Thursday 31 January 2013

Apocalips Now!!

Okaaaaaay so i swore off this particular bandwagon... I never said i wasn't going to buy the products but i declared that i was not going to blog about them (my reading list is currently clogged up to the max with posts about this particular product so i rendered it to be a bit of a redundant exercise). However, i just happened to stumble across the Rimmel: Apocalips Lip Lacquers on Tuesday and, as predicted, bought them and, as i also predicted, i friggin LOVE EM! So when i was unpacking my camera earlier i thought 'Sod it' and started snapping.....

So... Rimmel Apocalips... Unless you've been locked away in a cupboard somewhere for the last month, you'll probably have heard a bit about these badboys rocketing (sorry, this post is gonna be full of bad space puns) around the blog-o-sphere. 
The idea behind these little beauts is to have the pigmentation and coverage of a lipstick whilst having the shine of a lacquer or gloss. It comes in a gloss-like tube with a foam applicator. The formulation is described as being 'creamy and conditioning' and promises to provide a unique combo of pigmentation, shine and comfort. Needless to say my curiosity was sparked as i love trying products which have multiple functions. I didn't go nuts. I only picked up two to be getting on with as i really wasn't sure what to expect. The shades i picked up are as follows....


Can't help but feel that this shade could have been more appropriately named SOLAR as it's such a sunny orange/peach shade. Luna, to me, suggests the moon which, in turn, makes me think of green haha. Being warm-toned myself this was the first one i gravitated (i'm on a roll here hehe) towards. 


Celestial is a slightly darkened, blue toned dusky pink which looks different in different lights in my opinion. I had to go right next to the window to do these photos today (seriously, the light in my room is awful at the moment) so it may appear a little paler in some of the photos. Anyway, it's a really wearable shade for day or night and actually looks alright on me. Pinks with blue tones in them often don't. 

Here are the swatches for both...

Well, let me tell you that the pigmentation of these is ASTRONOMICAL!! One sweep of the applicator on the lips produces an opaque finish and you hardly need to build it up which, in turn, makes it great value for money. In terms of ease of use, the applicator does a bang up job. I'm also happy to report that they are in NO way sticky and feel very creamy and smooth on the lips. As for longevity.... The gloss does seem to lessen over time, but the product leaves a stain on the lips which lasts a good 4hrs. It made it all the way back to London from Derbyshire yesterday without me needing to reapply. 

Rimmel Apocalips are £5.99 and available from most Rimmel stockists in 8 cosmic shades ranging from nudes, to pinks, to explosive reds. They are PERMANENT, which means you won't have to rush to get them all as they will be staying around. The one i think i will be purchasing next is Galaxy. I'm a bit upset with myself that i didn't get that one this week but, at the time, it swatched quite dark compared to the others so i left it. But i think i NEED it!! 

Did you run out and buy these?? Which shades are your favourite??  

Monday 28 January 2013

Monday Manicure #2

Monday Manicure time again lovelies!!
I'm actually really enjoying doing these nail posts so far. I've actually found myself dreaming up themes for them each week. The theme i'd planned for this week fell a bit flat when the mani smudged beyond all repair on my way off the train last night but i'm going to keep it on hold for next time and do this theme instead which is Blue Denim. Apologies that most of these photos were taken with flash. I've barely seen daylight for a couple of days due to travelling and uni. The colours look pretty true still so it's still an accurate representation....

I haven't featured anything from Barry M on this blog for a while but i was mooching around the Boots in St Pancras yesterday afternoon and thought i'd treat myself to a couple of new polishes. I've been hankering after blues lately for some reason so i went for...

Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in GNP5 - Blueberry
Nail Paint in 325 - Denim

I think the root of these choices lies firmly with the fact that i'm currently lusting over the forthcoming Nails Inc textured Denim polish. The Barry M version doesn't have a texture but the effect is still very pleasing and does look a lot like denim! And i've heard good things about the Gelly polishes so was keen to give them a go!

So i only used the Denim polish as an accent nail but i actually think it's my favourite out of the two!! It looks quite a bit glossier in these photos than it appears in real life as i put a coat of Seche Vite over the top of it for it to match the Gelly polish. The real finish of the polish isn't quite matte but isn't overly shiny either. It has VERY tiny particles of glitter in it but these do not really translate as glitter once its dried on the nails. I don't really know how to explain it. It gives the effect of texture without there actually being any. Not gonna lie, i'm still gonna pounce on the Nails Inc Denim polish when it comes out, but i think this is a great substitute if you can't justify the pricetag. 

