Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Recent Empties

I've been collecting up my empties for the last month or so. This is partly for me to keep an eye on how quickly I finish products up. Not at any great rate it would seem and there is a very woeful amount of makeup in this batch. I've linked to previous reviews wherever I can.

Feb empties

The lone makeup item is my RMK Super Basic Liquid concealer. I was quite sad when I realised it was empty as this has been my favourite undereye concealer. It has lasted such a long time as I've swapped and changed, trying others along the way but I always returned to this one. I know I probably should have just replaced it but I couldn't resist trying something new and I've put in an order for the Ellis Faas S202 that I tried last year.

There are quite a few hair bits and pieces that I finished off recently. I've had the Pureology Hydrate shampoo* for a long time but I started using it again when my scalp took against the John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo (it smells gorgeous but caused spots on my scalp and hairline). It's SLS free and really hydrating, the only negative is that it does take a bit of effort to rinse out thoroughly.

I've gone through several rounds of the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner. I've used it to try and fight the brassiness/ginger glow that I suffer with now I'm only colouring my roots. The conditioner is ok but it's not quite rich enough to tackle my tangled locks.

Including the Bed Head Mega Whip* is cheating really but it was in amongst the other containers for the recycle bin. I received this as a PR sample and Mr. MB seems to have taken his reviewing duties here very seriously, he clearly scraped out every last drop. He's been dropping unsubtle hints about me replacing it for him so it's obviously been a hit.

The I Love My Muff wash* lastest longer than I expected for a small bottle. I'm not going to embarrass myself by explaining the line all over again (you can read about it in my original post) but I surprised myself by permanently switching to using this in preference to my regular shower gel. I mentioned in my review that the products are a bit on the expensive side, so I'm not sure yet whether I will replace this. It's somehow easier to justify splurges on.....erm, other areas!

The last few items are all skincare products. The Naked Truth AHA Cleanser* has had a name and packaging change since I originally reviewed it. The line is now called Dr. Darren McKeown and the simple packaging has been replaced by busy molecular structures. The line does seem to have struggled to find a market as I predicted in my initial review and the products are always reduced in price. In fact, you can currently buy this AHA Cleanser for £6.40 which is staggering considering the original RRP was £17.99. I do wonder what the future is for these products.

I was sad when I realised I'd pumped the last drop from my Pai Cleanser*. It has lasted really well and has become a staple of my routine. This is one item I will definitely replace. It smells beautiful and has been a joy to use at the end of the day. It's also really useful to have as I know that even if I have irritated skin, I can still use this to remove my makeup without it making any redness worse.

The last item is a mini Night Cream that came in a set I received as a gift last year. It's from The Body Shop's Nutriganics range. It started out in my soap bag for use away from home but drifted into general use. I wouldn't say it's especially fancy but I found it pleasant to use and not so rich that it caused congestion or greasy face in the morning.

What have you been using up recently? Are you good at making sure you use everything up?

*Items originally received as PR Sample.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Julie Hewett Lipstick in Nude Noir

This Julie Hewett lipstick in Nude Noir has been missing, presumed lost for a very long time. It re-appeared at the bottom of the pushchair (I suspect little hands were at work) and so I thought it would be a good time to share my thoughts and pictures. Just in case it goes missing again!



Nude Noir is a dark, slightly peachy nude. It contains quite a lot of micro-shimmer which I would say gives it an almost metallic finish. I would probably reach for this colour more if it had a satin finish. Metallic/frosty lipsticks tend to remind me of my first very forays into makeup and so they will always have a slightly dated feel to me. Nevertheless, I still think Nude Noir is quite wearable.



The lipstick texture is comfortable to wear. It feels creamy but not balmy, the colour lasts well and it doesn't dry my lips. This is the sort of colour I don't mind wearing when I will be eating and drinking too as it doesn't look peculiar as it fades.


