Saturday, 31 March 2012

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 31/03/12

The month of March was a little crazy with its swings in weather. The Beauty Spotlight Team still found ways to discover beauty everywhere we went. We have some new faces to share with you so be sure you check out the team’s posts and find some new fun blogs along the way.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic discovered some lippies that work with every skin tone from Susan Posnick! They even stay closed in a purse!

Pammy Blogs Beauty finds that Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette exceeds the hype! It might possibly be the best neutral palette ever for cool-toned girls!

The sophisticated Suqqu triumphs again with a beautiful array of products for spring; Visionary Beauty has a look at one of the eye shadow palettes

Witness a miracle when Prime Beauty's stick-straight hair goes curly with Marc Anthony BEACH WAVES. All she needs now is a sunburn!

Modesty Brown shares some juicy lip action courtesy of Ellis Faas Glazed Lips in L303.

The weather is warm in the UK, so LondonMakeupGirl's thoughts have turned to sunscreens. Which ones does she recommend? Find out in Sunscreens - Which one to buy?

Beauty Info Zone has a set of 6 amazing lipsticks for all you red lovers from YBF Beauty. This set would make the cutest gift for you or your mother! Even your Mother-in-Law would be impressed.

The Pink Sith Blog has tried out the NEW Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara. Is it the bee’s knees or a stinging reminder that there is no such thing as the perfect mascara?

At Everyday Beauty, Zuzu's Petals described how she conquered Rosacea and discussed the pros and cons of various treatments.

At Lipstick Musings, Shannon's found the perfect summer shimmery eye with Tarina Tarantino's Eye Dream Highlight Duo in Amber and Elektron . Come check out swatches and an Eye of the Day!

See how Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, *almost* had the cult classic eyeshadow "Erika F", but ended up with the pretty, grey "Last Night" shadow in her stash instead.

polish insomniac falls in love with a sheer grey polish called OPI My Pointe Exactly. Find out why this polish made it onto her Top 20 list!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed goes colourful for spring with candy coloured lips and tips from Bourjois Paris and Dior! Check them out and see if you don't think they look good enough to eat!

Perilously Pale decided it was about time she tried out some much raved about drugstore gems and has been won over by the incredible L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in All Night Blue.

Friday, 30 March 2012

FOTD with JHLA Mystere and Ilia Arabian Knights

This wasn't particularly a thought out 'look', as I had applied several items specifically to take pictures for review posts. I was pleased with how it worked an ensemble though, so I hope you will forgive me for sharing in advance of the individual products posts. The Ilia Beauty lipstick in Arabian Knights is a recent acquisition and I also purchased one of the new releases from the line, Crimson & Clover lipstick.

Arabian Knights is on the left and Crimson & Clover on the right.

As always, I have included links to previous posts where possible.

This Works Skin Defense tinted sunscreen
Rouge Bunny Rouge Sketches on Water tinted moisturiser in Adansonia
W3LL People Universalist in #5
Shu Uemura brow pencil
Ellis Faas concealer in S202


Too Faces Shadow Insurance
Julie Hewett Hue in Mystere
GOSH Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Truly Brown
Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara



Ilia lipstick in Arabian Knights


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Intense Triple Action Eye Contour Cream from BcomBIO Organic

This does have a very long name and I'm still not sure I've written the brand name correctly but this eye cream is worth mentioning, so I'll crack on! I bought the BcomBIO Organic Intense eye cream on my trip to France last year. I was actually searching for their firming serum but I picked this up as an alternative: eye creams are something that are sadly lacking in my routine. I've had some strange reaction to eye products in the past and I will admit that I tend to be forgetful about applying them regularly.


I've been forgetful about using this too and it has sat neglected in my bedside cabinet for months. I randomly pulled it out the other day after another broken nights sleep and it felt blissful! I'm not the only one who likes it either. The pump got a little jammed up having sat unused so I accidentally dispensed too much and generously donated the excess to Mr MB (I don't like being wasteful). Later that day he randomly commented on how nice it had felt and he's been using it regularly since then.

I can't really comment on the efficacy: I've not been using it for long enough plus using any cream is going to make any improvement to my eye contour area as it was definitely dehydrated. What I can say with conviction is this feels very soothing and refreshing and that feeling lasts after the initial application. It has a pleasing fluid texture, it's a somewhere between a gel and a lotion in feel and it doesn't cause any puffiness. You can find more details about the active ingredients here.


