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

Disney and a little bit of make up

So here I am typing this from very sunny, sometimes rainy Florida where we are on holiday as a family, taking advantage of half term and whizzing off for some sun.  I've been coming here for a long time now and I love it, Disney isn't everybody's cup of tea but we've had a great time and if I could have dressed up as Cinderella and taken part in the parade, I would have!

As well as theme parks I've also had time to do a bit of shopping.  I love the stores here because they sell stuff that's completely different to the UK so it's always interesting to compare products and prices and I love finding new discoveries and recommending them to my family and friends, the choice of health and beauty products in the US supermarkets is amazing and I'm going there tomorrow to see what I can find (that probably makes me a bit sad, oh well).

We did go to the mall outlet the other day where I ditched the hubs and kids (sent them to sports shops) and went off by myself to do a little cosmetic shopping.  It was quite nice not to have someone telling me they were hot, needed a wee or a drink or the whole "he hit me" scenario which you get with young children and I was able to peruse to my hearts content without being interrupted.  I found some excellent bargains in the Elizabeth Arden shop where there were several buy one get one free deals and in the Clarins shop also, where I could have done some real damage but managed to restrain myself.  As I rarely buy Clarins in the UK it was a bit of a treat and the prices were really good as most of it was last years' range or excess.  All authentic products though so definitely a bargain.

I also found a fantastic cosmetic shop which sold brands like Bobbi Brown, MAC, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Smashbox and others.  I was there for AGES!  I think they thought I would never leave.  I did buy a few bits from there but again I was on a bit of a budget so I couldn't go mad so I had to choose the products that I thought I needed or would be interesting to try rather than just sling stuff in my basket.

I'll be reviewing a lot of these when I get home, I've popped some pics of my little haul below so you can see what I got.

We are off to the EPCOT centre this afternoon no doubt to stand for ages in queues for signatures of characters, but that's what you do when you've got a five year old obsessed with Mickey Mouse!



Sally Hansen Miracle Gel - Shock Wave

When I assessed my nail polish collection the other day I realised that most of them are pink - light pink, dark pink, red-pink and cerise but definitely all pink.  I love pink nails for every day because they are colourful but not too in your face, and the chips are easier to disguise.  I loved Rita Ora's Rimmel "Sweet Retreat" so much that I wore it for months!

Recently though, I've been wearing Sally Hansen products, and I'm just a little bit in love with her Miracle Gel Polish.  There are 48 colours to choose from (although it won't surprise you to know that I've just used pink so far). 

Here's the link to the Boots website where you can buy them.

The overall finish is that of a gel manicure and to be honest I was suspicious because how can you really get that without all the stuff they use in the salons? 

The blurb on the Boots website says "The only true 2-step Gel Manicure with no UV light needed"and it does seem to be a bit too good to be true but it has to be said that you do get a lovely finish.   What's more it doesn't take a lot of scrubbing with remover to get it off, a couple of wipes per nail and you're done. 

I do one coat which lasts several days and then go over the top which makes it last another two or three so I'd say you could easily get a week out of this with it still looking fresh.  The colour in the photo below is "Shock Wave" and though there isn't a photo of it actually on my nails the colour in the bottle is a true reflection of what you'd get on your nails.

Well worth £9.99 I think and I'll definitely be buying more.   

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail P:olish

Shock Wave - by Sally Hansen

Lipstick Love ... Pixi By Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm


It's been a while since I've written a Lipstick Love post so today I thought I'd show you this one from Pixi by Petra.  It should be noted that I love this one so much that I am now on my second one and I only discovered it about a year ago!

I first discovered Pixi on beautybay.com and became a big fan of their Flawless Primer but now I'm even happier because M&S now stock it as part of their beauty department which means that I can buy it online and in store now.   I was amazed the other week when I went in, M&S have had a total overhaul of their beauty section and now there are lots of well known brands both high end as well as the old favourites.

Anyway, this is about Pixi by Petra Shea Butter lip balm.  I find balm's can be a bit wishy washy in colour, not so with this one, it's a lovely deep pink colour which you can build up into a very strong pink should you so wish.  The balm part is really good, it isn't sticky or overly glossy so it doesn't slide off your lips, in fact it doesn't transfer easily, I find it does last quite a long time.  There are several colours in the range but this is the one that suited me most because it was a stronger colour, the one pictured is called Ripe Raspberry. 

Since I bought this I've also purchased a Pixi concealer quad which I have used far more than I expected to and will definitely re-purchase, it's a stable part of my concealer collection now. 

Pixi can be purchased on their own website www.pixibeauty.co.uk or on www.beautybay.com and in M&S stores too.  I'll definitely be adding more of their products to my ever growing cosmetic and skincare collection in the future.  I would love to know your Pixi favourites if you've got any too.


