Monday, 28 April 2014

Sleek idivine Showstoppers Palette celebrating 50 years of Superdrug

Superdrug have re-leased the Sleek idivine Showstoppers Palette to celebrate Superdrug's 50th birthday along with limited edition packaging. This palette was limited edition and came out in 2013 so if you missed out here's your chance to get your hands on it. The 12 eye shadow shades are named after popular i-divine palettes.

             (L-R Paraguaya, Sunset, Me Myself & I, Bad Girl, Noir, Ultra Mattes V2)
              (L-R Oh so Special, Bohemian, Storm, Sparkle, Au Naturale and Graphite)

In this palette Sleek have included satin, matte and a glitter finish with varying degrees of success.
The satin shades offer the best quality and there are 6 in total. Sunset is a burgandy-pink, Me Myself and Eye is silver with a blue tinge to it, Bad Girl is olive green and Noir is dirty petrol blue. The satins on the bottom row are Sparkle which is champagne and Graphite a dark brown. Sparkle and Me Myself and I are perfect for an inner corner highlight, while Graphite would be good for a smokey eye. I love Noir it's the shade I've been looking for years to create a rock chick look.

The mattes are not so good, the darker ones being better for their pigmentation. Paraguaya a light peach would be a useful light neutral colour if it wasn't so chalky. Paraguaya hardly showed up against my skin tone (despite having no problems with similar shades in the past) and was very difficult to swatch and work with. Ultra Matte V2 black is better, more richly pigmented but still very matte and while this shade is included in many of Sleek's palettes it's still useful to have. Oh So Special is a cool toned grey which wasn't easy to swatch as it's a little chalky and patchy. Bohemian is a bright salmon colour, it was a little chalky but with excellent pigmentation. Storm is a dark blue and richly pigmented.

The Single glitter shade Au Naturale is a deep purple colour it is extremely pigmented but I didn't find that the glitter showed up much when swatched.

As far as packaging goes apart from the limited edition cardboard packaging the palette is matte black with Sleek's logo as usual and contains a good sized mirror. The palette contains 12 shadows (13.2g) and costs £7.99 from Superdrug.

Out of the twelve, three shadows were disappointing (Paraguya, Au Naturale and Oh So Special) but on the whole it's a reasonably good palette with a eclectic mix of colours that aren't often seen together. This palette is versatile offering neutral, bright and dark looks suitable for work, relaxing or a night out.
Sleek idivine Showstoppers Palette is not a must have but it's worth it for the price if you're building up your eye shadow collection or have fallen in love with one of the shades belonging to a previous palette that is no longer available.

Rock Chick Look

I used Noir (petrol blue) for the lid. I mixed Oh so special (Grey) and Ultra Matte V2 (Black) for the crease.

I lined my upper lash line and added a wing with L'oreal superliner pen in black then lined the lower lash line and tight lined the upper lash line with Rimmel Exaggerate black liner. I used Avon Mega Effects Mascara in black.

Burgundy Brown Autumn Leaves look

Sunset applied to lid, then Graphite applied to the crease and outer corner.
Then I used Bourjois liner Pinceau in brown and Avon Mega Effects Mascara in Black.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Ben Nye Contour Powder and Blush.

               Get Cheek bones like Kate Moss & Mark Francis

I always find contour powders that have an actual grey tone (grey to mimic shadows) impossible to find on the high street and don't get me started on bronzers they are all so orange! Enter Ben Nye Contour powders- realistic colours at high street prices. 

Ben Nye speicalises in theatrical make up but don't let that put you off, they have become so popular with the general population as well as makeup artists they've started to develop products for the mainstream beauty market. Their products are very pigmented (because originally make up needed to stand out to the back row audience and long lasting to withstand hot theatre lights) and are generally cheaper than high end brands such as MAC or Make Up For Ever but their quality is just as good. Fortunately as they have become popular they haven't t raised their prices.


                                          Left contour no 1 and Right Contour no 2.

