Thursday 26 January 2012

Cheeky MUA Cosmetics Purchases!!

Evening lovelies!!
So it seems that i cannot go ANYWHERE near a Superdrug without coming away with at least ONE new MUA cosmetics purchase. Last week i went to have my eyes checked in Matlock and, of course, my opticians HAS to be right next door to the Superdrug there. I actually blame my mother for being late to pick me up. Not the end of the world though, its not like i spent stupid amounts of money!! In fact i only spent £3.50 hehe


MUA Professional Eyeshadow Trio in Eden
MUA Kohl Pencil in Forest Green

I've got a bit of a thing for green at the moment. Not sure if its the best colour to be using on my, already green enough, eyes but this trio is so pretty!! I couldn't resist it.
For £2.50 you get 3 gorgeous shimmery shades including a pale gold highlight shade, a gorgeous medium green/gold shade and a darker green shade to contour. Pigmentation is lovely and they are very easy to swatch and to blend and work PERFECTLY together. It really is a stunning combination. 
It seems that MUA have recently added to their range of shadow trios as i previously only remember there being 4 or 5, but some of the new ones are just SCREAMING to be bought and i am bound to give in again very soon!! 

The next thing i picked up was the Forest Green eyeliner pencil. I have been waiting patiently for the new shades of the MUA contour pen to reach one of my local Superdrugs and, unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet BUT to temporarily satisfy my green fixation i picked up this pencil for £1. 
It's a little on the softer side and does tend to migrate south a bit when used on the lower lashline but i ADORE the colour!! I've been using the shades from the trio to attempt to set it a little to avoid this. But for just a QUID i'm really not grumbling!! It goes on very easily and has a slight metallic sheen to it which i like. 

Here's a quick snap of my initial play with the products (you might notice i was wearing it in my Halo post from last week too) and i'm pleased that it does actually work really well with my green eyes. I was worried that it might be a little overkill but i love it!! 

What MUA Shades/Products are YOU loving lately??

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Clynol Haircare Review: Moisture Collection

Good evening ladies!!
I am reviewing a range today that i received to review before Christmas as reward for receiving the accolade of ImmediatePR Blog of the Week!! I was chuffed to bits that i was chosen! I'm a bit late with this review though... Partly because i was flat out over Christmas and am only just about recovered and partly because i think that, with products like shampoos and conditioners, you have to give them a good run before reaching a verdict. 
So here are the products i received....

Clynol is a salon exclusive brand who also have a range of colourants and other salon systems. In my previous (although not recent) experience of their products i have always found them to be of a very high quality and i believe that they generally offer great results for the price. 
This collection is marketed as being super moisturising but lightweight, so suitable for daily use (with the exception of the treatment which is recommended for weekly use). The key ingredient in this range is bamboo milk to hydrate without weighing the hair down. It is a simple range. No sickly sweet fruity fragrance or fancy colours, which i like. I find the mild scent to be quite comforting. Kind of like baby lotion.

Moisture Hydrate Shampoo:
I'll be honest and say that i am unable to use this shampoo for every wash as i suffer from a dry scalp and tend to use the Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky as my main shampoo at the moment or the itch drives me crazy!! However, i have been using this shampoo once a week to give my hair a little treat and i do like it. It's quite milky in texture so you do not need a lot. It isn't soapy either so don't expect it to lather up too much. In my experience, lots of bubbles does not necessarily mean your hair is any cleaner, but more of a reflection of what is in the shampoo. This formula is very simple and lightweight. 

Moisture Dream Bi-Phase Conditioner:
This is a very clever product. It isn't like a conventional conditioner. It is a leave in formula which consists of two layers which are shaken together before spraying into towel dry hair. I think it is intended for use INSTEAD of a heavy regular conditioner and would be perfect for those with fine or flat hair as it will not make it greasy or drag it down like a rich, intense conditioner. For me, however, i use it as well as my normal conditioner as this product on its own is not enough for me to get a brush right through my hair. Please note that i have MEGA thick hair and no issues with body or volume so thats not to say the product does not work, just that it isn't the perfect product for me, but i HAVE been using it and it is a very decent leave in conditioner. I just can't get away with it on its own. 

Moisture Charm Lightweight Treatment:
I like this treatment and have been following the instructions and using it once a week, leaving it in the hair for 5-10mins before rinsing out. Again, it's not a rich, heavy, indulgent treatment but the moisturising products in it give a lovely softness and shine to the hair after blowdrying. I actually use the leave in as well after this treatment, just because my hair is so wild but i would totally recommend this product to someone with fine hair that is in need of a moisture hit as it will not drag your hair down whatsoever. I tend to use this when i have a bit of extra time and can just lie in the bath and let it do its thing. Sometimes i even do a face mask at the same time. It feels like a real treat! 

