Thursday 31 October 2013

Monthly Favourites | October

Afternoon m'lovelies. After a blogging break to refresh my creative juices (uh-huh), I'm back and ready to share with you my stand out products from the month of October. It's short and sweet, but all the best things come in small packages:

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo - Metallic Pomegranate
First up is a make up item from Maybelline and it's one of their well-loved 24hr Color Tattoos. After using On and On Bronze as an eye make up staple for months and months I decided to branch out into a few more colour variations, and that's when Metallic Pomegranate entered my life - it's definitely an autumn must-have and seems to be on blogs everywhere! We all know the drill with the color tattoos by now: They're cheaper than chips, intensely pigmented, super easy to blend, great as a shadow base or an all over color, or even a liner, and last and last and last. This is a deep rusty bronze colour with a strong blackcurrent/cranberry undertone and subtle flecks of gold shimmer through it. It is absolutely gorgeous and can be worn as a light layer for an every day look or built up more intense more a smokey evening look too. Such a versatile eye make up item for so few pennies!

Clinique Airbrush Concealer
I won this concealer from a giveaway run by the very lovely Melissa (blog: Shadow and Polish), and it's been my undereye essential ever since. I've never had such impressive results from a make up item that I expected so little from! Move over, YSL - Clinique has taken your place for the best clicky-brush-pen style brightening concealer. It's very high coverage to perfectly cover any dark circles and shadows, feels like silk on the skin, doesn't crease under the eyes and also reflects light to brighten too - the perfect under eye brightening product, and the only thing not to like about it is the fact that is costs £18! 

The Body Shop HoneyMania Shower Gel
What a good move 'Honeymania' was by The Body Shop! It's definitely been a hit, and can I just have every product from the range, please?? (link). The honey fragrance is rich, creamy and sweet, but no where near as sickly or overpowering as could be expected - it's actually very subtle, but nonetheless smells good enough to eat. Plus, my boyfriend is a huge fan of this shower gel too so I end up having to hide it in the cupboard so he doesn't use it all! (As usual, The Body Shop are currently running a discount sale and everything is 40% off - don't miss out - 

Bath and Body Works Pocketbac Anti-Bacterial Gel - Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin
What would an October favourites, published on Halloween, be without something related to pumpkins! My latest anti-bac of choice has been the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin one from Bath and Body Works. I love the novelty of these little bottles (simple mind), and the vast range of fragrances that they're available in. See my full post on some more PocketBacs here. Keep your hands and fingers virtually germ free, smelling seasonally appropriate and completely non-sticky/greasy or dried out. If you're interested in trying a couple of these for yourself then this is the exact eBay seller that I used to buy this particular Cinnamon Pumpkin one from: link, but there's plenty of sellers with these antibacs priced exactly the same (£2.84 per bottle), and I've bought from a couple of different ones in the past. 

Nourish Smoothing Hand Lotion*
A bedside essential for the past couple of weeks has been this refreshingly uplifting hand lotion from Nourish, fragranced with orange and mandarin to give a fresh boost of citrus zing. I love the controlled pump dispenser of the bottle, and how lightweight the lotion is but without compromising the nourishment value. One of the best hand creams that I've used for really moisturising hands but with minimal sticky fingers! 

L'Occitane Hand Cream - Date Bouquet
More hand care? Seemingly my hands have been well taken of this past month! A 2nd hand cream that I've been loving for 'on the go' has been this L'Occitane one that I actually found stashed away in my gilet pocket after getting it as a magazine freebie last October - love a classic rediscovery of an old favourite! Cult favourite from the brand and multi-award winning product, this one ranks highly with me - it's 20% shea butter formulation nourishes and cares for even the driest of skins and smells dreamy too! Extra marks for super quick absorption into the skin too. 

Thanks for reading!

What have you been loving in October?
(P.S. Happy Halloween!)

