Friday, 30 December 2011

Pretty Little Polishes...


I got this cute little set as a present for Christmas. Its from Marks & Spencer and contains 10 mini nail polishes in a selection of colours. This is a great little set and the quality of the polishes is excellent. I like the nice selection of colours and wear time is great, I was wearing the gold colour for 4 days and only today did it start to chip! The gold is gorgeous, I absolutely love it but its very sheer. The picture below is after 3 coats


I've also tried out the blue thats second from the right in the top picture. Its very bright and infused with micro glitter. Its not usually a colour that I would wear on my finger nails but i'm off work at the moment and it is the holidays so thought why not! This polish isn't as sheer as the gold and the picture below was 2 coats


As you can see its very bright!

This is a really cute little set and I can't wait to try out the rest of the colours!

Jill x

Thursday, 29 December 2011

I'm a Dior Addict...



I recently treated myself to this little beauty, Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in 257 Pearl. Its a super high shine utterly gorgeous lip gloss. Its a pale peachy pink colour infused with the tiny-est of glitter. Its lovely. Its quite sheer so still allows some of my natural lip colour to come through and will look gorgeous over the top of a pink lipstick.


Here is a swatch of it




I just love this. Its my first Dior Addict lip gloss, i've got a couple of the lipsticks already, and i'm really impressed with the formula. Its very soft and conditioning feeling on my lips and when it wears off i'm not left with that over dry feeling that I sometimes get with certain glosses. Its also not sticky which is excellent, I can't stand it when my hair gets stuck in my lip gloss!


Heres a picture of how it looks on my lips




Also i'm going to do a post soon on my hair since I've started using the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and Tigi S Factor Spun Satin but I think you can see in the photo above the improvement there has been in my hair. I won't ramble on about that now though as i'm saving that for another post!


Jill x

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Its an Estee Lauder Christmas....

So amongst other lovely glorious things I was treated to this beauty for Christmas




I can't remember the correct name for it as I've thrown out the big box it came in but basically its Estee Lauders big Christmas gift set offering. Included in the set are:

  • Deluxe Eyeshadow Compact 
  • Deluxe All Over Face Compact
  • 3 Pure Colour Lipsticks - 1 Creme & 2 Shimmer 
  • 2 Pure Colour Shimmer Lip Glosses
  • Gentle Eye Makeup Remover - 100ml
  • 2 Artists Eye Pencils in 01 Softsmudge Black & 02 Softsmudge Brown
  • Sumptuous Mascara in 01 Black
The gift set also came with a little red makeup bag and compact mirror (which I forgot to photograph) as well as 4 makeup brushes that are pictured below


I'm really excited about this awesome gift as theres pretty much nothing in it that I wouldn't use. I also got this for Christmas last year and i'm excited to see that this years offering is quite different. Although both contain the eyeshadow and face compacts the colours are very different, as are the lip glosses and lipsticks.

In the Deluxe Eye Shadow Compact there are 18 eyeshadows of varying textures. The shadows are wonderfully pigmented and, like all Estee Lauder shadows, easy to blend and lovely to use. All the shadows in this palette can be used to create a subtle eye and also a more dramatic look. The compact itself is a good size and contains a mirror.


The All Over Face Compact Contains one Bronzer and three blushes. I love the colours and textures in these. Theres something included in this that I think would suit most skin tones.


I'm particularly happy with the lip glosses in this one. In last years offering it was 2 half size glosses but this year its 2 full sizes in 03 Electric Ginger (left of picture below) and 33 Orchid Passion (right of picture below). Both are gorgeous and infused with glitter. I'm really pleased with the choice of colours


The lipsticks are also lovely. In the picture below they are swatched, from top to bottom, 16 Candy, 65 Exotic Orchid and 46 Barely Nude. The only one of these i'm not sure about is Barely Nude as this isn't the type of colour that I usually go for and to be honest this is really the only thing in the whole box that I doubt I'll use. Actually looking at it in the picture below, it doesn't look nice at all does it? The top two, however, will be very well used! You should note that all the colours have much more of a sheen to them in real life but the picture below is accurate in terms of the colours.


