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

Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer | Review

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I have an on-off relationship with primer, I've tried a few, some I've liked, some I've bought again and some I would never buy again.  My latest primer tryout is the Flawless Beauty Primer from pixi by petra, I've had products from this brand before and really liked them, in particular a couple of good blushers that went on like a dream and actually stayed on all day.

I came across this primer when I was perusing my favourite website of the moment,, it was on sale and I was intrigued, it had really good reviews and in particular I liked it because its hypoallergenic, fragrance free and has got Vitamins A and E in it.  Also, all the other primers I've used have been clear, this one is slightly tinted.  I got No 1, Even Skin as I'm quite pale and I thought it wouldn't be too dark.

This primer is lovely.  It reminds me very much of one I had from Prescriptives (sadly now discontinued by Estee Lauder), the consistency is very light and not greasy, also unlike other primers it doesn't leave your skin feeling heavy and weighed down.  The tint is great, I do put foundation over the top but I think if I was on holiday I could get away with just having the primer on during the day, it does balance out an uneven skin tone.  It doesn't have an SPF and its not a concealer so that's still required but it went over the top of my concealer very nicely and my make up stayed on my face all day, no sliding off even at the gym!

This RRP's at around £20.00 but you can get it for less on the beauty Beauty Bay website.  I've photographed the blurb on the back of the box below, so you can see exactly what its got in it and what it does.

If anyone else has got a primer they love or recommend do let me know, I love hearing about what other people use.  Oh, and I've just remembered, I think you can get pixi by petra products in some of the larger Boots stores, I'm sure that's where I got my blushers from even though it was a while ago now.

Have a Happy Monday!


**update Jan 2018 - you can now buy this in Marks & Spencers online and in their beauty department in store.

Pantene BB Cream For Hair | Review

Hey there beauty bloggers, hope this weekend is treating you well.  Today I'm reviewing a product I've been using for a little while now.  Its a BB cream for hair by Pantene Pro V which claims to be a 7 in 1 perfector, an anti-ageing beauty balm for hair which professes the following advantages:  strength, shine, smoothness, lightweight nourishment, hydration feeling, damage repair and resilient tips.

Pantene Pro-V BB Cream

I've been using Pantene shampoo for a while now and I really like it so I was a bit intrigued when I spied this BB cream for hair, as it's the first time I'd heard of a BB cream that wasn't for your face. As with all Pantene products its got Pro-V in it and the smell is very similar to the shampoo.  It's a pump action container, the instructions are that you need 1-2 pumps in your hair, I use three because my hair is quite long and curly so generally always needs more product than they say.  I put it on after my leave in conditioner but only from about halfway down my head and then comb through to the ends.

I really wasn't sure this was going to work as I couldn't quite believe that it really did do all 7 things that it claims to but certainly I can say that my hair felt smoother and it was quite shiny too and it is a very light product, I didn't feel that it was weighing my hair down at all.  I don't use it every day, I alternate it with couple of other products but I do use it when I use my curling barrel because it seems to stop the ends of my hair from drying out so much.

Apparently, you can use it on dry hair as well, I haven't tried this so I can't comment yet!

I am also using another Pantene product for the first time (its new) which is a Fibro-Reinforcing Spray (these labels make me laugh, who came up with that one?!), which is for stronger, fuller hair, I'm not sure I'm overkeen to be honest, it but I'll persevere and review separately when I've decided how I really feel about it!


Bodywash Collection | March

I seem to have quite a lot of bodywashes on the go at the moment, I hadn't really noticed it but my husband made a comment about there being five of mine and one of his in the bathroom so I checked, and its true, there is more of me in the shower than him!  He asked why I needed so many and I said that with bodywash it depends what mood I'm in, sometimes I'm in need of the luxurious Moulton Brown, other times I need the one for sensitive dry skin, it just depends.  Subsequently, it takes me for ever to get any empties which is why I never do regular empties posts, I just don't have enough empty stuff!

Anyway, I thought I'd give a quick run down of my bodywashes and let you know what I think of them, here goes:

1.  Aveeno Bodywash
This is a lovely product, its completely clear and doesn't smell of anything but its got all sorts of natural products in it and its excellent for dry and sensitive skin.  I've used it on the boys, one of my sons has eczema and this really helps.  They also do a fantastic handcream which is well worth a try (my sister-in-law recommended it and I haven't looked back).

