Archives for category: Beauty

Disaster struck. My Urban Decay Naked lipstick broke off at the base during application and tumbled to the floor. I managed to retrieve the thing before the dog scoffed it, but alas I have no backup.


Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, you were an awesome lipstick – until the base bust.

Rest in pieces, Naked. You’re being consigned to that general purpose graveyard, also known as The Bin 😦



For those of you who don’t already know, Vidal Sassoon are discontinuing their excellent Salonist range of permanent hair colours 😦

Why is it that whenever I find something I like, they eventually stop making it??

If you have any recommendations for a good, permanent hair colour alternative, drop me a line in the comments below.


Ah, my favourite subject – all things furry x

Probably the oldest cosmetic in my entire collection is the Urban Decay Lipstick in Fur (remember when UD housed their lipsticks in the old silver bullet casings?)

Urban Decay Fur label

Fur looks like a cool mauve in the tube, but swatches more bronzey. Despite its age it’s worn well, doesn’t smell odd or taste strange. The consistency is creamy and hydrating and lasts reasonably well through eating and drinking. Another bonus is that it requires minimal touching up throughout the day; just as well, really, as heaven knows what I’ll do when it finally runs out (this was discontinued ages ago).

Dupe ideas, anyone?

UD Fur lipstick


OPI Nail Polish in My Dogsled Is A Hybrid

This minty green isn’t the usual sort of nail polish I’d go for, but at the time I fancied something a little different. Having worn it a couple of times, however, I decided something was lacking and so decided to add some glitter particles. Result – what looks like the inside of an Aero bar, all bubbly and knobbly!!

OPI knobbly effect

Despite my mishap, MDIAH is a nice summery shade, perfect to show off in flip flops whilst sipping Pimms on the lawn. The application was a little patchy, even sans sparkle, so you’ll need to apply 2-3 coats, and also a top coat to offset the matte finish.

OPI My Dogsled Is A Hybrid nail polish

TIP: If you do plan on adding glitter to nail polish, make sure it’s compatible, or else most of it will sink to the bottom and you’ll end up with an uneven, gritty texture.


MAC Burmese Beauty eye shadow quad

One of three of the Limited Edition palettes from the Fabulous Felines collection (the other two being Palace Pedigreed and Leopard Luxe), Burmese Beauty is one of those rare gems with which you can achieve a complete look. There’s Prized ( a pale beige for the browbone), Burmese Beauty ( a sort of greeny-brown duochrome not dissimilar to MAC’s Club eye shadow), which I wear in the crease, Skintone 2 ( a golden shade for the inner lid), and Showstopper ( a dark brown for the outer lid).

Burmese Beauty open

This is my go-to quad, taking me from just chilling at home, through to going into town, and then going to work. I wear it no matter what I do or where I go (anytime, any place, anywhere), and it stays put from morning till night (I know a lot of recent MAC LE products tend to be of subpar quality, but this isn’t the case here as it’s pre 2011).

The only gripe I have is that MAC could have made more of an effort with the packaging. This is why I decided to customise my quad with some cute Burmese cats:

Burmese Beauty customised back



Chantecaille Bengali Tiger palette

This golden compact houses four eye shadows, a blush and a highlighter which, in my view, looks good universally. The eye shadows are a deep forest green, cool pale gold, cool beige and dark brown. The blush is a flattering coral shade and the highlighter is a champagne hue.

Chantecaille palette closed

As you’d rightly expect from a luxury brand, all the colours are beautifully pigmented and easy to apply and blend. The blush and highlighter have an image of a tiger in the overlay, but as you can see in the pic below, it does fade eventually.

Chantecaille palette open

One reason I find Chantecaille so endearing is that they donate a percentage of their profit to endangered species. As an animal lover I feel our four legged friends are often overlooked in favour of conditions and situations affecting humans, yet animals have no voice but need our help just as much.


ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty

This is the only item I have from ModelCo in my collection. It’s a nice, soft YLBB pink lipstick with a smooth texture which my dry lips absolutely love.

Modelco Kitty lipstick open

As for the ‘party proof ‘ claim – well, it certainly has staying power. Again, great for those of us who don’t have the time for constant touch-ups. Not sure whether this is still available; if so, it shouldn’t set you back more than £12.

Modelco Kitty Label



Hello Kitty Eye Shadow Compact

Okay, I’ll admit it – I bought this solely for the cute 70s style packaging. Hello Kitty looks so adorable riding that little purple scooter!!