So thats just a kind of overview of the products contained within this epic present! I was so so soooo pleased with this one. I got another couple of bits which I will probably post about at some point. I really love this though. Its such a lovely idea for a gift that allows you to try different things and get a good selection of quality products.

Jill x


Saturday, 24 December 2011

I Love Watercolours...



I recently treated myself to the the Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Pop as well as the brush to go along with it. I had never used this product before and didnt really know what to expect but after reading such rave reviews online I had to try it.

The product itself has the consistency of water. I dont know why this surprised me but it did. I havent really used liquid or even cream cheek colours before so this type of thing was completely new to me. Its a lovely pink colour that puts me in mind of the inside of the strawberry Quality Street chocolates. Its extremely pigmented and a little goes a very long way. I think this is a product to be used sparingly and very carefuly as you could easily mess this up. Only use a TINY dot of this product and blend it out into the most lovely vibrant pink colour. The product could be layered to allow for different intensities but this is definitely a product you want to build up as opposed to going straight in there with a lot of product.

The brush that I got is the one that's sold to go along with this particular product and its excellent. Its extremely soft and easy to work with. Its really great at blending this product wonderfully. Staying power is absolutely fantastic. The picture below shows the colour that comes out of the tube and the same amount blended. The blended swatch is still very heavy as when I took this picture, I didnt appreciate just how far the product can go! I took a little side view picture of how the product looks on my cheek as well. You should note that on my cheek I used FAR less of the product than in the first picture and you can see how subtle it can look. I dont know why the picture looks all grainy, it was taken with the same camera settings in the same light as the top one...oh well.





I think that given the lovely colour, the staying power and the teeny tiny amount of product you need to use, this product is a great investment and well worth the money. I'll definitely be trying out more of them

Jill x



Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Glittery Black Pearl....

So if you read my last post you'll know that I recently painted my nails with an OPI glitter nail polish. After spending the best part of 10 minutes trying to take it off, I fancied something less...difficult. So I opted for Chanel Black Pearl nail polish. This is a gorgeous deep black green with a pearly finish. Like most Chanel colours, I absolutely love this. The only negative thing that I can really say with Chanel polishes is their wear time can be pretty dismal (with the exception of the Fall 2011 collection). Usually by the end of the first full day wearing it theres tip wear which for a nail polish that costs £16ish, is really quite ridiculous. I keep buying them though. The colours they release are spectacular.


Now, I know I said I wanted something less difficult and that was true. Until I realised that this is Christmas and possibly the only time of year that I can get away with wearing glitter nail polish to work. So with that in mind, I combined these...


To make this...

Thats Black Pearl with Illamasqua Spartan polish over the top. Since i'm still without my camera, I used my phone to take this picture and it really doesnt capture how lovely the combination is. It gives the most gorgeous sparkly sheen. Lovely.

Jill x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Procrastination...

So, in order to put off wrapping presents, I thought i'd come on here and do a little post about a couple of things.

First is this gorgeous nail polish by Dior - Pink Aristocrat. Its a lovely pink with almost mauve undertones and a gorgeous pearl sheen. I love it because not only is it a gorgeous colour but like all Dior nail polishes i've tried, its wear time is excellent.


The next polish that I wanted to show you is OPI Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry Collection. This is lovely. Its a gorgeous baby pink infused with both fine milled and chunky glitter. Its like a glitter explosion. Its stunning and perfect for this time of year (or if youre like me any time of year)

Now, I wanted to post a good picture of it (or at least as good as I can make it) but i've been a bit of a douche and left my camera charger at my boyfriends and, of course, my camera died. The photo below is taken with my phone and its not the best quality and doesnt show the polish off to its best, it is quite accurate in terms of colour. Imagine it a lot more glittery. It doesnt really show the glitter on the nails that well but you can really see it in the bottle.


The next is just a wee note to say I went back to my new hairdressers yesterday for a trim and she was once again excellent. She said herself that the difference in my hair, just between now and the first time I went in to see her (about 6 weeks ago) is brilliant. Over the last week i've got 3 new products that i'm starting to incorporate into my routine. They are
  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
  • Tigi S-Factor Spun Satin
  • Tigi Catwalk Your Highness Weightless Shine Spray (for styling)
I've only just started using all 3 of them so I cant really judge but I hope to do a proper post or couple of posts on the Elasticizer & the Spun Satin after further use. I've only used them a couple of times but my hair actually feels soft after use! I've also noticed a lot less breakage since using the Elasticizer and hopefully this cult product will really help contain the damage.

