Topshop Contour Cream: Sweep & Swerve


Topshop Beauty has released two new Contour Creams in the shades, Sweep & Swerve. Pale faces shouldn’t be put off by the in-pan colour; these are surprisingly wearable and easy to apply, moreso than some powder formulas I’ve tried.


You can see from the pan that I’ve swirled my fingers fairly heavily to get these swatches, yet there’s still a slight translucence to the colours. The consistency is soft, creamy and very easy to blend into the skin. Sweep is on the left and Swerve on the right - the colours almost look like milk and dark chocolate! They can be used as sheer as you like - and I recommend a light touch as a little is all you need. Contour is not like blush or bronzer; it’s not supposed to be seen, but rather to add a little definition to your face - subtle shadow to enhance (or create the illusion of) cheekbones, slim the nose or define the jaw line. Less is more… I can’t emphasise that enough.

Topshop-Contour-Cream-Sweep-Swerve-swatches-review Topshop-Contour-Cream-Sweep-Swerve-swatches-blended-

SWEEP vs SWERVE: These swatches show Sweep (top) and Swerve applied straight to my skin and then partly blended. On my face I sheer them out completely, so that the edges are completely seamless. The lighter shade, Sweep, is aimed at light to medium skins, but I actually find that Swerve works best on me due to its cooler tones.  There’s not a massive difference between them (initially I thought I’d been sent two the same), so I’d choose according to your skin tone rather than depth of colour. Personally I think cooler tones create a more natural looking shadow on most people (so if you’re unsure, go for Swerve).  

APPLICATION: I apply by pressing the length of my finger tip lightly in the pan, pat off any excess on the back of my hand, then press the same line of product under the hollow of my cheekbone. I then blend with a clean finger or stippling brush, softening edges with my foundation brush if needed. Things may look odd at this point if you’re not used to this step, but once bronze/blush has been added, it leaves a very natural looking finish.  Once blended, this is undetectable on my skin and lasts all day.

My tip with trying any new make-up technique is to experiment just before bedtime when you’re about to cleanse - no risk or pressure and you’ll be removing it all anyway.

Do you contour or would you consider giving it a go? Once you get used to it it’s kind of addictive and just a little makes all the difference. Not need to get all Kim K about it, just keep it real. This Lisa Eldridge video includes some great tips - she uses powder but the same principles apply.  

Topshop Contour Cream, £9 at


A Dreamy Creamy Aveda Treat


{Warning: you will want this}

Beautifying Creme Cleansing Oil is one of the latest additions to Aveda’s body range - a gentle body cleanser enriched with a nourishing plant oil blend (and the first product to nudge my L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil along the shelf in months.) I know that not everyone wants to invest in luxury body products, but if you do fancy a treat, or have dry as a bone skin like mine in Winter, you really can’t go wrong with this.

‘Babassu-derived surfactant gently cleanses skin while certified organic Safflower and Olive oils both cleanse and maintain the skin’s moisture barrier.’

This feels like a dense, silky cream in consistency and completely divine on the skin, pretty much like skincare for the body. The rich, creamy lather smells of (certified organic) rosemary, lavender and bergamot - fresh and uplifting but not overpowering - and quite unisex. 

I honestly have to force myself not to use the whole tube in one go - it’s that good.

(Pretty sure I’ll have run out by Mother’s Day, ahem...)

Aveda Beautifying Creme Cleansing Oil is available at (free delivery)


Antonia Burrell Skincare: In the Spotlight #2


In the second of my spotlight series I’m focusing on Antonia Burrell skincare, a range I’ve fallen for over the past year. You’ll have heard me mention a few of these products already - and I’ll include links at the end if you’d like to read about them in more detail. Everything about this brand instils skin confidence in me - and when you test as much skincare as I do, that’s a big deal (only a small percentage of what I try makes it onto these pages). Antonia Burrell is not just a brand, but a person - a holistic skincare expert specialising in plant therapy to be precise. One of the UK's most renowned skincare experts, Antonia is a facialist with a wealth of natural plant and aromatherapy knowledge. Each one of her products is a described as a labour of love and I do think that comes across. The brand itself is all about clean, chemical-free, 100% natural luxurious products. I don’t know about you, but I find all of the above very reassuring when it comes to spreading potions on my face.

