Holidays Are Coming...Beauty Gift Ideas

To say I love Christmas would be a huge understatement...I would actually go as far as saying that I'm in love with Christmas!
The decorations, the cheesy Christmas songs, wrapping presents (even buying wrapping paper), writing lists, late night shopping with the Christmas lights on and ofcourse present buying! (No dangley Christmas tree earrings though!).

I get pure enjoyment out of looking and buying gifts at Christmas for myself and others!
I also pride myself on getting people lovely gifts & not just cheap gift sets (which can sometimes be so tempting for the people that give me rubbish presents each year!)

So here is a little rundown of what brands do which gifts, best! 

Natural & Organic Gifts 

Now that I don't use any product containing Sulfates or any nasties I kind of class myself into the category of being all organic. I appreciate natural products and they just don't feel as cheap as other similar priced products! To me The Body Shop and Lush aren't all that natural but if you have someone in your family or a friend that loves that type of shop then I'm sure they will love any of these products - 

Naked Bodycare & Good Things - Both brands are available in Boots (3 for 2 at Boots) & online. From Naked Bodycare the Coco de Mer Body Butter & Bath Soak are truly divine and just lovely. As are the big pots of intensive hair treatments...much better than Tresemme and the like! 
From Good Things the wipes at £3.49 are actually really great also really loving the Strawberry & Cranberry Exfoliator, really fresh and natural.
These make perfect gifts in a set of three all nicely wrapped up for under £10! 

Ecotools are another lovely brand - however the brushes range from £5 -£12 each. So the 6 piece brush set at £14.50 is really great value for money. I bought my own set from Tesco but you can also find it online or in Boots. It comes in a nice canvas brush roll and makes a great starter set or for anyone that loves makeup brushes. 

Yes To Carrots are also a lovely brand with lots of nice giftsets available this Christmas - With sets for £10 at . 

Burts Bees always do lovely giftsets all year round for around £10 -£15 packed with lots of little mini products to try out! Debenhams always have a great selection as do large Boots store or online - here.

Also love anything by Melvita, Liz Earle and Korres.

Gifts for Teens

To be honest gifts for teenagers is quite easy as so many products are aimed at them. However it can be so easy to get something too childish and them ending up hating it! So I am always one of those adults that annoyingly give someone elses child something abit to grown up for them - resulting in the teenage loving it and the parent hmm-ing about it.
 Last year it was a Banksy graffiti book with afew unsavoury images! 

But we are talking teenage girls here and I am sure they will get enough giftsets to last them all year, so it's always nice to make up your own giftset of products. 

So for teens aged 12-14 brands such as - Soap & Glory, 17Scarlett & Crimson and Beauty UK are good. 

Anyone 15 + - I'd look at Barry M for nail polishes, Gosh, MUA, Girls Aloud eyelashes, Simple skincare.

If you are into giftsets - 
Umberto Giannini and Toni & Guy do some lovely giftsets that come nicely boxed or with a makeup/travel bag. 
Also Gosh, Girls Aloud & Accessorize have some lovely giftsets out this year.

Beauty Gifts for Her

(not to sure what happened to the pic) 

This has to be the easiest category to buy for - however there is always a risk of buying someone something they already have, especially when it comes to women! So I try to chose new products that have been especially brought out for Christmas or nice giftsets that you can find online. 

Some really lovely online giftsets include - Bourjois Vintage Eye Shadow Collection £9.20, OPI Mini Swiss Collection £12.15, Asos Exclusive Paul & Joe Skincare set  £11.00 and Eve Lom Starter Collection  £25.00. 

As for individual brands - Barry M, Topshop, Benefit, Bourjois are all great! 

Also some amazing quirky beauty related books for Christmas are - The Goddess Guide & The Goddess Experience (review here) by Gisele Scanlon both lovely books and so christmassy!

Gifts for the More Mature Lady 
(I am ofcourse joking - I'm talking mum's,aunties and grans here!)

There really are some awful giftsets out there for the "older lady" around this time of year, 9 times out of ten containing talc and smelling of Lavender or "Woods of the Valley"! I don't think I could subject anyone to that. 
 Then all the other giftsets can seem abit to young - even the No7 ones. So it's always nice to make up your own or buy online.  

