Thursday, 30 June 2011

June Favourites

Hi Everyone!
I can't believe that it is the end of June already so it is time for me to share my favourite/ most used beauty items for the month of June!

Mitchum Advanced Control Deodorant: I had to add this to my favourites list as it is a deodorant that I discovered (thanks to my mum) this month and it is amazing! I have been using a Dove underarm deodorant for years now and it's OK but this is incredible. I wore it during a night out in a really hot club and my underarms didn't sweat at all! A big A+
Revlon Photo Ready Foundation: Anyone who has read my blog will know that I am a big fan of Loreal foundations but my mum bought this for me a few months ago and I thought it was OK but I wasn't all that impressed, however a couple of weeks ago I decided to give it another go and really like it now and I can see why it is so popular. I don't think it is as easy to work with as my beloved Loreal True Match but it's finish is great.
Vera Wang Preppy Princess Perfume: I received this fragrance for my birthday at the beginning of the month and I love it, it is a lighter, fruitier version of the original scent which is perfect for the summer months!
Urban Decay Naked Palette: Another appearance from the Naked palette on a favourites list! What a surprise! I love it so much and I am particularly loving to pair Sin and Sidecar together at the moment.
Nails Inc Nail Wraps: Nail wraps are a new discovery for me this month and I wore them during my birthday night out and had so many compliments. I have used two different sets this month and I think that you definitely get better at applying them with practice. The only thing I don't like about them is that I seem to snag my hair on them a lot when I am brushing or styling it which is really annoying but I'll put up with that for great nails!
MAC Lipstick in Marquise d' : This lipstick was from the recent Wonder Woman collection and I think it was a re-promote from a collection a couple of years ago. It is a beautiful shimmery peachy-nude which is a step up from other MAC nude lipsticks such as Myth and Creme d'Nude.
Benefit Bella Bamba Blush: This seems to be the blush that I am constantly reaching for at the moment. It is a gorgeous, bright  pinky-coral shade that has a lovely watermelon scent.
Garnier Eye Roll On: I have used the original Garnier Eye Roll on in the green tube for years now and really like it but this one is the concealer version of it. I purchased it a couple of months ago as it was on offer in my local supermarket! It blends and applies onto your skin really well and I think it is amazing quality for a drugstore concealer.
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink: I have fallen in love with gel liner recently and in particular Bobbi Brown's Black Ink liner. I think the reason that I am a little late with catching on to the whole gel liner trend is because I didn't have a brush that I liked to apply it with until now! I had tried regular eyeliner brushes such as the MAC 209 and 263 but never achieved the desired result with them, I now use the Smashbox Arced Liner 21 brush and it is perfect. It really gives you the control and precision to create the perfect line and a thickness of your choice.

So that concludes my favourites list for June. I hope that you enjoyed it.
Maz x

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Sigma Beauty Bare Eyeshadow Palette

Hi Everyone!
I am so excited to share this eyeshadow palette with you all! It is a brand new product from Sigma that was launched both here in the UK and in the US last Friday (24 June 2011) and it is the Bare Eyeshadow Palette. Sigma has released 3 new palettes including this one. The other two palettes are called Dare and Flare.

The Bare palette contains 8 neutral eyeshadows which all work really well together and a double ended brush. The palette comes in a sleeve which slides off to reveal the palette which is made from really strong cardboard. The palette has a magnetic, snap shut closing, similar to the Urban Decay Naked palette and has a handy mirror on the inside of the lid and a compartment below the shadows for the brush that is included. The shadows are all really nicely pigmented and there is a good selection of shimmery and more matte shades. The shadows are great quality and apply and blend really well. Here are the swatches of the shadows shown on NW20 skin.
(L to R) Shine, Control, Snoop, Hitch, Act, Command, Elope, Approach
Shine: Shine is a highly pigmented black with silver sparkles. I really like this shade as a change from the regular black and I did not have any problems with any fall out as the glitter is not too chunky.
Control: This is a standard black shade with great colour pay off which makes it great to darken up the outer v area or to use as an eyeliner.
Snoop: Snoop is a cool-toned greyish brown colour which is a great colour to use when creating a smokey grey eye.
Hitch: Hitch is a matte chocolate brown which is perfect for an all over lid colour for a more dramatic look or as a crease colour.
Act: Act is a frosty medium brown shade which would also make a great all over lid colour.
Command: This is a beautiful bright golden colour which is similar to Half Baked from Urban Decay's Naked Palette. This would look great applied under the lower lash line for a pop of colour as well as an all over lid colour. This is my favourite shadow from the palette.
Elope: Elope is a pink-toned pale colour which would make a great inner corner colour or brow highlight.
Approach: Approach is similar to Elope but more creamy coloured. It would also make a great inner corner colour or brow highlight. This colour would also blend out any harsh eyeshadow lines really well too.

