Archive for August 2011

this is a haul post

I may or may not have gone a leeetle crazy once I got my GCSE money and erm, yeah. See for yourself. In my defense, I've been broke all summer!


These should have set me back £20, even with the promotion, but because I used a Superdrug voucher during the transaction, I only spent about £15 (WINNING).
On the release date of these, some bloggers had reported that the tubes felt crunchy when they felt them in the stores. I found that 'crunchy' sensation happened to almost every tube that I picked up. I suggest you go out and experience it yourself, because it's so odd - almost as if the tube was filled with little sugar crystals rather than highly pigmented lip related goodness. After comparing the feel of the testers to the actual product, I decided to bite the bullet and buy them anyway, correctly guessing that it was just the packaging - getting home and trying them out, they're as expected as soon as the packaging is removed. Yey.


A quick trip to Wilkos revealed a huge jar of petroleum jelly for just 50p (for making tinted lipbalms) three tubed lip balms in cute flavours, and then I went back to Superdrugs for the wax strips and asprin. I'm planning to do an asprin mask with the asprin, so that's why I included it. Lol.



Finally, I had no idea that MUA Cosmetics had new colours out? I picked up these gorgeous three on a whim. Two bright, almost-neon summery colour (a hot pink and a hot orangey-red) and then this gorgeous khaki shade for that painful transition to autumn. Well. It'd be painful if we'd actually had any sunshine this year...regardless, the dirty green shade is a really unusual addition to a budget cosmetics line. Hoping it performs...

Born Pretty Nail Art Stamping Polishes Review

So I was lucky enough to recieve a set of these five polishes for review. On the site, these (at the time I looked) cost less than $7, which made them a far more affordable option than branded Konad polishes which are like $7 for one...

First off, I have no idea why the white one is so different from the others, but it works, so I'm not complaining. I tested the black one first, over the manicure I was already wearing which was Nails Inc 'Atomic'. It did end up as a sort of unintentional Hallowe'en manicure, so eventually I just used my witchiest stamping plate and went with it. I lined up my polish, plate and stamper/scraper, and got to work. The first thing I noticed was that even though the bundle monster plate lacked definition, the stamping polish was a lot more defined than the ordinary polishes I use, and I had a lot more time to play around with when positioning it on the nail. Usually, I fling it down on whichever available space I have as quickly as possible because I'm worried it's going to dry on the stamper (this has happened to me more than once) but yeah, I could take my time and the design was crisper for it at the end. Also, it didn't smudge when I was applying top coat.


I had exactly the same experience with the white polish, and really appreciated the fact that I could get lots of contrast between the base colour and the stamping colour - when I use ordinary polish, it's a lot harder to get them to stamp THAT opaque. Sadly, when I tried the yellow and red polishes, they were basically just like ordinary polish and weren't opaque at all. I haven't tested the blue yet but I suspect it'll be the same situation. Also, another thing that irked me was that I struggled to remove the lid of the red polish, and when I  finally managed it, there was dried polish all around the cap - meaning it's either leaked in transit (unlikely, as there wasn't polish all over my package) or someone had used it before it was sent to me? Or perhaps a manufacturing error. Whatever it was, it was annoying.
While I appreciate having two very good stamping polishes, it's not the same as five very good stamping polishes, is it?

It's worth the money as you're getting two for the price of one, but it's a bummer that the other three shades don't work. I'm going to leave the other three shades opened out on a windowsill to see if they thicken up a little and work better, and I'll update if they do. But all in all, wasn't the huge bargain I was hoping for.


I also got a coupon code to share, if anyone wants it ask me!

It's Kiko Time

So I'm back from Italy, and will just give you a rundown of the makeup related portion of the trip before DISPLAYING THE PRETTIES.


 How and where to start? Well, we went to Italy and on the second day, we went to buy jewellery. While waiting around for the jewellery shops to open, we walked into a beauty store (reminded me of Superdrug) and there, on the walls, was the most gorgeous Labello display I've ever seen.

Naturally, I tried to get my mum to let me buy some but she wasn't having any of it ('We've got lip balms at home!') entirely missing the point which was that I NEED THESE FOR THE BLOG GAWD

Eventually, I admitted defeat and reasoned that we could come back another day and buy them. But as the days passed and Mum finally realised the IMPORTANCE OF THESE LIP BALMS, it became clear that we weren't returning. sob. And by the time she was prepared to help me buy them, it was a bank holiday in Italy (any excuse for a day off work, you slackers). And we were leaving the day afterwards! We stopped at two superstores on the way to the airport but all I turned up were these two poxy imposters.

