Monday, 28 November 2011

Entity One Colour Couture Gel Enamel "Fashionista"

I showed this in a different shade a few months ago but just thought I'd show you the latest colour I've had on.  This shade is Fashionista and is a dark glossy purple that when you look closely at it has fine bits of red and blue shimmer in it.  It's really similar to an OPI shade I have, and love.  This is a gel polish, a bit like Shellac but different in that your nails are buffed before use and it's a bit thicker and probably removed differently in the salon

Last time I had this on in a different colour it lasted really well, no chips at all, but in the end I was a bit naughty and peeled/picked it off when it started to grow out quite a lot/I got bored - I wouldn't recommend this and would say to get it removed properly.  This time I soaked it off properly with acetone using the tinfoil method and it worked a treat.  It looked fine apart from a bit of regrowth at the cuticle, still chip free and glossy before I removed it.  My nails were really long after using this as obviously it protects them more than polish does, and were also undamaged.

I am thinking more and more about investing in a Shellac kit and doing this stuff myself though, it costs around £20 a time to have this done and I could really do it myself as apart from it being sealed under UV light it's not that different to polishing nails, which I feel I'm quite good at - as I've mentioned before, I'm a qualified beauty therapist so I could actually get all the stuff I need direct from the supplier/distributor with my manicure qualifications.  Something to think about I think!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Viva La Nails 25% off code

Wow, there's a lot of discount codes floating about at the minute isn't there (not that I'm complaining!)?    Just thought I'd let you know that Viva La Nails are offering 25% off all purchases on their website until Sunday  using the code BLACK at checkout.

They do all sorts of nail art and technician supplies, I've used them quite a few times and always been really impressed with the service, speed of delivery and the items I received.  Quite a few of my nail art posts have been done using things I've bought from Viva La Nails - got my eye on some rhinestones, a rhinestone picker upper and some neon glitter amongst some other things!  Happy shopping!

Montagne Jeunesse Very Berry Masque

I like to have a day every now and again where I really pamper myself - have a long bath with a nice bathbomb, deep condition my hair, paint my fingers and toes, slap on loads of body lotion, use a facemask etc.  It's usually a Saturday or a Sunday morning and this is generally the only time I use a facemask.

Well, not this time!  This time, I was getting so stressed out whilst trying to book a holiday for next summer (where should we go, that's too expensive, can you get that date off work, are we going to miss your friends/my friends wedding if we go then, I don't like the look of the beach there, oh the price has gone up now, Tripadvisor says that hotel is manky....argh!) that I just felt the need to put a facemask on and try to chill out whilst I browsed millions of hotels in Cancun, and tried to avoid booking any swingers hotels like I nearly did last time (seriously, google Temptations Resort).

It worked!  This face mask was really lovely, it smells just as you'd expect - like a mixture of yummy berries -  and is a cute light purple colour which looks almost pearlescent when it dries.  My skin felt lovely afterwards as well, really soft and smooth.  this contains blueberry juice, crushed cranberries, peach kernel oil and aloe so the likelihood is that one or all of these ingredients were responsible for my soft skin.  Best part is these are only around a pound each and they come in a wide range of gorgeous flavours (Cream and Honey, Strawberry Souffle, Fruit Smoothie and Fudge are my favourites).  Once I'd chilled out a bit too, I actually managed to get a gorgeous holiday booked - thank you Very Berry Masque!

So, whilst I can't promise it'll lead to a holiday, I can promise a rather lovely and reasonably priced treat. Very Berry Face Masque is available from the Montagne Jeunesse website or Boots, Superdrug, Asda, Claires, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and name a few.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

I need a reason to get my hair put up....

Mainly so I can get my hair done like this, I think it's absolutely gorgeous and effortlessly elegant. I also wish I was better at doing hair, even though I have nowhere to wear this kind of fancy updo!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Illamasqua Ambition Powder Blusher

This is really pretty, it's quite a neutral colour - probably a bit more peachy than my camera is showing actually - but is very pigmented so apply sparingly rather than liberally. Be warned, it does contain quite a bit of glitter and I'd probably only use this for nights out rather than everyday for work.  Saying that, the glitter isn't ridiculously chunky stuff and actually gives more of a shimmer than a sparkle, I think this would be nice for summer too.  It has good staying power too and I don't need to reapply during the day.  The packaging looks good too quite mysterious and sleek, and very Illamasqua!

