Sunday, 30 September 2012

NOTD: Bad Romance

This polish is Bad Romance by Deborah Lippmann, I got it in February to go with an outfit for my friend's wedding (click here to see my make up).  However I don't think I like it anymore... I think it's a bit dark for me, I seem to have gone off dark colours now which is not very seasonal of me haha.

I have now realised that the tip wear is caused by Seche Vite which shrinks the nail varnish - you learn something new everyday!!  I painted them at night then took photos the following evening and you can see how bad the ends are.  I've only noticed it with a few polishes but it's certainly a downside of using Seche Vite.

Also I think Seche Vite are cruelty free, which would be really good.  They are owned by the same people as Zoya who are, but I'm not 100% sure yet and will let you know as soon as I find out!

What do you think of this colour?  Maybe I will add it to my blog sale...


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Easy Updo Tutorial: Messy Side Bun (Good for thick hair!)

When I started my make up artistry course I had no idea that hairdressing is such a big part of it!  I thought they usually had separate hair stylists, but apparently more often than not it will be MUA who are left to do the hair - which is slightly terrifying!  I've never had any experience of hairdressing/styling at all, I can't even do my own (partly because of how thick/heavy my hair is, it never plays along...) so I am needing as much practice as I can get.  Fortunately my auntie is a hair stylist and she came round to show me a few simple hair styles that I can use

  1. Make a side ponytail close to the nape of the neck.
  2. Split the hair into three sections.
  3. Fishtail plait* each of the sections.
  4. Pull out the folded pieces (the bits that you bring over when plaiting) on each side to double the size of the plait.
  5. Lastly, all you need to do is take the 3 plaits and wrap them around the bobble in an artistic sort of way!  Then fix them using kirby grips, you might need quite a few to adjust the shape to your liking.  I find the best way to start is to use the middle section first, bring it under the left hand one and over the top.  It's totally up to yourself though.  You just need to play around with it until you're happy with it.
This is only the second time I have done this updo and I quite like it, I'm sure it will get better the more times I practice it.

The reason that this method is good for thick hair is that you have total control over the hair at all times, if you just attempted it with loose hair, bits would be falling out all over the place!

*To do a fishtail plait, split the hair into two and then take a small piece from the back of one and add it to the other section, then do the same for that section.  Obviously it is much easier to understand if you see it so if you still don't follow then just search on youtube for a tutorial :)


Friday, 28 September 2012

Make Up Practice: Before & After Photos

A couple of nights ago I invited some of my friends over to practice make up and also to get a Dominos, mmmm!  I took some before and after shots to track what I'm doing.  The make up seemed to get progressively darker as the night went on haha, it started off as bridal!  Gillian's hooded eyelids caused me a lot of issues!!!  Never mind, it's all good practice :)




It was a good night, but I was actually exhausted after it - and that was only doing three faces!!  I'll need to get used to it!


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Louise Loves #1

I have decided to try and do a series of weekly favourites, which will include a few things I have been really liking, but not specifically beauty or make up items.  I'm kind of scared about doing this incase I will feel pressured to do it religiously and get myself all stressed if I forget (which is silly!)... Anyway I'm going to just go for it, I guess if it ends up not being weekly it's hardly the end of the world :)

Dorothy Perkins earrings
I won these earrings from Jen at The Big Burd's blog giveaway and I love them!  They're not something I would have picked up myself so I'm really pleased I got them.  They sort of look like small stretchers but obviously the actual pierced bit is just a normal earring size!
[Price unknown from Dorothy Perkins]

Tesco Jelly Sweets
I had heard about these through Karris I think?  But where I live we don't have a Tesco nearby, however now that I have to commute to college a couple of days, it takes me past a huge Tesco Extra.  So every couple of weeks I pop in to get my fix of vegetarian jelly sweets! They also come in cola flavour, and the ones which look like multi-coloured astrobelts are veggy too!  Morrisons also do fizzy strawberry sweets but they're not as nice as these ones.  I am totally addicted!  According to this website, they appear to be vegan too which is amazing.
[3 for £1 from Tesco]

Butter London Disco Biscuit
I've been really loving this polish recently, in the photo it is layered over a neon pink which you can see in a NOTD post here.  It's so bright and pink, with a subtle blue shimmer.  My gran disapproves hahah.
[£12 from]


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Haul | Wins and Freebies!

