Tuesday, 30 April 2013

NOTD Butter London Teddy Girl & An Attempt At Some Nail Art

A quick post on one of the shades I mentioned in a recent pink polish post, Butter London's Teddy Girl. I've been really into pink nail colours lately and Teddy Girl, which is a milky, opaque pink has been one of my favourites. 

It's not the easiest of shades to apply and I find it takes three coats of colour to get an even finish. I think it's worth it though, as it's a pretty shade.  

I actually painted my nails with Teddy Girl on Saturday and came across a watercolour nail art post on Makeup Savvy on Sunday, which I decided to try. I'm normally quite rubbish at any sort of nail art, but the tutorial and instructions looked easy enough, so I got out a few more Butter London shades and gave it a go. 

The whole sandwich bag/smooshing process was easy enough, but the end result wasn't quite as pretty as results posted in the tutorial.....

I'm not really sure where I went wrong, but the effect doesn't look half as good the result in the tutorial (it does look a bit better from a distance). Maybe I need to use less polish next time, or practice my smooshing technique? Anyway, although my attempt didn't look quite pretty as I was hoping, I have to say, I'm quite liking the whole watercolour effect, and will definitely be giving it another go/practicing with some different colour combinations.

Also, I just wanted to say that the Clarins Lipstick giveaway is now closed. The winner will chosen using random.org tomorrow, and the original post will be updated with the winners name. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Few Favourite Pink Nail Colours

In a recent Spring Shades post, I mentioned how much I've been enjoying pastel colours for nails lately and talked about a few shades in particular that I've been sporting on nails over the past month or so. There's another colour I've loving lately as well though, pink, so I thought I'd do a little post on some favourites/shades that have made an appearance recently. 

Butter London's Primrose Hill Picnic, Rose Insolent and Lolly Pop look quite similar in the nail wheel swatches, but they're all different. Primrose Hill Picnic is a bright, opaque fuchsia creme. Chanel Rose Insolent is a medium, rosy pink. And Lolly Pop is similar to Rose insolent, but is brighter and has a touch of red in it. They're all quite bright, summery pinks, but as soon as the sun makes an appearance, these sorts of colours are the first I reach for.

The softer pinks I've been liking a lot are Butter London's Teddy Girl, which is a milky, opaque pale pink and OPI's Bubble Bath, which is more of a nude with tiny hint of pink. Bubble Bath has actually been a favourite for a while. It's the shade I reach for when I don't fancy colour on my nails, but want them to look clean and fresh. Essie's Vanity Fairest is another favourite, soft pink, too.

All of the swatches above are with two coats of colour apart from Bubble Bath and Teddy Girl. Bubble Bath is quite sheer after two coats, so I normally add a third, and I find application with Teddy Girl to be a bit uneven, so it takes three coats of colour to get a completely even, streak free finish. The three brighter shades all apply perfectly.

So, those are a few of the pink nail colours that I've been reaching for a lot lately. When having a bit of hunt through the collection, I was quite surprised at how many fuchsias and bright rose shades I've actually managed to collect over the past few years and don't think I'll be adding to the stash for a little while. I do have my eye on Chanel's Rose Confidentiel, though which looks like a pretty, medium rose pink with a jelly-like finish - a really lovely colour! 

Are you a fan of pink polish? Any favourite shades?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Alpha H Micro Cleanse

When it comes to exfoliating, I've sat happily in the chemical exfoliating camp for quite some time. I first discovered the wonders of glycolic acid around 6 years ago when I added Peter Thomas Roth's Acne Clearing gel to my routine and for quite some time after, I paid hardly any attention at all to manual exfoliators/scrubs. That was until I purchased a sampler kit from Alpha H about a year ago, which happened to contain a generous trial sized tube of their Micro Cleanse, and since giving the stuff a go, I've been completely hooked. 

