Monday, 7 August 2017

Mark Gel Shine Nails - Dazzle Pink

Im sitting here watching Son's 2 and 3 in the swimming pool as No 3 has only really just learned to swim so I've got my lifeguard head on.  I thought I'd share my latest nail colour.

It's from Avon.  It's from the new Mark range and it's a Gel Shine one.  I love these Avon Gel Shine's I rarely wear anything else these days.  This one is called Dazzle Pink and it's fast becoming a second favourite to Lavender Sky which I've already written about this year.

Mark Gel Shine Dazzle Pink and top coat

Avon Mark Gel Shine Dazzle Pink Nail Enamel

Mark Gel Shine Dazzle Pink

Dazzle Pink plus Top Coat

Dazzle Pink is a bit of a misleading name actually because as far as I can see it's not very pink, it's more of a light peach colour and it's got a very slight shimmer to it hence the 'Dazzle' part of the name.  Still a lovely colour though.  One of my favourite pink ones is ASAP Pink from Avon which is a 30 second drying one, that's great.

Two coats is a definite, plus the Mark Gel Shine top coat which is on my list of favourite top coats.  It's worth investing in the top coat because it does help stop chipping and it is very shiny and I love shiny nails so I've always got some in.  Actually, I stock loads because I always have customers wanting it, I recently recommended it on my Avon FB page and it went a bit nuts.  These polishes are usually about £7 but quite often half price, so as I've said before, worth stocking up and I often have excess nail polish stock in my eBay shop going for less than that, eBay is a great place to check these things out.

As you can see from the photos above my nails aren't long, I do try but they break, but that's fine, I don't mind having them short, this is a nice colour for short nails I think.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Autumn/Winter Gel Shine shades which should be in the next lot of  First Look brochures.  It's hard to think about that whilst the sun is shining here but it'll be here before we know it.  Actually sooner, we go home to the rain tomorrow!

Love, Maria

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Clinique Cheek Pop Review and other Blusher Wonderings

Over the past few months I've accumulated several new blushers.  This is partly because I went on holiday to Florida earlier this year and spent a small fortune in Walgreens, Walmart and Target not to mention the Florida Outlet Mall which, frankly, was my idea of heaven.  I'm sure it won't be a surprise to learn that it wasn't only blushers that I bought (wait till I do the post on Urban Decay Naked 3).

So anyway, today I'm going to showcase this little beauty by Clinique which was purchased at my favourite beauty shop in the Florida Outlet Mall .

Clinique Cheek Pop 'Melon Pop'

Melon Pop from Clinique

It's an aptly named Cheek Pop, I guess so that you can 'pop' a bit of colour on and go.  The colour is 'Melon Pop' somewhere between the colour of water melon and that other orange melon that I can't remember the name of right now.

This is different from most of my blushes which are big enough in the pan to swirl a massive Real Techniques blusher brush in so I was wondering if I'd be able to use it, and also the pattern on the product is so pretty part of me didn't want to use it as I didn't want to wear it away.  However, these things are bought to be used so I tried it at first with a smallish blusher brush (medium Real Techniques, one that they would use for contouring maybe) and it worked, I managed to get good coverage and because the colour is not highly pigmented it's easy to layer and work in and gives a lovely healthy glow.

Most of my blushers are pink based because I'm pale so anything with a hint of peach has a tendency to look unnatural, however I think it helps that it's summer and the Freckles are out so I've got more colour, I'm not sure how it'll look when I am alabaster in the Winter, I'll have to see.  I've been putting a bit of highlighter over the top where the cheekbones are to make it look a bit different, I've got a lovely summery Milani one that I'm loving at the moment (in pic bottom right but the Physicians Formula one is good too).

Milani blush, bottom right

It got me thinking what is the Cheek Pop range and what else is there in the range?  That's when I decided to go on the Clinique website.  Big mistake.  Since doing that I have created an account, purchased two items (with free samples of course) and have signed up for newsletters and text alerts on new products.  Oh dear.

