Friday, 8 October 2010

Chanel Paradoxal Nail Polish dupe??

A few months ago everyone was rushing out to buy Barry M Mushroom when it was discovered it was pretty similar to Chanel's Particuliere..  But I think Ive discovered another!

My blog post a few days ago which included the new Barry M Dusky Mauve, was actually the first time I'd applied it properly.. but after seeing it on the nail, something was bugging me..

Now I don't own any Chanel nail polish, for me the Barry M polishes are right up my street in terms of price.. But if you Google Chanels Paradoxal, or if you've already seen it in some beauty blogs you'll probably see what I see.. just how similar they are!

Paradoxal is a really pretty colour for Autumn/Winter.. its a beautiful purple/grey/mauve!?!!  Yeah, Im terrible at descriptions.. So courtesy of Google, here it is:

And here is Barry M's Dusky Mauve:

Not bad, eh!?  I know Paradoxal appears to be more purple toned, where as the Dusky Mauve is more grey toned.. but its certainly not bad for £2.95, instead of the £16.50  price tag on the Chanel!

What do you think?

Try it for yourself :)

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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

About 2 weeks ago I was on my own, my fiance was working, I was bored out of my tree, I had far too much time on my hands and there was nothing on TV!   But during my channel hopping I came across the Beauty Day on QVC.

..Yep, the dreaded people there that could sell ice to an Eskimo, suckered me in!

I went for item # 212054 the Cleanse/ Polish and tonic set.  This is priced at £24.52 (and was spread out over 4 payments).  The set comprises of the Cleanse & Polish 100ml and the Skin Tonic 200ml, 2 muslin cloths and a waterproof bag.

Picture taken from

(I apologise for the stock photo, but a) no one wants to see my manky muslin cloths.. and b) well, I'll get to that later..)

In my defense I'd been wanting to try the Cleanse and Polish for a long time, probably even before I purchased my Clarisonic, but the 'Easy-pay' option made it seem like a good idea to try it, plus I thought about their 30 day money back guarantee.. I didn't have much to lose!

The first thing I noticed, as do many, was the smell.. notice how I said smell there, rather than scent!  I hated it!  What I do like is that it smells of eucalyptus, that always evokes thought of cleanliness and germ fighting, but I really didn't care for the scent of any of the other ingredients..
The tonic, does that smell any better?  To me, that smells even worse!  I was expecting some uplifting, fresh, Summer scent.. but instead I got something the smelled sort of old fashioned, and ever so slightly musty.  I was really surprised that I didn't love the 'scent' of this, as so many people have raved about how lovely it is.. sadly I didn't find myself agreeing with them at all :0/

Did I see any results?  Nope..  not any positive ones anyway!

I used it each night, I took off the majority of my make up with a Boots Botanics cleanser, then applied the Cleanse & Polish, did the whole hot cloth jobby.. patted my face dry then went ahead with the toner.  Over time, upon waking up I expected to see something.. maybe some brightening of the skin, perhaps fewer blemishes, maybe a more even tone, smaller pores?   Just.. something..  Instead I woke up to more and more spots that got steadily worse over time.  Now I know sometimes your skin will get worse before it gets better, that was certainly the case with the Clarisonic, but what I consistently noticed was that the Cleanse & Polish never got my skin totally clean, this is probably the biggest factor in why I don't want to see it to the end of the bottle.  I switched cleansers in the hopes it would take off more makeup beforehand.. I applied two pumps of the C&P instead of one.. I was more thorough with the muslin cloth.. Nothing I tried got my face as clean as the Clarisonic does.  Each time I go over my skin with a cottol wool ball and toner I see my face is clean, theres no residue or any trace of makeup.. but with the C&P there was always some grime left behind. Ewww!   I hated that, that and the fact it took lots of the toner to remove it.. what a pain!

I also dislike that I feel I have to run the muslin cloth through a wash cycle before each use, thats just something I can't be doing with.  Again, with the Clarisonic I just rinse off the soap after use, then spritz with a dettol solution afterwards, and bam, clean for the next use! :op

I don't like that theres Cocoa Butter in amongst the ingredients either (I believe its the next ingredient after water!), I don't feel that most people with oily, spot prone skin, actually want (or need) something as rich as Cocoa Butter on their face.  I'm not sure of the amount thats inside this, but to me its a pretty heavy moisturizer for oily skins.  It makes me wonder if Liz Earle and her people are working on something lighter, perhaps more deeper cleansing for us oily peeps!?

I don't know if this is a Marmite thing, you either love it or you hate it, but I definitely hate it.. With a passion!

I normally hate QVC too, the rubbish they spout sometimes is truly laughable and Im sure some of them live in La La Land (for example, a £100 set of cotton sheets "Is a good teachers present to say thanks"  Alrighty then..), but on this occasion I'm glad I purchased it via QVC because I will be making full use of their 30 day returns policy on this one!  Which brings me onto the other reason for the stock photo.  Reason b) that I don't have it to show you as its currently packaged up and ready to go back!

So sadly this didn't work for me and I really didn't get the hype about it at all :0/

I still wouldn't advise anyone not to give it a go, as always.. what doesn't work at all for one person, may well work wonders for someone else!

Have you tried it, do you love it or hate it!?

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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Nail Paints for Autumn/Winter

 I have many, many Barry M nail paints.. (Far too many infact!).  I just think theyre incredible value for money as they come in really pretty colours, they apply really well and can last for anywhere up to a week if applied properly.. if you dont get bored of it first that is!

I bought 3 from the Ice-Cream collection (the Strawberry one looking suspiciously similar to the previous pale pink one.. but anyhoo..).  I have to say I didn't touch any of them this Summer!    I did however pick up the latest editions - the Instant Nail Effects at £3.95, and Dusky Mauve at £2.95.

