I came across this on my BBC news page and thought I’d share:


This may be a UK based article, but counterfeit cosmetics are a worldwide problem.


I love summer. Gone are the layers of thick socks, chunky jumpers and shivering by the central heating system!

By the same token my makeup changes. I go without base as I like to see my freckles, and there’s nothing worse than all your efforts turning into a unpleasant trail of sludge in the heat.

This year I’ve been experimenting with the new Beached eye shadow palette from Urban Decay, and I’ve also fallen in love with Sephora’s awesome Lipstories Lipsticks.

Summer 3

Here’s a look I created with said UD palette and Sephora Lipstories in Popsicle Lips:

Summer 1

Summer 2

I don’t bother with blush in summer, either, as I generally have enough natural colour in my cheeks. Simplicity is the key; it probably takes me around ten minutes or so to do my face, and at weekends I sometimes go totally ‘au naturel’ makeup wise.

Summer 4.jpg

Urban Decay Beached eye shadow palette and Sephora Lipstories Lipstick in Hot In Havana (top) and Popsicle Lips. Note: These two shades are only available from Sephora US; none of the European ones carry them.


Here’s a look I tried out using Sephora Lipstories Hot In Havana Lipstick (it might look bright orange in the tube, but once on the lips it seems to ‘calm down’!):

Summer 5.jpg



Introducing Loki, our newest family member!

Skye’s younger sister had a litter recently, and we’ve definitely kept it in the family by bringing her niece home.

Loki is the Norse god of mischief, and our little pup is certainly living up to her name 🙂IMG_20180519_172535.jpg



Welcome to the final part of my ‘themed’ beauty reviews, this time I’ll be looking at places, both at home and abroad.

MAC Lipstick in London Life and Milan Mode

Forget Miranda and her fruit friends, I have ‘pet’ lipsticks’. Yes, that’s right, I have a couple which I love and daren’t use up in case they run out, yet can’t be bothered buying backups (and in one case can’t buy a backup as it was LE and long discontinued)


Here, lippy, lippy … London Life (left) and Milan Mode


London Life is a sort of medium berry/grape shade with a lustre finish. I’m absolutely gutted it’s been discontinued, and I hate the prospect of endlessly trudging around beauty counters trying to find a passable dupe. Perhaps I should stage a one-woman protest at the MAC counter in John Lewis carrying a banner reading BRING BACK LONDON LIFE LUSTRE LIPSTICK!!

Milan Mode (or its stump, to be more accurate) is a bright pink, again, with a lustre finish. It really wakes up my tired old face so I look normal instead of a dead ringer for Doris Karloff (just google Karloff if you don’t know what I’m on about).

Am I completely insane, or does anyone else have ‘pet products’? Do let me know in the comments below!


Charlotte Tilbury Lip Gloss in Ibiza Nights

The name itself conjures up images of sultry summer evenings on the beach, or hitting clubs to dance the night away whilst on your jollies, doesn’t it?

Ibiza Nights encapsulates soft, golden sand in lipgloss form. When swatched it has a sparkly peachy effect which looks really pretty. Worn on the lips it has a gorgeous candlelight glow effect, adding a look of instant radiance and health to your face.


I’m not a huge fan of lipgloss as I hate the streaky effect when the wind blows my hair across my face, but at least Ibiza Nights is smooth and not tacky or gunky. There’s no scent or discernible taste, either, so this gets my thumbs up in an all rounder way 🙂

Charlotte Tilbury


Sleek Eye Shadows in E10 and Hyde Park

These are both from the Original palette. E10 is a London postcode covering Leyton, Temple Mills and parts of Hackney and Upper Clapton. Shade wise it’s a rich, shimmery emerald green with a cool undertone. The pigmentation is awesome, as all Sleek eye shadows have, and it leaves slight staining upon removal. No primer required.

Sleek palette names

Hyde Park is a beautiful golden green, although in the pan it looks more one dimensional. I’d call it a ‘spring’ green personally as it brings to mind meadows and anything else seasonally associated between March and May. The shade is fresh, bright and youthful, adding extra pazazz to your eyes and really making them come alive. Try teaming it with the trio of shades immediately around it for some really dynamic looks!

I do apologise, but at this point I’m unable to upload any more pics for some reason  😦     Please google for images of the following couple of reviews.


