Friday, 29 April 2011

Becca Enigma Palette Swatches

I'd been lusting after Becca's Enigma palette ever since I saw the beautiful promo picture for the Fallen Angel collection a little while ago. I've also come across quite a few blog posts recently and the great reviews and gorgeous swatches have only made me want it more. I finally decided to order myself one at the beginning of the week after having a slight panic attack when I discovered quite a few Becca stockists don't have any left. After frantically searching around online, I was relieved to find that Bath & Unwind still had them in stock, so I quickly parted with my £35.00 and ordered one.

I'd not ordered from Bath & Unwind before but postage was pretty quick and a couple of days later this little thing of beauty turned up in the post:

BECCA Enigma Palette

BECCA Enigma Palette

Becca's description of Enigma; Create a bold, intense, smoky eye with the Limited Edition Enigma Palette. These velvety smooth and highly pigmented powders glide on effortlessly and contain microfine shimmer for the sublets of sheen.

The palette contains two taupey/grey shades (Amure and Surah) and a dark charcoal shade (Silesia). Amure is described as a soft fawn colour and is matt, Surah is described as a mauve/mushroom and is the only shimmery shade of the three, and Silesia is described as a dark smoke.

L-R Amure, Silesia and Surah

 I've only had chance to play with it a couple of times since I got it but I'm really impressed with how beautifully silky and pigmented all of the shades are. They apply amazingly well and blend with absolute ease. Lasting power seems to be fantastic too, no creasing or fading. Amure and Surah both look great on their own and I can create an everyday, fairly natural look quickly and easily with them. Silesia looks lovely when it's used as a liner and I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it would look pretty and create quite an intense smoky eye when used on the the lid. 

As you've probably guessed, I'm over the moon with the Enigma palette. I put off getting it for a while but I'm really glad I finally ordered one because it's something I can see myself reaching for often. I can't wait to play with it some more over the next few days!

Does anyone else have the Enigma palette? What are your thoughts on it?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A little Giveaway!

I thought it was about time I did a little giveaway to say thank you to everyone who reads and comments on the blog. I really appreciate the fact that you lovely ladies take the time to read what I write and I also appreciate all the sweet comments that you leave. So, as a little thank you I've picked up a few goodies that I thought you might like.

Sanctuary Brightening Facial In-A-Box

The Brightening facial in a box set contains everything you need to create your own 30 minute pampering spa treatment at home. You get a Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser, Radiance Exfoliator, a Moisture Boosting Mask, a Brightening Eye gel and an Illuminating Moisture Lotion. I've been loving a few different products from the Sanctuary range recently so I thought this would be a great way for those of you who maybe haven't tried the skin products to give them a go.

Barry M Nail Paints

Strawberry Ice cream and Dusky mauve are both shades I've bought for myself recently. I've already swatched both of them (my bottles, not the ones shown in the photo) in recent posts. They're both lovely shades, particularly Mauve which is apparently a really good dupe of Chanel's Paradoxal.

If you'd like to enter, please make sure you're following via Google friend connect and please leave a comment below along with your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

For an extra entry, post about the giveaway on your blog. Please leave a link if you do this so I know about it.

The Giveaway is international so everyone's welcome to enter and new followers are also welcome.

The Giveaway will close on the 18th of May

Good luck girls!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Quick Dior Loose Powder Review

If you've read any of my previous posts, you may have seen me mention Nars loose powder. I've used it to set my make up for a quite while now and I love the stuff. It finishes my foundation really well, looks natural and I've found a great colour match (two actually, eden and flesh both work for me). My current tub is running low at the moment though so I've been using another powder for the past week in place of it. I purchased Diorskin loose powder a little while ago when I ran out of Nars and decided to give something else a go just in case it worked better for me.

The powder is available in three shades, transparent light, medium and dark. I normally go for the lightest shade available in powders but after swatching what was on offer, medium seemed to be a better match for me. The product comes in a sleek looking plastic sifter tub which is fairly heavy and looks lovely but doesn't seem to work all that well and can be quite messy if you use the lid to dispense product like I do. It also comes with a puff which is nice, really soft and it washes well and lasts ages too.

