Sunday, March 1, 2015

February empties

Umm hello March, where did you sneak in from??

So yes, here we are in March which is lining up to be a pretty crazy month here in Dubai!  Well the first two weeks are anyway.  I am off to Cairo today so here's a quick post covering off my February empties.

Not many things really stood out to me and I ended up picking two 'standouts' that I have previous featured on my blog and have been constant repurchases.  And they're two drugstore items too!

The first is the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Texturising Spray.  I have tried a load of texturising sprays-everything from Oribe downwards in pricing terms and I keep coming back to this one.  It adds enough 'grit' to my fine hair without being sticky and it also absorbs excess oil.  It smells great and is a bargain at around £6.99

The second is the L'Oreal Absolute make up remover which is a bi phase eye make up remover that gives Lancome Bi Facil a run for its money.  I think I actually prefer it although it has one downside-the product dispenser is really difficult to control meaning a lot of product gets wasted because it just goes everywhere!  But looking online it looks like the packaging may have been redesigned so thumbs up L'Oreal!

Some mini thoughts on the rest:

You can find a review of the Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm here-this was my third tub of this and this time I didn't love it as much as previously-my skin is so oily at the moment that it didn't seem to feel as nice.

The Chanel Illusion D'Ombres had dried out and were beyond repair, just cracking as soon as I touched them.  I stored them upside down but that didn't help.  That's a big flaw with this formula although the colour on the lid is pigmented and shimmery.

L'Oreal True Match powder-a bit meh.  Very powdery.

Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen-I had the lightest shade but it was a little yellow toned for me.  Good for undereyes as has a very thin watery texture and blends easily.  The metal tip applicator I can take or leave.

MAC loose blot powder-a decent setting powder-not cakey but not the best oil absorber.

Caudalie Vinosource-reviewed here

Smashbox Photofinish foundation primer light-not as good as the original!!

Have you used any of these products?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre review

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre review

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre review

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre review

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre review

Today I share my thoughts (briefly I promise) on the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre lip glosses.  I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves to be honest-the colour pay off is not what I expected from the colour in the tube which I am really disappointed about.

Candy Darling looks like a glossy red in the tube but is a very sheer pink on application.

Sweet Stiletto looks like a coral toned nude in the tube and actually applies well to the lips with a fairly decent colour payoff.

Hall of Fame looks like a muted pink in the tube but is almost clear on my lips.

I think the formula of these is actually really nice-they're not sticky at all, or too thick and apply very evenly without streaking-they just lack any kind of punch in terms of pigmentation and for that reason I am really disappointed.  Of course you could layer these over a lipstick or liner but personally I prefer not to-I don't like it when applicators pick up lipstick colour as it 'pollutes' the lip gloss in the tube but that might just be me being extra anal!  Sweet Stiletto is a great everyday 'suits everyone' glossy nude but the other two are destined to sit unloved in my stash.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

I love a good primer me!  I'm such a fan of face primers and eyeshadow primers and they are an essential in my make up routine for giving a smoother foundation on which to apply more make up on top-making it longer lasting and keeping the shades I am wearing true to colour.

I have dabbled in lash primers before-my favourite up til now being the MAC Prep and Prime Lash which really adds volume to your lashes before you add your mascara on top.

But there is a new kid on the block in terms of the Estee Lauder 'Little Black Primer' and when I saw it online on Selfridges I snapped one up.  And it's great.

So the concept is pretty simple-this primer is black as opposed to many primers which are a white base so it can be used to tint your lashes for a natural look, be applied as a first coat (primer) before adding your mascara on top or used as a top coat to waterproof your mascara.  I really like the narrow curved bristle brush, it makes it really easy to work around the lashes.

I am all about the primers so that is how I have been using it and I have found it really does make a difference to the look of my lashes-making them look longer, fatter and blacker.

I am currently using Chanel Inimitable mascara which I absolutely love just on its own.  It offers volume and length, doesn't smudge or flake and holds a curl.  But the Estee Lauder primer just seems to add extra oomph to the lashes and I love the effect.

Hopefully in my photos above you can see the effect of my 'mascara only' lashes versus my 'primer + mascara' lashes, especially in the last picture?

The only downside I have found that when I use the Chanel and the Estee Lauder together, they are such a formidable duo that it takes some getting off at the end of the day and you need a good bi-phase remover and a little patience!  But that is definitely something I will sacrifice for the lashes it gives me!

It's a winner.   Go buy.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lip Six and a chatty catch up

Hello hello!  Happy Monday!

Today's lip six has a bit of a twist, I thought I would combine it with a little chatty catch up too.

But first lipstick.  As always.

Firstly sorry for the lighting in the last two pictures, they were lip pictures I took whilst I was working in Cairo last week and the lighting in the hotel room was very very bright-I don't have a tan!  

Top row (L) Kat Von D Everlasting liquid lipstick in Berlin  (R)  MAC See Sheer lipstick

Middle row (L) Bite Matte Creme lip pencil in Tatin (review coming soon!!)  (R) L'Oreal Color Riche lipstick in Blakes Red (Full review here)

Bottom row (L) Dior Fluid Stick in 689 Vertigo  (R)  MAC Soar Lip liner with Dior Fluid Stick in Tiny Pink over it

So let's catch up (aka lets talk about me!!).  Life lately is pretty darn good.  

