Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Hairy Issue feat. Smooth Appeal Microwave Formula

Like most dark haired women, I have a slight issue with excess furry bits. 

Since I hit my mid twenties my body has taken great delight in sprouting hair in places that I don't really want it and thanks to this I am fortunate enough to have a bit of a lady moustache going on.
My lady-mo, while maybe unnoticeable to others, is a great source of anxiety for me when applying foundation (the product clings to the little hairs, no matter what the formula) and I can always see it in close-ups of my mouth when I'm photographing lipstick posts.
And my eyebrows? Naturally they are thick, wiry and very dark, so when I've been lazy on the brow maintenance front, I feel like people can see my stray stubbly bits from across the road.
So since I first looked in the mirror and saw Burt Reynolds staring back at me twiddling his ample 'stache, I've been like a woman possessed trying to track down a solution to my facial hair woes.

So far, the removal routes I've gone down have left me with burns, rashes and irritation, a massive breakout (thanks Benefit Brow Bar) and even a horrifying incident in which I managed to wax of half an eyebrow and my first few layers of skin at once. Ouch.
But it's not all been doom and gloom in my mission for facial hair removal and today I wanted to share my go-to home waxing product that has secured a spot in my beauty regime.

Smooth Appeal Microwave Formula Facial Hair Remover Wax.

Smooth Appeal is appealing indeed thanks to its effective yet gentle formula that includes Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Tea Tree extracts.
The microwave wax is easily malleable and spreads precisely onto hard to navigate areas such as the eyebrows.

The spatula is teeny enough for applying wax only to areas that you want hair-free, unlike pre-waxed strips that can be a little tricky for using to gain the perfect arch.
The real selling point of this wax for me is that it's strip free, therefore less messy and in my opinion, much easier to use!

The trick with this stuff is to warm it to the right consistency before you use it - it should look like thick honey rather than molten lava.
When it's at the right temperature (bath water hot) you simply spread a thin layer on, leave to set until it's slightly hardened then peel it off quickly.
Any excess wax is easily removed with a little bit of oil (don't use essential oil because it might cause irritation) and the skin is left smooth with very little redness.
This is the best at-home waxing product I've come across so far and from looking at the Boots website, it seems a lot of other women are singing its praises.
You can find Smooth Appeal microwave formula at Boots for £5.69 which isn't bad considering one pot contains about ten facial waxing treatments.
Have you tried this wax? What's your go-to hair removal product?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Bonfire Night Hair - L'Oreal Preference Wild Ombres

The ombre/ dip-dye look isn't exactly a new trend - in fact strictly speaking it's totally last season, but I think it's perfect for Autumn (kind of matches the coppery-red-yellow leaves) so I thought I'd give it a go again, this time using the new kit Wild Ombres kit from L'Oreal.

Because my local Boots was sold out of Ombre no. 1(for dark hair) I went for Ombre no. 2 which is designed for dark blonde to medium brown hair. This may not have been the smartest move but I had Boots Advantage Card points to burn and a distinct lack of patience.

The result of using a kit designed designed for light hair on my almost black tresses?

A subtle reddy, coppery dip dye that's bonfire perfect :)

I picked up the L'Oreal Preference Wild Ombres kit from Boots on special for £6 (it usually retails for £6.99) and even though it was the wrong strength for my hair, I'm pretty happy with the results!
Add caption
Last time I ombred my ends I just used a bleaching/ lightening kit and it pretty much had the same effect as this did - in fact the only really difference between the ombre kit and a regular bleaching kit is that the ombre kits makes it easier to find the right bleach strength for your hair and it includes a brush for easy distribution through your ends.

Will you be giving yourself an ombre this Autumn??

Thanks for reading :*

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Lipstick I Love: Magic Matte Lipstick by W7

This is my first foray into the world of W7 (though I have lived in W5...)and I think this little lippie makes for a perfect introduction to the brand.
Magic Matte lipstick is a soft, creamy formula that glides on like a dream and finishes to a delicate velvet look.
The staying power is pretty impressive and I find it lasts a good few hours yet doesn't feel heavy or drying. Perhaps that's where the 'magic' comes in?

