30 March 2010

The Hills season 6 trailer!

Anyone else excited?

(photo from mtv.com)

This is the last season of the show but there is plenty of drama! Heidi's mum sees Heidi for the first time since she's had her surgery, it appears Heidi's marriage with Spencer is on the rocks, with her saying 'I didn't think on my one year anniversary I would be getting divorced', Audrina has a new guy in her life and does Kristin have a drug problem?

The new season premiers on the 27th April in the US and the trailer can be seen here.

29 March 2010

Backstage at London Fashion Week

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited by Jack Saundercock (make up artist) to go backstage at the Rachel Freire 'Future Noir' fashion show.

The collection featured a lot of nude and black clothing, reflective strips, stand out headpieces and statement shoes:

After the fashion show we were invited backstage, where Jack explained the concept behind the make up and explained how he created the looks.

Before applying make up the model's skin was prepped using products from Dermalogica.

Make up wise Jack primed the skin using the Laura Mercier primer followed by some Giorgio Armani face fabric foundation.

He then used a selection of Jemma Kidd products, including the on set mattifying powder to set the skin, eye wardrobe colour quartet in Grey and Metallica to create the dramatic smokey eye make up, lip and eye dewy gloss to highlight various parts of the face and the ultimate duo lipstick in Peggy for the nude lip.

It was really interesting to see what goes on backstage at a fashion show, been shown the make up used and to have the make up artist explain how to create the look.

Thank you so much to Jack for inviting us and for giving us this wonderful opportunity to go backstage!

Have you been to any fashion shows? Who are your favourite designers?

25 March 2010

No 7 radiance boosting hot cloth cleanser

The concept behind this is very similar to the infamous Liz Earle cleanse and polish. Basically you massage the product into dry skin, then run the muslin cloth under comfortably hot water and place over the face. You then use the cloth to remove the cleanser, polishing in a circular motion as you do so.

The cleanser itself is very creamy and a little goes a long way. Because the product is so creamy it spreads easily and feels very luxurious when massaged into the face.

What I was most impressed about was its ability to remove all traces of make up. Previously I'd use a eye make up remover beforehand to remove mascara and undereye concealer but there was no need with this product. I even tested it wearing heavy eye make up and it did a fantastic job of removing everything. However if you are wearing heavy eye make up I would recommend cleansing that area and rinsing off first before cleansing the rest of the face, just so that you're not spreading eye make up everywhere.

I've been using a big face flannel for years so the muslin cloth felt flimsy in comparision. Using the flannel/cloth easily removed any remaining traces of the cleanser and at the same time gently exfoliated the skin. The cleanser can also be rinsed off with water, which I sometimes do to prevent product building up on the flannel.

The main reason I brought this was because the harsh face washes I was trying to finish left my skin feeling tight and dry but since using this the condition of my skin has definitely improved and is no longer dry. As it removes make up so well and doesn't leave a residue I no longer need to use an eye make up remover or face wash in the evening.

Overall I'm really impressed with this product and would definitely recommend, especially if you have No 7 vouchers to use.

Have you tried this cleanser? What are your favourite No 7 products?

24 March 2010

Giveaway

I've been blogging for just over 6months and in that space of time I've had so much support from everyone and met some lovely people.

As a way of saying thank you to everyone for reading and commenting on my blog I'm going to give away 2 prizes:

1st prize- Johnson's holiday skin facial moisturiser
- Nails Inc nail polish in Victoria
- Nivea glamorous gloss in Pink sugar
- Lush Angels delight soap
- Lush sandstone soap
-Lush Up you get emotibomb
- Dr organic pomegranate skin lotion

2nd prize- Boots mediterranean lemon rosemary and walnut hand cream
- Mini KMS add volume blow dry lotion
- Mini KMS flat out straightening creme
- Dermalogica clean start mini pack
- Lush Bohemian soap
- Barry M lipgloss in fabulously nude

To enter the giveaway:
- Be a follower of my blog
- Leave me a comment saying 'enter me'
- For 2 extra entries tweet about this giveaway
- For 5 extra entries write a blogpost about this giveaway or post a photo on the sidebar.
- Let me know if you post about this giveaway on Twitter or Blogger so I can enter you accordingly.
- Also if you have any comments or suggestions about my blog please let me know.

The giveaway will end at 23:59 on the 21st April
2010 and is open to both UK and international readers.

The winner will be choosen using random.org

Good luck!


Competitions and offers

Just thought I'd share some of the current competitions and offers that are around if you're interested:

1. Boots are giving away 1000 points to 200,000 advantage card holders. To see if you have won simply insert your card into one of the instore kiosks and press the 'view exclusive offers' button to see if you are a winner. The promotion will run until the 19th May.

