Thursday 22 December 2011

Giveaway Winners

Thanks to those of you who entered the giveaway - the winner of the Barefoot SOS Body Lotion is Cath and the winner of the Face Wash is Fonce. Please send me your addresses to my email address on my contact page and I will post them out to you asap! xx
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Monday 19 December 2011

Cetaphil Restoroderm

Cetaphil Restoroderm CleanserI really wasn't sure about these Cetaphil products when I first started using them. The name isn't very memorable and the packaging doesn't blow me away and the moisturiser was fine but with my incredibly dry skin on my legs during winter it takes a lot for me to recommend a body moisturiser that actually keeps my itching under control. Cetaphil Restoraderm Moisturiser really does reduce dryness and has made my eczema so much more bearable.

Using advanced ceramide and Filaggrin technology these Restoraderm products are specifically designed to help dry, eczema prone skin. Filaggrins are proteins normally found in the outermost layer of healthy skin that help hold it together, people who suffer from eczema are often missing filaggrin or it's not working properly so these products help rebuild this barrier and so far they've been working for me.

I've been applying in the morning and evening and have been itching much less and the red patches on my legs have started to go down. Behind my knees gets particularly bad at this time of year and I spend half my day itching them through my jeans - so far I've been resisting that urge and in fact haven't thought about it. It's suitable for toddlers and children and is non-greasy and easily absorbed.
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Christmas Suggestions #3

Origins Nourishing Treatment MaskYou didn't actually think you'd get away with a Christmas without me mentioning Liz Earle. Regular readers will know that I really love their products so it's pretty tough for me to decide which of their products to recommend specifically for Christmas. But I've finally decided on the Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask which I've been testing out for the last month and really love, especially now it's got really cold, my face hasn't dried out at all.

This product is suitable for all skin types which is why it's particularly good as a Christmas present, and it's pretty versatile. You can either apply a thick layer to your face and neck after cleansing, put your feet up for 10-15 minutes, and remove with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water, then cleanse. Or just leave it on overnight which is what I've been doing as my skin was so dry with the sudden change of weather. In fact this applied to any problem area and left on overnight is really wonderful. It is just gorgeous, natural and soothing.

The best thing is that a starter kit of this which is a 50ml tube of the mask and a muslin cloth is only £13.50 which is really reasonable. You only need to use this as and when you need it so it should last a nice long time and a 50ml tube on it's own is only £12.75. Very good for sisters in laws, cousins or the difficult to buy for friends xx

P.S worth going to the Liz Earle website just for a glimpse of her cute dog!
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Friday 16 December 2011

Christmas Suggestions #2

Ojon Dry Recovery Set
Dry Recovery set
There's no getting around it, Ojon products are expensive, especially if you haven't used them before and don't know if they work for you or not. But at the moment they are doing these fantastic three piece starter sets for only £15 and many other gift sets besides.

Ojon Damage Reverse
Damage Reverse
If you are struggling to find a gift for someone and you know they colour their hair or straighten it a lot I would recommend the Dry Recovery or Damage Reverse three piece starter sets. Restorative hair treatment which improves the condition of dry, damaged and coloured hair overnight, and then Hydrating shampoo and conditioner - this set would also be an amazing present for someone who is jetting off to somewhere hot as they won't take up too much room in a washbag.


I would also love the Volume advance three piece starter kit, also for £15 it volumises your hair without weighing it down and contains a pot of the wonderful Damage Reverse overnight treatment which will last you for ages and is worth the money on it's own. I'm addicted to it and would be very pleased to receive it as a present! xx
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Monday 12 December 2011

Christmas Suggestions #1

I love Origins and I know what my favourites are from years of trying out and using their products - what is fantastic at Christmas though is their wonderful selection of gift sets. It means you can choose exactly what you think your friends should be trying out and would love.

Origins Famous Favourites
Famous Favourites
You can choose your price range on the website and the sets come in gorgeous little bags and boxes. I've picked a few of my favourites (hint, hint) but you should go and have a look for yourself especially if your struggling for inspiration.

Right so my gift set of choice is Famous Favourites - not the cheapest option at £62 but it has the most variety and is great for any woman over 25. It includes Starting Over age-erasing moisturiser with Mimosa, Modern Friction a gentle, natural exfoliator and Incredible spreadable ginger body smoother among other things.
Origins Ginger Treat Set
Ginger Treat set

For the slightly older city dweller I love the Perfectly Protected set which is slightly cheaper at £39 and has three A Perfect World products - one of my personal Origins favourites.

For something really festive then Ginger Treats is only £29 and these three products, Ginger Souffle, Incredible Spreadable and Ginger Float, are incredibly spoiling. A very good present for the mother-in-law or aunt I think.

There's even an option for the man in your life with a £30 Man's Best Friend set of natural, male friendly products to moisturise, soothe and clean xx
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Friday 9 December 2011

Funny Friday Video

Not makeup related... but I love this... and don't forget to enter my giveaway

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Thursday 8 December 2011

Giveaway

Barefoot Soothing Face & Body Wash
Soothing Face and Body Wash
I'm very excited to announce that I have two Barefoot SOS products to giveaway! The Barefoot SOS skin rescue range is just what we need at this time of year now the winter weather has properly set in. With a carefully crafted blend of the highest quality natural ingredients their products are perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin.

So first I have Soothing Face and Body Wash - a gentle, non-drying wash with Panthenol and Allantoin to maintain skins moisture level, Evening Primrose and Jojoba oil to condition and Chickweed and Burdock extracts to cool and soothe.


