Friday, 30 November 2012

New love/ hate foundation

After a string of disastrous foundation buys I think I have finally found one that is my friend!

Like most girls foundation is the bane of my life! You're extremely lucky if you find a foundation that works for you on every level and up until a couple of days ago I thought I would never find mine. In the past week I have bought and tried two, yes two different foundations and I can tell you now I wont be buying another for quite some time!

Not so long ago I discovered the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation and Fix & Perfect primer which I thought were pretty good for a reasonably priced (£8.99) make up brand. I liked the illuminating-ness of the Wake Me Up, it really did give my skin a lovely glow and it wasn't too heavy. As I ran out of pretty much everything at the end of October I was once again on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Although I liked the Wake Me Up I didn't feel any great attachment to it and was quite happy to give something else a try.

This is when my best friend said she had bought the Maybelline Fit Me foundation and absolutely loved it! I thought bingo this could be the one, there are so many different shades and the concept of how you chose the right one for you sounded pretty good to me. The idea is that you decide whether you have a fair, medium or dark skin tone, then whether you have pink or yellow undertones. I've always thought I had pink undertones to my skin as I go red very easily and I always have a slightly flushed complexion.

So I ended up with 125, I bought the foundation (£7.99) and the pressed powder (£5.99) as they were on buy one get one 1/2 price in Boots. Right from the first time I used this foundation I knew it wasn't for me, the colour match was all wrong and it just felt really cakey and thick. It never really absorbed into my skin so it felt tacky all day, and I always sweep a little over my lids to stop me looking like I have white rings around my eyes, but this foundation made me feel like I couldn't even blink! I quite liked the powder to start off with but I always use the powder to set my foundation, and even with this over the top the foundation became patchy as I touched my face. Not good!

So there I was again on the hunt for the perfect foundation, I had recently read a review by Hannah from A Little Beauty Spot on the Bobbi Brown stick foundations. She gave them a glowing review and they sounded exactly what I was looking for.

So off I popped to the Trafford Centre (as you do) and straight to the Bobbi Brown counter in Selfridges, I told them I had oily skin and I was looking for something long wearing and light. Initially she said the Longwearing Even Finish liquid foundation was the most suitable for me, but I was a little dubious after my last experience of liquid foundation. I let her do a colour test anyway, which ended up being a mini make over, and I quite liked it. I decided to go for it but alas they did not have my shade in that particular foundation, so I asked about the stick. Straight away the girls eyes lit up like I'd said the magic word, she was very enthusiastic about the product telling me how versatile it was, as you can build the coverage without the colour changing and going that awful orangey colour. I was sold, give me two I said, no not really not at £28 a go.

I'm really glad they didn't have the liquid foundation in my shade now as after a couple of hours wearing it I decided that although it was nice it wasn't really for me, it still felt a bit thick. The stick on the other hand is as light as air and I can build coverage in my problem areas and leave it lighter in other areas. It is a perfect match to my skin tone and I have had lots of compliments, my boss literally could not stop looking at my face, I was beginning to wonder how awful I must have looked before!

If you are looking for a new foundation and are willing to spend a little extra I would definitely get yourself down to the Bobbi Brown counter. They have something for everyone and don't be afraid of trying something new like the stick, you never know you might like it as much as I do.

Bobbi Brown bases at Harvey Nichols Manchester

Thursday, 29 November 2012

My 1st Bloggers Meet

On Tuesday night I attended my very first bloggers event, I am now officially a fully fledged blogger! I was really excited about this event as I had spoken to so many nice bloggers over twitter and I couldn't wait to put a face to a name. I was a little nervous as I am extremely shy in situations where I don't know anyone and I'm not the best at making conversation, but I forced myself out of my comfort zone by going to this event and I'm so glad I did!
The event was at the very swanky Harvey Nichols in Manchester, as I walked through the very sparkly front entrance I immediately saw a group of bloggers and decided to introduce myself and see if I could make some friends to tag along with, so I wasn't wandering around aimlessly on my own. These bloggers were Vicki from Lets Talk Beauty, Anastasia from Dainty Desires, Danielle from Miss Danielle and Hannah from Palindrome Poppet again I am so glad I did this as I met some lovely girls who didn't mind having me follow them around and I also discovered so excellent new blogs to follow : )
As we all arrived we were given a glass of bubbly and a lovely little goodie bag that was full of samples (mainly perfumes), there was a representative at each of the product stands and a few of the brands were giving demonstrations and talks about their products. I was especially interested to hear all about the Bobbi Brown range as I had just purchased a few bits earlier that day (review coming soon).

