Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm going back to MAC

Hey everyone,

I hope you all have had a happy, fulfilling and productive start to the week.

So, I am very excited to be going to Manchester this weekend and it's going to be very, very girly!

I guess this post is kind of the antithesis of a haul blog post because I am going to be writing about some of my MAC products which are gone but not forgotten.  I have 12 little empty pots altogether and I'll be taking them back to the store as part of the Back to Mac recycling scheme they do. 

It's cool because for every six pots you get to choose a lipstick of your choice to take home for free!  I think they are normally about £12.  It may be a credit crunch, but it's definitely not a creative crunch and I'm hoping to get some lovely pink colours.

So here's what's going back:

Studio Tech in NW20 This is great stuff.  It's really handy when you're in a rush to get ready as you can just put it on with the sponge which comes with it.  Alternatively you can use a squarebrush like the MAC191.   I think I'd probably but this again but it's not something I need urgently.

Powder Blush Satin in Fleur Power This was my first and only MAC blush so I don't have anything to compare it to in the range.  It's a completely different colour to the swatch on the website it actually really looks like the swatch for Frankly Scarlett on the website.    It's a very strong pink, it's almost a 'fake' colour rather than very natural so it depends on what you're looking for.  The pigmentation is very strong so you only need a little bit and it blends really well.  I'm trying a mineral blush at the moment but I'll probably go back to a MAC one at some stage and really want to try Well Dressed which is a gorgeous soft pink.

Select Moisturisercover NC20 I was using this as a under eye concealer.  On the plus side, it does what it says on the tin!  It moisturises which is great especially in the winter and blends beautifully.  I liked it but I'll be trying a few different things before I rush back.

Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer This is a wonder product and I think I shall probably be tempted to buy again. It covers everything even scars and apparently even tatoos!

Fluidline in Blue Peep I had such high hopes for this but sadly things didn't work out.  I had the idea of using a thin brush dipped in water to create the line, however, this seemed to dry it all up and then it started falling apart!  I really prefer their liquid liners but maybe I should try again?

Shadestick Shadow in Shimmersand I brought this in Paris and really loved it!  I was a little sad when I used it all up if I'm honest.  These shadesticks are fantastic bases for really making your eye make up pop and Shimmersand is a fantastic colour which would suit everyone.   I wanted to buy another one but the other day in Superdrug I came across a cheap alternative: Maybelline Colour Definer in 20 Satin Dragee which is beautiful!  I think it was about £6 which is half the price of the MAC Shadestick.  There's a wide range of colours and it even has its own sharperner on the end.   The packaging is bright green which isn't as luxurious as the shadestick but it's a lot smoother and softer, I guess depends what kind of texture you prefer.

Then finally onto eyeshadows, I have two Ricepaper Frosts, Idol Eyes Lustre, Pink Freeze Frost, Phoolf!  Frost and Brill Satin which I obviously was very fond of; I used them all up!  I've replaced Idol Eyes with Barry M Dazzle Dust in 10 and Brill with GOSH Spa.  These are pretty spot on in terms of colour but I haven't really had time to test them out much in terms of texture.  Ricepaper is the perfect golden neutral shade which goes with most looks.  Phoolf is a fantastic highlighter and I'm already on to my next one.  Pink Freeze Frosh is another very pretty and versatile colour which can be incorporated into lots of looks.

So that's all from me!

I hope this might be helpful to somebody thinking of trying out some MAC products.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I'd love to hear your comments and thoughts on these products!

LottieB x

P.S I have a question, can anyone confirm whether there is a back stand at Manchester Airport Terminal 3?  If there is I might be able to save myself a few pennies at the duty free!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone has had a great weekend.

This is a tag which has been going around all the beauty bloggers which looked like fun so I thought I'd join in and share.   This is kind of like having a peek into everyone's bathroom and make up storage!  Great stuff!

