Friday, 18 December 2015

10 Year Birthday Giveaway Details - Friday Video

So finally here are the details of how I will be celebrating the blogs 10 year birthday in 2016


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Hourglass Modernist Eye Shadow Palette

Hourglass Modernist eye Shadow Palette in InfinityI'm very up and down about this palette. On the one hand I'm a bit in love with Hourglass as a brand. I love most of the products I've tried (I'm iffy on their tinted moisturisers), I love their ideas - the ambient lighting powders, the liquid lipstick that does not budge, the brow pencil that is usable and works. And I really love the concept of the Modernist Eye Shadow Palette, and the colour range. But there are just a couple of things I'm not 100% happy with and I think for £56 I have to be 100% happy with something. Would I re-buy it - well I would like to try Monochrome, Colour Field and Obscura but not until they improve the forumla.
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment and Baby Moisturiser

I was sent a lovely box of Bepanthen goodies to try out on the willing Jim baby. He actually made a very good guinea-pig. He is teething so has quite acidic pee and tends to have dry skin patches on his tummy so both creams were needed.

Speak to any mum and they all have a specific nappy rash cream they prefer to use. I'm a great believer in Sudocrem others prefer Metanium which I've never had work successfully. But Sudocrem is quite thick and icky to apply for every nappy change so I'm afraid sometimes it's only used when redness is already starting to show. But, as with a lot of things there are so many different products to choose from it's easier to just stick with what you know. So I'm really grateful I was given the opportunity to try the Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment. This cream has a really nice texture - almost gel-like, so it's really easy to apply and your both not inadvertently covered in it by the end of the nappy change. It doesn't contain any fragrance, preservatives colours or antiseptics so it's suitable as a nappy rash prevention cream to be used at every nappy change. The ointment forms a breathable, transparent layer to protect from irritation and rubbing.

The tube is also incredibly easy to use - a flip top lid means you can open and close it one handed which is a massive bonus.

In terms of dry skin again with my eldest I left it until it was a bit late. Only once he had dry skin, mostly on his arms, did I start to apply cream and for him I've always loved Oilatum Junior. I bought stacks of the stuff when Jim arrived and vowed to baste him daily but he still had little dry patches on his tum. These have gone with regular use of the Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser which I try and use every time he gets out of the bath. It has no perfumes or harsh chemicals so it's great for children with sensitive skin and can be used from newborn up.

The moisturiser contains Vitamin B5 which helps to deeply moiturise and nourish the skin and is free from alcohol, colours, fragrances, parabans, lanolin and paraffin.

I would absolutely recommend both of these creams - I'm going to keep Sudocrem on-hand for anytime an antiseptic cream is needed but hopefully this will be a lot less often with the preventative help of the Nappy Care Ointment. Reasonably priced and easily available, Bepanthen works closely with parents, nurses and midwives so they know what they are doing. Their website has a tone of useful information so it's worth taking a look.

What You Need to Know - Bepanthen Baby Moisturiser and Nappy Care Ointment
  • Moisturiser is £5.99 for 100ml
  • Ointment is available in three sizes £3.99 for 30g, £5.99 for 50g and £7.99 for 100g 
  • The Nappy Care Ointment does not contain any antiseptic - it is a preventive barrier cream. 
  • Available in the UK from Boots, Asda, Ocado, Superdrug and Tesco
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Friday, 11 December 2015

Top 5 Pro Kit Essentials with Leila Boyd - Friday Video

Huge massive thanks to Leila who came to film this with me...


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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Coconoil Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconoil Virgin Coconut OilI'm not usually one for fads. Coconut water has passed me by, partly because I hate the taste of coconut, and coconut oil was disappearing into the distance as well but then I very nicely got sent some Coconoil Virgin Coconut Oil to try and when I get sent something, I try it. Thank God I did. Over the past 3 months this has been a total lifesaver, or more specifically, face saver. And it's not only ethical but established in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami to create a new source of revenue for the Sri Lankan economy. Coconoil is picked, pressed and packaged in Sri Lanka to keep the most socially responsible chain from grower to distributer. Coconut oil is mostly used in cooking or as a base for some skincare products but recently a lot of people, now me included, have been slathering it on their faces in it's purest form.

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Monday, 7 December 2015

More Christmas Gift Ideas

Some more things that I think would make lovely presents... Quite a few candles feature. 

    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit palette
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - regular readers will know that I find face palettes a little bit gimicky but Hourglass have really nailed it here. Wearable colours that will suit most skintones, giving a beautiful lit finish without being too shimmery and over the top. Really nice shaped palette with a mirror, chunky but not too fat to go in a travel make-up bag. Especially came into its own when I had a dramatic change in hair colour and needed to warm up my skin tone without looking overly bronzed for December. (Top Row l-r: Dim Light Powder, Irridescent Light powder, Diffused Light powder. Bottom Row l-r: Mood Exposure Blush, Luminous Flush Blush, Luminous Bronze Light Bronzer) £62
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Friday, 4 December 2015

Make-up Tips - Friday Video

There was no review up on Wednesday because we are all ill... nothing as dramatic as a sick bug just a really bloody boring cold. But I filmed this before it set in. YOU ARE WELCOME...

Sorry its a bit long... there's no point doing this and then not fully explaining what I'm doing

If you are not already subscribed to my YouTube channel then you should do it... it will be to your advantage in the new year when I'm giving something away every month! 