They talked all about how good their bases were, which was good as that's what I had bought, and that for winter it's all about the bold lip shades. She demonstrated on Chelsea from Through Chelsea's Eyes, who looked a little nervous about having such a dark colour on her lips but I think she really suited it.

I decided to have a little try of the Stilla smudge sticks as I have them on my Christmas list but haven't actually tried them out, their make up artist did a 'smoke' eye on me using the black. This is the look I usually try to create myself when I'm going on a night out, I have to say I never usually go as dark as what she had done but I really liked it. What do you think?

There was so many lovely things, but I was extremely good and didn't buy a thing! I did see lots of things I could get as presents though so I will be making a trip back to Harvey Nichols at the weekend.

One product I was particularly interested in was the Rodial Glamoxy Snake Mask, this product looked and sounded amazing!
"Rodial Glamoxy™ Snake Mask is an innovative black ‘peel off’ formula that visibly improves skin radiance and texture, whilst helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines. Containing liquorice to help brighten skin tone and enriched minerals deep cleanse and purify pores to remove excess oil, dirt and impurities."  
The rep sold this as a non invasive alternative to Botox, as there is a poison or a venom in it that penetrates the skin and paralyses the muscles slightly, sounds a bit scary I know but it obviously doesn't have the lasting effects of Botox injections and isn't as strong. There will still be movement of the face it will just be a little slower to react, or that's what I took from the talk anyway. The only downside is that it's £68 for 50ml, definitely not an everyday face mask.
My absolute favourite thing in the store was not actually a product, but the most beautiful snow globe I have ever seen! Over at the Chanel counter they were matching you up with the perfect red lipstick, I'm not a fan of red on myself so I just watched a few others have their's done. However I did spot this little beauty...

All I can say is I want one!

There were so many other gorgeous things I think the best way to tell you about them is to show you...



Apologies for the picture quality, my camera batteries went and had to use my phone : (

Monday, 26 November 2012

November Favourites

I have been planning to do a favourites post, well since the beginning of November, as I have been using some really great products that I couldn't wait to share with you all. Then whilst reading some of my favourite blogs I came across a post by Kayleigh from Couture Girl about a new site called Beautysets, a site that is perfect for such posts as favourites or wish lists.

I'm obviously new to the site but from what I can gather it is a lot like Pinterest but for blogs, you create an account and use it to put mood boards, wish lists, favourites, look books etc. together (like pin boards). The best bit about using this site to put your lists together is that you can transform them so they look like a page taken straight out of a magazine. You can upload your own images or, like with Pinterest, you can 'clip' images from websites as you browse using the 'Beauty Clip' function. Then when you decide you want to use them you just drag them onto your 'set', easy!

So here's my first attempt...

Beautysets - November favourites
MUA Constellation - Scorpio
Another amazing product from MUA, the nail constellation is a dupe of Ciate's Caviar manicure, I would say looks just as effective but a steal at only £3!
L'Oreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Crystal Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm pretty picky about my shampoo and conditioner and don't tend to change products very often, but when I went shopping they didn't have my usual Herbal Essences so I decided to give these a try, as lets face it they are pink and sparkly. When I first smelt it out of the bottle I didn't think much of it (as I was used to the super strong scent of HE), but on the first day after use I kept getting a whiff of this amazing smell. I kept smelling the things around me wondering what the hell it was, then I bent down and my hair fell in my face at which point I realised that was what I could smell. I makes my hair feel super glossy and shiny and has an amazing scent, I will definitely be buying this again!
Bioderma Sebium H2O
I am absolutely in love with this cleanser, I was given this as a gift and I was over the moon after reading such good things about it to finally have it in my hands. I have the Sebium which is for combination/oily skin and it has worked like magic on clearing up my oily t. zone. Make up now stays put all day and I am nowhere near as shiny as I used to be, I am also not getting as many spot as I was, but if I do get a spot I just used the next product on my favourites list...
This product is absolutely amazing at clearing up spot and also stopping them from breaking out, I wont say too much about this product as I have been doing a little tracking exercise so that I can show you the full effects in my review coming soon. But basically it's amazing, I will be buying it again and again.
BlanX Classic Whitening Toothpaste
I love this product, it is hands down one of the best whitening toothpastes on the market (I may be a little bias). It's really gentle on your teeth as it has almost zero abrasiveness and it really does make a difference to the whiteness of your teeth, you wont get that Hollywood smile but what's natural about that?! This is the 75ml tube, it's a little cheaper than the pump variants of the BlanX products found in Boots. I am giving a whole bundle of this stuff away at the moment so check out my giveaway post, competition ends on 30/11/12.
Lily Flame Candle - Fairy Dust
I am not really one for filling the house with candles, I think they look beautiful when I see them in other peoples homes but I can never be bothered lighting them. I picked up this one in Waitrose whilst browsing their home section and I just couldn't put it down again, it smells incredible, if fairy dust existed and had a smell this would definitely be it! It smells like glitter if you know what I mean. Lily Flame do a whole range of amazing smelling candles in a tin, I really like the Christmas scents like Snowflake, yes it smells like snow or how snow should smell.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my first favourites post and are impressed with my handy work on Beautysets, it is well worth the look, I think it can definitely help bring your posts to life.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

