Archive for February 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway!

I don't know if I spelled that correctly :/ Or if it's even a word...

Anyway. It's weird to think that this has been an entire year of blogging...O_o I've met some awesome people and read some cool blogs along the way, it's been great. And to say thank you, I thought I'd offer you the opportunity to win $30 to spend at Bella Sugar Cosmetics!

Back when I first started bloggging, aaaages ago, I won a palette in a giveaway they hosted - my review is here if you're interested. Lord, how rubbish was (is) my photo taking? They're really nice pigmented colours in reality, don't worry.

Not convinced? Read these reviews from Aijuswhanakno, Phyrra and Confessions of an Aussie Shoeaholic!

Enter here?

Thank you :D If you're one of the 231 lovely people that were following me before I put this notice up, you are automatically given an extra entry!

I don't actually have to put a disclaimer here, as I'm not residing in the US (I think. I know they said something about American hosted servers but wtf? That's like saying if you're in say, Poland, and you do something that's illegal in Italy but not in Poland, but you do it while holding a pizza, you can be extradited and arrested by the Italian government?) but yeah, I did actually pay for this myself, though I got a discount for participating in the lovely Patricia's naming contest. The name is soon to change to Sugar Rush Cosmetics!

EDIT: I was classy and totally forgot to put an end date -.- Ends on the 15th of March? That's a good date right? I quite like that date.

Why am I like this? *confused shrug*

J-Pop inspired manicures - Perfume's "Nee" (ねぇ)

I've always been more of a K-pop fan (even though I was introduced to Japanese music first. Weird) but I am partial to a few Japanese soloists and groups.

FilePerfume Nee promo
I don't own these photos!

Perfume are a three membered technopop group who are completely gorgeous. I'm jealous of their flawless and their electronic badassery, quite frankly. My favourite song by them is called "Nee" which apparantly means "Hey" in Japanese? Anyway it has a simple video which features a lot of grey and has them in cute purple outfits.

From left to right: Kashiyuka, A-chan, Nocchi. Nocchi is so gorgeous O_o

To be honest this was a bit of a fail. I didn't realise how difficult it would be to draw the circles on my left hand...coupled with the lulzy middle finger. And I smudged my little finger. THANKS UNIVERSE.

Anyway the idea was (it'll make more sense if you watch the video, linked below) that the thumb was their outfits in the first promo picture, the index and ring fingers their outfits in the second promo picture (and single cover) leaving the middle finger as the grey background seen in the video and the little finger as Nocchi's coat, which I want. Badly.


J-pop is really hard to find on YouTube. Companies are waking up and making themselves YouTube accounts but quite often, they only put shorterned versions this. The real video is like four minutes long. *sigh*

I've seen a few K-pop fans around the place - any J-poppers want to show yourselves?
Obviously I don't own the video or the promotional pictures. I found the pictures on a fansite, but I can't remember which one. Sorry :(

Nail Mail and Bargains of the Week

I won a giveaway over at The Phalanges Files and the generous ChaosButterfly added some extra polishes in!


The glitter is intense. Thanks so much, ChaosButterfly!


Who knew Tesco's did contact lens solution? I spotted this on MakeupSavvy's blog and promptly picked some up myself - way cheaper than buying from an optician - and it can also be used as eyedrops or as a foiling medium.

Over at TJ Hughes they were selling Rimmel cuticle oil for £.99. I picked some up and it's seriously good. I approve.
I forgot to photograph this but TJ Hughes were also doing alcohol hand gel in spray bottles, two for 69p. I like this for sanitising brushes after washing, or quickly if I'm doing makeup on other people.

Guest Post!

I did a guest post over at Le Gothique. I'd be really grateful if you guys would pop over there and check it out?

Thanks :P

The Gloss Goss?

I really enjoyed reading her blog, but it seems like there's an error or something? Does anyone fancy explaining or are you all as in the dark as I am?

Gu Jun Pyo (Lee Min Ho) illustrates my expression at this time perfectly.

The Lazy Student's Complete Guide to Wearing Nail Polish at School

I'm publishing this in the month of my blogoversary. Fitting, no? With the name of my blog and all, lol. Anyway, this is the long overdue massive tutorial on how I get away with wearing nail polish to school, and the different means by which one can achieve that.

