Monday, 30 July 2012

Random Banter: Fifty Shades Of Me

Hello, Ladies! Oh, the weather has been so lovely recently with the odd shower now and again, the Olympics have begun and I haven't had time to write posts! Sorry! This will be a slightly busy month for me, hence there will be less posts from the next couple weeks. It's Ramadan, and fasting drains all energy and thinking capabilities out of me- I tried to write this post the other day, only to find myself staring blankly at the screen, unable to structure a sentence clearly. But that was just the first day of's getting easier day after day! Nevertheless, I shall endeavor to post as often as I can during the coming month. So until my next post, I thought you all should get to know a little more about me, other than what it says on my profile! So, here is a random post with random bits and bobs about me!

I'm scared of heights.

I lived on campus during my three years of uni. One of the best times of my life!

I love the way a guy changes gear when driving, and the way he switches lanes swiftly.

I think the italian accent is hot.

I wish I had dimples. The one on my cheekbone doesn't count.

I blush easily. I turn a brilliant shade of red.

I'm possessive.

I like the smell of petrol when a car drives past with the engine roaring.

I day-dream alot.

I'm not a bathroom-singer. I'm not any kind of singer. But I love to sing.

I'm an agony aunt.

Me and my mind argue alot. We don't get along.

I like clicking pictures and wish I had taken a photography course.

I like to read people's facebook statuses, butIi don't really care what you ate for lunch. Unless you're offering.

I believe in the motto: if you cannot convince them, you confuse them.

I want to be cast opposite Ian Somerhalder in Vampire Diaries.

I hate feet. I have like feet-phobia. It's the toes that freak me out.

When I'm angry, annoyed or excited, I add extraaa letterrrsss tooo myyy worrrddssss.

My nerves go a little haywire when people tYpE lIKe tHIs- cut it out. Seriously.

I'm not very good at taking compliments.

I could not read a map to save my life.

I forgive, but I never forget!

I'm easily confused, a little complicated and overly cautious.

I think life is a series of distractions to get me out of bed every morning!!

I think there's more to life than shopping. Just kidding!

When I text back with 'LOL' im not always laughing, i just want you to leave me alone.

I philosophize a lot. Is a hot guy cool or a cool guy hot?

I want to dance in the rain.

I like going to the dentists. I always get a lollipop for being brave =D.

The Ali-G voice imitation is quite hot.

I love fish.

I look at the freebies before I consider buying a magazine.

I love it when guys raise their eyebrows.

Its annoying when relying on someone else to take a picture because I want to be in it, and it ends up coming out off-centered and out-of-focus.

I HATE being tickled. It may make me laugh my head off, but it also makes me punch harder.

I love hot chocolate with hazelnut syrup and lots of whipped cream.

Love tea. Green tea, Earl Grey, Apple Tea, Cinnamon tea, Masala tea....mmmmm...

I seriously cannot understand why people try to have conversations with someone who is in the drives me bonkers!

I ♥ Cupcakes. Especially red velvet. Yum.

I love surprises!! 

I cry at the movies.

I hate cooking. Oh God, please may my mother-in-law still love me regardless o_O

I wish I knew how to bake. Burnt mixture of flour, egg and sugar anyone? Did it need milk?

Yes! I DO watch Star Plus and the mother-in-law vs daughter-in-law dramas. Shoot me now.

I want pets one day. Except those that bark, scratch, attempt to fly and require no regular washing. Fish?

I procrastinate. I need to stop. I'll start tomorrow.

I'm cranky when I'm ill, when noone listens to me and when I'm hungry.

I write faster than I talk. And yes, that's possible even for me.

I wanna rush into a cab, point ahead and say 'Follow that car!!'

I ♥ to read classics from and set in the Victorian times. Jane Austen's my favourite novelist

Would love to see a similar post from fellow bloggers!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Korres Sunflower & Evening Primrose Eyeshadows in Brun and Bronze Brown : Review & Swatches

*ACCHHOOOOO!* My immune system seems to hate me, lately. Well, right back at it pppffttt. I had only just begun to recover from my previous attack of cold and flu, that its ugly head made a reappearance once again, before I could even dispose of  the heaping pile of tissues in the bin next to my bed. GRRR.

I was on the tube the other day, when I erupted in a series of sneezes. Thank God, I had tissues on me...otherwise, well you can imagine what... Anyway, whilst most passengers around me continued to act all nonchalant and were polite enough to not show the worry on their faces that they too will now be catching my germs (I'm sure they were throwing curses at me in their heads), one elderly lady sitting opposite me smiled at me pitifully and said, "Bless you, dear." I muttered my thanks in between some more sneezes and sat there staring at the floor, silently praying my sneezing stops. The lady continued to 'bless me' a couple more times, laughing nervously, until even she politely begun to ignore me. I actually felt sorry for myself. *Sigh* But more to the it not so awkward when a stranger on the train/tube/bus says something nice to you, or offers you a seat, or something, and then you don't quite know how you should behave with them the rest of the journey? I didn't know if I should smile at the nice lady every time I looked up. Should I have struck a conversation? Or made a joke even? (I couldn't crack one to save my life.) Should I have said bye and wished her a lovely day when she was getting ready to get off at the station? Well, I didn't. In my defense- I COULDN'T. I was sneezing.

Well, that's why I've been away from blogging for over a week. Stress doesn't just cause havoc on my skin, it seeks to destroy me immune system too. I've also been fairly busy the past week. But enough of the excuses, and more about this post. I am reviewing two Korres Sunflower and Evening Primrose eyeshadows in shades #36 Brun and #31 Bronze Brown.

Korres products are made from natural ingredients, free from parabens and synthetic fragrances. Both these shades provide a nice sheen and are quite silky and velvety to touch. However, the colours need to be built up to achieve a darker shade. I had to apply a few layers to achieve the colours in the swatches below:

Aren't the colours lovely?! I had expected the eyeshadows to have a lot more pigmentation, but it failed to live up to my expectations. Although the pigmentation isn't THAT bad, it isn't that great either- but as I said, the colour can be bulit up so both these shades can work for a day time look or an evening, smokey-eye look. The eyeshadows blend easily, lasting all day (I had applied these over a primer) and are crease-resistant. 

