Monday, 23 October 2017

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit: Volume 3

 If you want skin that looks lit from within rather than a swipe of frost then check out the new limited edition palette from Hourglass.

 Nic quite frequently uses the Hourglass Illume Trio, which is a cream highlighter (see tutorial below), but if you have a combination, oily or mature skin then you may prefer to use a powder highlighter such as these.


The limited edition palette holds 6 large squares of powder highlight in a mix of three of the cult favourite highlighters from Hourglass and three exclusive new shades.

What I love about Hourglass powder highlighters is how understated they are. They produce an enviable radiance that never looks forced or false.

 When you need your skin to look like you’ve had a solid 8 hours sleep, eaten your greens with every meal and drank a minimum of 2 litres of water every day then reach for this palette.

 It is suitable for all skin types and skin tones from light through to medium/dark could wear it.

Two of the shades are your basic highlighters in a cool and warm tone whilst the other four shades have a marbled effect to offer a multi dimensional effect in a variety of bronzing, corals and pink.

There are lots of warming rose gold tones, which work for all and provide candlelit warmth to the skin. The skin is brightened, warmed and pigmentation diffused out. A fantastic palette at layering shades.

The new shade in Surreal halo is beautiful dusted over the areas of the face that would naturally tan. It gives a sun kissed look that’s completely wearable for the winter.

 Not a cheap one but an investment piece that will see you through the year.

 This palette is £69.00 and available for a limited time at the following places.


Friday, 20 October 2017

YSL Beauty Tatouage Couture

 Autumnal makeup doesn’t have to be all berries and pumpkin, it’s quite nice to buck the trend and splash a bright lip on to lift the spirits.

 The new YSL Tatouage Couture is a lightweight liquid lipstick, which packs a punch in the colour department but also layers on with an undetectable water-like application.

 Dries off relatively fast and stains in a thin veil rather than a chalky coating.The finish is comletely matte and the longevity is good.

I love the application wand.  It’s a thin, angled, flexible palette wand, which coats in just the right amount of product. It enables you to apply precisely and lay down product in all the right corners. 

 There are 18 shades available and we have seven of those to share with you.

These are available now and are £29.00 each here.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Floatation Therapy

For us personally, water is always something we are drawn to in times of stress or pressure. Whether it is running a hot bath, listening to the rain on the window or heading off to the beach, it always calms the soul and makes you feel refreshed.

Here in Norwich, where we are based we recently experienced a Float session.

 Flotation therapy is something that has been around for a long time, however, this experience was new to us.

 It involves immersing your self in a private pod, which is filled with around 10 inches of warm water and Epsom Salt solution. The salt solution means that you completely float, just like in the Dead Sea!

 The pods are very large (8.5 ft. by 5.5 ft.) and I could stretch out fully in a starfish position and only just touch the sides with the tips of my fingers.

 The pod has a pull-down lid so that you are cocooned inside without any distraction from outside noise or light. If you are concerned about feeling claustrophobic then don’t worry. The lid of the pod is high and you can freely sit up with a huge amount of space above your head. You also don’t have to close the lid if you would prefer not to.

The pods have three light settings, which you can completely control from within. Setting one is a relaxing marine blue light, setting two gently changes from warm yellow through to green, pink, purple and onto blue. And setting three is complete darkness.

 There is soft music played through a speaker from within and also a meditation talk, which helps you to control your breathing and relax your mind. There are also periods of silence too if you’re not into soft wave sounds.

The benefit of flotation therapy is complete relaxation. When you have earplugs in, it’s hard to focus on anything else other than the internal sound of your own breathing. Natural endorphins are released, blood flow is stimulated, which helps the body to repair and if you are suffering from aches and pains then the sense of weightlessness whilst you float around is amazing.

The salt keeps you completely buoyant regardless of your size or normal ability to float in water and the Epsom salt also have huge benefits for the skin.

 It helps in the shedding of dead skin cells, detoxifies the skin and softens roughened areas of skin.

What did I think of the treatment?

Before I entered the pod I was put in a massage chair for 5 minutes. I loved this but if you are not a fan of an intense massage then you may find this a little firm.

 Once this was finished I was shown through to my pod.

The treatment is heaven! Initially, it took me a few minutes to become accustomed to being in the pod. I had showered beforehand within the same room and the therapist had advised me to apply Vaseline to any cuts or abrasions I may have. This is to prevent the salt stinging any broken skin. I didn’t think I had any scratches until I got into the water but you quickly realise where they are once the salt water touches them!!!

I loved the calmness and although initially, I had the blue light on, I found it easier to relax in darkness. It was easy to switch off and just enjoy the experience. The water is a nice warm temperature.

