Thursday, 28 March 2013

Chanel POUDRE SIGNÉE DE CHANEL Illuminating Powder

Because I'm saving up at the moment to pay for my holiday,I'm trying to restrain myself from purchasing too much stuff at the minute.  So why do I keep torturing myself by window shopping...especially with this Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder?

The embossing on this is ridiculous and as well as the Chanel logo features camellias and lipsticks.  I actually don't think I would buy this anyway as I probably couldn't bring myself to use it and disturb the pretty (I felt the same way about the MAC Marine Life Highlight Powder from their To the Beach collection a few years ago).  I imagine it would be a fab addition for someone who actually collects make up, and limited edition pieces.  It's actually a really nice looking highlighter too, you can see swatches and some more closeups on Temptalia.

I'm kind of hoping that by posting about it I can get it out of my system.  Available from Debenhams* for £46, as I said this is limited edition so if you're as into it as I am (and can spare the cash) I'd head over there sharpish!  One day I will fill my house with Chanel!

Are you into collecting make up rather than using it?  Do you have this Illuminating Powder?   Can I come round and look at it if you do?

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I want a new outfit for Easter...

Remember when you were a kid and you got bought a new outfit for Easter...well why doesn't that still happen?!  I'd 100% prefer a new outfit to Easter eggs, even more so now that I'm an adult!  It's pretty unlikely that I'm going to get a new outfit from the Easter bunny, but just in case he's reading, here's what I've got my eye on (which seems ridiculous when it's snowing outside):

 New Look* - Blue Denim Stud Yoke Shirt Dress, £22.99
 I don't actually need the Easter bunny for this one - the lovely Shen told me about a 25% off New Look code that's going around along with my 10% student discount on top so I couldn't resist doing a cheeky order.  How often do you get 35% off something you actually want?  I also used Quidco* so I should get 7% cashback on top of all that so this will probably work out at around £14.50...bargain.
River Island - Black Leather Fringed Biker Jacket , £150
I really want a fringed leather jacket (with the denim dress above, I'm actually going a bit Western aren't I?) and this one is one of the nicest ones I've seen.  One day I will own a really expensive leather jacket that will last forever (one day).
ASOS - Cambridge Satchel Company 11" Lilac Satchel, £105
I love satchels, I think they're the perfect mix of pastel and pretty.  The Cambridge Satchel Company do a range of gorgeous, bright colours and they look really sturdy and well made - lilac is one of my favourite colours too so this is ticking a lot of boxes here.
ASOS - Michael Kors Aviator Sunglasses, £84
I want these!  I have a million pairs of aviators, and I still manage to buy a new pair each year, these ones are gorgeous.  I don't normally buy expensive sunglasses because inevitably I lose them or they get squashed in my beach bag.  I'd have to buy a decent case if I got these.
But to be honest, I'd settle for these pug pyjamas from Topshop....

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Win a digital magazine subscription of your choice courtesy of Zinio!

I was lucky/spoilt enough to not only get a subscription to Grazia for Christmas, but also a Samsung Galaxy Tab for Christmas (which was 3 months quickly is this year going!) and I really have to say I'm massively chuffed with both.  I've recently downloaded the Kindle app and I'm currently in the process of getting loads of books loaded on there to read, I just need to find some spare time!

So, when I was recently contacted by Zinio about their massive range of digital subscriptions (over 5,000 different titles), they were preaching to the converted really!  They do subscriptions to Hello, Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Tatler to name but a few and you can purchase single magazines and even read and share articles from top magazines with friends.

For me, the plus sides to a digital subscription are the accessibility, the convenience of having everything stored in once place as well as it being better for the environement as it's not printed on paper.  It also works out really reasonably priced with Zinio even having discount and 2 for 1 promotions on selected titles so that you can make the most of your pennies.

Zinio have kindly offered me 10 digital subscriptions for my readers for a magazine of their choice - these subscriptions are available to use on iPad, iPhone, Android, laptops and desktops.  To enter all you need to do is:
  • Visit Zinio and have a look through their magazine subscriptions to decide which magazine you'd like to subscribe to
  • Leave a comment below with your name, email address, how you follow BATB and which magazine you would subscribe to with Zinio 
  • For an extra entry, tweet the following: "@LucyBATB is giving away 10 digital magazine subscriptions courtesy of @Zinio, visit to enter #bbloggers #giveaway" - don't forget to mention in your comment below that you've Tweeted along with your Twitter handle
Giveaway is open until midnight (GMT) on 7th April 2013, winners will be notified shortly afterwards by email and will need to provide their full name, email address and title of magazine you wish to subscribe to.