If you're going over to France over Easter or even over the summer, I can recommend having a look for this brand. I bought this from the pharmacy within the Carrefour at Cité Europe but I imagine you will find it in most of the larger pharmacies. It costs 18.90€ which is approximately £16. I noticed that can buy it from and if you're in the UK but I can't vouch for either of these sites as I haven't purchased from them myself.

PS. If you fancy bit of French pharmacy shopping without leaving home, don't forget that have a 1/3 off Avene, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Klorane and A-Derma until the end of this month.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Always read the label!

I recently spent what felt like an age picking out a new moisturiser with sunscreen. I'm currently using a serum that contains glycolic acid and it's important to combine this with good sun protection. I finished my Caudalie Vinoperfect moisturiser last week and I particularly wanted to find a replacement with an SPF of more than 15. I was also looking for something that didn't contain active ingredient and therefore potentially clash with the serum, this is actually harder than you might think!

London Makeup girl's post about sunscreens was very well timed and I spent a good deal of time absorbing all of the details about physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients. What I really wanted to do was blow caution to the wind and buy the Chantecaille but I decided to be sensible and try some of the cheaper options first. I dithered over the Trilogy as I'd found Daily Defense too heavy before and was pretty set on the Super Daylight Savings moisturiser. I also wondered about getting the Murad Oil-Free Sunblock that I tried a sample of last year and liked but discounted it on the basis that I wanted a moisturiser rather than a sunscreen and have to find a separate inert moisturiser. Oh how you will laugh!

Perfect Skin Defense1

At the very last moment I decided to buy This Works Perfect Skin Defense SPF 30. I ordered it yesterday from Zuneta and it arrived this morning. I opened it up, immediately pumped some out to apply and was met with this....

Perfect Skin Defense3

"Oh" I thought, "it's tinted, oh well". I proceeded to start rubbing it on my face and quickly met with resistance. It was at this point it started to dawn on me that this wasn't a moisturiser at all. I picked the bottle back up and actually read it properly. Then I spotted the word sunscreen and cursed myself!

So, after all that careful research, I'd picked up the wrong thing after all. Note to self: always, always read the description properly and never assume!

Perfect Skin Defense2

I will persist with using this in the interests of research. I will need to find another moisturiser though which is a nuisance (moisturiser + sunscreen = should have bought the Chantecaille anyway). My first impressions tell me that it won't be a rave. Forget cake batter, this is custard powder mixed with water to create a solid state. You don't get more than a couple of seconds to spread this across the skin and I had to use a few pumps to ensure that I had covered all of my face. It mattifies my skin which seems to accentuate my lines and it feels drying but claggy at the same time. I'm hoping the sensation will feel less odd with moisturiser underneath. The tint is one of the best aspects as it negates any white cast and the colour blends in well.

I will report back on how I get on. I can't help but think I would have been better off getting one of the first things I considered. Have you ever made a blooper with a purchase? I'd love to hear your stories so that I don't feel so bad!

UPDATE: I applied this over a moisturiser this morning and it feels a lot better. It still has that slightly tacky feel but it was much easier to smooth on. Phew!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Taupes Revisited: Kjaer Weis Wisdom

I moaned at the size and I was far too tight to buy the pot, but Kjaer Weis Wisdom eyeshadow is a much loved taupe in my collection. If you've never been drawn to taupe this probably won't get you all that excited but I find Wisdom wins in the Taupe Trifecta: perfect finish, texture and colour.



It is the exact shade of deep mushroom that I have been trying to replicate since I acquired my first taupe eyeshadow from my Mum aged 14. She's probably still wondering where it went! It's a fraction darker than the majority of my other satin finish taupes (I don't include Satin Taupe here as I would actually say that has a frost finish rather than satin) and so it makes a darker, more moody shadow on my lids. I use this all over the lid but I think it would also work well for adding subtle definition to the crease if you paired with a light eyeshadow.

There's a tiny hint of iridescent shimmer which is only visible in out of focus images. It's this shimmer which prevents it looking flat on the skin. Pigmentation is good and application is very smooth: it almost seems to melt into my skin. I find it lasts well with no creasing but I always use a primer as my lids are prone to oiliness.