Shampoo: Toni & Guy Insights Shine Addiction Shampoo 

Conditioner:  Lee Stafford Poker Straight Conditioner 

Styling products:  TRESemme Iron Style & Hold Spray 

Shower gel: Aveeno Oil Shower Gel

Body moisturiser: Aveeno Oil Body Lotion

Deodrant: Clarins Gentle Care Stick Deodorant and Eau Dynamisante

Fake tan: Shiseido Self- Tanning Brilliant Bronze Quick Self Tanning (very rarely, I have accepted myself as pale and interesting :))

Cleanser: APt Radical Clean

 Eye makeup remover: Johnson's Baby Oil

ExfoliatorClinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator

Primer: Don't use

FoundationAPt Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation in Porcelain

Foundation brush: Body shop foundation brush  and my fingers

Concealer: Bourjois imperfection concealer in Beige Ivoire 11 and Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch underneath my eyes

Powder: Max Factor’s Natural Minerals Foundation in 40 Creamy Ivory

Blusher: ME ME ME Pussy Cat Cheek & Lip Tint and/or Apt Mineral Blush Pressed in Desert

Highlighter: Clinique Up- Lighting in 01 Natural

Eyeshadow base: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place

Eyeshadows: APt Rocks in Truth

Eyeliner: Beauty UK Liquid Eyeliner No7

Eyelash curler: Shu Uemura

Mascara: Max Factor Masterpiece Max

Lipstick: 17 Sheer Moisture Lipstick Balmy Beige

Lipgloss: ME ME ME Light Me Up High Shine Lipgloss in 4 Luminous

Nail colour: On my fingernails, a french Manicure using: nails inc a&e advanced treatment,

nails inc south molton street,

Rimmel 60 seconds in 730 Silver Bullet,

Collection 200 Maxi Flex in 1 Clear. 

On my toenails: Revlon in 762 Plum Attraction.

I tag: YOU!

That's right, everyone who is reading this and who hasn't done it yet!

Have fun!

LottieB x

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Free make up tip of the day


Hey everyone,

I hope everyone has had a fun Valentine's weekend!  I've just polished off another chocolate rose...hmmmm!

Well I was catching up with some YouTube videos from my favourite make up guru Julie713 and thought I'd share a great tip from her which is free and simple . Maybe all the fellow MAC brush users already know this but I just wanted to spread the word!

So the tip is:  Cover the number on your brush with a coat of clear nail varnish.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been a little disappointed when the numbers come off as it's then tricky to keep up with your collection and to remember which brush to use from which application.

Anyway, here is her video which has many other brush hints and tips.  I'm definitely going to be paininting my brushes from now on!

Hope everyone is enjoying the remains of the weekend!

LottieB ximages1

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hey everyone,

Hope everyone has had a great Monday! I just thought I'd write a quick blog post about the InStyle 100 best beauty buys 2009.  I don't buy that many magazines but I always try to get this addition each year.  Its a really useful addition for all your beauty needs as all the products have been tried, tested and voted for by 165 of the UK's top make - up artists, hairdressers, skincare gurus and nail technicians.

So, I thought as an average Joanne consumer I thought I might run down the things which I've tried.  I also have some questions so hopefully some of you might be able to help out!

Basically for each one I'm giving a little comment as to whether I think they are worth buying. I hope you enjoy!

Best night crean Issima Midnight Secret, £51, Guerlain

I know lots of people love this.  I bought this years ago at a duty free and it did nothing exciting or special and it was extremely expensive.

Best moisturiser with an SPF DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF15, £21.50, Estee Lauder

I've tried a little sample of this and it is really nice.  I don't think its special enough to spend £21.50 on though.

Best serum Advanced Night Repair Protective recovery Complex, £34, Estee Lauder

I've had a big sample of this and it was very good.  You put it on at night and your skin feels lovely and soft in the morning.  I couldn't justify spending £34 on it though.

Best cleansing wipes Cleansing Facial Wipes £2.99, Simple

To be completly honest, I think a wipe is a wipe!  I've tried these as well as the Olay ones and both did the job.