Although I am totally broke at the moment I have been lucky enough to receive various items for free!  The first was a twitter competition run by Beauty Without The Beasts which is a cruelty free beauty website ran by two sisters - I will be doing a full post on the website in the near future!  It was more of a giveaway really, you just had to say your best fitness tip and I said how I find going to classes or exercising with friends motivates me so much more then just being left to my own devices!

So for this I got a huge bottle of Baylis & Harding Mandarin & Grapefruit Showergel, a loofah thingy (it's got a suction cup on it - so handy!) and a set of cupcake bath fizzers from Marks & Spencers, so cute!

Then I won Jen's (from The Big Burd) giveaway, there was so much stuff, it arrived in a huge box!

It included gold nail wraps, MUA Heaven & Earth Palette, earrings, face masks, sleep rollers and a MUA lipstick (not pictured as it has already wandered off somewhere...)!

I love the earrings!!  I'm going to put the Heaven & Earth Palette in my kit cos I already have Naked 1 & 2, so that is really handy as we're doing basic and bridal at the moment.  I haven't tried anything else yet but you can expect reviews of the various items when I do.

Finally, I was having a wee moan on twitter (that's what it's there for!) about how I am really into like bath and shower products recently and there's so many I want to try but I can't afford any...  Then the Beauty Without The Beasts girls came to my rescue and offered to send me some bits to keep me going, aren't they lovely!?  I felt like the world's biggest scrounger but oh well!!!

I got Naked Spoil Me bath foam and Montagne Jeunesse Body Wash sachet in Orange.

So excited to try out all these things, I've been so lucky :)


Monday, 24 September 2012

Empties #3

Once again I have accumulated 5 empty products, so let's take a look!

Boots Botanics Enriching After Colour Conditioner
Thoughts: I love this conditioner but sadly it only comes with the Botanics hair dyes.  It smells amazing, I tried to find a similarly scented Botanics conditioner one day but to no avail. 
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: I would probably buy the dye again, and I'd buy it individually if possible.

Naked Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Thoughts: My scalp has become quite dry and flaky the past couple of years.  It only seems to be at the front, I think that it follows from my forehead as I get random dry patches there and around my hairline for some strange reason.  I really didn't find this helped at all.  I do like Naked's hair stuff but unfortunately this one did not do what it was meant to do!
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: No.

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Cleansing & Toning Wipes
Thoughts: This must be, what, my 20th pack of these?!  This is what I use to take my make up off every night (yes shocking I use wipes and not a cleanser haha!) and I really like them!  You're not meant to use them on your eyes but I do anyway, they're fine for me, which is weird because Simple wipes burn my face!  If I am wearing heavy eye make up then I use a separate eye make up remover first, but I usually only wear mascara and occasionally eyeliner for my every day make up. 
Cruelty-free?:  Yes.
Repurchase?: Yes.

Nails Inc Kensington Caviar Basecoat
Thoughts: I liked this basecoat but it's quite expensive, and as you can see there's still quite a bit left in the bottom but it's too thick now to use and hard to reach with the brush!
Cruelty-free?: Yes.
Repurchase?: I think I got it in a set with the top coat which I wasn't very impressed with it.  If it was under the £10 mark I'd be more likely to repurchase.

Mitchum Advanced Control Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant
Thoughts: I bought this because Mitchum are owned by Revlon and at that point I though Revlon were CF.  I didn't like this deodorant, I didn't really feel like it worked which is never good!  I gave up on it even though there is still some left.
Cruelty-free?: No, Revlon are no longer cruelty free.
Repurchase?: No.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

NOTD: Neon Layers

Butter London Disco Biscuit
Butter London Disco Biscuit
base coat, nail colour, top coat

A couple of weeks ago I had painted my nails neon pink for my friend's 21st party and I was just staring at them (as you do) when I suddenly had this 'amazing' idea of putting Disco Biscuit over the neon.

So I finally got round to doing it last night and it didn't quite turn out as how it looked in my head!  I ended up needing to use 6 coats!  I used 2 layers of neon pink (not going to mention brand as pretty sure it's not CF), 2 layers of Disco Biscuit then 2 layers of Seche Vite topcoat!  The topcoat made a huge difference though, it basically went from looking crap to looking pretty amazing.  The 2 layers of topcoat also it gave it a nice squishy look!

