Friday, 21 June 2013

Disappointing Products #1

Before we get into the post I just want to say I know these products may be loved by some. In fact, one of the mascara's is a favourite among bloggers but for me these products are disappointing. I don't mean to offend anyone or come across as a brand basher but everything I say is based on my own personal experience with the products.

Model Co Fibre Lashxtend Extreme Black Lengthening Mascara, Shine Ultra Lipgloss 'Strip Tease' & Eyeliner Pencil 'Black 01': The only time I buy magazines now is when there's good freebies. Model Co has been on my radar for a few years now so when I saw Glamour mag for only a quid and the free Model Co products (each product is close to £20) I snapped up 3 copies. I just can't get my head round how they jusify the prices. The packaging is cheap and the quality of the actual products is shocking. The mascara barely coats the lashes, it takes three coats to achieve what one coat from a highstreet mascara gives. The fibres aggravated my eyes to the point where I had to remove it. I have sensitive eyes but I'm no stranger to mascara containing fibres but this just took the biscuit. It didn't lengthen my lashes like it claims. It didn't do anything really. The liner was just as bad. It's pigmented but smudges and wipes straight off if you touch your eyes. It reminds me of kids make up. The gloss is just a string fest. It smells nice and the colour looks nice in the tube but on the lips it's completely clear and as soon as you open your mouth horrible strings appear. Luckily I only paid £3 for all 3 so it isn't a big loss but I really feel sorry for anyone who has paid full price.

MAC Lip Pencil 'In Synch': After all the rave reviews I'd read on this product I decided to go ahead and make it my first lip liner purchase from MAC. I love the colour but Im afraid that's where the love ends. The texture is very solid and dry, even when warmed on the back of my hand it's no easier to use. It drags, looks patchy and highlights any and every flaw. You need to apply so much pressure to get any colour to show up. I posted about it back in September (link)

Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara: I don't even know where to start with this one. The packaging is revolting and overly bulky but the reason I bought it (apart from having a discount voucher) is because it has a huge brush which I usually love but for some reason I don't get on with this one at all. I end up with mascara all over my lids, my lashes feel so heavy and almost point towards the floor and it's flaky. Rimmel have been bringing out brilliant products over the last year or so but this mascara isn't one of them.

Benefit They're Real!: I'm definitely in the minority here but They're Real! doesn't deliver any of it's promises on my lashes. So glad I got my hands on a sample as I was really tempted to buy the full size a few times. The only way I can describe how my lashes look after using this is baaaaaad!

MAC Viva Glam Nicki: This shade looks absolutely gorgeous in swatches which is why I ordered it but on me it looks like a bad quality lippy you would find in cheap palettes. It's not a bad product as such, I just don't like the colour and worst of all, it makes my teeth look yellow which is  never good.

Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask: I honestly can't tell if this mask does anything in the way of moisturising my skin but what I can tell you is it stings my face so badly that I can't even use it now. I really wanted to try more from the rose range but have a feeling I'll react the same way to it all.

Have you tried any of these products?
Do any of them disappoint you?

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review: Etat Pur Skin Care

Etat Pur Enoxolone 280, Q10, Smoothing Eye Contour Care

For around 2 months now I've been trying out these 3 products from Etat Pur which are targeted and best suited to all my major skin concerns. This is my first brush with Etat Pur but I've been impressed with both the results, and the prices.

Etat Pur Enoxolone 280, £12.60*: This product is designed for people with very reactive and irritated skin. If you experience any tingling, redness, burning or any discomfort at all then this is the type of product you should go for. I get a lot of heat and discomfort in my cheeks which is often made worse after cleansing. The redness can be so extreme that sometimes it looks almost purple and the heat that radiates from those areas is unbelievable! Enoxolone has soothing properties which promise to provide effective, long lasting relief. Does it? Yes it does, it works from the first use and within a matter of minutes but I found I needed to use it every day and night to get the best results. On my skin, it's only something that works while it's actually on the skin which is good but I was hoping it would get rid of all my problems once and for all which is probably something that no product can do. The texture is a cross between a serum and cream, it sinks into the skin straight away and adds immediate comfort.

Etat Pure Q10, £8.60*: Q10 comes in the same packaging as Enoxolone. The narrow tip means there's no product wastage and at the base of the bottle there's a push mechanism which allows you to dispense the right amount of product each time. The texture is also very similar to Enoxolone. Q10's job is to slow down the first signs of wrinkles and keep the skin looking younger for longer. Coenzyme Q10 is something we all have in every skin cell but as we age, our levels diminish which results in wrinkles appearing. I'm all over anything that promises to keep wrinkles at bay and because of the texture, I would say this product is something that even people with blemish prone skin could use without having to worry about their skin being overstimulated. I usually apply this product at night and by morning my skin has a glow (it almost looks as if I've applied a light layer of tan) and is plump. Obviously I can't say if it's keeping wrinkles at bay as I don't have any but I can only assume from the results I've had that it is.

