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all items marked with a asterisk (*) are gifted items, pr samples or paid for with gift vouchers/store credit, for more information read:
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Friday, 31 January 2014

5 uses for vaseline

5 uses for vaseline


Vaseline has been on my list of must have beauty items for as long as I can remember. It's a cult beauty classic. While Vasaline is unglamorous at best, it's one of the most multi use items in the beauty industry. It's something that I firmly believe everyone should have in their beauty stash and here are five reasons why...

one: A no brainer and the most common use for Vaseline is as lip balm. Using it on your lips in the colder months will keep them protected from the elements and super soft at the same time. This is where I like to use the tinted or the flavoured versions of the iconic beauty must have as they are a little bit more appealing than the original.

TWO: This is a use for Vaseline is one that I've not personally tried, yet a lot of people use Vaseline on their eyelashes before going to bed to help encourage growth. I'm very tempted to give this one a whirl but I do get worried about getting my eyelashes stuck together. So many people I know rave about this technique so I really shouldn't be so worried.

THREE: Taming unruly brows. Pop a bit of vaseline on a spoolie and run it through your brows to keep them in place. Using the same idea as the lash growth tip I wonder if adding Vaseline to your brows o help encourage the growth of them too.

FOUR: Popping a light coating around the hairline when using at home hair dyes will stop it from staining the skin around your face. It'll create a barrier between the harsh chemicals in the dye and your skin. Which is ideal for sensitive skintyps.

FIVE: Keeping dry edges at bay. Im talking knee's, elbows, hands and cutiles. It seems theres a product designed for all sorts of dry areas but Vaseline is a good all rounder for all these. Why use 3 products when one does just the same job. Also applying a small ammount to elbows and knee's before self tanning will prevent staining.
Do you have any alternative uses for Vaseline?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

updated eyebrow routine 2014

review swatch photo

various angled brushes & too faced brow envy

As I've been harping on about eyebrows for the past few days, so I thought I should do an updated brow routine. To be honest, my routine hasn't really changed all that much from the last time I did a post on my eyebrows. But for those who are new here, here's the dealio on my most debated feature.

I still get them threaded every three weeks - although admittedly I have been leaving it longer and longer between threading sessions. Although overall I am very happy with the current state of my eyebrows. As always, Im still trying to thicken up the front part. I normally ask my threader to leave a few hair's to try and encourage the growth at the front but its not really doing anything! Apart from that I just get her to follow the natural shape of my brows, neaten that up and make a big emphasis on making it known that I don't want them to be any thinner. I never ever pluck my own eyebrows, I don't know if that's weird or not. But I never ever put the tweezers to them. I much prefer the finish of threaded brows (quite sharp and precise) so always resist the temptation to pluck between trips to the threaders. I pay £3 from a lady round the corner from me, she does a great job considering the price. She knows what I like and what I don't like and the key to the whole thing is being able to trust her with a feature I'm so fiercely over protective of!

To fill my brows in I've been using the Too Faced Brow Envy religiously in rather than my usual MAC Espresso. It includes two shades of brow powder, a highlighter (which Im not a fan of) and a wax to keep things in check. The shades mimic the natural colour of my eyebrows, Nothing is worse than using an ashy brown or a brown with reddish undertones. I find they look too unnatural looking on my dark hair. I fill them in with an angled brush, usually the MAC 266 but I have a ton of brushes that I use depending on which I grab first. I also then run a spoolie or a clear brow gel (currently using MAC Brow Gel) through my brows to finish.
How do you keep your brows in check?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

all about eyebrows: maintenance

review swatch photo

Last up in my mini All About Eyebrows series is maintaining those brows. We’ve all be there as a teenager - Over plucked, misshaped brows, I once shaved between my brows with a disposable razor. I was probably about 13 at the time, but I had no idea where to start with brow grooming! To keep this key feature looking good many of us gal’s like to shape the brow area to enhance the natural shape, keep the monobrow at bay and frame the face. It took me a while to work out my maintenance technique but as soon as I got it down I’ve never looked back.


This is probably the most common way and well known way of removing eyebrow hair at home. It’s relatively painless, easy to do on yourself, but time consuming as you have to maintain the brows every few days. If you’re going to reach for the tweezer, I suggest investing in good quality tweezers like Tweezerman. While I know they seem expensive, I find them much more presses and give a cleaner shape in less time.