New look, new name :)

Sooooo as you can see I've not only changed the look of my blog, again, I have also had a rename.

My first name 'From Beyond the Blog' was a bit of a rush job and I never really felt attached to it or that it represented me and what I blog about very well. I have been thinking about a name change for a while but nothing really stuck, until about a week ago 'Belles and Bows' came into my head. I thought about it for a few days to see if I went off it or thought of something else, but I didn't so I decided to go for it.

I hope you all like the new name and I haven't caused too much confusion or messed up any links. I promise I won't do it again :) although I can't say the same about the layout :) x

Friday, 23 November 2012

It's in the bag!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I love handbags, all kinds of handbags. Big ones, small ones, shoulder ones, clutch ones, sparkly ones, leather ones, designer ones and cheap ones, I just love bags!! Now my babies are bigger and I'm back at work I no longer need to be tied to my Cath Kidston nappy bag, instead I get to use all the lovely lady bags I want!

I've been meaning to write a post about my most recent bag purchase, originally because it was such a bargain! However things have changed a little since I first bought this bag and I no longer feel the same way about this bargain bag as I first did.

The bag itself is tan coloured, over sized, faux leather with black piping around the base and handles, which have a really nice plait detailing and the inside has a lovely faux suede lining. I had been looking for something of this description for a long time so whilst leisurely browsing the clothing department in Sainsbury's, yes that's right Siansbury's, this caught my eye. It was exactly what I had been looking for and at a bargain price of £18! If I thought that was a bargain price then I was even more surprised when I got to the till and found there was 20% off so it was £13.50!!!

As you can see it has plenty of room inside, in fact it has a bit too much room if that's possible, it's impossible to find anything in it!

So here's a look at what's actually in my bag, you can see where all areas of my life cross and are stored in my bag, I have the spare dummy and random Happy Meal toy (Mummy), the personal organiser and note pad (career woman) and the make up bag and Cosmo mag (beauty lover) and lets face it everyone needs an umbrella (and a purse of course)!

It doesn't look like much does it and you must be thinking how hard could it be to find a personal organiser? Well let me tell you in this bag very! I don't know why this is but whenever I delve into this bag, whatever it is I am trying find is the only thing I don't pull out, and I may as well forget it when it comes to answering my phone, so I have taken to just holding it in my hand. I always have a note pad on hand in case I have a thought whilst out and about or I see something in the news that I think will come in handy, I can just jot it down, plus being a busy Mum I only have so much memory and most things go in one ear and out of the other if I don't write it down. I also usually have a magazine on hand so I always have something to read if I find myself with a spare 5 minutes and I get lots of inspiration for blog posts from magazines. I always carry my full make up bag around with me too, as you never know when you will need a touch up and you can guarantee if I don't have it all the one thing I need will be the one thing I don't have.

Here's a quick peek at my make up bag but I'll leave the full autopsy for another time...

What's your favourite kind of bag and what do you always carry with you?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

New Look Blog...

So as you can see my blog has had a bit of a revamp, I have to admit I'm not entirely sure I love it just yet and I would really appreciate any feedback.

This all came about because I was trying to find out how to get the cute little social media icons on my side bar that I have seen on tons of blog recently. I tried to find out during a couple of #bblogger chats but no luck there, I did however have a couple of people say they also wanted to know and if I found out to let them know. So I thought I'd write a post about it to help anyone else out there who's been searching for them too.

After searching the internet high and low I finally came a cross a very helpful blog, Carrie Loves has made an icon for every social network you can think of and they are available in a rainbow of colours, and best of all they are FREE!