2. Wahanda MobDeal are offering discounted pampering treatments on a daily basis. A different treatment will be offered daily and treatments include make overs, hair cuts, manicures and teeth whitening. For more information click here.

3. Purity organic skincare are looking for 2 women to become brand ambassadors, to help spread the message of organic skincare. The winner will get to star in an advertising campaign and also win a £250 Purity skincare goody bag. For more information on how to enter click here.

4. Hugo Boss are giving away free samples of their Boss orange fragrance (which I think smells lovely). Click here to claim your free sample.

5. Marie Claire are giving away a 50ml Neal's Yard power berry daily moisture cream with the April issue of the magazine. The magazine retails for £3.50 and the freebie is worth about £10.50.

6. Glamour are giving away a free James Brown shampoo, conditioner or rescue treatment with the April issue on the magazine. The magazine retails for £2 and the freebie is worth around £3.

Will you be taking advantage of any of these offers? Hope this post was useful!

23 March 2010

Maxfactor vibrant curve effect lip gloss

According to Maxfactor: this is a new collection of high shine lipglosses (co-designed by Pat McGrath) which combine an unique applicator and glossy vibrant shades, to leave your lips looking more curvaceous and fuller.

What's unique about this lipgloss is the 'ShineSculpt' applicator. Its designed so that the base of the wand glides over the lips while the tapered edges give precision from corner to corner. The applicator is also grooved to hold more lipgloss in the middle.

As you can see from the photo it is very similar to the traditional doe foot applicator but with a subtle curve to it. I didn't expect it to do much but on application was pleasantly surprised to find that more product was applied to the middle of the lip and less to the outside edges, which I really liked. The applicator and the narrow tube opening also helps to control how much lipgloss there is on the wand, ensuring there is enough for one application but not too much that it ends up all over the sides of your mouth.

I was sent this in shade 03 trendsetter which is a sheer pink colour. The product looks very glittery in the tube but once applied it wasn't really visible and instead gave me a natural glossy look with a subtle pink tint. I liked the fact that it wasn't a sticky lipgloss and it also felt quite moisturizing on the lips.

There are 10 different shades in this range, which are available now from Boots.com and in stores from April 2010.

22 March 2010

Review- Aldi Siana nourishing anti-wrinkle night cream

A while ago there was a lot of hype around this product as it had performed very well in some consumer tests. I've generally been impressed with Aldi toiletries so I thought I might as well give this a go and I've been using this for the last few weeks so I could give it a fair review:

Product:
Aldi Siana nourishing anti-wrinkle night cream

Price: £1.89 for 50ml

What they say: Siana nourishing anti-wrinkle night cream is a rich cream formula, developed in line with the latest scientific insights, to provide care for your facial skin and support your skin's own overnight repair and regeneration. It contains retinol complex and co-enzyme Q10, for all skin types.

What I think: The product is simply packaged in a glass jar with an outer cardboard box.
In the jar its a thick cream but on contact with body heat when I rub my hands together it softens up and applies easily to the face without any dragging. The moisturizer sinks in fairly easily with no greasy afterfeel and it feels very comfortable on the face.

The product is quite strongly scented (it reminded me of kitchen/bathroom cleanser) which I found quite offputing at the start but luckily the smell disappears after application and over time I didn't mind it as much.

I find it very moisturising and the next morning my skin always feels soft, smooth and well hydrated. At 21 I don't have any wrinkles yet so I can't comment on that aspect but hopefully I will see the benefits in a few years time!

Rating: 8/10

Would I repurchase: Maybe, its currently a toss up betwee this one and the Superdrug vitamin E night cream.

Have you tried this cream before? What is your favourite night cream?

21 March 2010

Beauty questions tag

I've seen this tag on a few blogs and I really enjoyed reading everyone's answers so I thought I'd answer the questions myself:

Skincare

(All the pictures are from Google images)

How many times do you wash your face daily?
Twice, once in the morning and once at night.

What skin type do you have?
Combination, it can get dry on my cheeks and tends to be oily on my t-zone.

What is your current facial wash?
Currently finishing up Clinique facial soap, but I much prefer Neutrogena 2 in 1 face wash and mask.

Do you exfoliate?
Yes, once or twice a week.

What brand do you use?
Origins Modern Friction/ No 7 radiance revealed exfoliator.

What moisturizer do you use?
Simple light hydrating moisturizer in the morning, Aldi nourishing night cream at night.