Ulta Eye Shadow in Iceland

I use this as a highlighter – it’s a shimmery off-white and does the job perfectly. You don’t need much, so this 0.10z will last you ages.

The only gripe is the Ulta lettering etched into the eye shadow itself; I find the grooves make it harder for my brush to pick up the product, and this in turn makes even applicationa bit of a challenge. Still, it’s a nice, inexpensive shade so I can’t really complain.


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague

I love the scent, it reminds me of cherries! This is a gorgeous deep fuschia shade, with a light, velvety consistency which wears surprisingly well. It’s not one of those products which leaves a ghastly demarcation line after eating or drinking, either. Instead, the colour fades away evenly to a gentle stain.

It’s neither hydrating nor drying, and doesn’t ‘bleed’ so you can get away sans lip liner. I’m really rather impressed with the formula, must get more of these.


Thanks for reading x





This mum is throwing shade at inappropriate make-up names

Because she doesn’t believe MILF is an ideal name for a dusky pink eyeshadow

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

I know it’s been a while since Part Three, but life does get in the way sometimes. Without divulging too much, let’s just say the last eight months have been pretty chaotic/dramatic/stressful/upsetting.

Anyway, here in Part Four I shall be taking a look at items in my stash which have all one thing in common – the weather.

MAC Snow Season Mineralize Eye Shadow

This dome shaped eye shadow contains a myriad of colours; gold, purple, lilac and a touch of silver, with a veined ‘marble’ effect. Swatched, it turns a pretty champagne shade on the skin (I also swatched the denser areas of colour, which left a pale bronze hue on the eyes). As somebody with dreadful dark circles, I find these eye shadows really enhance and ‘open up’ the eye area, detracting from any flaws. A look of eight hours sleep at your fingertips, instantly! I didn’t need to reapply at all during the day, and by bedtime I was left with a gorgeous glow I was reluctant to remove.


MAC Snow Season (left) and Cloudy Afternoon (right)


MAC Cloudy Afternoon Mineralize Eye Shadow

Snow Season’s cousin, Cloudy Afternoon, contains emerald, khaki and cream veins which,when applied to the eyes, resembles exactly what it says (although I personally think a summery cloudy afternoon describes it best). Again, this shade gives a very pretty and effortless look to the eyes. I don’t wear it often enough, but with spring finally here I’ll definitely have to reconsider!




MAC A Perfect Day Lipstick

Not a weather condition in itself, A Perfect Day conjures up images of glorious sunshine, watching boats sail across the shore whilst indulging in a huge ice cream. If that’s not your thing, then picture a summer picnic on freshly mowed grass whilst holding a glass of chilled wine…

A Perfect Day is a creamy amplified nude which actually looks much cooler and greyer in tone when applied to the lips. This type of formula is comfortable to wear and lasts longer than MAC’s lustre lipsticks, which seem to vanish within a nano-second.

Sadly, A Perfect Day appears to be at odds with my colouring; despite my skin tone being cool, I always end up looking like a zombie extra 😦




Sleek London Rain eye shadow from the Original palette

I’ve cheated here since I’ve run out of individual weather themed items ….

London Rain is a soft, sooty black shade, third left in the top row of the palette. I’d recommend this for those who are new to the ‘dark side’ of makeup, as it’s not as harsh as the more denser blacks out there. Once applied to the eyes, London Rain takes on more of a deep charcoal shade which is perfect for that smokey eyed look. It also makes the whites of the eyes look whiter, so what’s not to love?


Typically of Sleek eye shadows, London Rain is buttery soft in texture and easy to apply. There’s no need for primer as it’s long lasting and doesn’t ‘travel’.


Thanks for reading x


Coming up in Part Five ….. Places

(hopefully there won’t be such a long gap this time 😉  )!

For those of you not on Facebook, on Sunday it will be exactly a month since I lost my beautiful girl to a neurological condition. Skye was only 8 years old, and we’d had her since puppyhood.

That very first day she spent with us, after we’d collected her from the breeder at eight weeks old, she sat quietly in a corner, overwhelmed by her new surroundings. She wagged her tail whenever I approached her, but didn’t seem interested in exploring anything. I gave her some space and told my then primary school age daughter to do the same, so the poor little thing could get used to us in her own time. I slept downstairs with her that night; in that silent room nobody would have known about our new family member.