The Julie Hewett line is probably best known for the reds and I have my eye on a few of the sheers. I think I've narrowed it down to Gem Noir (you can see it here on London Makeup Girl) but I also like the look of both Film Noir and Oona Noir. This lipstick came from Mise Beauty who ship worldwide. The Julie Hewett Noir lipsticks cost £18 and Mise stock both the original and sheer formulas.

Disclosure: The item was sent to me without cost for consideration for review.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

It's Mystery Makeup Bag Time!

It's that time again to rummage around in one of the Beauty Spotlight Teams makeup bag. This week we have Lisa from Beauty Info Zone taking a turn. Check out the 'regulars' as well as the 'guest stars' in Lisa's Mystery Makeup Bag by clicking on the bag.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Guest Post: Give your skin a break

I'm pleased to be able to let a really lovely lady take over today, with such an excellent choice of topic too. Nic of Strawberry Blonde Beauty Blog has been inspiring my beauty purchases for a long time now (we go back beyond the blogging days). Nic is more than just a great beauty blogger, she's an all round good egg and has held my hands through some difficult parenting moments, for which I am extremely grateful. Anyway, without further ado, I will leave you in Nic's very capable hands.


Thank you Jane for inviting me to guest blog… I am honoured!

Sometimes I lie in bed at night mentally listing the number of skincare and beauty products I use daily… a number which, unsurprisingly, has increased since I started beauty blogging.

I’m passionate about skincare and have used it religiously since my late teens. I care about what I put on my skin, research it thoroughly, and spend as much as I can afford on what I believe are the best products for me. I’m fickle too… I get bored easily and even if something is working for me, I always want to try the latest wonder product I’ve heard about. At times I’ve used poor quality products (for financial reasons) and while I know quality doesn’t always equate with cost, my skin has suffered as a result – and improved when I returned to ‘the good stuff’!

What has never occurred to me until recently, is that maybe all this goodness I’m applying to my face twice daily isn’t always so good for me. Maybe my skin feels overworked, or perhaps there really can be too much of a good thing? Hormone fluctuations can occur throughout key stages of our lives, like puberty, pregnancy and menopause, but factors such as contraception, diet and stress can play a big part too and it’s definitely true that our skin reflects what’s going on inside.


Several months ago I tweeted about a skin flare up and Pai Skincare responded. I’d previously had no contact with Pai, though I was familiar with the brand through reading reviews by some of my favourite bloggers.

Sarah Brown, founder and owner of Pai asked me about the exact condition of my skin and requested a list of every product I used at the time. She then researched potential allergens or irritants within the product ingredients and came back to me with some advice.

The main thing she thought I ought to do was give my skin a complete break from complicated skincare. When the owner of a highly respected skincare brand suggests this, you sit up and listen! I was both surprised and humbled by Sarah’s advice and would like to personally thank her for the time she took to advise someone who at that point, had never even tried her products. (I since have and love them, though Pai held off sending them until my skin was back to normal!)
This was Sarah’s advice, which she agreed to let me share in this post…

Even the most robust of skin can develop sensitivities to ingredients that it may have previously been tolerant to. These sensitivities can be caused by hormone fluctuations, stress, illness, tiredness or overuse of particularly harsh or active cosmetics.

In all cases I'd recommend first giving your skin a rest.

While all beauty lovers want to sample a wide variety of skincare classics & new innovations, chopping and changing products regularly can leave skin very confused and out of balance.

As it responds to the varying oil levels in each, your skin adjusts its own oil production to reach an equilibrium. If this happens too often, your skin simply can't keep up, and can breakout, dry-out or develop a red reaction.

Allow your skin to rediscover its natural balance, and protect this with gentle products.

Increasing your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3,6&9) can also help calm and condition your skin from the inside out, as they are powerful anti-inflammatories. Oily fish, seeds and nuts are great dietary sources, or you can opt for 1-2 tsps of organic Hemp or Flaxseed oil a day.