By this time I was pretty furious, seeing as I'd SEEN what I wanted to blow my 30 euros on on like the second day, but I wasn't allowed to buy it. And they were only 1.50 euros each, compared to what I'd pay if I wanted to buy online from the UK (upwards of four quid including postage) so I totally sulked my way through security. Had a sneaky check in Duty Free but couldn't find anything but overpriced Toblerones.


On the way to the gate, however, I saw a Kiko store and SQUEALED. Yey for Kiko!
I should have taken photos but it was getting close to the time for them to open the gates, so I quickly chose what I wanted and left. The polishes were priced at 2.50 euros each, which I found very reasonable, but they also had a discounted bucket full of polishes at 1.50 euros which was even better. The majority of the cremes were 2.50, and the rest 1.50. I paid 15 euros in total (my Mum bought a polish too which isn't pictured. See, she can buy nail polish, but I can't buy lipbalm. no capito) and I'm pretty happy with what I got in return.

I'm genuinely upset about my Labellos, though. As soon as I regained internet access (no thanks to you, TalkTalk) I spent like three hours looking for sites that ship to the UK but it was a lot more expensive than it would have been to buy in Italy (1.50 versus nearly £3.70 a lipbalm, often not including postage) so yeah. Depressed. If anyone knows any reasonable sites that do it, please let me know!

My Kikos are beautiful though. Kiko Makeup Milano. Doesn't that just roll off the tongue?


Kiko Makeup Milano sounds like a name for a chav baby. I still like it though. For a cosmetics company.


Before, when I thought of 'Kiko', I thought of the gorgeous Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara. But then she had the bad taste to go out (not confirmed but it's so obvious) with the hideous lead singer rapper thing from the tryhard and tragic boyband Big Bang so she's on my shit list anyway. I fully embrace Kiko Makeup Milano as my new go-to Kiko of choice.


I'm in Miami, girl. (Part Two)

This is for the cosmetics side of my luggage. I tried to keep it small, but...


Recently, I've been featuring Sleek products less and less on the blog (mainly because of their piss poor customer service, but also because it seems to be all that anyone ever blogs about) but I couldn't help the fact that they ended up being so prominent in my travel bag -.- Their thin size and multitasking nature makes them easy to take on holiday, OK? *is defensive*

Anyway, the three palettes are - 'Storm', 'Acid' and 'Primer' - though I'm not sure if the latter will last in the Italian heat - and I took a Face Contour kit in 'Dark' and a Sheer Cover lipstick in 'Calico'. I also took an MUA quad and liquid eyeliner, three No7 eyeliners and one Primark one (in bright orange) a Rituals lipgloss, a Miners lip tint and Urban Decay Primer Potion in 'Eden'.

Barry M 'Mushroom'

£2.99 well spent, I'll give you that.


A very nice nude polish on my skin, but it's not one dimensional in colour as so many other nude cremes are. When I first saw this, I was convinced that the undertones were yellow, but viewing it outside in overcast weather, it looked almost like a muted purple. Most of the time, it hovers somewhere between the two depending on what angle you view it from. An achievement for a budget creme polish, yes?


Compared to Barry M's previous naming efforts, I'd say the title of this one is spot on.

Feel free to view it SUPAH SHINEE


I usually don't add an especially shiny topcoat onto my nude polishes if I'm aiming for manniquin hands, as the human body isn't especially shiny (unless you're sweating buckets or something) so I find it looks unnatural. But since this isn't any old nude polish, I thought it called for it.


Random fact: I think I prefer this with one coat, compared to two. No idea why...though in these pictures, you're seeing two coats.
This lasted, chip free (minimal tipwear) for four days on me - pretty damn good when polish is often falling off my nails within the hour.

Pretty European Lipglosses

As I've probably mentioned before, I'm really not a lipgloss person as such. I find it just makes my already huge lips look like, freakishly huge, and often feels gross and greasy. Not a good combination on someone like myself who detests feeling anything remotely oily/greasy/sticky on my lips at all...

However, a while back I won a giveaway from the lovely Witoxicty and got this pretty awesome (going by the packaging) lipgloss. Naturally, I felt that this was a good opportunity to give it a go (it was free, lol) and I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this one.

