Saturday, 30 April 2011

My Favourite Reads This Week

Cafe Makeup reading usually spells new lusts for me. I'm not the biggest Bronzer fiend but both the Dior Aurora and Chanel Bronze Rose are talking to me. I think the Dior in particular is lust worthy on looks alone!

Joeybunny via Pink Sith and Makeup Magpie both have me in a dither about the NARS Dogon duo. It looks beautiful and I need it yesterday! I rather like the look of Mayflower lipstick too.

I was really interested to read Delicate Hummingbird's post about the new Guerlain Ombre Fusion cream eyeshadow in Havana. Especially as it dispelled my assumption that the tube was frosted glass. The texture sounds lovely and the colour looks very appealing.

Makeup Picnic swatched and shared her beautiful collection of Rouge Bunny Rouge Lipglosses. I only have one of these but I love the fact that they're so polished and grown up. Meeta has such a lovely selection of colours.

The Non-Blonde's Edward Bess Mystery eyeshadow post reminded me how much I love the 'Bess Magic' with neutrals. I still don't own any eyeshadows but I think that the new shades have popped up on Zuneta so it's time for some shopping!

Another Zuneta related post which caught my eye was Visionary Beauty's review of the Cochine hand and body lotion in Water Hyacinth & Lime Blosson. There's always room for more handcreams at Casa MB, I'm interested in the Cochine diffusers too.

Get Lippie shared a very useful secret summer must have. Bodyglide isn't sexy nor is it going to make you look pretty but it's a handy product to know of if warm weather means blisters and chafing for you.
For of an alternative take on the Royal Wedding fever, I loved Helen at Just Nice Things series of Regal themed nail polish reviews. I enjoyed the review of Orly Prince Charming especially. I'm not sure if Kate's dress was totally 'Disney Princess' but at least the wait is over now!

Not a read as such but I wanted to draw your attention to Lipstick Luuvie's blog sale. There are lots of gorgeous high end goodies which are worth a look if you fancy a bank holiday bargain.

Two new blog discoveries that I want to share are Perilously Pale and Hopelessly Devoted to Makeup. Both fellow Mummies with a passion for cosmetics. They've been making me drool with their beautiful Le Metier de Beaute collections.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
MB x

Friday, 29 April 2011

My Cream Blush Collection

I've mentioned before my love of cream blushers. I find them (on the whole) very easy to wear and they can give more of a natural look than powder. I have to admit that not all formulas are equal. I had a MAC Blushcreme which I didn't get on with and a terrible Aunt Sally moment with a Ruby + Millie cream stick. The ones I'm showing here a lovely in terms of both texture and colour.

From left to right: Illamasqua Rude, BECCA Turkish Rose, Stila Orchid, Hourglass Cheek Stain in Rouge, Edward Bess Island Rose and After Sunset.

Indirect sunlight

Direct sunlight


I've included links to previous posts so you can see the colours applied wherever possible. Illamasqua Rude looks like a scary colour both in the pan and swatch but this is a lovely blusher and is especially nice for warmer weather. BECCA Turkish Rose and Edward Bess After Sunset are both great for a natural blush effect and probably the cream version of the pinky-brown colours I talked about in my recent Douceur comparison post. Both the BECCA and Edward Bess formulas are particularly enjoyable and easy to use.

Stila Orchid and EB Island Rose are both a little harder for me to wear. Orchid in particular is quite dark so I need to use a light hand. It is a lovely colour though and great for the cooler months. I've said before that Island Rose is quite similar to the colour I flush naturally, so this is one I can't wear without foundation. It's really easy to blend though which makes it nice to work with.

Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain in Rouge isn't strictly a cream blusher but as a non-powder cheek colour, I thought it deserved a mention. It was interesting for me to see the colour compared too. It's a pretty rose shade and similar to Turkish Rose in depth of colour but without the brown undertone. As a stain it produces a lovely sheer colour too.

Are you a fan of cream or do you prefer powder? Do you have a favourite formula or colour?

