Sunday, 31 January 2010

Mascara: ELF Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing

ELF Cosmetics don't have a very large range of mascaras and so far this is the only one I have tried. Mine is in "Dark Brown" which is unusual for me as I normally buy the black one. I will be buying the black one very soon though.

This mascara is part of the ELF Studio range and is available for £3.50 from ELF Cosmetics. It is available in both brown and black and also a non-waterproof version.

The packaging is basic, as is true of the whole Studio line. I do like the sleek black packaging, it looks more expensive than it is! This tube is designed a little differently than most of the other mascaras I have. You'll notice from the photo on the left that the lid is very long, and the part that holds the product is quite short. This means that the wand inside the tube is very short. As you are holding the lid very close to the wand, I have found that I have much more control when applying this mascara. Normally, the wand is quite long and you're holding the other end to the one that you're trying not to poke yourself in the eye with!

The wand is quite simple, none on the fancy stuff that the high street brands are so fond of! It's one of the stiff haired wands, not a the soft plastic, and there is no flex. It's shaped so that it's wider in the middle than at either end and the bristles are spiraled around the wand.

I really do think the application photos can speak for themselves! There is a huge amount of extra length, without the use of annoying fibres, and there is a decent amount of extra volume. Not as much as I would get from just a volumizing mascara, but this one is doing both.

I don't usually have an issue with smearing mascara, but this is waterproof so it shouldn't be an issue at all (unless you have very, very oily skin). It doesn't come off with a regular eye make up remover, but does with the two level ones (they have an oil layer) and cleansing oil.

This is a mascara that I plan on keeping in my collection. It's cheap and it does a wonderful job.

This product was sent to me for free to review, it has no effect on the review I give.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

WTF is a Scrublet?

I follow quite a few of the American bloggers who have access to a completely different range of products to me. One of my favourites is Nouveau Cheap who is all about beauty on a budget. While I can't get to Target and CVS, for example, I do love reading about what she's been buying and reviewing.

Recently, she showcased a cleanser from L'Oreal called Go 360 Clean Deep which came with a pop-out Scrublet. It's basically a rubberised gentle exfoliator. I thought it looked pretty interesting and made a note of it on my "if it ever shows up in the UK" mental list I try and keep.

So, you can guess that I was pretty surprised to find this when mooching around Tesco this evening.

Not the same name or bottle, but it has a Scrublet! I'm assuming it's the usual "let's release it in another country and pretend it's something entirely different" thing that big brands like to do. I always pick up the sensitive range for drugstore skincare. My skin isn't exactly sensitive but the regular ranges tend to be way too drying for me.

This was found in the reduced to clear section of my teeny local Tesco. I'm not sure if it's a discontinued product as I've never seen it before (I'm waiting for everyone in the UK to tell me they've been using it for years!). Maybe it was a box of excess stock or a trial product? Anyway, it was reduced to £2.99 from £3.32.

The Scrublet is a very soft, flexible, nobbled thing. I just ran it over my face and it doesn't feel rough or scratchy.

I think I need to check out the clearance section more often.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Haul: Detrivore Cosmetics

I do apologize for all the haul posts lately, but everything has been arriving all at once. I've got more stuff I haven't even shown you yet, and more on the way!

Detrivore is a mineral brand that has been getting a lot of love off the bloggers out there who love minerals. They have a webstore and also an Etsy shop. I ordered from the Etsy shop.

I ordered the 50 sample set of their eye shadows which also came with a primer. The set cost $23.00, along with $3.00 postage to the UK. It took 2 weeks to arrive from my order date. I didn't get a notice to say it had shipped and my Etsy account is still telling me hasn't been posted.

The samples all came in little bags. As I've said, I hate bags to use but have no objections to getting them in bags. I would have hated to get 50 samples in jars! It's no issue getting some jars myself anyway. The samples seem quite generous compared to other mineral samples I have received in the past so I'm going to get plenty of use out of them.

The colours do look interesting and they're one of the companies who are known to blend their own colours rather than just repackage. One issue I do have is that their pictures on Etsy do look over saturated. Some of my shadows just aren't as rich as the pictures show, I don't think it's just mine as it looks the same on other blogs. They're not complex colours (such as The She Space or Sassy), but they look well thought out and there's a good range of shades. I've only had a quick look through the samples and there don't seem to be any colours that don't work.

I'll give the primer a good go as I've heard very mixed reviews on it.

I must admit, I do adore the names of the eye shadows! Having and eye shadow called "Saprophyte" makes me very happy indeed. I think the labels are quite lovely as well.

I swatched some for you, there's no way I was doing all 50 tonight!

Just swatched with a damp cotton bud (as usual). Left to right:


I love "Vile", I don't think I have anything else like it. It's a gorgeous flat metallic mustard gold. Quite unusual.

I'll be doing some FOTDs with these, and doing a proper review once I've done more than go "ooooh, pretty!".

Review: Korres Thyme Honey Skincare

I was asked a little while back if I'd like to try a couple of items from Korres. I was sent a cleansing scrub and moisturising mask from the thyme honey range which is good for normal to dry skin. I have pretty normal skin that veers towards oily in the summer and dry in the winter.

They are both available at I think they're part of the permanent line, but I could be wrong, I don't see a limited edition section.

