Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl: The Complete Fourth Season

Hi Everyone!

Note: Do not read this if you have not watched the Gossip Girl Season 4 finale!

I just wanted to write a quick post about one of my favourite TV shows - Gossip Girl! I have watched this show from the very beginning and absolutely love it! Season 4 has just finished in the UK (Around a week or two ago I think - I am a little behind)! and I'm not sure what to make of the season finale! Blair is my favourite character due to her bitchy ways, drive and, of course, her fashion sense and I always hope that she would end up with Chuck! I know that they always fall out and betray each other but I thought that they would come back together in the end! Those of you who have watched the season ending will know that Chuck let her go off with the prince as he believes that he can make her happier than he can! Nooooo! Seeing how hurt Chuck was really brought tears to my eyes. However, in the closing scenes of the show a positive pregnancy test was seen in Blair's waste bin, I imagine that will throw up a few problems for her royal marriage if she's pregnant with Chuck's baby! Maybe it will bring them back together again after all! I certainly hope so! I have read on Wikipedia that Blair begins season 5 planning her royal wedding - I have to admit that despite being a Blair-Chuck fan, I am looking forward to that! Please let her dress be by Marchesa - they are my favourite designers!
Another surprise from the season finale was the twist in the Charlie storyline! So she isn't Serena's cousin! Hmmm interesting! It looks like she'll cause some trouble as it looks like she's teaming up with Georgina! Who's back AGAIN! Don't like her at all, although she is kind of amusing!
I have heard that Jenny and Vanessa are not returning during the next series and I can't say that I am sorry! I can't stand Jenny and really don't understand why everyone forgives her for all of her back stabbing and scheming and Vanessa is boring with a capital B! (Harsh - I know)! I'm hoping that they bring in some exciting new characters soon.
The show is set to return in September (The same month as my beloved Vampire Diaries - woohoo!) of this year and will run until May 2012. The season 4 boxset is due for release on 15 August 2011 in the UK and is available to pre-order now from Amazon
Maz x

May Favourites

Hi Everyone!
Welcome to my favourites post for May 2011. I am going to try and post an article at the end of each month telling you all about the products that I have used and enjoyed the most over the last month. I will list each product along with a mini review! I have also included some swatches at the end of the post for you!!
So let's begin!

Pink Nail Polishes: I have been on a real pink nail polish kick recently and I especially love Essie Pansy, Orly Fancy Fuchsia and OPI La Paz-itively Hot! Despite it being summer here in the UK the weather isn't too great so hot pink polishes really cheer me up!
Vera Wang Princess: Princess is one of my very favourite perfumes. It has the most amazing, distinctive smell and I would highly recommend having a spray of it next time you see it in stores!
Vaseline Hand and Nail Cream: I use this hand moisturiser every night and it has done an amazing job. It kept my hands soft all through a very harsh winter looking after my horse and it is super affordable!
NARS Laguna Bronzer: As summer is approaching I am increasing the old bronzer application! Laguna has always been my favourite bronzer and is the only one I ever use despite having a couple of others in my collection! It is an ideal colour for my skin (NW20) and doesn't have to much shimmer!
MAC Blush in Harmony: I use this blush as a cheekbone contouring shade. I apply it with my MAC 109 brush and it gives an amazing effect with very little effort!
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liner in Covet: This is a beautiful teal colour liner that just glides onto your skin. I love to use it on my lower lashline with a neutral eye lid colour to make my eyes pop.
MAC Naked Lunch Eyeshadow: I have been reaching for Naked Lunch as my brow highlight a lot recently, it gives a little bit of shimmer without it being too much and I think it looks great paired with pink and purple eye looks.
Loreal True Match Foundation: I am in love with this foundation and I have a feeling that it will appear on several favourite lists in the future! It applies and blends just as well as other, much more expensive, foundations that I have previously tried.
MAC Lipstick in Milan Mode: Milan Mode is a hot pink lipstick that I think is ideal for a night out in summer and is much more wearable that hotter pink lipsticks such as Girl About Town. I love to pair it with a smokey purple eyeshadow look.
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Morphine: This is the first of the 24/7 eyeshadow pencil's that I have tried and I love it! It applies and blends so smoothly and evenly and, in my opinion, has a better consistency that the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils. Morphine is a beautiful lavender shade and looked great when I applied a layer of it under Urban Decay Hot Pants Eyeshadow.
Marks & Spencer Body Polish in Coconut: I purchased this product after seeing a great review of it in Look Magazine. I have been using it in place of my Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub and it is a much cheaper alternative! It leaves my skin silky soft and smells great.
My Blog!: I thought that I would add this one in at the end! I have been writing my blog for a little over 2 weeks now and I love it! It is keeping my mind occupied and keeping my entertained! Long may it last!
Here come the swatches!
(L to R) NARS Laguna Bronzer, MAC Harmony Blush, Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Covet, MAC Naked Lunch Eyeshadow, MAC Milan Mode Lipstick, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Morphine

