Archive for March 2011

The Lazy Student - "Invisible Nail Art"

Did you think I'd forgotten about this series? I haven't, don't worry. I just needed time to create more school appropriate nail designs.

This style of school appropriate nail polish is heavily reliant on Konad/Fauxnad, whatever you choose to use. Stamping plates look clean and professional, aren't time consuming to do and crucially don't use a lot of nail polish. Creating a design with stripers or acrylic is far more obvious because the nature of the materials means that you have to use a lot more, thus your design/rule breaking is far more obvious. Having said that, nail decals or stickers work nicely as well, like so:

For an ultra subtle look, use a light coloured polish - pastels are even better. This is virtually undectectable, save for your own eyes, and any mistakes aren't obvious. I did a design using Nails Inc Brompton Place (a baby pink) but it was a pain to photograph because it was light.
Twisted my hand so you could see it a little better.
 If you wanted to go that way, you could easily stamp all five fingers and get away with it. When I use darker colours, I tend to only stamp one or two as if I decorate any more, I run the risk of being caught.

Darker colours work nicely, though, for a contrast and a bit of edginess.
These are all images from a Bundle Monster plate. I stamped two designs on my thumb, in different colours (a black by Miss Sporty and Nails Inc Queensgate Mews) and another two on the middle finger. Poor attempt at layering. I need to start working on that.
Whether you've gone dark, light, or used a nail decal, you can easily paint the undecorated nails with a sheer polish if you don't want to go completely naked.
There is a fourth way, which is to stamp french tips onto your tips. I did that in the main post (linked at the beginning of this post) and that also has a better picture of the light stamping polish in action.

Again, I'll keep adding nail designs to this post. The eventual idea is to have a little store of nail designs here which any visitor can quickly refer to. I'll update once this has happened (probably not for a long while yet!)

Is anyone else interested in the upcoming Bundle Monster plates? I like the fact that they've listened to feedback and added backing to the plates (anyone who's ever tried them could attest to their sharpness) and have also increased the size of their full nail designs. Finally. Even Konad's are a bit small for my thumb.

BeautyUK Metallic Eye Sparks Complete Range Amended Review

Some of you guys might remember this post, in which I reviewed BeautyUK's Metallic Eye Sparks and claimed it was the full range. Well, the replacements for my broken sparks arrived not too long ago (kindly sent by the lovely people at BeautyUK, who were very VERY generous - you'll see in a little while!) and I realised that there was actually a sixth colour in the range, a bronze shade.
SAM_7849*sits with egg on face*
SAM_7848...yeah. Naturally, I had to reswatch all of them and add the bronze one into the collection! Otherwise, it'd feel lonely. Below I've got some words from my original review.
SAM_7852I really have to purchase some more BeautyUK products past the nail polishes and the eye pencils. I've got my eye on their bright eyeshadow palette.

I love this bronze shade, it's a great highlighter on black girls like myself and looks way less harsh than white near the eye. BeautyUK seem to think of everyone with their products, which is nice.

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!

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.

I'm Back!

I was actually back on Sunday/Saturday, but was far too knackered to post, and school is seriously arsewhipping me at the moment so I couldn't post on Monday, either - sorry.

I recieved the freebies from that The Sun Buzz promotion today, actually. I did send off for two (no, I'm not being greedy, I was going to add it to an upcoming Barry M giveaway prize pack!) but I only got one. I figured it would happen, to be honest, as they usually only let you claim one for these things, don't they? Even though I purchased two copies. And I don't read the Sun. *shudder*. Still, it's a pretty decent offer, isn't it? Only one token to collect, and you get £9 worth of Barry M products for the cost of one paper! I think it was about 80p? 60p? Can't quite remember. It was cheap! The magazine inside was worth a read, but the actual Just no.

A rather craptastic photograph. Sorry guys, I'll retake them if I have an in depth look at the products.

I bought the copies of the paper on Saturday. My Mum came back from the airport having purchased two copies (at the airport, naturally) - but oddly, they were lacking the magazine inside - which was the part that I needed! I then made a mad rush to the local newsagents and bought two more, which did have the magazine inside, cut out the tokens, and then gave one to my Mum who was going up to town to get herself a new pair of shoes. I kept the other as I had an orchestra rehearsal at school (on a flipping Sunday, call ourselves a Catholic school) the next day. I reasoned that I could quickly pop into the Superdrug there, exchange the token and pick up a couple of makeup items while I was there.

Unfortunately, I went down there to find that all the stock had vanished within the first hour - on Saturday. My Mum reported the same thing. So we'd have to send it to the Sun Buzz offices (at our own cost) to redeem the tokens. Great.
I do feel like the Sun Buzz should have seen it coming. It's a one day thing (as in, you don't have to go and collect all the tokens over x number of weeks) and it's a very popular newspaper - many women and men read it, and were likely to take the offer up. Therefore, they should have, or the people in charge of that decision should have manufactured and distributed more sets so that readers wouldn't then have to send it off at their own expense.