 I did get a little disorientated on just how long I had been in the pod and although the therapist had told me that I would have 10 minutes of silence at the end before a final 5 minutes of music, which would indicate the end, I left the pod 10 minutes early as I thought I had been in there ages!

Afterwards, I showered and then dried my hair with the provided hairdryer. Once back in reception you are offered tea and a delicious sorbet to freshen your mouth and hydrate.

You can find Float in Norwich here but if you are not local to this area then do check out Flotation therapy treatments, which may be closer to you. The treatment cost £55.00 and took 90 minutes in total.

Friday, 13 October 2017

MAC Snowball Christmas Collection

Now I know it’s only October but if you are someone who likes to get hold of the MAC Christmas collection then you need to get in there quick smart. Having worked at MAC for 7 years I know for a fact that all the good pieces will be sold out by the beginning of November!

 For this year the collection is called Snowball and the inspiration is taken from the colours and shapes of falling snowflakes.

 The packaging is a slightly industrial looking cracked gold and looks just like a frost windscreen on a winter morning.

 We have the majority of the collection to share with you…

The Face:

 In all my years at MAC these are always the first products to be sold out. Everyone wants a highlighter at Christmas and the two face powders available of pretty universal so will be popular.

Both are embossed with a beautiful snowflake and the shades are warm gold with delicate shimmers and a peachy gold, again with a shimmering finish.

L: Happy go dazzlingly R:Her comes Joy

 Both apply softly and take a bit of work to build up but they look good dusted over the cheekbones or on the brow bone. Works nicer on deeper skin tones than fair ones but you could blend over with your foundation brush to tone down the brassiness if you have very light skin.

The Eyes:

The eye shadows are all in the extra dimension finish, which has a pearlescent, two tone finish. Colour again takes a little building and the formula always tends to be a bit crumbly resulting in fall down.

 Seems to be a lot of copper tones with light pearl and smoky gunmetal to mix it up a bit. I don’t massively love wearing these shades together but they do look nice used as a highlighter on top of a smoky brown matte eye shadow.


Also for the eyes are two lash options. Number 36 lash is a mix of brown and black hairs in a fluffy graduates length with a gold sparkly banding.

 Number 64 lash is a black crosshatched lash and is mega long. It has a silver sparkly band.

 I’m not a massive fan of the band but if you’re not very good at doing liner and you like glitter then you might like these.

For the Lips:

 In similar fashion to the eye shadows, these are mainly coppery tones with a token red thrown in for festive cheer. The copper tones are not really blowing me away but the red is a nice blue tone that makes your teeth look nice and white.

 The texture of the copper tones is frost and the red is matte. Weirdly the shade in shimmer and Spice seemed to rub off as you applied and delivered a really patchy colour.

As a Christmas collection goes, it’s not my favourite but I do think it would be much better suited to an olive through to deeper skin tone.

This collection is available from 26th October in all MAC locations.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Elemis Advent Calendar

 If you are a skin care fanatic then you are going to be wowed by this year’s advent calendar from Elemis. It’s online exclusive and I imagine is going to literally sell out in a day!

It’s extremely extravagant, luxurious and not cheap at £150, however, the contents add up to £319 so if you normally purchase a few skin care products from Elemis (or other brands) during the year anyway then you may want to fork out for this instead.

In typical advent style, there are 23 mini skincare products for the face and body and the product for the 24th is a full-size Pro-Collagen marine cream.

I won’t spoil the surprise but inside is a variety of Elemis cult products including Hydra-Gel masks, Papaya enzyme peel, White flower eye and lip makeup remover, Frangipani Monoi body oil Illuminating flash balm.

 The sizes, except the Christmas Eve product, are travel sizes between 5ml-50ml.

If you are purchasing the Pro-Collagen Marine cream for yourself or as a gift, which normally retails at £82.00, then for an extra £68 you could have all of these other products too!

This advent calendar launches online only here on the 23rd October however I have noticed it's up on their site now!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

NARS x Man Ray Christmas 2017

NARS have collaborated again, this time with American visual artist Man Ray.

 Man Ray considered himself a painter but was more famously known for his fashion photography work. You can read more about Man Ray here if you’re interested in knowing more.

NARS have collaborated for their Christmas 2017 collection and have produced some interesting, not so typically festive shades.

 The collection really is like an artist’s palette. Pops of vivid corals and blends of slightly sludgy (in a good way) tones that mimic natural shadows but with a hint of festive shimmer.

 I adore the blushers within this collection. When the weather turns frosty, there is something quite special about wearing minimal makeup with only a pop of bright colour on the apples of the cheeks to lift the face.

We have two single shade blushers and also a blush and highlighter palette.