-Thyme Honey Cleansing Scrub (40ml) €19.00
-Thyme Honey Moisturising Mask (40ml) €24.20

The products come in quite sturdy cardboard boxes, with an extra cover with the English version of the product information. The primary box contains the information in Greek. The boxes are also stamped with batch information and an expiry date, which is repeated on the actual product. All the packaging is marked as recyclable which is stated on the box. There is also a long list of "Formula Facts" giving more information about the ingredients. For example, it shows the natural content percentage and then there is a list marked "yes" or "no" for items such as mineral oil, parabens, animal testing, nuts, alcohol, along with several others. Pretty useful if you are wanting to avoid certain ingredients.

The first item I have been using is the Cleansing Scrub. I was quite pleased to find a hygiene seal on the end of the tube. The scrub itself is a thick cream that smells on honey. The scrub componant is walnut shell and bamboo particles. I massage it onto wet skin and rinse off. I found them a little too large and rough on my skin. I prefer the texture of the micro scrubs, rather than these large particles. I have been using this only once a week as I think it would be too harsh on my skin to use more often. My skin feels quite soft after using the scrub, which I believe is from the honey, but also feels a little dry. I definitely need to follow with a moisturiser.

The Moisture Mask is a very thick cream product. You're meant to apply it after you've used the scrub. I applied a fairly thick layer over my skin wand waited 10 minutes as it says on the box before washing off. I had to apply quite a thick layer as all the mask was being absorbed by my skin as I was applying it. Before the 10 minutes were up my skin felt very tight and dried. I washed the mask off after 10 minutes and again my skin felt very smooth but tight and dry. I had to apply a rich moisturiser after I had washed off the mask. So I don't think this has worked for my skin at all. Shame really as it smells really amazing.

Both products mentioned in this review were provided for free by a PR contact. This has no bearing on the type of review I give.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Haul: The Body Shop 23/01/10

This is quite possibly the most awesomely bargaintastic haul I have ever hauled. I am impressed with myself.

This little lot cost me the grand total of £21.90. Some of these items were on clearance so I'm hoping I don't fall in love too much!

-Deep Cleansing Pore Pads £1.00 (x2)
-Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream £0.00 (3for2 offer)
-Head Band £3.50 (x2)
-Green Apple, Fuzzy Peach Shower Gels 2 for £6.00
-Black Velvet Apricot Shower Nectar £2.00
-Black Velvet Apricot Body Polish £2.00
-Peach Body Butter £3.00
-Liquid Lip Colour "Fuchsia Flush" £3.00
-Hemp Hand Protector £5.00

I have a Love Your Body card so I received 10% off, plus I has reached the £5.00 discount level. Three of the items are for Mum as I couldn't find anything else I fancied. I'm almost tempted to work out how much it all cost at full price. I absolutely adore the smell of the Black Velvet Apricot products, I probably should have bought at least another shower nectar (posh way of saying shower gel, I assume). Aahhh, the website tells me the Black Velvet Apricot body butter is also on clearance. I didn't see any at my store, unfortunately.

Haul: Clarins 23/01/10

I don't think I've ever had anything from Clarins before. Today I was just mooching around House of Fraser in Lincoln and ended up at the Clarins counter. I see it mentioned quite frequently on blogs so it is one of those brands that I planned on having a look at but just never getting round to it. The counter had a gift with purchase offer (gwp) on where you could pick 4 mini products with a bag if you bought one skincare and one cosmetic product.

I bought the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer. I'm pretty sure I'd seen some pretty good reviews on it so I thought I'd have a go. It's got a pretty interesting texture, almost solid compared to other primers I have. That was £23.00, not bad for a high-end brand primer. My Mum chose a lipstick as there was nothing else calling out to me.

I chose the following mini sizes:
-Instant Smooth Primer 4ml
-Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream 15ml
-HydraQuench Lotion 15ml
-Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

The extra primer was for my Mum as she wanted to try it as well. I'm quite pleased with the bag as I didn't have a decent sized travel bag. The sizes of the minis are pretty good as well, I'm going to get to give these a really good try rather than just a single use that you'd get from a sample or sachet.

If my first attempt at Clarins is successful then I expect I'll try more of their products. The assistant at the counter was also very helpful without being pushy which I was very pleased with. She answered the questions we had about the primer before I bought it and tried out several shades of lipstick with Mum to make sure she had the right shade.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Mascara: Collection 2000 Collagen Curl

I bought this a while back when it was on offer at Tesco. Tesco are actually having a promotion on all Collection 2000 products until about the second week of February: everything is under £3.50. It was about £3.50 when I bought it and the regular price is below £5.00. Collection 2000 has a few mascaras in the line but not as many as Rimmel, for example.

Available from the usual places that sell Collection 2000 such as Tesco, Boots, Superdrug, etc.

I actually bought this as a possible replacement for my L'Oreal Panoramic Curl as that one is discontinued. It doesn't even come close, by the way.

The tube is a lovely purpley-pink with yellow writing and swirls. I'm wondering if all the money got spent on the tube and not so much on the product inside. The wand looks fantastic. It's got a very sharp curve and really grabs hold of my lashes. However, nothing else really seems to happen. From the way the wand feels, I should have a really good coating of the mascara. Have a look at the pictures and see what you think:

I must point out that I had actually curled my lashes with my eye lash curler. I did also try it without curling and there was no curl at all. You can see some colour on my lashes, but a black mascara covers the lighter ends to the lash hairs giving the appearance of extra length. It is described on the tube as curling and adding volume. Nope, I don't see any of that.