The 'Super Shine Lipgloss - Icy Amethyst' lipgloss at rest:


Just look at that classy European packaging.


Now, please listen to my commentary while I lip swatchwhore.

It's a non-sticky gloss, feels (mostly) light on the lips, and most of all is moisturising, a property which is really important to be if you're coming into contact with my Sahara dry lips.


Can you pick up those teeny weeny blue shimmer particles?


The gloss is mostly sheer on my pigmented lips, but it imparts a a little irridecence and of course, the blue shimmer. Good for cooling down a warm lip tone.


Anyone else tried anything from the Rituals range?

Everyday I'm Crackling

Out of MUA's Pro range, I was most excited about the crackles, but my (old) local Superdrug was dragging it's feet about getting them in. As soon as they did - nearly a month after launch, naturally - I quickly dashed in there and snapped up two colours - a silver named 'Shattered Ice' and a dark, indigo blue called 'Quiver'.


I was geniunely up for buying the whole range (minus the black, as I already own a black shatter) but yeah, lack of funds killed that idea dead. Ah well. The salmon one is MINE at some unspecified point in the future.


 This is the silver shatter over Barry M's 'Raspberry'. I like the contrast - the light metallic silver against a dark background makes it pretty striking.

On my middle finger, I cocked it up a little - that was the one I painted first, and the coat I did was far too thin to effectively crackle properly. To achieve the effect I like, I do thick coats. The formula is runnier than other crackles that I've tried, which is good in the sense that it won't turn into thick, unusable tar after three weeks but does mean  you have to put a little extra work in to get it to crackle evenly. Plus, the brush is thinner than normal (thinner than the normal MUA range, as well) so I do have to be quite precise with how I'm applying the product. I'm willing to put in the effort, though, as we haven't seen this wide a shade range in the UK.


'Quiver' really reminds me of a post I saw by ChaosButterfly on the Sally Hansen nail crackles - it's the same jelly-like, not quite opaque finish.


I'm planning on doing a proper post when I've collected more, but for now I just included some quick photos. This is 'Quiver' over Nails Inc's, 'Atomic'.

Tell me I'm not alone in coveting the salmon one?


I feel so grown up with my face cream in a jar.

In the words of that Korean guy in Nicki Minaj's video...CHECK. IT. OUTTT!


I was cruising in Tescos. Having run out of my Vaseline Body face whatever cream a few days ago, I realised it was high time for another. And what would have been the point in not picking up this one? A jar was £4.04, but it was on offer for two jars for £4 (no, I don't understand it either). Anyway, I bought two jars.


I'm really, REALLY not keen on the smell - it smells a little like rancid baby powder (to me) and the scent hangs around for a while. Shame, because that's the only thing that ruined a really good product. I love the fact that this has an SPF in it because I can never be bothered with applying that seperately. It rubs in well and keeps my face hydrated all day (as promised) and best of all, IT COMES IN A JAR. WOO JARS.

The smell is gross though. Not sure if I'll repurchase it purely on that factor.

I'm in Miami, girl.

OK, not really BUT HEAR ME OUT. THERE IS NAIL POLISH AND OTHER PRETTIES AT THE END. Although I am /currently/ in riot-stricken England, by the time you are reading this I will be in sunny Italia. No, don't be jealous because it's probably going to be rubbish. No internet access and it probably won't be like Rennaissance Italy like on Assassin's Creed. That is the only Italy worth visiting - as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, of course. (the guy cloaked in white on the front cover of the video game)

Anyway, before I went, I scheduled enough posts for this week (I'm off for a week, lol) so won't be responding to comments and emails :( I also photographed all the makeup and nail polish that I'm taking with me, and I thought I'd share the snaps with you...

SAM_9210While this looks excessive, it totally isn't. When you break it down into groups (all, of course, are completely essential)

Nail Bases and Colours

My base and top coat are pretty much out of the picture, but it's the usual Barry M base and NYC top coat that I feature regularly. For colours, we have Barry M 'Spring Green' - which I'm currently wearing on my fingers - Essie's 'Bermuda Shorts' (currently on my toes) Nails Inc's 'OMP!' and 'Yellow Peril' by BeautyUK. Having worn the neutral 'Mushroom' (by Barry M) for most of this week, and faced with the prospect of actual sun in Italy (about the only benefit, to be honest) I was longing for some colour, so packed four bright, summery shades.


