Saturday, 30 June 2012

Beauty Spotlight: What's in Zuzu's...

It's Zuzu's turn for the "What's in my ..." series, but she had such a hard time deciding what to highlight, she just decided to show the whole thing. Check out Everyday Beauty and see what's on--and in--Zuzu's dressing table.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Chubby Love!

I seem to be living in the perpetual house of plague at the moment. Instead of one child with a temperature, I now have two and I appear to have had a second dose of it myself. I'm not in the mood for wearing makeup particularly and I've swapped cosmetics browsing for fantasy homeware shopping (if you're unlucky I'll share some of my curtain lusts with you!).

I think it's hard to feel motivated to put makeup on when you've hardly had any sleep and feel rough but if forced, which I was yesterday, I tend to choose products that are easy to apply and make a difference with minimal effort on my part. That's when chunky pencils like Clinique Chubby Sticks and Sephora Jumbo liners are particularly handy.

Chubby Sticks2

The three Chubby Sticks I have here are from the original line up: Whole Lotta Honey is a sheer honeyed brown, Woppin' Watermelon is a cool pink and Super Strawberry is a sheer rosy/berry shade. I have already shown my favourite of the three applied, Super Strawberry, in a recent face of the day post. Lola wondered whether this colour might be similar to Ilia Arabian Knights so I have included comparison swatches. Both are balmy and comfortable to wear but I think Arabian Knights is a little more pigmented that Super Strawberry.

Chubby Sticks8

Chubby Sticks3
L-R: Woppin' Watermelon, Super Strawberry and Whole Lotta Honey.

Chubby Sticks4
L-R: Ilia Arabian Knights, Woppin' Watermelon, Super Strawberry and Whole Lotta Honey.

Super Strawberry

I've only worn the colours individually so far, although you can experiment with layering to create different shades. I ought to do this with Woppin' Watermelon as I find this colour a little tricky to wear. I imagine it would be nice mixed with either Whole Lotta Honey or Heaping Hazelnut. I had quite a lot of fun experimenting with colours using the virtual mix & match application on the Clinique website.


I think the Chubby Sticks are really easy to wear and a good option for those that aren't comfortable with lipstick but want an alternative to gloss. In fact, a friend of mine has relieved me of Whole Lotta Honey for exactly that reason. It's good to share the Chubby Love!

Chubby Sticks cost £16 each and are available from Clinique counters, as well as online from If you're feeling in the mood to shop today, you can get free delivery with the offer code PAYDAY.

Disclosure: PR Samples. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Help: Clear Skin 'Olympic Countdown' Discount

Clear Skin

Last year my sister reviewed the Help: Clear Skin supplement. Although she was really pleased with the results, one of the negatives for her was the cost. In view of this, I thought I would mention their current ‘Olympic Countdown to Clear Skin’ discount.

Using the discount code OLYMPIC45 you will receive a 45% discount on 28 packs of both Help: Clear Skin and Help: Revitalise My Skin. The offer is valid until 27th July and the idea is that you will have radiant skin in time for the Olympics. Don't worry, participation in sporting activities is purely optional! There is also a choice of a gift with purchase (a pocket mirror or Ion Sport watch) and all orders over £45 will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle Fire.

I really hope this is useful to anyone how has been considering the supplements but hesitated at the price. The discount code is valid for purchases from website.

Monday, 25 June 2012

My Z Palette and Depotting LMdB Kaleidoscopes


Last night I suddenly got an urge to try depotting my Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscopes. So, whilst most people were watching the England match go to penalities, I took a small screwdriver to my makeup and hoped I wouldn't live to regret this rash decision.




The Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscopes come with a small hole in the back of each layer which allow you to free the eyeshadow pans without the need for a heat. Hopefully you can see from the pictures that the hole is very close to the edge of the pan. It is important to angle the tool you are using towards the centre of the pan, rather than straight up, as it is possible for it to slip straight past the edge of the pan otherwise. I first of all tried using a needle but this didn't enable me to apply enough pressure, so I switched to a thin screwdriver which was more successful.

The pans came out relatively easily and I found it best to cup my hand over the pan whilst pressing from behind, so that I could catch the eyeshadow as it popped out. Freeing the eyeshadows in this way causes no damage to the packaging and I intend to keep the kaleidoscope casing just in case I change my mind about storing the eyeshadows in a free palette.

