Archive for January 2011

January Favourites

 Since it's basically the beginning of the year, I'll keep these short.

Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy

I love this product. It makes eyeshadow a lot more vibrant and last for a lot longer. I can't see it running out any time soon, you get a really decent amount of product for the price. Great product.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in "Zero"

I ration my use of this, because it's so soft it's easy to use too much, but it really does stay on until you want to take it off. It's seriously black and doesn't tug or anything along the lash line.

Seche Restore

A life saver for those grim, seized up polishes. Seriously pricey though. I was lucky to get it for a Christmas present, but you don't need to use a lot of product so again this should last me a long, long time. I use a couple of drops at most for the average bottle.

eBay Nail Art Brushes

This was one of the best finds so far! A cheap set of nail art brushes that don't fall apart the moment you take them out of the packet and that do the job properly. What more could you ask for?

GOSH "Orange Drops"

These pictures are actually quite colour accurate!

It's pretty sheer, but I expected that much. It looked sheer in the bottle. The picture is about four coats.

I like it, but I think next time I'll go for a different colour :P

Studio 15 Piece Brush Set Review

It's not a good 'un.

 So this is the brush set, all rolled up and that. Looking pretty innocuous.
 Fifteen brushes in total. My mum bought this like last year to give to me for Christmas this year, as it was reduced at the time from like £10 to £7, or something like that. I'm not totally accurate on the prices as this was a gift. You can buy brush sets on eBay for like a fiver, some of which I've been interested in. I'm sure they'll do better than this set, let me tell you.

Still, it's not all negative. The fan brush was a lot thicker than expected, which means it is good for applying pigmented blushes with a light hand, or for brushing away fallout.

That was it.
These ferrules came away from the handle the moment I removed the brushes from the packet. I am not lying.
There is a slight backstory to my first opening of this set. I was soaking my feet in a bucket (lmao, awkward) and decided to inspect the brushes while I waited. In typical fashion, I managed to drop the entire set into the bucket...yes, really. So I rescued them from their impromptu dunking, which only lasted about a second. I dried them off and left them in the air for a day or so.

When I came back to fully road test them, removing them one by one from the roll, I discovered that the four brushes above...were as they were. I was furious, and promptly double checked the rest of the brushes by giving them a small tug of the sort that might be expected when washing it or something.
A further four brushes lay beheaded. Great. Which left...
 Just seven brushes. Seven brushes out of fifteen were sturdy. Not good, Studio. Not good.

I've considered the possibility that the dunking was to blame, and I've discounted it. Brushes should at least withstand vigourous washing, which the drop into the bucket wasn't even up to, force wise. 
Not nearly enough glue to hold the ferrule in place. I've just glued all of mine back togther, and so far they're going strong. Why is my glue job better than Studio's? -.- Not impressed.
 Within the brushes there is plenty of fail, too. You see the green in that brush? What on earth is green doing in that brush? That's just weird.
On closer inspection, it looks like dried grass. It was relatively easy to remove by pulling it.
In my hand, it does indeed look like dried grass of some description. Wtf. What is dried grass doing in a make up brush?
The eyeliner brush is pure plastic and far too scratchy and dangerous to be allowed anywhere near the eye vicinity. Nope.
All in all, this sucks. Studio, sort your life out.

Last Haul of January, methinks

Nothing to do with the fact that January only has like two days left. Nope.

I decided I need to make an urgent trip up to town when my Mum returned from work yesterday with three different Boots No7 Stay Perfect eye pencils in her hand. I was pretty curious and removed the lid. They look just like Urban Decay 24/7 liners! I was quite surprised. Even at their full price (£7.75) they're still cheaper than Urban Decay's. A few other bloggers have been saying that they're dupes, but I only own one Urban Decay pencil in Zero so I bought the black of this to compare the two. Also, Boots were doing 3 for 2 on all No7 so I bought three pencils and gave the blue one to my Mum because she wanted it. She bought a grey (with a smudger on the end) a green/teal colour and a purple, and gave me money to buy her the blue one. I was mildly jealous, not going to lie. Anyway, pictured here are the purple and the black. With the voucher, it's a pretty decent deal!
I also repurchased the Allura False Nails from Poundland. I was running out of nail glue and this includes nail glue, plus I was planning to wear them again. This time, I think I'll trim them considerably!