No7 Skincare and cosmetics are perfect for simple little gifts - especially if you use your £5 free voucher! 
Neal's Yard also do some lovely approciate giftsets ranging from £12 to £25. 
REN at Space NK also have a lovely mini body set with four minis for £15. 
For anyone on more of a budget Sanctuary Spa products are great and ofcourse are on 3 for 2 at Boots. 

For more luxe products - Estee Lauder do some amazing illustrated powder compacts and L'Occitane do some lovely big giftsets and ofcourse there's Guerlain & Chanel for real indulgence!

Stocking Fillers

I think alot of websites mustn't know what a stocking is - as most of the suggestion wouldn't fit in any stocking I've seen. Stocking fillers are supposed to be small and on the cheap side.

Miniature perfumes are a must - however they can be abit tricky to find. Superdrug always stock quite afew next to there checkouts as do Bodycare and ofcourse Boots do the perfume giftsets (but they can be abit pricey). 

Novelty lip balms are also a must - Asos always do quite afew, however there are lots of eBay sellers that stock US novelty lipbalms that are really cute and under £3. 

Paul & Joe also do some lovely packaged Blotting Papers for only £3.50 and Bourjois have some lovely Limited Edition Pots on Asos for £5.85. 

Really hope this post has been nice and helpful to read! 

As some of you know I won't be posting for awhile due to moving house & other things, but I really will miss you all! 

Fee xx


Affordable Lip products

Continuing on with my Affordable Makeup series I thought I would do a quick look at cheap lip products. I say quick because half of my makeup is in storage due to moving house (I must mention this in every post now) however by the end of 2010 I will do more detailed posts on lip balms, lip glosses and lipsticks and dedicate a post to each one. 

Affordable Lipstick 
I can't say I wear lipstick alot, mainly due to my lips always feeling abit dry, so I try to stick to sheer lipsticks that "moisturise". They say moisturise but none are that amazing I've found...just better than normal lipsticks that can dry the lips out throughout the day.  

I forgot too mention Natural Collection lipsticks in here, but I do highly recommend them if you are on a budget or don't want to spend that much. At £1.99 they are really great. Ofcourse very basic packaging but ideal for anyone just getting use to wearing lipstick as they are quite sheer and not too drying! Also 17 lipsticks are quite good value for money at £3.49.

I have included a lipstick by Max Factor as I love the shade, however I can't say the rest of the range appeals to me and at £7.99 I do see this as hugely overpriced!

L-R - M&S Pink Sorbet, Rimmel Nude Praline, Barry M Marshmallow, Max Factor Moccha Latte.

Marks & Spencer Pink Sorbet (£2.50) - I've mentioned this lipstick afew times now because I use it so much, but every time I wonder why I don't own anymore from the range! But to be honest I'm not a M&S type of girl, so I don't go in there very often. 
This is the only lipstick that I can say actually hydrates my lips and doesn't dry them out! Just works perfectly if you are prone to dry lips. It is quite sheer but also a vivid bright pink shade, so it makes for a good balance really. The range actually consists of 19 lipsticks from nudes to dark berry shades. I currently have my eye on Tea Rose, Golden Sands and Mallow. 
They also have a Mini lipstick set (£5.00) especially for Christmas containing geranium, coral, fuchsia, mallow and blackcurrant, that is worth a look if you've never tried anything from the range before!
Rimmel Lasting Finish Nude Praline (£4.49) - From the swatch above this looks quite dark, but it's an almost 'your lips but better' kind of lipstick. Just really evens out the lips and makes them look abit more pouty & soft. Also tastes of marzipan which I love and it isn't that drying. All in all just a really lovely everyday lipstick. 

Barry M Lip Paint Marshmallow (£4.25) - For me this is definately a going out lipstick when I want a really nude look to my lips. However apply this on dry lips and it will look awful. If I'm going to be wearing this I first apply Bepanthen nappy cream to my lips before I start applying any makeup, then at the last minute I use a cotton bud and kind of twirl it to remove the cream and any dry skin. THEN I apply the Barry M lip paint. So this isn't a slap on and go lipstick, but I do still love it (That is when I am tanned, pale skin doesn't work with this lipstick, unless you are going for the corpse look!)