Dior Loose Powder

The powder itself feels incredibly soft and silky, blends with ease when I swatch it on arm and leaves just a hint of colour. When I use it on my face the result I get it quite different though. The powder still applies as well on my face and feels light weight and soft but doesn't seem to set my foundation well. With Nars loose I get a little bit of extra coverage and my make up looks fresh and even after application. Dior loose offers no additional coverage and I feel as though it leaves my foundation looking slightly patchy and uneven. Medium looks fine when it's first applied but seems to darken quite a lot after I've been wearing it for a couple of hours and has an unattractive orange hue to it, which is not a great look.

I've not had much luck with lasting power or oil control with this stuff either. My oily skin only stays matte for a couple of hours after applying so on top of the orange tint this seems to add to my skin, I also have an incredibly shiny face. Touching up with this is a bit of a disaster too as the powder tends to cake and take off my foundation instead of saving it.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I've only given Dior loose another chance over the past week because my Nars is on it's last legs. After trying the stuff again, I've decided that I really don't like it because it does absolutely nothing for me. The only positive thing I can say about it is, it doesn't break me out. When I pay £26.00 for a product, I expect it to do a little bit more than that though. I think those with drier skins may have more luck with this if they can find a colour match, I've personally given up on it and will be replacing my beloved Nars loose as soon as possible.

What are your favourite loose powders? Have you used Nars before but found something better? Please let me know.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Clarins Truly Matte Foundation Swatches

I've been testing out a new foundation over the past few days (Clarins Truly Matte) which I'm really liking. I'm fairly happy with my current foundation (Clarins Everlasting) but thought I'd give truly matte a go since the weathers starting to get warmer and my skin tends to be really oily in the summer.The base is described as a super-sheer, super-covering stay-fast, oil-free foundation that gives skin a perfect matte finish all day long. Even when it's hot! Coverage is described as medium to full but I'd say it's definitely more medium.

There are only six different shades available (only five at my counter) which seems like a pretty poor selection really, I managed to find quite a good match with Pale Ivory though. It's not a perfect match for my NC15 ish skin tone but it's not bad. The product is fairly runny in consistency and like other Clarins foundations I've tried, quite heavily scented. I actually don't mind this but I know others do. Truly matte seems to apply really well, gives you plenty of time to blend before it starts to dry and feels quite nice on skin too, pretty light weight. Lasting power seems to be great and I've found I need to touch up/blot less when I wear it because my skin stays relatively shine free.

L-R 02 Pale Ivory, 05 Shell, 07 Tender Ivory, 08 Sunlit Beige, 10.5 Apricot

Shade order as above

Overall I really quite like Truly Matte but feel the coverage isn't quite enough for me at the moment. I think I'll be sticking with Everlasting for now and may come back to this when I have slightly less to cover.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic & Skin Repair Moisturiser

I recently wrote a post about Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish which I was sent a sample of to try (Post here). I was really pleased with the way it effortlessly removed my make up without drying my face and also with the positive improvement it had on my acne prone skin, which I'm really battling with at the moment. Last week the lovely Liz Earle PR team kindly sent me the next two steps from the Daily Essentials range, so I ditched my normal skin care products and have been using these in place of them.  

Liz Earle Instant Boost skin tonic is the second step from the daily essentials range and it's described as a heavenly scented, non drying floral tonic which revitalizes, soothes and brightens. It contains a mix of vitamin E, organic Aloe vera and rose scented geranium and is alcohol free.

How to use
Moisten a cotton wool pad and sweep over face and neck every morning and night after cleansing with Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser or using one of our special treatment masks. Whether your skin is dehydrated, oily, dull or congested, the nourishing and brightening botanicals will help to leave your skin feeling soft and looking fresh for longer. It also primes your skin perfectly for your choice of Liz Earle Moisturiser.


A toner is actually something that's been missing from my skin care routine for years. Whenever I see or hear it mentioned, it immediately brings back memories of the horrible burning sensation I've had from using products which are full of alcohol in the past. Instant Boost Skin Tonic is nothing like those products. Instead of burning or stinging, the floral scented liquid cools and soothes and feels lovely and refreshing. As I mentioned at the beginning, my skin is a real nightmare at the moment and some of the blemishes I have are quite sore so the soothing sensation I get from the tonic is really helping to relieve that. I also feel that it's helping to take some of the redness out of them too and is generally helping to calm my skin. 

Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Moisturiser

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser is the third step from the daily essentials range. There are three different varieties available which are aimed at different skin types, I was sent the light version which is suitable for combination and oily skins. It's described as light, gentle and easily absorbed and contains a finely balanced blend of naturally active ingredients including, borage oil (a rich source of the essential fatty acid GLA), echinacea, hops, avocado oil, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and natural antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E to replace lost moisture and help protect your skin.

How to use 

Massage into face and neck, morning and night, after Instant Boost Skin Tonic


Having oily skin has made finding a suitable moisturiser quite challenging for me. I've found it really difficult to find something that adds enough moisture without making my oily skin even more oily. Most products I've tried have either added far too much moisture or not enough which leaves my face feeling dry and uncomfortable. I've used an oil free moisturiser from Peter Thomas Roth for years and have been pretty happy with the results but I sometimes feel as though my skin could do with something a tiny bit more hydrating. 

Liz Earle Skin repair moisturiser

Liz Earle's Skin repair seems to give me that extra bit of hydration I need without making my skin feel greasy or making it look shiny. When I initially tried it, I was slightly worried that it might be too rich for my skin because the product is fairly thick in consistency and feels quite creamy when it's applied. Within a minute or so though, the product seems to disappear completely without leaving any sort of residue and my skin is left feeling hydrated and soft. I'd say it controls oil well throughout the day too and creates an excellent base for make up. Overall I'm really enjoying using this product at the moment. I really like the way it makes my skin feel and I'm completely in love with the scent which is amazing.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic & Skin Repair

I mentioned at the start that I've only been using these products for the past week and I obviously realise that I haven't been using either long enough to see any major results yet. I'm going to continue using both for the next few weeks in place of my usual products and update with results. So far I'm really impressed with the products I've been sent from Liz Earle though. I've really fallen in love with the Cleanse & Polish and I'm thoroughly enjoying using the tonic and skin repair from the range too.

Both products are available from the Liz Earle site. Instant Boost Skin Tonic costs £11.75 for a 200ml bottle and Skin Repair costs £17.60 for a 50ml pump or tube

Has anyone else tried either of these? What are your thoughts on them?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Becca Rosita Glossy Lip tint

Anyone who's read any of my previous posts probably knows I'm pretty much obsessed with Becca cosmetics at the moment. Everything I've purchased from the brand recently I've loved and glossy lip tints are no exception. I managed to pick up Rosita in a sale at the beginning of the year and I've used the shimmery, rosy pink gloss a lot since. 

Becca Rosita Lip Tint

I'm not normally a big fan of shimmery lip products but the sparkles in Rosita are lovely and subtle. The formula is lovely too, really light textured, non sticky and fairly long lasting for a gloss. My only slight gripe with lip tints is the brush. I've had a couple of issues with the bristles getting bent out of shape, which has made the product slightly difficult to apply. I'd much prefer a doe foot applicator but, I'm willing to put up the brush seeing as the formula and colour are so pretty.

Becca Rosita swatch

Thursday, 14 April 2011

3 for 2 offer on Becca at Bath & Unwind

Just spotted this on the Bath & Unwind site and thought I'd post it. There are quite a few different products included in the offer.

Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation

I've never really had much luck with mineral make up/foundations. I've tried quite a few from various different brands and they either look unnatural or shimmery, don't seem to offer enough coverage or they irritate my skin. I'd pretty much given up on mineral foundation but decided to give it one more go last year after I heard about a company called Lily Lolo, a UK based mineral cosmetic brand. Their foundations are free from harsh chemicals, nano particles, parabens, bismuth oxychloride, talc, synthetic dyes, fillers, fragrance and preservatives and come in a fairly large range of shades.

Lily Lolo Foundation

Lily Lolo: Blondie

After trying a couple of sample jars of the foundation, I decided that the shade Blondie was a good match for my skin so I ordered a full size tub. The product comes in a pretty sifter jar which actually works quite well and makes dispensing the right amount of minerals without making a mess fairly easy. The powder is easy to apply and seems to blend well over skin but doesn't seem to offer much in the way of coverage for me. My skin does look more even and less red after using but any blemishes and acne scars are still pretty visible. I've tried concealing before applying foundation but the product doesn't seem to work well over the top of any of my concealers and tends to look quite cakey which is a bit of a shame. I've also found the lasting power to be quite poor on my oily skin and find the product disappears quite quickly and wears unevenly on me.

