Thursday, 30 May 2013

Cargo Cosmetics comes to the UK, available from Debenhams!

I've heard of Cargo before, usually from overseas bloggers or in US haul lists, so I was really interested when I heard that the brand is now available in the UK.  I was sent some products to review, as someone who doesn't wear masses of different looks, the items I was sent were really wearable and would suit anyone.  The items I was sent to review were:
  • Water Resistant Bronzer
  • Eye Shadow in Windsor (pale, neutral) and Flint (smoky grey)
  • Reverse Lip Liner
The Water Resistant Bronzer is quite pigmented (so be careful to avoid looking stripy) but as it's so soft and finely milled it's easy to blend in for a more natural look.  I've finally got into watching YouTube hair and beauty videos (I know, right, where have I been?!) and contouring is something that I'm trying to learn how to do properly and this has been great to do that with.  One it's blended in it really does give a glowing, bronzed look as it has a tiny bit of shimmer - not sparkle - to it.  I think once I have a bit more of a tan (real or fake) then this will become a make up bag staple.

The eyeshadows are also really soft and although they're not as pigmented straight away, you can very easily build them up for a darker colour.  Windsor is a really neutral colour, I thought it would be quite white on the skin but it isn't, it's more of a highlighted skin colour so it's perfect for using as a base colour up to your browbone without looking drag queen-y.  I've been watching smokey eye videos as well!  Windsor is a smokey grey that leans towards a sort of Russian Blue type colour, perfect for evening eye make up, and I found it really made my eye colour pop without looking too dark or too OTT.  Although they're both soft, there isn't masses of fall out when you use them either which I prefer - sometimes loose pigment gets ridiculously messy!

The concept of a reverse lip liner isn't something I've come across before but the idea is that you line outside your lips to contour, highlight and keep your lip colour/gloss in place.  This is a great idea for gloss where you want a wash of colour and shine without any harsh lip lines.  I've added a little set of instructions below from Cargo's website: 

My lips are quite big so I don't really need to enhance their appearance to look fuller but as a result if I wear a strong colour, such as a red, I definitely need a lip liner to stop my colour feathering or ending up outside of my lipline.  So, here it is in action - my lips are lined with the Reverse Lip Liner and then I'm wearing Topshop Brighton Rock lipstick:

I think it works really well as a highlighter around the lips, especially in the cupid's bow.  This would be such a great product if you were going for a really dewy look or if you have smaller lips that you're trying to make more of.  I also think it would work well if you were going for a nude lip look as a normal lip liner.

Cargo Cosmetics are available from Debenhams, prices start at £7.50.  I've got my eye on the ColourStick and the TexasLiner now!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Paul's Hair World - a one stop destination for hair in Manchester (don't worry they deliver too!)

I've been visiting Paul's Hair World ever since I moved to Manchester. It's a shop that's absolutely full of everything to do with haircare, hair extensions and accessories (and more) - coming from a fairly small city up north where we hardly even had hairdressers that did weaves it was a real find for me!

I've enjoyed having my hair darker and ombre but I'm ready to go back to being light blonde again soon I think, I've got a hair appointment booked for just before I go on holiday in July to get my full head of highlights in and I've been toying about getting some extensions put in when I get back/for my birthday and I'm thinking proper long, thick mermaid locks - although my hair's quite long and naturally thick it's kind of damaged, especially at the ends so I just think extensions would give it a real bit of oomph! 

I've been browsing Paul's Hair World's website for some inspiration and I think I've seen some wefts that I might actually get put in but I'm going to wait to see how the colour turns out first. Some of their main offerings are hair extensions, hair pieces and wigs - I've picked out a few of my favourites below (the wave clip ins at the bottom are absolutely gorgeous!):
(L-R) New Wave Clip Ins 100% Human Hair, Beauty Works Ombre Dip Dye Clip In, Sleek Ez Ponytail Long

They also sell loads of other beauty related items such as GHD's, curlers, hair products, perfume, fake tan and false lashes so it's well worth a look (especially if you're as beauty obsessed as I am!) to see what you can pick up and the staff are really friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.   When you deal with hair and beauty all day you get to know a thing or two!

