Saturday, 15 June 2013

the Balm: Overshadow (the sexpots) & Cheater! mascara

I had never come across the Balm cosmetics before find-me-a-gift.co.uk kindly gifted me a couple of its items - a pot of Overshadow and a Cheater! mascara - earlier this week.

After checking out the Balm's website and learning the range is talc-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free (in addition to seeing the Balm's attractive pinup-meets-vintage-esque packaging), I was more than a little intrigued, and eager to put them to the test.

I was also sent a Mad Lips 'Red Rose' lip tattoo, but I'm going to try that out as part of another post.

the Balm Overshadow (the sexpots): shade 'no money, no honey'

the Balm Overshadow (the sexpots) shade no money, no honey
find-me-a-gift.co.uk: £7.99
the Balm says:


Meet the first finely milled, all-mineral shimmer designed to go over eyeshadow. Apply to the lid to transform the most subtle daytime shadow into nighttime shimmer.

The good:
  • I really like the colour of this overshadow - it's not too gold and it's far more neutral than I expected
  • The fact this product doubles up as a highlighter is convenient
  • The packaging is really cute - I'm a sucker for vintage pinup style!
  • I feel this price of this product - £7.99 - is fair. Before it arrived, I thought the pot wouldn't last very long as I read it contains just 0.57g of powder. Turns out this is much more than I first expected and a little goes a long way, so this should last a while.
The bad:
  • It can sometimes be difficult to get the right amount out of the pot - tap too gently and hardly any powder appears; tap too hard and you can make a right mess!
  • I personally find this shadow a little too glittery to use as a highlighter
7/10

the Balm Cheater! mascara

the Balm Cheater! mascara
£8.90 (I think! I got the last one in stock on find-me-a-gift.co.uk and so the price is not currently up). In the last pic I am wearing the Overshadow too!
the Balm says:


Cheater! is a fabulously volumizing mascara enriched with Panthenol, which strengthens and conditions your lashes. The spiral brush gives you the look of dramatic, faux lashes without the extra work.

The good:
  • The wand's big brush is easy to use, and great at separating and lifting lashes
  • One again, I like the packaging - even the cheesy inclusion of 'Thomas Thick' and 'Lance Long Lash' down one side!
  • The brush slides perfectly in and out of the mascara tube, leaving minimal residue around the top (a serious pet hate of mine)
  • I also like that the lid-brush is metal (not significant at all really, but hey!)
The bad: 
  • This mascara takes quite a while to dry and so building up layers can be time-consuming - no good for those "Ah crap, I'm gonna be late for work!" mornings! 
  • If you do attempt to apply another layer of Cheater! mascara too quickly, you're very likely to end up with a severe case of spider lashes
6/10
.....

Have you ever tried any products by the Balm? 

Kat x

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sinful Colors Nail Polishes: Have You Tried Them? At £1.99, You Should...

Sinful Colors professional nail varnish Queen of Beauty and I Miss You
Have you come across the vivid and affordable Sinful Colors nail varnish range yet? I spotted a stand in Boots a few weeks ago and today I decided to finally pick up a couple using my Advantage Card points.

'Queen of Beauty' is a clear varnish with lots silver glitter in, while 'I Miss You' is a bedazzling purple polish with multicoloured sparkles.

I have applied four layers to each nail in the Vine below, though the varnish is just as pretty if you apply less than this - it's just a personal preference thing!


What I love about Sinful Colors nail varnishes 

  • The price: At just £1.99 each, these varnishes are a great value for money.
  • The size: The value only increases when you consider the size of each bottle - 15ml
  • Very easy to apply: I'm not sure whether its due to the brush, or the formula, but these varnishes glide on so easily and they dry fairly quickly too. 
  • Raised lettering: This small touch makes the bottle very tactile - even the ingredients list is in raised print!
I also love the slightly gritty texture of these polishes. I can rarely stand having smooth nail polish on my fingernails. I know that probably sounds strange, but the tiniest chip will stir an OCD-like reaction in me, causing me to unattractively gnaw every glimpse of polish of my nails!

Slightly textured formulas seem a little more 'forgiving' in the wake of chips, as well as the imperfect application I can rely on the more idle of my two hands for!

Anyway, the Sinful Colors range comprises more than 70+ colours (in matte, shimmer and pearl finishes, as well as glittery options), so its definitely worth checking out if you're after some purse-friendly polishes.

