Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Body Shop Cucumber Water - A Review

I bought this a few months ago when The Body Shop was having one of their many deals so I think I only paid a couple of pounds for it.  You can see it here, where it is currently on sale for £2 (plus if you have a body shop card you can get an extra 10% off).  

I'll be honest, this was a total impulse buy because I knew I needed toner.  I have never found a toner that I completely love so I don't tend to stick to one brand.  This lives on my bedside table and I have enjoyed using this before I go to sleep.  It smells divine, like cucumbers shockingly, and generally feel refreshing to use.  It isn't a luxury product and doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is but it does what it says on the tin.  It probably isn't the best toner for me as I sometimes suffer from dry skin and I do feel that this makes my skin feel a little tight straight after I use it.  I try to put moisturizer on before bed anyway so this isn't really a problem for me, if anything it helps me remember to put it on.

So would I buy it again? Yeah I think I would, I'm half way through my current bottle and if a different toner doesn't catch my eye in the meantime I would get another bottle.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Beauty Chart - Introduction

Each month I will be letting you know the things that I have been loving.  This isn't going to be limited to beauty, fashion, websites and random items which have been making me happy will also be featured here.  My love of music (and Top of the Pops - sob) means that I will be displaying these as a Top 10, with Number 1 being my must-have of the month.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Set - A Review

I have been meaning to try the much hyped Urban Decay 24/7 liner so ages so when I saw them for a rather bargainous price on Fragrance Direct I snapped them up straight away.  You can still get this set from them here for just £11.99.  I have worn each shade at least once since I got them and they are all incredible in terms of pigmentation and the way they last.  You have about 30 seconds in which to smudge them if you want to but after that they will not budge.  Its incredible.

The above swatches show from L-R: Perversion, Ransom, Woodstock, Radium and Junkie

Perversion is the most amazing black eyeliner ever - FACT (according to me).  It is one of the strongest blacks I have ever seen and most importantly it doesn't smudge.  It lasted over 12 hours on me without fading or giving me panda eyes.  It may have lasted even longer if I hadn't taken it off before bed.

Ransom is a really nice deep purple.  I have worn this quite a lot when I don't have a lot of time to do my makeup but want to look as if I have made an effort.  I like to wear this for doing evening eyes without the classic black.

Woodstock isn't a colour I would have bought individually but I have worn it, I think it might end up being one that only really comes out for fancy dress but that is mainly due to the fact that I don't think pink on the eyes suits me.

Radium is another one which isn't really 'me' but it is a stunning colour.  This will probably get some wear but not a huge amount.  I think I need to be a bit more adventurous and wear brighter colours such as this.  Especially with eyeliner as it is a relatively 'safe' way to wear brights.

Junkie may be my favourite colour.  It is the most divine emerald green with really subtle shimmer.  It is amazing in real life, really complex, pictures do not do it justice.  This is another one which is lovely to wear to define the eyes without wearing the classic blacks/ browns etc.

Overall this set has been a bit of a bargain.  Even if I never use Woodstock and Radium the other liners only work out at about £4 each.  Considering the fact that full sized 24/7 liners (0.04 oz) retail at £13 each to get a set of 5 travel sized liners (0.03 oz each) for £11.99 is wonderful value.

Favourite Fall (Autumn) Nails - Dupes and Alternatives

I love nail varnish, it is somewhat of an addiction for me.  Every season I like to pull out a few which I think I will be wearing more than any others.  It makes it that little bit easier to decide on a nail colour in a rush.  I thought I would show you six colours that I think will be living on my nails for the next few months.  Due to the fact that I have a ridiculous amount of nail polishes I have been able to find cheaper dupes and good alternatives to my more expensive polishes. All are shown with one coat and no top coat. 

Here we have my more expensive picks for Autumn.  L-R: China Glaze - Recycle, OPI - Gouda Gouda Two Shoes , OPI - Big Apple Red , Nails Inc - Piccadilly Circus, Nails Inc - New Burlington Place, China Glaze - Agro.  These all have an rrp of over £10 but can probably be found for less if you shop around.

These are their lower priced counterparts.  L-R: Barry M - Grey, Revlon - Endless Possibilities, Revlon - All Fired Up, Barry M - Raspberry, Models Own - Pinky Brown Beetle Juice, Models Own - Golden Green Beetle Juice.  These are all under £10, with most being around the £5 mark.

Now on to the swatches and comparisons. (Warning: Picture Heavy)

First up we have the greys.  I love grey nail polish, to me it feel like the kind of rebellion that is acceptable for work.  I love pairing grey nail polish will really girly dresses.  For the swatches you can see Barry M (grey) on the left and China Glaze (recycle) on the right.  They are different but unless you a nail polish obsessive like myself you probably don't need both.  They both had lovely formulas so on this instance I would say save your pennies and go for Barry M.

Next up is neutrals.  These are the classic nudes that every girl needs in her collection, after all the brights of summer I always crave these colours as soon as the leaves start to change.  For the swatches you can see Revlon (endless possibilities) on the left and OPI (gouda gouda two shoes) on the right.  These colours are very different in my opinion. The OPI can seem a little 'old ladyish'  but it does have a lovely subtle gold shimmer.  The Revlon is a beautiful girly pink.  So I would just go for whichever appeals more to you.