The contour powders come in 3 shades: Contour no 1, no 2 and no 3. Yes not original, but use for theatres didn't really require any fancy names. I have no 1 and no 2 because I'm a tan shade and didn't know which one would show up or suit me better. I needn't have worried both are extremely pigmented. Contour no 1 is cooler and has a grey tone to it so suits contouring while no 2 is warmer so is best suited to bronzing. They last all day although I haven't tested them in the hot summer heat. 
The packaging is a basic black snap close case although the matte rubber is similar to Nars packaging. The downside to this is they are difficult to keep clean.The pans contain more product than Kevyn Aucoin's famous sculpting powder (3.5g vs 3.1g) and is so much cheaper at £11.22 each. 

The only drawback is that Ben Nye is not as widely available as established mainstream make up brands.
I bought these from Treasure House of Make Up which is based in the UK here, if you look under powder rouge you'll find the contour powders. They are under the pre-order drop down menu but I actually didn't find that it took that much longer to arrive (perhaps an extra 7 days.)
Ben Nye also do contour creams in very similar shades to those above, however they do contain Ozokerite wax (which my skin cheeks does not like.)

My other purchase was Ben Nye Powder Rouge in Dark Tech DR-9.

Contrary to the name this blush is not dark. On the website this looks like a muted orange but it's a bright coral colour in person. This is actually the colour I wanted but in the pan it looks so scary like the colour red clown cheeks and noses. On the cheeks it does give that summer coral blush but careful this blush is so intensely pigmented you have to apply just the tiniest bit on your blush and make sure you tap away all the excess so that you don't overdo it. I'd recommend washing your blush brush soon after so it doesn't stain the brush. Since this is so pigmented i'd recommend using a fan brush or a synthetic brush that doesn't pick up or apply as much blush. This lasts all day and the pan would last you a very long time like a year or much longer.

I bought this as a refill pan so while the packaging looks basic and a little unattractive it's actually quite functional- there's a sponge that keeps the pan in place which can be thrown away and the pan added into another palette. Unlike other packaging that houses refills the plastic case is sturdy and practical, I've had refills in really flimsy packaging before that you have to move immediately before the whole thing disintegrates. 
The refill pan contains  3.5g and costs £8.98 and is available at Treasure House of Makeup here

Sunday, 20 April 2014

TARTE WISHLIST - Tarte comes to the UK via QVC & Sephora Ships to UK!

American Brand Tarte has finally launched in the UK- yay! A selection of their products can be found on QVC (here). However I was disappointed that the legendary beauty product Amazonian Clay Blushers weren't included and surprised that the lip surgence lip glosses weren't there either. However these items and others can be found at Sephora (Here) who now ship to the UK!

Tarte cosmetics are cruelty-free and their products do not contain any parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, or synthetic fragrances. Much of their packaging is inspired by Bamboo in keeping with their 'green image.'

The top row is available from QVC

1) Tarte BB Perfecting Liquid Foundation With Brush £29.50 here Available in a few more shades than the usual BB cream ranges and although expensive does include a brush which I think makes it better value.

2) Tarte Amazonian Clay Sultry Sunset Eye Shadow Palette £26.50 here  This palette has 6 full sized eye shadows and 2 highlighters. The lower matte brown could also be used to contour.

3) Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation £32.50 here Claims to be long wearing with a lightweight texture as well as containing SPF15. Factor is low but can be boasted with sunscreen. Again expensive but includes a brush.

4) Tarte Cheek Stain (pink coral) $30 here Award winning and long term favourite. I love that it doesn't contain mineral oil or Ozokerite which I've reacted to in the past.

5) Tarte Airblush Maracuja Blush (Shimmery Peach warm rosy peach) $25 here The colour looks absolutely gorgeous, a beautiful summer blush.

6) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush $26 here. (Muted Strawberry Red) I also have my eye on Tipsy Coral and Captivating Warm Peach. Love the fossil like impression on these.

7) Tarte Amazonian Clay Eye and Cheek Palette $44 here 2 blushes and 6 eye shadows in a mirrored clutch bag

8) Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer $29 here Waterproof and Matte sounds amazing, perfect for summer.

9) Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer $24 here lightweight non sticky looks easy to apply.

