Wednesday, 31 August 2011

NOTD: OPI - Sparrow Me The Drama

OPI - Sparrow Me The Drama

(Three coats of Sparrow Me The Drama, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

Well, this one was a streak-fest! I do like the colour but when I put this on, I remembered why I've only worn it once before (several months ago!). It's a pain to work with and I probably needed four coats, really. I wouldn't have minded if it was a sheer or shimmery polish but this, and all the other polishes in the Pirates of the Caribbean collection, are supposed to have opaque, cream finishes. I think the opacity of the polish only serves to emphasize the streaks. I hope you can see the streaky-ness in the pictures, it's a lot more obvious in reality!

Do you have any problematic polishes?!

Stace xx

Ps - did anyone notice that I'd initially called this Steady As She Rose instead? OOPS!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My Top Five: Autumnal Blushes

It's officially getting colder and! Although it does mean I've started digging out some new make up which is more appropriate for the season. Here are my top five autumnal blushes!

L-R: NARS Luster, NARS Taos

NARS Luster is one of my all time favourite blushes; I've had it for over a year and I've used it a lot (even though it may not look like it!). It's a great cheek colour if you're wearing a bold lip or eye look as it just gives you a nice sheen and a touch of colour. Taos is one which I've only used a few times, it's quite new and I've not reached for it too much because it looks like a more autumn/winter shade to me. This one is very pigmented so a light hand is essential! I'm looking foward to wearing this one with more neutral eye and lip looks.

Milani Baked Blush in Berry Amore

I am amazed by the quality of these blushes! I have three of them now and am planning on getting a few more. This shade is the darkest I own and I can't wait to wear it over the coming months. These are super-pigmented and have quite a bit of shimmer so this will probably be more of an evening blush for me.

L - R: MAC Notable, MAC Mineralize Blush in Pressed Amber

MAC Notable is a great staple blush - you can apply it sheerly for a little touch of colour or use it more heavily for to get a nice rosy-pink, almost plum shade. I didn't think this colour would work on my NC30 skin but it's got warm undertones so it does. This is a satin blush so it's perfect for daytime. Pressed Amber was a limited edition blush from the Semi Precious collection. It's a warm brown shade which some may use as a bronzer but I actually like it on my cheeks and think it will look even better as I get a little bit paler as it will add some colour to my face. This is also one I'm more likely to use during the day.

L- R: NARS Luster, NARS Taos, MAC Pressed Amber, MAC Notable, Milani Berry Amore

What are your favourite blushes for autumn?

Stace xx

Monday, 29 August 2011

NOTD: Chanel - Lilac Sky

Chanel - Lilac Sky

(Three coats of Lilac Sky, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

I'm not sure about this one - it's a bit too shimmery for me! I like the colour but not the shimmer. It takes three  coats as at two coats, it's still very sheer. I think I prefer this shade on toes.

What do you think?

Stace xx

My Thoughts on the MAC Me Over Collection

This huge MAC collection should be hitting UK stores soon and I've been checking out Temptalia for swatches and reviews on the products. I really like the concept behind this collection where MAC used real people in their images.

 I used to be one of those people who had to buy half of each MAC collection when it came out but I've taught myself to research products before buying them and to only pick up what will suit me.

From this collection I'm lusting after the following:

Lipstick in Runaway Red
Do I really need another red lipstick though? 

Fluidline in Midnight Blues
I don't have a blue gel liner and I'm on a massive gel liner kick. I've never tried a fluidline though as I've always been happy with my Bobbi Brown gel liners.

Cream Colour Base in Seaside
I want to swatch this in store before buying; some CCBs have a texture which I find too hard to work with as it rubs off all my foundation. I'd plan on using this as a light cheek colour.

I was also lemming Rebel lipstick which is a permanent shade being promoted with this collection but I've managed to arrange a swap for one! Woo!

