MAC Haul

mac haulAlthough I live in constant fear of Mr TBL discovering how much I spend on makeup, I thought take I’d the risk for you guys and bring you a MAC haul which happened last week. I went in for a MAC 239 brush and maybe red lipstick but again, succumbed to sales assistant pressure and left with four products.mac haulMAC Matte Lipstick Ruby Woo, £15.50
Prior to this haul, I only owned one MAC lipstick (Mehr – you can see it on here) which is also a matte and I quite enjoyed the formula. Already owning a nude, I thought it wise to opt for a red so I went for the infamous Ruby Woo. I wore this out on Friday night along with a lip liner and the staying power was quite frankly, incredible.

MAC Lustre Lipstick Syrup, £15.50
I’m not in need of another pink-nude (see my recent round-up here) but I gave in to the MAC girl’s peer pressure (to be honest it didn’t take much). I’m thinking this looks a bit like Revlon Pink in the Afternoon which you can also see in the link above.

MAC Lip Pencil Cherry, £12.50
I got this to go with Ruby Woo and I must say, this pencil has transformed my red lip. Because it’s an actual pencil rather than one of those wind-up ones and isn’t too soft, it sharpens beautifully giving an exact line.

MAC Brush 239, £21
Seems excessively priced for what is essentially a few strands of goat hair but after giving into the MAC 217 hype and realising it was essential for a smoky eye that wasn’t utter crap, I knew I had to try the equally-hyped 239 – apparently essential for packing on colour to the lid.

Motivational Monday #1

fitspo

Unlike most, the summer breeds an intense laziness within me and my podgy flesh. I have a strong suspicion I’ve put on the stone I lost last winter and my size 10s are making me feel like a stringed beef joint. Unsurprisingly I just don’t feel all that fabulous. During the past six months, I’ve done hardly any exercise and tried every diet going instead but it just doesn’t work. When I lost weight last year, I was in the gym by 7am Monday to Friday and watching what I ate like a hawk. I’d slack off a little in the weekends but made sure I did plenty of walking or a run and didn’t eat half my body weight in Ben & Jerry’s. It sounds intense, but looking back, I felt great and looked better, and I need to get it back!

I’m one of those people who needs some kind of incentive to get my fat ass into gear, and last year that was being a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding. After that I massively fell off the wagon. This year, I got engaged, and you’d think my impending wedding would instil a bit of panic, but no! I’m guessing it’s the lack of a wedding date even though at this rate I know it’ll be a last minute job so I need to get rid of the jiggle ASAP!

I’m hoping that by sharing my journey back on the metaphorical horse with you guys, I’ll try harder. I’d much rather get back in the gym than be embarrassed by my failure!

I’m going to start by having a quick run down to the gym this evening and signing myself up. I’ve also got a big Tesco food shop coming today so I’m going to prep some healthy meals and snacks for the week. If you’re interested in any more details leave a comment. If you’re not, I’m going to tell you anyway ;)

Empties #2

beauty empties

Why is it that when you want something to finish, time seems to drag slower than a drowsy snail? But, we got there in the end and I can finally chuck out all these empty bottles and stop feeling like the Hoarder Next Door.

Soap & Glory Clean On Me Shower Gel, £6

Great everyday shower gel, which lasted literally 3 months between two people (one being extremely generous with the pumping). Much more foamy and thick than Sugar Crush because of the built-in moisturising lotion. To be honest, you still need to moisturise after but this has been a joy to use.

Repurchase? Yes

Clarins Multi Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream, £42

This was a gift and has taken me almost a year to get through. It’s pleasant to use and I think it was one of the many things I’ve been using which has helped banish my big forehead wrinkle. It smells how I imagine a rich, middle-aged woman smells, it’s rich but fast drying and leaves the skin really soft and velvety. I find that makeup lasts really well on top of it too. My only complaint is the glass jar, when I was nearing the end, I had to scrape it out and half of it would end up under my nails.

Repurchase? Maybe

Garnier Miceller Cleansing Water, £3.33

You’re probably as sick as I am of Micellar waters but this is a good one. This jumbo bottle has lasted me a couple of months with daily use so its value for money is quite spiffing. Does what it says on the tin, and I can see this being a forever repurchased product.

Repurchase? Already have

Garnier Express 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover £2.33

This is a bi-phase eye makeup remover which apparently takes off even waterproof mascara. I don’t wear waterproof mascara but this seemed to struggle a little and some rubbing was required. A bit of a laborious task and nowhere near as good as the Dior one but if you’re after something purse-friendly, I’d say the L’Oreal one does a better job. But this does get a thumbs up for having a low oily factor.