Each of the 3 new palettes comes with it's own double ended brush and this palette comes with the E30 which is a pencil brush and the E25 blending brush. I was amazed at the quality of these brushes as the brushes that usually come with eyeshadow palettes don't tend to be as good a quality as a brand's mainline brushes.
Overall I think that this palette is amazing and I highly recommend purchasing it. The shadows and the palette itself are really good quality and you won't be disappointed. I imagine that this will be the most popular of the 3 palettes as it contains the neutral shades so buy it quickly!
I purchased my palette for £29.95 from Cocktail Cosmetics you can purchase these palettes from the official Sigma site in the US bly clicking here
Check out my review of the Sigma Flare Eye Shadow Palette by clicking here!
For more pictures of the palette please click in the video below.
Maz x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Coconut & Cherry Cookies

Hi Everyone!
OK this baking thing is become more of an obsession than a hobby at the moment! Cookies are probably my favorite things to make and this week I have made Coconut and cherry ones. I adapted a recipe from an ancient cookbook that my mum owns to make these!

125g (4oz) Butter
75g (3oz) Caster Sugar
1 Egg
150g (5oz) Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
50g (2oz) Desiccated Coconut
125g (4oz) Glace Cherries - Rinsed, Dried and Chopped

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ Gas Mark 5 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl then add the egg and continue to mix.
3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and fold into the wet ingredients.
4. Stir in the coconut and cherries.
5. Place large spoon fulls of the cookie dough onto the baking tray leaving space around each cookie.
6. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes then remove from the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool fully.

I really hope some of you give the cookies a go as they really are delicious and quick and easy to make.
Maz x

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Sigma Eye Brushes

Hi Everyone!

I love Sigma as a brand and I am a huge fan of their make up brushes, they are affordable and amazing quality and are, in my opinion, on par with MAC brushes. I think that Sigma is a brand that is not very well know in the UK but I buy my Sigma brushes from two UK-based websites Love Make up and Cocktail Cosmetics. I have ordered several times from both of these sites and never had any problems at all. I am sure that Sigma products are widely available to buy in the USA via the Sigma Website

This post is going to focus on the Sigma eye brushes that I own and how I use them.

EO5, E65, E20, E30
EO5 Eyeliner Brush: This is a classic pointed eyeliner brush.
E65 Small Angle Brush: This is an angled eyeliner brush which is ideal for creating a flick.
E20 Short Shader Brush: This brush is super short and has very densely packed bristles. You can use this to apply eyeliner or to smudge colour along the lashlines. It will also densely pack colour onto the eyelid.
E30 Pencil Blush: This is a great pencil brush which I think is a little soft and less densely packed than the MAC 219 brush. I use it to smudge colour along the lower lashline, to apply inner corner colour and to define the crease.

E55, E25, E45, E70
E55 Eye Shading Brush: This is an amazing eyeshadow brush that applies pressed and loose shadows really well, the bristles are nicely packed and provide great colour pay off.
E25 Blending Brush: This is a blending brush which is perfect for apply and blending out crease colour. You can also use it to apply colour to the lid too.
E45 Small Tapered Blending Brush: The E45 brush has similar uses to the E25 brush mentioned above but allows a slightly more precise application due to it's tapered tip.
E70 Medium Angled Shading Brush: This is an angled, wedge shaped eyeshadow brush which is great for creating the outer v shape. The bristles aren't too densely packed so you will get a fairly sheer application of colour.

E40, E50, E60
E40 Tapered Blending Brush: This is one of my favourite brushes from Sigma and is a must have! I mainly use it to blend out my eyeshadows. I use it empty or with a flesh coloured shadow to get rid of any harsh lines. I also use it to apply a sheer wash of lid colour.
E50 Large Fluff Brush: This is a really large shadow brush that can be used to apply colour to the lid but I mainly use it to apply my brow highlight colour and to blend out any harsh lines. It is big enough to also apply highlight to your cheek bones.
E60 Large Shader Brush: This is a large eyeshadow brush with synthetic bristles. It is great for apply loose or pressed shadows all over the lid and is also excellent for apply emollient based products such as MAC's paint pots.