I'm probably just being ungrateful though. The products do look really nice. I know that the lipgloss will never suit me, so I've put that away for a giveaway/swap/love package use, but I think the nail polish colour is rather unique and everyone loves a black eyeliner.

EDIT: Today, I recieved the second package - so the Sun Buzz are honouring all tokens, and it's been added to the giveaway prize ;)
Did any of you guys take up this offer? Did you manage to get it instore or did you have to send off for it?

Boots No7 Amazing Eyes Eye Pencils, Complete Range Review

*Scheduled Post*

At least, it's the complete range according to the website, which is kinda sparse. There are a few more colours of the Metallic Eye Pencils instore (Khaki and Brown, anyone?) than are shown on the website. It might be the same for these, too.
Anyway, I picked these up with my £5 off voucher (the 3 for 2 on No7 Cosmetics is ending on Tuesday the 29th, by the way - just a heads up) and I really like them. Though the colour range is a little dull, they do go the distance and the smudger on the end is a quaint touch.
SAM_7816SAM_7819I like the fact that these are gold. It makes the packaging feel luxe, solid in your hand.
SAM_7820I'm not seeing a huge amount of difference between Blue-Grey and Brown, here. On my hand they look rather similar. Perhaps it would be different for someone with lighter skin?
SAM_7821The plastic surround is cute, though I do prefer the bog standard wooden pencil type eyeliners. Those seem to be getting rarer these days, no idea why. Consumer preference, I guess?
SAM_7822The black applied a little too softly for my tastes. In fact, as I was picking it up, I accidentally dropped it (from a very, very low height) onto the rug, and a smudge of black was left on the rug. Which is cream. Nice one, Lena! :P I think it was because it was slightly warm, though, as the next time I used it it was a lot harder. The other two pencils were on the harder side of soft, not creamy, but depositing good colour. The smudger on the end allows for an easy smoky eye, if you're that way inclined.
These held up really well to the water test, I was impressed!

All in all, I do quite like these. They're student friendly once you've got one of the No7 vouchers in your hand - at full price, they cost £7.75. I'm not sure if I would pay full price for these...the colour range is too limited, for me.

Why U Lyk This, MUA?

 Schedueled Post! (look, I can't spell schedueled, OK?)

Waiiii. There are MUA eyebrow pencils available? Why aren't they on the website? Or in my Superdrug? Raaaaaaaaage.

Tape Funky French

 Schedueled post!
SAM_7714I thought I'd have a quick play with some Sellotape and came up with this manicure.
SAM_7709It uses ASOS Paints - Alexa (dark blue) and ASOS Paints - Olivia (orange).

Sleek Codes

So apparantly Sleek (background here, and here) have finally decided to issue their 50% off codes to people that couldn't order originally. If you've recieved an email from Sleek makeup/emailed them with an issue (about that sale), they'll send you the code. Or that's the idea, anyway.

I have been in correspondance with Saif and emailed over the issue but haven't recieved anything yet, so we'll see. I'll update when I'm back from D of E :/

The Great D of E Makeup Challenge

If anyone who has followed for a while remembers around this time last year, I was moaning about going on our Duke of Edinburgh Expedition. Too right. It was awful...

Wet. Cold. Windy. Obnoxious teachers sitting around eating bacon sandwhiches in the warm. Tents collapsing. Mud. Almost getting killed by a load of cows that wanted to eat us...the less said about the expedition, the better.

So it's like a day until the whole experience is repeated again, this time for two nights and three days. Three days? Three days without the internet? Three days without makeup?


Instead, I have challenged myself to come up with a makeup look that is light (to carry), not bulky (again, to carry), and pretty low maintainence. Sparsity is the key. No foundation, probably no concealer, and multi tasking products are the order of the day.

My eyeshadow primers of choice (I do love my eyeshadow) will be a tag team of Pixie Epoxy and Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden. I want to put this deadly duo to the test - how long can it keep on my eyeshadows through these conditions? I don't think we're allowed to shower on the first day (can I say GROSS! A day of walking in heavy clothes and no shower!) but it'll all be washed off on the second day, when we are.
SAM_7837My emergency, no makeup makeup D of E kit is just three items. And a mirror, but I didn't photograph that.  I'm trying to regain the momentum I lost when I mentioned the mirror...yeah. No brushes required, just apply and go, basically.
SAM_7838It consists of No7 Amazing Eyes Eye Pencil in Black, No7 Metallic Eye Pencil in Purple and a homemade lip tint.
SAM_7839 The black eye pencil can act as a brow pencil, and I'll tightline as I don't have any mascara on me - the Metallic Eye Pencil will serve as an all over wash of colour which shouldn't budge and the lip tint will double as a cheek tint. Innovative, right? Or plain stupid, no one needs makeup on D of E.
SAM_7840I've schedueled posts, don't worry :)

The Gloss Goss Back!