I love looking at all the pretty colours on people, and I think that women with perfectly manicured nails look really well put together.. I on the other hand am just terrible at applying it!  I look at the pretty bottles in my case, paw them.. then close the lid!  Nail polish (and blending eyeshadows) are a very scary prospect for me!

But I have vowed to keep trying and hopefully, get much better at it!!

So I have picked out 5 colours for Autumn/Winter.

Left to right:
293 Grey
313 Dusky Mauve (New)
310 Mushroom
115 Red Black
129 Chocolate Brown

(Apologies in advance for a couple of these being out of focus.. It wasn't till the last few pictures that I figured out what I was doing wrong!  Durrrr..)

This is 293 Grey.  I feel this is coming up more blue toned on the nails than it is in R.L, I'm not sure what it will appear as on your computer screens, but its a lovely true grey.  
You can get away with one with this..  What I do find is that some of the nail paints seem thicker in consistency, and ever so slightly harder to work with.  This is one of them!

This is Dusky Mauve, only released about a fortnight ago on the website I believe.  Hopefully you can see the purple shot through it?  Its one from the mud family.. a lovely grey/brown/mauve.. it really is a beautiful multi toned polish!

I'm pretty sure we all saw this weeks and weeks ago, but I think its a nice colour for Autumn, esp if wearing the darker colours just aren't your thing :)

This one will be a nice colour for (dare I say it..) the Christmas parties!  Its a lovely deep red colour, that with more coats (3?) does turn to its namesake - Red Black.
This is one of the more sheer, easy to apply colours.. Its not one of the one coat wonders, a factor that I actually like because I find it easier to work with.

And last but not least.. Perhaps one that doesn't stand out for most people, is Chocolate Brown.  A lovely chocolate brown (funny that!!).. Again, this is one of those that I find a little bit gloopy and harder to apply, but on the plus side - a one coat wonder!

All are priced at £2.95 each and can be purchased from the Barry M website here  :)

What will you be wearing this Autumn/Winter?

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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Live XXL... Color B4.. Hair dye disasters!

About 2 months ago I decided I just wanted a change with my hair.  Did this come at a time when my hair wasn't doing as it was told, or maybe at a time where the colour just looked horrible?  No!  So why oh why did I do it!?  I have no idea!  I just decided one day that I wanted a change.  I was pretty happy with my hair at the time, the dark brown had lifted to a Summery light brown, it was long enough to wear it wavy like I love to wear it.. I think what I was looking for was to lift it a little more, or perhaps to add some highlights..

So one day whilst out shopping with my Mr I began looking at the hair colour aisle.  I browsed the colours and just couldnt decide.  Jokingly I pointed to a box of Live Color XXL with the brightest red Id ever seen!  Then a little voice piped up 'Do it!  Go on, you should do it red'  Never one to pass up on a challenge, I picked it from the shelf, worryingly asked 'Are you sure?' then stuck it in the basket and paid!

That evening I applied it.. I figured if I waited I would no doubt chicken out!

The last time I dyed my hair red was when I was 18. I actually liked the look of red hair... Id been mahogany, copper, rich red.. any shade of red I no doubt tried back then!  But the one thing I always found was that it never really lasted, it just faded so quick and in the end I got bored of re-colouring every couple of weeks, of course it was also pretty damaging to my hair.  Another thing I found was that it never ever gave anything close to the colour on the box, so I wasn't expecting anything different with the Live XXL..  But actually, I was wrong!!  This came out the most brightest red I'd ever been, pretty close to the colour on the box!!

The first 2 days of this my hair was a lovely vibrant red colour.  After that it all went downhill!  They aren't kidding when they say this is waterproofed, the silicone in this baby was here to stay!!.

It was already fading on the ends, but on the roots to mid lengths it just wasn't shifting.. so the top of my hair was a rich red shade, the ends were orange!  Yet nothing I did seemed to make it look ok, even putting my hair up made it ovbious there was a bad home colour situation going on (think orange ponytail against deep red roots.. yeah, horrible!!).  I basically tried everything in the book.. lemon juice mixed with conditioner and left on my hair for an hour, out of desperation I tried pure lemon juice.. I also tried Vo5 Hot Oil treatment, I tried washing with anti dandruff.. but none of these were shifting the colour, the roots were red, the rest was orange and thats just the way it was staying!!

I started looking online for other suggestions, then found the Colour B4.  I was worried about putting a colour stripper on my hair (how damaging does that sound!?!), I'd also read about the ginger tones that your hair was likely to be left with..  Yet the more I thought about it, the more I had to do it!  I wanted this orange gone, and fast!!

Off to Boots I toddled, picked up the Colour B4 in extra strength (due to the silicone in the XXL) and an Ash blonde Nice & Easy 24 wash dye..  In Boots (a big one at that) the 24 washes was all they had, there were no 8 wash dyes, so I figured the 24 would have to do..  Apparently theres no peroxide in the 8 wash dye, and thats what you need, so I never actually used the 24 wash one, yet it was needed as a back up incase I was left with Ronald Mcdonald hair!

I followed the lengthly instructions on the Colour B4, I spent an age in the bathroom that day!

Unfortunately I have no pictures of my hair with the red, or after the Colour B4.. So I guess you'll just have to trust me!

But what I was left with a gingery light brown/blonde colour, something I was prepared for.. Infact, I was prepared for it not to work at all, so I was quite suprised that it had taken out all the red, and some previous colours too!
When I spotted the gingery tones in the mirror I remembered I had a John Frieda violet based conditioner somewhere in the depths of my bathroom cabinet!  I dug it out, slapped a load on and left it on for about 15-20 mins.  This actually helped quite a bit in taking out some of the brassiness (a few more applications over the next few days helped a lot too).  I did dash out to Tescos to buy the John Frieda violet based mousse, this helped a lot too!!   So I recommend those on stand by if you do decide to do this!

