Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010 - Review and Products of the Year

Happy New Years everyone!  I know it's a little early, but I thought I'd say it whilst I can!  I'm still not sure what my plans are for this evening, but I'm planning on getting dressed up and doing a full face of slap, so even if I'm sitting at home watching telly, I'm going to feel glamourous!

Anyway, I thought I'd do a round up of my year, since it's been an interesting one, and include a few products that have rocked my world in 2010.

I started out in 2010 stuck in a beauty rut.  I had had the same hairstyle for about a decade, and used to do the same makeup everyday, occasionally bringing out a bit of eyeliner for special occasions or red nail polish when I was feeling daring.  I was beginning to get paranoid about the signs of ageing and the grey hairs that were appearing, but doing very little about it.

All this changed when I went to a fancy dress party as Audrey Hepburn.  I was a bit clueless when it came to doing my hair and makeup for this event, so I googled her style, and a load of YouTube videos popped up.  As my boyfriend was stuck in Hong Kong because of the ash cloud, I was able to watch all the videos guilt free, and became hooked!  I tried (and succeeded) in pulling off a very complicated hair-do for the fancy dress party and even did my makeup to a pretty good standard.  And then I started discovering my YouTube Gurus and fab tutorials, and my love of makeup was reborn! I think I have at least five times more makeup now than I did when I started the year!

I then found beauty blogs, started my own in July, and the rest is history.

Here are some of my favourite products from 2010 - and I have all you lovely people to thank for introducing them to me.  Without you all, I wouldn't have bought them, and I love them all, so thanks very much!

Firstly, I've been using the bareMinerals Mineral Veil from Bare Escentuals.  I had been using the cheapest Boots 17 powder before I discovered Mineral Veil, and I'm so glad I did.  This is actually my second pot of it, as I've now used up my first one.  It's really light on the skin and does keep me more or less matte all day, which is something other powders have never done for me.  It also stops my makeup from shifting, so I love it!

I've become a complete convert to Teint Miracle by Lancome.  After having a couple of samples of it, I finally splurged on a full size bottle - it's so worth it.  It offers a good coverage, whilst not feeling like you are caking yourself in foundation.  It lasts all day and gives my skin a nice finish.  At £25, this isn't a cheapo foundation, but it's also not super-expensive, so it's definitely a foundation I will purchase again.

I've included the Naked Palette by Urban Decay as one of my favourites.  There's not really much more to say about this, other than it's brilliant value, has great colours, is a lovely formula, looks good, and is just about the most useful eyeshadow palette you could ever own.

My other favourite eyeshadow of the year is Taupe Grise by Chanel.  I've already reviewed it here, but I will repeat that it's such a beautiful colour and has even displaced Shale by Mac as my favourite.

In 2010, I've been getting into blushers in a big way.  My favourite, and the first non-high street blusher I purchased was Ladyblush cream blush by Mac.  It's not too dark a colour, but adds a lovely rosey glow, and it reminded me how much I used to love cream blushes when I was younger (but had gone back to powder for some reason).  I tend to reach for it first when it comes to blush, so it's become a staple of my makeup bag.

My absolute favourite skincare product this year is Starting Over moisturiser by origins.  This was one of my favourites in November, and I'm still loving in now.  I can see that this will become a winter staple for me, I'm so glad I found it!

Another great skincare product is the Revitalising Hand Saviour from No 7 (reviewed here).  This is such an indulgent product, but it has made a massive difference to my hands this winter.  It's another beauty staple that I'll be repurchasing.

And finally, my haircare product of the year is the Moroccan Oil treatment.  I bought a travel sized bottle in November, and I've used it every time I've washed my hair since.  It's a lovely hair oil, it smells lovely and it really does tame the frizz.  I'm nearly out of this bottle, so I'll be repurchasing a larger bottle soon.

There are a few beauty products and treatments that haven't been so successful this year.  These include my disasterous spa day, the fact that my Brazilian Blow Dry did absolutely nothing to my hair, and Powderflage by Benefit - the most useless product I have ever bought.  But there have been more sucesses that failures and I feel I'm a more discerning consumer of beauty products now than when I first started blogger, when I'd buy anything because of the hype.