Lulu Let's it All Out!

Today we have lovely Lulu baring all for us. As a beauty professional you'd hope there weren't any secrets to hide but.......well, I guess we're all human.

Confession is good for the soul, go ahead and unburden yourself! I promise I won’t judge.

I suppose I have a couple of confessions, well, a couple that I can disclose lol

The first one, is a bad one. I own an eyelash extension bar, and one of the big No-No's with lashes is “dont pick or fiddle with them”. Well, my name is Lulu and I am a picker!!! Not just a little pick and fiddle, but full on, pull every one of the extensions off!

I went to New York in January, and had lashes applied for my trip. My vision was of me waking up in New York, hung over, but still looking human because of my lovely lashes! This wasnt to be. I picked off every last lash on the plane, on the way over to New York. Yep, I didnt even get a night out of them! I have vowed to never have them applied again as I just cant leave them (this feels good to off load).

Now you really know why they've got the glasses on!

My second one is that I am an awful make up hoarder. I never throw anything away! I don't necessarily use them, but I just keep them. I recently discovered a bronzer, that I purchased on a plane, about 6 years ago. Its gotta go. I have just bought some pretty storage items for my make up, and my plan is too be ruthless with my make up and sort it out! I may need a little help with that. Some of the make up items are a skin breakout waiting to happen..

There, don’t you feel better now?

Aunty Brown has a few more questions though; it’s true that I’m the nosy type.

When was the last time you visited the hairdresser?
I am terrible at getting to the hairdresser. My hair is long, and for work it is pulled up so, I kinda forget its there! I probably went about 8 months ago......

Which bit of beauty trickery couldn’t you live without?
I love to use a bit of fake tan to give a glow to my face. It has to be fairly light as I don't actually like my face too brown. I really like the St.Tropez bronzing mousse, and I wash it off after about 4 hours so the tan doesn't develop too much.

You’ve overslept and have 5 minutes to get out of the house. Are you going out with dirty hair or no makeup?
The dirty hair I could cope with, (dry shampoo and a hair bobble sorts that), but I think I would scare children if I left the house without a bit of mascara. I wouldnt need to apply full make up, but certainly mascara. I can apply that while putting on my shoes, so all good there!

Which trend still makes you cringe?
Jeez, I had so many! Sadly, I was an 80's teen, so really hit the baaaaaddd fashion and make up trends! You had the corkscrew perm, baby pink and blue eyeshadow combo, neon nails, (although Iv seen a nod to that trend in current fashion mags), big, backcombed hair, metalic lipsticks, painting on of beauty spots, (I know, I know, what was I thinking) and the using of a concealer as a lipstick!!! I like to think on that last one I was just ahead of my time with the nude lipped look.......I thought I was a fashionata, sadly I was just a mess haha.


Thank you so much for sharing Lulu. I suspect you ought to know better with the lashes but I'm convinced I'd do the same! If you would like to take a turn and unburden yourself in the Friday Confessional you can email me at It's open to everyone: if you have something to confess, I'm happy to hear it!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Zuneta RBR Promotion

I'm just breaking off from some torturous maths (that I volunteered for like the doofus I am), to let you know that Zuneta are currently running a Rouge Bunny Rouge promotion. They're offering a free Decadant Duo worth £28 when you buy two or more RBR items. I thought you might like to know, just in case you fancy treating yourself this bank holiday.

I hope to be back up and posting very soon. Back to some wrestling with Spreadsheets for now!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Max Factor Colour Effect Nail Polish in Bright Orange

With all the lovely sunshine we've been having in the UK, I thought it would be nice to go for something bright on my nails and Max Factor mini nail polish in Bright Orange looked suitably bright. I rather like mini bottles, I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of a bottle of nail varnish so they make me feel less guilty about wastage.

I was pleasantly surprised by this colour on the nails. I had expected it to be similar to the neon bright Illamasqua Gamma but it actually applies darker on the nails than it appears in the bottle. The colour is bright but it's a deeper, almost reddy orange and I find it more flattering than neon or pastel on my skin tone.