The Kjaer Weis line is an organic range and I think this is one of those occasion where that fact is purely incidental. This is an excellent high end eyeshadow that just so happens to be organic. Being organic does however go some way to explaining the high price tag. The refillable packaging system is part of the explanation too.

KJ packaging
Image from the Kjaer Weis website

Kjaer Weis is no longer available from SpaceNK but thanks to Lipglossiping's post, I discovered that you can order from if you're in Europe. The eyeshadows cost 38€ and the refills cost 18€ (roughly £31 and £15 respectively) but I'm not sure on shipping charges as they are calculated per weight. For those of you in the States, you can find details of where to buy here.

Monday, 26 March 2012

My Wahanda Spa Day at Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa

I've moaned quite a lot recently about how tired I am and in need of a break, so I literally jumped for joy at the prospect of spending a day relaxing in a spa. I received a £50 voucher from Wahanda* to put towards one of their Wahanda Spa Days and I came across the Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa whilst browsing for local offers.

Through Wahanda you can book an Elemis Modern Skin Facial Spa Day at the Bicester Hotels Golf & Spa for £99. The offer includes access to their spa facilities for the day, a robe and slippers, lunch in the hotel restaurant and a 1 hour Elemis Facial. You are also free to use the gym or attend any of their fitness classes but unfortunately this isn't clear on the Wahanda website as otherwise I would have brought a gym kit and trainers along. They do offer a good range of classes and you can find the timetable on the hotel website.


The spa facilities include a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and there is also a tropicarium situated within the changing rooms. The changing rooms are large and well provisioned: there was a lovely bay with large mirrors and hairdryers slightly away from the main changing room area which is ideal if you're going straight out after your spa visit. The swimming pool was quite busy for the first couple of hours as there was a kids swimming session running in the morning. Again, you can check the swim timetable in advance on their website.


I spent quite a while chilling out in the relaxation room which is exclusively for use by the spa guests. It was like a cosy snug with subdued lighting, day beds and a little area for making hot drinks. It was the perfect place to lay down for a read and if I had been less self conscious, I probably could have enjoyed a little nap in there.

I was able to choose my lunch from a little menu at the beginning of the day. As I went to the spa on my own, I think lunch was probably the most daunting part of the day. You are seated in the hotel bistro for lunch and unless you're well versed in solo dining, it can feel a bit intimating. The food was delicious and the staff friendly but I confess I ate up as fast as possible so that I could return to the safety of the relaxation room. For any future spa days, I will remember to take a friend along with me for company. Or maybe learn not to be such a wimp!


I had the treatment towards the end of my visit. The Elemis Modern Skin Facial is designed for skin that is changeable and is probably suitable for most skin types. The therapist had a chat with me beforehand about my skin, my current regime and what I was hoping to achieve and she tailored the facial accordingly. The hour in the treatment room was very relaxing and a wonderful sensory experience. There was plenty of hot flannel action which is, without doubt, my favourite part of any facial. My skin felt amazing afterwards and I can still see the results a week later: my skin is more hydrated and radiant. I was given a list of the products that were used during the facial and I am keeping the list for future reference.

I will definitely be returning to Bicester Hotel Golf & Spa for more treatments as I was very impressed by the facial. The hotel is excellently located for me and this brings me on to my final point. Another reason that I chose this particular venue is Bicester's popularity as a place to visit in the UK. The hotel is close to Bicester Village Shopping Outlet and Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon Manor are also nearby, so it's quite a convenient spot for a weekend away (I'm itching to use the term mini-break). Whilst I was there, I noticed that the hotel does offer a number of overnight Spa Break packages and you can find more details about these packages on their website.

Images from

*Disclosure: I received the £50 voucher from Wahanda without cost for me to put towards a treatment of my choice. Mr MB paid the rest as a birthday present.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

What's in Prime Beauty's Shower?

Our Beauty Spotlight Team series on 'What's In My Makeup Bag' was so successful that the team has decided to let you delve a little deeper into our inner sanctum. Prime Beauty is starting it off this week by giving you a peek at how she keeps her skin soft and smooth and her tresses shiny with 'What's In My Shower.'  Let's go behind the curtain and she what's lurking in Prime Beauty's shower!