So that's it for 2010.  Let's hope 2011 is an interesting and happy year for everyone - I'm certainly looking forward to it!

Happy New Year everyone!  xx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

NOTD from OPI's Burlesque Collection - Ali's Big Break

Hi everyone.  I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas - I certainly did!  Luckily my Dad was discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, so he didn't need to spend a third Christmas Day in hospital, which was my most treasured Christmas present!  I also got some goodies for Christmas, so no doubt I'll do some posts about my presents coming up soon, and got a few bargains in the sales yesterday.

Today I thought I'd show you my Christmas nails.  I went for Ali's Big Break from the OPI Burlesque Collection in the end, although I was deliberating about which one to wear for ages.  The shade I chose is a classic blue-toned red with a not too in-your-face shimmer to it.  It's the least glittery of the four colours I have, but still is shimmery enough for a bit of festive cheer.

The pictures are after two days wear, with two coats on top of a base coat and a top coat to finish it off.  It's pretty long lasting, although I did chip a nail on my other hand after a day.  I usually like small bottles of polish, as you've more chance of acually using them up, and so the mini-teasers from this collection fit the bill nicely.  However, I do find that the brush is very small and not that easy to work with, especially with the more glittery polishes.

Of all the NOTDs I've done, I think this is the first time I've done proper red nails.  I love red nails, but I don't think they suit my skin tone at all, so I usually go for warmer burgundys if I'm going for something in the red spectrum.  Still, I really like the colour and the sparkles lift it from a flat red colour.

Thanks for reading!  xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Plans for Christmas Eve Eve

Hi Ladies.  I feel like I'm blogging my to-do-lists here, so sorry if they're really boring - feel free to ignore them! 

Yesterday I hit the town and got all my last minute presents out of the way.  Unfortunately House of Fraser didn't have the Lippmann nail polish I wanted, so I didn't get that, and Next didn't have the Christmas jumper dress I wanted.  In fact, nowhere had any nice Christmas jumper dresses at all, apart from Asda, but the smallest size they had was size 18, so I didn't get one.  I did get the scarf I wanted as a present from my boyfriend, I picked up a new Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil and I got the Clinique Holiday Collection Palette (thanks Debenhams Beauty Club points).  I wanted the Lancome L'wren Scott palette, but it's sold out everywhere.

I've now wrapped all my presents, written all my cards and feel quite organised.  I'm visiting my parents tomorrow, so I need to pack for that, and tidy up the flat a bit and do some laundry.

Things I need to do today include:

- Pack up everything for my trip away

- Do a manicure (I'm think I'll go for Rising Star from the OPI Burlesque Collection)

- Arrange to see some friends tonight and some friends tomorrow night

- Go to the car wash

- Go and buy a new camera (I want a Canon IXUS 130 and it is in stock at Jessops near my office, so I don't need to go into town - this is my Christmas present to myself)

- Buy a chicken (I'm not going near Tescos though)

- Possibly go to Argos to buy a personal CD player.  Unfortunately my Dad's been admitted to hospital and will be there over Christmas.  It's not too serious, but it won't be nice for him to be in there at Christmas.  He's been in hospital twice before at Christmas time, but both of those times he was actually very ill and just wanted to sleep, whereas he's feeling OK at the moment, so it's going to be pretty boring for him.  I've got him a load of cricketing books on cd for Christmas, so I thought I'd get him a CD player as well so he's got something to do whilst he's in there - tv and internet access in the hospital is so expensive.  He's got some decent headphones somewhere, so that'll help muffle all those hospital sounds as well!

So that's my plans for the day - nothing too stressful, but lots to get on with!  I don't think I'll be blogging tomorrow, so I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and as ever, thanks for reading!  xx

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Pre-Christmas Plans for the Day

Well, as I write this, I'm still all tucked up in bed, enjoying my work-free day!  I've got quite a few things to get on with though, so this is what I plan to do today:

- Get up, shower, get dressed up warm (as there's snow on the ground here)

- Finish a necklace commission for my colleague

- Write a Christmas card for my neighbours

- Drop off the necklace to my colleague

- Pick up some silver earring wires from the craft shop

- Go to town to pick up a couple of last minute bits

- I'm planning to visit House of Fraser to see if they have got any Deborah Lippmann nail polish in stock yet. I doubt it, but I want some so much!  My favourite is Across the Universe, I want it!