I always buy my MAC from Debenhams online if I can because it means I get points on my Beauty Club Card. 

What will you be picking up from this collection?

Stace xx

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Beauty Buying Ban - Day 28 - Weekly Wishing - LUSH

I've not been into a LUSH store in forever...I can't go in there and just buy one thing, the sales assistants always tell me if I spend a certain amount I'll get free things (which I probably don't need) or they try out new products on me and I feel bad for not buying them.

There are a few things from LUSH which I'm hoping to pick up in the near future, though:

Porridge Soap - £2.95 for 100g
I love the smell of this! I always want all the Lush soaps but find some of them very drying; this one is nice and moisturising.

You've Been Mangoed Luxury Bath Melt - £2.85
I've never tried this before so want to give it a whirl!

The Comforter Bubble Bar - £3.99 for 200g
I've never tried this either but I've heard lots of good things so I want to try it. I've been having baths much more since I moved to my new flat. I was living with four other girls last year so I showered all the time but now I just live with my boyfriend so there's no queue for the bathroom!

I also need to pick up another shampoo bar as they've been working really well for me. I'm not sure which one I'll go for just yet.

What are your favourite LUSH products?

Stace xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

FOTD: Wet'n'Wild We're Blasting Off

I feel like rubbish today  - I've got some kind of cold/flu thing. Boo! Why I decided to take photos of my face is beyond me but I wanted to share what I did with my make up today because I like it! I usually go for golds/bronzes on my eyes and during the day I try not to wear too much eyeliner and so on.

I started by applying my L'Oreal Studio Secrets Primer (not pictured) to my t-zone with my fingers. I then applied Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation in Natural Beige (still a bit too light for me if I'm honest!) with an ELF Powder Brush. I used Milani HD Concealer in Shade 03 and blended it in with a MAC 224. I topped my base off with my Physicians Formula Happy Booster Powder in Translucent and used a Crown Brush Flat Bronzer Brush for that. On my cheeks I applied a light dusting of MAC's blush in Notable with a MAC 168 and added some MAC MSF in Soft & Gentle as a highlight with a MAC 188.

I ran some MUA Clear Mascara through my brows and applied some ELF Eyelid Primer to my lids. I then used the lid shade from the Wet'n'Wild We're Blasting Off trio (the bottom one) all over the lid. I applied this with a Revlon Eyeshadow Brush. I took the same brush and a teeny, tiny bit of the middle crease shade from the trio which I applied to the crease and blended in. Then I added a slick of Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Liner in Black Ink to my upper lashline and lined my waterline with a Milani Liquif'Eye Pencil in Black. I finished it off with a couple of coats of MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara.

I prepped my lips with my EOS Lip Sphere in Summer Fruit and added some of my favourite lip gloss; Barry M's Toffee

I hope you like it! For some reason my camera always makes me look shinier than I actually am...grr! If you'd like any reviews on anything I've used, let me know as I've been planning to review some of these products but don't know where to start!

Have a lovely weekend!

Stace xx

NOTD: American Apparel - Mouse

American Apparel - Mouse

(Three Coats of Mouse, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

This applied quite nicely but I did find that I needed three coats as it was still a touch streaky after two thin coats. I like the colour - it's like a lighter, grey-er version of Chanel Particuliere (which I love but still haven't managed to feature in a NOTD post!). I think this is a great neutral shade and would suit all skintones.

What do you think?

Stace xx

Friday, 26 August 2011

Shoe Tidying!

Neatly organised shoes :)

The before shot!

Since we moved to our new flat, I've been storing my shoes in our 'cupboard' which is basically a tiny little room with lots of shelves and a big desk area where the boyfriend keeps his stupidly huge computer. It' had become pretty messy in there because Dave's been there all the time and he keeps throwing my shoes off their shelves to make more room for himself! I decided to sort through them today and managed to get rid of eight pairs and will be EBaying/donating another eight pairs. I've noticed that I rarely wear shoes which aren't tan/brown or black so I'm going to try and stick to buying only those colours in the future unless I see a pair of  nice colourful ones I think I will wear.