Maz x

My Favourite Pink Eyeshadows

Hi Guys!

I decided that it would be fun to put together a series of my favourite eyeshadows for you! I have divided my eyeshadows into colour groups and picked out my favourites. Today I am starting with the pinks. Here are the swatches, shown on NW20 skin followed by their descriptions.
(L to R) Da Bling, Fishnet, Hot Pants, Last Call, Naked Lunch

(L to R) Pink Freeze, Sushi Flower, Post Haste, Swish, Yogurt

MAC DA BLING: Pink with gold pearl (Veluxe Pearl)
URBAN DECAY FISHNET: Iridescent pink/ purple
URBAN DECAY HOT PANTS: Medium pink shadow
MAC NAKED LUNCH: Minimal pink with shimmer (Frost)
MAC PINK FREEZE: Bright pink with icy metallic shimmer (Frost)
MAC POST HASTE: Shocking red/ pink
MAC SUSHI FLOWER: Soft bright pinky-coral with pink opalescent shimmer (Satin)
MAC SWISH: Soft bright pink with icy metallic shimmer (Frost)
MAC YOGURT: Soft pale pink (Matte)

Please note that some of the shadows may have been discontinued from the main collections but may still be available to buy at CCO store or in upcoming collections as re promotes.
Maz x

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Nail Polish Haul

Hi Everyone!
I thought it would be fun to share my recent nail polish haul with you so let's get started!

Nubar Nail Art Pen in Black: This is a pretty standard black nail art pen and as I want to try my hand at nail art soon I thought that this would be a good place to start!
Nubar Striper Pen in Hologram: I purchased this to use when trying out some nail art designs too but also to use to brighten up French manicure tips. It is a gorgeous silver glitter.
Zoya Nail Polish in Dannii: This is my second bottle of Zoya polish and I loved my other polish (Happi) so much that I decided to purchase I second! Dannii is from the Intimate collection for Spring 2011. This colour is described as a 'Pinked violet with red undertones and gold and ruby shimmer and sparkle'. The reviews of this are amazing and it looks gorgeous! I can't wait to try it ASAP!
Nubar Nail Polish in Violet Sparkle: I saw this polish when I was ordering the 2 nail art pens and loved the look of the colour, it's purple and sparkly as the name suggests! I have never tried any of Nubar's nail polishes before so I am excited to try this!
China Glaze Nail Polish in Below Deck: This polish is from the Spring 2011 Anchor's Away Collection and is a purple-grey shade. I bought this polish as it is supposed to be similar to Sephora by OPI Metro Chic which is a colour that I have always wanted to try but have been unable to as it is not sold in the UK! I have high hopes for this shade! 
OPI Nail Polish in Houston We Have a Purple: This polish looks right up my street! It is from the Spring/ Summer 2011 Texas Collection and I loved how it looked on the nail is a recent QVC OPI program! It is a pinked toned violet.
OPI Nail Polish in You Don't Know Jacques: I have been thinking of getting this colour for ages! I have heard so many good things about it and I have also heard that it has taken the top spot from my beloved Lincoln Park After Dark as OPI's No 1 bestseller! You Don't Know Jacques is from the Couture Couleur La Collection De France and is described as a brown/grey mix and looks super sophisticated! This isn't the type of colour that I'd usually go for but I'm hoping I'll love it as a change from the norm!

Maz x

Urban Decay NYC Palette Review & Swatches

Urban Decay Book of Shadow 3
Hi Guys!
The NYC palette is the third in the Urban Decay Book of Shadows series. It contains 16 eyeshadows and comes with a travel sized primer potion plus 2 mini-sized 24/7 glide on eye liners in Zero and Ransom. This is an amazing looking palette and I was so excited to get it! The outside of the palette has 'UD NYC' embossed on it and features a pop up book style feature which shows NYC themed decorations plus a mirror and back lights! The eyeshadows themselves are in a tray which is pulled out underneath the pop up feature.
Below are the eyeshadow and eyeliner swatches shown on NW20 skin plus the colours and their descriptions.