Micro Cleanse is a granulated exfoliant, which is formulated with micro beads and 12% glycolic acid to remove impurities from pores and exfoliate dead skin cells. It also contains cucumber and refreshing mint, which according to Alpha H banish signs of stress and fatigue. Micro Cleanse has been part of my routine for around a year now, and while I'm not sure about the stress and fatigue banishing claims, I can say that this stuff works wonders in the exfoliating department. 

I've been using the scrub which has quite a thick, creamy consistency 2-3 times a week on thoroughly cleansed/clean skin. Alpha H recommend using two to three times a week on normal, combination and oily skin types (mine's combination), and once a week on more sensitive skins. They also recommend mixing with your cleanser if you have a more delicate skin type. You are warned on the back of the tube that a mild tingling sensation may be experienced when using Micro Cleanse, and I have to say, I do get a slight tingle when I use it. It is mild though, and it actually feels quite nice, not uncomfortable or unpleasant. 

The minty scented scrub feels quite cooling and the micro beads, which aren't overly gritty do a fantastic job at removing dead skin cells and smoothing any dry areas that I happen to have going on. After I've finished gently scrubbing, I let the exfoliant sit for a few minutes while the glycolic acid works it's magic and gently remove with a warm, damp muslin cloth. After rinsing off, my skin feels incredibly smooth and clean and whatever serum or moisturiser I decide to stick on after sinks in beautifully. The combination of the micro beads and glycolic acid really do work together amazingly well, and since adding Micro Cleanse to my routine, I've definitely seen an improvement in blocked pores and texture. 

Overall, it's an excellent product that does exactly what it promises without being harsh or drying. I love the instant results I get after a gentle scrubbing session with it and it's a product that I really do look forward to/enjoy using. I'm currently making my way through a mini 30ml tube that I picked up recently with another Alpha H set. When I've finished my current tube though, I will definitely be investing in a full size tube, which costs around £24.00. Not bad really considering you get 100mls of product and a little bit of scrub goes a long way.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Shopping The Stash For Spring Shades

The weather has finally started to warm up here over the past week or so and we've had a few lovely, sunny days, so I've been shopping the stash for Spring shades. I've been sporting Springy pastel colours on my nails for the past month now, but the warmer weather has had me digging out similar Spring like shades for eyes, cheeks and lips, too.

I haven't done a monthly favourites post for a while, so I thought I'd share some of the colours I've dug out of the collection. Some of these are products I've mentioned quite a few times (Vicuna & Jersey Rose), and some are fairly new additions/purchases.

Laura Mercier Sweetheart Lip Glace, Chanel's Jersey Rose & Revlon Peach Parfait Lip Butter

My berry and sheer red lip colours that I've loved so much over the last few months have been swapped for lighter peaches and pinks. Chanel's Jersey Rose, which is a perfect mix of peach and pink has been a shade I've been reaching for a lot, as is Revlon's Peach Parfait. I've also been really liking Laura Mercier's Sweetheart Lip glace, which is a delicate pinky peach that adds a hint of glossy colour to lips.

Chanel Orchid Rose, Diorshow Catwalk Pink, Becca Vicuna Eye Tint & MAC's Yogurt

I've also been favouring peaches and pinks on cheeks lately. Chanel's Orchid Rose and Diorshow Catwalk Pink are a couple of colours I've fished out and have been wearing quite a lot. Orchid Rose is one of those shades that looks a bit drab and boring in the pan, but it adds beautiful hint of peachy colour to cheeks and the shimmer in the shade creates a lovely glow. Catwalk Pink is quite a bright pale pink that actually looks surprisingly natural on - it's quite fresh and creates a lovely, believable flush of colour. 

I'm still completely in love with the NARS And God created the Woman palette I picked up last month and have been reaching for it almost everyday, but I have also been wearing Becca's Vicuna Eye Tint and MAC's Yogurt. Vicuna is a soft champagne shade that adds a hint of subtle colour to lids and creates a lovely base for other shades, and Yogurt is a pretty, matte, pale pink. Both create a lovely wash of natural colour and work well with a variety of different shadows and shades.

