Friday, 31 August 2012

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay

Jo Malone London are about to launch a new fragrance collection, Blackberry & Bay. From the moment I saw the word blackberry, I knew I would love the scent. I'm already eagerly awaiting the transition into autumn and have spotted the blackberries and sloes ripening in the nearby hedgerows. I'm hoping this year I can take the children out to pick the berries with me as it's something I used to love doing with my parents when I was little.


When I first spray this, I get a fresh citrus burst from the grapefruit and it dries down to a surprisingly leafy scent on my skin. The blackberry note I get is like the outer skin and perfume of the blackberry rather than the juicy insides. I definitely wouldn't describe this as a fruity scent.

This fragrance does seem to fade quite quickly on my skin. There's something about my body chemistry that 'eats up' green fragrances, so I like to spritz it onto my hair as well as my skin for greater lasting power. You can wear Blackberry & Bay alone or Jo Malone also recommend layering with Lime, Basil & Mandarin or (my old favourite) Nectarine Blossom & Honey. Today, I'm wearing it over the Lime, Basil & Mandarin body creme to give it more zesty oomph.


The Blackberry & Bay fragrance collection will be available from September and the cologne spray will come in two sizes: 30ml (£38) and 100ml (£76). It will also be available as a body creme (£48), body & hand wash (£30) and a home candle (£38). I'm tempted by the home candle as Mr MB really likes this scent too and I think it would be perfect for our kitchen/dining area.

PR Sample

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

What's with the name?

One question I'm asked on a fairly regular basis is where did the name Modesty Brown come from? The time has finally come to answer this question properly, so here goes (it's not nearly as exciting as you might think)..






= Modesty Brown

Well, I was hardly going to call myself Modesty Taupe, was I?! I can tell you're disappointed.

When I first started my blog, I didn't spend anywhere near enough thinking about the name and how I'd feel about it two and a half years later. I don't know how many people refer to the contents on their makeup bag to create a pseudonym but it's not to be recommended. However, the name has stuck and I'm too lazy to start again from scratch with a more catchy (or appropriate) title.

MAC Modesty cremesheen was the lipstick that introduced me to wearing lipstick everyday and the very first lipstick I completely finished. I really did love it. However, I never got around to repurchasing it. When I realised I had enough empties for a couple of Back to MAC lipsticks, Modesty was at the top of my list. Strangely, it's not really the colour I remembered, as I was certain it had more of a mauve hue. Seeing it again, I'd describe it as a beige pink with very fine flecks of gold.

Texture wise, this can't hold a candle to the luxurious feel of a Rouge Bunny Rouge or Edward Bess lipstick. It's interesting to see how my exposure to new brands over the course of blogging have influenced my taste in makeup. Having said all that, I'm very pleased we've been reunited.


Modesty is on the left (the other swatch is MAC Rebel)

Is there an items of makeup that you always think of fondly?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Operation Use It Up (or Make a Dent)!

I've threatened this for long enough that I feel now is the time to make a proper commitment to using up some of my stash. I've reduced the amount of makeup in my collection by giving things away to friends and family, as well as having a couple of blog sales. With the exception of my nail polishes, I feel reasonably satisfied with my efforts so far, but I still think I can go further. I want to start finishing off some of the products that are already part way there. This is not, I repeat NOT a Project 10 pan simply because the minute I write that I'm going to stop buying things, I'm going to WANT things!! Instead, I'm going to show you the products I want to make a dent in and periodically report back on my progress.


Two of the areas that I feel need most attention are my lipsticks and foundations. Although I tend to take no notice of use by dates, I admit that 'wet' products certainly don't have the same shelf life as powders. I am hoping that if I restrict myself to this selection of lip products and bases for a month, that I will make a dent in a good portion them.  

I'm not sure how realistic it is to expect myself not to stray with lipsticks and use other colours in that time? Hopefully eight lip products will be enough to keep me entertained for a month. The fact that they're all well used reflects the fact they are favourite colours or formulas, which should make the task a little easier. I am also determined to make myself reapply throughout the day. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I apply lipstick in the morning and quite often forget to touch up once it wears off. I do hope I won't be shunned for this shocking admission!


