Beauty Empties | December 2012

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black - definite repurchase 

This is a phenomenal drugstore/bargain mascara, and it's finally come to UK shores.  The wand reminds me of Lancome Hypnose and the formula is almost as dark and sooty as Make Up Forever Smoky Lash, without the price tags of either of these.  It's a fantastic all-round mascara which I use for both day and night - thickening, lengthening and holds a curl pretty well.  Next time you're in Boots or Superdrug, you have to give this one a go.

Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry Shower - maybe repurchase 

I forgot how delicious this smells until the empty bottle out to review and now it's been upgraded from a 'no repurchase' to a definite 'maybe'.  It's a real treat to use but I found I got through it very quickly, but you can always get these on offer so it's not too sore on the purse.  It's very moisturising and I prefer it to their more zingy shower gel offerings.

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Repair Serum* - maybe repurchase

This is a really nice everyday serum.  I have a fuller review of this and the accompanying night cream coming up, but I got through this serum first as I found myself reaching for it every single morning.  It sinks in quickly and provided a great base for make up if I didn't feel like waiting for a cream to sink in.  Naughty I know as it doesn't have SPF in it, but in a rush it did the trick.  The blueberry smell is fresh and comforting.  I'm seriously thinking about picking this up again.

Garnier Body Summerbody Moisturising Lotion - Light Sunkissed Look - definite repurchase

As much I loved this self-tanner, it took me an age to get through it.  That had more to do with the fact that I'm very lazy with applying it and rock the Twilight look more than I should.  I've tried countless gradual tanners and this is by far the best budget option.  It has a fresh fruity smell with only minimal biscuity whiffyness compared to all your Dove, Nivea, Johnson's, etc offerings.  It sinks in extremely quickly, does a good job at moisturising, doesn't streak and gives a really natural tanned glow, even to my ginger skin which can end up looking orange.  If you are a tanaholic and haven't tried this one yet, you must. 

YSL Touche Eclat - maybe repurchase

I don't even want to admit to you how long I've had this radiance wand, but between you and me, it began 'not smelling right'.  That has more to do with me 'saving' it for special occasions rather than the longevity of the whopping 2.5mls of radiant liquid.  Since it joined my collection there have been so many other dupes coming onto the market - Sleek MakeUP, Aldi, L'Oreal, Collection 2000 to name a few really budget versions.  These give me pretty much the same effect as Touche Eclat.  I can only see myself repurchasing this to have a pretty gold wand in my handbag make up bag for touch ups, which has more to do with style than substance.

Yes to Cucumbers Daily Gentle Facial Cleanser* - maybe repurchase 

This was one of the nicest facial washes I used last here.  For a full review click here.  It smells divine - not as fresh as you would expect from a cucumber product but quite perfumed.  This may be an issue for those with sensitive skin.  Although it lathers up very well, it left my skin cleansed and soft, not tight.  A really nice product which I'd definitely repurchase, particularly if it was easier to come by on the high street.

The Body Shop Banana Shampoo - definite repurchase

This is an old classic which I think was revived by The Body Shop, but don't quote me on that.  Anyway, I'm glad it's back.  I would compare it to Aussie Moisture Miracle Shampoo, both in scent, lathering and hair cleansing properties.  I use Aussie so much I was getting a little bored and I think it's good to switch up your shampoo every so often - my hair is very oily and gets used to shampoos so quickly.  The Body Shop Banana Shampoo smells lovely, evokes memories and does a good job of cleaning hair without stripping it, and leaving it shiny and easy to comb through.  

I will be doing this 'Empties' series on a monthly basis.  It seemed like whole months passed in 2012 without me finishing so much as one product.  I'm not very loyal to products and flit between different skincare, makeup, hair products daily, but in 2013 I am going to be much more focused getting through my stash and I'll let you know each month how I get on.  I did pretty well in December, with no 'no repurchases' come across, but I'm sure there'll be some in the future.  

Have you tried any of my December Empties? What would you repurchase/definitely not repurchase?


Where I've been

Fear not, blogging mojo is still going strong...just not here! I’ve got literally 184 beauty posts in the pipeline, but over the weekend I was a little distracted by my other blog. I won’t call it a ‘lifestyle’ blog as that term is horribly pretentious, so it shall be known as my ‘freetime’ blog.

