Thursday, 31 December 2009

Top Picks of 2009

I do love me a list. No really, I'm a list making QUEEN, I'll make lists for anything.
What to pack when I'm travelling, shopping lists, work lists, project lists, I even made a list of everything I was looking for in a boy once after a friend suggested it and would you believe it worked? The next boy I met was everything on that list. Sadly, I'd forgotten to add 'not a complete twat' so it didn't work out but still. The point is, I love a list.

So, here are this year's discoveries that I wouldn't/couldn't be without...

1. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
I have rattled on about this endlessly here, here and here to list but a few posts and there is a really simple reason for that. This stuff is AMAZING. I've never had terrible skin until about a year ago when I started suffering from adult acne and seriously, it was ridiculously depressing. The topical antibiotics I used to get rid of it worked a treat but left my skin dry, red and sore and nothing was helping resolve the issue. Until I busted open this bad boy. It is amazing. Having just turned 29, ageing is totally playing on my mind (2010 is the year of the big three-oh after all) but this stuff is great. I absolutely credit it with inadvertently passing myself off as twenty-seven for the last couple of months (I totally didn't, he just wasn't listening) and cannot see a time when this lovely stuff will no longer take pride of place on my dressing table.

2. Clairol Perfect 10
You know how I feel about the recession but, well, bloody hell, I suppose I HAVE to acknowledge it now. So the best advice I can give is to do what I did, back away from the two hundred quid hair colour at the salon and pick up a box of Clairol Perfect 10. No one believe I colour my hair myself, very few people even pick up that I colour it but tis true, I go from blonde bombshell to brunette minx about every six weeks and this is my preferred route. Honestly, I'm all smoke and mirrors these days...

3. Smashbox O-Plump
I've been obsessed with this since I got it back in April and am now on my third tube. Not that the tubes don't last that long, just that I have one in each major handbag in rotation... I'm THAT serious about this shizz. Get it. Now.

4. Komenuka Bijin Conditioning Treatment
I left mine in London. I cried. I had to go out and buy more.
That is all.

5. MAC Hello Kitty Range
I'm wearing the blush RIGHT NOW. It breaks my heart that this isn't available every day, everywhere. Seriously, I mean at like Starbucks or something.

5. Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Power Recovery Masque
Out of all the awesome masks I've used this year, it's always this one I turn to in times of extreme shittiness. It really does make you look like someone has slapped you around the chops with the healthy stick. Even if you feel like craaaaaaaaap.

6. The Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub
I think I miss this more than anything else (people aside) in the UK. You can't get it here and it breaks my little heart. Honestly, I'm a soft skin maniac and this is the quickest, yummiest route to the softest skin on earth. I love it. Sob.

7. Eyelash Extensions by Natalie
I don't think I lied in the last post, I miss my eyelash extensions to an extreme degree but more than the actual extensions, I REALLY miss Natalie. Not only is she awesome at applying the lashes, she's actually just pretty bloody awesome full stop. Next time I'm in London, I will be seeing her. And then seeing nothing for a week because my eyelashes will be SO LONG.

8. Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils
My collection of these bad boys is now fairly well evolved (I have them all) and I don't think a day goes by when I leave the house without my eyes outlined just so. They're The Best Pencils Out there. That is all.

9. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
And when I'm wearing the 24/7 pencils, I'm usually wearing this underneath them. Miracles. Miracles the pair of them...

10. Johnson's Baby Cream Shea & Cocoa Butter
Ok, so I know this says baby on it but really, it;s one of the best moisturisers I've found all year. I go through an abhorrent amount of body lotion and so as much as I'd love to be extolling the virtues of Body Shop Body Butter, Bliss Lemon+Sage or Creme de la Mer even, I am talking a couple of tubes a month so this, at about $5 a pop, is a godsend. It's rich, it's softening and it smells really, really nice. Job's a good 'un.

So that's it. Mostly because I dropped a bookshelf on my head and I'm feeling a bit spacey so I'm going to stop typing. Or actually start typing. I don't know, it's late.
We're going to be three in 2010, can you believe it? THREE? Actually, that sounds much more manageable than thirty...

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Post-Christmas Blues

So, due to complete and utter exhaustion, I failed EPICALLY to grab any goodness at Duty Free on my way back to NYC. Can you believe it? I was supposed to stock up on Touche Eclat, Beauty Flash Balm and YSL Parisienne but instead I just about managed to get two bags of Galaxy Minstrels, snap a shot of I Heart Hollywood in WH Smiths (not officially out yet but there you go) and pass out in a really uncomfortable chair with Grazia until I was herded onto a plane. Fun times.

Anyway, I'm sure I had a point... what was it again? Um, oh yes. Well, because of my general failings as a human being, I had to use what I could grab on the way home/rustle up from Mummy BeautyLover's bathroom and do you know what? I had totally forgotten how much I love Aussie Three Minute Miracle. It was bloody brilliant and I'm absolutely going to be stocking up back here in the US of A. Also, I used a Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash travel sized sample I picked up at Sephora not long ago and it was really good. Nice and granular so you could really feel it working at unclogging your pores (total necessity when you've been flying) but not so harsh that it took ten layers of skin off.

Other than that, I just hit my midday wall and am about to fall asleep. Damn jetlag.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. Presumably I'll have more tomorrow, you know what I'm like...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Last Minute Gift Needed! Ahh, Thank You, Jo Malone

Honestly, where else would I go for a last minute gift?
Everyone loves Jo Malone (especially my friend who shall remain nameless but was given a TON of their stuff by a corporate client as a thank you but got so wasted at her Christmas do she PUKED ALL OVER THE PACKAGING) because the products are beautiful and effective. The swanktastic equivalent of Ronseal. It does exactly what it says on the tin.


Every year I wish I was adult enough to actually have the products myself and not just buy them for others (even though the actions of the nameless buddy suggests you don't have to be a total grown up) but when I went strolling at lunchtime, looking for a last minute gift, my first go to place was Jo Malone. The hardest thing of course, is just getting something for my unexpected gift buddy and not buying everything else for myself. My name is BeautyLover and I'm a candle addict. Plus, good lord, the Pine & Eucalyptus room spray? That is Christmas to me. Well, Christmas shopping anyway.

I finally settled on the Pomegranate Noir candle because its gorgeous but really, (cough, cough, hint, hint people) who wouldn't love to find a Jo Malone box under the tree this Christmas?

Naked

No, not me you dirty minded people and not fat tongued Oliver either... no this is some lovely, lovely beauty goodness from Naked Body Care.

Basically, the lovely people at Naked are going to give the next 100 people to sign up to their Facebook page the chance to win a massive hamper full of Naked goodness (the products again, not nudey people). So look for Naked Body Care on the Book of Face, become a fan and then email nakedcompetition@yahoo.co.uk with your details.

For more Naked news (but NO RUDE BITS) check out NakedBodyCare.co.uk. Sorry mi Americano amores, this is a UK only offer. But I'll have something awesome for you in a little bit!

Lee Stafford Electrical Range

I have nothing to say but...
WANT.



Hot pink?

Mock croc?
Electrical hair appliances?
Who WOULDN'T want this?

I lived and died by my original Lee Stafford hair dryer before I moved out to the US or A and the straighteners were well used in the Big House of Gay (honestly, gay boys put straighteners through waaaaaaaaay more than we do) and last year's travel set will be awaiting me when I land at Mummy BeautyLover's on Thursday so I think these would be a solid gold purchase, plus my hair is almost long enough for curling now which is super exciting. I think it would only be right for the first curls to be put in my hot pink, mock croc curling irons, don't you?

Get 'em from Boots and Boots.com, ladies...

Monday, 21 December 2009

Things I would like for Christmas Santa, thank you very much

There is no real reason for this post other than I went to Sephora at lunch (to buy something for SOMEONE ELSE) and it gave me the self-purchasing shakes.
So, Santa Baby...

Philosophy Winter Escape set
I like Philosophy. I like marshmallows. Therefore it makes sense that I would like this. Also, I already bought it for someone else and NOW I SEE IT'S ON SALE. GODDAMN. I mean, ooh, what a shame. No mention of God or Jebus or Santa or anything.