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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

NYX The Curve Liner

NYX The Curve black eye linerYet another great product from the one of my favourite affordable brands of the moment. Getting the right eyeliner for you can be a time consuming and frustrating experience. It all depends on the finish you want, what kind of applicator and product you find easiest to use and your budget. If you are a massive fan of liner it can get even more technical. I have favourite pencils, gel pencils, gel liner, felt tip liner, kohls and liquid liners. All of which I love and which I use for different occasions. Black eyeliner is one of the reasons I'm a make-up artist and make-up obsessive.


Originally I wasn't even going to try The Curve Liner - it just felt a bit gimicky. It arrived in a huge bag of goodies I was given to try in March at the UK relaunch of NYX.* But I gave it ago and although it took a little while to get used to it, it is now my go-to liner when I need something quick and reliable. Also the colour is properly black - which may sound obvious but some liners, and mascaras for that matter, are just not black enough.
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Some Christmas Beauty Picks 2015

Laura Mercier Glam to Go palette Christmas 2015
Laura Mercier Glam to Go
So because I really don't like reviewing things without testing them out I took myself to the Selfridges beauty hall and had a good old swatch-up and a chat with the lovely people on the counters there. I not only saw what they had out for Christmas but I got the insider opinion on what was actually the pick of the bunch. There are plenty of blogs out there I'm sure, raving about full collections but if you can only get a few pieces or are looking for presents well, these are the ones to get.

Now I think the general rule is that you aren't allowed to photograph the products in Selfridges but I got some at the Charlotte Tilbury counter. I had such a lovely time at the Laura Mercier counter I completely forgot camera's existed... so there.
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Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Sunday Spend

You can pretend you are being organised about Christmas shopping if it makes you feel better...

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Post-baby Skin Problems - Friday Video

I've been mentioning it for a bit but here's what's going on. Can you help?


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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Hourglass Amient Lighting Powder

I was given Diffused Light from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting collection, on request, for my birthday and the first couple of times I used it I was a bit underwhelmed. That was August. Skip forward to November and I am using it daily and, on leaving my entire make-up bag behind on a recent weekend away, it was the one thing I couldn't recreate from my mothers make-up stash and it is, I think, the one thing that can really make any make-up look good.

I think partly what I didn't like was the slightly up-itself press packs - 'recreate the most exquisitely flattering light'. How? surely it would just look like shimmery powder. And I have to stay I stand by that. I don't feel like the one I use (Diffused Light, more on that in a minute) is recreating light but actually that is the closest way of describing it. The shimmer and glow to this is so delicate and fine that it really isn't like it is a product doing the work - it makes you look like you have got very good skin, in very good lighting. And that's just what I need.
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Monday, 16 November 2015

Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour

Laura Mercier Coquette Velour Lovers lip colour
Coquette
I'm a fan of a matte lipstick, always have been but man they can be hard to wear. Often drying with a tendency to flatness they are a rather high-maintenance lip look but as usual Laura Mercier have seen the trend and come out with something just a little bit better than all the rest. Except the name. I get what you mean, but Velour Lovers sounds a little... 70s sexy loungewear.

Which is kind of right in a way, this is by far the most comfortable matte lip colour I have worn, including matte lip creams. It is the loungewear of matte lipstick. Yes they aren't as matte as some (hence the velour name tag) but that's because they have mango butter and jojoba in them to stop your lips feeling like dry worms stuck to your face. They also contain hylaronic acid to plump and smooth the lips - love to have a lipstick that's not just making me ingest a ton of things my body can't process. In fact, as with a lot of Laura Mercier products they are free from parabans, silicone, sulphates and are suitable for sensitive skin.
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Friday, 13 November 2015

5 Minute Waterproof Make-up - Friday Video

I do this every Thursday before I take Ned swimming. Yes sometimes if I've slept badly I will just put the mascara on or maybe nothing at all and if you are not swimming you might want to add eyeliner and lipstick to this but this is the quick, swim-proof version and frankly if you turn up at baby swimming in Acton with a full face of slap even I would look at you a bit funny.

I don't mention them in the video but two good waterproof eye liners are Collection 24hr Felt Tip Liner if you want a pen and Avon Supershock Gel liner if you prefer a pencil. I haven't taken either of these swimming. Links to all products under the video. And I did wear the Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour Pencil swimming that day and it did stay on the whole time.



Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream (I'm wearing no 13 Warm Beige)
NYX Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara 
Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer (I'm wearing 5)

Other products mentioned:
Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour 
Collection 24hr Felt Tip Liner
Avon Supershock Gel Liner
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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

NYX HD Eyeshadow Base

NYX HD Eyeshadow primerI've been wanting to review this for ages but it's been hard to find a UK stockist but finally NYX HD Eyeshadow base is available in Boots (hurrah!). As regular readers will know I find primers a tricky thing to review. I do test them using one side of my face so I can see the difference but I think often they depend on skin type, what you are wearing over them etc etc and it's the same for eye primers. Those with oily lids will need to use a primer but different forumla's will work better than others...