I'm less flighty with foundations, so a choice of three for a month should be fine. I think the Rouge Bunny Rouge tinted moisturiser is really close to being empty and both the Bourjois and Max Factor foundations have around 40% left each. I keep thinking I'm close to finishing the Hourglass primer sample but it's deceptive when you only use a small amount each time. I'm really not sure how much product remains in the Rouge Bunny Rouge Atlas Swallowtail tube. I've been using it quite a lot as an eyeshadow base recently so I'm hopeful that I'm making a dent in it, even if I can't see.


I have lots of items in my bathroom which also need to be used up, including a couple of half empty pots of Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter and the Philip Kinglsey Elastisizer. Although I do have more skincare items that I need to use up, I can't commit to doing that at the moment as I am testing some new products.

I will take photographs of all of these items again in a months time and report back on my progress. I'm really hopefully I will have some empties to show for it in the near future. If you're doing something similar at the moment or you feel inspired to do so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Moral support is always welcome!!

Butter LONDON Lippy in Snog and Teddy Girl

Butter LONDON Lippys are described as long-wearing, highly pigmented lip glosses. I would personally describe them as a liquid lipstick/lipgloss hybrid. They apply in that dense, pigmented way that you experience with a liquid lipstick but have the tacky feel and shine of a gloss. The sticky feeling is quite intense but admittedly, I'm not really a lipgloss wearer. The advantage of the stickiness is that it does give the colour 'cling' so it lives up to the long-wearing claims. As long as you're not eating, the colour will stay put for several hours.

ButterLondon+Snog+Teddy Girl

ButterLondon+Snog+Teddy Girl1
Top - Teddy Girl, Bottom - Snog

I was sent Snog and Teddy Girl to try. Snog is a vibrant hot pink and makes an amazing statement lip. Teddy Girl is an opaque pale pink. My favourite of the two is definitely Snog, Teddy Girl is too pale and milky for me carry off confidently and because of the formula, it isn't possible to sheer it out to make it more wearable for my colouring. I hope you will forgive the lack of lip swatch for Teddy Girl.



The Lippy lipglosses have a doe-foot applicator and you need a steady hand to get a sharp line. If you're a bit unsteady, it might help to line your lips first to have a line to follow. A liner would also prevent the colour bleeding.

The Butter LONDON Lippy lipglosses cost £14 each and there are a total of 12 shades available on the Butter London website which match their popular nail varnishes. Butter LONDON is also available from Harvey Nichols, Zuneta and Cocktail Cosmetics.

PR Samples

Beauty Spotlight: What's in...

lisa mystery

It's time for another 'What's in my...' from the Beauty Spotlight team. Today it's the turn of Lisa from Beauty Info Zone, who has a mystery for us to solve. What will she put in her palette? It looks a little strange like this so you need to read and see exactly what she did to change this palette into something of beauty. Click on the empty palette to uncover the mystery.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Anniversary Kisses

It's my Wedding Anniversary today and I thought I would celebrate by treating my smoochers to a slick of something bold. This is Hourglass Femme Rouge in Nocturnal.



With statement lips, I kept everything else simple. I'm wearing MAC Omega eyeshadow and Rouge Bunny Rouge long-lasting pencil in Lola on my eyes and a dusting of Laura Mercier Pink Tourmaline Mosaic Shimmer Bloc highlighter on the tops of my cheeks. Base was NARS tinted moisturiser and Perricone MD NCC on my undereyes.



Happy Friday everybody and enjoy the long weekend, mwah!!

In the interests of full disclosure, the Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, Perricone MD concealer and Max Factor mascara were received as PR samples.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

August Empties

These empties span the last month or so. It always takes me ages to finish things and I was shocked at how my poor my efforts were when I read Lola's Secret Beauty Blog's recent post. I seriously need to put more effort in! I'm actually toying with the idea of a project to start using up some of my lipsticks. It gives me the fear but honestly, I think I fear having to throw away barely used items that have gone off more. Anyway...