Have you tried Sinful Colors yet? Will you be keeping an eye out for them in future?

Kat x

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Smelling Sweet: Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream & Body Shop's Chocomania Soap

While I may have successfully survived my May spending ban (hooray!), I hardly blogged at all last month due to being a busy bee (and because I turned 26 and spent any unoccupied moment which arose questioning "What am I doing with my life!?" *POSSIBLE EARLY MID-LIFE CRISIS*)

Anyway, I'm feeling a little less melancholy now and I do really enjoy sharing what I think about the beauty products I use. I've decided to make my posts a little more succinct from now on, in the hope this will see me to post more often.

Some of my previous posts have taken more than three hours to write, proof and take photos for - I often wonder how the best-known beauty bloggers get posts out on an almost daily basis (answer: they probably don't work 45 hours a week like I - Ha!)

Here are my thoughts on two products I have loved using over the past month...

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream


Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream
I received this adorable little jar of hand cream in a Burt's Bees 'Tips and Toes' gift set my mum bought me for my birthday (good call mum...good call!) I love pretty much everything that came in the set, but this is by far my favourite item. In fact, this 7g pot is almost all gone (boo!)

Not only does this hand cream smell AMAZING thanks to the sweet almond oil it contains, but it's super nourishing too - great for keeping dry cuticles at bay! I've used this on my face after taking a shower on several occasions too and my skin was left feeling really supple.

I definitely plan to to buy the full-size 57g version version when I have a bit more money - at £9.99 it's very fairly priced, especially as a little goes a long way. I'm going to really miss the scent in the meantime!

The Body Shops' Chocomania Soap


The Body Shops' Chocomania Soap
£2 for 100g
The Body Shop kindly sent me this soap (and a few other complimentary items) to try after the Brighton blogger meetup back in April.

I must admit, I usually avoid soap like the plague (cliche!) - I have always associated its use with uncomfortably tight and itchy skin. I'm glad to say soap causes no such problems though. I am actually really impressed with how moisturising it is (must be thanks to the palm oil it contains)! I've even been washing my face (!) with it before bed and I've had fewer blemishes as a result.

You do have to be a little careful when scrubbing up with this soap as it contains little bits of coconut shell which can be a little scratchy (I foam the bar up in my hands rather than rub it directly on my skin). The soap's chocolate scent is pleasant but quite subtle - I'd rather that than a clearly-artificial scent!

Another one for the 'to buy' list!

Have you tried either of these products? 

Kat x

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Crap High Street Mascaras: Starring Cargo, Rimmel, Bourjois and 17

It seems every month I'll head to the High Street and buy what I hope will be some fantastic mascaras (not this month though, since I am on a beauty spending ban!) 

Unfortunately, it is often the case these new mascaras don't live up to my expectations and so I am forced to take a punt on some alternatives the following Pay Day...the cycle seems endless!

crap high street mascaras
Perhaps the key is to start paying £20+ per wanded-tube but I'd rather not if I can help it!

Anyway, I decided to sort through some of my makeup collection yesterday, and get rid of any products I know I won't use, or have become a tad too old to justify keeping (germs...ewww!) Amongst the bin-booty were the following four mascaras...

Crap High Street Mascaras KatSick
Before I tell what I don't like about each of them, let me just say that each responsible brand offers some really great cosmetics, but I was left really disappointed with these lash-licking offerings.

I'd be interested to know if you have tried any of them - I've read some really positive reviews of each in the past....maybe my naturally long lashes are just very fussy!

Cargo Lash Activator Triple Action mascara


Cargo Lash Activator Triple Action Mascara
9.5ml, £1 (from Savers)
I picked up this Cargo mascara when I spotted it for just a £1 in Savers. I've seen it retail for £15+ in the past and so it seemed a real bargain! Also, I'm a bit of a magpie and so I was instantly attracted to the shiny box.

This really is a terrible mascara, and definitely the worst of the four discussed in this post. 

While I do prefer waterproof mascaras (because my eyes are really sensitive to bright lights and cold weather), they're not as widely available as non-waterproof variants, so I do buy the odd non W/P every now and then. I didn't think it was possible to make a non W/P formula THIS bad though! Most are at least smudge-proof, but Lash Activator leaves you resembling a panda after even the faintest touch.