I've heard people raving about the New York Colour Quick Dry topcoat, so I bought that too as my MUA (£1 from Superdrug) topcoat had long since run out. Faithful to the end, lol. It's probably the only topcoat I've ever used that hasn't gone nasty, thick, gloopy and stringy 2/3 of the way in. It was £2.59 from Superdrug. I didn't mind paying that as the bottle feels pretty lux. I'm hoping the product lives up to expectations.
I spotted these before Christmas on Lipglossiping's blog. They're Metallic Eye Sparks from BeautyUK. Pity Superdrugs is so crap.
Yes, that is Sellotape right there.
Disgusting. There were testers there, but clearly some teenagers feel the need to open and play with actual product so I guess the staff put Sellotape on these. It was pretty ineffective. While I was debating whether or not to buy this, I easily removed the cap from the pencil. Thankfully it hadn't been swatched, but still. Superdrug, sort your life out. The £ store has better packaging than you do!
The silver one has a label which is less offensive to the eyes (and, as I noticed after removing it, an anti-theft device) but I mean still. It was just as ineffective at stopping access to the interior of the product.
Anyway. People have been saying that these are performance dupes for NYX Jumbo Pencils, which aren't readily available in the UK, so I'm hoping these won't be a crease fest.

Nail Mail

 I was lucky enough to win a prize from The London Beauty Review's New Year giveaway! I got this awesome Royal Brush 12 Piece Silk Pro brush set.
 The brushes are insanely soft. I'm tempted to just sit there and move them in circles around my face.
Thank you so much!

The "It's half twelve and I'm procrastinating" rant. Things that piss you off about the blogging world? Part II. With Reader Comments!

Le continuation. Yes, you can tell I'm failing my French GCSE :P

I had quite a few lovely comments on the last post, which were incredibly informative and expressed what I was trying to express, but far more coherently. Henceforth, I thought I'd add a couple here and use them to expand my points. If you'd rather I didn't, please just comment/email me and I'll remove it!

From Jaljen:
"Love me, love me now blogs? Nah. There's one high-profile one (whom I shall not name) who has excellent nail swatches (Eastern European may narrow it down a bit) but does rather use her blog as a way of eliciting sympathy/outpourings of "Ah, you poor diddums....". I got sucked in until it got old."

Which provides a nice lead to discuss...

The "Sympathy pl0x" blogger

The type that's complaining about her personal life in every other post. I don't mean like a one off, or even once a week. Most people think nothing of feeling sympathetic towards someone who's going through a rough patch. But there's a difference between doing that, and attention whoring. You know who you are -.-

The "Forever left out" blogger.

The type that always complains on Twitter/Facebook about everyone having been sent a new product to try but herself, or everyone recieving an invite to an event but herself. That sort of thing. I'm sitting here thinking that if PR companies are planning to go down that route, surely they'd have to invite everyone?
Perhaps you don't have as many followers as the other people that have been invited. Maybe your blog doesn't appeal to the PR company. Ultimately, there's no obligation for them to invite you to anything. Focus on improving your blog so that they will, if you're that bothered about it.

Ulmiel also mentioned about people following just for giveaways, which I'll expand to discuss:

The "Ten updates a day, and nine are giveaway notifications" blogger.

I'm going to admit, I was guilty of this back in the day before I realised one could have more than one link in a post and it was fairly easy to group giveaways into one monthly post. But it just gets annoying when you check your dashboards and find all these giveaway notifications from the same blogger. There's nothing wrong with entering multiple giveaways, but just have them all in one post!

Ditto on sidebars, they don't annoy me at all.

The "I'm an insider, and that makes me better than you" blogger.

