All things beauty, inside and out. Written by Mrs Byrom

No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation - Review

Just before Christmas I admitted defeat, my summer foundation just wasn't cutting it anymore, summer was well and truly over and I needed a proper base on my (pale, freckle-less) face.  As No7 foundations always seem to suit me and I was in a hurry I thought it was a safe bet so I nipped into Boots to have a look.  I knew I needed medium coverage as my summer foundation was light but I wasn't sure whether to get one for mature skin.  How old do you have to be to have skin described as mature?  I wasn't sure but I'm only in my forties and my skin is good so I decided to give that at miss for now.  Just as I was pondering this question a nice No7 lady rescued me and asked if she could help.  Yes please!  I told her my plight and she recommended a Lift and Luminate with Medium Coverage which ...

"lifts and firms, evens skin tone and disguises pores with SPF 15 included"

The colour I got was "Cool Vanilla" which is the same colour as the light foundation I usually use so that was perfect.  It cost £16.50 but I had some Boots points to use so it felt like it was free!  I've included a link to the Boots website incase you want to see the full details of the product, it also gives a run down of all the colours you can get No7 Lift & Luminate.


So the next day I tried it (see photo below). This is me make up free except for the foundation and a tiny bit of concealer.  Excuse the towel on my head, I always put my face on before I dry my hair.  I was really pleased with the coverage and it really hid a lot of flaws as I hadn't had a good nights sleep and I was really tired.  The consistency is lovely, not too thick and the coverage is good, it doesn't have a matte finish but it doesn't make you look shiny either.

Make up free except for the foundation
Finished (almost) face

In this photo I'd put my face on and got rid of the towel, this is pretty much the finished product minus lipstick.  The sun had come out by the time I took this photo which is why its brighter than the other one. 

Boots No7 Lift and Luminate Foundation
So, the reasons I rate this foundation are as follows:

1.  Lovely consistency, blended easily with fingers
2.  Good base for blusher
3.  "Healthy" takes away the pasty look!
4.  Doesn't slide off during the day
5.  Good for fine lines, doesn't make it look like 
     you've filled in the cracks!
6.  Don't need much so should last a while
7.  Its hypoallergenic so doesn't irritate my eczema

I'm really pleased with this foundation, and I was also impressed with the service from the No7 lady in Boots Central Milton Keynes, she was really nice and helpful.  

I wonder how it will fare when I'm at the gym, if it doesn't slide off my face then it truly is a miracle foundation!
Love, Maria

Happy New Year (belated ...)

Happy New Year!  I'm sorry I'm days late with this, clearly my "let's be more organised this year" resolution has already fallen by the wayside!  Hopefully I will be more successful with my other resolutions (listed a bit later in the post).

I've given quite a lot of thought to my resolutions this year because what usually happens is that I have a list and then by the end of January (or earlier) I've broken every single one of them.  That's a bit depressing in itself, who needs to fail that early in the year?  So, last year I didn't make any which was fine but I felt a bit of a party pooper when people asked what my hopes were for the coming year and I said "nothing".  Anyway, this year I've given it a lot of thought and decided only to write down what I think will be achievable.  This does not include dieting as I'll get to next Friday and reach for the chocolate biscuits and then eat the entire packet, then feel guilty (and sick!) and I'm not going to resolve to stop worrying about everything because I've been a worrier for the last 35 years of my life so I doubt it's going to change now!  

I love the way that New Year enables us to start again, get rid of anything negative from the last twelve months and move on in a positive way.  On that note, please see below the 2014 resolutions from Mrs Byrom, ta da!

Get Fit!

Get Fit

By "Get Fit", I don't mean lose weight, I mean get fit inside.  I want to tone up, increase my stamina, eat five a day, drink more water and reduce my weekly crisp intake by 50%!  I was given a few personal trainer sessions for Christmas from my mother-in-law, (don't worry, I did ask for him, he wasn't a hint from her to say you're too fat, get your backside down the gym) and I am really quite excited about it, partly because I'll feel like a celeb for a few weeks with my personal trainer but also because it'll be something just for me, no kids, no husband, no dog "byee, I'm off to the gym, see you in an hour". I will, of course, let you know how I get on, good or bad!