I would definately buy another powder blusher from Illamasqua, I had a browse around their counter a few weeks ago and there is definately a lot of stuff I could buy from there!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tweet me or follow via Bloglovin'!

I've recently set up a Twitter acount so feel free to follow me @LucyBATB or by clicking the link on the left.  Oh, and if you've got a Twitter account, please leave me your Twitter name in the comments section below and I'll follow you.  If there's a Twitter you really like or think I should follow leave that in the comments too and I'll check it out.

If you don't already follow through Google Friend Connect, you can follow Beauty and the Blogger via Bloglovin' by clicking the link to the left as well.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Topshop Makeup - Lips in Brighton Rock and Nails in Indian Summer

Lips in Brighton Rock
I quite like the packaging, though because it's white it does have a tendency to get a bit grubby in my make up bag. It's a really nice pink, not quite as bright as MAC Chatterbox but not muted either. I love the finish on this too, it's neither matte or glossy (maybe a satin finish?). In terms of staying power, this is ok, it's no different really to any other normal lipstick - it won't necessarily last through a meal or a cup of tea but you'll get a good few hours wear out of it. Overall, I'm really pleased with this and would definately repurchase this or another colour from the same collection.
Nails in Indian Summer

I loved this too! I would call it a bright baby pink (if such a thing exists). Application was fine, finish was glossy (with Seche Vite) however on the downside was that I only got a days wear out of this before it chipped on my index finger. Also, the Topshop bottles are quite small which when you think about it makes them seem a little bit less bargainous, even with my student discount. It's still a nice little item to pop in with the rest of your shopping though.

There are some really nice colours in the Topshop collection. I've been really pleased with everything I've tried from Topshop in terms of makeup, which is weird because I didn't go into the brand at first with particularly high expectations at all - the metallic polishes that I've reviewed previously are absolutely fantastic for the price and I spotted some new metallic ones when I picked these up.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A round up of more things I want to purchase...

...I seem to have caught the shopping bug ridiculously of late. There's so much stuff I want/need and usually I go through phases where it's all about shoes or jackets or make up but at the moment it's about everything. Sorry for using my blog as a shopping list!
ASOS Bandeau Dress with Embellished Bust and Feather Skirt - £250

River Island Raglan Owl Sweater - £20
Miss Selfridge Leopard Print Chiffon Playsuit - £40
Topshop Faux Fur Collar Wool Skirt Coat - £110

River Island Jacket in Floral Print - £55

Miss Selfridge Black Feather Cuff Heel - £70

ASOS Midi Dress with Pussybow - £45

Illustrated People Big Lips Raglan Sweater - £40

Dorothy Perkins Almond Toe Shoes - £25

The feather dress really wouldn't suit me and is way out of my price range but I'm tempted to see if some of the more expensive stuff on my list ends up going in the January sales - yes, this is how much I plan ahead!!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

MAC Glitter and Ice Nail Lacquer - Unconditionally Fabulous

This is really pretty in the bottle and definately sums up Glitter and Ice to me but it's not really anything unusual/special you couldn't get cheaper in a standard glitter layering polish.  I've swatched it over Leighton Denny Supermodel below

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Philosophy Cinnamon Hot Dots and Creme Brulee

Cinnamon Hot Dots smells very cinnamony/aniseedy but sweet at the same time - I'm not massively keen on the smell or taste of cinnamon (these came as a pair and I really wanted creme brulee) but if you are keen then this is for you. It smells very Christmassy and warming. It also has a recipe on it that I'm sure would be gorgeous if I liked cinnamon! Creme Brulee is far more my thing - sweet and vanilla-y, I do like it but I wouldn't say it's overly creme brulee-ish.