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Friday, 6 November 2015

Hourglass Arch Brow - Quick Review

I genuinely love this product


Available from Space NK, and Hourglass



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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Louise Young Super Concealer Trio

Anyone who knows me will tell you that one of my most recent make-up related rants involves concealer palettes. If you are a normal person you do not need 6 or 12 concealers in a palette, even if the whole thing does cost £4.99. You should need 1-3 depending on what you want and need to conceal. I like a pink/peach tone for my dark circles and a yellow for any redness or spots but lets face it, most of the time I'm too lazy to bother changing (which is why I like the Clarins concealer so much - except that it comes in an annoying tube). When it comes to concealer I find that you usually get what you pay for but it's hard to find good quality and good colours. Also lets face it, now there is a thin line between concealers and highlighters with a lot of brands so all in all getting a good concealer is getting harder.That's where Louise Young comes in.

Louise Young Concealer Trio in LightThe Louise Young concealer trios are absolutely perfect - you can blend the colour you need for what you want to conceal. They are lovely creamy textures in a great range of colours to correct and conceal which mean you can adapt, mix and blend to the shades of your face but your are not overloaded with unnecessary extra colours. The three colours should also get you through season changes, unless you are a drastic tanner.


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Friday, 30 October 2015

5 Minute Make-up - Friday Video

Technically 4 minutes when I'm on form... though you'd never know it through all this yakking


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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

Hourglass Brow Arch Sculpting PencilI'm not big on brow products. How very un-on-trend of me but I have some Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whizz and MAC palette's in my kit and Maybelline Brow Drama for me and well, that's about it. A bit like the whole not wanting to be a member of any club who would have me if something in make-up is all the rage I kind of want to find something new. If you live in London and are on Instagram then you've probably seen enough terrible brows to last you a life time so I tend to go as natural as possible, only adding a little colour to fill in the gaps when I go out.

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Sunday Spend

Some deals so good it would be rude not to...

  • The Ultimelt from Soap & Glory (and in fact a lot of Soap & Glory products) are 1/3 off at Boots right now making it £6.67 instead of £10. 
  • Cult Beauty have some very tempting promotions worth looking at 
  • As do Escentual - worth looking at if you want 1/3 off Bioderma, Vichy Aquila Thermal Dynamic Serum and La Roche Posay.
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Olympia Beauty

A delayed vlog due to camera issues...


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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Erborian Pink Perfect Blush

Erborian Perfect Pink BlushI have heard nothing but good things about Erborian but have never really tried anything out properly - I've tried lots on the backs on my hands but that doesn't count. If you are a follower of make-up and beauty trends you'll know that Korean brands are having a big surge here in the UK and Erborian has been at the forefront of this. They have been in Space NK for years and are one of the main 'have you tried' brands recommended to me by my friends who aren't in the make-up or skincare business.

I was really, really pleased to be sent the Pink Perfect Blush to try out though dubious as my sensitive/rosacea skin doesn't tend to suit pink-toned blushes. So how could it be perfect?
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Monday, 12 October 2015

Chiropodist or Podiatrist?

This isn't going to be a glamorous post. It seems that nowadays you have to have beautiful photos and only glam products on your blog but that's never been my way. It started for a love of and interest in beauty products, skincare and general bodily well-being (on the outside... ) and that continues. So if you are not interested in feet or are going to be grossed out at the mention of foot ailments then this probably isn't the post for you. If you are then do continue...
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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Clarins Renew Plus Body Serum

Clarins Renew plus body serumPeople who have read this blog for a while (Hello and thank you) will know that I have Keratosis pilaris also known as 'chicken skin' (lovely) or as I call it, bumpy tops of my arms. I've always had, I was told I would grow out of it and never have. Nor have I found anything to get rid of it. I tried Environ Derma-Lac which helped a bit but as soon as I stopped using it, it was just as it always was.

I have been told by a couple of people that the Clarins Renew Plus Body Serum would help but I was dubious. It's not cheap and I have a lot of body moisturisers to work my way through. But in a fit of post-baby body loathing I thought I would give it a go and snuck it into an order with Euan the dream sheep and a bath thermometer.


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Friday, 2 October 2015

NYX Wonder Stick - Quick Review - Friday Video

I really love this product, reasonably priced and does the job
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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Helmies

Helmies nail protectorsI was dubious of Helmies. But I needed them. Between being in that new-baby state of self loathing for the state you're in and a the 3 year old saying 'I don't like those pink nails you have on Mummy [my natural nails] but the red ones back on' I needed a way to paint my nails and write the numerous emails/blog posts I had lined up or change a nappy if necessary. Mr Harrod has a habit of working late... quite a lot.

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Monday, 28 September 2015

London Fashion Week SS16

Earlier in year I kept meaning to be really organised and do a post on my favourite looks from London Fashion Week AW15. Then I didn't feel at all enthused by any of the things I saw* and I deleted the post. For SS16 however there were a lot of looks I liked - red lips, glossy lids, creative pops of colour and full on glitter.

I've put links below to the Instagram accounts of a few that I particularly liked below if you want to investigate further... I hate putting up other people's pictures.

1. Andrew Gallimore for Zandra Rhodes
2. Lan Nguyen-Grealis for Teresita Orillac  
3. Val Garland for Vivienne Westwood
4. Andrew Gallimore for Studio Fulton
5. Issidora for Ivana Pilja
6. Val Garland for Anya Hindmarch

* I know there is a lot of creativity and talent to create those looks - they just weren't my thing and this is my blog.
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Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Sunday Spend

Enabling...
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Friday, 25 September 2015

Busy Week Vlog - Friday Video

Mostly my weeks are spent looking after my children and dogs, washing, cleaning and doing make-up when I can. Some weeks I get to go out and do things and unlike the hundreds of vlogs I start when I'm on my way out to work and then get to involved in to finish this I did finish... sort of. Not really.