I had purchased these eyeshadows as part of a set from StrawberryNET, as I had mentioned in one of my previous posts HERE. However, I would not purchase again as I own better and have used better eyeshadows in the past. Although I love both these colours, the pigmentation lets these eyeshadows down. Saying that, I will continue to use the shadows and I'm sure they will last a pretty long time.

RATING: 4/10

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Blemish Stick: Review

I've been a bundle of nerves lately, for reasons which I won't disclose just yet! Certain things are taking place in my life right now, and it's totally nerve-racking, exciting and ever so slightly stressful. I always endeavor to retain my composure under such circumstances, before my skin decides to go haywire and erratic on me! As soon as I become over-excited, nervous, or stressed, and I need my face looking clear and flawless, my skin never fails to betray me- and this really gets under my skin (please excuse the pun)!

So, when I received a certain news the other day, my heart did a break-dance, my nerves had a mini breakdown, and not so long after- my face had a breakout. Great. Just-frigging-great. Can a girl not experience a little excitement without unwanted, uninvited blemishes raining on her parade? Pppppffttt!

So, with the not-so-little buggers erupting all over my face, I had to start taking extra care of my skin- drinking lots more water, exfoliating everyday, and eating more fruit and veg. But I also needed something to directly attack these buggers face-to-face, one-to-one, man-on-man...err, ok you get my drift...

I came across this blemish stick, containing tea tree oil and witch hazel, in Boots. Witch hazel has disinfectant properties, which can eliminate bacteria and thus reducing inflammation. Tea tree also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which can help eliminate blemishes and reduce spot size. I purchased this immediately.

On opening, the astringent smell is rather overpowering- the witch hazel and tea tree is quite evident in its smell. I applied the product onto clean skin, over the blemishes, and it did make my eyes and nose sting a little so would not be appropriate to apply anywhere near the eye, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Although the actual stick appears blue, it applies clear and invisible onto the skin. It has a cooling effect once applied, and seems to have an immediate drying effect where it is applied, but I assume this is how it works on the blemishes- by drying out the spots and thus causing them to shrink in size. I prefer to use this after cleansing in the evening, so that it may work overnight. And work it does! I noticed a reduction in spot size and the blemishes appeared less the next morning. This product is certainly my new spotty-skin saviour!

I would definitely recommend this product, as I have been using this for the past few days and have noticed a difference. Those buggers don't seem to stand a chance against this! Costing only £2.59, you get more product than what you pay for- this blemish stick would last a very long time. It can be applied as often as you feel, and great for those random, unexpected spots that appear out of the blue when you least expect it. Dirty, miserable buggers. 

Of course, you can just use a bottle of witch hazel in liquid form and a small bottle of tea tree essential oil to apply to your blemishes with some cotton wool or buds, but it wouldn't be very practical and would be time-consuming to apply. This product is a great size and easy to carry in your handbag and practical for constant use.

I will be repurchasing this product, whenever it runs out!

RATING: 8.5/10

Friday, 29 June 2012

Pixi Lip Glow Kit in Tan Topper: Review & Swatches

Don't you just hate it when you have a gorgeous little clutch to match your amazing outfit, but you can hardly fit ANYTHING in it?! The practical thing would be to obviously carry a bigger bag, but at the expense of ruining your whole glammed-up look- you get what I mean? A clutch adds style to your look; it can bling out a simple outfit, and add a touch of elegance to your overall look. I mean, that IS the only reason why most of us spend so much on clutches- they're simply an impractical necessity! Of course, it is nothing short of a miracle when we ladies, who carry around so many items in our handags that we forget what we have in there, manage to fit everything we need into one teeny little clutch! Ok, so perhaps we won't be needing to carry our notebook, current novel and some granola bars in our clutches, but what about lipsticks, eye shadows, blusher, concealer, make up brushes and eyeliners?! We need them for those touch-ups after eating, drinking and perhaps even sweating!

This is why I love palettes! I was at a wedding on Sunday, and I managed to fit in everything I needed, simply because most of what I needed came in one dinky palette! Now that's what I call practical! I love my Lancome Tendre Voyage palette which I bought over a year ago from duty-free. It contains two lip colours with a lip brush, four eye shadows with  a double-end brush, a blush with a brush and a mirror. Perfect!

However, I am reviewing a different palette today, which I purchased not long ago: Pixi Lip Glow Kit in #Tan Topper

This is my first Pixi product, and I must say, although the plastic packaging feels a tad bit cheap, I am impressed! It contains eight different lip colour shades, including a mirror and a lip brush.

 Lips shades from first row of palette- IN NATURAL LIGHT

Lip shades from first row of palette- WITH FLASH

 Lip shades from second row of palette- IN NATURAL LIGHT

Lip shades from second row of palette- WITH FLASH

The colours range from sheer to medium sheer, and are rather moisturising on the lips. I find that if you apply a couple of layers, the colours can be made to look less sheer. They have good lasting power, lasting a couple of hours before fading, and the colour fades evenly. Although the lip colours are slightly glossy, they do not feel sticky on the lips thankfully, as I am not a big user of lip glosses. 

There is not much else to say about this palette, except that it is convenient to carry around, will fit into your clutch easily and great for changing your lip colour from a daytime look to an evening look. The mirror adds to the practicality of this product, and although the lip brush is a bonus, I prefer just to use my fingers. I would recommend this product as I like that the texture of these lip colours are somewhat a cross between a lipstick and lip gloss. I bought this palette on offer for £7, which I think is a great price for what you get, so would definitely repurchase if it is continued to be sold at this price!

RATING: 8/10

Friday, 22 June 2012

Montagne Jeunesse Pulped Pomegranate Passion Peel Off Face Mask: Review

Wasn't playing with PVA glue at school so fun?! I used to deliberately paint my hands all over with PVA glue just so that it can dry and I can peel it off! It was the only part of doing art in primary school that I actually enjoyed. I hated art back then. The painting and colouring was fun but it was the cleaning up part which I hated with a passion. 