Butter London Teddy Girl & Fiver & Leighton Denny Whatever

I've gone a bit mad on the pastel/spring nail colours this year and have been loving the shades I picked up from Butter London's Sweetie Shop collection. Out of the six colours from the collection, Fiver has been the one I've reached for the most. It's a minty green that's fresh, pretty and perfect for Spring. Butters Teddy Girl, which is a white based, pale pink has also been a favourite, and I've been liking Leighton Denny's Whatever a lot, too.

Top-Bottom: Fiver, Whatever & Teddy Girl

Some swatches of the blush colours and Vicuna. Orchid Rose still looks a bit drab swatched on my arm - it's much prettier blended out on the face.

And some swatches of yogurt and the lip colours I've been loving.

Has Spring sprung where you are yet? 
Are there any particular shades you've been reaching for lately?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Few April Wishlist Goodies


NARS Ethno Run Duo - I'm actually liking the look of almost all of the pairs/nail polish duos from the NARS Pierre Hardy Nail Polish collection, but the Ethno Run Duo which contains a bright orange creme and a dark navy blue looks particularly appealing. The collector in me loves the idea of the mini shoe box and dust bag these come with, too.

Armani Fluid Sheer No 6 - Armani have recently expanded their Fluid Sheer range and have added 6 new lovely colour options to the existing shade range. I'm currently lusting after no 6, which is a beautiful, translucent coral colour that I reckon would make a pretty, very natural summery blush. Swatches here.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder -I've been eyeing one of these since they started popping up on blogs a few months ago and have been stalking Zuneta and Space NK. I spotted Space NK now have them in stock, so I just need to decide on which option/colour to go with.

Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray - I've been hunting around for a decent product to add volume to my fine, flat hair recently and have come across some really positive reviews for Bumble & Bumble's Thickening Hairspray. I've tried a few different things from the brand over the last few months and have been pleased with all of them, so I'm dying to give this stuff a go.

Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm - I'm a sucker for lipstick/gloss hybrids and have become slightly obsessed with Clarins lip products lately, so these are right up my alley. Clarins claim these give the colour of a lipstick, the transparency of a gloss and the comfort of a balm, which sounds absolutely perfect to me. There are four, pretty shades available, but Crystal Rose is the colour that's caught my eye. 

I hope everyone's having a nice weekend.

Space NK Voucher Code: £10 off of £40 Orders


This popped up in my inbox this morning; Space NK are currently offering £10.00 off when you spend £40.00 with the voucher code discover 14. The code is valid from today and expires on the 25/04/13.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Make Up Storage

I decided to give my makeup storage a bit of a spring clean last weekend and since I absolutely love reading storage posts and having a nose at other peoples storage solutions, I decided to take a few photos and thought I'd do a little post of my own.

Most of my makeup has lived in these two Ikea Fira Mini chests for the past few years. I think these were actually discontinued a couple of years ago, but they've been replaced with these very similar Moppe Boxes. Before I bought them, most of my makeup was scattered around in various different drawers and boxes, so I was looking for something inexpensive to organise and tidy everything up and I have to say, these have worked quite well for me.

They're not the prettiest of storage solutions and I had a few issues getting all of the pieces to fit together snugly (my DIY skills could be to blame), but a good sanding session and a couple of coats of cream paint tidied them up nicely.

The six large and three mini drawers comfortably fit all the products I use on a regular basis. In fact, I was quite surprised at how much these do hold when I emptied them to reorganise. The drawers are quite large and deep enough to fit most of the bottles, compacts and tubs I have. The only thing I haven't managed to fit in is my La Mer powder, which is housed in a ridiculously large jar.

The skincare products I'm currently using live on top of the boxes in a basket. Not the tidiest of solutions, but everything's easy to see and grab when I need it. I tend to forget about things if I hide them away in cupboards and drawers, so the basket works for me.