2.  Fenjal Bodywash
I think I might be in a minority here but I love Fenjal products, the fragrance just lingers for ages.   This bodywash is no different you can smell it on your skin for a long time afterwards.  The bath oil is also very nice (but slippery!), although I'm not keen on the body moisturiser as it takes ages to sink in and I can't be bothered to wait for it.  I try to get Fenjal when its on special offer in Boots which it is quite often, then I stock up!

3.  Moulton Brown Gingerlily Bodywash
Ahh, Moulton Brown, how much do I love you?  A lot is the answer.  Gingerlily (or Heavenly Gingerlily as it used to be called) was the very first MB product I  had and I loved every last drop of it. I never buy it for myself but I always ask for it for Christmas and Birthdays and I've dropped strong hints about it being Mother's Day next week!  I got this one for Christmas and as you can see I've used about half of it.  I use this when I'm in a bad mood and when I'm showering after the gym (and sometimes I am in a bad mood after the gym it depends on how many stomach crunches I've been made to do!), it does always lift my mood and it does seem to get rid of the aches and pains (though its possible that's in my head, of course - lol).

4.  Argan 5 Super Creamy Bodywash
This is a relatively new find for me, I'm a little bit obsessed with Argan Oil products at the moment, in fact I'm in the process of doing a post on them, not sure if it'll be a blog or a video on YouTube I haven't decided yet, but suffice to say my latest addiction is for All Things Argan Oil.  Seriously, I see it then the next thing I know it's in the trolley/basket and that's it.  I don't even look at the price (though I should).  It was no different with this bodywash, I was in Waitrose, actually I only went in for a packet of blueberries and a litre of skimmed milk so heaven knows how I came out with this, but I did.  And, I am GLAD I did because its truly gorgeous and I love it.  The consistency is fairly thick but not splodgy (do you know what I mean?) and its brilliant for dry skin, it also smells lovely.  I think this one was nearly £8 but did see it the other day down to £5 as it was on special offer (another stock up!).  Anyway, highly recommended, and watch out for my review on the other Argan Oil products.

5.  Mandara Spa Honeymilk Dream Shower Cream
I own a lot of Mandara Spa products at the moment, I did quite well at Christmas!  Among other places you can buy Mandara Spa in Sainsburys, they do a wide range of products, body creams, washes, shower gels and those little travel size tubes as well which are great for taking away.  This particular one is the Honeymilk Dream, which is really beautiful, it feels very luxurious and it leaves your skin very soft and smells really pretty.  I bought my sister some for her birthday and she loves it too.  Sometimes you can get really good gift sets which are well worth the money as Mandara Spa is really good quality.

Overall, I think I prefer flowery bodywash scents to fruity ones, though anything with Mint and Tea Tree in it definitely wakes me up!

Do you have any favourites that you always go back to?


Max Factor Glossfinity Nails - Midnight Bronze

Today's post isn't very long but I felt the need to share with you my most recent nail varnish finding because I am SO pleased with it!

Max Factor Glossfinity

Last week I got this Max Factor Glossfinity nail polish in Boots, I was immediately drawn to the colour because I'd had a Revlon one a while back that was a very similar colour which ran out and has now been discontinued (story of my life).

The colour of this one is number 60 Midnight Bronze. 

Glossfinity in 'Midnight Bronze'


What I love about it is that its got a lovely shimmer to it, and also, get this, I put two coats on last Friday and its still going strong.  I've just remembered that I didn't put a base or a top coat on either so I think that's pretty impressive.  I've had a couple of little chips but that's it.  The bottle says "Glossy Nails for up to 7 Days" and actually that's true and in my experience that almost never happens so I'm really pleased.

There are 26 signature shades of Glossfinity and I will certainly be buying some more, I've got my eye on a really nice purple one!  I think they are really good value for £5.99.  Here's a link to the Max Factor site if you want a quick look at all the other colours.

Max Factor Glossfinity Nails

I didn't see all 26 colours in Boots but they definitely had a good range.

Love, Maria

Sweaty Betty Gym Clothes

Hello beauty bloggers, this is my first post in a week, I've had yet another cold (boring, boring) and now I'm looking after my youngest whose managed to catch it too and is endlessly coughing.  Roll on Spring and the warmer weather, that's what I say!

Sweaty Betty Pilates Socks

Anyway, I've decided todays post is going to be about fitness clothing, ever since I started the gym in January I've been doing two sessions a week, plus my pilates lesson so I've needed a bigger turnaround of fitness clothes.  I love Sweaty Betty, their fitness clothes are fun, lovely colours and the fit is great.  I particularly like their tops because they are longer in the body which means they don't ride up (I hate that).  If you take a look at their store they've pretty much got something for every activity, from yoga and pilates to aerobics to running.  Gym clothes used to be so dull (black, navy blue etc) now they're much more fun and you kind of feel like you've dressed up to go and get sweaty!