My fiance really liked the light colour on me, which softened the shock a bit!   I think I lasted a month with it too.. But in the end I just couldnt take the lack of shine and the fact the damage was so obvious.

If you have had a real hair colour disaster, if its something that going over with a semi colour wont fix, then give the Colour B4 a go.  However, if your hair isn't in great condition (like mine), if its been coloured a lot previously, then think long and hard about it!  I have seen plenty of people post pics of shiny hair afterwards.. sadly mine didnt turn out like that, I think the 15 or so years of home colouring haven't helped!!

My hair was seriously damaged after all this.  It still is, after weeks of washing every 3 days, using  the Naked 97% natural shampoo and an intensive conditioner after each wash!  Its ended up really frizzy, it was snapping off and its gone really quite thin and was extremely unmanageable for a good month or so.  I even bought the Phtyo 9, and the Phyto shampoo and intensive condioner for extremely dry hair.. but even the richness of those didn't touch the severe damage.

Ever since the Colour B4 Ive been using a semi permanent, just because I needed some richness and shine putting back in there, plus I felt I looked really washed out with light hair.

But guess what!  Yesterday I used 81 Nice and Easy Mahogany.. a colour that was meant to turn out a nice dark warm brown (judging by the guide on the side).  But what has it really turned out as??  You guessed it - EXACTLY the colour the Live XXL turned out!!!!  I AM SO P*SSED about that!  I applied the dye yesterday, rinsed it, let it dry naturally then looked in the mirror and just could not believe my eyes!!

I can't get over how unhappy I am with my hair at the moment, which is probably a factor in why Ive been messing with it so much.. trying to get it to a colour I can live with again, trying to style it to hide some of the damage, buying no end of oils, serums etc..   Ive gone from having hair I was really happy with, to hair thats breaking off, falling out, is frizzy and terribly dry, hair that now won't hold colour and will rarely look ok..  I even chopped off the fringe Id been growing for months, in the hopes a new change would solve things.. But nope!  All that did was make me realise I don't suit a fringe, and ever since that chop its looked even worse!
I dont think I can face a hairdresser.. they would be appalled with the condition of it at the moment!

I think i just need to live with this colour, hope and pray this time it will wash out of its own accord, then perhaps just try and learn to live with it.. Its just that Im quite grey now, so I need to dye it, rather than want to dye it.. But the condition of it now.. Urgh!

The lesson Ive learned from this?  If you think 'Oh, well my hair never turns out bad, and its not in that bad a condition, it can take it..' Dont be fooled!  There really is only so much your hair can take, and it can actually turn out quite bad!  I never dreamed it could turn out so dry that it wouldn't do anything, wouldn't style, wouldnt look right up or down, or be left with hair that scares me to brush or style incase even more breaks off!

So Im going to take a break from the colouring and just hope that I can fix it (ie make it look in better condition than it really is!) until its long enough to be chopped off.. I am trimming the ends, but even thats not enough at the moment!  What I really need to do is cut it to shoulder length to get rid of some of the damage.. but I can't bring myself to do it as I dont suit shorter hair..


On a happier note, I really recommend you give the Naked hair care range a go :)

(all photos nabbed from Google \0:  )

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Saturday, 2 October 2010

Barry M Instant Nail Effects

I know.. I'm a very bad girl *looks up with puppy dog eyes, in the hopes of forgiveness*..

Its been an age since my last post!!

But here I am, still present and I haven't dropped off the face of the earth!  So I'll dip straight in and tell you about the new Barry M Instant Nail effects that I purchased last week.

Barry M say:
Instant Nail Effects is a simple to use nail paint that creates this amazing effect on your nails in one simple stroke. Or play around with it to create different effects.

I purchased mine through the website as my local Superdrug take an eon to get anything new in there.. I half expect to find cobwebs on the products in there sometimes!  Anyway, I don't feel that the delivery was all that quick, infact I completely forgot I'd ordered it!  (OK, so I just checked, and I ordered on the 24th (A Sunday), and I got the 'Dispatched' email on the same day, then my order arrived on Thursday, so not bad, but I've received orders quicker with Feel Unique (free delivery on all orders) and HQ Hair for example..)

When I first applied it, in haste and with excitement, it was over 4 days old OPI Tickle My France-y!  I actually quite liked it over that.  If you love the look of dark nail polish, but are perhaps worried about carrying it off, or you feel your skin tone may not suit, then the Barry M  I.N.E might be the perfect way to try it out as it gives you the overall look of a dark nail polish, but as its not solid it allows your natural nail to peep through, breaking up the whole look.

Oddly, I really enjoyed watching it dry too  In the words of Forrest Gump; "Barry M Instant Nail effects is like a box of chocolates.. You never know what you're gonna get.. "  Sort of!  
The thicker the application, the less it breaks up and the bolder it looks, the lighter the application, the more crackled it appears.. so theres some playing around with this.

What I did find, and this may be because I applied it over old varnish (ie there may have been some oily residue on my nails perhaps) I found that the I.N.E polish wore off on the tips of my nails, this happened on the 2nd day, keeping in mind I applied it very late in the evening the previous night and went straight to bed pretty much, this got steadily worse though and by the 3rd day it was ready to come off.  A proper application of a base coat may well solve this though.

I also found that you have to work fast with it.  The longer you take, the more it begins to thicken.. You can tell that the excess polish on the brush and the bottle rim is thickening up from the moment it hits the air, so I strongly suspect that I won't see half of the polish because it may well become unusable.. again, time will tell on that one, but that is my first impression.