Best eye make - up remover Bi Facial Non Oily Instant Cleanser, £18, Lancome

I've talked about this before and it's great.  It does seem an awful lot to spend on a make up remover though.  Watch out at Christmas time as you can sometimes get in in a set with mascara and eyeliner for about £24 which is much better value.  I managed to get a half price one in Boots in the sales which was quite lucky! 

Best facial exfoliator - Daily Microfoliant, £31, Dermalogica

This stuff is great and is gentle enough to use everyday. It is expensive but it lasts a very long time.  Click the link to get it from Jersey Beauty with a VAT discount and free p&p.

Best eye de-puffer Nutritionist Caffeine Eye Roll - On, £9.99, Garnier

I need something like this!  Has anyone tried it?  Please can you let me know if it will help get rid of my dark circles?

Best spot treatment Overnight Clearing Gel, £34, Dermalogica

Like most spot creams, this does work but it does so by completely drying out the skin.  Chances are, the skin then starts reproducing oil to combat the dryness which causes another spot.  A good emergency treatment but not a great long term solution.

Best under - eye concealer Touche Eclat, £22.50, Eyelash curler

We all know about this but look at the price!  Please let me know your suggestions for great alternatives.

Best eyelash curler Eyelash curler, £25 Shu Uemura

No need to buy any other curlers.  Yes they are pricey but if you look afer them well they will last a lifetime.

Best inexpensive mascara Masterpiece, £7.95, Max Factor

I love this and I love the price!  What more can I say?

Best powder eyeshadow Eye shadow, £10, MAC

Of course nothing can beat these little pots.  They are very highly pigmented so the colour you see is the colour you get on.  They also have every colour you could every need or want.  Just be careful that you've seen the colour in real life before ordering online as lots of people have commented that the swatches on the website aren't very accurate.

Best long - lasting lipstick Lipfinity, £9.99, Max Factor

I wasn't overly amazed by this.  I'd say it was average.  If there was an ever lasting lipstick surely we'd all be using it?

Best tweezers Slant Tweezer, £16, Tweezerman

You can just pick these up at Boots.  A decent set of tweezers like these makes all the difference, I couldn't believe I'd survived without them when I got them.

Best blusher Blush in Orgasm, £18.50, Nars

If the name doesn't make you blush, the blusher certainly will give you fresh flushed cheeks.  It's a handy size and has a mirror which is very handy for  travelling.

Best inexpensive brush line Ruby & Millie, from £5

I only have one of their brushes, a concealer and come to think of it, it has lasted years!  The handle is long which I really like.

Best body exfoliator Smoothing Body Scrub For a New Skin, £23.50, Clarins

I am pretty much allergic to all body products, apart from this.  It's fantastic and leaves your skin feeling really soft and healthy.

Best inexpensive body moisturiser Rich Care Body Moisturiser, £4.45, Nivea

You can't go wrong with this!  Good old Nivea, always does the job!

Best self-tan for face Liquid Bronze Self Tanning, £15.50, Clarins

This smells beautiful, is easy to apply and looks very natural.  Unfortunately it didn't work out for my skin but the good thing with Clarins is that you can normally return it if you have an allergic reaction.

Best moisturiser with Self - Tan Holiday Skin Body lotion, £4.99, Johnson's

As we all know, these are great.  I also like the Dove version too so I normally go for whatever's on offer in Boots.

Best nail polish range Nail Lacquer, £9.95 OPI

I've tried 'I'm really not a waitress' which was a lovely colour.  I'd say they have a very good range of colours but they aren't anything special in terms of not chipping or lasting.  The Rimmel 60 seconds ones are actually very good and a lot cheaper.

Best inexpensive cream Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, £3.99, Neutrogena

Great stuff but a little too thick and heavy for use in the day.  I adore Clarins hand cream as an all time favourite.

Best deep conditioning mask masquintense, £25, Kerastase

I did try this out once when my hair was really damaged.  It is fantastic!  Is there anything on the market that's as good?  Please let me know as, for me, it's really too expensive to have all the time.

Best flat iron IV Styler, £119, Ghd

How did our mothers survive without these?  Need I say anymore?