Do you have freckles?
No.

Do you use eye cream?
Yes, I'm paranoid about getting wrinkles around my eyes.

Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
I've always gotten the odd breakout but never anything too bad.

Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
No, the products seem very harsh.

Make-Up

What foundation do you use?
I don't usually wear any. For special occasions I like MAC face and body and Cosmetics a la Carte skin tint.

How about concealer?
MAC studio finish/select moisturecover.

Do you know your undertone colour?
Yes, I have a yellow undertone.

What do you think of false eyelashes?
I love how they frame and enhance the eyes.

Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yes, I never do though!

What brand of mascara do you use?
MAXfactor, I really like the false lash effect one.

Sephora or MAC?
I've never been to Sephora so it has to be MAC.

Do you have a MAC pro-card?
No, I wish I did!

What make-up tools do you use in make up application?
Brushes and occasionally my fingers.

Do you use make up base/primer for the eyes?
No, but I do dab some concealer onto my top lid.

For the face?
L'oreal studio secrets smoothing refursac
ng primer.

What is your favourite eyeshadow (colour or shade)?
I love neutral browns and smoky silver and black eyeshadows.

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Both, pencil on the waterline, liquid on the upper lash line.

How often do you poke your eyes with a pencil eyeliner?
Almost never.


What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
Never used them, they seem very messy.

Do you use mineral make-up?
Yes, currently using MAC MSF natural and I used to use mineral foundation.

What is your favourite lipstick?
No 7 sheer temptation lipstick.

How about lipgloss?
I love too many to choose just one.

What is your favourite blush to use?
Currently Maybelline dream mousse blush in peach satin.

Do you buy your makeup on Ebay?
I haven't yet, but I may in future.

Do you like drugstore makeup?
Love drugstore makeup, there are some great brands out there.

Do you go to CCO's (cosmetic company outlets)?
No, unfortunately I don't like near any.

Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?
Yes, and I would still love to.

Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
Not usually, I've had a few years of practice to perfect my technique.

Name a makeup crime that you hate
Caked on foundation in the wrong shade.

Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
Definitely neutral colours.

Which celebrity always has great make up?
Cheryl Cole, Lauren Conrad and Blair always looks gorgeous in Gossip Girl.

If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item, what would you use?
Concealer or powder, depending on the situation.

Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?
Yes, especially if I'm running late.

Do you think you look good without any make up on?
I don't look horrendous but I definitely look better with some make up on.

In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Hmm, probably MAC, but I love lots of different bits from various drugstore brands.

What do you think of make up?
I love how it can be used to enhance your looks and make you feel so much more confident about yourself. And there are so many colours/textures and brands to choose from! I love swatching and buying make up and I find applying make up very relaxing and therapeutic.

I'd going to pass this tag onto anyone that wants to do it. If you do, link me to the post as I'd love to read your answers.

16 March 2010

Cloud Nine curls and a simple FOTD

When I posted my review on the Cloud Nine straightners, Pyxiee requested a photo of how the curls looked, which I said I would post the next time I curled my hair. I had some free time tonight to curl my hair so here's the photo I promised:

Make up wise I wore:

Face
Garnier tinted eye roll on
MAC mineralize skinfinish natural
Maybelline dream mousse blush in peach satin

Eyes
N.Y.C. liquid eyeliner in jet black
MAXfactor false lash effect mascara

Lips
Vaseline

I'm still getting to grips with the technique of curling hair so its not perfect yet but I'm quite pleased with loose bouncy curls I ened up with. However if you have any tips or tricks then please do let me know. Thanks :)

15 March 2010

Neal and wolf harmony review

A few weeks ago I was sent the Harmony intensive care treatment from Neal and Wolf to try out.

The brand is the brainchild of Neil Capstick, who has worked in the hair industry for over 20 years and the website states that their range of 10 products have faced rigorous testing during its development from both consumers and salon professionals.

With these claims I had very high expectations for the product!

My hair isn't damaged but its due a haircut soon so its not as smooth and tanglefree as I'd like.

The product comes in a simple cream tube that certainly looks very sophisticated, however there are no instructions on the packaging so I had to look online to find out how long I was supposed to leave it in for. (ETA. The reason that there are no instructions is because it is a professional brand so the idea is the stylist would advice you on how to use it. However as a result of customer feedback, the new batch of products will have instructions printed on the packaging).

It has a musky fragrance and although I personally prefer fruity fragances, it wasn't too overpowering and it did smell very luxurious.

The product rinses out very easily and left my hair feeling clean, silky and tangle free. After drying my hair felt really soft and smooth and every so often I could detect a faint musky smell.

