Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Scared to share this but...

Watch my first ever video? You'll see me fall down and sit on a big plastic cock, amongst other things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU7Pn7xQEzo

❤️

Saturday, 15 June 2013

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

I had never come across the Balm cosmetics before find-me-a-gift.co.uk kindly gifted me a couple of its items - a pot of Overshadow and a Cheater! mascara - earlier this week.

After checking out the Balm's website and learning the range is talc-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free (in addition to seeing the Balm's attractive pinup-meets-vintage-esque packaging), I was more than a little intrigued, and eager to put them to the test.

I was also sent a Mad Lips 'Red Rose' lip tattoo, but I'm going to try that out as part of another post.

the Balm Overshadow (the sexpots): shade 'no money, no honey'

the Balm Overshadow (the sexpots) shade no money, no honey
find-me-a-gift.co.uk: £7.99
the Balm says:


Meet the first finely milled, all-mineral shimmer designed to go over eyeshadow. Apply to the lid to transform the most subtle daytime shadow into nighttime shimmer.

The good:
  • I really like the colour of this overshadow - it's not too gold and it's far more neutral than I expected
  • The fact this product doubles up as a highlighter is convenient
  • The packaging is really cute - I'm a sucker for vintage pinup style!
  • I feel this price of this product - £7.99 - is fair. Before it arrived, I thought the pot wouldn't last very long as I read it contains just 0.57g of powder. Turns out this is much more than I first expected and a little goes a long way, so this should last a while.
The bad:
  • It can sometimes be difficult to get the right amount out of the pot - tap too gently and hardly any powder appears; tap too hard and you can make a right mess!
  • I personally find this shadow a little too glittery to use as a highlighter
7/10

the Balm Cheater! mascara

the Balm Cheater! mascara
£8.90 (I think! I got the last one in stock on find-me-a-gift.co.uk and so the price is not currently up). In the last pic I am wearing the Overshadow too!
the Balm says:


Cheater! is a fabulously volumizing mascara enriched with Panthenol, which strengthens and conditions your lashes. The spiral brush gives you the look of dramatic, faux lashes without the extra work.

The good:
  • The wand's big brush is easy to use, and great at separating and lifting lashes
  • One again, I like the packaging - even the cheesy inclusion of 'Thomas Thick' and 'Lance Long Lash' down one side!
  • The brush slides perfectly in and out of the mascara tube, leaving minimal residue around the top (a serious pet hate of mine)
  • I also like that the lid-brush is metal (not significant at all really, but hey!)
The bad: 
  • This mascara takes quite a while to dry and so building up layers can be time-consuming - no good for those "Ah crap, I'm gonna be late for work!" mornings! 
  • If you do attempt to apply another layer of Cheater! mascara too quickly, you're very likely to end up with a severe case of spider lashes
6/10
.....

Have you ever tried any products by the Balm? 

Kat x

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sinful Colors Nail Polishes: Have You Tried Them? At £1.99, You Should...

Sinful Colors professional nail varnish Queen of Beauty and I Miss You
Have you come across the vivid and affordable Sinful Colors nail varnish range yet? I spotted a stand in Boots a few weeks ago and today I decided to finally pick up a couple using my Advantage Card points.

'Queen of Beauty' is a clear varnish with lots silver glitter in, while 'I Miss You' is a bedazzling purple polish with multicoloured sparkles.

I have applied four layers to each nail in the Vine below, though the varnish is just as pretty if you apply less than this - it's just a personal preference thing!


What I love about Sinful Colors nail varnishes 

  • The price: At just £1.99 each, these varnishes are a great value for money.
  • The size: The value only increases when you consider the size of each bottle - 15ml
  • Very easy to apply: I'm not sure whether its due to the brush, or the formula, but these varnishes glide on so easily and they dry fairly quickly too. 
  • Raised lettering: This small touch makes the bottle very tactile - even the ingredients list is in raised print!
I also love the slightly gritty texture of these polishes. I can rarely stand having smooth nail polish on my fingernails. I know that probably sounds strange, but the tiniest chip will stir an OCD-like reaction in me, causing me to unattractively gnaw every glimpse of polish of my nails!

Slightly textured formulas seem a little more 'forgiving' in the wake of chips, as well as the imperfect application I can rely on the more idle of my two hands for!

Anyway, the Sinful Colors range comprises more than 70+ colours (in matte, shimmer and pearl finishes, as well as glittery options), so its definitely worth checking out if you're after some purse-friendly polishes.

Have you tried Sinful Colors yet? Will you be keeping an eye out for them in future?

