Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back…


They say if you remember a fashion or beauty trend from last time around, it’s best to skip it, but I beg to differ - so I’ve rounded up my favourite blue eyeliners and a few tips on how to wear them this Spring…

blue eyeliner 2013Dior Bird of Paradise

From Moschino to Dior, blues and teals are where it’s at for Spring Summer 2013 eyes.  Don’t wince, it’s not as scary as you might think…

Laura Mercier Crème Eyeliner in Cobalt Blue

Laura-Mercier-Creme-Eye-Liner-Cobalt-blue Laura-Mercier-Cobalt-Blue-liner

Of all the blues in town, this one is the crème de la crème in my eyes.  Super soft and creamy, it’s gorgeous to work with and moist (shudder) enough to work with before it sets. Best applied with an angled eyeliner brush (this is a discontinued mac, but they still do a similar one) I barely touch the liner with the brush, smear any excess on the back of my hand, then smudge it into my lashline.  Ok so pre-mascara, it’s rather in your face, but surprisingly wearable with the full shebang. I instagrammed my first attempt here. 


When I hone in on eyes or lips, I like to keep the rest of my make-up quite neutral, so opted for a pale gold on my lower lashline, pinky beige blush and nude lips.  I do think it looks sweet with sugar pink lips and glowy cheeks… (esp if you’re 19 and drop dead gorgeous).

Blue Swatches


Some more blue/teal beauties, a little less daunting than the Laura Mercier… further details on all of the above in previous posts (linked in shade names below):

Will you be flirting with blue eyes this Spring/Summer?


Vichy Normaderm Giveaway: 5 products inc new Hyaluspot

Vichy spot hero

To celebrate the launch of Vichy’s new on-the-spot hero,  Normaderm Hyaluspot, I’ve teamed up with Gordons Chemists to give away five products from the Normaderm skincare range, designed to combat the 6 signs of imperfection-prone adult skin: Blemishes, Pores, Shine, Oily Skin, Marks & Uneven Complexion.

The Prize

Normaderm HyaluspotNormaderm 3in1Normaderm cleansing gelNormaderm exfoliatorNormaderm Hydrating care


3 in 1 Cleanser/Scrub/Mask

Exfoliating Gel

Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel

Global Anti-imperfection Hydrating Gel

Hyaluspot contains Hyaluronic Acid to create a plaster-like effect on the skin which isolates the
imperfection, reduces bacterial contamination and may stop the spot’s development within two hours (date night anyone?).

For the chance to win the above five products, just subscribe to Strawberry Blonde Beauty by Bloglovin’, GFC or email (each method = 1 entry) and leave a comment below to let me know your username & email so that I can notify the winner!*

Closing date for entries: Friday 3 May, 12 noon GMT

Check out the Normaderm range here & my review of the fabulous 3 in 1 cleanser here.

Good luck!

Giveaway closed: Congratulations to the winner, Rebecca!  Your prize is on its way! x



*Prize and winner are at the discretion of moi & Gordons Chemists and are non negotiable (apols that the dude above is not available to deliver the prize in person)



Make-up Atelier Correcting Concealer Palette CAPC2


Ever find that using your under eye concealer on blemishes highlights rather than concealing them; or that holy grail concealer which works magic on blemishes, draws attention to nose redness like Rudolph gone awol? 

It’s difficult to find a ‘one product suits all’ in the pursuit of flawless skin, but forget heavy duty full cover foundation and mask-like uniformly even skin; corrective concealer is the way forward.  I’ve noticed lots of little multi-tonal palettes popping up recently and they may just be the answer to your flawless-faking prayers.  Make-up Atelier is a French brand that has intrigued me for years. Widely used by make-up artists, it’s had a relatively low profile in the UK until recently.  

Make-up Atelier’s Correcting Concealer Palette is creamy and blends well: neither too dry to make it unworkable nor too dewy to result in meltdown one hour after application. Highly pigmented, it claims to cover pigmentation and tattoos, not something I’ve tested, but I could well believe it.

