Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Lipstick Love ... Nuance Dusky Rose by Salma Hayek

Nuance by Salma Hayek

I hadn't heard of the Nuance brand before, sadly we don't have it here in the UK but the Nuance brand was created by the lovely Salma Hayek who has created a range of cosmetics exclusively for CVS Pharmacy.

So, this is Dusky Rose.  I love the packaging (I'm a self-confessed packaging magpie).  I think for what could be considered a budget range (I think the lipstick was under $10) it's quite fancy and the lipstick itself has a nice feel to it and doesn't come off after the first five minutes which is a plus for me.  My major lipstick bugbear is when they disappear off your face after the first cup of tea and you're reapplying all day long - tiresome.

I've recently gone back to using a lip brush sometimes and you can get a really gorgeous finish with this lipstick,  I am conscious of wearing lipsticks that don't "bleed" into the lines and I am happy to say that this one is a delight to wear the lipstick stays on my lips and doesn't travel up or down your face!

Salma Hayek Nuance - Dusky Rose Lipstick

Close up (sort of)

Wearing Dusky Rose (ignore the messy dressing table please!)

Monday, 4 November 2019

Label M Protein Spray for hair

I love writing about hair products, I'm always on the look out for a holy grail product if there is such a thing.

I've been a fan of Label M's Curl Cream for a long time now but I have recently discovered their Protein Spray.  The one pictured below is just a little 50ml tester spray which I thought I'd try it before I bought a full sized one.  Tester products as it's a great way to find out if you like the product before you invest, it's particularly good for products that are a bit on the expensive side.

Does It Work?

Unsurprisingly, Label M Protein Spray didn't disappoint me, it smells gorgeous,  "a moisturising blend of jasmine, sweet pea, vanilla, wheat and soy" and is used on towel dried hair as a leave in conditioner.  My hair felt really shiny and strong (that must have been the protein), I was particularly pleased because my hair doesn't have much of a shine to it no matter what I put on it! I've also used it as a pick me up on dry hair. 

The Label M Range

The Label M range is really quite extensive and was designed by Toni & Guy for use in their salons.  I have also used the Curl Spray but prefer the cream as it gives a more defined curl and I think it has a nicer scent.  Label M can be purchased from Toni & Guy salons but it is quite expensive, so I tend to find it online where you can get it a bit cheaper.  The 250ml bottle is better value but if you're travelling the 50ml is very handy as its easy to transport.  My regular leave in conditioner is John Frieda's Frizz Ease, so I will continue to use that and probably use this a couple of times a week or when my hair needs a treat. 

Label M Protein Spray

Saturday, 2 November 2019

EcoTools make up brushes

These EcoTool brushes are a recent addition to my make up brush collection (which has grown considerably since I realised I hadn't bought any new ones for years).  

The ones pictured are a mixture of the Fresh & Flawless Complexion Brush Set - £11.99 for a set of 5 brushes and the EcoTools Duo Eye Enhancing Set blending and shading brushes - £6.99 for two brushes, double ended.  

Brushes (clean ones!) really do make a difference to the application of make up and the overall finished look.  Before I bought these I'd been using a mixture of Laura Mercier, MAC and Bobbi Brown brushes as well as a Ruby & Millie brush which just goes to show how long I've had them as Ruby & Millie are not in business as a brand any more (more's the pity, though I believe Ruby Hammer has got some).  I now have an entire collection of brushes from different brands and 

ecotools make up brushes

These brushes are made of natural materials and are very soft and glide effortlessly across your eyes and face, the handles are made of bamboo so are very light.  The range of brushes is fairly extensive and extremely good value.

I took the Fresh & Flawless Complexion Brush Set on holiday (hence the photo of them on the sunbed) as they were in a very handy case that I just put in my bag.  When I got home I washed them gently in Baby Shampoo and flat dried them over a towel on the radiator overnight and they were good as new in the morning.  Really pleased with this purchase.  


Monday, 28 October 2019

Easy and pretty eye shadow from Make Up Revolution

After reading good reviews for this Make Up Revolution palette on blogs and on the Superdrug website, I have to say that I am adding my thumbs up as well.  I was really struck with the size of it compared to the superb price.  I asked myself, is it really possible to get this many eyeshadows for under ten pounds AND for there to be so many rave reviews about them?

Turns out it is.