I went for the bubblegum pink as they fit in with my 'new look'.

Along with these great icons I also found an excellent explaination as to how to add them to your blog site. Beautiful Dawn Designs gives a really easy to follow step by step guide, I did have to open a Photobucket account but it was free and really easy to use. I tried adding them to Picasa but the images didn't show up when I added the URL's to the HTML code.

I hope I have helped anyone out there who like me is not the best at the techy stuff, lets face it that's why we write about beauty stuff and not HTML coding.

Once again I would really appreciate any feedback on my 'new' look blog, do you like it or did you prefer the 'old' look? You may also notice from my new totally fab icons, I have started a Facebook page for my blog. This is mainly so I don't keep bothering my personal Facebook friends with my insesent blog post updates and those that are really bothered can 'like' my new page instead. I intend to fill this with my blog updates (obvs) plus any helpful tips and discounts that I hear about. Hop over and give me a 'like' if you err like :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Sparkly Christmas Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I put out a #prrequest tweet, as we all do on the off chance that someone will come back to us. I was looking for any lovely companies out there that would be willing to donate something to an up and coming blogger for a Christmas giveaway.

Thinking nothing would come of it I went ahead with another giveaway to win a package of BlanX natural tooth whitening toothpaste, which you can enter here, as I love the toothpaste myself and thought it was very fitting for this time of year. Then to my complete surprise I got a reply to my tweet from the fabulous Stone Bridge, I'll be honest up until they contacted me I had never heard of this company before but after visiting their website I was utterly thrilled they wanted to work with me.

Stone Bridge are a company that sell unique, bespoke hair accessories for all hair types, the majority of their hair accessories are manufactured by small, family-owned French or Italian companies for beautiful everyday luxury. Stone Bridge offer a fantastic service where they can match hair accessories to your personal hair type, all you need to do is fill out a form which then generates a selection of fabulous hair bling to suit. There's everything from hair bands to combs and sticks to give you that Hollywood glamour look for Christmas.

The fun bit...
Stone Bridge gave me a couple of products to choose from for this giveaway and I decided to go for the gold Ficcare Fine Double Crystal Headband (worth an amazing £79) as I thought this was perfect for adding a subtle touch of sparkle for Christmas.

"Beautifully hand made from the iconic American design house Ficcare, this skinny metal double headband has been set with 140 brilliant white Swarovski crystals in one of the most comfortable and durable headbands you will ever wear.
Each strand of this design is very slender, at a dainty 2 millimetres wide, ensuring your hair looks elegant and understated." 
This elegant headband will suit all hair types and colours and will fit in with any style, from a cute pixie cut to elegant updo or tumbling curls, perfect for Christmas parties.

How to enter...
So all you need to do to enter is follow my blog publicly via GFC and leave a comment on this post telling me your follower name and what your ultimate Christmas party accessory/beauty product is.

You can also get extra entries, for doing each of the following...
Follow Stone Bridge on Twitter and Facebook
Tweet the following...
'I've just entered @Ashleigh_Fell From Beyond the Blog's #giveway to #win @StoneBridgeHair #bbloggers'  
(One extra entry per action)
Competition ends 30/11/12, open to UK followers only

*This prize was donated to me by Stone Bridge

Monday, 19 November 2012

OOTD - Primark special

So I recently had a fantastic girls night out in Manchester and I thought I'd treat myself to something new to wear. I think this had to be the most successful trip to Primark I've had in a long time, for quality, quantity and value for money. I also got another dress that I have put to one side for my works/girls Christmas night out.

I've had to hold on to this post for a few days as I've had so many other posts to write but better late than never hey.

Top - £8.99
Skirt - £9.99
Both Primark
Tights - £4.75 Forever 21
Shoes - Primark (donks ago)

I absolutely love this outfit and I will certainly get my wear out of it. I've really wanted a leather skater skirt for ages but when I tried one on I wasn't sure it suited me, then I found one that had a bit of a shine to it and felt much more comfortable in it. It's a polyester mix but doesn't look cheap at all, I got lots of compliments on it and because I didn't go for the leather I think it will be more suitable for wearing during the day as well as night. It came with a gold belt but I swapped it for my favourite leopard print one, I am a huge fan of leopard print at the moment and if they didn't hurt my feet so much I would of worn my leopard shoes too.