Managed to quickly snap a single daylight photo on my iphone before the light died this afternoon at Uni. The Gelly polish DOES give a very glossy finish. As i said before, i used Seche Vite as a topcoat and this amplified it slightly but the polish on its own is still lovely and glossy. I'm not sure how long it will last on my nails though. I've never been too impressed with the longevity of Barry M polishes in the past, BUT i suspect that was more to do with my old job. I've had this on all day today and it hasn't budged yet! 

Do you rate Barry M for affordable nails?? Which of their polishes are your favourites?? Which effect polish do i need to try next??

Sunday 27 January 2013

Making it BIG with THX

Hello beauty lovers!!
Been a while since i've featured a new styling tool on this blog. I've been pretty dedicated to my Diva Argan Styler and barrel tong for all my heat styling needs for quite a while now, but once in a while we all need to step out of our comfort zone and try something different. When i was contacted by the lovely people at THX (Total Hair Experts) about a brand new range of stylers that had just launched in Tesco before Christmas i knew i didn't just want another tong or iron. I wanted to try THIS....

THX 'Make It Big' Hot Air Styler*

This is a kind of tool that i am totally inexperienced with, even as a hairdresser. I suppose i'd typically achieve a big, bouncy blowdry with a regular hairdryer and a massive round bristled brush, but this little beauty is all that in one! 

Here are the vital statistics....
- Ultra fast warm up
- Ionic Tourmaline Technology (reduces static and calms frizz)
- 800W drying action with 2 heat settings and cold shot
- 50mm ceramic barrel
- RRP £24.94

The end result?? This product aims to deliver fullness and body to the hair with the option to flick out, curl under or, on long hair, you can use it to curl all over. For the purposes of this post i opted for the bouncy, curled under look. 

This tool took a LOT of getting used to for me. I'm used to having the dryer in one hand and my brush in the other whereas, with this, i had both in ONE hand. I must admit i was fingers and thumbs the first time i used it, but i got used to it. I had to experiment a few times with it as i have a LOT of hair. On me, this styler takes a LONG time to dry my hair from wet so, personally, i have learned to wait until my hair is almost dry and then finish it off section by section using this product. On those with finer hair, however, i can imagine that this would be a very fast and convenient way of drying and styling hair in one sitting, rather than having to dry, then style. Total time saver! I'll be interested to try this on my mum as she has very fine hair cut into in a bob (by moi). 

Using the styler, once i got used to it, was quite easy. The only grumbles i have (i'll get those out of the way first) are that if you hold it the wrong way, you catch the barrel release switch and the end falls off mid-drying. The barrel also gets pretty damn hot. The very end of the barrel is heatproof but it's quite easy to want to grab the barrel so i would suggest using one of those heatproof gloves if you're inexperienced. 

I was really pleased with the results from the blowdry above. I find it really hard to capture big hair on camera as it never seems to do it justice, but i hope the photo demonstrates how the product smooths and shapes while it dries (even with my dodgy, growing out layers), eliminating the need for further straightening. I love this for minimising heat impact on the hair. I also love how SHINY my hair was afterwards. The bristles are a lot softer than they look and very kind to the hair. My hair felt bouncy and soft and the shape held well with just a spritz of hairspray. 

For more info and to find out about the other products in the THX range visit Products range in price from £24 up to £59 which, in my opinion, it totally reasonable. As i mentioned before, this brand is being sold exclusively in Tesco stores so be sure to have a nosey next time you're picking up a loaf of bread! 

Have you tried the new THX products yet?? What are your styling saviours?? Do you favour a big, bouncy blowdry?? 

Friday 25 January 2013

Let's Pretend it's Spring: Nails Inc Feathers

I was going to save this post for the next instalment of my new Monday Manicure series, as i didn't post one this week. But i just CAN'T, plus my nails will probably change again before then so i'd feel like i was lying to you all haha. On Wednesday i attended a very early QVC Beauty event and, of course, i gravitated immediately towards the Nails Inc stand, where i grabbed hold of THIS little beauty...