YSL Parisienne
I keep getting spritzed with this everywhere and bloody hell, if those cows with the squirters haven't done a complete job on me. BeautyLover likey. BeautyLover wanty. BeautyLover buyee at Duty Freey. That last one really didn't work but you get the idea. And yeah, I'm ignoring La Moss' involvement. Get off the ads and tout your own crap, missy.

Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub
This is one of my UK staples that I really haven't been able to replace out here. Honestly, I think it's the best scrub out there. I love the smell, I love the way it heats up and I adore how soft it leaves my skin. I miss it. Sob.

Nars Day and Night Palette
I can't tell you how many times I've fingered this in Sephora. I think, besides having a book published and my Fraggle costume at Halloween, not buying this so far has been my proudest personal achievement. But what am I trying to prove exactly? How is my life improved by not owning it? Well, now that you mention it, I don't know! Really, I owe it to myself, to Santa and to everyone that has to look upon my face to purchase it posthaste. Thanks for sorting that out, BL! Why, you're welcome, BL!

Stila Lipglaze and Smudge Pot Sets
I just want them. I love Stila, I love lipglazes and smudgepots and these are dinky versions which instantly make them better than the originals. Don't ask me how that works, it JUST DOES.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Collection
Because a) Elemis Pro-Collagen products are awesome and b) because I've been SLAUGHTERING my skin by flying so much this month, I needs it. And it comes in a pretty silver case that matches the jewellery case my Pro-Collagen eye duo came in. Reason enough? I think so...

* note to all potential gifters.
I know gifts have been bought, I know I'm not getting anything else. I also know I'm travelling with only hand luggage and as such can bring FRIG ALL back with me to the US. But I also want these things quite badly. And you know, love will find a way...
And all these items, except for The Sanctuary stuff which I can't find out here ANYWHERE, should be available in the UK and US. I've given US links because, suck it up bitches, I live here, but I reckon between HQ Hair and Boots, you should do nicely my beloved UK ladies.

GO SMiLE

Eurgh, sorry I've been away but I've been poorly bad. Actually, having read the last couple of month's entries, I've been nothing but bloody poorly bad all year. Crapola. Here's to 2010 being relatively healthy...

Anyway, off my sleeping sickness and on to my new obsession. As you may have heard, shiny, white, Hollywood teeth are quite the thing out here in the US of A. Now, I don't have terrifying gnarled gnashers or anything but I don't have the sparkling pearly white smile of my US counterparts either. Not. Ideal. So I've been through the lot, White Strips, Brightening Toothpaste, Gel Pens, all that shizz, but it would appear I've found an option that a) works and b) (more importantly) looks awesome and comes in really funky packaging...




GO SMiLE works under the philosophy that brightening your smile should be as easy as refreshing your lip gloss and I have to say, it really is. No need for icky trays or plastic strips, you just snap open a teeny, portable ampoule of gel (massively satisfying and comes in loads of flavours) and then squeeze until it appears on the foam applicator and rub on your teeth. Ta-da! Stains come off, shiny teeth are revealed. And it's party time right? Lots of red wone, coffee and general badness to come. Think of the teeth! Won't somebody think of their teeth?!
Along with the little ampoules, I've been using the AM (Lemongrass) and PM (Lavender and Vanilla) toothpastes, both really lovely and a nice change from the abrasive arctic blast/baking soda aftertaste of some whitening toothpastes.

And most important of all, you can get online here them at Sephora.
And if you can get it there, it must be amazing, right?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Headmasters Christmas Blowouts

Obviously my recent flying trip to London required me to be looking really rather passable at all times - you can't vanish from people's lives for five months and then turn up looking like shat, can you? But combining six hours of turbulence and a hectic social calendar does not a rare beauty make.

What does a rare beauty make however are the awesome Christmas blowouts at Headmasters. Friday morning, I popped into the Mayfair branch to meet with the lovely Jonathan (note to all ladies: by lovely, I mean HOT) and within an hour, I was back out on Regent's Street trotting around in my over the knee boots with a sexily dishevelled do that even Cheryl would think was worth it. I knew that we would find hair harmony when he said he was going to for something a bit Leigh Lezark. Now really, there's a hair soulmate* for you.



Behold... and yes, I know I look slightly deranged but it's early and I'm tired but I look pretty and that is cause for the crazy eyes. And didn't I tell you Jonathan was hot?



Check out HMhair.co.uk for more details and your nearest salon. Really, is there any better treat to yourself than a blowout at Christmas? I don't care how handy you are with a pair of GHDs, nothing looks better than getting a professional to tame your locks and for twenty-two quid, you can be the belle of the ball. Or the skanky office Christmas party. Or, you know, whenever. It's Chriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiistmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!


*I am aware that I've been a huge hair whore lately but really, I'm just trying to fill the void in my heart that was left when I had to ditch my beloved Jonny in Londinium. Sob.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Wow...

Believe it or not, I'm back in New York. No, really. Not that I would recommend a 72 hour flying visit to anyone else but it was fun. And I actually managed on the teeny tiny quantity of slap I took out there with me, which was probably a bonus when I woke up wearing all of it Sunday morning.
Seriously, I never, ever sleep without cleansing and moisturising. This was a big night. I will spare you the gory details. Cough.
And that's an actual cough, I'm totally sick again for a change. Stupid recycled air on a plane full of sick people. Gah.

Anyway, just FYI, if you are going to destroy your health/skin with a 72 hour trip across the Atlantic (and the massive number of Moscow Mules I consumed and approximately three hours sleep I managed, have nothing to do with my current dry and deathly pallor) you MUST cleanse and moisturise and on return home, you MUST use Prescriptives Instant Gratification scrub (which means you need to buy it now before it's discontinued in January!) and you MUST slap on a Dr Bragi mask. It is the only reason my face didn't fall off this morning.

Now, to consume three times my body weight in water and book a facial before my next flight in two week. Meep.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Travel-Tastic

I am so excited.
In just seven hours, I'll be on a plane back to London for the first time since I flitted out to NYC in July, should be SO much fun.

What is not fun is a) how much I worry about the damage to my skin in flight and b) trying to rationalise what to take with me. My lovely, lovely friends have loads of good stuff that I 'donated' from the BeautyLover Moves to NYC So Please Take All My Shit fund in summer but still, there are always things you can't live without, right?

So this is what I'm taking...
Komenuka Bijin conditioner because I officially cannot live without it
Tigi After Party cream because it makes my hair super soft and it sometimes goes flyaway post-flight
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Skin Bliss Capsules, Skin Buff, Tri-Enzyme Wash, Papaya Enzyme Mask and Rose Quartz Collagen mask (which might sound like overkill but I'm going to be SO busy, my skin will need looking after! Plus I have a shit ton of travel sizes, God bless ELEMIS for putting samples in their full size products)
Dermalogica Daily Resurfacers are amazing for travelling as they're individually wrapped and help clear any clogged up pores that have been upset by the recycled air on the plane. Not to mention lack of sleep while I'm in London...
Beauty Flash Balm and Eye Cream - I really love this in-flight
Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter
Creme de la Mer lipbalm. The ONLY lipbalm I travel with. One slick on the plane and your lips will be totally hydrated when you wake up.
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (I'm totally getting this at the airport, YAY Duty Free Shopping!)

I'm also attempting to travel light with the slap (HA) so at the moment all I have is my Nars foundation, mini Copacabana Multiple and pressed powder, Touche Eclat, Prescriptives Lash Envy mascara, MAC Hello Kitty blush, Stila eyeshadows in Cloud, La Douce, Golightly and Shore, Urban Decay eyeshadow Primer Potion, Naked lipstick and 24/7 pencils in Stash, Rockstar, Oil Slick and Corrupt and Smashbox O-Plump lipgloss.

I'm as excited as you are to find out what I actually pack when I get back to my apartment... What do you reckon, twice this amount?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

All I Want for Christmas... MAC

Whee, this time next week I'll be getting my Christmas on and hitting London for a wee weekend visit. Can't wait.
And almost as exciting, will be a week on Sunday when I hit the MAC counter at Heathrow on my way back... I know the exchange rate means that it costs more or less the same as it does here but is there any better guilt-free shopping than at a duty free counter? The answer is NO.