August Empties1

I used these moisturisers up a little while ago now and they had a mention in my skin care post at the beginning of the month. I love the Emma Hardie Hydrating Lighter Lotion*, as you might expect from the name, it has a light fluid texture and is really hydrating. I found it created a nice luminous base for my makeup, the only downside for me is the lack of SPF. The Perricone MD Moisturiser* also has quite a light texture, although it does have some strange knobbly bits in it. Of the two, the Emma Hardie is my favourite and something I am likely to re-purchase in the future.

August Empties2

I bought the L'Oreal Elvive Triple Resist Shampoo and Conditioner as I took too long dilly-dallying over what to try next and needed to buy something quickly. I've not used Elvive for years and I admit to feeling a bit naughty having strayed from an SLS free formula. I got on OK with the Triple Resist and it did seem to help with the knotty bits at the back of my head.

When I ran out of both Elvive bottles at the same time, I started using up all the sachets and odds and ends I had lurking in the bathroom including the Rahua sachet pictures. The Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Conditoner doesn't suit my easily knotted hair but after much agonising over the cost (and enabling on Twitter), I decided to buy a full size bottle of the original Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner from Content Beauty. These have just arrived, so I will report back on how I got on in a few weeks.

August Empties4

I was really sad to use up the Apivita Body Nourish shower gel*, which I originally reviewed here. It has such a luxurious creamy feel and a lovely scent. Thankfully Apivita is available online from Marks & Spencers now, so I will stock up on more when I run out of the children's Apivita products too.

The Bioderma Crealine micellar water is something else that featured in my current skin care post. I wasn't sure about replacing it but decided it would be silly not to when I had the opportunity. I tend to use it when I'm feeling lazy, instead of resorting to wipes or to remove my makeup before a cream or balm cleanse. I know it has a cult status but unless you're a makeup artist, I would say it's useful but definitely not an essential.

August Empties5

It makes a nice change to include an item that isn't skin care. I finally took the reed sticks out of the  Jo Malone Red Roses Scent Surround Diffuser* at the end of last week, so it's lasted three and half months. Whenever the scent started to fade, I turned the sticks around and this worked well to refresh the scent. There's no doubting that the Jo Malone diffusers are expensive but it's great to know that they last well.

Hopefully next month I will have even more empties to share. I live in hope that one of these days, I'll actually be able to include some makeup!

* These items were originally sent without cost for review purposes.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Champagne & Lemonade: Pre-Loved Designer Pieces for the Budget Conscious

As you know, I don't tend to venture into writing about fashion very much. I'm not the least bit fashionable and I have the wardrobe to prove it! However, recently I've been making a conscious effort to re-fresh said wardrobe and I've been toying with the idea of investing in a designer handbag.

I'd love to buy a Mulberry or Chloe bag but I have to be realistic about my budget. I dabbled with looking at Ebay but designer purchases from Ebay are fraught with nerves about being ripped off with a fake if you don't know what you're doing. I can spot fake MAC but I don't think I could tell fake Mulberry from the real deal. So, when I received a press release about the website Champagne & Lemonade and read the description of 'pre-loved designer good for those with Champagne taste on a Lemonade budget' I knew this was a site for me!


This may seem a bit of an odd thing to say, but buying pre-loved items really appeals to my inner recycling nut. As well as lemonade budget, of course. The website has a really nice selection of goods which is constantly being added to. Champagne & Lemonade also guarantee authenticity of every item. Most of the items for sale are in excellent used condition but there is also a section for items that have never been worn. If you're interested in submitting items to sell on the site, you can read more about that here.

The pieces that caught my eye whilst browsing were this Mulberry bag and this rather tempting black pleat skirt from Ghost. I loved looking at the shoes too but I'm still not ready to swap my beloved Converse for heels just yet.