I absolutely love these grey leggings with the little grey fitted skirt, my pilates teacher has them and she looks great.  The leggings I'm wearing for my class at the moment are from M&S (because I know they are long enough and won't shrink) but I really like those grey ones, I may have to invest!

I bought this vest top from Sweaty Betty online, there's a choice of several colours, I've got the powder blue, a black and a coral one, the material is very soft and I've been layering them on colder days then when I get too hot I can just take one off!  They are £20 each, and I have to say wash perfectly.  They also haven't shrunk in the wash!  I'm 5ft 9" and I got the Large (which is pretty much a size 14) and it fits really well.  I've done a little video showing what it looks like in real life, hope you like it.


Favourite Beauty Products | February

Hey beautiful people, its that time again, time to review the faves from the past month.  Last month I only wrote about one product, Pantene shampoo, this month I couldn't choose so I've decided to give three products the "February Favourites" award.

First up is my Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  This actually arrived in January (I bought it from Beauty Bay) but I decided I need it to use it quite a lot before I reviewed it because I wasn't sure how it was going to go, I don't usually wear nude or natural colours, I think this is the only palette I've got other than my Bobbi Brown that's all neutral.  Of course, there have been many reviews on the Naked Basics palette and pretty much all that I've seen or read have been positive so it was no surprise to me, and won't be to you, that I am SO happy with it!  I think this is the only set of eyeshadows I've got where I actually use all of them, usually I tend to favour two or three and that's it but with the Naked Basics I am using all of them and its great.  The only thing is that its pretty much all I've used for weeks and weeks, I can see myself getting stuck in an eyeshadow rut here, I need to shake it up a bit!  But anyway, yes, I agree with everybody else, its great, go buy it!  Oh and one other thing.  It has great staying power.  It doesn't squidge into the creases in my eyes and I can do a full sweaty workout at the gym and when I come out its still there (albeit I do not need blusher because my cheeks are fluorescent pink by that time - lol).

Urban Decay Naked Basics & Max Factor Eye Brightening Mascara

In Second place is a mascara.  I'm very loyal to the Max Factor brand when it comes to mascara because they  suit me so well.  I've been using their 2000 Calorie for years and years, I've tried others but nothing comes close, except for perhaps a Clinique one but that was a bit flaky so I ditched it and went back to the old faithful Factor.  This one is an Eye Brightening for Brown Eyes (they also do one for blue eyes and I think green too).  I really like this mascara, its a nice change from the 2000 Calorie but not so far removed that it feels like a different brand.  The colour is called Black Pearl, at at first glance it looks like a normal black but once its on your lashes it must have reflective pigments in it or something because it does really bring out the brown in my eyes.  Its about the same price as the 2000 Calorie mascara and I think I got it in the supermarket but I have since looked for it online and you can also get it on Amazon, though to be honest I would go back to the supermarket because the postal charge for the Amazon one was about the same price as the mascara, bit cheeky.

T.H.X rollers and clips

Rollers and curls!  And big hair!

Finally, I've been loving my heated rollers.  They are T.H.X ones (Total Hair Expert) I deliberately didn't buy very expensive ones incase they didn't work, so I got these in a sale just after Christmas, I think it was Tescos.  There's 12 rollers and you can heat 6 at a time and it came with loads of clips.  There's three sizes of roller - small, medium and large, so you can choose which ones you want on whatever part of your head.  What I like about them is that they heat up really quickly and it also came with a travel pouch too so you can take them away without them falling all over the place.  I'm not very good at rolling, but I've got messy hair anyway so really if I want a structured curl I use the curling wand.  The rollers are good because they give it a bit of bounce, but I do tend to end up with enormous hair for the first hour or so, it does look a bit better once its flopped a bit!

So there's my February favourites, I'm really enjoying reading all your February favourite posts. Wonder what we'll all be loving in March?


St David's Day

Hello beautiful people, today is 1st March which means its St David's Day.  My Dad is Welsh (and his name is David) so I feel its only right to mention St David's Day and of course, the lovely daffodil.  I'm a big fan of daffodils a) because they are yellow and that's my favourite colour and b) because its one of the first Spring flowers you see after the winter and everything starts growing again.