Bathroom, Darphin 010 (640x628)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ellis Faas Glazed Lips in L303


In the interests of avoiding eyeshadow and nail polish purchases, I turned my attention to lipsticks once again. Although I do have issues with the Ellis Faas packaging, I find the lip pens are much less faffy than the eye products. The consistency of the lip products certainly isn't as prone to clogging.

When searching for swatches of Ellis Faas lip colours, L303 caught my attention. I rather like a sheer red and when I spotted Everyday Beauty's review, I knew it would be a good choice. We certainly have quite similar tastes when it comes to makeup.  




L303 is a Glazed Lip formula and it has a transparent glossy quality. It does have a good level of pigmentation but still allows some of my natural lip colour to come through. The texture is very comfortable to wear: it has a balmy feel with no hint of stickiness. Although it feels moisturising, I can't decide if it hydrates my lips but I know it definitely doesn't dry my lips. As you might expect from a sheer colour, it does require topping up but the balmy feeling is long lasting. I like that it has an even fade, changing from a glossy colour to a nice stain and it's an easy way to wear red if you're not in the mood for high maintenance.



This is a berried red colour, strawberry is probably the closest description. I thought it would be interesting to compare it to a couple of similar colours. The Kevyn Aucoin Aquarouge is a deeper more berried shade than L303 and Illamasqua Fume seems more tomato red in comparison.



Eye, eye!

My apologies for winking at you. I'm not getting fresh but my choice was either wink or show you the huge brow furrows I get when squinting into the sun. A no-brainer really!

I've been really pleased with this purchase and I expect to get a lot of use out of L303. I'm quite tempted to buy the other Ellis Faas lip colour I was interested in, L104, but I've never tried the sponge applicators pens before. If anyone has tried them and wants to share their thoughts, I would really appreciate it.

The Ellis Faas Glazed Lip pens cost £21 and I bought mine from

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism

I was eagerly awaiting the release of the Human Fundamentalism collection last week after seeing lots of tempting images from other bloggers. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I started browsing the collection that I realised that, because of my eyeshadow and nail polish ban, I'd restricted my options to the white precision liner and teal Apocalips lipstick. Although as a pairing they look stunning in the promotional images, I don't think it's a look I'm ready to rock just yet...

SS12_gold headphones_chicken_mid_LR

I already own CanCan eyeshadow, the Sealing Gel and I have previously owned the intensely pigmented Box lipstick. The items that particularly caught my eye (if you'll pardon the pun) from this collection were the Neutral eyeshadow palette, Stance nail polish and the gorgeous dark teal Burst eyeshadow. I was very taken with Vex in the City's swatches of the Fundamental palette but wasn't sure if this was something that would suit me. For now, I'm going to have to restrict my enjoyment of this collection to having a play at a counter and reading further reviews. I'm quite relieved that Illamasqua isn't like MAC and that I have a good chance of being able to purchase the items that interest me once my ban ends in the Summer.




I love that this collection is a blend of 'safe' and daring. I think Illamasqua do a great job of catering for all tastes ranging from the fairly conservative to the outrageous. I know if I hadn't already owned CanCan, I would have wanted it all over again. I will crack it out on Friday and pair it with my sparkly navy eyeliner: my alter ego may not be all that daring but she does like purple!

SS12_shuttlecock girl_head_LR

As an aside, I have been browsing the socalise area of the re-vamped Illamasqua site. I really hope they continue to expand the swatch area as I think it's really vital for those who shop online. I think you can submit your own swatches as well as reviews for inclusion which is pretty cool. Have you bought anything from this collection? Any tips on which items I need to pick as soon as my no-buy is over?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Introducing StageLine Cosmetics

I mentioned the StageLine Precise Liner in a face of the day post last month. I like felt tip pen style liners generally and I particularly like how dark this version is. It also has a more matte finish than many of my other pen liners. I find it lasts all day and doesn't move around at the corners of my eyes. I think it would be a great choice for a dramatic winged eyeliner.



Another of the items from StageLine that I particularly liked is their 'Light' loose powder for face and body. Although these powders are designed for face and body, you will find them listed with the eyeshadows on their website. I admit my initial interest in this came from the rollerball packaging! The shade I have here is 04 and it is a pretty, sheer rose gold shimmer that I find this works best as a highlighter. There are 21 shades altogether and some are more obviously eyeshadow appropriate.


