Friday, 31 May 2013

I completed the 150 day spending ban!

Hello everyone!

Its been a while hasn't it! You probably thought I may have fallen off the wagon since my last update. Well quite the opposite, I stayed true to my ban and yesterday marked my first day of freedom! Wahoo!!!! 
*cartwheels*

The reason I didn't do any spending ban updates was simply because I wasn't spending money, I wasn't going out too much and well... thats about it! Would have made for a boring weekly update wouldn't you agree? I did buy some holiday clothes - after all can't go on holiday flip flopless can I? But this was never a clothing ban, this was a beauty ban and honestly, I could do with some new clothes as the same striped top is getting pretty old!

OK so how do I feel? Am I changed woman?

I can honestly say with my hand on my heart this ban has been the best thing i've ever done. I haven't bought any make up (well a couple of little slip ups but every boots trip, every website I went on... nothing!) for almost 6 months. Sure I slipped up, I caved for MAC Archie Girls and the Urban Decay Oz palettes, but honestly, they were great buys. They were things I wanted, have used and am pretty happy with, no regrets here guys!

Before this ban, I was uncontrollable. Buying stuff almost every single day with a credit card debit upto my ears and an overdraft to match. Sure I've still got a hell of a credit card debt, but I'm out of my overdraft and my finances are on the up! I've managed to afford a wonderful holiday to Florida in 10 days with a nice little kitty of spending money to match. You should never let yourself get to that point, all cards maxed to the limit, and I intend to never get that way again for the sake of make up. Sure it makes me happy for that split second I am ripping open the box, but I'd rather have money to do nice things like go on holiday than buy what I probably already have sitting in a drawer somewhere.
Compared with what I am now, I can't imagine frivolously buying things after this ban. I have actually learnt the value of money. Before I didn't wince at £20 for a blusher, but now I know its bloody ridiculous and while yes, the blusher is pretty, I probably have one like it. I have taken to researching things I want, waiting to see if I still want it a few days later and using up things in my current stash before buying something similar. The spending ban was great for me and I'm so glad I did it!

So if you are looking at your stash thinking "god thats a lot of stuff" or cringing at your bank statement like I was, then I can't recommend a spending ban enough. I think it was easier for me as I actually wanted to quit the habit. Much like smoking, its easier when you want to quit, you are in a different mindset and a lot more motivated! Don't worry if you make one or even two purchases - get right back on that horse! At the end of the day concentrate on what you have saved not what you haven't. Over the ban yeah I spent about £150 but I saved thousands. I used to spend £800 on make up a month which is absolutely ridiculous, but over the course of the ban I'm not worried about the £150 I did spend but rather, I'm proud of the money I didn't!

So thats my spending ban done, I'm a free woman! Would you like to see a tips post or all the empties I collected over 150 days? :)

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And what would any spending ban post be without a picture of my silly mug at Disneyworld! 9 days! :D

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sephora & Disney's Cinderella Collection: Stroke of Midnight Compact Mirror

Hey guys and girls. Another review of the Disney Cinderella and Sephora collaboration. Today I am going to be reviewing a GORGEOUS piece in the collection - the Compact Mirror.
You might find it odd to review a mirror, but it is the last thing in the collection I have to review so I thought I may as well finish what I started. I knew as soon as I saw the mirror I had to have it, mainly because can you believe I don't actually own a mirror for my handbag! I often use my phone (classy lady) so this was something I actually needed so justified the purchase (which was pre-spending ban by the way). 




Again with all this collection, the packaging is just gorgeous with small hints of Cinderella detailed around the floral embroidery. The top of the box says "Time for your moment" making you feel truly princessy. The cutest thing is the barcode at the back, in the design of the Fairy Godmother creating the pumpkin carriage. Such a cute original touch.







The mirror is in the design of what I would describe, a pocketwatch, with a small push button that opens it. It has a very vintage feel to it and upon looking at it, you wouldn't even think its Disney as it is no way "Cinderella" looking in the slightest. I was shocked at how heavy it was and how sturdy it feels, it feels like it would cost a bomb when in actual fact it was $25 on the Sephora website.





The design on the front (apart from resembling a watch) has a small icon in the middle of Cinderella's castle - the only "Cinderella" thing about it, perfect for those secret lovers of Disney who may not want to get out a Disney mirror in front of people. The design is very shiny, holographic and eye catching while still remaining classy, ladylike and magical. 




The mirror itself is really nice. There is a normal side and a zoomed side which makes it extremely practical to take out and about. The normal mirror has a quote written across it which I absolutely adore - "time for your moment...". Who doesn't want to open a gorgeous compact mirror and see that quote while checking their make up. I feel like a true lady or even a Princess every time I use this mirror as silly as that sounds. I read the quote and feel motivated, I feel prettier, I feel like yes, it really IS my moment. Is that silly that a mirror can do that? I don't care :)






The annoying thing with a mirror so beautiful and shiny, is it does get fingerprints all over it. With my OCD over this mirror I am constantly buffing away any little smudges and it kind of discourages me from using it as I want to keep it perfect!