So why so many colours - and a weird selection at that? Two memories spring to mind:

1. My A-level Art teacher stressing that our faces are not all one colour, but made up of a multitude of tones - purple, blue, pink, red, blue and grey often appearing in the one face - and that’s before you consider different races.

2. My uni boyfriend admiring the ‘pretty’ blues and lilacs in my eyelids… yep, it completely threw me at the time too.

What I’m getting at is that an even, blanket colour is neither natural nor particularly attractive… genius little palettes like this one can help address shadows, redness and blemishes in an instant, allowing our natural tones to look, well… natural!



Above, straight from the palette and below, blended. The only shade I don’t use is 2nd from right - the very deep peach. The lightest peach (1st left) I use for under eye shadows & 3rd peach along for deepest darkest shadows in the corner of my eye socket. These peachy tones on top of blue-grey shadows = normal coloured skin. Magic!

The green, far right, I use to correct redness around my nose or on blemishes. Unlike other green concealers I’ve tried, this one leaves my skin a neutral, normal looking tone and doesn’t require additional concealer on top (to cover the green!). The second vanilla shade along blends brilliantly with my overall skintone and is perfect for general anywhere-flaws.

Makeup-Atelier-Corrector-Concealer-palette-CAPC2-swatches (2)

Blended, I hope you can see just how user friendly these are. A little goes a very long way, especially around the eye area, as these do tend to set and like with most concealers, overdoing it will accentuate any dryness. A good tip is not to use foundation around the eye area and rely on concealer only to cover darkness and pigmentation, adding light where needed with a separate illuminating product if necessary.

This palette is available in two other tones; a yellow based one and another which seems to be for darker skin tones. Images on the Atelier website are quite difficult to make out, but you can find full product info here.  The other thing I love about this is how portable and compact it is; the curved shape, how well it fits into my make-bag and how it sits at an angle facing me when propped open… just little things that make a difference.

Make-up Atelier Correcting Concealer Palette, £25

Do you use corrective concealers - and have you ever tried Make-up Atelier? 


What’s in the first Beauteco Box?


Meet the latest Beauty Box on the block, Beauteco Box, launching 3 May 2013.  I don’t have a lot of experience of beauty boxes, but this one seems to offer two things that a lot of regulars want: choice and full sizes.

Subscribers have the choice of 3 different boxes containing a mix of products from the same set of brands, allowing them to choose products that suit their needs and skin type.


I must admit it felt good to see a couple of full sized products when I ripped back the tissue paper, even though Anatomicals is not a brand I’d normally veer towards (the pink grapefruit scrub does smell particularly good).


In the Box

  • Dr Brandt Age Management moisturiser -  a sophisticated gel formula that feels super silky on my skin
  • Mitchell & Peach Body Cream – high end bodycare that’s richly moisturising and smells as good as it sounds!
  • Melvita Rose Cleansing Oil - I love this brand and am a fan of cleansing oils, so this was the star item for me and the one I was most excited to try. The rose fragrance is subtle and the product cleanses effectively without drying out the skin - perfect.
  • Anatomicals Body Scrub - a big fat tube of pink grapefruit fragranced scrub in a gel base.
  • Anatomicals Vitamin Enriched Hand Cream - 100ml is generous for a handcream and although not handbag friendly, this is the perfect desk or kitchen sink size.


I love this little menu with an outline of the contents, product value and discount codes if you choose to purchase full sizes of the minis.  The eco element will of course appeal to many and comes hot on the heels of cutECOsmetics’ rECOnsider eco beauty bag, featuring make-up rather than skincare (more on that soon!).

The first Beauteco Box launches 3 May 2013 for £10 + £2.95 P&P per month. Find full details & giveaways on Facebook or at Beautecobox.co.uk 


Clinique Launches Nail Polish: A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins


Clinique launches a nail polish collection tomorrow…  ‘A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skins’, formulated to minimise skin sensitivity. 

Above are five of the limited edition shades for Summer 2013, from top: 70° and Sunny, Happy, Hula Skirt, Juiced Up & Splish Splash.  I know it’s predictable but I can’t help being drawn to that lovely dusty coral, Juiced Up.

