June Favourites

I can't believe June is over already! Only two months of summer left :( This month has been Vampire month for me, with the new True Blood novel release and of course, the Eclipse soundtrack :) But let's get down to the beauty products!

I got this a while ago with one of those Boots £5 off vouchers and started using it properly when the days became sunnier. I absolutely love it! Even though it's SPF 30 it's light and sinks into the skin quickly, acting as a moisturiser, primer and sun block in one. It has a slightly cream/beige colour rather than being the usual stark white that SPF creams can be, but does have a faint sun-block scent. It's my summer essential and I won't leave the house without it on!

i.d bare Minerals SPF 15 Foundation in Fairly Light

This mineral foundation featured in my May favourites too, but I have to mention it again because I have practically used it every day. In the hot weather it's great for setting liquid foundation in place and I've also been using it alone in the day. With the right brush it gives good coverage - I like to use a pore-filling primer underneath for a smoothest finish. This powder really came through for me when I realised to my horror that it was the only foundation I'd packed for my mini cruise last week! (usually I bring a heavy coverage liquid like MAC Studio Fix as it needs to last from 6pm to 4/5am) However I packed on loads with my Inglot kabuki brush and my skin glowed and was almost flawless. One of the best things about mineral foundation is the lack of tide marks around your jawline/neck - a serious issue for me and my pale skin! The shade 'Fairly Light' is one shade darker than their lightest (Fair) which suits me better, but I got this in a set, and in the summer I can make it work for me.

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Light Flush

This MSF was part of the MAC Pinkzapoppin! set released around Christmas time. I use it as a bronzer and it gives a very light and flattering colour. It's very iridescent and has a pinkish undertone, which suits pale skin much better than your typical orangey brown bronzers. I've used it a lot and barely made a dent in it - definitely good value!
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in 004 Champagne

When I got this foundation for the first time about five years ago I didn't get on with it at all. But after experimenting with different ways of application and the release of an even lighter shade this really works for me when I want to put on a fast, good coverage and oil absorbing foundation on rushed mornings. Of course it's not the greatest for tide marks, but it is easier to blend these away with the mousse formulation than with a thick liquid. Lately I've been applying it with a duo fibre brush and blending any problem areas with a makeup sponge and this method gives a lighter, smoother finish.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara

I've had this mascara longer than is probably hygienic, but it's still going strong and hasn't dried out. The brush looks pretty standard but it is a holy grail mascara. Pure black, separates lashes, lengthens and holds the curl well (although the waterproof version would do this better). I paid about £19.50 for it at the time, but it's worth it as I've bought countless lower end brand mascaras since which could never match up. This mascara makes me excited about my lashes!

St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse

I started using this last year following Lollipop26's recommendation. St. Tropez always seems too orange and expensive for me to bother, but I paid £2.99 for this rip-off on Amazon Marketplace, and it's been one of my discoveries of the year. I no longer have to look like the living dead with my pale, almost blue skin. I only apply it on special occasions or when I'm feeling particularly fat! I've had it on for the most of June. It's best applied with with a tan mitt for no streaking and non-freaky hands. It barely streaks, the colour is natural on me, and it fades quite evenly. However this bottle is about a year old (I did a massive bulk order when I saw how great it was) and I think it must have gone off a bit as it looks darker than normal - time for a new one! The only drawback is that it is drying, but I've found this an issue with all the fake tans I've tried.

I know it's not beauty related, but it's been a big favourite this month!

I got a bit obsessive and read all the previous novels, along with watching the TV series'.  I'm halfway through the latest book and glad to see that Charlaine's writing skills have become slightly more sophisticated.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fictional world she's created, set in the American South and I've been vampire mad ever since Buffy, but as a writer I find her repetitive.  I wish someone more imaginative had the idea for this series.  (And I want more Eric action!)  I feel the same way about Twilight, again I love this series, but wish a less 'cringey' writer had that famous meadow dream.