This giveaway is open internationally to readers of Beauty and the Blogger.  Please note that in the interests of disclosure and transparency, as part of this review and giveaway I have received one free digital subscription from Zinio for my personal use.

Friday, 22 March 2013

I'm Ebaying again!

I've had a bit of a guilt-induced wardrobe clear out recently and I've listed a few items on Ebay - mainly clothes and shoes with the odd accessory thrown in.  There's items from ASOS, River Island, Zara, Primark and Topshop amongst others, so if you want to have a look please feel free to visit my Ebay listings here.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

PureLogicol Triple Helix Collagen Boosting Mask

PureLogicol isn't a brand that was on my radar previously but after reading about their new skincare range I really wanted to try out their Triple Helix Collagen Boosting Mask which claims to improve skin radiance and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by instantly firming skin and boosting collagen synthesis.  It's also supposed to hydrate and nourish.

The packaging is heavy glass with a gold lid which feels like really good quality (as well as looking good on your dressing table).  It's easy to get product out but you do dip your fingers in to get it which I know some people aren't mad doesn't strongly bother me.

The active ingredients include:  Perfection Peptide P3, Pepha-Tight, Papaya fruit, Pseudo Collagen, Dragon Fruit, Agave, Acai, Edelweiss, Borage Seed Oil, Boaobab Oil, Red Clover, Honeysuckle extract, Vitamin A and Tamanu Oil.  I'm not even going to pretend I know what all of that is, but it sounds good.

The consistency of this isn't creamy or greasy, it feels very light and sort of sits on the top of your skin rather than feeling like it's soaking in.  It smells quite innoffesive really.  You apply a light layer of this to your face in a upward motion (good for your skin) and then leave it for 20 minutes then remove with water or a muslin cloth. 

My skin's quite reactive so it does go slightly red when I use this, but it doesn't irritate it at all.  As it dries you can definitely feel the tightening effect, though it doesn't dry hard like a clay mask or similar, you can feel it plumping up your skin.  It doesn't feel at all drying or like your skin is uncomfortably tight either.  My skin does feel really moisturised, fresh and plump after using too and I do feel like my skin looks brighter and more radiant.  The smell does change slightly as it dries, it smells a little more plastic-y, whether that's some ingredients working in there I don't know.  I don't feel like I need any more product (moisturiser etc) on after this.

This is a little expensive at £75 for 50ml but I honestly do think that with skincare it's better splashing out a bit on higher quality products, especially as my skin is ageing.  Plus, a little bit goes a long way so I suspect the pot I've got will last for absolutely ages.  I've been using this once or twice a week and I find it's a really good boost when I'm going somewhere special as my skin feels great after using it.

The Triple Helix Collagen Boosting Mask is available from the PureLogicol website, £75 for 50ml.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

How to follow now that Google Reader is biting the dust...

I'm sure you've seen the furore about Google Reader being discontinued from 1st July 2013.  As someone who uses Google Reader on a daily basis, I've become really familiar with GR and I like the way it all works together, it does what I want it to, so I am kind of disappointed that it's being discontinued really.  Although GFC isn't being retired there are some questions about how relevant it will be without Google Reader so it looks like the GFC followers we've all built up might end up being irrelevant.  There's a considerable amount of reading around the subject if you're interested with some saying it'll even out the playing field but others who really aren't happy.

Anway, waffle aside, if you still want to keep up with Beauty and the Blogger (I hope you do!), you can follow me through Bloglovin, Hellocotton or  I'm also on Twitter and Pinterest if you want to follow me there too.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

I like big buns but this is ridiculous - ASOS Extra Large Hair Donut

Last year (a year to the day actually...weird) I blogged about my ASOS Large Hair Donut that I've happily been wearing ever since.  Now that hair donut was pretty big (especially after I finished covering it in extensions), but when I spotted the ASOS Extra Large Hair Donut I thought "ooh why not? Bigger is better right...". 

Well it arrived at the weekend and while I was expecting it to be huge, I wasn't expecting to have handbags smaller than it!  Here it is with the Large Hair Donut...wowzer.

It's gigantic!!!  Compared to a normal size bun ring it's easily 5 times the size and even compared to the large's big.  I even got my tape measure out on it...7 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches deep.  My hair's pretty long and quite thick (if I didn't straighten and bleach it, it would be huge) and I haven't got nearly enough hair to go over the Extra Large one.