The finish looks a little like a jelly, it's not but I think the colour gives it that appearance. This is three coats and although it seems opaque I can still faintly see the free edge of the nail. The brush is quite dinky but still easy enough to use. My apologies for the sloppy application of top coat, my Seche Vite has gone gloopy.

I really like this colour and it's just the right level of bright for me for the Summer. I have looked and admired yellow but I think that's one trend I'll have to miss out on. What colour are you planning on painting your nails this Summer?

Disclosure: PR Sample

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

YSL Pure Chromatics #3

The new YSL Pure Chromatics eyeshadow palettes include four eyeshadows which can be used both wet and dry. There are a total of six palettes and I hesitated between #3 and #6. Part of my indecision was due to the 'scary' colour lurking in each palette. I went for #3 in the end, which you will not be surprised to hear contains a taupe-y colour. It also contains an icy blue (scary), chocolate brown and rich dark blue. All of the colours are very sparkly but the the appearance of the sparkle is different depending on whether the eyeshadows are applied wet or dry.

In the swatch picture I have applied the colours both dry (left) and wet (right) side by side so that you can see the difference in finish and intensity. All of the colours were swatched over a base of Too Face Shadow Insurance. I used the eye primer as a base as I found the colour didn't seem to swatch well when I was at the counter. The dry colours are quite sparkly, I have experienced glitter fallout when using these on the eye. The 'wet' colour is very intense and they have an almost metallic cream finish. The finish actually reminds me of Prance Mega Metal eyeshadow from Peacocky. I would say that my preference is definitely for the colour used wet.

In the pictures below I have applied the taupe colour all over the mobile lid, the brown at the outer corner and into the crease (both used dry) and I used the dark blue wet as a liner. The colours didn't fade or budge during the day. I really love the dark blue colour and think I will use this colour most of all.

I have used the taupe and brown wet too and they apply well. I'm looking forward to trying the dark brown as a liner. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the colours worn altogether. I wouldn't normally wear this many shimmery eyeshadows in an eye look without breaking them up with other matte or satin finishes. I don't know if it's because of the colours but I feel it looks ok and as long as I don't wear anything shimmery or iridescent elsewhere, I don't think it looks over the top. I haven't used the icy blue yet and I'm not sure whether I will ever dare, we'll see. I may give it a try on the inner corners of my eye. Don't be surprised if that never makes it on here!

These palettes usually cost £37 but I bought mine from Debenhams where they're currently £33.50 with the 10% off event.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Shiro Cosmetics Eyeshadow Swatches

If you've not come across Shiro Cosmetics before, they produce handmade, vegan, mineral cosmetics with geek factor. The geekiness is apparent in the names and colours of these eyeshadows. If you fancy a Pokemon or Zeleda themed eyeshadow, this is the place to go. 

I bought a set of the loose mineral eyeshadows in sample bags a little while ago. The colours are beautiful but I can admit that loose eyeshadows make me a nervous so they've sat neglected for too long. I really ought to have bought pots rather than bags and I intend to decant these into pots for ease of use.

L-R: Ganondorf and Mewto

The first eyeshadows that I tried out were Mewto and Ganondorf pictured above. My rookie error was to forget to use a primer before applying the colours. For the swatches I applied over a base of Too Faced Shadow Insurance (TFSI) and got a nice finish. They didn't look as impressive on my eyes without a base and I think they definitely need a little something to stick to. In the interest of showing you what I mean by this I have included a picture of my messy eye look mostly to demonstrate how not to do it!

As you can see, without a base, the colour is sheer and the shimmer has not adhered.

From the Legends collection I have Master Sword, Epona, Deku and Ganondorf. From the Super Effective Collection I have S.S. Anne, Poliwrath, Gengar, Mewto, Golem and Sudowoodo. I swatched all of the colours over a base of TFSI and these were applied using my fingers rather than a brush. You can click on all of the photos to enlarge.