Top of my list are the holiday collections - always SO beautiful and I use the shadow compacts more than any others (I have a love hate relationship with compacts. I know, I'm fickle) but I'm also desperate to get my mitts on something from the Baroque Boudoir collection - isn't it GORGEOUS?


The powder compact actually makes me want to do a little cry.
And if the Put a Spell on You holiday lip bag doesn't find its way back on a Virgin Atlantic flight, something has gone very, very wrong.

Oh MAC, how I love you.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Stila Event at Sephora Times Square

Super sorry non-Americano BeautyLovers but this is exclusively for the ladies that love NYC. If you're in the Big Apple this coming Saturday, then you can pop along to Sephora at Times Square for a free Stila make over!

I heart Stila in a big bad dirty way, seriously, hardy a day goes by that I'm not wearing Cloud (no matter how often I try to break the habit, it's my go to neutral to make my eyes pop) and generally cloud is accompanied by La Douce, Golightly or a little Shore, depending on my mood. All TOO pretty for words. And I'm out of my Fuchsia Convertible Colour. And my Strawberry lipglaze. Oh good lord, this is going to cost me, isn't it?
Anyway, here are the deets:

For every $50 Stila purchase, customers will be entered to win their own personalized Stila girl. Three lucky winners will receive this personalized Stila icon as well as a Stila Gift Package.
Additionally, each person who gets a Stila makeover and purchases any Stila product will receive a FREE full size Camellia Convertible Color

Saturday, December 5th
11am-8pm
Sephora Times Square
200 W 42nd Street
New York, NY‎
(212) 764-2525‎

Perfect excuse to do some Christmas shopping/party prep.
See you there my lovelies!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Komenuka Bijin Conditioner at Studio BeautyMix

I've been growing my locks for about a year now and as someone with lots of very fine hair that's coloured dark brown on a monthly basis, it hasn't always been easy. There have been plenty of times that I've considered taking the scissors to the lank lengths, usually when I've had to get up twenty minutes earlier than usual to wash and blow dry my mop.



But all that is in the past. For the last week, I've been using Komenuka Bijin conditioner from the really rather wonderful Studio BeautyMix in New York and I am all turned around. It's like I have new hair, seriously. Every single strand is long, strong and glossy without a hint of floppy lankess at the roots. It's packed full of wonderful things like ginseng, vitamin E, aloe and seaweed and it smells delicious. I'm in love.

In fact, I've got a bit of a crush on everything in Studio BeautyMix... the recently opened Soho off-shoot of Beauty Maven, Robin Coe-Hutshing, housed in a cosy corner of the Korres store (remember to grab some lipbalm while you're in there getting your Komenuka Bijin) is stocked with all of Robin's beauty secrets. Seriously, if this lady is recommending it, I'm buying it. Hopefully, we'll be taking a peek inside Robin's beauty bag very soon - I cannot wait to see what such a guru totes around with her...*


*and then copy her mercilessly in an attempt to be as cool as her.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Stocking Stuffer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

So you know I featured the Urban Decay friends and family discount a couple of weeks ago? Well, I absolutely indulged in a few bits and pieces myself, including the 'I Can't Believe I Never Owned This Before' eyeshadow primer potion.


I don't know why I've never picked this up before. I love Urban Decay eye products and it always gets such amazing reviews but I don't know if it's lame products I've used before, the slightly sad packaging or what but I have to say, my life was not complete until I started using this product.

I just literally right now as in two seconds ago was washing my hands in the bathroom (sticky hands from handling too much Twilight candy in the office, mmm, Edward) and I noticed that my eyeliner was EXACTLY where I'd put it this morning. I mean, exactly there. Not a teeny tiny but had rubbed off or smudged or shifted and we're talking nine hours ago. And it's bright green. Bright green pencil. This primer is amazing and would be a welcome addition to any stocking this Christmas. Well, maybe not if your giftee doesn't wear eyeshadow... but, you know.
GET IT.

Oh, and Twilight: New Moon capsule review? If you are in anyway awkward about lusting after young boys, don't go. Unless you're prepared to lie to everyone and say you just want to see what a wonderful actor like Michael Sheen can do with such lame source material.
(It's awesome.)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

New Moon: Luna Twilight Cosmetics

Now, I know every Twi-hard worth their fake fangs knows about these already but I couldn't resist. Against the will of every adult bone in my body, I'm going to a screening of New Moon this evening and will be shrieking like a girl throughout.

I don't care if it's for teenagers. I don't care if it's rubbish. I don't care if Robert Pattinson is high throughout the entire thing*, I am so freaking excited to see this movie.

Which is why I am so freaking excited to get myself to a Nordstrom to try out some of these Twilight-inspired cosmetics...

First up I give you Mortal Glow Blushing Cream! Fool the humans into thinking your fresh faced rosy glow comes from a healthy balanced diet and lots of exercise, not sucking that rosy glow right out of their jugular.

Second out of the blocks it's the First Light Body Glow. This hydrating illuminator gives you that 'vampire lying in a meadow sparkling his ass off' highlighted effect. But you know, use it on your collarbones, down your shins and along your shoulders if they're on show as opposed to bathing in it.

Trying to distract from the fact that your eyes are blood red? Well, try the Moonshadows eyeshadow. Perfect for getting that smoky eye look without burning a fellow vampire and rubbing their ashes all over your chops.

And last but by no means least, our old friend Lip Venom is here with a Twilight variant. Yes, you've guessed it - the lip venom is laced with a crimson stain. Less painful than the venomous bite of a Twilight vampire and twice as pretty as a big, manky scar on your hand, BELLA.
But not as pretty Robert Pattinson because, um, you know. YOU KNOW.
Sigh, swoon, thud.


*Disclaimer: by high, I of course mean ecstatically happy and not under the influence of a controlled substance just because he sometimes/constantly looks like he is. And I mean, like, alllllllll the time.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Nars Sheer Glow foundation

Since I heard about the demise of my beloved Prescriptives (sob), I've been hunting high and low for a new foundation and praise be, I think I've found The One.

Nars is becoming an increasing problem for me... in the UK it was safely hidden away in Space NK but here in the US, it's bloody everywhere. Sephora be damned* and I just can't seem to stay away from it. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I decided to give the Nars Sheer Glow foundation a test drive. Being the world's palest lady (exaggeration? Possibly but only a little) I grabbed a bottle of Siberia, the palest shade and O. M. G. It's perfect.

The foundation itself is like liquid silk. So far I've been applying it with a sponge which gives great, sheer coverage that evens out any redness or dodgy complexion problems but I'm itching to get a foundation brush and try it that way too. Like I said, the coverage is sheer but I find I can build it without any problems and all I'm left with is a dewy, airbrushed looking complexion. Loves it. I've even had compliments on my skin over the last couple of days - who doesn't have time for that? Now I just need to get my mitts on the pressed power... Love that black rubberised packaging.


*I take it back, I take it back. I love you, Sephora!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Stocking Stuffers: Fred Flare

I'm fully embracing Christmas now so every Friday between now and the main event will be dedicated to Stocking Stuffers, just in case you're out at the weekend and decide to pick something up for me.
Which would be lovely.

Today, I'm slightly (cough, completely) obsessed with this AMAZING FLASHING Rudolph lip gloss from Fred Flare

Do you love it? I love it. It's perfect for festive pout perfecting before and after Christmas dinner and talk about a conversation piece at parties. I'm not sure what sort of conversations it would lead to but if you don't love this, there's something wrong with you.
Yes, I think I mean that.
That is all.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Urban Decay 30% Friends and Family Discount!

OK, I'm officially over waiting for Christmas and so here is your introduction to my Christmas list.

I know I've been totally obsesso-girl over Urban Decay the last few weeks but really, I can't get enough of that brand. Happily, if you're in the US of A, there is currently a 30% discount code for friends and family (and you are friends of the brand, right?) - just enter FNFW1 at the checkout at UrbanDecay.com to get a massive 30% off your total across all products on the site.

I'm desperate to take a look at the new Smoke Out Kits as you know I love a smokey eye and even though I just bought it, I'm tempted to get a back up 24/7 Super Stash (I'm making short work of the Binge navy pencil and my beloved gold/green Stash) or maybe one of the other 24/7 sets that has slightly lager pencils but fewer of them, along with a Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner. I don't know!

