Sunday, 27 February 2011

Oscar Style - some of my past favourites

You probably won't believe it but this post has taken me all day to put together. The reason why? I am a total magazine fiend, have been since the tender age of 12 and I used to tear out pictures of anything that caught my fancy, be it clothes, makeup, fitness, holiday destinations, everything. During the week I ventured up to the attic to find some old uni papers and I found two huge boxes of scrapbooks and cuttings from the past 15 years.
Today, I thought I would go through them to find some of the Oscar looks that I remembered from my teenage years, thinking in particular of Winona Ryder in Vintage from the 1990s, Angelina Jolie in a white suit and Cate Blanchett in backless Jean Paul Gaultier. I figured this would take a few minutes. Well, I started this morning and at 8pm I'm still going! Major nostalgia is kicking in.

Carey Mulligan at The Oscars 2010

As I want to post something before the Oscars airs tonight, I have picked just a few stand outs and I will do some future posts on clippings from my collection, if only to remind everyone of what life was like for the fashion and beauty obsessed before blogs, online shopping, even the Internet. Magazines were my only window into a more glamorous world.

To give you an idea of the kind of style I like here are some of the stars that I think on the whole get it right every time. They may not be conventional, but they look stunning (I've probably missed out loads that ill come to me later):
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Michelle Williams
  • Julianne Moore
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Winona Ryder
  • Keira Knightley
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Milla Jovovich
A stunning Michelle Williams pulls off a very hard to wear colour at The Oscars

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Space NK GWP!

Now I'm not sure if I'm the only one who is quite excited about this, mainly because I've never seen Space NK do something like this before, it's usually our friends in the US who get all the cool beauty gifts, but I thought it was worth a mention.

Lipstick Queen Jean Queen Lipstick - £15
From tomorrow until Saturday (while stocks last), Space NK are giving customers a free gift with purchases over £75. Here is what the gift contains:
  • Nars mini compact foundation
  • Lipstick Queen Jean Queen Lipstick
  • Rococo Nail Apparel
  • Laughter 15ml eau de toilette
  • Space NK makeup bag
The main reason I think this is such a great offer is the inclusion of Jean Queen lipstick. I tried to get this online a few times before Christmas but it was constantly sold out so it is great to see it as part of this GWP. In the end my brother bought it for me and I wear it a lot, it is a suits everyone light pink and you can see my post on it here.

If the nail varnish is the same a the one shown in the promo ad for this set, it seems to be a light silver. I've never tried Rococo before and this would be an ideal opportunity to do so. I would imagine that the Nars foundation will be a medium beige shade, the kind they expect will suit the most people. I've never smelt any of the Space NK fragrances before but I know Fee at Makeup Savy rates them highly and that is good enough for me.

Space NK have just started stocking Ellis Faas, which was exclusive to Liberty, and the new collections from Nars and Chantecaille are both available now online so if you have the money, I think it would be pretty easy to reach the £75 threshold!

After praising this GWP so highly, I'm still not sure if I will go for it, simply because I don't really have the money and I'm trying to take a more responible attitude with my finances now. If I didn't already own Jean Queen, I think my resolve would weaken, but at the moment I'm trying to hold firm!

Will any of you be placing an order in the next few days?

Also, in case some of you think I've forgotten about my 100 follower giveaway, I haven't and I'm delighted to have hit that target. The prizes are going to be the Chantecaille Turtle Palette and on of the new Hydra Chic Lipsticks, but I need to wait until I can afford them both! Hopefully I will get hold of both products in March (heading to London then) so expect to see a post about it mid month.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

MAC Kissable Lipcolours in Flaunting It and Scandelicious

Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts lately, puppy has decided my lap is the most comfortable place to sleep so accessing my computer has proved difficult. I've just managed to manoeuvre her into her basket to escape upstairs to quickly write this.

