Saturday, 15 June 2013

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

I had never come across the Balm cosmetics before 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 £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

the Balm Cheater! mascara

the Balm Cheater! mascara
£8.90 (I think! I got the last one in stock on 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

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