Hello Kitty closed

The palette itself contains eight eye shadows in off white, taupe, flesh, cool plummy brown, olive, turquoise, dark grey and violet. It comes with a tiny little brush, and the compact has a mirror with a small Hello Kitty image embossed in the bottom right hand corner.

Hello Kitty open

The eye shadows themselves are poor quality, with little pigmentation and virtually zero staying power. However, as I mentioned earlier, the retro packaging is awesome, so at least this will brighten up your dressing table, if nothing else.



Essence Urbaniced Street Style Eye Shadow in 03 For City Kittys Only!

For me, Essence eye shadows in particular are either hit or miss; thankfully this one is the former. A deep smokey grey, I use this mostly as an eyeliner. It works either wet or dry.

Essence Urbaniced closed

The surface is kind of craggy, similar to close up pictures one sees of the Moon. With usage these soon disappear and in no way affect the product itself.

Essence Urbaniced open

So there you have it. I know this collection is mostly feline based, but I haven’t come across many products based on, for example, dogs. Let me know in the comments below if you have any animal themed makeup in your stash.

Thanks for reading x

Coming up in Part Four … The Weather

I’ve picked the worst month of the year to start my challenge. Why? Because it’s my birthday month and this is when the brands begin releasing their autumn collections (my favourite!) I could kick myself! Still, there’s no turning back now. My daughter craftily suggested I could ask her Dad to buy me makeup instead, but a) he’d probably baulk at the prices, b) he’d have no idea about what to buy without my specification, and c) he’d endlessly remind me how much makeup I already have (sigh).

I’m doomed.

Travel makeupMy holiday travel kit – everything I need for a perfect and fast makeover.


It’s official – I need to ‘shop my stash’ rather than clutter up my drawers with any more makeup. Below are some photos of my entire collection on which I’ll have to rely for a whole twelve months.

Best stash group photo

Good pic 1

Good pic 2

Yes, you read that right. No more makeup purchases for three hundred and sixty five days. Apart from mascara which needs replacing frequently, if I run out of a product I’ll have to improvise somehow, and I’m looking forward to the challenge! Can I do it? My husband and daughter have their doubts.

Starting in August, I’ll be posting a month-by-month diary of my new venture. I’ve already unsubscribed from various websites to make things a little easier; all those tempting Special Offers will no longer flood my inbox.

Keep reading, and wish me luck!!


This is going to be a rather short post as I’ve either a) already reviewed items in the above theme in a separate post, or b) I don’t have as many astronomy themed makeup items as I originally thought. Oops!!

Let’s start with Sleek Celestial palette. This has twelve mostly sparkly shades: Solar (rich burgundy pink), Astral Blue (self describing), Aurora (medium green), Galactic (silver), Earth Shine (starry night dark blue), Dark Matter (black),Stargaze (pale lilac shimmer), Saturn’s Ring (shimmery medium blue), Meteoric (matte hot pink), Terrestrial (matte pale green), Lunar (shimmery silver blue) and Eclipse (shimmery khaki silver grey).

Sleek Celestial 2

As with all Sleek palettes, the pigmentation and colour payoff is superb. The consistency is smooth and easy to apply although the darker shades are prone to a little fallout. The quality of these eyeshadows is such that you can get away without primer; they simply stay put. Normally, glitter eyeshadows tend to be chunky and gritty, but with Sleek the glitter is more finely milled. I do find, however, that the deeper blue shades leave a ‘stain’ (probably due to the amount of pigment in them) following removal, but that’s no biggie.

Sleek Celestial 1

I wear this palette a lot during the grey winter months, and I love it 🙂

NYX Lipstick in Mars

I’ve tried plenty of NYX round lipsticks over the years and found the majority to be cheap and nasty, with poor coverage, strange texture and an almost ‘soapy’ kind of aftertaste in some instances.

Step forward Mars, the exception. This dark nude shade has enough slip without feeling greasy, making lips feel soft and hydrated. The colour payoff is good, there’s no weird taste or smell, and I’ve repurchased on several occasions. However, the downside is that it doesn’t wear well and needs reapplying every couple of hours or so.

NYX Mars


MAC Lipglass in New Galaxy

I take my hat off to all those brands who introduce non conventional colours, whether it’s red eyeshadow or green lipstick. Who wants to look like the girl-next-door, anyway? Not me!

New Galaxy is a grey shade with lots of blue and pink sparkles. It feels nice and light on the lips, and can be worn alone or as a lipstick topper.