(L to R) Perversion, Uzi, Loaded, Kush, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Last Call, Rockstar, Money

(L to R) Haight, Maui Wowie, Smog, Bordello, Radium, Snatch, Suspect, Psychedelic Sister, Zero 24/7 Liner, Ransom 24/7 Liner

Perversion: Matte black
Uzi: White/silver with silver glitter
Loaded: Green with metallic shimmer
Kush: Medium green
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again: Pink-tinged champagne with flecks of glitter
Last Call: Medium shimmery plum with red undertones
Rockstar: Dark eggplant purple
Money: Silvery blue with a blue/ green sheen
Haight: Medium frosty blue
Maui Wowie: Gold with metallic sheen
Smog: Shimmery medium bronze
Bordello: Mauve-tinged pink with pink glitter
Radium: Medium blue
Snatch: Frosty peach- pink
Suspect: Medium bronze
Psychedelic Sister: Medium purple with red undertones
Zero Eyeliner: Dark black
Ransom Eyeliner: Eggplant Purple

As is the norm with many Urban Decay palettes, several of the shadows have appeared in previous palettes so make sure that you check your own collection before you purchase this if you don't want any dupes!
Overall I have to say that this palette is great value and a bit of a collectors item! The size of the palette does mean that it isn't really ideal for travelling with but for everyday use it's fine. The colours are also highly pigmented and wearable and there is a real colour range to choose from in the box.
Overall 4 out of 5 stars from me!
You can purchase this palette from Amazon here - Urban Decay Book of Shadow 3
Maz x

DIY Manicure

Hi Guys!
I thought it would be fun to share how I manicure and paint my nails with you! I will take you through the process step by step and recommend my favourite tools and products, I hope this will be helpful!
So let's get started!

  1. Begin by removing any traces of nail varnish from your nails using your favourite remover and some cotton wool pads, I am currently using Cutex Strengthening Nail Polish Remover. This leaves a clean, oil free nail base to begin your manicure with.
  2. Next, clip your nails to size using nail clippers (I find these much better to use than nail scissors).
  3. Now file your nails in your preferred shape, remember not to saw back and forth across your nail tips as this can weaken the nail, always file in one direction. After this use a buffer across the entire nail to smooth out and shine up the nail surface. If, when carrying out this step, you see nail dust falling from your nails you are buffing too hard!
  4. After this I soak my nails in a bowl of warm water for around 5 minutes to soften the cuticles.
  5. Next massage a cuticle remover into your nails in a soft, circular motion. My favourite is the Leighton Denny Remove & Rectify which is, by far, the best cuticle remover I have ever tried. Leave this on your nails for around 2-3 minutes then use a hoof stick, I use the Leighton Denny Hoof Stick to gently push back my cuticles. I then give my hands a wash to remove any remaining cuticle remover.
  6. Now apply your chosen base coat, I like the Seche Base and OPI Base Coat. Allow this to dry.
  7. Apply 2-3 coats of your favourite nail polish allowing at least 5 minutes drying time in between layers.The easiest way to apply nail lacquer is to place the brush about 4mm from your cuticle down the centre line of your nail and then push towards the cuticle then away towards the nail tip then stroke the brush down both sides of the nail.
  8. Next apply a layer of top coat, my favourite is Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.
  9. Finally, when my nails are thoroughly dry I like to apply a small amount of OPI Avoplex Oil to the nails and cuticles and you are done!
Happy nail painting!
Maz x

Urban Decay Dangerous Palette Review & Swatches

Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette w/ Primer

Hi Everyone!
This is a quick review with swatches on Urban Decay's Dangerous palette which was released along with 2 other palettes (Fun and Feminine) for Spring 2011. The palette contains 6 eyeshadows and a 24/7 eye liner pencil plus a travel sized eyeshadow primer potion in Greed. All of the colours have featured in previous Urban Decay palettes so check your collection before you go out and purchase this! The palette itself is small and compact and is ideal for carrying around in your handbag or for travelling. There is also a handy mirror on the inside of the lid.
Below are the swatches shown on NW20 skin along with the product descriptions -