Saturday, 19 April 2014


Top Row Unwrap (white), Butter (beige), Bare (light pink), Taffeta (Peachy pink) , Fade (pastel brown),
 Bottom row Penny (mid brown), Chino (taupe), Truffle ( chocolate), Fog ( dark green) , Smoke (very dark brown)

This palette can be used for a neutral day look or smoked up for evening.

The top row are your spring pastel shades. However I found them lacking pigment and very powdery. The white was just like Talcum powder it didn't really adhere to the skin.I have olive skin but it wasn't the case of the colours being too light to show up (usually pink and white show up on me)  but that the shades were very chalky, hard in the pan, powdery to swatch with lots of fall out and little colour was left behind on the skin. The brown was less chalky and has a decent amount of pigment.

The Bottom row consists of darker neutrals. It's nice that they included a green among all the browns giving the palette a little more versatility. The last colour smoke looks black in the pan but is actually a very dark brown. This row thankfully is much more pigmented and texture is much better and smoother with no powder fall out. I wore Fade and Penny for a natural daytime look, with primer on one lid and one without. After 6 hours the one without primer still had shadow but it had faded and lost a little definition. Pairing Chino on the lid and truffle in the crease is another natural daytime look. I wore this for 10 hours one lid with primer and one without. After 10 hours eye shadow on both had faded although still there, but the lid with primer fared better. I created a smokey eye with truffle and smoke.Again I wore one lid with primer and one without. Eye shadow was still intact on both lids after 12 hours although it had faded a little bit. I would recommend a primer because it makes the colours brighter as well as keeping the eye shadows looking fresher for longer. This palette has 3 taupe browns in different shades which would suit a natural look for the summer or for work and the darker browns for an evening smokey eye.

Packaging: Basic packaging in black. The square pans change it up a bit from the usual MUA circle pans. Although there are 10 pans rather than the 12 usual round ones, you actually get more product (10g vs. 9.6g)

Price: 10 shades (10g) for £4

I find this palette to be very disappointing. It is the first MUA palette I have bought where the pigmentation and texture of almost all the top row has been so awful. I would say 6/10 shadows are good-adequate. It's sad because MUA do decent light pastel shades in their singles so I don't know why these aren't up to scratch.The eye shadows seem to fade quicker than MUA's other palettes as well. On the whole I don't think this palette delivers a happy ever after. I would recommend checking out the light matte colours in MUA's Smokin palette instead. However if you love your neutral browns, the price for the Ever After palette isn't bad working out as 70-80p a shadow.

MUA Matte Ever After Palette from Superdrug and MUA online £4

You will like this if....
  • You are on a budget
  • You like neutals especially brown and taupes
You may not like it if...
  • You want pigmented light colours 

Monday, 14 April 2014

6 Beautiful Vintage Cosmetic Prints and Posters

1) Crème Simon Print 46 x 52 cm £15.99 All Posters
2) Lotion De Medicis Poster 31.8 x 48.8 cm £12.05 Zazzle
3) Bourjois Soir de Paris IV Print 50 x70cm  £11.99 All Posters
4) Revlon Poster  45 x 32cm £7.50 Retroposterart, Etsy
5) Erasmic Soap Perfume 1920 UK Print 46 x 61cm £21.99
6) 1930s USA Savage Magazine Print 46 x 61cm £21.99 All Posters

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Models Own Speckled Egg Nails and Springtime Accessories

Models Own have come out with the Speckled Egg Collection of nail polishes, there are five in total each named after a particular bird: Dove Pink, Goose Yellow, Magpie Green, Duck Blue and Swan lilac. Reminiscent of Illamasqua's speckled polishes these are more affordable retailing for £5 and i'm sure will be popular for Easter and spring.

I bought this in the Duck Blue shade. I found that two coats are needed for an opaque finish. 
When applying the first coat I found the nail polish formula a little on the thin side, then when I applied the second coat it felt a little gloopy. However application was still really easy. This is a textured polish so the finish is not smooth, adding a top coat helps seal the colour while giving a smooth finish. (I used Butter London's PD Quick topcoat.) I would say drying time for this nail polish is average, the brush is long and easy to use. I really like the shade although it's brighter than what I would normally wear. The colour displayed on the website and the actual colour in the bottle is accurate so there shouldn't be any problems ordering online. I used Boots base coat, applied two coats of Duck Blue and then a top coat. I applied this on Friday and the first chip was on Sunday, this wasn't bad considering I've been typing a lot and that I forgot to wear washing up gloves on more than one occasion. I can't wait to try Magpie Green or Swan Lilac next!