I really hoped this would be a new favourite, but I'm just not getting into it :(

Continuing with the vampire theme I picked up this album on Monday and have given it a couple of listens.   It won't be replacing the Twilight or New Moon soundtracks on my iPod any time soon.  Not even one song grabs me.  I really expected to love it at first listen.  However I'm reserving final judgement until I've seen the film...
What's your favourite June product?


Superdrug & Boots: Who Only Ever Picks Up One Thing?!

I only went in for handwash and came out with a mini haul...story of my life!  I'm actually a bit glad that I don't live in the US where I'd have a daily battle to resist the lure of behemoths like CVS, Walgreens et al which have massive aisle after aisle of beauty goodies!

I'm actually pretty happy with my handwash find - this Original Source Nourishing Shea Butter & Honey soap smells of vanilla, my all time favourite scent! Makes a nice change from boring old Carex.  The only thing is it's not antibacterial, which as a contact lens wearer I always try to go for.

I was delighted to nab another can of Batiste Coloured Dry Shampoo in Brunette as every Boots and Superdrug I've been to in the last few weeks has been sold out - damn festival season!  I like the Blush and Tropical versions but they show up white, so when I'm in a rush in the morning I look a bit grey if it's not rubbed in properly.  I have red hair and the Brunette shade is perfect for me - it blends in without me even having to brush through.  However I've read that people who are Brunette find the colour a bit lacklustre and taupey.  Batiste saves me some sleep on really difficult mornings, but I find it runs out very quickly and is a bit steep at £2.99 a can.

I sold out to my love of Cheryl Cole and bought the mini can of Elnett hairspray with her mug on it - hey, I needed a can that could fit in my tiny suitcase for my
work cruise!  I'm usually a haircare product whore, but since finding Elnett, this is all I use.  The only thing they could improve is the cloying scent.

I almost broke my bag lugging home the two ginormous tubs of
Vitamin E All Over Body Cream (475mls), but at £4.00 for both how could I resist?!  I'm a fan of the Superdrug Vitamin E range - I think I own practically everything from it.  This body cream is great as it doesn't have much of a scent, you can slap on loads and it sinks in very quickly.  I'm a fan of tubs as opposed to tubes as they're less fiddly and you can get the job done quicker.

The last item, from Boots, is the Prestige SunFlower Illuminating Bronzing Powder in Terra (the lighter shade of two).  I resisted this for a year but finally caved after a long, failed search for NYC's Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny which is apparently wonderful on pale skin.  I have a tempestuous relationship with bronzer as I don't tan naturally and can very easily end up looking muddy and/or orange.  This bronzer does look scarily dark, but I will use a light hand and a fan brush, or at least a very sparse brush.  The star is very glittery, which may work out as a nice highlight, but the main part of the product looks pretty matte, with only a light sheen to it.  Fingers crossed it works on my pale skin, I shall return with a review once tested!

This is a terribly long post for only a few items! Well done if you've made it this far!

Are you a Batiste fan? Have you tried any Prestige cosmetics?


Sleek MakeUP Limited Edition Raspberry Souffle Pout Polish

           With Flash                                   Without Flash                       After Patting Off Excess 

Superdrug Westfield was out of these limited edition tinted lip conditioners last weekend, so when I saw they'd restocked on Saturday I had to grab one!   I chose Raspberry Souffle as Lemon Meringue didn't suit me, even though the colour was quite sheer.  I always have one of these little pots in my bag as they double up as a balm and lip colour for me on the go.

I also have
Electro Peach and Pink Cadillac which are gorgeously flattering colours, and my latest one is slightly more vibrant than Pink Cadillac with bluer undertones (good for making teeth appear whiter).  The flavour of this LE Pout Polish is the same as those in the permanent line, it's pleasant, but could be sweeter.  For a more in depth review on what these little pots contain etc., see this post.  For me they are comparable to MAC tinted lip conditioners and have SPF 15, which is great as I tend to get freckles around or even ON my lips if I'm out in very strong sun (see photos!).   It's buildable and very glossy, but I also like the look of a lip stain you can get by patting off the excess with a tissue (above right).  It's also relatively long lasting for a balm.