I was expecting it to be glossier than it was, but with some Seche Vite topcoat that one can be solved.

All that said, this is quite a fun thing to have a play around with, and its something pretty new to me..  Although I seem to remember Changing Rooms and Carol smiley - Smillie going through a phase of slapping on a similar crackle paint to everything they encountered!  Does anyone in the UK remember that programme!? lol  ..Trust me, if you didn't get to see it, or aren't from the UK, then you didn't miss a thing!

Today I had another go (in haste as it was a last minute decision.. I know I know, one day I will apply my nail polish in the correct manor!).  
This time I used Glitter Red with the I.N.E over the top.  

(picture taken from the Barry M website)

Theres quite a difference when you apply this over a glitter based polish.. instead of the effect you get with a smooth-non glitter polish (similar to the example given on the bottle, although I should add its not as neat  as that pic in R.L either!), you end up with smaller crackles, crackles that give almost a leopard print look to the nail.

So here it is, and please excuse my really shoddy application.. 

Nail polish is a pretty new experience to me!  It's only in the last  month or so that Ive taken a real interest in it actually.  I've always had plenty of bottles, but have always avoided actually using them because Im so bad at making it look neat.. 'practice makes perfect' though, right!?

Oh, and I also don't recommend you stick silver stars on your pinkie either!!  It was total overkill.. I was just playing around!

I purchased this for £3.95 from the Barry M website here

Heres hoping its not another 50 years before I make another post!
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Friday, 2 July 2010

Decision made..

I've made up my mind on the Clarisonic..

Its a big fat thumbs up!!

I purchased mine from Feel Unique.

After my last post in which I moaned about it and questioned whether I should stick it out, I decided that as I paid so much, and as there was a few other things left to try with it.. tweaking the times I used it, disinfecting it etc, I decided I'd give it more time.

Im sooooo glad I did!

I was using some sterilising fluid on it once a week, I also soaked it in TCP.. which left the brush head with a rather nasty yellow tinge(!), but it felt too much of a faff, so in the end I bought a cheap water spray bottle (49p in Home Bargains!) and I put some Dettol solution inside it (diluted of course, I don't fancy burning my face off!)..

So after each use I rinse off the brush and liberally spray the Dettol on it, I also like to take the extra step of giving it a quick wash before I use it in the evening, it really is a quick wash too as I feel the Dettol has done the work (but I like to be super cautious!).

I stopped using the Clarisonic twice a day too, I now just use it in the evening before bed.  I've kept the timing the same, it is still a 2 minute deep cleanse because I felt 1 minute just wasn't enough for the whole face.

So its either the Dettol'ing(!) or using it less often thats paid off.. or both!

I now go out without foundation, I am using Lancome Flash Bronzer, I apply this before bed.. I would perhaps apply it in the morning but I just hate the tint that it has, it seems to oxidize on me and so by Midday Im a proper Oompa Loompa!
So my make up consists of Rimmel Jet Black eyeliner, Rimmel Flash Mascara, Maybelline Pinky Beige lipstick and some Bourjois blush.. Thats it!  Theres no messing about with foundation anymore, and I like it!

I did feel a little self conscious at first, being seen without foundation in public hasn't happened since I was about 14, but now I dont think anything of it, infact Im quite proud of the fact Im able to do it!

I give the Clarisonic a 10/10, for me its been amazing and Im so glad I stuck out that yucky phase of extra spots (big, sore ones at that), because its been really worth it!  My pores are visibly reduced in size - something I didnt believe was possible, the lines around my mouth have lessened and my skin is much, much clearer and more clarified.  I haven't yet used the products that came with it, I read that a lot of people complained about spots after using the cleanser etc, and as Im happy with my Clearasil Im not too bothered about trying the samples.  I have used the body brush attachment that came with it, I found it was a really good exfoliator and did well at removing the nasty patches of St Moriz build-up!

Would I recommend it?  You bet!

 I know its not something you can just pop out and buy like you would a new lippy, but if you can save for it, or receive it as a generous present, then go for it, you wont regret it!  You do have to change the brush head every 3 months, so thats a further £20 ish every 3-4 months.. But in a way Im now saving money on foundation, Im not wasting money looking for the next H.G cleanser or toner, Im saving money on scrubs etc and I feel Im using less products to cleanse my skin (ie, a smaller pump of cleanser on the brush, less toner after, etc etc).. Next month I will have to replace the brush head, Im not sure whether to purchase the grey brush designed for spot prone skin, or just to go and repurchase the 'normal' one, theres some thinking to do there, but as for the £20, Im not at all bothered about that, I feel that its a small price to pay for my skin looking how I want it to!

My only worry.. is that it might break one day!!  I didnt use it for 3 days and I could really tell the difference in my skin, so I hope it will be kind and give me prior warning if it decides to break!!

If you do think you might purchase this I would recommend holding out for a discount code, or perhaps look around the websites near a Bank Holiday.. I purchased mine with a 15% off code that was emailed to me on the May Bank Holiday, you'll find lots of companies offering B.H discounts, so they could come in handy :)

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Stylish blogger award.

Firstly, a big thank you for the messages you left me on my last post.  I really appreciate every one and it means a lot that you ladies took the time to write them, thank you.

As I've not been logging into this blog for a while I'm only just beginning to catch up on the hundreds of new posts.. I'll get there I'm sure (in a few months!).

Anyway, lovely Louisa at Let Them Eat Cake nominated me for the Stylish Blogger award.  Thank you :)

The "rules" are to write 5 random facts about yourself and then nominate 5 other bloggers..