It really is a disappointing mascara. I couldn't tell you about how well it lasts as when I've tried to use this, I've just given up and applied something else over the top. I've used Collection 2000 mascaras in the past and thought that they're not too bad, if a little on the wet side. I've got plans to review more of their mascaras in the future, I hope they work out better than this one did.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Review: Coastal Scents Undercover HD Foundation

Before I get going on this review, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads and follows my blog! I noticed this morning that my followers have reached the grand total of 500! I'm so tempted to have a little giveaway when I hit 666 followers. Wonder if anyone would be up for that....

So, Coastal Scents Undercover High Definition Foundation. Available at Coastal Scents in 14 shades. Costs $16.95 for 30ml (1 fl. oz).

Let's start on the packaging. I've seen many complaints about the cheap look to the bottle, but I don't agree. It actually reminds me a lot of theatre make up where the packaging is very much secondary to the product inside. It doesn't have the sleekness that a MAC foundation may have but I certainly have no complaints. The plastic bottle, as opposed to glass, greatly reduces the shipping weight which is a huge bonus to those who don't live in the US. While it doesn't match the black packaging of much of the other make up from Coastal Scents, I don't actually care.

I do have issues with the pump though. I'm pleased it has a pump, I hate it when liquid foundation don't have a pump (Revlon Colourstay, I'm looking at you!). This is an airless pump, and the pump pushes up the foundation from the bottom. This is a bonus as the pump completely scrapes the side of the bottle meaning that there's no wastage. The usual type of pump, those with a tube going to the bottom of the bottle, tend to leave residue on the sides of the bottle. However, this pump just seems badly made. I tend to have to pump several times to even get anything out of the bottle and then I sometimes get a fountain of foundation shooting out. I've pumped every bottle, and it's the same for all of them.

I did receive every shade of these to review, as I stated in both my swatch post and video review. You can see my swatches here, and Jasmine's here. I swatched the whole set as the pictures that appear on the Coastal Scents website are just rubbish. I don't think they bear any resemblance to what you end up getting in the bottle. All those pictures were taken over a period of about an hour and the colours are as accurate as I can get them. If you look at the website picture of ST-12, and then my swatch of ST12, you'll see none of the olive tones at all on the website.

The shade range is pretty awful. As I stated in the swatch post, I think there are a lot of gaps in the shade range, along with some very odd undertones. The numbering system doesn't go just from light to dark and there's no system of "odd = pink, even = yellow" that I can identify. While the middle range of skin tones seem to be well covered, there is a very large gap at the deeper end and a smaller one at the paler end. I am about MAC NW15, and I have to mix ST-01 and ST-04 to create a match. ST-01 is the right undertone and too pale, ST-04 is a bit too yellow toned and dark. I mix them in equal amounts to get my shade. I'm fortunate that I got sent all 14 shades as otherwise I would not have found a match.

This foundation is not very thick, or very runny. It just has what I'd consider a "normal" liquid foundation texture. My Diorskin Nude is thicker, my L'Oreal True Match is thinner. The two shades mix easily enough on the back of my hand. I use one pump of each, a bit more than I actually need but I can't control the pump well enough to use a half pump of each.

I apply this with my MAC or Sigma 109 brush. I did try the 188 but it gave me an uneven and streaky finish. The 109 brush gives a lovely, even coverage. I find this gives the foundation a medium coverage. You can blend out to a lighter coverage, or apply a little more for a slightly heavy coverage. I don't think you could apply this as full coverage without it looking obvious. This blends very well into my skin. It doesn't give an obvious foundation look, but covers what I need it to. Mixing my own shade allows me to create a nearly perfect match, which I can adjust to lighter or deeper as I need to.

It actually feels very light on my skin. You know that I hate to feel foundation on my face, and I can't feel this at all when I've finished applying. I usually set with ELF High Definition Powder and the effect with the foundation and powder is one of nearly perfect looking skin. I always apply over a primer and the foundation lasts pretty much all day. I always lose foundation around my nose as I wear glasses, and my chin does get a little oily. This is true for pretty much all foundations so it's not a fault with this one.

Overall, I'd consider this an "OK" foundation. I'll carry on using the two bottles I have to blend my own shade but I really doubt I'll bother buying any more once they're used up.

These foundations were provided for free for me to review. This has no effect on the review I give.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Review: ELF Studio Eye Transformer

I feel like I should put a warning on this post, as opinion on the video I did on this was so divided. Some people loved it and wanted to buy it, some people couldn't see the point. So, here's the warning:


Seriously, this palette is a bit of fun.

The ELF Studio Transformer Palette costs £3.50 from You get 10g of product.

In the palette you get 4 shades of the transformer. They look very, very pale and milky. From left to right is green, copper, pink/red, and blue. If you swipe them with your finger, you'll see the milkiness vanish and just the shimmer will appear.

These really don't work on their own. There's absolutely no point in applying these on your lids as regular eye shadows. You'll just see the barest hint of coloured shimmer and nothing else. These work at their best over black eye liner.

When you apply these over black liner (or a black cream eye shadow) these "transform" into the most amazing shimmer. They become much brighter and jewel toned.