Kat x

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Smelling Sweet: Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream & Body Shop's Chocomania Soap

While I may have successfully survived my May spending ban (hooray!), I hardly blogged at all last month due to being a busy bee (and because I turned 26 and spent any unoccupied moment which arose questioning "What am I doing with my life!?" *POSSIBLE EARLY MID-LIFE CRISIS*)

Anyway, I'm feeling a little less melancholy now and I do really enjoy sharing what I think about the beauty products I use. I've decided to make my posts a little more succinct from now on, in the hope this will see me to post more often.

Some of my previous posts have taken more than three hours to write, proof and take photos for - I often wonder how the best-known beauty bloggers get posts out on an almost daily basis (answer: they probably don't work 45 hours a week like I - Ha!)

Here are my thoughts on two products I have loved using over the past month...

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream


Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream
I received this adorable little jar of hand cream in a Burt's Bees 'Tips and Toes' gift set my mum bought me for my birthday (good call mum...good call!) I love pretty much everything that came in the set, but this is by far my favourite item. In fact, this 7g pot is almost all gone (boo!)

Not only does this hand cream smell AMAZING thanks to the sweet almond oil it contains, but it's super nourishing too - great for keeping dry cuticles at bay! I've used this on my face after taking a shower on several occasions too and my skin was left feeling really supple.

I definitely plan to to buy the full-size 57g version version when I have a bit more money - at £9.99 it's very fairly priced, especially as a little goes a long way. I'm going to really miss the scent in the meantime!

The Body Shops' Chocomania Soap


The Body Shops' Chocomania Soap
£2 for 100g
The Body Shop kindly sent me this soap (and a few other complimentary items) to try after the Brighton blogger meetup back in April.

I must admit, I usually avoid soap like the plague (cliche!) - I have always associated its use with uncomfortably tight and itchy skin. I'm glad to say soap causes no such problems though. I am actually really impressed with how moisturising it is (must be thanks to the palm oil it contains)! I've even been washing my face (!) with it before bed and I've had fewer blemishes as a result.

You do have to be a little careful when scrubbing up with this soap as it contains little bits of coconut shell which can be a little scratchy (I foam the bar up in my hands rather than rub it directly on my skin). The soap's chocolate scent is pleasant but quite subtle - I'd rather that than a clearly-artificial scent!

Another one for the 'to buy' list!

Have you tried either of these products? 

Kat x

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Crap High Street Mascaras: Starring Cargo, Rimmel, Bourjois and 17

It seems every month I'll head to the High Street and buy what I hope will be some fantastic mascaras (not this month though, since I am on a beauty spending ban!) 

Unfortunately, it is often the case these new mascaras don't live up to my expectations and so I am forced to take a punt on some alternatives the following Pay Day...the cycle seems endless!

crap high street mascaras
Perhaps the key is to start paying £20+ per wanded-tube but I'd rather not if I can help it!

Anyway, I decided to sort through some of my makeup collection yesterday, and get rid of any products I know I won't use, or have become a tad too old to justify keeping (germs...ewww!) Amongst the bin-booty were the following four mascaras...

Crap High Street Mascaras KatSick
Before I tell what I don't like about each of them, let me just say that each responsible brand offers some really great cosmetics, but I was left really disappointed with these lash-licking offerings.

I'd be interested to know if you have tried any of them - I've read some really positive reviews of each in the past....maybe my naturally long lashes are just very fussy!

Cargo Lash Activator Triple Action mascara


Cargo Lash Activator Triple Action Mascara
9.5ml, £1 (from Savers)
I picked up this Cargo mascara when I spotted it for just a £1 in Savers. I've seen it retail for £15+ in the past and so it seemed a real bargain! Also, I'm a bit of a magpie and so I was instantly attracted to the shiny box.

This really is a terrible mascara, and definitely the worst of the four discussed in this post. 

While I do prefer waterproof mascaras (because my eyes are really sensitive to bright lights and cold weather), they're not as widely available as non-waterproof variants, so I do buy the odd non W/P every now and then. I didn't think it was possible to make a non W/P formula THIS bad though! Most are at least smudge-proof, but Lash Activator leaves you resembling a panda after even the faintest touch.

Additionally, it takes a ridiculously-long time for this mascara to dry and your eyes will sting and water like Hell should you dare blink! The mascara is almost impossible to layer up, and it does not makes lashes look curlier, like the cited "90%" on the box apparently claim.

AVOID!


Rimmel Waterproof Volume Flash X 10 mascara

Rimmel Waterproof Volume Flash X 10 mascara
8ml, £5.99, (from Boots)
This mascara actually got better as it got older - the formula was far too 'watery' during the first week of use! I switched back to this after two weeks or so though, and it had thickened up allowing me to have greater control during application, i.e. I could move stray lashes without moving every other already perfectly-placed lash, and build up layers with ease.

The helpful thickening saw the mascara dry out pretty quickly though. Boo!

I expected more - I usually love Rimmel products.