Direct Sunlight Swatches. L-R: Ganondorf, Master Sword, SS Anne, Epona, Deku, Sudowoodo, Golum, Gengar, Poliwrath

L-R: Ganondorf, Master Sword, SS Anne, Epona, Deku, Sudowoodo, Golum, Gengar, Poliwrath

Ganondorf - Black with red reflects.
Master Sword - Shimmery champagne.
S.S. Anne - Bronzey Peach with refined shimmer.
Epona - Beautiful frosted light golden brown with barely any shimmer.
Deku - Copper/Orange with almost duochrome green reflects. This one is super sparkly.
Sudowoodo - Duochromey brown-green. The brown is more apparent than it appears in photos.
Golem - Dark taupe with mauvey undertone.
Gengar - Dark purple with a red shimmer.
Poliwrath - Vibrant blue with fine shimmer.

I think my favourites from these colours are Epona, Golum and Gandondorf. I'm looking forward to trying Poliwrath in an eye look too.

You can buy these eyeshadows from the Shiro Cosmetics Etsy Store, at the moment the website is being updated. I haven't tried any of the Intertube lip colours yet but I'm tempted to get Sad Keanu just for the name! Have you tried any of the Shiro eyeshadows? Do you have any tips for using loose eyeshadows?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

MuLondon Organic Rose Moisturiser

MuLondon is a handmade, natural organic skin care brand. Their moisturisers are organic, 100% vegan and sustainably produced. They contain only shea butter, natural and essential oils and essences. The packaging is simple and unfussy too which I really like. I'll admit that what initially attracted me to the products were the delicious sounding scents such as White Chocolate Truffle, Lavender and Rose, Rosehip and Rosemary.

These moisturisers have a very different consistency to that which most of us are used to. They don't contain water and at room temperature they are a solid. I have been using the Organic Rose moisturiser for a couple of months now, it's quite a rich moisturiser and so I have preferred to use it as a night cream. You can add water if desired but the way I tend to apply is to spray my face with a toner, scoop out up a small shaving of the cream and warm between my hands before applying to my still damp face. You only need a small amount to cover the face and once warmed, the moisturiser takes on an oil consistency which feels lovely to massage in. If you've ever used coconut oil you'll probably have a good idea of the solid to oil change I'm describing.

The moisturiser warmed with fingertips

The smell of the Organic Rose moisturiser is lovely, it's delicate and very feminine. This is another reason I particularly favour using this as part of my night time routine as I find the lovely smell helps me relax at bedtime. I haven't used the White Chocolate Truffle moisturiser yet but I can say that it smells delicious. I will report back once I have tested it properly.

I find this moisturiser doesn't sink straight into my skin and there is a visible film that sits on my skin's surface before I go to bed. However, my skin feels lovely and soft in the morning with no trace of greasiness. In terms of using this as a day moisturiser, I think this would be best suited to drier skin types, although it can be watered down as I mentioned above. I imagine it would make a nice base for foundation and give a glowy effect.

The MuLondon moisturisers are available from and they all come in 30ml or 60ml size jars. The Organic Rose is a bit more expensive than the other varieties at £10 for 30ml or £19 for 60ml. As you only need a small amount to cover the face, even one of the small pots would last you a couple of months so I think they're good value.

Disclosure: The products were sent to me without cost for review purposes.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

NARS Douceur: Swatches and Comparison

I finally caved and bought NARS Douceur recently. NARS Douceur is a very 'me' sort of blusher, it's a pinky brown shade that adds a little colour and acts to sculpt the cheeks. I had hesitate over buying this colour before as it's quite similar to several blushers that I already own. I have included a comparison below to show you exactly what I mean about the similarity.

Douceur is a neutral pinky brown and has a satin finish, if it catches the light in just the right way you will see tiny flecks of microshimmer (you can see this if you enlarge the pictures above). The microshimmer isn't visible on the cheeks but the tiny amount of shimmer stops it looking completely flat. It's not as densely pigmented as my other NARS blushers, as I discovered when swatching, but I can't say I had any issues with the colour when applying. The effect with this sort of blusher is subtle and acts a bit like contouring. I often favour these sorts of colours as they pair well with practically any eye look or lipstick shade.