- Pop to Next, and hopefully buy this Christmas dress.  I went to a festival at Butlins the weekend before last and every other person (men and women) had a Christmas dress or jumper on - I so want one!
- Go to Debenhams and buy myself a present with my £20 worth of beauty points I've accumulated this year.  Debenhams have put an extra £5 onto my card until Christmas Eve, so it would be rude not to use it!

 - Buy myself a little present from my boyfriend (I know, he can't think of anything to get me).  I'm thinking this turquoise snake print scarf from Oasis

- Get a last minute present for one of my sister in laws (I mis-calculated my presents)

- Look for a last minute present for my boyfriend.  He wants a black hat.  It must be plain, warm, big enough for his head and have no embelishments on it.  I suspect this will take me longer to find than he thinks it will...

- Get some cash to give to my nephews

- Buy a present for my best friend and her husband.  They are really difficult to buy for.  They are quite hippyish and live a very green lifestyle.  They had a baby three weeks ago, but I don't want to just give them baby stuff.  I'm thinking maybe a nice throw or blanket, but I'm not sure...

I'd better get on with it then!

Happy Christmas! xx

Christmas Party Look

Happy Christmas everyone!!!  Hope you're all well.  Well, the saga of my broken camera continues, I've still not got a new one, but I'm also on the look out for one.  Still not decided on whether to get a compact or SLR... decisions, decisions.

Anyway, I've found some photographs I took on my old camera that were already on my computer of me trialling a Christmas party look I was going to wear back in November, so I thought I'd show you all.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to wear the makeup (or my amazing white gold dress that I'd spent two months dieting to make sure I fitted into) as I didn't make it to my Christmas Party.  The party was in Birmingham last Saturday, and if you live anywhere in the Worcestershire area you'll know that the snow caused horrendous problems on the M5 motorway and people were stuck for hours.  We made it about half way up the motorway from Bristol, before turning round and coming straight home.  So I ended up spending my Christmas party evening at home, wearing half of my glamorous makeup and with curled, but not styled hair, sitting on my sofa watching the Strictly final. Hmmmph!

I don't think I'm going to get another opportunity to rock my gold dress over Christmas or New Year.  I've only got a couple of trips to the pub planned, and New Year is usually quite low key for me, so it's back in the wardrobe for another year.

Anyway, here is my trial of my Christmas Party makeup.  I used the Coastal Scents Warm 88 palette to do a silver/gunmetal lid with a gold crease extending upwards.  I also added some Barry M Dazzle Dust (No. 44) on top of the gold, which I think was a bit too much actually, and I would've skipped it for the actual eye look.  For my eyeliner I used a Rimmel Pencil, but I was planning to use Mac gel liner for the actual party look, and I used Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara, but would've rocked some falsies for the party.

My skin looks horrible in these pictures - I can't remember what foundation I used, but obviously not a great one, and I used Posey by Mac on my cheeks.  For a highlighter, I used Powderflage by Benefit.  This is supposed to be a concealer, but it doesn't conceal anything.  It's a sort of shimmery powder, but not quite shimmery enough for a highlight.  In fact, it's a completely useless product, and I would recommend that you never buy it!

On my lips I used Cream Cup by Mac (which I won from Julie's fab giveaway) with some gloss over the top (I can't remember which one).

I did half of this look on Saturday before we headed out - it took me ages, what a waste of time!

By the way, I took these pictures on the third day after my Brazilian blow dry, so I was itching to wash my hair.  You can just about see some of the highlights I'd had put in my hair in the pictures as well.  The Brazilian blow dry didn't really work on my hair.  It isn't any straighter, and it's still really big and volumnous, and I can't just blow dry it and go.  It does seem to be a bit softer and shinier and less frizzy, but I'm not sure if that is because I bought some Moroccan Oil when I had the blow dry and I've been using that ever since as well.  I am able to leave my hair to dry naturally and wear it as a natural curl, which is great, but I wouldn't do it again!

I've found a few more pictures on my computer, so I'll try and get a few posts up over the Christmas holidays, and hopefully, get a new camera soon (yeah)!