I've got a few gaps in my shoe collection just now. I want some flat black boots, new black court shoes and possibly some dark plum coloured heels just for a wee change.

I tend to buy cheaper shoes and pay a bit more for boots. I find that most flats with thin soles will fall apart in the same amount of time, regardless of where they're from so I buy most, if not all, of mine from Primark. 

What's your shoe collection like?

Stace xx

Another Weekend, Another Blog Hop!

Join in and find some great new beauty blogs - I did last weekend and I'm hoping for more this time around! Stace xx

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Quick Reviews: Clinique & Johnson's Skincare Empties

I've been using up all of the skincare products that I have opened; I have some Liz Earle and other cleansers, masks and scrubs which are almost finished so watch out for quick reviews on those in the next week or so!

First up, a GWP size Clinique Turnaround Instant Facial Masque. I got this when I bought the serum and didn't use it until recently. This 15ml tube has around 5/6 uses in it. It is like a scrub and a mask in one as it has lots of exfoliating grains. I put this on after cleansing and leave it on for around five minutes. I find that it leaves my skin feeling very soft although it was a touch drying on my combination skin. I used this around once a week. I don't think I'll be buying the full size unless my skin becomes oilier but I would definitely recommend this to anyone with oily, blemish prone skin.

Secondly, a GWP Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap. I love these little tubes! They last me forever and are great for travelling. This little 30ml size has lasted me around two months and I've been using it once daily. This is what I use to wash my face when I'm in the shower. It leaves my skin feeling clean but the formula, which is tailored to suit dry and combination skins, doesn't leave me with a tight or overly dry feeling. One of my main issues with cleansers which need to be rinsed off is that they tend to be drying so I'm impressed with this and am definitely considering buying the full size when I run out of the other face washes I need to get through!

Finally, I finished up a huge 150ml tube of Johnson's Oil Balancing Gel Wash for combination skin. I have to say that this is definitely my least favourite product of the three and I'm glad I finally finished it. It's a very basic face wash which leaves my skin feeling clean but I always get that tight or too dry feeling after I use this. I always felt I had to moisturise a lot more after using this. Recently, in my attempt to use it up, I've been using it to clean my skin (which it does well) and then using an intensive moisturising treatment mask afterwards to combat the dryness. I was also using it on my shoulders and chest areas to help get rid of any spots. I won't be repurchasing this but it is a good buy if you've got more oily skin because it will help with that.

I hope this was useful! Watch out for more skincare empties/quick reviews!

Stace xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

NOTD: OPI - Skull & Glossbones (plus a cheeky ombre attempt!)

OPI - Skull & Glossbones

(Three coats of Skull & Glossbones, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat)

I bought this ages ago when the collection came out - I picked up one of each shade. I've had this on my swap list for a long time but decided to give it a go yesterday. I actually really like it! I'm definitely going to be keeping this one. The first coat looked awful and it really does need three coats to achieve an opaque finish.

I tried to do some blue ombre nails (this didn't stay on for long!) so I thought I'd share even though it looks pretty messy...

American Apparel - Mount Royal (thumb), OPI - Suzi Says Feng Shui (index), Essie - Coat Azure (middle), China Glaze - Caribbean Blue (ring), Essie - Borrowed & Blue (pinky)

What do you think?

Stace xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Beauty Buying Ban - Day 23 - No Models Own for me!

I'm going to be good and not purchase anything in the sale. I did have my heart set on In The Navy, Raspberry Crush and Lemon Meringue.

If you want to take advantage of the offer, the code is FIFTYFIFTY and is valid for use on orders over £20 (before discount). The sale will end on the 29th of August.

It seems as though the website is going crazy and people aren't sure if their orders are going through. Lots of people are talking about it on their Facebook page. 

