Saturday, 29 June 2013

Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon Review

Lately I've been lusting over highlighters, I've really fallen in love with the fresh dewy look of highlighted cheeks for summer. Usually I use a Smashbox loose highlighter but it's pretty gold toned/slightly glittery and because it's loose it's easy to go OTT on application. I wanted more of a pink highlighter (thinking along the lines of Benefit Moonbeam) as I'm not tanned at all so gold highlighter feels a bit blingy for in the day.  I've added various Nars blushers that have a highlighter already in them to my want list, though I haven't actually swatched them in person though so I haven't purchased any (yet).

I was browsing in Topshop when the highlighters caught my eye, I've seen good reviews of them before so I had a little swatch session and came away with Crescent Moon, a pale powder with metallic pink overtones. It's definitely on the shimmery side rather than sparkle which keeps it a bit more appropriate for the day - the fact it's a compact rather than loose makes it a bit less messy to use and less easy to be heavy handed with. I love the packaging too though it would be better with a mirror in the compact but maybe I'm being a bit greedy for a tenner!

Overall this is a lovely highlighter that gives a subtle colour which would flatter the majority of skintones, especially the paler end of the scale. Topshop also do this in Sunbeam too which is more of a gold colour that would look amazing on tanned skin.  It's buildable and you can either keep it really subtle or layer it for a more noticeable look.  You can even use it on your body too.  Yet another Topshop Make-Up item that's thoroughly impressed me!

Topshop Make-Up is available here - Crescent Moon isn't currently in stock on the site, I picked mine up in store.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Steal her style: AJ Odudu

I haven't watched Big Brother really this year but last week I caught a bit of Big Brother's Bit On The Side and the new presenters outfit really caught my eye!  I've seen her on BB before but I didn't know her name so I looked her up...she's called AJ Odudu.  After a bit of Twitter stalking (sorry AJ) I noticed she'd helpfully tweeted a pic of the exact outfit I was admiring along with a list of where everything was from.  Result!

This is the outfit:

I love the colour pop of the top and while I'm nowhere near as gorgeous as AJ, I prefer to get my legs out and keep my top half covered so this is great for me.  The bright shirt and the blingy necklace stop it from being boring too. Plus I hate my feet so having more of a closed in sandal is better for me.

So there you have it, a full new outfit for less than £150!  I actually think each of these items could be worn with other things really easily too.  The skort and sandals are perfect for holiday and the shirt is something I could wear for work, through the day and even for something smart/casual like going out for a meal.
I already have a big crystal necklace from Primark that I bought ages ago for something like a fiver and I think this holographic bag I have from New Look would go well.  I love the fact that the bottom half is a skort rather than a skirt as I can pretend I'm trendy and not have to worry about covering my modesty (if it was a skirt, it would be pretty short).  I think I last work a skort type thing in the 90's for school!
Emma Willis used to present the BB Bit On The Side programme and I absolutely love her style, looks like I'm carrying on in the same fashion.  Will be keeping my eye on you AJ Odudu!

Sunday, 23 June 2013


I've updated my blog sale tab to include some new items.  Newly added are:
  • Illamasqua Hydra Veil
  • Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Pallette
  • Bare Minerals Blush
  • MAC Impassioned Lipstick
  • Paul & Joe Blush
  • Various items of costume jewellery
To check out the items I currently have for sale, find my blog sale here.  First come, first served!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Follow the Reader - how to follow Beauty and the Blogger now that Google Reader is going!

So, I'm sure you've heard by now that Google Reader is sadly biting the dust on 1st July and there are murmurs that Google Friend Connect will follow suit shortly.  I'm personally a little bit sad about this, I've always used Google Reader and Google Friend Connect as both a blogger and a reader - I find them so straightforward to use and really user friendly.  I can't really get my head around Google+ just yet but maybe I just need to give it a bit more attention!

But nevertheless, things change - especially on the internet - and times move in so I won't dwell on it too much.  Instead I'll let you know about some other ways that you can follow Beauty and the Blogger.  You can follow at, Bloglovin', Twitter and Pinterest.  Obviously the last two aren't following my blog but I'll post links to my blog posts there so you can catch up with those too.