I used to keep all of my brushes in these square glass vases, which I also picked up from Ikea, but I found the clean ones that I don't reach for often were getting a bit dusty, so I only keep out the brushes I use regularly now. The rest are stored away in a little box.The vase is filled with rice which actually does a pretty good job at keeping them all upright.

I have a bit of a habit of collecting/keeping jars and pots because they're handy for storing random bits and bobs. An old glass candle jar makes a nice little lipstick holder.

And finally, a little photo of the nail polish shelf. I didn't take a picture of the whole thing because I repainted it last weekend and haven't had chance to rehang it yet. As with the skincare products, I tend to forget about things if I stash them away, so having a selection of shades where I can see them works well for me. The shelf doesn't hold all of my nail colours, but it holds a good 40 bottles or so.

So that's how I currently store my make up. The Fira boxes were only supposed to be a temporary solution, but they've ended up working quite well. I'd eventually like to get some sort of dressing table with drawers, but for now the boxes store everything nicely. I think I could do with grabbing a few drawer tidies/dividers for them, though.

How do you store your make up?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer: 001 Ivory

Those of you who read regularly may have spotted me having a little moan about my puffiness and dark circle issues that popped up last year. I've already talked about a few products I've discovered which have helped reduce puffiness and I've also mentioned Dior's Sculpt Concealer in a couple of posts, but I thought it deserved a little post/review of it's own, as I really am quite impressed with this stuff. 

Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer

Dior's Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer is described as a unique line-diminishing, lifting concealer, which smooths features and leaves the eye area visibly refreshed and rejuvenated. According to Dior, with daily use, telltale signs of fatigue diminish and the complexion becomes more radiant and even. I've been using Sculpt for around 6 months now, and while I'm not sure about the more radiant, line reducing and even skin claims, I will say that Dior's Lifting Concealer has become a firm favourite in the dark circle camouflaging department, as it does a great job at covering darkness and reducing the appearance of puffiness. 

The shade range is rather limited with only 3 different colours to choose from (Ivory, Beige & Honey). I went with the lightest option 001- Ivory, which is actually a pretty good match for my NC15ish skin tone. The product is packaged in a handy, travel-friendly tube and comes with a doe-foot applicator which dispenses product well. 

Texture-wise, Dior Sculpt feels slightly thicker than other under eye concealers I've tried and it feels quite creamy, but not thick. I find a few tiny spots of product is all that's needed to cover my moderate dark circles, the formula is buildable though and I can add a second layer for extra coverage without ending up with a cakey finish. I apply a small amount with the doe-foot wand and gently dab product into skin or use a small concealer brush to blend. I actually prefer to use fingers, but either application method creates a nice finish, and the product does a brilliant job at covering up my dark circles and reducing the look of any puffiness that I happen to have going on. 

Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer: 001-Ivory

While I do like Dior's Sculpt for the natural looking, decent coverage it offers, it's not the main reason I've been loving this stuff so much over the past 6 months. The thing that I like the most about Sculpt is the fact that unlike other under eye concealers I've tried, it doesn't settle into and emphasize fine lines. Creasing has been quite a big problem for me with almost all of the other dark circle cover ups I've tested, but Dior's Sculpt seems to hold up and stays put really well throughout the day. It keeps darkness nicely concealed and it feels comfortable and quite hydrating and light weight, too. I have also tried it out on redness and blemishes and it does an okay job at concealing both (it works better at camouflaging redness), but I prefer something slightly thicker like MUFE Full Cover or Vichy's Corrective Foundation to cover spots or acne scars. 

Dior Sculpt: 001 Ivory, MUFE Full Cover 4 & Vichy Corrective Foundation: Opal

Above, Ivory swatched next to Make Up For Ever's Full Cover no 4 and Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation in number 15 Opal to give an idea of the colour.