I do not own the entire range of Sigma eyeshadow brushes but I'm working on it! Sigma brushes are amazing and are of similar quality to the much more expensive MAC brushes, I have owned them for a long time and they have all washed really well and I have had no problems with bristle shedding.
I hope that you have found this post useful, please click here to read my post about Sigma's Face brushes.
Maz x

Friday, 24 June 2011

OPI Sparrow Me the Drama - Review & Swatch

OPI Nail Lacquer, Pirates Of The Caribbean Collection, Sparrow Me the Drama, 0.5 Fluid Ounce
Hi Everyone!
This week's nails of the week is Sparrow me the Drama from OPI's Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides Collection. OPI describe this lacquer hot pink hue but to me it is more of a medium pinky - mauve that reminds me of strawberry ice cream! It is a great summer colour that makes a change from the usual bright summer colours.

I applied my usual Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat followed by 2 coats of Sparrow me the Drama and then one coat of Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat. The polish was around 90% opaque after the 2 coats. You can only tell on very close inspection that the nail line is still slightly visible.
Just for fun I then added a nail art sticker to the my ring finger on both hands!

I have also swatched and reviewed Steady as she Rose from the Pirates of the Caribbean Collection so check out the post! I ordered my polish from John Lewis for £10.50 and you can also get it from Amazon here: OPI Nail Lacquer, Pirates Of The Caribbean Collection, Sparrow Me the Drama, 0.5 Fluid Ounce
4 stars out of 5 for this polish from me!
Maz x

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Hi Everyone!
I have been busy baking once again and this week I decided to make some muffins. I can't remember if I have ever made them before but they have turned out really well even if I do say so myself! Here's how to make them.

275g (10oz) Plain Flour
4 Level tsp Baking Powder
4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
75g (3oz) Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
225ml (8 fl.oz) Milk
110g (4oz) Melted Butter
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
75g (3oz) Plain Chocolate Chips
75g (3oz) White Chocolate Chips

1. Pre heat the oven to 200c/ 400f/ Gas Mark 6 and place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tin.
2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the melted butter, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and then add the chocolate chips to make a lumpy batter.
5. Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.
6. Remove the muffins from the oven and leave in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

These muffins are delicious and simple to make! I used a recipe from The Chocolate Source
Have a go!
Maz x

Benefit You Rebel & The Pore-Fessional

Hi Everyone!

I went to have a look at a new drugstore that has opened near to my house this morning and ended up buying a few things from the Benefit counter. I have never really used many Benefit products before but I've heard many good things about them. The sales assistant informed me that Benefit are the second post popular cosmetics brand in the UK behind Chanel! She showed me lots of products and I would have loved them all, I especially like Sugarbomb and Girl Meets Pearl (I have this on at them moment and it smells amazing, I'll have to go back and get it at some point) but I decided to go for You Rebel and The Pore-Fessional.

You Rebel (£23.50 in the UK): This is a tinted moisturiser with SPF 15. This product claims to give you 'complexion coverage, moisture and SPF protection all in one.' The assistant also told me that it changes slightly as your skin tans during the summer monthes so there is no need to by a lighter one for winter and a darker one for summer which is great. She also informed me that you can mix this with your regular foundation to give you the moisture benefits and SPF protection. She picked out the Medium one for me and I was worried that this would be too dark for me as I usually go for paler foundations but this looks fine on me and blends in really well leaving no lines. She also said that the best way to apply this foundation is with your fingers and not with a brush or sponge. I think that it would give a decent amount of coverage coupled with your setting powder. I'm impressed!

The Pore-Fessional (£23.50 in the UK): This is described as a professional balm to minimize the appearance of pores. I have large open pores on my cheeks and smaller, visible ones on my nose. This balm can be applied under or over your makeup on your problem areas. The balm is tan coloured when you squeeze it out of the tube but dries translucent so won't show up under or over your foundation and stick out. I pat a small amount onto my cheeks and blend it in using my fingers. The balm dries to a lovely, silky texture and has definitely made my pores less visible.

If, like me, you have not tried many Benefit products I would recommend visiting a counter and taking a look! It is very expensive but is really good quality and has the cutest packaging. I have previously tried one of their lipsticks that I wasn't too impressed with and their Bella Bamba blush that I love. I am really impressed with You Rebel and the Pore-Fessional and I can see a new brand addiction coming!