Nails Inc Feather Effect Polish: Chester

The Nails Inc Feathers range will make its debut in March, but i've been so lucky to try these out 2 whole months early! I chose Chester (2nd from right) as i just loved the multicoloured 'feathers' but believe me when i say that every single one of these polishes is just STUNNING! They contain very fine, feather like particles in a range of blended pastel shades.

The range also includes...
Edinburgh - Pale Blue and Peach (not pictured)
Brighton - Teal and Yellow (not pictured)
Cornwall - Blue and White (Far right)
York - Peach and White (2nd from Left)
I actually am not sure of the name of the black/silver glittery one on the far left and it is not mentioned in my Nails Inc press releases on the range, but i will keep trying to find out. 

I wish i had a tan as this polish would set it off like a dream!! I didn't apply this myself, it was done by one of the lovely Nails Inc ladies. She used a layer of basecoat, 2 layers of Chester and finished it off with a layer of their Caviar fast-drying topcoat (which works similar to Seche-Vite for anyone wondering and dries in 45seconds). I actually have this topcoat, although i haven't opened it yet, so if anyone would like a comparison post do shout up. 

As you can see, the polish gives decent opacity, even without a base shade. I was informed that the best way to apply it is to dab it onto the nail with the end of the brush, rather than sweep or wipe it over to avoid the feathers accumulating at the tips. It's lasted really well too! It even survived me scrubbing glass shelves at work yesterday. 

More Colour Swatches!!

Sadly i did not get to take this beauty home with me, but i really wanted to share it with you because you NEED these in your life this Spring! I think i want ALL of them! Chester definitely brightened my mood on a cold, early, Wintry morning! Many thanks to QVC for inviting me and letting me play with polish! I think my Nails Inc wishlist just passed the £200 mark. Yikes!

These polishes are currently exclusively available in this 3-piece set from QVC (Link ) and will be available as individual polishes from Nails Inc's direct website (Link), stores and concessions from March 2013. I cannot wait to get my hands on them (or them on my hands - whatever).

Are you excited about Nails Inc's new releases for 2013?? Which effects/colours are on your MUST HAVE list??

Half Price Look Beauty HAUL!!

Good morning my lovelies!!
My Instagram followers reading this will already know that i went a bit NUTS when i heard that Look Beauty were having a 50% off Sale in Superdrug this month. And my local one in Streatham just happens to stock it! Needless to say, i was off up there faster than a greased weasel.... and i actually went back TWICE more in the last week! Naughty naughty... Anyhoo i thought i'd do a little post to let you all see what i got.

Okay so it's not a MASSIVE haul... but for me this is the most drugstore makeup i've bought over a short period of time in quite a while! Especially from just one brand. In fact, these are my first ever Look Beauty purchases (apart from a single lipstick which i reviewed HERE) and i wanted to get my money's worth while everything was such a great price!! 

Nail Pop - £5 Each (I paid £2.50)
To be honest it was only really these that i first went in for. I've heard quite a lot about these polishes and i knew i had to get some while they were such a low price. The shades are as follows...


The only one i have reviewed so far is Dorothy (post can be found HERE) but expect to see all featured on this blog during the course of the next few weeks.

Make me Blush Powder Blusher: Pinch £8 (I paid £4)
This is a bit of a different colour choice for me. It's a lot cooler in tone than i would usually go for. I expected to go straight for 'Rosy', which i do still want but i was admiring this colour so much and i find it so much easier to try new things when they're on offer. I haven't really had much opportunity to play around with it yet, but from a preliminary swatch the pigmentation looks really promising! I will report back.
Holiday Glow Bronzer: Rio £8 (I paid £4)
I grabbed this because i've been looking for a slightly darker bronzer for a little while now. I can't really afford to repurchase my shattered NARS Laguna yet (seriously upset with myself for managing to destroy something so beautiful) and wanted something that i could put in my travel bag as a bronzer/contour multitasking product. I'm hoping this might be it!!

Airbrush Base: Medium £12 (I paid £6)
I've heard amazing things about this foundation and i'm so excited to try it out. There will definitely be a review popping up on this at some point. It's a medium coverage, which is my preferred kind, and the shade match is great. I've had a little feel of it on the back on my hand and can't wait to play with it properly. I have really high hopes so i hope it doesn't let me down! 