If you’re going to get your eyebrows waxed, make sure you go to someone who actually knows what they are doing. I really worry about waxing (which is why I’ve never had it done!) because I fret about trusting someone with my eyebrows. I've heard horror stories of half the brow being waxed off or the hot wax burning skin. Maybe I'm just a bit chicken! Waxing is speedy and practical and is available on the highstreet in the form of DIY Kits or in salons. Some people find it painful some people don't.


My personal eyebrow process of choice. Where I live threading is really cheap, reliable and so quick. I haven’t touched my own eyebrows in years because I found an eyebrow lady I like and trust. I very rarely go to anyone else because I enjoy her service so much. She knows how I like my brows! Threading is a hair removal technique that originated in India but has been popularised recently in the west. A thread is used to remove hair… As you probably could have guessed from the name! The process is similar to tweezing, except more than one hair can be removed at one time. This method is precise and gives the cleanest lines compared to the other ways. Some people find it more painful than waxing, but I don’t really find it that bad now that I’ve found my threader who has a super light hand.

The next quartet of posts are all about eyebrows. Check back daily for my top tips on eyebrow maintenance, growing out & filling in.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

all about eyebrows: filling in

all about eyebrows: filling in

Todays eyebrow guide is all about filling them in. I was always skeptical about filling my eyebrows in, but after a few goes I never looked back. Filling your eyebrows in and making the most of the brows you have can really change your whole look and completely frame your face. The idea of filling me eyebrows in scared me a lot at first because it conjures images of thick black drawn on brows, never fear. Here is my product guide to filling your eyebrows in…

Eyebrow POWDER:

Filling your eyebrows in with a powder can make them look much more natural than you think. Using a shade that similar to your natural eyebrow shade and an angled brush and work in light even strokes to build up the areas that you need to define or fill in. My top tip would to choose a matte, soft textured shadow that is not too pigmented but also not too sheer. You want something suitable for layering up colour if needed.

eyebrow pencil: 

Scouse brow much? These have been the standard way of filling eyebrows in for years. But many can make your brows look overdone, harsh and coated. You want to look for a creamy, light and smooth eyebrow pencil with a soft dry finish. Bottom line with pencils is that if it doesn't look natural - don't use it. I really recommend the Hourglass Arch Brow or the Laura Mericer Eyebrow Pencils, both leave the brows looking natural and full without looking like you've drawn them on with a Sharpie.

eyebrow gel:

Gel's are great for adding colour and keeping things in place. They work best on lighter brows to darken them up or taming unruly eyebrows. Brow gels are like mascara but have a lighter gel consistency with minimal pigmentation. You can get clear or coloured varieties depending on your needs. You can pick up clear mascaras from most drugstores for less than £2, and they do just as good of a job as their more expensive counterparts.

the combination:

You can always use a mix and match of the three depending on the look you want to create. Pencil and powder give you more control and the definition that comes with using a pencil. This is especially helpful if you need to slightly extend the end of your brows, so they frame your eyes better. And a blend of powder and a brow gel can create soft full eyebrows with a natural finish.

The next quartet of posts are all about eyebrows. Check back daily for my top tips on eyebrow maintenance, growing out & filling in.

Monday, 27 January 2014

all about eyebrows: growing out

review swatch photo

I’ve always been complimented on my eyebrows, It's my thing. Every now and then something happens to them, admittedly typically in the form of a over zealous threader,  ending up looking not quite so good as I like. I know its basic but the the best remedy for over plucked brows is just to leave them to grow out. Leaving them for 6-8 weeks sans plucking is enough to get my heart racing Now this is a super daunting task, after a week I'm left with brows to rival Drake's. But here are my tips on how to cope with that awkward growing out stage which over time will be so worth it.

Spoolie Lovin':

Keeping your brows in check with a spoolie is a must. Comb through your brows and set them in place with a clear gel. I don't personally like tinted brow gel as I think it can look unnatural and harsh on dark brows like mine but on lighter brows it might look better. Clear mascaras make ideal brow gels, and can be picked up for next to nothing from budget brands so  opt for those over the expensive counterparts.

Avoid Overfill:

I know its tempting to overfill your brows but in the growing out phase you need to make sure your brows don’t look to heavy as you don’t want to draw attention to them. Keep them as natural as possible by using a powder the right shade for your eyebrows and a light hand. Avoid using pencils as they can come off harsh and over defined. Pretend you're going for that light messy Cara look rather than "I've drawn these on with a sharpie".