I am feeling pretty fit and healthy after my cancer diagnosis last year.  I am less tired and have more stamina.  Without a doubt it has changed my life and I am still finding my 'new norm'.  There are things about myself I don't like so much and I need to work on for sure but I am lucky to have amazing people around me-not just my family but I have such a tight knit 'core' of friends that I am in touch with constantly who listen, support, advise and cheer me on constantly.  There are times when I feel overwhelmingly lucky that I was diagnosed at a treatable stage and this was brought home recently when my little brothers best friends wife (am sure there is nothing grammatically correct about that sentence sorry!) passed away from cancer at 32.  Emma Grandison was one of the most inspirational people I have ever met, she fought and fought every step of the way, raising over £40,000 for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, the neonatal unit at the Royal Preston Hospital where her daughter Erin was born prematurely almost 18 months ago and Cancer Research UK.  I didn't get to meet Emma, but after I was diagnosed she contacted and befriended me via facebook after my brother told her brother about my diagnosis and we kept in touch and she was always so supportive.  Proving she was so full of life and never let cancer dictate her life she recorded this in November last year and self conducted her own funeral. 

I am still undergoing regular tests following my surgery and the all clear last year.  I am currently in talks with both my surgeon and oncologist about some problems with my lymph nodes but I am hugely positive about whatever path lays ahead.  No I don't have a cervix or uterus I don't have a regular smear test but I do have a regular 'vault smear' which specifically checks for tumour regrowth in the part of the vagina I have left and I have now had two consecutive clear ones.

I am back to work full time and loving it.  The people I work with are amazing and not a day goes by without a barrel of laughs.  Of course I work hard and it's very demanding but the environment carries me through that.  Any regular readers will know I adore my assistant James and boss Nick and they have formed Tuesday Club meaning basically we end up in a bar every Tuesday for a quick drink (or 3).  I kind of feel normal again.

I am also travelling regularly again to my beloved Cairo and have been seeing my clients and doing the job I love.  I have done two trips so far this year and am back there again twice in March.

March is shaping up to be an incredibly busy but also fun month.  This week I am in Dubai and then head straight back out to Cairo for 4 days next week before flying back to Dubai and meeting (at the airport!!) one of my oldest, bestest friends who is coming here for a weeks holiday.  Am hoping to do some nice 'Dubai' things with them so check my instagram for some touristy shots of Dubai-and lots of food no doubt.  I hope they'll love it-Sylvia has been before but Robert her partner hasn't and given he is a chef the stakes are high!  If you live in Northern Cumbria you must check out their gastro pub-The Golden Fleece-it's my favourite pub in the world and the food is amazing!!  They've just been awarded an AA rosette for their food-I'm so proud!

Sylvia and I are also going to see Ed Sheeran in concert on the 6th-I can't wait!

My old boss from HSBC Andrew and his family are travelling to Dubai the following week so I have a few things planned with them, including a dinner at The Mango Tree which is a great Thai restaurant with fabulous views over the Dubai Fountains and we are seeing Michael Bublé in concert on the 12th.

Lis from is also in Dubai that week and I am really looking forward to meeting her!!  I am hoping maybe some cocktails and shoe shopping (and of course make up shopping) may occur when we meet!!

It's my birthday on the 18th but we have no plans this year-maybe a nice dinner but that's all before I then hit Cairo again.   Today is officially pay day and also annual bonus day so I am planning shortly to splurge on a new piece of bespoke jewellery-I was surprised how well my post on Buying Jewellery in Dubai went down so if you'd like to see pictures of my new ring let me know!

I am absolutely loving blogging at the moment and just really enjoying make up at the moment.  I look 100% better with make up on than without and I just love making new discoveries and playing with texture and colour.  I am no make up artist but I like to practice!  The community is so supportive and that spurs me on to keep writing.  I vowed to be super organised this year because my work takes over so I am currently working on a '2 weeks ahead' schedule so even if things get extra crazy in March I should have enough to see me through the month.  I feel like I have been doing tons of lipstick and eyeshadow posts recently but they're kind of my favourite to do.

Am hoping to get to the UK asap and meet some of the bloggers who supported me so much whilst I was unwell last year as well as catching up with my brilliant friends across the UK.  I am also planning a trip to the US in the summer as we were forced to cancel our Miami holiday last year when I was diagnosed. 

I hit quite a few milestones recently I feel-1300 followers on Bloglovin, 2000 on instagram, 1800 on twitter and my 500th post is coming up so to say thank you I am going to be hosting a giveaway very soon so keep your eyes peeled...............

What have you been up to recently?  It's good to talk!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

NARS Audacious lipstick in Greta

NARS Audacious lipstick in Greta

NARS Audacious lipstick in Greta

NARS Audacious lipstick in Greta

Maybe I am starting to get some of the hype around the NARS Audacious lipstick launch finally!

My first experience was Brigitte and I just wasn't blown away.  I thought it was overly creamy to apply and then drying on the lips-an odd combination.

The shade Greta however is certainly more lip friendly as well as being a beautiful hot pink.  It has a glossy finish and in some lights has a little bit of an orange undertone to it-very similar to Daniel Sandler Micro Femme which is one of my all time favourite shades.

It feels less slippery to apply than Brigitte but is creamy.  I do think it's best applied using a lip brush for accuracy.  There is no lipstick on the teeth moments and it didn't migrate off my natural lip line.  Lasting power and fade was pretty good.

Do I need more?  What shades do you recommend I add to my stash?  I definitely have my eye on Anna but it seems impossible to get hold of, Grace and Natalie may also need to be my friends!