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Wednesday 23 October 2013

Top Picks for Autumn Nails: Reds, Nudes and Darks

When I came to actually pick out the shades for this post, I'll admit that I did actually find it very difficult. Why? Because I don't really like autumn nail shades. Please don't all gasp in horror and shame me, but burgundys, plums, greys and other deep and rich autumn shades aren't my preferred hues to wear on my nails. I don't care for the pastels of spring, and I don't care for the dark shades of autumn. But bring me the fun brights of summer and the glitzy glitters of winter and I'm all smiles! Give it another month and all you see plastered across my Instagram is glitter, gold, sparkles and more glitter! But for now, I'll share with you my typical top picks for the current season of autumn:

Of course, I had to include a bright and bold shade and I've gone with a classic postbox red from Models Own in the shade 'Red Alert'. This shade is as red as reds can come and there's just something so classic and timeless about red nails - they'll never get old and they'll never go out of fashion, yet they'll so fittingly festive too. (Red Alert £5.00). Along the similar lines is a bright berry colour: 'Pomegranate' from Barry M, in their new Gelly Hi-Shine formula. 'Pomegranate' could easily be one of my favourite autumn shades and I've flitted in my head between describing it as: cherry, raspberry or plum, or even just it's namesake: Pomegranate (something fruity about this one!). Either way, it's a deep and rich pink tone that matches with the darker, warmer autumn colours, but is still bright to avoid being dull. (Pomegranate £3.99).

In mirror fashion, my two top picks for nudes are also from Models Own and Barry M (Gelly Hi-Shine). (Two of my favourites brands for nail varnishes). The Models Own shade 'Naked Shimmer' is pretty much my favourite nail varnish shade ever.  It's quite a dark nude shade with a noticable gold shimmer running through it to really make it very pretty. If you think nudes are boring, try having a look at this one. (Naked Shimmer £5.00). Another typical nude favourite is 'Lychee' from Barry M - a favourite of many! (Lychee £3.99).

Sorryyyy, but there are 3 now discontinued shades for darks, but that shows that I rarely buy/use them and just hold on to the dregs of old ones. Don't worry though, I've scavenged up some links from various retailers where you can still get your hands on them. Arguably one that could be in the Reds section, but this first of 3 OPI shades is one of my favourites for Christmas time, and one of the only nail varnishes I've ever finished completely and hunted down to repurchase. Metallic red shade 'I've "Red" The Script' can be found on a site called 'Discontinued Beauty Supplies' - pretty cool, huh? (link). Also discontinued shade 'Changing of the Garnet' is from the 2002 Euro Collection - is that gross I have a nail varnish that many years old??? This one is a perfect toe colour and is an almost indescribable bronze shade - it's a bit yellow, a bit pink, and bit green.. it all depends on which way you look at it, but it reminds me of a cluster of fallen leaves. (eBay link). 'Queen of West Web-erly' is from the 90210 collection and here's an Amazon link incase you fancy getting your mitts on this shade, as it is quite hard to come by now ($8.00 - link). This is again quite a chameleon shade in the bottle, but comes across predominately lilac on the nails. A very pretty metallic shade.

One more: Last October I also blogged about a favourite autumn colour from Models Own called 'Mushroom'. You can see that post here. Although, I have no idea where this bottle has now disappeared too ..I suspect my sister may have pinched it and never returned it! But that's one that I would probably have included, should I have been able to locate it!

Thanks for reading.
What do you think of my autumn nail choices?
What are your favourites for this season?
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Sunday 20 October 2013

Meet My Advertisers: October

Hello darlings! Welcome to my second  'Meet My Advertisers' post and the bunch of lovely ladies that opted in with me for the month of October. They've all been sitting in my side bar for the past couple of weeks and will be there until the end of the month, so don't forget to take a look at them if you haven't already! Hopefully you do have a read of them all and have a little click over to their blogs because I assure you there's some gems to be found in there. It excites me that a total of 3 (out of only 5!) of my Silver advertisers are actually local to the teeny tiny town where I'm from. Anybody else who lives in a small area will understand that this is pretty rare, so please do show some support for my little buddies!!

Hi, I’m Tasha, a student from the North East and the face behind Hello Freckles.
Hello Freckles doesn’t really fit just one genre as I write about whatever interests me; from fashion posts, OOTDs, beauty posts and reviews, music posts (I do a monthly ‘Playlist’ of what songs have been my favourites) cinema reviews and lifestyle posts about the things I get up to. I’d love for you to come and say hi! 