My top growing out tip is to run a concealer around your brows to define them and mask any stray hairs. I like to use use a cream concealer and a clean angled brush to go around the line of the eyebrows after filling them in. This is a great way to fake neater brows all while add definition and shape.

Miracle Growth:

Okay so nothings going to grow your brows out over night, but you can help them along. Castor Oil is my threaders recommendation. You can pick this up for super cheap on Amazon or any health shop. Read any of the more expensive brow growth serums and the main ingredient is Castor Oil. Buying it pure makes it much cheaper and friendlier on the wallet. Apply to a fresh spoolie brush and comb through the brows each night to encourage growth. This also works on lashes, so do both at the same time for double the impact.

Tidy up… a little:

But not too much! No body wants a mono brow so some strategic plucking is allowed. But only a little. If you're trying to make your brows thicker then try and resist plucking the underside that runs below your brows, same with the front. I find that's the most tempting part to pull tweezers out on but this is the part that often needs to be left to grow! So pop those tweezers to the back of the drawer and resist temptation as much as you can!

The next quartet of posts are all about eyebrows. Check back daily for my top tips on eyebrow maintenance, growing out & filling in.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

models own hypergel nail polish

models own hypergel nail polish review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish turquoise gloss review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish blue glint review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish white light review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish coral glaze review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish cerise shine review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish lilac sheen review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish pink veneer review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish cornflour gleam review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish red lustre review swatch photo
models own hypergel nail polish naked glow review swatch photo


I'd heard rumblings about the Models Own HyperGel Collection in the blogosphere recently. And although I have only just revived the samples and press release to give you the full lowdown. I can't comment quite yet on wear time and all that jazz as I've only just slicked it on but I thought you'd appreciate some Models Own HyperGel hype in the form of some swatches! The HyperGel Polishes launch nationwide from February and March, BUT you can get them Prelaunch in the Models Own Sale when they reach 250,000 Facebook likes before 31st January.

Models Own HyperGel collection is 10 gel finish nail shades designed to give you a super glossy gel inspired nail finish in eye catching shades. These mega shiny shades are highly pigmented, long lasting and said to be chip resistant. The finish is inspired by the rise of gel manicures in salons, these can be used at home and easily removed with nail polish remover. HyperGel glides onto the nail with no streaking or dragging and looks like it settles and smooths itself out. The thicker polish gives that gel "plumped" effect, so it's slightly raised.

Shade Descriptions:

Models Own HyperGel in White Light : A brilliant snow white
Models Own HyperGel in Naked Glow: A light milky coffee
Models Own HyperGel in Pink Venner: A punchy baby pink
Models Own HyperGel in Lilac Sheen : A pretty lilac
Models Own HyperGel in Cornflour Gleam: A dusty cornflour blue
Models Own HyperGel in Cerise Shine : A mid tone pink
Models Own HyperGel in Turquoise Gloss : A holiday inspired green
Models Own HyperGel in Coral Glaze : A fiery coral
Models Own HyperGel in Blue Glint : An ocean blue-green
Models Own HyperGel in Red Lustre : A true blue red

My picks from the range would be Turquoise Gloss, White Light and Blue Glint. I'm impressed with the shade range from the HyperGel collection, I hope they expand with some darker shades for the colder months or even some neons for the summer.Gel manicures are so popular at the moment, but the price tag and upkeep turning a lot of people off. I can see the HyperGel Collection being a great addition to Models Own ever expanding range.

Remember to like the Models Own Facebook page to get 50% off during their sale!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

essie fiji

essie fiji review swatch photo

essie fiji : £7.99

Essie Fiji is a covetable on trend nail shade. I've been a fan of Essie since they launched their Boots and Superdrug diffusion line and I adore pale white but note quite nail polishes. I'm so taken by Essie nail polishes as they apply smoothly, have excellent pigmentmentation, have a large wide brush as it makes application absolutely effortless.  I was recommended Essie Fiji nail polish after being told it's the pink version of Models Own Utopia. A not quite white thats on trend and perfect for spring.
What do you think of this shade?

Friday, 24 January 2014

shower gel solutions

review swatch photo

liz earle bergamot & ginger creamy shower nectar*, ren morrocan rose otto body wash*, imperial leather citrus burst shower gel, organic surge citrus mint shower gel*

I think I'd put shower gel under beauty things that I really hate buying. Along with razors and toothbrushes, it's one of those things Im just not that fussed on. They dont particularly exciteI have a regular rotation of favourites though and today Im talking my picks of the body wash bunch.