Barefoot SOS Daily Rich Body Lotion
Barefoot SOS Daily Rich Body Lotion
The second giveaway is Daily Rich Body Lotion - a silky smooth lotion containing Chickweed and mallow extracts to cool and soothe, Shea Butter for protection against the elements, Argan and Macadamia oils to nourish and smells fantastic with Orange Blossom and Lavender.

To enter you have to be a follower of this blog and then just add a comment to this post saying which product you'd rather receive and then I'll pick two winners and announce them next week! xx
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Friday 2 December 2011

Website

OK so my website is basically ready - just need to tweak about the pictures a little bit but it is there for all to see. All down to the amazing work of Sam of Googledigook who designed it (3 times eventually... after we got hacked) and worked so hard and was always nice...

www.corinnaharrod.com
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Kay Montano - Friday Video

I love these tutorials - wish they gave a bit more info on which brushes she uses etc... ugh she makes it look so easy

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Tuesday 29 November 2011

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 1

Yes this is about to be another rave about how much I love Liz Earle, this time I shall be focusing on her perfume, but before I start saying how much I love it I'd like to say how much fun the event at their London store was last Thursday. It was just a lovely evening, I arrived late and stressed and thought I wasn't even going to make it on time and everyone there was just so nice and welcoming and I felt soothed and so pleased that I was able to make it. I had missed the talk by the wonderfully inspirational Lorna McKay but spoke to her about the inspiration behind the fragrance, and the development process with one of the top perfumers in France... I did this whilst sniffing my wrist every two minutes where I had sprayed the fragrance because I loved it and it changes whilst you are wearing it.

Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 1I have quite a hard nose to please - I like grown up musky perfumes rather than anything to sweet or citrusy. Botanical Essence No 1 by Liz Earle hits the nail on the head. Fantastic for summer days when you want something lighter but still with a bit of back bone and a real pick-me-up in the depths of winter. I was really surprised by just how much I loved it - I just could not get enough of it. If you doubt me just check out the reviews for it here. I could also still smell it hours later which is incredibly unusual - my skin seems to absorb perfumes.

It's incredibly hard to review a fragrance as smell is such a personal thing and everyone has different preferences. I think you'd struggle to find people who didn't really like this perfume though. It's much more complex than I was imagining... Bergamot Essential Oil, Damask Rose, Coriander Essential Oil, Vetivert Essential Oil, Nutmeg Essential Oil are just a few of the ingredients and the balance is so perfect I think that's what I found most surprising from this fragrance. It's got the good smell of rose without it being sickly and overpowering, the freshness of Mandarin Essential Oil without being too orangey. I'm not putting this as eloquently as the scent deserves...

This is not just another aromatherapy type smell, this is a proper fragrance - it is grown up, womanly, spirit-lifting and sensuous. The Liz Earle team held nothing back when developing this - I really think you should try it.

What You Need to Know - Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 1 
  •  £49
  • 50ml
  • Contains essential oils - Bergamot, Vetiver, Coriander, Lavender, Mandarin, Cedar wood
  • Also contains - Damask Rose, Tonka bean
  • Available in the UK from Liz Earle, John Lewis, QVC 
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Friday 25 November 2011

Stippling Brush

This is my weapon of choice for foundation application and I can't recommend it highly enough if you have more mature skin. Stippling is the action of dabbing the bristles of a brush into fresh paint to create a design - you can do this with your makeup but what's so good about these brushes is that they work the foundation right into your skin so rather than it sitting on top of lines and blemishes it blends it in making the finish more natural and is now great for high definition makeup. They are not restricted to foundations you can use them with blushers and highlighters, setting powders and blot powders so this is a great all-rounder brush to have in your collection.

MAC 187 and 188 Stippling Brushes
Mac 187 and 188
MAC do two very good stippling brushes of different sizes, both of which I have in my kit, and which they call 'duo fibre brushes'. The 187 is the larger brush for all  over the face and the 188 is smaller and better for under the eyes or those with smaller faces. They do a 130 which is a short handled version. The 187 is £34.50 though and I just think it's not as versatile as the Real Techniques equivalent. The 188 is £28 so I think unless you know you need the larger one this one would do just as well.

My absolute favourite and the one I use everyday is the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Incredibly reasonably price at £10.99 available at Love Makeup - this brush stands up by itself for easy storage, has synthetic taklon brushes which makes it great to use with powders, liquids or creams and very easy to wash and my personal reason for loving it is the size. You can do your whole face with it but it's small enough that you can clean up under your eyes with it very easily too. You all know I love Sam and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo so it should come as no surprise that this brush is designed by Sam (as are all the Real Techniques brushes) and I've posted her video below so you can see her work her magic.

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Friday Treat

I love this... 


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Wednesday 23 November 2011

Collection 2000 Smokey Eye Palette

Collection Smokey Eye PaletteI just cannot stop using this new Smokey Eyes palette from Collection 2000! I like it so much I think I may well get myself another one just in case I use this one all up and they stop doing it!

Collection Smokey Eye Palette OpenI was early to meet a friend and went to get my sister some face cream from Boots and accidentally came out with this and the felt tip eye liner I raved about earlier. This palette is gorgeous and perfect for the Christmas party season or anyone wanting to try out smokey eyes as it is incredibly cheap at only £4.19. I love it so much I'm already planning a video using it which I hope to put up soon. Really versatile with colours that will suit everyone and instructions of how to use it on the back. And the packaging means it will last for ages. You can drop this and it doesn't break. I can't recommend this highly enough. A great present or stocking filler for a make-up minded friend. 
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Liz Earle Evening

Tomorrow, Thursday 24th November, between 6.30 and 8pm the Liz Earle team are hosting an evening of fragrance at their London store on the Kings Road. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know what a fan I am of her products and I can't recommend them enough as fantastic Christmas presents. I know what I'm getting for my sister and I may well top up on the hot cloth cleanser for myself while I'm there.

