Review | L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Blush Universal Rosy Blush

L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Blush Universal Rosy Blush*

This works in the same way as Smashbox's O Glow Intuitive Cheek Colour but is nearly a third of the price. It's a clear blush which turns pink on contact with skin to give a natural glow. While it's totally faddy, I love it.  It wouldn't matter to me if it came out of the tube already pink, in fact it would help me avoid applying too much!

This works best on pale to light medium skintones as it is very Barbie bubblegum pink.  The gel texture is even easier to blend than a cream formulation.  I keep it in my make up handbag kit and it doubles up as a lip tint if I need a bit of perking up.  

The only issue I have with this blush is why they've called it a 'BB' blush.  What on earth?! 'BB' stands for Blemish Balm and there's nothing about it which suggests it contains any ingredients which could perform a skincare role.  It's just a good example of marketing gone wrong.  How they got this past the advertising watchdogs beats me.

I've been using this daily for almost two months and it's still going strong, so it's a definite future repurchase. 


Review | L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in Lolita, Princess and Milady

L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in Milady*
£7.99, available in 8 shades

One of the most exiting new products launched at the L'Oreal Spring/Summer 2013 Product Showcase I attended in February were these Glam Shine Stain Splashes.  They've been compared to YSL Glossy Stains in that they are the perfect mix of colourful pigment, glossiness and stain-like durability.

I've worn Lolita almost everyday, it's one of those pinky nudes which looks different on everyone depending on your underlying skintone.  One coat gives me a hint of glossy blush, but it can be layered into a 'my lips but better' stain with two or three.

If you're not sure about splashing out on YSL's offering give these L'Oreal dupes a go first because the texture might not be for everyone.  They start off feeling very wet, then go sticky as they dry, afterwhich they won't budge for at least 4 hours.  They do however struggle with food and drink.

I'll definitely be picking up a few more shades as these have become my Spring lip staples. 

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Review | Sleek MakeUP Limited Edition Aqua Collection

It seems like a lifetime since I've had a Sleek MakeUP post for you, but this one was worth the wait.  I was sent this collection in February and at the time the weather was so horrendous all the bright colours were a bit much to take.  In the past week the warmer weather has made the possibility of bright Spring make up more tangible.

The collection is limited edition and has been available since mid March, so move quick if you want to get your hands on it.  Purchase the Lagoon Eyeshadow online from or at Superdrug for £7.99 and the Mirrored Pink Blush for £4.49.

The top shade from the Lagoon palette is definitely the pale bronze. I'm a Sleek eyeshadow evangelist because for the budget price the quality is great, more so with the metallic shades.  This is a fun palette and if you're into bright eyes this will see you right through to the end of summer.  

The Mirrored Pink blush is a masterpiece.  It's their cooler toned answer to their infamous Rose Gold which caused such a stir a couple of years ago for being a straight up NARS Orgasm clone.  After my initial fling with Rose Gold I had to face the sad truth that it just isn't that flattering on my pale skin.  It turns up too orange and warmed toned, making me look ruddy rather than flirtily flushed.  For anyone a MAC NC20 or under, Mirrored Pink is your answer.  I've used it solidly every day for two months which says a lot considering I have literally a drawer of blushes to choose from.  It's even dragged me away from my cream blush obsession.  Aside from the beautiful colour, it's amazingly pigmented, so it will last you forever as you only need the tiniest bit.  It's also very long wearing, with no need to touch up during a normal 9-5 day.  The only drawback is it IS very shimmery which could rule it out for anyone with a sober job! I don't mind the shimmer as it helps me skip the step of going crazy on my cheekbones with a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick.  

I've got a few other new Sleek products up my sleeve and will be revealing all very soon! 

Beauty Empties | March 2013

March was a bit of a dud month in terms of the products I finished for review. I don't particularly like writing negative reviews, but I do like reading them as they've saved me from wasting a lot of money over the years.  Of course everyone's skin chemistry is different, but I'll just go through my honest opinion of each for you.

Joico K-Pak Moisture Intense Hydrator Treatment* - no repurchase

Let's get the good news out of the way first.  It smells nice.  Not fabulous, but very sweet and tropical. I've seen this hair treatment raved about all over the interwebs and the mind boggles as to why.  I've seen people with much drier hair than mine hail it as a saviour for their locks but if anything, it worsened the condition of my hair. It performed no better than your standard couple of quid conditioner, definitely not worth the approx. £16 price tag.  My blogger friend Angel also detested it, so I got back up on this!  My advice is save your money for Kerastase.