Repuchase? No

Clean & Clear Morning Energy Daily Facial Wash £3.49

I’ve been trying to finish this for ages but it just doesn’t excite me. The little beads seems really pointless and didn’t exfoliate like I expected. This stings my eyes too and the last inch is impossible to get out of the bottle. As a face wash it’s not terrible but there are too many great ones out there to bother with this one.

Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Re-Plumper Night Cream, £8.66

Another glass jar which causes the dreaded under-nail cream entrapment. It does indeed make my skin feel quite ‘plumpy’ and when I stop using this I feel like my big wrinkle starts to rear its ugly head again. It’s thick and luxurious and feels more expensive than it is.

Repurchase? Maybe

Boots Smooth Care Facial Wax Strips, £4.42

I’ve been using these strips ever since an old passport photo revealed the horrific extent of my ‘tache, and they do the job to a satisfactory standard. A few hairs seem to linger but the bulk of my moustache is sufficiently ripped off. It does hurt but show me a waxing strip that doesn’t. These don’t make my skin red, blotchy or bumpy like other strips do, and the finishing wipes do a good job of cleaning up any sticky residue.

Repurchase? Yes

Lush Let The Good Times Roll Face & Body Cleanser, £6.40

My usual attitude to skincare is ‘more is more’ so I was a bit sceptical about this polenta-based cleanser. It smells like cookie dough (and looks like it too), and you can smell it on your face all day which is nice.  It’s a bit messy to use but it gently and effectively exfoliates. I used this on my face a few times a week and my skin looked genuinely clean and glowing, something I wasn’t expecting.

Repurchase? Yes

L’Oreal Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash, £2.99

Although this did leave me face feeling quite clean, it stung my eyes like a MOTHERLOVER. I also found the smell a bit too chemical-y. I’ve literally been counting down the days for this to finish and even though it’s not terrible, I did release a small yelp of glee when I turfed it in the trash.

Repurchase? No

Blue Eyeliner for Wimps

blue eyeliner for wimpsNormally, the words ‘blue eyeliner’ would make me run for the hills and never look back. But ever since discovering the perfect shade, blue eye makeup no longer transports me back to the days of the Babyliss Crimping Trio and spending my pocket money on Miss Sporty liners hard enough to rip myself a new eye socket.

I saw Nicole Scherzinger on the old tellybobs last year sporting a fantastic blue eyeliner in her waterline and that’s when I cracked it. Going for a darker blue or navy rather than a turquoise pencil makes you look less Pat Butcher before the cancer got to her pancreas and more sexy and subtle Pussycat Doll.blue eyeliner for wimps blue eyeliner for wimps 3 I didn’t go for anything fancy, rather, I paid a visit to Mr Barry M and went for the Kohl Pencil in the somewhat clinically named ‘KP4′ which is a very slightly metallic dark blue. It’s not the softest kohl I’ve ever used but it does the job and really, for £1.99 who am I to grumble?
blue eyeliner for wimps
Hopefully you can rejoice in the wearability of this look as much as I’ve been. Or perhaps you’ve discovered other coloured pencils for people who don’t like coloured pencils? Let me know if you give this look a thumbs up.

Review: Gosh Boombastic Mascara

gosh boombastic reviewI mentioned Gosh Boombastic Mascara briefly in my June Favourites but seeing as I’ve used it every day for a month I thought it deserved to come out of the shadows and be publicly showered with compliments.

Horrible name aside, along with bothersome mental images of Shaggy, I’ve been entangled in a web of lust with this mascara. You can see the transformation my lashes are obviously enjoying (sorry about the poor quality of the before photo), going from shy and retiring to loud and proud. The formula is a tiny bit on the gloopy side so you need to wipe off the blob on the end (not nearly as vulgar as it sounds). The tiny, short plastic bristles really grip your lashes and help you get right in the roots so lashes are nicely coated. Because the formula is quite thick, it helps hold the curl, and I don’t experience any dreaded flaking. In the photo, I’ve put on one coat but sometimes I do two. A bit of clumping does occur if you’re too hasty between coats but I personally don’t mind spidery lashes now and again. Removal is a doddle too. I’ve had this tube for a couple of months and it hasn’t dried out or changed much in that time so it’s a big thumbs up all round.gosh boombastic mascara reviewIf you’re a fan of Max Factor False Lash Effect, I implore you try this. Even if you’re not a fan, I implore you to try this. Be warned though, it took me a couple of weeks to track this down and even then there was only one left on the shelf, so if you see it, buy two. All in all, a great mascara and definitely one to repurchase.gosh boombastic mascara review

Gosh Boombastic Mascara is available at Superdrug for £8.49

Nail Product Addict Tag

nail polish addict tag
Thanks to A Simple Mix for tagging me, I no longer feel like a saddo who never gets asked to do these!