Eye Brightener £4 (I paid £2)
Hmmm... I already have the BeneFit eye bright, but this nude shade really appealed to me as a more subtle tone as the BeneFit one (although i love it) is quite pale and pinky toned. It's also quite chunky, while this pencil is the same as a regular eyeliner. Hoping i will be able to use both to create different effects.
Loud Lips Liner: Rock Candy £4 (I paid £2)
There is a lipstick of the same name to go along with this product but it just looked so RAWR that i couldn't bring myself to buy it. I have fuchsia lipsticks already that i hardly wear. I bought this liner specifically to go with my MAC Quick Sizzle lipstick but i'm going to try it with other pinks such as my Viva Glam Nicki and Chatterbox and see what looks i can create.

Double Hit Lip: Berry Blast £8 (I paid £4)
I'm still on a mission to find a shade of purple lipstick that will suit me. I have green eyes so, in theory, it should be a match made in heaven, but my warm skintone is seriously hindering me!! I love that this one has a gloss with it that i can use on its own for a more subtle in situations colour when the lipstick is too daring. Can't wait to play with this badboy!! Expect swatches soon. 

As far as i know, Look Beauty is still half price in Superdrug (the last time i went in was Monday of this week), but the half price offer seems to have disappeared on their website. There are still markdowns to be had though! The blusher and bronzer featured in this post are both currently reduced to £5 as well as some other offers (including their Brow Kit - OMG how gorgeous is that) so do check the site out! In case you don't know it's

Do you rate Look Beauty Products?? What are your favourites?? Did you rush out to take advantage of the January Sale??


Monday 21 January 2013

Vintage Vision with Atrixo

Evening lovelies!
Just over a week ago my lovely friend Grace and i were invited along to the STUNNING Home House for some late afternoon tea and a vintage knitting class hosted by the beautiful ladies from The Vintage Patisserie and old school hand cream experts Atrixo

(Apologies for the grainy images. I captured most of the evening on my iPhone and the light wasn't brilliant.)

The event was held in the White Marquee and had been beautifully laid out like a vintage afternoon tea party. There were allsorts of thoughtful little touches and details. More than your average event and it was so much fun to be there! 

So while we ate sandwiches and cakes and sipped tea we were instructed by Catherine Hirst of as to how to knit a flower. Now i'm a crochet fanatic but have always struggled when it comes to knitting. I do feel like i've turned a bit of a corner after that night though and i've just about mastered the knit stitch haha. I must say Grace and i had a few giggles and a fair bit of stress while we tried to wrap our brains around it though. 

Not bad eh!!! I didn't get to finish my flower on the night as i was too busy gossiping and drinking tea, but i continued to practise once i got home!!

The Products:

Atrixo Enriched Moisturising Cream (£5.40 for 200ml)
With Camomile to pamper, sooth and soften hands. Restores smoothness to weathered hands
Atrixo Intensive Moisturising Cream (£5.40 for 200ml)
Glycerin enriched formula to intensively restore hands. Perfect in this harsh, cold weather! Forms a protective barrier against dryness and irritation.
Atrixo Regenerating Treatment (£5.46 for 100ml)
Delivers an intensive dose of skin conditioning ingredients including Panthenol. Nourishes and provides instant relief and smoothness.

Not everybody remembers Atrixo from old. I do, but there were a fair few at the event that were completely new to it. I just remember it being the hand cream in the green packaging from when i was little. Would you believe that Atrixo is now over 55 years old?? It's come a long way and now has a whole range of luxurious hand treatments to choose from in all shapes and sizes. I can't wait to put them to the test. I've got particular high hopes for the intensive protecting cream, as my hands can take a battering in the salon and behind the bar with water and chemicals! 

How cute is this little hand cream Victoria Sponge cake!! Almost too good to eat!!
What really impressed me about the evening was that everything was so well thought out and the little touches that had gone into everything, including the goodies we got to take home with us. Everyone i spoke to said it was one of the best events they had ever been to!! It was just so different from the events i usually go to and i'm sure nobody will forget who Atrixo are for a long time to come! 