(L to R) Haight, Mildew, Virgin, Oil Slick, Rockstar, Gunmetal

Haight: Medium blue with frost finish
Mildew: Olive green with brown undertones
Virgin: Pale beige with shimmer finish
Oil Slick: Black with silver glitter
Rockstar: Eggplant purple
Gunmetal: Dark grey with silver sheen
Greed Primer Potion: Gold (Not shown)
Rockstar 24/7 Eye Pencil: Eggplant purple (Not shown)

Overall I think that this palette is great value and really handy to have. The shadows are all super pigmented and  apply easily. Virgin makes a great inner corner and brow highlight colour and Oil Slick is a great black to use on the outer v area or as an eyeliner but be careful with the fallout with this one! Haight, Mildew, Rockstar and Gunmetal make great all over lid colours and work really well together.
Overall 4 stars out of 5 from me!
You can purchase this palette from Amazon here - Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette w/ Primer
Maz x

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Essie Pansy - Review & Swatch

Essie Nail Polish (.5 oz) Pansy #74 (Shimmer)
Hi Everyone!
It's the weekend again so time for another nail polish change! Seen as I seem to be going through a pink phase at the moment I have chosen Essie's Pansy. I saw Elle Fowler (allthatglitters21 on YouTube) wearing it in a video recently and fell in love with it! Essie describes it as 'a tropical hot pink' which I think is about right! It is very bright but it's a deeper, rosier pink than other hot pink's such as Orly Fancy Fuchsia and OPI La Paz-itively Hot.

I applied one coat of Seche Base to begin with, Pansy was very nearly opaque after just one coat but I applied a second anyway, as I always do! I then finished off with a coat of my favourite top coat - Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Pansy was really easy and smooth to apply and dried quickly and evenly.
Overall 5 stars out of 5 from me!

I purchased my polish from Tiffany Nail Supply for £9.95 You can also purchase it from Amazon here: - Essie Nail Polish (.5 oz) Pansy #74 (Shimmer)
Click to read about my top 10 favourite Essie polishes.
Maz x

Urban Decay Ammo Palette Review & Swatches

Urban Decay Urban Ammo Eye Palette

Hi Everyone!
The Ammo palette is an amazing palette containing Urban Decay's 10 best selling shades. The eyeshadow colours range from pinks to browns to greens and are super pigmented! The compact itself is small and thin with a Snap shut magnetic closing. It is black with a pink/purple gun and floral design. There is also a handy mirror on the inside of the lid. The palette's size makes it ideal for putting into your handbag for travelling and touching up your make up throughout the day.The palette comes with a duo eyeshadow applicator.
Swatches shown on NW20 skin -

(L to R) Smog, Mildew, Oil Slick, Last Call, Chopper

(L to R) Maui Wowie, Shattered, Polyester Bride, Grifter, Sin

My favourite eyeshadow from the palette is Chopper - Kim Kardashian is a big fan of this! The palette is a great way to add some bright colours to your collection and as they are all available individually you can re- purchase your favourite shades in full size. The downsides to the palette is that the shadow sizes are pretty small and contain a lot of chunky glitter and there is also quite a large amount of fallout.
Overall 3 stars out of 5 from me!
Maz x

Top Face Brushes

Hi Everyone!
I have picked out my favourite 8 face brushes to share with you. These are the brushes that I use on a regular basis and that I have found perform and wash really well time and time again.
(L to R) Clinique Foundation Brush, Sigma F10, MAC 150, Sigma F20, Sigma F50, Smashbox 22, Sigma F15, MAC 109

MAC 109: This brush is a small round domed brush that it brilliant for contouring your cheekbones. It applies the product and blends it out brilliantly. It can also be used to apply highlighter to the cheekbones.
MAC 150: The 150 brush is a large powder brush that I use to apply my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural.
CLINIQUE FOUNDATION BRUSH: I have had this brush for many years and it's still as good as new! It applies and blends in even the thickest of foundation really well.
SMASHBOX FAN BRUSH 22: This is a really delicate fan brush that is great for sweeping eyeshadow fallout off your cheeks and also for applying highlighting powder.
SIGMA F10: This is my favourite blush brush by far and I prefer it over the MAC alternative. It has super soft bristles and blends out powder and cream blushes excellently.
SIGMA F15: This is a medium sized tapered duo fibre brush that I use to apply powder highlighter to my cheekbones it can also be used to apply blush.
SIGMA F20: This is a large paddle brush which I use to apply bronzer but it can be used to apply any face powder.
SIGMA F50: This is a large duo fibre brush that I use to apply my Fix + spray.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post, please feel free to share your favourite brushes with me in the comments section below.
To purchase brushes from MAC click here to purchase from Sigma click here to purchase from Clinique click here and from Smashbox click here
Maz x