Thanks for reading xx

Monday, 13 December 2010

Taking an Enforced Blogging Break

Hi lovelies!  I've not been posting very much recently, due to the busy-ness of my life at the moment and because my camera conked out, and I'm waiting until after Christmas to buying a new one.  My friend lent me her old camera, which is fine for work, but it's no good for blogging.  I thought I'd wait until I get paid (and hopefully get a bonus as well - well I can hope) before buying a new camera, and do some proper research into what camera will be best for me and for blogging.  I usually rush into buying things like this, but I thought I'd try to buy a good camera this time.

So you may not see me posting much for the next few weeks.  I'll still be around and posting when I can, but without a decent camera, I won't do my blog justice, so I'd rather save up my posts until I can take good pictures.

If you have any camera recommendations, please let me know.  I was originally thinking of a compact camera, but now I'm thinking digital SLR.  I'm undecided, so let me know your suggestions!

Thanks for reading - I will be back soon!  xx

Friday, 10 December 2010

Beauty Bloggers Christmas Weight Loss Challenge - How Did We Do?

OK, I've got everyone's weigh in now, so here is the final result of the Beauty Bloggers Christmas Weight Loss Challenge...

The Bristol Beauty Blog -1lb, -3lb, -0lb, +2lb, -2lb -2lb, -1lb, +1lb = -6lb
Fudge Smoothies -1lb -lb = -2lb
Who is She??? -4lb, -4lb, -3lb, week off, -3lb, week off, -2lb = -16lb!!!  (Extra Gold Star for you!)
Behind the Shoes -1lb, - 2lb, -0.5, -0.5lb, sts, -2lb, -0.5lb, -4lb  = -10.5lb (and 1 bmi point - Bronze Star for you!)
Real Girls Beauty -0.5lb, -1lb, -2lb, -2lb = -5.5lb
Stacey @ The HQ of Beauty -0.5lb, -1.5lb, -0.5, -0lb, -1lb, sts, -1.5lb = -5lb
Leanne @ Obsessive Cosmetics Disorder -3.5lb, - 3lb, -1lb, -1.5lb, +.5lb, -1lb, -4lb = -13.5lb (Silver Star for you!)
Sweet Like Jelly - sts, - 2lb, -2lb  = -4lb
Lucy Duckett -1lb, - 2lb, -3lb, -1lb, -1lb = -8lb (Well done on breaking the 7lb mark!)

Well done everyone - we've all lost something and 4 of you have lost more than half a stone, with Who is Shee??? losing more than a stone (and Leanne and Rachelle not far behind)!

We're all going to look fabulous in our party dresses - I'm looking forward to the photos!

Anyway, here are the final stats: collectively we've lost a total of 70.5lb, or 5stone and half a pound!!!  Brilliant everyone!  Anyway, I'm sure I'll see some of you back here in January with a new weight loss challenge, and I know some of you are going to continue over the next few weeks - good luck for that!

As for me, I'm going to enjoy all the Christmas goodies over the next few weeks, and probably put on all the weight I've lost, but I'll be back in January to lose some more - I've got a number of weddings to go to next summer, so that's some good old motivation!

Happy Christmas all!


Monday, 6 December 2010

Beauty Bloggers Christmas Weight Loss Challenge - Final Week!

Hello ladies - it's the final week of the Beauty Bloggers Christmas Weight Loss Challenge - are we all going to look svelte in our Christmas party dresses?  

In a final flurry, I put on a pound this week.... :(   It is that time of the month though, so I'm not too upset, especially seeing as I did hit the 7lb last week!

The Bristol Beauty Blog -1lb, -3lb, -0lb, +2lb, -2lb -2lb, -1lb, +1lb = -6lb
Fudge Smoothies -1lb -lb = -2lb
Who is She??? -4lb, -4lb, -3lb, week off, -3lb, week off = -14lb!!!  (Extra Gold Star for you!)
Behind the Shoes -1lb, - 2lb, -0.5, -0.5lb, sts, -2lb, -0.5lb  = -6.5lb (and 1 bmi point)
Real Girls Beauty -0.5lb, -1lb, -2lb, -2lb = -5.5lb
Stacey @ The HQ of Beauty -0.5lb, -1.5lb, -0.5, -0lb, -1lb, sts = -3.5lb
Leanne @ Obsessive Cosmetics Disorder -3.5lb, - 3lb, -1lb, -1.5lb, +.5lb, -1lb = -9.5lb (Silver Star for you!)
Sweet Like Jelly - sts, - 2lb, -2lb  = -4lb
Lucy Duckett -1lb, - 2lb, -3lb, -1lb = -7lb

Let me know your results this week - last week!!  Good luck all!