Talking of peel-offs and passion, I recently tried a Montagne Jeunesse face mask: Pulped Pomegranate Passion Peel Off. I love peel-off masks! It's that weird feeling you get when you're peeling the mask off- just like peeling off PVA glue! My poor little brother got freaked out when he saw me with a shiny, plastic-y looking face, and even more so when he saw me peeling it off- he thought it was my skin! He kept staring at me half-scared, half-curious and utterly confused!

Anway, more onto the mask...I've never tried a Montagne Jeunesse mask before. I always see them in Boots and Superdrugs, but I never cared to take a good look at them as I always assumed these are one of those cheap products that will be of less benefit and the cause of more blemishes. But after reading some great reviews of these masks online, I thought to myself that I must give these a go! 

The Pulped Pomegranate Passion Peel Off mask has a sticky, gel-like texture but is easy to apply all over the skin. Unlike what it shows in the picture, the colour is red and not purple, but there could be variations in colour due to the natural ingredients used: pomegranate, passion flower, grape, rasberry, cranberry and vitamin E. As you can probably imagine, this smells absolutely divine! I had to resist the temptation to lick it off around my mouth! 

You leave this mask on until it completely dries and is ready to be peeled off- it took 30 minutes for it to completely dry on my skin but this was probably because I had applied it thick to use the whole sachet up. It feels refreshing whilst on my skin, and as with all peel-off masks, has a tightening effect as it starts to dry. I had to avoid looking at my brother, because the look on his face kept making me want to laugh, and you cannot laugh with a peel-off mask on!! You cannot even a move a muscle on your face whilst it's on, else the mask starts to crack and peel! 

It was easy to peel off- this is the fun part! I challenged myself to peel the mask off as a whole ('How old are you?' you ask...23), rather than in bits and bobs, and I did succeed to an extent, except a small patch still left on my cheek! After splashing my face with cold water, my skin felt soft, cleansed and...well, that's it really. It hadn't seemed to have done any wonders on my skin, but it didn't break me out either. My skin just felt...nice. However, the next morning, my skin did look much clearer and the few spots I had on my face from before seemed to have shrunk in size. 

I do recommend this product for a fun, pampering treat! I think this would be a great mask to use the night before an event or a party, as it seems to really clear up your complexion overnight. It's also great for a girly night in with some friends! I would definitely repurchase, and would love to try the other masks in the Montagne Jeunesse range.

RATING: 7/10

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Make Up Haul! Korres Natural Look Antioxidant Color Collection, Pixi Lip Glow Kit & CK Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick

Don't you just hate being woken up by the postman in the early morning? ('Early morning' definition= 9:50am.) So the doorbell rings on Monday morning, and I drag myself, half-asleep, up the stairs with a scorn on my face and muttering profanities under my breath. I open the door, grab the package off the postman and sign on the stupid piece of paper, or rather I just scribbled some randomness, to say I've received the parcel, and slam the door shut.

I'm not usually this rude. I'm actually very polite, bubbly and generally very friendly (unless you get on the wrong side of me, of course). I'm just not a morning person! Surely that justifies my attitude?! Anyway, I stare at the parcel in my hand, still frowning, and notice the label on it: StrawberryNET. Suddenly, I'm wide awake, excited and grinning! (See, I'm not always moody...) This was my first order from StrawberryNET, and I had only placed the order a few days before, so I'm very impressed with their service.

What I ordered:

Korres Natural Look Antioxidant Color Collection
  • 2 Sunflower and Evening Primrose Eye Shadows in #31 Bronze Brown and #36 Brun
  • 1 Soft Eyeliner Pencil in #1S Black
  • 1 Provitamin and B5 and Rice Bran Mascara #01 Black
  • 1 Cherry Oil Lipgloss #30 Naked Beige
Pixi Lip Glow Kit - #Tan Topper
  • Contains 8 lip colours in one case
Calvin Klein Delicious Luxury Creme Lipstick- #122 Betrayal
  • Received this free as it was my first order!

All of this cost me only £18.31, with free shipping! Bargain! (There was a sale on at the time of purchasing). I'm really excited to use these products as I've never used anything from Korres or Pixi before! Will post reviews once I have tried and tested them all!! 

Have you used anything from them before? Any recommendations?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Banishing Spots with Baking Soda!

Source: Google Images

Being women, we have to constantly multitask- and we're so good at it too! How many men can gossip away on the phone, do their shopping and eat a red velvet cupcake simultaneously?!

Source: Google Images

And don't you just love it when you have things around the house that are also multitasking?! I love multitasking products! They make life so much more simple and easier. Here are some of the things I use for many different things:

SELLOTAPE- I use sellotape to get rid of fluff and hair off my clothes. You can also apply a small strip of sellotape below the outer corner of your eye, before applying eye shadow, to blend the colour into a perfectly straight angle- you won't even need an angled brush!

VASELINE- A great moisturiser for dry, flaky skin whether its on the face or body; can be used as a gloss or under/over lipstick for a glossier pout. It's great for cracked heels, and can be mixed with sea-salt to use as a body scrub! Vaseline is also great for removing eye-makeup and for preventing blisters when you buy yourselves a new pair of shoes- simply apply inside the heel of the shoe and on your feet!

ASPIRIN- Have acne-prone skin? Grab yourself a packet of over-the-counter aspirin (non-coated), dissolve in a few drops of water, and apply the paste onto problem areas and leave for 5-10 minutes. Aspirin contains salicylic acid which works wonders for acne. Mix the paste with a little honey and it will also moisturise your skin. DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO ASPIRIN.

BLUSHER- Oh how I love blush! I also use my blushers as eye shadow, and even to add colour to my lips by applying it on top of vaseline, using my finger. I love the effect of this as my eyes, cheeks and lips all match- all with one product!

So, why splash out on many different items, when one item on its own has several uses?! Especially when it literally costs nothing! However, my most favorite multitasking product has to be baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)! Baking Soda is a brilliant multitasking cleanser. I completely swear by this product! 