I depotted three eyeshadow kits: Silk Road, Penelope and Le Cirque. I would have depotted Come One, Come All if I hadn't run out of space in my Z palette. The fact that the Z palette was filled so quickly made me realise just how big the Le Métier pans are. I probably should have compared them to a MAC pan for reference but the RBR refill pan that you can see on the right hand side is a very similar to a MAC pan. The square pan that you can also see on the right hand side is a depotted Shu Uemura eyeshadow.



The Z palettes have a magnetised base so there is no need to add magnetic stickers to underside of pans and refills. Sometimes you will find that eyeshadow pans are made from a non-magnetic material. I discovered that both the Shu and the pans from Le Cirque were non-magnetic so I applied the 'metal stickers' that came with the Z palette to these pans. This is where I feel the need to have a little whinge. I think it's a shame that the free palettes haven't settled on a universal system. I would like to be able to swap and change pans around across all of my palettes (MAC, Z palette and Unii palette) but this isn't possible as about a third of my pans have magnets on their base. I have no desire to start removing stickers that I have carefully applied just so that I can put them in my Z palette.



I'm still not sure how I feel about the Z palette. I don't think it is as attractive as a Unii palette and although the cardboard is sturdy, I'm not sure I'd feel safe using it for travel. Of course, the Pro Z palette does have size on its side, you can see how it compares to the MAC 15 pan palette above. The old style Unii palette remains my personal favourite. You can find an excellent comparison of the old and new style Unii palettes on Everyday Beauty.

I purchased my Pro Z palette from Cocktail Cosmetics where they cost £19.95.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Beauty Spotlight 24/06/12

beauty spotlightHave you always wanted to try a Beauty Subscription Sample Service? Here is your chance! Pammy Blogs Beauty is hosting a giveaway for a special Glamour Magazine Birchbox!

OMG it's TDF KWIM? Decoder included in The Pink Sith Blog’s review of the Dior Addict Extreme lipstick in Incognito #316.

This was a week of beauty blog battles and Beauty Info Zone has another one to share. This time it’s Bare Minerals Ready Eyeshadows that are duking it out. Don’t you want to know who wins?

After fears about reaching beauty saturation point, Modesty Brown writes about the products she's recently finished and considers whether they're worth re-purchasing.

This week Visionary beauty details a lovely limited edition Dior travel palette

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed celebrates the first day of summer by swatching a couple of items from the Essentiels de Chanel Fall Collection!

Prime Beauty shares her secret for perfect lips: SENSAI The Lipstick--the luxury lipstick you don't know about---yet!

Jessika the polish insomniac shows off her favorite taupe eyeshadow for less than $3!

London MakeUp Girl finally gets to grips with one of her long term items of longing. Does Kjaer Weis Eyeshadow in Divine live up to its name? Find out in her review: Kjaer Weis Divine review.

Want to get noticed this summer? Perilously Pale shows you how with the hot summer shades in the Anastasia See and Be Seen Kit. Even better this set is a deal!

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic tried out Milani's Powder Eye Shadows and thinks they might be just as good as MAC.

Friday, 22 June 2012

My Weekend Makeup Bag

Despite my best intentions to keep things minimal, I have managed to completely fill my makeup bag just for a night away. I know I probably should have planned what makeup I wanted to wear in advance and packed accordingly, but I suck at being that organised. Anyway, I thought I'd share with you which items made the cut. I have included links to previous reviews where possible.



Basic Face Products
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in Finland
Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Fresh Powder Makeup in 020
BECCA Creamy Concealer in Praline*
Shu Brow Pencil H9 Seal Brown
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Tweezers and Pencil Sharpener


Eyeshadows and Liners
Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadows in (left to right) Umber Firefinch, Bohemian Waxwing and Olive Violeteare
Lancome Erika F eyeshadow*
Sephora Jumbo Liner in Taupe
MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Mystery
MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy
Ben Nye Eye Liner Pencil in Espresso EP-85
Kevyn Aucoin Liner in Basic Black*

I really wanted to take my LMdB Come One, Come All kaleidoscope but I'm too precious about my kaleidoscopes to travel with them. I wish I wasn't such a nervous ninny!