So after a year of trying and failing to wear polish to school, I've come up with various ways to sneak past the ever present teachers with painted nails. There are actually way more ways to do this than one may think. I've found that basic things to consider are:

Your form tutor. Male form tutors are generally way more ignorant than female ones. Stereotypical? Perhaps, but I've only ever had one male teacher call me out on my neon pink and green eyeshadow whearas I've had pretty much all the female ones comment that the vivid orange that I'm wearing is wholly inappropriate in a school setting...

Your school. Religious schools (like mine) and private schools are far more strict on their "no makeup, no nail varnish" policies than ordinary state ones. My school is quite near the top of the league tables (though it's been dropping every year ever since the old headteacher retired) and so they fancy themselves as the best in the area. They don't want us to be mistaken for the schools nearby who have somewhat looser uniform policies - I see you, school with the blue uniform, with your skirts up to your ass - so they crack down on the merest hint of makeup like a dominatrix in a porn video.

Your year. Teachers tend to crack down harder on students say, in Year Nine that are wearing makeup or nail polish compared to those in Year Eleven. That's not to say that they leave us poor Year Eleven's alone. They don't. But they might overlook the odd transgression when they wouldn't for a Year Nine.

The time of year. In September, the teachers are all gung ho about the uniform policy, and the same for when the Christmas breaks are over and it's the start of January - by April, no one cares.

With this considered, we can now proceed to actually painting the nails. There are a few main looks I go for, depending on how lucky I feel and on the factors above:

The "Four Fingers With an Accent"

This is pretty safe. I've rarely been told off for having just one nail painted and if you choose the correct sheer colour, you can still cover up any staining that may be on your nails.


The "Sheer Polish"

This is like the ultimate safe choice - a glitter, or a sheer, on all five of the nails. You have to look really closely to detect that you've got painted nails at all - or at least my teachers do anyway, they don't seem to be known for their eyesight - and even if it is detected, most will just let it slide.

The "Invisible Nail Art"

I love love love Konad/Fauxnad for this purpose. It tones down say, hot pinks or oranges into these perfect subtle tints that you can't really see unless you look closely. They just add a bit of interest to the nail and look cute - plus, they're almost effort free.

and The "One Hand"

This is my riskiest and I only do this when I'm feeling pretty lucky (on a Friday, usually). It's basically when you only paint your non-dominant hand, and leave the other polish free. Painting your non-dominant hand allows you to basically hide it when necessary and still use your other hand in writing situations, for example. It gets a tad awkward when your teacher notices you've suddenly become left handed and thus your handwriting looks like that of a six year old...


During this week (lol, the time frame has been extended a little) I'm going to explore each of the four styles in detail, with some more examples that you guys could use if you need to be in a school (or work) environment. So do keep checking back!

BeautyUK Metallic Eye Sparks Review - Complete Range

I wrote my original BeautyUK review not so long ago (on the Eye Sparks. I'd reviewed one of their nail polishes previously). It was ultimately positive but I did point out areas of possible improvement. Then I forgot about it.


Two or three days later I received a Twitter message – from BeautyUK. They’d read my review, and wanted my email address to address some concerns.
I was seriously taken aback. I hadn’t contacted them in any way (which means that the company have been making good use of Google Alerts) and a little snooping on my part revealed that they’ve recently been making good use of various social networking mediums to reach out to bloggers and YouTube gurus, something I always applaud.


I was emailed by Sara at BeautyUK and she explained that the Sellotape around the products was applied by Superdrug – “I would love to send you free replacements of these pencils – you’ll be pleased to know there is no tape wrapped around the lids of these ones either! We’ve asked Superdrug not to do that as it looks awful – but once they buy the products off of us it’s technically theirs so it’s up to them." and even offered a suitable suggestion for a sharpener for the pencils "With regards to sharpening – I use a boots own brand sharpener (which has a large and small sharpen section) and it seems to work fine.... just for future sharpening." She then asked for my postal address so as to send some replacement products. Incredible.


Naturally, I then went to Superdrug (a different one, this time) and proceeded to drop more coin on BeautyUK. Call me easily impressed – “Lena, you’re easily impressed!” – but I’m far more inclined to purchase from a company that clearly cares about their customers than one that acts like it does not. Unfortunately, this particular stand in this particular Superdrug had been abused. It looked like one of those really sad monkeys that you get on those animal rights ads. Seriously.


The three pencils that I managed to grab were almost the only ones left. There were no more gold pencils, a couple of greens and one more blue. The few that remained had the gems at the bottom callously removed by some bitchy pre-teen. For some reason, that really pissed me off. Don’t you have better things to do than to pick gems off makeup products? Go back to school. Hurray for no tape, however.