Max Factor Moccha Latte (£7.99) -This is my "grown up" lipstick that I apply with a lip brush as it is quite dark compared to my natural lip colour. Can't say I love the old fashioned lipstick smell to it, but love that is lasts hours and looks perfect when applied well.

Affordable Lip gloss 
 I use lipgloss alot, however I am quite fussy. Anything over perfumed is a no-no as is anything overly sticky (long hair & sticky lipgloss isn't a good look, especially in the wind). Also anything too thick & gloopy isn't great either - I can't say I love the slug lip look either! 
L-R - Barry M Toffee, Natural Collection Fondant, Natural Collection Sherbet Fizz, Models Own Fuchsia-full. 

Barry M Lip Gloss Wand Toffee 02 (£4.25) - This is my favourite lipgloss ever (that sounds like such a sad statement, but I'm sure any makeup lover will understand). I must have re-purchased this the most out of all my makeup because it's just so great! It's a perfect shade, not sticky and smells soooo good. The whole range is great really.

Natural Collection Juicy Lip Gloss Fondant &  Natural Collection Juicy Lip Gloss Sherbet Fizz (£1.99) -For the price these are really great, very similar to the Barry M Lip glosses in smell and shades. However not as glosses are Barry M and they are slightly gritty. But it's something that you can get over. They also have a nice wide range of shades to pick from and are normally on 3 for £5 at Boots! 

Models Own Lip Balm Fuchsia-full (£5.00) - Only tried 3 lip balms out of the range and I have found them  to be abit hit and miss, but I really like this one. 
It is really pigmented with a lovely berry scent to it. Still not sure if I'd class it as a lip balm though. However still lovely! 

As always I'd love to know what your lipstick/lip gloss of choice is! 
Also make sure to look out for Affordable Bronzers soon (something that's quite hard to get right on a budget!) 


The Cosmoholic Checklist

After many years of loving makeup and all things beauty related I have started to do some strange, strange things. 
Recently I found myself going shopping with stripes of liquid eyeliner down the back of my hand.
I also subconsciously type in "ASOS beauty" whenever I go online. 
I even made a special trip to my new house last week in a taxi clasping my nail polish collection (I just couldn't risk any being broken on moving day).

So I've decided to help you all out (and myself) with a little checklist! 

If after reading this you do feel like you may have a problem (meaning you can relate to every statement), I suggest you seek professional help immediately and send all your beauty products to me! It is the only way, I promise. 

  • You have backups of all your favourite products *just in case*.
  • You sometimes go out shopping with makeup swatched on your hand or/and arm. 
  • Your Boots Advantage card is currently looking more healthier than your bank balance. 
  • Just sitting looking at all your makeup can make you happy.

  • You sometimes find un-opened makeup that you forgot about and wonder if you bought it for yourself or someone else. 
  • Planning makeup storage is an ongoing project.
  • You have a "cleaning brushes" day. 
  • You write lists. Lists of what to buy, NEED to buy and of course wish lists.  (This was inspired by Dani from Call it Beauty who currently has 15 lists on the go) 

  • Your "daily" makeup looks something like above or worse!
  • You rotate foundations to use them all up. 
  •  Your next house WILL have a makeup room in it.  
  • You have a drawer...ok a box of products you won't like and will never use.

Last but not least... your idea of beauty heaven. The Selfridges Beauty advent calendar (£60)!

Feel free to add to the list if you think I've missed anything important off it!  


Samples or Swag - How are your PR samples perceived?

If someone were to ask me "Do you receive freebies?" I would have to say no. 
Or even "do you receive gifts?" That would also be a no. 
But do I receive samples? Indeed I do.

Of course samples most of the time are full sized products which are 'free of charge' sent by a PR company that represent a specific beauty brand. But do I treat them like freebies? Definitely not.
I treat any sample like I would any product that I review or talk about on Makeup savvy, with total honesty.
Which is why I dislike reading articles where Beauty Editors or journalists call these samples that some beauty bloggers receive as "Beauty Swag" or "freebies". 
I personally write this blog because I love reader interaction and feedback and I also genuinely love talking about beauty products and NOT for any freebies. However as a beauty blogger I obviously get put into this category by default!

