Review: Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Polish in Bling-Tastic

Hello all and sorry for my tardiness in writing to you!

It’s been a bit of a manic few weeks and I don’t do well in the sunshine, in fact I pretty much wilt and collapse in the heat!!! However, while I’ve been busy doing things in real life which make me a bad blogger, part of that has included purchasing a few new beauty products and trying them out. So… here’s the first of a few reviews which will hopefully help you to make more informed beauty purchases over the course of this fabulous summer.

To kick off, I’m going to start with Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush nail polish in Bling-Tastic which appealed to me because it sparkles and let’s face it, I’m something of a magpie!



I actually picked mine up in Boots but I can’t find it on their website so I can tell you than Superdrug sell it online for £6.99. It’s a bit on the pricey side for a nail polish but still well under the likes of Nails Inc. and it’s just so sparkly and pretty that it makes it ok!

Those of you who know me will know that blue isn’t usually my thing, I’m much more a fan of pinks and reds but the picture on this blog does the colour no justice whatsoever, this is a really bright, perfect Caribbean sea blue 🙂

On Me

On Me

Now I hate putting pictures of my fingers and toes into blog posts because quite frankly I have neither model hands nor feet. However, in the interest of showing you that you can achieve a proper colour with this, I figured I’d best pop some evidence in. The picture to the left is my ring finger after 3 coats. My advice is to let each coat dry in between applications and instead of painting it on, kind of stipple / daub it on and you’ll get a much better coverage. Otherwise, you end up taking glitter off or you end up with very sparkly tips and just a few specks on the rest of the nail.

As for staying power, like any good sparkly polish, this even stays put on my incredibly thin, bendy, flaky nails so it’s a winner. I’m not looking forward to taking it off, that’s potentially going to take some brute force but you can’t have it all!

You can’t see very well in the picture but this is very sparkly and catches the light beautifully in real life. My only criticism is that I think this amount of sparkle would be a bit much if you had it on all 10 fingers so I’ve just popped it on the ring fingers for a quick splash of glamour and I love it. (It looks especially good when the rest of your nails are bright pink!)

So there you have it…this does exactly what it says on the bottle and I LOVE it! If you want some summery glam, definitely get yourself one of these. At just £6.99 it’s cheaper than most sparkly jewellery and in my opinion, adds just as much to your outfit.

Until next time… x

Review: L’Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster

Yesterday I had a little time to kill in town so I popped into Boots to have a mooch and see what new toys I could find. Naturally the 3 for 2 offer on L’Oreal cosmetics caught my eye and I ended up coming out with 3 lovely new products to try. As far as relatively budget beauty goes, L’Oreal and Maybelline tend to be favourites of mine so I was expecting some good things.

The first of the products I have tried out is their Super Liner Blackbuster. This is essentially a black felt-tip pen type eyeliner which massively appealed because I seem to be completely and utterly inept at applying all other forms of eyeliner evenly.

L'Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster, £6.99

L’Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster, £6.99

As you can see, the tip is pretty chunky which led me to believe I could get a reasonably thick application in one go without too much hassle. Wrong! When you apply the product, it actually comes out in quite a thin line unless you try and use the side of the pen which then becomes a bit awkward. It also feels a bit like a felt-tip pen that is coming to the end of it’s life; not a lot of product comes out and it therefore has a tendency to drag the skin, meaning that you don’t get a smooth line as the skin is bunched up. This also means that you don’t get a strong black colour with one layer, you have to go over it a few times to get a really bold look which is a bit of a pain. Ignoring my eyebrow which needs urgent attention, here is a photo I took without mascara so you could see exactly what the liner is like:

EyeNot good, is it???

As for staying power…quite frankly, I don’t care. When the above photo has taken me 2 coats and still looks that bad, this is not the liner me. My usual liquid eyeliner works much better.

Having seen a review of the Cosmetics A La Carte version of this, I think I’ll save my pennies and give their liner a bash instead!

Anyone else tried any good eyeliners for those of us who are not artistically gifted??? x

Review – Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara

Benefit products have been circling in my peripheral vision for years but I’ve never spotted anything that’s grabbed me enough to give it a go, despite many of my friends raving about the range. Then, last month Glamour magazine was offering free Benefit cosmetics so I thought that would be a great time to give something a try. Mascara is one of the items of my make up bag I feel most passionate about so I went for the BADgal Lash option. Here’s what I thought about it:

Upon unscrewing the brush from the bottle, I was quite excited as the brush is thick and full so I was expecting some serious volume, not least because this mascara is meant to give a true false lash look. Oh boy was I disappointed! The brush was so fat that actually it came out of the bottle with barely any product on it. After coat number 1, my lashes looked exactly the same as they did before I’d put any mascara on. Literally nothing! Maybe it’s just because I’ve just opened it, I thought. In I went again…yes, I double dipped! Sadly the same result. I’ve never been this disappointed by a mascara and for something that costs £16.50 normally, it’s an exceptionally poor show!