The shade I've been road testing is 'Darling' and the name couldn't be more fitting really.
One of those timeless, antique rose hues, Darling is incredibly easy to wear and I find that it sort of acts like a blush on the lips - it really brightens up my face, in a whimsical, romantic, English (Australian) rose kind of way...

Price-wise, these lipsticks definitely fall into the cheap thrills category at around £2.95 a pop.
You can find Magic Matte lipsticks and the rest of the W7 range at New Look, Peacocks and selected online stores.

*This lipstick was sent to me for consideration but rest assured my words are honest and true. I'm a terrible liar.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

MAC Pro Sculpting Cream

I'm not going to lie, the name of this product sucked me in completely. Sculpting Cream? For my face? You're telling me this cream will 'sculpt' my face?
Of course I'm going to buy it...

Designed to accentuate and contour features, this little pan is £17.50 a pop, and I bought mine with birthday money. We all know that birthday money doesn't count as actual money, right?

This cream to powder formula can be used to define cheek bones, brow bones and contour the face using either fingertips or an angled contouring/blusher brush.

There are six different shades to choose from depending on your natural skintone and how dramatic you'd like the 'sculpting' effect to be. 
I was recommended Naturally Defined, which is the second lightest shade.

The formula itself reminds me of a cream to powder foundation that's slightly too dark and I suppose that's essentially exactly what it is, but gimmicky products can be fun!
The fact that it applies as a cream means it's really quite easy to use, especially over a liquid foundation and the powder finish means it feels practically weightless.

Overall, I think this is quite a nice product, though my contouring abilities are below par to say the least!

Have you tried MAC Pro Sculpting Cream? 

Monday, 3 September 2012

In Between Seasons

In Between Seasons

River Island black cardigan
$51 -

Print t shirt
$32 -

High waisted jeans
$76 -

Dorothy Perkins black hat

Lipstick I Love: MAC Jubilee

My collection of muted and barely-there lip shades seems to be growing lately and my latest addition is this sheerly pretty offering from MAC.

Picture of Mac Jubilee Lipstick

A pretty beige nude shade, Jubilee is part of the lustre family so it applies smoothly and easily with a creamy gloss like finish.

I love the formula of the lustre lipsticks because they are so easily applied and the soft texture feels hydrating and lovely with just the right amount of stickiness, though the product does sit quite heavy on the lips, if that makes sense.
mac jubilee lipstick review

Once again, this look is the complete opposite of what I usually go for but sometimes it's nice to skip the liquid eyeliner and trade my bold red lips for a sensible nude shade.

You can pick up Jubilee at MAC for £14

Thank you for reading!

Friday, 31 August 2012

London Skyline Tights by M&S

I wore these very discreet tights on the first day of the Olympics and they garnered a lot of attention from patriotic British folk, Olympic enthusiasts and curious bystanders alike, so I thought I'd share them.

It's not everyday one gets to wear national icons on one's legs, so I think these are rather a hoot.
The limited edition skyline tights were £9.50 from Marks and Spencer .

They seem to be out of stock online but some stores might still have a few pairs in if you fancy walking around with Big Ben on your thighs (not a euphemism)!

Thank you for looking!

L'Oreal Youth Code Luminize Super Serum!

I'm totally into serums at the moment and lately I've been putting L'Oreal Youth Code Luminize Super Serum through its paces.

The original Youth Code collection hit the shelves a little while ago but the 'Luminize' version contains all the nifty anti-ageing components of the original, with the added bonus of illuminating particles to instantly improve the appearance of the skin.

The selling point of the Super Serum is that it's a 2 in 1 product - the high concentration of vitamin Cg (a slow release form of vitamin C) goes to work on refining texture and banishing pigmentation while the luminescent pearly formula creates a healthy glow instantly.