If you're not based in Manchester, don't worry they have stores in Liverpool and Glasgow as well as their website free UK delivery on orders over £100! You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.

This is a sponsored post

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Melvita Prosun Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizing Gel-Cream Review

I wanted to look a bit more tanned but not OTT as I had a fairly low key event to attend last Friday and I didn't want to look ridiculous. Plus I had a bit of a manic week so I was struggling to set aside time to go through the rigmarole of tanning "properly".
At times like this I turn to a gradual tanner for a more natural glow with less of a fuss and a faff, usually I use L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Gradual Tan 24 Hour Moisturising Lotion Medium Skin* (formerly Nutrisummer) but since I'd just been sent this Melvita tan to test I thought I'd try that. I've heard of Melvita products before but have never tried anything from the brand before.

I like the packaging, it's bright and fun and the squeezy bottle is practical. This is vanilla and coconut all honesty it smells quite sweet and vanilla-y, kind of like vanilla custard or creme brulee (it's a good thing honestly!) and as it's yellow it kind of looks like that too. Ridiculously easy to apply, you just rub it in like body lotion. It feels moisturising too! I always wash the palms of my hands after using too as tanned palms are a fakery giveaway.

I applied this over 2 days, when it develops there's the vaguest fake tan whiff but it isn't noticeable and I've used this in the morning before work without washing it off and it was fine.  It doesn't contain DHA so that probably explains that.  It doesn't have a guide colour to it, it's just white like a moisturiser, which I don't mind in a gradual tanner as it's less likely to go massively wrong like with a normal tanner (where I do prefer a guide colour) and it dries quickly though still leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.  I'm not sure where the "gel" in the name of the product comes from but never mind.
After application and development his gave a really nice, natural colour. It's not so subtle that you can't see a difference and gives a lovely glow that isn't in your face or orange. One point is that it clung to my extremely dry elbows a bit so if yours are a bit dry you might want to slap a bit of normal mousturiser on there before you start.  There was no streaking or funny patchy business going on either.  I prefer the colour and the lack of streaks to the L'Oreal one I usually use, though the L'Oreal one is quite a bit cheaper.
In terms of moisturising it also did a great job of that too with a couple of people commenting how soft my skin is. I'm notoriously bad at regularly moisturising my bod so I'd definitely attribute this to the gradual tanner (or as my boyfriend calls it "slow release tan" ha!)

I would 100% buy this in future and I'll definitely be restocking once this runs out.  It isn't cheap at £22 for 150ml, especially when it's a product you need to use a few times a week but I do think it's worth it - a total confidence boost in a bottle with minimal effort. Available from*.

Friday, 24 May 2013

My nails are ready for summer (even if the weather isn't!) - Models Own Ice Neon Pink in Bubblegum and Barry M Gelly in Satsuma

Remember the vaguely sunny bank holiday we had a few weeks ago? Sort of?  Well it totally got me in the mood for some bright polishes, I just need a proper tan tan now! I popped in to Boots and bought Bubblegum from the Models Own Ice Neon Collection and Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Satsuma to satisfy my cravings.

Bubblegum is a bright pink polish that I personally think leans a little towards coral. It's easy to apply, has a good consistency, dries quickly and lasts well on the nail.  It dries slightly leaning towards a matte/satin finish so I usually add a coat of Seche Vite over the top to gloss it up. I've been keeping this in the fridge, which sounds weird but apparently it keeps the neon looking bright for longer so I'm blindly following this advice.

I've had loads of compliments on this colour and I just keep repainting them with this. I love it, it really has become my colour of choice at the moment! It's bright but not too in your face or like you coloured your nails in with a highlighter (did anyone else do this at school too?). I think it will look amazing on toes with a tan too.

I've seen a lot of hype about the Barry M Gelly polishes so I went for Satsuma, a medium orange with a high shine. Kind of wish I'd got the lighter orange though. Again, this applies well but dries with a high gloss finish on its own.  I do like this polish and it's bright, juicy finish but I don't feel like it's hugely unique.  Again I think it will look ace on fingers and toes with a tan.

Both of these polishes are available from from*.  What are your favourite summer polishes, are there any other colours I need to keep my nails summer ready?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Have you had a beauty disaster that you want to get sorted? Do you want to be on TV? Last Chance Salon might be for you!