But back to the Pop range.  There are no less than 14 shades of the beautiful Cheek Pop one of which is a lovely pink which is now on a wishlist and an Oil and Lip Cheek Glow which is one of those products that does a two in one, I've never got on with those so I'd be interested to see how that one works in practice.

So there we are, my blusher babbling is now complete.  Did I mention that one of the things I got from the Clinique website just now was a Special Edition Cheek Pop ... can't wait!

Love, Maria


Thursday, 3 August 2017

First day holiday ramblings and first look at the Duty Free purchases

I brought my laptop on holiday determined to sit in an idyllic scene and blog.  So I am.  Warm breeze, beautiful surroundings, it's the ideal place to be creative.

I struggle with creativity sometimes because my mind is all over the place for about 98% of the time and I find it hard to focus.  I read a really good thing on Instagram yesterday (can't remember who is was from to credit but rest assured I'm not suggesting I made up these words).  It says

Mum's brains are like a computer
There's always 15 tabs open

When I read that I thought Amen to that sister!  In addition to this, there's always one or two tabs that never close and to top it off they ping open by themselves in the night and wake me up and I can't get back to sleep.

But enough, this is not meant to be a moany post, god knows I did enough of that at the airport (both before and after) yesterday.  No, this post is to try to relax and think how lucky I am to be able to have a holiday like this.  The villa we are staying in for the next few days belongs to our extended family, in a beautiful part of Southern Spain, 25 minutes from Gibraltar airport so providing you get an early enough flight you can get on a plane early doors at Manchester and be in the sun by lunchtime.  Gibraltar airport is easy peasy, it's not big so there's never a huge queue which I love as I hate queueing and British airports (and American) seem to be the worst.  And I know it's because of security but that doesn't make it any less wearing, particularly with kids.

So I'm on the plane yesterday sitting with Sons 2 and 3 and they've got their heads in their DS machines (still don't get how these work or how they don't end up with a migraine) and I'd bought myself some lovely stationery the day before as I'm determined to start planning this blog properly (as part of my 'get some me time' regime that I'm trying to put in place) and I started to jot down all the things I wanted to blog about, all the products, all the little Life things and then ... I spied the little magazine in the pocket of the seat in front.  My heart leapt.  It was the Duty Free brochure.


Down went the fancy pen, I grabbed that book out of the pocket almost giving the person in front of me whiplash in the process, and O M G there were pages and pages of lovely beauty things that I could drool over, and can I just point out there was more in the Monarch brochure than in the Thomas Cook one I read earlier this year, just sayin'.

Stila One Step Correct

Several things caught my eye, not least the YSL Mon Paris perfume which was down to £59 from £71 but I resisted and dithered for quite a few minutes but eventually decided on Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid serum and a One Step Correct Primer from Stila.  The packaging on the Stila got me because it's so pretty and now I'm wondering if  the whole product is too pretty to use (see pic), look at the pretty swirly pattern!

Alpha H Liquid Gold

This is the Alpha H Liquid Gold (I assume some sort of oil) with Glycolic Acid which is applied to face, neck and decolletage and helps to firm the skin.  This is what it says it does anyway so I hope it's true as I've noticed recently that I need a bit of help in the decolletage area.  It's annoying that bits of me have suddenly started to look older but I guess that's going to happen.

I'm pleased to say I got an extra 10% off the final price so I got both of these beauties for just under £35 which personally, I think is a bit of a bargain and I am really looking forward to trying both products.

Love, Maria


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Thinking about blogging. Who do I blog for?

I've been thinking a lot about blogging in the past week.

I don't mean thinking of topics but rather, why I blog, who do I blog for?  Is it me, is it for other people to read, what's the most important part of the blogging process for me?  Having taken a couple of months off from blogging (not intentionally) it's occurred to me since that I really missed it but what was it that I missed?

