Sunday, 31 October 2010

New Nail Products in Superdrug: Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique Haul

There is not a great deal of nail art products available in my regular haunts apart from the more press-on nail variety but with the arrival of Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique in Superdrug, this is set to liven my nails up a bit and I am looking forward to creating some new nail looks with these.

There are quite a lot of products in the range including the standard colour polishes and manicure products to more interesting things like press on gems, tattoos and double-ended polishes to create new colour looks.
I really wanted to get a few more products but I have gone a bit polish-crazy this past month so I only bought a few bits.

Gemstone Overcoat (£4.99 for 5.5ml)
This looks very pretty in the bottle and sort of similar to one that Gosh does but as I don't have the Gosh one I can't really compare it. Gemstone Overcoat has copper reflects suspended in a clear base. In different lights you can pick up a slight green iridescent quality but mostly it looks more copper-toned.

Stripe and Sparkle (£4.99 for 8ml)
These come in quite a few different colours but I went for this one which at the bottom has a black polish with a fine brush to create nail art designs and on the top has a cute little shaker which holds holographic silver glitter which you can sprinkle over any wet polish to give some sparkle. I really like this idea as in the past I have tried the nail art pens which have the needle point applicators but with this I find I can get a finer line and have more control. The glitter is also great as it doesn't stick to clothing etc and can be brushed off easily as I found that shaking it onto nails is not the most precise application so you do get glitter going a bit everywhere.

The little shaker holes

The fine brush applicator

Nail Tattoos (£1.99)
These are rather sweet little stick on tattoos that come in several different designs including skulls and crosses although I picked these cute little lock and key ones and a chains one that are a little reminiscent of the Chanel body tattoos.

The other product pictured is the Gloss Up Overcoat (£4.99) which is a topcoat but I am going to use that a bit more before I review.

I am going to do some more posts on some nail looks created with these products but overall I am excited about this range and the possibilities for some interesting nail designs.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me (but the Nail Tattoos were free with a purchase)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Grown-Up Playdoh? Mohdoh - Therapeutic Dough

A bit of an odd purchase, but today while browsing the herbal remedy aisle in my local boots I came across these curious pots - therapeutic dough infused with essential oils. I am a bit of a sucker for these type of things - last year I bought some Science Museum science putty as it seemed like it would be along the same idea as a stress relief ball and I did actually end up using it so it didn't feel like it was a novelty waste.

There are several coloured varieties, all infused with different essential oils that aid with things like sleep and unwinding but I picked this one as it has rosewood, ylang ylang, jasmine and lavandin which is the 'calm' variant.

It feels like a cross between a stress ball and playdoh - soft and squishy, quite nice to mould.
When moulded this is supposed to release the essential oils to give the added therapeutic benefit, and while it doesn't smell anything like Playdoh, and you can detect the essential oils, the effect is rather mild.


It's a little bit of fun and stress relieving so could make a good gift.

It is £4.99 (although as it was part of the 3 for 2 in Boots, I actually ended up getting it free with some other purchases).

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Les Fleurs De Bach - Vivacite(s) de Bach Energising Shower Gel Review

A while back when reading the monthly Victoria Health newsletter they mentioned Les Fleurs de Bach products and they sounded rather appealing as they use Bach Flower essences to create products that bring 'well-being to body, mind and soul' (words on pamphlet). I love brands that harness the power of natural extracts and use them for therapeutic benefits but at the price of £16.50 for a shower gel, I thought it was slightly much but ASOS recently had the range on sale so I bought the shower gel from the Vivacite(s) de Bach which is the energising range as well as a few other bits.

The bottle for this is an amber coloured plastic and has lovely styling inspired by old apothecary style bottles. The texture of the liquid is a standard clear gel, not too thick but not thin either and lathers well and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft but it's not really anything special compared to other shower gels on the market.

The scent is one thing that does stand out and makes this a bit different - it is a mild peppery, slightly mustard sort of scent that is not overpowering but a more elegant concoction that has a slight uplifting and peppy quality. There is nothing feminine about the scent so I think this would be a good one for the guys, but I like it as it's a bit more unusual from the standard fruits or florals (which I love also). 

Personally I really like the scent in bath/shower products to linger as I like the whole idea of feeling like you are escaping to somewhere else through scent, and I find this a bit mild for my liking and it disappears a bit too quickly after washing off so it doesn't feel as indulgent as I would like it to.

Also it would be nice for the information on the little pamphlet inside to be a bit more in depth in terms of the extracts used as it doesn't give much information in this regard just more of the general benefits.


Overall it is a good shower gel but at the price I was expecting something a little more special.

Another Sparkly Number - Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips - Sarina

At the moment I am liking a bit of sparkle - with the current cold and drab weather a little glistening makeup gives me a slight lift. Something I purchased about a month ago was Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips Diamond in Sarina. This is my first Bare Escentuals purchase, and while this is supposed to be a plumping lip polish, I got it more for it's sparkle factor then it's plumping properties.