The only way I could see this working is for a dramatic updo - I've seen J-Lo with this sort of style before - on a night out or if you've got loads of hair that you struggle to tame.  As I said, I don't have anything like enough hair to go over this and I think even if I covered it with extensions to wear it I would feel a bit silly as it pretty much covers the whole of the top of my head (and I have a pretty big head y'know).  Here's how it looks on the ASOS model:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nails Inc Leather Effect Nail Polish in Noho

I haven't been that into some of the nail trends that have been around lately - fur, feather, crackle and magnetic nails didn't really do it for me.  But the leather nails thing, I'm so into that!  I love matte polishes and I see this as an extension of matte polish.

I found this polish really easy to apply, it went on nice and even and was easy to manouvere.  I did it in three very light coats to build up the colour and keep the leather effect.  This polish dries quite quickly, like a matte polish.  It is kind of like a cross between a crackle polish and a matte polish on the nail.  It definitely does look like leather though and the lid of the polish bottle is a pretty accurate depiction of how the polish looks on the nail (p.s. I do like the polish bottle too!).

It is a little bit gritty to the touch on the nails, this doesn't bother me but if you're not into texture on your nails you might not like this.  You shouldn't use topcoat over this as it might mess with the leather look.  I do wonder if the leather effect is something that's achievable by using a technique such as sponging or cellophane over a polish but I haven't tried it so I don't know.

I really like this polish and the way it looks on my nails.  As it dries quickly too it's a great one to do in a hurry.  I'm really glad I bought this, especially in the black as I'm not wildly keen on the other two colours so I'm hoping that some of the cheaper brands will pick up on this trend (like with crackle) and we'll have more colours available soon...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Win goodies from Imperial Leather!

Imperial Leather have recently launched their best ever shower gel - it's twice as creamy as their previous version as well as being richer and thicker!  Dermatalogically tested with a skin friendly PH, the new and improved shower gel comes in five fragrances:
  • Ocean Fresh
  • Soft Touch
  • Japanese Spa
  • Oriental Calm
  • Citrus Burst
I was sent Oriental Calm to review and I have to say it smells absolutely gorgeous, fresh and gently floral, just how you'd expect - it contains cherry blossom and vanilla bean.  I'm not normally a huge cherry fan but cherry blossom is different and not at all overpowering.  It actually smells a million miles away from the current icy weather we're having in the UK!  I really want to try the others in the range, especially Soft Touch and Citrus.

This stuff is really creamy and lathers up so well.  I hate it when shower gels and shampoos don't lather as I feel like they're not doing a good job and you're not getting the most for your money.  According to the packaging, it's a bigger bottle too which is always good news!  This felt mild on my skin and actually very moisturising.  I would definitely buy this in the future, especially since I already use Imperial Leather hand wash...I feel like they complement each other.

The range is available from all major retailers and is very reasonably priced.  For more information visit

If you'd like to win all five shower creams in the range, all you need to do is leave a comment below with your name, how you follow Beauty and the Blogger and which of the Imperial Leather Pampering Shower Cream frangrances you think would be your favourite.
Sorry giveaway is for UK readers of Beauty and the Blogger only.  Giveaway will close at midnight on 20th March 2013, the winner will be contacted by email and will receive all five Imperial Leather Pampering Shower Creams.

Friday, 8 March 2013

How to look after lash extensions - aftercare, tips and tricks that I've learned along the way

I've had various types of lash extensions and false lashes applied over the years and I've found that it's a bit hit and miss what aftercare advice you get given to follow so I thought I'd put together a little reference guide for people who might have their lashes done in the salon.  Hopefully people will find it helpful!


There are all different types of lashes that you can get applied in a salon so it's best to be clear about what you're getting beforehand so you know what to expect:
  • Strip lashes - these are like the normal lashes you can get in Boots on a strip but you pay to get them applied in a salon.  I've never had this done but when they usually cost between £5-10 to get them applied in a salon.  They should really only be worn for a night so are good for parties or events if you're wanting a glamorous look and there are obviously different styles available.
  • Cluster lashes - these are little groups of lashes, usually 3-5 joined at the root in a V shape, they're applied to your lash line to enhance the look of your lashes and you can have as many or as few added as you want (some people just have them in the outer corners).  These normally cost between £10-20 to get done in a salon and though they can last 2 weeks - I've had them for that long before but my own lashes were in a sad state by the end of things - I wouldn't wear them for more than 1 week at a time.
  • Weekend lashes - individual lashes applied at your lash line, these last between 3-5 days and cost about £20-40.  I haven't had these before.
  • Holiday lashes - individual lashes applied to your own to enhance them for 2-3 weeks, after which they should be removed. These usually cost between £20-40.  I haven't had these before either.
  • Semi-permanent lash extensions - individual lashes applied to each lash individually.  These last 2-3 weeks, after which you can get them maintained to fill in any gaps and this way they can last up to about 3 months.  It costs anything between £30-150 for a full set, with maintenance costing between £20-50 every few weeks.  They can be as natural/OTT as you like.  Application takes about 1 hour 30 mins with maintenance between 30 mins to an hour.
It's important that as well as understanding the lash type and application method, you're realistic about your expectations and how long they might last for you.  I have lots of lashes but they're short and dark.  As much as I love long, spiky lashes, it's not an achievable look for me as my own short lashes wouldn't support really long extensions.  This is fine and I just go as long as I can without them drooping and make sure I have plenty of them packed in.