Additionally, it takes a ridiculously-long time for this mascara to dry and your eyes will sting and water like Hell should you dare blink! The mascara is almost impossible to layer up, and it does not makes lashes look curlier, like the cited "90%" on the box apparently claim.

AVOID!


Rimmel Waterproof Volume Flash X 10 mascara

Rimmel Waterproof Volume Flash X 10 mascara
8ml, £5.99, (from Boots)
This mascara actually got better as it got older - the formula was far too 'watery' during the first week of use! I switched back to this after two weeks or so though, and it had thickened up allowing me to have greater control during application, i.e. I could move stray lashes without moving every other already perfectly-placed lash, and build up layers with ease.

The helpful thickening saw the mascara dry out pretty quickly though. Boo!

I expected more - I usually love Rimmel products.

Bourjois Volume Clubbing mascara (Ultra Black)

Bourjois Volume Clubbing mascara (Ultra Black)
11ml, £7.99 (from Superdrug)
I actually reviewed the waterproof version of this mascara ages ago, and loved it! I took a risk and bought the non-W/P version last month, simply because it was on offer in Superdrug and was £2 cheaper than the W/P.

While the W/P left my lashes looking longer and perfectly fanned out, this one left 'em very clumpy (in fact, I was left looking as if I had just 10 lashes on each eyelid!) The very-black formula turned really thick after just a few uses too (and not to a usable degree like Rimmel's Volume Flash!) The W/P one does not suffer the same fate in my experience.

Still it's staying power is 100 times better than that of the before-mentioned Cargo mascara!

Seventeen (17) Va Va Voom waterproof mascara

Seventeen (17) Va Va Voom waterproof mascara
8ml, £6.29 (from Boots)
I was attracted to this mascara because of its large and bushy brush, and its price - £6.29 -  seemed pretty fair. I assumed it would leave my lashes wide, bold and flirty-looking like the previous reviews I read suggested but no...

Attempting to apply more than one layer (which I always do!) left me with horrendous spider-lashes, and the cumbersome brush means it's far too easy to poke yourself in the eye while using this mascara.

To make matters worse, the formula became thick and stodgy rather quickly (not helped by the residue inadvertently left around the screw-top every time the too-big brush was re-inserted into the tube).

Disappointing.

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What do you think of them? Do I just have really fussy eyelashes?

Kat x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spending Ban Empties #1: Bodhi face oil, Carmex Lime Twist and Mary Greenwell EDPs

bbloggers spending ban empties KatSick

We're more than a week into May and I have so far managed to adhere to my self-imposed, month-long beauty spending ban (yes, I'm as shocked as you are!)

As promised, here is the first of my spending ban 'empties' posts - what goodies from my stash have I been enjoying while the beauty counters are out of bounds?

Here's my thoughts on just five, but stay tuned - there's more to come soon!
.....

Mary Greenwell PLUM and LEMON EDP review


Mary Greenwell PLUM and LEMON EDP samples
RRP for each 100ml version: £90. 
A classic chypre with a memorable modern twist. Plum begins the story of femininity and joy, a fragrance of uncomplicated chic and sensual warmth. Top notes of English plum, blackcurrant, peach, bergamot and lemon blend with heart notes of gardenia, tuberose absolute, orange flower absolute, rose absolute and jasmine absolute with a base of precious woods, sandalwood, oakmoss, patchouli, amber and white musk complete the intoxicating scent.* 

The scent is one of sparkling freshness. The livelier, younger, and wreckless sister of PLUM, LEMON is an intense burst of fabulousness, unique, vivid and born to be cool.*

*Description from marygreenwell.com

PLUM comprises an appealing (and vast) mix of fruit, floral and musk fragrance-notes - I doubt there'd be a single woman out there who wouldn't like it!

This eau de parfum is warm and fruity, without being sickly sweet or heavy. I was left impressed with it's longevity - 12 hours after application and I was still enjoying the delicate muskiness on my skin (and accepting compliments down Tesco's fruit and veg aisle...)

I was pleasantly surprised by LEMON, which I prefer over PLUM. The fragrance has far more depth than I expected - there's many "earthy" notes in addition to the expected sharpness of the yellow-skinned fruit. The scent is really fresh, with no artificial hint (so there's no danger of smelling like Shrove Tuesday, don't worry!)

