Sunday, 25 November 2012

Lip stains

I have been on a quest for a long long time to find the perfect lipstain. Lipstick always disappears rapidly on me so the idea that I can have perfect lips all day long has always appealed to me. Here’s just a few that I’ve tried & tested...
Benetint: The original and the best, some might say. Unfortunately I didn’t get on too well with it. The colour was just a little bit too dark for me, and I found that it wore off on the inner part of my lips (where they meet when I have my mouth closed). As the colour was quite dark on me, this meant that I was left with two-tone lips! HOWEVER...this was probably because my lips are naturally quite dry, so if your lips are in better condition then you might get on ok with it.

Posietint: I found this to be much better for me – it still wore off a bit but because the colour is more natural on me it didn’t look as obvious, and was easily hidden with a bit of lipbalm (or even tinted Vaseline) when I couldn’t get to a mirror to reapply. 

Cha Cha Tint: I will admit right away that this scared the hell out of me when I first saw it and I really didn’t know what to expect when I put it on. I was pleasantly surprised, a thin layer gave a very subtle ‘my lips but better’ effect and it did not look orange in the slightest.
The one complaint I do have about Benefit stains is that they are not the most user-friendly. You need to be quite careful not to apply too much with the little brush (which can be quite fiddly), and you definitely need to do it in front of a mirror. They do work quite well if you apply it with your fingers but you need to wash your hands right away or you’ll end up with a bright pink fingertip!

Elf moisturising lip tint spf 8: I bought this recently in the shade ‘Blush’ and quickly abandoned it. The shade was wrong for me, but I hold my hands up to that one as I broke my rule of not ordering lip colour without having seen it in the flesh first. I found that it didn’t tint my lips at all, and both smelled and tasted quite minty. I also found that the colour seemed to change drastically in different lights and just looked horrendous at times.

Elf Lip Stain – Fashionista & Heartbreaker: Heartbreaker is a lovely nude colour that looks quite peachy in the tube but when on just enhances the natural lip colour slightly. It has good staying power, but once the stain has dried it can look quite matte and obvious. This can be countered by using the accompanying gloss but I found that there is a bit of a trade off with staying power when you use the gloss so only a minimal amount is needed.

Fashionista is another pink colour slightly darker than my own lips that can be built up for a bolder colour. They come with a lipgloss-type wand which makes controlling the amount applied quite easy.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain: I bought this a few weeks ago and am completely in love with it. I bought it in the shade Honey, which is slightly darker on me than it seems to be on other people (going from pictures online), however it is extremely flattering, and although it does change colour a bit in certain lights like the Elf stain, it is not a radical change and still suits my skintone. It is not transfer proof but does have good staying power and the crayon format means it’s easy to quickly top up on the go without too much fuss.

As with any lip stain you need to make sure your lips are well exfoliated and moisturised, and I find that a ‘less is more’ approach is usually best – on many the colour takes a while to fully develop so it’s best not to put on too much right away as the final colour may be a bit darker than when it first goes on.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cosmo Goody bag!

There’s nothing better than free beauty products, and even better is when you’ve won them, because it doesn’t exactly happen too often. So, as you can imagine, I was delighted to win a goody bag just by answering a simple question on Cosmopolitan’s website


Butter London - This is making me want to fast forward the seasons because they’re just so Christmassy – perfect for the work do

Model’s Own nail polish x2 – Another part season product, they’ll certain bring a touch of glamour to your look

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish x2 – I usually stay away from blues and greens on my nails but these are lovely colours so I’ll definitely try them out and hope they convert me!

MUA BB cream – Unfortunately this is too dark for me as the shade is medium and I’m paler than pale (think milk bottle). I’ll still try it out for coverage/texture etc on a day when I don’t need to go out, and report back

Burt’s Bees lip balm – This is possibly the best smelling lip balm I’ve ever had. Already reviewed here 

Naked Moisturiser – I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this, and as I have dry skin (even more so now that winter is just around the corner) I’m looking forward to giving my skin a real treat with this

Miners eyeshadow trio – I’m obsessed with eye colour at the minute, so a few new shades are always welcome

Miners eyeshadow single - Unfortunately this was smashed to bits by the time it got to me, but I’ve seen plenty of tutorials on repairing broken shadows so there may be hope yet

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Paisley – Always an essential product and it smells lovely. I’ve heard it compared to the DKNY perfume, maybe Cosmo decided on a mini theme for the prize???