Maz x

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Top 5 NYX Blushes

Nyx Powder Blush- Peach (Pbo6)
Hi Everyone!
I am a huge fan of NYX cosmetics and in particular their blushes. There is a huge range of colours available that are super affordable (around £7.95 each in the UK). I find that the powders are really nicely pigmented and are silky smooth to blend into your skin.
Here are my top 5 NYX blushes (swatches shown on NW20 skin).
(L to R) Peach, Angel, Silky Rose, Pinky, Taupe

1. Peach: This is a highly pigmented peachy-pink blush.
2. Angel: Angel is a classic sheer pink blush colour.
3. Silky Rose: I find Silky Rose to be quite similar to Angel but slightly browner.
4. Pinky: This is a bright dolly-pink that reminds me a little of MAC's Dollymix.
5. Taupe: I use Taupe as a contouring powder and it works amazingly well! (I have NW20 skin).

Let me know what your favourite NYX blushes are!
NYX blushes are available to buy from NYX
Maz x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Crackle/ Shatter Nail Polish Top Coats Review

Hi Guys!
Shatter/ Crackle top coats are a relatively new product on the market and are already really popular! All of the top nail polish brands are bringing their own versions of these top coats out and they are a great way of quickly adding some nail art to your nails with very little effort or skill!
I own 3 of these types of top coats,
Barry M Instant Nail Effects in Black Magic
China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Fault Line
OPI Silver Shatter
I have applied a coat of each of these over 2 coats of OPI's La Paz-itively Hot so you can see which apply and crackle the best! So let's get started!

OPI Silver Shatter: This is the most expensive of the top coats, priced at around £9.95 in the UK. I purchased mine from Tiffany Nail Supplies which currently offer another 6 shatter colour options, Black, Blue, Red, Turquoise and White. I was so excited to try this one as the silver colour is so eye catching and sparkly but it hasn't really shown up against the pink polish all that well. I think that it would look better over a dark purple or black. It cracked OK but not amazingly well and it's consistency didn't seem as thick as the other two. I would only give it 3 out of 5 stars for the crackle effect as the other two seemed to crack better!

China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Fault Line: This is the mid-range polish priced at around £5.50 - £7 in the UK. I purchased my bottle from Beverly Beaute and they currently offer 5 other crackle colour options, Broken Hearted (Pink) Crushed Candy (Mint Green) Black Mesh (Black) Cracked Concrete (Grey/ Silver) and Lightening Bolt (White). I love the purple one as purple is my favourite colour and I think that this looks great paired with the pink polish underneath. The polish was thick but easy to apply and, as you can see, has cracked quite well. I would give this 3 and a half stars out of 5.

Barry M Instant Nail Effects in Black Magic: This is the cheapest of the 3 polishes priced at £3.99 in the UK and is by far my favourite! This definitely cracked the best out of the 3! I think that the black colour is great over a brighter polish and will certainly get you noticed! I have owned this bottle of polish for around 6 month's now and it has pretty much dried out (I thinned it down using nail polish remover in order to swatch it) which is a bit disappointing, however, the price is low so buying another bottle wouldn't be too bad! I would give this polish 4 and a half stars out of 5! I would of given it the full 5 is it wasn't for the polish drying up. Barry M nail effects are currently available in 3 other colours, Pink Fizz, Blue Print and White Frost, you can buy them from Boots and Superdrug stores in the UK or online at the Barry M website.

I think that all 3 of these polishes are great and a fun and easy way to make your nails look more exciting! I have not owned or used the OPI and China Glaze polishes for very long so I can not say whether they will dry up as quickly as the Barry M one did. I think that the Barry M polish is by far the best choice as it is the lowest price and crackled the best. I would advise applying a clear top coat over the polishes as that makes them pop more!

I hope that you found this post helpful!
Maz x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

NYX Smokey Look Collection - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
I am super excited to share this product with you, it is the Smokey Look Collection from NYX Cosmetics. I purchased this from NYX UK for £19.95 (Free p&p is currently available). I am sure that many of you are familiar with NYX's smokey look kits that contain 9 eyeshadow shades with 2 lip colours (see my review of the NYX Nude on Nude Look Kit) and this kit combines all 4 of these kits, Nude on Nude, Purple, Bronze and Smokey so you have every eyeshadow colour that you need to create the perfect smokey eye.
As well as tons of eyeshadows the kit contains 3 blushes, 2 bronzers, a highlighter, 4 concealers, 12 glitter creams, a black pencil eyeliner and loads of lip colours. This palette is such amazing value as all of the products, especially the eyeshadows are such good quality.
Here are the swatches of the eyeshadow colours (shown on NW20 skin) I swatched each set of 8 colours from top to bottom. (I did not swatch the quads at the top if the eyeshadow section).