Best hairspray Elnett Satin, from £1.99 L'Oreal Paris

Cheap and cheerful and does the job.  Not the best smell in the world, I might be inclined to go for something like Lee Stafford or TRESemme as I really like my hair products to smell good!

Best de- frizzer Frizz-Ease Hair Serum Original Formulas, £5.99 John Frieda

This stuff is fantastic but my saviour this year has to be John Frieda's Weather proofing Protection Climat Style Sealant Creme, to survive winter on the Isle of Man you need something good and this stuff is great!

Well that's all from me.  Please leave a comment about your experience with anyof the products from the Instyle 100 best beauty buys 2009, I'd love to hear what you think!


LottieB x

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Half price Tracey Bell vouchers

Hello everyone!

I'm not sure if this warrants a blog post but thought I'd go ahead anyway as I will not be disturbed (has everyone else lost their other half to the rugby today?)

Anyway, I digress, I opened my post today and was happy to see my £50 Tracey Bell vouchers for £25 - bargain or what?   There are still some remaining which you can order here.  The offer is in partnership with Manx Radio. 

Sadly, this is limited to one voucher each so I thought I'd spread the news and hope someone else enjoys this treat too!


LottieB x

Les Misérables

Hey everyone,

So, last night I was lucky enough to g0 to see Les Misérables by Robert Hossein and Claude-Michel Schönberg  at the Gaitey Theatre with my parents and my lovely fiance.   Les Miserables is based on one of the best known novels of the 19th century by French author Victor Hugo.


I had been looking forward to this for a long time.  So long in fact, that I completely forgot we were going this weekend!  I think my Mum had to book in something like October to get good seats in the dress circle. 

Everytime I go to the Gaitey, I am reminded of what a blessing this building is to the Isle of Man.  It really is remarkably beautiful.  It was opened in 1900 as a grand Opera House and Theatre and was designed by architect Frank Matcham. After years of neglect, the Isle of Man Government acquired the Theatre in 1971 and restoration work began in 1976. The Building has since been carefully restored back to Matcham's original design.

The production was put on by the Douglas Choral Union who did an absolutely amazing job at doing this show justice. A production like this really highlights how much talent we have on this Island!  I really take my hat off to all those involved in the production, the amount of time, energy, passion and vision which must have gone into it  does not go unoticed.  Viewing the show, you could have easily been in the West End. The set, the lighting and the orchestra were faultless. 

David Artus gave a courageous performance of the  principal character 'Jean Valijean' .  He creates a  portrait of this tragic hero with pathos and passion.  The denouement of the play was particulalry moving as Artus subtlely demonstrated Jean character with light and shade.  He is unwilling to forgive himself, yet is so forgiving to others.

The sobre atmosphere of the play has real moments of bathos too and a special mention should go to John Short and Olivia Black who played the  corrput, M. & Mme. Thénardier.  They provided light relief and countless laughs from Saturday's audience.

One of the stand out singing performances for me was Victoria Corkill's (Eponine) recital of "On My Own" in the second half.    I was blubbing at that point!

Did anyone else go to see this?  What did they think?

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

LottieB x

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beauty is skin deep?

Hey there fellow bloggers and bloggerettes!

So this is where I'm going to get kind of geeky.

Today on Twitter @thebeautybrains posted a link to describing how, in an interview with the BBC, prominent Muslim feminist Baroness Haleh Afshar has suggested abolishing cosmetics because they perpetuate a myth of eternal youth.

Okay, this suggestion  is both implausible and impractical but it does beg the question, has the beauty industry gone to far?  This blog post by fellow twitterer @shepower really illustrates the lengths to which the industry will go to get their perfect picture.  How far are we all influenced by these types of images?  I briefly tuned into '10 Years Younger' last night and couldn't get through the program.  A woman is her fifties was getting cut apart on an operating table and it wasn't very pleasant.  Maybe it is easy for me to judge, only 24, no wrinkles (yet!) but I just hope that anyone who goes through with such a procedure has had counselling and support before hand.   Maybe what she really needed was some love and attention.

