28 February 2010

This week I have been...

Image 1 - Nato Welton/Image 2 - My own image


I don't know what it is but towards the end of the month, things seem to slow down and I tend to get a bit bored, maybe I'm just secretly wishing all my monthly magazine subscriptions would hurry up and fall through my letterbox! - This always signifies the start of the month for me.


So this week I have been...
  • However much I don't want to admit this, I have been reading my fiancee's National Geographic magazines and have to say I feel that little bit more cleverer for doing so.
  • More determined than ever on my quest for clear skin - Not even perfect skin. I would be more than happy if my face was blemish free and not as red in areas. I'm talking less foundation and concealer and more skincare. I have been using Garnier Soft Essentials Soothing Toner and the Replenishing Day Care cream. It's early days however the toner has made my skin the softest it's been in years - I'm impressed.
  • I have also been making a conscious effort to exfoliate my face at least 3 times a week with L'Oreal's Perfect Clean Foaming Gentle Scrub which comes with a pop out 'Scrublet' thang. Compared to most I have tried this is actually what it claims to be ' Gentle' that is and the Scrublet is actually really nice to use - I shall be reviewing it in the near future.
  • On other news - well its not news as such, just a little heads up if you live in the UK and aren't a Glamour magazine reader. April's issue includes a FREE full size hair product by Hairdresser, James Brown (There are three different types worth £10 each - So you could collect all three) The issue is on sale from March 4th for £2.


I hope you have all had a nice February and remember, stay beautiful. x


26 February 2010

First Ever Giveaway - CLOSED



Images - Taken by myself
(Click on the images to enlarge)

So I woke up this morning feeling quite pleased with what I have achieved in the ways of blogging in such a short space of time. I also feel like it is a proper community, which I love. So this is just a way of showing my gratitude.

Here is what is included in the givaway ;
  • The Goddess Experience by Gisele Scanlon - Hardback 326 pages (This is a treasure of a book with a lovely beauty section, which I shall be reviewing this coming week)
  • Umberto Giannini - Pure Beauty Shampoo 75ml
  • Umberto Giannini - Intense Beauty Conditioner 75ml
  • 17 Fast Finish Nail Polish in Moonstruck
  • Collection 2000 Hot Looks in Button Moon
  • Urban Decay - Skyscraper Multi - Benefit Mascara
  • Ruby & Millie - I-Lash Curler
  • This will all come in an Exculsive Asos canvas bag, which isn't available to buy on there website!
  • Also including a selection of samples (not shown) including L'Oreal,Chanel, Dior and Garnier.
All items are Brand New and Unused.

Here are the Rules;
  • You MUST be a follower on this blog - If you aren't your entry won't count I'm afraid
  • To enter you must leave a comment below including your e-mail address (so that I can contact you, if you win) and also the caption 'Enter Me'
  • 1 entry per person
  • For more chances of winning you can twitter about it, or blog about it (However you need to prove this by providing a link) If you do all 3, this will give you three entries.
  • The giveaway is being offered internationally.
  • No made up accounts.
  • I will draw the winner from Random.Org & the closing date is Friday 19th March - Midnight GMT.
  • I will announce the winner and contact them on Sunday 21st March.

Good Luck! x

The Green Room @ Asos

(Click to enlarge)

Just thought I'd give you a quick preview of the ASOS Africa line that should be live on Asos right now.


I have to say from looking at the preview shots, I'm impressed. It's bright, bold and ideal for summer, especially them wedges! I'm also looking forward to the man-made African jewelery and the whole new section focused on organic and Eco-friendly beauty products.







25 February 2010

Superdrug to release £1 cosmetics line named MUA

Images - From Superdrug PR

Some exciting news for Makeup Savvy-istas. Make Up Academy or MUA is Superdrug's new £1 cosmetics line that will launch in April. As for a specific date I should hopefully know in a few days and shall put an update on this post with some more photos of the range!


For £1 the eyeshadows actually look nicely pigmented and come in a wide range of colours. As for the nail polishes the range looks abit bland if you ask me, however the green & red shades look the most interesting.
I'm quite excited that Superdrug has launched such a budget range - even if it's just to play about with and test out the colours. It's not exactly going to break the bank now is it?
If you are in the UK, are you looking forward to the new range? Do you think there is a gap in the High Street for such a budget line?

24 February 2010

ASOS to unveil new Ethical Section - The Green Room this Friday

Images - From Asos.com

(Behind the scenes of the new Africa Collection photoshoot)


So my sources tell me Asos are to unveil there new ethical site area this Friday(26th Feb) which is a week befind schedule, but oh well, a girl can't have everything.

The new section of the site seems quite large by the sounds of it, which is aiming to bring the customer closer to the people that are behind the products.