As you can see, some of the colours are much more pigmented than others and a lot of colours come off very similar to one another! I think that there are some real gems in the set, in particular from the third set along which includes the golden colours, if you like MAC eyeshadows such as Woodwinked and Amber Lights you will like this. I think that for the money the shadows are great.
Here are the swatches of the bronzer, highlighter, contour powder and blushes,
I was shocked at the quality and pigmentation of the blushes! They are really great. They are all pink shades so if you prefer more coral coloured blushes you will be disappointed, however, as far as blushes that usually come in sets like this, these are amazing!
The bronzer is a lovely shade of brown and doesn't contain too much shimmer which is great. The highlighter also does not contain any shimmer or glitter but doesn't show up too well on my skin, I am quite pale though! The contour powder is very pigmented but would be far too dark to use on my skin tone (NW20).
I began to swatch the lip colours but their colour pay-off is really poor. I can't imagine that I will be using them to be honest! The glitter creams are really hard to swatch due to their gritty texture but I can have a try at swatching them if you would like! I have recently posted an article about one of NYX's Glitter Cream Palettes so check that out if you require more information on how to apply them! The concealers that are included in the kit are pretty standard colours. The eyeliner that is included is a short black pencil.
Overall this kit is amazing value for money and makes a really useful addition to your collection. Some of the products are a bit hit and miss. As I mentioned I really like the golden coloured shadows and the blushes. The lip colours are a bit disappointing.
For more pictures of the kit please watch the video below.
Overall 4 out of 5 stars from me!
Maz x

Saturday, 18 June 2011

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos

Hi All,
MAC has recently released some new Mineralize eyeshadows for 2011. The colour selection is amazing. I was given 2 of the duo's for my recent birthday in This & That and Thunder & Rain.
Here are their swatches shown on NW20 skin followed by their descriptions:

This & That: Frost beige rose/ Satin light beige
Thunder & Rain: Frost blue purple/ Satin grey

The eyeshadows have a really smooth texture and are really nicely pigmented. Mineralize eyeshadows can be used either wet or dry, when using them wet I first spray some Fix + onto my brush (the MAC 239 and 242 work well for this) then load the shadow onto the brush. The colours are much richer when applied wet but still blend well.
I am sure that This & That will be a really popular choice, the beige colour makes a great inner eye and brow highlight colour and the brown is beautiful as an all over wash of colour.
Thunder & Rain is right up my street! The purple colour is beautiful and would look great paired with Digit and Carbon to create a gorgeous purple smokey eye. The grey colour is you standard smokey grey colour that can be used with the purple or other colours such as blue and silver.
Overall these eyeshadows are great, they are quite expensive (£15.50 in the UK) but you do get quite a lot of product for your money. There are currently 10 other colour options on the MAC UK website and all colours look great when paired with each other. I think that the duo's are also especially great when you are in a rush and don't have time to look through your makeup collection to find 2 colours that work well together!
Overall 4 stars out of 5!
Maz x

NYX Glitter Cream Palette

NYX Glitter Cream Palette 07 Royal Violets

Hi Everyone
This is a review with swatches on the NYX Glitter Cream Palette in 07 Royal Violets. The palette comes with 5 glitter cream shadows, 3 are pinky-purple colours, 1 is gold and the last one is a dark grey-black colour. 2 double ended sponge tipped applicators are also included in the palette.
Here are the swatches shown on NW20 skin.

Swatches shown from left to right
As you can see, the shadows are pretty difficult to apply to the skin due to their rather gritty texture. Some apply easier than others which is a little strange. NYX claim that these shadows can be applied to the entire body if you so desire but I would only like them on my eyes!
I have owned this palette since last Christmas but haven't used it too much. It has taken me a while to play with it and work out the best way to use it. I eventually concluded that the sponge-tipped applicators that come with the palette work much better than any of my usual eye brushes. I pack the glitter creams onto my eye over an eye primer. I then pack a suitable pressed shadow over the top of them to seal in the glitter. I find that this looks really good and lasts quite a long time without creasing. I wouldn't imagine that they would stay crease-free for very long without the addition of the pressed shadow. The glitter shows through the pressed shadow really well and adds some sparkle to your eyes without being 'too much'.
Surprising I did not get too much fall out from the shadows, I presume due to their cream/ gel-like base which does score them some points over a loose glitter. They are a little harder to remove than your regular eyeshadows but not too much.
Overall, I would recommend these palettes as they add some sparkle to your eyes for that special night out and are super affordable. They do however take quite a lot of work to build up on the eyelid.
I would give this palette 3 and a half stars out of 5!
Maz x

Thursday, 16 June 2011

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

Hi Everyone!
Once again I have been busy baking in the kitchen! Baking cakes is fast becoming one of my favourite things to do. I think it's the achievement factor that I love and I have even been out and purchased an apron! (No more flour/ icing sugar all over me!) I made some giant chocolate chip cookies last week and they went so well that I thought I'd give some more cookies a go this week! I scrolled through various recipes on the Internet and finally decided on these white chocolate and cranberry's ones from the Good Food Channel which I changed slightly!