Get Organised

Currently I live in muddled chaos, which means that my desk is messy, my handbag is a disaster, I am always losing both pairs of glasses and those flipping letters from school just seem to always get lost, I'm always the last mother to send in the money for the school trip and I don't seem to be able to pair up socks very well, we're all walking round in odd socks in this house (black but with different coloured toes).   I was a PA for years and when I had my appraisal I was always applauded for my "organisational skills".  So I figured, if I could do it at work, in an office and organise twenty or more people, plus myself then I can do it at home for five people and a soppy Cockerpoo.  Lists, lists and more lists, that's the answer.  And stick to them!

Get Patient

Lastly, this is a short one but important.  I live in a busy house and I'm tired a lot of the time and that makes me irritable.  But I don't want my kids to grow up remembering me as a ratty old bag so I am going to try to be more patient with them, even when they are driving me nuts first thing in the morning because they can't find their reading books and I've had to tell them twelve times to get their coats on because we're late.  Deep breath and count to ten before snapping like Cruella De Ville.

(I'm also resolving to blog more often and sort out my website which is OK but needs work).

Happy 2014 to everybody, I really hope it brings you everything you wish for.


Maybelline 10h Super Stay Tint Gloss - The Result!

I've been meaning to post this for a few days but somehow haven't found the time, so I've nipped in and pressed "send" whilst doing the tea!  I haven't done my Happy New Year/Resolutions posts yet but am intending to do those tomorrow, the kids are still off school, we may have a pyjama day tomorrow.  After all the chocolate I ate at Christmas my PJ's are pretty much the only comfy clothes I own now anyway!  But I'm digressing.  So, a couple of weeks ago I bought a lip tint by Maybelline, Super Stay 10h Tint Gloss.  I mentioned in a previous post that I'd tried it and it hadn't lasted the 10 hours.  I've since tried it quite a few times and I have to say it really doesn't stay on for 10 hours, at least not for me.  It lasts for a snack and a couple of cups of tea and then starts to disappear.  However, I do love this lipgloss anyway.  I love the colour (the one pictured is called Forever Coral), I love the consistency which is light and dries quickly and I love the way that although it doesn't stay on all day it isn't sticky but does still look glossy.  Nice one, Maybelline!

My Christmas Skirt

Yesterday, when I was Christmas shopping I saw this skirt in Marks & Spencer and it somehow fell into my basket, got paid for and is now in my wardrobe - oops!  I'm not usually one for outfits for Christmas really because with the boys clothes have to be easy to wear (i.e. quite comfortable and washable) but we are going to someone elses house for Christmas Day this year so there will be NO COOKING for me (a blessing for us all, believe me) so I've decided to make more of an effort.  Anyway, long story short I saw this lovely skirt, its all sparkly and christmassy, I'm going to wear it with black tights, boots and a black jumper.  It is a bit shorter than I usually wear though, I measured it and its 16 inches but I figured with really black tights it will be OK and my legs are still good for my age (lol).

This is a close up of the back zip, I really liked the edging which is the same detail as that of the fake pockets at the front.

Ironically when I tried it on, I did it up as a side zip (don't know why) and it didn't quite sit right.  I've since realised its a back zip!  It looks much better when its sitting straight!  I got the size 14 which is what I need for my bottom half but my waist is much smaller than my hips/bottom so things are always a bit big round the waist.  However this is a plus because it just means I can eat more dinner and not feel like I need to undo a button or two ... we've all been there, right?
Like I mentioned this is a Marks & Spencers skirt, I know it won't be everybodys cup of tea but I liked it.  Its from their Limited Collection which I think is marketed at their "younger" customers (not the teenage section but more funky).

You'll be interested to know that because I got side tracked by this skirt I now have to fight my way back through the M&S crowds tomorrow to buy my brother-in-law's present which is why I went there in the first place!

In other news I'm still battling with the Maybelline 10h lip tint, I have to say its losing (i.e. not staying on for 10 hours) but I am enjoying wearing it, I love the colour and the consistency and the fact that its not sticky, I am  really not a fan of sticky lipgloss.

Maybelline 10 hour Lip Tint

Feeling very smug, have just managed to get myself onto Bloglovin' (goodness knows how in this house of chaos, can't think straight, 3 kids shouting and running around), and get a widget on here as well!

In other news, I've been testing this Maybelline 10 Hour Lip Tint today.  It hasn't lasted 10 hours but I'm going to try it again tomorrow, give it another chance.  On the plus side its not sticky (which means that when the wind blows your hair doesn't get stuck in it - always a bonus!)  Have added it to my list of things to review properly once Christmas is over.