L:Intensely R:Fetishized
 Don’t shy away from these shades. Fetishized is not as intense as you expect (unless you want it to be). The radiant finish deflects the boldness to produce a soft coral with a delicate pink undertone. It looks like a fresh peach on a lighter skin and a more intense coral on a deeper skin.

Intensely looks stunning on a deeper skin tone and brushes on with a very definite tangerine pop.

The trio palette holds a laguna bronzer, lovesick blush in a vibrant shimmering hot pink/coral and surreal golden highlighter.

 This palette will complement a shimmering skin look for the festive season but will also see you through to hot summer evenings next year.

The eyeshadow palette contains 12 shades in a mix of matte, shimmer and metallic finishes. A lot of apricots and brick tones but also a bold racing green, navy, plum and of course silver and gold.

Love Game Palette

We have two of the eyeshadow duos. Montparnasse holds a moonlit gold and metallic purple with fine silver shimmers.

L:Debauched R:Montparnasse

Debauched is also a plum but with fine violet shimmers and a black shot with purple glitter.

A nice alternative collection for Christmas with the stand out pieces being the bright blushers.

Available now here.


Friday, 6 October 2017

Suqqu Christmas Collection

Suqqu is one of those brands that may get overlooked when you are shopping for the latest eye shadow palette. If you’re in the market for some high performing luxury products, which offer alternative shades for this Christmas then ensure you, check them out.

For 2017 Christmas Suqqu have produced a collection of products that will see you through every possible scenario right through to next Spring.

Offering 3 new eye shadow quads, 1 new blusher and 3 choices of lipstick.

 My photograph does include the Suqqu mascara, however I’ve since realised this doesn’t come with the collection!

Firstly, the packaging. Shimmering white and rose gold pallets, which not only look chic but also are also slim and lightweight. Each palette also contains a duel ended blending brush and duel ended sponge applicator.

 The colour selection is beautiful and not typical of a festive collection. Vibrant and sunny with a mix of matte, satin, metallic and shimmery shades to cover all tastes.

 Palette 109-Iwaiakari

Almost spring-like it contains a fuchsia pink with blue undertones, soft zesty peach with a shimmer, an interesting matte buff and a rich plum infused with shards of purple glitter.

Palette 110-Kohakuyoi

Probably the more wearable for every day and also the safest option of the three palettes. Metallic copper, a brightening flesh, gold infused bronze and a chocolate with a mix of ultra fine blue and silver shimmers.

Palette 113- Hikarisango

Shimmering moonlit with coral, soft brick and a deep purple-black with fine silver sparkle.

The powders provide a strong pigment, which blends without fading and holds onto the shimmers well. There is no drop down and the textures make it easy to blend shades into each other. It’s obvious you are working with a high quality formula.

The three lipsticks are all very similar in tone. I think it would have been nice to see a bit more variation in shade colours but they certainly fit the bill for a typically seasonal palette.

Warm rose, rich berry and plum all in a thick textured glowing finish.

The blusher with the collection is an ombre effect from coral through to pink and onto delicate gold.

The finish is satin and looks radiant on the skin. Not an abundance of colour pigment but adds delicate glowing warmth to the skin. Would look beautiful as a highlighter on deeper skin tones.

This collection is available from yesterday (5th October) in Selfridges and from the 19th October it will be available at Harrods and Fenwicks. 
 I have no information on costings but it's not going to be a budget friendly one! I'll update once I have the price.



Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Clinique Pout restoring night mask

I find as soon as autumn hits I start to really appreciate nights in, treating my skin and hair. A cosy Saturday night in front of the television with a facemask on is much more fun than heading out in the rain and queuing for an age to get an over priced cocktail.
 With all this in mind I was really excited to check out the latest lip treatment offerings from Clinique.

The lips are always our most forgotten area of skin and it’s only when they crack and dry out under the pressure of the wind and central heating that we decide we need to up our care game.

 Clinique have launched a new product to assist in your lip protection.
 The Pep-Start pout restoring night mask. A mask especially for your lips!
  Slather it on at night before bedtime or apply for 5 minutes whilst you’re drying your hair in the morning.

 It’s petroleum based so is it really any different to layering on Vaseline? Well there are a few extra conditioning ingredients in there too.
 Shea butter, Murumuru seed butter and Sea Whip extract all hydrate, condition and soothe a sensitive or irritated skin, so you're getting something a little bit extra. It also contains Palmatic Acid, which helps with flaky skin.

I like that it comes in a squeezy tube so you don’t have to get sticky fingers and it’s a nice size to pop in your bedside drawer. It’s only a diddy 10ml but because it’s so thick you don’t need much. Pop a layer on once a week or whenever you need a little extra help in the lip department.