As ever, the links in this post are for information only. I don't have an affiliation with the site but wanted to share this find with you. I'll be back with more chatter about beauty very soon.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Blog Sale Update

I wanted to let you know that all the items purchased in both blog sales have been sent out now. I sent all the packages by recorded post, so I am able to check when they arrive with you. I'm going to close both posts for comments now, so if you need to check anything, please ask here.

Many thanks and enjoy your purchases!

Concealers: ArtDeco Camouflage Cream vs Perricone No Concealer Concealer

I've mentioned before how important concealer is in my routine. Although Miss MB is two and a half now, she still wakes in the night (curses) so undereye concealer is an essential. I've tried quite a few now and you can find my previous underye concealer comparison here. I have two in particular that I want to review today: the ArtDeco Camouflage Cream in Neutralising Yellow and Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer. I have also included swatches of Ellis Faas Concealer in S202, W3LL People Narcissist Stick in 01 and RMS Beauty "Un"Cover-up in 11.

From top, clockwise: Ellis Faas S202, Perricone NCC, ArtDeco Neutralising Yellow, RMS Beauty "Un"Cover-up 11 and W3LL People Narcissist 01.

The ArtDeco Camouflage Cream was sent to me by Tender Loving Skincare. This comes in a magnetic pan (which is approximately twice the size of the eyeshadow pans, for reference) and costs £8.50 for 4.5g. The cream is quite densely pigments and provides medium to heavy coverage. If you are applying this to the undereye area, you need to ensure you've prepped with eye cream first. In this case, I applied Clinique's Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector which does a reasonable job of knocking back my discolouration and provides a smooth base.

Neutralising Yellow is very pale yellowy cream colour and is good for correcting purple and blue tones. I realised when I started testing it that my undereye shadows are often quite red and I find Neutralising Yellow doesn't counteract my discolouration particularly well. It's also too light for me to use on it's own as an undereye concealer but of course you can layer this with another concealer, Bobbi Brown style, to correct and then match your skin tone. The camouflage creams do come in several other correcting shades and I suspect that Summer Apricot might be a better corrector for me. On the plus side, the camouflage creams do offer very good coverage and a little goes a long way. I haven't noticed creasing when using this either.

I have already mentioned the Perricone No Concealer Concealer SPF35 (NCC) several times and it is my favourite undereye concealer at the moment. It's quite peachy toned and seems to work particularly well on my discolouration. This is at the other end of the price spectrum to the ArtDeco, costing £37 for 9ml. However, you really need only the tiniest amount (much less than a full pump) so 9mls is going to last a very long time. The NCC does have skin care benefits as well as providing coverage and I do feel it has improved the texture of my undereye area.

Perricone NCC
Swatches of Perricone NCC on a medium skin tone. Left - blended (yes, it's tricky to spot it), Right - unblended

My only reservations about NCC were about how universal a single 'shade' would be. Because I am a terrible Mum, I decided to use my boys as guinea pigs, as they both have a different skin colour to me. I found it was a good match for Son1 who has quite honey-tan skin. In his words 'why does it disappear Mummy?' when I blended it in. Son2 is quite porcelain skinned and when I tried to blend it on his arm, it left a visible orange patch. So, I would guess that this would be best suited to those in the range fair to medium. I will be sending a sample of this to a friend for a second opinion.

Naked apart from the Clinique Even Better Eyes

L - Artdeco Camouflage cream in Neutralising Yellow, R - Perricone No Concealer Concealer


My apologies for the bare, scary face and messy brows, but I think the series of pictures serve to demonstrate the efficacy of the concealers well. The ArtDeco certainly brightens up the undereye area but it is too light on it's own. The No Concealer Concealer provides very natural looking coverage and disguises the dark circles without really looking like I'm wearing anything. Those who are used to more opaque coverage may consider the NCC too sheer.


Comparison swatches from left to right: Perricone No Concealer Concealer, ArtDeco Camouflage Cream in Neutralising Yellow, RMS Beauty "Un"Cover-up 11, W3LL People Narcissist 01 and Ellis Faas S202.