I would have bought the Bright palette, because that’s been piquing my interest for quite a while now, but I had no more moolah. Boo.


I’m digging this company, big time. Look at the pretty swatches!


The colours are gorgeously unique. I rarely use these without an eyeshadow over the top anyway but the fact is that the pretty remains if you have drier eyelids than me. I like using the silver and the purple near the tear duct, as a quick highlight. All of the pencils fare well as lower lash line liners, as well – because the lower lash line is less mobile than the eyelid, these don’t crease as easily. It makes for a great pop of colour, especially as these shades are pretty special. I love the “lit from within” look that the purple/red and the blue have!

So creamy! Wonder what my teachers would think if I submitted my coursework written in gold eye pencil...

These are easy to sharpen with the correct sharpener. I’ve sharpened the silver since it’s last outing. It now works well but the formulation is a lot softer than the other four colours – it’s easy to apply too much. Shame, because it looks really good on the eyelid. 

Where these excel, in my opinion, is as a base for matte eyeshadows. I have a TON of mattes that are basically pigmentless (which is why I need to get my ass down to Inglot, quick sharp) unless you layer them 2838319 times. This is hard to do over a conventional primer as you just end up wiping away the previous layers when you try to apply more. With this baby underneath, that doesn't happen. It grabs onto and intensifies the pigment of your eyeshadow. Love. Amor. Sarang. Adore <3 Us UK girls don't have as many options as the US girls when it comes to finding bases at drugstore prices, so this is really useful.
I find these easily last the school day with only minimal creasing on myself, sans primer underneath, and after that they fade rather than crease.

The price is great, the company is wonderful and they perform well. Ten out of ten points.

Miners "Tin o' Tint" lip balm review and OMG IT DELETED MY BLOG ROLL

 These tins are adorable, really. I do like them.


Anyway, my Mum returned from an impromptu shopping trip at TJ Hughes with one of these for my sister and myself. I'm under the impression that you can find these at the Miners website for £2.99, but these were £1.99 from TJ Hughes. Gotta love that.
They do deliver a subtle tint on lips are rather pigmented, so someone with paler lips would probably get a lot more out of this product. I like the fact that the gloss isn't over the top and the product isn't too melty, even when it's been kept in a pocket.


The moisture does hang around for a while. It's like Vaseline but way better. Smells great, too, though once it's on your lips it has no scent.

I know many people aren't fans of dipping their fingers into a tub, but I make an exception for this - it's just too cute!


*punches Blogger in the face*


I've been kindly alerted by jaljen at NailPolishUK that the comments section isn't working. I'm trying to get it fixed :P Thanks jaljen!

How to wear Pink Eyeshadow

This post was prompted by the Sleek Good Girl palette. I feel like it's the one Sleek palette that genuinely deserves a lot of the praise aimed at the brand in general, yet many bloggers seemed to dislike it, saying that the colours were repetitive and basically implying that pink shouldn't be on the eyes, suggesting that it was a blush palette instead... I was like "O_o" at this because once the palette is in your hands, you can clearly see that there is a really decent mix of colours and they're not too "samey". Also, pink and similar colours can be worn really easily, without one looking like a zombie. Promise!

To demonstrate this, I did a few quick looks. Exhibit A (haha, just like the NARS blush)

The main lid colour is "Papaya" and "Raspberry Coulis" is at the end of the eyelid. The browbone highlight is "Meringue" but I don't think that worked out so well...It looked like a GWMD (glittery weapon of mass destruction) I need to use these with a light hand! The eyeliner is just a random one I picked up in a Afro-Carribean store in London. It's not particularly amazing, so I don't feel the need to mention the name.
I did all of these looks over BeautyUK's Eye Sparks. It really grabbed onto the shadow, because these really won't stick without a good sticky primer/base. I did start out using Pixie Epoxy, but it made them so bright that practically the moment I walked into the school building I was handed a makeup wipe. Two fingered salute to the dance teacher. Stupid bitch.

Next up:


I used Peach Melba for this look. I think. It may well have ben Pink Grapefruit. *shifts uneasily*
The eyeliner I felt was too overwhelming for the amount of glitter that seemed to be present on my eye as a whole...gotta love crappy eye makeup removers! Anyway, it was No7 Stay Perfect Eye Pencil in "Blackest".