There are a couple lurking around the UK blogging scene in particular - crossovers from working in fashion or magazines (that's all we know. We're not told that much more) who suspiciously fail at using cameras or describing colours in much depth but often do posts on how PRs feel about bloggers and the inside workings of the industry. I don't know what's true and what is exaggerated, but I just find certain bloggers referring to the rest of the blogging world as if they don't belong to it quite amusing.

Thanks so much for the discussion on the last post, guys. It was so interesting to read!

Barry M Nail Paint in "Coral"

I was all geared up for the gorgeous, flourescent coral that I saw in the bottle, but unfortunately it didn't translate that way on my nails.

 It just pulls really orange on my skin. Nothing wrong with that. I just thought I was getting a coral :P It's still traffic light flourescent, which is cool.
That's about all this polish has going for it. It has a pretty poor formula, mildly streaky and takes quite a while to dry. It began to chip the morning after I'd painted it. No thanks.
It's ignited a coral lust I didn't know I possesed, though. I want to check out the MUA coral polish, looks interesting. Probably will have a better formula, too.

The "It's half twelve and I'm procrastinating" rant. Things that piss you off about the blogging world?

I don't want to do my RE homework, OK? Lol.

Since everyone seems to be addressing this today...I don't usually get the oppurtunity to really have a discussion with most of my followers. Like, a really opinionated one aside from, "This polish is absolute crap/ambrosia for the fingernails". So I basically just thought I'd detail a few thoughts out here and then see how many people agree/disagree. Please do comment with whatever you think! As far as I know anonymous comments are enabled, so if you'd rather comment in that form, go ahead.

The "PR Companies, love me!" blogger

Now there's nothing wrong with wanting to obtain free stuff. Free stuff is awesome, really. But when you've only got, I don't know, twenty followers, and you're all over the facebook/twitter/social networking page of that company trying to get free product, it's a little unclassy. It just makes you look like a bumlicker, basically, and it's most likely going to devalue other people's opinion of you. Though props for having the balls to ask for free product to review. I couldn't, lol. Still, if that's what floats your boat, you do that. Same for those who have say, had a blog open for about six months, and have only reviewed samples sent for consideration in about four months. Part of the reason myself and other people enjoy reading blogs is because the products are purchased (or sent, whatever) by people who have the same interests, and we enjoy reading their opinions. If I wanted to read about products that had been sent, I'd pick up a magazine or something. It's pretty obvious which blogs are the ones that are in it for the free shit, and I'm cool with those. I'll look at the pretty pictures, but I won't take the content seriously.

The "Stock Pictures Only" blogger

I'm not demanding that everyone is a prodigy with a camera - I freely admit that my nail swatches are poor. They were poorer when I began blogging, and I really truly thank everyone who has stuck with my uncleaned cuticles and fugly application since those early days *shudder* but they're slightly better now. Blogging helps you improve, I think. Honestly, I'd rather see a load of completely colour incorrect, smudgy, over exposed swatches than a PR picture (of a colour cosmetic. I don't mind with like foundations and suchlike). At least that blogger has made an effort...if you've just stuck a PR picture into the post, what's to prove you're even reviewing the actual product? It just smacks of laziness for me.
Then again, I may well be biased, seeing as my swatches are crapola. *nervous giggle*

The "Moar wuv, please" blogger

So you have more followers than nearly everyone else blogging in this country and yet you still feel the need to repost the link to your latest article every hour because five comments in twenty minutes isn't enough for you?
Oh, OK then.

The "Popular trendz Xtremezz!" blogger

Bashing whatever the media wants to bash, but taken to the extreme. Take the case of that Kenneth Wong dude on twitter spouting his pro-anorexic nonsense. One blogger goes completely over the top and feels the need to insult and humiliate thin women while simultaenously judging those who would do the same to larger women. The hypocrisy is insane, truly.
Naturally, when you call them out on it it's the standard "don't like it, don't read it." No, I'll just unfollow. And then a few minutes later you're on Twitter again, crying about how your latest post just lost you x amount of followers. No shit!