I love red nails, I know they can polarise opinion but I just think they look really sexy when done right.  for ages I have been on the hunt for the perfect red which is still not over.  I like both of these but they are both slightly too bright for me to promote them to holy grail status.  On the swatch you can see Revlon (all fired up) on the left and OPI (big apple red) on the right.  I cannot see a difference between these colours  I would go as far as to say they are dupes.  However I much prefer the Revlon formula so I would definitely go for that one.

Berry tones are a wonderful way to give your look an Autumnal feel.  The swatch colour is more accurate than the bottle colour here.  The swatch shows Nails Inc (piccadilly circus) on the left and Barry M (raspberry) on the right.  Again these both had flawless formulas and are near enough the same colour.  Another money saver from Barry M.

I love the beautiful shimmering colours.  The swatch is Models Own (pinky brown) on the left and Nails Inc (new burlington place) on the right.  The swatch doesn't do these justice, they are are both beautiful complex colours.  The Models Own is darker and more purple whereas the Nails Inc is more pink and orange.  The Nails Inc applied slightly better and is my favourite of the two, however it depends on what you prefer colour wise.   

 Lastly is the moss greens.  Another classic Autumn colour.  The swatch shows Models Own (golden green) on the left and China Glaze (agro) on the right.  I much preferred the formula of the China Glaze and like that it is darker in colour.  However the Models Own has a lovely golden shine.  They are sufficiently different to own both but if you were to pick one I would recommend the China Glaze.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

NOTD - Colville Mews and Luxe and Lush

Today's NOTD is a rather girly one.  I wore this combo to a recent wedding as it was subtle but a little bit special.   I think you could probably get away with wearing this to work if they weren't too fussy about nail colours and finishes.  To do it I used Nails Inc's Colville Mews, China Glaze's Luxe and Lush and No7's Stay Perfect.

Firstly I put on a coat of Nails Inc's Colville Mews, which is a wonderful putty coloured creme.  This is one of my favourite neutrals.  It is has tinges of pink and grey in it but is nice and opaque.  Below you can see what it looks like on.  That is just one coat - in my humble opinion that is pretty amazing for a pale neutral colour.  The formula on this was great, not too runny but not too thick.

Although I liked it as it was I wanted something a little bit less 'daytime' as I was going to both the church wedding and the evening reception.  So I decided to jazz it up a little.

To do that I added China Glaze's Luxe and Lush.  This is probably my ultimate favourite sparkly topcoat.  It is a wonderful flakie which, when it catches the light, changes colour between green, gold, pink and blue.  You can see the way it looks over several different polish shades here.  It really is beautiful and photos cannot do it justice.  This polish is thicker than most due to the nature of the flakes.  One coat is enough to get a thin even coverage of shards, as seen below.  They also lie nice and flat, there is nothing worse than uneven nails.  Due to the fact that it is thicker it takes longer to dry than normal China Glaze polishes, but not a ridiculously long time.

Here you can see the final result.  I finished it off with the No7 stay Perfect top coat and it lasted an impressive 5 days.  Even then I took it off because I was getting a little bored and it was starting to show a bit of wear and tear around the tips.  

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Magazine Freebies - October 2012

This month we are very lucky in the 'freebie' department.  I do love a good freebie, and not one of those cheat ones where you have to go to a counter or send away.  A good old fashioned on-the-front-of-the-magazine freebie.  Today I picked up two magazines, In Style and Marie Claire (which I don't usually buy), purely because of the free gifts.  Naughty I know, but it gives me something to read on the train and I get a little beauty treat as well.  Win win.

First up we have In Style and their Benefit goodies.  I was extra chuffed with this one because it was on offer in Tesco, £2.50  instead of £3.80, bargain. I picked up Bene tint as it was the only thing left but I am quite glad as I know I like the product and this is a nice travel size or good for having in my handbag.  The other things available (if you can find them) are Sun Beam and Cha Cha tint.  I am tempted to keep my eyes open, especially for Cha Cha tint as I would really like to try that one.


I have never bought In Style before but I have to say I rather enjoyed it.  My favourite bits were the interview with Chloe Moretz (is it strange to be in awe of a 15 year old?), their profile on the new gothic beauty trend and their A-Z of beauty.  The A-Z of beauty included many of my personal favourites and has made me think about doing my own version as a blog series.

The other magazine that I bought was Marie Claire.  The free gift with this one was a 30ml tube of L'occitane's hand cream.  It was available in various scents; shea butter, date bouquet, rose petals and mango flower.  I decided on mango flower as I thought it sounded a bit different (plus I am a sucker for all things mango).  I'll tell you right now it smells amazing.  Personally I think it smells like mango not mango flower but it is lovely either way.  I think this would be a perfect handbag hand cream except for the fact that it is rather luxurious (and expensive, were you to replace it) so I think I would save it for special occasions.  I am tempted to pick up the shea butter version as well but I'm not sure I can justify it.