 I used "Morello" all over the lid. Eyeliner was Urban Decay's "Zero" and the mascara in all three looks was the Elizabeth Arden one that I reviewed not so long ago. I really detest it now and am on the hunt for a new one. While I was doing these looks, it BURNED my eye, I'm not even joking. It hurt so much. Why the fudge would you make a product used near the eyes be that incredibly painful. I don't even know.

I find that the key to wearing pink/orange/red/peach/yellow (if you're not too confident with wearing those colours) is to just smother it in eyeliner and mascara. That way, it sort of creates a seperation between your eye and the eyeshadow and looks bright and interesting rather than "Do you need a doctor?"

I personally love the fact that Sleek have brought out a palette full of these sorts of shades - they're pretty rarely seen for a drugstore brand, especially the red. I love Morello, it's exactly the shade of red that I have been looking for. It's a shame that this was limited edition.

Completely unrelated, but my Maths teacher is a complete douchebag.

Sleek "Good Girl" iDivine

Dedicated to Jaljen. :P


When I first saw this packaging, I thought of this song by the Korean girl group "miss A"

Then I realised that the Bad Girl palette is like forever sold out, so I'd never be able to complete my set. Then I thought of this song, which sums up my feelings to Sleek in general quite nicely.
Anyway. I pretty much love the colours in this palette. I'm a big fan of pink on the eyes and while this palette may look like it's just full of one colour, they actually have lovely variations within them (corals, oranges, hot pinks and light pinks, frost, shimmer etc) that make it worth the money, in my opinion.


The actual palette is in the basic Sleek style, so I felt no need to photograph the outside.

Check out the pseudo artistic angle!

I was so estatic to find it, I actually told the shop assistant that I loved her. Twice. I went into this really obscure Superdrug to pick up some other Sleek items for a friend that doesn't live in the UK and on a whim, asked her to check the drawer to see if there were any available. Luckily enough, there were! An entire stack, in fact. There was plenty of that and the Sparkle palette (never again) in stock, but I didn't see any Bad Girls.

The shade names are on a clear sleeve insert. I like this. The name "Lychee" is great. I really like all of the names, actually - I think they're quite fitting.


Above is the first row, swatched. I'm inclined to call this one of Sleek's best palettes yet, simply because there are no pigmentation duds. Everything is nice and pigmented. I think that's to do with the abscence of mattes - aside from their matte blacks, Sleek's mattes are rubbish. No pigment, and the ones that do have some semblance pigment require industrial grade wood glue to actually stay on your eyelid for more than ten seconds.


"Morello" is fantastic. A gorgeous red that I will most likely get a lot of use from.

I don't like the frost finishes on some of the shadows. Pink frost? Wasn't that a bit 80s, and then on the lips? I wore one to school today, and it was insanely noticeable (I had two teachers comment) and I didn't dig it. Made me feel old and clashed with my red lips that day. That'll teach me to leave like two minutes for makeup.

While the pigmentation isn't an issue, these babies do need a good sticky base to apply at all evenly to the eyelids. I used BeautyUK's eye sparks to keep these on (no primer) and it lasted all day. I'm not sure how to reduce the frost effect of that particular eyeshadow. Hmm. Any suggestions?

All in all, I'm not in any hurry to pay double the retail price for it, but I do like this. It's one of Sleek's better palettes, and I feel that every (almost every, then. Maybe not that frosty pink) shade is useful. The two highlights are gorgeous and shimmery with very fine glitter that doesn't end up all over your cheeks. I think lighter skinned people could get a lot of use out of this palette.

Sweet Kawaii Nail Art + Happy Valentine's Day!

Here are the famous deco-den nails that I alluded to in my previous post! I created the roses and bows from moulds, and purchased the pearls online. I'm planning to do a huge post on 3D Nail Art/Deco-den pretty soon, so stay tuned! These are done on my natural nails.


The base colour is Nails Inc "Little Venice" and the dots were made using a cocktail stick and a generic hot pink polish.
I'm not entirely sure whether a real sweet lolita would wear these. :/ Any out there that would be willing to weigh in? If so, please do!


Nails Inc - "Little Venice"

When I first saw this polish, I thought it'd be exactly the same as Nails Inc's "Sloane Mews" but it's really not. Four coats later and I have a gorgeous, soft, light pink of the kind that is perfect for sweet lolita kawaii nail art - which shall be showcased, but not in this post. I have been experimenting with decoden parts on nails, and I think the results are finally ready to be shown to the world. Anticipate!