Redemption Pallete - Romantic Smoked

This Make Up Revolution palette has been on my eyelids for the past week and a half.  I haven't finished testing all the shades and playing about with it but what I have used I've been really pleased with (except for the purple colour on the right hand side which did not suit me at all, my colouring not a fault of the palette).  I'm rarely as super-pleased with a palette as I have been with this one.

What you get

There are 12 shades, half are frosted and half are matte so there's a lovely mix of shades and colours and they are easily mix and match-able, lots of day and night looks here and great colours for smoky eyes too.  I also used the black as a liner on the upper lid against my lashes and underneath, its not too porous so it doesn't give a harsh line it's more blended but you can build it up if you want.  These shadows are pretty long lasting too, particularly with a good eye primer which I always try to use now, it just smooths things out a bit and increases the longevity of the colour.

Basically, a good general palette that I think would pretty much suit most people and definitely worth the money.

Make Up Revolution - Romantic Smoked

My favourite is the lilac colour, fourth one from the right

* This post was originally posted 9/3/15
* This post was edited and refreshed 28/10/19


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascaras

It's safe to say that Max Factor 2000 Calorie in Black has been my staple mascara for about 20 years. It just works on me.  I like the brush, I like the consistency and I like the way I can wash it off without having to use endless amounts of eye make up remover.  I also like that it's a good price, 2000 Calorie is under £10.00.

So, before my recent holiday to Spain I bought two new 2000's, one was a waterproof mascara, as I envisaged swimming gracefully like a mermaid every day and the other was a curl mascara, I thought I'd try Black/Brown just for a change of colour.

1.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie Curl Addict

Great for curling lashes, I loved the black/brown colour too, it made a change from black.  I felt like my eyelashes really stood out even though they aren't particularly long and it didn't make my lashes feel thick or heavy, I'm not a fan of thick mascaras that weigh my lashes down.  I'd definitely buy this again and it was roughly the same price as the one I usually use.

2.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie

The one, the only, the original ... I have to say that because I've been wearing it for so long and therefore really the only review I can give it is a big old 10/10.  I just can't fault it.  I've tried others but I always go back to this one.  I like that the fibres on the brush are soft and natural, I don't like those sharp plastic pointy ones, they don't suit my lashes, I feel like they are scratching my eyelids (just me though I guess).  Obviously, I will buy this again, and again, and again.  It's got to be one of Max Factor's best selling products surely?  I might Google that and see what I can find out.

3.  Max Factor 2000 Calorie Waterproof Volume

I haven't bought a waterproof mascara for years because I find them a bit of a waste of money as I just don't use them enough before they dry out.  However, like I said before I'd decided that I was going to use it a lot because I was intending to spend a lot of time in the pool on holiday.  I wish I could say I was impressed with it but I'm not.  To be fair, it is waterproof, it didn't run and I was able to swim without it pouring down my face but I wasn't keen on the plasticky bristles on the brush and it did not give them any volume at all let alone 2000 calorie's worth.

If I'm honest though, I've never been impressed with any waterproof mascara, they've pretty much all been disappointing which is why I don't use them.  I will keep this because you never know when it will come in handy but I suspect it will dry out before I need to use it again.

Very happy with the others though!

Max Factor 2000 Calorie - my collection of mascaras

*This post was originally published on 23 August 2017, updated 20 June 2019


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Catwalk by Tigi Oatmeal and Honey Shampoo

I bought this great Oatmeal and Honey shampoo and conditioner set from the Professional Beauty Show North (see photo, the containers are massive, 750ml each).  It was a total bargain, £20.00 for both of them and I can honestly say since using this product my hair has had a new lease of life. 

Leave In Conditioner v. Wash Out?

For a very long time now I've been a fan of leave in conditioners, my faithful Aussie leave in conditioner is something I can't live without but recently my hair seemed to be really dry and I felt it needed a deeper daily conditioning treatment.  I've shied away from them because frankly, my mornings are so chaotic that I just don't have time but I've made myself get up and in the shower a few minutes earlier so I can spend more time on my hair.

Generally, my morning routine is that I get dressed and put my make up on whilst my hair is still in a towel so it is pretty much towel dried by the time I take it off to dry it off and style with the hairdryer.  It was absolute bliss to get the comb through it first time, no tangles and no frizz thank you very much.  I just run some Label M Curl Cream or Curls Rock near the ends and quickly blow it dry.  The curl and the softness seems to last all day, and even when I get caught in the rain and goes a bit bonkers it doesn't frizz up so clearly the deep conditioning treatment my hair is getting is really helping.

