Archives for category: Beauty

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




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 😉  )!

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.