I am also a huge fan of sheer tops and have quite a selection in my wardrobe, Primark have a really good range at the moment too. I found this oxblood one just as I was walking to the till to pay and pondering what I was going to wear with my fab skirt. It was fate, it caught my eye just in time, just as I was about to join the mammoth Saturday afternoon queue and we all know once your in it there's no going back! Oxblood is everywhere at the moment and I have say it's a firm favourite of mine.

Bag - £7.99 New Look
Ear rings - £3.75part of a set Forever 21
Bracelet - Christmas gift Primark
Belt - £4.99 New Look

Nails - Nails Inc. in Victoria

I love this shade of nail varnish it's really rich and goes with loads of other colours so you can wear it with just about anything. Luckily it was a perfect match to my top, in fact my friends all had a little giggle at my colour co-ordinated top, nails and lip gloss as that was also a perfect match. What can I say I just love to co-ordinate :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

November Glossy Box

I've been waiting in anticipation for what feels like forever for this months Glossy Box, as I was really impressed with my first box in October. I seemed to be getting daily emails from them telling me they had received payment, the box was being packed etc. but still no box! I was starting to get worried that mine had got lost in the post. Then finally after a very long day I came home to find my box had arrived at last, it was just what I needed after a an exhausting day travelling to London and back.

Once again the peeps at Glossy Box did not disappoint, this box didn't feel as full as the last box or even the She Said Beauty box, but the quality is definitely there, which I am sad to say is what seemed to be lacking from the She Said Beauty November box.

This months box is all about stocking fillers, things to give you inspiration for Christmas gifts.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm
"This BB cream gives a natural bright and glossy application for natural , fresh looking skin which controls sebum production from sweat preventing streaking."
- Apparently this is a 'cult' product in Korea, well I don't know about that but I did try this BB cream today and I was quite impressed. Generally I'm not a fan of BB creams, when they first came out I was very excited as I don't like to wear too much make up during the day and thought a BB cream would be ideal. Unfortunately they just don't seem to do anything for me, they leave my skin really greasy and I get next to no coverage from them at all, in fact I usually end up with orange patches. The Dr. Jart+ has been the best I have tried so far, it's oil free so great if you have oily skin like myself, and I my stayed under control all day. I had to put two layers on to get the right amount of coverage because I have a couple of break outs at the moment, but 8 hours later it still looks pretty good...

Burberry Body Eau de Parfum
"An effortless sensual, feminine fragrance with an eclectic combination of green absinthe, rose and cashmeran."
- I also tried this out today and I love it! Its a really beautiful subtle scent, it smelt expensive and classy. I will definitely be adding this to my Christmas list.

Alison Claire Natural Beauty Mongo Body Butter
"A delicious blend of organic mango and cocoa butter will leave your skin feeling wonderful."
- This was a Glossy Box 'New Brand Alert', I don't really use body butters that often, mainly because I shower in the morning and barely have time to dry my hair never mind moisturise my body. I may give this to my mum to try out as she loves this sort of stuff and I think she would appreciate it a lot more, plus she has more experience with them to give a better review.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat
- I could of got one of three of this 'Sunday Times Style Beauty Award' winning range and I got the caviar top coat. This worked out pretty well actually as I have just bought the MUA Constellation in Scorpio so it will come in handy.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
"A unique rice-based powder that gently exfoliates skin, leaving it noticeably smoother & brighter."
- I am intrigued by this product, I'm really interested in how a powder exfoliant will work as I'm used to using the usual gritty creams or gels. I will absolutely be setting time aside to give this one a go very soon.

More Glossy Box reviews coming soon...

Just a reminder about my latest giveaway - Get a party perfect smile in time for Christmas

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Party perfect smile : )

It's that time of year again, we're all busy planning decorations, presents, food and most importantly party outfits!

I have already seen a few posts giving ideas for Christmas gifts and how to find the perfect dress but what about your smile? There will be plenty of photo opportunities this festive season and you want to make sure your smile is perfect too.

So for my very first giveaway I thought I'd give you all the chance to get the perfect, stunning white smile ready for the Christmas party season, with a little help from BlanX.

BlanX is a natural whitening toothpaste made with extracts of Arctic Lichen, to help remove excessive staining from the likes of red wine and coffee. BlanX doesn't promise to make your teeth x shades whiter like all the other whitening toothpaste brands, because its a natural whitening product it really depends on white the natural colour of your teeth is and also how much tea and coffee etc. you consume. What they do have though is a brilliant 'BlanXometer' that you can use to track the shades of your teeth, genius!