Overall I'm really impressed with this product and will continue to use this once a week with a fruity conditioner in between to keep my hair in a good condition.

Have you tried any products from this brand?

14 March 2010

Sleek make up Bohemian i-Divine eyeshadow palette

This palette was inspired by antique trinkets, vintage finds and Sienna Miller and contains a range of shimmery and matte colours.

The palette is made of the same material as all the other i-Divine palettes but the actual casing is white rather than black. Personally I think white fits in with the Bohemian theme more than black but it does get dirtier quicker. When I closed the palette after swatching I had some eyeshadow on my fingers and it immediately made a mark on the outside, although luckily it came off easily when wiped with a tissue.

Instead of the usual plastic outer packaging this palette comes with a decorated cardboard packaging, which I much prefer as the design on there is so pretty, especially on the back!

Of the 12 colours there are 3 shimmery ones (1st and 2nd ones from the left on the top row and the 2nd one from the left on the bottom row) and all the others are matte.

The actual eyeshadows are smooth, easy to apply and blendable. Like all the other Sleek makeup palettes the eyeshadows are nicely pigmented and I found that the shimmery ones were creamier and more pigmented than the matte ones.
The beige colour from the bottom row is also almost the same colour as my arm so it didn't show up much on the photo however I've swatched it on my finger so you can see the colour better.

This Bohemian palette is limited edition and will be available from Superdrug on the 17th March, priced at £4.99. I was sent this palette from the PR company for review purposes.

What do you think of the colours? Will you be purchasing this palette?

11 March 2010

My 5 minute make-up products

Recently I've had to leave the house at 7:30 in the morning. Because of the early start I've been trying to spend less time getting ready so I can spend just that little bit longer in bed. These are the current products I'm using which allows me to apply my make up in less than 5mins.


I start by applying Garnier tinted eye roll on to the undereye area and blend it in with my fingers.

Next I dab some Maybelline dream mousse blush in peach satin to the apples of my cheeks and blend out slightly, again using my fingers.

I then use the kabuki brush from the Maybelline mineral foundation to buff in MAC mineralize skinfinish natural to my T zone to minimise shine and even out the skintone.

This is followed by quickly curling my lashes and applying 2 coats of Maxfactor false lash mascara.

Finally I apply a slick of vaseline or carmex and I'm done!

Its pretty basic but it definitely helps me to look brighter and more awake during the day. What are your favourite products for using in a rush?

9 March 2010

Lunchtime purchases

We had a two and a half hour lunchbreak between lectures today but instead of working on our presentation, me and a friend decided to go shopping instead as I wanted to check out Primark and she wanted a Dorothy Perkins dress.

Here's what I brought when I should have been working:

I've been really unimpressed with Primark this year so was very pleased to find these goodies, especially as everything is much cheaper compared to the other high street stores I've been shopping at:

Blue cardigan (£5)
Long floral vest (£3)
Black opaque tights (£2)
Navy Chanel-esque handbag (£6)
Gold bead bracelet (£2.50)

I also got my free Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 30ml sample as well as some coloured bangles from Dorothy Perkins (reduced to £4 in the sale, plus student discount).

So all in all a very barginous and productive lunch break! Have you been on any shopping trips recently?

8 March 2010

Cloud Nine straighteners

My hair is normally fairly straight, but since my last haircut it has a tendency to kink and stick out when I wake up in the morning. Having always had quite a sleek style it really annoyed me and I resorted to sticking my hair under the tap and letting it dry again every other day in an attempt to restyle it. This was really inconvenient and I often left the house with the ends of my hair still wet, plus it didn't always get rid of the kinks. So you can imagine how pleased I was when Cloud Nine sent me a pair of their straighteners to try out.

Cloud Nine are developed by the founders of GHDs and their motto is less heat, more style. I was sent the normal iron which is suitable for most hair types, has a temperature control feature and 'unique black plates' to add shine.

The straighteners came in a simple black and turquoise box that made it look very expensive and luxurious and included a plastic heat guard, a travel pouch and an information blooklet with instructions on how to create the different hair styles.

Because my hair is fairly straight anyway and I'm conscious about heat damage I tend to use them at 100 degrees. The temperature control bit lights up when it gets to the correct temperature (seconds for 100 degrees and about half a minute for the highest temperature). The on switch and temperature control pad are both on the inside of the straightners and I was initially worried about accidently burning myself but luckily they are both far away enough from the heated plates to prevent that.