Cheek Products and Mascara
NARS Laguna Bronzer
No.7 Lash Adapt Mascara*
Laura Mercier Blusher in Petal Pink
By Terry Blusher, this was passed on from a friend and I'm afraid I don't know the shade.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Tranquility highlighter


Lipsticks and Nail Polishes
Orly Decoded* from the new Electronica collection
Illamasqua Bacterium
BECCA 2 in 1 top/base coat
Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey*
Hourglass lipstick in Fresco
Rouge Bunny Rouge sheer lipstick in Murmurings


Rouge Bunny Rouge Face Contour Brush* which I use for both blusher and bronzer
Illamasqua Blusher Brush #1, I'm hoping I will be able to use this with the Diorskin powder foundation
Adesign Flat Topped Foundation Brush*
Le Metier de Beaute Concealer Brush*
MAC 224, 219 and 239 brushes
Sigma E25 blending brush
Hakuhodo Kokutan ML Eye Brush
Ruby + Millie Angled Liner

Orly Decoded

I'd like to claim that it's unusal for me to walk around with one random nail painted but that would be a lie! I've had Orly Decoded on for my little finger for couple of days and it's lasted surprisingly well. I still can't make up my mind whether to wear this or Illamasqua Bacterium on Sunday which is the reason that both are travelling with me.

I don't tend to do clothes posts. I'm not the least bit fashionable (you'll be able to tell from the pictures below) but this is the outfit I'm planning to wear to the baptism. It's a black jersey faux wrap around dress and the cardigan is one I purchased the other day in the Lazy Lu sale. I intend to wear it with black tights, black boots and some chunky gold jewellery. I can't decide on which scarf to wear, as much as I love the one in the first picture, I fear that I'd be entering Bett Lynch territory combined with my zebra print bag! I may have a quick look for an alternative tomorrow if time permits.



My 'Bett Lynch' bag!

Right, it's time for me to rinse this hair dye off and find out exactly what 'blends in grey' really means!

Disclosure: PR samples are indicated with an asterisk.

Guest Post: Mai Couture Lipglosses

Today we have a guest post from Debra of An Imperfect Life. Debra has kindly been trying out a few products for me that I haven't had opportunity to review myself (one of the limitations of only having one face to shmush it all on) and these are her thoughts on the Social Gloss lipglosses from Mai Couture.


The very lovely Jane from Modesty Brown sent me a parcel of goodies to try and amongst them were these two glosses. I had not come across Mai Couture before – they are a US brand that is not widely stocked in the UK.


Left - Femme Fatale, Right - Sake Sunrise

The two glosses that I was sent were Femme Fatale and Sake Sunrise. Femme Fatale (on the left in the photos and as modelled by me) looks almost baby pink in the tube but comes out on the lips as a softer pink. Sake Sunrise (on the right in the photos) is more of a beige pink.

Application on bare lips took a little while to get even. I found that I needed to put on a little more than I thought I might need to get it smooth and even coverage. Once on though, it stayed nicely, lasting a good 3 – 4 hours before needing topping up, and there was no hint of the tacky feeling that you can get with some glosses.


Purely because of my age (mid 40s) I probably wouldn’t wear these glosses on their own. I think my lips need a little more coverage than they offer, so I’d layer them over a lipstick for a fresh, summery look. They are a nice quality gloss, and these two are very versatile colours. A brand worth exploring, Mai Couture is available from in the UK, the lipglosses cost £15.50 each.

Disclosure: PR Samples

Thursday, 21 June 2012


I'm sorry that posts are so erratic at the moment. Work has really limited my free time but yesterday was my last session for the exam season, so I'm hoping things will get back to normal now. Well, once I've fully recovered from the small people germies that is. In the meantime, here's a bit of a general ramble about what's been keeping me entertained and catching my eye.

Watching...Wallander. I watched the English version with Kenneth Brannagh first and was so taken with it, I had to watch all of the Swedish series too. I have two more episodes from Season 2 left to watch and I suspect I'm going to have to read some of the Henning Mankell books once I've finished. I have surprised myself by picking up quite a variety of Swedish words with all my recent viewing. I do have a habit of homing in on the swear words for some reason...

