Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New lipstick! Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss stick - Honey Pink

I love new lipstick!  I was on a mission on Friday to come home with  something as far away from my usual pinky/browny mlbb shade and had decided I would go as far out of my comfort zone as necessary to get the desired look!   A quick shout out on twitter resulted in lots of great suggestions from loads of people - ladies thank you all.  The only problem I had was that the brand had to be available in either House of Fraser or Boots, so I was fairly limited - MAC, Laura Mercier and Illamasqua weren't happening!

First off I had a look at the Dior Addict Extreme lipsticks - Ruth had posted some pics of new ones not due out yet and they had set me off on my lemming for something out of the ordinary.  Whilst I quite liked the available Dior shades lots of them had glittery bits in them and at 45 I wonder if blingy sparkly lips are just too little girl?  It's probably down to the individual but I prefer cream lipstick to anything shimmery or glittery and there weren't any Dior creams that were floating my boat. 

Next off I visited the Estee Lauder stand after several recommendations that the Pure Color lipsticks were exactly what I was after.  Having had a bit of a play I decided that if I was going out of my comfort zone in terms of colour one way of diffusing the shock would be to go for something sheer rather than too opaque a lipstick.  The Pure Color Gloss sticks are pretty much that, gorgeous colour in a glossy finish but in a stick rather than a lip gloss tube - not a fan of sticky lip gloss.  As soon as I tested Pink Honey on the tip of my index finger - I have been told its the closest in colour to the skin of your lip so a better indicator than the back of your hand, no idea if its true but it usually works out well for me! - I knew it was The One.  

The lady on the Estee Lauder counter in HoF in Huddersfield is fantastic - I have since been googling all things EL and the one recurring theme is that the ladies that work on EL counters can generally be relied upon to be knowledgeable, willing to help, generous with samples and pretty bloody lovely! The one in Huddersfield is all of those things.  

I was having a look at the Double Wear Light foundation as the website foundation finder had suggested that one for me and she said had I heard about their new foundation, Invisible Fluid, I said that I had and was hoping to get my hands on a sample at some point.  She said "go shop, get a coffee and when you come back past here nip in, I have just taken delivery of all my stuff - the samples are in the bottom box, if you give me a mo when you get back I'll sort you out a sample".  She actually offered, I didn't have to beg or feel like some nasty bludger, she actually just up and offered! And before I left she gave me a sample of the Double Wear Light into the bargain! Prior to all this she had handed me a teeny lip brush so I could apply some Pink Honey to my lips, its hard to tell how something works in indoor lighting so I said I was going to see how it felt for a little while and check I was still happy with the colour when I was outside but that if I was I would be back.

When I nipped back 20 minutes later to say yes please to the Pink Honey she had dug out her samples of Invisible Fluid, checked the one she thought would work best for me, 1CN1, and decanted some into a bottle for me to take home.  

Corally pink, pinky coral?

Gorgeous and glossy

The top of this swipe of lipstick is the most colour accurate of all!

So pictures.  It's bloody hard to take pictures that show off foundation isn't it.  In these I am wearing the Invisible Fluid.  I wore it to the gym this morning and a group of ladies stopped me as I got off the bike to ask what I was wearing on my face as my foundation looked so lovely!  I had been cycling at a fair pace for 20mins so had a bit of a glow on!  I can honestly say I have never been complimented by strangers on my foundation before, so that's a pretty huge plus for this one!
 You can probably see that it looks nice, but I don't really think the picture does it justice, it has a lovely freshness to it, so my skin looks dewy without shine.

Jesus, now you can probably understand why, as a rule, Steve does as he is asked. Or else.
 Please excuse scary facial expressions I was more concerned with the light being right than how my gurning was looking!

And finally, the close up of the lipstick.  You'll need a strong stomach for this cracker!
Please ignore crater sized chin pores, fine lines round lip and huge, dark, terrible nostrils. Lippy's nice though, no?!
 As I hope you can see the lipstick is a glossy peachy shade and it completely brightens my face, I am really pleased with it!

In my next post I am going to show some pics of me wearing the Double Wear Light foundation, at the moment I am strongly leaning towards purchasing this over the Invisible Fluid.  I will explain all in my next post!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Frittata will make you a little less fatta

Fantastic as a low carb alternative to pizza, quiche or sandwiches!  First off, I am not an egg lover, nor am I a huge fan of protein, carb addicted that's me. However yesterday Em was home from work and we were in need of something substantial but syn free for lunch so I decided to give frittata a whirl.  Result! We had it warm for lunch with salad.  Would have been equally lovely with new potatoes and some veg for dinner.  But the absolutely fantastic thing about frittata is that it would make the most perfect packed lunch - I had a slice left that I wrapped and put in the fridge and this morning have had that as breakfast and it was delicious, the ultimate finger food.  In fact if you are having drinks and need something tasty and syn free to eat with your drinks it would be perfect as once its cold you can cut it into delicate little bite-sized pieces without it falling apart.