The conditioner is really creamy and the pump function on the container means that I don't put too much on, mainly from midway down my hair to the ends and a brief wipe over my fringe.  Once the conditioner is on, the fragrance is sealed in for the rest of the day and I was pleased that it doesn't take long to rinse out (my main gripe with conditioners is usually that I can never be sure all the conditioner is completely gone).

I think the Catwalk range is amazing, I've long been a fan of Curls Rock, their curl cream.  There is a product for everyone covering all types of hair, the one I picked up is for dry hair.  The scent of Oatmeal and Honey is truly gorgeous, you do actually want to eat it (don't) and the entire bathroom smells super yummy afterwards.  

Want to buy some? Check out these links! - loads to choose from on ebay, take your pick!  Lots of sellers at different prices. - one of my favourite sites that always seems to have a fantastic sale on.

Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner

750ml bottles - lasts a while!

*This post was originally published on 17 October 2015 and updated 19 June 2019


Saturday, 2 February 2019

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Winter skin sucks.  Well, mine does.  It's dry, patchy, tired, pale, dehydrated, I could go on ... but I won't.  Thing is, that I think most people struggle with their skin in the Winter so it's not like I'm alone in this but I just find it a bit depressing at an already quite depressing time of the year.  

Anyway, I'm working my way through some skincare saviours that I've been using for a while.  They aren't completely getting rid of the dry skin problem but they are alleviating it a bit.  One of these products is Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.

Take your make up off!

I love taking my make up off at the end of the day.  I would never go to bed with make up on no matter how tired I am, I can't sleep if I don't feel like my skin can breathe.  While I'm usually a face wash kind of girl (with a swipe of micellar water to get the last little bits of make up off) I do use a balm a couple of times a week because I find that it really softens the skin and gets rid of the all the grime.

Moringa Cleansing Balm - what to do

I've no idea why it's called this but it smells really nice.  You don't need much, there should be a little spatula thingy in the box.  So, this is what you do.

💙 Rub the balm into your face (massage it rather than scrub!). It should dissolve the make up, I also use it round the eye area, I'm not sure if I should but it's great for getting mascara off and I haven't had any ill effects (though best not do this if you've got sensitive eyes or whatever, obviously).

💙 Then, leave it a couple of minutes to sink in.  It'll feel a bit greasy but that's when it does its best work!  While it's sinking in get a face cloth and dampen it in warm water.  Then place the cloth on your face and gently wipe the balm off, the make up should come with it.  I have to rinse the cloth, squeeze it out and repeat a couple of times before its completely clean and then I take a separate cloth and wipe my eyes.

💙 Take another face cloth and dab the face dry.  No rubbing as it drags the skin.

Ta-da.  Skin is left feeling clean and soft.  Here's a YouTube video from Emma Hardie so you can see what she does.  Emma Hardie video

Price and where to buy

Now, there's no doubt that this is a glorious product, high end and very useable, does what it says on the tin etc.  However, the price is high, I would say really, for most people because it's £47.00 for 100ml which is quite a small pot and about £67.00 for 200ml.  So it's not something you can bung in your basket without a thought, you know?  But then, I think there are these really nice treat products that you can save up for, or request for birthday presents or ask for a gift voucher so you can put it towards it.  So I think overall, whilst pricey I it is worth it but it's on the list of things I ask for and save for rather than an everyday staple.

You can get it online, in Marks and Spencer beauty department and now on Amazon too.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Burt's Bees Lip Shine - Fig

I can take or leave traditional lip balms usually.  You know those ones that are like a chapstick?  Regardless of brand I tend to find them sticky and heavy and I rarely ever finish them.  I think maybe the only ones recently that I've liked a lot are the Maybelline Baby Lips ones from a couple of years ago.

I have to say I've had something of a spree on lip balms recently having invested in one from Nivea and a Carmex tinted one so no doubt these will be popping up on the blog some time soon.  You can never have too many lip balms in my opinion, considering how easy they are to get lost - coat pockets, bottom of handbags, little change tray in the car ... you know what I mean.  That's why more than one on the go at any time is essential for me!

But ...