150g Butter
150g Plain Flour
50g Ground Almonds
50g Porridge Oats
50g Dried Cranberries
50g Brown Sugar
50g Caster Sugar
100g White Chocolate, cut into chunks
1 Large Egg Yolk

1. Pre heat oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow to cool
3. Sift the flour into a bowl and then add the ground almonds, oats, cranberries, brown sugar, caster sugar and the white chocolate chunks and mix each ingredient in well
4. Mix the melted butter with the egg yolk and then pour this into the mixed dry ingredients and stir to combine together
5. Use your hands to form walnut sized balls of dough and place them onto greased or lined baking trays ensuring that there is a gap between each ball of dough.
6. Flatten each cookie gently and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Take the trays out of the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the trays for a while before transferring them onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

These cookies smell and taste amazing and are really straight-forward to make! You can use milk chocolate if you prefer and use raisins or sultanas in place of the cranberry's. Give them a go, you'll love them!
Maz x

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Illamasqua Purity - Review & Swatch

Hi Guys!
This week's nails of the week is Purity by Illamasqua. Purity is from the current Toxic Nature collection and is a bold, vibrant pastel peach colour. This is the first Illamasqua nail polish that I have tried and I was prompted to try one as I have heard good things about them online and they have won a Cosmopolitan Beauty Award in 2010. Anyone who has read my blog knows that I am a huge fan of OPI polishes so I have to compare this polish to OPI ones. The brush is much narrower than an OPI brush which makes application slower but more precise. I applied my OPI Base Coat followed by 2 coats of Purity and then 1 coat of Seche Vite Top Coat. The nail lacquer consistency is quite thick and did take quite a long time to dry but did have a nice even, streak free finish.
Illamasqua polishes are priced at £13.50 in the UK which makes them around £3.50 more expensive than OPI and Essie and I really don't think that they are worth the extra money. I think that OPI and Essie dry quicker and have a much larger variety of colour choices. I do, however love Purity's colour so if you really like this specific colour then I would recommend it.
Let me know what you guys think of Illamasqua polishes, especially if you have experienced a really good one!
3 stars out of 5 from me!
Maz x

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Good-to-go

Hi all,

I really wanted to write a short post about Benefit's Silky Finish Lipstick in Good-to-go. This is one of the very few non MAC lipsticks in my collection. I have to admit that I purchased it after reading that it was the lipstick used on Kristin Stewart's character Bella in the first Twilight Movie! I am such a big fan of The Twilight Saga so I had to snap it up! Another Silky Finish Lipstick by Benefit called Ms Behavin' was apparently used on the Cullen Family in the movie but I'm pretty sure that it has been discontinued in the UK.
Here is the swatch shown on NW20 skin:

The lipstick is a brownish-plum colour and is lovely. It is kind of a plummy version of MAC's Viva Glam 5 lipstick and is great for day or night. The silky finish lipsticks are a little like MAC's Slimshine lipsticks which I don't think are available any more. They provide you with the application and pigmentation of a lipstick and give you the shine of a lipgloss which is great. I could liken them to MAC's new Sheen Supreme Lipsticks. I own 3 Sheen Supreme lipstick's and I have to say that I slightly prefer them to the Benefit one as I felt that it dried out my lips a little and didn't stay in place as well as the MAC ones do.
As I previously mentioned my reason for buying this product was due to it's use in the first Twilight movie so I will always love it for that! If you are looking for this type of lipstick I would recommend the MAC Sheen Supreme's over the Benefit Silky Finishes!
The lipstick is priced at £14 in the UK.
Maz x

Monday, 13 June 2011

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks

Full Speed, Ultra Darling, Can't Resist
Hi Everyone!