Top to bottom: MAC Kissable Lipcolours in Scandelicious & Flaunting It

MAC's Kissable Lipcolours are limited edition and part of the Peacocky Collection. For me, this has been the MAC collection I have most looked forward to as having read American beauty blogs, both the lipcolours and Mega Metal Eyeshadows were said to be great quality (I'll post on the eyeshadows separately).

There is quite a wide colour range available int he Kissable formula but I was immediately drawn to Flaunting It, a mauve, and Scandelicious, a Fuchsia. They are designed to be a hybrid of lipstick and gloss and this is an accurate description. They have a doe foot applicator and a slightly artificial scent of vanilla, but nothing too offensive to the nose! I got excellent wear from both colours, having drank a bottle of water and noticing zero transference, and it feels like you aren't really wearing anything. They remind me a lot of the Chanel Rouge Allure Laque, but although cheaper, from what I can work out you get twice as much product in the Chanel.

Swatches left to right: MAC Scandelicious, MAC Flaunting It

Although I love both shades, I am thrilled with Flaunting It. Some of you may remember that I was hugely disappointed with the Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Stunt, a limited edition shade I had to get from America that claimed to be mauve. In reality it was more brown, mud brown, something I have an intense hatred of on my lips. I was concerned the same would be true of Flaunting It, but to my pleasant surprise, MAC are not colourblind and know what mauve is. Bravo for that.

MAC Kissable Lipcolour in Flaunting It applied

MAC Kissable Lipcolour in Scandelicious applied
My only regret with these lipcolours is that I didn't buy more of them. I splurged on the eyeshadows but the Kissable Lipcolours are probably superior. Hopefully, there will still be some available by the time I'm out of red.

MAC Kissable Lipcolours cost £16 each and are available online from MAC, Selfridges and Debenhams.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Monday Manicure: Butter London's Marrow

A really quick post tonight, Butter London's Marrow was part of the brand's 3 shade collection in memory of Alexander McQueen. The other two were Bumster, a mustard yellow and All Hail McQueen (now called All Hail The Queen), a nude with holographic particles in it.

Butter London Marrow - £10
Marrow is a dark purple creme and is very similar to Leighton Denny's Embellish Me (a previous Monday Manicure), but slightly less jewel toned and less rich. The Butter London bottles are small, but I am just about over the shock of that and the formula is excellent. I got perfect coverage in two coats. Although I really like this shade, I probably prefer Embellish Me because I get opacity in one coat and I love anything that saves me time! If I had realised how similar the two are, I would have gone for a more individual shade from Butter London instead.

2 coats of Butter London Marrow applied + Leighton Denny Crystal Finish Top Coat (photo taken in artificial light)
Unfortunately the daylight passed me by today so the swatch had to be taken in artificial light and right after I'd applied OPI's Avoplex oil. In real life the colour is more like it appears in the bottle (see the first photo).

Butter London polishes are 3 free and available from where I think they still have a 3 for 2 offer going on them. They can also be found at and in some Oasis and Whole Foods stores.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Jussi's Day Trip

Once again, this is a puppy post and not beauty related, but indulge me!

We are officially bringing Jussi home at 9.30am on Friday, but I had been calling the breeders (who live locally) so much asking to see her before then that they must have got sick of me and decided we could have her home for the day. I jumped at the chance and that day was today!

She wasn't keen at all on the car ride and I absolutely hate to see her looking distressed but she soon settled and enjoyed exploring her new home and the run my dad had made for her out in the garden (we have at least 50 metres of fencing to sort out before she can be let loose).

The silver on her fur is nail varnish put on by the breeders so they know which puppy is which!

It turns out that the toys we had bought Jussi aren't nearly as fun as my UGGs or my pyjama bottoms, which made a great tugging tool. Although my knee was the preference for sleeping on, she eventually got the idea that her bed might be more comfy, although she ended up sprawled across the kitchen floor!