Here are some recent posts from over there which may take your fancy:

While I get going with Portobello Pearls posts here might not be as frequent, but there will be at least 3-4 per week from now on.

What did you get up to in the snow?


Angel Armogida Launches her Blue Moon Dress Collection

My friend Angel Armogida who you might be familiar with because I'm always mentioning her Youtube beauty channel has been a busy bee for the last few months designing her first collection of beautiful dresses and launching her business.  
I'm so proud of her - she's done everything from scratch from designing and making the dresses, designing all the branding, packaging, website and modelling, photographing and videoing the collection. PHEW! That's the fun stuff, she's also been registering her business and bulldozing through HMRC, Company's House and bank bureaucracy.  It's been a long journey but I know it won't be long until all her hard work pays off!

I'm delighted to show you her handmade in London creations and if any of them take your fancy you can buy your size, or a custom size, from  Make sure to like her Facebook page too for special offers and free shipping codes.  Here's to supporting British creativity, design and business - why not treat yourself or a loved one to a made to order hand crafted dress?

She's got more collections coming up, but for now, take a look at these beauties:

Angel Armogida makes elegant evening gowns & beautiful dresses for ladies all over the world. Every dress is handmade to order and attention is paid to every detail. Her unique dresses are carefully designed to flatter and every dress is finished with Swarovski crystals to add an element of glamour. 

The Blue Moon Collection features three dresses named after Moon Goddesses, Luna (Roman), Selene (Greek) and Freya (Scandinavian). Each dress is made of beautiful satin to represent the moon's reflection and the colours chosen are colours of the moon and sea. 

Luna, the Roman Moon Goddess is represented in a modern, thigh skimming royal blue cocktail dress with flattering Swarovski embellishments.

Selene, the Greek Moon Goddess is represented in an elegant, silver floor length ball gown with beautiful Swarovski waist trim detail and a train.

I've seen this dress in the flesh and it is truly stunning.

Freya, the Scandinavian Moon Goddess is represented in a sea green and silver sequined number with thigh length slit and generously adorned with Swarovski crystals.

Packaging is important. Each dress is carefully wrapped in quality black tissue paper before being packed in a durable storage box tied with black satin ribbon. Every box has the name of the dress spelled out in rhinestones. You will be so impressed, you'll even want to keep the swing tag!


Angel is also offering affordable website/blog/business advertising on her website.  You can get 50% off advertising by using the discount code CLICKAD50 - so a 120x120 ad can be just £2.50 per month! Bargain.

2013 - Fresh Starts

I was very glad to say goodbye to 2012.

For those of you who know about astrology, let's just say my Saturn Return was and still is, in full swing.

The changes it brings about can be painful (particularly if yours in in Scorpio - yay for me :S), but they are necessary to help you become the person you need to be. Clearly I had a lot of transforming to do, so my path has been a little rougher than others. Woe is me! 

Seriously though, whether or not celestial bodies are involved, I think everyone's late 20s involve massive life changes - travel, moving house, moving jobs, starting and ending relationships and losing loved ones. These experiences prepare you for your 30s and help you decide which direction you life is going in.

This blog was definitely a casualty and many times, when I just couldn't find the inclination to wax lyrical about a new lipstick when so much else was going on, I thought about jacking it in. 

I'm glad I didn't. I'm trying not to carry regrets with me anymore, but I do have a niggling regret that there are such large gaps between my posts on here over the last year. Every time I thought I got my mojo back it turned out to be a false alarm, and I didn't just want to churn out any old rubbish. Anyone can use stock photos and cut and paste press releases, but I like to spend a long time over taking the photos, editing them and writing the post content in a way that is personal to me. 

One good thing I did last year was take a Photoshop course. I learned lots of things, which I promptly forgot, but I retained the basics and it's made editing the photos for this site much easier. I will be going back over my notes to develop my skills. My OCD makes me pretty good at retouching old cracked and discoloured photos. 

Thank you so much for hanging around while there are so many other amazing blogs to follow. I lost a few people along the way, but amazingly gained so many new readers who came across my older content from Google searches and links from other lovely bloggers. I kept up with the proliferation of fantastic new beauty and lifestyle blogs which sprung up during my hiatus and they in many ways inspired me to come back to blogging. 

I plan to be just like this little kitten in 2013:

Procrastination. The great time thief.

I always make some sort of New Year resolution, sometimes a whole list, but this year I haven't written anything down until now.  