Currently Models Own Online have a mix and match 6 polishes for £20 offer which ends April 21st. Superdrug and Boots are offering 2 items for £8 across selected Models Own products

I couldn't resist including some spring accessories that would go with this look, check out the bunny cute! I think you'd have to wear them with ballet slippers.

Quiz Daisy Snood Debenhams £7.99     Oasis Heart Scarf ASOS £20       Rabbit Print Tights ASOS £8       

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

My daily skincare routine (Sensitive-Combination skin)

Let me start by saying I have sensitive, combination skin type with an oily t-zone and some redness around my cheeks. Due to having sensitive skin and Eczema on my body (but not my face) I tend to apply a less is more approach to skincare instead of overloading your skin with lots of products and different chemicals, a philosophy which my mum instilled in me. I also have asthma so I prefer unfragranced toiletries or those that don't have such a strong smell. Generally I stick to these long term favourites which I've used for years and trust and am reluctant to try out many new products because my skin is so sensitive. I usually cleanse with wipes and then apply toner and moisturiser each morning and evening but I'm looking into using facial oil cleansing and miscellar water.

Whenever I have had reactions to other products I always turn back to these Nivea Fragrance Free Facial Cleansing Wipes and these seem to calm and heal my skin back to its normal healthy condition. If I'm removing a full face of make up with medium to heavy coverage foundation I wash my face with Dove Soap (original) using a muslin cloth. To remove further traces of make up I follow up with Simple's Kind To skin Soothing Facial Toner. Finally I moisturise with E45 cream. I was a die hard devotee to No 7's Day cream but after 7 years I developed an allergy to it so I switched to E45 which is equally moisturising and also a lot cheaper! Even in the summer I don't find E45 heavy or greasy as it's pretty light. I'm currently not using a mosituriser with SPF protection as that seems to sting my face so I try wear SPF in my foundation, though a dedicated sunscreen for the face offers much higher level of protection and is recommended. I wear contact lenses and my eyes can get quite sensitive so I rely on No7 Beautiful Skin-Eye Make Up Remover which is ophthalmologist tested and removes any waterproof mascara or eyeliner. I always try to take advantage of the £5 off skincare vouchers Boots give out throughout the year.

What is your daily skincare routine and what products do you use?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Downton Abbey Nail Polishes Review

                       The Downton Abbey nail polish set includes three 13ml bottles.

"You'll find there's never a dull moment in this house."

On each item in the Downton Abbey Collection can be found a quote from the series, and these nail polish colours are far from dull. Instead of a brash  British Empire red, white and blue, these are more modern with a mixture of dark, bright and light so should have a broader appeal.

The nail polishes are 5 free (free from DBP, Camphor, Parabens, Toulene and Formaldehyde) and therefore can be classed as less toxic. Although these polishes aren't marketed as 5 free, the ingredient lists none of these toxic ingredients. I don't know why the marketing team didn't use this as part of their strategy. With the success of Downton Abbey perhaps they thought they didn't need to, as the programme has such a massive loyal fan base. Additionally on the back of each bottle and on the cardboard packaging is the bunny logo which means the product is cruelty free. 

The consistency of the formula is good, not too runny, applies smoothly. The smell isn't overpoweringly strong. The packaging of the square glass bottle with a simple gold monogram  makes it look quite classy. The brush is quite long and easy to use. The drying time was average. Mink was less prone to chips while Empire red chipped more easily. Generally fairly long lasting as nail polishes go considering I was typing on the computer for most of the week and trying to remember to wear washing up gloves for dish washing lasting for about 4-5days. I would recommend wearing a base coat underneath to protect nails from discolouration and dryness. Mink and Empire Red have a super shiny finish I only added a top coat (Butter London P.D.Quick Topcoat) to extend the wear of the nail polish
My favourite polish is Mink.