Saturday, 4 December 2010

NOTD - Mavala Smoky Blue

Hi ladies.  I've been wearing Mavala Smoky Blue this week.  This was one of the polishes I got in my Mavala haul, and it's a lovely blue colour with a very subtle shimmer.  The application was pretty easy and it dried true to the colour in the bottle. However, I managed to mess up the application a bit by not waiting for them to dry properly, so that's why the pictures are a bit messy.

They are a gorgeous colour and I love the flecks of shimmer that actually have shown up in the photos.  I like the fact that both the colour and the shimmer are subtle and not in-your-face. 

The pictures were taken after two days, and the chipping and tipwear is actually due to my poor application, and the really bad condition of some of my nails, rather than the polish actually wearing off.  They lasted about three days before the non-messed up nails started to wear and chip.

Thanks for reading! xx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Veet Institut Warm Wax - Review

Hi ladies.  Today I thought I'd review something I've had sitting on my bathroom shelf since the summer - Veet Institute Warm Wax.  I must admit that I have quite hairy legs, and I suffer terribly from ingrown hairs and rashes if I use hair removal creams (or even worse, shave) my upper thighs and bikini line.  So I do like to get my top legs professionally waxed.  However, I've been incredibly lazy and haven't waxed my legs since the summer!  I did use a hair removal cream a couple of months ago as I just couldn't stand my hairy legs any more, but since then I've gone for the natural look - not good. 

I bought this wax pot on a whim, as I've not used a warming wax since I had an incident heating one up on a stove, back in the late 1990s.  I forgot I was heating it when my then boyfriend rang me to dump me - nice!  It let to a mini explosion and a ruined saucepan and I was lucky I didn't break the cooker, cause a fire or anything worse.  So, understandably, I've not really been into warm wax since then.  However, those sticky strip waxes don't really work very well for me.  They are very fiddly, don't work that well and leave a horrible sticky mess all over my legs.  I've honestly NEVER sucessfully waxed my legs with them - despite that I keep on buying them - not sure why.

This pot looked good as it says that the wax is water soluble, and so you can wash away any sticky mess.  I thought that would be a good feature, as it is a messy business.  It also contains essential oils.

The wax comes in a screw top pot with a spatula, instructions and 12 fabric waxing strips.  I heated it up in a microwave for 60 seconds as instructed and prepared myself for the pain of a home wax.  I haven't shown it on the photos, but the spatula actually has a great little feature - it has a small temperature gague in the part that you put into the was which says 'No!' if the wax is too hot.  Mine did say No! so I busied myself for a couple of minutes until it was the right temperature.  It was actually still a bit too hot for my skin, so I'm really glad I didn't slap it straight on after the microwave.

I have to say that I was quite impressed with this product.  It worked so much better than waxing strips at removing the long, course hairs I get on my upper thighs and removal was relatively pain-free and clean, with very little sticky residue left on my legs.  I managed to do my bikini line and the front and sides of one leg quite well, before moving onto the other leg.  At this point, I realised that I only had three fabric strips left.  I used them as best I could, trying to do the hairiest areas first, but I quickly ran out of the strips.  So I wasn't able to finish both legs on this use. 

I found cleaning the strips, my hands, my legs, and a bit of wax I glooped on the bathroom floor pretty easy.  I had a shower and the wax easily came off my skin.  I peeled off the worst of the wax from the fabric strips and put it in the bin, and washed them in the sink - it took about 5 minutes and they are now hanging up to dry, almost as good as new.  The wax also just wiped up off the floor - no mess in sight!

However, I will have to go back and finish the other leg tomorrow.  At least there's not too much to do.  I was never going to manage to do the backs of my legs, especially as my hair there grows in loads of random directions, so I'm going to wax as much as possible, and use a cream to get the rest off.