Heres mine:

  1. My 2nd toe is significantly bigger than my big toe.. Which is slightly scary!
  2. I find it near impossible to know which streets are called what, so whenever anyone says 'Excuse me, can you tell me how I get to...'  I lie and say 'Im sorry, I'm not from around here!  :0/   The only way I know how to get somewhere is by knowing the name of the shop on the street..  Don't get me trying to think about motorways and junctions either..
  3. I'm lactose intolerant.. So I'm the one who licks and sniffs the chocolate.. then puts it back!  (Only kidding!!).  I have tried dairy-free chocolate, but the resemblance to those Good Boy dog drops is uncanny..
  4. After watching Paranormal Activity I can no longer go in my loft!
  5. I moan.  A lot! I can relate to everything that is said on Grumpy Old Women (let me remind you that Im 30.. not 60!)
I tag:

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Friday, 21 May 2010

Clarisonic, my thoughts..

Firstly Im sorry theres been a lack of posts and responses on your blogs, I'm just so busy with Jess that I'm finding it hard to find the time to keeping blogging.. But hopefully things will settle down (I'll keep my fingers firmly crossed on that one, especially as shes ripped my new dress this morning!  Not happy!)


Im pretty sure my Clarisonic Plus arrived on the 7th of May, so Ive been using it for 2weeks now.

The RRP for this is £175 (I used a Bank Holiday promo code and got mine cheaper), so its not something you buy on a whim.. Ive sold plenty on Ebay to pay for mine!!

When I first started using it I got the same glowing, clean, soft pretty skin that everyone else talks about.. I'd never seen my skin so fresh and glowy looking, and the pores, they were visibly reduced like many people reported too.  Winner!

You can  adjust the settings to suit you and you can also adjust the time from 60 seconds (Im sure they think '60 seconds' sounds quicker than '1 minute'!)  Have a quick look on the website here, to see what they say about it.
I use mine morning and night for 2 minutes at a time, I also use the brush head that came with it, I believe its for 'normal' skin.  There are brush heads for sensitive skin, and for spot prone skin.

What can I say..

So far, its that Im glad I didn't rush on here gushing about it and recommending everyone save up for one (like I was going to do!)!  Two weeks in my skin is still glowing.  HOWEVER, I now have the worst case of spots Ive had since I was a teenager!  And funnily enough now I know about it and have googled 'The Clarisonic made my skin worse' I'm not the only one!!
So many people have complained about it around the two week mark.  Several people have blamed it on the cleaners that come with, Ive not touched these.  I did switch to a Clean & Clear gel wash which is more gentle than my Clearasil Ultra as I found I didn't need such a harsh wash anymore as the Clarisonic was doing most of the work getting my pores clean.. But now Ive switched back, not only to be sure its the brush giving me these spots, but also because the Clearsil gets rid of my spots within 3 days, normally!  But not this time!  These spots are the really red, angry, under-the-skin sore types and theyre not in the places Id normally see spots, such as my cheeks and jawline (although they are there too!).  Just this morning Ive woken up with 3 angry red spots on my nose, last night there was 1, now its been joined by 2 friends all lining up towards the bridge of my nose.. and not just there but just under my eyes too.. who gets spots on the bridge of their nose and eyes!?  Theyre also right by my ears, theres a few on my forehead, on my cheeks.. just about everywhere you can think of, and I have one incredibly sore one brewing on my chin.
Ive been extra careful changing my towels and pillow cases etc, tying my hair back at night, not touching my face, cleaning my brushes etc..

So right now my skin is still glowy yet incredibly spotty, so I'm not happy!  Its not really about the money, I know I could get most of it back on Ebay, its more that I'm annoyed it doesn't seem to work for me, and because I know it does shrink my pores, it does leave my skin glowing, I feel even more gutted because Ive had a taster of how good my skin could look!

I guess I stick with it.. But how long do you give it before you call it a day, how bad does my skin have to get before I cant carry on!  Its already pretty sore, quite taut and dry from the spot creams and instead of having nice skin so I could go make up free, I'm having to wear a thicker foundation to cover things up!  Its just not good.

The only thing I can try now is using it once per day at night time to give my skin a rest, and perhaps try spritzing the brush head with Dettol to kill any germs that may be lurking on there..
Some people have complained about it smelling like an old damp towel.. Mine doesnt because I have been cleaning the brush head after use, but I guess it will inevitably be damp so its a possibility theres some germs on there..  We'll see!

I was going to post pics of how clean, fresh and glowing my skin looked, but I didn't take any pictures last week and my skin this week looks pretty different!  I'm too embarrassed to put any on now because it 's just too spotty and not very nice :(  Perhaps when I'm feeling braver I will.. And if the Clarisonic doesnt help in the long run I may just put some up anyway to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with after using it.. That way you can make up your own minds whether you want to risk it or not!

All in all, not happy and Im wondering if glowy skin is a good trade of for spotty skin!??

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Saturday, 8 May 2010

E.L.F Haul

Am I the only one who hates the word 'haul'!??  I just feel it sounds really greedy, like you've raided somewhere in a spending frenzy!??

..Yeah, it's probably just me!

Anyway, on Wednesday I placed my first order with E.L.F (thats 'Eyes Lips Face' for those of you who may live under a rock ;0p  !), up until this point I was an E.L.F virgin!

I don't know why I've never purchased anything from them, it could be in part to them being totally new to me.. You know how it is, when you're 13 you dabble a bit with some Rimmel makeup (my first ever Rimmel item was Heather Shimmer lipstick!  Does anyone remember that purple packaging with the little lever thing they used to have on the side!?    I digress!).. But you kinda grow up with those brands, you learn to know what works, but most importantly you get to try them out in the shops, and I don't believe theres anywhere in the UK where you can play with E.L.F and get to test it out first (feel free to correct me if Im wrong!).
I also think I made up my mind they were a bit too cheapy, not that I dislike cheap, I'm certainly no high-end girl.. but hearing the reviews on Youtube about all these $1 finds from Walmart, just kinda put me off!