I would definitely like to try another sample of LEMON before deciding whether I'm willing to spend £90 on the 100ml, gold-plated cap version. I suspect I would be though!

Both PLUM and LEMON samples can be bought from marygreenwell.com, for £2.50 each +P&P. 
.....


Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil review

Bodhi Neroli Luce face oil review
 5ml, RRP £12.
Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil is instantly absorbed to nourish and hydrate skin, leaving it toned and radiant without feeling greasy. Vital vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids help revive a lacklustre complexion, increase elasticity, boost resilience and rebalance the skin’s natural hydration system. Skin is protected from free radical damage and cocooned in the vibrant aroma of Mediterranean orange blossoms.*

*Description from bodhi.skincare.naturisimo.com

This face oil is a real TREAT! Over the past week, I have been using it after exiting the shower each morning. It's quickly absorbed, reviving the complexion and eliminating any pesky dry patches, leaving skin glowing and in ready-for-make-up condition.

Oh, and it smells absolutely divine! The scent is more masculine than I expected, but by no means is it unsuitable for women.

I must admit, I was a bit to discover the 5ml size included in my Brighton blogger meet goody bag actually retails for £12 (with a 15ml version costing £32). While this explains why my skin appreciates this oil so much, it's probably a little too expensive for me to justify currently, especially because I like to apply it fairly liberally. Still, I may treat myself eventually and I'll be keeping an eye out for any Bodhi special deals, in case I can pick this up for a lower price.

Neroli Luce really is a great skin oil, so I'm sad I can't add it to my skin care routine on a more permanent basis.
.....

Lime Twist Carmex lip balm review


RRP £2.99
I fell in love with this lip balm the second I applied it for the first time. My lips instantly tingled (oooooh!) and were left more supple thanks to its Ultra Moisturising formula, This lip balm has quickly become the number one choice from my ever-mounting lip goo stash.

While this lip balm is currently far from empty, I felt it made sense to discuss it as part of this post.

If you're a fan of flavoured lip balm  this probably isn't the ideal choice for you, since it tastes slightly menthol and not at all fruity like it's extremely mouth-watering (!) and ZINGY mojito-like scent might suggest.

This is the only "downside" of the product in my opinion, though flavour is not all that important to me...I want to keep balm on my lips, not be encouraged to lick it off! The tingly sensation is great for reminding me to reapply the balm too - once it's worn off (usually after two hours or so), I know it's time to get some more on m'smackers!

Lime Twist is also SPF 15, meaning I can continue to enjoy using it should the sun ever decide to make an appearance.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for similar Carmex products in the future.
.....

Natio Aromatherapy Renew Radiance foam cleanser review


Natio Aromatheraphy Renew Radiance foam cleanser review
100ml version: £6.80 from Debenhams.com
Soap free cleanser with a neutral pH. Extra low foaming to avoid stripping skin of vital moisture. Leaves skin feeling pure, soft and moist.*

*Description from natio.com.au

This one of those 'does-exactly-what-it-says' skin care products. Pearlescent-white and fragrance free, this cleanser is ideal after a long day wearing makeup. It leaves skin feeling squeaky clean, without causing that horrible 'tight' sensation.

A little Renew Radiance goes a long way, despite the fact it's been formulated to be low foaming. I would definitely buy the full size version for £6.80. Hmmmm, maybe when the spending ban is over I'll pop to Debenhams and treat myself...
.....


Which of my spending ban empties would you most like to try? 

Kat x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

No Makeup and No Shampoo! The #bbloggers Spending Ban


My relationship with retail therapy...


I've been in the financial red for a while now, thanks to the Amsterdam trip I stuck on my credit card back in February (an essential, not a luxury, from my overworked perspective!) and some recent overspending.

I was never really a "retail therapy" person. I have always been quite careful with my money, preferring to have at least £200 or so saved in the bank at all times for unforeseen circumstances.

However, emergency funds are now provided by my overdraft facility, which is obviously far from ideal!

I've felt quite low during the last couple of month's, though I've done well to hide this from those around me. A new lipstick, bottle of conditioner, face pack, or mascara (etc.) has been my daily cure; a placebo in reality.