To sum up, these products are not exactly perfect for my hair type, but i will continue to use them as I really do rate Clynol products. I'm very grateful to ImmediatePR for sending them to me because i have not tried anything new from the brand in quite a while. I'd say this would be perfect for finer haired ladies or those lacking in volume, yet need a bit of extra moisture. The lightweight formula is perfect for hydrating without overloading the hair and weighing it down. They are a real treat and well worth spending the extra pennies for a salon product. For more information on these and other fab products from Clynol check HERE!

Have you tried any Clynol products?? What are your go-to hydrating hair favourites??

Friday 20 January 2012

Baby I Can See Your Halo.... (Hair Extensions)

Good afternoon ladies!!
This week i got a very exciting parcel through my door. It's something i've been so curious about for a while now and now i finally have one of my own!! I've been totally in love with my Halo Hair Extensions ever since i was sent them to review back in August (read my review on the 20" Clip in Set HERE) and, although i adore my clip ins, I have been having some issues with them as my hair has been growing and the wonderful people at Halo offered to send me the Halo to try!! Lucky lucky Lisa!!

So as you probably gathered, i opted for the 16" Halo in Chocolate Brown. What makes the Halo different from the clip in extensions is the simplicity of it. The clip ins are quick and easy to use but the Halo is just a breeze!! It adds length and volume in just one step. Place it onto your head so it hugs the shape then quickly pull your own hair over the Halo to hide the weft. It literally only takes a minute!!
As with all Halo products it is excellent quality 100% Remy human hair and retails from £79.99 depending on the length you choose. 

Time for the 'Before' photo....

My hair has grown A LOT since i have been using hair extensions (not due to the extensions themselves, just generally), but as it grows it grows THICK and the ends of my clip ins were getting a little tatty and not really blending very well. The Halo i received is actually a shade lighter than the clip ins i have as i have been trying to get my hair to more of a lighter warm brown recently. The Halo is a pretty good match, however, my ends were slightly darker than my all over colour so a little ColourB4 on the ends was needed for it to blend in PERFECTLY. As it turned out i didn't even need to re-dye my hair afterwards and i am left with a gorgeous chocolate brown that i am so pleased with!! 

And here's my hair AFTER the Halo....

HA!! Massive hair in the face!! Always happens when i take photos.... Blehhhh

Anyhoo...... One of the major advantages i've found with the Halo is that you don't have to plug up gaps like you do with clip ins. Especially with my hair being so thick. I'd been having to wear a set and a half of the regular clip ins for it to blend properly, which resulted in a LOT of clips (you ever get that thing where you hug someone and the clips go straight into your scalp?? Ouchie), but i can barely feel this in my hair. The effect it gives is a bit different. It doesn't reach all the way round to the very front sections of my hair so it gives more of a layered effect. Shorter haired girls may want to bear this in mind (or pop in a couple of clip ins just around the front to balance it out), but my hair isn't actually that much shorter than the 16" Halo. I'm loving this length for everyday wear though as it looks so natural and is totally secure. Think i will be wanting a 20" Halo as well in the near future for more dramatic looks!!

I plan on doing a further post to make a more detailed comparison between the Halo and the Clip In hair extensions so expect that in a week or so. I am in the process of filming instructional videos on each type to show you exactly how to apply and blend them correctly. I have also previously done a post on how to care for hair extensions (this can be found HERE) and if anybody has any questions at all about the products or any other kind of hair extensions in general (I am qualified in Balmain Keratin Bonded hair extensions also) feel free to comment or email me. 

Massive thank you's to the gorgeous people at Halo. They really could not be more happy to help. If you are unsure about ANY of their products or whether or not they will work for you, you can email a photo and your query to and they will do their very best to colour match you and help you decide on the right product. Make sure you follow them on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest product news and giveaways. They love to chat as well!! 

Have you tried Halo Hair Extensions?? What other brands do you rate?? 


Monday 16 January 2012

MakeUp Bag of the Week #1

Evening girlies!!
So the new year finds me rather limited budget-wise and i'm a MASSIVE fan of the very lovely Sunday Girl, so i have made a vow to appreciate the items i already have in my makeup collection a little bit more before i go blundering in with the Mastercard to buy any more. Doing my 2011 favourites last week really got me remembering and appreciating the items i have already so i have decided to follow the emerging trend of switching my makeup bag around each week to get more use out of forgotten about items. Last week's bag didn't get a post but now that i have a bit of extra time on my hands (all assignments are handed in until i go back to uni on the 24th) I'm showing my blog some love.....