Lots of bloggers blog for other people I think, let's face it there are a LOT of bloggers out there and a lot, lot, lot of beauty bloggers for sure.  The more I thought about it the more I realised that I actually blog for myself, to create something and the satisfaction of hitting 'Publish'.  I rarely get comments on my blog posts (not counting that bloody spam that pops up all the time which is so irritating), in fact I am not really sure that my stuff actually gets read very much (I've got one of those Stat Counter things [free] that suggests that I have a high bounce rate).  I thought about whether this bothered me.  It does a bit I'll admit, after all we all want our amazing content to be read, right?  But then, I don't lose sleep over it and frankly, if the main reason I blog is for me and an outlet for my beauty madness in my house full of boys then surely everything else that goes with it is just a bonus.

I love reading other people's blogs and I'm always in complete admiration when I come across one that is particularly well set out and polished, it takes a lot of work to get it like that, heart and soul type work.  I sometimes wish mine was like that but that doesn't actually reflect who I am, it would be like me driving a massive Range Rover 4x4 instead of my seven seater Ford S Max.  The Range Rover 4x4 is lovely but not really 'me', quite frankly just insuring the thing would cost too much.

I've also thought quite a lot about the direction my blog is going in.  It started off in 2013 as beauty related (hence Beauty in the title - the Aware bit relates to my maiden name which was Ware - geddit, yeah I know it's the best my mummy brain could come up with - lol).  But you know, actually much as I love reviewing, and I do have many more beauty products that I can whittle on about I think sometimes I'd like to throw a bit of lifestyle stuff in there too, maybe some health posts, a smidgin of forty plus Mum stuff, a teeny bit of exercise, not to mention my on-off relationship with Slimming World.  And add mental health into the mix.  I really feel strongly about mental health.  I've had anti-depressants and beta blockers in my time, and counselling too. I'm pretty sure most people have had some, or all of these at some point in their lives as well.

I'm digressing here though, I think somewhere in the blogging 'rules' (by that I mean all the blogging expert posts on Pinterest) you're not allowed to have a blog that is neither this nor that because it confuses readers but surely if your reader likes your blog they'll read the posts they want and just ignore the others, that's what I do.  I'm a dip in, dip out reader and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  So, given that I blog for me (mainly) and it's mine and I own it then if I want to make a change then I can say stuff the rules, right?

So, sorry blog rules, I blog for me.  So I'm changing my blog a bit.  Hopefully it'll be a success and by success I mean that I'm happy with what I write and publish.  Everything else is a bonus and here's to getting people to stop bouncing off my page!

Love, Maria


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Lipstick Love ... Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color

So here we are with another lipstick love post.  It's been a really long time since I wrote about anything let alone my beloved lipstick collection.  This post is about the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color.  I guess matte lips have been on trend for some time now but as a self confessed 'shiny lip' kind of girl I must admit that I was a bit sceptical of the matte craze, mainly because I've found the consistency of those lipsticks very drying and ultimately not very flattering.  I've also had trouble keeping matte lipsticks on (cue short rant from me about hating lipsticks that don't stay put).  

When I was thinking about writing this post I realised that Revlon isn't a brand I generally choose for lipstick though over the years I've bought a couple.  I think I've always been more of a Max Factor, L'Oreal person, either that or they just didn't grab my eye either in the shops or in magazines or wherever.  However, when I was in the USA last year I was perusing the make up aisles in the drugstore and I saw this Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour.  It's presented in sleek packaging, it’s not a lip 'stick' per se, more like what you would get with a traditional lip gloss, with a wand applicator.  The consistency of the creme is sort of silky and dries almost immediately on your lips, it’s not sticky and it’s not drying either.  It gives a nice professional finish too.

The colour pictured is Devotion (great name) and if you’ve read any of my other Lipstick Love posts you’ll see that this is a very familiar colour for me, sort of a Rose/Brown which I love because is very wearable.  There are several other colours in the range, some much brighter (orange, red) and some pale (nude, pale pink).  

I got mine in the USA about $10 over here in the UK they are still £8.99 in Boots and Superdrug but they are much cheaper on some of the beauty websites.   

I had to think quite hard as to whether I'd purchase it again when it runs out, I think I probably would but I wouldn't be devastated if I couldn't get hold of it as I do have similar colours already that need using up.  I might try a different colour though!