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Get in touch! Email or call 0121 224 8439 for a confidential and no obligation informal chat.


Monday, 20 May 2013

Review of Graze lightbox - healthy snacks delivered to your door!

Another healthy food post? Ooh I've changed!

I've been meaning to order a Graze box for ages but I never got round to it.  I finally bit the bullet when I realised that I could get a free box and £1.50 cashback through Quidco*and that since I'm trying to get/stay healthy it also seemed like good timing.  A Graze box is basically a box of various little nibbles - all different kinds - that gets delivered to your door.  You can choose the frequency of your deliveries and choose what you get in a box.

I went for the lightbox which contains all of their lowest calorie snacks, everything's between 50 and 150 calories and it skips nuts, seeds, flapjacks and dark chocolate.  I have to admit that there are some things that aren't included in the lightbox that look really nice so maybe as a treat if I were to order again I'd get a different kind of box to get some of the not-so-healthy stuff.  I get mine delivered to work for convenience too, so I'm not chasing the postman around!

So, what did I think? I actually thought it was was really yummy and very convenient! In my lightbox I got tomato dipinetti, summer pudding, Eleanor's apple crumble and summer berry compote, they were all really nice but I wasn't massively keen on the dried apple in Eleanor's apple crumble. That was the only thing I wasn't keen on...I wolfed everything else down! This is really good for me in terms of snacking as I love food and sometimes struggle with portion control (ahem) but this way the amount I can have is there waiting for me. I think I'm going to order these on an ad hoc basis as a little treat every now and again rather than keep a subscription going regularly - I'm trying to save for my holiday wardrobe!

If you'd like to try a free Graze box, just click the banner below* - you'll need your card details as if you're signing up for a subscription service but if you're just in it for the freebies you can always set it up to come fortnightly and then cancel after your first box (delete your card details too just to be on the safe side too).  Who knows though, you might love it and want to carry on!

*referral link btw

Saturday, 18 May 2013

bliv by cellnique - off with those heads blackhead treatment, refresh me and fine line stoppage sheer off crease anti ageing mask

I was sent these to review from cellnique.  It isn't a brand I've heard of before but I was really interested in the blackhead treatment and the Japanese style silk mask as I haven't tried them before and I keep seeing them reviewed!

off with those heads
You apply to the area with blackheads/whiteheads. It really really smells like cough medicine which is a little unnerving but I carried on anyway, it's a bit tingly and fresh feeling like when you get menthol on your skin too so I'm guessing that's one of the key Iingredients. It dries a little sticky so it's another one to use when you're not going somewhere.  It doesn't say how often to use this or how long to leave it on.
This is the product I was most excited to try as I do have a bit of a problem with blackheads on my nose (sorry tmi) coupled with dry skin so something to just apply to the area would be ideal for me.  Unfortunately this didn't work for me which was a bit disappointing. I persevered but didn't really see any results.
refresh me
I found this quite harsh on my skin and to be honest I probably didn't test it as extensively as the other two, my skin can be quite reactive at times though. I don't usually use toner and this hasn't convinced me to.
fine line stoppage sheer off crease
I expected to not really like this - I really wanted to try this but normally I prefer clay type masks that you can get into every nook and cranny of your face. We all look different right? Anyway, I actually quite liked this. You peel it from its backing and put it on your face, patting it down. This is ridiculously creepy looking once on. It feels very cool and refreshing on your skin albeit a little slimy. It doesn't really smell of anything either.  Despite the creepiness, my skin felt really hydrated and fresh after using this and I actually look forward to using them. I can't agree that it stops fine lines or anything like that but my skin looks plumped up. I'd definitely buy these again in future.

Overall I thought this brand was ok but I don't think I'd rush to try out other things from them.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Shaping up for summer with apps and Warburtons Escapes (a healthier alternative to crisps!)

It's that time of year again when you can finally emerge, butterfly-like, from your winter clothes and slip on something a bit more summery.  Er, until you realise that you need to tone up, shave your legs and get a bit of fake tan on before you can legitimately start dressing for summer.

