NOTD: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint Chilli

22 October 2014

barry m gelly chilliWhen it comes to nails, I don’t give a monkeys about seasonal colours. All this mumbo jumbo about coral only being allowed between May and August or fingers snapping off if you wear black in July – no sir – I’m living my life.

I was swayed, however, by the Barry M AW14 collection. I went into Boots for a nail polish that for the love of God wasn’t red and left with a red nail polish. Seriously. I need another red nail polish like I need a hole in the head. In my defence, Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in ‘Chilli’ is all kinds of hot. Yes it screams autumn but I most definitely won’t be casting this aside come spring.

It’s a sensual mix of red, brown and maroon and looks friggin’ amazing on. So much so, I’ve been wearing it on the daily for a solid ten days. And only one digit has experienced any kind of chipping. Admittedly, I did use Seche Vite on top but I refuse to accept that this alone is the sole reason for the minimal chipping.

Barry, whoever you are, I salute you.

Review: Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks

14 October 2014

gosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh forever eyeshadow stick reviewgosh shadow sticksI don’t know about you but I was never one of these people who was particularly bothered about using eyeshadow sticks on the ‘mobile lid’. But these Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks hurled themselves into my life and my mobile lids and I haven’t looked back. These sticks of shimmery joy are extremely creamy, extremely pigmented and extremely wearable. And my love for them is extreme.

I picked up the shades ‘Light Copper’ (which is clearly more of a goldy-bronze shade) and the unimaginatively-named ‘Brown’ which is so much more than a bog standard brown. Swatched, they look much more shimmery than they translate on the eyes which is good news if you like to keep it subtle. In the photos, I did blend mine out but if you layer it on you can get a much bolder look.

I do find that as the day goes on, these Gosh Forever shadow sticks don’t crease too badly at all, but the shimmer does wear off. Just try to avoid touching your eyes when you pop these on.

I like to use these as both eyeshadows and eye liners – the lighter colour gives an intense inner corner highlight, and the darker one is fab smudged into the lower lash line. They can also be used as eyeshadow bases but this is something I’m yet to try.

Good news for the more slack-minded – these have a wind-up mechanism so don’t need sharpening. Fine if you plan on using these as eyeshadows but sad if you use them as eyeliners, although a brush could be used. Potentially laborious though.

Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Sticks come in an array of beautiful, wearable colours and I for one, can’t wait to get my paws on them

Available from Superdrug at £5.99 each.

FOTD: Glowing Skin

13 October 2014

fotd glowing skinfotd glowing skinfotd glowing skinfotd glowing skin

There’s no point fighting it: dismal autumn weather is here. It appears that ‘fall’ as our American friends like to call it isn’t all joyous skipping on crunchy leaves and sitting around draped in faux fur throws drinking chai lattes. Rather, it’s Sunday dread all week long and resorting to using flash on the camera. Usually I pile on plenty of eyeshadow and liner but for today’s FOTD I decided to focus on glowing skin to perk myself up a bit.

I was also going to pan out a bit further and show off my new long weave but I had no bra on, and my chest isn’t the type anyone wants to see unharnessed.

Also, to add even more unprofessionalism to today’s post, I forgot to include the lip products I used in the photo. Apologies!

COMPLEXION
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Barcelona
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Cream Stick 55 Bronze
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
NARS Highlighter Albatross
Accessorize Merged Baked Blusher Scandal (review here)
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder

EYES
Makeup Revolution Flawless Palette Angel, Lowlite
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Liner Black
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Liner Bronze
Gosh Forever Eyeshadow Stick Light Copper
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers (review here)
Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Mascara Black Drama

EYEBROWS
Topshop Brow Pencil Spike

LIPS
Gosh Velvet Touch Lip Liner Nougat Crisp
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick Notting Hill Nude

September 2014 Favourites

12 October 2014

september 2014 favouritesBeing a Negative Nelly last month, there wasn’t much stuff I can say I loved. Makeup, masks and skincare fell by the wayside and even taking off my makeup before bed became a rarity. However, this did mean I took a much more simplistic approach to my daily makeup which is reflected in my few favourite products this month.

Maybelline Color Elixir Caramel Infused, £6.99

The thought of gloss usually strikes fear into my heart. But, this nude-pink gloss from the new Maybelline Color Elixir range surprised me. Does anyone remember Blair’s lips in Gossip Girl? I’ve been watching re-runs and literally couldn’t get over how smooth and plump her mouth looked (do I sound creepy yet?). Anyway, this is the only stuff I’ve found that gives the same effect – it fills in all the lines in my lips and makes them look the smoothest they’ve ever been.