MAC New Galaxy 1

In the pic below I’m wearing New Galaxy on its own; even though my natural lip colour is quite pigmented, you can still see the effects of NG shining through:

New Galaxy on bare lips

In this next pic, I’m wearing NG on top of MAC Little Buddha lipstick. The lipstick colour appears more intense, as do the lip gloss sparkles:

New Galaxy over Little Buddha lipstick

I personally prefer wearing New Galaxy over bare lips, even though it was fun experimenting with different effects and ways of wearing it. New Galaxy is long lasting and stays put despite eating and drinking, so that’s a big plus in my book!

MAC New Galaxy 2


Barry M Cosmic Lights Highlighting Palette

Behind the cute holographic packaging lie six cream and powder shades: Clockwise from top left, cream pale pink, pink shimmer, cream bronze, cream pale champagne, pale silver lilac-blue (looks white in the pan), and cream baby pink.

Barry M Cosmic Lights 2

The cream shades give an ethereal kind of glow, the powders are more reminiscent of ‘princess-and-unicorns’ (hope that makes sense!) theme. This palette is great for whenever you fancy creating an out-of-this-world look, and is certainly cheaper than the high end equivalents out there.

Barry M Cosmic Lights 1

Apply to cheeks, cupid’s bow, shoulders and decolletage for the ultimate luminous finish.

Coming up in Themed Beauty Part Three – Animals (my favourite subject x)


Welcome to part one of my Themed Beauty series, where I’ll be delving into my makeup stash and reviewing products according to various topics.

Some of these items are long discontinued, but you may still be able to find them on or on blog sales (prices may vary).

Chanel Winter Nights Eyeshadow Quad

The one I have is the US version with the square pans. Clockwise from top left there’s a medium taupe, peach, black with gold sparkles and a soft, muted pink.


Despite the ‘winter’ name, these colours can be worn all year round IMO; they’re certainly versatile enough. For variation, I combine the darkest shade with the taupe for  a muted effect, or I mix the peach, pink and black for something a little different. I might wear the taupe on the crease, say, and a combination of peach and pink on the lid with the black serving as an eyeliner. Certainly with the two paler shades a primer is a must, or they’ll just gradually fade away. The black doesn’t seem to be quite as pigmented as it appears in the pan (it seems to have a greenish tinge at times). Still, I enjoy wearing this quad and team it with either a nude or bold lip, depending on the occasion as well as my mood.



Essence Hello Autumn Palettes

Oh, how I love the packaging!! Those cute little leaves say it all.

I find Essence products can be hit or miss, but these palettes are surefire winners in my book. There are two in the autumn collection: 01 Walk In  The Park and 02 Keep Calm & Go For A Walk. The colour spectrum covers golds, rich browns and lush forest greens, with six shades in each palette (the first shade in each is identical, btw, as is the third shade in 02 and fourth in 01).



The texture and colour payoff is very good, with absolutely no duds. I can ‘mix and match’ shades from both palettes as they belong to the same colour family, and in my opinion these would suit all skin tones and occasions, whether you’re after a smokey eye or a more natural look. Their compact size makes them ideal for travel or just to pop into your handbag when you’re out and about.



H&M Flower Palette

While this palette doesn’t belong to a particular season per se, the word ‘flower’ does conjure up images of spring and summer, so that’s what I’m going with. There are ten different shimmering colours here, with varying degrees of pigmentation: A deep pink, peach, pale pink, primrose, cool bluish-silver, warm chocolate brown, warm gold, pale taupe, lilac and cool pink, all with a flower imprint embedded.


The last three colours in the top row work best as highlighters worn on the browbone; the warm gold looks quite vibrant in the pan but needs building up in order to reach its full potential (using a flat brush here helps). Ditto the pale taupe when it comes to successfully accumulating colour on the eyelid.


It may be a cheapie, but I do like this palette and use it regularly. Just looking at those shades gives me a feelgood factor – no matter what time of year it is, they always put a smile on my face.

Say it with flowers xx


MAC Snow Season Mineralize Eye Shadow (left in pic)

I love the marbled effect of this one, it’s like a Cornetto 🙂 Cream, brown, gold, silver blue, they all blend together effortlessly. Depending on where you swipe your brush you’ll get a predominantly browny-gold layer, or perhaps a creamy sliver blue (yes, you read that right!). No two of these eyeshadows are the same; yours may have a mostly brown vein and your friend’s will be more champagne streaked.