Source: Google Images

Here are the many ways it can be used for skincare:

FACIAL SCRUB: Use baking soda as a gentle scrub by mixing 3 parts of it to one part water. Gently massage the paste in circular motions on your face and rinse off for perfectly exfoliated, clean skin! Do this 2-3 times a week and mositurise afterwards! You can also mix a little baking soda with your daily cleanser for everyday, gentle exfoliation. It helps to lighten dark spots, reduces blemishes and scrubs away dead skin cells!

FACE MASK: Mix some baking soda with honey and/or olive oil and apply as a mask for 20 minutes. Results are soft, glowing skin!

BODY SCRUB: Use any of the above mixtures and use as a scrub all over your body in the shower- a great, cheap alternative to the usual shower scrubs which are loaded with chemicals and fragrances. Baking soda also helps in reducing body odour.

Source: Google Images

SCALP CLEANSER: Using baking soda is a fantastic way to achieve squeaky clean hair, and to remove any build up. It can be used instead of shampoo which contain harsh chemicals that cause shedding and drying of the scalp. There are many people who follow the 'no-poo' method- ie no shampoo, and use baking soda as a shampoo replacement as they want to stay away from chemicals and sulphates present in shampoos and conditioners. It is also great for dandruff, as dandruff is fungus and baking soda gets rid of fungus easily. Apply baking soda to wet hair, (or mix it with your regular shampoo) in the shower, and massgage into your scalp before washing off. Finish off with a conditioner or rinse off with a watery mixture of honey and water.

TEETH WHITENING: Baking soda is a mild bleaching agent. Pinch some baking soda onto your toothbrush and brush your teeth as normal. You can also mix it into your usual toothpaste before brushing. 

Well, these are only some of the uses for baking soda! It's also great for stomach pain, for cleaning gold and silver jewellery, and for cleaning your sink and tub! I definitely recommend baking soda, and it is so cheap it will hardly cause a dent to your pocket! If you have sensitive skin, I suggest you use a small amount of baking soda at first and see how it reacts with your skin. It may cause a little redness, if used on the face, at first so I suggest you use this in the evening so that your skin may calm down overnight. 

Do let me know how it works for you!

RATING: 10/10

DISCLAIMER: These images have been taken from Google Images. I DO NOT claim ownership of any of the above images. Images that belong to me will be always watermarked with 'Blushing Orgasm'.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Snoozing Slacking Sundays! What I get up to...

Sundays are all about me Me ME! I usually get the house to myself so I love to spend the day at home. So what do I get up to on my own?!

BE LAZY- I wake up around 10am, and don't get out of bed until 11-11.30am. I lay in bed, talk to and/or message friends (or try and wind up Siri- yes, I'm sad like that. And no, I'm not 10 years old). I'll have BBC Asian Network radio station playing in the background whilst I check my facebook and instagram on my iPhone, and read the latest blog entries on my favorite beauty blogs.

BREAKFAST- Usually breakfast would be something luxurious: baked beans on toast, scrambled eggs, potato waffles and some cucumber slices, along with a glass of orange juice followed by a mug of steaming vanilla latte. Mmmmm... But since I've been on a mission to lose a stone, breakfast lately has been not so indulging: a small bowl of Kellog's Fruit 'n Fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk, and a cup of white tea. *Sigh*. 

OIL MY HAIR- I oil my hair every Sunday. My hair deserves some pampering. I mix 2/3 castor oil with 1/3 coconut oil, warm it up in the microwave and massage into my hair and scalp. I wrap one of those turban towels around my head and leave it on for the rest of the day. Castor oil is soooo amazing for the hair! It reduces shedding, increases shine and makes my hair feel so much more healthier and stronger. It even makes your eyelashes grow longer if applied on them every night! However, castor oil is rather sticky on its own, so you need to mix it with another oil to make it easier to massage into the hair and scalp.

REORGANIZE  MY BEDROOM- I enjoy reorganizing bits and bobs around my bedroom. Either my clothes, my ever-growing shoe collection, jewellery, bookshelf or my makeup collection- I love to rearrange and find things I'd forgotten I had! It gets me excited, as though it's a new purchase all over again!

This is a pic of one corner of my bedroom. Yes, I'm pink obsessed!

ROMANCE MOVIES- I'm a complete sucker for romance. I love romantic movies- especially Bollywood  films: girl loves guy, guy loves girl, they sing some songs together (including a dream sequence), enter villain/s (typically girl's father/step-uncle/the village thug), lots of dishum-dishums with hero jumping of a 100-foot building and landing on his both feet, baddie dies, heroine runs towards hero in slow-motion, they embrace and love prevails! Oh, how I love drama! Anyhow, I spend the day watching romance movies, reclined on my sofa, with some low-fat snacks, curtains drawn, in front of my 50inch flat screen. I'm still in my PJ's. Total serenity.

AT-HOME FACIAL- My skin also deserves some pampering by the end of the week. I scrub my face with baking soda (it does wonders for my skin! It's like an at-home microdermabrasion!), and then apply a homemade face mask. This is usually a paste made of turmeric powder, honey and lemon juice. I leave this on for 20-30 mins, wipe of with a muslin cloth and then wash my face with cool water. This leaves my skin radiant, soft and... wait for it... GLOWING! I then enjoy a long, relaxing shower with a shower gel by Soap & Glory, as their bath and shower products smell absolutely delicious!

SWEET DREAMS- Feeling cleansed, pampered and relaxed, I get into bed, put some drops of lavender oil onto the side of my pillow (it has a calming effect and helps me sleep), and shut my eyes from the world (if I'm not on the phone that is).

Well, that's what my typical Sundays are about. And it's exactly how I like it. I enjoy my own company; I enjoy having the house to myself and I enjoy pampering myself. What are your Sundays like?!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Lancome Photogenic Lumessence Foundation: Review

I dislike carrying excess weight. I hate being weighed down. Who doesn't? The main culprit is my handbag- I don't know why it's always so heavy- and believe me, it's not the money in my purse weighing me down.