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review & Swatches

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Hi Everyone!
I have decided to 'jump on the bandwagon' and do a review and some swatches of Urban Decay's Naked Palette for you all. This is a very popular sell-out product and it's not hard to see why! The colours are beautiful, extremely wearable, apply and blend well and have great staying power. So many different looks can be created from this one palette and it also includes a couple of matte shades which have been missing from previous palettes. The original Naked Palette came with a duo eyeliner pencil but the newer version of the palette now includes an eyeshadow brush, both versions include a travel sized primer potion which is really handy! The palette is an ideal size to pop into your handbag to enable you to touch up your makeup during the day and also for use when traveling. There is a mirror on the inside of the lid and the palette has a snap-shut, magnetic closing. The packaging is made of faux brown velvet and has Naked Urban Decay embossed in gold along the front of it.
On with the swatches! (Swatches shown on NW20 skin) -

(L to R) Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked

(L to R) Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal

Below are the names of the 12 colours and their descriptions -

Virgin: Pale shimmered nude beige
Sin: Champagne with a touch of pink
Naked: Medium beige-brown
Sidecar: Shimmered medium bronze-brown
Buck: Darkened beige-brown
Half Baked: Coppery bronze
Smog: Medium dark bronze
Darkhorse: Deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze
Toasted: Medium dark pinky-brown
Hustle: Dark plummy chocolate brown
Creep: Darkened blue-black with silver and teal shimmer
Gunmetal: Blue grey metallic
6 of these shades are available to buy permanently on their own - Sin, Naked, Half Baked, Smog, Toasted and Gunmetal. Some shades have also appeared in previous palettes.
I highly recommend this palette as the colours are amazing and top quality and the palette is great value as all of the shadows are full size which is not always the case in many palettes. I would love to see Urban Decay and other make up brands bring out more palettes of this kind in the future.
Over all a big 5 out of 5 stars from me!
You can purchase the Naked palette here - Urban Decay Naked Palette
Maz x

Top Eye Brushes

(L to R) MAC 219, MAC 239, Smashbox 15, Sigma E45, MAC 227, MAC 224, MAC 242, Smashbox 21, Sigma E20, MAC 217

Hi Everyone!
I decided to post my favourite eye makeup brushes for you but it was so hard to narrow it down! I finally chose 10 to share with you. These brushes are used and washed on a regular basis.

MAC 217: This is a stiff domed brush which is ideal for applying and blending out crease colour.
MAC 219: The 219 is a stiff pencil brush which is great for applying an inner eye highlight colour, adding more precise colour into the crease and also for smudging eyeshadow along the lower lashline.
MAC 224: This is a fluffy blending brush that is the best at blending out eyeshadows, it's also great at adding a subtle wash of colour to the lid or crease area.
MAC 227: Is a large rounded fluff brush that I use to apply my brow highlight with and also to blend out any eyeshadow lines. It's also large enough to apply highlight to the cheekbones too.
MAC 239: The 239 brush is shadow brush with really densely packed bristles. It's great for applying all types of eyeshadow.
MAC 242: The 242 brush is probably my favourite brush to apply pigments with as it picks up the product really well. It is also really good at applying inner corner highlight shadows and under eye colours as it's tip is quite precise. As the bristles are synthetic it is ideal for apply emollient-based products such as paint pots. The MAC 252 is a larger version of the 242.
SMASHBOX - DEFINER BRUSH 15: This brush is like a chunkier version of the MAC 219 and is really good for applying colour to the outer v area of your lid.
SMASHBOX - ARCHED LINER BRUSH 21: This is the only brush that I can apply gel or cream liner with! The arched tip makes it so much easier to see what you are doing!
SIGMA E20: This brush has very short densely packed bristles, I mainly use this brush to apply colour along the lower lashline or to smudge out eyeliner.
SIGMA E45: The E45 brush is a tapered domed blending brush that does a similar job to the MAC 217 but it is slightly fluffier than it and it's tapered end makes it a little more precise than the 217.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. To purchase brushes from MAC please click here. To purchase brushes from Smashbox click here and to purchse brushes from Sigma please click here
 Maz x