Jill x

Sunday, 11 December 2011

What a difference....

Its been over 2 months since Hair-Gate 2011. Little re-cap- I used John Frieda Go Blonder spray on my hair and it reacted with the dye that my hairdresser used resulting in my hair being chemically burned. My previously long, blonde, soft and shiny hair was burned beyond recognition. I had to get quite a lot cut off, i've gone from washing my hair every day to only washing it twice a week (this in itself has turned into quite a time consuming event with the intensive treatments that I do on it), I dont use a hairdryer or straightners (I used straightners for the first time a week ago as I was going on my works christmas night out) and I dont even use a hair brush for it - only a wide toothed comb because of the breakage.

The entire thing has been absolutely devastating for me. I know I shouldnt let the way I feel rely so much on my hair but it really does. The first time i've felt like myself since this happened was when I straightned it last week.

I took some pictures today to do an update and I, by chance, looked back over my pictures I took the day after it happened and I cant believe the difference. Sometimes I get quite down about the way it still feels and looks but I guess I had forgotten just how bad it was and how much of an improvement there has been. It still feels dry and, if i'm honest, its snapping quite a lot but honestly, when I look at the  first pictures of it and I look at it now, its hard to believe how much its improved. To give you an idea check out the following pictures -

Taken one day after it happened - 2nd October 2011

Taken today - 11th December 2011
 

Taken one day after it happened - 2nd October 2011

Taken Today - 11th December 2011


I can really see the difference. I'm glad I looked at the pictures from October as they have reminded me of how awful and matted my hair was. Its nowhere near what it was pre chemical burn but I can run my fingers through it again which I couldnt do in October. You can also see from the pictures above that in October, I didnt even need to hold the hair back to take pictures of the underside of it, it was that burned and straw like, but now I do!

These pictures have made me feel slightly better. They have reminded me of the improvement i've seen in my hair and have made me feel cautiously positive about future improvement. I am painfully aware there is nothing I can do to return it to its previous state until it grows in - it has been damaged beyond repair, but the pictures above show me that I must be doing something right!

I also got a lovely new nail polish today - OPIs Flashbulb Fuchsia. I've rambled on quite a lot in this post so i'll let this picture do the talking for this one (again, please ignore my crap polish skills/bitey nails)


Lovely stuff!

Jill x


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Max Factor Deal...

So this morning on my way to work I stopped in at Sainsburys to get my caffeine fix and lo and behold, there was a 3 for 2 on cosmetics! Awesome! So I had a little look around and settled on 3 Max Factor products as I havent really used this brand before and thought this was a good chance to try it


Smoky Eye Effect Eyeshadow in Bronze Haze
I've wanted to get this for a while but had always stopped as I have so many neutral eyeshadows that I wasnt necessarily sure if it was worth it. One side is a gorgeous shimmery champagne colour with a rounded edge and the other is a deep brown with gold flecks and has a pointed edge. Despite containing shimmer, i've had a play and this is very subtle. To be honest, both colours are easily dupable but I really like this as its buildable but deposits a great colour. Easily blendable and super easy to create a smoky eye - something I'm trying to get better at!


Colour Elixir Lipstick in Bewitching Coral
This is a super bright coral pink. Super bright. As in I was shocked when I put it on today at work. Its way brighter on my lips than it looked when I swatched it. Highly pigmented and glossy - its a lovely formula. Very very long lasting. The colour lingres on my lips long after the glossy sheen has worn off. I'm really pleased with this, its a lovely colour that i'm sure i'll get a lot of wear out of. The picture below doesnt even capture the true intensity of it.


Nailfinity polish in 882 - Angel Nails
I LOVE this. Its a silver based polish with a gorgeous lilac tint and tiny glitter particles thats highly reflective. I didnt take any pictures of this as i've been feeling quite stressed out recently and as such, my nails are an absolute state! Too bitten to be on a blog about pretty things. The colour in reality is brighter than in the picture at the top but it does give quite a good idea of the colour. I love it so much!