Lily Lolo: Blondie

On a more positive note, I haven't experienced any skin problems when I've used Lily Lolo like I have with other mineral foundations and the shade range seems to be quite nice. The sample jars the brand offer are a great idea too and are quite a generous size. 

Lily Lolo Foundation in Porcelain and Blondie

I'm a little bit disappointed that the product didn't work for me but I think the reason may be more to do with my skin type and the fact that I always have a lot to cover than with the actual product. I think it would probably work well on skin that's got less flaws to hide than mine and would maybe last better on skin that's less oily. I still love Lily Lolo despite the foundation not working for me, their range of eye shadows are great and really reasonably priced too and other things I've tried from the line have been really nice.

Lily Lolo ingredients

Has anyone tried Lily Lolo? what are your thoughts on it?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Leighton Denny Gelato collection

L-R Berry nice, Lolly pop, Do me a flavour, Sundae girl, Ice to meet you, Inside scoop

I spotted this picture of the gorgeous Leighton Denny gelato spring/summer collection over the weekend and haven't been able to stop looking at the pretty shades. I've not actually tried anything from the brand but I'm always glued to the TV when Leighton's on QVC and I'm always tempted by the lovely colours in his collections. Lolly pop, Do me a flavour and Inside scoop look particularly pretty, think I might have to pick a up a couple of them.

Has anyone tried Leighton Denny polish? What are your thoughts on them?

Peter Thomas Roth Botanical buffing beads review

I'm not really a fan of gritty face scrubs because they always tend to be quite harsh and irritating on my skin. A couple of years ago I discovered chemical exfoliators, mainly glycolic acid products and these seem to work quite well for me. Without exfoliation my skin looks, dull, drab and generally a bit rubbish and I find AHAs really help me deal with the skin issues I have without damaging or tearing my skin like gritty washes do. Last year I was given a bottle of Botanical buffing beads as a Christmas present and despite not being a fan of manual exfoliants I decided to give them a go because I'm a big PTR fan.

About the product 

Botanical Buffing Beads is described as a highly effective, gentle and non abrasive scrub that is suitable for all skin types. The ingredients contain Jojoba Spheres to exfoliate and unclog pores, Aloe Vera to hydrate and Jojoba Oil to breakdown sebum/oil. What you actually get for your money is a clear 250ml, flip top lid bottle of a bright blue liquid/gel with lots of visible grainy bits. The directions on the bottle suggest that you apply the product to fingertips, add water and gently apply to face, chest and body. The label also states that buffing beads are suitable for daily use but suggests using less frequently if you experience any irritation. 

Using it

I started by using them everyday and quickly found that my skin started to dry out so now I tend to use them around once or twice a week and very gently and with very little pressure when I do because of other skin care products I'm using at the moment. I have found the beads/bits to actually be quite gentle on my skin though. They are obviously grainy but are rounded, soft and not sharp in any way like other scrubs I have used in the past. The product has a fresh, clean scent that's not too overpowering or strong and disappears quickly after using. I find an amount about the size of a five pence piece is enough to do my face and neck and the flip top lid makes it easy to dispense just the right amount of product onto fingertips. When mixed with warm water the beads partially dissolve and soften which makes the whole scrubbing action a lot kinder on skin. 


My skin has been better since I added the beads into my skincare routine. My face feels less congested and generally really clean after I use these. They have also helped to smooth the appearance of my skins texture and it feels lovely and soft after using and for this reason I have been tempted to use them more often which I know from experience is not a good idea. If you do have sensitive skin and you overdo it with these they do tend to dry out your face pretty quickly so I find it's best to leave them as a treat and use them just a couple of times a week. Using them in this way also saves the product which at £22.00 is on the pricey side for a face wash.


Buffing beads are overall a nice product that do keep skin smooth without being over drying when used sparingly. The product is definitely one of the best scrubbing/manual exfoliation products I have come across due the gentle beads and excellent product formula and the clean feeling I get after washing with these is lovely!  