You can order Raspberry Souffle for £3.99 from
Sleek's website or visit your local Superdrug


Quick Tip & Hello Again!

Hey everyone, I've been AWOL the past few days as I 'had to' go on a work trip on board this fab cruise ship, Norwegian EPIC:

Oh yes =) a good time was had by all. Especially my appetite, which helped me gain THREE pounds. IN. TWO. DAYS. Surely this bends some law of Physics? :( The best things on board were the Ice Bar (there's only a few in the world) and the massive waterslide and plunge pool, oh and the night club with bowling alley and the disco/club with massive screen out on deck. Not a huge fan of The Blue Man Group however. Twas cool they were playing on board, but they're not my thing...a bit...try hard. There was a great range of cosmetics and beauty items in the shops on board: Smashbox, Elemis, Estee Lauder, YSL, etc. but sadly they didn't open as it was just an industry jaunt. Next time though, next time...

I tried to nick this chandelier for my bedroom, but it wouldn't fit in my suitcase:

I missed my wee blog though.

Here's a little Friday Night Quick Tip:
I am a massive perfume obsessive but I have weird Teflon skin to which fragrances just won't stick! So, I apply a light patch of Vaseline (the original, unperfumed one) to the areas I like to spritz (behind ears, wrists, inside of elbow) and this has proven to prolong fragrances quite well. I'm afraid I don't have 'the Science bit' for you on that, but it does work!

And a mini-tip: when applying perfume to your wrists don't rub them together as this can crush the perfume molecules, thereby altering the aroma...let the scent develop naturally.

Lots of properly beauty-related posts on the way; this weekend I'm having a good old rest, a bout of self inflicted starvation (see above) and blog catch up (oh, and Bon Jovi at the O2!). Although I do wish I was at IMATS in Pasadena.

Happy Friday!

Don't forget to follow this blog for feeds with the latest updates!


Marks & Spencer's Make Up Brushes

I popped into the Oxford Circus branch at lunchtime today to pick up a USA socket adapter, and travel accessory section was right next to the make up line, so of course I had to have a little look!  I was happy to see M&S have slightly expanded their range of make up brushes.  Last year I picked up their Autograph eyeshadow brush for £5 and was pleasantly surprised.

Today I picked the Autograph blusher brush over the face brush even though they both felt gorgeously soft.  I'm always on the look out for a blusher brush which is quite small as I just dab colour on the apples of my cheeks.  Some blusher brushes are so huge you can end up looking like a clown if you use a heavy hand!  The one review on the website talks about shedding but I've literally tried to pull out hairs and they won't budge! I'll see what happens after a wash.

The brush looks lovely and the handle is very sleek.  Excellent value too at £7.50.  The eyeshadow one only set me back £5.  They do a set of brushes for £22.50 and I wish I'd waited and just bought that!

The only issue I have with the brushes is that the handles splay out at the bottom, like The Body Shop's brushes.  This makes it difficult to store them in a brush roll for travel and they take up more room in the holder (I use a glass jar for mine).

I'll be heading back to the M&S make up counter soon as I saw some interesting illuminating fluid and a mattifyer I want to try.  I really like some of their skin care, I remember a few years back some products were compared to Clarins.

What do you think of M&S's beauty offerings? Would you recommend any of their perfumes?
Perfect shaped blusher brush


Free Benefit Makeup with Glamour Mag!

I know these came out last week but I've had such a mission tracking down all three free products and finally today got my hands on BAD gal, well two of them!

I already use eyebright and it's great and I'm very excited to try out it stick and BAD gal.

I think the big newsagents - WH Smtih and the likes - got a new batch today as they've been out all week. I had some luck with small, quiet newsagents for the first two products, but you'll have more luck with the biggies this weekend as they get the deliveries first.

So I've been lucky enough to pick up two of each - a set will feature in a future giveaway :)

My beauties:

Did you get lucky with Glamour this month?