How ADORABLE is this little teacup! I actually Squee'd when i pulled it out of my bag when i got home. I just loved all the thought that went into the evening. It was so great to see how an old school brand has evolved over 50 years and that we can still enjoy vintage pastimes and products in our crazily-paced modern lives. I will definitely be reviewing some of these products in the very near future. 

Who remembers Atrixo?? Are you a lover of all things vintage??

Late Night Lippy Lovin #4: MAC Chatterbox

First Late Night Lippy Lovin post of 2013 people!! 
And it's one that i'm particularly loving this time! I've been on a bit of a quest for the perfect pink lippy recently. I have a few pink lipsticks that i really enjoy wearing but none of them have ever felt..... perfect. Either they leaned SLIGHTLY too blue, or the formula wasn't right, or it was gorgeous but just not bright enough to feel special. My favourite MAC pinks for in the daytime are Creme Cup and Hue but they just weren't FUN enough. 

Before Christmas i had a little mini swatch-a-thon in Selfridges and asked the opinion of a couple of the MUAs and they pointed me towards one that i had been curious about for a little while which was this one....

Chatterbox (Amplified Creme)
MAC describe this shade as a 'Bright Red Pink' and i think that's a pretty accurate description. Chatterbox is just that little bit different to any other pinky pink lipstick i've ever tried. It's a bright shade without being massively in your face or neon and it isn't blue-toned, which is great for me, being a warm toned girlie. I'm totally fine with the Amplified finish too. It has a creamy feel on the lips and isn't drying at all. 

Due to the foul weather and impossibly dull lighting at the moment i'm a little unimpressed with the quality of these swatches, but you get the idea. 

Wow, this photo reminds me that i REALLY need to tan!! To be fair i had to brighten it a little to reflect the true colour of the lipstick as the light was dying on me. I'm not really quite this ghostly! 

I've not been wearing this lipstick willy-nilly all the time, even though i do adore it. This is my new favourite going out/special occasion pink lippy. I've worn it with both neutral and smokey eye looks and it's a really versatile shade. You could also try it mixed with MAC Myth (or similar nude) to tone it down for more day to day wear. 

What's your perfect pink lippy??

Thursday 17 January 2013

My Haircare Routine

Good afternoon beauties!
Seen as though i did my skincare routine last week, i thought i'd follow up this week with a haircare routine post. Since just before Christmas i have been using some AMAZING products from Lee Stafford and my hair is feeling fabulous so i really wanted to share them with you. In fact, i think it's the first time in a while that i have just been using a SINGLE range of haircare products and not mixed and matched with other brands!

Now, my hair isn't exactly hanging off. I always do my best for my hair and try to avoid anything damaging like the plague! My usual policy is to only use Semi permanent colour. However i have been ombre on several occasions in the last 12months (including now) and i feel i owe it to my hair to make up for the lighteners i've put on it lately.

Lee Stafford Breaking Hair Range*:

Consists of...
Breaking Hair Shampoo
Breaking Hair Conditioner
Repair, Build and Fix Treatment
Breaking Hair Split Ends Treatment

There is also a detangling spray in the range, but i do not have that one. You might also notice that, in most of the photos for this post the treatment featured is wrong (it's the Hair Growth Treatment). This is because i conveniently left my Build and Fix Treatment at my parents' house over Christmas and won't be there again until next week. I actually want to talk about BOTH treatments so it's not the end of the world. And i've dug out an Instagram image of the correct product so you'll still know what you're looking for.

Breaking Hair Shampoo & Conditioner (Both £8.99)
These products smell so clean and fresh! There are some great ingredients in there too. The shampoo is vitamin enriched and the conditioner contains a repairing complex of Soy, Amino Acids and replenishing lipids to really revive the hair. As i said before, my hair isn't technically damaged as such, but having used lighteners on my ends recently i feel like these products have really helped minimise the impact to my hair and it feels a whole lot healthier and protected. It's basically an ultra-smoothing product which also help to add body and shine. I usually wash my hair, on average, about twice a week. At the moment i'm trying not to blow dry it too much and leave it to dry naturally wherever i can which helps the products work even better,

Hair Growth Treatment (£7.99)
I've been buying and using this product for almost a year now (on and off) and it's definitely on my HG products list. Quite a few people have asked me if it really does work and the answer is YES!! Don't get me wrong, you won't magically wake up one morning looking like Cousin It, but what you will suddenly notice is how STRONG your hair feels and i actually find my hair is easier to style and more manageable when i've used it. You apply this treatment in BETWEEN your shampoo and conditioner. Give it a good massage into your hair and scalp (because thats where hair grows FROM) and leave it to work it's magic for 10mins before rinsing and following with your regular conditioner. 