Meg -

Hello lovelies! I'm Meg and mgnhndly is my little space where I chat about lifestyle, beauty and other parts to my life, all about the honesty! mgnhndly started as a get happy with me blog & has quickly grown in to a passion for me - and i'd love for you to come and join me. If you're a - beauty, health, honesty, lifestyle - kind'a person then you're in the right place, ha :) See you soon! Meg xo 
Twitter: @mgnhndly

Isabel -

Hi! I’m Isabel and my blog baby (more like toddler…) is Monochrome Magpie, a place where I share my outfits, wishlists and endless addiction to Zara shoes, bags, coats and everything else really! 
I love discovering new blogs so come say hi!
Instagram: @MonochromeMagpie

Liora -

Hiya, I'm Liora and I'm a 20 year old third year student however, I'm on a placement year in industry so not enjoying the full student lifestyle! I blog about all things beauty related over at and have my own blog series called Roaccutane Diaries which is all about my struggle with acne! I post on a Monday and Thursday and I've only been blogging since January so I'm nearing my 1st blog birthday but I've loved it so far! I hope you enjoy my blog.

You can also find me on Twitter: @lioratamam and Instagram: @lioratx

Elysia -

Hi everyone, I'm Elysia and I write the Little Beauty Blogg. I am a chatty student who is obsessed with beauty, shopping and designer handbags. Over on my blog I like to to write a mixture of posts ranging from First Impressions features, the odd lifestyle post, monthly hauls, product reviews, the occasional OOTD and to letting you all know about the latest beauty offers. I hope you all enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it! See you all soon, beauty fanatics xx 
Twitter: @PurpleElll
Instagram: Elysia_JW

Jayde -

Hi my names Jayde and I write a blog called JE M'APPAREL which is mainly beauty with some fashion and lifestyle posts thrown into the mix! I have been blogging for a year now and it has been one of the best things I ever decided to do, I love sharing my thoughts and latests loves with my readers! I recently started a YouTube channel which links back to my blog where I feature haul videos, get ready with me and other videos, my YouTube link is You can follow me on twitter and Instagram my username on both of these platforms is @rileyjayde. My blog link is, I would love for you to drop by but if you do make sure you let me know as I love reading my comments and finding new blogs this way! I hope you enjoy my blog! '

My links are

I hope you enjoyed finding some new blogs to read! 

If you'd like to find out more about advertising with Cosmetic Crave, information can be found on this page here.

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Friday 18 October 2013

New: NSPA Fragrance | Pure


Hi boys and girls, happy Friday! With Christmas just around the corner (68 days til the 'big day' incase you didn't know), I thought it was time that the ideas of gifts and Christmas shopping starting entering the backs our mind. I'm not too worried yet, but it's always good to be prepared. N Spa quite recently launched a brand new trio of fragrances to add to their already fantastic quality budget bath and body products. The three fragrances are simply named: Bloom, Orient and Pure, and their scents correspond with their names - like you wouldn't have guessed! Bloom is floral (rose and jasmine), Orient is ..oriental (lily, vanilla and mask), and Pure is fresh (lotus flower, jasmine and sandalwood). 

N Spa say that the fragrances are each designed to take you on a unique spa journey, with Pure taking you to clean and tropical waters. 'A fresh scent of beach breezes, lush lilies and aquatic auras'. I'm not sure about 'beach breezes', because I think they smell like mucky salt water.. but this definitely is a fresh fragrance. It's light and uplifting and would probably be a good choice to suit anybody as it's quite neutral as opposed to a heavily floral or musky scent.

While I am absolutely adoring Pure and have been wearing it daily for a few weeks, I do have a few people in mind who will love the Orient scent, so that's what they'll be receiving under their Christmas tree from me! (Shh.. don't tell!) And especially when these perfumes are 2 for £10, it makes things all the better. They're very reasonably priced, in well presented sturdy glass bottles and although the fragrance is an eau de toilette is does stand a reasonable test of time (I would say about 6 hours, which I think is great!). 

NSPA Fragrance in 'Pure'* - £8.00 (2 for £10) /50ml | link
Available from Asda in stores and online.

Thanks for reading!
Will you be trying these N Spa fragrances? Or stocking up on them for gifts?