L-R: Precise Liner, Light #04, Glow Up in Natural

The other item pictured below is their 'Glow Up' lipgloss in Natural. The formulation is ok and they do have a variety of colours as well as clear but I think this was definitely my least favourite of the three items.

Whilst doing research for this post, I was drawn into looking at the the various categories on the new website. There are lots of pro-style pre-prepared palettes as well as regular individual items. For products such as the individual eyeshadows and blushers, they also offer pan refills and I was especially taken with this idea when I spotted that they also do an empty magnetic palette. I think I'm a bit of an oddity as I can rarely bring myself to depot items (I keep pretty boxes, so smashing compacts is out of the question) but I do love creating customs palettes.


The StageLine products vary quite a bit in price from mid-range to high end, depending on the item (I'm not including the pre-prepared palettes here as they are very obviously pitched at professionals). For example the Precise Liner costs £13.79, the lipglosses are £14.29 and the solo eyeshadows are £9.71. The 'Light' rollerballs cost a bit more at £20.42 each, as do the Velvet blushers at £21.29. What I have tried I have been impressed with: the packaging isn't as appealing as some of my favourite brands but I think the products are good quality and that magnetic palette is talking to me! If you fancy giving their products a try, you can find a code for a 10% discount on their Facebook page.

Disclosure: This item was sent to me without cost for review purposes. The links are for information only and not affiliate links.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Butter LONDON Victoriana

When asked to choose a Butter LONDON polish to review, I set to pouring through many swatches online. I initially looked at a couple from the current collection: I rather like the look of Disco Biscuit and Knackered, but after some Twitter advice, I opted for a colour I had been interested in a while ago. Victoriana was first introduced in Autumn 2010 at the same time as All Hail McQueen.


Victoriana is a beautiful green-tinged blue packed with silver microglitter. On the Butter LONDON website it is described as metallic but I don't really see this as metallic personally. Mind you, the colour doesn't really say Syphilis to me either! Instead, the colour reminds me a lot of the Irish Sea at the height of summer. Would you judge me if said this brings to mind mermaids? What can I say, it's the Piscean in me! Should we experience a proper summer in the UK this year, I will be wearing this on my toes and pretending I'm Madison*.




In these picture I'm wearing two coats over a base of BECCA 2 in 1 Base/Top Coat. Victoriana is quite a thick polish so it was almost fully opaque on this first coat but I required a second coat for a more even finish. The finish isn't completely level on my uneven tips but I don't think this is visible other than in close up photos. The wear time was reasonable on my (rubbish) nails.

Because of the glitter, it did take a couple of extra swipes with a cotton ball to remove it but it's not a big problem. Like all nail polishes with green pigment, I find this has a tendency to stain so be sure to use a base coat.

Butter LONDON polishes cost £12 each and are available from Zuneta, Powder Rooms and

Disclosure: PR Sample

* How many of you are going to admit to knowing who I'm talking about? Hmmm...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 17/03/12

Over at Pretty in Dayton, did Styrch choose to be "Beauty" or the "Beast" for her avant garde photo shoot with local photographer Kidtee Hello?

There's a new girl in town and her name is Sunday Riley. Beauty Info Zone has the first of several posts about Sunday Riley eyeshadows. Come see what the fuss is about.

Perilously Pale has found the most mouthwatering blush that she thinks will flatter almost every skin tone from fair to deep with Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Orpheline.

Modesty Brown share the beautiful and very versatile Le Metier de Beaute Aurora Lip Kaleidoscope. There's also some exciting news for European LMdB fans!

Trip to London planned? London Makeup Girl tells you where to find some British beauty bargains in her Guide to Less Expensive Beauty Shopping in London.

In an attempt to simplify her routine, Zuzu's Petals at Everyday Beauty tries in vain to find a single brand that meets all her needs and wonders if you've found yours.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed is ready for spring already and has the nails to prove it! Check out her swatches from the Sephora by OPI Bohemian Brights Spring collection and see if you don't get a touch of spring fever too!

Paula, from Older Girl Beauty, talks about the new product line from Burt's Bees called "güd" that has scents so good it made her act like a fool in Target.