The magazine itself is fatter than In Style but this could be down to extra adverts.  Either way I liked that it felt more substantial in my hands.  My favourite parts of this magazine were the interviews with women in love with the styles of different eras, an article about the quest for finding the perfect perfume and a page of 'Good Princess' vs 'Evil Queen' makeup looks.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

No7's Foundation Match Service Update 2

I have recently being experimenting with new foundations.  I decided to use No7's Foundation Match Service Update which you can see my first impression of here.

I updated you on how I felt about the Beautifully Matte foundation here.  Needless to say I wasn't blown away and felt as if the colour matching claims of No7's Foundation Match Service had been exaggerated.

I wanted to see if this would be the case in both of the samples I received.  I have been trialing the Stay Perfect for a while now and can honestly say I love it.  It is a wonderful match for my skintone.  It stays really well on my skin and I love the slightly dewy healthy finish it has.  It honestly looks like my skin - but better.

I am still working my way through the extremley generous sample size I was given but will probably be purchasing a full size when it runs out (and I am no longer on a project pan).  It is the fist liquid foundation that I feel comfortable wearing.

Due to my success with this foundation I am going to try wearing the Beautifully Matte again to see if my mind will have changed since I first tried it a few weeks ago.

Why do you wear makeup? TAG

This month's Tuesday Tag was created by the wonderful Sprinkleofglitter and Beautycrush, you can watch their responses here.  It is basically about finding out your makeup history and is called 'Why do you wear makeup?'.

When did you begin wearing makeup?

I didn't have much of an interest in makeup as a young child.  My mum almost never wears makeup and I am the eldest girl so I never really saw people putting makeup on.  One thing I really got into was body products and nail varnishes.  The thing that got me into these was The Body Shop.  When I was about nine years old I was taken my great aunt to The Body Shop and was in awe of what was there and in fact spent all of my holiday money in there (which I slightly regretted when we then went into The Disney Store).  The range I was particularly in love with was the Oceanus scent, to this day the smell of it brings back memories of that trip.

I started experimenting with makeup when I was about 13 or 14, sadly this was mainly involving blue eyeshadow.  In my defense I didn't know any better.  At college I would wear mascara and tinted lip balm on a daily basis with eyeliner making a guest appearance every now and again.  When I started working on my gap year I started wearing makeup on work days in order to feel more 'put together'.  Then university rolled around and my attitude to makeup changed again.  I could never be bothered in the morning as a few extra minutes of sleep seemed more important than putting on makeup for lectures.  However I also started going out properly in the evenings.  This is why I started playing around with foundation and other makeup items which I had never really bothered with before.  Now I love having makeup as something fun to wear for a night out and if I have the time or the inclination I sometimes I put it on in the morning before I head off to uni.

How do you feel without makeup?

It depends if I was popping to the supermarket I wouldn't bother to put makeup on.  For university I almost never wear makeup, but if I do it is just a quick bit of mascara and lip stain.  If I am going to the pub or going out for lunch or dinner I will wear the same and maybe a bit of powder foundation.  For a night out I will normally go all out on the makeup front.

During the day if I wasn't wearing makeup I think that I would honestly feel fine as I don't wear it often anyway.  If I wasn't to put makeup on before going out in the evening I would feel fine but maybe not quite as confident as I would like.  I have gone out clubbing before whilst being barefaced and I'll admit it did feel a little strange.  I did feel as if people were looking at me strangely but that was probably paranoia.  After a while I started to forget about it and I had a lovely night anyway.  I think overall it just depends on the situation and who I am with.  I dislike being with a group of beautifully made up girls when I have no makeup on, somehow it makes me feel as if I am lazy for not making that effort.

What do you like about makeup?

I like the way makeup can help me feel like a different person.  I used to have my 'work' makeup and it turned me into 'work Rosie'.  She wasn't afraid of stroppy customers and was always infinitely patient.  It can improve my confidence for when I happen to bump into that guy that I have a crush on or even more importantly the dreaded ex-sighting.

Another thing I adore about makeup is that you can use it to express the way you are feeling.  Smokey eyes are for when I am feeling flirty.  Red lips is sexy and vintage.  Thick eyeliner is for when I am angry about something and want to channel my grungy teenage years.  I used to change my hair colour to suit my mood but makeup has taken over that duty.  It is my way of communicating with the world how I am feeling that day without saying a single thing.

What are three of your Holy Grail items?

First would have to be Benefit's Hello Flawless powder foundation
Second is The Body Shop's Lip Stain
Thirdly is a bit of a cheat because it is my Urban Decay Naked Palette.

Life is beautiful...an update

You may have noticed that I have been a bit absent over the last few days.  Well a combination of a family wedding and a terrible cold have rather wiped me out.  I am on the mend now but have come to a decision regarding my 'life is beautiful' posts.

Doing them every single day has started to feel to restrictive, especially as I am now back at university and often don't get home until quite late.  Instead every weekend I will post about the things that have made my week beautiful.  I am hoping this will reignite my passion for this project.