Thursday, 14 December 2017

Cheryl X L'Oreal Matte Lip Kits

I am a sucker for a good lip kit. The idea of having a lipstick with the perfect matching lip liner all packaged up together in one little neat box makes me really happy, and whilst that may be quite sad, I reckon there a lot of people out there who feel the same.

Way back in October, I saw Cheryl Tweedy Fernandez Cole Payne had collaborated with L'Oreal to create three lip kits, and I was very excited to give them a try. Although I'm not a huge lover of Cheryl herself, I do like L'Oreal products and think they are starting to become a more luxurious drug store brand.

The packaging of the kits are very reminiscent of the lip kits from a certain reality star from the K Klan, and whilst they're one coloured dribble away from being the exact same, I do think they look really lovely with the metallic swipes.

Looking at the colours, I thought Burgundy would be a sure win, Greige would be a beautiful alternative winter colour, and the peach colour would be too light for my fair skin giving me the good old foundation lips look.
With the fabulous Boots 3 for 2 offer though, I thought I may as well pick all three up so I could try the whole collection. At £10 each, I think six lip products for £20 isn't half bad!

As it is the berry lip season, we will start with the Burgundy kit.

Packaging wise, it is fair to say this collection is very instagrammable. The actual lip wand is a curved shape so it slides against the actual shape of the lip making application easy.

Swatching the colours on my skin alarmed me slightly as the colours seemed a lot browner than I imagined. The lip pencil itself was basically a rusty blood colour which I wasn't expecting.

The first time I wore this kit, I used the liner around the edge of my lip as you would! The lip colour was completely gone within an hour, and I went back and read that you need to use the liner as a base to the lip colour which I think is a little annoying.

Matte lipstick in general are meant to be long wearing and almost a little too hard to remove. They actually don't dry very matte at all and still remain fairly shiny. The fact these colours need the liner as the base would make me say these cannot be classified as a matte lip paint.

As you can see from the images the liner is a little bit smudgy. These liners are a cream formula which are always a little harder to get precise, so the final look is not very sharp.

Verdict: I would say this isn't really a burgundy colour and more of a black cherry. Both products are  called 'Stripped Brown' (a Liam Payne reference perhaps), so this is obviously meant to be more brown toned which is a bit unusual as it is branded as a burgundy lip kit?! As this was the colour Cheryl designed and customised herself, I have to say I was a little disappointed. Perhaps on darker skin tones the red comes out a little more, but on me  it is a little too deep. 

I don't think I found my Autumnal deep red lip here!

Let's see if Greige can save the day!

On my first overall observation, I have to say this is a very unusual colour. I absolutely love a bold statement lip, but I still don't know if I actually like this or not. One thing  I can definitely say is that it is intriguing.

Swatched on the hand it looked a lot more pinky than I imagined, with the liner being slightly cooler. Both the products are called 'nude-ist' which I think is a little odd as they are certainly not like any other nude I have ever seen!

This is also a perfect point to mention that the end of my liner for the Greige kit was a little smushed, and whilst this would never usually be a problem, these are plastic applicators with no spin up so you can't sharpen these liners which is really really annoying! Once the tiny little tips are gone on these, that is the whole liner redundant. I only managed to get two wears out of this lip kit because of this, so I have to say that was a little disappointing.

So what does the combo look like on? Well, like I said, I still don't know if I like it or not. It is very cool toned and I feel lit makes me look like I'm halfway to a goth, but there is something I do like about it. The colour really is like nothing I have ever seen on the market, and I think on the right person this would look absolutely stunning (like Cheryl obvs).

Verdict: I still have no idea!

So finally is the peach lip kit, and as I said earlier, I really thought this kit wouldn't suit my skin tone.

The peach liner called 'Gone with the Nude' looks a little too orange for me however the lip colour, 'Babe-in' was slightly cooler toned. I find it a little unusual how the products in this lip kit are called different names and in the others they are the same, but that is just a little observation.

When on, I actually really loved this colour and would probably say it is my favourite of the three.  My only irk with it is that it is a very thin formula, and as you can see from these pictures it is a little streaky and not full coverage.

Verdict: Although it is the safest colour from the collection, this one has to be a win from me!