A tiring but great day, along with the photo shoot for Lovely's Vintage Emporium (website opening 15th March) yesterday, this has been one of the best weekends I've had for a long time!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Some recent disappointments: Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipsticks

I got a little carried away a few weeks ago when Zuneta announced they had the latest three shades of Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipsticks in stock, along with the Rouge Bunny Rouge Cream Eye shadows, so I bought two of each, when realistically I could afford zero. Isn't that always the way?

Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick - £24

I have been guilty of stalking the Zuneta website a lot recently and Edward Bess is one of those brands that was on my wish list. I had heard great things about his lipsticks but was initially put off by the bias towards warmer shades in his collection. I got one of the only cool colours, Night Romance, for Christmas and I'll post about that later, but the recent trio that was released was meant to be based around pinks. Sounded perfect.

Left to right: Blush Allure, Rose Demure

I spent an age looking at swatches on some of my favourite American blogs, liked what I saw and so maxed my credit card to get Blush Allure and Rose Demure. Boy was it not worth it.

The Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipsticks are strongly scented with fig, which I don't mind although it is a bit sickly, but they do feel like the quality you would expect from an expensive lipstick. The packaging has been altered from the more usual circular container to a square one, but I prefer the original, not so bulky.

In my honest opinion, both shades look like I've covered my lips in mud. Not a good look. It reminds me of my first lipstick, a really drying brown that I got free with Mizz or Shout. I wore it to death and look back at the photos and cringe. Now I am older, wiser and can buy my own lipstick, I don't want to look like that again.

Top to bottom: Swatches of Edward Bess Lipstick in Rose Demure, Edward Bess Lipstick in Blush Allure
On some people, these shades might look great, but I cannot get away with a nude lip and that is definitely not what I thought I was buying. I have quite dark, naturally mauve/pink lips so brown tones look wrong on me. Even though these colours are meant to be based on pinks, I think they look brown, caramel even. I waited quite a while before posting this because I wondered if I'd change my mind and then once I saw the pictures, I thought they looked so horrid I almost couldn't bear to post them! Here they are though, in the hope that they might help others looking to choose shades to get an idea of whether or not they'd suit them.

Edward Bess Blush Allure applied

Edward Bess Rose Demure applied (sorry the pic is a bit out of focus)
Reading this back I must sound like such a grumpy person, I'm not usually, but I do get upset when I have high hopes for a product, perform all kinds of financial juggling to get my hands on it, only for it to look ghastly on me. Plus I am having withdrawal symptoms from my puupy! This is not a bad review of the actual product, just of the shades that I chose, which makes me all the angrier as it is totally my fault! Luckily I picked up two Rouge Bunny Rouge lipsticks in the 20% off Zuneta special and they are both perfect, shade, texture, everything. Thought I'd end on a happy note! (RBR post coming soon).

The Edward Bess range is stocked exclusively by in the UK and the lipsticks cost around £24 each.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Upcoming Giveaway!

Even though I've been quite a lazy blogger recently, I have been pleasantly surprised to see my followers steadily increase in numbers and I am almost at the big 100! To thank everyone for their support, I will be holding a giveaway if I ever get to three figures, with two prizes. One will only be open to the first 100 followers, you don't have to do anything, if you are currently following me you will be entered. The second prize will be for everyone, new and old followers alike.

This is just a little teaser and I will post more details in the next few weeks if I reach 100 followers, plus I need time to save up to buy the prizes! The only clue I will give is that both prizes will probably be from Chantecaille, one of my favourite brands from 2010.

This picture is possibly quite a big clue to one of the prizes!

Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick in Moroccan Rouge - swatches and review

The latest addition to my growing collection of lipsticks, Moroccan Rouge is a deep purple with a little pink to lighten it slightly. Reading that back that is possibly the most awful description I have ever come up with, so I hope the swatches will speak for themselves, the creative part of my brain appears to be lacking tonight!

Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick in Moroccan Rouge - £35

The shade is incredibly similar to Bruised Plum so you really don't need both and if I had realised how similar they were originally, I would have bought Smoke Red instead. January seems to have been the month for making stupid purchases for me! It is the same beautiful texture as all the other Tom Ford lipsticks I own though and the subtle vanilla scent is yummy. One of the Tom Ford Private Blend Lipsticks would make a lovely present for Valentine's Day if you go in for all that, so start dropping hints now!

Top: Tom Ford Bruised Plum, Bottom: Moroccan Rouge
 I have been avoiding a dark lip recently because my skin is covered in horrible red/purple spots and scars that refuse to budge no matter what I do (post coming up on that soon) and I only feel comfortable wearing such a bold lip with perfect skin. Unfortunately, Moroccan Rouge is a very similar shade to the leftover marks from stubborn spots so this has tainted it a little in my mind.

Left: Bruised Plum, Right: Moroccan Rouge
Although the differences between Bruised Plum and Moroccan Rouge are very subtle, I do prefer the latter. It has a little more pink to it, which I like, and is fractionally easier for me to pull off as it is that bit lighter. In my eyes Tom Ford can do no wrong, and although his lipsticks are a complete indulgence, I feel more elegant and luxurious whenever I put one on. Shallow? Yes, but true nonetheless.

Tom Ford Moroccan Rouge applied to the lips
Tom Ford Private Blend Lipsticks are available from Harrods and Selfridges online as well as in store for £35 each.

Monday, 7 February 2011

20% off at Zuneta for one day only!

Possibly the shortest post I've ever done, for today only there is 20% off all Zuneta orders when you enter the code FBKZU, to celebrate 1000 likes on the Zuneta Facebook page.

As the only UK stockist of cult favourites Rouge Bunny Rouge and Edward Bess, as well as offerings from Becca, Butter London and Malin & Goetz, this is one of my favourite websites and needless to say I placed an order this morning (or rather my mother did on my behalf, thanks mum!). If you needed another reason to shop today, all orders over £80 will receive a complimentary Becca Sheer Lip Tint.

If anyone is really interested, I ordered two of the Rouge Bunny Rouge blushers I've been lusting after for a few months, thankfully they are back in stock, Gracilis and Delicata. I also got two Rouge Bunny Rouge lipsticks in Word Of Mouth and Nothing Unknown, and an eyeshadow in Abyssinian Catbird. Here's hoping that the lipsticks suit me better than the two Edward Bess ones I recently purchased.

Anyone else ordered from Zuneta today?

You can shop online at

Monday Manicure: Katy Perry for OPI

Originally I had intended to get the full set of the Katy Perry for OPI polishes (4 colours plus the black shatter top coat) from the US but they sold out so quickly I never got the chance to put in an order. When I headed out to get the latest Chanel polishes though I spied the OPI colours and decided to refrain from the overly glittery ones and stick to The One That Got Away and Not Like The Movies (I seemed to be on a bit of a nail varnish spree that day!).

Left to right: OPI Not Like The Movies, OPI The One That Got Away - £9.95 each
 In the bottle, my definite favourite is Not Like The Movies, but as with so many polishes, it actually does not look right on my nails. It is one of those oil in water colours and changes from a greyish metallic light green to a mauve, depending on the light. It has a metallic, foil type finish and once again I have learnt that foils do not suit me. I applied two coats and there is still visible nail line. It also looks a bit streaky. All in all a nice enough colour but sadly the effect is not for me. It also reminded me a lot of the MAC Venomous Villains Nail colours, especially Mean & Green.

2 coats of OPI's Not Like The Movies plus Leighton Denny Crystal Finish Top Coat
Despite my poor choice with the first colour, I can see The One That Got Away becoming a firm favourite. A cool fuchsia with a delicate glitter, it is striking but not over the top. It appears very similar to OPI's recent release Let Me Entertain You, from the Burlesque Collection, but as I haven't tried it out on the nails yet, I can't say how they compare. From the bottles, the Katy Perry shade seems a touch darker and more muted, with the Burlesque colour more vibrant and a truer bright pink. Both contain fine glitter.