Disclosure: The ArtDeco Camouflage Cream, Perricone No Concealer Concealer and Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector were sent to me without cost for review purposes. The other concealers shown here were purchased by me.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Beauty Spotlight 19/08/12

We have some excitement with two of our Beauty Spotlight Team members. We are always proud of everyone but this is an extra special award. Check out to find out which of our beauties have earned this honor.

The Pink Sith Reviews skincare from TATCHA which was inspired by Geisha. Plus she’s giving away a full sized Brightening Serum!

Modesty Brown realises she has a new addiction: Sheer Lipsticks. Check out swatches of her collection, including new additions from ILIA Beauty and W3LL People.

Visionary Beauty realises that you can have too many lipsticks, here’s a look at her Chanel Coco Shine collection.

Addicted to nail polish and "monthly" beauty subscriptions? Pammy Blogs Beauty sure is! Check out what she got in her Julep Maven August Box.

Do you ever despair of finding the perfect eyeshadows to wear to work? Beauty Info Zone has the answer with Hourglass Suede Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo.

Are you ready for Fall? Jessika from polish insomiac shares her top picks from the Fall 2012 Germany by OPI collection!

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed tries to give Lisa Rinna a run for her money with her newly-plumped lips - check it out and see which Lisa you think wins the prize!

Now that you've got your summer color, Paula, from Older Girl Beauty challenges you to add some Orange to your routine.

The return of Nars Outlaw Blush with their Fall 2012 collection has Perilously Pale wishing she had discovered this beauty before it was originally discontinued.

Prime Beauty added another neutral/nude eye shadow palette to her collection. Find out why Anastasia's She Wears It Well is different from the pack. Hint: Youthful Synergy Complex®.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic shows you a quick makeup look for a quiet day at home.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Blog Sale Take Two

UPDATE - All the items have been posted out now and will hopefully be with you very soon. I am closing this thread for comments but if you do have any problems you can use this post to get in touch or email me.
Many thanks!

The blog sale that I did the other day went so well, that I decided it was sensible to let go of some other neglected items. As before, all of the items I am selling have been purchased by me, I would never sell samples. Wherever possible the items will come in their original packaging. Now for the boring rules bit...

* Paypal only- I must receive payment within 24 hours or the item will be re-listed. Please check that your postal address is correct on Paypal as I will not be able to keep track of requests to post to a different address.

* Postage will be £3.15 per item and I will be sending packages by 2nd class Signed For as standard. If you wish to purchase several items, I will calculate any extra postage costs by weight using RM Price Finder. Based on my experience from the previous blog sale, the price is likely to remain the same for multiple items.

* I'm happy to consider posting items outside of the UK but please get in touch so that I can calculate the correct postage for you.

* I aim to post packages within 1-2 days of payment.

* No returns or refunds - I have included pictures to show usage and also given an estimate of how much product remains in each case. Please make sure you check swatches and reviews before going ahead with any purchase.

* Either leave me a comment below with the item(s) you are interested in and your Paypal address or email me at with BLOG SALE in the subject and your Paypal address in the email.

* I will invoice you from a different email address- DO NOT PAYPAL ME until you receive my invoice!



BECCA Pressed Shimmer Powder in Princess in original box, 95% left - £10

Hug Me+Patiesserie
L- Hug Me, R - Patisserie

MAC Hug Me and Patisserie lipsticks, approximately 80% left in both cases - £5 each SOLD


Rouge Bunny Rouge Delilah eye kohl - £7 SOLD
I would estimate there's at least 85-90% of this pencil left. There's a tiny crack in the pencil lid.


Illamasqua Blusher in Beg, 90 - 95% left - £7 SOLD


Laura Mercier Lip Stain in Hibiscus, 80 - 85% left - £5 SOLD

Charcoal Brown+Endless Chocolate

MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow pot - £5 PENDING
Hardly used, minimum of 95% left

L'Oreal Infallible Colour in Endless Chocolate - £1 SOLD
(I will only sell this with other items, as the postage is so expensive for single items)


NARS Rajasthan duo, including original box - £15 SOLD
Approximately 85-90% left as I've only used it a couple of times


All of the eyeshadow pans shown above (and listed individually below) are proper MAC eyeshadow pans and will be packaged in proper sleeves.