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Dove DermaSpa

Years and years ago Dove Spa sent me some products and in it was a big tub of whipped body moisturiser that was (and is) without doubt one of my favourite moisturisers ever. Then they stopped making it. I've kept the remaining bit of my last pot for years using it only when I'm feeling particularly dry and crispy I would use it. As a treat.

When companies stop making things, or go out of business altogether, it can be a nightmare for those who really love their products (why oh why didn't I stock up on MyFace MyMix Foundation when I had the chance? By far the best high street foundation there's ever been). So I'm really excited to be trying out the new Dove DermaSpa range. I have incredibly dry skin on my body so a good affordable moisturiser is a must and I have high hopes that the Goodness Body Cream will be similar and as good, if not better than the whipped body moisturiser I loved all those years ago...
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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex

I've tried a lot of hand creams. And in fact it wasn't so long ago that I was evangelising about La Roche Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream and saying it was my new favourite.

Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex Hand CreamWell that didn't last long did it. I still really like it but my god, from first second the Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex hand cream hit my skin I was completely in love. It had an immediate effect on my hands an they still look younger even though I haven't used it for four days. By younger I mean smoother, with more of a glow and generally healthier looking. Ever since my friend Lucy ('Hi Lucy' *waves at Provence*) said she never did the washing up without gloves because it made your hands look old I have been pretty obsessed with not letting my hands age. I'm going to send her a tube of this asap (coals to Newcastle I know, when she is living in France, but still)...
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Monday, 21 September 2015

Art & Makeup by Lan Ngyun-Grealis

Having grown-up with a passion for art but not knowing how to turn this passion into a job, Lan Ngyun-Grealis was one day asked to cover the make-up stand whilst working in retail to pay her way through university. Her eye for colour, detail and her knowledge of art worked with make-up and with a face as her canvas she had the added challenge of translating what the client wanted into a wearable look. Fourteen years later and she has published this stunning book, Art & Makeup showing how her love of art appears in her work and how she interprets these influences onto the face. She is also sick of people thinking that there is no creativity or talent required to be a make-up artist, especially in times of airbrushing and computers. If you haven't heard of Lan then maybe you've seen Paloma Faith, Lan is her make-up artist and responsible for all the incredible looks in Paloma's videos and shows.
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Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Sunday Spend

Because I'm an enabler...
  • Feel Unique are celebrating fashion week with 15% off all orders with the code for CATWALK15
  • Boots are doing 2 for 1 on Balmi lip balm
  • Beauty Bay are offering a few deals - 2 for 1 on Eye of Horus cosmetics and 20% on DuWop
  • Essentual have some great deals - if you need to top up your Bioderma stocks (it's steal much cheaper in France) or need more perfume this is worth having a look at.
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Friday, 18 September 2015

Origins GinZing Eye Cream - Quick Review Video

I love this eye cream. I'm not much of a fan of eye creams, I usually just use my moisturiser but this I always have a pot of

You can get Origins GinZing Eye Cream here
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Friday, 11 September 2015

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty PrimerI bought this with a desire to be blown away by it. I wasn't. BUT the more I use it the more I like it and that's saying something as primers are a hard thing to review. There are so many contributing factors to whether your make-up stays on or not, weather, the product you are using, how your skin is that day, the list goes on. How it makes your skin look and feel is a matter of personal preference.

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer is not going to fill your wrinkles in the way that some primers do but it does smooth it and, as the name suggests, give it the most beautiful glow. A glow that, for some, will be too much and for others this alone will be enough (I am jealous of those in the latter category).

But not for me in my pregnant/post-baby grey, blotchy horror skin phase I need all the help I can get and this really is a lovely way to start of your make-up or, if you have great skin, you could just wear this as is. It's very moisturising so also great if you find a full-on foundation leaves you feeling a bit dried out. It's also one of the best primers for having a good vitamin content so it's genuinely nice to your skin. If you have oily skin this is probably not going to work for you. Yes it says its suitable for all skin types but I've found that oiler skins often don't look great at the end of the day with a glowing primer underneath.


What You Need to Know - Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer
  • £24/US$22
  • Good for dry, dehydrated and normal skin
  • Evens skin tone and adds glow
  • Contains Vitamins E, A and C
  • Available in the UK from Pixi, Beauty Bay, Look Fantatstic
  • Available in the US from Target
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Friday, 28 August 2015

Nudestix Magnestic Eye Colour - Quick Review - Friday Video

I really love these pencils (as you'll know if you've read my review). Here's them in action...

 Nudestix are available in the UK from Space NK and Cult Beauty and in the US from Nudestix
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Soap and Glory The Ultimelt Deep Purifying Hot Cloth Cleanser

Soap and Glory The Ultimelt Deep Purifying Hot Cloth Cleanser
I was a bit unmoved by this when I was first using it. It had a lot of things that were good about it but it didn't set my world on fire. That is until 90% of my skincare products started to set my face fire post the birth of my second baby. Then all my trusted products turned me to a burning tomato.

I'm hoping this is temporary but until then how was I supposed to clean my face? Well I went to go old Clarins - the saviour of many an allergic reaction or sensitive bout. £25 later and I was burning again. Not as bad but still definitely burning. Then I realised - there was one cleanser that wasn't having this disastrous affect on my skin and that was The Ultimelt from Soap & Glory. I used it again. No burning. No redness. No despair.