I'm going on holiday in July and I want to look a bit better in my bikini than I do at the moment so I'm following WeightWatchers ProPoints (which works for me) but rather than use their app and pay monthly for the privilege I use one called Ultimate Value Diary Plus which allows you to track points, track weightloss, search for ProPoints values of foods and calculate any that aren't listed.  It's a real motivator and always available as it's rare I go anywhere without my phone.  It's comprehensive too so it does everything I need it to.

I've also been using the Zombies 5k app to get into running, it's basically a Couch to 5k app for people who don't do any running to get them up to being able to run 5k in 8 weeks, but with a twist.  It builds in a storyline about a zombie invasion, so you're training as a runner to help with missions in a zombie apocalypse.  It sounds a bit weird, and it probably is, but it's really helping me to stay interested in running whilst being appropriate for my shocking levels of fitness - the only exercise I get is walking Pearl and walking to/from work.

It gives clear instructions to build up your fitness and syncs in to your playlists so that in the periods where you're running around it plays your music while telling you what to do.  It also tracks progress too.  I have to admit I get a bit freaked out when it makes out a zombie is chasing you and you have the croaky moan of a zombie coming through your headphones...I run a little bit faster when that happens though...

Another thing I've been trying to keep me on track are Warburtons Escapes - a baked pitta bread snack with 45% less fat than a packet of crisps.

They come in a variety of flavours:
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • Sour Cream and Chive
  • Spicy Chilli Jack with a Hint of Cheese
  • Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar
  • Fiery Madras
  • Chicken Tikka
My favourites were the Sour Cream and Chive but the Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper are yummy too.  Overall I liked all the ones I tried - salt and vinegar were probably my least favourite - and I found they had plenty of flavour, a lot of crunch and were pretty satisfying. They look kind of like Doritos but thankfully taste nothing like them (hate Doritos). Unfortunately my boyfriend also likes these too - normally saying something is healthy is akin to telling him it's got arsenic in it - so I've hidden what's left! He just thought they were baked crisps rather than pitta which I think is a good thing.

And here's the nutritional information from the Salt and Black Pepper flavour to give you an idea of how the might measure up next to your favourite crisps:

One thing I will say is that in terms of WeightWatchers points, these are 5 ProPoints per bag which is actually higher than a bag of Walkers but you do get 40g of snacks rather than 28-32.5g (which is what a normal bag of crisps usually is) so I personally feel like you get more for your points, and they seem more filling.

I was sent these for review but I'd definitely buy them in future for a healthier snack.  They've just launched in the shops now so keep an eye out for them - their website will be launching too at or you can follow on Twitter @warbsescapes

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tell me something Pinteresting....

I was always one of those kids/teenagers who ripped things out of magazines when I found them interesting and kept them in a box.  The problems with this are storage, organisation, how often you look at it and how often your impressive hoard is admired by other people - you collected all this stuff for a reason and no-one ever sees it?!

As an adult, it started with nails (as it so often does with me), since I started blogging - maybe even before - I've been hoarding pictures of nail art and designs that I've liked or been impressed by.  These just took up a lot of space on my hard drive and I didn't really look at them that often, which was a real shame.  I also wasn't that great at backing up my images and also sometimes I'd spot a design on my phone then I'd have to do some sort of convoluted screenshot/email type of deal which got annoying.

When I heard about Pinterest, a website where you can collect and share pictures from any website/device, I knew this would be the perfect solution to my problems - I can upload/link images from any device, it's all backed up, other people can see them and I can collect them in once place.  For me, out of all of the recent social media sites that have sprung up, Pinterest is by far my favourite. The other good thing about it is if you're browsing and see something pinned that you like/want to buy, then the pin links back to the source so you can see where the image first came from.

As a blogger, it's also a really great tool to publicise your blog, if you do fantastic nail designs or amazing eye make up then you can easily add your images on to Pinterest so that people can find them and get back to your blog to find out how to do it.

Here's a snippet of my nails board below (there are some of my own designs in there too, I don't dabble in nail art half as much as I used to), if you like it you can follow it here:

So, if you haven't already joined Pinterest, why not sign up here and start pinning?

Monday, 13 May 2013

Paperself Under the Sea lashes from TK Maxx

I fell in love with Paperself lashes a long time ago but resisted buying any because they're expensive, probably really fragile (and I'm really clumsy) and they're not something I could really see myself ever wearing.  They're so pretty though and the designs are ridiculously intricate.

