Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Skin Owl Maqui Berry Beauty Drops PM

One of my friends is a bit of a skincare obsessive, like me. And like me her skin doesn't like a lot of things but luckily for me our skins like different things so I get a lot of her rejects and one of them was this Maqui Berry beauty drops oil from Skin Owl.
Skin Owl Maqui Berry Beauty Drops PM

Now, I've said it before and I'm saying it again, it's quite rare for me to have an immediate wow from skincare but I've been feeling pretty wowed by this. I have to confess to not having really looked into Skin Owl before. I'd heard of the brand but with so much skincare available now it's hard to keep up especially when you buy 95% of the products yourself (fact). So I didn't know anything about the brand, I don't think much happens with oils so I just whacked this on one night when my skin felt like it needed a real hit of moisture - the weather has wreaked havoc on my dry skin. Woke up with skin like a baby.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Gift Ideas - Books

Murder on the Orient Express Illustrated EditionAs some of you will know I used to work in publishing and so I am very much a fan of giving and receiving books. Though this has got me into trouble - I am currently desperately finding places in my already-full house to put yet another bookshelf - its an addiction I just can't seem to give up. My Amazon wishlist has got to be one of their longest.

A good cookbook or coffee table book makes a great house gift if you are going to stay with unfamiliars this Christmas. There are some great kids books in there too.

Agatha Chrisie - of course I think my favourite author should be given to everyone. If you can track down the little hardbacks they look amazing on your shelves. My recommendations are - Mrs McGinty’s Dead, Five Little Pigs and Sleeping Murder. There is an absolutely stunning illustrated edition of Murder on the Orient Express: Illustrated Edition film tie-in that is beautiful to look at let alone read.

The Christmas Chronicles - if I were only allowed to choose one cook book it would probably be this. It's festive, it's beautiful and Nigel Slater always manages to write in a way that is slightly more than just a cookbook.

The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water - beautifully illustrated, not too long (I'm a terrible person) and the boys love it.

River Cafe 30Heywood Hill - this is a London institution in Mayfair and they do wonderful subscription services. A great gift for the person who has everything, a tricky in-law or for a godchild. The Nancy Mitford collection will be my go-to for my goddaughter in a couple of years time.

Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients - Quick & Easy Food - the book all my foodie friends are raving about and I really want to get my hands on a copy. Love him or hate him this book seems to be working for a lot of people.

Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel- a great coffee table book that you can dip into. Really beautifully laid out and illustrated.

Lift-the-Flap General Knowledge - Ned loves this book. It's got lovely pages on lots of different subjects - the science lab, animals etc.

Menagerie: The History of Exotic Animals in England - I've wanted this book since it came out. It's the sort of thing I find fascinating.

River Cafe 30 - I love the River Cafe books for so many reasons. Even though I've only been there once I am in love with Italy, the restaurant is one of my favourites, it always feels special and the books are a visual delight even if some of the recipes aren't up my street. This book celebrates the iconic West London restaurant and would be a great present for any Londonphile.

Unquiet SpiritsSlinky Malinki- my 2.5 year old is obsessed with all of these and the Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy books. Very good for their speech I think.

Smallprint Books - the most beautiful selection of children’s books. A book is a great present if you’ve got to buy something for a child you don’t know very well and Jenny has sorted them by age so you can find the perfect one.

Timeless: A Century of Iconic Looks - my favourite book of the year. A must have for make-up and vintage lovers. Simply beautiful.

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape - this is by far and away my kids favourite book. They both (2.5 and 5) love it and I'm sure the baby loves it too. Well paced and easy for them to follow we even enjoyed this... the first couple of times.

Unquiet Spirits: Whisky, Ghosts, Murder by Bonnie MacBird - a new Sherlock Holmes! and one that has been praised by Sherlock Holmes fans. Another great one for the hard-to-buy for relative. I've got it for my uncle's birthday which is on 28th December.

Why Vinyl Matters: A Manifesto from Musicians and Fans - if like me, you are a music obsessive and record collector, or indeed if you know one that needs a present then this is the book for you.