My final opinion on the collection has to be a little over rated if I'm honest. I am disappointed at the level of quality from L'Oreal products, and feel they could have done a lot better all around. I think maybe too much has gone into showcasing Cheryl as the face of the collection and not enough has gone into the actual quality of the products. Although £10 a kit isn't bad, I felt that labelling these as matte kits is very wrong as none of these had a matte finish at all.
One good aspect of Cheryl facing the collection is that some proceeds go to the charity she supports, the Princes Trust.

In conclusion, I would say donate some money to the charity alone and treat yourself to Kylie's kits instead.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I first published this post in 2013 and since then, Ciate have really made their mark on not only the nail industry but also makeup. Unfortunately, I believe their 'wow kits' are now discontinued, however I think you can still find them in the depths of the internet!

As this is now discontinued, it feels a little silly bringing back this post, however I have fallen back in love with this nail kit so thought I'd show it off and hope they bring it back!

 The kit comes with a base colour, three sheets each of four different colour foil, glue, and a manicure wheel for you to practice on. I thought that was really good value for money, at £18.

I started with the base coat 'pepperminty', which in itself, is a really nice fresh colour.

After a couple of layers, I was ready for foiling! I practiced on the wheel first to get the right technique. You randomly dab the glue and wait a couple of minutes for it to go tacky, and then place the foil shiny side up, rub and whip of really quickly. I used the 'waxing strip' technique. After that, I kept on layering...

After gold I used blue

then red

and finally silver. I also did another layer of blue as I thought it was the most striking of the colours.

And Voila!

At the beginning, I was being quite careful, but after half an hour I was being quite rough with it and found that worked better! Altogether it took me about 1 hour to do all fingers in four foils. Personally, I thought it looked better with fewer colours, and I will probably use the 'less is more' approach in future. Its a really effortless look that looks really interesting. It also lasts really well! I've had my foil manicure on for a week now and haven't had any trouble. When using some heavy duty cleaning products some of the foil wiped of but otherwise its all in tact. When using the foils, I went right up to the edges of the sheets so still have loads of foil left over. A very good investment and interesting kit from Ciate. 

I have also done this with a darker colour underneath and got a lovely finish better for Autumn/ Winter

Monday, 6 November 2017

October Favourites 2017

Hello there readers!

Today I am going to be doing my October favourites as I feel like I fell at the first hurdle after saying in my August favourites post that I would try and do it every month then neglected to do so straight away in September. My excuse is that the end of September was taken up largely by my  Coffee post which kind of acted as the post for that month as I was trying those bits out, so I am going to let myself off the hook.

Anyway. I'll put my excuses aside!

I haven't got a huge amount of products to show this month as the switch in warm to cold weather has reeked havoc on my skin, so makeup and skincare have been minimal. The products I have been using though have been used a lot, so without further ado, here are my October favourites.

As I mentioned above, the change in weather has caused my skin to become very dry, prone to spots, and I also have flaky almost eczema like rashes on my eye lids (attractive I know). I have been sticking to my usual Beauty Pie skincare but have added in a couple of extra steps to keep my skin looking as good as it can! I have spoken about this product before, as in January I was really suffering badly with my skin. I bought this Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5, Deciem and it cleared up my skin within a week. Once again, I have reached for this product everyday the last few weeks and it has improved any aggressive, painful and red spots and reduced them considerably. For such a small price tag, I would highly recommend the Ordinary to anyone who fancies a little dabble with the products available.

As my skin hasn't been it's best, I have been trying to avoid makeup as I feel it actually clings to the dryness and makes my skin look worse. Espcially around my eyes, I have been avoiding all eye makeup apart from mascara as my eyes feel so dry and agitated. However when my skin has been particularly bad and I have had no option but to cover it up with makeup, this No28 Primer Serum, £55.80, Hourglass has been the perfect hydrating base to make sure no foundation clings onto dry skin. I find primers often make the skin feel drier whereas this makes your skin really soft and almost a little oily which I find makes my makeup blend better. Another thing I love about this product is the smell. It has a really natural botanical smell and it makes me feel confident that the product is feeding my skin the healthy vitamins it needs. It contains 28 beneficial ingredients to feed skin to make it look hydrated, luminous, and healthy.

As my lips have been really dry, I have found lipstick hasn't been looking great and a bit patchy (I sound like the flakiest person in the world from this post). My natural lip colour is very pale so I do feel like I need to have something on them to make them look more defined. I have been using this Lip Glow, £21.25, Dior colour reviver balm as it naturally brings out the colour of your natural lips to make them look bolder but also hydrate like a balm. It works with your skin tone and just intensifies the look of your natural lip meaning you don't have to wear lipstick and you just have the feeling of balmy, soft lips.