When I compared Douceur to my other similar blushers I was happy to see none are exact dupes. However, I wouldn't say you need all of these colours unless you are a bit pinky-brown obsessed like me! The swatches shown are heavy application, with three or four passes of the pan to build up the colour. MAC Prim & Proper was a limited edition colour from the Give Me Liberty of London collection, this shade is the warmest and most tan colour of the bunch. Douceur appears to pull more brown than MAC Cubic, which I think looks like a dusty pink in comparison. RBR Delicata is the lightest of the four and is probably more beige-pink when compared to the others.

I enjoy wearing all of these blushers but find Prim & Proper is probably the most neglected. If you're nervous of blusher or you're looking for something to give a subtle colour to the cheeks, I would happily recommend Douceur, Cubic or Delicata. All three are easy to wear in terms of both colour and finish.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Has Good Friday Gone Bad?

It's not often that Aunty Brown receives this kind of gift from the blog gods such a sad, sad tale of beauty wrongdoing. It's so truly awful in fact that the writer could not bring themselves to share their name. I have promised to keep their terrible secret but beware, this person is someone you know and moves among us like any other ordinary beauty blogger. You may even be friends with this person, who knows. Of course, Aunty Brown is not open to bribes.....

Confession is good for the soul, go ahead and unburden yourself! I promise I won’t judge.

Dear Aunty Brown,

I feel I must confess.

I’ve had this secret for a while.

I am a beauty blogger.

And I’ve been a beauty blogger for a long time now.

But I have a guilty secret.

And the desire to share is overwhelming.

Sometimes, Aunty Brown, I …

Oh the shame, it’s just too much.

Sometimes I …

… Well, I sleep in my make up.

Say What?!

Not every day.

Just (of course!) on the days I wear make up.

You mean you don't wear it everyday? Where's the damn smelling salts...

And sometimes.

Oh, sometimes!
Sometimes, I don’t always take off the remainder the following day either.

Once, I got asked how I achieved a specific effect with a particular eyeshadow.

And the answer was:

“I applied it first thing yesterday morning, and haven’t washed my face since”

Which wasn’t the answer I think my friend was expecting.

Ironically, I have beautiful porcelain skin, (according to some of my readers) and very rarely get spots.

There, don’t you feel better now?


Artist's impression of what this poor soul looks like. Hair style and colour choices may not be representative.

Aunty Brown has a few more questions though; it’s true that I’m the nosy type.

When was the last time you visited the hairdresser?

A couple of weeks ago. He’s a bad, bad man, my hairdresser, but he’s exceptionally talented and wouldn’t let me leave until he had me looking like a million lire (37.8p at today’s exchange rates). I would have said a million dollars, but I’m fully aware I fall far short of the expected conventions of beauty.

Which bit of beauty trickery couldn’t you live without?

My brown paper bag. It’s the only way I can make myself acceptable on the tube.

You’ve overslept and have 5 minutes to get out of the house. Are you going out with dirty hair or no makeup?

Dirty hair. You shouldn’t wash it every day anyway. Mine gets a proper wash once, maybe twice a week. The rest of the time … well, how do you think I hit upon the brown paper bag trick?

Which trend still makes you cringe?

Trend I followed: wet look perms. Trend I despise: Concealer lips. Closely followed by lavender lips.


I don't know about you, but Aunty Brown's gone off for a lie down in a darkened room. Filth, pure filth! Dear Anonymous blogger, you want to hope that Mrs Hirons doesn't hear of this!