Organic Surge Citrus Mint Shower Gel is my daily use pick of the bunch. A zingy minty, lemony and orangey gel which really invigorates and refreshes. It feels tingly and energising on those cold winter mornings and really sets me up for the day. Then I like the Liz Earle Bergamot & Ginger Cream Shower Nectar (sounds super fancy). I adore the scent of Bergamot, its warming and comforting while being zingy and fresh at the same time. Super rich and creamy and feels sooooo sothing. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth with a lingering scent. While Im not a huge rose scent fan I do really like the Morrocan Rose Otto Body Wash from REN. It feels really calming and soothing, delicate without being overpowering. Overall it just feels luxurious without being too much.A more budget friendly pick would be the Imperial Leather Citrus Burst. Can you tell I like citrus body washes? This is a great cheap drugstore buy that really wakes me up in the morning and makes me feel fresh.
What is your favourite shower gel?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

makeup tips for glasses


So I joined the full time glasses wearing club late last year. I've worn glasses on and off for the past 10 years - mainly for reading and driving but since I've had to commit to specs on a regular basis. I've had to adapt my makeup a bit. Glasses are often a bit in your face, especially mine as they are quite thick and black. They are the thing people notice first when looking at your face as I don't want to hide behind the glasses. I found that if I wanted to make my makeup the focus, I had to adapt my makeup look slightly, Here are my findings...

Statement Lip:

I love going all out on my lips whenever I've got my glasses on. Try a shade that packs just enough punch to contrast with your frames. On me I like red lips because with my frames, it gives that sort of old school pin-up come rockabilly vibe. I also really like bright pink lips with my glasses, to give a cheeky pop of neon. I feel like because my eyes are so framed adding a pop of colour to the face makes such a difference.

Bold Brows:  

I'm blessed with a strong brow, but I've noticed that I need to make sure my brows are tidy and well groomed. Although brows can also be often hidden by frames, It's important to keep them looking sharp and bold, despite being partially obscured. You don't need to make them a statement but keeping them from getting lost is a must.

Curl Up:

Lashings of mascara and use a lash curler to curl them up to the sky. Behind the lenses, its really easy for lashes to get lost so going heavy on mascara is a must! Unless you have super long lashes, it's not that likely you're eyelashes are going to bash against your glasses so don't worry too much about that. I often see glasses wearers talk about wearing less mascara, but I find its made no difference to my glasses and they don't smudge the lens Don't forget the bottom lashes either!

Beat the Bags:

Glasses can often amplify under eye circles so using a heavy duty concealer or a highlighting one to reflect light is a great cheat sheet. Perfect for keeping your eyes looking fresh and awake without any unsightly bags or darkness.
Do you have any tips for glasses wearers?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

sneak peek: elegant touch express nails

elegant touch express nails review swatch photo
elegant touch express nails review swatch photo
elegant touch express nails review swatch photo
elegant touch express nails review swatch photo
elegant touch express nails review swatch photo

elegant touch express nails : £7.99*

Another sneak peek style post for you today but... Last week I went for Afternoon Tea with Jameela Jamal to talk all things nails, the new face of the Elegant Touch Express Nails. She’s legit one of the nicest, down to earth and natural celebrities I’ve ever met. We talked candidly about the trolling and what it’s like to be a blogger and celebrity in the internet age (mainly about talking about Dan and Phil!), and she shared a ton of her beauty related musings. She’s cool and interesting and has so much to say. Just, yeah really cool.

"I’m all about the “black cab mani” - applying my nails on the go as Im rushing off to do something" Jameela explained that while she had no creative input into the nails she was really impressed with the designs and the variety that the Express Nails in. She talked about how nail art is a great way to experiment with your look and proclaimed how there is something to suit everyone. "They are quirky and subtle, and the best thing about nails are that they are nondiscriminatory, anyone can wear them!"

Elegant Touch Express Nails is filling the gap in the market for instant manicures on the go. The pre glued nails are press on and go with a reinforced tip for extra wear. Claiming to last up to seven days, the nails are intended not to cause damage to the nails like with glue or have sticking issues like the nail adhesive pads. The Elegant Touch Express Press On Nails come in a whopping 24 different shades and patterns. Including a range of natural style nails, neons and then a ton of on trend patterns. Jameela’s favourites were the Neon Yellow and the Minnie Polka Dot Nails.