So here's the items i picked out today to serve me for this week......

These first two items are likely to remain in the bag from week to week because they are my must-haves and  i cannot live without them, but they are...
MAC Matchmaster Foundation - Shade 4
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium Plus

(One item i appear to have neglected in these photos is my recent concealer discovery, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection in 03 Medium. My bad!!)

(If you're wondering why some of the photos are different, i ran out of camera battery halfway through taking these photographs and had to use my iphone camera to take the rest)

The Bronzer I went for this week is Bourjois Delice De Poudre 'Chocolate' bronzer. I decided it was time to give the VIVO a little break and I adored this Bourjois one earlier in 2011. It works for contouring as well as adding a gorgeous subtle glow to the face and it lasts forever! I've had this one since about June (ish) and have hardly made a dent in it yet!! Well worth its money. Smells delish too!

This week's Blush is Sleek Powder Blush in 'Life's a Peach'. Again, this was a big hit with me over the summer. Not sure why i'm going for glowy, gold, bronzey tones in this particular makeup selection, they just all seemed to jump out at me! Maybe its because its so cold outside that i'm dreaming back to summer haha. This blush is perfect for a subtle glow or a more vibrant look. 

Lipstick choices for this week are quite similar really. I have been in LOVE with my MAC Shy Girl (Cremesheen) ever since i got it late last year. Don't know why it took me so long to get my paws on it because i knew i'd love it and its been on my radar for a while now. So glad i own it and its been hard to separate myself from it so it had to go in this week's bag.
 My next choice is my Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate Moss in shade 03. I bought this in September with Boots points and, after the initial play, i kind of tossed it to one side in favour of my MAC Hue. But i found it earlier while picking products and had to toss it in the bag because it really is a lovely nude pink shade which isn't too pale or too dark and i haven't really given it a proper chance.

Eyeshadow palette this week is my lovely MUA Professional Heaven&Earth palette. It really is a little gem of a palette and the shades go really well with the bronzer and peachy blush. If you don't own this yet i really do suggest you snap one up on your next Superdrug visit because its great value and excellent quality for the price. Great for everyday looks. 

Eyeliner this week is my Stila Smudge Stick in Moray that i got in a recent Glossybox. Its a lovely golden toned liner and is long wearing. Half the reason i picked this was because, up until the other day, i actually thought i'd lost it as i couldn't find it anywhere! I just so happened to have a re-shuffle the other day of my entire makeup area and it jumped out at me. Phew!! I didn't pick a black this week as I'm not really going anywhere (I've finally got some proper time off) but this is lovely on its own or with the golden brown tones from the palette if i do have to pop out anywhere. 
The mascara i chose was my L'Oreal Lash Architect 4D. I LOVED the original Lash Architect mascara and picked this up because i wanted to see if it lived up to it's predecessor.... It didn't QUITE match my expectations but i'd still say it's a pretty decent drugstore mascara. I have heard a few moans about this here and there but i haven't got any major issues with it as long as i wipe off the excess before applying it. It seems a little more manageable now that its been left to dry up a little. 

Some definite gold themes emerging in this week's choices. It wasn't deliberate but maybe its a reflection of something subconscious.... Like i wish it was WARM again!!

What old favourites have you been resurrecting lately?? Have you rediscovered any old favourites??


Friday 13 January 2012

17 Supreme Shine Lipstick in 'Hot Stuff'

Good evening lovelies!!
So i've been trying really hard to experiment and branch out a little when it comes to lipstick. I adore nude lips and shades like MAC Shy Girl and Hue are my go-to lip choices for almost every occasion leaving the focus on my eye make up. However, since Christmas, i have been more and more interested in perfecting a bold lipstick look and have been researching into adding some brighter shades to my collection.
I've found that a great way to do this is down at my local Boots and Superdrug. I had some points on my Boots card this week and went in search of an affordable red lipstick to 'experiment' with. And i came up with this.....

17 Supreme Shine Lipstick in Hot Stuff

This lipstick is a gorgeous colour. It does appear a lot more red in the bullet than it appears when applied to the lips. Swatching revealed that this lipstick actually leans quite pink in natural light. The formula of this is much more pigmented than the Mirror Shine lipsticks from 17, which are almost like lip glosses, however the  lipstick still does not quite apply opaque. This isn't a problem for me though. It just means that i can build it up if i want a brighter look or just apply a quick wash of colour.