I appreciate that it was always going to have a tough time filling the shoes of my Clinique mascara but it was truly terrible. To get some perspective, I asked around at work to see if anyone else had any luck. One colleague who has stunning, long lashes said that she had also tried it a while ago and thought exactly the same as me. Point proven, it’s not just my high standards getting in the way, this mascara just does not live up to its claims.

Sorry folks but this is one to miss and it’s not exactly warmed to Benefit as a product range! x

Review – Clinique All About Eyes Serum

Recently I have been doing that super naughty thing of burning the candle at both ends and eating LOADS of junk food at the same time. This has not only been a disaster in terms of my waistline but also in terms of my skin; I’ve never looked so old and tired! It’s all been for a good cause and now I finally have time to write this post, things have calmed down a bit.

Anyhow, as I was looking so hideous and my usual Clinique Airbrush Concealer just wasn’t shifting those dark circles under my eyes, I decided I needed more. I already use a daily eye cream so that wasn’t what was lacking, what I needed was something to make me look more awake and I found it at the Clinique counter (my favourite counter. It came in the form of the Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (£20).

My Saviour!

I’m not going to lie, I thought the woman at the counter who suggested I use a serum was completely mad. I was looking for stronger, thicker make-up, not a bloomin’ serum! Well, well, well…I was wrong!

I first used this last week when I was mid-show time and had only had 3 hours sleep as a result of panicking about said show and remembering my lines! It was like a little miracle!

The roller ball is metal and the serum is cooling so when you roll it on, you feel an awesome soothing, cooling feeling which not only helps to de-puff the area but also helps you feel more awake. That instantly had me loving the product and then, once I applied my make-up, I loved it even more! My concealer hadn’t got stuck in the folds under my eyes, it was smooth and dewy looking which made me look far more awake than I was. In fact it made me look far more awake than I have for a good 6 months or so, I swear it took a few years off my overall appearance! I LOVE IT!

I’ve been using it daily since and I can’t believe I ever lived without it, it is a fantastic product and £20 is a bargain price-tag as it’s going to last me ages. If you have tired looking eyes and have been wondering who that ghoul in the mirror is recently, I highly recommend you give this product a try. I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s used it to see if you love it as much as me! x

Review – Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

Ok, here is the next instalment of my hunt for a good foundation that’s just slightly lighter than what I currently use in terms of coverage. This time I was back to Maybelline to try out their Dream Fresh BB Cream; if you live in the UK you will most likely have seen this advertised on a TV near you recently.

First thing’s first, this little baby set me back £7.99 in Boots so whilst it’s not super pricey, it is a fair bit more than the MUA BB I reviewed a few weeks ago.

I picked the “light” shade which I did worry might not be light enough as when I tried it on my hand in the shop, it came out quite orange but it did blend pretty well.

When it came to application, the first thing to notice is that this is quite runny so be careful when squirting it out of the bottle. It’s completely the opposite in consistency to the MUA BB. However I don’t know what consistency I was expecting as this is meant to be an 8-in-1 product!

  • Creates a natural glow
  • SPF 30 UV protection
  • Compliments skin tone
  • Hydrates all day
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Oil free, non greasy
  • Looks visibly smooth
  • Feels fresh

So how did it live up to its 8 claims? Well, after 2 applications I still couldn’t really see it on my skin, it hadn’t blurred my imperfections at all. However, after applying my usual Clinique over the top, it did give me dewy, glowing skin and felt very fresh. I can only take their word on the SPF, I haven’t been able to test that and as for the others, well they’re pretty rubbish claims to be honest. I’ve never used a foundation that didn’t look smooth or that didn’t compliment my skin tone. Pretty much all foundations claim to hydrate and be non greasy but I have other products to manage that so the effect I get isn’t really due to the foundation I am using.

Overall, I’d say give this a miss. I haven’t seen any other glowing reviews of it, most seem to be negative. It provides zero coverage to the point where it doesn’t even change the colour of your skin in any way. The MUA one, although not amazing was much better and was half the price so that’s my current leader. Has anyone else used this Maybelline product? Does anyone like it? x

Review – Makeup Academy (MUA) BB Foundation

As regular readers who have read my review of Maybelline’s Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation will know, I have begun a quest looking for a lighter feeling foundation to replace my Clinique Repairwear Anti-Ageing Foundation which I’ve been using for the past few years. I love my Clinique foundation but my skin has been rather rubbish recently so I’ve been hoping to find a lighter foundation for days when it’s not too covered in blemishes in the hope that it will improve a bit.