Friday, 27 May 2011

MAC Paint Pots

Hi Everyone!
I am a big fan of MAC's Paint pots. Paint pots are cream eyeshadows that can be used alone or as an eyeshadow or pigment base. They can really bring out the colour of the shadows and give the pigments something to adhere to.
Here is my collection of paint pots along with their official descriptions. (Swatches shown on NW15 skin)
(L to R) Painterly, Bare Study, Fresco Rose, Artifact

(L to R) Rubenesque, Indianwood, Groundwork, Constructivist, Blackground

Painterly: Nude beige - this is my 'go to' pot and works well under any eyeshadow or pigment.
Bare Study: Soft beige with gold pearl - I use this as it gives an extra bit of shimmer to a shadow.
Fresco Rose: Pink with matching pearl - I use this a lot under shadows such as Swish and Pink Freeze as it really makes the pink stand out.
Artifact: Dark burgundy with red pearlized pigments - This is so great under Cranberry eyeshadow or Heritage Rouge pigment. I also love to put it under purple shadows as it really makes them pop.
Rubenesque: Golden peach with gold pearl. - This is my most used paint pot and is especially great under Woodwinked eyeshadow and Tan pigment.
Indianwood: Metallic antique bronze - This is a stunning colour but is harder to work with than Rubenesque as the formula seems a little drier.
Groundwork: Mid tone neutral taupe - I bought this pot to pair with mid-toned browns but I am a little disappointed with it's dry texture.
Constructivist: Metallic dark brown - This is gorgeous under brown shadows and has quite a creamy formula.
Blackground: Frosted smoky black grey with multi coloured pearl - I purchased this to help me create deep, dark smokey eyes, it looks amazing when paired with Violet pigment.

Please note that some of the paint pots listed above have been discontinued and are no longer in the main line but may be available to buy in future collections or at your local CCO store.
Maz x
P.S Please bring out a purple paint pot MAC!

MAC Starter Kit

Hi Everyone!
I decided to put a MAC starter kit together for those of you who are interesting in getting into MAC but aren't sure which products to go for first! I'd like to just say that this is my personal opinion and I am not saying that you should go out and get all of these products straight away! This is just a suggestion about which products I would advise you to go for first!
Starter kit -
  • 217 and 239 Brushes
  • Mineralize Skin Finish Natural
  • Painterly Paint Pot
  • Brule, Woodwinked and Mulch Eyeshadows
  • Tan Pigment
  • Well Dressed or Plum Foolery Blush
  • Angel or Viva Glam V Lipstick
  • Sugarrimmed Dazzleglass
OK, MAC brushes are AMAZING! They are top quality and wash really well. People say that good brushes do the work for you and I totally believe that. My make up wouldn't look half as good if it wasn't for my brushes! The first MAC brushes that I would advise purchasing are the 217 and 239. The 217 is a stiff, domed blending brush that is brilliant for applying colour in the crease and blending it out, I feel that there is no other brush out there anywhere near as good as it! The 239 is a stiff shadow brush which is ideal for packing colour onto the lid. MAC brushes are expensive but they are an investment and if you take care of them they should last you a long time.
I highly recommend the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural. The quality of this powder is amazing and can be used to fix your foundation. This is an expensive product (around £18.50 in the UK) but this is the only face product that I have included in the kit. I don't use MAC foundations and I feel that Bobbi Brown offers better concealers.
Paint pots are cream eyeshadows that make a great eyeshadow base. Painterly is a flesh toned colour and is ideal as your first paint pot as it will go well under any eyeshadow colour. I love to use paint pots as they can really make your eyeshadow colour's pop and stay in place all day, they also give eyeshadow pigments something to adhere to.
MAC sells a large range of eyeshadows with different finishes. I have included Brule in the kit as it is flesh toned and makes an ideal brow and inner corner highlighter. Woodwinked is a gorgeous bronze shade that is perfect as an all over lid colour and also looks amazing smudged along the lower lash line. Mulch is a deep brown shade which is perfect as a darker crease colour but isn't too dark to be an all over lid colour. These 3 shadows work really well together and will create a lovely bronzey- brown smokey eye.
I love MAC's pigments and they are much easier to apply than they look! Tan is the most beautiful pinky - bronze shade and is my favourite. The 239 is an ideal brush to apply this with in a patting potion. The pigment will also adhere really well to a paint pot such as Painterly. One pot costs £15 in the UK which is quite pricey but it will last you a long time!
Blushes are another thing that MAC does really well. I included Well Dressed in this kit as it gives you the classic sheer girly pink flush and Plum Foolery as it suits most skin tones and is a great colour to try if you are just starting out with blush.
MAC also offers a large range of lipsticks in many different colours and finishes. Angel is a beautiful flattering pink and Viva Glam V is more suitable if you want a more subtle, neutral look (don't forget that the full RRP price, less the VAT, from all Viva Glam purchases goes to people affected by HIV and Aids).
Dazzleglass's are a product that are so unique to MAC. They are a lipgloss which are full of sparkle! Sugarrimed is a pale pink shade that looks great when worn alone or over a lipstick such as Angel to give you that extra bit of dazzle!
So that is my MAC starter kit. Other products that would recommend are the 224 brush which is great for apply sheer crease colour and blending eyeshadows, Dervish and Stripdown lip pencils and the Fix + spray which I apply to my face once I have finished my makeup to keep it in place all day.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful!
Maz x