You do get a lot of product in these and they do last for quite a long time, they lather well and the smell does last on your skin. You can actually use them on hair or body as well and I did use the Creme Brulee one on my hair a couple of times when I'd accidentally ran out of shampoo and not had the chance to buy any more and it was fine, it lathered well and the scent stayed on my hair for quite a while.

I don't know if I'm just getting old or boring but I don't think I'd necessarily buy either of these again. They were nice, and would be lovely as a Christmas gift or something, but quite expensive for something that I thought was just ok - neither were a patch on my favourite Philosophy shower gel, Melon Daiquiri - and to be honest, you could get something similar much cheaper (especially the Creme Brulee). I also noticed on the packaging some warnings about how prolonged use could potentially give you a urine infection....I know they probably have to put this and the risk is probably minimal but, ew, basically. I don't want to be relaxing in my bath and read that, it kind of put me off a bit even though I suspect using Philosophy is no better/worse than any other bath or shower product.

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Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Hard Sell

I know there have been lots of posts written on this subject but I did my beauty counter circuit last Thursday and I don't know if it's because sales are slow, it was a Thursday night so a bit quiet, Christmas staff have been taken on or I look like a soft touch but I basically felt stalked/harrassed throughout in a variety of different shops when I really didn't have anything in mind to buy. It seemed to be the first night of late night shopping so there were lots of events/discounts going on (including WAH nails in Topshop, which was too busy for me to take advantage of, booo!).

In House of Fraser, most of the counter staff were fine - in MAC they were quite busy so despite swatching away on my hand all I got offered was a tissue, and no assistance. That all changed at the YSL counter though - as soon as I glanced at the new YSL Shocking Mascara the sales assistant was over. After about 2 minutes of nonstop spiel and me not saying anything she was like "right, ok, I'll take this to the till for you shall I?" Errrr, no. She then really went into the hard sell, commenting on my eyelashes, evading the price, how it didn't matter that I had already bought YSL Faux Cils recently as Shocking "wasn't an everyday mascara". Well that put me off straight away, I know YSL mascaras have a tendency to dry up and I won't be buying a £22 mascara to wear on the odd night out for it to dry up. I made my excuses and tottered off. I probably would have bought that mascara if I hadn't felt so pressured. And I'm not really a fan of being called babes. Her make up was really harsh too and was all I could look at while she was selling her socks off.

In Boots, the sales assistant on YSL was a bit lacklustre - just a quick "are you looking for anything in particular?" and as I wandered off "did you find anything?" No, that's why I'm wandering off! In Clinique, the sales assistant greeted me right away but quickly found that the thing I wanted was out of stock and then proceeded to try and sell me a pricey gift set that didn't contain the actual product I wanted. She seemed a bit grumpy to have missed out on the sale.

In Selfridges there was some sort of event taking place at Bobbi Brown so the other counters were quite quiet. As I padded around MAC (more out of a sense of duty rather than wanting anything as I had already swatched to my hearts content in House of Fraser), about 5 sales assistants asked me if I was ok, offered me help and said if I needed anything to give them a shout. Which is fine, but maybe they should keep an eye on what their colleagues are doing too so I'm not asked the same question 5 times in about 3 minutes. The sales assistant at Illamasqua was really good, she greeted me, told me about the products in enough detail without overloading me, showed me some Christmas sets then left me alone to browse before saying bye to me as I left the counter. Her make up was fab, totally what you'd expect from Illamasqua, and I did actually see a few products I'm going to buy next month when I get paid. The Nars counter was really quiet and the sales assistant was on me straight away, told me a bit, then proceeded to stand over me whilst I swatched. She offered me a tissue and then basically followed me around the department, not saying anything other than offering me her hand to swatch on so mine didn't get messy. It was a bit weird! Then I went to Clinique, I got the impression the sales assistant was quite new, she was really enthusiastic, quite helpful and got me the product I wanted but then proceeded to try and sell me about ten other things, none of which I was interested in. The till took forever too as they wanted every detail - name, address, email, telephone number - without explaining why and it was slow to input.