The evening will feature Lorna McKay, the Liz Earle fragrance expert, who will be sharing her stories from the world of perfume. There will also be a complimentary personalised engraving service for anyone buying a bottle of the Botanical Essence No 1  and there will be delicious refreshments provided to help with your browsing!

I'm really excited - I've never had the chance to try out any of the Liz Earle fragrances before so I am shifting stuff around in my diary to make sure I can be there. All guests take home a little goody bag of treats to try out and there is a chance to win the Liz Earle Ultimate Hamper with a personalised bottle of Botanical Essence No. 1.

Tickets are £10 and redeemable against any purchase on the night . To reserve a place call 01983 813 562 between 9am and 5.30pm. Do it quickly to reserve your place xx
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Monday 21 November 2011

Monday Treat

Didn't manage to get near my computer on Friday so I thought I'd post this today  instead. I want this primer so much...

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Monday 14 November 2011

Kleenex Eye Make-up Removal Wipes

Kleenex Eye Make-up Removal WipesI've been using these for the last fortnight and I really don't know what to say about them. I think they are great in many ways; they remove eye make-up, they are in small easy to carry around packaging and they don't dry your skin out at all. I only have two problems with them. Firstly, why would you use these if you were into using wipes anyway, surely it would be better to use an all-in-one wipe that can do everything? Also they get a lot of my black eye makeup off but not all of it.

I think I can talk myself out of both of those problems - I don't like using wipes every day to remove my make-up but they are  incredibly useful to have in your washbag for those late, maybe slightly tipsy, nights when quick make-up removal is necessary or when you have limited resources. I do, however, like to remove my eye make-up first whether it's before I wash my face in the bath, or using a cleanser and for this these wipes are great. I actually forgot to take them with me when I went away last weekend and was annoyed at not having them. It's incredibly useful to be able to use something to get the majority of your eye make-up off first and the fact that I then either cleanse or wash my face means that anything left behind is going to get removed anyway.
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Thursday 10 November 2011

Two Great Liquid Eyeliners

I've felt bad for being a bit rude about Maybelline's Collosus and Collection 2000's Pump up the Volume a couple of weeks ago but this seems to have remedied itself as for the past couple of weeks since the mascara disaster I have been testing out two of their liquid eye liners and I love them both... well I love one and really like the other.

Maybelline Drama Gel Eyeliner and brush
Maybelline Drama Gel Eyeliner and brush
We'll start with the one I like... Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner . Catwalk inspired and a proper black this gel liner is long lasting and pretty easy to apply. It comes with it's own brush which makes the £7.99 price tag very appealing. The brush itself is fine - a lot more bearable than many eye liner brushes I've tried. With this product you do have to wash your brush every time as it hardens up and makes reapplication tricky. Not that this is such a bad thing - I'm all for clean brushes - but it just is a bit of a faff and unfortunately I tried this out at the same time as Collection 2000's Extreme 24 Hour Felt tip liner which I just sort of fell in love with.

Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner
Collection 2000's Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner
Ok so the felt tip liner does take a bit of practise - you need to use the tip to get a thin line and any wobbling is very visible but it is long lasting and easy to use and well... it just works. It comes in blue, teal and purple so is great for trying out the colour eyeliner trend. However this is not suitable for contact lens wearers which I'm a little disappointed in. Not that I wear them - it just makes me worry about what's in it. Maybelline's Drama Gel Liner is fine for contacts though so if you do wear them and want to try out a new liner I really recommend that.

These are both definitely worth a try - both claim to be smudge proof. I think I'll do a video with these two to test that theory. xx
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Friday 4 November 2011

Pixiwoo Happy Friday

Hurrah she's back...

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Monday 31 October 2011

Perfect Christmas Nails

Marvala Mini Colour in Bordeaux
I always rave about Mavala so I  really feel like I shouldn't even be mentioning this but I have found a new favourite nail colour for autumn/winter. Grown-up, glamorous and goes with everything I can't recommend Mavala Polish Mini Colour Bordeaux highly enough. Discovered this colour thanks to the Mumma and have been in love with it ever since - the weather may be weird and Christmas not quite here but I look down at my nails and I'm happy... yes it's that simple xx
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Monday 24 October 2011

MyFace Strawberry Fields Lipstick

MyFace Gigabite Lipstick in Strawberry Fields
MyFace Lip Liner in BrickThe more I use them the more I love MyFace cosmetics and the way they go about creating their products. I love red lipstick but being a dyed blonde it's very hard to carry it off without looking trashy or washed out. MyFace however, have this covered with their selected shades according to your skin tone. I've been trying out their Myface Gigabite Lipstick Strawberry Fields and I love it. It's not a real red, red - it's quite pinkish but what I love most about it is that you can either wear it pale and pink or deeper and reder depending on your mood, or outfit, or where you are going. It does wear off eventually but evenly and prettily and is fantastically easy to apply with or without a mirror so touch ups aren't a problem. For £9.99 this is a fantastic buy - lovely colour, lovely package, great quality.

MyFace Lipstick and pencil Swatch
So I had the perfect berry tone of lip liner to go with it I've been using Myface High Def Lip Pencil Brick from the medium/dark range and again it's fantastic. The line goes straight on with great colour - it lives up to it's high definition claim. This blends really well with a lot of different reds I've tried it with and I think is now going to be a definite lip liner staple in my kit. As good as if not better than MAC and only £6.49 xx
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Friday 21 October 2011

Jim Chapman Liz Earle - Friday Treat

I've chosen this video for three reasons. Firstly, because he makes me laugh, I love him (you should all subscribe to his channel) and secondly because I love Liz Earle products they are spectacular and thirdly because they have just launched Liz Earle TV which you can watch here and which makes you want to use her products because she looks AMAZING.
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Monday 17 October 2011

Mascara Disaster

I'm having a hard time not spending money on makeup at the moment. I tell myself that I'm going to be good but then five minutes later I'm swatching stuff on the back of my hand and arguing that it's my duty to buy things for research purposes.