Then, at 2am, Skye let out a little ‘Woof!’ and I knew she’d be alright 🙂

Skye grew into a loving and playful adult. She adored our two cats and loved romping with her doggie friends. She never dug ‘traditional’ holes in our garden, as with her paws – she used her nose instead, and we christened the mini craters ‘schnozzle-holes’. Skye barked at anyone she saw up a ladder, carefully walked around puddles to stop her paws getting wet, and not once ventured upstairs in either home we lived in during her lifetime. Our girl loved her ‘foot fights’, where Phil and I would don our knackered trainers and tease her with them. Whenever I brushed Skye, our cat Pandora would contentedly roll around in her discarded fur, purring loudly.

Thank you, Skye, for being such a treasured part of our lives. We will love and miss you forever xx

Skye tribute

You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul,

You’ll be my breath should I grow old.

You are my Samoyed, you’re my best friend,

You’re in my soul.

My love for you is immeasurable,

My respect for you immense.

You’re ageless, timeless, lace and finesse,

You’re beauty and elegance.

– Rod Stewart


Okay, I confess – I’ve fallen off the wagon. Before I’m sent to the gallows, however, let me explain: in just over a year I’ve lost three cherished pets, the latest being PTS on 18th February due to fluid on the brain which caused behavioral issues (this will be covered in a separate post under Pets).

Some people turn to drink or drugs in such instances. Me – I turn to makeup. Still, at least I managed seven months of abstinence beforehand.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout my challenge. Who knows, maybe I’ll try again someday.

Right now I’m hurting big time so forgive me if I take some time out.

Sleek for blog.JPG

I can scarcely believe I’m already halfway through! To date I’ve polished off three half full tubes of tinted moisturiser, an eye shadow primer and several tubes of lip balm. I’ve barely made a dent in my colour cosmetics, however, but I’m sure that will change before the year’s up.

Good pic 3

What I’ve learned so far is that my finances are a lot healthier than before. Being passionate about makeup had left a huge hole in my pocket, and not all my purchases had been worth it (I’ll be writing about those in another post, so stay tuned!). It’s also given me the chance to rediscover products I’d completely forgotten about as they lay buried under a mountain of stuff in my drawers.

At the moment I’m really into Colourpop eye shadow in Tinsel!




Christmas may be over, but who says you can’t sparkle whenever you feel like it?

Hope you all have a happy and colourful New Year xx

Before CDMe in 1999, aged 36, before illness struck


The Millennial Christmas and New Year is one I’ll never forget – for all the wrong reasons. I was having 10-20 bloody bowel movements a day, round the clock. Unable to eat for five days, the weight fell off me, and I was so weak my husband Phil had to help getting me in and out of the bath. My daughter had just turned one, we’d recently moved from one end of the country to another, and everything seemed to snowball.

I was eventually put on steroids, and after three days the diarrohea and bleeding finally stopped.

During first attack‘Merry’ Bloody Millennial Christmas

Following a colonoscopy, in the spring of 2000 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Until now, I’d never heard of the illness. CD is chronic inflammation of all three bowel layers; mine was confined to the large intestine only. Symptoms include bloody diarrohea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. The consultant told me I’d have repeated attacks, as this was a lifelong condition, and with it came an increased risk of bowel cancer.

Over the years I juggled Crohn’s Disease with medication, diet – and a lot of stress. I managed occasional remission in blocks of one and a half years but, just like the familiar black dog, CD kept rearing its ugly head, usually when I least expected it.

Fast forward to 2017 when I had my routine once every five years colonoscopy. This time there was a new ailment in my gut co-existing with Crohn’s – diverticular disease. My poor old large intestine had developed pockets of inflammation harbouring God knows what – bacteria, rancid food, old fecal matter. I dreaded to think what else could be lurking in there, and this would certainly explain why I’d been feeling rough in recent months.

Over Christmas I realised two things: one was that I could no longer eat large meals without suffering discomfort and heartburn, and two, I’d overindulged in booze, sugary and fatty foods leading to excess flatulence, lethargy, bloating and general malaise.

It was time to spring clean my system!

Out went everything in the picture below:

Not allowed

In came everything in the pic below, although I forgot to include the popchips (corn chips) as a replacement for my usual salt n’ shake crisps:


Phil is joining me in this new eating regime full time; my daughter Kat, a die hard chocoholic, is dipping her toe in occasionally.

Updates to follow ….