Sadly they do have a point though!
I have seen countless posts ( and twitpics on Twitter) by beauty bloggers just showing a 'preview' of a newly received PR sent product. Sometimes even placed on the PR logoed jiffy bag or still gift wrapped, so that you can't even see the products. 
So no wonder journalists and editors have this view, when bloggers are showing off there "freebies" or hand wrapped "gifts" .

However truth be told, I don't read articles slating bloggers for this on a regular basis! So I actually don't care what journalist's think. 
But what I do care about is the thousands of people that read beauty blogs on a daily basis and what they think!

(Just to state these aren't PR samples - just an example) 

I know that over 55% of my readership now comes from direct traffic or search engines, so my guess is these people don't have there own beauty blog.
So I would never want to perceive myself as someone better than them by showing off products I had received for review purposes because a) I'm not above anyone, and b) It just alienates the reader and they may believe that your reviews are dishonest, which may result in them not return to your blog. 

I also don't want any of my readers to be inspired to start there own beauty blog just to get the perks of free products.

The actual perks of beauty blogging are talking to like minded people that have a true passion and most of the time vast knowledge of makeup products. Also receiving nice comments and be appreciated is another plus. 

As for the downsides of blogging when it comes to these "wonderful freebies" - it's actually spending the time replying to e-mails to explain why I can't except X product because it doesn't fit in with my blog. Or replying to an PR email that wants to know when I will be writing a review on a specific sent product. 
Even deciding what to do about a product sample you didn't like or gave you a bad reaction, can be stressful. Do you not review it? Do you email the company and ask them if they want you to publish the review still? Do you post it and not care! 

My point is to just be realistic! Don't get over-excited and show your readers what you got free through the post and risk them being jealous or disliking you for it! (If you do get excited, atleast do your little dance on your own!)
But bloggers aren't just to blame here, of course all the companies that wrap up all there product samples all pretty in nice boxes or tissue paper. Sometimes adding 'gifts' in there that aren't even related to the products being sent are also guilty! You know what you are doing.

Oh, look some nice Topshop makeup and erm, a pretty Disney Couture bracelet!
(Again Topshop have never sent me anything, ever - just an example of what I mean)

I now actually reject more PR samples than I receive (because they don't fit in with my blog) and I also email any company that has my address on file and sends products without asking before hand, to simple say that I won't be reviewing the products and to ask before sending anything in future. 
This may seem abit harsh but this is how I feel my readers will  always trust me. 
I'm also lucky enough to live in the UK  so don't have to disclosure which are PR samples (unlike is the U.S). I won't want anyone to read a review believing my judgements on the product until they get to the end and read the disclosure that says I was given the product for free. Of course that's going to make them doubt my honesty, even though all my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. 
So this is why I will never mention which products where bought with my own money and which weren't, because to me they are all the same.

I actually feel quite proud to call myself a Beauty Blogger and have my own and I know that 95% of you feel the same and want readers to trust in you. 

As for the other 5% that blog for "freebies" you can all blog off!  


Layering Nail Polish

Some people layer blusher, some even layer different mascaras (can't say I've tried it myself) and I layer nail polishes. I'm sure alot of people do this though!

Yes, I have afew favourite combinations - Topshop Gypsy Night with Natural Collection Lunar Haze and Barry M Hologram Hexagrams. 
I also love Revlon Nude Chic with No7 Matte Top Coat - the most perfect mannequin nails. 
Also OPI Overexposed in South Beach with NYX Red Glitter over the top. The list goes on...however I do have a limit of three (or four) nail polishes at one time! 

I feel it creates a totally different nail polish that no one else has and it can also look like your wearing quite an expensive nail polish!

So here is my current favourite layered nails.

Two parts
Natural Collection Black Cherry 

For £1.79 this is actually amazing, such a lovely colour on it's own for winter. Really deep with abit of shimmer.