The shine really is lovely. The formula also feels lovely on the lips and is in no way drying. You wouldn't need a separate gloss with this range. My one grumble with this lipstick is that you do need to reapply it quite often, although with a budget brand drugstore lipstick i suppose you can't have it all. If this were a high end brand though, i'd be spitting feathers. 

Soooooo all in all I like this lipstick as a starting point for my bright lip mission. It's not long lasting but, for 17 prices, I think it delivers very well in terms of colour, formula and finish. My ultimate bright lipsticks that i'm working up to are MAC Impassioned, Girl About Town and Ruby Woo. At the moment there is really not much point in me shelling out for them though. I don't really go anywhere to justify a bright lipstick. I'm doing this experiment to satisfy my own curiosity. So cheaper alternatives like this really do have their place and are so useful for experimenting with new shades. MUA also do some wonderful lipstick shades and I plan to pick up a couple  in the next week or so. 

What are your favourite drugstore brands?? What brights are you loving lately??


Monday 9 January 2012

BrunetteBeautyBanter 2011 Product Awards!!

Good afternoon lovelies!!
After my quiet spell over Xmas and New Year I am now BACK and i have been thinking very hard about what products I have loved the most over the last year. I started my blog in April 2011 and at that time i did not own half of the makeup and beauty products i own now and tended to stick to products i knew. I credit my lovely Twitter buddies and fellow bloggers with pointing me in the right direction and some of their recommendations, along with a few little gems i have discovered on my own, have become well loved in my collection. So i decided to put together a little post to tell you about the best of the BEST in my make up bag over the last year. Please note that a YEARS' worth of favourites = PICTURE HEAVY POST!!

And here they are!!

Foundation of the Year Goes Toooooo......

MAC Matchmaster in Shade 4.0!!
I have been through a few foundations in my time, even before i started blogging. I used to lean towards Maybelline foundations, however, i feel like they have changed their formulas/colours a little of late and i switched to Max Factor Xperience, which remains my go-to drugstore foundation. On my birthday i took a little trip to Meadowhall and a lovely lad on the Debenhams MAC counter took it upon himself to match me to a foundation. We tried a couple but Matchmaster really did jump out at me! The demi-matte finish is perfect for my normal/combunation skin and it covers flaws brilliantly! It doesn't leap back at you in photographs either! I really couldn't be without this now and just bought a replacement. For my full review click HERE!

Bronzer of the Year Goes Tooooo.....

VIVO Cosmetics Baked Bronzer!!
This was a relatively late edition to my collection. I picked this up at the TOWIB event in October. This is a range that is sold exclusively in Tesco and, as i live at least an hour away from the nearest Tesco, I was so lucky to receive this. And i have used it almost every day since. It is just a perfect bronzer for every day and is neither matte nor overly-shimmery. I don't contour with it but a spot of this over the cheeks, nose and temples produces the most lovely, natural glow. It also lasts AGES! I took this photo this morning and you can hardly see any wear on it at all! Major value for a budget brand! For some reason i have failed to do a full review on this yet so i will certainly pop one up in the near future. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Blusher of The Year Goes Tooooo.....

Well i couldn't pick just one could i!! However, i did identify TWO that were worthy of the joint honours...

1) BeneFit Coralista
This has been my best friend ever since i got it. I just adore the shade and it can be as subtle or vibrant as you like. Its a very pinky coral and it has the most gorgeous sheen to it without being over the top. I have worn this shade EVERYWHERE from work to a night out and it has been admired. I find BeneFit blushers rather pricey but the packaging looks beautiful on any dressing table or vanity. It even SMELLS nice!! I can see this working for most skintones so its definitely worth a swatch at LEAST!

2) MAC Melba
I'd been recommended this by so many people when i was on the hunt for the perfect peach blush. I like that it isn't an orangy peach as i already own one (Sleek Life's a Peach). This leans more pink and gives a gorgeous glow to the cheeks. Again, i'd say that it is very versatile and could be worn for any occasion. MAC blushes as a whole are hard to fault and are more affordable than BeneFit or NARS. I can't wait to pick up more of them in 2012!

Lip Product(s) of The Year Goes Tooooo.....