Vichy Dermablend Corrective Cream Stick 55 Bronze, £15

Whenever I see a concealer stick, I always assume it’ll be like the ones in the 90s from the likes of Miss Sporty and Collection 2000. Remember the ones with the appearance and texture of a very dry, matte, white lipstick? Well, this isn’t like that. It’s creamy, blendable and the coverage is insane. I use it under my eyes and it’s the only concealer I feel doesn’t need a corrector underneath. It does need a setting powder on top to stop creasing but I am bumming this and refuse to carry on my existence without it.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, £12.99

Foundation has been quite frankly, absent from my life lately. I just can’t be bothered. This is all I’ve been using as a base all month and it makes my morning routine so easy. It’s a tiny bit light in colour for me but it’s nothing a bit of bronzer can’t sort out. It’s a moisturiser, it’s an SPF, it’s a skin-tone-even-outer, it’s an anti-ager and it’s all I need. I love that it’s yellow-toned and it makes my skin look even, bright and smooth. I’ve done a review here, if you want to see it in action.

Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, £14

I reviewed this here. If like me, you hate cleaning your makeup brushes, and need to inject some fun into your dull life at the moment, this will give you a reason to carry on. My single favourite purchase of the summer.

P.S UK readers, don’t forget to enter my lovely jubbly MAC giveaway here.

500 Follower MAC Giveaway

3 October 2014

mac giveaway(Photo credit: www.sleeplessinkl.com)

Having recently hit 500 Bloglovin’ followers (thank you to everyone, I cherish you all) and because it’s almost the freakin’ weekend, I’ve decided to do an impromptu giveaway. One lucky winner will win a MAC lipstick and a MAC eyeshadow of their choice – huzzah!

The giveaway is open to UK readers and closes at midnight on 25th October so get your skates on!

Because I was plagued by a horrible amount of spammy entries last time, actions have been taken. You MUST be following me on Bloglovin’, and I’ll be checking every entry so any fake/suspicious ones will be rejected.

As not to end on a sour note, I’ll leave you with a photo of Chicken. Good Luck!Chicken
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Empties #3

1 October 2014

beauty empties

There’s something very satisfying about finishing products and discarding the empty carcasses. I’ve been buying less skincare in particular, in an attempt to get through the mountain of hoarded products and I’m sure you’ll agree I’ve certainly given it a ruddy good go.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £27.50 (full size)

I’ve raved enough about this in the past (here and here) so won’t bore you again with it. This travel size version came in a handy set along with a shampoo and conditioner, and lasted me a good three or so washes.

Repurchase? Already bought the full size

Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing Conditioner 75ml, £7.45

I got so attached to the Elasticizer that I never actually used this conditioner without it so am unable to offer you a completely fair opinion. However, I LOVED this and the ‘slip’ it offered was unbelievable, something that’s hard to achieve with coarse, dry, thick hair like mine. Expensive but this combo is genuinely nothing like I’ve tried before.

Repurchase? Yes

Bourjois 1 Second Magic Nail Polish Remover, £4.99

If there is one beauty chore I hate (apart from moisturising) it’s taking off nail polish. This pot of joy makes the whole experience quick and fun. Smells great at first too, before the saturation happens then it’s potent enough to burn off your corneas.

Repurchase? Already have

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, £19 (full size)

Does anyone miss the old-fashioned fibre-y mascaras, rather than the plastic wands that seem to be everywhere these days? This wand is fat and juicy and because it’s bristles, really grips the lashes. I love it on the bottom lashes, it separates and lengthens but doesn’t clump. Not hugely volumising but I feel it would be good layered underneath something else.

Repurchase? Yes

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, £19.50 (full size)

Possibly the most talked-about mascara of recent times. This wand really get into the tiniest lashes and gives volume and length. I really like this but for some reason go through phases with it. Sometimes it works better than others, does this happen to anyone else?

Repurchase? Probably

Gosh Boombastic Mascara, £8.49

I reviewed this here so won’t go on about it too much. Quite simply, I love this and find it similar to Benefit They’re Real, but a bit better. I use this everyday and feel lost without it. I don’t like spending too much on mascaras so this one is perfect.

Repurchase? Already have

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, £7.99

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you will be fully aware of my lifelong battle with blackheads. The situation is 100% better than it used to be and these pore strips deserve credit for helping to clear things up. I’ve tried imitation brands but these are the best and don’t leave that unsavoury residue you get from cheaper brands.