All in all i'm really pleased with what I got. I'm not sure if this offer is on everywhere, I assume it is. It was on for all the cosmetics brands at my local store so get yourself down to Sainsburys and have a look!

Jill x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Bella Bella Bella...


Benefits Bella Bamba is one of my favourite blushes. Its a gorgeous bright pink infused with gold glitter


Schweet! Its a very pigmented blush with a lovely soft texture that sweeps over the cheeks like a dream. Its very reflective so you dont strictly need to add a highlighter to it (I usually do because I have an all consuming obsession with them) but this gives a gorgeous pink sheen to the cheeks. The best thing about this blush for me is the pigmentation - with this product a little goes a long way. I like to use this in a look where I keep the rest of my makeup simple - simple eyes and a simple lip - this is a real "cheeks do the talking" blush...if you get what I mean


The picture above shows the colour it appears on me accurately - it also shows how reflective this is. The above is swatched quite heavily.

I was going to do a hair update at the weekend but I forgot to take update pictures. However, for the first time since Hair-Gate 2011, on Friday, I not only washed and dried my hair using a hairdrier, I straightened it as well. This was yet another massive step forward for me since its the first time ive felt brave enough to do this. Obviously I used heat protection spray and I didnt have my straightners on the highest temperature for fear of causing more damage. I actually got a bit upset when I had done it because for the first time, my hair looked and felt somewhat like it did before everything happened. I also looked more like myself and it upset me that I dont feel like that every day. The picture below was taken just before a night out on Friday so please excuse my blearey eyes and smearey makeup - muchos wine was involved - but you get the idea with my hair


I've still been continuing on with my usual intensive routine  with the addition of the product below:


Tigi S Factor Smoothing Lusterizer - genius stuff (if you can get past the dodgy shaped bottle..anyone else see it? no? just me?) This is a styling product that softens and smoothes dry frizzy hair and helps to control frizz. I got it at the hair dressers a few weeks ago when I went and its great stuff. You can use it on wet or dry hair and i use it on both - its a great finishing product.

Its really made a difference to my ability to smooth out my hair when I tie it up.  It makes my hair feel softer and in better condition. The product smells gorgeous just like most Tigi products - kind of a fruity bubblegum smell - lush.  The only downside is that my hair doesnt curl as much when I use it - it really does help to straighten and keep hair straight! I'm really enjoying using this product so far.

Jill x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Lovely way to waste an afternoon....

So today I got bored and as is inevitable in these situations, I ended up playing with my makeup. I wanted to play with my new body shop eyeshadow that I mentioned in my last post and I also wanted to play with my NARS Larger than Life eyeliner that was sitting un-used (even though I got it a few weeks ago!).

The look i created is a simple silver eye for a night out.  I took 2 pictures, one with the eyes open and one with them shut. Its a really simple look but I had fun playing! Please excuse the badly lit pictures and my hideous pulled back hair. You get the idea though.


  

Despite how simple this look is, I actually used a hell of a lot of products!


Face
  • BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
  • Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer
  • Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Fresh Powder Makeup
  • BareMinerals All Over Face Colour in Flawless Radiance
  • Mac Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder
Cheeks
  • Chanel Jous Contraste Powder Blush in Reflex
  • Dior Amber Diamond
Eyes
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in place Eyeshadow Base
  • BareMinerals Eyeshadow in Celestine
  • The Body Shop Eyeshadow in 45 Star Silver
  • BareMinerals Eyeshadow in 1980s
  • BareMinerals Eyeshadow in Minx
  • Mac Fluidline Eyeliner in Blacktrack (on eyelid)
  • NARS Stay in Place Long Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto (on lower lash line)
  • Diorshow Lash Plumping Serum
  • Diorshow Extase Mascara
Brows
  • Benefit Brow-Zings in Light
  • Benefit High Beam (to highlight)
Lips
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Crayon in Posey
  • Mac Lustreglass in Wonder Struck
Like I said, a lot of products for such a simple look. I quite like it though. I never usually do looks like this so it was quite a fun experiment. I've decided to keep it on for the rest of the day as a real test as to just how smudge proof the NARS eyeliner is. Upon swatching it on my arm and wiping it instantly it doesn't smear at all but my eyes are super watery and basically everything I use ends up smeared for miles underneath so we shall see.