Overall, I think Dior's Sculpt Concealer is great stuff and is something I will definitely be repurchasing in the future. My only slight gripe with the product is the limited shade range, which might be a problem for some and the price, which is a bit steep at £17.85 for a 6ml tube (Escentual). To be fair though, I have had my tube for a while now and it's still going strong, because only a teeny tiny amount of product is needed to conceal dark circles. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

NOTD Ciate Sand Dune Paint Pot

I decided to give one of the shades I picked up with this month's issue of Marie Claire a go yesterday. Until quite recently, I completely bypassed nail colours with any sort of shimmer or glitter, but after adding a few sparkly colours to my collection, I have to say, I'm actually quite liking shimmery shades at the moment. 

Ciate Paint Pot: Sand Dune

Ciate Sand Dune

Sand Dune is described as a glistening gold on the Ciate site, which it most certainly is. It's a pretty, shiny pound coin kinda gold shot through with tiny shimmers. 

Ciate Sand Dune (3 Coats)

It took three coats of colour to get a completely opaque finish, but the formula is excellent and I had zero application issues. I've actually found this to be the case with all of the Ciate shades I've tried - they all seem to apply brilliantly and wear well, too. I added a coat of my regular topcoat over the shade (Seche), but the finish still felt really smooth and looked quite glossy without.

Overall, a nice shade and one I imagine will look pretty during the summer with a bit of a tan. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Clarins Giveaway!

I spotted that Raspberry Rouge was two years old last week, so to celebrate and as a little thank you to everyone who reads and follows I thought I'd have a little giveaway. I've chosen something that I've really been enjoying myself recently, a Clarins Satin Finish Age-Defying Lipstick in the shade of your choice

There are 15 pretty shades to choose from, which are pictured below, you can take a closer look at the colours here, though. 

If you'd like to enter, please make sure you're following via Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin (buttons on the right), and please leave a comment below telling me which shade you'd pick if you win along with an e-mail address, so I'm able to contact you should you be the winner. You can gain an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway (please let me know if you do).

The giveaway is international, so everyone's welcome to enter, and the winner will be chosen on the 30th of April using random.org. A big thank you to everyone who reads and good luck! 

The giveaway is now closed and the lucky winner is glitterbaby40. Congratulations! An e-mail will be making it's way to you shortly.

A big thank you to everyone who entered and again, thank you to everyone who reads and takes the time to comment. There will be more giveaways coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more goodies.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Free Ciate Nail Colours with This Month's Marie Claire

A quick post on another magazine freebie. Marie Claire are currently giving away a full size bottle of Ciate nail polish with the May issue of the magazine. There are two different colours to collect (worth £9.00 each), Sand Dune and Pocket Money.

Ciate Sand Dune 085 & Pocket Money 107

Ciate Sand Dune & Pocket Money

Sand Dune is a pretty, shimmery gold and Pocket Money is a creamy fudge shade. I haven't done a full mani with either of the colours yet, but I have done some nail swatches and they both apply really well. To be honest, though, all the colours I've tried from the brand have been great in terms of application and finish, and all of the shades I've tried seem to wear well, too.

Top: 3 Coats of Sand Dune & Bottom: 2 coats of Pocket Money

The May issue of Marie Claire is out now and costs £3.80. There's also a free 25ml tube of Jergens Ultra Healing Body Moisturiser included with the magazine, and a discount code for 20% off at Ciate. 

Hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Burberry Lip Glow: No19 Mallow Pink

Lip gloss is something I've not really paid much attention to for a little while. I've never been a huge gloss fan, as I'm not overly keen on the tacky/sticky texture and feel most of them leave on lips, but I do have a few favourites from various different brands. Over the past few months I've been favouring sheer lipsticks (Coco Shines & Chante's Lip Chics have both been favourites) that add a hint of colour and hydration to my dry, winter lips, but when I stumbled upon pretty swatches of Burberry's Spring Lip Glows, I completely fell in love with Mallow Pink and decided to order a tube. 