The colour Mink is described as grey but it's actually matte purple aubergine colour with a shiny finish. A cool toned purple. This is opaque in two coats, although one thick coat can produce a Victoria Plum purple colour too.
 Applied: Saturday                     First Chip: Monday                   Removed on: Friday

    photo two coats of Mink no topcoat

Empire Red looks dark in the bottle but its actually very bright. One coat looks almost neon pink, two coats produces a bright red. Its a cool toned pinky-red rather than a warmer post box red. It applied a little streaky the first coat. It needs two coats for the colour to be opaque. Chips easily at the tips without a top coat and just as easily with a topcoat on.
Applied: Friday                      First Chip: Saturday                       Removed on: Friday

    photo two coats of Empire Red no topcoat

Satin Pink is a frosted pale pink. It is opaque in one thick coat.
I was hoping it could be a base for a French manicure but i think i'd like something a little more darker. Although the colour is nice for a smart nude pink manicure.
Appled: Friday                    First Chip Sunday                             Removed; Wednesday 

Photo: two coats of Satin Pink no topcoat

Available at Marks and Spencers £9.50 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


MUA Smokin palette is hailed as a dupe for Urban Decay's Smoked palette. Unfortunately I don't own Urban Decay's Smoked Palette so I can't directly compare MUA's Smokin palette to the UD original. However since this is a dupe, the concept of the palette is the same, which is to be able to create an alternative smoky eye, one with added pop of colour.

Top Row: L-R: Glory, Boudoir, Ghost, Fantasy, Mythical and  Broken
Bottom Row L-R: Icon, Unleash, Chaos and Wicked.

The shadows are soft and very pigmented although i did experience fall out when swatching the shades. There are four mattes in the palette, they are in the top row Glory (beige-cream), Boudoir (Peach) Fantasy (dark brown) and Mythical (black.)  Mythical is very dark jet black. Unfortunately Gloryis a little chalkyand doesn't show up well as it's too close to my skin colour and lacking pigment. Fantasy is great for the crease when blending out bright colours for a smoky effect.


    Top Row: L-R: Glory, Boudoir, Ghost, Fantasy, Mythical and  Broken

   Bottom Row L-R: Icon, Unleash, Chaos and Wicked.

The pigmentation of the bottom row is amazing the colours look as rich as gleaming jewels.

I wore Chaos, Fantasy and Mythical together with primer on one lid and one without .After 5 hours shadows still looked immaculate and there was no difference in wear between the two lids.
I wore Unleash and Fantasy for 10 hours one eye with primer the other without. Apart from wearing off a little in the crease the one without primer looked the same as the one with primer, eye shadow still intact and vibrant.

The eye liner is literally glued into the palette so requires a good push to get it out at first but it sits back in fine and the case closes perfectly. What's annoying is that there is no lid for the eye liner.
The pencil is soft and creamy and the colour extremely pigmented. It stayed on 10 hours later and is stubborn to remove when you take your make up off.

Unlike Urban Decay's version this does not come with an eye primer.
Also there isn't a leaflet featuring different tutorials for different eye looks but these can be found through searching YouTube.

Packaging: This is one of MUA's bigger palettes (excluding MUA Luxe) with 17g for 10 shadows. MUA seems to have moved away from the 12 circle pans to 10 bigger rectangle pans. Compared to UD, this packaging is very basic.

Price: At £6 it is slightly more expensive than the other palettes apart from the Luxe palette.
Available from MUA Store Online and currently on sale for £5 in Superdrug

There is a good combination of neutrals and brights making this palette very versatile- I can easily picture packing this for a week away and having all the eye shadows I need.  There is good mixture of  matte and satin colours.
I loved playing around with this palette,it's definitely a big hit and excellent value for money- I urge you to go and get one!

You may like this if...

  • You are on a budget
  • You want a dupe for Urban Decay's Smoked palette.

You may not like this if...

  • You prefer prettier packaging
  • You like glitter
  • You cannot deal with fall out shadows

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