One coat of this polish (pictured, above and below) makes a great "My nails are naturally this flawless" colour for school. While Sloane Mews is still very sheer even after two or three coats, to wear two coats of "Little Venice" for school would be pushing it, I feel.

The polish doesn't contain any shimmer, again unlike Sloane Mews, which does. It's also way more of a streaky pain, but I don't feel that it's as annoying as "Shoreditch" was. When I say annoying, I mean for a Nails Inc polish which are usually pretty flawless (as they should be, for the price!). Even the most irritating Nails Inc polish doesn't compare to say, the most irritating Miss Sporty polish. Damn you, Clubbing Colours Yellow. I will forever detest you and your ilk.

It leans slightly peach, but only in certain lightings.


I've got a few questions (off topic).

I'm currently very pissed off with Sleek MakeUp, but I somehow managed to track down their Good Girl palette. Do I post or not? On one hand, I don't want to give them any positive coverage - on the other, the colours are soooo up my alley it's not even funny. Plus, I didn't think I'd ever be able to find it after it sold out except perhaps for double the retail price on eBay.
Weirdly, at this Superdrug they even had a couple of the purple and yellow Pout Polishes and some of the Sparkle iDivines left over, so perhaps Sleek aren't that popular? It's a pretty white area (no offence) so perhaps there is less demand for a brand catering primarily to black women....

 So does anyone want to see the pictures?

Nails Inc - "Shoreditch"

The first of the two mini bottles. I've just applied "Little Venice" but that's going to be included in a special post so I'm not posting the photos here as of yet.

Can I just take a minute to continue raving about NYC's topcoat? I applied it last thing at night, went to bed, and woke up in the morning with no sheet marks. Incredible. It applies so thinly and dries really quickly. If this was double the price, I'd still buy it - and you don't hear me say that very often!

Onto the photos!


The formula of these seems to be much thicker than the regular line of polishes. I like it because then I don't flood my cuticles, but at the same time it does look streaky. This was three coats, when my maximum number would be two for the normal bottles. I had to use the extra coat to even everything out.


I like the colour, but it's not particularly unique. Not really digging this polish, Nails Inc.


Who else has had experience with the mini bottles?

The Lazy Student - Shaping One's Nails

Kicking off February ten days in, naturally with a series of nail care tutorials. Well, what I've managed to deduce.

I've been struggling with my nails for quite some time, actually. They were all weak and peely in the summer. Part of this was down to diet, which has since been changed - for the most part - but I realised that moisturising my hands as well as the rest of my body would work wonders. Hence I've been only painting one hand at a time and applying hand and cuticle cream frequently. My right hand now looks a lot more presentable, and rarely has any peeling issues. The index finger of the left hand still has quite a few peels, though, and the nails on that hand aren't quite as long.

Anyway. This series will just be about things I've picked up about nail care so far. Feel free to correct!


Notice the middle and index fingers are really quite rounded compared to the ring and little fingers. I'm going to try and correct that somewhat, though I'll need the sides to grow out slightly more to rectify it completely.

I'm going to use these tools.


I wouldn't really recommend the crystal nail file. It's from Poundland (so I wasn't expecting that much anyway) but after a while the glass on it wears down and it requires replacing. Still, it is only a pound...
The coloured buffer was 99p from Wilkinsons. It's got four sides and is actually pretty decent considering it's price. I can't remember where I purchased the white buffer but it was probably pretty cheap. I'll be using that at the end to seal the nail plate further and give a shine to the nail.

I always file in the same direction, towards myself. It doesn't matter which way you file, as long as you try and keep it consistent. I squared off the tops of both nails (slightly unevenly, it has to be said) before rounding the corners slightly. Alternatively, if I'd been willing to lose a lot more length, I could have just filed straight down so that the free edge was pretty much non existent. Then, when the nail grew back again, it would look just like the ring and little fingers. Try whichever method you think will work for you.

I then doublechecked my work by looking at the undersides of my nails, like this.


And this:

I find it quite helpful as it helps point out any slants or uneveness, and lets you compare them to each other.

Finally, I finished up with this. Photo is taken after sealing the nail plate, which I'll do another post on) but before the nails were buffed.


They're not perfect, but it's a start, right? /is nervous.
Naturally, for a school appropriate look, nothing gets more appropriate than natural, shiny, buffed nails! Easiest look ever.

Please give feedback, both positive (if there's any to be and negative!

Powered by Blogger.

Living Legends