One of these recent excursions to Superdrug (to get a sleek makeup brow set that they then didn't have) resulted in my buying, amongst other things, two mascaras that I'd seen advertised and wanted to try for a while - Collection 2000's Pump Up the Volume and Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Cat Eyes Mascara in Glam Black. Both have similar shaped brushes, both offer more volume and both were a bit of a disappointment.

I am, in general, a big fan of Collection 2000. They offer good products for really reasonable prices, sometimes, however, they really let themselves down which I think is a real shame. Pump Up the Volume is supposed to give 12 times more volume and has a unique 'spoon' shaped brush (the uniqueness of which I'm dubious about as it is very similar shaped to the Colossal...). The shape and size of the brush is great - it makes application and coverage really easy but it is so clumpy and actually the size of the brush makes it quite difficult to get the really tiny lashes on the inner corner of your eye. The colour is good and for £4.99 I suppose a bit of clumping isn't too bad - I've definitely tried worse mascara's but it just didn't live up to the hype.

And the Colossal isn't much better. It has pretty much the same 'spoon' shaped brush but thinner which does make the application to the corner lashes easier but this gives a whole new meaning to clumpy and having spoken to other users I'm  not the only one to think so. At £7.19 this is still not the worlds most expensive mascara but for that money I wished I'd bought either Max Factor's Masterpiece Max which is wonderful or even Maybelline's own Define-a-lash which you need to build up but is clump free and covers every lash. It is supposed to give 7 times more volume which I think must just be measured in clumps. I think what makes me so angry is how photo-shopped the advert is - the outcome is nothing like how it appears. The only pro is that this product is collagen and jojoba enriched which encourages lash growth.

Both mascara's are OK - I feel that maybe I'm being a bit unfair on them. If you like spidery lashes then you'd probably think they are great but I just think with so much great competition out there these could be so much better - I'd always rather have a good, black mascara that gets every lash and that you can build up depending on how much volume you want. But maybe that's just me? xx
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Tuesday 11 October 2011

Clinique Touch Base for Eyes



I wanted to try Clinique's Touch Base for Eyes for a long time as it seems such a fantastic product. So my sister very kindly bought it for me in Canvas for my birthday so I have been finally trying it out and I have to say that I have been using it most days. The colour is fantastic, it lives up to its name, and it's fantastically easy to apply and provides a great waterproof base for other eye colours. I've been using it a lot for when I want simple, slightly contoured and lined eyes and my shadow hasn't budged all day. Definitely worth its £10.50 and a great present for the hard to buy for beauty addict in your life. I can see this being a permanent part of my make-up kit.

What You Need to Know - Clinique Touch Base for Eyes
  • £12.50 or US$15
  • Two shades available in the UK - Canvas and Canvas Light  
  • Six shades available in the US 
  • Waterproof
  • Can be worn alone or as a base for eye shadows
  • Available in the UK from Clinique, John Lewis, Boots,
  • Available in the US from Clinique, Sephora,
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Monday 10 October 2011

Smooch Lipgloss

Smooch Lip Gloss
As much as I may like lip glosses I quite often don't wear them, it seems that as soon as I leave the house my hair whips over my face and leaves little marks of gloss all over my cheeks, but somehow It's Peachy lipgloss by new make-up brand Smooch seems to have made it's way into my make-up bag and seems to be always just the thing to complete a look.

I didn't like it at first - you have to do quite a few clicks before you get enough gloss out to actually do anything, and then you have to really work it on with the brush so it doesn't look streaky. But once it's on it seems to stay pretty well, you don't need to use too much of it and it's not too glossy. I also think that this particular colour seems to look great over the top of most lipsticks if you want to give it just a bit of gloss. The packaging is cute and the price isn't too eye watering at £7.50 and at the moment they are offering a free eye pencil with orders over £5 so definitely worth checking out xx
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Monday 3 October 2011

Really Make a Difference with Origins

Now any regular readers of this blog will know how crazy I am about Origins Make a Difference cream. So light and incredibly moisturising this great smelling cream is really hard to beat. Suitable for all skin types it helps restore and rejuvenate dehydrated skin it contains Rose of Jericho, Trehalose and Padina Pavonica and now it is also doing it's bit for charity.

October is breast cancer awareness month and Origins are doing a limited edition pink Make a Difference Skin rejuvenating cream for the whole of October. It's £21 for 30ml and £3 of this will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation - I wish it could be more but every little helps I think and this is such a great moisturiser that not only will you be helping a fantastic charity but you'll be giving yourself a treat! xx
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Friday 30 September 2011

Alex Box creative - Friday Video

Watching this woman work is amazing...

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Friday 23 September 2011

Wayne Goss - Friday Video

This man is a genius...

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Thursday 22 September 2011

Stop Press!

Have just heard that if you take any empty shampoo/conditioner bottle into John Lewis on 29th September (next Thursday) they will fill it up with Ojon Damage Reverse Shampoo/Conditioner. Now if you've read my review on Ojon you'll see that my only problem with it was the price so this is very much worth doing if you can as you may be happy to pay £20 on shampoo but only if it works and you can never tell until you've tried it... now you have the chance. For more information I'd ring you're local John Lewis store xx
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Wednesday 21 September 2011

Ojon

A couple of months ago I raved about Kerastase products which had really helped my dyed, damaged hair. However, Kerastase is a hard habit to keep up when you are going freelance so I was really excited to be sent some Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner to try out. Now, I've been sent hair products before that are supposed to help my hair and so far nothing has even come close to being as good as Kerastase or even doing anything but making my hair a bit fluffy.