Sarah Brown, Pai Skincare

With the EFA (omega oils), try and buy out of a fridge in your health food store and store it the same way at home. If they're on a shelf in a shop it's not a good sign and are best avoided. These oils are very prone to degradation and you want to take them in their most 'active' fresh form.

Obviously I had to keep cleansing and moisturising my skin at the time, so I used the most simple products I had, which at that time were Purity organic cleanser and moisturiser. Next time I’ll use a gentle natural oil, such as Jojoba; Pai products or Neal’s Yard Calendula Cleanser. 

I also minimised the amount of makeup I wore at the time, so that my skin could breathe. Products such as Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint or Estee Lauder’s new BB cream are perfect for this, along with a slick of mascara and gloss. My skin definitely benefited from this whole process. The sore spots and under-skin bumps cleared up and my face returned to normal.

While I still test new skincare products for my blog, I’m now much more careful about how I introduce them, adding one new product to my regime at a time, so that if I have a negative reaction, it’s easier to figure out what’s caused it. And in between switching to a new range, I’ll stick to basic, gentle products for a week or two, to avoid throwing my skin out of balance.

Have you given your skin a break recently or is it something you’d consider?

I hope this has been helpful… thank you for reading – and thanks again to Jane for letting me post on one of my favourite beauty blogs!
Nic x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

FOTD with Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Raspberry

I spent a good deal of time last night ogling lipsticks online. My eyeshadows and nail varnish no-buy mean that I've been turning my attention elsewhere, naturally. So, to try and rein myself in, I thought it was time to do some more stash shopping. I ended up using a mix of old and new items: I have included a link where I have previously reviewed an item and any PR samples are marked with an asterisk.


Guerlain Rue de Rivoli palette: pans labelled 1 & 2 are the colours I used in this look


I've used the Lancôme Teint Miracle a few times in recent weeks. I still really like the texture and finish of this foundation, I also really like the smell which I realise probably sounds a little odd! Using it again reminded me that the colour isn't quite right for me. It's a little too dark and too pink and I think it shows up in the picture below. I think the other colours that I've used pull out the 'pinkness' too. None of this has quelled my interest in the new Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation of course, though I should probably force myself to finish at least one bottle of foundation before I start buying any more.


Lancome Teint Miracle in 02*
Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain in Rouge
Shu Uemura Brow Pencil
Tiny bit of RBR Sea of Tranquility as cheek highlight
MUFE HD Powder


Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Guerlain Rue de Rivoli: the iridescent champagne (#1) shade all over the mobile lid and the cement (#2) colour in crease
Stageline Professional Precise Liner in Black*
Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara*

The brushes I used, and that are pictured above, are the Hakuhodo Kokutan Eyeshadow ML and Sigma E35 crease brush. 


Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Raspberry


1. Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain in Rouge
2. Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Raspberry
3. Stageline Professional Precise Liner in Black
4. Colours used from the Rue de Rivoli Palette: 'shade 1' on the left and 'shade 2' on the right.

Miss MB decided that she wanted to copy Mummy today and this is the blue hippo's look of the day. Don't worry, no makeup was harmed!



*PR Samples

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The hunt for a dupe: Guerlain Beige Nude Lipstick

A reader got in touch recently to ask about a dupe for one of my favourite lipsticks: Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipstick in Beige Nude #550. She was unable to find this particular shade but keen to know if I considered something else to be a good alternative. I was actually quite dismayed when I realised the reason she wasn't able to find it was because it seems to have been discontinued. As you can see, I don't have much left myself so the hunt for a dupe seems even more pressing......


.....well, until I pulled out half a dozen very similar looking colours from my stash. Ooops! Oh well, I've said before how much I'm drawn to such shades. This is probably a good moment to point out that this isn't a nude in this way that most people consider nudes. This applies as a beige-y rose on my lips: a touch more brown toned than a 'My Lips But Better' kind of shade.

The lipsticks pictured below are Rouge Bunny Rouge Irreverence and YSL Rouge Volupte in Spicy Pink #20 on the top row and Revlon Colorburst in Blush, Armani Shine lipstick in #5, Guerlain Kiss Kiss in Beige Nude, YSL Rouge Volupte in Ultimate Beige #3 and MAC Cosmo from left to right on the bottom row.