Garnier Pure Active Blackhead Clearing Scrub - no repurchase 

This face scrub bored me to tears.  It was such a slog to get through.  I've got my fair share of blackheads and it did nothing to sort them out.  The blue 'scrubby' particles are just too large to be of any consequence.  Other than that it was very creamy and not foamy enough to even perform as a decent cleanser. Pass.

Natura Bisse The Cure Pure Serum* - maybe repurchase 

Natura Bisse is a Spanish skincare line and let me tell you upfront that I've just googled it and found it on sale for over £230.  I received this small sample in an event gift bag and didn't touch it for ages, however when I did, it was used religiously every morning given its perfect consistency and texture for under make up.  I never realised it was some sort of wonder serum which scores 4.7/5 on Makeup Alley. It contains loads of fancy skincare Science, but I think at the time my skin was thankfully too young for me to notice any major changes.

Clinique Sheer City Block SPF 25 - no repurchase

This has been a perennial favourite since my early 20s.  I still have one more back tube to power through and then I'm done with this stuff, I just feel I've outgrown it.  I'm not entirely convinced by its SPF 25 claim, although it is pretty greasy.  A few years ago it was the only tinted moisturiser pale enough for me, but cosmetics companies have woken up to the fact that daywalkers like make up too, so there's a lot more on colour range on the market to choose from now.  My current favourite is No7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser with SPF 15, not very greasy but fabulous buildable coverage and a great shade for ginger skin.

Clinique Pore Minimizer Refining Serum - no repurchase

This was another Clinique staple until recently, and like the City Block I have another tube to get through even though I'm over it.  Stockpiling and buying back ups is a beauty blogger ritual, but I'd advise against it because there are always so many new fabulous products on the market there's just no point.  There will always be a hotter, younger product to take your fancy! I would hardly call this stuff 'serum' because once it sinks into skin and dries, it almost has a chalky texture.  I find it hard to find an appropriate time to use it on its own because my skin has become less oily than it used to be and so I definitely need some sort of moisture over the top.  However, if you struggle with super oily skin, this may work as a good make up primer for you as it's pretty absorptive.

GHD Thermal Protector - no repurchase 

I received this with my GHDs many moons ago and it was a slog to get through because I didn't really feel it did much to protect my hair, and I am quite naughty in being lazy with heat protectors.  The best thing about it is the Gucci Rush scent.

Nivea Visage Aqua Sensation Anti Shadow Eye Cream - no repurchase 

Forever Amber wrote about it a few years ago raving about it's under-eye-shadow busting properties.  It 's a  great eye cream for the budget price, and if you're just starting out with skincare I'd highly recommend it.  However my eyes need anti-aging and luckily my dark circles aren't too bad.  For now.

Bio-Oil - maybe repurchase

When I was on the pill a few years ago, its diuretic properties gave me super dry legs so in a bid to relieve the itchy hell I tried out Bio-Oil.  It really did the job of reviving my poor parched skin, but it just smells so dang nasty, like some sort of medicated treatment rather than something nice and luxurious to pamper yourself with.  Fair enough that it's raison d'etre is to sort out scars and other skin blemishes, but I really think the brand, and if possible, the scent could do with some serious sexing up.  An equally nice treatment for super dry skin in Waitrose's Baby Bottom Butter.  It's mega cheap, so hydrating and smells far better than Bio-Oil.  

What's your eye cream of choice? Let me know in the comments!


Beauty Empties | February 2013: Haircare Special

This February empties post is ridiculously late, but I'm sure you'll forgive me as it's a haircare special! My March review will be up very soon also.  As a point of reference, my hair is pretty normal; greasy roots, dry ends (from the constant washing to get rid of oily roots) and easily tamable.

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo & Conditioner* - no repurchase

For a shampoo that doesn't contain Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate we actually got on pretty well. While it didn't give my hair the cleanse of the century, it's good for everyday washes where I don't need a very strong detergent. It contains shea butter, apple and orange extracts, making it both nourishing and shine-enhancing.  It's £8.75 and although it claims a little goes a long way, I didn't find this the case and probably won't repurchase.  I definitely wouldn't repurchase the conditioner either because it wasn't very...erm...conditioning! (despite it being aimed at dry/damaged hair).  However, it is apparently colour-safe, not a concern for me as I don't colour mine anymore.  I'd rather invest in a tub of the legendary Kerastase Masquintense (review).