This is a post about MAC's new Sheen Supreme Lipsticks, I own 3 of these in Full Speed, Ultra Darling and Can't Resist. These lipsticks are great as they give you the application and pigmentation of a lipstick and the shine of a lipgloss with being gloopy or sticky.
Here are the swatches shown on NW20 skin followed by their official descriptions:

Full Speed, Ultra Darling, Can't Resist

Full Speed: Bright clean yellow pink
Ultra Darling: Mid-tone yellow pink
Can't Resist: Golden purplish red
Full Speed is a gorgeous bright, almost neon-looking pink that is not as scary as it looks in the tube! I love this colour to brighten up my face on a summers day. Ultra Darling is my favourite of the 3 lipsticks and is a beautiful coral pink. Can't resist is a deep berry shade that is so sophisticated and really complements a brown smokey eye for a night out on the town.
The lipsticks glide on to your lips really smoothly and feels really moisturising. The consistency of the lipstick does feel a little thicker than the normal MAC lipsticks but they are still very comfortable to wear and stay on really well. I know that Benefit and Chanel have brought out their own versions of a lipstick-lipgloss fusion too, I have tried one of the Benefit ones and found that it dried out my lips and I haven't tried a Chanel one yet.
I would recommend these lipsticks to anyone who wants that extra bit of gloss without compromising on colour pigmentation.
5 stars out of 5 from me!
The Lipsticks are priced at £13.50 in the UK and are currently available in 14 shades.
Maz x

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Trendy Cheetalicious Purple Nail Wraps

Hi Everyone!

Some of you may have read my previous post about the Trendy Nail Wraps in Cheetalicious Pink and I loved them so much that I went out and got the Purple ones! Purple is my favourite colour so I like these even more!
(Please check out my other post on the pink wraps for details on how to apply them!)
These wraps are pretty expensive but are so great for a special event or night out. It is my birthday night out tonight and I think that they are ideal for that!
I found the pink wraps to be quite long wearing and they didn't chip at all, However, they did start to lift around the cuticles (this may have been due to my less than perfect application!) and they where snagging and catching on my hair which was very annoying!
I realised after applying the wraps that there where no instructions on how to remove them on the packet! I searched on the Internet for a guide and found one site suggesting that I should soak my nails in nail polish remover for 10 minutes which I didn't really fancy doing so I decided to heat each nail individually using a hair dryer to soften the glue, I then peeled each wrap off fairly easily and then removed any excess glue left on my nails using nail polish remover.
I hope that you have all enjoyed this post and give them a go!
Maz x


90210: The Third Season

Hi Everyone!
Please note: Do not read this if you have not watched the 90210 Season 3 finale. (Spoilers Included).
Well I seem to have started a trend of writing about my favourite TV shows (I have already done The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl!) so I thought that I would continue that with a short post about another program that I love, 90210.
I can just about remember the first 90210 way back in the 90s but this post will, obviously, be about the latest show! Season 3 has just finished here in the UK and I was a little disappointed with the finale. I think that GG and TVD had such amazing finales that the 90210 finale seemed like a little bit of an anti climax in comparison. That said it was good! I love the Ivy-Raj storyline! The wedding was amazing and her makeup was gorgeous! She should wear it like that more often! Her lipstick reminded me of MAC's Viva Glam 1. I really wish Raj wasn't dying though, it's so sad.
I am really glad that it has come out about Adrianna's pill swapping. It frustrates me so much when something like that is happening in a show and no one has worked it out! (It's not real life - I know!) Silver is my favourite character in the show and I really hope that she gets a second chance to go to the college of her choice.
The Naomi-Max storyline is so sweet if a little unbelievable! She (similarly to Blair in GG) is pregnant! I can't imagine her with a baby, it would be a little like her sister Jen with a baby - not good! Can't wait to see how that plays out next season.
Season 4 returns in September/ October 2011 in the US but we here in the UK are always a few months behind so maybe January 2012 at a guess. Apparently season 4 will focus on the characters going off to college so the characters of Ryan and Debbie will not be included which is a bit of a shame in my opinion.
You can pre order the Season 3 box set from Amazon here - 90210: The Third Season in the US and from Amazon UK.
Maz x

Friday, 10 June 2011

My Birthday Presents!

Hi Everyone!
I am sure that anyone who has read my blog will know that it was my birthday recently and I thought that it would be fun to share my beauty-related gifts with you all!