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* (c/o) N Spa
Check out my October Gold advertiser, Tasha, and her amazing blog:

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Review: Vitage Vitamin C Radiance Mask

Excuse my new lighting set up and the visible crinkles and creases in the backdrop sheet - I'm currently pressing that sheet between a bunch of textbooks to smooth it all out and make it look a bit more presentable. I've just got myself a 'light cube' and need a bit of tweaking to figure out how best to use it at the moment, however - no winter gloom defeating me for the next few months! Onto my review for today:

Skin Rejuve Direct (a brilliant skincare stockist) got in touch and asked if I'd like to try any products from their site; I accepted their kind offer and was sent a Vitamin C Radiance Mask*, along with a matching Vitamin C Radiance Serum*. [See my review on the serum here; I called it a 'skin miracle worker']. I've been using the mask weekly for about 2 months now, and although on first use I was quite underwhelmed with it and didn't feel too impressed with the effects, my affection for this mask has since grown to quite a substantial love affair. 


If any of you are thinking of comparing this to the likes of REN's Radiance Renewal Mask (perhaps the most well-known radiance mask), this is very different. It definitely doesn't smell like marmalade - it is fact very much fragrance free, and it isn't a jelly-like consistency either. I would liken this in texture to Sudocrem. It lies thick and opaque on the skin surface and creates no sensation to the skin at all and doesn't really feel like it's doing anything; It doesn't cool, it doesn't refresh, it doesn't tingle, it doesn't dry. Hence my first impressions being a bit 'hmm?', simply because it's unlike many other radiance masks I've come across in the past. 

As the packaging explains, it's a multi-functional mask that is supposed to firm the skin, brighten it, and also improve radiance. It also has anti-aging effects with an attempt to diminish fine lines and wrinkles as it refines the skin texture. I'm going to disagree slightly with the claims of this mask, and say that 'radiance' shouldn't necessarily be it's main branding ..because it does so much more, and it does so many things better! Although, I guess that radiance works the best as the overall bracket term for the effects of the mask, but I feel as though it really cleaned and cleansed my skin after washing it off, and the general clarity of my skin just looked so much fresher and awake, but it also dramatically moisturised and softened my skin as well. It works wonders for hydration and as the weather is getting chillier and there's a bit of a bite in the air, I'm really appreciating the Vitamin C and boost of moisture that this mask provides in just 10 minutes. No more sallow winter zombies, look perked up and refreshed with this radiance mask! 

Vitage Vitamin C Radiance Mask - £26.00 / 75ml | link
(Current special price: £19.00)

Thanks for reading!
Would you try this mask?

See also:
Vitage Vitamin C Radiance Serum

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* (c/o) Skin Rejuve Direct
Check out my October Gold advertiser, Tasha, and her amazing blog:

Monday 14 October 2013

Spend, Spend, Spend: Clinique Bonus Time and LUSH Haul

Hello. Being one not to shy away from free goodies, I was sucked over to the Clinique counters to make a little purchase and claim my free make up bag full of little mini Clinique treats as part of their bi-annual Bonus Time promotion. All you have to do is purchase 2 products from Clinique, with one to be skincare, and you will be rewarded with: a make up bag (a very nice make up bag!), 3 skincare products, and 3 make up items, all in a miniature promotional size. 

I did also claim the free Bonus Time bag last October as well, so you can compare the contents to last year too if you're interested: 'Clinique Bonus Time and Beauty Haul' post.  One thing worth pointing out is that the blush packaging has been stepped up a notch 12 months on; Look at the comparison in these photos of the 2013 v 2012 blush. Plus, there's a weight difference of 3.1g compared to 1.8g last year. I notice little things. 

The Bonus Time contents are: Skincare - 7 Day Scrub Cream, Dramatically Difference Moisturising Lotion+, All About Eyes Rich, and Make-Up - High Lengths Mascara, Chubby Stick Intense in Plushest Punch, Blush Powder in Iced Lotus. But what did I purchase to get my mitts on these goodies? I got a small 'discovery set' style trio of skincare to try. It includes a cleanser, toner, and moisturiser in generous trial sizes for £20. I also got a clay mask from the anti-blemish range for £19.00. I haven't used any of these products yet, but there may be a full review of the blemish mask soon!