And over on the UK site, I'm sort of obsessed with the Preen giftset and the Hall of Fame set. I know there will be some more purchases when I pop back to London in December. Mew.

Urban Decay. All. Too. Beautiful. Don't. Know. How. To. Stop...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The taste of Her Cherry Nivea Lip Balm

OK, granted that my title isn't as catchy as Katy Perry's lyrics but I have a new obsession.

Winter is closing in fast on Noo Yoik, it is might chilly of a morning and in the evening and the first thing to suffer, as always, are my lips. Sadly, this is not due to the massive amounts of kissing I've been doing (if only) but more to do with my changing handbags all the time and leaving my beloved Creme de la Mer balm in the wrong one. Now seriously, I LOVE the La Mer balm and would not be without it in my life but sadly, at a bazillion pounds a pot (or two bazillion dollars), I can't afford to keep one in each bag, on my desk, in the bathroom, by my bed, etc. but what I can afford, is Nivea's Cherry balm.


Here in the US, it's called 'A Kiss of Flavour' (ooh-err) but in the UK, it's Starfruits Cherry. I don't know what makes it starry but I do know what makes it awesome. It smells nice, it delivers a perfect punch of wintery colour and it actually moisturises my lips. I know that sounds silly because that is its job but really, there are so many lip balms that are just heavy, greasy concoctions that sit on top of your lips while the skin underneath dries and cracks.

Plus, bonus given that I have recently spent all of my money on flights back to the UK in December, it's dirt cheap. And since it's lip balm, you don't have to feel weird* about having it on your desk for unexpected top-ups if that hot boy** happens to wander by your desk.

* Just me?

** I work in children's publishing. There are no boys, hot or otherwise.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Smashbox comes to Debenhams

Ooh, it's exciting times my little London-based peeps. Not only is Smashbox, one of my favourte all time ever make up brands coming to Debenhams up and down the country, the international creative team will be at Debenhams on Oxford Street from the 9th - 14th November to help launch the wonderous prods.

If you can get there, I recommend popping in a reserving a spot to meet the team and try out the range. I always found myself picking up bits and pieces from Sephora whenever I was in the US and I had to stock up on the Photofinish Primer from QVC a couple of times but really, it's such a great brand, I'm really pleased they're coming to the UK properly at last.
With Stila abandoning you, it's really only fair, right?

Check out the Photofinish Primer and also the cake eyeliners, they're great. Usually, there are some really fantastic eye palettes too... ooh, it's too exciting!
I shall have to put my head in a bucket of cold water to calm myself.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows

Yay! It's BeautyMecca's 500th post!
Can you even believe it? All that procrastination... Wow.

Anyway, as a celebration, I wanted to review the Bobbi Brown long-wear metallic cream shadows I picked in in Bloomingdales last month. Now they've hit the UK's fair shores, it seems fair to review them. I thought it might be rude while I had them and you didn't, especially since they're a bit awesome.



The formula of the shadow is the same as the regular cream shadows from Bobbi, sheer, lightweight and non-creasing, but these bad boys have been imbued with gorgeous, glistening sparkly bits. My main reason to vouch for these is that they DO NOT BUDGE. I tend to apply them with a flat eyeshadow brush and then, because as much as I love them, the colour is a little too subtle for my night-time eyes, add a coordinating powder on top, most recently Nars Nightclubbing which a) looked amazing and b) had to be removed by a very patient, very drunk me at four am the next morning when it hadn't moved even a teeny tiny bit.

Obviously, this was a ridiculously dramatic look and the colours look great enough on their own (even better with a slick of long-wear gel eyeliner on the lash line). And oh, they come in really weighty little glass pots that I'm fairly certain would brain someone if you put them in a sock and whacked them in the temple. A sign of quality, ma cheres.
I currently have Black Pearl and Antique Gold, which at $22.00 was quite enough to be spending at one time. The only problem now is that I desperately want the other colours but my wandering eye has already seen the Chrome Collection on the US website.
What is a girl to do?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Estee Lauder Ultimate Red Collection

I love Christmas. Yes I do.

What? It's not even Halloween? You must be mistaken, why else was I dressed as a cat this weekend gone? OK, let's not get into that or I'll have to post pictures (which I should I looked awesome) and explain the whole 'Halloween party a week early' thing and then I'll be explaining why I'm dressing as a Fraggle on Saturday while the rest of New York sluts it up as Playboy bunnies and sexy red riding hoods...


ANYWAY, I digress. Today, I'm sharing with you the wonder of the new Estee Lauder Ultimate Red Holiday Collection. Isn't it CHRISTMASSY? I love Lauder prods, really, there are so many in my regular make up bag - I'm especially in love with the Double Wear Mascara right now, seriously delicious thick, black sooty lashes that never flake or smudge. I know Estee and the gang sometimes get a bad rap for being, well, a little bit old ladyish but seriously, the formulations are always awesome and these colours are so sexy. The red is incredibly red and the eyeshadow shades are totally wearable. Perfect for Christmas parties. I'm only showing the red look here which is my favourite but there's also a gold alternative for those not so partial to a red lip. Plus you could totes use the lipstick as a weapon, the gold casing is so incredibly, pleasingly weighty.
But come on ladies, it's CHRISTMAS. Party with a pretty pout, that's what I say.
I also say I have mild flu and feel slightly mad, so apologies for that.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Urban Decay 24/ Pencils

I know I've mentioned my growing obsession with Urban Decay since I've been over on the Yankee Doodle Dandy side of the pond and honestly, it shows no sign in disappearing. I've had some visitors over from London this weekend and given all the mirth and merriment we have been indulging in (cough, shopping/ drinking/eating/dancing) there has been officially NO TIME for make up retouching, meaning that what goes on in the morning needs to still be there at night.

And do you know what is always there on my cotton wool pad at the end of the night? My Urban Decay 24/7 Stash pencil. Stash is an AMAZING colour, especially on blue eyes but I'm fairly certain on anyone. It's a greenish-goldish-brown that makes my eyes sparkle and shine, even when they have barely been closed for six days solid. I like to wear it alone, blended to a soft finish for day time and then mixed with a gold-brown shadow for extra impact at night. The texture of the pencil is smooth and soft but the staying power is unsurpassed. I love these pencils.

Happily, the Christmas gods at Urban Decay are giving you an amazing opportunity to get your mitts on a whole bunch of pencils, including Stash, in their 24/7 Super Stash kit. Isn't it pretty? Like the grown up's version of that Crayloa colouring carry case you used to get EVERY CHRISTMAS as a kid... want.

It's available in Boots in the UK and Sephora here in the US and has nine mini versions of my favourite pencils for a super reasonable price. I can't recommend it enough but you should be warned, you WILL become addicted, the nine pencils will NOT be enough and within days of trying them out, you WILL be ordering the rest of the range to complete the set.
And I will be right behind you, egging you on.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Nars Love Me Set

It's sad that I have to buy myself products called 'Love Me' and 'Orgasm' isn't it? Sob. I actually think it's more sad that I have never owned Nars' famous Orgasm blush before now. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be some kind of beauty junkie and I never coughed up the cash before today... Well, you know I veer towards the blue-ish pink end of the plush palette, only tottering over to peachy tones when I'm a little red cheeked or, well, hungover.


But I couldn't resist this gorgeous gift set. Packaged in Nars' stylish matt black boxes, the Love Me set includes a blush duo of Albatross highlighter and Orgasm blush along with the pretty, pretty Orgasm lipgloss. Now what we definitely do know about me is that I loves a smokey eye and these bad boys complement a smokey eye PERFECTLY. The peachy tones of the orgasm blush warm up your complexion without stealing the show and the gloss, well, it's one of the nicest things I've ever had the pleasure to slick on my lips. The colour is sheer and flattering, the gloss smells pretty and doesn't feel greasy at all and I don't entirely know what this means but I did lots of lip smacking while wearing it.


Definitely a positive purchase... as opposed to my recent bikini wax.
Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow. Note to all, do not book in on your birthday. It's not a treat, it's punishment for a crime you have yet to commit.

FTC Blogger Regulations

Hmm, apparently the lovely FTC (or Federal Trade Commission here in the swanky US of A) have decided bloggers need to start giving more info about what they review and as I am now a resident of aforementioned US of A, I'm prettty sure that means mean.