Let me know if you buy anything!

Stace xx

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - To Buy or Not To Buy?

Do I need to own this product?

I've been watching this on ASOS for a while, I wouldn't have paid £18 for it but at £11.95 it seemed a little more reasonably priced. Plus the packaging is cute!

Then I stumbled across this on Semichem's website. At a mere £6.99 it's even more tempting.

I've tested this a few times and I like the smell and texture but I'm not sure if I would use it all that much. I have a million and one lip balms so I don't need a huge tub of something I'll only use for that purpose. I guess it would be useful to have in case I manage to burn or scrape myself.

Since I can't buy anything for the next week or so, I guess I've got plenty of time to think it over!

Do you think I need this or not? 

Stace xx


Monday, 22 August 2011

Firming Creams: Soap & Glory Sit Tight Vs. Jergens Naturals Skin Firming Body Moisturiser

I've used both of these products for a reasonable length of time so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you on which I prefer.

I bought Soap & Glory's Sit Tight back in January and instantly loved it. I thought these sorts of creams were gimmicky products and didn't expect this to work. Sit Tight is a thick yellowish cream and I did find that you need to use a reasonable amount of it each time. I could really feel this working - it tingled for quite some time after I applied it. My boyfriend said he noticed a difference even though I hadn't told him I was using the product. My skin looked and felt much smoother. I think this is an excellent product and would be great to use before/during a holiday if you're going to be in swimwear. It costs £14.30 for 200ml from Boots and I found one tube lasted me around a month if I used it every other day.

After hearing about Jergens Naturals Skin Firming Lotion on YouTube, I decided to pick it up. At £3.99 for 350ml, it's a lot cheaper in comparison to Sit Tight. I like the fact it has a pump because it stops me from using too much. This is definitely a lotion - it isn't very thick at all. This is good because it means it sinks into the skin much more quickly but the downside of this for me is that it doesn't feel as though it's doing anything. My boyfriend has said he does notice some difference (again, I didn't tell him I was using a firming cream) but I don't think it's anywhere near as good as the Sit Tight. I can't feel the difference in my skin which I found with the Sit TightI will continue to use this, though, as I've had it for a couple of months now and still have well over half of the bottle left.

I would say that if you're looking for something heavy duty to use for  a short time before a holiday or special event, go for the Sit Tight. If you're looking for something to use every day, all year round, go for the Jergens.

I hope this was helpful!

Stace xx

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Can I Break My No-Buy For The Models Own Sale?!

So they've reached 50,000 likes on their Facebook page so the 50% off code will be announced soon (they're making sure the website can handle the traffic at the moment!)

I was hoping my no-buy would be over by the time they reached 50k :(

I don't *need* new nail polishes but it's such a good chance to try some at a low price!

What to do?!

Stace xx

Beauty Buying Ban - Day 21 - Weekly Wishing: Liz Earle

I already use a few Liz Earle products and I really like them. Here are a few other products I'd like to try...

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - 100ml Pump £11.75

I'm going to start using the No 7 Radiance Boosting hot cloth cleanser very soon and if I like it I'd love to try the Liz Earle version. I'm always skeptical about using water in my cleansing regime as I find it dries out my skin. 

Deep Cleansing Mask - 75ml Tube Starter Kit - £12.75

I've used two of Liz Earle's other masks and love them so this one is the next I want to try!

Hands & Feet Try Me Kit - £17.40

I've heard some good reviews on the foot products; I'd love to try those but I'm also looking for a decent hand cream so this would be a good way to try the Orange Flower Hand Wash and Hand Repair.

Do you own any of these? What do you think of them?

Stace xx

Benefit Skincare Kit Giveaway on Rachel Marie's Blog!

I've only tested the eye cream from this range so it would be awesome to try out some of the other products! Make sure you go over to Rachel Marie's blog to check it out and enter the giveaway!

Stace xx