It never occurred to me that nail polish could irritate skin, but Clinique appear to have found a gap in the market and had the insight to fill it.  I’m not sure what’s in (or absent from) the formula that differs from others, but it is dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested and deemed appropriate for sensitive skins and eyes (which you touch, not apply polish to, obvs!).

If you’re prone to skin sensitivities and wary of using beauty products, it may be worth giving this a go!

12 shades are available in 9ml bottles RRP £12.00 / €16.00, available exclusively online at www.clinique.co.uk from tomorrow, 25 April 2013 and nationwide at Clinique counters from 31 May 2013


Sally Hansen Fruitti Petutie


Fruitti Petutie is the perfect colour for Spring and my favourite shade from Sally Hansen’s SS 2013 collection.  These Complete Salon Manicure polishes act as a base and top coat, strengthening and growth treatment and salon-inspired colour - all in one bottle. I always wear a base coat regardless to avoid staining, especially with strong shades like this, but did leave it ‘topless’.

Sally-Hansen-Fruitti-Petutie-swatch Sally-Hansen-Fruitti-Petutie-Summer-2013-hot-pink-nails

Neither, orange, pink or red, I’d describe Fruitti Petutie as a watermelon shade. A rich, glossy crème, it comes with a nice wide brush for easy application and has great lasting power.  Basically I wore it ‘til I got bored, which never happens with me (the lasting power I mean… I always get bored of nail colours after a few days, no offence Sally).  I applied it on a friend who struggled to remove it with her usual product, (not sure which brand) so this is worth bearing in mind.

In some lights it looks quite raspberry toned - see my Instagram pic; in others, more like the close up pic above. Regardless, it’s a beautiful bright, happy shade - perfect for Spring!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure* nail polish is available at Boots, selected pharmacies and supermarkets.


Spring Make-up Look with Stila Afterglow: Festival of Color


I based this Spring make-up look around two products from Stila’s new Festival of Color collection, launching May 2013: Afterglow Lip Colour in Electric Pink and Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Turquoise.  My aim was to make these bright colour pops the focus on an otherwise neutral base and create a wearable look that even the colour-shy can sport!

Dr-Perricone-Blue-Plasma-Skinceuticals-Anti-Redness-Relief Vitage-Anastasia-Brow-Gel-Blonde-gold

Skin Prep: I began by prepping cleansed skin with Perricone MD Blue Plasma, a gentle nonacidic daily peel that brightens and softens without irritation; followed by SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer, designed to reduce redness flare ups from Rosacea. (More on this fabulous duo very soon!)

Base: For a natural looking base, I chose Vitage Natural Daily Perfector in Beige, a 100% natural mineral mousse-in-a-tube formula that feels like velvet on my skin and can be worn alone or between primer and foundation.  Infused with antioxidant and anti-inflammatories, it feels like wearing skincare rather than make-up and makes the need for a mid afternoon touch up acceptable!


I love the Vitage for an everyday natural look and find the coverage just enough with the addition of concealer - in this case, current favourites, Sheer Cover Duo Concealer on blemishes (post here) & Benefit Fake-Up around the eye area (post here).

Cheeks were dusted with this soft pink Dainty Doll blusher (002, My Girl), an absolute bargain at just £1.99 from Fragrance Direct and perfect for a natural glow. I gave powder a miss as I’m struggling to find ‘The One’ that leaves skin radiant and really wanted a fresh look.

Eyes: Brows were brushed through with a light coat of Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Gel for blondes - a gold gel that looks more natural on blonde brows than you’d expect - and lashes coated with Rimmel’s latest offering: Lash Accelerator Endless, great if you like a slim, flexible brush for coat-every-last-lash perfection.

Stila Festival of Color


Finally onto the fun bit!