To one part Revlon Starlight 800

I actually found this in a pound shop! Love going into pound shops for this very reason, you are bound to find quite rare discontinued nail polishes and for only £1! This actually had the $4.59 CVS sticker still on when I bought it. I would never wear this on it's own, as I just don't like how sheer nail polishes look however over the top of any nail polish it looks fab! This is kind of similar to the Lunar Haze Natural Collection polish...but better.

...and a sprinkle of NYX Red Glitter! See it's like baking just without the fuss or umm, the food!

I already own Barry M Red Glitter (NYX and Barry M are so adventurous with there product naming) however that is more of an opaque red glitter so there would be no point in using it over any other nail polish. Where as this is more of a top coat with red glitter running through it. Just lovely! 

Et voila! Beautiful nails. 


Paying it Forward

The reason why I started this blog initially was because of other blogs I read and loved. My main inspiration was Lipglossiping, Charlotte's blog was just so informative and interesting, which made me want to create my own little site. However I now must read posts from 30+ sites a day and have found alot more favourites that I constantly go back to and love to read. I also now feel that I know alot of lovely bloggers and have learnt alot from them. 
So this was just a small way of paying it forward to the blogs that I currently enjoy the most.
These are in no particular order ofcourse!

Super Gorgeous (<- Just click to view the blog)
Alice has only been blogging for three months or so, however you really wouldn't think it! Being a professional photographer the images on her blog are just such great quality and her posts are always interesting.

Now and again she also posts little videos from Vimeo which are great (she would do so well on Youtube I sure of it). But I mainly just love the style of her posts and how you can rely on all the images to be the accurate shades of the product she's showing! 

Modesty Brown 
 It feels like I have been reading Jane's blog for ages now, probably because I have! But there is just something about her blog that I love. It's kind of gives me the same feeling as reading a magazine with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Her blog is just relaxing and interesting. 

It's not even that I use the same brands of makeup that she uses (her makeup is quite high end compared to mine!) but her style of writing always makes me feel like we are on the same level and I think alot of her readers feel the same. 
She is also just a lovely, kind person that takes the time to reply to comments and you can just see that she really cares about her blog and readers. 

Call It Beauty
I love Dani's blog for her reviews, they are just so detailed and full of the images you want too see (if you have a look at her blog you will see what I mean). She is also so creative with makeup and does a lovely series called "All About Eyes"

She also always throws in afew fashion posts focusing on one specific celebrity at a time. Basically her blog just seems really well organised, structured and interesting. 
I also quite like that she's a Canadian blogger, as I'm always learning about new products on her blog that we in the UK sometimes don't have.

Welsh Beauty Blog
Another new-ish blog that I really enjoying reading. It just has a great mix of posts to read, there's nail posts, talk about skincare, product reviews and a good mix of high and low end product! 
So there is always something to read. 

It's also a frequently updated blog, which I love. So I always have to make time to catch up on all the new posts. 
Similar to Jane's Modesty Brown blog it's just a nice, easy read. 

Beauty and the Bullshit
  This blog is my new found favourite. Totally different from most blogs I follow and one that I have to put time aside for, as Rowena posts are pretty thought provoking and always brutally honest which is something I love about her blog. 

She just touches on topic that I've never really though about before - such a lead in lipstick and if it will give us all cancer! and there's also afew very interesting posts on mascara. 
This is just a fun AND educating blog!

Which blogs do you love the most?
Link me up! 


How to perfectly apply Nail Polish

Firstly let me just say that I am no expert when it comes to nails, I just do my own alot. So I feel like I now know how to apply nail polish quite quickly and also neatly. I also know what I use to do wrong and how nail polish can look sometimes messy! However I hope you all don't think I'm being condescending by writing this post.

Hopefully I can explain in the best way possible what I do with my own nails - however once I get my new camera, which shoots in HD video ;) I will actually make a video on it and just update this post with it.

First I want to tackle the hardest part of nail painting - painting your nails with your non-writing hand. Which for me is using my right hand, as I am left handed. This can actually be incredible difficult for some people. 