Pixi by Petra Lip Balm
 
  
 
Pixi by Petra Lip Balm ... on me!

Why I love Chanel No5

An absolute massive favourite perfume of mine is Chanel No 5.   It always reminds me of my mum because she has worn it since I was little.

I don't use it as an everyday perfume, generally for special occasions, the fragrance is quite strong and lasts a long time so it's important not to slather it on, it has a tendency to get stuck in your throat if you use too much.

For me, Chanel equals glamour, remember the lovely Marilyn Monroe apparently only wore it to bed (?) and while every day isn't a always a glamour day I think I will always have some on my dressing table.  Even the bottle is elegant.



Why I love Hugo Boss Deep Red

I'll be honest, this isn't usually my kind of perfume as it's quite musky and I prefer softer, flowery smells but I adore this.  It was a present from my husband ages ago (he bought me a big bottle then another smaller bottle - pictured).  As it's a bit heavier I prefer to wear it in the evening, you don't need to use very much as I think it could be quite overpowering but the scent lasts for ages.   It's got base notes of Vanilla, Musk and Sandalwood in it, I've mentioned before that I'm a bit Vanilla mad so that probably explains why I like this so much.   

The best price for this at the moment is www.fragrancedirect.co.uk where you can get a 90ml bottle for £29.99 which is a total bargain, there are also a couple of nice gift sets as well, one with a body lotion which I think I've tried, I'm sure it was lovely as well.

Hugo Boss at John Lewis


Hugo Boss Deep Red

Fragrance Favourite - Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever

This is my most recently purchased perfume, bought for me by my husband when we were out one day and I happened to say I liked the fragrance.  Truth is, I was drawn to the bottle before I was drawn to the smell, that's the power of packaging.  I just think it's such a pretty bottle and can be displayed so beautifully on a dressing table.  The blue colour is also my favourite shade of blue, you can see where I'm going here!  Word of warning though, the bottle is quite heavy, don't pick it up by the top because the top comes off and the bottle goes hurtling toward the floor (and your toes), I've done this several times and it's only because it landed on carpet that I didn't lose the entire bottle.

The scent is floral, sharper than Poeme, and fresher and it is also very light, it's a summery smell though I've been wearing it since the Autumn.  I've just realised I've actually used up quite a lot, I must really slather it on, still perfume is made to be worn and enjoyed I guess. 

Pricewise this one is similar to Poeme, about £59.00 for 50ml.  I'm very keen to try the other Marc Jacobs fragrances, if anyone has tried them and can recommend I'd love to know what you think.


Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs

Fragrance Favourite - Poeme by Lancome

I first started wearing this in 1998, originally my sister wore it and I loved it so much that she got me some for Christmas and I've been hooked ever since.  

The scent is flowery but subtle, it doesn't get up your nose or stick in your throat, it's sort of a warm smell.  It's also beautifully long lasting.  I had a gift set once which alongside the perfume had a travel body cream and a shower gel and it was gorgeous, I didn't want to use it up.  It's a great one to layer, shower gel, cream and then perfume, the scent lasts all day.  The gift set is always on my birthday and Christmas lists!

It comes in two sizes 30ml and 50ml.  The larger bottle is around £59.00 from stores such as House of Fraser and John Lewis, however I am sure I have purchased it at a much reduced price from perfume or cosmetic websites.  

Poeme at John Lewis


Poeme by Lancome

Nivea Daily Essentials Eye Makeup Remover

I am so impressed with this eye make up remover.  Originally I bought it because I started wearing a waterproof eyeliner that did not come off with any of my usual nightly skincare products and it was starting to be a bit of a pain.  Then I spied this while out shopping and I thought I would try it because it is supposed to be for waterproof mascara.

I've had a variety of Nivea products over the years and I've always been happy with them.  One thing I like about Nivea is that despite having fairly dry skin I am able to use their products that say they are "for all skin types" because they seem to be very gentle.  Nivea do have a range for dry and sensitive skin which is also very good (it's completely fragrance free).

How to use

This make up remover is hypoallergenic and has been tested by the eye doctors, thus is fine for people who wear contact lenses or who have sensitive eyes.  As you can see from the photo, it is oil based so you need to give the bottle a good shake before you use it to mix up the liquid.  Then, just get one of those little make up remover pads, pour a little bit on there (a little bit goes a long way) and gently wipe over the eye lid and round the eye.  I am always amazed at how much make up comes off with one of these, even when I've cleansed already, this really does get rid of whatever's left.  It's really nice to go to bed knowing that my eyes are clean and all the mascara and eye make up is gone.  My eyes are quite sensitive these days so I have to be careful to get every last bit off.