Sort of, anyway. Tali's made an appearance on Bubblegarm's blog (linked).

It's a fashion post, pretty interesting!

Goo Hye Sun and Kim Hyun Joong express my face like so:

Allura Nail Buffer Blocks Review

What is this bull.

Hey, Poundland - I want my pound back!
Don't judge, guys. A pound can get you a lot these days. Medium fries at McDonalds or a product from the MUA range or even one of the Wilkinson's nail buffers, which actually work.

Not these.

I've had my eye on these for a while, and so picked them up the last time I was in Poundland. "Ooh" I thought. "Four buffers for a pound! What a bargain!"

It'd be a great bargain, if they didn't all have the same grit. Yes, you read that correctly. Run your hands over any of the four sides and they all feel the same - that is, of nothing.


Nooooothing. I've felt paper with more texture. This is just coloured, soft plastic.

You know that something is wrong when the "file" side is the same smoothness as the "shine" side. These don't even make your nails shiny! What a rip.
SAM_7783 The only use I've found for them is this:
They make OK nail sponging tools. Not great. They're alright.

Save your money and run, run for the hills! Or at least to Wilkinsons, where they sell a single one for 99p that is infinitely more useful.

Party Fauxnad

I went to an aftershow party on Saturday, and so I felt some stamping was in order to spice up my nails. I haven't played around with my stamps for a while, so it was a nice experience. I need to work on layering them, I've seen people do incredible things with three or four different designs on one nail.


I stamped a white Allura French Manicure polish (very nice and opaque, ideal for stamping) over Nails Inc Queensgate Mews. I love this colour - it's probably one of my favourite Nails Inc colours. This stamps surprisingly well also, although it does lean purple. I used a Bundle Monster plate for designs.

To jazz it up even further, I added some glitter:
It's a Funky Fingers polish that I won in a giveaway hosted by the lovely ChaosButterfly over at The Phalanges Files. I sort of sponged it over using an Allura nail buffer which I will rant about in another post. Such a joke. Urgh.

Did you guys have a good weekend?

I'd quickly like to thank everyone that commented on the sponsored post and also on the post before that in which I asked your opinions on the topic - your kind replies are much appreciated!

*Sponsored Post*

Normal posting will resume shortly. I've got a client who has paid me to post some links on the blog about some beauty articles.

Here are some of the best recent articles on Beauty:

The Best Makeup Shades for All Skin Tones: 10 Makeup Shades That Look Good on All Skin Tones via Hello Beautiful

Find Your Perfect Foundation:   A Guide to Types of Foundation Makeup via Makeup for Acne and Sensitive Skin

Find Rankings for Online Beauty Schools: Rankings for Online Beauty Schools which was featured on types of business degrees

Pretty Hairstyles: 5 Sexiest Hairstyles for Spring via  Cosmetique Blog

Proceeds go towards giveaway prizes for you guys :)

Non-blogging Day? Er...what?

I believe that this post from Lolaatittude (French and English) sums it up /perfectly/.

There's actually nothing else I have to add, really - she covers it all. Who is this blogging authority who decides when we can and cannot blog? Who criticises others for not following this bizarre imposed doctrine? Clearly, I've missed something. Japan doesn't care about a few less nail polish posts on the interwebs on one day. It does care about donations and prayers.

Boots No7 Eye Palette

I'm sure most people in the UK that follow makeup probably own at least one of these ubiquitous palettes now. No7 hand them out with mascaras that they couldn't shift in time for the new stock during their £5 promotions.
And they don't even bother changing the colours :(
Still, I find this is a pretty solid palette. Nice neutrals and I regularly find myself reaching for all but the gold shade. The shadows have an interesting appearance in their pans. It's almost like they're flat, baked shadows, but very highly pigmented ones. At some point, I need to try these out wet.
Apologies for the state of the palette, I've been using it for two, three weeks now? I did try and clean it up but it was a slightly harder task than I'd anticipated...:/
So we have a glittery white gold, a light sort of olive green (with lots of gold in that, too) a nice brown and a sort of dark tea rose colour. The last three are shimmers, but the first is essentially a glitter shadow with all the fallout and patchyness that comes with it. Not a fan. I adore the other three shades, though.
Minor gripe about the brush supplied:
I lied. It's a pretty major grievance.
What the hell are you meant to use this sparsely bristled, floppy, short, badly shaped monstrosity for? It's a fricking insult. You can't even apply the shadow properly with this thing, let alone actually blend/apply eyeliner with it (that's what I'm assuming the slanted side is for). Yuck. At least you can use sponge tipped applicators for nail art.