MAC+Naked Lunch

MAC Naked Lunch eyeshadow pan, 90 - 95% left - £5 SOLD


MAC Vanilla eyeshadow pan, 95% left - £5 SOLD
NB - in most lights you can't see the reflects that are visible in the picture above, this eyeshadow is listed on the MAC website as having a Velvet finish.

MAC+Purple Haze

MAC Purple Haze eyeshadow pan, 95% left - £5 SOLD

MAC+Beautiful Iris

MAC Beautiful Iris eyeshadow pan, 95% left - £5 SOLD

MAC+Well Dressed

MAC Well Dressed blusher refill pan, 90-95% left - £7 SOLD

EB+Island Rose

Edward Bess Compact Rouge in Island Rose, 90% remaining - £13 SOLD
This had a ding in it and I've also wiped the surface over with a clean tissue which you can probably see from the surface. I do not have the original box, but it does come with the original velvet pouch.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Sheer Lipstick Collection including ILIA Beauty Dizzy and W3LL People Lip Shine #3

I was struggling with inspiration for a post this morning, so we have Miss MB and Musing on Beauty to thank for this blog post. Miss MB was wondering around with one of my new lipsticks, which is always dangerous, but seeing the lipstick made me realise that I have a fairly large collection of sheer finish lipsticks which continues to grow.

Nudist Lip Shine #3

The lipstick she was clutching was the W3LL People Nudist lip shine in #3 above, a gorgeous glossy sheer red with a lovely balmy texture. It's one of the items I purchased whilst I was at Content Beauty last week to meet Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA Beauty. I will return to this visit in another post as Sasha was incredibly inspiring and I have lots to report back. Meeting Sasha and also browsing all the lovely natural brands in Content has had me reflecting on whether I want to make a more permanent switch to cleaner brands in future. Anyway, I digress..

Sasha inspired another new lipstick purchase whilst I was there, her Lip Conditioner in Dizzy. This orange sheer is a favourite with her Mother, who loves it for layering. Depending on the natural colour of your lips, Dizzy can produce a more coral shade. I purchased it for layering with brighter colours and so far have had success pairing it with Lancome Rose Boudoir.



I have always been a fan of sheer lipsticks, as they're so easy to wear but I seem to have made a major return to them recently. All of the ones I have here are really balmy and comfortable to wear and are excellent if you suffer from dry lips. The ILIA lipstick in Crimson & Clover isn't strictly speaking a sheer but I wanted to include it alongside the other ILIA lip colours. It's more pigmented than the lip conditioners but I don't find it completely opaque either. I have reviewed the majority of these lipsticks before and will add links where available.

From left to right: ILIA Blossom Lady*, Arabian Knights, Dizzy, RBR Murmurings, Crimson & Clover, W3LL People Nudist #3 & #2*, Chantecaille Lip Chic in Zinnia, No.7 Poppy King lipstick in Glamour and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur.



Swatches L-R: Chanel Bonheur, Ilia Blossom Lady, Arabian Knights, Dizzy, RBR Murmurings, Crimson & Clover, W3LL People Nudist #3 & #2, Chantecaille Lip Chic in Zinnia and No.7 Poppy King lipstick in Glamour.


L-R: Chanel Bonheur, Ilia Blossom Lady, Arabian Knights, Dizzy, RBR Murmurings, Crimson & Clover, W3LL People Nudist #3 & #2.

L-R: Ilia Dizzy, RBR Murmurings, Crimson & Clover, W3LL People Nudist #3 & #2, Chantecaille Lip Chic in Zinnia and No.7 Poppy King lipstick in Glamour.

Do you like to wear sheer lipsticks or do you prefer to wear a gloss to create a lip shine? I'd also love to hear your opinion of more 'clean', botanical based lines too.

* The lipsticks labelled with an asterisk were received as PR samples, albeit rather a long time ago.


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