MAC Venomous Villains Coming Autumn 2010!

Rumours about a MAC Disney collection have been swirling on Makeup Alley for ages now, and this afternoon I was delighted to read Princesa Livia's post about the forthcoming MAC Venomous Villains collection due out in Autumn 2010.  

Now I must say I am a little disappointed that MAC has based the collection on their villainous characters, I would have preferred so see my beloved Disney Princesses (Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine!) adorning the packaging, but no doubt I will pick a few bits up from this collection.   Instead we get to choose from Cruella, Ursula (the one I'll go for as I love The Little Mermaid!), the Evil Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent.

Here's a naughty pap shot of a few bits:

I'm slightly surprised that MAC just went with the straight up cartoon illustrations in all their glorious colour rather than working the characters into a more sophisticated design, but hey, we're all kids at heart!  I deeply regret missing the Hello Kitty collection (I must have been on Mars at the time) and so I will be swooping into MAC Westfield the minute they're released!

Will you bother with this collection?  Did MAC go with the best Disney villains?!


The One That Almost Got Away: The Studded Dress from Oasis

This evening I looked all over Oxford Street for this studded dress from Oasis. I could have bought it online but I really want to wear it Friday night, plus I end up returning most things I buy online from Oasis so I wanted to see it in the flesh. It reminds me of a dress they brought out last summer in black or white with silver studs. It sold out very fast and I didn't get to wear it to the Lovebox festival as planned.

The dress I picked up today was the last one in my size out of EIGHT Oasis shops/department store concessions that I tried. Thankfully the nice manager in the Regent Street branch called around some of them for me. I finally tracked it down in House of Fraser.

I hope it will replace my 'Old Faithful' - a three year old black and white New Look dress that I end up wearing to every dog fight! I can wear it with my Dorothy Perkins studded ballet flats in the daytime and find some way to dress it up for night...

£50 for a cotton dress is a bit steep, but the detailing is pretty


The EOS Lipbalm Bandwagon

I tracked down this cute little egg- shaped lip balm I first saw Michelle Phan using in her YT videos at Urban Outfitters last week and picked up the Summer Fruits flavour.  They also stock the Lemon Drop and Sweet Mint balms but not the Honeysuckle Honeydew flavour.  At £6 each I won't be collecting them all.

It's not as moisturising as I thought it would be but I like the fact that it is 100% natural and 95% organic.    It's also billed as being Gluten-free, Paraben-free, Petrolatum-free and Phthalate-free which is a good thing for something I have been applying (and inevitably ingesting) a good few times a day.  The Summer Fruits flavour is pleasant and quite subtle.  It contains Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E and goes on clear.  'EOS' stands for 'Evolution of Smooth'.  It's the ultimate balm for the lazy ones among us, I pucker my lips and swipe the whole thing across in one go! 

I used to collect bouncy balls as a child, and this brings me back :)
Will you be getting an egg?


Kat Copies: Miss Dior Cherie

A few years ago I was desperate to get Dior Miss Cherie, but it was almost £50. I loved everything about it, especially the bottle. While on a smelling spree at the Boots perfume counter I picked up Katie Price's 'Stunning' for a joke, and found a great dupe for my Dior favourite! I spent ages going into Boots spraying the original and the imposter on both wrists and sniffing them as they developed over the day, and by the end of my experiments, I found that Stunning lasts longer on my skin.  At the time it was less than half the price of Miss Cherie, it's £18.99 for 30mls at Boots now.

I took this photo a little while ago and have since finished off Miss Cherie which my friend Rachel gave me for my 24th birthday.  I worked my way through a Stunning 50ml bottle and my friend Sinead got me the 30mls for my last birthday. I'm all Miss Cherie'd out at the moment, but if I ever want to repurchase it, I'll go for Stunning.   I get a lot of compliments on Stunning, and of course pass it off as Dior, even though Miss Cherie is widely recognised, no one has ever told the difference!