Buying...clothes. Clothes shopping is most definitely NOT my favourite pastime but I need to find an outfit for a baptism I'll be attending this weekend. I managed to find lots of lovely Lazy Lu cardigans and tops on sale which will be great for updating my wardrobe generally, but I still need to find a pair of smart trousers. I anticipate I will be tearing my hair out over trousers by tomorrow evening!

Pondering...what makeup to take with me for my weekend away. I feel fairly certain taupe will be involved but I've yet to decide which one.


Lusting after...these beautiful gunmetal high tops from Ash. I blame Kat from Does my bum look 40 in this? for this current obsession. I live in my Converse trainers and these look so comfy. It's probably a good job they're sold out everywhere, as I'd be coming up with excuses to wear them in church for the baptism.

Celebrating...the fact that I've stuck to the Couch to 5k running programme and I'm about start the 9th (and final) week. Not feeling well has prevented me going out for the last couple of days but I've been regularly going out and jogging for 25+ minutes for the last few weeks. Although I still don't feel like a natural at running, I do get a real buzz from completing each session.

Looking forward to...the end of the month and therefore reaching the end of my eyeshadow and nail polish no-buy. I've toyed with the idea of extending my ban, as it has helped curb my spending but I honestly don't think I can face it. You can look forward to splurges on Burberry and Chantecaille in the near future.


Products I'm loving...Zelens skincare, NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser and Sephora Waterproof Jumbo Liner pencil in taupe. I'm poised to review the Zelens products* but I'm not sure if I'll get opportunity to write it before the weekend. I've been using the Radiance Cleanser, 3t Complex Face Cream and Triple Action Eye Cream and they all get a big thumbs up on texture and results. The NARS tinted moisturiser and Sephora pencil were surprise gifts from a very kind friend and I've been using both constantly since they arrived last week. The Sephora pencil in particular is a wonder. Waterproof taupe that you can use on its own or as a base? Genius!

What have you been up to recently?

* PR Samples

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

W7 Metallic Mercury and Venus (with Orly Cosmic FX comparison)

I'm feeling poorly today (the small people have been sharing their germs again), so I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you some swatches that I've been meaning to post for ages. I hope you will forgive me for being less detailed than normal.


Left - Metallic Mercury, Right - Metallic Venus

I picked up these W7 nail polishes just before Christmas last year when I was visiting family. I've never spotted the brand locally and at only a couple of pound each, I thought it would be an inexpensive treat. The W7 bottles are very similar to OPI in styling, although the brushes aren't as good quality and are prone to sticking out at funny angles. The consistency of both of these polishes is quite thin and I applied three coats for the coverage you see here.

In the bottle, Metallic Mercury looks very similar to Orly Space Cadet, including that yellow green tinge at certain angles. On the nail, they look quite different as Metallic Mercury has a much darker base. The 'oil in water' sheen is lost a bit with the black base, especially with as you need to apply several coats. Nevertheless, I like the finished result very much.

Metallic Mercury



Metallic Venus has more of a metallic finish than Metallic Mercury (which is a duochrome finish - thanks Odyssey!). I particularly like how the tiny blue microshimmer gives the nail polish a lilac sheen. I think this Metallic Venus is my favourite of these two W7 colours.

Metallic Venus



Here are Metallic Mercury and Venus compared to the Orly Cosmic FX colours that I own. None of these colours are dupes but hopefully the comparison helps put the colours in context. At the very least it's an excuse for a bit of nail polish porn!

Right to left: Out of this World, Metallic Mercury, Metallic Venus, Galaxy Girl

Right to left: Galaxy Girl, Metallic Mercury, Metallic Venus, Out of this World, Space Cadet

I can't remember exactly how much these nail polishes cost from Savers, as the receipt has long since vanished. I suspect it was around £2.95 each. Although they're harder to apply than more expensive brands, the lasting power was fine so my overall impression is that they're not bad for a bit of cheap and cheerful fun. I found both colours available from Amazon and

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Recent Empties

This post was originally scheduled for March this year. I didn't think I really had enough items for a full post, so I held off until I had a few more empties. I think the fact that it is now mid June speaks volumes about how long it takes for me to use things up!

The first three items pictured here are REN's Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream, John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo and Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Cream. I received the Frankincense Night Cream* in an event bag a long time ago. I liked the texture of the cream but wasn't keen on the scent. I managed to tolerate the smell in order to use it as I found the cream suited my skin (it's quite light for a night cream) but this isn't something I would repurchase simply because I'm not a fan of frankincense.