Here is a close up to try and show the glitter, however it is a lot more visible in person:

And to compare, here is a photo of Disco Biscuit on it's own:

I think adding the pink underneath gives it a really nice depth, and makes the nail line a lot less visible.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Scottish Bloggers: Top Cruelty Free Nail Varnish Brands

I have written a post on my top cruelty free nail varnish brands over at Scottish Bloggers which is a collaboration of Scottish beauty bloggers (funnily enough...) ran by the lovely Karrisx!

If you are a Scottish beauty blogger and want to do a post for the blog then all you need to do it get in touch with Karris - contact info on her blog.

Below is a little sneak peak of the brands I've mentioned, but there are loads more, just click on the link above to read it!

Collection of Barry M nail varnishes
Butter London Disco Biscuit and Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

College #1: Bridal

As you probably know I started a Fashion Make Up course a few weeks ago and I thought it would be quite fun to catalogue the things I do and add to my blog!  We have started very basic which I am so grateful for!  Although I would say I am quite good at eye make up, I don't know all that much about foundations as I don't really wear them much.

So first we started with basic make up, which is just a flawless base, with a wash of colour on the lips and darker shadow pushed into the lashline, blusher and some lipgloss.  Now we've moved onto bridal!

I took some pictures of my model - at the moment we pair up and do each other's make up to practice - at different stages.  Unfortunately the lighting isn't the best so apologies for that!  Claire also had sunburn on her nose and it was peeling so I just avoided her entire nose which looks a bit weird but never mind!  Also apparently we look alike, what do you think???

'Flawless' Base

At this stage I had only applied foundation and concealer.  Claire's skin is combination/oily so I used an oil-free foundation.  Her undereyes weren't particularly dark to begin with so I didn't need to use any corrective products, I just used a concealer which was the same colour as the foundation.


This is the finished bridal make up (click to see close up).  I actually totally forgot to put mascara on, I'd tinted her eyelashes a couple of weeks ago and they are still black so you can't really tell...

Face Chart

This was the first time I'd made a face chart so it was a bit weird!  Normally you are supposed to prepare these before you do the model's make up, but yesterday we just filled it in as we went along.

Hopefully I will do lots more of these, and they'll get a lot more interesting!


Sunday, 16 September 2012

NOTD: Red Half Moon Mani

Nails Inc Victoria and Albert

Wee bit of a different NOTD today!  I created a (messy...) half moon manicure using Nails Inc's Victoria and Albert, so I thought I'd do a mini tutorial sort of thing to show you how I did it.

Nails Inc Victoria and Albert

All you need are hole reinforcement rings which you can buy in most stationary shops, and your normal base coat, colour and top coat.  You can also use a base colour after your base coat, then you will have a colour showing through rather than your natural nail - shown below.  Just make sure the base colour is totally dry before the next step!

Then all you need to do is apply the circles to your nails, trying to make them as central as possible.  You can also cut them in half so you don't use as many, I couldn't find my scissors for this one though!  Next you paint around the stickers, taking care as some can still get underneath.  I used two coats then once they were dry, gently peeled off the circles and applied a top coat.  It's also quite easy to get the colour onto the bare area when putting on the topcoat so you just need to be careful with this, always start at the bottom and try not to go over it too much.

Excuse the really old photo on the left, only one I seem to have taken of those nails, so silly!!

You can also do it freehand to create a V shape instead, but I found it so difficult to get the sides even!

Barry M Raspberry


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Benefit Selling In China

benefit selling in China

I am gutted to say that a couple of days ago I found out from Moadore that Benefit are selling their products in China!  I literally had no idea.

In case you weren't aware, once a company decides to sell in China, the Chinese government holds the right to test any of the products on animals - which is a ridiculous and unnecessary law!

So basically this means that Benefit can no longer be classed as 'cruelty free' and will be put on the naughty list.  It's so annoying because I combed through their statement about animal testing and it seemed to be okay to me, but sneakily there was no mention of selling in China...

I have also just bought the They're Real Anniversary Set :( boo!!

It's so sickening though, how many other companies out there are selling in China without mentioning it when questioned about animal testing?

If you are aware of any others that sell in China then please tweet me or leave a comment as I would be really interested to know.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wild Soap and Body Butter Review

I had never heard of Wild until they were introduced to me through We Write Beauty and I was immediately interested in trying them out:
Our aim is to provide British women an exotic choice of ethical, natural and organic beauty products without preaching to them or compromising on glamourous appeal. The packaging is as vibrant, rich and colour as the African continent itself and reflect perfectly the ongoing fascination with prints in today's fashion environment.
What makes them stand out from other body care brands is that they use unique oils and plant extracts from Africa, which are all Fair Trade and help to build a sustainable future for the locals.