The area of The Green Room that I am most excited about is Asos's Africa Brand that will bring more work to the people of Africa and Tanzania. Each garment that you purchase will arrive in it's own envelope - So that the trainee tailors have something to work on while they improve there skills.



The new site will also contain of social & environmentally aware brands such as Swedish Hasbeens and the hotly awaited collaboration of Emma Watson for the People Tree range.

There will also be a Beauty section which is already partly up on the main site that includes Young & Pure, Neal's Yard, Green & Spring and many more. All of the products on the new site will be environmentally friendly which I'm sure will make a lot of people happy.

Overall this is such a positive and exciting thing for Asos and it's customers, which I'm sure will go from strength to strength over the course of 2010.

2 Pink Nail Polishes, 2 Hands, 5 Days

Images - Taken by myself
(L-R; Nails inc. Shoreditch, Barry M Pink Flamingo)


So I decided to set myself a task of seeing which of my two favourite pink polishes had the best chip factor. Giving myself five days - which I thought was an okay amount of time but to be honest after the fourth day I was dying to remove them and paint my nails a different colour, however I stuck it out and here are the results with before and after pictures.


Before


(Day 1 - Left hand; Two coats)


(Day 1 - Right hand; Two coats)

Day 1 - I made sure I painted my nails immaculately, leaving them to dry in between coats and on comparison after they had both set, Pink Flamingo did seem the shiniest of the two.

Day 3 - This is when I actually noticed a difference in both set of nails, they had both worn down at the tips. However Pink Flamingo was looking a bit shabby with marks in 4 out of the 5 nails.

Day 4 - Shoreditch was looking a lot less shiny by now and Pink Flamingo had got a small chip to the index finger nail and was looking a bit more marked than the previous day.

(Day five)


(Day five)

Day 5 - I could see the finish line however this was the worst day! My thumb and index finger in the Pink Flamingo kept getting caught when I was washed my hair, which it hadn't done on the other days. The pulling feeling while washing out my conditioner was annoying and also resulted in the nail polish actually chipping quite a bit.

The Winner
- It's quite clear from just the photos, it has to be Shoreditch and some may say that was already clear from the start as Nail Inc is a more expensive brand than Barry M. However it's not always a given I say.
I was probably most impressed with the shine of Shoreditch, even after 5 days it still looked good and I'm sure if I had touched it up it would of looked okay.
The thing I was least impressed with was how the Barry M polish had marks in it from day 2/3 which made it look old quite quickly.

All in all this hasn't taught me much, except that I should use Nail Inc more often. The other thing that it's taught me is never to leave on my nail varnish for this long!

23 February 2010

Nars 15X15 Project App Review

Image screenshots - Taken by myself (Nars intro page)

Nars celebrated its 15th aniversary by realeasing a book named 15X15 and also an app to run along side it, so I thought it would be a nice idea to review it for people that haven't downloaded it or that don't own an Iphone. Also I was thinking of doing this as a series reviewing cosmetic related apps that are free to download, like Barry M and the L'Oreal app.

So this is the main page, you can either browse though the range which to be honest is very limited and consists of about 20 products (when you select a product it takes you directly to the Nars site).


Or you can choose the other options of taking a photo or finding a photo of your face from your phone library...which is what I chose to do.

1st Attempt - The image of myself below is the one I decided on as my head looks pretty straight in it so I thought it may be easier!


Now please try not to laugh too much. The Nars blush in Love Joy is quite fetching don't you think?!

(Products used - Duo eyeshadow in Jolie Poupee, Blush in Love Joy & Bronzer in Malaysia)

Ok, I'm looking alittle clown like aren't I! So I thought rather than blame the Nars App just yet, I decided it was the image being in sepia that was being out the clown in me.

2nd Attempt - So I found a more up close image that was actually in colour. Much better... or so I thought.


I'm not even going to list the products here. Really, what is the point! However much I possibly pinched and turned the eyeshadow to fit my eyes, the only result was clown eyes.

Overall - I highly doubt anyone has tried this app and then decided to then purchase the product. The app is a big thumbs down for me, however the app did put a smile on my face, so it mustn't be all bad, right?



22 February 2010

All About Face at Tesco

Images - Taken by myself

(Jumbo Eyeshadow pencil in Bronze)


Firstly let me tell you about the price - £1.49, yes you heard me right. I bought this from the Tesco no frills cosmetic range and now I'm wishing I had bought a few more things seeing as there was a promotion of 3 for £3.00.

The Product - The shadow pencil came in either bronze or silver, though I thought the latter was a bit GaGa-esque, so I stuck with Bronze as it seemed quite a rich colour from inside the packaging. The range is a lot bigger than this with concealers, nail polishes, lipsticks etc and everything is £1.50.