The wax stayed hot enough to do all the waxing without needing to reheat it.  If I'd had a few more fabric strips, I probably would've blasted it for about 30 seconds again just to make it a bit more melted.  I used about a third of the jar to do my 1 1/2 legs, so I reckon you could get two proper waxes from this.  I think this is quite reasonable, at around £10 per jar, considering a salon wax will cost at least £20 for just one wax.  And Veet is always on offer at Boots and Tescos.

It is a fiddly process though, and you do have to be able to stand a bit of pain and discomfort to remove the strips (although less so than strip wax).  It took me about 40 minutes to do my legs, and I think it will take about 20 minutes to finish them tomorrow, followed by more washing of the strips.

So in terms of cost, ease of use and finished results this gets a Bristol Beauty Blog thumbs up.  But why did they only provide 12 fabric strips?  If there were 20, my legs would be completely smooth and hair free by now.  It is also a fiddly and time consuming process.  I did this today when I have the flat to myself, but my boyfriend already complains about the length of time I spend in the bathroom.  Add on the time for waxing my legs, and he'll be having a serious whinge!

By the way, I must apologise about the rubbish quality of the photos with this post.  Unfortunately my camera decided to break yesterday and is not working at all now, so I used my computer webcam for the pictures.  My phone camera is even worse!  I have some photos already taken for some up-coming blog posts, but I will need to get a new camera pretty quickly, as I use it almost daily for work as well as for blogging.  My current, broken camera was an Olympus point and shoot, and it wasn't very good quality at all.  If any bloggers use a good point and shoot camera for under £150, which doesn't wash out colours and has a good macro setting, please let me know your recommendations.  Unfortunately I'm skint at the moment, and have already requested Christmas presents from friends and family, so I'm going to have to crack open my savings to get a new is essential though.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

November - A Few of my Favourite Products, and a Few I Don't Like

Happy December everyone!  I don't always do a favourites post each month, but I thought that I would for November, as there are quite a few products I've been using that have been great.  There are also a few that I've not been liking, so I've included some not-so-much favouites as well.

Favourite Skincare

Well this month my skin has really been feeling the cold, and I've really noticed that it's been playing havoc with my skin.  I've been using a few products which I absolutely love and seem to be helping restore some moisture to my poor old face.

You may remember that I was on a spending ban.  Well that went out of the window at the Origins counter at Boots.  I blame my sister as she asked me to pick up Modern Friction Dermabrasion for her Christmas, and I got suckered into buying it for myself as well as some other bits.  I suppose I could've said no to the skin care consultation I was offered, but hey, I didn't.  However, I'm absolutely loving Modern Friction.  Although it's not as scratchy as I usually like from a scrub, it makes my skin feel absolutely wonderful - so soft and not at all tight.  It is also supposed to be a skin brightener, and I've noticed that my skin is definitely in better condition since I've been using this a couple of times a week.

One of the Origins products I was recommended was Starting Over moisturiser, for the first signs of aging to use as a night cream.  I didn't buy it, but the sales assistant kindly gave me a 30ml sample (a full size version is only 50ml) and I'm so grateful he did, as it's simply heaven for my skin.  I started using it as a night cream, but I've quickly switched to using it during the day as well, particularly in the current sub-zero temperatures.  It feels so soothing and moisturising, I'm definitely going to buy a full size version when my sample runs out.

I've just finished this Perfect Pores Serum by Angela Langford, and although I still have to write a review of her products, I'm smitten with this serum.  It's smells light and natural, you need very little serum for your whole face, it sinks in very easily and it's wonderfully moisturising.  I don't really need to say much else - this is definitely one for my Christmas list!

I won this tub of Dove Rich Moisturising Creme from Jo's blog giveaway, and I've been using it every night on my feet, knees and elbows - I'm just about to run out of it!  My skin definitely needs a rich moisturiser in the winter, and this works a treat.  As well as working well, it's quite cheap and cheerful, so I'm quite happy to slather it on before bed.

Favourite Makeup

Over the past month it's all been about the blush and pinks.  I've been feeling a bit washed out, so a bit of blusher really helps me look a bit more normal!

I got this Clinique blush in Iced Lotus free in a Bonus Time promotion a couple of months ago.  It's a lovely frosty pink colour that blends well and lasts a long time.  I love the colour for winter looks, and it's also quite girly - highly recommended.