Burberry Lip glow No19 Mallow Pink

Burberry No19 Mallow Pink

A few Burberry goodies have been sitting on the wishlist for a while, but Mallow is the first thing I've ordered from the brand's cosmetic range and I have to say, I absolutely love the packaging. The sleek, weighty tube and checked lid are a real thing of beauty, as is the shade, which I'd describe as a vibrant, almost florescent red pink. Mallow's actually a bit more pigmented than I was expecting, but it can be applied sheerly/with a light hand for a more natural, less dramatic hint of colour. The shade does contain some very fine gold shimmers but they're barely noticeable on lips and create more of a glow than a frosty or shimmery finish. 

Burberry Mallow Pink

Texture wise, I find Mallow to be quite thick and almost gel-like, but it's definitely not overly sticky or gloopy. The doe foot wand does a pretty good job at picking up an adequate amount of product and applying colour evenly and the gloss feels quite creamy, smooth and really comfortable. Actually, I'd say Burberry's Lip Glows are among the most comfortable glosses I've tried and lasting power isn't bad either. Mallow seems to hold up for a good 2-3 hours on my lips and leaves behind a pretty, subtle stain as it fades. According to Burberry, the Lip Glow formula contains oils and ceramides that are supposed to hydrate and plump lips and I must say, I do find the formula leaves my lips feeling quite soft and lightly moisturised. 

Burberry No19 Mallow Pink

Above: Mallow swatched on my NC15 ish arm. A couple of layers applied on the left and the colour sheered out on the right. And below, a photo of what Mallow looks like on my fairly pigmented lips. You can just about make out the fine, gold shimmer.

Mallow Pink Applied

Overall, I'm really impressed with the Lip Glow formula. The gel-like texture, comfortable feel and pretty, incredibly shiny finish are lovely. I'm also completely in love with Mallow, which seems like a perfect Summer shade, and one I imagine I'll be reaching for a lot as the weather warms up. If you're into bright lip colours and like your glosses more pigmented, I think Mallow is definitely worth checking out. 

Available from John Lewis (£18.50 for a 6ml tube)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Free Aromatherapy Associates Products With May's Issue Of Red

Red are currently giving away Aromatherapy Associates products with this month's issue of the magazine. There are three different products to collect (worth over £50) from the Hydrating Rose range; A 30ml Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser, a 30ml Hydrating Triple Rose Renewing Moisturiser, and a 50ml tube of the brand's Hydrating Rose Face Mask.

I picked up a copy yesterday with a tube of the Rose Face Mask, which is described as a deeply hydrating mask to restore moisture to dry skin. I haven't tried it yet, but I must say, it smells absolutely amazing, and I'm really looking forward to giving it a go. Unfortunately, the two other products weren't available at my local shop, but I may have a hunt around for the cleanser tomorrow, as it sounds lovely! 

The May issue of Red is available now and costs £4.00.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Currently Lusting After: Green Eye Make Up & Nail Colours

Ever since emerald was announced as the Pantone colour of the year, I've found myself browsing through possible green goodies and jewel tone shades to add to my collection. I'll be honest, green's not really a colour I'm normally attracted to, especially when it comes to make up, but after coming across various different posts on pretty colours and products, the colour's really grown on me and I've been on the hunt for vibrant, green and emerald make up shades. Below are a few of the products that have caught my eye.

1 - Clinique Chubby Stick Eye shadow in Mighty Moss 
2 - Estee Lauder Extreme Emerald 
3 - MAC Steamy Eye Shadow 
4 - Bobbi Brown Ivy Shimmer Ink 
5 - Stila Liquid Liner in Moss 
6 - Butter London Thames 
7 - Illamasqua Viridian 

Much as I love the look of all the shades above, I do tend to be a bit scared of colour, so I think a nail polish or liner might be the way to go. I tend to be a bit more adventurous with nail polish shades and a hint of green liner seems a lot less scary than a shadow, so I may treat myself to Bobbi Brown's Ivy Shimmer Ink or Illamasqua's Viridian this month and work my way up to the more vibrant shadows that I've been eyeing. 

Will you be wearing green eye or nail colours this year? Do you have any favourite emerald shadows or nail colours?
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