I tend to press these into black liner on my lower lashline to smudge it out and add a hint of colour. They also look great when I use them over black gel liner, although they don't come out as bright. I think it's the slight stickiness in the pencil that adds to the brightness. I've also tried the green shade packed onto MAC's Black cream colour base on my lid. It looked fantastic!

There is a very similar product from the Body Shop called Eye Shimmers. These cost about £9.00 each and come in a wider variety of colours. However, after playing with some swatches I discovered the effect with the ELF palette was much more vivid. I swatched both together to compare.

The texture of the two was very similar. They are quite crumbly so you need to make sure you don't pick up too much. The texture of the ELF did feel much smoother though and some of the shimmers from the Body Shop look quite chunky in the picture.

This is really just a bit of fun to add a little colour to your eye liner. If you were planning on buying something like this, I'd got for the ELF over the Body Shop.

The ELF palette was received free to review, this has no effect on the review I give.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Beautiful Pigments: Fyrinnae "Polar Bear"

I don't feature my Fyrinnae pigments often enough in this blog, considering it was a Fyrinnae pigment that sparked the idea of me doing the Beautiful Pigments series!

I think that "Polar Bear" is one of Fyrinnae's top selling eye shadows. I only have a sample of it but it's one of those I expect I'll buy a full sized jar of.

Samples from Fyrinnae are $1.75 each, a full sized jar is $5.25. The sample will last for plenty of applications. I've already used it at least 10 times!

It is described on the site as being "white-gold, shimmery and soft". That's certainly true for the dry application, but it takes on an incredible metallic sheen when applied with a damp brush. I prefer to use this damp as I love the metallic look created by this shadow.

I like to pair this with a deep purple, green or brown in the crease. You don't need to do much else with this as it's such a stand out shade.

And the best part is that Fyrinnae will donate a portion of the sales of this (and the other Endangered colours) to the World Wildlife Fund.

FOTD: 10/01/10

I've managed to get my hands on the new Revlon foundation, thanks to a friendly American! I've already been inundated with requests to review it, so I will be getting round to it once I've been able to give it a thorough testing. I can tell you that I'm liking it so far!

I used:
-Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer Potion
-Revlon Photo Ready Foundation "002 Vanilla"
*-ELF Studio Translucent Matifying Powder
*-ELF Studio Under Eye Concealer "Light"
-MAC Paint "Untitled"
-Maybelline Colour Definer Shadow Stick "Satin"
-Boots 17 Eye Shadow "Shocking Pink"
*-Coastal Scents Hot Pot "S28"
-Shu Uemura Eye Shadow "ME Black 990"
-MAC Eye Shadow "Jete"
*-Coastal Scents Gel Liner "True Black"
*-ELF Eye Transformer - pink shade over top liner
-MAC Eye Kohl "Hyacinth" - lower liner
-Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara "Black"
-Milani Blusher "Luminous"
*-Body Shop Lipstick "Dusk Pink"

Items marked with a star (*) were received for free.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Beautiful Pigments: Sassy Minerals "Gasoline Rainbow"

I was contacted by Sassy Minerals last year to see if I'd be interested in trying out some of their minerals. I was very impressed by their colours so I was happy to try some bits and pieces out. They sent me quite a few of their eye shadows, blushers and a couple of foundations. I've been impressed with everything so far, I love the colours they've created.

The absolute stand out shade is a liner called "Gasoline Rainbow". That one made it into November's monthly favourites and I've done a video review for it (which you can see here).

Samples of their pigments are available for $0.75, and full sized jars are $4.25. Yes, they ship world wide (since I have some).

This is one of those mineral pigments that a photograph just cannot do justice to. Even the one on the website doesn't show the true beauty and complexity of this liner. The gorgeous rainbow sparkle actually shows up quite well in the video though.

It has a matte black base and is loaded with rainbow sparkles. Absolutely packed with them! This even out does Fyrinnae's "Fyre & Ice". This has every colour sparkle available, I think! I can see red, purple, blue, green, copper, gold. Basically it's the effect you get when oil or petrol spills into a puddle.

You can see from the swatch photo that this is a pigment that you absolutely have to use with a wet brush to get the best effect out of. I just dampen my MAC 266 brush and use that to create a cream texture to apply as liner.

The best part is that the amazing rainbow effect even shows up when it has been applied. I've tried many black mineral liners with different coloured shimmer and sparkle and they've only ever applied as black. The rainbow of this shows through.

I'll be treating myself to the full sized jar once I've used up my sample.

I got this for free to review, no one's paying me to tell you how awesome it is. And it is awesome.

Friday, 8 January 2010

FOTD: 08/01/10

Today's FOTD is a bit of a mish mash of brands and colours. I just pulled out random products and I think I got it to work out ok.

I still think I look really awkward in the full face pictures.

I used:
-Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer Potion
*-Maybelline Mineral Concealer "Natural"
-Diorskin Nude Foundation "010"
*-ELF Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder
-MAC Paint "Base Light"
-MAC Shadestick "Lemon Chiffon"
-Shu Uemura Eye Shadow "IR Beige 800"
-MAC Pigment "Kelly Green"
-MAC Eye Shadow "Jete"
-Bobbi Brown Gel Liner "Black Plum Ink" - upper lash line
-Urban Decay 24/7 Liner "Flipside" - lower liner
-Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara
-Shu Uemura Glow On Blusher "P Pink 36D"
-Urban Decay Pocket Rocket "Doug"

Products marked with a star (*) were received for free.

Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Superstash

Since I'm sat here, watching a blizzard out of the window I thought I'd tackle the pile of reviews that I keep planning on writing. It all looks very pretty but it's an absolute nightmare trying to drive anywhere.

Today I'll begin with the Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Superstash set. This was released before Christmas and is no doubt available at a reduced price. I bought mine from House of Fraser for £18.00

In the set you get 9 mini 24/7 pencil liners. Four of the shades were new for the set, but I believe that these four are now being released as full sized pencils. It's a really good way of trying out new liner colours if you've only ever stuck to black, brown or grey. They work out to £2.00 each, which to try out Urban Decay liners is a pretty good price!

The formula on these is just the same as the full sized ones. It's smooth, creamy, pigmented, it blends well until it sets and once it has set it never budges on me. I really do love these liners so I jumped at the chance to get this set.

The liners however, are really tiny! Smaller than the mini size that you get in the other sets, or comes with the palettes.

Full size pencil = 1.2g
Regular mini = 0.8g
Superstash mini = 0.5g

I've never managed to use up a full sized pencil anyway! But I'm sure I will use these minis up, mainly "Zero" I expect!

The design of these pencils is slightly different as well. They have clear caps, rather than the silver ones that the full sized and regular minis have, they also don't have the silver base to the pencil. It's the same colour as the rest of the pencil.

On to the swatches!

I actually took these pictures quite some time ago. They would have been better with a wider swatch so that I had room to label each swatch. Never mind, this is always a learning experience!

Left to right:
-Zero - matte, creamy black
-Oil Slick - black base with silver microglitter
-Corrupt - rich chocolate brown with sparkle
-Eldorado - bright, metallic yellow gold
-Graffiti - shimmery grass green with sparkle
-Binge - shimmering navy
-Ransom - bright purple shimmer, the least pigmented of the set
-Rockstar - shimmering burgundy wine
-Stash - olive green and my favourite from the set

These are going to be perfect for when I travel, I can take a selection of colours while barely using up any room in my travel bag.

Did you get any Urban Decay for Christmas? Bought any in the sales?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

My Top 5 Mineral Companies

Since I'd said previously that I'd like to show many, many more minerals on my blog I thought the best way to kick that off was to do a run down of my 5 favourite mineral brands. This is as they stand currently, I may discover an amazing new brand in 2010. These are in no particular order.

-Fyrinnae - well, they say they're not strictly a mineral make up line but they certainly seem to have some kind of mineral base. Pretty much everyone lumps them in with the mineral brands and, for the sake of this list and blog, so am I. They create some of the most amazing and unique shades of eye shadow I have ever come across. I have well over 100 of their eye shadows and a few of the liquid liners. I keep planning on trying their foundation but just hadn't got round to sampling yet before they removed it from the site. Shipping can take a while but each item of your order is made fresh, they don't keep stock to hand. The shipping times are displayed on the front page of the website. Also check out their blog, here, which is worth following as they talk about site down time, new colours, and quite a few random things. Fyrinnae have also given me the absolute best customer service I have ever received.

-The She Space - I have been a customer of Heather's for quite a large number of years. I'm a customer from back in the Twisted Fayte days. The She Space's main focus is on the eye shadow pigments. There are a few other products, but not a huge number. There are a large number of eye shadows available in the permanent line, along with a vast number of limited edition collections. I tend to order samples of the full set of limited edition eye shadows and order a couple of full sized jars once I've had a play with those. The colours created are beautiful and complex and are best used with a damp brush. I've found they can be on the sheer side if used dry. Shipping can take a couple of weeks. It's worth joining the message board, here, for updates and chatter with other She Space fans.

-Sassy Minerals - while I have only received some samples from them and not actually ordered myself, they do deserve to appear in my top 5 mineral companies. The eye shadows they create are absolutely beautiful! They're complex and still very easy to work with. They have quite a large range of colours to pick from and offer samples of everything. I've also got some foundation samples and quite like the texture and finish. I think I will actually be ordering some samples, a full size of Gasoline Rainbow and a foundation before much longer. The eye shadows are pigmented and work well dry, but some of the complexity works best when they're used with a damp brush.

-Sweetscents - I admit the site isn't the best to navigate and the product photos aren't exactly amazing but my Sweetscents pigments are some of my favourites! They're the very first mineral company I ever ordered from, back when I didn't know what the difference between straight mica and a mineral eye shadow was. What you order from Sweetscents is straight mica. They're a wholesaler and usually deal with large quantities. You can order sample sets of 10g jars. I've ended up with something like 200 of their micas. I think their range was larger in the past as I have a great deal of micas that are no longer on the site. I've got colours that they blended just for me, colours that were created but never launched, colours that were custom blended and some was left over. I've just noticed a new option to order individual 10g jars on each colour group page.

-TKB Trading - TKB Trading are one of the main mineral wholesalers. Quite often I've ordered exciting new mineral pigments from a new brand, only to find they've stuck some TKB Trading mica into a jar and given it a new name. It's worth ordering from TKB Trading, even if you only order the Pop Sampler as this appears so many times as a rainbow collection in other brands. You can order samples from them for $1.50 each and for that you get a whole tablespoon of mica (1 teaspoon of the more expensive micas, such as the colour shifting or metal based micas). There is a minimum order value of $19.50 (ish) but then they are a wholesaler and you can order your mica in pounds if that's what you want!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Review: Sleek Make Up Palette "Sunset"

I had a video review requested for this palette which I recorded the other day. I haven't got round to editing and uploading yet (maybe tonight?) but I got some great pictures of it so I thought it should appear on here as well.