Not so with Ojon - people have commented on how good my hair looks and although I usually hate it, I feel slightly like it coats my hair but rather than making it lack volume this helps it keep it's shape and so I've been using my straighteners less and less which means I'm not damaging my hair as much with them anymore either.

These products are rich in essential lipids and the Ojon oil repairs and seals damage hair, restoring shine, softness and manageability. Using naturally-derived raw ingredients found in the world's rain forests, responsibly sourced and providing an income to those who harvest them, a portion of the Ojon revenue goes to the Miskito Indian tribes to help preserve the rain forests and their traditional lifestyle.

As I mentioned before this is not a light product, it does feel like your hair is slightly coated so I spend a bit more time making sure it is really rinsed clear but I no longer need to use frizz ease or other restorative products and find that usually my volumiser still manages to give my hair it's usually body, but I think they probably aren't for everyone especially if you have fine hair.

Unfortunately there is a down side - the shampoo and conditioner range from between £20-£22 each which was not going to be the amazing cheap alternative I was hoping for. The only thing I can think is that by using this shampoo and conditioner I'm saving money on frizz ease and other heat and damage control products that I no longer need. I still think this is just too much for shampoo though no matter how good it is. But honestly I just don't think I can afford to use these even if they are great xx
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Friday 16 September 2011

I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty - Friday Video

OK so usually this is a make-up related video but since coming back from holiday I've been singing this song all week and I suppose it's sort of uplifting so that's good for a Friday

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Thursday 15 September 2011

Bling Tones

I'm a bit of a stickler for red nail varnish as you know. I do try other colours sometimes but I usually go straight back to the red. Now this isn't some big announcement about my conversion to green nails but I was pretty mesmerised when I tried out Limelight lil'bling nail colour part of the new, highly metallic nail varnish range from MyFace cosmetics.

Now this nail colour was one of the few I've worn that made me really think about what I was going to be wearing but this would be the most perfect colour for those green-nail occasions. It's only £5.99 and stayed on pretty well for a week, was easy to apply and you get the amazing chrome finish with just two coats.

If you think green may not be quite up your street they also do loads of other colours including white, tangerine and raspberry. For those who like their nails to give a real bling punch this is the varnish for you xx
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Wednesday 14 September 2011

Elie Saab Perfume

I always wear the same two scents - with the occasional half-hearted dabble elsewhere, so it's quite hard for me to ever make my mind up when I'm trying something new. My overwhelming reaction for the first five hours of wearing it is 'IT'S NOT MINE IT'S NOT MINE' so I've kind of given up on the whole new scent thing except the odd dalliance with Reve Gauche because it smells soooooo good on my mum.

However, I've kept smelling my tiny tester of the new scent La Parfum by haute couture designer Elie Saab and I wanted to try it so much that today I succumbed and I'm wearing it and I really like it. What I think I find so appealing is it has the feminine floral tone of Jean Paul Gaultier Classique but it's more woody which makes it less sickly. You can smell the jasmine, cedar and patchouli and I would definitely trying this out for a day and seeing if it could be your new smell xx
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Tuesday 13 September 2011

Liz Earle Skin Tint

For those of your who are able to swan about on holiday without any make-up on but may want a little something for the evenings Liz Earle has just the thing. Having been at the forefront of natural skin care for years she's now branching out into 'colour' and the skin tint is the first step. It's an incredibly lightweight, blendable and easy to apply SPF15 foundation that gives fantastic coverage. I wore this throughout the summer when I needed something but didn't want to slap a lot of foundation on and thought it was great.

When I was on holiday in the South of France I actually found that after a day of sitting in the sun, sweating away I wanted it to be even lighter than it was so mixed it with a tiny amount of my normal moisturiser and it still gave complete coverage which was fantastic. Really love this product and can't wait for more in their new make-up range. xx


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Wednesday 31 August 2011

A Bit of Wisdom

Smugness comes before a period of feeling intensely unwell.

Last Friday I had my three remaining wisdom teeth removed. Because the bottom one was so impacted and I'm a complete Nancy about injections I had a general anesthetic. All was fine, I was calm, I cried when the needle went into my hand, they then gave me 'nice drugs' to shut me up and then I went to sleep. I came round less than an hour later feeling dozy and fine but pretty unimpressed with the tube in my hand. I wanted it out. I told the nurse this. She said no and wheeled me back to the recovery ward. The new nurse asked how I was feeling and I told her about my intense dislike of the tube and she told me I wouldn't be allowed it out of my hand until I'd gone for a pee and as I hadn't drunk for almost 10 hours that probably wouldn't be for a while and she'd bring me some water.

She had not reckoned on my amazing bladder control - not in the way that people usually have it but my ability to be able to pee pretty much whenever I want. I know that as soon as I get on the tube I'll need to go so I just make myself go right before I leave. I'm every mothers dream. I told the nurse I could go immediately and pootled off and did just that. Then was pretty smug as tube was removed and I was told that technically I was allowed to leave. My sister came to pick me up and apart from slight mocking of my 'hamster face' we were both pretty impressed at how easy it had been. I really wasn't in too much pain and felt a bit out of it but fine...


It is now Wednesday and for the last two days I have felt headachey and sick all the time.  I can't work out if it's because of the anesthetic or because I took hardcore painkillers for four days and now my body wants more but whatever it is it is not nice. The pain from the teeth is pretty minimal, definitely bearable... the after affects from whatever it is is starting to piss me off.