Then, from Lush I picked up 4 bath time treats: all 3 from the Halloween stock, and the fourth from their permanent line. I got the 'Sex Bomb' (oo-err) bath ballistic - a supposedly sensual bath bomb with little floating rose petals inside. I hope to do a separate post on the three Halloween bath ballistics / bubble bar with photographs of them 'in use'. I'm most excited about the 'Lord of Misrule' bath ballistic as it turns the bath water a rich, deep wine colour and it smells gorgeous, but I'm a little bit dubious about using 'Sootball' after reading some strongly negative reviews, and it's also leaving black stains on everything that I put it on! It is supposed to turn the bath gold though, which I find intriguing. ..We shall see. 

 Thanks for reading!
Have you tried any Halloween stock from Lush, or claimed your Bonus Time freebies from Clinique yet?

Heads up:
House of Fraser are running a competition for you to win 1 of 5 Clinique Overnight hampers. You can enter here: link.
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Check out my October Gold advertiser, Tasha, and her amazing blog:

Thursday 10 October 2013

Model Co. Party Proof Matte Lipsticks for Birchbox | 'Classics'

Heyy. Say hello to an exclusive collaboration between BirchBox and ModelCo - a trio of 'Party Proof Matte Lipsticks'*. There are two trios to choose from and they can be bought only from BirchBox for £15.50 per set. The two sets are the 'Classics' - the set I have: red, orange and pink, or the 'Nudes' - obviously a selection of nudes, which from pictures I've seen looks like peachy, browny and pinky nude tones.  

While on the whole, I do like these lipstick and I think that they're good.. I do have a fair few criticisms of the trio in general, and of the individual lipsticks. Sorry. Let's dive straight in with a packaging complaint and that is that although they're quite unique in a white bullet as opposed to standard black, they do looks pretty tacky (to me), and they've got an incredibly cheap feel to them, right down to the swivel up mechanism (but that's just me being picky). Also the transparent circle on the top serves no functional purpose, it only adds to the cheap appearance. (Major bitch out of the way now, only minor bitches to come). 


The swatches don't come out very true to the shade in the bullet at all, and you might also be flitting your eyes back up the post title and thinking 'did she say matte?', because yeah.. matte? It's very strange for these to marketed strongly as matte lipsticks - it's even in the name of them! - when they are actually some of the creamiest and glossiest lipsticks that I've ever tried. Even with blotting down and a considerable amount of wear time, they end up more of a satin finish. No matter what, they're a long way off being matte. 

(Sorry my skin looks rank, we weren't all born with a flawless complexion). I thought that all was lost when I tried the first shade 'Disco Fever' as it really isn't the shade for me. Not only is the colour all wrong, but it also has a bit of a different texture and consistency to the other two shades - very thick, sticky, creamy in kind of a 'gooey' way and didn't sit well on my lips at all - even though they were well prepped and primed! I strongly, strongly, dislike the shade Disco Fever. 

Things vastly improved when I moved on to the two other shades: Peony and Red Velvet. These two lipsticks completely won me over and changed my mind about everything. Although they are still very shiny and very glossy when they're supposed to be matte (I can't get over this element!), they are actually gorgeous shades. The formula is lovely, really moisturising and creamy on the lips with very minimal bleeding considering I didn't use a lip liner for such intense shades. The pigmentation is 'WOW' and just a single swipe is shown on my lips and the hand swatches - no need to build them up. I wore Red Velvet the other day and I can't actually say is lasted 'x' amount of hours, because it exceeded the amount of time that I was awake in the day! I was at uni for 8 hours, ate 3 meals, came home and still had to get out a make up remover to get it off. That's staying power. 

I feel like the red makes my lips look more plumped, and dare I say it - sexy. There's just something about red lips on pale skin that looks so.. 'classic'. Which then bring me onto my next criticism of the set, and that is: does the orange shade belong in a set of classic shades? Red, yes. Pink, yes. A light coral orange? Hmm. Debatable. The fact that these lipsticks can only be bought as a trio hugely lets down the whole package for me. If they were available as a red/pink duo, or there was an option to buy each of the shades individually then, for me at least, it would make a more appealing purchase. 

So, the individual lipsticks, Peony and Red Velvet, rank very highly with me and I completely love them and will continue to wear them - especially the red for glamorous evenings, but we'll just pretend that Disco Fever doesn't exist shall we?

Party Proof Lipstick 'Classics' Trio* - £15.50 | link

Thanks for reading!
What do you think of the trio?

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* (c/o) Pure PR
Check out my October Gold advertiser, Tasha, and her amazing blog:
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