Archives for category: Beauty

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

This year, Kat and I hopped on a plane and went Christmas shopping in Prague. Lo and behold, as we explored this beautiful city, there appeared ….. a Sephora. Back home, the nearest Sephora was in Milton Keynes but that closed down a good decade ago and I hadn’t been in one since.


This one was rather small, and Kat watched me like a hawk as I weaved through the counters. ‘Remember, Mum, you’re not to buy any makeup!’ she chided.

‘I know’, I replied. Er, had the mother-daughter relationship reversed here for a second? I felt like a naughty schoolgirl being observed just in case I disappeared behind the bike shed for a secret smoke!


Although I didn’t buy any coloured cosmetics, I did come away with a couple of much needed coconut lip balms to counteract the Czech Republic’s cold winter weather. My lips felt like sandpaper, and even Kat didn’t argue about my purchases; she herself knew that I got through lip balms like nobody’s business.

Sephora lip balm

Without sounding like blowing my own trumpet, I wasn’t really tempted by anything else. Perhaps this no makeup buy challenge is more beneficial than I first thought it would be.


So far I’ve used up a couple of tinted moisturisers. I have two others, one with an ‘illuminating’ effect which unfortunately makes me look like a Dr. Who extra. Add to that the fact that they’re both a tad too dark for my skin tone. Now, I’m no chemist, but I figured that one way to ‘dilute’ the shades would be to mix them with an ordinary moisturiser. Bingo! It worked a treat.

The trick is – how do I mattify the ‘illuminating’ one? Is it even possible?


Cue Sleek Control Shine & Prime; I mixed this with an equal amount of the Dayglow tinted moisturiser, and sure enough, the mattifying effect was immediate. By nightfall, the luminosity had begun to break through, but that wasn’t bad considering I’d endured buckets of menopausal sweat earlier in the day without coming to grief.

I hate waste of any kind, and the thought of having to chuck out a product just because I couldn’t customise it didn’t sit well. Thanks to Sleek Control Shine & Prime, it was money saved instead 🙂


I’ve always loved the Old Hollywood glamour of yesteryear. Actresses such as Jean Harlow and Rita Hayworth had an allure which will be remembered well after today’s throwaway, so-called ‘stars’ such as the Kardashians and Caitlyn Jenner are long forgotten.

Each silver screen goddess had her own signature look and none mirrored anybody else’s.

Old Hollywood Palette CoverMy two all time favourites, Greta Garbo (left) and Jean Harlow


Here, I’ve recreated the look of the mysterious and beautiful Greta Garbo.

I used:

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette (Natural Beauty)

Inglot lipstick in 866 and NYX lip liner in Hot Red

NARS Tinted Moisturiser in Groenland (Light 3)

Skin Food Banana Concealer in Light Banana

Barbara Daly Eye Base

Collection Sheer Loose Powder 2 Translucent

Face Stockholm eye shadow in Morkbrun

Face Stockholm eye shadow in Nastan Svart

Cargo Cosmetics black eyeliner pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Whiskey (as lip liner)

Ulta Silky Wear Lipcolor lipstick in Twilight Port

No 7 Midnight Lash mascara

Tools of the Trade 1The tools of the trade


I started off by applying tinted moisturiser (I loathe foundation and powder!) all over my face. The concealer was applied under my eyes whilst I covered the entire eye area with base; these areas only were set with a smattering of loose powder. Brows were filled in with the Morkbrun eye shadow.

Next, I dusted the entire eye area with Charlotte Tilbury 1 Eye Brighten. This was followed by a careful application along the socket line of Charlotte Tilbury 3 Eye Smoke to create a soft, sleepy look. I used a dome shaped brush to get the desired effect.

CT Palette open

CT Palette back

Next, I applied the black eyeliner pencil along the top lashes only, and went over it with the Nastan Svart eye shadow to fill in any errant ‘gaps’ and to add further definition. This was followed by three generous coats of mascara.

Garbo eyes

Garbo eyes 2

Garbo eyes closed


I used two different lipsticks whilst keeping the overall look the same. Here, I used the Inglot lipstick and NYX lip liner:

New Garbo collage


In this picture I used the Ulta lipstick with the Urban Decay eye pencil in place of an actual lip liner (I had to improvise as I’d run out):

Garbo and Me


For blush, I used the Charlotte Tilbury 5 Cheek Swish

New Garbo pic

Back in the day the stars would apply vaseline to the eyelids for extra gloss, but unless you have a steady hand this can be tricky and messy to do. False eye lashes were also used, but I’m hopeless with those and opted for an extra coat of mascara instead. I do, occasionally, use cake mascara for a more ‘authentic’ feel, and regularly perm my eyelashes to further enhance.

Thanks for reading x


For me, autumn is the time to de-clutter stuff. I depotted my favourite eye shadows and blush, housing them all in one of those magnetic z palette things which I personalised with pics of my favourite Old Hollywood actresses, Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow:

Old Hollywood Palette Cover


Next, I went through my entire stash, chucked out anything old and rancid (bye bye NYX lip creme in Amsterdam), setting aside new or barely used items in good condition which weren’t receiving any love. I parcelled these up and sent them to a womens’ refuge, knowing that these poor souls flee from violent situations with absolutely nothing.

Hopefully my package will at least bring some comfort.

I’ve now completed my third no-buy month. Do I miss buying loads of makeup? I thought I’d be climbing the walls by now, but I’m not. Instead I’m learning to appreciate the items I already have, and discovering new ways of using them. The ‘new’ items coming out onto the market for Christmas look like a pile of regurgitated old crap, anyway.


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.