If you would like to take a turn and unburden yourself in the Friday Confessional you can email me at It's open to everyone: if you have something to confess, I'm happy to hear it!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ellis Faas Milky Lips in L203 and L207

I bought these lipsticks a while ago as part of a bundle from Ebay. Both of the lipsticks are the Milky Lips formula which is described as being a more fluid and translucent finish. The colours I have are L203, a deep reddy brown and L207, a caramel nude. Having looked at the swatches on the Ellis Faas website, I would say that the swatches aren't entirely colour accurate. I was surprised by this as the swatches for my Creamy Eyes eyeshadow are true to the real colour. I think I actually prefer the online representation of these lipstick colours.

I included this to show how the product dispenses.

If you haven't come across Ellis Faas products before, they're all presented in this stylish silver bullet shaped pen. Depending on which product you have, the pens are tipped with a brush or sponge applicator. The colour is loaded by twisting the pen at the base. This system does have it's downsides, it can be tricky to load some of the cream formulas if they are not used regularly. The product has a tendency to dry up and form a plug inside the applicator making it very hard to prime the pen.

I haven't suffered this problem with either of the Milky Lips (I do have this issue with my eyeshadow). However I do find that I usually 'over-prime' the brush as they are slow to load and there will be a blob sitting at the tip when I go to re-apply. Fortunately it doesn't dry up because of the consistency of the lipstick and I think the lipsticks probably benefit from the fact that you will apply several times in a day unlike an eyeshadow.

The lipsticks have a lovely feel on the lips and they're pleasant to apply. The formula, although described as fluid, isn't runny. I do find when I look at the swatch pictures that my application looks a little sloppy. I'm not sure if that's because I'm not used to applying with a brush or whether it's because of the formula. In person, I'm sure no one would spot the fact that my lines weren't crisp.

I have included two sets of swatches to show how the colour looks with a heavy application as well as a more sheer application.

I wanted to show you how both colours looked in the context of a full face shot*. I think both lean a bit too brown for me to feel entirely comfortable, although I think the darker L203 is the more flattering of the two.

Overall thoughts: I really like the texture of these lipsticks. These particularly colours aren't perfect for me so I would like to visit the counter in Liberty sometime to pick up a better shade. I'm also very pleased to report that these don't have the same applicator issues as my Creamy Eyes pen.

*My apologies for the slightly pixelated look of these pictures, if you click to enlarge they don't look like that at all. Picasa seems to be doing this to my images a lot lately. I will do my best to sort it out!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A Scent by Issey Miyake

I have wanted to try an Issey Miyake scent for years so when I was offered this to try, I jumped at the chance. I seem to be quite fussy where scents are concerned, unfortunately I don't seem to have mastered the art of knowing if I will like something from the scent description. It's something I am working on though!

'A Scent' is described as "green and feminine....drawing inspiration from natures essentials: leaves, flowers and wood". It has top notes of Verbena, heart note of Hyacinth and Jasmine and base notes of Galbanum. It's very green and a little sharp on my nose and stays that way for about an hour. On me this smells like a glade full of bluebells with a kick of cedar and it is actually a little overpowering. It eventually mellows and I pick up hints of other notes but the scent becomes very close to the skin at this point. I had very much hoped that the Jasmine would be more noticeable for balance but I can't pick it out at all.

This scent never truly blossoms on my skin and fades quickly after a strong opening. Something about it reminds me of Yves Rocher Desir de Nature which I owned years ago, another green floral that would vanish quickly from my skin. I wonder whether it's something about my body chemistry that stops it developing into something more.

A Scent is currently on special offer on with over 45% off the RRP. The bottles of Eau de Toilette are priced £16.50 for 30ml, £25.00 for 50ml and £33.50 for 100ml. 

I also wanted to point you in the direction of the discovery sets on Escentual which I think look great. I think this is an excellent way to try something new without committing to a full size bottle. I believe that skin care discovery sets are in the pipeline too. I'm very keen on the État Libre d'Orange set which contains 23 x 1.5ml testers. I've heard interesting reports about this is perfume house and I'll admit that the slightly rude nature of some the perfumes definitely lends to my intrigue!

Disclosure: This perfume was scent to me without charge for consideration for review.


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