I realise it's a little tricky to make the comparison from the product photographs as so much of the lipstick bullet has gone but hopefully the swatches are more illuminating.

Swatches left to right: Revlon Blush, Armani #5, Guerlain Beige Nude, YSL Rouge Volupte #3, MAC Cosmo, YSL Spicy Pink, RBR Irreverence



with flash

Although most normal people would not require so many rosy nude shades, I have to say that none of these colours are an exact dupe for Guerlain Beige Nude. YSL Ultimate Beige is about the same depth of colour but more beige toned, Revlon Blush is very sheer in comparison and both YSL Spicy Pink and MAC Cosmo are darker than Beige Nude. From the swatches, I would say that Rouge Bunny Rouge Irreverence and Beige Nude look most similar but on my lips Irreverence looks more pink toned. On my lips, the closest in appearance is the Armani Shine lipstick in #5 and of all the lipsticks I would say this has the most comparable texture.

For that is the other part of the problem: Beige Nude is a favourite not simply because of the colour, it also has a lovely formula. It's creamy, very opaque and non-drying. The YSL Rouge Voluptes are similarly opaque but I dislike how they dry my lips so soon after application, so these are not a good dupe texture wise. At some point I should investigate the Guerlain Rouge Automatique range to see if I can find a comparable colour to Beige Nude.

Left - Guerlain Beige Nude, Right - Kevyn Aucoin ThelmaDora

As I was putting away the lipsticks, I spotted another similar colour that I'd missed in my first forage. Above you can see Kevyn Aucoin Expert Lip Tint in ThelmaDora (right) compared to Beige Nude (left). The colours are quite similar but the Kevyn Aucoin has some shimmer and isn't quite as creamy or opaque as the Guerlain.

Although I don't think I really possess a proper dupe for Beige Nude, I do think that I would recommend the Armani Shine lipstick in #5 as a good alternative. I reach for this lipstick often and couldn't bring myself to part with it, even after the toddler-eating-lipstick disaster. However, I'm not sure that this is easily available either so, the hunt continues! If you have any suggestions for an alternative, please let me know.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

BECCA Balearic Love News


The BECCA Balearic Love collection has been available for about a week now and I have been eagerly awaiting blog posts. I had been really excited about this collection from the moment I saw the promo shots and had been very sad that it wasn't released before my self-imposed eyeshadow ban started. In fact, it wasn't until I started filling my basket with the nail varnishes (hello vamp nails!) that I remembered that I had banned myself from buying more nail colours too. This pretty much makes this collection a no go for me which is a blow as a BECCA lover.

As I can't bring you any reviews, I wanted to point you in the direction of the lovely Christa from Perilously Pale. Last night she posted the first images of that palette that I have seen and well.........it's not exactly what I was expecting. Christa's review is well worth a read if you were considering buying this palette based on the promotional pictures.


The Balearic Love collection is available from Zuneta and www.beccacosmetics.com/uk.
No doubt I will continue to torture myself by looking out for reviews.

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 19/02/12

From beauty blunders to brushes to a cold weather face, The Beauty Spotlight Team has you covered this week!

Prime Beauty channels her glory years--the 70's, with Make For Ever's Spring Collection La Bohème. Remember your inner gypsy?

Styrch has been busy traveling for work, but she managed to review Project Runway alum Althea Harper's Fall/Winter 2012 this week - she's once again in fashion love!

There seems to be universal love for Real Techniques brushes that Pixiwoo created. Lisa from Beauty Info Zone totally agrees with that and shows you just how wonderful they are.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed checks out the new range of colours in the Clinique Almost Lipstick line to see if they really deserve the "your lips but better"claim!