My little flat is now COMPLETELY LITTERED with unused make up, hair and beauty items, though I should point out that PR samples account for around half. Regardless, I really need to make my way through at least some of the mounting stash before I even think about buying anything else!

When Kat (of talesofapaleface.com) told me on Twitter that a number of other bloggers are adhering to spending ban in May then, I just had to join in!

.....

My spending ban rules


Spending absolutely nothing during May would be impossible, though I would LOVE to ignore balance-draining overheads like rent and electricity!

I've also been sleeping on the floor for months (don't ask...), and I'm in constant pain as a result (hence feeling down in the dumps), so there's going to be some Bank Holiday bed shopping this weekend. This will be another credit card buy but I'm desperate at this point.

OK, so I've not banned myself from spending money entirely in May. Rather, these products are completely off-limits to me because I have a surplus:
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Skin care (in all forms)
  • Mascara
  • Foundation
  • Eye shadow
  • ....actually ALL MAKE-UP!
Basically, I'm not allowed to go to Boots, Superdrug, or makeup counters, for four weeks! Oh, unless of course I receive money/vouchers for either when my birthday rolls around on the 12th... ;]

.....

Will I be successful? 

Well, it's the second day of the month and I've survived so far...

There's really no excuse for me not to adhere to this self-imposed ban, especially considering the bounty of products and samples I received during last weekend's Brighton Blogger Meet! I also received a lovely £30 gift voucher for ESPA at the event, so I can treat myself to a few bath and beauty goodies using that too later this month.

I am hoping to write a number of 'empties' posts throughout May, to share my thoughts on each of the samples and/or full size products I use up while my purse strings are tightly pulled.

.....

Will I pass my month-long spending ban, or will I fail like last time? Stay tuned to find out. 
Have you ever successfully completed a spending ban?

Kat x

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

#Btonbloggermeet Review and The AMAZING Goody Bag

So, it was the Brighton Blogger Meet (#btonbloggermeet) on Saturday and as promised, here's my review of the day.

I know I - and all the other ladies in attendance - were absolutely amazed by the hard work Laura (of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk) put into organising the day's demonstrations, as well as the contents of our ABSOLUTELY AMAZING goody bags! You can see what I got in mine later in this post.

Like some of the other girls, I was quite nervous at first but everyone was really nice and we all quickly relaxed (this coincided with the bar opening...what are the chances...ha!)

The Lush Demo: Cosmetic Catastrophe Fresh Face Mask 

Lush Demo Btonbloggermeet
Lush demo at The Globe pub, Middle Street. Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk - Thanks for letting me use your event pics Hannah!
Shortly after everyone had got their first drink inside 'em, two lovely representatives from Lush showed us how the company's 'Cosmetic Catastrophe' face mask is made, through a live demo.

This face mask contains fresh blueberries, almond oil, rose absolute and Irish moss gel, and is designed to rescue skin on the verge of a breakout, due to hormones or stress. Not only is this mask designed to draw impurities out from the skin, but it also helps to replace the essentials skin needs to thrive.

The mixture (which Lilla of lillaloves.com enthusiastically helped to bash up) was served up into 20 pots, and we were each given one to take home with us. I've never bought a Lush face mask before, but this one smells gorgeous! The full-size 75ml pot we were given contains around four applications too, so I'll really get to test it out properly.

I'd like to try some more Lush products in the future - seeing this demo has increased my confidence in the brand's position as a company believing in handmade, fuss-free beauty.

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask blueberry fresh
Made in front of our very eyes! RRP: £5.95
Before we headed to the My Salon Looks hair and tanning salon for some more demos, Laura handed out the before-mentioned goody bags, as well as some Birch boxes.

Birch Box April 2013
Inside my #btonbloggermeet Birch Box (April 2013 box): Birch Box-branded 'Let The Sunshine In' mirror, Mirenesse Glossy Kiss stick in 'Starlet',  Savon Surfin La Violette de Parme (this soap smells just like those Parma Violet sweets - delicious!), Weleda Skin Food sample, Gerda Spillmann Renaissance Age Serum sample, and Natio Aromatherapy Renew Radiance Foam Cleanser sample.

Laura also and ran a raffle for prizes kindly donated to us by some really generous sponsors like Washi!, Batiste, St. Moriz and Boux Avenue. This was my raffle prize (#18!):

Boux Avenue toiletries raffle prize
Boux Avenue Indulgent Scented Soap & Pink Taffeta body lotion. Mmmmm!
Before I show you my goody bag, er, goodies, let me tell you about our stop at My Salon Looks...