My skin type is dry/dehydrated, prone to congestion and rosacea. Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum is my top pick as it soothes my skin like no other, addressing under skin bumps and helping reduce redness. Forest Dew Skin Conditioner comes in as a close second - think soft, hydrated skin in a bottle.

Natural Glow Cleansing Oil is dense and luxurious, transforming into a milky consistency and deep cleansing while calming and brightening. Tuscan Cypress Tree Extract, Bitter Orange, Vitamin E, Citrus Medica Limona, Tea Tree and Lavender not only have individual roles to play but create the most incredible scent that makes this an absolute joy to use. That’s saying something from someone who usually considers cleansing a total chore.


100% natural Cream Supreme Moisturiser has an organic anti-acne complex to help address bacteria and redness, while Larch Extract and Mango Seed naturally stimulate the production of collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. While I love the texture of this moisturiser, I do need to use it in conjunction with Forest Dew or a facial oil for extra hydration. I prefer something a little richer at night, but for daytime use, this creates a perfect base for make-up.


All of the products come in dark glass jars to protect the natural ingredients and look discreet and lovely as well as being practical. The pic above shows the texture of the moisturiser (left) - a creamy lotion - and mask, a dense, lightweight paste.

Mask Supreme is Antonia’s latest product release, a multi tasker that  claims to offer 7 skin benefits in 10 minutes…. not bad going! These include deep hydration, brightening, antioxidant, repair, cleansing, smooth/firming and anti-blemish. It’s the next best thing to a facialist in a jar - and with all that goodness going on, I tend to leave mine on for more than 10 minutes! Actives include Lactic Acid to lift away dead skin cells and promote new growth, Bentonite Clay to detoxify, Mango Butter to protect and restore and stress-melting geranium, lavender and frankincense oils.  It leaves my skin feeling calm, refreshed and glowing.

I’d sum up Antonia Burrell’s range as high end botanical, with potent active ingredients that make dramatic improvements in a gentle way. These are products that I keep coming back to, especially when my skin is feeling a little fragile. They’re certainly not cheap, but are of such extremely high quality, science-backed and every ingredient is there for a reason - I’ve literally never noticed such fast results from using skincare as I have with these. If I lived in London I’d jump at the chance for a customised salon treatment!

Find out more or shop online at 

NB This post was not sponsored (or even requested) - I’m just sharing the love and feel very strongly about people extending their skincare horizons beyond the usual department store giants - of course I love some of them too, but they’re not the only option and treasures like this are worth exploring!


If you’d like to read more about Antonia Burrell, here are my previous posts featuring several of her products:    

Forest Dew Skin Conditioner  |  Pure Therapy Facial Oil Serum  |  Radiant Light Facial Oil Serum


How to: Loose Waves with Babyliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves


Natural looking waves and curls are my favourite and I think Babyliss Boutique Soft Waves may be The One for achieving this look with very little effort.  It’s a heated styling wand with an extra wide 34mm ceramic barrel, which works really well on longer hair. If your hair is shorter than shoulder length I’m not sure that this would work so well. Here are my thoughts and tips for getting the best results…



The wand comes with a heat resistant glove (which you will NEED - it gets very hot) and a cooling mat that doubles up as a storage pouch. When open, the mat has a slim pocket that the wand slots right into, holding it securely so that you can wrap it all up immediately after use, rather than leaving it out to cool (handy with children /animals around).

As there is no clamp on the wand, you wrap pieces of hair around it in sections and hold the tip in place for 5/6 seconds. This is why the gloves are so essential as your fingers are very close to the hot barrel. The temperature can be adjusted  from 165-210C according to your hair type and how tight you want the curls to be; my advice is start low and work your way up if required. Generally I use it at 195C as I think this gives my curls more lasting power; immediately after they do look a bit OTT, but soon loosen into… you guessed it, soft waves!