There is the argument that we are exposed to countless unrealistic ideals of what a women should look like day in, day out.  We can pop into a newsagents to educate ourselves with a newspaper yet we are bombarded with these perfect images on the front covers of magazines.  However, the truth is, no one is forcing us to buy these magazines or to subscribe to these ideals.

I really enjoy experimenting with make up and I don't think there is anything wrong with making the most of yourself.   In fact I think it's great!  I've found the make up blogging community to be really friendly and I love watching YouTube videos by the likes of Julie713 , Panacea81 and Lollipop26 and many more.  I think these videos are fantastic because they show a willingness to share ideas, inspiration and knowledge with others and we get real honest unbiased not to make expensive mistakes!  The reason I've been blogging about beauty is because I enjoy it and it's my view that if we know something which may help someone, why not share it?

However, I also think that as women, it's important to make the most of ourselves in every other aspect too.   I think it's very easy to get carried away and start foccussing on what's outside rather than what's inside our hearts and minds.   Beauty doesn't last forever and our products are just posessions.  We can also encourage and support each other in nuturing our inner gifts and talents.  I'm sure the majority of women out there have a very balanced view and know that what you look like doesn't completely make you who you are.

The irony is, and I'm actually ashamed to admit this: after reading Baroness Haleh Afshar's comments, I immediately and without thinking, did a Google image search to see what she looked like. 

Did you do the same?

As always I'd love to hear your comments.

Have a lovely weekend, I am wishing for snow here on the Isle of Man!

LottieB x

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No cost beauty tip of the day for eyelashes


If you wear mascara anyway try adding a tiny little bits on the very ends of your lashes. Leave it to dry while you get on with say blush or lips and then add a proper layer ensuring you really wriggle your brush into the roots. Your lashes will look super duper long!

I think I read this tip on a forum ages ago.   Does anyone else do this?

If not, ladies please try it and let me know what you think :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

LottieB x

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eye make up removers

Hey everyone,

I wonder what everyone's thoughts are on eye make up removers?  There are probably hundreds to choose from and there is nothing worse than buying one then having to rub away at your eyes to get your make up off.  The area around the eye is so delicate and is one of the first areas which will show the signs of aging so it's really important to look ater this part of the skin. 

In my fairly limited experience I'd say Lancome's Bi Facial is the excellent but pretty pricey (about £14), it just melts everything off and there is no need to apply very much pressure.


Popping in closely behind is Boots No7 Cleanse and Care Eye Make-up Remover which I use everyday.  It's excellent at getting everything off too and doesn't irritate. It's also quite handy if you every get those £5 off vouchers from Boots as then it only costs about £2 - bargain!

I've tried a couple of samples from Dermalogica which seems good too.  Speaking of which, if you are fellow Dermalogica fan (I''m addicted to their tinted moisturiser) then you MUST check out this site called Jersey Beauty.  Everything is VAT free and they do super fast free, well packaged delivery.  Yay!

I use to use Clarins Instant Eye Make up Remover when I worked for them in the good old days.  This is also excellent at getting rid of all my mascara and so on.  Sadly, things didn't work out for me and this remover as it started to irritate my eyes.  But I wouldn't let that put you off as my skin is quite volitile!

To try and take care of the skin around my eyes I also use Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care High Protection SPF30 because, as we all know, the sun really ages the skin and even on cloudy days the rays are still there!  It's quite expensive but it last for ages because you only need the tiniest amount (the size of a rice grain) each day.  I also wear big sunglasses whenever the sun comes out (hmmmm.....when will that be then?) especially if I'm driving as squinting your eyes can't be good for the skin around them.

I'm going to follow this blog post up with one on eye creams.  I'm just trialing something at the moment and will then let you all know how the ones I've tried compare.

Thanks for stopping by, I'd lovc to hear some views on the great eye make up remover debate!

Enjoy your evening!