Thanks to Chelle - of uniqueandchic.co.uk - for this Vine video (can you spot me? Ha!)

My Salon Looks Demos: Moroccanoil treatment and Tissue Highlights


My Salon Looks Brighton btonbloggermeet
Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk
My Salon Looks Shu Uemura Treatment demo btonbloggermeet
Preparing the hair for the Moroccanoil treatment... Image credit: Hannah of makedoandpush.co.uk
We were invited to the luxurious My Salon Looks salon to watch demonstrations of two hair treatments - the Moroccanoil treatment, and 'tissue lightening.'

The first saw Styling Director George gently dab the original Moroccanoil oil treatment onto the areas of the client's hair which needed the most TLC. After letting the oil do it's magic for a while, George then combed it through the entire lengths before rinsing. Once blow-dried, the hair was left looking noticeably healthier and softer.

Moroccanoil hair treatment
The original Moroccanoil hair treatment - accept no substitute!
Another stylist meanwhile was lightening a woman's hair using tissue wraps instead of traditional foil ones. We all found this quite bizarre initially, especially because there was nothing particularly special about the loo roll that was used. When we saw the final results however, we could all see how this method is far better for the creation of well blended highlights (i.e. avoiding clashing 'badger stripes' in the hair.)

We all received a voucher for £15 off our first cut or colour at the salon, an offer I am sure I will be taking up! My Salon Looks is more than a salon - it's an indulgent experience!

All treatments offered by the salon are catered to the individual needs of each customer's hair. Clients sit in a deluxe vibrating massage chair while having their hair rinsed in the colour-changing Oasis. I tried out the chair and enjoyed a Homer Simpson 'Spinemelter' moment!

Oasis area My Salon Looks
The Oasis at My Salon Looks (Image credit: mysalonlooks.co.uk)
Each customer is also gifted the use of an iPad while they're having their hair seen to, which I consider quite novel!
Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer
Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer.
Laura, My Salon Looks' Area Manager, also surprised us all with the gift of either a brand new, salon professional hair dryer, or set of hair straighteners. I was lucky enough to receive the Ti Creative Sensual 3600 hairdryer, which is ergonomically designed and comprises 'Argan Oil ceramic grill' technology for extra ion transfer.

I've yet to try it it out, but I'm sure it's a massive improvement on my current Mark Hill one! I feel so spoilt, and I'm astounded by the Salon's generosity!

Inside my AMAZING goody bag...

Beauty Blogger goody bag skin goodies A
SKIN SELECTION A: Jamela 24K Gold Under-Eye Masks (I'm so excited to try these!), Amie 'Spring Clean' Cooling Clay Mask, Nourish Radiance Rejuvenating Peptide Serum, St. Moriz Instant Face Tan (Medium Matt) and Bodhi samples: Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser, Mint Bath and Shower Therapy, Rosemary Chi  Bath and Shower Therapy and Neroli Luce Rivitalising Face Oil, (I'm also stoked to put this to the test!)
Beauty Blogger goody bag skin goodies B
SKIN SELECTION B: Boux Avenue Pink Taffeta hand cream (matches my raffle prize - yay!), Beyond Organic Skincare Firming Eye Cream, Weleda Baby Celendula Lotion, Blend Collective samples: Star Jasmine Hand Cream & Sicilian Lemon Hydrating hand and Body Cream, and a selection of samples from Green People: Fruit Scrub Exfoliator, Gentle Cleanse Makeup Remover, Hydrating Firming Serum and Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream.
Washi! Skin Polishing Kit
Washi! Skin Polishing Kit: I look forward to giving my face  a good ol' scrub with these hot cloths!
Beauty Blogger goody bag makeup goodies A
MAKEUP SELECTION A: The Vintage Cosmetic Company 'Gracie' lashes, Eldora handmade eyelashes, ILAH Brows Semi Permanent Mineral Brow Travel Kit (I'm utterly intrigued by this!), Helen E Cosmetics Glamour Colour Gloss in Shade 22 'Maraschino', and Revlon Super Lustrous Lip balm in 'Pink Crystal'.
Beauty Blogger goody bag makeup goodies B
MAKEUP SELECTION B: Carmex 'Lime Twist' lip balm, Blistex 'Lip Brilliance', Smooch lipstick in 'Inferno' (this is so much like Hayley Williams' recent MAC lippy - LOVE!), Nail Girls nail varnish (shade name unknown, but the Nail Girls' team picked it out especially for me), Helen E Cosmetics nail varnish in 'Minted' (LOVE this shade!), Angelica nail colour in 'Bondi Beach', Mavala nail varnish in Malibu (also gorgeous!) and two Mary Greenwell EDP samples: 'Lemon' and 'Plum'.
ESPA £30 Gift Voucher
£30 gift card from Espa: I was shocked, but delighted, to find this in my goody bag too! I wonder what I'll spend it on?
Brighton Blogger Meet hair goodies
Hair goodies: Batiste Dry Shampoo for red hair (thanks for putting this one in my goody bag Laura - apt!) and Neal Wolf Daily Cleansing Shampoo and Conditioner samples sachets.
Phew!