These don't launch until March sometime so I’ll review them properly nearer the time. I just wanted to give you all a sneak peek that this will be a really big product drop. I what I predict will be a very popular range. They remind me a bit of the Impress Nails but not quite as garish or old fashioned. I don't know, but I was never a fan of the designs of those nails. My pick of the Elegant Touch Express range is definitely the black and white heart nails from the girly collection, the whole trend nail series (nude reverse moons) and the subtle ombre nudes. Elegant Touch have one of the best patterned nail art ranges on the highstreet, so Im really excited whenever they expand their nails with new and exciting designs.
These retail for £7.99 and will launch in Boosts from March 2014

new in : la roche posay effaclar duo plus +

la roche posay effaclar duo plus + review swatch photo

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is my spot fighter of choice, one of those products that fail safe on my troublesome skin. It helps ease the pain of those deep angry spots, doesn't dry my skin out and helps reduce blackheads. And now La Roche Posay are bringing out the souped up cousin of the Effaclar Duo in the form of Effaclar Plus +. It's an improved version of iconic Effaclar Duo, but this time it helps heal red and dark marks after a breakout. While also having all the usual spot fighting benefits, this product fights the red or dark marks can hang around after the spot has gone. My spots tend to clear up in good time when using Effaclar Duo, but the red marks and scarring are always lingering around. The new Effaclar Duo + has an ingredient which helps sooth the skin and diffuse the inflammation. Effaclar Duo + is a great all round product which prevents spots, aids healing of breakouts, reduces blackheads and controls sebum.

Sounds like an absolute dream product right!? Now I’ve only just tried this because this has literally just landed in my sweaty palms yesterday evening, but if it's anything like the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (see my original review here) then it’s going to be a winner. One tube of Effaclar Duo is sold every 3 minuites, thats how much of a life saver it is. I’ll report back in a few weeks with a full review of the new and improved La Roche Posay Effaclar Plus However if you want to try it anyway, then it’s available online at and also trickling into Boots stores and will retail for £15.99 (but is currently on sale for around £11 for an introductory product)
Im seriously excited about this, what do you think?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks

Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo
Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks review photo

Pinned It! Made it! Lush Face Masks*

Last week I popped along to an event at The Book Club in Shorditch hosted by Pinned It Made It. Pinned it Made It are Pinterest parties aimed at people who like arts, crafts and tutorials, all inspired by Pinterest. Now, I'm not the craftiest person out there but I do love a good DIY when Im shown how to do it properly. The even I went along to was a Lush Cosmetics Make your own face mask class. We made two different face masks using natural ingredients with the help of some “Lushies”. The masks we made were Catastrophe Cosmetic and Cupcake fresh face masks, which I’ve actually tried from Lush before so it was fun being able to make them. I bought my friend Dal along who is only starting to get into skincare so she was literally hanging on the girls every words.

My only criticism about this event would be that I felt it’d worked better if the groups were smaller. I recall about 30 people there, and we were split into two groups to make two batches of the face mask. Although we all had a go at putting the ingredients in the bowl (which i felt a bit school cooking class-y) I didn’t really feel like I “made” the item, although I did help with some expert mixing. Would have been more interactive if the mask was made in smaller batches, so it felt like you were a bit more involved. Although this probably wouldn’t effect most people as I know that each event is different, so you’re more than likely going to be making your own things at each event!

Despite that I really enjoyed the night, was fun, interesting and I learnt a bit about making Face Masks at home. I learnt lots of awesome DIY face mask tips as well as gained a ton of Lush related tips.We all got to take home a tub of each of the face masks we made as well as a goody bag of Lush stuff, which was a nice bonus. I reckon Pinned It Made It nights would be a good place to socialise if you’re looking for new friends or just want a more chilled out evening with friends. They arent just designed for those who are crafty and are perfect for beginners who need some motivation into making their pins!

You can keep up to date with all the latest Pinned it, Made it events on their Facebook Page or over on their Twitter. Their next party is on 11th Feb at The Book Club and is an Embellished Tights event! Prices of these events vary from party to party but always include a cocktail on arrival and there is always something to take home at the end of it.
ETC LLYMLRS UK Beauty Blog: Makeup Reviews Beauty Tips+ Blog design by labinastudio.