No pics I'm afraid as it's all gone but here's the recipe I used:
1 large onion thinly sliced
frozen peas - I am approaching this from an SW perspective not strict no carbs, so change to suit your needs!
frozen sweetcorn
4 eggs
salt, pepper
smoked paprika
60g of cheese - Em and I shared our cheese allowance, but if you are on your own just eat half one day and half the next using your cheese as your healthy A choice!

Spray a sauce pan with fry light, fry the onion until soft, stir in the peas and sweetcorn.  Add the seasoning.

Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper.  Pour the onion mix in.  In a jug beat 4 eggs and add 3/4 of the cheese.  Pour over the onion mix.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Baked in the oven at 200 degrees for around 20 mins - it puffs up and browns, just check the middle is set!

Serve warm or allow to cool and slice.  If I was planning in advance I would use spring onion rather than a regular onion which would mean no frying, so even quicker and less washing up!  Thinking this would be lovely made with bacon and leek, or smoked salmon and loads of chives, I'd add peppers, courgette and sweet potato too, or cold diced regular potato would be great to bulk it out.  Do not stint with the seasoning - 4 eggs need all the help they can get, in my book!

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Aveeno is one of those ranges that has just never piqued my interest, I knew it existed and apparently delivered but I always overlooked it for something that was less functional.  That was until Em had bad eczema on her wrists and a colleague of hers told her to buy Aveeno moisturising cream, which she did, within 2 weeks the eczema had healed.  I pinched a dollop of Em's Aveeno cream and was very impressed, the difference in my skin was visible and lasting.  

I have been using an inexpensive shower gel recently, I like the smell but had really noticed that my skin was feeling much drier post shower than it did when I was using the Korres shower gels that I bought on holiday in Crete (am definitely going to purchase more Korres shower gels!).  I decided that perhaps my skin could use a bit of a hand so headed off to Boots with Aveeno on my list.

All the Aveeno products were 20% off so I decided to pick up a few things. I was particularly interested in the shower oil.

As you can see it's a nice thick oil, it emulsifies with the water and feels great on your skin, leaving it feeling very comfortable but with no greasy residue.  It doesn't really have a fragrance, sort of an odd biscuity smell really, so I tend to use my fragranced shower gel for washing and then use a dollop of this as a final skin rinse.  You can also squirt some of the oil into a bath and I think it would be fantastic used in this way - I have no bath so can't try it sadly. I think this would be ideal to add to baths for babies and little people with eczema - I wish I had had it back when Em was little and really suffering.

The Daily Moisturising Lotion is also fragrance free and doesn't have the biscuity smell of the oil either.  It feels very cooling and soothing and it really does improve the appearance of my skin.  It does feel a little sticky when I put it on my legs, not so much on the rest of my body and it's not a deal breaker but I'd like it more if it didn't!

The hand cream is very very effective.  The body lotion and the hand cream both claim to moisturise for 24 hours and I really feel that they do, the hand cream also claims to last through hand washing and I would also agree that it does.  Again no fragrance and I do prefer my hand cream to smell nice, but it is incredibly effective, it instantly makes my hands feel soft but leaves no residue.  

I would definitely recommend Aveeno if you have little people with eczema, or have it yourself, or if you are looking for something that actually works.  Bit of a dull post, back to lipstick and nail varnish for the next one!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

NOTD - L'Oreal Color Riche Beige Countess

This is one classy manicure!  Super work appropriate for anyone that's important to, one of the benefits of being self employed is that I can wear any colour nail varnish I like!  Some nudes can be pull out any of the pink tones in your skin, this one doesn't seem to do that on me and I completely love it.  There is a chance that I like this one most of all in fact.

Em and I are heading back to Boots on Friday, I have a fancy for a pale grey cream now, if anyone has picked up and blogged any of these please let me know, I'd love to see how some of the other colours look.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

NOTD - L'Oreal Color Riche Rebel Blue

I LOVE when this happens, when a nail varnish that looked a bit meh in the bottle looks fantastic on the nail!  I mentioned before that I had expected this to be more of a cobalt blue when Em brought it home on Wednesday and was disappointed with it, especially with the shimmer.  Which is why I waited until today, Sunday, to try it.  