1. SMOOTH - As my hair has a natural wave and is quite frizzy, I need to smooth it before curling, which I do using my hair dryer and Lee Stafford My Big Fat Silky Smoother brush. If I don’t have time for this I’ll use GHDs, though prefer to avoid a double whammy of excess heat if I can.  If your hair is naturally straight, or at least smooth, you can skip this step.

2. SECTION - I recently picked up a set of basic sectioning clips and they’re a godsend when heat styling. I pin up the whole top section of my hair and start curling from the back forwards. Larger sections give looser curls and I generally use about 2” of hair for each section. This wand is extra long, meaning that hair can be looped right along it. Avoid overlapping your hair around on top of itself or the ends won’t get as much heat. Wrap each new piece of hair in a different direction for a more natural look, starting just below the crown. Leaving out the ends will also give  a more natural, wavy finish rather than a very defined curl.

3. COOL - This is important as curls/waves hold better if allowed to cool while held in place (which is why heated rollers are so effective). After curling each section, I slide out the wand and cup my hand under the curl for about 20-30 secs before moving on to the next piece of hair. I must buy some of those metal clips that hairdressers use!

4. PRODUCTS - Styling products are essential to heat protect your hair and give waves lasting power. Immediately after washing, I work Aveda Phomollient volumising mousse into my roots for extra oomph; this helps balance out the waves and stop them weighing my hair down at the crown. I then add L’Oreal Mythic Oil Seve Protectrice into the lengths before blow drying - this is a great heat protector for dry/damaged hair and I feel like I’m getting extra thorough protection by massaging in a rich cream rather than just using spray.

Post blow-drying, I add a second layer of heat protection (paranoid much?)… Windle  & Moodie  Light Satin Hairspray both heat protects and gives gentle hold, so it’s great for use before using any heat styler and doesn’t makes the curls feel stiff. If I have any frizzy ends, I’ll add a quick spritz of Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist, a light spray that adds definition and is also great for revamping flagging curls a few hours later. Once my hair is completely finished and I’m happy with the final look, I go in with my favourite hairspray, Fudge Urban Iced Raspberry & Vanilla - it works, the pink and orange bottle always makes me smile - and it smells gorgeous! 


PS *If you have naturally silky smooth hair, you won’t need all of the above products - a heat protector and hair spray should do it!*

PPS This process is special occasion prep and not something I (have time to) do on an everyday basis… I’m more likely to wash my hair the night before, rough blow dry it and then go in with my styling wand the following day. For an everyday look, I just use the wand to add definition and a few casual waves in big sections, rather than sectioning it all off carefully… ie 5 mins vs 15 mins!



One freshly done curl - you can see how high and springy it is (‘scuse the dimly lit, probably a good thing make-up free pic). The one on your left is where I held the curl until it cooled; you can see how much more defined it is than the other, which has already dropped a bit.



And after, soft loose waves.

What style of curls do you prefer - and have any of you tried this styling wand?

Babyliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves, £40 



Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Pastels: SS 2015


Well these are just beautiful… Barry M Speedy Quick Dry is a whole new formula launching with an oh so pretty collection of nine pastel polishes. The colours are gorgeous, but how do they apply; do they really ‘Quick Dry’ and what’s the lasting power like? 

In summary, most of the colours apply really nicely, good to go in two coats, though some look better in three. They do dry quickly on me and the lasting power is pretty standard. Let’s have a closer look…




Pastels are notoriously thin and streaky - especially on first coat - so I was pleasantly surprised to find how easily the majority of these applied. I found that the lilac, grey and blue (1,8,9) all required 3 coats; the formula of these 3 in particular felt a touch more powdery than the usual Barry M polishes, possibly also due to the Quick Dry technology?  I ended up applying 3 coats to all of these swatches to make sure they were completely opaque, but on the most part, could get away with 2 on my nails.

1. LAP OF HONOUR - dusky lilac, less sugary than some, which makes this more wearable in my book.

2. KISS ME QUICK - baby pink, not too white, not too sickly sweet - just right.

3. IN A HEART BEAT - pastel coral / salmon pink. A great dupe for Butter London Trout Pout, seen in the ‘Nails’ menu just below my blog header.