Really, you should have a patch test to make sure you're not allergic to the adhesive at least 24 hours beforehand but this isn't always offered - ask, especially if you're prone to allergies or have sensitive eyes.  You might also get a lash tint (or at least offered one) to darken your own lashes before application (this will also need a patch test).  I tend to skip this part as my lashes are already really dark, just short.

This is the treatment process for semi-permanent lash extensions, all of them are applied in a similar way but this one takes the longest so is probably the "worst" ones to have applied, just because of the length of time.  I quite often fall asleep getting mine done though so it can't be that bad!
  1. Firstly, you have to lie down to have lashes applied.
  2. You will usually get gel pads put underneath your eyes (where you get eye bags) and your lower lashes might get taped down to stop them getting in the way.  This is done with your eyes open.
  3. Your lashes will be swiped with cleanser to remove any oils that might stop the adhesive working properly.
  4. With your eyes closed, your beauty therapist will start to gently "stroke" each individual lash onto your own.  The adhesive is usually odourless.  Keep your eyes closed at this point!  The therapist will then move over to your other eye.
  5. Once she's finished, the therapist will check your lashes and make sure none are sticking or positioned differently and might reposition or tweak some of them. Sometimes a sealant will also be applied for extra protection (you can also buy this to maintain your lashes).
  6. Make an appointment for 2-3 weeks time for a top up (go for 2 on your first visit).
  • Try not to have a hot bath or shower for 24 hours after your lashes have been applied
  • Avoid using eye make up - if you really have to, use oil free products
  • Don't tint or perm your lashes once they're on and don't use lash curlers
  • Using oily cleansers or eye creams will weaken the bonds so avoid this wherever possible
  • Easier said than done but try not to sleep on your face as this can put pressure on the lashes and either make them position strangely or fall out
  • Some aftercare I've seen recommend using a lash comb regularly - I prefer to use my fingers to reposition any that are straying
  • You can buy sealant to use yourself, I don't as I've never felt it made a huge difference
  • Keep up your maintenance appointments
  • If you decide to remove them either go back to the salon or use a lot of baby oil/oily cleanser to dissolve the glue and remove.  Don't pull them out - your own lashes will come out and it'll look worse than ever!
I'm not sure if you're meant to do this, but I do...if I can see that a lash has become twisted and is going to fall out, I'll quickly add some Duo lash adhesive to the base of the lashes to keep them in place until my next maintenance appointment.  I'll remove this before my next appointment.  If I notice I've got a gap where I've lost a couple of lashes I'll fill it with an individual lash or cluster lashes and some Duo lash adhesive as a temporary fix.  Here's what I use:

I think that unless you have a very patient friend with a steady hand and a few hours to kill you would struggle to do a full set of these, especially the individual ones - you couldn't apply these on yourself!

So there you have it, my guide to lash extensions.  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below or drop me a tweet (@LucyBATB) or email ( and I'll try and answer.  I'm by no means an expert or trained in lash application but I'll try!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Look Beauty Loud Lips in Shade 1 Babydoll - currently half price at Superdrug!

I think this is my first Look Beauty purchase - I first spotted them on Lauren Alice's blog and went hunting for them.

I really like the square, gold tube that this comes in, it feels really sturdy. These cost £7 which is possibly a teeny bit overpriced for what it is in my opinion but I paid it so I won't whinge!  I've just noticed they're half price at Superdrug* so worth a look if you're interested...

The consistency of this really surprised me, I expected it to be matte, thick and maybe a little bit chalky. Well no, it's none of them. It glides onto the lips and whilst it is pretty pigmented, it's also a little bit sheer and looks semi-glossy.  It can drag a bit like a chalkier lipstick would though so if you have any dry skin on your lips then exfoliating and maybe using a light balm would be a good idea as it does tend to cling to any dry patches.