The formula itself is quite light and refreshing with a strong yet pleasant citrus scent and one pump of the serum is more than enough for one application.
While I've not seen a huge difference in my skin (yet), I can say that this is a pretty decent product and I'll be using it to pep up my dry complexion this autumn.

L'Oreal Youth Code Luminize Super Serum retails at £24.99 for 30ml at Boots but is currently on offer for £16.66.

Have you tried anything from the Youth Code range? Thoughts?

Thanks for reading :*

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Stop Press! Rimmel London Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks

Hold the phone, the new line of Kate Moss for Rimmel lipsticks have been released and to make things even more exciting, this collection is all about Matte.

The new range is available today exclusively through Rimmel's Facebook Shop with the collection available in stores in a month (yes, a whole month!) so click on over to Rimmel on Facebook here and check out the new shades.


Love Label Biker Boots

My faithful Migato biker boots virtually fell to pieces on my feet recently and I needed to find a replacement quickly, so I logged onto and found a pair that ticked all the right boxes.

I placed my order for these at around 11pm on Sunday and they arrived Tuesday morning, which was a lovely surprise and obviously really speedy!

The buckle biker boots cost me £45 - but not upfront thanks to the 'take 3' option that spreads the cost over 3 months.
 £15 a month for 3 months for a pair of quality boots to see me through Autumn & winter? Don't mind if I do..

I've never purchased footwear online before now because I didn't want to bother with returning shoes that didn't fit properly, but I found these suited my size 5 tootsies pretty perfectly.

I wore these up the street today in torrential rain and they have proved themselves to be both waterproof and extremely comfortable, with a Doc Martens-esque 'bounce' factor.

The fact that these boots aren't too fussy mean they are going to be versatile enough to wear with pretty much anything.
Toughening up a girly floral dress by H&M

My day to day look of skinny jeans & something black on top!
Though they're not leather, these boots do seem to be great quality and pretty durable, so I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Have you got your autumn/winter footwear sorted yet?

If you like the idea of a 3 month payment plan, log on to here and see what they've got on offer :)

Thanks for reading & hope you're staying dry :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

casual wants

casual wants

River Island shiny black pants
$47 -

Lace up rubber boots
$355 -

Miss Selfridge studded clutch

*Cheap Monday Tee

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Oasap Leather-look & Mesh Spliced Leggings

Another day, another blog post featuring my pins in a pair of socially unacceptable leg wear. 

 When these first arrived from Oasap I wasn't feeling quite as bold as I was when I added them to my virtual basket a week before. After careful deliberation I decided to take the plunge and now I'm rather partial to the kooky cut-out look.

I'm not in love with how these look from behind (a little too bike-shorts-esque?) but I'm not one to wear leggings without something covering my bum so this won't stop me wearing them.
The mesh/gauze cut out panels on these leggings give them a bit of a sassy, grungy edge without revealing too much flesh.
 The weather's been a bit too muggy to wear these leggings a lot lately but I'm looking forward to wearing them through the Autumn paired with big baggy cardigans, oversized t shirts and ridiculously bright lipstick.

These leggings are available at Oasap for $16 (around £10), which is reasonable enough for something a bit different.
You can have a gander at them in all their glory on the Oasap website here

What do you think of these? Right up your alley or too risqué?

Thanks for looking!

*I bought these with shopping credits c/o Oasap

Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup:  say that ten times fast and I'll bake you a cake, but for now you can just read my thoughts on one of the most anticipated cosmetic launches of 2012.

My Urban Decay Naked eye shadow palette is now one of my favourite, almost essential beauty products so I kind of had to try the matching foundation. Though I wasn't entirely convinced by the hype surrounding it (or the £27 price tag), I figured I'd go for a quick colour match on my lunch break. 
I'm now £27 poorer with happier looking skin, so you can probably guess what happened next.