4. FULL THROTTLE - pastel orange - can so imagine this on tanned toes!

5. STOP THE CLOCK - very pale lemon, will look gorgeous with navy or black now, no need to wait for Spring!

6. POLE POSITION - the perfect mint green with no turquoise undertone, something I’ve previously struggled to find.

7. ROAD RAGE - aqua - I can’t wait to wear this in Summer!

8. PIT STOP - pastel grey with mauve undertones; a really classy nude shade which will make a lovely base for nail art.

9. EAT MY DUST - baby blue - very pretty though a bit chalky in formula.



BarryM-Speedy-Quick-Dry-Nail-Paint-In-a-Heart-Beat-swatch-coral-peach BarryM-plumpy-top-coat-over-In-a-Heart-Beat-swatch 

PLUMPY TOP COAT: In a Heart Beat has the smoothest formula of all and I’ve loved wearing this one… it’s definitely put me in the mood for Spring after months of more vampy shades. NB it looks a bit more peachy on my nails and is actually a bit deeper, true to the colour on the swatch wheel. I think it looks really glossy on its own, but have shown it left before top coat and on the right with a layer of Barry M’s new Plumpy Top Coat, which gives a mega shine gel-effect finish. I applied this quite thinly as I don’t like my polish to look too thick and ‘plumpy’ but found it went on smoothly, dried pretty quickly and evened out any slight flaws in a similar manner to Seche Vite.  NB Plumpy Top Coat is designed to be worn with the Gelly Hi Shine polishes… I just couldn’t wait to test it out!

DRY TIME: Quick Dry is touch dry in a couple of minutes and ten mins after finishing this mani I jumped in the car, went out for coffee, did a supermarket shop, drove home and cooked a meal. Of course I made some effort to be careful initially, but was impressed that my nails were still perfect after all of this.

WEAR TIME: I did get a couple of tiny chips after 2 days, but to be honest that’s pretty standard for me. Obviously this is very subjective and will vary a lot depending if you’re a lady that lunches or a mountain climber… I’m usually either tapping at my laptop, doing housework or messing around with the kids, so my manis are subjected to a reasonable amount of wear and tear.



BarryM-Speedy-Top-coat-brush BarryM-Speedy-Top-coat-brush-pic

I really like the new flat ‘control-flow’ brush with curved edges that hug the nail and coat my smaller nails in one sweep, meaning it’s not just the dry time that’s faster. This will also help anyone who finds nail painting tricky as it gives a very clean finish… I didn’t need to do any tidying up after the nail swatches above.




This line up includes the shades I can imagine reaching for the most from this collection. Which do you like the look of?

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry, £3.99 and Plumpy Top Coat, £2.99 are available now (on 2 for £7) at and will launch into on 18 Feb.



Latest in Beauty His & Hers


Valentines Day seems the perfect time to talk about Latest in Beauty’s His & Hers beauty box, featuring a range of products for both men and women. It’s the most jam packed I’ve ever seen and there’s no doubt that women get the better deal from this lot, but I like the idea and must admit Mr SBB is always very taken by the idea of beauty and grooming boxes!

LatestinBeauty-Charlotte-Tilbury-kissing-lipstick-samples   LatestinBeauty-Feb-His Hers LatestinBeauty-Feb-His-Hers

Make-up is always the highlight for me in these boxes and I’m loving the Charlotte Tilbury Kissing samples, Crabtree & Evelyn glossy red nail polish and Wild About Beauty eye shadow in a dark taupe shade (not a million miles from MAC Patina). There’s also a full sized sample of Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara and MeMeMe Cherub Blush cheek stain. The Sanctuary Spa White Lily and Damask Rose body lotion smells incredible, as does the Rituals Hammam Delight shower mousse.