Vera Wang Preppy Princess Perfume: I am a huge fan of the original Vera Wang Princess Perfume and I have wanted to try this one as soon as it came out! The bottle is so gorgeous and looks great next to my original bottle on my dressing table. I looked into what scents are included in the perfume and found that it contains tangerine, apple, red berries, honeysuckle, jasmine and coconut water, I am not too good at identifying individual scents but I can definately pick up the red berries. I think it smells amazing and is, in my opinion, lighter and fruitier than the original perfume. I love it!
Chanel Nail Lacquer in Paradoxal: I am sure that a lot of you have heard of and probably purchased this cult Chanel polish! I have seen pictures of it online but I didn't realise how beautiful and unique it was until I saw it in the bottle. It is a greyish-plum colour with purple and red reflects. I have never seen a colour like it before!
MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos: I received 2 of the new MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo's from my best friend in Thunder & Rain and This & That. They both look amazing and I am thrilled with them. I will write a post shortly reviewing them both. 
Nails Inc Nail Wraps: I tried some of the Trendy Nail Wraps a couple of days ago and loved them so much that I picked up a couple more from Nails Inc using my birthday money. The Nails Inc technician that served me told me that the same company that makes the nail wraps for Trendy also makes the Nails Inc ones which explains why they look so similar! I love using these wraps for special nights out and they get a lot of comments when you have them on! I chose Pink Cheetah and Leopard Print Purple.
ASP Complete Nail Art Kit: This was a gift from one of my friends and it is so me! I can't wait to play with it. It contains glitters and all sorts of nail gems such as flowers, tear drops and stars in really pretty colours.
Thomas Sabo Gummy Bear Charm: OK so this technically isn't beauty related but I really wanted to add it. This charm is for my Thomas Sabo bracelet that I absolutely love. I recently wrote a post about the bracelet so check it out!

Didn't I do well? Ha ha well I think so anyway! I am so pleased with all of my birthday presents! I wish I had a birthday more often, although I don't like getting older very much!
I hope that you have enjoyed sharing my birthday with me!
Maz x

My Favourite Neutral Eyeshadows

Hi Everyone!
These are my favourite neutral eyeshadow colours. These are more flesh toned colours that I use as a eyeshadow base to neutralise my skin colour, as a brow highlight and as an all-over wash of colour for a more subtle look. They are also great for blending out harsh eyeshadow lines. (Swatches shown on NW20 skin).

(L to R) Bisque, Blanc Type, Brule, Dazzlelight

(L to R) Kitten, Phloof!, Shroom, Virgin

MAC BISQUE: Soft muted pinky-beige (Matte)
MAC BLANC TYPE: Creamy beige (Matte)
MAC BRULE: Soft muted creamy-beige (Satin)
MAC DAZZLELIGHT: Neutral with silver/copper reflects
STILA KITTEN: Pinky bronze
MAC PHLOOF!: Frosted off-white (Frost)
MAC SHROOM: Soft muted golden beige with opalescent shimmer (Satin)
URBAN DECAY VIRGIN: Pale shimmered nude beige

Please note that some of the shadows may have been discontinued from the main collections but may be available to but in CCO store or as re promotes in upcoming collections.
I hope that you have enjoyed my favourite neutral eyeshadows, please check out my other favourite eyeshadow posts!
Maz x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Glamour Magazine - Free Benefit Gift

Hi Guys!

I just wanted to let you all know that the July 2011 UK edition of Glamour magazine (priced at £2) comes with a free gift from Benefit. You can choose between a mini-sized High Beam, Bene Tint or Posie Tint.

High Beam is described as a luminescent complexion enhancer and is priced at £18.50 for the full size (7.0g Net wt. 0.25oz). It is a pink toned highlighter for the cheek and brow bones.

Bene Tint is a rosey pink stain for the lips and cheeks and is usually priced at £24.50 for the the full sized product (12.5ml/ 0.40 US fl. oz).

Posie Tint is described as a poppy pink stain for the cheeks and lips and is priced at £24.50 for the full size product (12.5ml/ 0.42 US fl. oz).

As you can see I went for the bottle of High Beam as I have wanted to try it for quite a while now. The bottle is 4.0ml/ 0.13 US fl.oz. and I presume the other 2 mini-sized products will be a similar size. I think that this is a great way to try such an expensive, cult product for £2 plus you get to read the magazine!
High Beam has quite a thick consistency and a little goes a very long way. The applicator is similar to a nail polish brush but i would suggest applying it to your skin with your finger rather than directly from the brush so as not to use too much and waste the product. The product gives your cheekbones a lovely sheen which isn't too shiny. It doesn't contain too much shimmer and glitter like many other highlighters do which is a nice change that gives you a more subtle look. Would I but the product in full size? After using this sample I would say probably yes!

Maz x


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