Hope to see you there!  How are you feeling about Google Reader going?  As a side note I've just found out Hello Cotton (the English one) is going/gone too.  Sad times!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Review

I've recently rediscovered Estee Lauder Double Wear which I love for its high coverage and long lasting finish.  Unfortunately I find that as my skin tends to be on the dry side, it can start to look a bit patchy as the day goes on.  Separately I'd also heard people raving about Illamasqua Hydra Veil, a rehydrating gel make up base, kind of like a cross between a moisturiser and a primer.  I tend to only use primer if I'm going on a night out or if I want a bit of extra something. 

I'd had my eye on it for a while but it was out of stock in a few places plus I wanted to try it at a counter before I bought it.  I'd planned to head to one of the Illamasqua Beauty School Drop In events but didn't manage to make it.  A real shame as they did sessions on smoky eyes and creating the perfect base - two areas I want to get better at!  Nevertheless, it finally came back into stock and I had a 20% off code for Illamasqua so I just went for it.  Their delivery is always really quick (ordered on 11th and it came on 13th) and free in the UK!

The packaging is typically Illasmasqua and is functional as well as sleek looking.  It also comes with it's own little spoon (and holder) so you're not dipping your brush or finger in it and contaminating the product.  It's a clear gel gel consistency.

On application this feels cooling and hydrating, it's also absorbed into the skin really quickly too (or is that just my dry skin?) - I think this would feel gorgeous on the skin on a really hot day. It's really easy to apply and definitely adds some extra moisture into your skin. You also don't need to use a lot each time so though it's expensive it does work out as good value.   The amount on my hand pictured above is way too much.

However, for me personally I didn't really feel like it added anything to my skin that I wouldn't get from foundation alone.  I think I prefer more of a silicone feeling primer, whether that's better for my skin is another story, with a bit of a glow in it.  It is a lovely, luxurious product and I think if you're really into make up and trying new looks then this will work for you.  I think it must be me as I've yet to read a negative review of this product.

I don't think I'd repurchase this and to be honest I probably will blog sale this some time soon!  I still love Illamasqua as a brand, and I want to try their Skin Base foundation still, but I just don't think this is a product for me.You can find Hydra Veil on the Illamasqua website for £27 for 30ml.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Win £200 of beauty goodies and gifts with #MicraAttitude on Pinterest!

You might have seen me tweeting about #MicraAttitude earlier in the week (follow me on Twitter @LucyBATB), a fantastic competition being run by Nissan UK where you can win a Micra Attitude Gift Box containing:
  • Beats Sol HD Headphones
  • Cowshed Gorgeous Cow Duo Set
  • Nails Inc Beauty Club Collection
  • £15 iTunes voucher
In order to win, all you need to do head over to Pinterest and create your own #MicraAttitude board which captures the Micra Attitude of Style, Intelligence and Confidence. You must use two images from the Nissan Pinterest board which can be found here. Make sure you tag all of your images with #MicraAttitude and #UK in the description!

Here's my #MicraAttitude board to get you started and give you some ideas:

Once you've created your boards you just need to leave a comment here (the Nissan UK Pinterest board) with a link to your board and the #MicraAttitude #UK tags. The three boards that most capture the themes of Style, Intelligence and Confidence will win the fabulous prizes on offer.

The closing date is 22nd July 2013 so get pinning! Terms and conditions can be found here or on my #MicraAttitude Pinterest board.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Melvita Brightening Exfoliation Mask and UV Shield Suncreen SPF 15

Ok, I'm going to start by saying that the packaging on these don't do these products justice at all!  I think it looks a bit naff and cheap, which they're definitely not - these wouldn't jump out at me if I was trying to choose a new product in a shop.  But stick with me, it gets much better once they're open, honest. 

I absolutely love the Brightening Exfoliation mask.  It's really creamy and you apply a fairly thick layer to your skin then leave it for 5-10 minutes, after which time you rub it in so the exfolating particles get to work and slough off any dry or dead skin then rinse with warm water.  It isn't too rough or scrubby at all and feels really nourishing.  Because it's a cream and an exfoliator my skin doesn't feel dry or tight after using it, it feels really clean and fresh too.  I would 100% recommend giving this a go, it's a really lovely product that I think would work well for any skin type but is probably more aimed at dryer skins, I think that dry skin would benefit from this the most.  My only moan is that it smells slightly floral, which again I'm not mad on, but it isn't too overpowering.

I finally got to use the sunscreen last weekend as the weather was actually nice, woo-hoo!  It's pretty nice and I didn't get burned so it did the trick.  I tend not to use sunscreen every day as my moisturiser and foundation both contain SPF, but I'll definitely be taking this on holiday to use in July.