The perfume is extremely sweet and has notes of mandarin, strawberry leaf, violet, jasmine, caramel popcorn, wild strawberry sorbet, musk, and patchouli.  Over time it has begun to smell a bit too civet-y for me, but this is a pheromone, so hey!

Next also brought out a dupe, and the bottle is a bit similar to Stunning's.  It's called Diamonds and is only £12 for 100mls.


NOTD: Nails Inc. Picadilly Circus

This nail polish was one of my May Favourites so I thought it was worth showing you how it looks on...

With Flash                                                                                          Without Flash

Nails Inc. describe it as a 'deep pink' but it's more of a pinkish red.  Like many other polishes this one looks different in natural vs. artificial light.  I only applied one coat this time but normally I would apply a base coat of clear or whitening polish to avoid staining my nails.  A second coat of colour and top coat of clear makes makes ensures ultimate gloss and good durability.  Nails Inc. polishes are pretty chip resistant.  


Kat Copies: Benefit Dallas

I first started using Benefit's Dallas powder when it featured in the limited edition Powderpop! box which came out last year.  I'd always avoided it as I thought it was far too dark for me, and always thought it was just a funky coloured bronzer.  For pink undertoned fair skin, it's actually a great warming natural cheek colour.  Sometimes I contour with it.  But at £23.50 a go I was determined to find an alternative...
The original

Here is NYC's Cheek Glow in Riverside Rose, £2.99:
The packaging may not be as cute as Benefit's but it does the job!
Benefit left, NYC right.  Riverside Rose is slightly paler.
Riverside Rose doesn't show up well on the arm swatch, so you can check it out on my cheeks below.  I find that dallas can be a bit too crumbly and it's very easy to overdo the colour.  Riverside Rose can be layered on the skin to achieve the desired effect.
NYC Riverside Rose on the left, Benefit Dallas on the right
I piled both products onto my cheeks so that they would show up in the photo.  In real life Dallas can look a bit too much if you don't use a very light hand.  To get the best effect from Riverside Rose you need a stiff brush and a couple of applications.

You can find the NYC range in some larger Superdrug stores or on their website.  If you're in London try the ones in Queensway, Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road or Kensington High Street.



Since I curled my hair I kept my make up pretty low-key last night.  Well it looks quite plain in the photo but as you'll see I used a shed-load of products!

I used: 

Avon Magix Face Perfector: This was a great discovery.  I love L'Oreal Studio Secrets primer - Polyfilla for wrinkles and pores - but I don't like to use it all the time as it's quite heavy.  Avon's is just a step down in thickness and gives me the perfect canvas.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Foundation in Vanilla 1 (Oil free & SPF 20): This is one of my favourite foundations and it deserves a review of it's own soon...

Benefit Erase Paste in No.1 Fair: It conceals everything but can look cakey under your eyes.  Not a good idea if you have significant under-eye wrinkles as it settles into them.  I took it up over my lid to act as an eye shadow primer and even out the skin tone there too. However I like it for a night out as it stays put.

N.Y.C Colour Wheel Mosiac Face Powder in All Over Bronze Glow: I have this in place of their Soft Skin Bronzer in Sunny which I hear is great for fair skin.  It's too dark to use as a bronzer but great for a contour as it's completely matte.  I used my Ruby & Millie Enhance Brush 10 MM (in photo) to make the contour and then buff away any harsh edges with a larger brush.

Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Sunbaked Mineral Bronzing Powder in 03 Pure Shimmer: Now there's a mouthful! I don't know why they call this a bronzer as it's purely a highlighting powder.   You'd look like a disco ball if you put this all over your face, but it's perfect as a cheekbone and under eyebrow highlight.  It's been compared to MAC's Soft & Gentle MSF, but it is a shade lighter.  I've been using my for almost a year and haven't made a dent in it!

MAC MSF in Light Flush: This is quickly becoming one of my favourite finishing face powders as it gives me a lovely light glow.  Traditional bronzers can look orange or dirty one me.  It is iridescent, but it gives me more of a gleam than a shine.