Highly pigmented, smooth, etc. I find that because of these (positive) attributes, they can quickly become fallout city, so do remember to tap off the excess. Also, the pans do move slightly if you push them down too hard. But I do quite like this. A win for No7. Now if they only came out with a few more colours....

Nails Inc Crackle?

The picture quality from QVC was awful but I've linked regardless. It's a set of three polishes (a black, a white and a silver, so pretty safe colours) and it's probably far more expensive than the Barry M/Models Own alternatives. Did anyone pick these up? I guess Nails Inc are the latest company to jump on the crackle bandwagon.

Thanks to Ash-Lilly for the heads up!

Unfortunately, my giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone that entered! I'll try and get a winner picked during this week!

Giveaway Reminder

Just putting a note out there to say that my giveaway deadline is almost up - you have until Midnight GMT to enter!

New Barry M Crackle Colours!

Barry M have just released three more colours of their polish line - a blue, a white and a pink. I've linked the photos here.

I saw this on "Lady from a Tramp"'s blog and thought I'd let my followers know as well.

I wonder if the white is really frosty, like the name? I don't like frost polishes at all. Will wait for swatches before I decide whether to buy it - I haven't been able to find the original Black Magic colour yet...completely sold out where I live.

Still finding the Model's Own colours more attractive, myself. What do you guys think?

What's In My Bag? Performance Edition

Hey everyone!

Yesterday was our last performance of West Side Story and since I've not updated much during this week I thought I'd show you guys what I have been taking to school for the performances, cosmetic wise.
The short answer is "too much".


Thought I'd take a couple of vanity shots before getting onto the actual matter at hand.

So here is everything contained within that little bag:

For real. To make it less assaulting, visually, I grouped the products by function.
Lip products! I took the Active Cosmetics Eye/Lip palette, for the days when I wanted a brighter lip and a natural eye, two Bobbypin lip glosses (really really pigmented, but also unreasonably sticky. And drying) a Rituals lip gloss (wore this on the last day, under really bright light the shimmer made my lips look blue and earned me some questioning looks from my Music teacher) the Miners Tin o' Tint and Palmer's Moisturising Lip Balm. Yeah. All that over four days. I didn't even wear the nude gloss...
Oh, and I have no idea how the No7 eyeliner made it's way into this photo.
Both of these are blush brushes but I use the pink handled one to apply powder as well. The black one is by :things: and the pink one comes in one of those sets that Bobbypin do at Christmas.
The No7 eyeliner was meant to be here, but went to go and hang with the lip colours instead. Fine.
This is the Elizabeth Arden mascara and Urban Decay's "Zero" eyeliner. I don't like the mascara but I'll keep using it until it's finished as it was expensive. Nothing but praise for Zero, and I really like the No7 powder eyeliner - pity that it was limited edition. I find it's great for a smoky eye, or for precise lining of the lower lash line.
Fragrance wise, we have Boots Natural Collection Body Spray in "Vanilla" and Ted Baker's Bodywear body spray. As you can see, the Natural Collection spray has been quite well loved. I do dig the smell and it was only £2 or so, for 250ml - bargain, much? I like them both, but the Natural Collection one only lasts for about twenty minutes before the smell is undetectable. I find the Bodywear spray is quite unique and I'll be repurchasing when it runs out.
I used Chit Chat Pressed Powder on the T-Zone, as it got seriously hot in that hall (and I almost never feel it's too hot. I love heat, lol) and the school had photographers so naturally I didn't want to look like a shiny freak. I've already been told that I look really miserable when I play the violin (probably true) so why would I add to that visual with a sweaty face?
I only wore the Sleek blush once (I think on Wednesday?). It's "Scandalous" from their Valentine's Day collection. On the other days I wore my pink blush that just won't die.
I have a friend in the orchestra who is equally obsessed with nail polish, so when I wore "Totally Teal" (Boots No7)  I brought the bottle along so we could paint our nails together. I wore this for the first two nights of the show's run, and on the last two I wore Nails Inc "Lowndes Square". Both were sealed with the NYC top coat, which I rave about so much I convinced my Mum to buy a bottle.
Finally, I had the random things that didn't fit in a category. The "Comfort Drops" were purchased from Specsavers. They're good for contact lenses, which I've been wearing for the performances as I hate having my photo taken with glasses on. The red thing in the middle is rosin (for the bow of the violin) and there's also paracetamol, because someone always needs it. This wisdom can be applied to real life, as well. O_o
 That was basically everything in my bag. I left out obvious things like mobile phones/water/keys/tuner/purse/score because that's dull, but yeah. I did my eye makeup before I left the house and I generally expect eyeshadow to go the distance, so I didn't take any of that with me to touch up, and I don't wear foundation except on very special occasions so that too was left behind.

I think I have a problem. No one needs that many cosmetics for three/four hours a night...

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