The Pink Sith has made her justification to get the Chantecaille Coral Reef Palette. Can she provide one for you?

At Lipstick Musings, Shannon's found the coolest eyeliner collection EVER with the new Ultraflesh Black Magic palette!

Prime Beauty fell in amour with Lancôme's new Rouge In Love High Potency Lip Color in In Corail, see why it completes her.

Are you ready to embrace your inner Tinkerbell? Then you *must* check out Pixi's new Disney collaboration palette: The PixiGlow Fairy Face Palette. It is a must have for an enchanted Spring!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Jo Malone Blooms: Iris & Lady Moore Cologne

The Jo Malone London Blooms collection is a limited edition release of three fragrances inspired by British gardens. The three colognes are: White Lilac & Rhubarb, Peony & Moss and the one I have here, Iris & Lady Moore. The bottles are decorated with beautiful illustrations and would make a nice addition to any dressing table.

Iris & Lady Moore is a bit of a tricky fragrance to describe. I'm not the most adept at picking out individual notes and I still tend to work on the basis of 'do I like it or not?'. In this case, I like it very much but it does skate pretty close to being too 'old lady floral' for my tastes, and it took a discussion on Twitter and a breakdown from Lipglossiping for me to better understand what I like about it.

Jo Malone+Iris

What stops Iris & Lady Moore from being the kind of floral fragrance I wouldn't wear, is what I perceive as a masculine edge to it. This masculine note is apparently thanks to the inclusion of vetiver (cheers Charlotte). The fragrance notes are officially Iris, Geranium (Lady Moore) and Vetiver. What my nose detects is floral mixed with peppery masculine. It is a strong fragrance and although it a mellows over the day, I can still smell it in the evening. The most predominant note on my skin is the pollen pepperiness. It has reasonable sillage and by that I mean that other people around me would be able to smell it without having to stand particularly close.

So far, everyone that I have spoken to likes this fragrance, with the exception of Mr. MB, but I do get the impression that everyone finds it a little curious. It's a certainly a perfume that I would recommend sniffing in person before buying.

The London Blooms collection is available now from Jo Malone shops and concessions as well as online. The colognes cost £72 each which I appreciate is expensive but the bottles contain 100ml of fragrance, so they will last a good while.

Disclosure: PR Sample.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Adesign Brush Review

I think it's well established by now that I like my brushes so when I was offered some new brushes to try, I jumped at the chance! Adesign in an American brand and some of you may have come across their exhibit at IMATS.

From top to bottom: short handle flat top foundation, angled concealer, cream blusher, flat top foundation

My apologies in advance for not including a comparison with other brushes. I didn't have anything similar in my collection but, in retrospect, it would have been useful to have a sizing reference.

I've not had any experience of flat top brushes before and wasn't quite sure what to expect but I discovered that I get on very well with them. I've used both the large Kabuki-style flat top and the long handled flat topped brush to buff in foundation. They work well with liquids and creams and I've already mentioned how much I like them for buffing in my W3LL People Narcissist foundation. I also really like the long handled flat topped foundation for creating a subtle blush effect with the W3LL People Universalist stick. Now this is where a sizing reference would have been useful as the diameter of the long handled foundation brush is probably a little smaller than you might expect from my photographs. The diameter is roughly the same as a 10p piece.

The two flat top foundation brushes

The pouch on the left contains the large flat top foundation brush

I normally use my fingers to apply more emollient cream blushers but the Adesign cream blusher brush is actually very useful. Because of it's small size it is easy to control the area of application and I find it especially good if I only want to apply colour to the apple of my cheeks. Unusually for a brush designed for cream product, this is made from real hair (the other three brushes are made from synthetic fibre). I actually contacted Adesign to confirm this as the information wasn't on their website and I learned that they are in the process of switching this brush from real hair to synthetic fibre. I know for hygiene reasons that makes more sense but I like this brush very well as it is. It gives good resistance and doesn't splay yet still feels soft on the skin. I will be interested to see how the synthetic version compares.


I've probably had the least use from the angled concealer brush. There is no problem with it in terms of texture and function, I simply prefer the shape and fibres of my Le Metier de Beaute brush for concealer application.