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Lord & Berry Kajal

If you don't like your eye make-up to budge then you should probably stop reading. This isn't for you. If you are like me and don't mind everything grunging up again then this could be something you'll love. I read about this a couple of years ago and have been meaning to try it for ages (as I consider myself a bit of a black eyeliner aficionado) - it is loved by almost-a-national-treasure Claudia Winkleman. And though I love her, she's not always the tidiest in the make-up department. I don't think she cares about that.

So, in case you haven't already guessed it. This moves. It glides on beautifully and will also glide around beautifully given half a chance. Eye rubbers step away from the kajal. This is great with some eyeshadow pressed over the top to set it a bit or if you like to smudge up and smoke out your eyeliner. If you wear it on the waterline it will go on incredibly easily, but you will need to re-apply it throughout the day.

I love the packaging for this. Small, chunky, twist up tube with the classic shiny black and white writing. This is easy to take with you anywhere.

Eye Close-upThe pointy shape and soft formula make this very easy to apply but it's not completely sharp at the end so if you want to have a really fine point you'll need to use a different product or rub a bit of this on a brush.

I have not tried this on contact lensed eyes (as I don't wear them) but I have noticed that the incredibly smooth application, and possibly the nice things it has in it (Argan Oil and Vitamin E) makes this really comfortable to wear. It's literally like you aren't wearing anything. Which is maybe why you can rub it down your face so easily. Unlike other eyeliners this is made to be worn on the waterline so it's been really tested for that.

I took the picture at 2.30pm having applied the kajal at 8am. I haven't reapplied it but you can see
some wear and smudging. I have to say that for any liner that's still pretty good staying power.

If you are remotely into grunge you should probably just go right ahead and buy this.

What You Need to Know - Lord & Berry Kajal Stick
Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Monday, 4 December 2017

Beauty Christmas Gift Ideas

This could be pretty endless so I've tried to keep it concise. Some of these I've tried, some I haven't, but all of them are things I would willingly give and gladly receive.

Bath Bombs - I don't know why but they always feel like a treat to me. And come on, they are fun.

Charlotte TIlbury Brush SetBecca Glow on the Go - this on-trend rose gold kit should suit most skin tones. And it's another one that's pretty reasonably priced.

Bobbi Brown - have a lot to offer this Christmas. For those on a bigger budget the Sparkle All Night Eyes and Lips Kit is very wearable and transportable but my personal favourite is the Caviar and Rubies Eye Set.

Charlotte Tilbury - yes her products are (mostly) worth the hype. I'd chose the Bitch Perfect Lip Set (every time I wear this lipstick I get asked what it is, without fail),  I've always secretly wanted this make-up bag, I'm pushing the boundaries on whether you can actually have too many make-up brushes I love this mini kit for when I eventually travel again.

Daniel Sandler - any of the watercolour blushers would be absolutely lovely but the Customisable Colour for Cheeks is pretty special.

Laura Mercier Art of Exotic Colour CollectionLaura Mercier - another gorgeous brush set this year.  The Art of Exotic Colour collection looks love too.

Lipstick Queen Transformer Trio - these are fun and really not unreasonably priced.

Lord & Berry - much underrated in my opinion. I use and love their kajal and their lipsticks and would happily receive their stylographic linerlipstick pencils (in fire, scarlett or blush), or Twistick (in On Stage). And at the moment they are offering a free gift (that I really want) when you purchase two products or more.

Louise Young - another brand from which I would happily recommend anything and her brushes would make gorgeous stocking fillers or goodie bag stuffers.

Marc Jacobs On the Prowl Set - the Marc Jacobs eye shadows have been one of the most talked about releases of this year and the one included in this set looks incredibly wearable. The Wild One eye shadow palette is pretty incredible looking too.
Lipstick Queen Transformer Trio
Nudestix - This Matte Nude Lip and Cheek Stain is lovely, even if I'm a little over matte at the moment.

NYX - may not be high end but one of their Jumbo Eye Pencils would be a welcome addition to any stocking or goodie bag. Cashmere, Iced Mocha, French Fries and Yoghurt are all great colours.

Origins - I'm a huge Origins fan and this Holiday Gift Set looks absolutely wonderful. The Easy Slider Pre-Shave Oil would be great for the man in your life

Philip Kinglsey - the elasticiser is one of the few products I genuinely think makes a difference.