The shimmering effect brings to mind crisp snow glistening in the winter sun (and that’s the nearest I’ll get as we rarely have the white stuff down here!) Snow Season is perfect for opening up the eye area to create a ‘wide awake’ look. Dark circles, puffiness and discolouration all recede into the background, as though you’ve had your full sleep quota. No surprises, then, that I wear this in winter a lot.


MAC Fresh Ice Mineralize Eye Shadow (right in pic)

My husband bought me this one Christmas, and even inscribed it on the back:


Two words spring to mind when I pull this out of my makeup bag: Ice Princess. Team with a cool toned blush and a touch of lip gloss, don a floaty top and twirl round the  room like Stevie Nicks.

On a serious note, Fresh Ice looks just like the real thing. Mine has the teeniest, tiniest purple veining, with pinkish bits dotted here and there.

Mac mineralised

The shimmer adds a touch of magical radiance. Some white eyeshadows are ‘too white’, if you get my drift, but this one’s perfect. You don’t need to use much, as a little goes a long way (mine looks barely touched and I’ve had it for ages).

Talking of cool toned blushes brings me to Essence Arctic Lights Blush in 01 Snow Queen. This is a lovely pink which gives you a healthy, outdoorsy kind of glow. Open the lid and you’ll see a few different sized snowflakes imbued into the powder – very Frozen like!


The pigmentation and longevity is good, giving an overall subtle effect. I’m not a huge blush fan, but this gets the thumbs up.

Still on the subject of winter/cool tones, the last product I’m reviewing on The Seasons theme is Essence Go Snow Eyeshadow in 04 Alpine Snow. This is a kind of seafoam green endorsed with cute little snowflakes.

essence open

It may be pretty to look at, but the pigmentation is zero. This is more like a shimmery wash, and even using it wet made no difference whatsoever. Trying it with and without primer brought no joy, either. I guess I could use it as a highlighter instead ….

Coming up in Part Two – Astronomy

Thanks for reading x


You’ll need: Gel polish remover, lint free wipes, orange stick, sellotape, aluminium foil, someone to help you and plenty of free time.


Saturate ten lint free wipes (one for each nail) with gel polish remover. Carefully wrap around each individual nail and secure with sellotape (lint free wipes are extremely lightweight and won’t stay put otherwise). This can be fiddly so get your helper to assist if needed.


Ask your helper to wrap your hands in aluminium foil (to generate heat and speed up the removal process) as securely as possible, ensuring the fingertips in particular are fully covered. Leave for 30 minutes.


Remove foil and wipes. Using the orange stick, carefully lift up the gel polish at the edges and peel away. You may need to repeat the process for a further 30 minutes if necessary (see what I mean about having loads of free time?).


Wash and dry hands; apply hand cream if desired.

And there you have it 🙂

You’ll need: Clean feet, UV lamp, toe separators, lint free wipes, cuticle stick, cuticle oil, nail clippers, Prep & Wipe, gel base coat, gel nail polish, gel top coat, buffing block.

General pic 1

Wash and dry your feet (don’t apply any foot cream, oil or lotion afterwards). Push back cuticles with cuticle stick. Clip nails with nail clippers. Buff the nails with a buffing block.

Buffing block

Using the lint free wipes, sanitise the nail plate with Prep & Wipe.

Prep and wipe 1

Separate toes and apply base coat to each foot.

Base coat

Cure nails for 2 minutes using UV lamp, repeat for other foot.

Cure 1

Apply a thin, even layer of gel polish. Cure nails for 2 minutes using UV lamp and repeat for the other foot. Apply a second coat and cure nails again for 2 minutes.

Polish pic 1

Apply top coat and cure nails for 2 minutes using UV lamp. Repeat for other foot.

Top coat 1

Sanitise the top coat with the Prep & Wipe and the lint free wipes.

Prep and wipe 2

Apply cuticle oil.

Cuticle oil

The finished result:

End result 1

End result 2

Gel pedicures and manicures last longer (14-21 days) than conventional ones. They grow out with the nail and don’t chip, and the whole process takes around 20 minutes. The only downside is that glitter gel polish is notoriously difficult to remove (I love it anyway!). You’ll need a gel nail polish remover whatever type of finish you use, as normal remover is useless.


Other advantages of gel polish is no mess, no waiting ages for it to dry, and you can put your shoes and socks on immediately afterwards!

What’s not to like? 🙂