Thursday 31 May 2012

Contour Brushes

A good contour brush is hard to find. I have two particular favourites and now that I use them I think I'd be hard pressed to find others that I like half as much.

MAC 168
MAC's 168 is a soft, angled brush that I'd always avoided buying online in brush binges due to it's description as large - it's actually the perfect size for contouring so I needn't have worried. It is hand-sculpted and the hairs are firmly bundled so you get really good easy application of contour and blending at the same time. This brush will stain a bit though which is worth noting if you like your brushes to look pristine all the time. It's also £26 which is a lot of money to spend on one thing. I love to use this with Chanel's Soleil Tan de Chanel. If you have a larger face this is the one to go for.

Real Techniques Contour
Real Techniques do a contour brush as part of their Core Collection which may seem annoying if you actually just want the contour brush (although the other brushes in this collection are fantastic too - the buffing brush is amazing) but the whole collection is £20.99 so it's actually cheaper than the MAC 168 and you get four brushes! Again this brush is the perfect size for contouring but rather than being angled like the 168 this is pointed so it is incredibly versatile. If you only contour occasionally this brush can also be used for blusher, specific powder use (i.e. under the eyes, around the nose) and highlighting. It's synthetic fibres make this good to use with creams or powders and really easy to clean so those of you who like your brushes to look like new this is good choice.

I have both these brushes but if I had to choose one I think it would have to be the Real Techniques. The price, versatility and ease of use and cleaning make this an incredible addition to your brush collection xx

Monday 21 May 2012

Soleil Tan de Chanel

I was recently in Norwich for a week doing the wonderful Pixiwoo course and, as you know, money spent on holiday isn't real money so I may have gone a little crazy with the makeup buying. One of my favourite purchases, and one of the most expensive, was Soleil Tan de Chanel. A gorgeous light, cream-gel bronzer that I have been wanting in my kit for years but have always rather baulked at the £29 price tag. Having said that it's definitely worth it, the pot is huge and you really don't need a lot of product for a great bronzed or sculpted look.

Finding a bronzer that will suit everyone is pretty tricky and this isn't the exception. If you are really pale this can just make your face look dirty so do go to a Chanel counter and try it out before you buy it. If it does suit you this is great for doing contouring over, and under, your foundation, adding a sun-kissed look or even on it's own if you are lucky enough not to need a base. I really love this and think it's worth every penny. It also smells really good - which helps.

What You Need to Know - Soleil Tan de Chanel

Friday 18 May 2012

Lisa Eldridge - Friday Video

I'm hoping to have my own video up next Friday so to really show me up here's an amzing one from Lisa Eldridge...


Thursday 17 May 2012

Liz Earle Offer

As you know I am a big fan of Liz Earle products and love Cleanse and Polish, which has been a beauty must-have for no fewer than 17 years! Next week this iconic beauty product will be available at its original launch price of £9.50 instead of it's current price £14.25 - meaning an impressive saving of £4.75.

Cleanse and Polish has won over 80 awards and accolades over the years, most recently from CEW (UK) (the Oscars of the beauty industry) where is was voted 'Most Revolutionary Beauty Product of the Last 20 years' by 600 independent beauty industry insiders. And Best Cleanser at the Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards.

So to celebrate they are offering this award winner at £9.50 (Cleanse & Polish 100ml plus two pure muslin cloths) from Wednesday 23rd May available online at and via their Customer Centre (01983 813 913) available until Friday 25th May while stocks last.

Liz Earle says: “I have always believed that you can genuinely depend on Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser to deliver outstanding results, revealing softer, smoother and more radiant looking skin from the first use - it's truly tried, tested, approved and loved! It's an honour that the UK beauty industry agree that we have developed something special.”

Monday 14 May 2012

Guest Post - Buying Cosmetics Online

I buy a lot of my cosmetics and tools online so I was really pleased to receive this guest post from someone who really knows what they are talking about...

Buying cosmetics online can be a nerve-wracking business.  Online reviews can be confusing, waiting times can seen endless and when it’s delivered what happens if it’s the wrong shade? What if you've spent all that money and the order doesn't turn up at all and you can't contact anyone online?

Julie Burford, the managing director of online cosmetics company Cocktail Cosmetics (, gives this advice to the online cosmetics shopper. 

  • Look for sites that offer a ‘no quibble return’ policy.   That means that if you don’t like what you’ve bought, or even if you’ve changed your mind in the meantime, you can send it straight back for an exchange or refund…although obviously the product has to be unused or untested. 
  • Check that the site you are buying from is accredited by an internet quality mark, like ISIS or Safe Practice. 
  • Read up online about the customer service of the site, as that gives you reassurance before you hand over your money that any concerns will be addressed promptly.  Cocktail Customers answers emails within 24 hours. 
  • Some sites are very careful not to mention shipping times, as they bulk deliver, so your product may be kept waiting for weeks until other orders from your area have arrived.  Look for a delivery commitment – Cocktail Cosmetics’ is 24 hours.