There has been two lights in this murky horror of recovery though - Origins GinZing eye cream and Perfect World Face Protector. Before the operation I was completely in love with GinZing but in the aftermath the two of them together made me feel more human than I thought possible. I love make-up (as you know) but the afternoon and day after the op I just couldn't face putting any on - but frankly, I looked a state. These creams made an instant difference to the extent that people who thought I'd just gone to the bathroom thought I looked much better!


As you probably know I have quite bad dark circles under my eyes and I am constantly trying to find something to help me get rid of them. Nothing really works so far apart from concealing them but the GinZing makes an immediate difference. Caffeine, ginseng, and magnolia extract wakes up and restores the eyes and should help de-puff too - although that is not something I have a problem with. You can dab it on with your fingertip and gently pat it into the skin - you only need a really small amount so one pot should last you for ages.

I use Perfect World moisturiser and thought that maybe the face protector wouldn't be any different except for the SPF which is helpful during the summer but it's slightly thicker than the moisturiser and incredibly hydrating - it also seems to really smooth and even out the skin tone. I really recommend this as a great base for those who wear little or no base.

My love affair with origins just went up a notch xx
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Wednesday 24 August 2011

Lady Danger

My wonderful work friends got me a Mac lipstick for my birthday that I have wanted for absolutely ages. Lady Danger is the most fantastic bright red that suits absolutely anyone so it was a real must have for me and great to have in my kit! Because it's more orange rather than blue it seems a lot less harsh on the skin so really goes well with any tone or hair colour and it's matte - perfect. I LOVE IT.
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Tuesday 16 August 2011

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation

Dr Perricone is a highly respected dermatologist who works with a number of celebrities and it was their famous faces that convinced him to come up with his No Foundation Foundation. This is my number one recommendation for foundation wearers to take on holiday. I can recommend tinted moisturisers, and I will soon, but if you want a bit more coverage then this is it as far as I'm concerned.

I personally think that if you are under 30 and going somewhere hot you probably really don't need a foundation, however, Perricone's No Foundation Foundation is so light that it feels more like a tinted moisturiser and it's anti-aging qualities are not too harsh to cause damage. It has SPF 30 which doesn't seem to affect the colour and coverage at all - it corrects skin's undertones, smooths fine lines and provides moisture to the skin rather than drying it out as some foundations can.

I love wearing this product - it really evened out my skin tone, covered blotches and gave my face such a natural finish, dewy but not too much. It is not the cheapest purchase at £48 for 30 ml but I really don't think you can put a price on getting products that do what they are supposed to while being safe for your skin. I also love the old fashioned packaging - like you've bought it from a proper pharmacy!

What You Need to Know - Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation
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Friday 12 August 2011

Pixiwoo Friday Treat

With the lovely Sam Chapman - I love this look


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Thursday 11 August 2011

Organic Surge Cleanser

When I was on my make-up course we had our make-up removed two or three times a day. This caused havoc with most skins, many of us got spots and a few of us with dry skin looked like just-peeled tomatoes within the first couple of days. We'd all been told to bring our own cleanser with us rather than using the generic school ones and as it was sitting, new and unopened, in my cupboard I decided to take my Organic Surge Cleanser. I was so glad I did - out of all the cleansers used this one didn't make any one's face react badly and actually soothed the skin rather than irritated it. It removed make-up without being harsh and is incredibly good value at £4.99 (or £5.99 on Amazon Organic Surge Gentle Cleansing Lotion).

It contains chamomile which is what is so calming to the skin, lemon oil to detoxify and green tea which reduces inflammation and heals the skin which is why it was so fantastic for our over used faces! If you are feeling the pinch then give this a try. I'm going to try the face wash next xx
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Friday 5 August 2011

Pat McGrath Friday Treat

The one and only Pat McGrath...

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Tuesday 2 August 2011

Clinique Airbrush Concealer

Clinique Airbrush Concealer
Laura Mercier's Secret Camoflague really wasn't working on the dark circles under my eyes and I seemed to be piling more and more on every day. So, although it's a great all-round concealer I decided that really I needed to try something new specifically for my dark circles and actually it was completely necessary because I was doing it for research purposes... aren't I selfless! I'm also trying to find good cheaper make up at the moment because I feel that it's quite easy to find expensive make up that does what it's supposed to but harder and harder to find reasonably priced good stuff. However, I then realised that a good under eye concealer would actually be very useful in my kit as I haven't got one and can't bring myself to spend all my money on Mac Studio Finish which I want in several different shades so I went straight to Clinique to get the Airbrush Concealer I've heard really good things about.

They do do a specific under eye concealer, All About Eyes, and I did try this out too. I did it as fairly as possible - Airbrush under one eye and All About Eyes under the other. The Airbrush concealer gave slightly better coverage but also as it is slightly light reflecting it really just lifted that area slightly which really helped with any remaining evidence of blue so it's the one I chose. It's not too eye-wateringly expensive at £16 and although I'm not too keen on concealers brush applicators this actually helps you apply the right amount of product which can then be padded on with the fingers or a separate concealer brush. 

What You Need to Know - Clinique Airbrush Concealer
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Monday 1 August 2011

Collection 2000 Shimmer Shades

I randomly bought this new bronzer compact in Way-to-Glow from Collection 2000 - something about the colours just called to me and it was only £4.19 which is barely anything for make up nowadays. Having owned it for five days I'm already tempted to get the blusher version, Blushalicious, not only for the reasonable price but for the ease of application, it's versatility and the fact that so far, Way-to-Glow seems to have amazing staying power.