These brushes are a pleasure to use, they feel soft and the fibres are of good quality. I do wish the handles were wooden rather than plastic but it's a minor gripe really. They wash well although, as you might expect, the large flat top foundation brush takes a bit of effort to rinse clean. Even with my trusty BECCA brush soap. The flat top foundation brushes take a while to dry which is unsurprising for such densely packed synthetic fibres and I find they benefit from running a hand over the top to separate the fibres once dry.

Adesign brushes are available from These brushes aren't available individually on Cocktails Cosmetics but the Skincare Brush Set contains a similar selection of brushes and costs £44.95. You can find more detail about the Adesign brushes on their website.

Disclosure: These items were sent to me without cost for review purposes.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Modesty Brown turns Two

I've dithered over whether or not to let this day go unmarked. But after seeing my time travelling content thief celebrating Modesty Brown's 1st birthday (I kid you not), I thought it was silly not to.

So, another year on and I'm still here. There have been ups and downs but most importantly for me, lots of giggles. Major highlights for me were meeting Rebecca Morrice Williams of Becca Cosmetics, having my makeup done by Gina Brooke at Hourglass and also releasing one of my makeup heroes, Caroline Barnes, from the loos in the The Dorchster. My trip to Boots HQ with Charlotte Lipglossiping is an occasion I will never forget either. From getting to see the inner working of Boots to chatting till the small hours like a teenager on a sleepover, I had the most amazing time. I bored some poor guy on the day, rabbiting on about superglue only to discover recently that said 'poor bloke' was most probably Mike Pocock of Illamasqua Nail Quills and Adele's Louboutin mani fame. Yes, I am indeed morphing into someone's embarrassing Mum......

Things are still a little quieter of late as I continue to establish a new pace. This time last week I was certain that my love affair with blogging was over but I'm hopeful that I can find my feet again. I need to dedicate more time to family things and I just can't maintain daily posts anymore but this doesn't necessarily mean the end. I feel I should apologies for the glut of posts reviewing PR samples at the moment but I'm trying very hard to clear the decks. I'm always strict about what I will accept and have recently turned down events and samples, so I hope you that you don't feel I am compromising my integrity and honesty, as that is something that means a lot to me.

Anyway, I think that more than enough self-indulgent wibbling. Thank you very much for reading and thank you for all the support. Keep on smiling xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

HIPP x RGB Nail Foundations

The HIPP x RGB collection is a collaboration between RGB and celebrity 'green manicurist' Jenna Hipp. The Nail Foundations are designed to match your skin tone just like regular foundation to give the perfect nude manicure. There are four shades: F1, F2, F3 and F4, where F1 is the lightest and F4 is the darkest.



From left to right; F1, F2, F3 and F4


F3 and F4 are darker than my skin tone but I have applied them all to my nails so you can get an idea of the colours and coverage. Two coats gives good opaque coverage with all four foundations. I find the size and shape of both the bottle and brush easy to handle. I did experience some dragging if I had to go back over an area whilst applying a coat, so it helps to be precise first time. The RGB formula is free of formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), in fact I recall London Makeup Girl mentioning that they are in fact 4-free as they are also free from camphor. The polish lasted well on my (notoriously difficult) nails. I'm not sure if the fact that I used my BECCA 2-in-1 as a base coat helped with the lasting power, this is also a 4-free formula so it's probably a good match as a base coat.





I have to admit that I'm not sure whether I prefer F1 or F2 on my hands. F2 is a bit too dark to truly give the effect of mannequin hands but the undertone blends in better with my skin, whereas F1 seems to highlight the redness in my skin. F1 will probably be more flattering when my hands are less winter abused.



Although the idea of the nail foundations is for them to match your skin tone, I really like the colour of F3. In the top picture, I think it looks unfairly.....erm, dungy which is why I have included the whole hand picture to give you a better idea of the colour.


F4 is a really rich deep brown and I think it has the most glossy finish of the Nail Foundations.

As well as the Nail Foundation, there are four Nail Tints available which offer similar skin matching shades but in a sheer finish. I actually think I will get on better with these for finding my perfect skin match and I always thing that sheer fleshy colours are a good choice if you struggle to keep a manicure looking perfect.

The HIPP x RGB Nail Foundations cost £11.50 each and are available from Mise Beauty, who ship worldwide.

Disclosure: These items were sent to me without cost for review purposes.


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