Pixi Best of Bright - yes I love the Glow Tonic but there's something more festive about this little kit and they are the perfect size for those who travel.

Don't forget to go and see my non-beauty gift ideas, and my suggestions for what to get kids aged 0-10. Still to come are presents for teens and my book suggestions.

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Christmas Giveaway

On my Instagram at the moment I am giving away a goodie bag of surprise treats. All you have to do is find the post, like it and nominate a friend you think deserves something nice.


Friday, 1 December 2017

Christmas Gift Ideas (non make-up)

Medium Kitchen Pack from Beeswax WrapsIn my notes I've called this 'Present's for Grown-ups' because it's so hard to divide everything into categories all the time and it's not like when you are Christmas shopping you go 'Oh well I'll just buy for the men I know today, women can be next week'. These can be actual presents, stocking fillers or presents for those tricky-to-buy-for friends of the family who may spend some of the festive time with you. Also some great suggestions for house gifts if you are going to stay with people and want to avoid the usual wine/chocolate/panetone.

Beeswax Wraps - I love these. I love them so much that they sent me some to say thank you for a review and I immediately went online and bought some for friends. If I could be bothered I'd find the timing that I Instagrammed my excitement at the post and then the receipt of my purchase. There's an hour in it max. Anyway, I love all of these and we use our Medium Kitchen Pack all the time and you can read my full review here. Any of these packs would make a really unusual house gift and I like Cheese pack but as a stocking filler the 1 Medium and 1 Small wraps would be great and men who have fires will love the Bee Bombs (a useful present that doesn't clutter up the house... who doesn't
want that?)

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Younique Moodstruck Epic Mascara

One thing I always want to be on this blog is honest and fair so here's a review I would never have dreamed of writing! I've heard (not great) things about Younique and have been approached by some of their reps but haven't actually looked into or tried any of their products. Then lovely Gina who has followed me on Instagram for a while and who I actually didn't know was a rep said she wanted to send me a mascara to try because she thought I'd love it. I messaged her back and said I really thought I wouldn't and she replied that she'd take that risk and send it anyway.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Christmas gift ideas for Children 0-10

Ned playing with the Kid-o magnatabFor a while it was really hard to find decent, not-too-expensive, gifts and stocking fillers for children but thanks to shops like Flying Tiger this seems to be improving. Some of these presents would work as gifts for other peoples children, stocking fillers or presents for your own squad but rather than dividing into categories I've listed them alphabetically. I will be posting books separately so keep an eye out.

I know that most people say babies don't need stockings but if there are second, third, fourth children then how are you going to explain to the older ones that santa didn't bother with the baby? My tip is to fill the babies stocking with stuff it needs anyway - teethers, vests, Ella's pouches, weaning stuff can all go in.

A quarter of - yes sweets are bad but with Christmas being such a time of consumerism children are often overloaded with presents and actually are just as happy with a box of illicit sweeties. A Quarter Of is the place to go. Not just for kids their bags of friendship rings got me through the last pregnancy.

Animal Antics Ride on Dino - We all know a dinosaur lover and this is perfect for them. It's dressing up but with a little less faff. My nephews would go crazy for this. And they also do unicorns!

Biscuit cutters - I don't know why but I seem to have a bit of an addiction to these. The right cutter brings such simple pleasure and these are a great stocking filler.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads - Quick Review

These are really good. Yes they're not the most sophisticated acid exfoliator out there but they do the job and they are ridiculously cheap.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid pads
Read my full review here

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Sometimes it's worth mentioning products that may not be the newest thing on the block but are the best of their kind and the Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks from Hourglass are, as far as I'm concerned,  unbeatable for pigmentation and longevity.

This lipsticks will not be for everyone. They are very matte in finish and properly set after a few minutes so they feel quite dry. This is why they don't move but if you're not used to it or don't like the feel of a lipstick then you'll find them uncomfortable to wear.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Rose, Ballet and Raven


Monday, 20 November 2017

Christmas Gift Bags for Friends

If you have girl friends that you buy Christmas and birthday presents for every year it can be hard to come up with ideas and it can get very expensive. I always love the idea of putting together goodie bags (or hampers) for friends which include lots of lovely little treats and if you are clever you can do lots of friends at once and not break the bank. I've come up with a lovely goodie bag, some ideas of what to go in it and then some budget options to help you out.