Good waste of an afternoon...actually its never a waste when makeup is involved!

Jill x

Friday, 25 November 2011

Pre Pay Day Splurge....

So the other day I on the way home from work I stopped in at The Body Shop. Big mistake the day before pay day. 

I'm a huge fan of their body butters and there was a pretty good deal on - all body butters were half price! For the length of time I find they last and how amazing they make my skin feel, to me, this is an absolute bargain! Being £12.50 each at full price I think the cost is a bit steep for a body moisturiser so when there are deals on I just have to take advantage of it. Plus, they had a deal in store that if you spent more than £26 you got the newly released Candied Ginger body butter for £1 (which I was able to take advantage of)

In addition to the £1 Candied Ginger, I got 3 body butters - Mango, Coconut and Coconut Shimmer.


The mango is a repurchase for me and I think its my firm favourite. I just love fruity smelling products! I have never bought the coconut one before but it just smelled so lovely. I used it last night and it was just so delicious smelling!

The coconut shimmer is gorgeous. I'm so glad that I tried this one in the shop. It was love at first sight. Like its non shimmer counterpart, It smells delicious with the added bonus of leaving a beautiful silver shimmer on the skin. I think this will be a lovely product to use before a night out. The picture below shows how it looks on my skin. The swatch on the left is still quite heavy but isn't it lovely?



Candied Ginger is an interesting scent. Like all the other body butters, it smells exactly as its described. I'm not a massive fan of the scent to be honest but for £1 I couldn't turn it down!

I also picked up the Coconut Body Scrub. This. Is. Gorgeous. Buy it. Its lovely, you wont regret it. The scent is just as lovely as the matching body butter. Its a very gentle scrub but very effective. I have used all manner of body scrubs from all different brands and was never convinced at their effectiveness. I never felt like my skin was that soft afterwards and sometimes the texture is just too rough. This has completely changed my opinion. The thick texture is lovely and decadent and my skin was noticeably softer after one use. Silky smooth loveliness.




One of the other items that I bought was this eyeshadow in shade 45 - Star Silver. Its stunning. Like most of The Body Shops products, this delivers. The texture of this eyeshadow is an absolute dream. Very soft and almost spongy feeling in the pan. Delivers a stunning, highly pigmented wash of colour. I cant wait to play with this more over the festive season and I think this will help to create a gorgeous night out eye.


Love everything about it.

Jill x

Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's in the bag....


Whats in my makeup bag? The little bag I carry around in my handbag on a daily basis? A lot, thats what. And it doesnt all fit in it, most of the time it looks like this


Heres a little picture of everything thats crammed in it



These are the products that I have been using this week throughout the day for touch ups...bit excessive isnt it?? I've done a little breakdown of the products.

Brushes from top to bottom are:
  • Shu Uemura no 27 - This is a lovely soft brush that has become a favourite of mine. I use it to sweep bronzer across my face. Its great at depositing a good amount of colour without turning me organge
  • Bare Escentuals Angled Face Brush - I use this with my powder highlighters on my cheeks. Its a great brush and allows quite precise application.
  • Base Escentuals Flawless Face brush - I use this with my Bare Escentuals/Minerals all over face colour. I purchased this along with a powder when I was in the USA earlier on this year. It was my first brush from the brand and I love it
  • Girl2Go pocket beauty blusher brush - this is a cheepey I bought from Asda a while ago out of desparation for a blusher brush when I was out and about. I was surprised about this brush, its become one of my favourites as you dont need to struggle with the brush to get a great colour pay off
  • Mac 208 - I use this with gel eyeliner, brilliant
The other brush thats in the photo of all the products is the Dior one you get free with the face powder that I use on a daily basis in the morning. I havent included it above picture as it wasnt a brush I chose myself, I only really use it because its small!