Here's a photo (lovely colour) and a photo of me wearing it too.


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Face, Hair and Hands - three recommended products

Three products tested over the last three weeks for face, hair and hands, enjoy!

Healthy Hands

I don't know about anyone else but once the central heating goes on my hands completely dry out.  It doesn't matter that I wear gloves outside and washing up gloves inside when cleaning or washing up but somehow my hands always end up looking 20 years old than I am.  Not pretty.  Last year they were sore, the skin was cracked and they felt and looked awful.  So this year I've decided to start as I mean to go on, I am now on a Soft Hand Scheme which started two weeks ago and will end in about April, when it warms up outside (hopefully).  The only soap in the house is moisturising and I went out and bought several handcreams, and I've put a handcream in each room in the house and in all my handbags and in my car and hubbys car too.  There is NO excuse not to use handcream any more!

Of course, I guess we all know that handcreams are much of a muchness, personally I can't bear the greasy ones that take ages to sink in but they are the ones that seem to really help the dry skin aren't they?  I never know what to buy even if I read all the reviews in magazines and I've been on the look out for a cream that sinks in quickly, isn't greasy, smells great and instantly softens the skin and guess what?  I found one.

Hand & Nail Cream by Sainsburys
The winner is "Hand & Nail Cream by Sainsburys".  Yes, a supermarket brand people, its great.  This cream has got Vitamin E in it, the smell is a bit like cocoa butter or vanilla (I can't decide which), but anyway its a warm smell and it lingers too, like a perfume.  The cost is just £1.00 for a 75ml tube, when compared with a Vaseline 50ml tube of handcream (although they are always lovely) which costs at least £3.00 so there is quite a saving here too, always a bonus!

Aldi Lacura Face Wash Gel

Fresh Face

The next product I'm going to rave about is another supermarket brand - Aldi.  Who knew that their Gentle Face Wash Gel was so fab? Seriously. I am usually a Nivea facewash girl, I have been for years but when mine was running out I was doing a supermarket shop and I saw this and thought "why not"?  Its called Lacura, which is the Aldi skin care range (they also do moisturisers, eye cream, shower gel etc, none of which I have tried yet), its got Pro-Vitamin B5 in it, its 100% soap free, its not perfumed, not coloured, and its paraben free ... its actually a bit like the Simple range but I think its better and you don't need very much to wash your face either so it lasts a long time.  It also gets rid of make up brilliantly (I'm talking every day make up, not sure how it would fare with waterproof mascara, I'll try it).  Again, the price is right, 150ml (pictured on right) costs just £1.29, considerably less than the £3.59 I usually pay for Nivea Daily Essentials Face Wash Gel.  Incidentally, I should say that my Mum has been championing Lacura for ages, I'm just off to ring her to tell her she was right!

Fight against the Frizz!

Aussie Miracle Frizz Remedy
My last product test was prompted by a week of school runs in the rain.  We don't live far from the school so we walk whenever possible.  Unfortunately, when its raining even though its not far, it is a total hair disaster.  My hair is long and wavy/curly.  Does anyone remember that episode of Friends where they go to Barbados and the humidity gets to Monica's hair and it goes massive?  Well that's like me, except my hair is red, not brunette.  Anyway, whilst frizzy hair can only be described as a 'first world' problem it is quite annoying so I set out to find something to tame the dreaded frizz regardless of weather conditions.  I was in Boots and saw a new spray from the Aussie range.  Its called Aussie Miracle Recharge Frizz Remedy, its a leave in conditioner (perfect for me who hasn't got a lot of time in the shower in the mornings) and its got Australian jojoba seed oil in it.  So I thought I'd try it. To be honest I didn't really know how it was going to work out, I'm normally quite sceptical about products that claim to "tame frizz" because I've tried quite a few and none of them have ever really made much of a difference but I was pleasantly surprised because this
new Aussie product does do what it says on the label!  It can be used on wet or dry hair (though I've only tried wet so far) it gets the tangles out immediately and smells lovely, my 4 year old asked me what my new perfume was, bless him.  I didn't put any other product on my hair, just dried it on a mid heat setting, ran my barrel heated hairbrush round the ends and that was it, as well as helping frizz it also acts as heat protection so you can use curling tongs/straightners without feeling guilty about doing bad things to your hair!  I did two damp/wet school runs at either end of the day and only minimal frizz!  So this product can definitely be recommended.  The cost is £4.49 for 250ml (pictured right).