Similarly, I don't really like wearing foundation. I feel like it weighs my face down. I've only started using a concealer recently, and it does a good enough job of covering any marks or blemishes so foundation is not really necessary for me. However, I do opt to wear foundation on special festivals and occasions- weddings, birthdays, parties etc, to achieve a more flawless look. And for me, nothing beats Lancome's Photogenic Lumessence foundation.

This foundation is described as a ''light-mastering and line-smoothing makeup'' providing ''14 hour comfort and SPF 15''. Thus it is one of those 'illuminating' foundations which contains light diffusing particles to hide lines and other imperfections, leaving a smooth and dewy finish. It is very moisturising on the skin, and as with most illuminating foundations, may not be suitable for oily skin.

When I first applied this foundation, I couldn't stop gaping into the mirror, in awe of my own reflection! And I say this as humbly as possible! My skin was flawless, smooth and even, and so SO GLOWING! It was as if I was staring at an airbrushed version of myself! Seriously! I bought this bottle in December, and I've only used it five or six times since then, but each time it has given me the same flawless, airbrushed effect, even in photos.

I purchased this in shade 03 which is perfect for my skin tone. It blends easily, and applies smoothly onto the skin. It provides light to medium coverage, which is perfect for my skin as it isn't heavy nor does it give the feeling of weighing down my skin; also, I don't have fine lines or dark marks so a heavier coverage is not needed. As for the claim that it provides 14 hour coverage- well, I can say that it lives up to this claim! Remember, when I said I fell asleep during my aunts wedding in this post? I was wearing this foundation. I had it on from 10am until way after midnight (and slept with it on half-way through the day!), WITHOUT touch-ups! However, I did use Benefit's That Gal primer prior to applying my foundation, which would have contributed to the staying power. Nevertheless, it works wonders on my skin! And it has SPF 15, which is a bonus. Need I say any more?!

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone with normal-dry skin. Do you want smooth, flawless skin? Do you want a foundation with light-medium coverage, covering skin imperfections and fine lines? Do you want a dewy finish? Then this is the foundation for you!

The downside is that it is quite pricey- £28.50 from Boots, but seeing as one pump provides a full coverage of my face, it will last me a long time. I still prefer to have no foundation on, but it's a must for me on special occasions, as it gives me the perfect dewy look and makes my skin look amazing in pictures! I would definitely repurchase this foundation. 

RATING: 9.5/10

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask: Review

I wish I had a passion for cooking. I am a creative person; I love scrapbooking, writing, decorating and even doodling (does that count?), but when it comes to cooking...well, I just find it soooo boring! You place your ingredients in a pan, waiting for it to boil or whatever, and then you have nothing to do but to stare mindlessly into space...tedious. Absolutely tedious. Don't get me wrong- my cooking skills DO extend beyond baked beans and scrambled eggs, and I DO look real cute in an apron and over-sized oven gloves. I DO know the ABC of cooking (a certain somebody I know once tried washing rice with washing up liquid- seriously), and people DO enjoy eating whatever I make- I just didn't inherit the cooking gene from my mother, who was able to cook scrumptious meals, delicious snacks and mouth-watering desserts...and actually enjoyed it! I think I inherited my dad's lack of patience gene instead. And cooking requires bundles of patience.

However, I do enjoy creating fresh, home made face masks with whatever ingredients I have lying around in my kitchen, pampering myself once a week. Common household food items such as honey, turmeric powder, milk, yoghurt, lemon and even tea can be combined and converted into nourishing face masks. Cheap and cheerful. But for the lazy days when I can't be bothered to make anything, I bought a tub of 'Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask' from The Body Shop.

The main ingredients in this product are: 
Organic honey- this soothes and moisturises the skin
Oatmeal- gently exfoliates
Kaolin clay- draws out impurities

This 3-in-1 scrub mask is described as a cleanser, polisher and moisturiser in one, however I don't find this product coarse enough to be a scrub and although it is very moisturising, I do still need to use a moisturiser after washing. Nevertheless, it is a BRILLIANT face mask! I find this mask gives the same results as a home made face mask, and works best on normal/combination/dry skin. If you have oily skin, this product is probably not for you.

The texture of this mask is thick and creamy, with grains of oatmeal which are soft and gentle on the skin. It instructs you to leave the mask on for 10 minutes, however I prefer to leave it on for longer as it feels so good on my face! On first application, my skin stung a little, but this turned into a tingling sensation and did not become uncomfortable or aggravate my skin. What I like about this mask is that it does not dry and become stiff on your face, making it easier to wash off. I suggest using a cloth to wipe off the mask before washing the face, as it can be a little messy to clean off. I love how my skin looks and feels after this mask- it's as though I've had a facial done at a spa. The end results are glowing and radiant skin! My face feels refreshed, deeply-cleansed and baby-soft!

The only concern I initially had with this product was that I found its smell extremely overpowering. It has a strong smell off porridge and honey, but I've become used to it now and I'm actually starting to like the smell! I also wished the packaging was a little different, for hygiene purposes- a squeezy tube would have been more ideal.

I recommend this face mask to anybody with normal-dry skin, as it is very moisturising on the skin. If you are sensitive to smell, then you may have to give this product a miss, however if you can overcome this, it is most definitely worth it! I do not recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin, as the tingling and slight stinging sensation may aggravate the skin. This product costs £9 from The Body Shop, but a little does go a long away and this tub will last a while- I get greedy with this and apply a thick layer all over my face; I've used this mask several times and still have lots left of it. I will be repurchasing this product once I have run out of it.

All this oats and honey talk has made me hungry now. I think I'll go and cook some porridge...

RATING: 8/10

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm: Review & Swatch

Do you ever walk into a shop and find something that is too cute to resist, so you buy it but have no idea what you will do with it? You may not even use it at all! I do this allllll the time! Mostly, it's in gift and card shops like Cards Galore, Clintons or my favorite- PaperChase. I'm always picking up random bits and bobs that look alluring, even though I don't need it.