Christmas gift bag and contents


Friday, 17 November 2017

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara BIG - Quick Review

I never got on with Maybelline Great Lash mascara despite it being the most popular mascara among my friends. I'd say it appears in 7 out of 10 make-up bags I go through* but for me it was just totally meh. However, for some reason I can't explain I was compelled to buy the BIG (i.e volumising) version when I saw it in Superdrug. You can see what I think here.

Maybelline Great Lash BIG Mascara is available here

*I go through a lot it's like a strange compulsion

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Oskia Ranaissance Cleansing Gel

Lean in close, I'm going to whisper this, but I may have a new favourite cleanser. I still love the Emma Hardie Amazing Face cleansing balm but the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is giving it a run for its money. The first thing I've noticed about this is that its one of the few skincare products that while it claims to be illuminating does not make my sensitive skin tingle or go bright red. I've been using it for about 4 months and on those weekends when I've been away and have wanted to just take easy to use, hero products this has been the only cleanser I take with me.

Ideally I would use this as a second cleanse but when needs be this works well as a first or only cleanse, it gets make-up off an my skin is left feeling incredibly clean and soft. I genuinely believe that there are products in here that are working on my skin - and I don't get that very often.

Pumpkin Enzyme gently exfoliates the skin, Vitamin A Palmitate which is a derivative of Retinol but slightly gentler making this cleanser great for sensitive skins, though whether in these amounts it will have any of the desired effect (gentle resurfacing and promotion of elasticity) is unlikely. Vitamins C and E are great for deal with free radicals and pollution, which is great for us city dwellers. My skin feels firm but not tight, clean but not irritatingly so and really soft and smooth.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sunday Spend

I haven't done this for a while but though I'm definitely one of those people who does not want to think about Christmas too early however, there's no harm in keeping an eye out for things that may make the final dash to get everyone's presents sorted, a little less grim.

Feel Unique are offering 20% off when you spend £100 enter the code 20SHINE when you checkout, and 15% off when you spend £50 just enter SHINE15

IllamasquaBuy any 3 products and receive a FREE Illamusthaves set (worth £31.50) including two of our best selling, cult favourite products - Hydra Veil and Gel Sculpt!

Waterstones have up to 50% off bestselling books 

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Friday, 10 November 2017

NARS Sun Wash Diffused Bronzer - Quick Review

I shouldn't love it but I do - see it in action below. I bought it the day before they announced that they would be selling in China. I have put a link to my original review at the bottom - I got trolled after I posted it, even though I don't claim to be a cruelty-free blogger, by someone who eventually suggested I use Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick instead. Bobbi Brown is owned by Estee Lauder... which sells in China. And the shimmer brick is completely different to this which is incredibly subtle. Which proves that trolls are know-nothing idiots. Now, where were we...

NARS Sun Wash Diffused Bronzer

Read my original review here

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

MUA Pixel Perfect Multi-Blush

MUA Multi-Blush in Coral Spice MUA is one of those incredibly cheap high street/drugstore brands that you probably would never buy anything from because they are never kept clean by any shop. They have been around for ages but disappeared from view almost completely for years - there was one disgusting rotating stand in my local Superdrug that I used to get the odd thing from my I'd hazard a guess and say over 80% of the products have been opened and used or broken.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Face of the Day - 2nd November 2017

My current go-to make-up. Despite the length of the video this is actually very quick to do and lasts all day.  All products are listed below and any reviews/quick reviews to products are also linked.

If you haven't already subscribed to my channel then please do and you should also sign up for my monthly emails where you get everything from the blog straight to your inbox and some extra tips and offers too.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eye Shadow Stick in Bluffing
Bourjois Smokey Stories in Over Rose
Lancome Art Liner
Louise Young Essential Eye Palette
Younique Moodstruck Epic Mascara
Clarins Instant Concealer
House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel 1
Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Rose Glow
Daniel Sandler WaterBrush
Eco Tools brushes
Real Techniques Brushes
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
MUA Pixel Perfect Mult-Blush in Coral Spice
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Louise Young Enigma Lip Trio

Eye Shadow Pencils 
Bourjois Smokey Stories
Lancome Art Liner
Louise Young Essential Eye Palette
Clarins Instant Concealer 
House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel 1
Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
Eco Tools 
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Louise Young Lip Trio

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

MakeupDrop Silicone Beauty Applicator

MakeupDrop This silicone applicator for liquid make-up products and though it doesn't flick my switch I can see this really working for those who worry about the various hygiene issues raised with using brushes and even worse (my favourite), beauty blenders.