Visionary beauty shows us her favourite cream shadow stick formula, By Terry Ombre Blackstar

Atlanta has totally skipped winter this year, so Shannon at Lipstick Musings has decided to start focusing on summer! She's starting with her new favorite sunscreen, Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41.

Modesty Brown shares her first foray into OCC Lip Tars and finally gets what all the fuss is about!

Zuzu's Petals came clean about some of her biggest beauty blunders. Come over to Everyday Beauty to see what they were, and share your mistakes!

The last couple of weeks in London have been (below) freezing! London Makeup Girl tells us what products she reaches for when the mercury goes below zero for her Cold Weather Face.

Pammy Blogs Beauty falls in love with L'Oreal's new 24 hour Infallible Eye Shadow. Has she found a new Holy Grail shadow?

Perilously Pale thinks she may have found her new favourite nail polish brand. The incredibly beautiful shades from the a-england The Legend Collection have taken her breath away.

Friday, 17 February 2012

My Apologies and a Sneaky Peek!

I hope you will forgive me a little rambly post but I feel like I've been a terrible beauty blogger recently. After a week of Groundhog Day style entertaining, refereeing and tidying up after three small children, it definitely feels like someone needs to hit my reset button. It's been hard to find as much time as I normally would for blogging, so proper reviews have had to take a bit of a back seat.

I just wanted to re-assure you that there are still plenty of good things to come. Once I've managed to re-charge my batteries a little of course. I thought it would be nice to give you a sneaky peek at what's coming up as thanks for sticking with me. At least you can nag me if I continue to dawdle!


Dolce & Gabbana Fabulous Quad

Haus of Gloi
My Haus of Gloi Valentine's Haul

Edward Bess Monte Carlo Quad Royale Palette

Guerlain Les Fumes

Bellapierre Deja Vous

Complete Bliss Travel Candle

Smashbox Girls on Film Collection

W3LL People Narcissist Foundation Stick

W7 Purple Comparison


Have a good weekend everybody!

Kiss it Better with Clinique and Great Ormond Street Hospital

I had promised myself I wouldn't blog today but as predicted, I've got that twitchy feeling. So, I thought I would share a little something that might be of interest if you're in the mood to treat yourself this weekend. This is a little treat that will do a little good too.


This Kissable Lip Set from Clinique costs £25 and is available from House of Fraser. For every sale, 50% of the RRP will be donated to the KISS IT BETTER appeal. The KISS IT BETTER appeal is a partnership between Clinique and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity to raise money to fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer. As well as money raised through sales of the Kissable Lip Set, a £2 donation will also be made for every lipstick and lipgloss sold in House of Fraser stores throughout February. That sounds like a pretty good reason for a lippie splurge to me!

If you're interested in reading more about the appeal, please visit www.gosh.org/kissitbetter. 

Kiss it Better

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Maybelline: Looks from New York Fashion Week

Last week I sent a link to the LiveRunway Channel, where New York Fashion Week Sponsors, Maybelline, were presenting videos from Autumn/Winter 2012 shows. I fully intended to watch some of the action as it was happening but, as ever, life with three small children got in the way. I've managed to catch up a now: I won't even begin to try and talk about the clothes (I'm about as fashionable as a toilet dolly) but I feel pretty safe talking about the make up.

All of the looks below were created using Maybelline cosmetics. I've noted the products where possible from the videos but I'm aware that some of these are US only. I'm hopeful that the Color Explosion Caffeine Rush Palette and Dream Bouncy Blush will all make it over here eventually!

The makeup looks created by the Maybelline artists for the Autumn/Winter 2012 collections seemed to fall into one of three themes: Natural, Bold or 60's inspired eye makeup and Statement Lips. The looks at DKNY, Pamela Love, Billy Read and BCBG all fell into the natural category, with some going as simple as just a slick of clear Baby Lips balm on the lips. At Carlos Miele, makeup artist GATO opted for a more tanned, contoured look.