'OMP!' is out of the picture because I was clever and forgot to photograph it.

Now, I like jazzing up my nail colour of choice regularly, so bought three easy ways to alter my manicure - a black crackle polish, Hello Kitty nail stickers from the Born Pretty Store and a glitter topcoat (Funky Fingers). Ample, no?


Finally, nail care (once again, 100% essential). Cuticle oil, nail files, a nail nourishing strengthening thing that I will talk about later on in the month (probably. If I remember) and a hoof stick. BOOM.


Enjoy more pretty pictures while I'm being miserable in the land that isn't anything like it's supposed to be (in Assassin's Creed)


Not so 'Barely There' - A True Colour Lipstick Post

I'm sure regular readers know exactly how I feel about the revamped Sleek lipstick range (hint - if you don't, follow the link) but since my last lipstick post got such a good response (and I haven't even technically reviewed that one yet. Lol) I thought it was high time I properly sampled the new range for myself.

I'm sure you'll recognise 'Mystic' from my 'Prom Face' post - that's the colour I wore to my afterprom. Me, a lipstick virgin, wearing bright purple to afterprom...good times. The origin of 'Barely There' is a little more convoluted to explain...

I've been reading the lovely Shamini's blog for a while, and during my hunt for Sleek lippies on a slight discount, I read a post in which she'd won a Sleek competition and was happy to send the two colours she wasn't keen on to blog readers. But I misunderstood (typical) and was like, 'Blog sale? How much do you want for them?' She then explained in terms my simple mind could understand, and I was happy to pay postage but then she refused, posted it, and skipped the country (on holiday, lol. But still) This lovely woman paid postage for the lipstick all the way from Norway <3 an act that firmly placed her on my 'Things I love about Norway' list which was started in 2009 and currently consists of:
Alexander Rybak (ETERNAL crush on that man...stole my heart at Eurovision 2009)

Subsequent amazing hosting of Eurovision 2010
Being so much classier when it comes to pretty much everything 

General Awesome
One of my Uncles lives there and his wife is Norwegian and she's really pretty and nice.


I digress. Back to the lipstick, lol. When I requested it, I didn't actually realise how light it was! Perhaps I was mentally still thinking of the old Sleek Lipstick range, in which I could have worn pretty much ANY shade and have it fit my skin tone. I like that this range has plenty of nudes and 'my lips but better' shades for those with lighter skin (which, I'll be fair here, the old range lacked that) but really dislike the fact that it has NONE for those that aren't, well, Caucasian.


The range only needed a little tweaking to be inclusive rather than exclusive which is what they've done - they've moved from what is essentially one extreme to the other, alienating those that propped them up for so many years (namely the Afro Hair and Beauty shops who have stocked Sleek since forever.) Would it have killed Sleek to leave the two brown shades in, while adding all the new ones? I still sound really angry about this. Read the post, it's kind of a masterpiece. *modest*

Even though a Sleek rep assured me that they'd be coming out with two brown ones later in the year, so far I've seen zilch and it really seems to me like it was just said to appease the angry blogger (me).

'Barely There' is part of their 'Sheen' finish range, which when these came out a few months ago, bloggers left right and centre (a suspicious amount of whom seemed to get the product free to review) were saying were really moisturising. I was hoping that they would be, because my lips really need the moisture...sadly, it wasn't to be. You'd think that I was applying a matte lipstick by how it looked on and how not-moisturising it was. Which was a bit of a bummer, as I personally didn't find the sheen lipsticks from their old range drying at all.


My lips weren't in the greatest condition when I applied it but I really needed to take it off, condition, exfoliate and reapply just as I would for a matte lipstick when I was taking these shots. Wasn't impressed.
Oh, no need to say that the colour is hideous on me. I dare the great Nicki Minaj to try and pull a lip colour THIS light off. Nope. Not possible.
It turns peach on me? Don't quite understand it, lol - it looks pink on everyone else and in the tube.

Luckily, I found a way (quite by accident) to make this work.


The photos are a bit crap, but work with me here.
By applying a layer of Miner's Lip Tint (cherry) beforehand (I really needed the moisture), the colour was altered into a far more flattering rose pink that is slightly darker than what you're seeing in the photo now.


I actually quite like it and wore it like this to drop off my application for a job as a lifeguard.

Anyone else tried this particular lipstick?

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