I'll probably make a part two to this if the response is good. Must. Get. Back. To. Crappy. And. Boring. Homework.

Nail Art Moulds

 I ordered all of these of eBay, along with some polymer clay. They're technically for a technology project, but after that's over I can totally use them for my nails :P
These were about £2 each, with postage? Pretty cheap. Nice and flexible too. I approve.

The "Get it all in there" Nail Art

I do paint both hands but rarely show them both to you because invariable one hand looks fabulous (read, not so disgusting) and the other looks tragic.

I actually felt kind of good about these ones, though, so do have a look...

Left hand thumb.
 Left hand. I used Bundle Monster Plates for all the designs shown here save the ring finger (Hello Kitty), which was done using a Konad plate. Rhinestones purchased from eBay, glitter topcoats are generic and Boots Best Friends respectively.
 Claw hand strikes again! The leaves on the thumb and middle finger were made with a green nail art pen.
 This is my right hand. All were Bundle Monster this time. I think. The index finger /might/ be a Konad plate. Base colours are Barry M Nail Paint in Mint Green and the generic pink that came with the generic glitter.
 Dots were made with the dotting tool in the cheap brush set I ordered from eBay. I think I will have to investigate more on that front, I prefer my dots a little larger.
Right hand thumb; this is a Bundle Monster design surrounded by sequins that came in that one Poundland haul.

Lol. Everything that I'd ordered off the internet was just chucked in here into one huge long nail art spam. I did this for a not so special occasion. Those of us participating in the West Side Story musical at school (which includes moi, being in the orchestra) were ordered back to school on a Sunday, of all days, to go and rehearse. Yes, a Sunday. I kid you not. This is a Catholic school, and the beautiful irony is that the Church that they are affliated with does it's most popular mass during the times that we were meant to be at school. So I couldn't go to Church. I'm pretty lazy anyway so this wasn't a big deal for me but it's the principle, no?

I decided to be all rebellious and flout the "no long/remotely long/things on your nails/no fun nails" violin law and the "no nail polish at school" rule in one fell swoop.
Not that anyone noticed. But our music teacher is a legend - he totally ordered us pizza. So it wasn't all bad. Six extra hours of school = pizza and brownies.

Still Beggin'

Yes, I clearly have my tramp on today.

Just a reminder to please vote for me (Sugar Cookie Cosmetics as the name) in the Bella Sugar Cosmetics poll. Pleeeeeeease. Linked here. It ends at midnight CST time, which is six hours after midnight for those of us in the GMT London time zone!

Thanks so much :)

EDIT: I didn't win, but thanks to all of you for voting anyway!

Beggin', beggin' you oo ooo ooh...

I felt that one Madcon song was particulary apt for this post.

I hate doing this type of post but I would be oh so grateful if you could take the time to quickly vote on Bella Sugar Cosmetics' New Year, New Name Contest poll. Specifically, for the name "Sugar Cookie Cosmetics". Though if you think another name is better, feel free to vote for that, too/instead!

Much appreciated if you do decide to do it!

Nail Mail O_o

Exciting times, lol. Nothing usually ever comes in the post for me and suddenly I get two things at once so I'm like, "Hell yeah."

 I won a giveaway over at Witoxicity! Anne kindly sent me this awesome Rituals lipgloss. It smells divine.

I bought these off eBay for £2.75 (free postage). It's a set of 2000 nail art rhinestones, and they all come in different colours which allows for a bit more creativity. Postage was extremely fast (it arrived about two days after I'd ordered it - and I'd ordered on a weekend!) so yeah, I would order again.

Thank you very much, Anne! Go check out her blog, it's awesome.

Collection 2000 Hot Looks Nail Polish in "Blue Hawaii"


 Can you see those grooves in the top of the bottle? Do you know what they were made by?
A dragon? A crocodile? A Jabberwocky or something equally fearsome?