And that's exactly what I did when the latest issue of 'Glamour' magazine came out this month. They are giving away free sample sizes of Benefit products: 'That Gal' brightening primer (check out my review of it  here), 'Bad Gal' mascara and 'Porefessional Pro-balm'. These products have been appearing everywhere in beauty blogs for the past week and half. Since I already own the original sizes of the first two products, I bought myself three copies of the same magazine which included the 'Porefessional' samples. The packaging was too cute to resist!

You know the feeling you get when you pick up an adorable baby, and you just want to squeeze its cheeks and give it a tight hug...until it pukes all over you? I had a very similar feeling after using this product, although I guess it wasn't so bad as being puked on. What a waste of £4- I should have just bought one copy (as I enjoy reading this magazine) and used the £4 to treat myself to a frappuccino at Starbucks. Hmmmphh.

Benefit describes Porefessional as a balm which 'Quickly minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines'. It also says that it helps makeup stay put- so it's a primer as well? Now I don't have any fine lines, or large pores on my face so I won't be commenting on that, but I can say one thing for sure- if this is a primer then it's a rubbish one at that. It failed to keep my makeup on for just a couple of hours- I felt like I was a teenager again who didn't know how to keep her makeup from disappearing, unlike Benefit's 'That Gal Brightening Face Primer' which keeps my makeup lasting all day. I really tried to like this product, I really did. (I know what you're thinking- 'Of course you tried to like it, you bought three of the same magazine for the same product thrice!') But it did nothing for me.

The product comes out as a beige, lotion-like texture, but once rubbed in it becomes completely translucent, leaving behind no tint. Once rubbed in, the skin does feel really silky but this effect does not last long. It does not make my skin glow or anything (and you all know how much I love to glow), and neither does it keep my skin feeling smooth. Lately, I have been getting slight dry patches on my cheeks, but once I apply a moisturising cream after cleansing, these patches disappear. To my dismay, Benefit's Porefessional only enhanced my dry patches, which was made to look worse once I applied makeup on top.

Many bloggers have rated this product highly, but I just don't understand the hype. I would not recommend this product to anyone, however, it does seem to work for many others out there and it may work for you. Also, I do not have fine lines or large pores (yet) so perhaps this product was just not for me, but if you do have these problems then Porefessional may benefit you. If you're living in the UK, I would suggest you grab yourself a copy of the latest 'Glamour' magazine and try out a sample before purchasing- and please do not buy tons of copies like I did until you've actually decided whether you like it or not!

I will most definitely NOT be purchasing the full-sized version of this product, and at the cost of £23.50 I'd be crazy to even think about it! Twenty-three-pounds-fifty-pence for a balm claiming to be a primer which does nothing but get rid of my makeup quicker and gives me dry thanks! I'm happy to stick to That Gal who is a lot more professional and does what she's meant to do.

If I had to say one good thing about this product, it would be that as with all Benefit products, I love the fragrance of Porefessional. It has a fruity scent to it which lingers on the skin for quite a while and smells absolutely delicious! But yeh, that's about all the pros I have for this product. Do let me know of your experiences with this product!

RATING: 1/10

Random Banter: 'Prince Charming'

Do you believe in Prince Charming? Do you believe in 'The One'? I do. Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic. I believe finding love is fate. He may be someone you never expected. He could be rich, poor, tall, short...or even a huntsman.

I was watching 'Snow White and the Huntsman' whilst in Bedford the other day and I must say, I quite enjoyed it...unlike 'Mirror Mirror' which according to me was more of a spoof of the original fairytale. Admittedly, I prefer the generic version of this film where it's all lovey-dovey, pastel colours and lots of singing; however 'Snow White and the Huntsman' was a fresh take on the original story. The imagery in this film was brilliant- the evil queen's dark, decaying kingdom is brilliantly juxtaposed to the dwarves' enchanted forest, which is alive with fairies and curious creatures.

Source: Google Images

What's interesting is there are two love interests for Snow White in this film- the Duke's son William, and the Huntsman. Although Snow White didn't exactly choose any one of them at the end of the film, it is obvious that she had perhaps fallen in love with the Huntsman. And this made me think. Ideally, William would have been the Prince Charming in the original fairytale, however, he wasn't 'the one' in this film. It was the Huntsman. There is no true definition for Prince Charming.Yes, he could be anyone. He doesn't have to be perfect- just perfect for you. For Bella in Twilight, a vampire was her Prince Charming. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle falls in love with a beast, and only then does she learn that he is a handsome prince. So if you haven't found 'the one' yet, let go of the 'ideal man' expectations and you'll never know who turns out to be your prince!

Anyway, enough of my banter...and onto beauty talks. I recently received a free sample of Benefit's Porefessional Pro-balm in the latest issue of 'Glamour' magazine.

Oh how I love freebies! Don't we all?! I will be reviewing this in my next post so watch out for it! 'Till then, go and watch the movie 'Snow White and the Huntsmen' and let me know what you think of it!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer: Review & Swatch

Firstly, apologies for not posting for a while! I was down in Bedford for the week, spending time with cousins, eating endlessly, and chattering (ok, gossiping) away through the nights with no sleep...

Anyway, do you remember when you were at school or college, and there was always THAT GAL who had the most amazing complexion; with her makeup looking flawless and lasting all day, as though she was the walking-talking personification of glowing skin? And you would stare at her with ever so slight envy (or more than just 'slight'- perhaps you secretly prayed she'd have a sudden eruption of acne all over her face and you'd rejoice at the mere thought of it) and wished your skin looked just as great? Well, I certainly wasn't THAT GAL. I had oily skin, with the constant eruptions of blemishes and mini Mount Everests dotted all over my cheeks and forehead (my brother once tried playing dot-to-dot on my face...hmph). Whenever I attempted to wear makeup, it would melt away under all the oil within an hour or two. Sad times.

If only I had met Benefit's 'That Gal' back then...