Repair, Build and Fix Treatment (£10.99)
Like the conditioner in the range, this treatment contains a blend of Soy, Amino Acids and Lipids. It's super concentrated and is formulated to really take your cuticle to task. It works on the structure of your hair to counteract the damage caused by excessive chemical treatments, heat styling and general wear and tear. Like the previous treatment you apply this in between shampooing and conditioning, although with this one you need to pay special attention to the ends of the hair rather than the roots. Leave it to work its magic for 5-10mins then follow with conditioner. I must say i'm not sure i prefer it to the Hair Growth Treatment, but i have been alternating the two and, in general i really rate treatments like this! 

Split Ends Serum (£9.99)
This is a product to really blitz and soften dry and split ends. You smooth a couple of pumps (or as many as your hair needs) through towel-dry hair before blowdrying. I actually like to add a small amount to the ends once the hair is dry as well, before i straighten. I like this serum as i like the reassurance that my hair is being looked after, but i think i still prefer my Twisted Sista 'Different Strokes' for the finish and shine factor. Both have their strengths. 

Overall, my hair feels very healthy and soft after using these products. A lady who tried to put my hair up at an event last week commented that she was having trouble getting it to behave as it was so silky. She assumed i had just washed it that day and was shocked to find out that it was 2 days since! 
I really do rate Lee Stafford's products. I've met the man himself on a couple of occasions and i really do trust him to do what's best for my hair.

 Pricewise, Lee Stafford products are at the higher end for a drugstore brand but, you get what you pay for, and i'd say they're worth the extra couple of quid for something that really works. I'm desperate to try his Argan Oil next! 

Lee Stafford products are available Exclusively at Boots Stores nationwide and on the Boots Website (Link)

Do you rate Lee Stafford products?? What are your favourite drugstore brands?? Are you prepared to pay the extra for great hair??


Monday 14 January 2013

Monday Manicure #1

Good morning my beauties!!
I've been brainstorming in the last week as to how i can change up my blog a bit and incorperate more posts that i felt my blog has been lacking lately. I hit on the fact that nail polish is something that doesn't get enough attention at the moment and, as i've recently been painting my nails more and more frequently (usually on the train up to University on a Sunday afternoon), i decided that i would dedicate Mondays to my nails! So i'm getting the ball rolling today with this little beauty....

Look Beauty Nail Pop:

Because red glitter nails are for LIFE, not just for Christmas! I enjoyed glitter nails so much over the festive period that i have carried it over into 2013.

Look Beauty currently have 50% off ALL their beauty products in Superdrug and online. I've only ever tried their lipsticks before (read my review of Toffee Cup HERE) so i decided i just HAD to purchase a couple of their nail polishes. I picked up this one and another, which will no doubt be coming up very soon in another Monday Mani post. 

(In natural light)
This is 2 coats of Dorothy followed by Seche Vite topcoat (that's another post, i love it!)
(With Flash - Check out the pathetic, short middle nail that broke yesterday. Grrrrrrr)

This polish is visually stunning! These photos really don't do it justice. The glitters are quite fine, but not too much so and really catch the light perfectly. 2 coats provides decent opacity but i think i'd maybe go for 3 in future. It really is a dead ringer for the Ruby Slippers Dorothy wears in the Wizard of Oz! Wonder if i click my fingers 3 times i'll be transported to another realm haha...

Longevity-wise, this polish holds its own. I've had it on since Saturday night and it's just starting to come away from the tips. No chipping as yet. To be fair i haven't done anything very strenuous though. I like the size of the brush and the formula is easy enough to work with. I'm a messy self- manicurist and i  only had minimal tidying up to do after applying this. 

Look Beauty Nail Pops are currently on sale at £2.50 each (usual price is £5) and are available in a wide range of colours from selected Superdrug stores and from 
I think i may have to make another trip because i'm hooked!!

What shades have you picked up in the sale?? Do you go mad for glitter polish?? 

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