 No. My dear friends, these were created by the power of teeth alone. My teeth, to be specific. This curious situation arose when I first got this bottle and could not, for the /life/ of me, open it. I tried everything. Towels, opposing hands, oil, water and sheer brute force were all used in my attempt to open it. Zilch. Nada.
Perhaps I should have given in and handed it to my Dad by this point, but me, being ~forever proud~ decided to utilise my teeth.
Meh. It worked.
Do you like my handiwork? I felt proud in a slightly perverse way for managing to damage the bottle such. The grooves are all the way around the lid.

This polish sucks harder than the last one (Big Hair). Bubbles more. Takes longer to dry. More watery and...yeah. All round crap. Even the colour is decidedly generic - I have about three this colour, honestly. I hate it.

Laudation to Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy

I recieved this about a week ago. It was the same day on which my beadpassion order came in, which was a convienient, if random detail.

 So this is basically a little pot of metaphorical gold. Like, the Elixir of Life for eyeshadows or something. It goes above and beyond all the hype, in my opinion. Let me demonstrate why:

 Below are some shades from Sleek's glitter terrorism Sparkle palette - Tinsel, Cranberry and Star Light (from left to right). While all but Star Light had incredibly pigmentation on their lonesome, the Epoxy really refines the colour and makes it more vibrant while holding onto the glitter to make it stand out more, and not causing you to be publicly humiliated.
Above are the shadows without any base or the Pixie Epoxy.
And again, with the magical potion. The difference is insane, and it makes applying shadow a lot easier.

I actually ordered two Pixie Epoxies (one for my mother, and one for myself) and my order came with a free sample of Polar Bear eyeshadow, which I got to swatch exactly once before my mother promptly relieved me of it. :( Anyway, it was gorgeous. 

Fyrinnae state that the Epoxy isn't intended to act as a primer, but I personally find that it holds shadow on me for even longer than my Elizabeth Arden Eye-Fix. Even though it's being posted from the USA, it's still far cheaper. Fyrinnae, in my eyes, are above and beyond most other mineral makeup companies. They've invented their own product and their postage charges are extremely reasonable.


Like my Candy Nails post, this is an introductory post for a new company that is making an effor to reach out to bloggers. Again, like that post, I didn't recieve anything free or get paid to write this. KKCenterHK kindly offered to send me some of their products but I declined.

KKCenterHK specialise in wigs and eyelashes. From browsing their site, they seem to have a good range of human and artificial lashes as well as wigs for everyday wear or cosplay. The prices are dead cheap and the lashes come in a pretty wide product range. Long strips, individual lashes, upper and lower lashlines...

 Here's a link to some reviews from My Material World, Makeup Withrdrawal and Confessions of a Beauty Addict. One thing that I have noticed is that the English does seem to be a little iffy, which is something to bear in mind if you decide to purchase.

I also see some really cheap false nails. No idea how much postage is, though - anyone ordered from here?

Bella Sugar's "New Year, New Name" Contest!

Below is reposted from Bella Sugar's blog:Hello lovelies!!!! Is every one ready for a contest???

We recently were informed by some lovely readers that there is a bloggy beauty thingy operating by the name BellaSugar. We do not want people to think that we are trying to use others for our own publicity (they have been around WAY longer than us), so we have decided to change our name. We decided that we should hold a little.... ok, huge.... contest to allow our fabulous customers to choose a new name. The rules are simple, and as follows:

1. Pick an original name that you think fits us well. We like anything sweets-related (cupcakes to be exact)! Please no obsecne entries.

2. Email your name idea to with your original idea, your name, your email, and your twitter/facebook/retweet/blog follow/blog post link. Make sure the subject line reads "New year, new name contest".

3. You are allowed one entry for the following:
A. Facebook follows
B. Twitter Follows
C. Retweets of contest tweet (Copy and paste in the email)
D. Mentions of contest in your blog (posts only, no sidebars. Link in email)
E. Blog follows

For better chances of getting picked, make sure you submit a different idea with every chance!!!!

What will you be winning???
A prize package of our goodies worth hundreds of dollars!!!! Total prize details will be listed in a new post.