Monday Morning Make Up

Berry Lips (Grazia)
This week its half term so I've been doing quite a lot of magazine catching up whilst the boys are off school. They've been whizzing about here there and everywhere and I've been catching up with Grazia, New Woman, Good Housekeeping and more.  I've just realised we are now almost at the end of October, which means ... its nearly winter!  And, there are "however many" weeks/days until Christmas so my children tell me (but I'm ignoring it until I have to deal with it).  So, as I looked at my dressing table on Monday morning, in its usual higgledy piggledy state I thought I'd better make an effort with my make up, Monday morning was what I call a "pyjama day" where you want to stay in your PJ's all day and not go out, it was raining and very dark, so dark in fact, that I had to put my little make up light on and made a mental note not to overdo the blusher for fear of ending up a bit too pink when I went outside!  This has happened to me before and I end up furiously scrubbing it off my face guided by the rear view mirror in the car!

Dainty Doll Blush by Nicola Roberts
I chose an autumnal eye colour, Astor Gold and brown/black mascara and a black/brown liner.  I put my faithful Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts blush on (which is like a little bit of springtime on your face) and then had to ponder, which lipstick?  Lipstick was definitely required, face too pale and tired to leave the house without it, but which one?  The magazines I've been reading have been raving about winter berry colours, which I've been excited about for weeks because I love those deep colours but my favourite Olay one was discontinued years ago and I've failed every time I've tried to replace it.  After much rummaging in various make up bags I found a Rimmel London long lasting lipstick, called Drop of Sherry so I popped that one on.  With this lipstick, as well as being a lovely rich colour it is also long lasting and moisturising and tastes a bit like almonds.  I'm not really sure why it was squirreled away in an old make up bag but I am glad I found it, it'll be at the easily available on my messy dressing table for the rest of the winter.
Drop of Sherry by Rimmel

I've realised you can't go wrong with Rimmel London, the range, the colours, the cost, its pretty fantastic actually.  Plus, they always have fabulous adverts and very well known models wearing the brand, if its good enough for Kate Moss then its good enough for me!  I "liked" their facebook page the other day and even their posts that come through on my newsfeed are entertaining.  

Anyway, I've been wearing Drop of Sherry every day since Monday but I am going to try some of the other berry colours that Grazia magazine and others are recommending.  So watch this space for another berry review.

Gold, by Astor

Lovely red nails (Revlon advert)

Introduction to Beauty Aware

First blog ... what to say?  Well, I have recently started a business selling new cosmetics online and have a website and I also sell on the auction site eBid (which is a bit like eBay but cheaper for sellers and less red tape!)  

I also have three little boys, a husband and a dog so I work from home and somehow cram it in amongst the school runs and all the other things I have to do, but I love it.  I have always loved beauty products and make up and even moreso now that I am in a house full of males (even the dog is a boy), the guys are great but they really aren't interested in talking about blusher or the latest lippie from Rimmel, its more Lego, Power Rangers or Peppa Pig for the kids and rugby for my husband.  They can't see why I get excited about blusher (bought a Dainty Doll blusher the other day, like a little piece of springtime on your cheeks) luckily I have two sisters who are equally as happy as me to talk about cosmetics for hours on end, they are also my testers for my online store items, so they are getting quite a few freebies at the moment, happy girls!

My beautiful boy, Boo

I've been thinking a lot about how make up makes me feel recently, because I've been poorly with an ear infection and felt awful and spent days being pale and washed out because I couldn't be bothered to put my face on.  Tonight it was parents evening so I put my five minute face on (concealer, moisturising foundation, mascara, blusher, lipstick) and even though I still felt pretty rough, I did feel as if I could take on the world, or, in this case, the Year 1 and Year 4 teachers.  When I got home I realised that my pale cheeks were showing through the blusher and my mascara could have done with another coat but it didn't matter, at the point where I needed to feel confident it worked, met teachers, got my point across, stood my ground, the end.  Now, I'm about to take it all off, get in my pj's and read Grazia, quite apart from the article on Angelina Jolie and her wedding there's a lot about winter make up, apparently berry brights are in, which I'm thrilled about, I love those colours.

So for now its goodnight from me, and goodnight from Boo who is asleep on the sofa, better move him to his basket!  

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