Bourjois Volume Clubbing mascara (Ultra Black)

Bourjois Volume Clubbing mascara (Ultra Black)
11ml, £7.99 (from Superdrug)
I actually reviewed the waterproof version of this mascara ages ago, and loved it! I took a risk and bought the non-W/P version last month, simply because it was on offer in Superdrug and was £2 cheaper than the W/P.

While the W/P left my lashes looking longer and perfectly fanned out, this one left 'em very clumpy (in fact, I was left looking as if I had just 10 lashes on each eyelid!) The very-black formula turned really thick after just a few uses too (and not to a usable degree like Rimmel's Volume Flash!) The W/P one does not suffer the same fate in my experience.

Still it's staying power is 100 times better than that of the before-mentioned Cargo mascara!

Seventeen (17) Va Va Voom waterproof mascara

Seventeen (17) Va Va Voom waterproof mascara
8ml, £6.29 (from Boots)
I was attracted to this mascara because of its large and bushy brush, and its price - £6.29 -  seemed pretty fair. I assumed it would leave my lashes wide, bold and flirty-looking like the previous reviews I read suggested but no...

Attempting to apply more than one layer (which I always do!) left me with horrendous spider-lashes, and the cumbersome brush means it's far too easy to poke yourself in the eye while using this mascara.

To make matters worse, the formula became thick and stodgy rather quickly (not helped by the residue inadvertently left around the screw-top every time the too-big brush was re-inserted into the tube).

Disappointing.

Have you tried any of these mascaras? What do you think of them? Do I just have really fussy eyelashes?

Kat x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spending Ban Empties #1: Bodhi face oil, Carmex Lime Twist and Mary Greenwell EDPs

bbloggers spending ban empties KatSick

We're more than a week into May and I have so far managed to adhere to my self-imposed, month-long beauty spending ban (yes, I'm as shocked as you are!)

As promised, here is the first of my spending ban 'empties' posts - what goodies from my stash have I been enjoying while the beauty counters are out of bounds?

Here's my thoughts on just five, but stay tuned - there's more to come soon!
.....

Mary Greenwell PLUM and LEMON EDP review


Mary Greenwell PLUM and LEMON EDP samples
RRP for each 100ml version: £90. 
A classic chypre with a memorable modern twist. Plum begins the story of femininity and joy, a fragrance of uncomplicated chic and sensual warmth. Top notes of English plum, blackcurrant, peach, bergamot and lemon blend with heart notes of gardenia, tuberose absolute, orange flower absolute, rose absolute and jasmine absolute with a base of precious woods, sandalwood, oakmoss, patchouli, amber and white musk complete the intoxicating scent.* 

The scent is one of sparkling freshness. The livelier, younger, and wreckless sister of PLUM, LEMON is an intense burst of fabulousness, unique, vivid and born to be cool.*

*Description from marygreenwell.com

PLUM comprises an appealing (and vast) mix of fruit, floral and musk fragrance-notes - I doubt there'd be a single woman out there who wouldn't like it!

This eau de parfum is warm and fruity, without being sickly sweet or heavy. I was left impressed with it's longevity - 12 hours after application and I was still enjoying the delicate muskiness on my skin (and accepting compliments down Tesco's fruit and veg aisle...)

I was pleasantly surprised by LEMON, which I prefer over PLUM. The fragrance has far more depth than I expected - there's many "earthy" notes in addition to the expected sharpness of the yellow-skinned fruit. The scent is really fresh, with no artificial hint (so there's no danger of smelling like Shrove Tuesday, don't worry!)

I would definitely like to try another sample of LEMON before deciding whether I'm willing to spend £90 on the 100ml, gold-plated cap version. I suspect I would be though!

Both PLUM and LEMON samples can be bought from marygreenwell.com, for £2.50 each +P&P. 
.....


Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil review

Bodhi Neroli Luce face oil review
 5ml, RRP £12.
Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil is instantly absorbed to nourish and hydrate skin, leaving it toned and radiant without feeling greasy. Vital vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids help revive a lacklustre complexion, increase elasticity, boost resilience and rebalance the skin’s natural hydration system. Skin is protected from free radical damage and cocooned in the vibrant aroma of Mediterranean orange blossoms.*

*Description from bodhi.skincare.naturisimo.com

This face oil is a real TREAT! Over the past week, I have been using it after exiting the shower each morning. It's quickly absorbed, reviving the complexion and eliminating any pesky dry patches, leaving skin glowing and in ready-for-make-up condition.

Oh, and it smells absolutely divine! The scent is more masculine than I expected, but by no means is it unsuitable for women.