So why didn't I originally rave about this?
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Monday, 10 August 2015

Professor Scrubbington

This is going to be one of those weird cross-over posts that works on both blogs (if you didn't know I have another blog here) so that's where it's going... on both blogs.

I was very kindly sent some gorgeous Professor Scrubbington products to try out. They arrived just before Jim and therefore sat, neglected on the side in my kitchen in their gorgeous suitcase packaging until finally I actually listened when Ned said he wanted to take it downstairs (where his bedroom and bathroom are) and they made their way to the bathroom. We've been using them (for Ned, not Jim, he's too little) ever since and I LOVE them.

Like many parents I am a slave to Johnson's Bedtime Bath because we will do anything that implies it may help our child sleep. Jim is too tiny to be having actual bubbles in his bath but I use the Johnson's Bedtime Body Wash but Ned, well Ned is a good sleeper (so far) and not that keen on bubbles or having his hair washed, so he was good and ready to try something new.

Professor Scrubbington's Emporioum of Clean is aimed at 'young people who want to take charge of their own ablutions', from the age of 3 up. To that end they are completely child-user-friendly, foams that don't slip off the hand, containers that are squeezable with one hand and the packaging and design is very cool. I also really love the smell, much more 'grown-up' than I was expecting and have been really impressed with the products I've tried. Ned is too, he really likes that they aren't for babies (he's quite superior now he's a big brother) the design and the name. One thing I would say is that initially it's quite hard to work out how to open them but once you do it's actually very clever and will stop the entire product being squirted out by little hands while your back is turned.

So my top picks from the Professor Scrubbington range are...

Scrubbington's Magically Foaming Face and Handwash - £5 for 150ml we have this in the bathroom next to the kitchen for post-loo handwashing and when we need a good sleuce down after supper. Ned really loves that he can pump the soap out himself and stops the shouting about me scrubbing pesto off his face - he can do it himself.

Scrubbington's Magically Foaming Hair and Body Wash - £5 for 150ml. Great for super-quick baths or as an all-in-one to have in the wash bag.
 
Scrubbington's Magically Foaming Shampoo - £5 for 150ml. If you child is a fan of bubbles in their bath then this is a great shampoo to use instead of the hair and body wash above. Smells great and leaves the hair clean and shiny.

These are incredibly reasonably priced so I really urge you to try them out - you can see them in action in my video coming soon
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Friday, 7 August 2015

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat


Pillow Talk (bottom) and Crazy in Love
This has to be one of the most talked about lip products in the last five years, and with good reason. It is quite possible that once you've used a Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat pencil you'll never go back. If you like a hard, defined line around your lips then this is probably not for you but if you like something more subtle, need to expand or reshape your lips or if you have a spectacular pout already that just needs light definition then this could be the pencil for you. I love it and I'm not alone - the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk is one of her bestselling products.

Pillow Talk is the first Lip Cheat I owned, Santa delivered it in my stocking last year and it's pretty much been the only liner I've used since. That is until I bought Crazy in Love a couple of months ago. When pregnant I usually steer clear from bright lipsticks as they attract the gaze to my bloated puffy face - Crazy in Love, however, blends beautifully with Lost Cherry Matte Revolution lipstick which, for me, is the perfect summer pinky, red and the one 'colour' I wore while pregnant and this Lip Cheat would look lovely on darker skin tones worn all over the lip.
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Monday, 27 July 2015

In the Kit - The Bits 'n' Bobs Bag

Every make-up artist has one (or their assistant does!), a bag of non-make-up things you might need, or someone else might need or that's just plain weird, but useful. I was doing an inventory of mine the other day (so there are a few things missing from the picture that need replacing in my bag) and thought it may be worth a little blog post.

The bag I use is a see-through make-up bag, probably this one from PAM or similar. I can see everything in there which makes finding things quick and easy and although it looks really full this really doesn't add that much extra weight to my bag and it comes in really useful. As a make-up artist you not only get to spend time with people but often you are needed to be on stand-by making you the perfect person to solve any little problems, like microphones slipping, feet hurting or armpits smelling!

So what's in it?
  • A plastic mixing palette - for, well, mixing (something like this)
  • Small scissors - for cutting out labels, trimming false lashes, opening stuff
  • A mini nail kit
  • Blister plasters - really useful for weddings
  • Micropore Tape - can be used as tit tape, to hold microphones in place or as an eye make-up guide (Boots do one... of course)
  • Headband - to keep hair out of the face
  • Disposable chopsticks - weird I know but actually very useful
  • Shadow Shields
  • Dry Shampoo - Batiste or Percy & Reed
  • Deoderant - spray not roll on, no one wants to share a roll on
  • Tic Tacs
  • Spray bottle full of IPA - for brush and kit cleaning
  • Hair Spray - Elnett obvs
  • Metal spatula - for mixing (something like this)
  • Brush guards
  • Gaviscon - nothing worse than indegestion
  • Shine absorbing blot sheets
  • Sugar free polos
  • Snack bar (Jordans honey and almond preferably)
  • Pritt Stick
  • Glass ramekin - for cleaning brushes or mixing
  • Orange stipple sponge - great for 'doing' sweat
  • Hand cream 
  • Green nail varnish - to mark my stuff
  • Small tester of perfume - Chanel Chance at the moment. Should be one with a spray so it doesn't leak. Brides quite often forget perfume!
  • Tissues
  • Nail file
  • Hair tie
  • Tampons
  • Lighter
  • Vaseline
  • Hair pins
  • Nude nail varnish (not pictured but something like Madmoiselle by Essie)




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Monday, 20 July 2015

Jim

I have lots of blog posts... in my head. But not the time or the mental ability to actually get them written down because of this...