So basically, the FTC want bloggers and endorsers (I think they mean celebs...) to fess up about how they come across the things that they review/endorse so no one gets duped into thinking that Eva Longoria really does colour her hair at home under the kitchen sink. Which she might, I just can't see it. To make this as painless as possible, I'm going to start tagging posts with where i got the product I'm raving about - Press Sample, Personal Purchase, Gift, Shoplifted. Only kidding, I wouldn't tell you if I shop lifted it. That would be madness. If there's anything else, I'll let you know.

In other news, there is a very loud Columbus Day parade going down Fifth avenue outside my office window. And I'm on the 18th floor.
New York is not always as glamorous as you might think.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Breast Cancer Care:Bare Minerals

bareMinerals is one of those brands that I come back to again and again so I was delighted to see that they were teaming up with QVC to bring this gorgeous set, of which 100% of the proceeds goes directly to Breast Cancer Care.


The kit includes a trio of pink and purple colours, in theory eye colours but you could easily wear them (at least the pinks) on your cheeks. Plus they're packaged in a super cute pink make-up bag. Did I mention I need a make up bag? I did? Awesome.

The kit is available from QVCuk.com, priced at just 18.00 (item number 228230 for speedy searching) which is a total bargain for three bareMinerals colours, let alone with a pretty, pretty bag thrown in.

Oh and, my GOD it's grey today. Seriously, not a patch of blue sky to be seen. So something pink and sparkly and for a good cause sounds like just the thing...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Prescriptives

I almost can't bring myself to blog about this but since I'm pretty sure you'll have heard the bad news elsewhere by now, Estee Lauder have decided to close down Prescriptives at the end of the year. Now I know it's not the end of the world but it is the end of Custom Colour foundation, Strawberry lipshine, Here to Stay and Lash Envy mascaras, all of which are in my handbag right now. I am going to have to go on one hell of a binge next time I'm by a counter.
Which will be tomorrow.
I hope I can see the mascara varieties through my tears...



And while I'm there, I'll be picking up the Pink Ribbon Palette, which includes four eye colours and two cheek colours, encased in a hot pink compact. Super chic and super worthwhile. All through October, 10% of the RRP will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation so call 0870 034 2566 to find your local stockist and pick one up this weekend.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Breast Cancer Care and Elemis

Today's feel good treat comes from one of my all time favourite brands and even better, includes two of my 'can't be without' products and a really rather gorgeous pink make-up bag (and I'm in DIRE need of a make-up bag. My Hello Kitty one is looking seventeen shades of crapola right now).

So do yourself and everyone fighting breast cancer a favour and pick up the Elemis Essential Beauty Secrets bag from Elemis counters or http://www.timetospa.co.uk/ right now. The bag is priced at fifty English pounds which, between you and me, is an AMAZING bargain as you're saving over seventy-five knicker on what's included. Which is... 30ml Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, 30ml Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream, 15ml Papaya Enzyme Peel and 15ml of Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment Neck and Bust, in a special hot pink 'boob tube' just for this kit. There's also a handy-dandy five step breast check leaflet so you can make sure everything is ship shape and above board while you're applying your lifting treatment.

I live and die by the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream so this is a definite winner for me and just once more, how gorgeous is that make-up bag? Answer: Very.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Clinique

Another great product supporting a wonderful cause today, this time from Clinique.

I love me some gloss and Clinique’s Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 is a) one of the best out there and b) one of the few glosses with SPF protection. To support Breast Cancer Awareness in 2009, Clinique are offering a limited edition BREAST CANCER AWARENESS LONG LAST GLOSSWEAR SPF 15 “PINK RIBBON CHARM”. Three pretty, pretty shades of gloss all together on an exclusive handy key chain, complete with a pink ribbon charm.

For each lipgloss key charm sold in the UK, £2 will be donated in total to the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. (£1 will be donated by Clinique and £1 by Boots to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for its breast cancer research study at the Royal Marsden Institute of Cancer Research in the UK).

Seriously, go buy it.
Now.

I'll wait...

Monday, 5 October 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Creme de la Mer

Every October, all of my very favourite brands put out special products to help raise awareness of breast cancer and funds to fight the disease. Every year, more and more people I know are affected by breast cancer but by picking up one or two of the special items I'll be featuring this month, you can know that you're doing your bit to fight back and enjoying some really rather lovely treats that celebrate being a girl at the same time.
Because let's face it, being a girl is pretty bloody good.
First up is my favourite indulgence and the only lipbalm that can repair my pout after a particularly stubbly snogging sesh, Creme de la Mer. At 35.00, it's not cheap but really, the pot lasts forever and a whole five pounds goes to Breast Cancer Awareness. Plus, you get the cute pink travelling pouch and limited edition white and pink box. What's not to love?
I'm going to be stocking up for winter while getting my feel good fuzzies for helping charity... go on, you know you want to.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Harajuku Lovers Snow Bunnies

Now, you may remember, about this time last year, I was here in NYC on holiday and fell head over heels in love with the Harajuku Lovers fragrance range. And I do mean the range, as in every single one of them. Happily, a couple of months later, the range launched in the UK and you all fell in love with them too - I know this to be true because a) you told me and b) I saw them EVERYWHERE I WENT. On people's desks, in their bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, everywhere.


Well, as if that wasn't enough, I am currently being tempted with a limited edition Harajuku Lovers Snow Bunnies line. They're SO CUTE! Actually, kawaii would be the appropriate word, I suppose? Check out Love's Vivienne Westwood boots!

Most importantly, the new scents are just as delicious as the originals - seriously, I don't know how they do it. I just want to eat them all - and I even like a couple of the Snow Bunny variants better than the originals. Baby has been wafting around my office for the last few days and I've had so many compliments. Delish.

Tragically, (although we've all heard this before, right?) they're limited edition at Sephora and Sephora.com so I'm going to have to stock up.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Getting the Snip: Blackstones NYC

So I did it.
I finally did it.
After almost two months of umming, ahhing and cutting my own fringe, I went to a salon that was Not Lee Stafford and got a haircut from someone that was Not Johnny. And even though it was scary to put myself in someone else's hands after almost three years with Johnny (sob), I had to suck it up and get it done because quite honestly, my hair was a bloody mess.

Anyway, after discussing my options with EVERYONE I'VE EVER MET for the past month, I settled on Blackstones NYC. Recommendation from a lady with super cool hair? Check. Suitable downtown location? Check. Awesome taxidermy on the walls? Not entirely necessary but check, check and double check. So I made my after work appointment with Clara and oh my, but she's pretty. And funny. And nice. And really, really talented with a pair of scissors. Before I knew what I was doing, I was chatting, laughing, joking and generally enjoying myself. Bad BeautyLover, totally cheating on Johnny.

But he's not here, is he? I'm in New York, all alone and without my favourite stylist in the world ever. What is a girl to do?

Well, apparently, a girl is to get a great haircut for a really reasonable price. I love Blackstones. I love my hair and I feel like Clara and I are at the beginning of something beautiful.
Even if I did tell my friend my fringe looked a bit Superman 2 just after I got it cut. I have now grown to love it - who knew I had such good eyebrows?

If you're in New York, head to Blackstones. If you're in London, go and tell Johnny I still love him. And, you know, stop in for a haircut while you're there, he's ever so good.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Me Me Me Light Up Lip Gloss

I think we're close enough to admit to each other that I am a sucker for a gadget.
And lip gloss.
And a gadgety lip gloss.

But how do you go about making a gadgety lip gloss? I hear you cry? Well, bugger me backwards if there isn't a new and really rather wonderful Light Up Lip Gloss from Me Me Me. Now, I know what you're thinking, 'when will I ever need to use a lip gloss with it's own mini torch in the cap? I can apply lip gloss blindfolded and with one hand tied behind my back!' That may be true but let me tell you this. The light-up in the cap and handy mirror on the tube also come in very handy should you need to check for eye make up smudging, impress boys* or find your keys in the bottom of your bag at four in the morning. That's probably the most important one actually. If they could work a mace spray into the bottom, I'd say this was actually a self-defence must-have.



I also wowed some lovely Polish bar staff at a Soho bar (Londinium, pre-Big Apple) with this bad boy who begged me to tell them where it was from. 6.99 from Superdrug ladies, knock yourselves out.