Kerastase Nectar Thermique* - definite repurchase 

This stuff is amazing.  A slightly more high brow version of L'Oreal Elvive Renutrition serum which is divine but doesn't have the heat protection properties of Nectar Thermique.  This stuff smells amazing, you only need a small blob and it is ideal for fine hair which can flag under heavy hair oils. When I had this, it was my one stop shop for hair styling, I didn't need anything else. It's around £15, but well worth it as it lasts a couple of months (I wash my hair practically every day).

Elvive Nourish & Shimmer Highlights Serum - no repurchase

This is a bog standard serum with that lovely smell of the Elvive Renutrition range. I can't tell you how long it took me to get through the bottle, but no doubt it's been through a repackaging.  I found it a little too heavy for daytime use so ended up smoothing it through my ends before bed and using it as an overnight leave-in treatment before washing out in the morning.  

L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil* - maybe repurchase

This was the first hair oil I tried and it's a pretty decent offering.  Moroccan Oil is far too heavy for my hair but Mythic Oil is just the right consistency when used on wet hair.  The only thing off-putting is the scent: it's just not feminine enough for me.  L'Oreal have since brought out a cheaper Elvive version and there's no discernible difference in performance.  You can pick up Mythic Oil for around £16.

John Frieda Blonder - no repurchase

This shampoo does lighten your hair over time, and it was fine while I had highlights, but they've pretty much grown out now.  If you're looking to lighten your hair, leave it to the professionals because this shampoo lightens indiscriminately and leaves hair looking brassy.  Worst of all, I found it a little corrosive.  I wouldn't recommend using it in the shower as it will really dry out your skin.  Definitely give this one a miss. If you're blonde you're better off trying the purple tone correcting range.

Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo* - no repurchase

This is possibly the worst shampoo I've ever used.  It feels like a body cream and fails at shifting grease at the roots (nice!).  I can only see this working for someone with haystack hair who suffers from chronically dry tresses.  At around £20 for 200mls, this is a definite non repurchase.

What's your top haircare discovery of late? Let me know in the comments!

Review | Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Primer

Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur Primer* 
Get it at Boots for £12.99

I finally upgraded to a decent camera last week and this is my first post with the fruits of its labour.  I'm totally clueless with it and have just been keeping it on auto, so hang in there until I get time to read the manual or watch a few YouTube tutes.  All I can say is that I'm loving it for low light conditions.  My trusty old Panasonic Lumix TZ7 is still fabulous for daytime macro shots, but struggles at elegantly lit events.

Anyway, I'm here to wax lyrical about my love for this new primer kid on the block.  At the blogger launch event last week at the Waldorf Astoria I walked in expecting it to be some sort of Nanoblur knock off.  I haven't tried Nanoblur and despite giving it to my mum for Christmas she hasn't broken into the tube yet.  Call me crazy but I think she was insulted by the gift! Nanoblur is apparently water based while Perfect Blur is Silicone based, and with my limited scientific knowledge I'm assuming that this means it's smoother.  Comparing it to L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer, Benefit Porefessional and Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector, I prefer Garnier Perfect Blur to all of them.

It's super smooth and has a really mousse-whipped consistency.  I first tried it OVER make up (liquid and powder foundation) and was astounded when it actually worked to smooth things out, mattify and generally freshen up my look.  This was one of Nanoblur's claims that I was very skeptical about, but Perfect Blur delivers on this.  Under make up it's even better, I love how velvety it makes my skin feel.  We were given small tubs of the stuff and I've reached for it every day before applying make up.  What I really love it for is lazy days when all I want to do is moisturise, Perfect Blur and cover up with powder.  It gives a super smooth and flawless finish to my skin without having to touch my liquid foundation. 

While it initially mattifies my skin, it doesn't keep it matte for very long.  Silicone-based products always leave me a bit shiny after an hour or so.  The best thing about it for me is it lessens the appearance of pores and fine lines on my forehead.  

The lovely Suzy Rycroft did my make up (final photo) - she's worked with Alex Box in the past, you can check out here website here (, she's majorly talented.


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