But they are coming I promise... thank you so so much for being patient


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Friday, 26 June 2015

I had another baby - Friday Video

I know there has been not a lot going on here or on my YouTube recently...


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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour

Since trying this eye pencil I have been avoiding Space NK because if I go in there I will buy every single product from Nudestix that they have available. In fact I'm struggling to think of even one thing that I don't like about this eye pencil... I mean. I don't like the price but this, once again, proves you get what you pay for.

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour in Angel Regular readers (hello!) will know that I am a little bit obsessed with eye shadow pencils and my quest to find the perfect one led me to Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour and, well this could be the perfect eye pencil. It's soft. Soft enough that if you drop it you will break it (thanks Libs) but not so soft that the pencil is going to break during application. It is the ideal consistency for using directly onto the eye lid and although I then blend with a brush, that's just my personal preference, you an use your finger or, for paler colours you technically don't need to blend at all. But I'm a make-up artist so I'm never going to advise not blending.

What's the most annoying thing about most eye shadow pencils? Sharpening. Well Nudestix have that covered by providing a sharpener in the amazing tin the pencil comes in which is itself reusable and has a mirror on the lid. Need a small make-up kit in your clutch? Use the Nudestix tin. Ace.

It's long lasting and great on it's own or as a base for powder shadows or blended with other creams. If you have oily lids then these are worth a try, they are waterproof with great colour payoff. I have Angel. I want Immortal next. Subtle, flattering colours to suit everyone.

And these are not the only string to the Nudestix bow... they do everything. Concealer, contour, bronzing, lip and cheek, blemishes, correcting. I want to try them all... and hopefully I will. When a newborn isn't nixing my spending.

What You Need to Know - Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour
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Saturday, 6 June 2015

I had another baby...

James Alexander Reuben Harrod, Jim, arrived on Tuesday 2nd June so my posts may be a little erratic for the next couple of weeks. He's heaven...


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Monday, 1 June 2015

Monday's Make-up Muse - Tori Amos

From the To Venus and Back sleeve - toriamos.com
Tori Amos has to be one of the biggest female influences on my life in terms of her music and the way she looks. I can still remember hearing To Venus and Back in my friends kitchen, buying it the next day and looking at the sleeve and thinking she just looked so amazing - it was the first time I tried to do my make-up to look like someone else rather than just messing about on how I wanted my face to look.

Since there I've seen her play live as often as possible and even though sometimes she wears something I wouldn't personally choose she has a fantastic and unique sense of style that I love. Though not known for her make-up particularly, she often looks pretty fresh-faced and it's much more her fashion that is dramatic, it's the look she had in the late '90s when that album came out that I loved (dark red hair, red lip, grungy black liner) and I can still see in my everyday make-up. So, as this is my blog and she's my make-up muse, that's the look I'm going to aim for in my recommendations below which are going to be pretty basic because it's pretty hard to see what she's actually wearing due to the purple tinge on all the pictures. I've looked at a lot of her live recordings from the time and thing I can safely say there was quite a lot of taupe going on... it's the '90s after all.
from galleryhip.com

Eye Shadows - the whole Tori late '90s eye look is a bit grungy - insert heart eyed emoji - satiny, smudgy, almost glossy. A light goldeny base like Make Up For Ever's Aqua Cream in 13 (Fuschia Pink apparently but mine is very pale) with a shimmery taupe over the top - my absolute favourite is Satin Taupe eye shadow by MAC.

Eye Liner - defined and smudgy. If you want ultimate definition then a liquid liner close to the lash line - Make Up For Ever's Ink Liner is my choice. Smoulder eye kohl by MAC smudged over the top with a little bit of black shadow on a Laura Mercier Smokey Liner Brush.

Skin - luminous and, in the album photos, contoured. If I want to have really dewy skin then I use Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer and Dior Star Fluid foundation if you want to skip the primer then NARS Sheer Glow. For the contour the ideal is Soleil Tan de Chanel but if you want something more high street priced then I've been really impressed by the NYX contour stick which is going to be available soon. You want to use creams here to keep the finish as luminous as possible. If you have the  House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel that would be great here too - and a better option for darker skin tones.

Lips - often either red or a sort of brown. Usually glossy. To go ultimate '90s then we'll have to go with brown... well, browny nude and this will depend on your skin tone. I like NYX glosses (Tiramisu or Creme Brulee look good choices for this) , Charlotte Tilbury and MAC lipstick and lip liners.

Q Cover 1998
To Venus and Back cover - from toriamos.com

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Friday, 29 May 2015

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Estee Lauder EE Cream

I was trying to be organised-ish before the baby arrives and was going through my (huge) list of things to review (not as huge as my list of things I want to try) and realised I never actually reviewed the Estee Lauder EE Cream. I did a Quick Review video of it and then raved about it to anyone who would listen soooo much that I felt like I'd reviewed it to death. I haven't. So here it is.