I was quite interested to read about Clinique's Service As You Like It but despite my moaning, it's really not that hard to just politely say no or that you're just browsing (unless you're speaking to the House of Fraser YSL woman, I thought I was going to have to smash a glass cabinet or something to create a diversion and make my escape!). It's a good thing for people who don't feel comfortable saying no though, and I suppose it will mean that customers get the level of service they're happy with. It seems a bit odd going out of your way to put a band on to say "serve me now!" instead of just approaching the sales assistant though.

I know it's a job and I've worked in commission-based retail (shoes, glorious shoes!) before for a few years so I know what a hard slog it can be but I've not felt quite as consistently given the hard sell before by so many different places in one shopping session, thankfully I managed to avoid anyone trying to give me a make over. So, what's going on? Have you noticed that it seems to have got a bit more of a hard sell on the counters? Are any brands better/worse than others? Am I just being grumpy?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush - Flush

I've been coveting this for such a long time since it was covered in all the magazines and blogs but never got round to putting in an order as I tend to buy a few things at once rather than bits and pieces here and there.

Firstly, the bottle it comes in is absolutely tiny - I was actually a bit surprised by how small it was having never actually seen it in person before, but I suppose that's my fault for not paying attention to how many mls of product were included. You do have to shake this up before use and it is quite runny so it's easy to get too much out of the bottle if you're not careful - it is pretty well pigmented so you only need a tiny bit. The colour is absolutely gorgeous, just the type of pink that I like. it looks really natural and smooth on the skin. I applied this using my finger.

Would I buy this again? To be honest, probably not, I do like it, and the colour, but I think I prefer the finish and application you get with a powder blush and I feel it's a bit overpriced for what it is and the packaging. I also feel like you have to be careful with it as it's a bit runny and quite pigmented so easy to apply too much!

Friday, 4 November 2011

A lot of pink things from Lush!

I only wandered into Lush to check out some of the Christmas stuff and now I seem to have bought a load of pink/sweet scented things! Obviously, I stocked up on my now traditional large bottle of Snow Fairy (I might get another one still). I also got some Snow Fairy lipbalm, Angel's Delight Soap and Magic Wand Bubble Bar. All very cute and very pink!

Snow Fairy lipbalm smells just like proper Snow Fairy and though it's bright pink, it doesn't really leave any colour on your lips. Even so, I love it - as a fan of Lush lipbalms anyway (hello Honeytrap), this was always going to be a winner.

I used this pretty quickly - I'd definately say you don't need to use a full one, mine took ages to dissolve and even so I still had bits left in the bath, and even though the bell and stick are a bit pointless overall, I don't care, I think it's gorgeous and smells really nice! I also want to try the Melting Snowman and Candy Cane soap, they look cute but I couldn't see them in Lush when I visited.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

25% off at Warehouse - today only!


Just thought I'd let you all know that there's 25% off full price items at Warehouse today if you use the code WR0311. I quite fancy a new winter coat for work so I think I might buy this with my code, my favourite winter coat from a few years ago is from Warehouse so I'd definately buy one from there again.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

ASOS Beauty Team, you've done it again - I love these eyelashes!

I think every month I spot something so great in the ASOS magazine that I feel the need to write about it, and this month is no exception. What can I say, I'm a sucker for marketing. I was busy drooling over the Gucci Gucci eyelashes Kreayshawn was wearing in her interview when I spotted this on page 90:

They've been created by make up artist Holly Silius and quite frankly, I think they're amazing. Possibly not particularly wearable (like Paperself lashes which are totally gorgeous but more in an arty way than a "wear them on a night out" way) but definately something I want to buy, I love the red hearts and the stars. I do wonder that if you had some lashes, sequins, glue and lots of patience if you could customise your own - I think that would be do-able, except I'm a bit lazy, clumsy and impatient!

These lashes are in production and will be available at ASOS and Urban Outfitters from November, if in the meantime you want a bit more of a fix, you can see more images here. At the time of writing the December ASOS magazine wasn't available on their site, but it may well be on there today, so you might want to check it out for the proper version (with less crappy scanned pictures).


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