At the moment, the mirrors in these collections are selling like hotcakes. I believe out of everything this was the first to go on the Sephora website and they are now selling on eBay for so much more. However they are available by the plenty, so its worth checking out to see if you can grab it for a steal! 


What compact mirror do you have? Can't believe I never owned one 'til now!

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Review: Lime Crime Palette D'Antoinette

Hello everyone. So this review has been on the backburner for a while ( I actually did swatches for it in the summer!) but for some reason never got round to posting it.



I thought since Spring is soon upon us, what better time to review some beautiful pastel eyeshadows!









Of course Lime Crime never disappoint with their packaging. All of their eyeshadow palettes come in purple rectangular tins with a unicorn embossed and the names of the eyeshadows at the bottom. I really like the packaging, it is so unique to Lime Crime and pretty. While some people have gripes about the plastic insert which keeps the eyeshadows in place, I think for the price you are getting the eyeshadow palette at, I wouldn't like to see a price increase for something so minor. 



But we wanna see swatches right? How do they perform?









Keep reading for individual breakdowns of the eyeshadows. Due to the pastel nature of the eyeshadows, some of the close ups look a bit blurry. Who knew pastel eyeshadow was so hard to photograph?!


Royal Flush is a sheer matte pastel pink. Its pretty pigmented for a pastel pink but it is the sheerest of the lot, it needed building up to create an opaque colour and did become a little powdery. It is the most pigmented pink I own though, so I excuse that. It is very blendable but can come across a little chalky. 
Absinthe Minded is a pastel matte green. It is very pigmented, blendable and easy to work with, a far cry from Royal Flush. The colour is so unique! I have no eyeshadows like it. It isn't powdery or chalky.
Macarooned is a matte pastel orange and yet another colour which is SO unique to my collection. I have nothing like it. It is pretty pigmented but has a certain sheerness to it, similar to Royal Flush. I think because of my skin tone, I will have trouble using this BUT i'll keep working at it :)

One of my favourite colours in the palette is this gorgeous matte pastel lavender. It is SO hard to find pigmented pastels especially mattes, this colour is just so perfect even down to the name - Ribbonesque. It is pigmented and highly blendable. 

My number one favourite colour in the palette - Mercurious. If you have been trying to find a pigmented silver eyeshadow look no further. It is the only shimmer in the palette which injects a bit of variety and even though its not fitting with the "pastel" theme, I think it goes really well with all of the colours. It is buttery and soft, easy to blend and crazy pigmented. This eyeshadow probably has the best formulation but as the others are mattes, I understand its got to be hard to create a buttery AND pigmented matte. 

Compared to the previous palette I reviewed (The Chinadoll palette, review here) Palette D' Antoinette is a sheerer. While still crazy pigmented, pastel eyeshadows are always going to have that certain sheerness to them. Don't get me wrong, these will pack a punch in one swipe, but they are not as stark and bright as the other palettes. Instead they are gentler, more feminine and soft, perfect for spring!

I really liked the palette is predominantly matte. 4/5 of the eyeshadows are matte finish with only one (Mercurious) being a crazy metallic shimmer finish! It makes a nice change and its not often you can get pigmented pastels which are matte! They are surprisingly easy to blend (mattes are notorious for being stiff and hard to work with) which is a lovely added bonus and makes them very easy to work with.  

The only negative things I can find are the eyeshadows do tend to kick up a bit of powder in the pan. It means if your not careful, the palette could end up looking very messy. But if you use the right kind of brushes and take your time, this problem is easily avoided. A couple of the shades are a little on the chalky side but generally the palette is a dream, a perfect pastel dream!


Wanna get your hands on this palette? Lime Crime ships worldwide for a flat rate of £10.95 which is roughly £7-8. While this may seem expensive, this means no matter how much you buy, this will be the cost - very worth it if you intend on making a big order! I have never been charged customs fees when ordering from Lime Crime either. I prefer it as they always throw in cute stickers, booklets or samples :)
You can purchase the Palette D'Antoinette here for $34.95 or here for £23.99 from UK retailer LoveMakeUp. 

Have you ever tried Lime Crime? They are my favourite brand :)

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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Weekly Work Look #2: A Touch of Spring

Another week, another work look! Yay! I'm really pleased you all liked the concept of this series, I just hope I can continue to come up with looks that aren't too samey!
So this week I swatched and reviewed the MUA Pretty Pastel's palette and as I always like to do a look with the palettes I review to try and show how they perform, I thought what better opportunity! 