Oh, and the gloss isn't half bad either. LOVES this.

*I know it doesn't sound like something that would impress boys but really, the ones I showed it to - hot, straight - were fascinated by the little light in the cap and how it switched on and off. Bless them.


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Clarins Multi Active Day Cream

I had the pleasure of attending a Clarins event at their swanky 1 Park Avenue offices in NYC earlier this week and well, I was really quite impressed. I can't exactly tell you why but I've always had this impression that Clarins is for older people. That it's old fashion and that you would buy it in the chemist. This is based on absolutely nothing and I am, as most of you are, a slave to my Beauty Flash Balm. Also, the two people I know who are SLAVES to Clarins, have the most wonderful skin of anyone I know and they are seven years apart in age, live on different continents and have completely different skin tones, types and needs.


So how come I haven't been won over to their general skincare range?
Funnily enough, this is a question Clarins has been asking itself too and I am happy to report that they came up with an answer. Actually, they came up with a product range.
Clarins Multi Active. The range of day creams (one for each major skin group) are designed to correct, protect and perfect - doing away with early wrinkles, avoiding new ones and giving an immediate, visible radiance to the skin. I loved the cream gel texture, it reminded me of my preferred formulation of Creme de la Mer and is similar to Elemis' Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (and I think you all know how warm and fuzzy I am about that).

The cream is full of all sorts of good things but I know you're not incredibly interested in the science bit - just that it feels great, has tested really well with review panels and smells divine. Seriously, I couldn't stop sniffing the back of my hand on the subway. I'm fairy certain the man opposite me was convinced I had some sort of fetish. I'm sort of excited to finish my Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and give this baby a trial run. Which is saying something.

Probably the most exciting thing about the Multi Active creams are the prices. They're not crazy expensive, well out of the range of La Mer and Elemis. Oh, and they're pimping it with a video (which I'm not convinced by) with music by Au Revoir Simone (who I am - they're amazing, get their album Still Night, Still Light now) on Facebook and Twitter. The pages are actually really good compared to a lot of beauty companies - two thumbs up to Clarins!

So if you're looking for a new skincare regime, pop down to your nearest Clarins counter, get a free 20 minutes facial (at any counter! Without appointment!) and talk to the consultant about what cream is right for you. And they'll even put your make up back on for you after the facial.
Dream. Come. True.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Durex Play Aloe Vera

On occasion, I get sent things to review which are not necessarily entirely beauty related and might make my mother (a regular reader) blush. Today is one such day. However, in the name of journalistic integrity and, you know, increasing my search-related readers*, today I will be reviewing the newest addition to the Durex Play family, Durex Play Aloe Vera.


So the press release says that Durex is taking sexual pleasure back to nature (which worries me a little bit - did it go away from nature? Did I fall off a very important mailing list due to inactive membership?) and that the aloe vera-based lubricant soothes, restores and nourishes, promoting healthy skin while enhancing intensity and increasing arousal.
Wow.
It sounds like some sort of miracle.

As well as being chock full of good stuff, it is odourless, non-greasy and safe to use with Durex condoms. Now, we at BeautyMecca might not be getting any right now but we do encourage and promote the safe doing it and this sounds like it might just make safe doing it that little bit more fun. And more fun is better than less fun, isn't it? Unless they changed that rule while I've been away. It's really quite possible.

I've just made myself miserable now. Sorry, must dash off out into Midtown Manhattan and find some city boy to test this out with. You'd think it would be crawling with men, wouldn't you? No, they're all midgets with bad hair in cheap suits. Sob. Sorry, distracted. Durex Play Aloe Vera is available now for 3.99 from, well, everywhere you'd expect really. Why not cheer yourself up after the Bank Holiday?

*You don't want to know how many readers find BeautyMecca because they were searching for Durex Play reviews. Unless you're one of them. It's loads, anyway.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Urban Decay Lip Envy

I've gone slightly insane for Urban Decay since I got to New York, I blame the proximity of all the Sephoras, it's bloody everywhere. Anyway, it's also because it's ace and I'd sort of forgotten.

The eyeshadow palette I picked up when I first got here has been brilliant, the colours are super blendable and the eyeshadows are so intensely pigmented, they last for ages and go on completely true. And when I'm not rocking sparkly Bambi eyes, I'm pouting like a bee-hatch in Lip Envy.

Now, I don't know how many times I've said here that I'm not a really lip colour wearer and I'm too lazy to go back and count it up but if there was anything that was going to convert me, I think it might be Lip Envy. It's a light, easy to apply stain, a little like Benetint but comes in two shades Envious (pink) and Greedy(berry) and for whatever reason, it's just better on the lips than my beloved Benetint (don't worry, Benetint still finds a home as my cheek stain as choice). A couple of layers and this bad boy isn't going anywhere. I like to wear Greedy and then top up with Smashbox O-Plump gloss which gives you a killer pout and only needs retouching maybe once between a day at work and a night on the tiles.

I'm not overly enamoured with the packaging but that really is a small concern when a product is so awesome. I may forgive them for discontinuing Lip Gunk after all. Then again, that was a pretty big blow... maybe not.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Jemma Kidd Lasting Tint Waterproof Lash Colour

It's not until you're rolling around in ninety-five plus degrees, day-in and day-out that you start to really value a waterproof mascara. Obviously mascara wasn't an issue for me while I was rocking my eyelash extensions but they are now long gone (a combo of my not treating them tremendously well and the insane humidity here - don't blame the lashes, I'll be back on them by autumn) and so I'm after something inky black and long lasting.

And by jove, I think I've found it.


I wasn't ever a massive fan of the Jemma Kidd range when it was in Boots, don't know why, it just didn't appeal to me, but having sampled a couple of items from the new Space NK/Harvey Nicks range, I'm a convert. The Lasting Tint waterproof lash colour bills itself as semi-permanent and so it should. Once it's on, and it goes on smoothly, evenly and clump free, it stays. Seriously, stays. I love the gloopy formulation, it really does look like ink and if you're patient and run it very slowly through your lashes from root to tip a couple of times you will get gorgeous, defined lashes that will not budge.

Loves it.
Check out international stockists and online at JemmaKidd.com

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fancy a trip to the Maldives?

I might be in New York but I wouldn't turn down a little trip to the Maldives if it came knocking... I could really, really use some serious rest time at the moment. But who has the time? Or the cash?

Well, the lovely people at Headmasters and Kuoni are teaming up to combine three of my favourite things: blowouts, bargains and holidays. Quote Kuoni when booking any - that's any - service at Headmasters before the 15th September and you'll get 25% off. Bejesus that's a big discount. Plus, you could win a holiday for two in the Maldives.

And you'll come out looking all pretty like this.

Score.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Marc Jacobs Lola

Just like everyone else in the entire world, I went faintly mental for Marc Jacobs' Daisy perfume when it was launched a couple of years ago but, unlike my passion for Mr Jacob's bags (and clothes and accessories and everything else ever), I went off it after a little while and hung my head in shame, begging Coco Madameoiselle to take me back.

Well, Coco did take me back but things were never the same between us and there have been a few dalliances since then, mostly with the Harajuku Lovers fragrances (Music and G, I'm talking to you) but my nose has been known to stray from time to time, I've still got my handy dandy Madamoiselle twist&spray in my handbag.


But in celebration of my move to New York, I thought it was only polite to try out the new Marc Jacobs fragrance, Lola. It's still exclusive to Bloomingdales out here, in the UK you can bag it at Harvey Nicks until the end of August when it's launched everywhere.

It's weird, I heart Marc Jacobs above all else (check my Bloomingdales receipts if you don't believe me) but I'm still in two minds about this. My first issue is with the bottle. Beautiful but impractical. Foolishly, I bought the smaller bottle and thanks to the mad rubber flower cap, it keeps falling over which is pretty annoying, so if you're going to purchase, commit and get the bigger bottle.

My second is I'm still undecided on the actual fragrance. Admittedly, most perfumes smell like cat wee on me and this is still pretty so it's got a good start. And maybe I'm just not used to it yet. Lola is warmer and than scents I'm usually drawn to and there are touches of vanilla and musk which I would usually steer away from but somehow, it still works. I want to say it's a bit sexier than my usual scents too but that sounds lame. Perfume is sexy by default. It has no other purpose in life than to make you feel like a minx. Which is why I love it.
Also, buying and trying in 95 degree New York heat is less than ideal, the scent lasts about two minutes on me at the moment but I'm sure it'll be an autumn winner.