I've been thinking a lot about yellow recently because it's all over the magazines and clearly going to be one of the years' best selling colours.  Vibrant or pastel it seems there's something to suit everyone, I'm definitely going to be on the look out the next time I go clothes shopping.  I don't know about anyone else but I am SO BORED with my dull winter wardrobe now, I can't wait to get into some pretty colours again.

So, on the yellow theme, I've found some nice yellow clothes and accessories, see what you think.  I love the dresses, I hope we get a nice summer so can wear clothes like that!

Happy St David's Day!


Shoes, glorious shoes!

Hi beautiful people, so Spring is in the air and and so is wedding season,  I'm attending two weddings this year, one in April and one at the end of May so of course I've started thinking about my outfit already (I only need half an excuse to look at dresses, shoes and accessories).  I love planning what to wear to a wedding, I think I'm going to wear something I've already got in my wardrobe as I do have about five dresses that I can wear and that I haven't worn more than once or twice, and I'll buy shoes and a bag to go with them.

This week my littlest boy has been poorly so I've had a lot of time to peruse lots of shoe sites whilst he's been sleeping on the sofa and I've been keeping an eye on him.  I thought I'd do a quick post showing a few of my favourites that I've picked out.  I'm still not sure what I'm wearing but I've got outfits that will go with any of these shoes, it just depends on what I choose (and how much I allow myself to spend on a pair of shoes!).

Top L to R
Neon Yellow Court, Boohoo £25.00
Tatiana Printed Court, Nine West £95.00

Bottom L to R
Pink Court Faux Suede, M&S £19.50
Green/Yellow Court, Boohoo £20.00

Top L to R
Belle Black/Cream Court, Coast £65.00
Samira Nude Patent Leather Court, LK Bennett £160.00

Bottom L to R
Fae Dotted Lizard Print Leather Court, LK Bennett £160.00
Floyd Strappy Black Wedge, Nine West £95.00

I have to say that I'm leaning towards the Nine West Wedges but I also love the colours of the shoes in the first photo.  Decisions, decisions.  The Coast shoes go up to a size 7 and my feet are a size 8 (I'm tall!) so they're not really in the running but I included them because I thought they were so pretty and I'm a bit of a Coast fan, I just love their dresses and accessories and I like the set out of their website, I could spend hours on there.  I find Nine West shoes really comfortable whereas LK Bennetts are a bit tight sometimes, particularly if the toes are pointy.  There's also some really nice stuff on the Boohoo site, not just shoes, so I'll definitely be going back there.

I'll let you know what I decide!


BRITS Beauty

Hi there beautiful people, I'm later with this post than I would have liked as the BRIT Awards was last Wednesday but never mind, here it is.  As I said in a previous post I watched the BRITS for the first time in about 10 years and in keeping with my red carpet addiction I've done a little review on my pick of the dresses (or frocks, as my nan would have said!).

Kylie Minogue, Ella Henderson & Laura Whitmore

I've grouped these ladies together because they're all in black but very different outfits.  Kylie's gone for  shiny material with a big bow and ankle strap platforms, Ella has gone for classic LBD with gorgeous black heels and Laura is wearing 3/4 length trousers teamed with a lovely white jacket.  Ella Henderson was on the X Factor a couple of years ago and controversially got eliminated early in the competition, she's completely revamped her look, I almost didn't recognise her.  There was nothing wrong with her look before but she looks great now.  My favourite is Ella's outfit I think.  That bow on Kylie's dress would get on my nerves!

Rita Ora, Mylene Klass & Rebecca Fergusson

All these ladies have gone for yellow, I love yellow, its one of my favourite colours.  Again, different outfits, think my favourite is Rita's dress but that's only because it's a bit more "evening" as far as I'm concerned.  Myleene suits her dress and its quite unusual for her, she usually wears more classic styles. I really like the way Rebecca's got colour in her clutch bag and her shoes, and that's a great dress too.

Jessie J earlier in the week

Caroline Flack & Jessie J

Great legs ladies!  I think Caroline's wearing a skort
dress, I love this outfit on her, particularly the colour.  Jessie's had a 
couple of outfits this week, the one above was at the actual awards
and the one on the left was at the nominations evening.  I like both her
outfits but I'm not keen on her hair or her lipstick in the one above,
having said that, if anyone can pull it off Jessie can and she does look
fab in that catsuit.