... this is a review on Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Shine.  I have to admit that I do like this one a lot.  The colour is 'Pomegranate' which is a reddish colour.  It sort of tints the lips and gives a shine but also seems to give quite a lot of colour at the same time which I found impressive and a good choice if you want a balm that makes it look like you're wearing a lipstick.

I've been testing it for a few days because you can never really tell first off if it's going to be good not.  It does last quite a long time but obviously as it's a lip balm it's easy to reapply without a mirror on the go so it wouldn't matter if it didn't have staying power really.  It didn't seem to smudge all over cups etc, like usual lipsticks do and it also didn't bleed into the little lines round my mouth (result!).  It also leaves my lips super soft which is really essential this week with the weather suddenly getting very cold, the extremes of temperature between outdoors and indoors is huge and that's when my skin starts to have a crisis and dry out.

I've also got Burt's Bees 'Red Dahlia' tinted lip balm which I'll photograph and do a quick separate post on, it's more of a pale red rather than brown/red like this one.  I've just checked, they don't seem to have an SPF in them but these would look great in the summer too I think, with a few freckles/tan and a bit of bronzer, definitely a product that can be used all year round.


Monday, 21 January 2019

Blue Monday, Yellow Daffodils ...

So today is Blue Monday, that is, the day in the month where we are all feeling yuck and poor, we want to ditch all our New Years resolutions and eat, drink, smoke and wave bye-bye to our new gym subscriptions because it's all Just Too Hard in January!  Hats off to anyone doing Dry January, keep going only 10 more days!

Sound familiar?

Anyway I quite often feel like this I don't need a specific day in the month to feel blue.  And it's not necessarily hormonal either, some days are just really hard and I feel bleurrgh.  I actually feel ok today, I mean it's Monday, it's cold and it's dark but that's just January isn't it?  I've been thinking all day of things that I've got to look forward to and I thought I'd share them incase they inspire you too.

1.  Daffodils

Here is a picture of my daffodils, I bought them in M&S last week and they only took a day to come out, such is the power of my central heating.  I love yellow and I love flowers and they make me feel happy so I've spent all week looking at them and thinking how lovely it will be when the flowers come out.  That does sound a bit soft but when you're down these little things make all the difference don't they?

2.  Buddy

My beautiful dog.  He's always good for a cuddle even though he drives me crazy with his mucky paws and whinging to go out all the time to bark at the pigeons/rabbits in the garden.  If you've got a pet, give them a hug or a stroke, it works wonders for the blues and I love mine to bits.


3.  British Summer Time

British Summer Time is basically noted in my diary as "Clocks" meaning the clocks go whichever way they need to move in order to give me an extra hour and enable me to get up in the morning in the light and make my evenings lighter and therefore my mood will also be lighter as will the bathroom scales as I am always heavier in Winter.  I love the "Clocks", thank you very much.  Only 68 days to go.

4.  Sales

By sales I mean the sales are over (or almost) which means that very soon the shops will be full of sandals and summer wear.  Obviously it will be completely useless to us because we're still going to be freezing our butts off for another couple of months (ha, we WISH it was only a couple  ☁ ☂) but even so, it makes us think of summer and holidays and sun cream and that's a really nice happy thought. So, yay to the strappy dresses and flip flops even if we can't wear them yet.  Obviously if you get hay fever for months as half my family do the Spring and Summer are a double edged sword but at least it's not dark!

5.  My OU Course

I'm currently on my first module of an Open University degree.  I started in October for two reasons, firstly to challenge myself as it's been a long time since I studied at that level and I wasn't sure I could do it, and secondly to learn something completely different.  So I'm doing Psychology.  It's really interesting but it's not easy as you'd expect.  So while I do wake up at 3am sweating slightly at the thought of juggling my academic reading and essays with the kids and everything else I'm still pleased that I'm doing it and looking forward to achieving something.   Also it's part-time so I will be finished in May, the next module starts in October.

Finally ...

6.  The Spice Girls

Yes, as you know they are reuniting, almost - Posh Beckham has decided to stick to her new clothes designer career which is fine.  But I'm super excited because my sister and I are going to see them in Manchester doing their first gig for a long time.  I can't wait!  Zig a Zig ah!  I'm so interested to see how they've changed.  I'm literally the same age as them so I can't help wondering what they will look like and how they'll sound.