I have been using BlanX for a few months now and swear by it, it has really given my teeth a lovely natural whiteness. My teeth were a little yellowish and it has definitely reduced this and they look a lot whiter than they did.

The prize...
This prize package includes the BlanX Whitening Mouthwash, BlanX Extrawhite Intensive Treatment and BlanX Advanced Whitening everyday toothpaste.

The BlanX Extrawhite Intensive Treatment is perfect to give your smile a boost, use it twice a day for two weeks for an intensive whitening, then continue with your normal routine using the everyday Advanced Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash.

The best thing about all the BlanX products is that they are non-abrasive so you won't end up with sensitive teeth like you can sometimes get with many other whitening toothpastes.

To enter all you need to do is follow my blog via GFC and to get an extra entry you could also tweet the giveaway using...
I've entered From Beyond the Blog's Christmas giveaway to win a Party Perfect Smile from @BlanXuk
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone : )

Follow BlanX on Twitter @BlanXuk and Facebook

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Primed & not so ready

Wow I can't believe how many blog views I had yesterday, the most to date all thanks to a little re-tweet from MUA Cosmestics. I was amazed at how many people wanted to ready my review so I thought I'd strike while the iron was hot get another post out.

As I mentioned in She Said November Beauty Box post I recieved the Collection 2000 Primed & Ready smoothing make up primer, I was pleased to see this in the box as I had read good things about it on other bogs. One thing that did surprise me was the size of it, according to the information in the box this was a full size product but at only 18ml I would be disappointed if I'd paid £5.99 for it. I have only used it three times and it already feels like there is not a lot left in the tube.

The hype:

The silky formula of the COLLECTION Primed & Ready Smoothing Make-up Primer glides onto skin, providing a light coverage for a flawless complexion, and a noticeably natural finish. Guaranteed to minimize problem pores, smooth uneven skin and hide unsightly blemishes, this multi-tasking primer makes make-up application effortless and keeps your complexion smooth and flawless all day. Whether you're blending foundation, securing sumptuous lips, experimenting with eye colours or going bold with blusher, you can be confident that your canvas will remain crystal clear.

When I first used this product I was really surprised to see that it was a gel, the primers I am used to using have always been a cream, so I wasn't quite sure how this was going to feel on my skin. The texture of this product is actually the best thing about it, it goes on really smooth and feels powdery once on the skin making my face feel lovely.

My make up went on much the same as it did with my usual primer so I had high hopes for this product, but unfortunately by mid-day my face felt really oily. If you have read any of my earlier posts on skin care you will know that I have oily skin and I have spent many weeks trying to find products to suit my skin type. This product just took me right back to square one, I did give it another chance to redeem itself but to my disappointment the same thing happened again.

All in all I was a little let down by this product, other people had said such good things about it but sadly it just was not compatable with my skin type. I definitely will not be buying this product especially not at £5.99 for such a small tube, as you need quite a lot of it to get full coverage of your face. If you have the opportunity to try before you buy then go for it but if you have oily skin like me I would stay clear.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

MUA haul

This weekend I had a super successful shopping trip to Manchester, which let me tell you is a rarity for me. Whilst in the Arndale centre I popped into Superdrug to see if they had the MUA brow kit I've heard so many food things about and let's just say I went a little MUA crazy!

I love the luxury but lets face it we can't always afford them and there are some fantastic mid-market brands out there, but I also do love a budget beauty bargain and MUA is the ultimate beauty bargain brand (phew that was a lot of alliteration).

So as you can see one thing led to another and I went a little crazy at the MUA stand, I blame Superdrug's amazing 3 for 2 promotion currently running on all cosmetics and lashes. What you also may notice is that I managed to get everything but the brow kit I went in for!

I picked up the Undressed eyeshadow pallet (£4) and the Nail Constellation in Scorpio (£3) after reading great things about them on various beauty blogs and there a few other things that took my fancy, the Gel Eyeliner in Underground (£3), Extreme Curl mascara (£2), Mosaic Blush in English Rose (£2.50) and the Mosaic Bronzer in Natural Glow (£2.50).

As you can see from the swatches 11 of the shades show up really well and have great pigmentation, the only shade that doesn't really show up on a swatch in Shade 1, but works brilliantly as a highlighter on the top of the lid just under the brow.