However, my start with the Maybelline  foundation didn’t go too well and I was still on my quest. BB creams and foundations are massive at the moment so I thought I’d try one of those and after some quick Googling to see what was out there, I thought I’d try the Makeup Academy (MUA) BB Foundation. At just £4 for a tube, I figured that no matter what I thought, it would definitely be worth a try. You can buy most MUA makeup in Superdrug stores but my local store didn’t seem to have any of this so I used their online shop and the delivery was really quick.

MUA BB Foundation

The first downside which I’ve noticed other people commenting on as well is that the foundation only comes in 3 colours; Light, Medium and Dark. Given my rather porcelain complexion, I figured Light would be the best shade for me. Shockingly, although I usually have the lightest shade of all foundations, the Light colour was a bit too light for me. The foundation was the same colour as the lightest parts of my skin which meant that I just looked that little bit too pale and slightly less healthy than the glow my Clinique gives me.

Applying the foundation isn’t great, it’s really quite thick and despite it being a BB foundation, I really felt like I still needed a primer underneath to help it smooth over my skin. Coverage-wise however, it really came into its own; I would never have expected such good coverage from a bargain foundation. It evened out my skin tone well and covered my enlarged T-zone pores as well. It didn’t look like that by the end of the day, I’d say you’d  need a lunchtime top-up if you wanted to look flawless for a whole day but not bad for the price.

However, when I got home that evening, I did have a few blemishes that I hadn’t started the day with. I wasn’t sure if that was just coincidence or not so I waited a few days and then gave it another go and it wasn’t as bad but I did end the day with a blemish that wasn’t there at the beginning. So, if you have blemish-prone skin, you should just keep a watch on this in case you experience the same.

The final thing that makes me question this foundation as a good choice for me is that unlike a lot of BB products, it’s not got any SPF. My current foundation is SPF 15 and for somebody as pale as me, that’s an absolute lifesaver in the summer months as I tend to burn if I so much as look at the sun.

Overall, for £4 a pop, I’d say this is a great product. However, if you’re used to the staying power of something higher quality, I’d say give it a miss. It would be excellent for someone who has good skin and only wears makeup for nights out and therefore only needs a base for other makeup and for it to last a few hours at a time.

Unfortunately for me, after trying this, I decided that sticking with my current foundation would probably be the way forward for now. However, when I went to buy some more last week, I was informed that it has been discontinued; the one I bought was pretty much the last one in Reading in my colour. Therefore, my hunt will continue so watch this space for more foundation reviews and please do let me know if you have any ideas! x

My First Beauty Box

In the world of beauty bloggers, I am way behind the curve in that I have only had my first beauty box delivered this month but I’m not sure how many of you out there in the wider world actually know what a beauty box is. Beauty boxes have suddenly shot up on the radar,  Groupon style and they are essentially like Graze boxes except the come monthly and they have a random selection of treat sized beauty products in them.

I first heard about beauty boxes from Rebecca of the fabulous Be Beautiful blog, when she did a post about Glossy Box. I was intrigued and decided to sign myself up. However, when I Googled “beauty box”, I found a whole host of them out there and ended up subscribing to the Feel Unique beauty box. My reasoning behind this is that they sell full size versions of all the products they put in the boxes so I figured it would be easy to buy them if I wanted them. This is what arrived in the post last week:

The Box Itself
The Contents

Essentially what we have inside the stylish box is:

  • Elemis Lime and Ginger Body Wash
  • Nuxe dry oil
  • Decleor Phytopeel
  • Philip Kingsley maximiser (hair)
  • Leighton Denny silver nail polish
  • JPG Kokorico fragrance sample

It’s a pretty good selection of products but I haven’t used any of them yet as I just don’t find them that exciting; the box is much better than the contents in my opinion. If you check out the Be Beautiful blog, you will see that they got far more exciting and young looking products in the Glossy Box and more of them are full size as well so I am jealous!

I don’t know what anyone else’s experiences of beauty boxes are but I’d say definitely check out past boxes before you buy or you won’t get the best for you! I’ve already cancelled my subscription and Glossy Box will be getting my business very soon 🙂 x

Today’s Saviour Is…

Nails Inc Elizabeth Street nail varnish. (Get it here.)

Elizabeth Street

Once again, my super weak and flaky nails have reached the point when they start peeling too much and then get even weaker. This means that they are now super short and hideous. I need to paint them for strength but don’t want to draw too much attention to them with any of my usual bold colours and that’s where this polish came in. Elizabeth Street is really not that different in colour to my nail beds so it’s just allowed me to tidy up my ugly hands and make them more feminine. Highly recommended to anybody in a similar situation 🙂 x