Repurchase? Yes

Cherry Chapstick, £1.29

You don’t even want to know how long I’ve had this but the truth would horrify you. I started using this as a base for matte lipsticks and it did the job pretty well. It’s not super moisturising and won’t give you a slippery surface so lipstick sits nicely on top. To be frank, there’s nothing wrong with a Chapstick and I’ve got more sophisticated tastes now darling.

Repurchase? No

Dove Beauty Finish Deodorant, £3.50

My first spray deodorant in about a decade as I find roll-ons more industrial. However this works just as well and smells really good.  It does last way less than a roll-on but the it’s more refreshing and dry.

Repurchase? Already have

Sanctuary Illuminating Moisture Lotion 15ml, £2.99

I’ve been having a lusty affair with Sanctuary products for a while and this was one of the first things I succumbed to. This stuff is so brightening and is the perfect base for foundation, although I often don’t even bother, it’s that glowy. But if you’re into a matte base then this isn’t for you. And don’t let the mini size fool you, it lasts ages.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion, £14

This has quite the bounty of rave reviews on the Body Shop website and I was hankering to try it for a while. I used it after cleansing to exfoliate – it’s made up of really fine gritty bits in some kind of lotion. It kind of feels like scrubbing wet sand into your face, and my face can usually stand up to harsh treatment and is by no means sensitive, however this left my face looking like a baboon’s bum. It did feel extremely cleansing and my face looked super clean afterwards but it’s the only exfoliator I’ve used that left my skin red raw…and not in a good way

Repuchase? No

Una Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Defence Daily Moisturiser, £16.99

Pump? Check. SPF? Check. Amazing scent? Check. This moisturiser lasted my about a year with daily use and I’ve really enjoyed it. It brightens and hydrates really well, but isn’t as glowy as the Sanctuary one mentioned above so it’s a good happy medium. I’ve got a million day creams to get through but one day will love to be reunited with this orange-y baby.

Repuchase? Yes

Review: Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser

25 September 2014

beauty blender solid cleanser reviewI was milling around Oxford Street a couple of days ago, killing time before an appointment and got dangerously close to Selfridges. So, being aware of the potential detrimental effects on my honeymoon savings account, I turned on my heel and scuttled in the opposite direction, saving myself vital pounds. DID I HECK. I hurled myself into the revolving doors and spent some dolla.

I’d recently discovered that Selfridges stocks the Beauty Blender so I went in ‘just for a look’, knowing full well I was not leaving empty handed. Five minutes later, I was handing over my debit card in exchange for the famous pink sponge and its solid cleanser counterpart.

On first impressions, I’m loving both items but the solid cleanser has blown me away and I felt an urgent need to write this review. At the risk of sounding like – quite frankly – a total skank, I can go weeks upon weeks without washing my makeup brushes. Call me what you will but I find the whole process soul destroying and futile – my brushes are never completely clean and my skin never really suffers. Famous last words. HOWEVER the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser has revolutionised my life. In the past two days, I’ve cleaned my most used makeup brushes twice, as well as the Beauty Blender. “What makes this cleanser so full of wonder and joy?” I hear you ask. Chill Bill, I’ll tell you.

After wetting my makeup brush under the tap, I swirled it into the solid cleanser, building up a luxurious and fabulous lather. I did this for 10-15 seconds and rinsed under the tap. And by Jove, the brush looked good as new. After drying, the brush felt soft and free of residue, which is a problem I always have when using more laborious cleaning processes. The cleanser contains glycerine and aloe which I’m guessing lend to the conditioning effects, and it’s lavender scented, making the cleansing process all the more…sensual.

The original Beauty Blender cleanser is a liquid which I haven’t tried and doubt I will. The whole point of the travel-friendly solid is its criminally easy use which actually makes brush cleaning fun. I managed to get through cleaning about 20 makeup brushes in less than five minutes. Huzzah!

(I’ve literally just found out there’s a little drying rack inside the pot to set the Beauty Blender on as it dries – double huzzah!)

Some might say it’s a bit pricey for what is essentially a bar of soap but I’d happily pay £20 for it. You may think it’s just a gimmick but I promise you, this stuff is quite possibly a thing of sorcery.

Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser is available at Selfridges for £13.

Motivational Monday #4

22 September 2014

PicMonkey CollageThe more beady-eyed of you might have noticed my absence of late but I promise you there is a legitimate excuse! I have finally, after 10 months of burying my head in the sand, have SET MY WEDDING DATE. I’ll be getting married in late February which means I have only 5 months to get this show on the road. Frantic venue-viewing, registrar-booking, wedding-dress buying and craft-making have literally left me with no time for anything. But, with the bulk of the organising now completed, The Beauty Locker is back. With a vengeance.