I love the beauty, food, accessories and home sections in TK Maxx - I can't really cope with the clothes section, it's too jumble-saley and there's too much disappointment there for me when you spot something you love but can't find it in your size - but I need to be in the right mood and have enough time to have a proper root around.  I was passing through on my lunch break and spotted Paperself lashes in the beauty section for £7.99 - still not cheap but about £4 cheaper than their retail price.  They had a good variety of designs too but I exercised some self restraint and only bought this Under the Sea design.

The box was a little bit beaten up, but that didn't matter to me.  Something worth keeping in mind is that these don't come with glue so if you don't have any, you need to get some if you want to use these.  I used my trusty new find - Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive

If you can't find these in your local TK Maxx or you want a cheaper option, Stargazer are doing some paper lace lashes which are pretty similar.  I haven't tried these but you can see a review here.  Some of the designs are gorgeous and they're priced at a more purse-friendly £6 each.  Or if you've fallen in love with Paperself and want to try them out for yourself/see more designs, they're available from Beauty Bay*.

Also, I seem to have gone into eyelash overdrive since I got my lash extensions off - every other post is something to do with them at the minute!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Primark Letter Earrings Set - 3 pairs for £1.50

I first spotted these on Laurenella's blog - as an "L" name too these really appealed to my earring fetish plus at £1.50 for 3 pairs of earrings, all of which I liked, how could I say no!

My local Primark is a smaller one, there's a massive one in Manchester if I can be bothered to travel (usually no), so it can be a bit hit and miss.  It took two lunch break visits, a lot of rooting around and some help from a sales assistant but I eventually found the earrings and popped them in my basket.  There's a swirly gold pair, a diamante silve pair and chunky gold pair in the set.

I also popped another £40's worth of stuff into my basket - yes, £40 in Primark!  I bought work shoes, tights, knickers, some holiday clothes and some summer shoes for my boyfriend so I didn't feel like I'd been too ridiculous.  Still, I only went in for some earrings!

Available from Primark, £1.50 for set of 3 - there are plenty of other letter options if you don't have an L name too!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive

On a night out a little while ago, my friends were all raving about Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive.  To quote: "It goes on like an eyeliner so it isn't messy like a tube of glue and you won't even need to take it out with you as it keeps your lashes on all night...get the white one, not the black one, that one's rubbish."  As a loyal Duo devotee, this lash adhesive had totally passed me by.  I do like Duo, it lasts for ages but let's be honest, it stinks to high heaven and applying it from a big tube can get a bit messy at times.  It's still a good glue though.

So, in the interests of being an eyelash obsessive I ignored all advice and bought both the black and white glues to try out.  My friends were right about the black glue - it's a good idea in principle as it looks like eyeliner on so in theory you can skip the step of doing your eyeliner.  In reality, not so much, I found it got quite messy when you're repositioning the lashes to the right place on your eyes.  I did find a sneaky use for the black glue when I had my lash extensions on though, if I was getting to a point where there were a couple loose and my appointment wasn't until the following week, I'd "line" my top lashes with this to stick them in place and make it look like I had eyeliner on.  It was good as a temporary fix but it did make my next lash appointment a big of a nightmare as there was glue everywhere.

The white glue however, was amazing.  I used this in my recent Lovers of Lashes review and I have to say it was great, it was ridiculously easy to apply (as my friends said "like an eyeliner" with a little brush on the end of the stick that you just put on in a straight line), dried quickly and was invisible once it was on.  It kept my lashes on for well over 12 hours with no top ups and would probably have lasted even longer.  It doesn't have any sort of scent really either so it might actually be good for more sensitive eyes.  One thing I would say is that it kind of stays feeling a little bit tacky even when dry (the black one does the same), but whether that's to do with the make up I had on with it I don't know.

I found removing all traces of the glue needed a little bit of scrubbing but I think that's the case with most lash glues really.  They stick, it's what they do.

My friends were right and this will actually be my go-to false lash glue in future...I might actually give up my Duo as this glue smells better and applies more easily with no fuss.  High five Revlon, I never thought I'd change from using Duo with my lashes!  Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive is available from Superdrug* from £5.10.


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