
Illamasqua Liquid Metal - Electrum - New - £6
Revlon Baby Stick - Pink Passion - used x2 - £1.50
NYX cream blush - Tickled - new, sealed - SOLD

Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil - Frivolous - New - SOLD
Maybelline Baby Lips - Mint Fresh/Pink Punch - New, sealed - £1.50 each or £2.50 for 2
Max Factor Colour Elixir lip pencil - Vibrant Pink - used x1 - £2.50
Revlon Kissable Lip Balm stain - Cherish - New, sealed - £4
No7 BB Lips - Blink Pink - used x1 - £3

Philosophy Purity 3 in 1 cleanser 90ml - new - £4
REN Rose Otto body cream 100ml - new - SOLD
Cowshed Cow Slip 50ml soothing hand cream - new - £3
Percy and Reed TLC hydrating hair mask 100ml - used x1 - £2
C.O.Bigelow Rose Salve tin - new, sealed - £3

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