It looks so much darker and brighter on the nail than in the bottle, much nearer the cobalt shade I had in mind, I am really pleased.  I am not sure if its because of the shimmer but this one seems less glossy than the creams, not massively but just a tad.  I also am less impressed with the brush on this one, it is a bit fatter than the others and I struggled to apply the polish neatly; all my notd pics are without clean up - I have very sensitive skin so avoid using nail varnish remover unless its to actually remove an entire manicure, which is why I need polishes with great brushes.  Any polish with a huge brush that spits polish into my cuticles soon falls out of favour and into the bin.  Onto the pics:

Still not the dupe for Nails Inc Belgrave Place that I am searching for - I know I could just buy Belgrave Place but I am not really a fan of Nails Inc polish, I have had some very dodgy brushes, which whilst irritating in a £4.99 polish is appalling in something that costs £11.50 or thereabouts, I have a feeling though that I am going to have to cave at some point and buy this one.  Hope everyone is having a fab weekend.

Friday, 17 February 2012

More L'Oreal Color Riche Nail Varnish - Blue Reef, Rebel Blue & Beige Countess

I am obsessed!! sent Emily back to Boots in her lunch break on Wednesday to pick up Rebel Blue and Blue Reef for me.  Have taken pics of both and added the  Beige Countess that Em bought on Tuesday and has worn since, its a lovely "work appropriate" nude!  So enough waffle, on with the pics!
Rebel Blue, Blue Reef, Beige Countess - again all very colour accurate

Numbers and names in same order as above

Rebel Blue has some shimmer to it, which was a disappointment - when I saw it on Tuesday I was convinced it was a cobalt cream but when Em brought it home on Weds it was less cobalt and had this annoying shimmer into the bargain - L'Oreal please please please a bright, gorgeous Cobalt cream the colour of the Hermes Birkin bag would be perfect, thank you!

The shimmer isn't really visible here

The lone bottle pic for this one came out too dark, this is colour accurate.

If you click on this one to enlarge you can see shimmer running up the middle

I wore Rue Monmartre for 3 days with only a very small amount of tip wear, no base, no top coat.  I only took it off because I was sooo desperate to try Blue Reef.  Which looks like this:

Oops nearly forgot - I got a better pic of the brush which is flat and with a curved end and makes application a breeze.


 So gorgeous it hurts!  So hope this inspires some weekend nail splurging, please please let me know which you bought and what you thought!  And if anyone knows of a the perfect, super glossy cobalt cream pleas let me know - I had the Barry M one, but its not glossy enough and Barry M polish doesn't light my fire, sorry!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Finally NYX v Tom Ford!

I don't think a post on this blog has ever had a bigger build up!  I was so excited to try the NYX eye shadows that they arrived, were photographed in pristine condition with 2 different cameras, swatched on my freshly shaven arm, then my hand twice; once without UDPP and once with and applied to my freshly cleansed eyes all within an hour of delivery!  I am going to keep the words to a minimum as there are a tonne of photos.


Top is with flash, bottom is without.  Seriously, aren't these beautiful?  The shades clockwise from the left are Golden, Rust, Walnut and Red Bean Pie.

All are described as shimmer and/or metallic.

Rust - a dupe for MAC Cranberry too apparently!
Red Bean Pie - poss dupe for MAC Trax or Sketch?? Similar gilded purple shade.

 Beautiful.  In terms of texture they are all soft and smooth, Red Bean Pie is the only one that was a bit dusty and you can see that in the swatch pics.

Rust, Golden, Red Bean Pie, Walnut both pics in natural light.

The longer swatch is without UDPP and the smaller dot below is with it
 Hope this isn't too many pics?  I am always disappointed with blog posts with 2 or 3 pics, hope you feel the same way!

Dear God, I have sent myself to sleep with all these pics!
 I decided to apply them to my eyes without using UDPP, just to see how they lasted without and also because as the swatches looked so intense with it I thought using the shadows first without might be a bit less scary!

 Initially I put Golden all over my lower lid - it was very golden indeed!  I then put Walnut on the outer corner of my eye and then Rust into the crease, at this point I was wondering if this was all going to come together or not!  I decided to spread Walnut over the whole lower lid to take down some of the brassy'ness.  I then felt the whole thing really needed grounding so I applied Urban Decay Whisky pencil on upper and lower lash and water line, which seemed to suddenly pull everything together.  I then ran a bit of Hustle from the Naked palette over the lower lash line and then smudged a bit into the crease to take down Rust which was dominating.  It was only after blending that I realised that Red Bean Pie might just have been perfect instead of Hustle - next time!

Now all I need is some one to buy me the Tom Ford Burnished Amber Quad and I can do a proper comparison!  But here are the pics, what do you think:
Thanks again Klara for the pics of the real deal!

 Not a dupe, of course, but not totally wide of the mark either!  Hope you enjoyed this marathon of a post!


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