I must admit, I was a bit to discover the 5ml size included in my Brighton blogger meet goody bag actually retails for £12 (with a 15ml version costing £32). While this explains why my skin appreciates this oil so much, it's probably a little too expensive for me to justify currently, especially because I like to apply it fairly liberally. Still, I may treat myself eventually and I'll be keeping an eye out for any Bodhi special deals, in case I can pick this up for a lower price.

Neroli Luce really is a great skin oil, so I'm sad I can't add it to my skin care routine on a more permanent basis.
.....

Lime Twist Carmex lip balm review


RRP £2.99
I fell in love with this lip balm the second I applied it for the first time. My lips instantly tingled (oooooh!) and were left more supple thanks to its Ultra Moisturising formula, This lip balm has quickly become the number one choice from my ever-mounting lip goo stash.

While this lip balm is currently far from empty, I felt it made sense to discuss it as part of this post.

If you're a fan of flavoured lip balm  this probably isn't the ideal choice for you, since it tastes slightly menthol and not at all fruity like it's extremely mouth-watering (!) and ZINGY mojito-like scent might suggest.

This is the only "downside" of the product in my opinion, though flavour is not all that important to me...I want to keep balm on my lips, not be encouraged to lick it off! The tingly sensation is great for reminding me to reapply the balm too - once it's worn off (usually after two hours or so), I know it's time to get some more on m'smackers!

Lime Twist is also SPF 15, meaning I can continue to enjoy using it should the sun ever decide to make an appearance.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for similar Carmex products in the future.
.....

Natio Aromatherapy Renew Radiance foam cleanser review


Natio Aromatheraphy Renew Radiance foam cleanser review
100ml version: £6.80 from Debenhams.com
Soap free cleanser with a neutral pH. Extra low foaming to avoid stripping skin of vital moisture. Leaves skin feeling pure, soft and moist.*

*Description from natio.com.au

This one of those 'does-exactly-what-it-says' skin care products. Pearlescent-white and fragrance free, this cleanser is ideal after a long day wearing makeup. It leaves skin feeling squeaky clean, without causing that horrible 'tight' sensation.

A little Renew Radiance goes a long way, despite the fact it's been formulated to be low foaming. I would definitely buy the full size version for £6.80. Hmmmm, maybe when the spending ban is over I'll pop to Debenhams and treat myself...
.....


Which of my spending ban empties would you most like to try? 

Kat x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

No Makeup and No Shampoo! The #bbloggers Spending Ban


My relationship with retail therapy...


I've been in the financial red for a while now, thanks to the Amsterdam trip I stuck on my credit card back in February (an essential, not a luxury, from my overworked perspective!) and some recent overspending.

I was never really a "retail therapy" person. I have always been quite careful with my money, preferring to have at least £200 or so saved in the bank at all times for unforeseen circumstances.

However, emergency funds are now provided by my overdraft facility, which is obviously far from ideal!

I've felt quite low during the last couple of month's, though I've done well to hide this from those around me. A new lipstick, bottle of conditioner, face pack, or mascara (etc.) has been my daily cure; a placebo in reality.

My little flat is now COMPLETELY LITTERED with unused make up, hair and beauty items, though I should point out that PR samples account for around half. Regardless, I really need to make my way through at least some of the mounting stash before I even think about buying anything else!

When Kat (of talesofapaleface.com) told me on Twitter that a number of other bloggers are adhering to spending ban in May then, I just had to join in!

.....

My spending ban rules


Spending absolutely nothing during May would be impossible, though I would LOVE to ignore balance-draining overheads like rent and electricity!

I've also been sleeping on the floor for months (don't ask...), and I'm in constant pain as a result (hence feeling down in the dumps), so there's going to be some Bank Holiday bed shopping this weekend. This will be another credit card buy but I'm desperate at this point.

OK, so I've not banned myself from spending money entirely in May. Rather, these products are completely off-limits to me because I have a surplus:
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Skin care (in all forms)
  • Mascara
  • Foundation
  • Eye shadow
  • ....actually ALL MAKE-UP!
Basically, I'm not allowed to go to Boots, Superdrug, or makeup counters, for four weeks! Oh, unless of course I receive money/vouchers for either when my birthday rolls around on the 12th... ;]

.....

Will I be successful? 

Well, it's the second day of the month and I've survived so far...

There's really no excuse for me not to adhere to this self-imposed ban, especially considering the bounty of products and samples I received during last weekend's Brighton Blogger Meet! I also received a lovely £30 gift voucher for ESPA at the event, so I can treat myself to a few bath and beauty goodies using that too later this month.

I am hoping to write a number of 'empties' posts throughout May, to share my thoughts on each of the samples and/or full size products I use up while my purse strings are tightly pulled.

.....

Will I pass my month-long spending ban, or will I fail like last time? Stay tuned to find out. 
Have you ever successfully completed a spending ban?

Kat x