Colour & Texture
- As you can see from the swatch above, it's a lovely solid bronze colour which was better than I expected. It's also surprisingly light reflective so it looks like it has a hint of gold in it. When it comes to the texture, it's advertised as crease-free, which isn't the case if you don't apply a primer to the eyelid before hand. The pencil almost glides on, like a heated up kohl liner really, which I quite liked.



Overall - I was more than happy with the product, it looks rich and is really pigmented. As for the feel, it did lack a bit and felt greasy towards the end of the day. But for £1.50 what did I expect! However on the whole I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be trying out more from this range.


Out of curiosity do you like to
try out budget brands/lines?

21 February 2010

Neal's Yard Frankincense Hydrating Cream

Images - Taken by myself
(Full 50ml size retails at £23.00)


I have been trying out the Frankincense Hydrating cream for awhile now, hence the oddly shaped nearly empty tube. I have tried this product on various parts of my body and I've actually had quite different results from it, so I think I know the product well enough to do an in-depth review.

The Smell - I think all Neal's Yard products have quite strong smells, like a heady essential oils smell. However this specific product did take some getting use to as its sweet yet herbal smelling, almost to overpowering. But on the good side, when it has been rubbed in the smell dilutes somewhat.


The Texture - As you can see the texture looks grainy, this really isn't the case, it's just tiny air bubbles. The solution quickly changes from being greasy on application to soaking into your skin, however this did depend on were I applied it. I found the drier the skin the faster it soaked in, which made it great for my feet (no sitting around).


Application
- As I mentioned previously I have had varying results. I first applied the cream to my hands which did wonders by plumping up the backs of my hands and making them appear all round healthier.
I also tried it on the dry patches on my face, these being my chin and in between my brows. As soon as I applied it, it left my skin a bit tacky but did solve my dry skin problems. However a few days after use I developed 3 large spots! under the skin, which took longer than normal to go away. So my bet was the cream was actually too rich for my face and made it go from dry to oily.

Conclusion - Other than the hiccup with my face I really like this cream a lot, it currently resides in my handbag so I manly use it as a hand cream, especially in this cold weather and also because of the size. Unfortunately they only sell the bigger 50ml version at the moment so I'm not to sure if I would re-purchase this as it would definitely be too big to lug around in my bag - I'm still pondering until I've finished the tube.

On a side note... I think Neal's Yard products aren't really designed for people in there 20's, I think it only works well for me as I have drier skin in certain areas.
But from the texture I'm positive it would be ideal for more mature skin maybe 40+ as a daily moisturizer which I could see being plumping and hydrating to the skin especially on the neck and face.



20 February 2010

This week I have been...

Image - Nato Welton

..Thinking about doing some kind of round-up, as my blog posts are going to be mainly reviews, comparisons and the odd ramble, it would be good to end the week by doing a 'This week I have been...' post. Just to summarize and mention things that don't need a whole post.


So this week I have been...
  • Spending time reading more blogs than magazines - for the simple fact, blogs are more varied and packed full of content. Apposed to the beauty section in March's edition of Elle magazine that had all of 8 pages.
  • Thoroughly enjoying blogging about beauty.
  • Testing out a mere 5ml's of the new Dior Capture Totale One Essential - the most perfect serum I have every tried but at £75.00 for 30ml it makes me sad.
  • Traumatizing myself by standing on a sewing needle that was stuck in the carpet which decided to embed itself in my foot, bar about 2cms.
  • Last but not least...I've been eating large amounts of noodles while celebrating Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day in Manchester Chinatown with my lovely fiancee.

Image - Taken by myself.
(Chinatown - 14th February)


Hope you all have had a nice week.

Fee x

19 February 2010

VO5 Hot Oil Vs. Olive Oil

Image - Taken by myself
(L-R; V05 Moisture Soak Hot Oil, Tesco branded Olive Oil)

I have used V05 Hot Oil for about a year now and they do work especially when my hair is dry from using hair dye. However I wondered how it would fare against normal everyday Olive oil which is obviously cheaper with a lot less ingredients, so here are the results:


Heating Up - I firstly measured out 15ml of Olive oil - which is the same amount as VO5 provide, then poured both products into two glass pots which I placed in a sink of hot water - probably hotter than normal because the dishes were made of glass.
The Vo5 Hot Oil before heating actually seemed thicker in consistency and had a more powerful smell, however when the Olive oil was heated up, the consistencies matched, both being quite thick.
Of both smells I actually preferred the Olive Oil, it had a slight sweet smell to it where as the Hot Oil had a more chemical smell.
As for applying it, I decided to part my hair down the middle and used both products at the same time so I could see the different in texture after I had rinsed it.
Also both oils applied exactly the same, other than the Hot Oil being a bit overly pongy.