This was released at the same time as the Graphite Palette. The Graphite was limited edition and sold as quickly as you'd expect, and the Sunset one was released as a permanent item. I got sent the Graphite palette to review but I bought the Sunset from Lincoln when I found out one of the Superdrugs there had started stocking Sleek Make Up.

I was a bit surprised that a palette with so many rich reds and oranges was released in November. Surely this would have been better over the summer? I also wasn't sure how the blue was going to work, it seemed out of place with all the other warm toned shades.

As usual with Sleek palettes, the eye shadows are very richly pigmented. The texture is a little crumbly but when you swipe them they feel almost like a cream. Make sure you don't drop this palette, I'm sure the eye shadows would shatter. I have no issues with blending these and they'll last all day with a good base. Just be careful though, some of the reds (and the blue) may be a little staining.

I've recorded a video using this palette after a couple of requests from Blogtv. I had been asked for reds and more Sleek. You can see it here.

In actual fact, this palette did work quite well for a November release. Although we can't really pretend November is still the nice part of Autumn (as in, when all the leaves look pretty rather than everything being cold and damp), the palette works as an Autumn palette. The rich reds and oranges are perfect to reflect the changing colours of the leaves. I can't help but think of the stunning images we see of Autumn in Canada when I see this palette.

Onto the swatches! Swatched over primer on my arm, top row first.

It contains the usual matte black shade, which is actually pretty useful. I like it as a crease or liner shade.

This palette is pretty versatile, despite initial opinions. There are a couple of softer shades to use in case you don't fancy adding red to your lids! You could use one of the lighter shades on your lid with a bit of the dusky reds smudged on the outer edge. I found the blue worked really well as a lower liner to contrast with the reds I have used on my lid.

I wonder if Sleek are going to be releasing any more palettes soon...

FOTD: 06/01/10

I needed something bright and happy to cheer myself up after having to dig myself out of a verge I skidded into when I tried to get to work. I was all of 10 seconds from phoning the AA to come and rescue me when I managed to skid free. When I got home I found out there had been a fatal accident a few more miles up the road so it had been closed anyway.

Putting on make up is one of my favourite ways to relax, which I definitely needed to do.

I used:
*-Bee Luscious Pore Perfecting Primer
*-Maybelline Mineral Concealer "02 Natural"
-Lily Lolo Foundation "Candy Cane"
-Lancome Colour Dose "Vert Provence" - on lids as a base
-About Face Pigment "Monsters Mean Nothing" - wet, inner 1/2
-About Face Pigment "Fairies Are Freaking" - wet, outer 1/2
-MAC Eye Shadow "Jete" - highlight
-Bobbi Brown Gel Liner "Ivy Shimmer Ink" - top liner
-MAC Kohl "Minted" - lower liner
-Rimmel Mascara (pink tube one)
*-ELF Studio Blusher "Mellow Mauve"
-No idea what I did for the lips, I took the pictures 8 hours ago!

Products marked with a star (*) were received for free to review.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Brushes From Coastal Scents

Boxes from Coastal Scents are always fun, it usually means I have something new to play with. They recently released 6 new brushes and a metallic purple brush belt. The belt will probably end up as a give away prize on this blog at some point but I will be using and testing the brushes.

Firstly, I'll give just a quick overview on my initial thoughts. All 6 brushes have black handles and black ferrules. The handles feel quite solid with a decent weight, I don't feel as though these would break any time soon. As always, the quality varies. One feels amazing on the skin and another sheds like my Labrador. Plenty of dye comes out of the black bristles after washing.

Face brushes first:

From top to bottom
-Black Sable Buffer Brush ($8.49) - very soft and very dense, planning to use on mineral foundation application. Not as soft as the synthetic version.
-Black Stippler Brush ($7.95) - sheds like nothing else, synthetic fibres are firm but not scratchy.
-Black Foundation Synthetic Brush ($4.99) - very interesting brush, very fluffy foundation brush. Almost like the MAC 109 and 190 had a love child. Using it for liquid foundation.

Then we've got a few others:

From top to bottom:
-Black Detail Brush ($1.99) - hmm, concealer? Lips? Eye shadow? I've been using it to smudge eye shadow into pencil liner. It has a very thin edge which works well for that.
-Black Crease Brush ($1.89) - sheds a bit, not really scratchy. More testing needed!
-Black Sable Lip Brush ($3.49) - comes with a case which fits on the end to create the handle. I don't actually think I've got a proper lip brush, this one feels nice and solid so I'll be getting it stuck into my lip palettes.

I will eventually review all these on my blog, and one or two on YouTube.

I was sent these brushes to review by Coastal Scents, this has no effect on the review I give. I don't get paid for this.

123456! We Have A Winner!

I had a lot of entries for this little giveaway! Thank you to everyone who kept a look out for the magic number.

We have a winner!

Congratulations, Porcelain! You were spot on.

I'll be doing this again in the future, I just need to decide on a number for you to keep a look out for.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

On Contests & YouTube

After today, I will no longer be holding any contests on my YouTube channel. I will be having my usual sporadic give aways on my blog, but no longer on YouTube.