Favourite nail treatment product?
Probably Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle. I use this as my base coat every time I do my nails. I’m not sure if it strengthens nails in the long run but it does seal up any cracks quite nicely.
Favourite luxury brand?
I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to nail polish but I do love OPI. The colours are great, the brushes are fat and the names are witty.

Favourite drugstore brand?
Barry M. Super affordable and quite frankly, superb colours, formulas and finishes. A close second has to be Rimmel, the Salon Pro ones are the easiest polishes to use, I love the one-stroke application.

Best eye-catching red?
I usually go for China Glaze Hey Sailor. It’s a true, classic red and lasts for over a week without chips, which is good because chipped red nail polish is one of the biggest beauty crimes.

Most disappointing nail polish/product?
For some reason I bought OPI RapiDry topcoat thinking it would be better than my beloved Seche Vite. At the time, it was nearly £20 (I think they’ve reduced the price since then) so I was quite frankly expecting miracles. It wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t worth the price.

Basecoat – yes or no?
Yes! My nails have the texture of sandpaper so a smoothing base coat is a must and saves tears and frustration when removing dark nail polish.

Favourite topcoat?
Seche Vite every single time.

Favourite summer shade?
I keep going on about this and it’s getting boring but I can’t keep away from Rimmel Salon Pro in Aqua Cool (you can see it in action here) this summer. It’s one of the few pastels that doesn’t look odd on my skin tone.

Favourite winter shade?
Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI – it’s a very, very, dark blood-red that looks almost black. Gorgeous and vampy and perfect teamed with a dark red lip.

Mention something extra!
Seeing as it’s high summer, now is the only time I’m brave enough to crack out something a bit mad. Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is an insane fluorescent yellow which always gets comments (mostly good) when I wear it. I can imagine it looking great for the beach if I ever went to the beach.

Please feel free to make any suggestions, I’m a total lemming when it comes to nail polish. Looking forward to seeing other responses to this from everyone, but in the meantime, I tag:

Khrissie
Tamira
Victoria & Tori
Ruth
Zoe
Kate
Rosy

Review: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Patina

stila stay all day liquid lipstick patinaHello pals!

Having finally gotten off my fat ass and uploaded my June favourites last night after a three-week hiatus, I can safely say I’ve been bitten by metaphorical blogging ‘bug’. To mark this huzzah-worthy occasion I’m bringing you a review which I’ve been agonising over for weeks.

Stila is one of those brands I was never really bothered about (probably because the font reminds me of a pet shop) but my rampant desire to find a nude matte liquid lipstick could not be quenched in Boots. I was passing the big Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street and remembered that trusty M&S is no longer just for the aged middle classes and big pants – they stock some surprising brands in their ‘beauty hall’ including Philip Kingsley, Nuxe and of course Stila. I picked up the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina, which is a brown-toned nude-pink – a perfect match for my natural lip colour.stila stay all day liquid lipstick patina stila stay all day liquid lipstick patina First off, the smell is incredible. I’m not usually one for such twee-ness but these lipsticks have a vanilla cupcake scent which makes you want to devour the whole tube. The formula is not at all sticky, and is extremely smooth and velvety. So smooth in fact that my hand slips and slides all over the shop, making it impossible to get a neat finish with the applicator,  so this is definitely a job for a lip brush. The formula is very liquidy but dries down to the mattest finish I’ve ever seen and really adheres to the lips. Because the formula is so opaque, any wonky lines will be extremely obvious. This is absolutely not one for moving vehicle application. As it is so opaque, it’s perfect for over-drawing your lip line and covers up the real one brilliantly, giving you Leslie Ash lips if your heart so desires. To be fair, when I put this on in the morning, it does hang around for a good few hours. However, any prolonged liquid consumption causes it to flake horribly and it leaves a bit of a line. Because Patina is nude, it’s not as obvious as it could be but I dread to think how one of the bold shades would look.

As I said, the finish is very, very matte which causes some dryness issues. The first time around, Stila Patina looked absolutely awful – my lips literally resembled an elephant’s backside. They looked super cracked and dry, it was probably the worst finish I’ve ever seen. Although it feels smooth to the touch, it’s the only lip product I’ve tried that feels genuinely uncomfortable on. I didn’t include photos of it at its worse as it would simply be too graphic. Trying again after exfoliating with a sugar scrub and moisturising with Nuxe Reve de Miel overnight improved the situation a little bit but it still didn’t look great.stila patinaI’ve found the only way to make this wearable is to intensely exfoliate and moisturise beforehand, then patting on a tiny amount, using it as more of a lip stain.