Lips:  Stila Afterglow Lip Color contains uber bright fluorescent pigments that look vibrant in sun light and glow in darkness under ultra violet light!  Electric Pink is a beautiful blue based, neon pink that can be sheered out or built up to make lips the focal point of your face.  For this look I wore it over Lanolips 101 Ointment for a little extra slip and comfort, though I don’t find it overly drying despite the matt finish. Adore this and will definitely be picking up another couple of shades. Six are available priced at £12 each, which you can see swatched on BritishBeautyBlogger

Eye Colour: Turquoise is one of the new shades in Stila’s Stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner, £13 also due out in May.  Not a colour I’d have chosen myself, I’ve fallen surprisingly hard for this.  I’ve been wearing it as a liner on the upper and lower lash line, but think it would look equally good all over the lid.  It also looks gorgeous with Laura Mercier dark gold Caviar Stick in Sandglow (post here) smudged over the lid for a more sultry look.  Easy to apply, the colour is quite buildable and a little flash of minty turquoise when you blink is a really cute way to wear one of this Season’s big colours  (am feeling the urge for matching nails!) Bright, yet pretty and sweet, this works beautifully with Electric Pink lips.

Final Look

 Stila-Spring-make-up-look 1-040

Left, with flash and right, in natural light. No need to save these for clubbing (phew)!

What do you think… would you wear these kinds of colours?


Belmacz Stardust: copper cream eye shadow with 24 carat gold leaf


I’m a sucker for products with luxury ingredients, so it was a given that I’d fall for Belmacz Stardust eye shadow with 24 carat gold leaf, just launched as I type.  The creation of jewellery designer, Julia Muggenburg, this copper cream eye shadow is a sophisticated nod to this year’s obsession with orange and metallic tones - a quick slick on the eyelid will immediately modernise your make-up look.  It also works as liner, blended out on cheekbones or mixed with body moisturiser to accentuate shoulders or décolleté and elongate shins.

Belmacz-Stardust-review Belmacz-Stardust-Real-Gold-Cream-Eye-ShadowBelmacz-Stardust-swatch-Gold-Cream-Eye-Shadow Belmacz-Stardust

I normally steer clear of orange tones anywhere other than lips or nails, so was surprised at how flattering this is - and to discover that orange/copper tones really do make blue eyes pop! (For anyone else who, like me, didn’t understand the ‘pop’ expression for years, it just means these tones draw attention to the colour of the eyes and make them look more dramatic - not bulbous or like they’re literally popping out of your head!).

I struggle with shimmery products as they often irritate my sensitive eyes, so cream shadow is a great way to wear them. This one stays creamy and doesn’t set as powder like some do… the downside of this is that lasting power isn’t brilliant and it does crease a bit on me, but a primer should address both of these issues (I like to test products ‘as is’).  As you can see from the swatches, the colour is buildable and the texture more sheen and shimmer, coming to life with finely milled twinkle in direct light or sunlight.


I think the packaging is quite beautiful and love little touches like this message inside the box.

Belmacz beauty cosmetics are cruelty free and handmade in London. Stardust rrp £29. Get a free Moonstone Glow lipgloss (rrp £26) with every purchase of Stardust until 25th April 2013 here.  (The lipgloss looks even more exciting than the eye shadow to me!)

Neom Scent with Love Body Care Gift Set


If you haven’t tried Neom body care yet, the Scent with Love gift set is a great place to start. It contains four generous travel sized products across a range of fragrances and such a small amount is required that I can actually see these lasting quite a while.  Like the candles, Neom products are treatments, not just prettily fragranced potions, so expected to feel relaxed, refreshed or soothed, depending which you use…

Neom-Scent-With-Love-gift-set Neom-Scent-With-Love-minatures-travel-size

The outer sleeve (top pic) is so elegant that I was surprised to find an equally gorgeous glossy gold box beneath it, housing the four products. I can never bear to throw away packaging like this and find this size of box great for make-up storage or bits & bobs.


The Contents

Tranquillity Bath & Shower Oil (30ml) with English Lavender, Sweet Basil and Jasmine - I have the full size of this and it’s glorious. Just one capful is all that’s needed for the bath, or slather all over before showering and be prepared for a spa like experience when the hot water hits it - amazing!