Next is a fragrance and I have been absolutely loving which is Amber Rose, £55, Shay & Blue. I remember when Shay & Blue had just come out as I was working in a fragrance department. The creator behind the brand is a man called Dom De Vetta who used to be the global manager for Jo Malone and senior Vice President at Chanel. He wanted to create a beautiful boutique brand and he discovered Julie Masse, a 20 year old perfumer who had a flair for creating modern and unique fragrances. Paired together, they have gone on to create this really cute, niche brand which create genuinely lovely fragrances at affordable prices. They only do 100ml and 30ml fragrances, and they are so reasonably priced as they look so expensive.
 I am not a huge lover of Rose alone, and I think these days a rose fragrance needs to have something about it on order to survive on the fragrance market, and this rose and amber fragrance is the perfect balance of sweet and sultry and I have been loving it recently. It isn't necessarily an autumn winter fragrance, I have just found myself reaching for it time and time again.

Lastly is another product that will help with any lack lustre nails this winter time. I am trying to use oil as my nails as I have become a little bit lazy with nail care when it used to be a big part of my night time routine. Nail oils will stop your nails going dry which will stop them peeling and will result in evenly applied, longer lasting nail varnish which is what you want when you're wearing darker, berry shades of nail varnish this season usually requires. Usually in the summer with lighter colours you won't notice a small chip but daker colour can look very scruffy very quickly so regular nail care is a must do, plus it will moisturise the skin around the nail and stop any painful hang nails.
This nail oil is from an Australian brand called Sienna which is a vegan, non toxic, cruelty free brand. The only sell their oil in a set and unfortunately we do not have these products in the UK, but any type of nail oil will suffice and I have found the Phenomenon oil by Jessica is a great one to use!

What products have you been going for this Season?
Do you have any tips or product recommendations for dry skin, particularly around the eye?

Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween Nails 2017

Hello everyone!
Once again it is that spooky time of year when being a little bit outrageous is considered ok.

Whilst  I won't be doing any dressing up myself this year, you know I never miss an opportunity to get a bit creative with some nail art!

Here are four fun Halloween nail looks to try this year!

Vampire Fangs

I found a tutorial on this online and decided to do my own version, but they ended up being a nightmare on this occasion. Rule one is to stick to the instructions.

I used a black base then tried to do the teeth first but it turns out it is much easier doing the lips and finish with the fangs! Using a nail art pen, I defined each individual tooth to give these nails some bite!

Pumpkin Nails 

These nails are really easy to do as long as you have the right tools! I used a yellow base then ombred the yellow and orange together with a sponge. Once they dried, I used a nail art pen to add a spooky face to each nail to create a gang of Jack O'Lanterns.

Green Slime

Another really easy design to recreate. I used a black base again and used a matte top coat to make the slime look slimier when it went on. Then I used my toxic green nail varnish from Jessica and just randomly painted drips from the cuticle downwards.

Bat Nails

Lastly are some nails leftover from my pumpkin base. I didn't have the dexterity to do more pumpkins so went for some bat nails inspired by I Scream Nails (a very apt name for this time of year).

If you think you will try your hand at some Halloween nail art, let me know which designs are your fave!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Lush Halloween 2017

Halloween is fast approaching and recently I was invited to my local Lush store in Tunbridge Wells for the Halloween and Christmas showcase. If i'm honest, the event was more focused towards Christmas so I will show you the Christmas bits in a separate post, but for now my head is firmly on Halloween so read on if you want to see what they have in store!

I just bought a few of my favourite bits for myself and my family but if you want to have a look at the whole range then go here

The first thing I bought is the 'Bunch of Hocus Pocus', £19.95 set as I felt it had a good selection from the Halloween collection. It contains the Dark Arts Jelly Bomb, £4.95, A miniature Lord of Misrule Shower Gel, 250g £10.95 or 500 £17.95, and the Bewitched Bubble Bar, £4.25 which I realise now adding it up isn't actually a great deal.

 Usually you can expect to make a saving of some sort with gift sets but considering you're paying a surplus of nearly £10 for the shower gel which is a miniature and the cat knot wrap, it may actually be wiser to get them separately! Anyway, I've bought and used them all now so I can't change that but let it be a heads up to you!