If you are going to do major face contouring then you definitely don't want to use anything shimmery but for a bit of summer shape the two darker colours on this bronzing pallet are great just swept under the cheek bones and up to the temples. I then use the pinky colour lightly on the apples of my cheeks and then a few light circles of all the colours together over my cheeks... I definitely recommend this for people who want a bit of summer shimmer or anyone who's scared of bronzer, this gives you a subtle glow and is incredibly easy to build up should you want to. 

What You Need to Know - Way to Glow Shimmer Shade
  • £4.19
  • Packaging may break - as with a lot of high street purchases! 
  • 4 shades
  • Available in the UK from BootsSuperdrug,
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Tuesday 26 July 2011

Origins Super Spot Remover

Origins Super Spot Remover
Origins  improved version of the Super Spot Remover saved my holiday. Not that a massive and painful spot on my chin would really have dampened it that much but adding it to the continuous rain, wet feet and my permanent role as designated driver may well have tipped me over the edge.

I felt the ominous bruised feeling the night before we left and luckily had the wherewithal to dab some Super Spot Remover on the tell tale red patch before bed and again in the morning and rather than becoming a being in it's own right that Easy Jet would have charged us extra for, it just vanished! Fantastic. At £12 for 10ml it is not the cheapest spot treatment out there but it works and will save you pounds spent on other things that just don't. And this 10ml pot will last you a seriously long time if, like me, you are someone who gets the odd whopper.

What You Need to Know - Origins Super Spot Remover
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Friday 22 July 2011

Friday Treat

Another one of the greats, Kay Montano, she does things a bit differently but everything she does looks fantastic.

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Protect and Perfect Hand Cream

I try to avoid anti-aging products because I have 'no anti-aging' policy until I'm 30... then I'll probably start to slather them on. This, however only applies to my face, my hands are quite another matter. There's no point having a face like a child and hands like an old lady... look at Madonna, you can put lots of make-up on your face to make it look better but your hands are the real age tell.

I obsessively find liver spots (they are there) and try to keep my hands well moisturised and nicely manicured but I have naturally dry skin though and sometimes feel like giving up altogether and letting them be the out-doorsy, gardening hands I think they long to be. Anyway, I've been using No 7's Protect and Perfect Hand Cream and I think it really has been helping with the spots - I think they look younger so therefore it must be true. It's nice smelling, non greasy (after it's absorbed) and has a 4 out of 5 star rating on the Boots website so it's not just me who likes it. It's £10.50 which isn't cheap but if you are as paranoid as me it's definitely worth it.

What You Need to Know - Protect and Perfect Hand Cream
  • £10.50 for 75ml
  • SPF 15
  • Available from Boots
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Wednesday 20 July 2011

For Hire

So for some time now I've been planning on becoming a make-up artist and I have been working on a website with my brother-in-law which was so nearly ready... but then it got hijacked by some strange people so we're just having to sort that out at the moment. I will put a link on as soon as it's ready but I am actually available for work - bridal or otherwise - so please just get in touch via this blog until we get un-hacked on the website xx
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Tuesday 5 July 2011

No 7 Stay Perfect Nail Varnish in So Simple

I've been looking for a light brown nail varnish for the last couple of weeks - my usual red felt a bit to vampy with my floaty summer dress which I wear to weddings at this time of year and I've tried a lot of bright pinks which always tend to look a bit streaky on me... and I just wanted an excuse to buy another nail varnish! I've not been hugely enamoured with the No 7 nail varnishes I've tried before but the So Simple colour looked perfect so I thought it was worth a go.

I really do adore the colour - its a really light beige, not at all sparkly but nice and glossy - very grown up. I also much preferred the new wider brush which really does make application much easier and even seems to get the colour right to the edges satisfactorily which I was dubious about originally (I thought bigger brush = more mess). It dried quickly and evenly and I am generally very pleased with it.

Not a very good photo but you can't see the chips!
Two things I feel I should point out - if you have been wearing darker colours you will really need to get them all off as any tiny bit of colour shows up. I know this sounds obvious but I can see little glimmers of red right down between my nail and cuticle which slightly annoys me (my own fault I know). Also I did manage to chip this after two days - I'm pretty sure that it's because of my angry way of typing - I definitely need to learn to use the pads of my fingers rather than hammering on the tops of my nails but just be aware of this. I will say that will this fantastic colour any chips are only noticeable to you and therefore it's another great colour for 'occasions'.

Having looked on the Boots website I see that quite a few people didn't like these new varnishes (all seemed to love the range of colours though) so it seems to be a bit 'Marmite'. I usually buy nail varnishes based on matching the colours that I need or want at the time rather than loving a particular brand (although I'm a big fan of Toma and Revlon) and I sort of advise you to do the same. I think every one's idea of the perfect nail varnish is completely different - you just have to try for yourself. I would definitely want to try out of colours from this new No 7 range though - much improved on their last one methinks  xx
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Friday 1 July 2011

Pixiwoo Union Jack - Friday Treat

I love this look from the amazing Nicola Chapman at Pixiwoo and its very appropriate for the Wimbledon final this weekend!

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Saturday 25 June 2011

Charlotte & Co Lovely Lavender

Lavender in it's natural form makes my eyes water... it's fine in soap and other things but actual lavender does make me stream so I tend to avoid it. I do know that it has incredibly soothing qualities though and as someone who doesn't sleep fantastically well at the best of times I really wanted to see if this natural approach helped.


Charlotte & Co have come up with some sleep therapy goodies which me and my mum have been trying out over the last week and which we both think are really lovely. The Lavender pillow spray is our favourite - a really light smell that soothes you without you really knowing anything about it. What is extra nice about this is just adds a feeling of freshness to your pillowcase if it's been on for a couple of days. The really innovative Bath and Body Oil is also lovely although you need quite a lot for it to be noticeable in the bath but I love that you can use this in water or spray it directly onto the skin which is fantastic to have in your washbag on holiday.