But recently Ive been spotting posts in which their Studio Line Powder Brush was used, and all in all I don't think Ive read a bad word about that particular brush.  Then theres the dupes that people speak of, plus I'd also read Rachel's review of foundation primers at  , she said that the ELF primer was the best of the three she tested..  So in the end I decided to give ELF a try!

I purchased:
3 All Over Color Stick's in Pink Lemonade, Golden Peach and Spotlight (Spotlight is supposedly a dupe for Nars Multiple in Copacabana)
Mineral Lipstick - Runway Pink (a dupe for MAC Angel?)
From the Studio Collection:
Powder Brush
Warm Bronzer
High Definition Powder
Mineral Infused Face Primer
Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder  (a dupe for Nars Orgasm/Laguna?)

I can't comment re the dupe factor!  I don't own any of the others to make any real comparisons, but I'm sure with a bit of Googling you could find some swatches and make your own minds up :)

On first impressions I'm very pleased with every item, I'm also impressed at how they were packaged - all nice and neat within a small box, not bouncing around inside a huge wasteful box!  Lastly I'm pleased with the speed in which they were delivered too (less than 24 hours!).

They arrived Thursday morning (super fast delivery!), and last night I had a play with a few things.

Last night I had to go to a party (notice the word 'had' there!) so I used the primer, the HD powder, the contour blush & bronzer and the mineral lippy.

On first impressions I really like the primer, it made my skin feel silky smooth, but I do worry it might leave me with spots as it left a greasy fingerprint on my black Nars lid.  But this is one I'll be using for special occasions, not everyday use, so it should be ok.  What I also noticed is that my face looked a bit greasy 6 hours after application, which is sort of the norm for me, but I find when I use my Nars Sheer Glow on its own it doesnt look that way 6 hrs later, so Im assuming it was the primer..?  More testing me thinks.

The lipstick was a beautiful colour.  I cant carry off nude lipsticks so I found this to be a really pretty pale pink colour, I loved it and it lasted very well.

The contour blush and bronzer.. I liked the bronzer as a contour, I did find it a bit of a hastle to blend, but once Id done that I was v happy with the results... The blush, hmmmm, I'm not so sure.  I need a bit more of a play with it (With them all infact) to make a full informed decision!

The HD powder.. How silky soft is that!  It really gave my face a flawless look and I was very happy with it.

I was very happy with the brush too, so much so I'm going to look into buying some others.

And on a sort of side note, the Clarisonic + Elf primer + Nars sheer glow + Elf HD powder = An AMAZING flawless finish!!
I know thats a lot of product for a base, its certainly a far cry from what I use on a daily basis, but for a night out I'd def recommend giving them a whirl!

Do you have any of these products, which ones do you like?

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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Jess - A single figure countdown!!

When you get to single figures on a countdown, somehow it makes things seem that bit closer!

 It's still 9 days, which feels like a loooong time to me, but I'm focusing on the fact she will be here in 'days' now, not weeks!


(If you were wondering.. No, I dont wear the same denim jacket and gillet all the time!  This photo was taken at the same time as the previous ones!)  :0P
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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

1/2 Price on Boots Original Beauty Formula's

Yesterday I picked up a few bits from the Boots Original Beauty Formula's range.

(Pictured: Cleansing Milk Now £1.94 from £3.89)

The ones I saw in the teeny tiny Boots we have were all half price, although it does say 'selected' on the site. As they didn't have that much in I only picked up a few bits, but at home I placed an online order for the cleansing milk and vanishing cream, which I will collect in store to save on the delivery charge..

Anyway, heres the linky if youre interested :)

Have you tried these yet, did you like them?

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L'Oreal True Match minerals. A (scary) before & after.

****Warning!  Contains scary photographs of naked skin and a zombified woman! ****

This was a last minute decision, I suddenly decided to show you a before and after of L'Oreal True Match Minerals this morning!

Currently I'm using this in W3.

Coming up is the (scary) before picture..  I'd only been awake for about 5 minutes!  I have no fake tan on my face at the moment and all I'd done was wash my face, then swiped over with my clearasil deep pore treatment pads, after that I applied some Panoxyl 5 (for my hormonal spots) and then concealed my under eye circles with Maybelline Mineral concealer in Natural (I know I still have a bit of a panda eye going on, but I'm too scared of that ASDA eye makeup remover and I dont have anymore yet!).

It was at this point I thought somehow it would be a good idea to take some photos!?

(Sorry for looking half asleep and dog rough!)

And this is after I'd applied the True Match.  I tend to be a lit lazy and use the brush provided instead of my kabuki brush.  I swirl the brush in some powder, tap off the excess then buff it on:

Its done a fair job on my uneven skintone I think (and those odd dark patches of skin around my eyes and forehead).  Like I've said before though I'm unhappy with how much it accentuates my pores (you can clearly see them on my cheeks especially).  But I think all in all it looks OK, I could've chosen something with a fuller coverage that works better with my pores, but as I just needed to be ready for the school run I didn't see the point.  You probably can't see but I have a few spots here and there (on my cheeks) - thanks to my monthly friend, and the True Match has covered them well without the need to conceal any further.

These pictures should prove useful when my Clarisonic arrives though.  At the moment my skin isn't in good condition.. I've always had very visible, open pores, but at the moment my skin has dry patches (from the clearasil and Panoxyl), and at the moment my skin is pretty hormonal..  So we shall see if theres any sort of improvement!