I reviewed Melvita's gradual tanner recently too and that impressed me, I'm definitely going to explore the range a bit further as so far everything I've used has been great.  It's so weird to stumble across a brand that I've vaguely heard of before but never tried that turns out to be great.  These products were sent to me to review but I would definitely buy them in future, probably most likely the tanner and the mask.
Melvita is available from, the mask is £27 and the sunscreen starts at £19 - would definitely suggest giving the brand a go.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Make a fabulous cake with

I don't bake as often as I would like to at all, it's just a combination of having very little spare time, having to plan ahead to get all the ingredients (I always forget something) and there only being two of us plus pug at home to eat a whole tray of cakes but I say that like it's a bad thing!

I love baking though, and what I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.  A girl at work regularly bakes amazing stuff and is really into her gadgets, perfecting her mixes and trying new things...I want to be more like her!  I've recently found some really cute cake decorating supplies from makebake at - there's literally everything on here to do with cakes on there from mixers and edible printers(!) to things like sprinkles and ribbons.

They also do some pretty sweet (see what I did there?) cupcake decorations on there too, these are my favourites - some are really quirky and kitsch but they're all absolutely amazing:

I think the lips, tiara and the gold butterfly are my favourites since the diamante ones aren't actually edible.  Um, now I just have to make my cakes look as good as these accessories, they always taste good but they never look quite as perfect as I'd like.  Maybe I'll just point the girl at work who's good at baking to the site and ask her to bake me some cakes.

To find these and thousands of other amazing baking goodies, visit

Sponsored post

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Discount ASOS Haul

Before I buy something, especially online, I usually check if there's a discount code, Ebay sale or cashback link I can use instead of paying full price. I'm sure if I was American and more spare time I'd end up being one of those extreme couponer people!

My ASOS basket has been piling up as I've been waiting for a decent discount to hit which it finally did last week in the form of a 20% NUS discount (probably going to cry when I can't have a student card anymore) so with a combination of this, 3% Quidco cashback*, my £80 voucher that I won on Messy Carla's blog and a cashback credit card I've saved over £200 on my order. I'm justifying by spend my telling myself that two of the most expensive items I bought were effectively free!

Here's what I bought:

(Above, L-R) ASOS Mini Vest Bodycon Dress, Ted Baker Under the Sea Print Cover Up, Playful Promises Black Aztec Geometric Longline Bikini, ASOS Vest with Drape Armhole, ASOS Longline V Neck Cami
(Above, L-R) Coast Saskia Jersey Dress, ASOS Textured Blazer Coat, ASOS Peg Trousers in Grey Marl, ASOS Pencil Dress with Wrap Front

 (Above, L-R) Adidas Hoodie with Mesh Inserts, Carmex Moisture Plus SPF15 Hydrating Lip Balm, River Island Leather Look Jacket with Fringing, Cambridge Satchel Company 11" Lilac Leather Satchel

My favourite items are the lilac satchel, the Playful Promises bikini and the wrap dress.  I'm not 100% sure about the leather look jacket yet (I feel a bit like a line dancer in it but I do like the way it looks) and the red blazer is definitely going back as it's massive and the fabric is seriously weird. I adore my Cambridge Satchel but I've been treating it like a Very Precious Thing (which it is!) for fear of ruining's currently on the back of my door being protected by dressing gowns:

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

TJ Hughes - what's in my basket?

I'm no stranger to popping into T J Hughes to buy fragrance and beauty bits and pieces for less but I didn't realise they had a website that you can buy from too. This is such a good idea as often stock varies from store to store so it's an easier way to pick up some bargains.  I'm actually a bit of a boy when it comes to shopping, I prefer to have a plan of what I'm getting, get it and get out so I would rather shop online where I can.  I tend to find shopping online leads to more bargains too!

I started browsing the TJ Hughes site and where else would I start but the beauty section?  I merrily added perfume, nail products and styling tools to my basket, all of which were much cheaper than the RRP price.  Then I wandered over to homewares and added some cushions before somehow ending up in menswear and adding some trainers for my boyfriend's birthday (shhh, don't tell him!).