I must admit that anything remotely healthy has gone out the window but with the panic mostly over, it’s time to get back on the horse and ride that beast. I always need an incentive to exercise and this is the perfect one. I don’t fancy being a rotund bride and certainly don’t want to look back at photos of said rotundness. And then there’s the honeymoon…no one wants to be mistaken for a beached whale while on supposedly the most romantic holiday of their life.

Saying that, I did go to a Bums, Tums & Thighs class a week ago and I still wake up in the morning feeling like I’ve been run over by a bus – must have been some workout! Definitely not just for mums as first assumed.

I’m too scared to weigh myself at the moment (sound familiar?) but this week should be a very active week. And with the weather cooling slightly, I’m excited to get running again. I’ve also been discovering that the lack of groceries in the fridge is wreaking havoc with my eating habits. When all there is in the fridge is chicken past its use-by date and a sorry looking onion, it’s been all too easy to surrender to half a loaf of tiger bread.

Even by writing this post and looking at pictures of sexy ladies, I already feel motivated. Let’s see how this week pans out, hey?

 

Review: Ciate Flower Manicure Bad-a-Bloom

21 August 2014

ciate flower manicure reviewciate flower manicure reviewGone are the days when I’d painstakingly create tiny masterpieces on my nails – my patience has since worn far too thin for such frivolity (living with a semi-feral cat and a man who can’t make his own sandwiches will do that to you). But when I saw the Ciate flower manicure set, I was instantly drawn (nothing to do with the fact it was half price in the bargain utopia that is TK Maxx). The results on the box look simply stunning, and it’s available in blue (which I’ve got) and pink, which is aptly named ‘Strike a Posy’.

The set includes a pastel blue nail polish and a clear topcoat (both full size), two pots of dried flowers, a nail file and quite a decent pair of tweezers.ciate flower manicure review I whipped out this set on a Saturday night home alone when I had no distractions and plenty of time which are ideal conditions when you’re trying to focus on such a fiddly project. I put on a couple of coats of the pale blue (I’m personally not a massive fan of Ciate nail polishes, they tend to be quite slow-drying and this was no exception). Colour was nice though. Once dry, I put on a layer of the clear topcoat and as quick as I could, fished out a bit of flower and positioned it on my nail. Before it dried, I put on another piece to finish the formation. Once dry, I filed off the over-hanging bits and put on a final layer of topcoat.

The whole process was extremely fiddly and took an eye-watering amount of time. I’m not exactly the most patient gal in the world and frankly, I was glad when it was over. I liked the finished result from a distance, but you can see on the close-up what the problem was. Because you need so many layers of nail polish, you end up with a bit of a gloopy, air-bubbly effect. And because the flowers are more 3D then you’d expect, you don’t get a smooth finish like it looks on the packaging (which I suspect has been heavily photoshopped). The bits were quite sharp and I found they’d catch on everything. Longevity was decent, and even though little bits of flower snapped off during the course of the week, it wasn’t too noticeable.
ciate flower manicure reviewciate flower manicure review All in all, I really liked the look of this flower manicure but I was too embarrassed for my nearest and dearest to get too close. I doubt I’ll try this again any time soon but if I do, I’d probably take a bit more time and try to stop the dreaded bubbles from forming. If I’m being completely honest, I’d save yourself the time, hassle and frustration and just get yourself a set of nail wraps.

Ciate Flower Manicure in Bad-a-Bloom is available at Feel Unique for £18.

 

Review: Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

16 August 2014

nivea daily essentials eye make-up remover

More and more budget brands are doing bi-phase eye makeup removers and I’ve been quite the floozy when it comes to trying them. I’m already a fan of the Daily Essentials range from Nivea (well, I’ve tried one other product – the Hydration Primer, review here) and I picked this up for the crazy-ass promotional price of £1.79.

I’d say this eye makeup remover sits somewhere in the middle of the L’Oreal version and the Garnier. It’s much less greasy than L’Oreal but more effective than Garnier. It takes off my eye makeup really easily (although I don’t use waterproof mascara), requires absolutely no scrubbing and doesn’t leave a greasy film. Definitely a repurchase.

The only downside is the sheer speed that this separates again after shaking. We’re talking maybe two seconds so you need to rather nimble-fingered. But at that price it wouldn’t be fair to demand it all.

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover is available now at Boots for £1.79 (usual price £3.59).

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