Etat Pure Smoothing Eye Contour Care, £12.20*: Eye cream is the main product I always struggle with. I have fine lines, dark circles, bags and puffiness. It's hard to find one eye cream to target all my eye concerns without making one worse. Often if I use a cream designed to target fine lines it will make my puffiness worse but if I use a cream to target puffiness, it does nothing to help my fine lines and I'm yet to find an eye cream that really does get rid of dark circles. Smoothing Eye Contour Care claims to fade wrinkles and fine lines, reduce signs of fatigue, protect against the harmful  free radicals and deliver optimun moisturization. It did plump up my fine lines without making my puffy bags worse and my eye area did feel moisturised all day but it didn't reduce signs of fatigue.

Have you tried any of these products?
Whats your thoughts on Etat Pur?

All products mentioned are available from

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Monday, 17 June 2013

Worth The Hype: Macadamia Deep Repair Masque

 Macadamia Deep Repair Masque*

I'm probably one of the last people to try this miracle hair mask but I just need to say it's as good as all the reviews I've read. If you're yet to try it and were thinking about buying one of the sachets to try first my advice would be don't! Go straight for the full sized tub. The only reason I can imagine some people wouldn't love this mask as much as me is if they have short, fine, limp hair that isn't particularly tangly or hard to manage but if you're like me and you're hair has a mind of it's own, Macadamia Deep Repair Masque will tame the beast from the very first use.

My rules for washing hair go straight out the window when I'm testing out shampoo/conditioner for the first time. I don't brush my hair before getting into the shower, I don't comb my conditioner through and I don't apply any detangling products before reaching for my Tangle Teezer. My hair is thick, long, curly/wavy, frizzy, colour treated and everything else in between. Not many conditioners/masks stand a chance against my hair but when they do everything I wanted and more I feel the need to tell everyone about it.

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque has such a thick texture. You can hold the tub upside down for ages and not one drip will escape and unlike a lot of hair masks, I didn't need to use much product at all. It's so concentrated and spreads easily over every strand of hair getting to work straight away. It claims to penetrate and rebuild hair, improving elasticity and shine. I have no idea if it really does rebuild hair. Hair is dead so I always ignore any claims of rebuilding hair/repairing split ends etc but it does make my hair feel like it belongs to someone else. Someone who has never coloured or used heat on their hair, it's so strange. My hair was easier to style. I didn't even need to use straighteners after blow drying with a paddle brush and I purposely didn't use any styling products just so I could see how well it smoothed out my hair. My hair stayed smooth (with a few kinks) untill the next wash and had a really glossy finish. What surprised me most was how light my hair felt. It contains silicone so I was expecting my barnet to look lank and feel weighed down but it didn't in the slightest.

Macadamia are really doing it for me lately. Most products in my current hair care routine are from Macadamia (apart from shampoo) and I love them all.

Have you tried Macadamia Deep Repair Masque?

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (250ml) £18.40 available from
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Thursday, 13 June 2013

This Or That: Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat | Seche Vite

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat has been my go-to top coat for a few years now. It does exactly what it claims to do: Makes nails touch dry in 45 seconds. Even if you have no interest in nails I'm sure at one point you will have heard about Seche Vite. It seems to be the top coat of choice on the blogosphere but after trying my mates a while back and not being impressed I turned a blind eye and swore never to buy it. Fast forward a year or so and I ordered a bottle thinking that maybe my mates was a dud or had just gone bad but had it?

Price: Kensington Caviar is more expensive at £12 for a full sized bottle but you can buy the set containg the Kensington Caviar Base & Top Coat 8ml each for around £12. Seche Vite is just under £10 (depending on where you purchase it from) for 14ml.

Finish: They are both fast drying top coats. On my nails they are both touch dry in the same amount of time. Kensington Caviar has a slight pink tinge to it but has never altered the colour of any polish I'm wearing. If anything it makes the colour more intense. Seche Vite is clear and also makes the colour more intense. They both leave the nails seriously glossy but Seche Vite has the edge as the formula is thicker.