Thanks so much once again to Laura for organising all of this! I'll be sure to review as many of these items as possible in the near future - you can hit the 'Follow' button to the top right of this page so you don't miss anything!

Kat x

Friday, 26 April 2013

Stunning Mesh Fringe Necklace, from olivia-accessories.com

 Olivia Accessories gift bag and mesh fringe necklace KatSick

You may remember I became quite ill towards the end of 2012. It was nothing serious, but if you had told me that at the time, I'd have ripped your head off - I had EPIC (wo)man flu, which left me absolutely drained for weeks, and fall behind with my blogging exploits.

In my mucus-fuelled haze, I forgot to review a gorgeous necklace gifted to me by olivia-accessories.com, an online shop offering a plethora of gorgeous jewellery and accessory items.

*HANGS HEAD IN SHAME*

Be sure to check out my Olivia Accessories wishlist, included after my necklace review, too!

Black Mesh Fringe Necklace Review

Black fringe necklace from olivia-accessories.com
SUPER REFLECTIVE!
I have to say, the light weight of this necklace really surprised me - I imagined it would be quite heavy considering it's complex construction! But no, while the super-reflective chain is very durable, it sits incredibly comfortably - it's so easy to forget I'm even wearing it!

While light, the necklace never moves out of position on it's own accord, which is a great design feat.

I never thought I'd ever wear this necklace during the daytime before it arrived, but it's really quite versatile - I've teamed it with both casual and more dressy, evening attire (but then again, I was never one to shy away from mismatched outfits and accessories!)

The fact the chain is adjustable is also a bonus, since you can position it optimally to sit above - and draw attention to - your shirt puppies... *SNIGGER*

Black fringe necklace adjustable chain

I've included a couple of high resolution pictures, taken directly from the Olivia Accessories website, too.

I'm still limited to the camera on my HTC (boo!), which isn't too great at picking up finer details, and I really wanted to show you the tactile texture of the strong, glint-in-the-light mesh:

Black fringe mesh necklace: olivia-accessories.com

Seriously, the metal mesh used to construct this necklace is awesome! It's so intricate.

At just £10, this necklace is fantastic value for money!

My Olivia Accessories wishlist

These are my most wanted items, from the selection currently available on olivia-accessories.com - I NEED MO' MONEY!

Green and white paved stretch bracelet (£8 - STUNNING!), Blue and yellow heart earrings (£5 - I really dig the contrast!), Pearl bracelet (£5.50 - I adore vintage-esque faux pearls) and Pink and black heart necklace (£8 - long length beads are a staple of my jewellery box, and this heart one is adorable!)
.....

Which is your favourite item from my wishlist? I'd love you to tell me in the comments below - I read, and really appreciate, every single one! 

Be sure to check out olivia-accessories.com for yourself, and follow the brand on Twitter!

Kat x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

So It's The Brighton Blogger Meet On Saturday...

Brighton Pier sunset lips

It's the Brighton Blogger Meet this Saturday (April 27), and judging from recent updates from the event's organiser - Laura of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk -  it's going to be a fantastic, and very busy, day!

What are we up to?


Brighton Blogger Meet sponsers

We're meeting in a pub called The Globe in Brighton's South Laines around midday, and we'll be joined by a representative from Lush who will be giving us a few demos (exactly what kinds of demos is still hush-hush!)