Close up of sparkle:

Sarina has a semi-sheer base which gives a natural coppery beige colour to the lips and contains copper, gold and icy blue fine shimmer particles. The overall effect is glistening and very shiny.
It is scented with caramel/toffee sort of scent that I like, but when on the lips I get a slight menthol type sensation that doesn't sting or anything but just makes my lips feel cool.

The texture is smooth and has a slight tack that isn't sticky as such (no MAC Dazzleglass stickiness here), but it seems to hold well on the lips so that it lasts about 2-3 hours.
I feels mildly hydrating so when it wears off it doesn't make my lips feel dry.

As to it's plumping properties I think that because it has a shiny finish, it does give the lips a more fuller appearance and skims over finer lines so that the lips appear plumper.


Applied to the lips:

Ingredients (can be enlarged):

I bought this from my local House of Fraser counter for £17.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Glitter Done Well - myface Blingtones Black Ice & Purple Haze

L- Black Ice, R- Purple Haze

A while ago I was quite close to buying some of the Urban Decay Stardust eyeshadows but when I thought about it I decided not too as they are glittery - would I really use these that much day to day? But while browsing Boots the other week I tested out some of the myface blingtone shades. I had overlooked these before, but that day I was completely taken in and all previous thoughts about glitter were forgotten.

The texture is lovely as they are quite smooth and don't feel chalky or gritty considering how shimmery these are. These are unashamedly sparkly and the glitter almost has a slight foil effect to it which the light catches in a very pretty way. The shimmer is not an overspray and the particles are fine but run through the powder in quite a dense way which give that overall super-sparkly effect .

With flash L- Black Ice, R- Purple Haze

Natural light  L- Black Ice, R- Purple Haze
Black Ice has a black base with slivery/white shimmer, and this one I use quite lightly. It is not a deep, dark black, it has a slight charcoal tone to it which compliments the glitter nicely.

Purple Haze is a pink toned lilac shade which in the pan looks more purple then how it swatches. It has the same silvery/white shimmer as Black Ice but as the base is lighter, the glitter doesn't stand out in the same way. I have been wearing this to work, keeping the rest of my face quite natural and then using this all over the lid and applying slightly denser in the centre. This one is my favourite as I love the tone of the lilac as it is a bit warmer and looks so pretty.

Ok so they sound wonderful but one thing is the fall out, even pressing these on to the lid still results in a little fall-out which is hard to get rid of (I have found the rolled up sellotape tip from A Model Recommends blog very useful). Usually I like using my MAC 228 brush for applying loose eyeshadows or where there is likely to be fall-out as I feel I get more control with this as it's a bit smaller but I think a sponge-tip applicator may be better.

Despite this issue I am impressed with these as the difference in texture make them seem a bit more unique then the average glitter product.

These are £9.99 in larger Boots and currently on 3 for 2.

Disclaimer: purchased by me

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lip balm for Brace Wearers? EOS Lip balm Review

EOS Lip balm in Summer Fruit
I have braces and they are the very visible train track looking ones (hence why you won't see any toothy smile pics) and today I was at the orthodontist having the next stage of my brace treatment which is to put elastics on various points of my metal brace. Whenever I have a major adjustment it completely puts me off using most lip products as it feels strange/uncomfortable if I try to rub my lips together or use anything that requires pressure to apply or feels remotely sticky so usually I don't wear lipstick and most lipglosses until this feeling subsides after a few days/ or a week or so (I know, I am strange).

That is why I am loving this little gem of a lipbalm. As well as being very cutely packaged, the round shape is so perfect for me at the moment as it really makes application easy and gets around my whole lip with minimal swiping and is so smooth so glides with ease without much pressure.

This one is the Summer Fruit one which is lightly scented with a sweet, fruity scent as it has extracts of blueberry, strawberry and peach (I mostly smell the peach) which is not overpowering but does linger slightly.
It is 100% natural and 95% organic. I bought mine from Zuneta.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

MAC A/W 2010 Nail Trend by Jin Soon Haul

L-R: Imperial Flower, Jade Dragon, Concubine, Rain of Flowers

I went to MAC on Thursday to have a look at Venomous Villains and the new Nail Trend collection by Jin Soon.
While I wasn't really taken by much in Venomous Villains (I got the Bad Fairy nail polish and Briar Rose Beauty Powder), the new a/w nail polishes really are beautiful. I love the inspiration behind the collection as Jin Soon has used Imperial China to create rich, gorgeous shades.  There are 6 colours in the collection which all have faint micro pearl/reflect particles which give the nail polish slight dimension - this was a crucial element that swayed me into buying more then I had originally intended.  The ones I didn't get were Earthly Harmony which is a stunning cement sort of colour with faint gold reflects but is not flattering against my skintone; and Ming Blue which I am very tempted to go back for.

L-R: Concubine, Jade Dragon, Rain of Flowers, Imperial Flower
Application wise they are good and the formula is not too thick or too thin, but there can be ever such a slight drag if I am not careful. Generally they apply well (Imperial Flower applies the best) with complete opacity in 3 coats (in the pic I have used 3).