On another not so positive note, I have to say the first product from the set was a huge flop for me so I'll get it over and done with first!

Lush have now brought out a range of Jelly bombs, which fizz and marbel like a normal bath bomb, but leave the top layer of your bath feeling like jelly. I'm sure they already have jelly bath products so they have merged the two together to create these jelly bombs. I was really excited to try my Harry Potter inspired dark arts jelly bomb, and the smell was absolutely amazing, probably my favourite from all the Halloween bits. It has spicy cinnamon leaf and brazilian orange oils which are lovely and warming for this time of year.
I plopped it in the bath and watched it fizz and a surprise red flash of colour came from the centre.

The jelly bomb texture was really strange, and when I touched it, (sorry I'm not one to sit and watch a bath bomb I have to pick it up and play) it felt really slimy. Unfortunately this sliminess didn't really go, and the jelly bomb was having a real problem dissolving. I ended up having to squeeze the bomb apart whilst there were still huge chunks floating around that never dissolved and were still there when I emptied the bath. Not to mention the staining from the product too. Nothing permanent, but my skin had black blotches as did the bath so I had to have another shower the following day to wash it off, and also have a wipe down the bath after the bomb which isn't what you want to do once you have relaxed.

It is also worth mentioning that this jelly bomb made my bath really slippery too so if you do try any of the jelly bombs, do be careful!

I was so dissapointed with my experience of this jelly bomb I checked a few YouTube videos and some reviews on their website and it seems like a lot of people have also had this problem, so maybe the jelly bomb formulation still needs a bit of work.
The Lush team demonstrated the Christmas jelly bomb in store at the event and it didn't have the slimy feel so it could be something to do with the ingredients in this particular jelly bomb. One positive from this jelly bomb was the pretty glitter, which made my bath look like a galaxy.

Next is the Bewitched bubble bar which you can get a few uses out of. The idea with the bubble bars is to tear off chunks and run them under the tap to create a more traditional bubble bath.

Compared to the dark arts jet black bath, this doesn't look very impressive, but I didn't have to wash the bath out afterwards so that is good enough for me! Whilst I do feel guilty pulling apart this cute kitty, it smells of sweet blackberry and is really soothing and bubbly. 

Finally from the set is the Lord of Misrule shower gel which I have to say has gone a funny texture. It looks as though mine has been shaken and has loads of air bubbles where as the products in the shops are a much more vivid slime green which really drew me to it.

I am a big fan of sensual spicy scents so this shower cream is well suited to me. It as spicy black pepper and patchouli and it really lasts on the skin all day. I love using this in the morning if I want to wear my Escentric Molecule 01 perfume as it works well with the sandalwood base.
This is a very earthy smell so if you are someone who likes sweetness this won't be for you.

Of course with the set you also get the little cat knot wrap which when tied right gives you the illusion of cat ears.

So now moving onto the individual products I picked up. Firstly, is the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, £3.95. I couldn't resist this because I just loved the smell of the shower gel. It is pretty much the same smell as the shower gel but this adds a bit more drama to bath time.

This is a slow melting bath bomb which reveals a bright red centre

The marbling effect is really pretty and by the end the green foam vanishes and you are left with what quite literally looks like a blood bath.. very Halloween!

Last but of course by no means least is the orange Pumpkin bath bomb, £4.25. Whilst this isn't the most dramatic bath transformation I have ever experienced you cant resist the way his little pumpkin head looks staring at you in the shop. He smells of orange zest and gently fizzs leaving your bath looking like an orange soda dream. It isn't a creamy consistency, it just transforms the colour of the water, but I'm ok with.

Here are a few other pictures from the event of some of the other Halloween products they currently have on offer.

The Metamorphosis bath bomb is one I have had before and absolutely loved! It had a heady myrrh and black pepper scent which fizzes into a cinnamon treat and the hard black exteriour transforms into such a beautiful mix of colours.

Another jelly bomb from Halloween is Ectoplasm Jelly bomb, £4.95 which again from reviews on the website looks like people have had slight problems with. The video on the website shows this bursting into a green fizz which looks really exciting, it has tangerine and grapefruit so is a really citrussy bomb.

Of course there are the legendary pink and orange glitter pumpkins which have been brought back every year!

So that concludes the Lush Halloween 2017 collection. As I said there are a few more items which haven't been pictured here but I hope it has inspired you to have a few spooky soaks!