My main tip is to actually tackle this first...don't paint your nails as you normally would, as when you come to doing the opposite hand you will notice how much harder it is to using your writing hand (I hope this is making sense). For example I paint my writing hand (my left hand) first ofcourse using my right hand, then I go onto to paint my other hand with my writing hand. Doing it this way basically doesn't highlight the difference between using your writing hand to your other hand. 

 Also if you do get any nail polish around the cuticle of your writing hand, this means you can  dip your index finger of your non-writing hand into abit of nail polish remover and use the tip of the nail to remove any nail polish from the cuticle. 

Anyway onto the techinque I use to paint my nails and get that neat edge around the cuticle.

The main thing I can suggest is not to paint right upto the cuticle as chances are the nail polish will seep into the cuticle and look messy. 

1) As you can see in the top left image, I start with one strip of polish down the centre of the nail. By just placing the brush just above the cuticle and brushing upwards. 

2) Then place the brush back to the same point as where you started and swept the brush to the right and making sure you are missing the cuticle. As you can see you are then just left with the left side to do like in the above right image.

3) Then you basically swept it along on the left side, which should create that neat edge you want. 

As for how much nail polish to have on the brush, I always push one side of the brush onto the top of the nail polish opening before I start and ofcourse let the polish fully dry between coats. 


As for cleaning up any mistakes, using a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover works well, or if you haven't painted the over hand, just the end of your nail dipped into some remover will work really well, as I mentioned before. 

Also I find having ridge free nails really helps and makes the nail polish look and last better. So using a cheap 99p multi buffer is a must!

I also just go over each nail with a cotton pad of nail polish remover before I start painting my nails, to remover any grease/oil. This just helps the nail polish hold onto the nail abit better.

Lastly to finish off the nails I apply quite a cheap watery top coat, the reason for this is there is no chance of it ruining your freshly painted nails.

Also I find certain nail polishes easier to apply than others! I find matte polishes always easy to apply as they are normally opaque with one coat and don't apply patchy, the same goes for any glitter nail polishes really. 
Dark shades are also easier to apply, again they just aren't patchy and seem just easier to work with. 

As for ones to avoid - I'd say most pastel shades are always difficult to apply, they just show up every single flaw and tend to be quite patchy in nature! 

I slightly feel this is a pointless post however if it helps only one person I will be happy!


Beauty In's & Out's

I have decided to cancel my September favourites this month as I just can't bear to admit that it's October let alone that it will be November in 2 weeks. I am slightly looking forward to buying warmer winter clothes & some nice new shearling boots though, however I cannot tolerate the cold!

Also I haven't really being loving alot recently, as most of you will know I am due to be moving house quite soon which means I have so little makeup now - just essentials really.
I also thought it would be nice to include some rubbish products that I haven't been liking, before they go in the bin or to my sister! 

Products that are in my good books - 

Eco Tools Concealer Brush (used for pressing on eyeshadow) I have afew of the Eco Tools including the eyeshadow brush, however I just find that the concealer brush just works that bit better for applying eyeshadow and packing it onto the lid. It just fits the eye that abit better and it abit more stiffer compared to the e/s brush. But on the whole I love the whole of the Eco Tools range, but I love this brush in particular and also the powder brush!

No7 Eyeshadow Blend & Contour Brush - I am sure I've spoken about this brush before. It's just a perfect brush for blending any eyeshadow and fits perfectly into the socket line to create definition and as you would expect this brush is really soft and flexible.

Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara - Now I don't care about all the mumbo jumbo behind this. I just like it because it's a good mascara to create volume and length without any horrible clumps. You do have to kind of wipe of the excess onto the top of the tube which is abit nasty as you get a buildup of product around the lid. But other than that this is a really black not overly wet mascara.

Sanctuary Body Butter - This is only a travel size so it only cost £1.80 I think, but it really does last ages. I'm not overly seen on the Sanctuary range, however I do like this and there facial masks. It's nothing overly special, but it smells really nice and leaves the skin soft and feeling more supple.

Bourjois Shimmer Shine Liquid Eyeshadow (32 brun magnetique) - I keep forgetting to buy more of these when in Boots as I really do love this product, alot. I thought showing the applicator would give a better idea of the product than I could describe as with the top on it's abit hard to tell what the product is like. I personally prefer to apply some of the product onto the back of my hand then apply it to the lid with my fingers or a brush. However the one draw back to it being a liquid eyeshadow is that it does dry quite quickly so you have to work fast with blending out the edges. But if it wasn't a liquid then you wouldn't get the pigmentation with it I guess!