There is also a gorgeous soothing eye mask which I have not been using in case it sets my eyes off but my mother says it is really lovely and gives a good bust of lavender scent before bed. What i think is great about this eye mask is that rather than hanging around during the day looking a little out of place you can either put this in a drawer to add fragrance to your clothes or put under your pillow to add extra soothing scent.

I think that apart for the versatility and beautiful packaging of these products the things I like most is that the smell is really soft and not overpowering - so often with lavender, and I think Rose, the smell can be nice at first and then really a bit much in the end. Highly recommended - a lovely reasonably priced present for a friend and I'm actually thinking of getting a couple of each to take as fantastic house gifts xx
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Friday 24 June 2011

Friday Treat

I'm rather pleased with my attempt at light make up to day in deference to my hangover - tinted moisturiser instead of foundation, light eyeshadow - so I thought this was the perfect treat for Friday. I love Lisa Eldridge - she is a make up genius. It's in two parts...






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Tuesday 21 June 2011

Prestige Let Loose

I'm sure a lot of you are the same - whenever I am in a pharmacy/chemist I look at the make up and if there is something that looks good that is under £5 I convince myself that it's a bargain and I buy it. Some of it is good, some of it is bad and some of it I never really use properly until I've had it for years. I'd say I have had this loose eye shadow, Let Loose, for well over a year and I've used it a bit but not really. It's in Jump, a sort of pale gold colour which always attracts me but I never actually use that much.

Well that all changed this morning. I was being cross because I don't have enough money to buy the Mac pigment I want from eBay (they don't make it anymore) and was looking through to see what was the closest thing I had to it and thought I'd give Let Loose a go. Now I was paying attention to it I was really impressed - it is easy to apply, stays on well and buffs into a beautiful, blendable colour that adds a bit of shimmer to your lid without being over the top. I'm sure you could build these colours up and blend them together well and now I really want to try out other colours - there's a lovely bright green (Show Off) and a dark one (Flip) that would do a good sort of green smoky eye, and Noir which I'm sure would be great for people who struggle with grey/black smoky eyes (a lot of the time you can end up looking like you've been punched in the face!).

These loose eye shadows are £4.99 and available from Boots and I think really worth a try. The colours are fun and the applicator means that even if you usually have trouble with shadows you should be able to get this one right - apply it to your lid and then buff with a clean eye shadow brush until you've got it how you want! I like it so much I'm tempted to do a video tutorial of my make-up today but I'm not sure we're ready for that quite yet! xx
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Saturday 18 June 2011

Hot and Spicy OPI

OPI Nail Lacquer in Hot and Spicy
I love coral nails in summer but finding the perfect coral colour is pretty tricky and I find that they can look more red or more orange depending on your skin tone. I have to trying out Hot and Spicy by OPI and I do really like it - it's definitely on the orange side of coral if that's what you're after. It was easy to apply and lasted four or five days without chipping - which is pretty good for me! My photo really doesn't do it justice - it's a very nice summer colour for those fans of red who find it a bit much when the suns out xx
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Friday 17 June 2011

Elizabth Taylor Pixiwoo - Friday Video

Am obsessed with watching tutorials on YouTube at the moment so I thought I'd invent a Friday treat which... well speaks for itself. I love this one as she uses my favourite moisturiser and cleanser and it's such a classic look. As a massive fan of black eyeliner she also does fantastic flicks which is worth seeing.
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Thursday 16 June 2011

Eyeliner Brush

I'm on the hunt for a really good eyeliner brush. I have one in my make-up kit but I really want one for me and I'm rather spoilt for choice. I don't want to just run to Mac and spend loads of money - I really want to try another brand and see if you can get something just as good, cheaper. I always use liquid liner but rarely like the brushes in ones that I'm trying out so I'd really like a brush I can use with these so they don't just sit getting crusty at the back of my drawer. This looks sort of good as I really don't want something too thin - that's all very well when using Blacktrack on someone else but if I'm doing my own make up I want something a bit thicker. Any ideas? xx
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Saturday 11 June 2011

Toma Nail Varnish Milk Bottles

Ooo get me - I'm not usually this fashionable but I've been trying out some white nail varnish and I'm actually a lot happier with it than I thought I would be. Moving away from red or orange is a big step for me and I thought white would make my hands look dirty. But instead they look nice and tanned and the varnish itself was lovely to apply and has yet to chip. The photo shows them looking not very well painted but with this colour, Milk Bottles, I found it easier to remove as much as I could round the edges with nail varnish remover on a cotton bud and then leave anything too close to the nail for a day or so to be peeled off. I can't wait to try more Toma nail colours - they aren't the cheapest but you get quite a lot for your money and this is great quality xx
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Tuesday 7 June 2011

MyFace... No Really MyFace

I started noticing MyFace cosmetics around the place. There's a small selection of it in Hammersmith Boots and well because it was Hammersmith Boots I didn't think too much about it. But it did look inviting so I had a look on the good old tinternet and realised that far from this being another cheapy brand of fall apart products this was a new range devised by famous make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury in three basic colour ranges - fair, medium and dark. Each of these has a range of three shades within them 01, 02 and 03.

This does seem to be a bit of a tricky concept - I mean surely we can't all be slotted into one of these categories. Well actually I think we can. Or at least I can! I've been using their fair MyMix Foundation in Fair 02 for the past couple of weeks and not only do I love the way it is so incredibly easy to apply but I've had lots of comments on how great my skin looks. It's fantastic that someone as well known and established in the business has come up with a concept that is affordable and actually works.

I am now desperate to try their Vintage Pink Lipstick and wishing I hadn't vowed to my husband that I would be frugal for the whole of April. xx
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