MAC Sheertone Blush in Cowgirl: I wouldn't have bought this colour in the shop but I picked it up (new!) from a stall on Portobello Market for £8.  It's matte and I like it for a very pink cheek.

e.l.f High Definition Powder: This has been compared to MUFE's HD powder which I haven't tried yet.  I use it as a final dusting to set my look and give me a soft focus finish.  You need to go easy with it though or you'll look white and powdery in photos as it reflects light.  e.l.f's version is very finely milled and makes your skin feel so smooth.  I'm not keen on the packaging however as I get covered in it when opening...

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Skinny Jeans: This was another Portobello Market find.  I got it new in the box for £5 and I love it as a base when I'm doing a darker eye look.  I darkened up the crease with my MUA e/s in Shade 12 which actually has a russet undertone when applied to the skin, despite having an ever so teal sheen in the pan.  As a highlight I used my new firm favourite MUA e/s in Shade 1.  Normally I use a whole palette of different colours but as I curled my hair I didn't want to look like a total drag queen!

The Body Shop 11 Eye Definer in Vibrant Emerald: I got this as a freebie with InStyle and am impressed that it glides on easily enough without dragging the skin around my eyes too much.  It's not great for doing your top lid but I popped it under my lower lashes to emphasise my eye colour.

MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack: I applied this to my upper and lower waterlines.

Revlon ColourStay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black: I like this for making a retro flick.

MUFE Aqua Smoky Lash Waterproof Extra Black Mascara: I used to dream about this mascara until I got my hands on it on a trip to Florence last June (yes, yes, I know I should have thrown it away in 3 months).  Of all my mascaras it makes the biggest impact on my lashes but I shouldn't have got the waterproof version as it's a nightmare to remove.  However w/p mascaras do hold a curl better.

Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in 112 Ambre Rose: This is my favourite shade of pink lipstick.  However it can be drying, but this makes it last longer.  All you need is a bit of gloss over the top.  A good one is...

Rimmel London's Stay Glossy Up to 6 Hours Last + Shine Lipgloss: this shade doesn't have a name but you can see the colour in the photo - beautiful.  It is extremely glossy but doesn't last anywhere near 6 hours!

And here they all are:


Kat Copies: Dolce & Gabanna's The One

Dolce & Gabanna The One is a beautiful perfume, but I've found a near-on bargain price dupe for it; Ted Baker's Divine range at Boots.  My workmate Hayley used to spray this before leaving the office everyday, and as I knew she had the D&G perfume, that's what I thought she was using.  I really couldn't tell the difference and only found out it was TB's body spray when I asked her why she was wasting her nice perfume!  The body spray is £4.95 for 150mls and the same for the 300ml body lotion. The One costs £34.00 for 30mls! Sometimes they even have a 1/3 off the price.  

I'm personally not a huge fan of body sprays as I do like the glamour of apply an expensive perfume from a nice bottle, but I keep this spray in my drawer at work and spritz to give myself a mood lift.  Anyone who forks out money on the D&G body lotion however should seriously think about switching to the Ted Baker one.

The scent is very sweet and more suited to night time, but I wear it during the day also.  It has top notes of mandarin and peach, jasmine at it's heart and supported by base notes of vanilla, amber and musk.  There's also a trace of bergamot, lychee and vetiver.

I've found a few other bargain copies of high end fragrances...remember to become a Google Follower to keep up to date with my latest posts!


Pretty Jewels

Sadly I missed out on the Primark tan mini-satchel bag which I made a special trip for.  I haven't been able to find any pictures of it online, but if someone knows the one I'm talking about, please tell me if you know of a Primark that still stocks it! All I can say about it is that it's very Alexa Chung.  I don't particularly like her style, but the bag is adorable.  Anyway, I consoled myself with these lovelies:


I like Primark jewellery, I tend to be a bit scatty and lose/break nice pieces, so cheap and cheerful suits me just fine!  The ring and two sets of studs were £2 an each.   So cute!
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