Things are different now. My skin is not as oily, in fact I tend to get dry patches on my cheeks sometimes. But I do love using 'That Gal'. This is described by Benefit as a 'brightening primer'- and brightens it does. I don't use this everyday; only when I will be wearing foundation or blusher on my face. It really does make my makeup last all day, without requiring touch-ups! I was amazed when I first tried it. It had been my aunts wedding. We went down to Birmingham, where she lived, a week before the wedding. We partied away the whole week, dancing and playing wedding-style games in the marquee set up in their garden. Absolutely no sleep that week. The night before the wedding, my cousins and I did a complete all-nighter with the bride (I WOULD NOT risk eye bags by staying up all night if I was the bride!). That morning was a struggle getting ready. All I wanted was sleep.

So, we get to the wedding hall at lunch, and I'm feeling extremely sick. How was the bride managing?! 45 minutes into the wedding, I grabbed my cousin's car keys and went to sleep in his car. When I woke up, the wedding was over and the bride was leaving... Sad. Just sad. Why am I telling you this? Because my makeup was as good as fresh when I woke up and frantically checked my face in the mirror, feeling like Frankenstein's monster, (that's right, Frankenstein was NOT the monster, he was the one who created the monster- read the novel!) and then oh so pleasantly surprised at what I saw! I was glowing, makeup had not budged and, well...of course, I looked wide awake! Even though I had missed the wedding...what a waste of a £350 sari that I wore... But there was still lots to do after the wedding and my makeup continuously looked fresh! Thanks to Benefit's 'That Gal' face primer.


It comes in a glue-stick type packaging, and a few twists of it is enough product to cover the face. It comes out in pink and has a creamy texture, with a lovely, subtle scent to it. I use this straight after moisturising. Once applied over the face, my skin feels super smooth, and soft; appearing more bright and radiant- and simply glowing. I found that my foundation goes on more smoothly once I have this on.

Overall, this is a great product, and does what it's meant to do. It is slightly on the expensive side, as with most Benefit products, but it will last a long time as only a little is needed, and it does keep your makeup lasting longer so touch ups will not be required as much. However, the downside is that you can't tell once the product has run out, until you keep twisting away and no product releases.

I recommend this product to those who have trouble making their makeup last all day, and are tired of constantly having to touch-up their make up. I also recommend it to ladies who want to even out their skin tone and brighten up their skin, as this product can be used alone without makeup, as well. I would definitely repurchase this primer.

RATING: 9/10

Thursday, 31 May 2012

YSL TOUCHE ÉCLAT Radiant Touch Review

For a while now, my sleep pattern has been extremely messed up. Clock strikes three in the morning and I'm still awake. I've tried hot baths, hot milk, and even lavender oil- sadly, no luck. This not only makes it difficult to wake up in the morning, but it has also taken a toll on my skin. The skin on my face appears dull, tired and well...sleepy. Until a very dear friend of mine gifted me this:

TOUCHE ÉCLAT by YSL. Sounds like the name of a fancy chocolate brand, doesn't it?! A bit like Hotel Chocolat or something..?! Or is that just my current craving for chocolate talking? Probably.

This is a much hyped product, which is used by celebrities, models and many ladies who are willing to fork out £25 on a complexion highlighter. Yes, twenty-frigging-five pounds!! So what does it do, you ask? YSL describes this product as '8 hours of sleep in the click of a pen'. BINGO!! This was just what I needed! If only one click of this magic wand could put me to sleep too...

What I love about this product is its packaging. Its sleek, sophisticated and classy, and conveniently packaged to carry around in your handbag! It comes as a click pen, thus making it easy for touch ups during the day. I have this in shade 4.5 and it matches perfectly with my skin tone. The texture is creamy, gliding on very easily and blends like a dream.

There are many confusions about this product- is it a concealer, highlighter or both? I use it simply as highlighter, as the texture is not thick enough to cover blemishes or dark circles. I use it on:

  • the inner and outer corner of my eyes
  • cheekbone and brow bone
  • bridge of nose
  • cupids bow
  • chin and center of forehead

I find that on application, my eyes look more awake-  as though I had catched up on some beauty sleep the night before (*SIGH* if only...) but other than that, there is no visible difference on my face. However, when my skin catches some light, it simply glows in the highlighted areas! My cheekbones appear more visible, lips appear fuller, and overall my skin looks bright and radiant, without a hint of dullness or tiredness. I have received many compliments on my skin since I've started using this.

In conclusion, although I really like this product, it does nothing that a good foundation probably wouldn't do. But since I don't like to use foundation often, this highlighter is perfect for me! I sometimes want to whip out this wand and shout 'Lumos!' (Yes, I should be over my Harry Potter phase from donkey years ago but, I'm not...) as that is exactly what it does- lights up my skin. You only need to use a little of this product to make a difference, so this product would last a long time.

This is a staple product for me and I would most definitely repurchase. 

RATING: 8/10

Monday, 28 May 2012

Mac Retro Matte Lipstick Review & Swatches: Ruby Woo

Ever been compelled by a friend to try on a dress which you're quite reluctant about, but did so anyway because she seemed so adamant that this dress was perfect for you?! So you half-heartedly drag yourself to the changing rooms in the store, and moments later you're staring at yourself in the mirror, grinning (and possibly pouting) and thinking 'Whoa..! I am looking da-bomb!!' (OK perhaps nobody uses this word anymore, unless you're stuck in the 90's, but you get my drift...anyway...)

Or have you ever met someone new, probably whilst at uni, or even at work, and felt you could never bond with this person, then a week later you've become best friends for life, exchanging makeup tips, going shoe shopping and perchance indulging at a spa salon together?!

Well, I was in a similar situation recently. Say hello to my new, sexy and sultry best friend- Ruby Woo.

Although I have an endless amount of red lipsticks, I rarely go for the red lip look, as I prefer to focus on and enhance my eyes, and thus opting for a nude lip on most occasions. However, I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect red lipstick! As blasphemous as it may sound, until Ruby Woo I had never tried nor owned a Mac lipstick (shoot me now). In fact, the only Mac product I had every purchased is their eye kohl in Smoulder. So, when I went into the Mac store to search for a lipstick, I was like a kid in a candy store! So many colours and textures to choose from! As I tried and tested different lipsticks, my eyes fell upon two similar red shades- Russian Red and Ruby Woo. 