TRESemme Texture Style Tousled Wave Spray – I’m really looking forward to trying this out as I have extremely frizzy wavy hair and am always on the lookout for something to tame it

Textures Matte Mineral Classic Clay Wax – Might have to pass this one onto my fiancĂ©, unless I decide to emulate Emma Watson and go for the chop..?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Liplicious :)

I am obsessed with lip balms, due to having lips that like to chap and peel at random. Here are just a few that I've tried and tested over the years...

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter: I have been using this for years as my main ‘intensive’ lip balm. I put it on just before I go to sleep to keep my lips soft and un-chapped, and can usually still feel it there the next morning. Usually I take for granted just how good it is - until I run out and have to use another one, when I wake up to find my lips drier than the desert and flaking like crazy.

Figs & Rouge: I got this in a Glossybox several months ago and it quickly became my go-to balm for top ups during the day. It provides a nice base for under lipstick without being too glossy and changing the colour too much. It also smells lovely, but I used it at night recently and wasn’t as impressed as I am with the Palmer’s.

Burt’s Bees. I recently tried this for the first time and was quite impressed. It smells good enough to eat, isn’t greasy and did a good job of keeping my lips hydrated throughout the day.

E45. I got this free with some cold and flu medicine when I was last struck by the plague. It doesn’t do a thing to either prevent or cure chapped lips.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Looking your best while feeling your worst

So it seems as though winter is well and truly on its way, and with it has come a cold. And as if the coughing and sneezing isn’t bad enough, it always comes with a side order of dry flaky skin and cracked lips. It’s so tempting to reach for a hardcore exfoliator and scrub like your life depends on it, but it won’t do your skin any good in the long run. Instead I usually reach for the miracle cure that is aloe vera. It soothes red skin and gets rid of flakiness insanely quickly. Mine is from SBC Gels, priced at £11 for 125g, but a quick search on Boots and Superdrug revealed a wide variety to choose from.


 For my lips I turn to one of Lush’s lip scrubs. They look quite dry and powdery in the pot, but they’re surprisingly gentle and feel very moisturising when using them. Plus they smell and taste great – I went for ‘Sweet Lips’ which has a chocolate taste but could quite happily have come home with all of them.

I have 2 go-to lip balms: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (are you sensing a theme yet?) and Figs & Rouge in Cherry & Vanilla. Again, both smell good enough to eat, and leave your lips feeling soft, smooth and moisturised.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Hair Routine

I’ve been using Aussie shampoo & 3 Minute Miracle conditioner for more than a decade. What can I say, when I find something I really like, I’m loyal! I use two depending on my mood: Frizz Miracle and Miracle Moist, however if I’ve just dyed my hair I use the little bottle of conditioner that comes with it (and usually resolve to write to L’Oreal begging them to make a full size bottle of it). 

Before I rinse the conditioner off I run a wide toothed comb through my hair to get as many tangles out as possible, and I’ll repeat as I’m rinsing to get any that I missed.

I leave my hair wrapped up in a towel for anything between 15-30 minutes, then use my VO5 Miracle Concentrate Elixir with Argan Oil. Most of the reviews I’ve read stated that only a couple of drops are necessary, but I found that it wasn’t really doing anything. Now I use about half a dropper’s worth of the oil every time and I find it does a much better job. It can also be used on dry hair to give a bit of extra help which I usually need when I leave my hair in its natural wavy state (I’ll do a separate post on that).

And the most important bit of all: heat protection. Although I only wash my hair 3 times a week, I blow dry & straighten every time, and need to go over the ends most mornings with my GHDs so a good quality heat protector is a must. I’m currently using John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray which I find does a really good job and is one that I repurchase.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Pamper Party

My skin has been in dire need of a bit of tlc recently. It has been dry, rough and dull, so I decided to give it a treat.

After a nice hot shower to open my pores I exfoliated gently using St Ives Gentle Apricot Facial Scrub, concentrating on the worst areas around my nose and chin, and giving better areas just a light going over.

I then followed with No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser, covering my face with the muslin cloth soaked in hot water for about 5 minutes. As per the instructions, once I had rinsed the product off with warm water I then gave a final rinse with cold water to close my pores again. 

After drying my face with a soft towel I opened my free gift from this month’s Instyle magazine: a 7 ml sample of Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturiser. 

Both the Hot Cloth Cleanser and the Radiance Moisturiser are incredibly rich, but don’t feel like they are clogging your skin. My face looked bright and refreshed the next morning and was baby-soft for days. Definitely a combination I’ll be trying again.