Formula: Seche Vite is very thick and gloopy, even when you've just opened a brand new bottle. After the first few uses I noticed the formula started to dry out and get even thicker. I've read reviews saying that even when the bottle is half full it's almost unusable and you will need to use a product like Seche Restore. From what I've read, Seche Vite can be used on wet polish. I've tried this and ended up with streaks, smears and the brush was covered in whatever colour I'd used. If you don't apply enough, it drags across the nail leaving an uneven finish but if you use too much it pools in certain areas and leaves the sides of the nails looking crusty. It also caused major shrinkage at the tips on certain shades. Kensington Caviar is only slightly thicker than a regular top coat, spreads across the nail with ease and doesn't get gloopy untill the bottle is almost finished (even when it is gloopy it can still be used)

Longevity: Seche Vite cracked on my nails, peeled off like a sticker and didn't make my mani last any longer than if I didn't use a topcoat. Kensington Caviar does prolong the life of my mani but certainly isn't a game changer when it comes to wear time. This doesn't bother me in the slightest though as more often than not I'll change my nail colour before any chips or tip wear appear.

For me, Seche Vite isn't worth the hype. I can see why a lot of people love it as it leaves a really gorgeous, glossy almost gel like finish on the nails but the problems with application make it more hassle than its worth plus the smell is horrendous. It even comes with health warnings!

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Top Coat still remains in my Holy Grail section and I can't see that changing any time soon but another great fast drying top coat is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. It works in the same way and is a more purse friendly option.

Whats your Holy Grail top coat?
Have you tried either of these?

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

KIKO: Light Legs Crackling Mousse & Firming Iridescent Cream

KIKO Light Legs Crackling Mousse* | Firming Iridescent Cream*

These products have been released just in time for summer but certain people could really benefit from using the Light Legs Crackling Mousse all year round. As I've mentioned before, I'm a hairdresser by trade and even though I love everything to do with working in a salon (especially the craic between everyone including clients) we spend most, if not all day on our feet which leads to back pain and tired/achy/heavy legs and feet. Back in the day I found a similar product that was sadly discontinued a long time ago but it was more or less the same: it crackled and cooled on contact with the skin but wasn't a mousse. When I received the press release for KIKO's offering I got so excited! I've spent the longest time trying to find another product like this and finally it's here!

KIKO Light Legs Crackling Mousse looks exactly the same as a mousse you would use on your hair but it's light, fluffy, non sticky and sinks into the skin leaving no residue behind. It crackles on the skin (the only way I can describe it is as a fizzy feeling) leaving legs and feet feeling instantly refreshed. The scent is gorgeous! When a product claims to soothe and stimulate microcirculation I always assume the scent will be a minty one but Light Legs Crackling Mousse is a light, fresh floral that lingers on the skin for hours.

Active ingredients include Escine: Draining and vasoprotective. Blueberry: Vasotonic and protective. Liquorice: Vasotonic and protective.

Even the colour of the bottle has been chosen for a reason. ''Purple: has positive and mental spiritual benefits, aiding concentration and helping to relax at the same time. Encourages calm and helps restore lightness.''

Light Legs Crackling Mousse is also a fantastic product to keep beside your bed if you suffer from restless legs. In this weather my legs go crazy at night and this has really helped.

The Firming Iridescent Cream is a lovely product too. It changes from a cream to thin fluid once you start massaging it into the skin. Just like the mousse, it is part of the Scented Technology range and smells wonderful. The texture is rich enough to really moisturise but not heavy enough to make the skin feel weighed down in this hot weather. It claims to not only nourish the skin but leave it feeling firmer and more subtle. If you're someone who really likes firming body creams but hate the horrendous price tags then this is a good option at only £12.90.

Both products are paraben free and if you have legs, you need the Light Legs Crackling Mousse.

Have you tried these products or anything similar?

KIKO Light Legs Crackling Mousse £12.90 & Firming Iridescent Cream £12.90 both available from

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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Love: MAC Paint Pots 'Rubenesque' & 'Painterly'

I have a confession to make: MAC is a brand I love to hate. It all started years ago when I walked into MAC asking for a foundation. I left the counter with my purse almost 100 quid lighter and looking like I was off to take part in a drag act. I was froze in the chair with fear, I couldn't take my eye's of the SA's fancy dress style makeup and from then untill I started this blog I never went back. I hated the foundation they recommended for my skin, it made me look like a bright pink wax work! Within half an hour my face looked like it was melting and the brush (187): match made in hell.

 It wasn't untill I joined the blogging world that I decided I needed to get me some MAC lippies. I went for the Cremesheen formula and guess what, I loved them! The next thing I went for was a Mineral Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle which I also love and after reading countless rave reviews on the eyeshadows I felt the need to buy some - hated them. I swore I wasn't going to try anything else from the brand but I'm so glad my curiosity got the better of me.