Makeup Artist - Charlotte Willer
Face: Dream Lumi concealer, Fit Me powder. Master Shape brow pencil used to define the brows.
Eyes: Color Pearls eyeshadow in Sinful Sinnamon (the light shimmery colour on the upper lid), One by One mascara.
Lips: Baby Lips clear lip balm

Pamela Love



Makeup Artist - Charlotte Tiller. Charlotte described the look as 'Factory Girl Glamourous'.
Face: Fit Me Foundation + Fit Me Powder, Dream Bouncy Blush in Coffee Cake
Eyes: Colour Explosion palette in Caffeine Rush 05 used over the Master Drama liner, Falsies mascara
Lips: Color Sensational lipsticks in 215 Totally Toffee and 725 So Pearly, mixed together and patted on to the lips

Carlos Miele


Makeup Artist - GATO
Eyes: Color Tattoo 24HR in Bad to the bronze as a base, Colour Explosion palette in Caffeine Rush 05, Great Lash mascara
Cheeks: Dream Bouncy Blush in Coffee Cake
Lips: Superstay 14HR Lipstick in Beige Forgood

Several of the shows went for quite 60's inspired looks. At Betsey Johnson and L.A.M.B, Charlotte Willer created two different takes on the Twiggy look. At Rachel Zoe, Charlotte Tilburry used a gel eyeliner to shape all around the eye and across the socket, smudging with a pencil brush to create a beautiful smouldering effect. For all of these 60's looks mascara played a big role. At Custo Barcelona and Katya Leonovich the focus was also the eyes but these looks had a more grungy and less structured  feel.

Betsey Johnson



Makeup Artist - Charlotte Willer
Eyes: Master Drama pencil liner in brown, Colour Explosion palette in Caffeine Rush 05, Falsies mascara
Cheeks: 2 Dream Bouncy Blush shades mixed
Lips: Color Sensational Lipstick in Born with it topped with a clear gloss
The look was finished off with dots of glitter applied to the centre of the eye.



Makeup Artist - Charlotte Willer
Eyes: Master Drama pencil liner in Blue on upper lash line and in the crease, drawn on lashes on bottom lash line with gel liner, Falsies mascara clumped into spikes
Cheeks: Dream Bouncy Blush
Lips: Color Sensational lipsticks in 'Born with it' and 'So pearly' mixed together and patted on

Lips were the focus of the makeup at Wes Gordon and Bibhu Mohapatra. I think these are both my favourite of all the looks that Maybelline created. At Wes Gordon, the lips were immaculately painted with red lipstick whilst the rest of the makeup was kept very bare. At Bibhu Mohapatra icy white eyes were paired and with a gorgeous glossy blackcurrant lip. Mwah!

Wes Gordon


Color Sensational Lipstick in Very Cherry

Makeup Artist - Charlotte Willer
Eyes: Nothing at all
Face: Dream Nude Airfoam foundation, Dream Bouncy Blush
Lips: Color Sensational lipstick in Very Cherry

Bibhu Mohapatra



Makeup Artist - GATO
Eyes: 24H Color Tattoo in Infinite White (US only shade)
Lips: 10H Tint Gloss in Timeless Plum

The Products
Caffeine+Rush2 ColorTattoo



As a beauty blogger, I have to admit that my focus is the products, not just the application. So, watching all these looks being created, I couldn't help but pick up on the products that made repeat appearances. Especially ones like the Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel eyeshadow that I've seen mentioned by American bloggers. I'm pleased to report that the Color Tattoos will be arriving in the UK in April.

I did a quick inspection of the Maybelline UK site and Boots and apparently the Dream Nude Airfoam foundation and Master Drama pencil liners are already available in the UK. The Caffeine Rush palette and Dream Bouncy blushers that seemed to be in constant use aren't available in the UK. Neither is the Baby Lips balm which apparently comes in a variety of tints as well as clear. I have a feeling I will be calling in favours to get my hands on the Dream Bouncy Blush!

Do you have any favourites from these looks? Do you like to investigate the catwalk trends for inspiration or do you find they don't usually translate to everyday looks?


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