The His & Hers Beauty Box

1 x Rituals Foaming Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel Sensation 50ml
1 x Wild About Beauty Eye Shadow 2.5g
1 x Crabtree & Evelyn Nail Lacquer 15ml
1 x Sanctuary Spa White Lily & Damask Rose Body Lotion 75ml
1 x Jimmy choo Eau de Parfum (2ml) and Jimmy Choo Man (2ml)
1 x MeMeMe Cherub's Blush 12ml
1 x Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick sachets (2 sachets)
1 x Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara (12ml)
1 x Percy & Reed Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Hair Mousse (50ml)
1 x Spiezia Organics Facial Cleanser 10ml
1 x Latest in Beauty Heart Shaped Expandable Face Cloth
1 x Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Moisturiser 15ml
1 x Dove Men+Care Shaving Cream Hydrate 50ml

You can see the full details of this month’s box at £14.95 (value £50) -  use the code LOVEYOU14 for free delivery before midnight tonight! (14 Feb).


Golden Girl

Gold-beauty-products-Argan MiracleShineSpray-OjonMoisture TherapyConditioner-EmbryolisseGold-WetBrush-bamboo-wooden

OK so one of these kids is doin’ its own thing - but it kind of fits in, right? Two hair products, one hair tool and one ‘miracle cream’ - here are my thoughts…

Bamboo Wet Brush - I’ve raved about these a number of times before and this is the third member of my Wet Brush clan in addition to a metallic and neon version. My children run the opposite direction if I approach their curly locks with anything else, but this bamboo beauty is strictly mine! Part of the Wet Brush Earth Collection, it’s made with an eco-friendly, sustainable bamboo handle. Despite the name, these can be used on dry hair and are the best detangling brushes I’ve tried. Unlike other handle-less versions, they don’t fly across the room during use - bonus. stocks a huge range of Wet Brushes in every colour and design you could imagine, inc kiddy versions.

Ojon Rare Blend Moisture Therapy Conditioner - looks like a conditioner, behaves like a mask. I don’t recall any hair product softening my hair to this extent after just one use. I kept stroking it thinking ‘is this really mine - and who has stolen my fuzzy lioness mane?’ It’s a new release which protects and repairs extremely dry, damaged hair with a formula combining 3 butters and 4 oils. It smells divine - and the best bit? You only have to leave it on for two minutes! It didn’t leave my hair lank or oily, which I’m also prone to at the roots, though you could restrict it to mid lengths if you’re worried about that.

Argan 5+ oil Miracle Shine Spray - this little beauty lives in my hallway and is a regular last step of my hair routine. Argan5+ is a really impressive budget range and while my favourite is Ultra Rich Body Butter, I’ve been impressed by the hair products too, of which this spray is my top pick. It mists the hair lightly with a blend of beautifully scented oils, helping to calm frizz and add a little definition and shine.

Embryolisse Gold Edition - Created by a dermatologist 65 years ago, this French moisturiser has achieved cult status among make-up artists - and has finally hit the High St at Boots. While it’s not one I reach for every day, it does give a lovely base for make-up and can be used as a primer for foundation. It has a slightly waxy feel, which leaves a smooth, seamless finish on skin. The limited edition gold is twice the size of the original (and less than twice the price) and the formula is exactly the same - it’s just prettier!

 Bamboo-wooden-Wet-Brush-detangling-UK   OJON-Rare-Blend-Moisture-Therapy-conditioner Argan MiracleShineSprayEmbryolisse-Gold-Edition-Lait-Creme-Concentre


Have you tried any of these products?


Think Pink: Valentines Treats…


When I think of Valentines Day, a few (mostly cringey) memories spring to mind… the time my 15 year old self, desperate-for-a-boyfriend, received three cards in one year and was almost frantic at not knowing who they came from. Fast forward a few years when a not-really-my-type boyfriend took me to a classy joint where people wandered around selling 99p roses in a plastic tubes *cringe*. There was the Year of Tears in my tiny uni bedroom when I was dumped on Valentines Day - I mean come on - could he not have waited ONE more day?! And finally, the first time leaving home child-free when my first born was one month old, all of a fluster… we went for sushi at Zen (a favourite), where I probably spent more time checking my phone than I did the menu.