We'll also be joined by a representative from Nail Girls London, who has apparently picked out some varnishes for us, based on our blog-themes/personalities! Exciting!

After a couple of hours, we'll be heading to the My Salon Looks beauty, tanning and hair salon for another demonstration - something related to Moroccan oil I believe, which is great since I looooove Moroccan oil hair products!

There may be some more demos on the day, but these are TBC. Hopefully they'll be time for some shopping though!

Laura has been working really hard collecting bits and pieces from some very generous brands who volunteered to sponsor our blogger meet, and fill our goody bags (take a look at the logo collage above for a few!) Lilla has also secured us ladies some post meet-up treats from The Body Shop, which is obviously awesome as well!

We're scheduled to eat at Oregano - a yummy Italian by Brighton Pier - in the early evening.

Lilla (of lillaloves.com) has also booked a table at Brighton's Funfair Club, for the girls who're still full of beans when the clock hits 11pm.

Unfortunately  it's unlikely I'll be able to stay for dinner, let alone go clubbing, as my Aunt has decided this is the weekend to pay my family a visit (I do love you if you're reading this Bev, but proper poor timing! Ha!)

Brighton Blogger Meet - whose going?

There's 20 Brighton bloggers attending the event, and so I know I've missed a couple of ladies who should also be on the list below. If you're one of them - sorry! Let me know and I'll add you ASAP!

I must admit I'm quite nervous to meet everyone - I'm initially much shyer than people expect for a ridiculously tall and neon-haired bird! I'm sure everyone will be super lovely though, and life's all about doing the things that scare you...right?

THE LIST

Me (duh!)
Laura of lolaandbehold.blogspot.co.uk (double duh!)
Lilla of lillaloves.com (triple duh!)
Annabelle of annabelle-miller.com
Jessica of fashionmeasmile.com

You can follow what we're all up to on the day by keeping tabs on hash tag: #btonbloggermeet Let's hope our phone batteries don't die too quickly!

I'll be sure to tell you all about the meet here afterwards too - why not follow me on GFC (button to top right of this page), so you don't miss my recap post? If you've attended a blogger meet up before, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Were you nervous?

Kat x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Poundland Purchases: Collection 2000 Poptastic Eye Pallet & Miners' Complexion Collection

Poundland Purchases both KatSick

I popped into Poundland after work today to stock up on conditioner, but I couldn't resist basketing these two bargain beauty buys also...

Collection 2000 Poptastic Eye Pallet

I actually bought this pallet last week after reading about it on Hannah Marie's blog (I'd been tempted to get it for quite a while), but I picked up another one today because I like it so much!

Collection 2000 Poptastic eyeshadow x 2 KatSick
See, I told you I have two!
Collection 2000 Poptastic eye pallet

Collection 2000 Poptastic eye pallet top two rows swatches
The first six eyeshadows' swatches (first two rows, from left to right). My faves here are the two blues, and the final 'lime'  colour, which looks more yellow here than it is in reality!
The final three swatches. While I'm not particularly keen on the navy blue or slate-black shadows, I LOVE the shimmery green one!

A lovely french girl browsing the cosmetics section of pound shop complimented me on my duo-green eyeshadow (seen in the pic below), and I immediately pointed out the Poptastic pallet to her - she was really taken with it too!
Duo green eyeshadow KatSick
Today's eye makeup, using colours #6 and #7 from the Poptastic pallet. I still need a decent camera, eugh (keep dreaming, girl...) Also, the 17 mascara I used BLOWS - I'll moan about it in an upcoming post, don't worry ;]
Returning the favor, she then recommended my second Poundland purchase; Miner's Complexion Collection.

Miner's Complexion Collection


Miners Complexion Collection boxed

I'm yet to try out the highlighter and two blushers in this kit properly, but they look pretty good judging from the swatches. It'll be nice to have some more subtle blushers in my makeup arsenal - I've gone off the vividness of my usual "go-to."

Miners Complexion Collection raised texture
I really liked the raised textures :]
Miners Complexion Collection swatches
The pale pink highlighter (left) will likely become a favorite of mine...
Have you picked up any brilliant beauty bargains in Poundland recently? Maybe you're a brand snob, and wouldn't dream of buying makeup from a pound shop? I'd love you to share your thoughts with me in the comments below.