I've been searching for a good liquid eyeliner for yonks and I'd almost given up! I don't have the steadiest of hands so the ones with the flimsy brushes just end up looking like my four year old's done it and the ones with the felt tip are too thick and I get panda eye. I haven't bought an eyeliner for ages and I'd just resided to the fact I will never have those fabulous sixties style flicks. That was until I found this Gel Eyeliner, for the first time I was happy with the result and didn't have mess up my make up removing it 10 times. If like me you struggle with eyeliner I would definitely give this one a try, and at the bargain price even if you still can't get it right at least you haven't wasted a fortune.

As for the other products all I can say is love, love, love! I haven't given the Nail Constellation a try yet as I was in too much of a rush getting ready this weekend (as usual) but will definitely be giving it a try very soon. I went for this one as apposed to the Ciate Caviar manicure because I'm holding out for the Ciate Mini Mani Month set and don't want to double up on products.

If you're looking for Christmas stocking fillers or budget gifts for the girlie's I would say you can't go wrong with a bit of MUA and at 3 for 2 it's rude not to really.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Christmas beauty box swap

Recently during one of the fabulous #bblogger twitter chats I came across a tweet that sounded particularly interesting. As a new comer to world of beauty blogging I am keen to get to know other beauty bloggers and get involved with exciting events and activities, so when I saw a tweet from Grace at All that Slap I was immediately intrigued.

The tweet mentioned something about a Christmas beauty box and as I had just started receiving s couple of boxes I wanted to learn more.

What was this tweet about I hear you cry, well...Basically it's a bit like a secret Santa. Grace was asking bloggers to sign up to her Christmas Beauty Box Swap, who she would then pair up with another lovely beauty blogger. I'm not sure if you're too late to sign up now but you can find out exactly what the rules are here.

I have just found out that I have been paired with Kay from Banini Beauty, we've already exchanged initial emails to try and get an idea or what we each like and don't like and I'm getting very excited now!

I do have a couple of ideas of what to put in the box, but with a budget or £15 - £20 I think the hardest job will be narrowing the products down. I love buying presents for other people but when you don't know the person it's also a little scary, I hope she likes what she ends up with.

Now to the shops...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

She Said Beauty November Box

I was very excited to receive my second She Said Beauty Box this month, but I have to say I was a little disappointed.

I was really pleased with the October box and I felt this months was just a little bit lacking.

What's inside...
So...? Rock & Roll body fragrance For Me
'They're fragrances close to our hearts and with the current revival in nostalgic scents these sprays were the first to make a welcome return to our dressing tables.'

Welled Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream
'This smoothing night cream, with oil from organically grown rosa mosqueta seeds, aids the regeneration of the outer layer of the skin during the night.'

Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo & Conditioner
'Smooth Lock shampoo cleanses, refreshes and nourishes hair with smoothness while Smooth Lock Conditionereases detangling and instantly helps improve manageability with frizz-free smoothness and luscious-looking shine.'

Makebelieve enhance Luminize Skin Highlighter
'Highlight cheeks and upper eyelids with this shimmering, celestial pink luminator.'

Yardley Royal English Daisy Eua de Toilette
'An elegant dewy fresh, green floral fragrance, reminiscent of flower filled meadows on the spring sunshine.'

Collection Primed & Ready Smoothing Make-Up Primer
'The Collection Primed & Ready Smoothing Make-up Primer preps the skin, providing a beautiful base for easier make-up application and ensures your make-up remains intact throughout the day.'

I have heard a lot of good things about the Collection Primed & Ready so I am looking forward to trying this one out plus as you know I've just ran out of primer. 

I'll keep you all updated as when I use these products, if you have used any of these please let me know your thoughts I'd love to know how you got on with them. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Party hair and make up

This weekend I managed to have a very rare girly night out, something I then came to regret on Sunday morning (hangover from hell)! As a night out and excuses to get dressed up for me these days is a rarity I thought I would share with you my hair and make up routine. I was going to do and OOTW post but looking back I was far more tipsey than I thought I was at the point of taking the photo, so we'll leave that one for another time.

Also I thought this post would be a great way to kick off this months theme, make up, as I mentioned in my 'Light Bulb Moment' post.

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer - £6.99 (Boots)
Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation - £8.99 (Boots)
Chanel Poudre Universelle Compacte pressed powder - £32.00 (Selfridges)
Models Own blusher in Warm Glow - £6.00 (Boots)
Lancome eye shadow (Ombre Absolue pallet) - ?? (Gift)
Barry M Lash Modelling Mascara - £6.19 (Superdrug)
Girls Aloud Eylure false lashes (Kimberly) - £5.49 (Boots)

You may notice that the majority of these products also appeared in October empties post, so I will be stocking up on new make up products this month, I don't think I will get much more out of the bottles. Also I'm sorry I can't give the exact shades of the eye shadows I used as they came in a set and it doesn't give the individual shade names, but I will do a little more digging and see if I can get them. I used a silver/grey shade as the base and then a charcoal along the the lash line and in the crease of my eyelid to give a smokey eye look. I love my Girls Aloud Eylure lashes too, I always found false lashes more hassle than they were worth as I was useless at applying them but then I found an ingenious contraption from Boujois (post coming soon).