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Shopping at the Trafford Centre!

Hi Everyone!
I've been shopping at the Trafford Centre today. For those of you outside the UK who don't know the centre it is a massive shopping centre just outside of Manchester City centre that is full of amazing stores and places to eat!
I bought a handful of cosmetic- related items and thought that I would share them with you all!

 (L to R) Purity, Involve, Force
I have never tried any products from Illamasqua before and I went over to the counter intending to buy one nail polish and ended up leaving with two and an eyeshadow pigment! The girl who served me was so friendly and could have very easily persuaded me to buy every product on the stand! I chose Purity nail polish which is a gorgeous creamy peach colour and Force which is a beautiful cornflower blue/ purple (It looks much brighter on the photo than it does in real life)! I am not a big fan of sheer polishes and the girl actually applied both of these colours onto her own nails to prove to me that they are both fully opaque, which they where even after just the one coat. I was then persuaded to try one of their pigments so I chose Involve which is a stunning shimmery purple and right up my street. I can't wait to try these products and will post my findings as soon as I do.

(L to R) Sparrow me the Drama, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Steady as she Rose
So no shopping trip for me would be complete without at least one OPI nail polish! I purchased Sparrow me the Drama which is a medium rosy pink and Steady as she Rose which is a pale pinky-lilac both of which are from the new OPI Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides collection. They both look gorgeous and ideal for summer. I also picked up a pot of Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream which I have wanted to try for ages as my thumb nail cuticles are really dry and rough. I haven't used it yet but it smells very strongly of lemon and it's consistency is slightly harder than Vaseline, fingers (or thumbs in this case) crossed that it works!

 Pop in the Bath

The Comforter
Finally I called in to Lush and picked up two of their bubble bars. I always get The Comforter bar as it's my favourite! It smells of blackcurrant sweets and turns your bath water hot pink! I love Lush's bubble bars because they create so many bubbles and leave your skin silky soft. I also purchased Pop in the Bath which is apparently inspired by Mary Poppins and as my name is Mary I thought that was a sign! I have never tried this one before but I'm sure it'll be good! It smells of lemon and mandarin, lovely!
So I felt I was very restrained with my purchases today which makes a change! Although it is my birthday soon so I'm sure I'll rectify that then!
Maz x

Zoya Happi - Review & Swatch

ZOYA Nail Polish .5 oz. Happi #610

Hi Guys!
This week's nails of the week are Happi by Zoya. This polish is from the 2010 Reverie collection. Zoya's official description for this polish is 'Pink metallic duochrome. A frost hint of gold creates a unique peachy-pink.' I definitely agree that this varnish is unique but, to me, it is more more coral and orange with flashes of gold with a hint of pink. It has a stunning metallic finish and is truely beautiful when the light catches it's golden shimmer. This is my first Zoya polish and I was really impressed with it's ease of application. I applied a coat of Seche Base followed by 2 coats of Happi and 1 coat of Seche Vite Top Coat. The polish was more-or-less opaque after these 2 coats but the nail line is still slightly visible. The brush is an ideal length and isn't as wide as the OPI brushes which is better for me as I have quite small, narrow nails.