E.L.F Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder (Luminance) - I received this off the lovely Charlotte, and to be honest it wouldn't be a product I'd normally buy myself. Mainly because it doesn't look very bronzer-ish to me. However I have found this is perfect over a darker matte bronzer to give abit of a glow to the cheekbones & temples! Or used alone when I'm not wearing alot of makeup to just highlight the skin abit. 

Products that aren't too great! 

Barry M Blusher (Terracotta 6) - I just don't get this product, it's almost like it's bronzer and a blusher. The shade is either really not suited to my skin tone or it's just a strange shade and I am sadly thinking it's the latter.

17 Hide Away Concealer Cream (Medium) - I can't really judge this product too much as it is a shade too dark for me. But even so this is just too cakey to use as an under eye concealer, it just settles into all the creases and I do expect a concealer to concealer everything and not just blemishes.

No7 Smoky Eyeliner - This product is kind of focused on making applying eyeliner alot easier and the first few times I applied this I thought it was maybe true. But the more I used it the most I realised it just isn't that great. The main problem being the applicator, it's just too bendy and rubbish really. The other problem is with the powder, it just creates too much fall out or it actually gets in your eye, which can be awful when wearing contact lenses as the black powder gets stuck underneath it! Not attractive or comfortable. Also there is an annoying ball bearing in the lid (I guess to weigh it down so it doesn't fall over) that rattles while you are applying the liner. I don't know if it's just mine though! The thing is I feel with a better applicator this could of been quite a good product! 

 What are your beauty in's & out's this month?


Confessions of a Lip Balm Addict

Okay so I may be over exaggerating, slightly. I never have eleven lip balms in my bag, more 5 or 6 in various compartments of my bag for easy reach!
Which isn't too bad...however I do have alot more than the ones shown above, in the form lots of Blistex, Carmex, Vaseline pots and tins oh and lots of rubbish novelty ones. 

I am tempted to say they all do the same thing - they make your lips softer. But as I'm sure any lip balm addict will agree, there is alot more than that to a lip balm. 
First you have clear or pigmented, then you have medicated ones for chapped lips, then you have wax, lip butters and gloss lip balms. Then of course you have unfragranced and fragranced. 
So as you can see having 30 + lip balms is actually a needed thing and of course you can't try before you buy (who would want to with the state of alot of testers) and to be honest I don't even trust sniffing testers in shops these days.

So after trying to justify why I need so many lip balms, here are the ones that I have purchased in the last 6 months or so that aren't too tatty to show you! 

Models Own Lip Balm 'Ballet Pink'  £5.00 - This is almost a clear gloss with lots of fine pink glitter in it that kind of gives a shimmer to the lips. I would say this is actually a gloss however it does keep the lips soft & hydrated throughout the day. I don't actually like the fragrance to it though, which is a shame. It's abit too synthetic and sweet and the only thing I can say the smell reminds me of, is shampoo! That aside it is a nice product, just not to sure about the £5 price tag.

Models Own Lip Balm 'Fuchsia -full' £5.00 - This of course is from the same range as above however I much prefer this product to Ballet Pink, mainly due to the improved fragrance. As for the shade itself do not let the strong pigmentation of this put you off! It can either be use in a small amount to give the lips a light pink stain or you can apply this almost as you would a lipstick however you have the added bonus of it being really hydrating. I really feel this is more worth the £5 price tag.

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Orchid 'Petal Pink' £8.00 - I am almost sure I didn't pay £8 for this, I think I paid around the £3-4 price mark at Asos I think. Now I would say the pretty orchid on top of the pot isn't very practical, however this is always somewhere in my bag and it has never fallen off, but if the flower ever did fall out you would be left with quite a cheap looking plastic pot! As for the lip balm itself, aside from the slightly shampoo like fragrance I really do love this. It does what a lip balm should do and is the most perfect candy pink colour when on the lips. My only criticism would be that it's doesn't last that long and I do find myself reapplying this alot through out the day.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer 'Nutmeg' £5.99 - This falls into the category of 'most used lip balm' and you have to be something special to get there! Love that this is 100% natural and actually feels and tastes like there are no synthetic cheap ingredients in it. Also really love the shade of this, perfect for winter and very wearable in the day as like the name mentions it does have a shimmer to it. The only thing I could see putting anyone off is the peppermint oil which I personally quite like it. However it does give the lips a slight tingling sensation and is scented quite strongly of peppermint.