It's not often that I say the word 'wow' to a make up artist in Debenhams, but I couldn't really help it as I watched her buff this stuff onto my face - it just looked like a smoother, more even, less pigmented version of my own skin. Surely that can only be a good thing?
I was matched to shade 3.5

The airbrushed effect of the foundation is down to loads of 'light-diffusing spheres' that hang about in the formula waiting to blur away imperfections. It all sounds a bit technical really but I found that the proof certainly is in the pudding with this one.


One and a half pumps of the liquid formula do the trick for me and I find that it's quite easy to blend out without leaving any nasty tide lines. 
If you're skin is quite dry, I'd recommend slapping on a little extra moisturiser because Naked Skin leaves a slightly matte finish that may cling on to any dry bits.
I find this is very long wearing on me and it doesn't slide off of my face like a lot of formulas, instead it sort of blends in with my skin and feels like I don't have foundation on at all - hence the name ;)

It's encased in a rather sexy plastic pump bottle which I know some people don't like but I really dig it because it looks like glass yet weighs virtually nothing.

This product has really impressed me, so if you've not been down to an Urban Decay counter to get yourself matched up, I really think you should! There are 18 shades to choose from so chances are you'll find one that suits your complexion perfectly.
You can read more about it online at Debenhams here.  

Thanks for reading as always :)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Handbag Friendly Beauty Essentials

Most handbags have at least one thing in common- among the miscellaneous and often nondescript bits and pieces lies a stash of go-to beauty products poised for beauty emergencies or general maintenance throughout the day.
Similar to a 'what's in my handbag' post, today I want to show you the products that go virtually everywhere with me, minus the gum wrappers, receipts and biscuit crumbs that you would be exposed to if I actually showed you what's in my bag...

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
I bought this for the first time as an 18 year old back home in Australia. I had no idea what it was supposed to do or how to use it, all I knew was that the words 'beauty' and 'flash' used together could only be a good thing. Almost ten years later I use it to pep up my under eye area and pat it onto my cheeks for a dewy look. I especially love Beauty Flash Balm in the winter when applied as a mask- dry skin drinks it up.

Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment

Everyone should know about this stuff. It's one of those super products that does everything except make you a cup of tea. Produced in Queensland, Australia, the thick emollient balm instantly soothes dry skin, burns, cuts and insect bites and makes for a wonderful long lasting lip balm. I have been know to use this paw paw ointment to tame my eyebrows and highlight cheek bones. This isn't easy to find here in the UK but you can pick it up at the Australian shop in Covent Garden or get it online. *I haven't got my own photo of this because my man friend has stolen it!*

Moisturiser Sample

I've usually got a sample sized tube or pot of moisturiser that's the perfect size for popping in my bag. At the moment I'm using a rather generous sample of Kiehl's Rosa Arctica which is fantastic because it's a fairly thick, rich product., therefore has lasted me ages because I don't need much.

MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick
This is a cult product for a reason and I can't help but worship at the altar of this beautiful colour. Highly pigmented, smile brightening and uber long lasting, I'm rarely without this lipstick in my bag or on my lips.

Foundation Sample
I've found that those little '7 day trial' bottles of foundation many beauty brands provide after a colour match are perfect for carrying around in my bag with me. They weigh virtually nothing, can hold quite a lot of product and often come with a little spatula which minimizes mess. Don't actually like the foundation you're trialling? Rinse the little bottle out and fill it with your regular foundation. I've de-cantered some of my YSL Touche Eclat Foundation into this little bottle so I can touch up without having to lug around the full sized product.

Benefit 'They're Real!' Mascara

I do love this mascara, but it stays in my bag rather than on my dresser because I'm currently in love with an Avon mascara I got with a magazine recently. I know, it makes no sense to me either.

Bourjois Rose D'Or Blush

The pearly gold bits in this are terribly good at waking up my face and the rosey-pink base of the blush is so wearable it's almost ridiculous. I like how sheer and easily blended the colour is and the scent is lovely. The teeny size of the compact complete with built in mirror and brush make it handbag perfect.

So there you have it. Those are the products that reside in my handbag ready to pretty me up when I'm away from home. Do any of these live in your handbag too?

Thanks for reading :)