Monday, 17 February 2014

NOTD: Barry M Gelly in Watermelon & No7 Starshower




Barry M No7 nail polish

This was a NOTD I found languishing in my many draft posts. I decided against posting it as I was left feeling a little underwhelmed with my first roll of the dice with Barry M's Gelly polish. In hindsight I think my expectations were just a bit inflated and I did love this manicure combination. 

Barry M Watermelon swatch manicure

Watermelon was a bit tricky to apply and didn't look as glossy as I was expecting but I've since tried two or three other polishes from this range which do look very glossy so perhaps this is just a bit of a dud in that regard. The shade is something I've struggled to find elsewhere; it's darker and more green than a teal but it's not super green either. I think it would suit most people and it doesn't look too outlandish. The wear time on this polish wasn't great either; it chipped within a couple of days. At under £4 it wasn't a bad buy but if you already have a similar shade, I wouldn't be rushing out to pick this up. It does make a nice pedicure colour too - that's what I've got on just now.

Starshower was a random purchase but I've grown quite fond of it both as a general manicure colour and as an accent nail against deeper jewel type tones. I like it especially next to Watermelon because I feel that it 'lifts' it a bit. Application and wear time with this polish are both much better. No7 polishes were never a product I rated previously but I picked this up for £3 with a voucher so it's definitely worth a look!

Have you tried any of Barry M's Gelly polishes? Let me know what you thought!

Stace xx


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Blog sale page updated!

Hi guys,

How is everyone? I've been doing a little beauty spring cleaning.

If you're in the mood for a Sunday bargain then check out my updated blog sale page. Even if you're reading this and it's not a Sunday you should have a look anyway! There's some new MAC, NARS, YSL and plenty more (like the below GORGEOUS Deborah Lippmann polish)


Click on the link in this post or at the top of this blog to get to the page.

Thanks for looking!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wishlist Wednesday: Budget Friendly Candles

Everyone loves candles, don't they? I've been a dedicated Yankee Candle fan for several years now but recently started looking into cheaper alternatives (including some great options at Primark, believe it or not). What I really look for in a candle is a scent which will fill the room and a good burn time. I prefer candles which come in glass jars as I like how these look when the flame is flickering. This post includes some of the more budget friendly candles I've got my eye on. These would make great Christmas presents if you're feeling like sharing the candle-love.



Lily-Flame in Wild Jasmine

I have it on good authority that these candles are pretty great. Midnight Jasmine is one of my all time favourite Yankee scents so I'm keen to try something similar from another brand.


Shearer Candle in Amber Noir

This is one of Shearer's best selling candles - they describe it as a heady, warm scent which is right up my street. 


Shearer Candle in Orange & Cinnamon

This is slightly more expensive than the tin candles from this brand (it's still only £7.20 though) but the scent is orange and cinnamon; who can say no to that?!

Made in England in Red Cherries

Okay, so the packaging on this isn't as beautiful as I'd like but it has a burn time of 65 hours and only costs £8.99. I'm keen to see how it compares with Yankee Black Cherry which is one of my favourites.


Country Candle in Moroccan Blush Rose

How pretty is this packaging? I think this would be a lovely bedroom candle in the spring/summer time. It's only £5.20 too!


All images and links are from Casa Candles - this isn't a sponsored post, they just have the best prices I've seen for most of these candles. Let me know if you'd like a review of their service when I place an order (note that I've said 'when' rather than 'if'!)

What is your favourite purse-friendly candle brand?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Real Techniques: Expert Face brush vs Buffing brush

Close up of Real Techniques face brushes

When Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo fame joined forces with Real Techniques to create a brush line, it instantly took the beauty world by storm. They're good quality, accessible, cruelty free and most importantly, affordable. During the past couple of years I've tried out the majority of brushes from the line and until very recently was of the opinion that the Buffing brush was my absolute favourite. Then I discovered the Expert Face brush and the battle for my brush-loving heart was well and truly on.

Real Techniques Expert Face brush and Buffing brush

Real Techniques brush comparison

The Buffing brush has a lot going for it. It has a nice lightweight handle and soft bristles which are fairly densely packed. The top of the brush is slightly domed. I use this for blending in concealer on large areas, foundation and cream blushes. When applying foundation it can be used in a stippling fashion to get a bit more coverage or in a buffing motion to blend the foundation seamlessly into the skin. The main downside to the Buffing brush is that it's only available in the Core Collection of brushes which costs £21.99. I wasn't a huge fan of the other three brushes in the set. Had I found a use for the other three brushes, this would be a great value set but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

The Expert Face brush has a more ergonomic shaped handle, which I like. Initially I thought it looked a little small but I haven't found that to be an issue. The brush head is smaller and the bristles are more densely packed. I use this brush slightly differently to the Buffing brush; I tend to almost 'paint' my foundation on and then buff it in rather than using a stippling motion.I find that I get more coverage from my foundations when using this brush. I use the Expert Face brush exclusively for foundation but I suppose it could be used for cream blush, contour and highlight products too. It's certainly a good size to deal with the more precise placement of contour and highlight. Aside from being a brilliant brush, the Expert Face brush is also available on its own, priced at £9.99.

Synthetic bristles in Real Techniques brushes

The Winner?

I think it's quite clear that for me the Expert Face brush wins in terms of performance and value. That doesn't mean I'll be dismissing my Buffing brush, however. I will continue to use this for foundation and I do prefer it for concealer under my eyes as it's softer on the delicate skin. I'll also continue using it for cream blushes. If it was possible to buy both brushes separately, I'd still want to own both.

Just a heads up; Love Make Up is running a limited offer for a free Expert Face brush if you pick up the Sam's Picks kit. 

Are you a fan of Real Techniques brushes? What's your favourite brush for foundation?

Stace xx

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Wishlist Wednesday: Bourjois

Bourjois wishlist

 Some new drugstore gems?


I had a bit of a swatch-fest in Boots recently and Bourjois have really upped their game! The Color Edition 24 Hour cream eyeshadows are super lightweight and blendable. A couple of the shades were a bit patchy but the neutrals were lovely; a great alternative to the Maybelline Colour Tattoo shadows if you find those too thick and creamy. I'm addicted to snazzy top coats for accent nails (or all my nails...) at the moment so my eye was instantly drawn to this rose gold Laser Manicure Topping in Sun Scales. Despite really enjoying the Healthy Mix and Healthy Mix Serum foundations they both caused me to break out so I'm hoping the latest offering from Bourjois, the Happy Light foundation, doesn't do that. The Java powder has been getting rave reviews from bloggers across the board so that's jumped onto my wishlist (it's never in stock!) Finally, I want to collect almost every Shine Edition lipstick shade. I picked up Mauve a month or so ago and absolutely love it - great lightweight texture, decent colour pay off for that type of product and it smells delicious.

What's on your wish list this week?

Stace xx