The Results -
After I washed both oils out, the olive oil side of my hair seemed a little less tangled. I then shampooed & conditioned my hair as normal.
When my hair was finally dry I really tried to see if there was any difference in texture or frizzy. However there was no difference! The tips of my hair felt a lot more hydrated than prior to the applications.
On the whole I liked both oils as they did the job.

The Maths -
So for the boring part. I bought the Vo5 Hot Oil as a set of 4 x 15ml for £3.20 from Boots - which makes a 15ml application £1.25.
The Tesco Olive Oil cost £1 for a 250ml bottle which actually makes it 6p for a 15ml application and a full bottle would give you just over 16 applications for £1!
Talk about bargain central.

I think this will be my new hot oil treatment from now on.

Fee x



18 February 2010

Eco Tools Brush Set

Images - Taken by myself
(L-R; Blusher brush, Eye shading brush, Concealer brush, Angled Eyeliner brush, Lash & Brow groomer)

I have to admit I don't own that many makeup brushes - I tend to use my fingers mostly. However my fingers unfortunately cannot apply blusher or eyeliner. So I thought it was time to invest in some key makeup brushes and the Eco Tools set caught my eye for two reasons. Mainly it was the price, at £12.80 I thought it was quite reasonable. The other reason I made a bee-line for these were the bamboo handles and there whole Eco philosophy, however I can't really say I'm that much of a happy Eco hippie.



Blusher brush - This brush has to be the softest brush in the set and really dense. I've mainly used this for applying blusher and bronzer and my only criticism would be you have to use it with a light hand and build up the colour rather than just applying it quickly as the brush doesn't seem to blend all that well.

Eye Shading brush - To me this brush is very similar is size and shape to the concealer brush in the set. The only difference being it is slimmer and more stubby. I've tried to get use to this brush but for me personally the tip isn't soft enough for shading/blending and doesn't pick up very well.
A bit of a thumbs down for me.




Concealer brush - I really do like this brush, which I have been mainly using to pat out under eye concealer, as the sides of the brush are soft and don't lift any of the product up of the skin.

Eyeliner brush - This is my favourite brush of the set, really cannot fault it. The tip of the brush is firm but not overly so which seems to make it a breeze to apply gel eyeliner. I have also been using this to smudge out pencil liner on my upper lid to give a more smokey finish. All I can say is perfect,perfect,perfect!

Lash & Brow groomer - The brow brush seems quite stiff compared to others I have used in the past. However maybe that's because I'm use to using a mascara spool to tidy my brows at the moment. Having said that it does it's job and there isn't much to fault other than that.
The lash comb again does it's job and seems like it will last along time.

Summary
- The whole set comes in a brush wrap that is made from hemp and cotton, to me it seems a bit too stiff and starchy, but I suppose its only an added extra.
Overall I'm really happy with the brushes, so far I have washed them twice in mild shampoo and there has been no fallout and they have all kept there shape.
My only true criticism with the product is the shading and concealer brushes being very alike, I really would of preferred to see a foundation brush instead of the concealer brush.


17 February 2010

Is Blogging the new media?

Image - Nato Welton

I think the title of Sam Donald's most talked about article maybe should of been
'
Why is Beauty Blogging the new media'.
Cosmetic companies are obviously seeing the effects that beauty bloggers have on potential customers. Which has led them to invite selected bloggers to press events and also to start giving products for review purposes.
However I'm going to try and not ramble and instead share two positive examples of how companies, bloggers and customers can all benefit from this apparently new type of media that was expressed on MAF.co.uk.

Last week Cloud Nine hair happily tweeted that Zoe over at Schoee.blogspot.com had driven over 500 hits to there site. Zoe had recieved the Cloud Nine straighteners to review and that is what she did. With large clear photos of the product and an interesting review.
The benefits of this process are clear.

  • The Company could possibly receive more sales as a result/more people are made aware of there products - and basically just more traffic is driven to there site.
  • The Blogger is helped to deliver fresh and interesting content, a free product to enjoy and to share with her followers.
  • The Customer/Follower is highlighted to possibly a company that they hadn't heard of before and an interesting review with more detailed photos than they would normally get.

  • The other example came in the form of Charlotte over at Lipglossiping when she was solely selected to unveil the eagerly awaited Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette - the lucky girl!
    She actually dedicated three posts to the palette - the first post being images and a review of the packaging and the look of the palette. The 2nd post was looking at what was included in the palette and the 3rd and final post included swatches and a thorough review of each product down to the pigment and texture of the products.
    Throughout all the posts the standard of photograph was spot on, giving the truest representation of the palette which is so important when we can't view it in the flesh yet.

    What I'm really trying to say is no magazine offline or online can capture a product this well. They can't take up over 2 pages to focus on just one product, eagerly awaited or not. They also don't show swatches or give there personal opinion and they often don't say if they find negative points to a product.

    A good amount of blogging is true and unbiased. And this is why I am happily jumping on board.

    Fee x


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