A few months ago I received some brush sets from Sigma to test, along with an extra set for if I wanted to hold a contest. I held onto it for a few months as there were a lot of contests going on. I then thought giving the set away would be a good way to start off 2010.

After my previous contest, I'd decided to implement an over 18 rule for my contests. There were several reasons behind this:

-I'd really rather not deal with any potential legal implications of minors entering a contest.
-Children had lied about their age. I had set an age of 13 previously, only for children around 10/11 to try and tell me they were old enough. And yes, I use the word children.
-I have no way of knowing they have parental permission.
-Parents have contacted me wanting to know who the hell I was and why I had their child's address.
-I was always uncomfortable at setting the contest entry age at 13, I felt it was quite frankly too young. I had wanted an over 18 entry age from the start but decided against it.
-One or two had set their channel age to 16/17 but looked only about 12 on the videos.

I uploaded the video, got the usual questions asking me what had been mentioned in the video and info box and left the contest to run.

I was, quite frankly, horrified at the amount of hate mail and abuse waiting for me the next time I checked my YouTube messages.

People, again children, were demanding to know why I was being so stupid. Wanting to know why I was such a bitch to them, that they were 15 and I had no right to tell them what to do, that someone should hack my channel to teach me a lesson, that I deserved to lose all my subscribers, that I should just fuck off of YouTube because I had no right to be there, that they were going to come to my house and steal the brushes, that they deserved the brushes so I had to let them enter.

The contest was supposed to be a bit of fun to start the year. While I wasn't paying for the brushes, I was paying for the postage to anywhere in the world, recording, editing and uploading the video took time. I didn't mind doing that, I was excited to see some videos and give away the brush set to someone who would enjoy it.

Normally I just ignore the hater comments. I might just get a few on a video which are easy enough to delete and block. This was an all-out assault. I simply will not tolerate it so I have removed the contest.

It's not even a few bad ones you can thank for ruining this, I had around 50 messages.

I simply refuse to put up with that kind of shit.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Monthly Faves - December 2009

Here's the last one of 2009! I had some time to record on 1st Jan so I thought it would be the perfect time to sort out the products I had been loving throughout December. I hadn't worn a great deal of make up to be honest, but these were the 5 I enjoyed the most.

*-ELF Studio Under Eye Concealer "Light" - really gets rid of those horrid dark circles! I only use a small amount and blend with a fluffy brush.
*-Coastal Scents Gel Liner "True Black" - my MAC Fluidline in "Blacktrack" finally gave up on me the other day. I've been using this since, it's a fantastic rich black.
-Benefit Coralista - bought it in London. Currently my favourite blusher to wear!
-Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara - just one of the many I've got on the go, I just really like this one now I've got used to the brush.
-OPI Nail Polish "Ink" - the colour is quite unusual, something between blue and purple. The formula is wonderful.

Friday, 1 January 2010

FOTD: 01/01/10

I had some time to record some videos today so I did something a bit more "dramatic" than day make up. This is also an "up yours" to those lovely people who have to comment on blue eye shadow with "omg! Mimi, lay off the blue shadow!". I'd just like to point out that insulting someone with a cultural reference that doesn't exist in their culture is a bit pointless really, isn't it? Anyway, I love blue eye shadow.

I used:
*-Bee Luscious Retexturizing Primer
*-Coastal Scents Undercover HD Foundation "ST-01" & "ST-04" mixed
*-ELF Studio Under Eye Concealer "Light"
*-ELF Studio Complexion Perfection
*-ELF Studio HD Powder
-MAC Paint "Untitled"
-About Face Eye Primer "Black"
-MAC Mineralize Duo "Sea & Sky" - deep blue on lid, light marbled side in crease
*-Coastal Scents Hot Pot "M19" - highlight
*-Coastal Scents Gel Liner "True Black" - top liner
-Lancome Kohl "Black" - lower liner & waterlines
-Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara "Black"
-Benefit Coralista
*-ELF Mineral Lipstick "Runway Pink"
*-ELF Hypershine Lipgloss "Fairy"

NOTD: 01/01/10 OPI Ink

I actually painted my nails last night while waiting for midnight and the fireworks over the Thames. I waited until there was some natural light to take the photos with.

I have tried several ways of positioning my hands to try and take some decent pictures and I think I've found something that works. I crop out my little finger, only showing the first three. I thought it would look odd but I think it works. Let me know what you think.

I bought "OPI Ink" during one of my trips to London, along with "My Private Jet". I've worn it a couple of times and I love the colour. It's quite unusual. One minute it's purple, then the next it's decided to be blue. Of course, my camera picks up most on the blue.

Three coats with quick dry drops.

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!!

2009 has been an insanely busy year for me, both personally and with regards to YouTube and this blog. I honestly couldn't have done it without any of you!

I began on YouTube in 2008, after being persistently poked by one of my friends. She sent me a link to one of Lauren Luke's videos wanting to know why I wasn't doing it as well. I gave it a go and in early 2008 I put up my first video. I never, ever expected the response I got. What began as something I didn't think would last 5 minutes has now gone on for nearly 2 years!

After my first few videos, I had repeated requests to start a blog. I'd tried in the past and it had just fallen to one side after a couple of months. I honestly wish I had continued the first Confessions of a Make Up Addict I began around 5 years ago. I deleted that blog several years ago and then forgot about the account I had here at Blogspot.