Now, I've had this for a few weeks and with my blonde hair I felt like Babydoll was just a little too light and blue-based for my skintone (it leans towards lilac really) and I thought that maybe if I had a bit of a tan it might look better. However, since I dyed my hair brown I really fancied a lighter toned lipstick and I think this worked really well on me!

Overall this is a nice lipstick and given the texture of it I would try some other colours - I wasn't really interested in any of the others when I thought it was going to be a heavy, matte colour - but probably only if they're on offer/sale as I think the price is a bit high.  It also has a sweet, caramel-type scent to it which I quite like.  Based on this, I'll definitely be checking out some more of Look Beauty's offerings.

Look Beauty Loud Lips are available from Superdrug* - as I said earlier they're actually on offer at the moment (half price, so £3.50), I might stock up on a few more!

Monday, 4 March 2013

New hair? Hell yeah!

Earlier in the year I posted about how bored I was of my hair after being blonde and having some variation of highlights for the last 5 years. I also didn't want to do what I've done in the past and go really blonde, get bored, go dark brown because I couldn't think of what else to do, hate it and then start getting highlights again. So I gave it some thought this time and after stalking Pinterest, magazines and celeb hair I decided on a dip dye - best of both worlds!  I know I'm a bit late to the dip dye/ombre party but oh well...
I also wanted my hairstyle refreshed too as that's been pretty similar for probably the past 10 years, give or take an extension or two. So for my hair I asked to change to a centre parting and get my layers cut in a bit more to make a curly blowdry a bit easier.
Here's the before and after, I got it done on Saturday - I'm still not totally used to it yet but I do like it:
As you can see my hair before was quite ashy and overprocessed, as well as being a bit dry and damaged, particularly at the ends. I feel like it now looks a bit shinier and hopefully it will be in better condition as less bleach is being used on it. As the brown colour is so similar to my natural hair colour, I'm also hoping that I won't need to that part dyed eventually - I expect it'll fade quite quickly initially as my hair was so light though - which will mean less money spent on trips to the hairdressers for maintenance. I might even get brave and try and do the blonde myself too
though my hairdresser did have to tone the blonde underneath a few times to make it more of a caramel rather than a light ash. She explained that against the brown it would make it look quite grey if it was just left as it was.

To finish off the look I got a HUGE curly blowdry with a bit of backcombing and a lot of hairspray thrown in for good measure. I wish I had someone to do my hair for me every day. I can dream I suppose!
I'm really pleased with my new look, though I think I might have to rethink my wardrobe and start filling my brows in - they've always looked too dark against my light hair when I've done it before! One beauty resolution down, a few more to go, what do you think of my new hair?

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Paul & Joe Cheek Colour in Gigi (2013 Spring Carousel Collection)

You know Paul & Joe right?  They do gorgeous products in really pretty, retro style packaging - a lot of it features cats, which doesn't do it for me, but some of their embossed stuff really floats my boat...even the packaging it comes in is really pretty.

See? Even the boxes they come in are pretty.  This compact is refillable, so you buy the white embossed compact and the colour block separately.  I think this is good because the packaging is so nice you can use it again, plus if you tend to wear different colours of blush depending on the season, whether you've got fake tan (or a real one) or where you're going then you can chop and change what's in the compact.  It seems a shame to throw something like this away so it's great that it can be reused - Paul & Joe do quite a lot of this as they do tend to make their packaging a bit focus.  As you can see the compact has a mirror in it too which is always handy.

The colour I went for was Gigi, a bright pink with a lighter shimmery pink section to it.  Pink's always my favourite blush colour and tends to be what I wear the most so it was a no brainer really.  I knew I'd like the colour before I bought it and I do.  It is really pigmented though so you need to be careful not to be too heavy handed - I think if you have paler skin then you might want to go for a different colour as this could be a bit bright for you.  Each to their own, though.

It comes in all sorts of colour combinations though (see below), I quite like Candy, Secret Dor and Gamine as well...I'm scrolling over that pic quite quickly because I'm trying to be good in terms of buying things at the moment!  I'm on Day 2 of a "no buy" and I'm struggling already!!!
Overall, this is a lovely blush and I would be happy to purchase one of the other colours from the range.  It's easy to write Paul & Joe off as "all style and no substance" but their products are every bit as good as their packaging.

I bought mine from ASOS for £12.50 for the colour and £6 for the reusable compact (minus student discount).  Also available from Beauty Bay*.


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