Anyway, Mr Jacobs has my unwavering support for now and always so I'm going to persevere with this bad boy for a couple more weeks and see how I feel. No matter what I decide, I expect Lola to be the dominant perfume at all your office Christmas parties...

Monday, 17 August 2009

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

By god it's hot here. Not sure if I've mentioned that yet...
What I know I haven't mentioned is that. praise be, my make up has finally arrived and not a moment too soon.

Another thing I might have mentioned on occasion is how pale I am. Well, foundation might still be a pain in the arse (although I'm loving having hot and cold running Stila at the moment, 10 Watts Oil Free Foundation, I love you) finding pressed and loose powders is just as difficult. Or at least it was.

Ladies and gay gentlemen, behold MAC's Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder... I freaking love this stuff. It looks white in the pot but somehow, it manages to take away any and all shine without a trace of colour, white or otherwise, and leaves skin looking fresh and flawless, not cakey and overdone. Even in this sticky, sweaty heat, it doesn't clog, doesn't mush up into one big glob of nastiness or anything. It just, well, finishes perfectly.

And that makes me very happy. Pressed version for fall please, MAC?

Friday, 14 August 2009

I want to be a superhero...

www.youtube.com/bnevertoobusy

How cool is THIS?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Perils of Moving

I need to colour my hair.
I am almost ready for a fringe trim.
These two factors have sent my US adventure into a tailspin (and not the good Disney cartoon kind, there is no Baloo bear here). What do I do? I've been going to Jonny at Lee Stafford FOREVER and I love my hair. I'm freaking out on an epic level.

Also, it is really hard to but spray deodorant in the US. They only have those massive bulky cans that we had in the 80s. Why, oh why? It's ninety bloody degrees out there, I need more than a Dove stick.

Grump.
Other than that, I am ecstatically happy. Hot and cold running Sephora, Bliss bikini waxes and massages at reasonable prices... USA! USA! USA!

I promise to review things more fully very soon, like the Bare Escentuals Buxom range (love) and the new AMAZING Lola perfume from Marc Jacobs.
Honest injun.

Monday, 3 August 2009

I'm so rubbish

God, I've been incredibly slack, haven't I?
Well, I did move to another country but that's really no excuse I know. A better excuse (and my current favourite) is that I only have a twin airbed and a too-low-for-the-desk chair in my room so typing is uncomfortable at best. Damn it.

Anyway, that doesn't really stop me from beauty blogging, does it? So far, my favourite NY find is Jergens Naturals, really amazing body moisturisers that are saving my life out here. It's so freaking hot, I promise never to complain about British summer time ever again. They are apparently out in the UK so I recommend them muchly. Super inexpensive but really effective and yummy, yay Jergens.
Go on, buy one and I'll use mine here, you'll use it there and it will be just like I never left.

Yes, I'm starting to go slightly mad...

Friday, 31 July 2009

She's a Native New Yorker...

So, I'm here! BeautyMecca has landed in NYC.
So what was the first thing I did? I went shopping of course. I had to, it wasn't bad shopping, it was 'shit, I left that in my friend's bathroom' shopping. And only for essentials...

Cetaphil face wash - so gentle but really cleansing. I love this stuff in a morning with my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish at night.

OPI Nail Envy - I made my nails suffer a little bit during my last few weeks in London, changing my polish a lot. But ahh, now they have some bargain Nail Envy larped on, they're all kinds of pretty again.

Urban Decay Sustainable Shadow Box - ok, there's a an argument for this not being an essential BUT I have to wait for a lot of my make up, mainly my eyeshadows, to be shipped over and this gorgeous bamboo box contains some stunning bold shades, as well as a few pretty different plays on brown/taupey shades. Loves it.

See, that's practically nothing.
Oh, and I got some Creme de le Mer gel cream at Duty Free but that doesn't count! It was Duty Free!
Right?
Right.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Leaving Las London

Le sigh, I have a week to go in London and I've been manic.
Leaving work = good, packing up your entire life = bad.
Sorry I've been so rubbish about keeping up with you but I thought it was important that you knew I have of course made time for my eyelash extensions, hair colour and tomorrow I'm getting a trim. Do you have any idea how scary it is to think you're going to be parted from your hairdresser? Scarier than moving to New York... Just.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I Heart New York - packing problems

Oh my but I'm having a bit of a crazy month... two weeks tomorrow, I pack up and wave goodbye to London Town for New York City and do you want to know what I'm finding scariest? The actual packing up. I have done so many culls on my wardrobe and beauty collection, it almost makes me want to have a little cry. Well, another little cry because I've already sobbed once or twice.

But I digress. The point of this post is to tell you about what actually made it through the cull and more importantly, what I've stocked up on to take with me. The stocking up thing is huge, given that the US is hardly short of beauty products so if I think enough of something to take it with me in bulk, it must be fairly good...

Skin Care
The first thing I bought in bulk was my Liz Earle cleanse & polish. Honestly, I couldn't be without it. I've been faithful for well over a year now and while I swap it out for Cetaphil in the mornings (I like a gel wash in summer mornings, dontcha know?) I am always to be found slavishly massaging it in of an evening. It's amazing.

Swiftly following the Liz Earle was my Eve Lom Rescue Mask and Elemis Try-Enzyme Mask. Between these two bad boys, I have the most even, glowing skin I have ever, ever, ever had. I LOVE Eve Lom for sorting me out after a particularly heavy session while I use the Tri-Enzyme mask once a week as an exfoliating/anti-aging treatment and honestly, I credit it entirely with sorting out my post-acne skin. No lumps, bumps or scarring and all since I started using this mask. The idea of being without it actually makes me shiver. One thing I haven't stocked up on yet but absolutely will because it's going to save my LIFE after the flight to New York, is the Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Power Recovery Masque which I always use after a flight. It feels like you slapped yourself around the chops with a smoothie or something. Awesome.

Over to moisturising, I'm fairly well equipped with my Advanced Night Repair and Advanced Night Repair Concentrate (which I'll need post-flight) as well as my Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal, Absolute Eye Serum and my Creme de la Mer The SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid. And obviously, I'll be packing bucket loads of Beauty Flash Balm.

And that's pretty much where I'm at for the face. I'm loaded up on Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Cream to keep my skin in tip top condition - it's so light but SO moisturising and Spa Paradisa Renew Body Butter and Elemis Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt because they smell divine and I can't imagine being without them. I also need to get hold of some Champney's Perfect Sleep Body butter because of lavender obsession knows no bounds and this is the most delicious body butter version of my beloved sleep scent that I've found. Oh! And I will also be packing some Lee Stafford Spray Wax, Shine Spray and Dehumidifier. My barnet would suffer without them...

There's loads of other stuff that I've had to wave goodbye to and that I know I'll miss but these are the things I rely on to stop me looking like a shrewish hag from day to day.
Can't. Recommend. Highly. Enough.

Now I just need to find The World's Biggest Suitcase.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

My Face - Medium

Today we're showcasing the uber pretty, soft medium look.
Ahhhh...



base
Try using fingers when applying foundation (MyFace mymix foundation £12.71) as this will ensure you get quick coverage whilst gently warming up the product from your natural body heat, making the foundation more like your own skin and sitting beautifully without clogging. Then simply dot concealer a couple of times under the eye and on any blemishes then gently pat into your skin. Then finish with a quick dust of powder for an airbrushed flawless finish.

cheeks This look is all about highlighting your best features and shading areas of the face to make them look more defined.

Use a neutral tone bronzer (MyFace E & B blusher in sultan of swing £9.78) and apply right under the cheekbones, along the temples and sides of the nose. Then use a highlighter palette like Myface Solar Sisters to highlight the top of the cheekbones, inner corner of eyes, down the center of the nose and the bow of the lip. This is a great way to make women look gorgeous without piling on the make-up!

Highlighter can give skin a gorgeous, luminous quality but if you are going to do highlights you need to make them the focal point and keep everything else fresh.