Again, i can't pick just one. It's impossible. My go-to shade of the summer was undoubtedly MAC Vegas Volt (Amplified) The most beautiful bright coral i have ever seen! It's not so much a daytime shade for me, although it could certainly be worn as such with neutral eyes (and it works, i've tried it) but it dazzles on a summers evening. The amplified formula is very creamy and i do not find it drying on my lips. When i think back to last summer i always see this colour. 
MAC Hue (Glaze) is my lipstick saviour. It is always in my bag, nomatter what the occasion. It's just the most beautiful, subtle, nude pink shade out there. When i bought it i worried it would be too pale on my medium skintone but it has proved to be perfect for me in every way. I would not be without it and will be buying a back up very soon as i'd hate to lose it. 
My drugstore lipstick choice is definitely Rimmel Nude Delight (Moisture Renew). This isn't the longest lasting lippy in the world: In my opinion Rimmel's lipsticks rarely are. But I love the colour and it makes my lips feel gorgeous!! I'm not the best at spotting tones in colours but i'd say this was a peach/beige kind of nude. Definitely a warm toned nude anyway (I might be totally wrong). 

Lip Glosses...
I'm not a lipgloss freak. Never have been. I think it makes my lips feel like ive been sucking on a candle. But, when MUA brought out their Out There Plumping Lip Glosses, the pigmentation of them had me suckered in and, at £2 each i bought 4 of them!! The two i have featured here are Buff (a brown toned nude) and Pin Up Pink (a bold pink/red). These are such good value for money and do not feel at all sticky or heavy on the lips. The pigmentation is almost akin to a lipstick and i, personally, love the tingliness of the MaxiLip ingredient. They have changed my view on lipglosses. Read my full review HERE!!

Nail Polish of The Year Goes Toooooo....

1) OPI: Barefoot in Barcelona
I love the warmth of this shade. It's been my favourite for the Autumn and Winter months. I just love the terracotta/brown tones in it. OPI formulas in general i find are very good and i have no complaints whatsoever on this polish. I just love it! 
2) China Glaze: For Audrey
This has been a constant favourite throughout the year. The colour is just so striking and goes with almost anything! I suppose i'd describe it as turquoise/aqua but its been lovely for both summer and winter. Definitely worthy of award status!! The China Glaze formula is possibly my favourite of all the brands ive tried. You could even get away with a single coat of this polish and it lasts a long time before chipping (even for a pot washer like me).

Eye Product of The Year Goes Tooooo.....

Well, of course it was going to go to my Urban Decay Naked Palette!! I haven't loved any other palette anywhere NEAR as much as i have loved this one. There are other contenders of course. Sleek and MUA both produce wonderful palettes which i adore but there was only going to be one winner here. It is just the most PERFECT collection of neutrals which can be so easily worn for day but then vamped up for night. I am willing to accept the little issue of some fallout with a couple of the shades, just because it is so FABULOUS!! I would love to get my paws on the new Naked2 palette which has emerged this year, but i do not feel like i NEED it because i have this one. Maybe when my bank balance has recovered from Xmas i might see about investing. 

Other Honourable Mentions.....

Fragrance of the Year: Diesel Fuel for Life
Body/Tanning Product of the Year: Xen Tan Dark Lotion
Hair Product of the Year: Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

I really hope you ladies enjoyed reading through my product TRIUMPHS of 2011. Over Xmas and New Year i have discovered even MORE fabulous things which i can't wait to share with you. I am really looking forward to improving my blog in 2012 and i would love to hear any suggestions you may have or posts you'd like to see. I will be getting back to my Sunday Salon series and playing with new looks to share with you. AND i swear i will revive my much-neglected YouTube channel. I look forward to sharing it all with you.

What were YOUR product winners of 2011?? 


Friday 6 January 2012

December Giveaway WINNERS!!!

I've been completely AWOL over the festive period. This was not intentional but i do not have a job which gives me time off over Xmas. In fact, this year is the first year for a while that i haven't had to work on Xmas day!! On top of all this I had 3 assignments due in and an exam over Xmas and New Year! HARSH!
But i'm BACK and i thought i'd start off the new year by announcing the winners of my December Xmas GIVEAWAY!!!

Here's a little reminder of the main prize and the first peek at the surprise parcels i will also be sending to more lucky winners....

So in total there are 6 Winners. In true blogger tradition i have numbered all your entries and then let fire 6 numbers back at me!! 

The Winner of the Main Prize: Diva Rebel Thermique Styler IS.......


And the other 5 surprises are going to.....


I'm not telling who is getting which prize apart from the main prize as i am keeping it all a mystery in the spirit of Xmas (even though its long gone for another year haha)

I will contact all the winners via Twitter or Email and prizes will be posted out on Monday, or as soon as i have all the details i need. The main prize will be sent directly from Diva so i cannot give a shipping date for this. 

Special thanks for this Giveaway go to the lovely people at Diva and Soapbox PR for donating the prize. It is FABULOUS and i am so jealous of the winner!! 

I look forward to sharing more beautiful things with you in 2012. If there is anything anyone would like to see on this blog in the new year please comment/tweet/email me and let me know!!
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