They have 5 different scent combinations which come in both soap and body butter form, all of which contain various oils or extracts such as baobab, cape chestnut and marula.

An important point to make is that all of Wild's products are SLS and paraben free which is fantastic, and suitable for vegans!

The ones I have tried and will review are the Warm Sensual Body Butter and the Zingy Soap.

Warm Sensual Body Butter with Shea and Baobab 

First thing to say is that I love their packaging!  The bright colours and African influence is so eye catching and gorgeous!

Secondly, I am really not the best person to review something like this... I am a lover of make up but skin and body care I am not so good with sadly!  However, I will give you the best review I can :)

The main problem is that the only time I moisturise my body is after epilating/shaving/waxing which I actually don't do very often (I'm really selling myself here aren't I?!).  I have blonde body hair so unless I am getting my legs out for a special occasion (night out, birthday, holidays, etc.) I tend not to bother hair removing that area.  Nevertheless, I recently used a sugaring technique by MOOM (review will be coming soon!) which left my legs a bit red and dotty after having the hair ripped out of them so I applied my Wild body butter.  I expected it to sting a bit - probably cos I'm so used to using those cheapy moisturisers you get out of bath sets or with perfumes - but it was very soothing and didn't sting at all.  It sank in nicely and didn't leave my legs feeling sticky or greasy which is always good.

I also applied it generously on my feet and put on moisturising socks (any cotton socks will do!) before going to bed and it made my feet feel so smooth the next day.

It has a really unusual scent too, not a bad one, but kind of spicy!  On reading the back of the pot I saw that it contains Cardamom, which totally explains the spiciness!  I also noticed that a small bit of the body butter goes a long way.

This particular body butter costs £16.75 which is quite expensive in my books, however you do get 170ml which is a lot of product!  It is the most expensive in the range, the other 'flavours' come in at £15.50.

Personally I would not buy this myself just because I never actually buy body moisturisers anyway, I just use ones I get given!  But if you are looking out for a new one and you do buy them yourself and fancy a splurge then I recommend trying one of these out!

Zingy Soap with Kalahari Watermelon

Again, love the packaging - very eco-friendly too, the sleeve is made of card. 

This bar of soap is huge!  I cut mine into thirds to use it as I find it much easier to handle, and less messy in the shower.  It also means you don't need to use the whole bar in one go (not one shower obviously...) so you can switch between it and other ones making it last for ages.

The bar of soap costs £6.25 for 200g which I think is really great value especially when you compare it to Lush soaps (which more often than not contain SLS).

Unfortunately the scent of this one I didn't love, it is very citrusy with grapefruit, lime, mandarin and basil but I found that it wasn't all that strong and the natural scent of the soap was coming through.  If you have followed me for a while you will know that I'm not a huge fan of citrus scents anyway!  I found that as the soap piece got smaller it smelled stronger, and it smelled really quite good actually so maybe the mixture just needed a better stir...  hmm!

It lathered really nicely especially without SLS which is the foaming agent in most soaps and other things which need to lather.  It actually contains coconut which helps to create the foam.

As I said before, I've only taken a third of the bar in the shower with me and it lasted ages which is great, it's the worst when you get a lovely new soap and it dissolves after a couple of showers!  It's hard to gauge but I'd say it would last at least a week... So the whole bar would last roughly about a month, if not more??  Depends how often you wash ;) I keep mine in a soap tray which I take out of the shower when I'm not using it, I find this helps make soaps last longer.

Personally I think that it could do with being more moisturising, it's definitely not a drying product whatsoever, but I feel like I have used soaps which have left my skin feeling super soft and this one doesn't which disappoints me a bit!

Unlike the body butter I would definitely buy another of the soaps, I think the price is very reasonable and I'd like to try out more of them!

I'm looking forward to buying some of the other soaps to try and I will definitely do mini-reviews of them on here when I do.


If you order both a body butter and soap it comes in a bag which is made of African fabric!  I think that is such a nice idea and it would be a fantastic gift for someone.

You can find these products at so feel free to check them out and see if any of the items take your fancy!