The Boots products are currently on offer, buy one and get the 2nd half price if you fancy grabbing a bargain.

When it comes to the weekend I like to put a bit more effort in and even more when I'm on a night out, having mid length hair means I am quite limited to what I can do and it doesn't always look as special I would like. So I turn to what I like to call my 'weekend hair', a set of clip in extensions that I couldn't live without. The ones I have in here were a bit of a panic buy, I had just had my hair coloured so the ones I previously used weren't the right colour and I was going to the Pure Beauty Awards so needed them fast! I stumbled upon these Salon Confidential ones in Dorothy Perkins (of all places) in the Trafford Centre for £40.

It was a bit annoying that they came in a box as it meant I couldn't really see the colour match so I took a bit of a gamble buying these really. I went for the mid brown with lightened tips and luckily they were a pretty good match. They also came in three different styles; stright, volume wave and curls, I opted for the volume wave set. They really do have a lovely bounce to them and it saves a lot of time on styling. The only down side to these extensions are that they are not real hair so you can't use straightners on them and in some lights they do have a bit of an odd shine to them.

These have been voted 'Best Extensions on the High Street' by More magazine and I would probably agree with that to an extent, they aren't overly expensive in comparison to some extensions but I have had better. These will do me for now but when I have my hair coloured again I will probably buy some better quality real hair extensions.

Friday, 2 November 2012

October empties

October has very much been a month of firsts for me, I got my first blog follower, first beauty box and first blog award (thanks Laurie). So I thought how best to round off the month with my first empties post, a little insight into the products have seen be through October.

Simple Spotless Skin Quick Fix Cleansing Wipes
A few weeks ago I did a review of these wipes along with a couple of other Simple products, they were great wipes for removing make up but I didn't notice any difference in the condition of my skin or spots. They claim to give results from day 1 but I think this month I have used far more effective skin care products.

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer
I only really bought this because it was on offer and I was buying the Rimmel foundation so thought I'd give it a try. I had not really used a primer before this, not regularly anyway, and I was really impressed with this one. It had a really nice texture to it and it worked wonders at evening out my skin tone and made my make up last all day long. I really noticed a difference in how oily my skin was too, usually my forehead in particular became quite oily by mid day but when I used this it seemed to reduce this significantly.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
Best budget foundation EVER! This foundation was amazing, Rimmel is not usually a brand I would buy but again it was on offer and I had read a lot about it in magazines so thought why not. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this foundation was, it went on silky smooth, had excellent coverage (better than some more expensive brands) and lasted all day long. I will definitely be buying this foundation again.

Models Own blusher in Warm Glow
I know this isn't completely empty just yet but I have a slight OCD about make up and as soon as it's not a full pallet I feel a bit funny about using it, plus I hate it when they start to crack and I think this one is about two uses away from crumbling. I am a huge fan of Models Own nail polishes so I thought I would give their make up rage a go too, when I bought this I also bought a bronzer but I only used it a couple of times because it just wasn't right for me, I ended up looking like the girls from Gordie Shaw. This blusher however has been lovely, it gives your cheeks a really subtle glow great for daytime although you do need to reapply by mid afternoon.

Barry M Lash Modelling Mascara
This is a great day time mascara, it does exactly what it says on the tin, volumises, lengthens and separates. It makes your lashes look super long and there is zero clumping, I don't think it has the impact that you would want for a girls night out but for everyday use it's perfect.

Parmolive Soft & Gentle roll on anti-perspirant deodorant in Soft Jasmin & Coco Milk
This is my favourite under arm, I prefer roll on deos because they don't irritate my skin, some aerosols make me really itchy and that's not a great look.

Insette Flexible hairspray
Honestly I really don't remember buying this hairspray and I don't think much thought was behind it, which shows how much I actually use hairspray. It was OK I guess, not too sticky and great hold.

BlanX Active Enamel Protection whitening toothpaste
Excellent everyday whitening toothpaste, I makes my teeth feel super clean and most importantly it works!

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