Overall 3 and a half stars out of 5 from me!
You can purchase this polish here ZOYA Nail Polish .5 oz. Happi #610
Maz x

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

MAC Lip Pencils

Hi Everyone!
I am a big fan of lipsticks and not as keen on lip glosses (mainly because I hate it when my hair gets stuck in it)! I find that your lipstick appears much cleaner and richer and stays in place longer if you first apply a lip pencil. I begin by lining the lip line and then fill in the entire lip which creates a great base for the lipstick and prevents the unwanted and obvious line around the edge of your lips! Lip pencil's can also prevent darker colours from 'bleeding'.

So here are the swatches of the MAC Lip Pencils that I own followed by their official descriptions and the MAC Lipsticks that I like to pair them with. (Swatches shown on NW15 skin).

(L to R) Subculture, Oak, Stripdown, Spice, Plum

(L to R) Dervish, Magenta, Beet, Chicory, Cherry, Redd

Subculture: Underground pink - with - Marquise'd, Freckletone
Oak: Soft beige-brown - with - Creme de Nude, Blankety
Stripdown: Naked nutmeg - with - Fresh Brew, Myth
Spice: Pink cinnamon stick - with - Viva Glam 5, On Hold
Plum: Potent reddened plum - with - Plumful
Dervish: Low key mauve - with - Fabby, Bombshell, Syrup, Please Me, Angel, Creme Cup, Pink Nouveau
Magenta: Vivid pinkish-purple - with - Milan Mode, Troublemaker
Beet: Vivid reddish-pink - with - Viva Glam Cyndi, Plum Dandy
Chicory: Soft muted peachy-brown - with - Barcelona Red, Ravishing
Cherry: Vivid bright blueish-red - with - Girl About Town
Redd: Bright true red - with - Lady Bug

I hope that this post has been helpful to you all! I know pairing lipsticks with suitable lip liners can be tricky!
Maz x

Coconut & Cherry Cupcakes

I've been baking again and I thought I'd share my latest cakes with you all! These are Cherry and Coconut Cupcakes which are super easy to make!

125g/4 1/2oz softened butter
125g/4 1/2oz Caster Sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla extract
125g/ 4 1/2g Self raising flour
2 tbsp Milk
85g/ 3oz Desiccated Coconut
115g/ 4oz Quartered Glace Cherries for the filling
6-12 Glace Cherries to decorate
Icing Sugar - No exact amount! Just to taste!

1. Pre heat oven to 180c/ 350f/ Gas mark 4. Put 12 cupcake cases into a bun tray.
2. Put the butter and sugar together in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs a little at a time and then beat in the vanilla.
4. Sift in half of the flour and mix then stir in the milk before adding the remaining flour.
5. Fold in the coconut and cherries.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cake cases.
7. Bake the cakes for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
8. When the cakes have cooled mix the icing sugar with some water in a bowl to form a thick paste and spoon onto each cake, finally top each one with a cherry!

Give them a go!
Maz x

Essie French Affair Collection - Review & Swatches

(L to R) Topless and Barefoot, French Affair, Nice is Nice, Coat Azure

Essie has brought out the French Affair collection for Spring 2011. The collection consists of 6 colours and I have 4 of them. They are beautiful pastels colours which are ideal for spring and summer. I purchased the mini collection which contains the 4 polishes above. So on with the swatches!

Topless and Barefoot is a pink-nude colour, it is not the usual colour that I would buy but I really like this! It is more-or-less opaque in 2 coats. I have nothing else like this in my nail polish collection so I am considering buying this in full size.

French Affair is a lovely girlie soft pink and is my favourite of the collection. It was a little streaky and patchy after the first coat but was fully opaque after the second. I love this and will definately be getting it in the full size. (Apologises for the slopping painting)!
Nice is Nice is a dainty lavender and is, in my opinion, a softer version of OPI's Do You Lilac It? Again this was a little streaky after the first coat but opaque after the second.

Coat Azure is a sea blue and kind of the odd one out of the collection! Again this is not the usual sort of nail polish that I would buy but this is nice if you like blues. It is easy to apply and almost opaque after one coat. It has tiny little shimmers that do not show up too well in the picture!

The French Affair collection also includes 2 other polishes - Sand Tropez which is a taupe and Kisses and Bisses which is a pearly ivory. If you own either of these two polishes please comment below with your opinions of them!
You can purchase the mini set here - Essie Spring Collection 2011 4 Piece Mini Color Cube
Maz x


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