Friday, 8 April 2011

Clarins Everlasting Swatches Update

Just a quick post with a few pictures of the Clarins Everlasting swatches I promised last week. I only had time to swatch half of the shades available last time I visited the counter so I've updated with the five darker shades from the range.

Clarins Everlasting L-R 103 Ivory, 104 Cream, 105 Nude, 107 Beige, 108 Sand, 109 Wheat, 110 Honey, 111 Toffee, 112 Amber, 113 Chestnut

As above but with flash

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Avene Rich skin recovery cream review

I normally suffer with oily skin that's prone to blemishes so I tend to stick with moisturisers that are oil free and aimed at my skin type. During the colder, winter months I noticed my skin became a lot drier than is normally is and my usual moisturiser (Peter Thomas Roth oil free) wasn't hydrating my skin enough. After searching around online and on forums to find a suitable replacement I noticed one brand and product in particular had been mentioned a lot. Avene Rich skin recovery cream seemed to be highly recommended for those with skin similar to my own that's in need of some extra hydration.

My skin normally seems to break out at the mere mention of anything that's rich or a cream formula so I was hesitant as to whether this product would be suitable. After doing a little bit more research on the ingredients and opinions of acne prone users I decided to give it a try and hope for the best.

What's it for?

Rich skin recovery cream is from Avenes intolerant skin care range, a range which helps cleanse and moisturise very sensitive, redness prone and reactive skins. It's designed to calm irritation, moisturise and protect and contains only a small number of ingredients which have all been selected for their gentleness. The formula is paraban, preservative, fragrance and colouring agent free. 

Using it

The cream is white in colour and has quite a thick consistency but still has enough slip to apply/rub in with ease. It's described as fragrance free but I still notice a slight delicate scent to it which I think is the Shea. Although it's fairly easy to rub in anyway, I have found that applying on slightly damp skin helps the product to sink in a little bit faster and makes it a little bit more spreadable.  After I've finished applying I'm left with a slightly tacky feeling on my skin for a little while until it sinks right in but this actually feels quite nice and comforting and not greasy or oily in any way. When it has disappeared, I'm left with no visible residue on my face or white marks but my skin does tend to look a little bit more shiny than usual.

Avene Rich skin recovery cream

As I mentioned above I apply a generous amount under my eyes and have found the cream works really well on this area. On days when I feel my skin needs something lighter than this and I use an oil free moisturiser, I still use this as an eye cream because it's really effective. I have also found it works brilliantly as a lip balm, in fact I'd say it's one of the best lip products I've ever used and it works wonders at helping to sooth and hydrate dry or chapped lips. 


One of the main things I was worried about before I purchased and used recovery cream was whether my skin would tolerate a rich cream and if the formula would cause more issues with blemishes. I am pleased to say that since I started using I've had no extra problems with blemishes or blocked pores which really has surprised me. The product has really helped to combat the dryness and irritation I was experiencing and my face looks and feels a lot better because of this. I've noticed any redness in my skin is reduced after using too and my skin also looks plumper and generally healthier which I suppose is mainly due to the fact that it's adequately hydrated. 


I am really pleased with the way recovery cream has dealt with the problem I was experiencing without causing additional problems and I'm also pleased with the added bonus of reduced redness and the fact that it also works as an eye cream and lip balm. I think the cream would be far too hydrating and rich to use on my skin in the summer months but I think I'll be keeping a tube handy for eyes and lips and will come back to this during the winter.

Does anyone have any favourites from Avene?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Clarins Everlasting Foundation Swatches

A few weeks ago I posted a little bit about a foundation I'm really loving at the moment, Clarins Everlasting. It's a medium to full coverage base that's designed to be long lasting and natural looking and I have to say, it's really good stuff. I've been using it for the past few months and love the excellent coverage it gives and how light weight it feels when I'm wearing it. I'm also really impressed with the fact that it hasn't irritated my fussy skin or caused any issues with break outs. I only posted a swatch of the colour I'm currently using (105 Nude) when I wrote about it and thought it might be helpful to swatch a few of the other shades on offer so I stopped by at the Clarins counter today.

L-R 103 Ivory, 104 Cream, 105 Nude, 107 Beige, 108 Sand

L-R 109 Wheat, 110 Honey, 111 Toffee, 112 Amber, 113 Chestnut

Has anyone else tried Everlasting? What are your thoughts on it?
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