This means use the MyFace concealer just where needed, a natural-looking blush (sweet escape / copa chocca latta / sul’tan of swing) and nothing too heavy on eyes and lips.

eyes My signature look is a smoky eye so to get this look always start by curling your eyelashes as near the root as possible, as this will instantly open up the eye.

You can then create a natural smoky eye makeup using chocolate brown shades, try MyFace eyeshadow trio Morococo, or a stronger look by going for greys and black, like the MyFace trio Midnight Hour.

Apply the darkest shade in the palette in the socket and blend well, down onto the eyelid and out at the outer corner following the shape of the bone structure.

Apply eye pencil along top and bottom lashes and in the lower rim. Make sure you use one with a lot of pigment for maximum effect, try MyFace hi def eye liner in Black or Brown.

Smudge slightly with a small blending brush or even a cotton bud to create that sexy lived-in look. At the outer corner take the line out and up slightly to elongate the eye and really emphasize the feline shape.

Using your finger apply the Blingtone shade from the Eyetouch eyeshadow trio, either Morococo, Band of Gold or Solar Sisters, across the eyelid. This will instantly give you incredibly bedazzling eyes and is the perfect finishing touch for a smoky eye makeup.

For extra intensity using a cotton bud to apply the white highlighting shade in the morococo trio in the corners of the eyes outside where the tear ducts are and blend outwards as this will give an amazing dramatic look

Always apply a few coats of MyFace Upload Mascara which has the most amazing formula that curls and elongates lashes.

lips dab a tint amount of concealer onto your lips and pat it in, to create a light base on the lips for a nude look.

Swipe a little powder over the top to create a matt canvas then use lipliner to help you cheat your lips into making them appear full and even simply outline the lips with a nude lip liner for the perfect pout. (Always use lip liner that syncs perfectly with your lipstick).

Try applying the lipstick as a soft stain rather than sporting a full on lipstick effect. Simply pat on the lipstick using your finger for the best result. Dab a tissue to your lips after the first lipstick application and then reapply a second time to make the colour last and last. Then a quick swipe of a nude lip pop lip gloss is all you need for that extra little bit of a glamour (medium – strike a pose)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

MyFace - Fair

So, here it is, straight from the horse's* mouth.
Charlotte Tilbury gives us the lowdown on how to reproduce her amazing 'Bright' look for fair skin tones. If you take a look at the pics of me and my ladies on the previous post, you'll notice that between us, Jane and I managed to rock this look in two parts. I took the red lips, she did the blue eyes. Both were AMAZING.

All the products are available at Boots or MyFaceCosmetics.com

*If you swap horse out for insanely beautiful and talented make up artist...



eyes

To achieve that incredible bold blue metallic eye you must use the myface Bellbottom Blues Eyetouch Blingtone trio, as is simply the only product out there that gives that incredible wet look, metallic foil stamped effect on the eyelid. The reason for this is that it is made of 75% crushed pearl and an incredible binding oil which means it will not drop or crease giving you the cleanest most amazing finish.

Simply apply the matt blue eye shadow in the socket, blend down onto the eyelid and out at the outer corner following the shape of the eye.

Make sure not to leave any sharp edges, the colour needs to be smooth and blotch-free.

Apply eye pencil along top and bottom lashes and in the lower rim. Make sure you use one with a lot of pigment for maximum effect, try myface Eye Liner in Black. Smudge slightly with a small blending brush or a cotton bud to create that sexy lived-in look. The makeup is meant to be a little bit messy so don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect.


At the outer corner take the line out and up slightly to elongate the eye and really emphasize the feline shape.

then using your finger apply the Blingtone element of the Bellbottom blues trio which gives you that metallic finish and the most amazing bedazzling eyes.


Apply a few coats of myface Upload Mascara, the most amazing mascara thanks to the formula, which curls and elongates lashes and basically is the closest thing to false lashes. Drag the lashes outwards rather than up, again to exaggerate the shape of the eye.

To compliment the strong eye makeup you should choose a nude lipliner, lipstick and lipgloss from your myface cosmetics range.

lips

It is absolutely crucial to get the right shade of red lipstick for your skin tone other wise you will find that the wrong shade will jar against your colouring and can make skin look washed out or sallow . A blue based pink lip colour will make teeth appear less yellow as it counteracts the yellow tone. Also avoid yellow based pinks as it will make your teeth look more yellow.

For fair-skinned women, always opt for blue tones within the red shades as this will suit the fair coloured neutral canvas. This will bring out the peachy skintones and stop skin looking washed out.


If you fall into the medium skintone category the red lipstick shades are warm, orange tone reds which perfectly compliment the honey tones in that particular skintone.


In the medium / dark category the reds are dense and strong with brown tones as this enhances the exotic burnished shades of this complexion.

Application for the perfect red lip

Make sure the lips are exfoliated first before I apply colour to ensure lips are soft and smooth.

let me tell you that nobody has perfectly symmetrical lips, not even Hollywood actresses, so always use a lipliner to achieve that beestung lip look. Choose the red lip liner from your myface range. Apply on the outer edge of your natural lip line for a perfect pout. To make colour last longer, fill in the rest of the mouth with lip liner before applying your lipstick.

If you feel insecure about your lipstick application technique, a lip brush can be your answer.

Choose the red colour Gigabite lipstick from your myface range and apply a couple of layers, patting off the colour onto tissue in between the applications.

For a glossy red lip, apply the red lip pop lip gloss from your myface range on top of the lipstick.


Monday, 6 July 2009

MyFace Cosmetics

As you might have noticed, I'm quite keen on the old slap but one of my favourite brands is a bit of a 'best kept secret' type thing at the moment. I blogged about MyFace when it launched and the wonder of Charlotte Tilbury, the make up artist/genius/bully that made me dye my hair dark (thanks again by the way) but honestly, I haven't given it enough love.

So, to celebrate the launch of their website - www.myfacecosmetics.com - this week is dedicated to MyFace and all their wonderous prods.

And to prove that I mean it, here are some pictures from the cab on the way to my leaving party on Saturday night. My extraordinarily beautiful buds and I all had our make up done (I'll give you the make up artists deets later in the week, she's amazing too) with MyFace products and I hope you'll agree, it all looks pretty special. And despite putting in two hours of karaoke and dancing in a sweat box from ten till four, it was all still on when we got home.



Because MyFace is split up into Fair, Medium and Dark, it's SO easy to try out fun new looks without worrying that you'll cock up and end up with the wrong shade for you. I'm on the end in the stripes and am clearly a fair, as is Jane in the middle. Georgia on the other end and Keren, below, were both in the medium product range. It's a shame I didn't manage to drag along a friend that could have used the dark products really. I feel like I've let you all down. Actually I don't, I'm too busy obsessing over Jane's amazing blue, glittery eyes. The Blingtones are the best eyeshadows ever. Go. Buy. Don't even wait for the rest of the week's features.



But do come back, because over the rest of the week, I'll be showing you some of the looks you can achieve with MyFace and giving you Charlotte Tilbury's hints and tips on how to get the best out of your make up.

Giggle. We look so purdy.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Natalie Eyelash Extensions

I know there's very little point in pretending that I'm not a little bit concerned about my appearance given the theme and two and a half year's content of this blog so I'm just going to launch straight into this one.

I GOT EYELASH EXTENSIONS!
AND THEY ARE AMAZING!

I got mine done by the wonderful Natalie (www.natalieeyelashextensions.co.uk) for £60 which is a complete bargain compared to most genuine practitioners in London. Not only is she lovely but the actual application itself is insanely relaxing. You pretty much lie down for an hour with moisturising pads under your eyes while someone strokes your forehead. I didn't feel the eyelash application at all. Honestly, if Natalie had thrown in a scalp massage, I might never have left.

A (far too pretty) blonde was in before me and she had size ten lashes applies, super natural given her colouring and original lashes. Me, being a big drama (/drag) queen, went for size twelve. They're blatantly too long to be natural but they look so good, it's amazing. I've already had three people ask me what's going on and that's people I work with. General consensus from The Boys is that they would just assume they were natural. Mainly because they don't know about such things as eyelash extensions.

I can't begin to tell you how amazing they are and I PROMISE you a picture next week.
I recommend them in every single way.
I look like freaking BAMBI.

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