Fearne Cotton & Rosie Huntington-Whitley

These ladies always get it right!  Fearne's been out and about a lot recently at various events and all her outfits have been completely different, love the colour and style of this dress on her, its a proper "party dress".   I think she could probably wear a bin bag and still look great.  Rosie's dress and shoes are actually quite a simple combination but she looks so elegant and that is a gorgeous colour dress.

Lily Allen

Lily also brought a change of clothes with her that night, one to arrive in and one to present the award in, love the black dress and yellow hair (perhaps she should've been in my yellow category?), love both dresses but I still prefer her pink and orange number from the BAFTAs the other night.

Ellie Goulding

Ellie had three outfits that night, this was the first, completely different from the other two (one was a long evening dress and then she performed her song in a bra, shorts and trainer boots).  Ellie, like Fearne can literally carry anything off.  Great hair too, love the plait.

So that's it.  Oscars on Sunday!

Have a great week.


This Week | Review in Pictures

Morning beauty bloggers, hope this week has treated you well.  This post is a bit different for me, its just a bit of a review of my week so its not really beauty related.  Its been half term so the boys have been off school, I'm not a big fan of the February half term, whilst its nice not to have to do any soggy school runs, generally the weather is not good which means that we're all cooped up inside and the boys are rather noisy and boisterous so I have a permanent headache and my nerves are shot to pieces plus my level of nagging goes up which is so tedious, not only for them but for me also!

Anyway, I thought I'd take some photos of the week and then explain each photo, so here goes.

Photo 1 - Dog
This is my lovely Cockerpoo, he's on the review list because I've spent all week on the phone trying to get him into a groomers as he's well overdue for a cut.  Eventually, the Cheshire Dog Spa rescued me, they can take him in a fortnight but that's the earliest appointment.  There are obviously a lot of scruffy dogs out there in need of a pampering!  He's also on my list because its been so wet and his cute little dirty paws have been all over my kitchen floor all week.  I was waging a one woman battle against said mud but I've given up and now I just wait till it dries then hoover it up.  I also keep a towel by the door and wipe his paws when he comes in.  He's very good, he knows to sit and offer his paw - bless.  

Photo 2 - Me and The Boys
This is a photo of me and my two youngest boys, on Wednesday afternoon we took a trip out to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, you can just about see the Lovell Telescope in the background.  Photo was taken by my eldest son with the new camera he got for his birthday, he was very serious about it!  Jodrell Bank is a great place, particularly good if you've got kids that are nuts about space like mine, link to website is:

Photo 3 - Cuban Fury Film Poster
Last Sunday my mother in law rescued me and hubby and sent us out to the cinema.  I was in a really bad mood having had quite a stressful weekend and I really didn't want to go but I underestimated the power of a good film.  I can honestly say by the time I came out I felt better.  We saw Cuban Fury, it wasn't the best film I've ever seen but it was funny and engaging and the dancing was really good!

Photo 4 - BRIT Awards
No, I didn't go to the BRITs but I did watch it on TV this year and I worked out its the first time I've watched it all the way through for about 10 years!  I have to say I really enjoyed it, I was cleaning the kitchen at the same time (boring) and it took my mind off the housework.  I think my favourite of the night was Ellie Goulding, she's so humble but such a gorgeous rock star at the same time.  I've also put together a little post on BRITS beauty as I love having a nosey at the dresses, as you'll know, its my favourite thing!  Not quite finished yet but should be up by Monday.  Actually, that's tomorrow.  Best get moving.

Photo 5 - Sunset
This was the one and only sunset last week, as it was particularly grim all week, very cloudy and wet.  This was taken about 5.15 pm, I grabbed my camera and took it before it all disappeared.  This photo reminds me that there IS sun behind the clouds!

Photo 6 - "Urban Coral" Nails
This is me show casing last weeks' nail varnish.  I bought it the other week, its Maybelline Color Show and the colour is "Urban Coral".  Now, I'll admit it does look orangey in the photo but its definitely coral in real life.  Plus I think I only had one coat on at the time, its better with two.  I was impressed with it, it the two coats lasted three days before I got annoyed with the chips and took it off.  As I've said before, I'm heavy with my hands so three days is quite good for me!

Photo 7 - The Boys
Finally, a photo of my little boys standing in front of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.  I spy a shadow in the photo which means that its possible the sun was attempting to shine.  

Hope you've enjoyed this little review, its been nice to do something a bit different.  This week I've had lots of new ideas for the blog and I'm also going attempt vlogging once I've got the hang of the videoing and the editing, I won't tell you to watch this space as it may take some time!

Have a good week.

Maria xx
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