Natural Products fragranced Lip balm 'Christmas Pudding' £4.00 - I think I bought this as a set of three from Asos last Christmas thinking they would just be cute little lip balms to keep in my bag. Oh, how wrong I was. Aside from the packaging there is nothing to like about this lip balm - it smells of plastic, it's sticky and doesn't keep your lips soft what so ever. I don't think I could even bring myself to  give this to my 4 year old niece to play with, it is that bad.

Mrs. Fields flavoured Lip balm 'Chewy Fudge' £2.00 - I eat this.. umm I mean I USE this when I'm feeling abit hungry, it is THAT good! I actually bought this on eBay due to it being an American product and hands down this is the best novelty lip balms I have ever purchased. Okay, it is totally synthetic and I am sure there is nothing natural about it. But the fragrance of this is just SO good, like warm fudge brownies! If you are a lover of chocolaty novelty lip balms, then this is a must. Also it does actually keep your lips very soft!

Clinique Super Balm Moisturizing gloss '09 Currant' Free - As most of you will know this came free in the November issue of Elle and I am not too sure if I actually like this. I think the problem is it being fragrance free (which I don't mind) but then it being called 'current' and it being a berry shade I just keep on wanting it to have some lovely blackcurrant scent to it. I just can't seem to get my head pass it and always feel abit disappointed when I apply this to my lips. It's just quite a sheer glossy balm. I don't love this but nor do I hate it either!

Palmer's Medicated lip butter £3.00 - I had such high hopes for this when I bought it - I had visions of a perfectly fragranced Palmer's balm that would sort out my dry lips in winter and to be far it does the job, perfectly. Really medicated and soothing but that is the problem! I bought it because it was the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula but this just feels like I am smearing the gooey centre of an After Eight mint all over my lips. Which is not what you want! This is something I will turn to when I have a really bad cold I'm sure.

Anatomicals 'Stop Cracking up' lip balm - I'm totally on the fence about this. Really love the smooth soothing texture and actually thought I liked the almost ice cream like flavour to it. That was until it started to wear off to leave behind this slightly sickly tasting over fragranced lip balm that you want to wipe off your lips. But it does really work! It's just a shame the fragrance is so awful.

Marks & Spencer Coconut Lip butter - As you can see from the above image I love, love, love this lip balm or should I say lip butter. It almost reminds of something The Body Shop would sell if I still shopped there. It's quite a simple balm that leaves a thin layer of the butter in your lips and really does last alot longer than most of the other products I use. As for the fragrance it's just a lovely sweet coconut scent that doesn't actually feel too plastic like or man made! I highly recommend this if you have never tried anything from the Marks & Spencer beauty range.

Burt's Bees Honey Lip balm £3.50 - I can't say I love this more than my Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer, but I do still really like this. For me this is the ultimate totally natural lip balm. It is basically made up with mainly beeswax and other essential oils, so it is quite a waxy balm that you do need to warm up on the lips to actually get any of the product on there. This means that it's not sticky or gloppy, it just gives that thin film of product that you need. This is also the only lip balm that stays on through eating and drinking!

Bepanthen Ointment (nappy rash barrier cream) - This is the only product that never finds itself into my handbag (ok, well in winter it sometimes does) but carrying round nappy cream is NEVER good, especially when you are childless. This literally makes the most perfect over night lip treatment. It isn't overly scented or actually that cream like, it just a white quite oily cream that works wonders on chapped or extra dry lips in winter! 

After talking about each individual lip balm and only covering just under half of what I actually own, I am maybe thinking I don't need anymore lip balms for quite a long time!

As always I'd love to hear what you currently use! 

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