That's it for Blue Monday, don't worry it's Tuesday tomorrow!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Tired face pick me ups from Too Faced and Soap & Glory

This week I've been really tired.  Actually I'm tired all the time, January saps me of all my energy, I can't sleep properly, my skin is pale and I've got a recurring sinus infection too which means I've got a tissue stuffed up my nose most of the time.  How lovely!

What I would really like to do is get on a plane and fly to much sunnier climes for a couple of weeks, just to get a bit of vitamin D and grow some freckles.  Unfortunately this is not going to happen anytime soon so in the meantime I have been trying a few things out to make my tired face look a bit more awake in the mornings and to cover up the purply rings under my eyes.  I don't usually suffer with dark eyes, I think the sinus infection is to blame for that!

Obviously, I've been using my trusty Clinique 72 hour moisture surge moisturiser (which is so good it deserves a post all by itself, I will do this) but I've also been using two other products, the Too Faced Hangover primer and a Soap and Glory concealer round my eyes.

I'm the queen of primers, I have many and I use them all.  I wouldn't go without one as they really do work for me in terms of making my skin look and feel better and it makes my foundation stay on better as well.

Too Faced Hangover Primer

Well this is just lovely.  It smells like coconut (because it's partly made out of coconut water) so that's brill as I love the smell.  It's also quite a thin consistency so it sinks into the skin very quickly and gives a sort of cooling feeling.  It's got probiotics for the skin in it as well, I think this is what the "perking up" ingredients may be because once I've put it on my face definitely looks a lot better.  I got this from Debenhams beauty department but you can also get it online.  If you click the link it'll take you straight through to the product.  There is also a Hangover spray but I haven't tried that yet.

So that's the face sorted, next it's onto the eyes.

Soap & Glory Trick and Treatment Under Eye Dark Circle Concealer

I've always been very happy with anything I've bought from Soap & Glory, it's not just the cute packaging I like, it's the products.  I've never had anything I've been disappointed with and I think it's really reasonably priced as well.  This product is an under eye concealer dedicated to banishing those dark circles (purple in my case).

I like it because it's sheer and not too heavy.  Sometimes those under eye concealers can look cakey, settle in lines and basically make it all look worse!  This product has got little gold pigments in it which not only seem to cover up the darkness but also reflects light which gives everything a much brighter appearance.  I got it from Boots, you can see it online (click here).  It was £9 which I thought was reasonable for a drugstore and highly affordable with Boots reward points if you've got
any.  I don't know if they do more than one colour but the colour I got was called Bright On.

Photo below of me and my littlest boy on Monday morning, broad daylight having done make up under artificial light (I told you I hate January).  I am wearing both products, believe me the purple circles were worse before (no filter!).


Monday, 7 January 2019

New Year, New Me ... my easy resolutions for 2019

New year, new me!  Isn't that what I am supposed to say?  Well, actually I am quite pleased that it's a new year as I think I sort of just dragged myself through the last few months of 2018 and I do like a nice fresh start.

I used to really dislike new year.  I thought all the hype was ridiculous, that it was just another day (which it is of course), and that resolutions were stupid because they were all unattainable, usually diet or exercise related and everyone is fed up by February and goes back to being exactly how they were in December the year before.

As I've got older however, I can see the benefits of having a marker in the sand which signifies a fresh start.  Not complete change but drawing a line and moving on in a positive way, if that's what you need.  I think most people do reflect at the end of a year which is a good thing, if you're stuck in a negative rut it's a good time to get out of it isn't it?

I still don't really do resolutions though.  I sort of do "I'm intending to's" so I'm sharing my list of intentions for 2019 ...

  • I will work really hard on my OU course and get the best mark I can.
  • I will not worry that my work isn't good enough!
  • I will make more effort to feed my kids enough fruit and veg.  And myself.
  • I will listen to more music and less talking radio stations (less depressing!)
  • I will quit the gym as I don't go and I will get my exercise DVD's out and do those.
  • I will find somewhere of use for all the spare single socks in my house (someone must want them, surely?)
  • I will put the lids back on my on my concealers so they don't dry out and go gloopy.
  • I will try not to drive round in a messy car anymore, for god's sake Maria get it valeted!

I think those are attainable, right?  I will also try to write more than one post every five months 😉

Random photo of one of my favourite concealers Clinique Beyond Perfection

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