These items were sent to me free of charge to try out, this has not affected my review in any way and I have been 100% honest in my opinion as I would with any other product.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Eight Most Worn Things Tag

I am very much into my tag posts recently!  Here is another one :)


I guess this is technically neither lipstick or lipgloss...  However it is my most worn lip product so I reckon it still counts!  This is ELF Mineral Moisturising Lip Tint SPF 8 in Berry.  You can see a full review for it here.  I tend to have this in my bag and it's easy to just slap on without worrying about it too much because the colour is quite subtle.  I also bought this in Pink Pop which I haven't actually tried yet but a post involving that will be coming up soon!


My ex bought me these earrings as a present from his holiday I think it was?  They are just so pretty and perfect for everyday, adds a subtle bit of sparkle!


I would probably say this Primark blouse is my most worn top!  It's so versatile and goes with basically everything, especially because of the colour!  It cost £10 and it washes up great, I got a size 6 as it is really big made and I didn't want it too loose.  I have also bought this in orange (of course) but it's definitely not as easy to match up with things.

Nail Polish
Glittery pink one in the centre
My camera can't cope with the glitter and holos :(

This category was ridiculously hard!  It's not even accurate because I own so many nail varnishes it takes a while for me to go back to a specific one.  I usually want one wear one I've just bought!  However, I've worn this twice on my toes and once on my fingers so I am choosing Prize by Nubar!  It is a stunning scattered holo pink.  Prize is from the Prisms collection and I would really like another one from the set.  To see swatches of all the polishes from the Prisms collection, and better photos then I have, click here as I have found a great post on them from VampyVarnish.  I got this from amazon a couple of years ago.


This one is so boring!  These are just a pair of very plain black pumps with bows from Primark!  They are so comfy and go with everything so I wear them constantly.  I think they were about £8, maybe slightly less?

Hair Product
I'm such a fail, I literally never put anything on my hair other than shampoo and conditioner!  Very occasionally hairspray or heat protector but the majority of the time I let it dry naturally and don't style it... Does my hairbrush count?!


I do actually have post on my favourite perfume and the difficulties I had tracking it down which you can find here, but for this post I have chosen White Musk as it is cruelty free and easy to get your hands on!  I am on the look out for some new perfumes, this is the only cruelty free one I own and when all my others run out I will be scunnered!  This is my second bottle - I wish they did 50 or 100ml bottles - and because it's eau de parfum it's lasted me quite a long time.


This is the bag I am currently using, if you want to see what's in it then click here.  I do use my old bag for college now though as I need to take folders in but as I'm not in all that much I stick with this one most of the time.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Brush Guard

I have had a set of Brush Guards for years now and they fantastic so I thought I would share them with you!

I first got my set from Coastal Scents when I was making a purchase (a blush palette I think!) and just decided to add a set of The Brush Guards in out of curiosity, and I'm so glad I did!

The set I have is the blush pack and which includes 8 small guards, and I think it came to just over £5 once it had been converted from dollars.  I decided to get this size as the eyeshadow/liner set looked really small and I'm pleased with my choice.  The blush pack is perfect for all my eyeshadow brushes, the extra small (eyeshadow/liner) would definitely have been far too small.

I use these every time I wash my brushes.  To put the guards on you push them over the brushes from the handle end up until all the bristles are covered - make sure you don't push it back down the way again as you can damage the hairs.  Then I place them all on a towel in the bath, with part of the towel folded under itself so the ends of the brushes are elevated (pictured below).  I do this so that any excess water will run down and out, it helps with drainage and avoids water getting inside the barrel which can loosen over time and you can end with your brush in two pieces!

Another way I used a brush guard once was when I was in a rush and my Mac 217 brush was dirty, so I washed it then put a guard over it and dried it with a hairdryer on low.  However be very careful if you want to do attempt this!  Only use it for natural hair brushes and do not use a hot setting as you could melt the guard and ruin it and your brush!

The Brush Guards are also handy for keeping your brushes neat and tidy while travelling but personally I've never used them for this purpose.

You can buy them in five different packs, xsmall (eyeshadow/liner), small (blush), medium (foundation), large (powder/kabuki) and a mixed set with at least one of each.  The cost and amount you get in each pack varies depending on where you buy them.  You can get them from various sites including Love Make Up (they only have blush pack in stock at the moment), from their own website, Amazon and Coastal Scents.

Overall The Brush Guards are a great investment and I highly recommend them - at only £5 and they will basically last you forever!

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