How will we choose a name?
We won't! You will!!!! We will go through all the entries submitted and narrow it down to three we like. Then we will put it to a vote! The person who gets the most votes will win, so make sure you get as many people to follow via twitter, facebook, and blog as you can!!!!

How long do I have to enter?
You have until midnight (CST) January 16 to enter.

Good luck everyone!!!!!!

~ You'd best hurry though, that's in about six hours and thirty minutes for UK readers!

School Appropriate Manicures - What I Wore to my Sixth Form Interview

Naturally, when you're trying to convince the teachers that you've terrorised for five years to allow you a place in their sixth form, you try to make the best impression. Hence I went for this French manicure with a twist.

I made the dots with my recently purchased dotting tool that came in the fifteen piece nail art brush set. I like it, but it's a bit small for me.
Some of the dots are really unevenly sized compared to the others, lol. I still need to get the hang of using a dotting tool.

Sleek Makeup Sparkle Palette Review + Classy Artwork

Did I not mention that I'm practically a professional artist before? No? Oh, well I think it's something you should know. Seriously, I'm so good GCSE Art wouldn't have me. I'd show up the teacher, you see.

 Sleek. We meet again.
 Is it me, or has there not been as much buzz around this palette as there have been over Sleek's previous releases? It's just that since the usual early release reviews, no one seems to have actually purchased one, bought it home and blogged about it. Maybe it's because the Bad Girl/Good Girl palettes are still fresh in people's minds.
 It only took Sleek 39319 years to catch on that naming your shadows is a good idea. I like the clear insert though, even though I totally threw it away after these photos were taken.
 Gorgeous shades. Sleek usually make shades that aren't too light and have nice pigmentation, which is one of the reasons that they're so popular. And these shades are *really* pigmented. Case in point:
 Above are my fingers after the first round of swatches. I'd wiped them off with a tissue as well. It took generous amounts of make up remover to restore my fingers to their natural state.
 This is the firs trow, swatched. Everything is intensely pigmented. While I'm still pissed with Sleek, I grudgingly gave credit where it was due. This palette has, so far, been blowing my mind. The glitter translates on the swatches, too, which I considered a sign that it wouldn't fall out all over my face.
If I'd stopped my review here, I would have been incredibly chuffed with Sleek. This is a case of, "Go and swatch this for yourself" because the sheer amount of pigment was just incredible. I could have barely touched my brush to the pans to have enough to cover like both eyelids. In fact, I'm convinced that all you need to do is hover your brush about three centimetres over the pans and eyeshadow just jumps like magic onto the brush. It's a theory I need to investigate more, but I'm pretty convinced in my hypothesis. And the last two shades applied like butter. The slip was just perfect. It was almost like applying silk to your eyelids.

My Pixie Epoxy came after I'd worn an eyeshadow from this palette for the first time. I was foolhardly, though, and thought all I'd need to wear this palette would be a slightly sticky base and so, armed my brush, the palette and a tissue for under my eyes, I set to work on Monday before school. I usually only spend about ten minutes (the last ten minutes before I absolutely have to leave the house, lol) on my makeup, so didn't feel the need to allocate any more time for it on that particular day.

The next series of ~incredibly high quality~ drawings illustrate my makeup application that day.

 "Check out my palette! It's a beast. I'm totally going to do a smoky eye today. To hell with the no makeup policy!"
 Narrator: Armed with brush, Lena set to work applying her chosen shades.
 "What is this."
 "Realer tears have never been cried."
I had no more time to be faffing around with my face and went to school, highly light reflective. As the entire student population crowded around and mocked, I silently raised my fist to the heavens and cursed Sleek and their glitter (and base colour, just saying) fallout.

Naturally, the palette is now:
tl;dr version: Despite the tissue, silver glitter and base colour ended up all over my cheeks, and the glitter just would not go away no matter how much or what type of makeup remover I used. Then I put on a crap tonne of foundation, which I'd normally never wear to school, and you could still see it. It was ridic. As the day at school went on, glitter would periodically fall off my eyelids and onto my cheekbones.

So traumatising.

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