In summary, buying online is an excellent way to buy your cosmetics – you can browse without feeling pressured, and compare prices immediately.  But keep your wits about you just as much you would in a High Street shop.  You wouldn’t go to a cosmetics counter that took your money but couldn’t promise you when they’d hand over your lipstick, so safeguard your interests online and you’ll get all the benefits and none of the stress.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter

There was a lot of hype about this when it first came out a couple of years ago. Initially it was mothers saying it was so good they were using it on themselves and then people seemed to be raving about it wherever I looked. It's rare that I go to Waitrose as I get carried away with all the lovely food and things and spend my months money in one sweep, but when I went at the beginning of the year I remembered to get some to try out and the first thing that really impressed me was the price. Waitrose is definitely not known for it's cheapness so I was prepared for this to be £5 or more but it's £1.92... ridiculously cheap for what it is.

I haven't used it on my face yet but some women have and say it's just great for that too. Try it on your baby or just try it on yourself, this is going to be a regular in my bathroom cabinet. For that price there is just no point in buying any other moisturise.

What You Need to Know - Waitrose Bottom Butter
  •  £3 for 125ml
  • Contains Olive Oil, Chamomile Oil
  • Available from Waitrose and Ocado

Friday 4 May 2012

Friday Video

I do listen to other music I promise...


Wednesday 2 May 2012

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer

Looking back over my blog posts I seem to be a pretty big fan of Collection 2000 and I don't seem to be the only one. Looking on their website to get the details of this product not only has it got five star reviews but 830 people have reviewed it. If you haven't heard any of the hype around this product then I'm surprised - it's not only the makeup buying public who love it but makeup artists are recommending this as an incredible product - it works and is unbelievably cheap.

This is a genuinely beautiful product - easy to apply this is heavy-duty without being actually heavy... if that makes sense. It's thick enough to cover dark circles and blemishes but is smooth enough to have a natural finish. Having tried nearly every concealer under the sun for my dark circles I was really blown away by this. In fact what I think I really love about Collection 2000 is their Lasting Perfection Foundation and concealer are real contenders for more expensive, high-end brands and it is so unusual for the cheaper, high street brands to do these products well. Eye shadows, blushers and pigments are really easy to find on a budget nowadays but good foundations and concealers are tricky to track down for under £10.

Lasting Perfection concealer is £4.19 that's a least a third cheaper than many other concealers which often aren't as good. If you struggle to find the right concealer for you then do try this out, I think you'll be as impressed as I am. 

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Butter Me Up

Not only am I using pregnancy as an excuse to eat as much cheese as I like (specifically Cheshire cheese... oh my god I love Cheshire cheese) but it was also a great reason to make my husband by me some nail varnish that's actually good for me. Well not good for me but certainly not bad for me, and that is something Butter London specialises in.

I'm trying not to be too overly freaked out about what I can and can't do while pregnant. My mother ate everything and I turned out fine but, as I explained to her, the problem with knowing what you should and shouldn't be doing is that if something goes wrong you feel totally responsible. So imagine my dismay when I read that some chemicals, called phthalates which act as plasticisers, are used in some nail varnishes and can mimic oestrogen and have a 'feminising effect on boys while they are still developing in the uterus'.*

The levels of these phthalates in our bodies is rising but there is no scientific evidence that this is caused by nail varnish but they are used so widely, and manufacturers don't need to list them in the ingredients, that I thought making sure I'm using the 'healthiest' nail varnish I could find would be a good idea. Basically any excuse to try these lovely nail varnishes.

Butter London were the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the US and their 3 Free nail varnishes contain no Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens.At £12 for a colour and £15 for a top or base coat these lacquers are not cheap but the range of colours is exceptional, they are easy to apply, quick drying and long lasting. I always get comments when I'm wearing them.

Joe very kindly bought me two colours (Snog and Blowing Raspberries) back from America and I went online to buy base and top coats... then I accidentally bought two classics, Pillar Box Red and Come to Bed Red.  I always have red toes so I think £24 on red nail varnish is totally justified!

One thing to mention - it is not the most chip resistant nail varnish I have ever used... but then I'm pretty hard on my nails but this chips quicker than some others. But then nail varnish chips. This is not big news.
I'm now desperate to try their matte top coat, Rosie Lee, Knees Up, Henley Regatta and surely I've got to get Slapper for blue-crazy Miss F's birthday? xx
From l to r: Come to Bed Red, Base Coat, Pillar Box Red, Top Coat, Blowing Raspberries and Snog

* Expecting by Anna McGrail and Daphne Metland
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