The John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo* was almost the reverse of the REN situation. I loved the smell but didn't get on with the formula. It is quite a thick cream shampoo and I found it difficult to rinse the product away thoroughly. My scalp would often feel 'heavy' with the residue and I noticed I would get spots around the hairline and back of my neck when I used this every wash. I got on better with it when used it in rotation with other shampoos. 

When I reviewed the Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Cream back in January, I had a little gripe about the price for a 30ml tube. I still stand by this, however I suspect I will re-purchase this in the future as I really liked the cream and found it suited my skin.

March Empties4

I bought this bottle of Mavala Mild nail polish remover in Sephora last year. Although it does contain acetone, I find this remover is less drying and better suited to my fragile nails than other acetone-free formulas that I have tried. I suspect you can buy this in chemists that have a Mavala stand but I haven't managed to find it anywhere other than online. A 250ml bottle costs £7.10 from Feel Unique.


These are some of my more recent empties. I'm cheating a bit by including the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Wash* as there is enough left for a couple more washes. I know that foaming face washes aren't everyone's cup of tea but they're a staple in my routine and I particularly like how gentle this one is.

I wrote about the Kneipp Pure Bliss range* quite recently and mentioned how much I liked the body wash. I love the smell and will definitely be buying this again. Like the Mavala remover, I think it's easier to find Kneipp online. The Body Wash costs £4.95 from Victoria Health.

Trying the I Love My Muff range seems to have changed my washing habits permanently. Having previously used shower gel all over, I'm now quite used to using a separate product for my...erm, delicate area. The Apivita Intimate Wash* with tea tree & propolis has quite a strong herbal fragrance but is low foaming and gentle on the skin. I was really pleased to see that Apivita is now available from Marks & Spencers. They don't stock the Intimate Wash (too much shock potential maybe?) but they do have the lovely Body Nourish shower gel that I reviewed previously.

Are you good at finishing products or do you have a bathroom full of half empty bottles like me? What have you used up recently?

Disclosure: Items marked with an asterisk were received without cost either for review or as part of an event bag.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Beauty Spotlight: What's On...

what's on my

This week the Beauty Spotlight Team takes you into the beauty closet of Jessika, aka polish insomniac, to see what's on her polish station

Friday, 15 June 2012

Paul & Joe Catwalk and Miaow Lipsticks

A little while ago, I expressed an interested in the Paul & Joe Spring 2012 lipsticks on Twitter. My experience with the brand is limited and I was keen to know if their lipstick formula was good before parting with my pennies. The lovely Pleasureflush came to my assistance on this occasion. She told me that the lipstick texture wasn't her favourite and as she had a couple that she was interested in selling, I thought it would be rude not to help a fellow blogger out and promptly relieved her of Catwalk and Miaow.


Top - Miaow, Bottom - Catwalk

I've never really been sure about the whole cardboard packaging 'thing'. I don't consider it to have a particularly luxurious look, however it can look cute and quirky. I say can, because I think the floating heads on Miaow aren't especially cute, in fact I'd probably go so far as to say they are a little creepy. Thankfully the paw prints on the bullet do a good job of distracting the eye.

Miaow is a dusky pink with flecks of tiny golden shimmer in the bullet. It applies almost matte (although not fully opaque) and the shimmer is invisible on application. The texture is surprisingly devoid of slip but despite this, I wouldn't describe it as drying. However, I do think it gives my lips a dry look.


Top - Miaow, Bottom - Catwalk

Catwalk is a fleshy nude peach creme. It has the same almost matte finish and texture as Miaow. I don't wear peachy lipsticks very often but I will admit that I quite like this colour. I just wish it had a more moisturising look and feel. In my head, the colour is similar to Edward Bess Secret Desire but I need to swatch them side by side to confirm this.





I'm really pleased to have had a dabble with the brand. Texture wise, I agree with Pleasureflush that this isn't the greatest lipstick formula. If you want them as a fun item or you're a collector of cat related paraphernalia, I say go for it but if you're rather demanding of your lipsticks, I think you can safely give them a miss.

The Paul & Joe Spring 2012 collection lipsticks are available from ASOS and cost £16 each.


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