These are described on the Stila website as being ‘enriched with Vitamin E and avocado oil’ which I feel might be a bit of an exaggeration. Unless you have lips made of butter and the patience of a saint, I really don’t recommend this. Other reviewers seems to like Stila liquid lipsticks in other colours so maybe some of them fare a bit better than Patina. If anyone has had any experience with these lipsticks do let me know, I want to find away to love them!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina is available here for £15 but honestly, you’re better off not bothering.

June 2014 Favourites

june 2014 beauty favouritesGosh Boombastic Mascara Black, £8.49

I heard about this from Zara from Mouldy Fruit, and it is truly an unsung hero. It makes my lashes super thick, long and curled and I’ve been using it every single day. The formula stays good in the tube for ages too which can’t be said for many high-end mascaras. This does clump slightly if you’re too over-zealous but I don’t mind that.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Caramel, £22

I bought this about six months ago and have been using it on and off but I wasn’t blown away by it. It was until I started experimenting with other concealers that I realised what all the fuss was about. It’s super high coverage, creamy, doesn’t look grey on and doesn’t cake – and the generous shade range deserves a round of applause (although actually tracking down the right shade you want is a bit of a pain in the ass).

Benefit The Big Easy Deep Beige, £27.50

I did a full review with before and after photos here so I won’t bang on about this. It’s still going strong and has been my saviour on sweaty days.

Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow Metallic Toffee, £5.49

I don’t even remember buying this but I think I just chucked it in my basket during a Boots 3 for 2 frenzy. Three buttery nude shades and all you need for an on-the-go smoky eye, this has been a godsend. I’ve been wearing all three shades to work almost every day, and the lightest shade makes a superb inner corner highlighter. A great find!

Benefit Hoola, £23.50

I understand that this has been enjoying a bit of a second wind thanks to a recent PR push. So, I dug out my old Hoola and gave it a second chance after demoting it to the back of the drawer a few years ago. I don’t know why I didn’t like it before but I’m really liking it now. I use it as a natural contour for daytime and it really helps to slim down by saggy jowls.

Maybelline Gel Liner Black, £7.99

I’ve been banging on about this for a while but don’t think I’ve ever included it in a favourites post. After discovering the least frustrating method of application a few months ago, I can’t be without it now. I’ve had strangers come up to me asking me what eyeliner I’ve used for my cat eye and it’s always this. You can see it in action here.

FOTD: Daytime Orange Lips

daytime orange lipGoing to have to keep this short as I need to go wax my ‘tache but today signalled the first daytime bright lip of the season so I felt it deserved a post. Keep a’scrollin’ to see what products I used.

COMPLEXION
Benefit The Big Easy Deep Beige (review here)
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 25
Sleek Face Form Contour Kit Medium
Accessorize Merged Baked Blusher Scandal (review here)

EYES
Maybelline Gel Liner Black
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Eyeliner Nude
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Black
GOSH Boombastic Mascara Black

EYEBROWS
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil Black/Brown

LIPS
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Audacious

Nude Pink Lipsticks for Darker Skin

nude pinks for darker skin 3.jpg Aside from wiping out global hunger, my goal in life is to find the perfect pinky-nude for my skin. As most ‘women of colour’ will know, most nudes are geared towards fair skin and what might look like the ideal lipstick to start a lusty love affair with, usually looks completely wrong once on. I feel like I’m still searching for The One but I do have a few in my cosmetics cornucopia that I feel work with my skintone. The ones I’ve picked would probably work with most skintones but if you’re around the same as me (NC42) these would work as good nude-pinks.nude pink lipsticks for darker skinnude pink lipsticks for darker skin pink nudes for darker skin 3.jpg

MAC Matte Lipstick Mehr

I wear this one the most because I can put it on with my eyes closed and it still looks acceptable. It’s purple-based so balances my yellow tones well and has just the right amount of pink. Opaque and creamy and a joy to wear.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm Elusive

Another matte but a bit more pink than Mehr and not as easy to pull off but I like it all the same. Unlike Mehr, I don’t like to pile this on otherwise it just looks wrong with my colour. This one is definitely one for dabbing on or mixing with other colours. Nice formula but prone to patchiness.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pink in the Afternoon

If you want a particular lipstick colour or texture, Revlon is the brazen harlot of the drugstore and will almost always have something to tickle your fancy. This one is the only non-matte of the bunch and definitely more peachy than the others. Pretty non-offensive and universal, so would look good on everyone.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Patina

(Review here) A brown-toned nude pink that is most true to my lip colour. It’s the most matte and opaque of the bunch, meaning you can over-draw your lip line realistically if your heart so desires the lip-job look. So smooth it’s very messy to use and needs a lip brush and intense exfoliation beforehand but once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere till kingdom come.

If anyone has any other suggestions do let me know, I have a feeling I won’t stop buying nude lipsticks until Kim Kardashian decides to stop injecting her butt with silicone-based filler.