My main goal for 2013 is to STOP PROCRASTINATING! I have a tonne of ideas and plans for the things I want to do and I can't wait to start putting them into action.  

Some specific  resolutions which will only be achieved if I take care of the main one, are:
  • Get thin for thirty. When I say thin, for me this means letting my body settle to its ideal weight.  I want to achieve a good balance of eating well, sleeping well and exercising well.  I want to be the best version of myself.  Last year I lost the weight I piled on during a fraught relationship (30lbs/over 2 stone).  Over the past few months I've put on about half a stone, but I have a goal of losing a further 2 stone. I'll probably write about my past and future chunk-shedding journeys at my other blog.
  • Sleep More. Be in bed asleep by 11pm on school night. (I wouldn't bet on this one...)
  • Read more. Since I stopped taking the bus to work I just can't seem to find the time to read.  Kindles, iPads, a massive bookcase of books have failed to shift my literacy lurch.  I try to read the Economist nearly every week as it's more time efficient that reading a newspaper everyday, but it's hard to find the time to finish it, and I hate being surrounded by half-read things. Please leave me a comment below with any recommended reads for me.
  • Save not Spend. I am quite good at saving generally, but sometimes I do get carried away.  I need to reign this in and rather than shoving whatever's left over at the end of the month into savings, decide at the beginning of the month what my spending budget will be (rent, travel, food, socialising, shopping) and immediately push a chunk into savings.
  • Better Beauty Routine. This is related to my fitness resolution as positive changes on the inside translate on the outside.  I need to be more regimental in my skincare routine.  I'm good with eyecreams and always put some sort of concoction on my face before bed, but I really need to make more use of masks and scrubs.  This year I really noticed a lot more fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes (crying is so bloody ageing!) but I've been using a couple of skincare products which have really made a difference.  It's amazing, I can't believe they're actually working.  I'll be blogging about them soon.  The key with beauty routines is consistency.  No point using a bank breaking serum on your face a couple of nights a week, better off to use a more budget friendly alternative that still packs some key ingredients, every night. 
  • Travel Staycation. The last few years have been quite jet set, but sometimes I find all the effort that goes into planning, shopping for and recovering from a holiday abroad just add up to you not having a proper 'restful' break. I don't tan so I don't really do beach holidays which are relaxing, so instead I turn into a weird supertourist who gets up at the crack of dawn to see everything of interest and follow this up by going clubbing.  It's exhausting. I love London and there is still so much of it I haven't explored that I'm seriously thinking of staycationing for a week this year.  I also need to sort another cruise holiday for the mummy and me. 
I think that's about it.

Ah no! I forgot a very important one!
  • Be a better blogger.  Well, the' betterness' is for you lot to judge, but 'better' to me means 'consistent'! When I first started my blog I spent hours on it every evening and weekends.  To be honest it got a little bit too much and I could have been a lot more efficient with my time if I worked a little smarter.
    • Blogging Routine. For a while I've wanted to get into a proper routine, I just need to accept that I'm Type A and get on with it! Executing a blog post in one go - picking the topics, taking and editing the photos and then writing the content all in one go - is definitely not the best use of time.  I always have a million ideas for posts swirling around, so I've taken a lovely new Liberty notebook and committed them to paper. The plan is to devote one full day per month to blogging, and the odd Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  School nights are for catching up with friends, gym, beauty events and reading books and blogs.  
    • Photography. I will 'batch photograph' when there is good lighting, edit and save them for a rainy afternoon when I can sit down a write a few posts in one go.  I also want to splash out for a 'proper' DSLR camera. 
One huge plan is to start blogging at Portobello Pearls again.  I want to keep Click & Make-Up purely beauty oriented, so lots of the other things I get up to will be over there.

Isn't this a pretty Filofax? I can't get enough of this gorgeous teal colours.  I dream of a cream kitchen with teal accents, but for now this little piece of teal will have to do.  

It's real leather but I got it in a Ryman's sale for £5. Diary included!

A lot of people are very 'routine averse' thinking that it means stamping out any joy or spontaneity from life, but experience has taught me that without routine, you never get anything done! Next time someone tries to make a plan with me, in the words of Del Boy, I'll have to check my Filofax.

God, I'm such a Yuppy. 

Happy 2013, may this year bring you love, blessings and happiness x 

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