Did it work?

My lips definitely felt softer oin the morning and makeup applied more smoothly over the top. I think if you have severly dry lips then this will be a massive help.

The pout restoring night mask is available now here for £16.00

Monday, 2 October 2017

Youthful Day makeup

With the season changes we all could do with a little skin pick-me-up. Check out this tutorial from Sam to see how you can fake the glow on a dull day.


Friday, 29 September 2017

Bourjois Rouge Velvet The Lipstick

Loving the new Rouge Velvet lipstick from Bourjois.

 Amazing bold pigment, creamy texture which coats the lips comfortably and even masked dryness without clinging. The lipstick dries off to a matte finish but without cracking or separating. One of the nicest matte formula lipsticks I’ve tried.

  Really good longevity, for a high street brand, and wears really nicely through the day.
 Wasn't crazy about the actual shape of the lipstick. It's a tear drop shape and although it fits to the center of the lip nicely, it was hard to reach the corners of the lips with precision. 

 Not a huge shade range, 12 colours in total but all shades would work on lighter to deeper skin tones. We have 10 shades to share with you.

These are £8.99 each and available here now.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Clarins Super Restorative Instant Lift Serum Mask

Image from
The latest from the world of Sheet masks is the new Super Restorative Instant Lift Mask from Clarins. There are plus points and negatives to this mask. First the positives..

The plumping action from this mask is honestly visible instantly. I never really have many expectations from masks, which claim to lift, but my cheeks particularly seemed plumped and my skin felt so soft and hydrated.

The mask is very fluid, which if you’re like Sam you will hate but for me it meant I could massage the excess into the backs of my hands and throat.

 The texture is more of a gel/serum though so it doesn’t literally drip down your face but it is very moist (worst word ever!).

The one thing I didn’t enjoy about this mask is that it also covers the neck. I know it’s important to incorporate the neck in skin care but it felt horrid. A wet, cold, slimy layer over your neck was not relaxing or comfortable, not for me anyway. I decided to simply rip off the neckpiece but it’s not very cost effective to do this, as these masks are not cheap!

The mask is quite large and it can be initially tricky to unfold and get it positioned but once it’s on (neck piece ripped off) it’s nice.

An amazing mask for skin tightening, radiance, hydration, brightening and skin smoothing. Pop on for 15 minutes before bedtime, massage in the excess afterwards and in the morning you will definitely notice how much brighter your skin looks and that it feels much more refined.

A box of 5 sachets is £65 (ouch) but of you want to test out one before taking the plunge then you can also purchase singularly for £15.00.

Available now here and in stores.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Victoria Beckham Interview

Just a casual chat with Victoria Beckham, nothing major...


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Hollywood Mirrors

As the dark nights settle in it’s always a struggle to find a good light in the mornings to do your makeup. If you’re in need of a little extra light to help you achieve a better finish to your makeup then check out these amazing mirrors by Hollywood Mirrors.

 Hollywood Mirrors stock a wide range of mirrors to suit your space which use LED Golf ball sized bulbs that are both eco friendly and have a safe cool touch, meaning you won’t burn yourself or melt your products!

 The bulbs last up to 5 years and have a 2-year warranty so they will be replaced if they do happen to burn out quickly.

 The mirrors are either wall mountable or you can purchase a base to sit them directly onto your vanity unit.

Image from

 The mirror’s also feature a dimmer switch so you can adjust the light to suit your needs or even to just set the mood lighting whilst your getting ready to go out!

Sam has the Diaz mirror at home, which includes 10 LED bulbs and can be positioned portrait or landscape. Sam has it with a base also, as seen below.

 If you’re in the market for a new mirror then check out the range here.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Louise Young Timeless Book

If you haven’t heard of Louise Young and are interested in period makeup, or any makeup in fact then we highly recommend you check out her latest book.

 Louise actually taught Sam at college when she first embarked on her makeup career and aside from teaching Louise has worked on some pretty major films including Bridget Jones, Pride and Prejudice, Guardians of the Galaxy and many more.

 She has a great range of makeup brushes, which we frequently use in our tutorials and more recently has created a beautiful book of iconic hair and makeup looks over the last 100 years.
 Louise teamed up with hair stylist Lou Sheppard who created the amazing period hair looks throughout the book.

Timeless is a wonderful collection of Louise’s recreations of period makeup with detailed descriptions of the look for the era and how it can be created. There are lots of real photographs of Louise’s work and step-by-step guide on how you can recreate.



 There is also a really interesting section with images on exactly what products the women and men of that decade were using and why.


This book is perfect for aspiring makeup artists and those wanting to get ahead in the world of TV and Film makeup.

 You can purchase Timeless here for £20.00

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