Left to right: OPI Let Me Entertain You, OPI The One That Got Away
After one coat I was dubious about this shade as it looked absolutely dreadful, streaky and just awful. Thankfully though 2 more coats rectified this and gave a smooth finish, what I have come to expect from OPI. I buy a lot of polishes from this brand and this is one of my favourites. I don't like really crazy, 'out there' nails, although I will give any shade a fair trial, but I like something elegant with a bit of an edge, and for me, this satisfies those criteria.

3 coats of The One That Got Away applied + Leighton Denny Crystal Finish Top Coat
I think I can do without the other 2 Katy Perry shades (glitters) and black shatter top coat. I will save my money for the entire Texas Collection, yes I am officially a nail polish addict!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Say hello to Jussi!

I will state this now, this post has absolutely nothing to do with makeup, and everything to do with my new puppy, which is far more important!
This is Jussi!

After 26 years of nagging, I finally managed to persuade my parents to get a Labrador puppy. We were torn on which colour to go for, me favouring chocolate, my mother wanting golden and my father indifferent. Yesterday he found a local breeder with connections to my old school who had a litter of 9 puppies on Christmas Eve, 7 black and 2 golden. We were just going to visit this lunch time to learn about the puppies and what to look for, get our questions answered etc as both the golden ones had been sold and there was just one black bitch and dog remaining. I think you can guess what happened!

Puppies Galore!

My dad was immediately smitten with a beautiful black bitch and it was hardly a tough sell to me or my mother. The owners were so friendly and down to earth, and the dogs all appeared happy and well cared for, so any fears we had on that front were quickly put to rest. On 18th February our gorgeous puppy will be coming home with us. We had already decided on the name Jussi (pronounced Y-see, the y said how you say the letter y in the phonetic alphabet) after watching the Swedish TV series Wallander. In the second series of the made for TV episodes, the famous detective gets a chocolate Labrador called Jussi. Again my mum wanted Barley, I wanted Livy or Indy, so we came to a compromise.

You can expect endless photos of her to appear on my blog when she comes home to us, but rest assured I will try to keep my mind beauty related until then!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Leighton Denny TSV today on QVC

I certainly don't need anymore nail polish but I can't resist a bargain or vibrant summer colours, so for that reason the latest Leighton Denny TSV might be on its merry way to me. It costs £29.98 from QVC and with the P&P it comes to roughly £35. It includes 5 full size bottles of polish, 2 from his Spring Collection (Gelato) which isn't released until April, 2 from the core collection, including best seller Supermodel, and one special edition mauve that is only available in this kit. You also get Miracle Drops, said to makes nails touch dry in 60 seconds,and Cuti Lips cuticle cream/lip balm, along with a few other nail accessories.
Leighton Denny TSV (£29.98) on

The colours included are a suit everyone nude/taupe (Supermodel), a bold red creme (Indulgence), a limited edition shimmery mauve that looks a little like the base colour of Chanel's Paradoxal (Leading Lilac), a coral pink (Lolly Pop) and a vibrant berry (Berry Nice).

It is all to easy to be swayed by QVC's selling technique, and I would say that these kits are only good value if you will actually use all of the product included. I bypassed the last TSV in December as I have more than enough French manicure shades, but this one seems quite special. I could imagine myself wearing all 5 colours, and mauve is my favourite shade in almost everything! A full bottle of polish costs £11 so you are making a reasonable saving, even with P&P.

You can see my previous post on Supermodel here and British Beauty Blogger recently wrote about one of the new colours in the set, Lolly Pop.

The kit is available from for £29.98 until midnight tonight.

Have any other fellow nail addicts gone for this kit today?

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Leading Lilac (only available in the QVC TSV)

Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Lolly Pop (from the Gelato collection available in April)