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Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick Review

28 Mar

max-factor-colour-elixirI have been lusting over a neon pink lip ever since I saw the beauty shots from the Giles SS13 show. To get a glossier version of the perfect matte pouts seen at Giles, Max Factor’s new Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Vibrant Pink is a great product – highly pigmented, non-sticky and a beautifully bright fluoro shade.

The pen shape makes this product really easy to apply, and teamed with a flick of black eyeliner – or, for the Giles look, flawless skin and bare eyes – it creates real impact. Only thing I’m slightly concerned about is when it comes to sharpening!

The Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick is £6.99 from Boots.


(This is a beautiful Giles model, not me, in case you were wondering…)


Product of the Day – Neon Lippie

26 Mar

topshop-lipstick-straight-aTopshop Lipstick in Straight Ace – I love this colour for recreating that neon pop of colour as seen on the Giles and Holly Fulton S/S catwalks.

£9, buy here


The Rules of First Date Make-Up

6 Feb

DO give yourself plenty of time. Arriving in a flap with mascara smudged across your face is not a good first impression.

DON’T wear bright lipstick – not unless you’re definitely not intending to kiss them! (if all else fails have wet wipes close by)

DO stick to your personal style. Always wear blue flicky eyeliner? Then he better accept from the start. (Unless your signature style is red lipstick, in which case, see above).

DON’T over-do it. ‘Applied with a trowel’ is not a good look.

DO take a little mirror on your bag. That way you can check just before arrival that you haven’t managed to mess it up.

DON’T worry if you’re having a bad skin day. Just invest in a brilliant concealer and remember that you always notice these things way more than anyone else.

DO go to the ladies during the evening to make sure you haven’t wiped your face off during that passionate conversation about why you’re so pleased Clapham now has a Waitrose.

DON’T wear so much hairspray he has to go outside for a breather every half an hour.

DO take a compliment – DON’T cackle and shout “you should SEE me without make-up” when you get one.

New CID Cosmetics sponsor The Bodyguard

7 Jan

photo (30)


There are so many West End musicals I want to see at the moment (Viva Forever tickets have already been booked) and having heard good reports from friend who have seen The Bodyguard, it’s definitely on the list.

I didn’t even know shows could have their own ‘Official Make Up Sponsor” these days, but New CID Cosmetics have claimed that title for The Bodyguard, and launched this little lip gloss and eye shadow selection in celebration.

photo (27)The two lip glosses are new shades, and contain a little bulb in the lid for more precise application even in poor lighting (rolling around drunkenly in the back of taxi springs to mind).

new-cid-lipglossThe three cream eyeshadows have a very mousse-y texture, as I discovered by accidentally poking my finger right through the middle of one. The top left shade, Spotlight, is a pearly lilac colour for highlighting; top right is Diva, a nice metallic aubergine that I can image Whitney rocking beautifully, and finally there’s the smoky grey Melody, which actually comes out as a lovely glittery silver. I’ve never really been sure about wearing greys and silvers with my hazel eyes, but I think if you either had dark, blue or green eyes, this selection would look lovely.

new-cid-eye-shadow-swatchesThe set costs £35 (the products have a value of £74 if they were bought separately) and is available from


Winter Skin Savers

30 Nov

The coldest weekend EVER is coming up and guess where I’m going? To Scotland of course!

Yes, this Southern nancy is off up North – and I am going to be packing some serious layers.

As well as clothes, good skincare is important when the temperatures drop, in order to avoid tight, chapped and dry skin peaking out the gap between your scarf and your hat.

Here are some of my favourites:



Vaseline Lip Therapy – £1.99

Vaseline might lack the fancy packaging or exciting scents, but it’s the old favourite for a reason. I use this on my lips, cracked hands and when I’m feeling ultra-sexy, to soothe a chapped nose post-tissue fest.

johnsons-daily-essentials-moisturiserJohnsons Daily Essentials 24hr Day Cream with SPF 15 – £4.07

If like me, you have skin that somehow manages to be dry, oily, spotty, flakey, EVERYTHING at the same time then this is a good choice of moisturiser. It sinks in very quickly with no greasy residue, but still provides intense hydration. It smells lovely and is very gentle on sore spots (I’m talking about the nose again).

neutrogena-unscented-concentrated-hand-creamNeutrogena Concentrated Unscented Hand Cream – £2.39

This is the best hand cream I have ever tried for seriously sore hands. It doesn’t sting, delivers hardcore moisturisation and makes a noticeable difference to chapped skin within just a few uses. Also, I love the fact it’s unscented so you don’t spend the whole day eating food that only tastes of hand cream.



Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm – £1.89

Call me a bit paranoid, but I really hate using my fingers to apply lip balm when I’m out and about in London. Just thinking off all the bannisters, tube rails and Topshop pin-pads I’ve touched and all the germs I’m then rubbing onto my lips grosses me out a bit. In that case, it’s nice to have a tube lip balm like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter one – subtle smell, great results.



Best Beauty Gifts on a Budget

27 Nov

There’s an advent calendar in our office. I’ve gone out wearing a sequin dress. There are scarves with reindeers on in the shops. Yes people – Christmas is coming.

Of course, along with this festive build-up, comes the obligatory Christmas gift guides in almost every publication – you know, the ones that try to convince men do really like ornaments in the shape of woodland animals and that buying your aunt an £150 cashmere scarf is the norm.

No people! It’s not! We’re all fricking poor – which is why all the beauty buys in my little gift guide are under £20. Woohoo.

topshop-eye-paletteTopshop Eye Palette in Atmosphere – £16

I love the look of this little palette – in fact it would be almost too good to use were it not for the lovely, shimmery colours contained within. Topshop eye shadows are generally highly-pigmented and long-lasting, and the shades in this palette are striking yet neutral enough to flatter all eye colours. A good call.

kate moss red lipstick


Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick Shade 1 – £5.49

Give your loved one the gift of the ultimate red lip with this beautiful scarlet shade from Kate Moss’s Rimmel collection. I can vouch for the fact this suits loads of different skin tones having shared it with scores of girls in the ladies loos (classy bird) – although unfortunately I can’t guarantee it will make the recipient look like Mossy.

Barry M Nail Polish Gold

Barry M Nail Polish Gold – £2.99

The perfect stocking filler? I can’t tell you how much I love this gold polish – it’s got a beautiful, elegant sheen to it rather than being sparkly, sparkly. sparkly (not that I have a problem with that!) – and would be the perfect festive shade for teenagers and mothers alike.

max-factor-false-lash-effect-mascaraMax Factor False Lash Effect Mascara – £10.99

I’m yet to find someone who’s tried this mascara and not loved it. Personally I wouldn’t buy anything else – it has AMAZING lengthening, thickening and defining effects on the lashes, to the point where I have actually been asked lots of times if I’m wearing falsies. To which I reply “oh darling it’s all natural” of course.


Max Factor Color X-Pert Eye Liner in Lilac – £6.99

Another Max Factor one – this is the best coloured liquid liner I’ve come across, and a great gift for anyone who likes to be a bit adventurous with their make up without going completely wild. The colour is eye-catching yet pretty, and the application is very easy thanks to a non-spindly brush. I do hate a spindly brush.





Autumn is here! Five Reasons to get Excited

10 Oct

1) Pale and interesting beauty

pale-skin-red-lips-autumn-winter-beauty-make-upAutumn is the time to throw away your fake tan mitt and give up the constant struggle to achieve ‘bronzed goddess’ over  ‘streaky mess’. Leave behind the golden glow and nude make up, and instead turn to striking porcelain skin and more dramatic looks on the lips and eyes, including that ultimate winter favourite, red lipstick (top row – Gucci, Kristen Bell). I also love the English Rose looks from Michael Kors and Alice Temperley (bottom row), which focus on a beautiful flushed cheek. You can achieve this with a lovely pink blusher or just a crisp wintery walk!

2) Boots and coats!

You know what’s annoying? Those days between June and September when it’s actually not warm enough to flit about in a light blazer and skirt, but you feel like a bit of a weirdo shoving on your winter coat and black tights. Now, however, we can bung on scarves, boots, lovely fitted coats – all without subverting any seasonal norms. And we all know how elegant and flattering the perfect winter outerwear can be. Where’s my bobble hat?

3) Halloween

Halloween is a great excuse to embrace your inner child. Whether you’re throwing a party, or staying in to watch spooky films, make sure you involve the following:

– A pumpkin

– Chocolates in the shape of pumpkins

– Bobbing apples

– At least one piece of novelty jewellery

This dog

4) Autumn Nails

Autumn-nail-artI’ve written about Summer nail art, but – pah! – that’s old news now. Instead, it is time to embrace autumnal colours, icicles and the odd cheeky umbrella. If I can recreate the flames above in time for Bonfire Night, I’ll give myself a medal (a medal in the form of a hot dog, obvs).

5) Mulled Wine

Cold weather means you are automatically allowed to drink Mulled Wine AT ALL TIMES. Like for breakfast, as a nightcap, perhaps even in your ‘water’ bottle when you scoot off to the gym.

See also Winter Pimms, Red Wine and Irish Coffee. Oh and Gin. Always Gin.

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