 I kept the lid pretty neutral, with liner as always (although this look would look nice without too!) and used a matte brown eyeshadow in the crease (I used MAC Moleskin but Urban Decay Buck/Naked would also work!) I find with these shimmery pearly eyeshadows, it can be easy to go overboard on frost, so the matte brown keeps everything nice and wearable! I then added a pop of the cute mint green shade under the eye, following the shape of the wing. I think this adds a nice pop of colour, really brightens the eye and looks fresh faced and very "spring" like! 

First shade for brow highlight, second all over the lid, third shade as the minty green under the lash line.

I hope you liked this look and will maybe even try it out yourself! 

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

MUA Pretty Pastels Palette Review & Swatches

Hello everyone. So today I thought i'd review and swatch the MUA Pretty Pastels palette. Pastels are always a popular choice for spring so I thought it would be a great time to inject some pretty pastels into my make up routine.





A good pastel eyeshadow is pretty hard to come by I've found. They either appear too chalky, too sheer or really dry. MUA have actually done a nice job with this palette, creating a selection of shades which have pretty good pigmentation and nice formula. But lets get onto the swatches shall we?

The first four shades include two pearly cream highlights. These are decently pigmented and can be doubled up on both the lid but also as a cheek/eyebrow highlight. The 3rd shade is a pretty shimmery cool toned brown. I really like this all over the lid as its not too dark so perfect for daytime. The last of the four is a minty green - a stunning shade which I wish was a bit more pigmented. 

The first of these four is a nice pastel blue. Its decently pigmented when built up and very shimmery. Following that is a nice lilac, perfect for spring and nice all over the lid followed by a sunshine yellow. I really want to like this shade but it does take some building up. Its fairly sheer and does fade. This is followed by a cool toned peach shade. 

The last four include a very sheer white/green. Not the best formula, followed by a similar purple shade which again was very very sheer. This is followed by a pretty pink. The pigmentation is pretty nice when built up. The last shade in the palette is again a very sheer grey toned mauve.

As you can see there is a nice selection of pretty much all shimmery shadows. They have a LOT of shimmer, being highly reflective and pearly. I really like this, but I do think it can end up frost overload if you don't team the eyeshadows up with a good matte shade in the crease.  I like using Buck or Naked from the UD Naked palette or Quarry/Moleskin by MAC.

The shades are pretty sheer and do require some building up but they do perform a lot better over a primer (which is what I swatched over) but one huge gripe I found is these faded quite easily and quickly. It only took a little bit of blending and the eyeshadow would disappear very quickly. They faded dramatically during the day and this did disappoint me, I usually do 8-12 hour days with barely time to top up so I NEED my eyeshadow to last all day.
While this is annoying, I do like the palette and some of the more pigmented shades such as the vivid pink, blue and purple (darn it, wish they had names!) perform perfectly and do last the extra mile. These definitely do require a sticky base though, to fulfil their full potential - something like MAC paintpots or Lime Crime Candy eyeshadow helper. 
Overall, I do like the palette, but its not the best. The quality of the eyeshadows is lovely, they are soft and buttery but some do struggle to last. Having said that for £4, you simply cannot complain and this palette will definitely get some use from me.

What do you think? Would you buy this palette? Have you tried it?

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Friday, 10 May 2013

Weekly Work Look #1: Dreaming of the Beach

Hey everyone. So today I thought i'd introduce a new series called "Weekly Work Look"! I asked on twitter about whether you guys would like to see a series of neutral looks suitable for work and I got an amazing response! I guess ya'll like neutrals!

 I know its easy to get stuck in a rut with make up. I'm pretty good at rotating my stash and using different things, often doing a different look for work a week so I can experiment and try out all the neutrals I own. But I've been in ruts before where you get stuck with one look and an obscene amount of make up which never gets used...so hopefully something in this series will inspire you to shake the rut and pull out some of your older unloved palettes!

So this week's look is inspired by the pants weather England seems to have again. Spring lasted for all of two days and now we are back to torrential rain and gloomy skies. I for one am dreaming of the day I can ditch my winter coat and boots and start wearing pretty dresses and go to the beach! So I whacked out my Sleek Storm palette (which is an fav of mine! So so good!) The storm palette has a nice range of sandy hues, perfect for a look that is dreaming of beautiful Caribbean beaches while sitting in an office in rainy ol' England! 

Hope you enjoy :)

















 So I hope you liked it and will maybe even pull out your own Storm palette and try something similar. I used the colours that are marked above to create a simple sandy look that really brightens the eye and definitely dreams of summer. I then added some pencil eyeliner to create a wing. I myself always add winged liner but if its not part of your normal routine then thats ok! I used pencil as I sometimes think normal liquid liner can be too harsh, especially with softer looks like this. I used the Urban Decay 24/7 pencil liner and then "set" it with the black shade from the storm palette. I then added a pop of colour with an orange lipstick to really bring the beachy look together!

I'd love some requests for perhaps palettes that you own that you would like to see a weekly work look from or something else! I already have one (Lazy girl make up!) which I'm going to work on for next week. Hope you like this new series!

What has been your work make up this week? I'd love to know!


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