I love all the shades but my favourite is Rain of Flowers - there is such an intense depth to the shade that has me gazing in wonder.

Disclaimer: All purchased by me

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Current Haircare Routine/Ramble - Head & Shoulders and Joico

Haircare is one area of beauty that while I like, I find it difficult to get right. I think it's easier with makeup as you can test things out before buying but most haircare products are a leap of faith.

I tend to favour more natural ranges but I have found it difficult to do this with haircare so I often switch between SLS/chemical and natural ranges.

My hair is:

Just below my shoulders in length and naturally wavy (if I treat it right I can get a good loose wave/curl without the aid of any tools.
Slightly fine
Lacks volume so can often look flat
Drier on lengths and can get greasy quickly
Prone to flakiness and my scalp on occasion can become slightly itchy.

Recently I have found some products that seem to work well for me so I'd thought I'd run through these:

First up is Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo.
Head & Shoulders is one of the few SLS shampoos that I use and have repurchased many times. It just works, helping to relieve flakiness and mild scalp issues. As well as helping with those problems it also makes the hair feel so clean and smooth. If I leave this out everyone in the house uses it.
The Dry Scalp Care shampoo is a new formula in the Head & Shoulders line-up and so far it is my favourite one. It makes the scalp feel soothed and hydrated and the hair much softer and smoother. Since using this the hair nearer the roots doesn't get greasy as quickly.


Next is Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Lotion for fine/normal dry hair.
I have never used any Joico haircare before, but have heard good things about the range and I saw that these were on sale on Beauty Expert so I bought a couple of products. The description and instructions are not very in-depth, but I use this like a conditioner, just applying to damp hair and leaving for 5 mins then rinsing out. It is a pale yellow light cream consistency which is not rich so doesn't leave my hair feeling weighed down, just very soft and smooth.


Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Liquid Reconstructor for fine/damaged hair
I wouldn't say my hair is damaged (apart from Lush's Cacas I have never coloured my hair) but I do blow-dry and straighten on occasion so it can get slightly more drier.
This is a liquid spray which you use on clean, towel-dried hair and is supposed to help rebuild and improve the structure of the hair.
When I spray this I can feel the liquid on my hair as it sprays in a more focused squirt rather then a fine mist. I can be rather liberal with this and even though it definitely feels like I've applied too much, once my hair is dry there is no residue/greasiness or anything left and my hair just feels really soft, smooth and light like I haven't applied any product at all. Also to note this is scented with a pineapple/coconut sort of scent.
I still need to use some sort of finishing product to get a bit more definition and shine to the hair, but overall I am really liking this and it has definitely made me want to explore Joico more.


Disclaimer: All products purchased by me

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Comparison Swatches: MAC Patina & Edward Bess Intimate Eyeshadows

Aftering reading Modesty Brown's post comparing Rouge Bunny Rouge's Abyssinian Catbird with MAC's Patina eyeshadow, it got me thinking how similar Patina was to Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow in Intimate as I haven't used Patina in a while and kind of forgotten it when I recently bought Intimate from Zuneta.

Here are some (slightly blurry, sorry!) pics:

Edward Bess Intimate, MAC Patina

Side by side they look very similar (in real life you can see a bit more of a difference).

Heavily swatched:
L - MAC Patina, R - Edward Bess Intimate

L - MAC Patina, R - Edward Bess Intimate

These are quite close in colour but when swatched on my skin I can see a difference - Patina is a slightly paler golden shade with a hint of olive/khaki and more of frosty/metallic finish where as Intimate looks more Khaki with tiny amount of sheen to the finish.

Texture wise Edward Bess is much smoother and has great payoff in one swipe where as I have heavily swatched MAC as the texture is lighter and not buttery smooth.

MAC is £11 and Edward Bess is £22 so if you already have Patina, Intimate may not be an immediate must have as they are similar shades although in the quality you can definitely feel a difference.

Monday, 4 October 2010

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara Review

After having several mascaras knocking about in my stash I have slowly got through them and this is the last one left - No7's Exceptional Definition Mascara.

It's a plastic brush affair with 3 different type of bristles - one side for volume, one for more definition/length, and a spiky end to get at the more harder to reach lashes. 

I think it does a good job of getting to each lash, I particularly like the shorter, finer side for lower lashes as it doesn't add too much mascara.
The formula is very black and quite a lush texture which isn't too wet. If I use a bit more then it does clump ever so slightly. As I have long lashes already, I like mascaras that give a more defined and even lash look, I don't like it when some lashes stick together and even though this does a reasonable job, sometimes I can't easily get the separation I would like.

Some other plus points are that it doesn't smudge or flake at all and lasts the whole day without lashes feeling crispy.

Before pic with lashes curled:

After 1 coat of mascara:

Overall it's a good mascara but not great, and for me not worth £12 (although I used a £5 off No7 voucher so it was £7) as there are other drugstore mascaras for less that do a better job.

Disclaimer: Purchased by me