Top: Painterly | Bottom: Rubenesque
I recently ordered 2 Paint Pots: Painterly & Rubenesque. Painterly looks like the most boring shade I've ever laid eyes on but it's also the most useful. I don't wear eyeshadow everyday but my eyelids have a lot of discolouration which needs covered up. Painterly covers EVERYTHING and matches my eyelid colour perfectly. It's one of those products that instantly make you look better but no one knows you're wearing anything. It can be used as a base for other shadows but I only use it on it's own to create a clean eye look with lashings of mascara. I've even used it under my eyes when I'm having a lazy day and my dark circles aren't too bad. Painterly is a product everyone should own. Rubenesque unlike Painterly isn't at all boring to look at and is so easy to swipe on when you're in a rush. I don't go to town with my eye makeup for daytime looks, I don't often bother adding a darker colour in the crease. I'm a one lid colour girl so products like this are perfect for me. It can be sheered out for a really subtle look or you can layer it up for more colour pay off.

The texture is really creamy but dries down once on the lid and doesn't budge or crease on me at all. I love both and NEED to get more. What shades should I try next?

Were you late getting on the Paint Pot Train like me?
Do you own these shades?

MAC Paint Pots £14.50 from MAC. I ordered mine from Debenhams to make sure I got my Beauty Club Card points.

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Friday, 7 June 2013

The Gentle One: Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub*

I love any product that makes a huge difference from the first use and body scrubs fall into that category. You don't need to use the product for weeks before your skin feels smoother, it's instant. I personally prefer a scrub that feels almost harsh (bad choice of word but I like to feel it working) but I've found a great smelling, gentle scrub that would be perfect for anyone who likes to exfoliate several times a week in the shower without having to worry about over doing it.

The directions say to apply a dollop onto damp skin but I find it works better on dry skin (I use all scrubs this way) it spreads across the skin really well and if you're a coconut lover like me, you'll love the scent! This scrub isn't harsh in the slightest, I would go as far as to say it's the most gentle scrub I've ever tried and could be used on a daily basis without causing any irritation. Coconut Caress leaves the skin feeling moisturised but isn't an oily scrub, it doesn't leave any residue on the skin which makes it a good one to use before applying fake tan.

If you only exfoliate once a week/fortnight/month then this isn't for you but if you're a daily scrubber or are looking for something gentle then Coconut Caress would be a good one to go for.

Do you prefer a gentle scrub to a scrubby scrub?

Dirty Works Coconut Caress Body Scrub £3.99 (currently £2.99) available from

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Shopping My Stash #15

The sun is finally here! In N.Ireland anyway which is rare. I feel like all year we wish for mr sun to come out but as soon as it's here I do nothing but complain. I love when the weathers good, everyone seems in a better mood but the heat really drains me. I'm hanging over my keyboard at the min like a sweaty big beast with blurry, dotty eye's from being out in the sun taking some blog photos. Anyway, enough about that and more about whats really important - makeup.

Clarins Bronzing Duo: I own the shade '02 Medium' I maybe should've got the lightest shade but with there being 2 shades in the pan I'm able to adjust the colour to suit my skin all year round. I've got some tan on at the mo so I don't have to be too careful when applying this. It's a lovely natural bronzer and looks great paired with just some concealer if I'm too warm to wear foundation. I posted about this back in December if you want to read more. (link)

Liz Earle Signature Foundation*: If I'm wearing tan or going on a night out this is usually the foundation I go for. It's too dark for my natural skin tone to wear everyday but the coverage is fantastic as is the staying power. It sets immediately and doesn't need touched up with powder a million times throughout the day. See my review and swatches here.

Escada Moon Sparkle: I adore Escada fragrances. They're so, so sweet but I find them to be fresh at the same time. That might sound weird but what I mean is you can really smell them, they're strong and sweet but not cloying or migraine inducing. Every year they come out with another beauty but Moon Sparkle is from a good few years back so I'm guessing it's no longer available. If you've tried Escada fragrances before you'll have a good idea of how this smells as they're always similar but the notes include: Strawberry, blackcurrant, sweetpea, rose & freesia.

Sephora Primal Instincts Palette: Another neutral palette but a flippin' good'un! Sephora's own brand make up impresses me everytime, it's brilliant. You can take a closer look at the shades here.

Max Factor 'Bewitching Coral': If you're looking for a bright, purse friendly, long lasting, matte lip colour that really stains the lips then look no further. It isn't the most moisturising lippy, it can be a bit drying but I absolutely love it! It's by far one of my favourite summer lippies but I do wear it all year round.