Here's what I've got in my T J Hughes basket before I hit the Chekout button (free standard delivery on my order too!):

As you can see, my basket came to £172.93 (ahem) but I've worked out that I've "saved" about £145 from the RRP price which is excellent news!  My biggest/favourite bargain was the Sally Hansen Nail Glam Party Pack (though I think the trainers are a ridiculously good price) which I think will make an amazing gift...but I might keep it for myself to be honest

To pick up some beauty steals and to see how much you can save in your basket, shop at T J Hughes online at

Sponsored post

Monday, 3 June 2013

Deep Heat Muscle Rescue Bath Soak and Neck and Shoulder Cream

Well, we've been a bit in the wars in my house of late. Running is taking it's toll on my knees and my boyfriend has had a bit of a sore neck - plus Pearl has had an operation . Luckily, for the humans in our household anyway, I'd just been sent some of the new Deep Heat to try out so the timing couldn't be better, if there is ever such a thing as a good time to be injured!

If you're not familiar with Deep Heat, it's a cream that you rub on any areas where you have muscle pain or soreness and it warms up, similar to how a warming face mask know, kind of like having a hot water bottle on your skin but without the hot water bottle.  It does have a pretty distinctive, strong smell which isn't especially girly at all which is why they've brought out this Rosemary and Vanilla fragranced version.

The neck and shoulder cream really works, it warms up really quickly and when I say it warms up, it isn't like a feels like wherever you've applied it is out in the sun.  It's really soothing and certainly eases any aches.  Wash your hands after applying this though as you don't want to get it in your eyes or anything!   As for the smell, to be totally honest it still smells like Deep Heat to me and I'm struggling to get any rosemary or vanilla notes from this but I don't actually mind the smell so I'm happy to keep using this and it's done the trick on our aches and pains.  If you do sports or get a bit achey from sitting at your desk I'd really recommend having a bottle of this handy.

The bath soak foams really well, it's bright orange but it doesn't colour the water or anything, and surprisingly this doesn't have that tell-tale Deep Heat smell, it actually smells really fresh rather than medicinal.  It contains essential oils of rosemary and orange and electrolyte minerals magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium help to prevent cramp.  I'm not convinced this did anything for me that a normal hot bath wouldn't have done on it's own with any bubble bath but it was still pleasant to use and in conjunction with the cream it sorted our aches and pains out.

Deep Heat Muscle Rescue is available from*, on offer starting at £4.01 at the time of writing.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

How to dye your own eyebrows

Since I've had my hair darker, I've been filling in my brows using my HD Brow Palette. I've always liked the look of filled in, groomed brows but because my hair has been so light previously having really dark brows just didn't look right. I was bored on the Sunday before Bank Holiday so - as you do - I decided to tint my brows! My eyebrows are dark brown anyway so it isn't like I'm going from having nothing to having dark brows.

I like to look groomed but I'm lazy, I want low maintenance.  That's why I like lash extensions and gel nail polish (and why I still want to try Vita Liberata Phenomenal tan) as you can just hop out of bed and they look good.  I remembered that at college we learned how to tint brows and lashes (yep, I'm a qualified brow tinter) so thought I'd give it a go.  Brow tinting is really easy to do as long as you follow a few rules.

I used Eylure Dylash Eyelash and brow dye kit in black (available from*) which comes with dye, activator, brush, little under eye pads for if you're tinting your lashes and a little plastic dip in the packaging to mix it with. It's so easy to use on brows - I don't tint my lashes as I get extensions on and my own are dark anyway, lash tinting is a bit more fiddly especially to do yourself - you just mix the tint to the right consistency (after doing a patch test and reading the instructions carefully) and apply to your brow hair.  You then wipe it off with wet cotton pads after 1-2 minutes and voila, darker brows. 

Here's my darker brow - sorry for their unkempt state, you're meant to tint before hair removal so I've done mine with the intention of getting them threaded later on in the week.  Apparently I have long eyebrows according to my threader, not long as in hair length but long across my face...she did say it was a good thing though.

Here's some more handy hints for tinting your brows too:
  • Patch test at least 24 hours before tinting - especially if you're using a brand you haven't used before, this is your first time or you have sensitive/reactive skin.
  • Don't use this on recently waxed or tweezed skin, check your product instructions for more information
  • Read the instructions for the brand you've bought before you use them
  • Apply the tint lightly to the hairs only, not the skin.  Don't be really heavy handed and paint it everywhere - you're dying your brows here, not your skin.
  • Remember you can add, but you can't take away! Only leave the tint on for a short time before wiping off, you can always add more tint if you want to make them darker. If you leave it on for ages and it goes really dark...well, you're stuck with that I'm afraid.


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