And thanks to my bright ideas of photographing myself that close up, Ive decided I feel quite old!!   I no longer have the skin of an 18 year old (funny that eh, considering I'm 30!?!).. but those lines on my forehead and the ones from nose to mouth.. Urgh, if I were rich Id probably be thinking about some botox round about now!!

I hope Ive not made anyone feel too ill!

Have a lovely day :)

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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

So excited, I may just pee my pants!

I'm counting down the days for the delivery of this lil delight..

For those of you that dont know what it is, its the Clarisonic!  Oh yeah baby!!

Whoohoo, come on Mr Postie!!
[ ... ]

"Feel the burn"

You've heard of that saying, right?

Its probably all well and good saying it whilst you're busting your hump down the gym.. But saying it while you take off your eye makeup?  I don't think so!

I was trying out good old olive oil as an eye makeup remover, but sadly I don't have the patience of a saint!   I can't sit there whilst it dissolves the first layer, then go through a million pads whilst it takes the rest of my mascara off.  What can I say, I just don't like to faff around!

Whilst I was doing my weekly shop online I had a look at the makeup removers.  I spotted my old time favourite L'Oreal one, but as it had been put up in price I skipped it!  (I normally only pay £2 for this from Asda).  I also saw a Rimmel one, a Simple one and Asda's own brand.  Id not heard great things about Rimmels, so it was a close call between ASDA's own and the Simple!

On this occasion ASDA won me over with its £1.73 price tag!  Sometimes the cheapies come up trumps..

Dont let that cheap yet clinical white bottle deceive you, right there is a little bottle of battery acid! (alright, maybe not actual acid, but it might as well be the real deal on my skin!)

Yep people, that stuff BURNS!

OK, I wasn't left with 2nd degree burns, nothing even close, but my goodness it really was painful and it did leave the skin around my eyes red and sore!

My skin isn't what Id consider sensitive, my eye area wasn't dry and had no broken skin, and yet within seconds of sweeping the lotion over my eye it set of a big burning sensation!  That burning feeling lasted for ages until it dried.. I know, any normal person would have been running for the wash basin!  Maybe I'm a masochist, but I waited until it dried (all that was missing from the picture was a wooden stick between my teeth!)

Now Ive heard great things about ASDA's nail polishes, some of their makeup line and I myself am a fan of their clothes, but this products gets a huge thumbs down from me!
[ ... ]

Monday, 3 May 2010

My perfume collection..

I guess I have quite a few perfumes, but theres only perhaps one that I would repurchase!  Some I keep to remind me of nice moments or people, some of which I just need to use up and bin!

 I think that over the years my likes in perfumes have changed and there arent all that many that I really must have.  I tend to get bored easily too, so its worthwhile that I only buy 30ml bottles from now on!

I used to only wear perfume when I was going somewhere special too, and I found myself 'saving it for best'!  Which is probably why I have so many, any normal person would have used them up considering how long they've been sat there!  But Ive began wearing them more and more recently, if only to get rid of some and get some space(!), I also have found that a few are on their way out, theyve started going off and simply need to get used.. Part of this problem was them being stored in a basket, now theyre out where I can properly see them (Although still in a dark corner to conserve them).

I'm not going to attempt to describe the notes of these fragrances, that would be laughable if I were to try.. But all the same, someone might enjoy being nosy at my collection!


Right at the front left is Giorgio Beverly Hills, Ocean Dream.
Theres a teeny tiny bit of orangy yellow perfume left at the bottom!  Its in no way usable as its about 15 years old!  I just keep it because it was the first perfume ever given to me and I like to smell it from time to time, nice memories and all that!

Behind that is Jordans Stunning, the cheapy dupe for Dior's Miss Cherie!
Now, I did buy this from Ebay so it could be old (Im sure on the box there was a 2008 date on it?), or it could've been stored badly.. Or it could just smell this way on me!  But Im not that keen on it.  It doesn't last and its not that clean or crisp smelling, and yet its not totally musky too.. its kind of an icky inbetween!  Seeing as lots of people love it I will assume mine is a little off because I feel something isn't right with it.  As for the cheapness of the plastic bottle and its badly fitting lid, urgh!  This is definately one to be kept off display!

Behind that is Matthew Williamson, Sheer.
Now I took a punt on this one after I saw Laura (Lollipop26) rave about it being one of her favorite perfumes, so I hunted it down online and bought it..  What can I say, perhaps just that Im thankful I only spent £7 on it!  I just dont like it, I also find it doesn't last that long.

Behind that is Giorgio Armani, She.
An Ok fragrance, again Ive had this a while and I think the novelty has worn off with it.  I think its more of an Autumn or evening fragrance, it does last well too, Im just not in love with it and am in the process of using it up.

Behind that Giorgio Armani, Mania.
I really really liked this when it was given to me, but Im just keeping the last bit of it as a reminder!  My Dad bought it for me when he went on holiday, and I'm a bit weird in that sometimes I can't throw things away.. And as far as perfumes are concerned I always like a bit left as a reminder!

Next to that, with the flat top lid is Calvin Klein Eternity.
I used to LOVE this.. Now?  Not so much, and luckily theres only a little left to use up.

Next to that is Hugo Boss Deep Red.
I like this too, its a fragrance I turn to in the evenings or Winter as its quite musky.. Again, this was a present from my Nanna, so its likely a bit of this will get left over!

The tall orange bottle is Kenzo Amour.
My fiance bought this for me, and if Im totally honest (Sshhh), I dont like it all that much!  I told him I like it though and I tend to wear it around him because he likes the scent of it, but for me I feel its a scent for someone older than me.. (Thats just my opinion, so dont bash me if you're only 18 and you love it!)