Sensuous Organic Body Wash & Body Lotion (50ml each) with Ylang Ylang, Frankincense and Patchouli - made with the purest essential oils this duo leaves my skin feeling and smelling properly pampered.  I accept no responsibility for any effect it may or may not have on your libido!

Complete Bliss Organic Hand Cream (50ml) with Moroccan Blush Rose leaves my hands feeling cocooned and delicately fragranced with rose.

Throw in a Neom candle and I’m in heaven. Who needs spas, eh?  (actually Neom is used in some of the best spas around - now that would be worth experiencing!) Chuck them in your suitcase, pamper yourself at home or treat a loved one… Scent with Love* is £35 here.


Mavala That’s my Colour!

Ever see a beautiful colour and think ‘I’d love to bottle that and wear it on my nails?’  I do… it all started last year when I first spotted the cute Fiat 500 in a gorgeous icy blue.  I took a photograph of it on my phone in the Tesco car park, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible (imagine trying to explain that one… I’m photographing your car as I’d love to find a nail polish in the same shade. Err…) This led on to a twitter discussion, where it seemed others felt the same way (phew!). 

Mavala has now launched a clever campaign inviting polish lovers to share which shade they’d love to be made into a nail polish… and then they’ll actually do it!  Here’s how it works…

  1. photograph any item in a colour you love
  2. tweet your pic to @mavalaUK using #thatsmycolour hashtag or post it to Mavala’s facebook page by 5 May 2013
  3. Mavala will recreate three of the shades in nail polish as part of 'That's My Colour' collection, launching Autumn 2013!

How amazing would it be if your colour was chosen?!

Some of my attempts to recreate the Fiat 500 blue…

Nails Inc Bluebell swatchGOSH-Venus-Tiffany-Blue-polish-swatch013

From top: Nails Inc Bluebell ~ GOSH Venus ~ Barry M Blueberry Ice cream (click link to see more pics & my review of each colour).  None are quite right, but Barry M’s Blueberry ice-cream comes closest!

Sooo…. what colour would you choose?

ps just spent ages tripping down memory lane, while trying to find the Tesco car park pic!


Cargo Cosmetics: Spring 2013 Route 66

Cargo Cosmetics

The arrival of Spring sunshine is always closely followed by an urge to banish black and inject a shot of colour into my life…  And along came Cargo: wearable brights for grown ups in rich, jewel-like tones.  I’ve only ever known Cargo for it’s miracle lash products, but here’s a little taster of its cosmetics range, re-launching in the UK at Debenhams later this month…

Cargo waterproof blusher Rome Cargo Aegean blue eye shadowCargo Paris lip gloss Cargo Aegean blue eye shadow swatch

I have an inane weakness for blusher and this one is perfect for Summer. Water resistant, long wearing and weatherproof; perfect for the sun showers that teased us today, just when we thought it was safe.  Rome is a gorgeous tangerine coral with gold shimmer.  Don’t be afraid of the brightness… it blends into a very wearable pretty peach, or can be built up for those who prefer more intensity. I adore this and already have at least 3 of the other (non shimmer) shades on my wish list!

Aegean is the most striking cobalt blue eyeshadow - soft and velvety smooth with great payoff. I like to wear this as liner, applied with a dampened brush, but think it would be amazing for a bright Spring smoky eye!

Paris is the most pigmented lipgloss I’ve ever tried… I may have gasped when I first swatched this!  Probably not my first colour choice for Spring (I’m more of a fuchsia, coral girl) but I actually think it looks striking next to Aegean blue.  A rich, deep wine toned red, the longwear formula is enriched with Vitamin E and looks and feels more like a sheeny lipstick than a gloss… really lovely texture.



In the second pic I’ve really sheered out the blush, just to illustrate that you can… personally I wear it about halfway between the two!  Love a shade that adapts to pale skins as well as darker ones.

Some of these products are already available at Beauty Bay (where I made my blush wish list), but look out in Debenhams for the full collection.

Eyeshadow, £12; Blusher £19; Lip Gloss, £7.50*

Do you like bright shades for Spring?

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