Rather than being like a sponge this feels more like one of those gel pads you use in your high heels to stop your feet from completely dying. But it's thicker. In fact it feels rather wonderful - like a make-up related stressball.

There are some major pros to this product. You lose no product when using this, all of it goes directly onto your face and any tiny amount that doesn't is very easily washed off. You just need to rinse it in warm water and soap. Because no product, or anything, is absorbed into it then there is nothing to go off, encourage bugs or whatever other horrors can happen to more traditional make-up sponges. You don't have to worry about drying it in a certain way as you do with brushes. This also means you should technically save money as you will end up using less product and fewer brushes and sponges. It feels lovely to apply make-up with and although the price seems quite high you should, in theory, be able to use this for a very long time.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Origins GinZing Tinted Moisturiser - Quick Review

One of my favourite products from this year in action

Read my original review here

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads

Superdrug Glycolic Acid PadsI have never knowingly used anything actually from Superdrug before. At least I can't remember it if I have and what an introduction these Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Pads are.

Nowadays I see people spending extravagant amounts of money on skincare. Of course if you have the money and skincare is your jam then go for it but I know that I for one definitely splurge on skincare when frankly I have enough to get me through the next six months at least. If you, like many are really changing the way you look after your skin then this is actually a great way to save yourself some money - I think this is just as good as other AHA 'toners' I have used and at the time of writing these were cut to be £2.95. You get 60 pads which is at least 2 months worth but probably longer if you don't use them everyday.


Friday, 13 October 2017

House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel 1 - Quick Review

I've used this for years and it's a great product for those who like a fuller coverage their concealer. I love it because it works well with a really light foundation or tinted moisturiser - I'm wearing the Origins GinZing Tinted Moisturiser in this video. You can use with a brush or a beauty blender but I think you get the best results using your fingers for the concealers/correctors. All links are below.

I should mention that the highlighter in the middle looks grubby because I'm constantly using my contour brush for this and I'm a crap blogger - if I were better this would easily clean up.

You can buy The House of Glam Dolls Glam Base Wheel here

Some links are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you click through and buy from them. There is no extra cost to you and if you are not comfortable with that then do feel free to open a separate window and google the product for yourself

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Kiko Velvet Touch Creamy Blush Stick

Kiko Velvet Touch Brush Stick in Golden Peach
Kiko is a brand that can be quite hit or miss. They have some incredibly reasonably priced products so whenever I go in there I end up coming out with a few products to try and most of them are good to great - some of them go straight in the 'giveaway' box. One thing I should mention is that their packaging always fails... anything twist up from them has stopped twisting efficiently fairly early on. That's ok - you get what you pay for and with most make-up products a large majority of what you pay for is packaging.

Anyway, I bought this Velvet Touch Creamy Blush Stick in Golden Peach about two years ago and for some reason it never made it into regular use. It was only when I was testing the Ilia Multistick earlier in the year that I remembered I had this and when and dug it out of my blusher stash and started using it. The colour I have is really lovely, I much prefer it to the famous NARS Orgasm as it's less harsh on paler skin but has the gold flecks through it.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

An impulse purchase from a brand I'd wanted to try for a while. It was a toss up between this and the Rosehip Cleanser but frankly, I don't seem to have much luck with Rosehip on my face so I went with the Brightening Cleanser. And I'm kind of into orange at the moment.

I don't like to overload my skin. In the morning I usually cleanse, acid tone (sometimes) and moisturise. I sometimes use a Vitamin C serum if I have one. If I do too much my skin gets cross and then I have to wear more make-up when I actually want my skin to be good enough to wear less. Are you keeping up? I've been after a good, fairly basic, easy to use cleanser for the morning for a while - one that would play nicely with my other products. This does just that.
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

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