The straightners glides through my hair easily and it has a swivel cord for ease of movement. I prefer the blowdried rather than poker straight look and it normally takes me about 5 mins to straghten the ends to achieve this. According to the box the ceramic plates contain a secret ingredient to give a shiny, natural finish and indeed whenever I use the irons I'm left with sleek and shiny hair.

As I mentioned earlier it comes with a plastic heat guard which I found really useful, because I can just slip it on and leave the straighteners on the floor without worrying about it burning anything. It also has hibernation mode to automatically turn off after not being used for 30mins and although I tend to unplug it straight after use it does give me peace of mind to know that if I have accidently left it on it won't stay on and cause loads of damage!

As well as straightening both me and my flatmates have used this iron to curl our hair. I simply wrap my hair around the iron then drag it through to the ends for a loose curl and it takes me about 10-15mins to get a full head of curls.

Overall I'm really impressed and would definitely recommend if you are looking to invest in a pair of straighteners.

5 March 2010

Debenhams' appalling customer service


Like most consumers I've experienced my share of bad customer service but today's incident at Debenhams Westfield has left me fuming.

When I received my UD palette I placed another order as a present for a friend. However when it arrived the box had some scratch marks on the outside. Now I'll openly admit I'm quite a fussy person but for me the palette was about the packaging as much as the eyeshadows so I decided to try and exchange it in store.

When I explained the problem to the SA she refused saying it wasn't a fault, which I can accept as the actual shadows and the pop up bit was fine, however, she then proceeded to explain and demonstrate (numerous times with her long nails!!!) how easy it is to scratch the box.

She then went to double check with her line/department manager and again demonstrated numerous times how easy the box was to scratch.

Now I can accept her not giving me the refund but I find it appalling and completely unacceptable that she felt the need to deliberately damage the box even more! And the fact that the manager didn't say anything either!

I'm not one for confrontations so I left it but I'm so annoyed about what happened as now I'm left with an UD palette that is extremely scratched in one corner and is definitely not in a condition to be given as a present.

Going to look online now for a customer service number so I can make a formal complaint, wish me luck!

ETA: I rang up customer services but the department I needed to talk to was already shut so have to ring back on Monday. I've emailed in a complaint so hopefully will get sorted soon!

Update
The PR company for Debenhams got in touch and arranged for me to return the palette for a refund, which I have now done. Will definitely be sticking to Boots and other department stores for future purchases!

4 March 2010

N.Y.C. make up review and swatches


A while ago I was kindly sent some NYC products from Superdrug to try out. I'd seen the brand before but had always gone straight to the Sleek stand so I was looking forward to having a play with the cosmetics and see how good they were:

Colour wheel in Pink cheek glow

(This is actually much pinker in real life but no
matter what I did I couldn't capture it on camera)

This multi coloured blusher gives a very girly pink colour when mixed together and applied easily to the skin. I like my blushers quite subtle and 2 or 3 swirls with my blusher brush gave me enough colour for a natural glow to the cheeks. There is also a hint of shimmer in the product.

Metro quartet in South street seaport


This came with a litte guide on the back about where to apply the colours which I thought was very helpful. However some of the eyeshadows weren't very pigmented so gave a sheer wash of colour when applied. It does come with a duo ended brush (sponge applicator on one end and a mini brush on the other end) which enables you to apply eyeshadow all over the lid as well as adding a fine line of eyeshadow under the eyes to help add definition.

Sparkle eye dust in Karat rose

Again this swatch wouldn't show up on camera, sorry :(

This comes in a little pot with a built in brush that made eyeshadow application so quick and easy. The colour is very shimmery and pigmented and there was no fall out on application. The eyeshadow brush was very soft and was the perfect size of applying eyeshadow to the lids. Unfortunately pink eyeshadow isn't my thing so I plan on using this as a shimmery blusher.

Liquid eyeliner in Jet black


This comes with a little brush applicator which I found surprisingly easy to use. The brush is very fine so you could easily draw a thin line or press down for a thicker line. The liquid itself is very pigmented, lasted well throughout the day and was easily removed using a make up remover.

Lip sliders tinted lip balm in Sugar baby


As the name suggests it gave a subtle hint of pinky red colour as well as a glossy look to the lips. Its fairly thick so once applied it lasts for quite a while on the lips. As its a tinted lipbalm it wasn't at all drying and left my lips feeling soft and moisturized, perfect for using throughout the day. Although I like the concept of a sliding tin, I am a little worried about it opening by itself and making a mess in my bag, so definitely a product to keep at home in the make up drawer!

My favourite product out of the 5 is the liquid eyeliner, which I would definitely recommend.

Have you tried any make up from N.Y.C?
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