Estee Lauder EE Cream tinted moisturiserI'm dubious of the whole BB, CC, EE cream debacle. Surely they are all just variants on tinted moisturisers? Well yes they are but with specific claims and the Estee Lauder EE cream claims to even skin tone (the EE stands for Even Effects apparently). This 'even-ing' claim coupled with my life-long quest to find the perfect tinted moisturier is what initially led me to buy it and I have to say at first I was a little disappointed. Yes I love this product but why oh why does it only come in three colours? The lightest colour is very pale on me and the medium would be far to dark. I got the lightest and it will be fine until I get any sort of tan. However, I do love it enough that I may buy it in medium so I have the option of mixing the perfect colour throughout the summer.

The next thing you have to get used to is the light coverage. Yes this does even the skin tone but it is a very light coverage so prepare yourself for that (and have some concealer to hand if you think you'll need it). I use concealer even I use a full coverage foundation so for me this was pretty easy to adjust to but what is so lovely about this product is it's blendability and finish. You can really work this into to the skin so you get exactly the coverage you need where you need it and every time I wear this I get comments on how great my skin looks. Every. Single. Time.

It's price is a little expensive for what it is - yes I'll pay it because I really like the product - but considering you can get a Chanel foundation for £32 this is quite an outlay for a tinted moisturiser. It does have a good whack of SPF in it though. I like to wear a high SPF on my face in the summer - 30 at least - so I find it quite frustrating when my make-up has a SPF 15 because I don't like to build SPF's in case they cancel each other out. So I either use a separate SPF and can't use the make-up product or use the make-up and worry about sun damage. Not so with this that's to it's SPF30.

This is one I would definitely recommend trying before you buy but I do recommend trying if you are looking for a new base/tinted moisturiser and want something light with a dewy finish. Really beautiful and long-lasting.

What You Need to Know - Estee Lauder EE Cream
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Monday, 25 May 2015

Automatic Re-Buys

I've been thinking about this post for a while and I think it's just going to have to be one that is ever expanding. But there are some things that I have spares of in reserve or re-buy as soon as they run out, automatically, without thinking about the things you usually think about when buying products - cost, reviews, necessity. As soon as they look a bit low I re-buy. Writing me has also made me realise there are certain products for which I have nothing on the re-buy list - for example mascaras. I really like a couple of mascaras but I'm still on the hunt for the perfect one so whatever I buy when I need to is usually a new one that I want to try out.

Emma Hardien Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing BalmEmma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm - if you have read this blog at all you'll know how much I love this product (see my full review here and my quick review video here)  This is the cleanser I use every evening unless I am trying other cleansers out and if they make my skin react then I go back to this and it sorts it out. If I've worn a ton of make-up this gets it all off. If I'm not wearing any this feels like a moisturising treat.

Pixi Glow Tonic - the toner that got me really back into toning (see my full review here). Slews away dead cells, brightens, moisturises and firms. If you are thinking about adding a toner to your skincare routine this is a great place to start.

Pixi by Petra Glow TonicOrigins Make A Difference + -this is a moisturiser I come back to again and again (see my full review here). It just seems to suit my skin so well. And, bizarre as it sounds, it is totally buildable in that, if I'm feeling well-moisturised and its the morning and I'm going to be adding an SPF and some make-up then a really thin layer of this is great. If I need to slap it on to dry, or a bit irritated skin in the evening I can and it feels deeply moisturising and luxurious.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula for Dry Skin - I have incredibly dry skin which can get itchy so I have tried a lot  of moisturisers. This is the one product I've found that keeps me feeling moisturised for the 24 or so hours between applications. And it's incredibly reasonably priced (see my quick review video here). Why try to find something high end when there is a fantastic product available on the high street?

Origins Make a Difference + MoisturiserLavera Soft Eye Pencil - why they stopped putting a smudger on the end of this I'll never know but it's my second favourite soft liner pencil and, for me at the moment, easier for me to get hold of than my No 1,  Smoulder by MAC (they sell it in the shop next door). A truly soft eye pencil, vegan, non-irritating, truly black, goes on the waterline (see my full review here). What's not to like?

MAC Eye Kohl in Smoulder - always in my pro-kit and, ideally, always in my personal one too. For a '90s teen a smudgey black liner will never go out of fashion and this is the ultimate. Goes on the waterliner, properly black, long lasting and, for me, the perfect consistency.

Sleek Makeup Luminous Pressed Powder - another high street hero. Love that it will fix my make-up in place without taking away all the dewiness and radiance I spend time (and money) putting in. A must for those of us naturally prone to dullness.

Lavera Eye Pencil blackBenefit Sugarbomb - a blusher I have been using for years and years (see my full review here). Its personal preference but the colours for me are perfect and, though it's expensive, it lasts for a long time. 

Avon Supershock Gel Liner - the best black waterproof liner you can get, as far as I know (see my full review here). Incredibly reasonably priced, goes onto and stays on, the waterline.

Benefit Sugarbomb BlusherReal Techniques Shading Brush - a great eyeshadow brush. Good length bristles, easy to use and keep clean, synthetic and very well priced. I always have a couple of these in my personal brush collection. I wish they did the base shadow brush separately too, it's fantastic for blending.

Butter London Flawless Base Coat - loved it from first use and still love it now. (see my full review here). No yellowness, nice strong nails, nothing nasty in it, lovely base for your colour to go onto.

Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser - smells great, easy to use, cleans brushes perfectly, no nasty chemicals (see my full review here and my quick review here).
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Friday, 22 May 2015

Friday Video - What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

Last week it was 'what's in my hospital washbag' this week it's the main bag itself. Back to make-up next week...


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner

Cowshed Grumpy Cow Volumising Shampoo
Shampoo
There are very few products that I am completely evangelical about after just one use but the Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner gave me such a eureka moment I've had trouble not reviewing them before my designated 1 month trial time.

It's been a month - I'm still obsessed. In a slightly weird way where I look forward to washing my hair (surely the second most boring thing next to drying your hair). The great results haven't lessened with use and even when I mess up the styling (too much/not enough root booster etc) the hair itself looks and feels so much better. I had almost given up hope of finding a volumising shampoo and conditioner that would make the slightest bit of difference to my fine hair. But this is it.
Grumpy Cow Volumising Conditioner
Conditioner

I was initially surprised as to why I hadn't heard great things about this shampoo/conditioner before - Sam Chapman recommended them to me - and then I checked out the Cowshed website and boy do they not do themselves any favours. If I made this shampoo I would be singing it from the rooftops. But a very basic description awaits and only three ingredients mentioned. Nowhere does it say that it is sulphate and silicone free which I'm sure is what makes this so fantastic. In terms of volume this isn't going to make your hair like something from Working Girl it would be good if it did but I'm in love with it anyway. Because it is free from silicone and sulphate it doesn't weigh your hair down meaning it has a chance to be naturally sleek and voluminous.

There is no frizz. None. Not even a hint of it. The price of this isn't ideal but it's worth it and though you do need quite a lot of the conditioner if you have mid-to-long-hair, a little of the shampoo goes a long way. It does contain essential oils so if you are not into that then this is not something for you to try.

I re-buy the shampoo over and over and have to confess that I use cheap conditioners that they do the same, if not better job as this one. But the shampoo, wow.

What You Need to Know - Cowshed Grumpy Cow Shampoo and Conditioner
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Monday, 18 May 2015

Where to Shop - Precious about Makeup (PAM)

About PAM - If you are not a pro make-up artist you may not have heard about PAM (Precious about Makeup) and why should you? In fact it may seem as a pretty odd choice to start this 'Where to Shop' series off with a West London based shop aimed towards working make-up artists, but what I love about PAM is though it is a make-up shop, owned by professional make-up artists, run by working make-up artists for those working in the business they not only stock some fantastic brands but are the nicest people to buy from so even if you are just a fan of make-up and shopping for personal use you will be given the same lovely service and advice - not always the case in other shops!

Established in 1996 by Jan Sewell (Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything) and Kate Benton (The Royals, Love Actually, Absolutely Fabulous) as somewhere for professional make-up artists to go to purchase the products they most need in their kits and it is the go-to place for those working in film, TV and special effects. One of the aims of the shop was to create a friendly atmosphere where you are always welcomed and helped no matter what your budget, or ability and since I've been going there that is exactly what I love so much about PAM and keeps me going back.

All team members are qualified, working make-up artists which means PAM is also the go-to place if you urgently need to place an order while on set, they have a fast, reliable delivery service and you can talk to someone who knows what you need. With a studio upstairs for brand and make-up artist demos their company line has become 'never stop learning' which adds to the creative, friendly atmosphere.

They are also the leading stockists for some really great, hard-to-find brands - Make Up For Ever, Ben Nye, MUD, MaqPro and Kryolan to name but a few. 

In-store - One of the reasons I love shopping in PAM is it is the perfect mix of relaxed, busy and organised. This may sound a bit strange but the make-up artists working there are always planning the next event, organising orders or helping customers in-store or on the phone. Which means although they are happy to help there's no one hovering around making you feel like you can't have a good browse or you have to purchase something, nor do you feel like you can't ask for advice. There are a few brand stands to see - Make Up For Ever and Louise Young - but also a lot of shelves filled with lots of different, often unusual products, pots of brushes and bits for your kit that has a sort of Aladdin's cave feel about it.

Online - the current website it absolutely fine, if sometimes a little fiddly but I know a new one is under design and should be coming soon. The products are usually up-to-date but as I mentioned above this is really a shop for pro make-up artists so occasionally things are listed as not in stock when they've just come in. If you're desperate for something then it's worth calling to check and if they don't have it, they'll order it for you. International shipping available and a choice of postage options within the UK.

Discount - for working make-up artists there is a discount available between 20%-35% depending on the brand available in-store and over the phone. They are hoping to make this available online with the launch of the new website. 

What to buy - although a limited range will be going into Debenhams later in the year, PAM is the stockist for Make Up For Ever so if you are a fan of them then this is the shop to go to. Also great for weird little kit necessities, sponges, bruise wheels, cotton wool buds, latex gloves and hand palettes. Zucca bags, beauty blenders, brush cleaners, disposables, and palettes are also always in stock. Skincare, suncare, magazines, books, special fx, airbrushing, lighting and things for the studio - if they haven't got it they'll try their hardest to track it down for you.

Best Sellers - top 3's listed below by brand and product
Contact info - Precious About Makeup (PAM) 6-7 Goldhawk Mews, London W12 8PA (nearest tube Goldhawk Road). 020 8740 0808. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Opening Hours - Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm. Saturday 9am-5pm
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