Next to that is Cerruti 1881.
I used to wear this all the time when I was about 18 through 21, I loved it.  I bought it again when I was about 28 and I discovered Im not that in love with it anymore!  I used to get a lot of compliments when I wore it, but not so much anymore and I dont think I would repurchase.  A classic maybe, but its just not for me.

Infront of 1881 in the little red bottle is Cacharel Amore Amore...
My most recent one.  Again, another evening or Autumn/Winter musky fragrance.  I like it, but I dont love it and so Im doubtful Id repurchase.

Next to 1881 are my 2 Gucci perfumes.
The brown one is another musky scent, the pink one is more floral and girly - a good Summertime fragrance.

Next to the pink Gucci, in a dome shaped bottle is Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet.
I like this, its nice and quite strong, it also lasts well and I think its quite a unique fragrance.

The bottle with atomizer in the middle is Britney Spears Curious..
I'm not completely sold on this (Which is unfortunate considering theres about 99ml left!).  I don't know why, I liked it at first but I'm just not overly keen, it also only lasts a matter of hours too.  I do want to try Fantasy as Ive heard its a nice fragrance.

Right at the front is Thierry Mugler Angel.
My all time favourite!  This lasts the whole day, it smells wonderful and is probably the only one I will adore for a long time to come!  I always get nice compliments when I wear it, it makes me feel feminine and dare I say it, a little bit sexy!  I love the bottle too, its so pretty!  This is probably the one I would recommend to anyone!

I would like a nice, fresh, girly Summer fragrance, is there any you recommend?

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Saturday, 1 May 2010

April favourites

In April I mainly rediscovered some old faves!

I know its a bit naughty of me to rave about things you cant buy in the shops anymore, but rest assured Ebay will come up trumps for the oldies but goodies!

I went back to minimal makeup towards the end of the month, I got so tired to trying out looks that just didnt really suit me, getting fed up and not enjoying wearing makeup.  So I figured why not try out what used to make me happy, and it worked!

Does anyone remember those Maybelline Lip Express pencils!?   They're a lipstick and liner in one, I used to buy them in Superdrug and they were fab!  I was gutted when they discontinued them, but luckily they've popped up over the years in the cheapy online makeup stores and also on Ebay.  I have several of them, a couple (mainly the nude ones) are pretty drying, but the one I keep repurchasing is 02 Keep Mauving.
I dont apply it like a lipstick, I dot it on my lips and blend it in with my finger to create a stain effect.  I love it!

In the centre of my lips I apply a shimmer gloss to make my lips appear fuller, my all time fave is Barry M 02, an iridescent  pale pink.

My favourite blush for April is Bourjois 95 Rose De Jaspe.  Ive tried a few blushers and bronzers recently, but I tend to keep coming back to this one, I just find it works well for me.

I also fancied a purple liner one day so I pulled out my old(ish) Loreal Colour Endure pencil in Wine.
I just love the colour of this, its a kind of plum purple with a slight metallic sheen.  I just really like how it looks next to green eyes, and somehow it makes my eyes appear whiter.. My one gripe with this though, it just doesnt last!  If I could find the same colour in gel form I would be one happy laydee!!

L'Oreal True Match Minerals.  I can go from loving this, to hating it, probably in the space of a week!  But when my skin is behaving (ie not acting like an oil slick!) I love this and Ive been using it a fair bit - L'Oreal True Match Minerals (powder), in W3 (at the moment!).  I know I'll moan about it one week and complain how it never stays on, but when my skin isn't so bad I will go back to it and love it once again!
I do love the coverage, its not powdery or chalky like the Maybelline ones, its a great match for my skin tone and it does give a nice glow/slight sheen to the skin.  But on the days where I have a bit too much oil, I hate it because it just doesnt stay put!!

Ive been loving my St Moriz too (I forgot to put it in the photograph!)!  Prior to this I was using Loreal Sublime Bronze, and that was ok, it gave a nice colour, but I found it was a bit smelly and at times it felt a little bit tacky after application, the St Moriz doesnt feel like that at all, it sinks in and feels like your skin normally would.
Im so happy I found this tanner, its a bargain, it applies really well with a mitt, it lasts well and I find I get the deepness in one application that I would previously have gotten with two to three with the Loreal one!  Having said that, I wouldnt recommend the spray version!  I dont know whether its me and Ive bought a dud, but I find I get a mist combined with big blobs splurting out too.  Im sure I will do a review on it soon, once I figure out the best way to work it!

And last but not least my Phyto products!  I ADORE these!
Im not going to lie and say I now have Jennifer Aniston hair, but Im so happy with the condition its in at the moment!  For me its the softest its been since I was about 15 and hadnt yet battered my hair with colourants!  15 years of colouring sure takes its toll, obviously it gets a cut(!!), but it never gets more than a few months break from colouring, and sadly, now Im old enough to start accepting/liking what Ive got, Ive now got no choice but to dye it.. thank you first grey hairs!  In my opinion the Phyto products are expensive, but I have a bathroom cabinet FULL of cr*p products that didnt live up to anything, so this for me is something Im happy to invest in :)

What are your faves from April?

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Friday, 30 April 2010

George ASDA & HQ Hair codes.

Why is it, that the day AFTER I placed orders with both companies I receive discount codes, its just typical!  Still, my loss can be someone elses gain!

A few places are offering free delivery or discount codes over the Bank Holiday, two of those companies are George at ASDA and HQ Hair.

George as ASDA are offering free delivery to your home for orders over £25.  That code is: 'bankhol'
Ends midnight 4.5.2010

HQ Hair are offering 15% off all orders.  That code is: HQHAPPY.
Ends midnight 4.5.2010

Oh, and don't forget your free Nails Inc polish with this months In Style (£3.60 for the magazine)!  I haven't got my hands on one yet, fingers crossed my local shop has one in stock (unlikely!!)

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