I was a little apprehensive as they were both bright reds and thought they wouldn't look too good against my skin tone. As I swatched both lipstick on the back of my hand, I found Russian Red to be too orangey for my liking. However, Ruby Woo was just perfect!! Without further hesitation, I purchased my first Mac lipstick.


What I love about this lipstick is that due to its matte texture, it has amazing staying power! It literally lasts on my lips the whole day, requiring only one touch up if I am eating or drinking too much (plus a longer workout at the gym). It also makes my lips appear fuller and more pouty, which is a plus point for me as I have small lips. Although matte textures, especially Ruby Woo, can be rather drying on the lips, applying a little balm on the lips prior to applying the lipstick eradicates this problem. I also apply a nude lip liner around the lips before applying the lipstick, to prevent the red from bleeding.

You have to be careful when wearing red lipstick, as the red stands out and so you have to keep the rest  of your makeup toned down, unless of course you want to look like a drag queen! Although I love bold, smokey eyes, I would not pair it with red lips- you either focus on one or the other. I found that I could wear this lipstick alone, without applying any other makeup, and it looked good simply on its own. 

This is definitely my HG red lipstick. It is bold and brilliant, and it makes me feel fabulous and glam! It is most definitely a head-turner! Ruby Woo is a pure, classic red and would look good against any skin tone, from pale to darker complexions. I recommend this shade to anybody who is searching for the perfect red shade, and to anybody who shies away from bright colours- you will not regret buying this! Priced at £13.50, I think this product is worth its value. I would definitely repurchase this lipstick.

RATING: 10/10

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Body Shop: Japanese Cherry Blossom Bath & Shower Gel Review

What a BEAUTIFUL day today! Bright, hot and breezy- just perfect! It's been like this all week luckily, and if you're not from the UK, I'm sure you know how excited we Brits get when the sun comes out! I love it! People are happy and cheerful, and its out with the maxi dresses, flip-flops and lots of ice-cream! Everyone's rocking sunglasses, sunbathing on the beach or even the local park, and splurging on sun-creams...and of course, praying the weather doesn't decide to have a change of heart and suddenly start pouring down or something (which wouldn't be surprising, really).

Anyway, so with the sun out and all, you want to smell lovey and fresh when you go out. I had run out of body wash so picked up this Japanese Cherry Blossom Bath & Shower gel from The Body Shop.

This is a soap-free bath and shower gel, costing £8 for a 250ml bottle (I bought it for £6 on a special offer), containing real cherry blossom extract.

So, what had drawn me towards this product? Firstly, I was looking for a soap-free shower gel that wasn't going to dry out my skin, and one that would smell lovely in the shower after a work out at the gym. And secondly, well, it was pink and had cherry blossom extract. I'm drawn to anything and everything that is pink! And I love blooming cherry blossoms, especially in the Spring season, when the ground below becomes a blanket of pink, creating an aura of magic and sheer pink delight! I love watching the pink petals being blown away in the wind, floating and mingling around in the air in such harmony- I feel like I'm in a fairy tale land of some sort!

Yupp, that's right, I even have cherry blossom lights in my bedroom. But enough about my obsession with the colour pink and cherry blossoms. Moving on to my review of this shower gel from The Body Shop.

What I like about this product is that it lathers up very well, so only a small amount of this gel is required thus the bottle would last for a long time, making it good value for money. It is also non-drying, leaving my skin feeling soft and moisturised. If you do not have dry skin, you may not have to moisturise afterwards, but I religiously moisturise with a body oil after showering or bathing. I also like that it washes off easily, leaving behind no sticky or greasy residue, making the skin feel well cleansed and refreshed.

However, I found the smell a little disappointing. It does has a subtle sweet and floral scent to it, but the smell doesn't last very long after the shower, which is probably a plus point for someone who prefers light, non-overpowering scents. But I was looking for a shower gel which has a scent with a lot more oomph! I wanted  the fragrance to stay on my skin longer, enough that a perfume wouldn't be required after a shower. I do like that the scent is very feminine but the lasting power is too weak for my liking.

I also hate the design of the cap! My cap broke the very first time I used it as I struggled to open it, almost breaking my nails along with the cap! Grrrrr...

Overall, I think this is a very average shower gel (I haven't used it as a bath gel yet, but I don't expect the results to be any different) and does what a shower gel is meant to do, but nothing more and nothing less. It is moisturing but the scent is very blahhh! It is good value for money as a little of this product goes a long way, but there are shower gels out there that are cheaper and have the same, or even better qualities. I would not repurchase this again.

RATING: 5/10

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Body Shop ColourGlide Lipstick Review and Swatches: Pink Ginger

I was rummaging through my ever-growing collection of lipsticks the other day, and I realised that I have a countless number of red lipsticks, an umpteen amount of nude lipsticks and even some brown lipsticks, but very few pink shades. I suppose this is because although pink is undoubtedly my favourite colour, I seem to shy away from pink-coloured makeup as I feel it doesn't suit my skin tone very well. Nevertheless, I was passing The Body Shop the next day, and decided to go in and have a little snoop around. Well, I didn't just snoop around of course! I ended up spending just over £40 (I'm a sucker for marketing and sales people who seem to know what they're talking about).

Anway, today I'll be reviewing The Body Shop ColourGlide lipstick in Pink Ginger, which caught my eye as it seemed the perfect pink shade for my lips. The sales lady informed me that this colour is very popular, and it appeared to be so as there was only one left on the shelf. It was priced at £9.00 but I received a 10% discount with my The Body Shop card.


On first application, it felt very smooth and glided on quite easily. There was no overpowering fragrance or taste. The colour comes on rather sheer, but it can be built up easily to a desired shade which is why I believe this lip colour would suit most skin tones. The texture is neither matte nor glossy, but somewhere in between, so it isn't too drying on the lips and neither is it overly shiny or sticky.  I had it on for four-five hours without the colour fading, so this lipstick has good lasting power. What I really like about this lipstick is that it is extremely moisturising, making my lips feel super-soft, and it suited my skin tone very well.

I think this is a great lipstick, and would definitely repurchase. I would also like to try this in different colours. 

RATING: 8/10