I decided to buy the Posey cream blush by Mac as I'm such a fan of cream blushes.  It's very highly pigmented, so you do need to blend it well to stop the Aunt Sally look.  However, it does blend out to give a good flush of colour and it lasts for ages.

I think I've blogged before about how much I love Clinique Colour Surge eyeshadows, and this duo in Victorian Pink is no exception.  I hit pan on my old duo in less than 18 months, so this is a much loved replacement.  This duo is definitely an ongoing favourite of mine - I wear it whenever I'm short of time in the morning, or when my creativity fails me.  It looks professional for an office look, or you can darken it up a bit for a more evening type look.  The quality and smoothness is excellent and it blends so easily.  However, it's not pink!  It's a neutral to brown duo - I've no idea why it's called Victorian Pink!

This Illamasqua lip pencil in Torment is another new favourite.  It's a highly pigmented colour, but I've been using it to line my lips, blend it in with a bit of lip balm and apply lipstick over the top.

For lipstick, my favourite go-to this month is another Clinique product, again that I got as a Bonus Time promotion.  It is a Long Last lipstick in Soft Bloom.  This is a nice pinky colour that's not too girly and really seems to suit my skin tone.  It feels very moisturising on the lips and lasts relatively well, particularly over the top of the Illamasqua lip pencil. 

Finally, I've loved using this Collection 2000 Brilliant Shimmer lipgloss in Showgirl that I won in Computergirl's giveaway.  It's not too sticky, it last a long time, and it's an almost sheer pink colour that adds a hint of sparkle to your lips.  It's very easy to use, and I've been wearing it almost every day.

L-R Clinique Iced Lotus Blush, Mac Posey, Illamasqua Torrent, Collection 2000 Showgirl & Clinique Soft Bloom

Not-so-Much Favourites

I don't usually like to completely slate products, but here are a few I've been using that I'm just not liking for one reason or another.

First up, this mousse, hairspray and heat protector from Tresemme.  I've not got on well with Tresemme shampoos here and here before, and I've not got on with any of these products.  I bought them because I had a styling product emergency (the spray nozzle broke on my Tigi hairspray) just before I did my hair for the Burlesque night I went to and I had to dash to Tescos to grab some products.  They were on 3 for £10, so I got all three.  The heat protection spray doesn't seem to do anything at all for my hair, certainly not protect it from the heat.  The mousse and hairspray do give a firm hold, but in the way that styling products from the 1980s did - not good.  I actually hate all of these so much, I'm thinking of just throwing them out, and I never waste products, so they're really that bad!

Secondly, here's a product from Temple Spa that I'm not liking - I love everything else I've tried from them.  It's All Talk moisturising lip balm.  It's a sort of barrier type lip balm that sits on your lips.  I usually like these type of lip balms, and use them just before I go to bed, but this one just feels a bit weird.  It's also very sticky and I keep getting cat hairs stuck to my lips just before I go to sleep.  It seems to moisturise OK, but it's definitely not a favourite - I'd better try to use it up quickly!

I'm finally using my Hello Kitty shower gel that's been sitting in my bathroom for ages.  I had planned to decant it into a more user-friendly bottle, but I gave up as the shower gel is so thick it wouldn't come out!  Instead, I've had to decapitate Kitty and turn her upside down so I can get some shower gel out of her.  The problem is, she's wearing a little fabric dress that keeps getting wet everytime I reach for the gel.  But, if I took it off, she's naked!  That's her tail in the photos, by the way - don't worry, Kitty's definitely a 'she'.  I don't want a naked Kitty on my bathroom shelf, so she's wearing the dress for modesty's sake.  The shower gel itself is OK, not anything special, but it doesn't contain too many dyes, as I'm really allergic to cheap and brightly coloured gels and bubble baths (my doctor banned my Mum from using Mr Matey when I was a child).  I'm not allergic to this, so that's a bonus.  However, despite inverting Kitty, so she's dangerously wobbly on the shelf, I have to shake her to get any shower gel out, and half of it ends up on the floor of the bath, just washing away.  Poor old Kitty...

So that's my favourites and not so much for November.  Thanks for reading!  xx


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