100% Pure Pink Champagne Luminescent Powder*: A gorgeous, glitter free highlighter. I love MAC Soft & Gentle but when it's really sunny outside I feel that it maybe looks a bit too much. This is subtle but still packs a punch plus it's 100% pure so you don't need to worry about loading your skin with nasty ingredients. See my review and swatches here.

This Works: Fresh Skin Toner: I bought this in the sales after Christmas but have only just started using it really. It isn't astringent in the slightest. I would describe it as a moisturisng toner but not as moisturisng as the likes of Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. It's alcohol free and helps to balance the skin. I use it after cleansing and throughout today when the weather is sweltering like right now.

Do you own any of these products?

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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

KIKO Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker '103 Peach Red'

KIKO Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker '103 Peach Red'*

Lip Markers are something I love the idea of. In theory they sound great but in reality, they leave a lot to be desired.. Transfer proof, smudge proof, long lasting colour is something that really appeals to me as lip products in general don't last long on my smackers at all. I'm always gulping down water, coke or coffee and I'm a constant lip licker on top of that. I've only tried a few lip markers but haven't had the best experience with any of them. One dried out completely in less than a week, one smelt like permanent marker and the other made my lips feel raw.

KIKO Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker looks exactly like a marker. It's easy to hold and most importantly, easy to apply. With each use the nib is saturated in product but not to the point where it's going to drip everywhere. I've been using it several times a day to make sure it doesn't show any signs of drying out and so far so good. I love great smelling products and this is no exception. The scent is very sweet and fruity which makes me want to reapply more often than I need to and it doesn't have even the slightest pong of permanent marker to it.

The texture is extremely lightweight, it feels like water when first appled and even my mum who doesn't wear make up (she can't stand the feel of it on her skin) said she would be happy to use it as she could barely feel it sitting on her lips. It dries down within a few seconds to a matte finish and you can add as many layers as you wish to make the colour more intense. Once dry I wouldn't describe the feeling it leaves behind as moisturising but it certainly doesn't feel like my lips have been stripped nor does it make them flaky as the day goes on.

As I've already mentioned, lip products don't last very long on me. I'm not sure how many hours this should last as it just says 'long lasting' but I get around 4 hours before I really need to add another coat. It's paraben free which is always good and is available in 8 different shades.

Have you tried this lip marker or any others?
Are you a lip licker like me?

KIKO Long Lasting Colour Lip Marker £6.90 available from

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Review & Swatches: Pur Minerals Beautiful Creatures Inspired Palette

Pur Minerals Beautiful Creatures Inspired Palette*

After being really impressed by the Pur Minerals CC Cream I was so excited when the postie handed me a parcel containing this limited edition eyeshadow palette inspired by the film Beautiful Creatures. As I'm sure most of you are aware, I'm incredibly fussy when it come's to eyeshadow textures and colours. I'm probably never going to step out of neutral shade territory and if pigmentation is poor, I'm not going to put in any extra effort to make it look half decent. I'm more than happy to experiment with bright colours on my lips but my lids, thats just a no-go area.

The palette contains 8 eyeshadows, eyeshadow brush, black eyeliner & lipgloss. All the shadows are what I would describe as wearable shades. There's no groovy colours included (you know the ones I mean, they never get touched unless you're heading to a fancy dress party) and the colour pay off/texture is very similar to Urban Decay. Urban Decay is my favourite brand when it comes to eyeshadow so any shadow I'm trying out for the first time automatically gets compared to the mighty UD. I never have problems with my shadow creasing even without primer and on me the shades only faded slightly by the end of the day. Pigmentation is so strong that you wouldn't need to use primer to intensify the colour (but you could), only if you're prone to creasing.

The eyeliner Black Magic glides onto the lid easily, there's no dragging as the formula is so soft but because of that it smudges very easily. Not great for anyone with hooded or oily lids. The lip gloss Lust/Desire is a sheer milky pink and staying power is quite good for a gloss.

The eyeshadows are fantastic, I can't fault them. The palette is small and contains a good sized mirror so would be a great thing to keep in your bag as the shades can be used to create both day & night looks. The eyeliner was a bit of a let down and the gloss didn't blow me away but the palette itself is worth tracking down. Unfortunately this palette won't be coming to the UK. I think I'm right in saying it's only available in the US but it's times like this when Ebay is your friend.

Do you own this palette?
Which brand is your favourite in terms of eyeshadow?

Pur Minerals Beautiful Creatures Inspired Palette $29.00 from

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