Cheek and Face Products


Anti clockwise from bottom
  • Bare Minerals All over face colour in Flawless Radiance - I use this all over my face to provide a lovely glow. I first got this earlier on this year when I was in the USA and have since re purchased as I love it so much. Its lovely with a tan
  • Mac blusher in Springsheen - gives a lovely sheen and is very pigmented. One of my favourites
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour highlighter in Modern Mercury - I've talked about this before on the blog....love love love
  • Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte in 20 Clair - Very well loved/used. I used to use this all the time as my face powder but I've since moved on to a Dior powder that I feel gives better coverage. Saying that, this is still an excellent, natural powder
  • Dior Bronze Original Tan in 001 Healthy Tan - looks orange in the pan and when swatched heavily it is orange toned but when I use with my Shu brush it gives a lovely natural flush
They're all swatched below, from left to right in the same order...


Lips and Miscelaneous


Clockwise from top left
  • NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Catfight
  • Mac Lustreglass in Wonder-Struck -gorgeous glittery pinky lovely goodness
  • Clinique High Impact Mascara 
  •  Mac Fluidline Gel eyeliner in Blacktrack - Absolutely excellent liner, its the only eyeliner I have that doesnt smear under my eyes (I've yet to try the NARS one I bought a few weeks ago properly so this may change)
  • Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer in 001 Ivory - this is one of the best concealers i have tried. Its excellent for dark circles (although doesnt eliminate my monster ones completely) and is great for blemishes as well
All of these except the mascara are swatched below...



Also, I went to a hair dressers today for the first time since Hair-Gate 2011. I only had one Vietnam style flashback and associated freak out but did pretty well I think. All I got done was a tiny trim and conditioning treatment. She dried it with a hairdryer but didnt use straightners on it.

I left with it looking alright actually. The best its looked since the disaster and it does feel softer. I'm sure it will be back to its frizzy mess tomorrow though. Heres a little picture. It was a big step for me today to do this, to even go back into a hair dressers after how devastated I was. I'm looking at it as a positive step forward. Onwards and upwards

It's getting there

Jill x


Sunday, 13 November 2011

NARS Lippie Loves...



So today i'm doing a post about some of the NARS goodies I spoke about in my last post.  The picture above shows the 3 lip products that I bought - Sheer Lipstick in Mitzi, Semi-Matte Lipstick in Catfight and lipgloss in Moon Fleet.

Sheer Lipstick Mitzi is a lovely pink. Its almost like a "my lips but better" pink with a hint of frost. The lipstick has a lovely formula and glides on effortlessly. Its easily buildable to get a more intense colour but one sweep on my lips delivers a very sheer, but deep toned, glossy pink.

Semi-Matte Lipstick Catfight is a different story. I swatched this in the shop and fell in love with the vibrant pink lipstick. The colour is a strong pink with, to my eye, a mauve undertone. This is a warm colour that is sure to brighten up winter looks. Now, I swatched on my hand in the shop but didnt try on my lips so I was quite shocked with the formula. I dont really have any matte or semi-matte lipsticks so I've got no real experience with the formulas. While the colour pay off is excellent, I cant say i'm a massive fan of the formula. It drags my lips with it when I move it and I think it would be really quite unforgiving on chapped lips. My lips are far from chapped but it shows every little line! I doubt I would wear this without a gloss on top.

Enter Moon Fleet. I wasnt sold on this when the sales girl showed me it in the tube but when I put it on, whole different story. This is a sheer gold toned gloss with gold flecks. Its incredibly subtle and adds dimensions to any lipstick. Its lovely by itself if you're going for a more dramatic eye or if you want to add a bit of glam to an every day look. I've been wearing it over the catfight lipstick and it makes the formula more forgiving and adds a lovely sheen to it. Gorgeous.

The three are swatched - from top to bottom - Mitzi, Catfight & Moon Fleet



The picture below shows Catfight on its own on the left and layered with Moon Fleet on the right. 

I love it. The picture below shows this combination on the lips. Please excuse my haggard state in the picture. It was taken on Friday before work at 7am! I'm also wearing the multiple in G-spot on the cheeks (very sheer) and the eyeshadow duo in Tzarine on my eyes



I do so love my NARS goodies.

Jill x