LottieB x

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post about what products I've tried over the last month which I thought I'd share with you.  Lets face it, now is currently not a great time to be wasting money on products which don't live up to their promises.  Here's my pick of the good and the bad:


I've recently started using Toni & Guy Insights Shine Addiction Shampoo which I picked up in my local TK Maxx for £2.99.  This stuff is great!  My hair is looking really shiny and feels very strong (I do a lot of styling so I need it to be!).  I would definitely recommend trying this if you can.  It's worth checking out what bits and bobs they have at TK Maxx too!

Heat protective spray

I've been trying TRESemme Iron Style & Hold Spray which has been great.  It's about £3 at the moment in Boots and is, so far, the next best thing I've found to GHD Iron Oil which is much more expensive and leaves a bit of a residue.

Deep conditioner

Again, another find in TK Maxx at £2.99, Trevor Sorbie Professional Super Intensive Treatment For Straight Hair with 18 MEA LONG HAIR.  I couldn't find a link to this  and I think you can normally only get it in salons.  It is very nice and makes my hair nice and soft.  However, like a lot of deep conditioners it leaves the hair a little bit sticky.  I'll use the tub up but if I'm honest, i probably won't be buying it again as I think there are better ones on the market.

Thank you so much for stopping by at my blog! I would love to hear your thoughts if you have tried any of these.

I hope you're all enjoying the snow!

LottieB x



Sunday, February 1, 2009

The make up diaries - January 2009

After all the Christmas festivities were over, the year started and I'd run out of lots of things I needed.  I brought the following bits and bobs and I'm going to let you know whether it was money well spent:


I'd previously got on really well with L'Oreal's True Match Foundation in C2 Vanilla Rose which I ran out of so so I thought I'm give Max Factor's Natural Minerals Foundation in 40 Creamy Ivory version a go.  Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me and my skin.  To me, it feels like a powder and doesn't give the coverage I need.  The L'Oreal one really sinks into the skin giving a nice natural sheer coverage. 

In any case, these power based foundations are a little messy to apply and I decided to go back to a liquid version I could apply with a brush.  I've gone for the APt Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation from Tracey Bell.  I couldn't be more pleased with this, yes it is pricey but it feels divinely smooth on and really stays put all day.  It's a mineral foundation which allows the skin to breathe.  It also contains SPF15 which is great too. 


I needed something to replace my favourite YSL Touche Eclat concealer.  This is really expensive for I normally buy those double packs for about £16 at duty free shops (living on the Isle of Man I normally get to them a good couple of times a year).  A lovely girl on Twitter called @shinygemma recommended I try out Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch which has been great.  Obviously, it isn't quite as luxurious as YSL Touche Eclat but it definitely does the job and at around £4/5 it's extremely good value.


I'd heard some really good things about GOSH cosmetics from some of the YouTube makeup tutorials.  There was a 3 for 2 offer on at Superdrug and I got Effect Powder Eyeshaw in Spa and two Extreme Art Eyeliners in 08 and 02.  They were all very nice and easy to apply.  I went for quite subtle colours in the collection and I think they work well if you want to make a day time look a bit more exciting.

I had a lot of Boots points so decided to treat myself to Clarins Soft Cream Eye Colour in 01 which is a really pretty creamy colour.  It makes a really lovely highlighter and really helps powder eyeshadows to set.  I'd be interested to know how it compares to the MAC paints which I haven't tried yet.

I also picked out a BarryM Fine Glitter Dust in 22 which is a lovely charcoal black with very tiny flecks of gold in it.  Using a very small brush I find this works brilliantly for adding definition around the eyes when doing smokey looks.  I adore Barry M's range of colours.  Just make sure you have a good base on otherwise they can be very messy!


While trying out all the eye colours at Barry M I also picked Supershiny Lipgloss in 2 which is a really nice nude colour.   It also tastes very nice! I love the colour but it's a little gloopy to apply.  For me, I think it also may be quite drying but the weather is actually probably to blame for that!


Finally, whilst on my little haul in Boots I got a gorgeous nail polish from Revlon called Plum Attraction in 762.  I really love berry tones in the winter and this one does just the trick although two layers are best to get the most out of the colour.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this.  I'd love to hear your comments.

LottieB x