I resisted the idea as I thought a new blog would just go the same way. But by now I had literally had hundreds of requests to begin a blog. So, early in 2009 I dusted off the account (I even had to do the Google account transfer, it was that long ago since I logged on), started a new blog and put my first post up.

People started reading, then more, then I got more followers, more messages, emails and more readers. I hadn't expected people to be interested in yet another beauty blog. And here I am, nearly a year later, still going strong. It's thanks to all of you. For your messages, your support, and just being interested in what a girl in Lincolnshire has to say about beauty.

I met up with my first fellow YouTuber in 2009, arranging a trip to Meadowhall in February to meet Sophie for a day of shopping. Neither of us were sure we were going to make it as we were under pretty much blizzard conditions that day. We both made it to Meadowhall in one piece and had a fantastic day shopping and chatting about make up and YouTube. We had to abandon Meadowhall early though due to the weather. I was nervous about meeting her but I didn't need to worry at all! Meeting Sophie was just like catching up with an old friend, she's just lovely.

I visited London more times in 2009 than I had for the last 5 years. The Body Shop kicked it all off, recognizing that bloggers were worth paying attention to. They arranged an event that knocked every one's socks off and I met up with people I had only seen online before. Being treated like a VIP was certainly an experience! The Body Shop absolutely spoiled us! But I wasn't too sure the next day when I had bruises on my shoulder from carrying the goodie bag. The whole group of us went shopping after the event and had a fantastic time. Again, meeting Jasmine was like catching up with an old friend. I also had a lovely chat with Jen, Natalya and Rebecca, which you can read (along with links to all their fantastic blogs) here.

I went down again for the Barry M event which was just crazy! I met so many other bloggers and YouTubers and got a bit start struck when Sam from Pixiwoo *knew who I was!!*. It was so very busy at that event that I didn't get chance to speak to who I wanted to. I managed only a very quick "hi & bye" with Richie. Fortunately this time Jasmine insisted I stayed overnight at hers rather than forking out for a hotel. We had planned on doing a joint vlog, but only got round to it in November! And it was lovely to catch up with Sophie again.

A few more events were held over the summer, all of which I had to miss due to a combination of lack of funds and working hard. I got invites to a few events only 2 weeks before they were due so there was no way I could get down to London for them.

The next one I managed to get to was the Maybelline one. It was fun to catch up again with Jasmine and Jen, and meet Yinka but I left that event feeling somewhat disillusioned with the blogging world.

I had to do some very hard thinking about what it is I wanted from YouTube and blogging. My thoughts and aims for both had changed drastically in the previous few months. There were girls whose blogs I had read and liked who were turning out to be extremely backstabbing and bitchy. The blogging world was becoming something I was not wanting to be involved with. You can see over the summer how low my posting level was. At that point, I was ready to throw the whole thing in.

Like I said, some hard thinking later and I came up with a solution. I changed the format of my YouTube channel. Tutorials are nearly phased out. I won't be getting rid of them completely but they're no longer my focus. I'm burnt out on tutorials. After over 250 videos, I'm not enjoying them at the moment. I removed all these negative bloggers from my following list and favourites folders. If I can't see them posting, then they can't bother me. I also removed the option for anonymous commenting and all comments are moderated. It solved a huge part of my problems.

I got down to Oxford again for what I think was my favourite event of the year: the ELF event. I felt re-inspired after talking to everyone at the event and I knew where it was I wanted to head with my YouTube and blog. I do have to thank Jasmine hugely, she's patiently listened to me ranting and rambling several times.

2009 has certainly been eventful! It has been fantastic to get to know so many other lovely bloggers. I've been recognized in London a couple of times, which is quite frankly the most bizarre feeling in the world. Also, getting told people have seen me shopping, or at events but were too scared to come and say "hi" is also very strange. I promise I'm friendly! Just tell me why a random person is saying "hello". I promise, I'll be just as nervous as you are!

I've tried so many new things over the last year. I will continue to accept products from PR people and, as always, I promise to be nothing but 100% honest. I know that some of you go and buy these products after I've reviewed them or talked about them. There's no way I can lie about something! I'm not getting paid for any of these videos or blog posts by any of the companies. I've had opportunities to try brands and products that otherwise I would either have no access or money for, so I'm grateful that I get to play with so many new products!

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked by ELF to be one of the people doing videos for their channel on YouTube. I've been able to try so many amazing new products that I don't think I could ever be without. Each product is getting absolutely thoroughly tested and all will eventually be reviewed somewhere between my YouTube channel and blog.

2010 is again going to be a busy year, both personally and online. I've got a list a mile long of what I want to touch on! I'm going to be dealing a lot with minerals in 2010. I'm disappointed with myself over the fact that they rarely get mentioned in my blog and nowhere near as much as they used to on my YouTube channel. I've dusted off my Etsy account and started to compile a list of companies to order from.

I don't know if I'm going to be attending any events next year. It all depends on any invitations I get and who they're from! I do need to save up for a holiday in the summer so not going to London will save me a fortune!

I just want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has ever read any of my blog posts or watched any of my YouTube videos. All the amazing opportunities and experiences I've had in 2009 are entirely due to the fact there are some of you who sit and watch or read what I have to say.

I hope you all have a happy 2010! And I hope you keep being interested in what I've got to say about all this beauty stuff!