I use this product every day, it's about £3.50 from Boots or Superdrug, or actually I've seen it in the supermarket as well.  It's super value too, as it lasts for ages.

Lipstick Love ... Max Factor Rosewood


This is one of my all time favourite lipsticks from Max Factor - Rosewood.

Rosewood

I've been wearing Rosewood for years and years, I can't even tell you how many I've used up because it's loads.  I'm partial to Max Factor lipsticks because you can pretty much guarantee that you get a quality product with a good colour that stays put.  

Rosewood can best be described as a browny/pink colour which really suits me as I think the undertone must be the same as my natural lip colour (this is why I don't get on with nude lipsticks, they wash me out).  I like it because it goes with everything.  I wore it to my party the day after my wedding because I knew it would stay on and it goes with all my "faces" (my fancy face, my natural face, my school run face).  It's unobtrusive yet really pretty and this one is moisturising as well so it doesn't dry my lips out (another pet hate of mine). 

Recently, Max Factor had a bit of a lipstick overhaul and when I realised I dashed to Boots to check them out, thankfully they have kept Rosewood (and Raisin, another favourite of mine) but unfortunately my favourite red lippy got caught in the cull and was replaced by one called Ruby Tuesday which although gorgeous, is REALLY red so I have to tone it down by putting another one over the top.

I also love that it's inexpensive and I can buy it in Boots with my points! 


Related Posts


Three sides of Rosewood


Me wearing Rosewood, it's natural but not nude

Anniversary Trip to London (and MAC and Chanel!)


Last weekend the husband and I went to London for the weekend, it was an anniversary trip present from my in law's they paid for a lovely hotel and we spent two days wandering around London. It's been a sort of tradition for us to take a trip just before Christmas because I like to see the lights on Oxford Street, years ago I used to go with my Dad and sisters and it just feels so lovely and Christmassy.

We left the boys with their grandparents and took the train from Wilmslow to Euston. It was lovely not to have to drive, I spend a lot of my time in the car ferrying people around so it was such a luxury to be just taken somewhere without having to think about it! Hubs had paid for First Class which is ouchy expensive but it was a treat for him too as he usually has to stand all the way from Crewe to Euston, it was nice for him to sit down! When we got there we took a taxi to the hotel (I complained that my bag was too heavy for me to haul on the underground, like a little princess primadonna)and went straight to our hotel, The Stafford in St James. I felt very underdressed when I walked in there, I wished my boots were a bit cleaner! We dropped our bags in the room and then went out to explore.

I'm a huge fan of Covent Garden, I just love it and at Christmas it's even better, the tree was gorgeous and the lights were all twinkly. I noticed the Chanel and MAC stores straight away and put it on my mental list to visit later. We walked and walked and ended up in Leicester Square, where on a whim we went to see the James Bond film Spectre. I loved it! Daniel Craig has been my second favourite Bond for a while but after seeing Spectre he leapfrogged over Sean Connery into first place. Sorry Sean, but it was bound to happen, you had a good run and Daniel is too good and too gorgeous to be stuck in second.

The next day was beautifully sunny, such a gorgeous sky, I was amazed. It's been dull in the North West for literally the whole of November and a bit of sun just makes me feel SO much better. I marched hubs around Westminster (Downing Street, Houses of Parliament etc) and made him buy me a Belgian hot chocolate from the Christmas Markets near the London Eye. Oh My God. It was the best hot chocolate I've ever had. I will never be able to have a Starbucks one again and feel content.

Later that afternoon it was make up time! I traded hubs some time in the rugby shop (zzzzz) and whizzed off to MAC and Chanel. Luckily I only had a debit card not a credit card otherwise I would have spent more. I bought quite a lot in MAC which I will review separately and a liquid foundation in Chanel which I haven't tried yet. Hubs came out of the rugby shop with three winter hats for the boys (which were too big!) and a PE bag for our middle child who regularly loses his trainers. PE kits are the bain of my life. He also bought himself two rugby shirts and a book. I felt less bad about all the MAC and Chanel after seeing all that!

Early the next day we popped to Hamleys which was god knows how many floors full of toys. We did get ideas for the boys but didn't buy anything. You could really spend A LOT of money in that shop. Santa's elves had clearly been doing their job because the choice was amazing and I was glad our kids weren't there else we'd never have got out of the shop! Later the primadonna reared her head again and we took a taxi to the station and caught our train home. I was so relaxed that I forgot the boys homework and their dinner money the next day, it's a miracle they got to school on time.


View of the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Carnaby Street, Covent Garden Christmas Tree and The Ritz decorations

View of Trafalgar Square - and the blue, blue sky!

Me and hubs outside The Stafford Hotel, St James


My feet were soooo aching!


MAC Carnaby Street (not the one I went in)

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