But I digress… I may not be big into Valentines, but I’m all up for reminding someone close that we love them - whether that’s your best friend, your mum or your other half. And then of course there’s treating No1, also important in my book. So let’s think pink for a moment…


Fleurs de Cerisier (or Cherry Blossom) L’Eau is L’Occitane’s latest fragrance launch, a limited edition collection launched just in time for Valentines Day. A fresh, fruity floral, it contains extracts of Provence Cherry Blossom and notes of lemon, blackcurrant, watermelon, violet and rose on a musky base - you don’t get much more feminine than that. I’m most taken with Fragrance Touch, a little tube of fragranced gel that can be dabbed on to pulse points - perfect for touch ups throughout the day, and easy to carry in a handbag or when travelling! While this particular scent is a little sweeter than I’d normally go for, I love the Fragrance Touch concept and hope L’Occitane carry it through to some of their other scents. (And simultaneously praying that they launch a perfume in their heavenly Almond fragrance!)


Barry M Speedy Quick Dry polish launches tomorrow (Wed) at Superdrug in a range of 9 pretty pastel Spring shades. Above are Lap of Honour, a dusky lilac and Kiss Me Quick, baby pink with enough pigment to look pink (rather than whited out) on the nail. The new Quick Dry formula does what it says on the bottle, though I need 3 coats for opacity, typical of any pastel polish. I’m loving the chequered lids… more on the other colours soon!


I’ve become a little bit addicted to Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa Hydrating Toner and can be found spritzing it on my face throughout the day. By this stage of Winter I’m really over the cold weather… my skin has had enough of central heating and icy winds and is fed up feeling parched. This soothing mist hydrates and calms my face with floral waters of Damask Rose, Orange Blossom and Camomile. And as you can imagine, smells absolutely beautiful.


You can read my full ode to Bobbi Brown’s new Brightening Bricks here. The Pastel Pink shade remains my favourite and I’m enjoying it even more now that the overspray has worn off. It adds just enough pink for a whisper of a rosy flush, but what I love most is the slightly soft focus, subtle glow that it gives my skin, injecting a little life into winter-weary cheeks.  


Rounding off with this gentle rosy scented beauty, Balance Me Rose Otto Body Wash. Balance Me is a beautiful skincare range for the face and body that’s worth getting to know better if you haven’t tried it yet. 99% natural, it’s paraben and sulphate free, skin-softening and one of the few brands that don’t irritate the dry skin on my body, which I have to treat with the ultimate tlc. Anyone else suffer from the same at this time of year? I’m thinking of doing a separate post on how I deal with it. 


Bourjois Spring Summer 2015


I love discovering beauty products that really deliver - even better when they’re affordable and accessible to so many more of us. Bourjois is a High Street brand that rarely disappoints and its Spring Summer 2015 Collection is all about pared back, low key elegance. New to the menu are Colorband Eye Shadow crayons, Ultra Black liner, Silk Edition compact powder and 3 new Color Boost lip shades.



Colorband Crayons can be swept all over the lid and blended for a subtle wash of colour, built up to intensity or used as a smoked out liner along the lash line. I’ve been testing four of the six shades:

  • #03 Beige Minamiliste - metallic beige-gold
  • #05 ve Baroque - muted mauve with a metallic sheen
  • #02 Dadaiste - metallic deep bronze-brown
  • #01 Abstrait - sooty matte black

The beige looks great all over the lid with brown along the lashline for day or black for evening. I don’t often wear black on my eyes but the formula of this one is incredible… I like to soften the edges slightly with a pencil brush for a  Sixties-esque effect that works perfectly paired with a nude lip.

The formula of these is impressively long wearing, particularly the beige and black. I’ve worn them without primer but felt the mauve and brown need a little for crease-free lasting power. These couldn’t be quicker to blended on and smudge with a finger, as close to foolproof as eye make-up gets. 

Colorband Crayon, £5.99




I’m already a fan of the Color Boost formula and picked up a few of the original shades, so am so pleased to have these new additions. From the top…

  • #07 Proudly Naked - this peachy pink nude is one of the most flattering I’ve tried. Perfect if you don’t like the concealer lip look.
  • #09 Pinking of It - deeper than your average fuchsia, almost verging on plum - this is my second favourite
  • #08 Sweet Macchiato - Bourjois describe this as a warm berry, but I’d say it’s more of a browny rust tone.

Color Boost feels like a lip balm but looks like a well pigmented lipstick, with a hydrating sheen that settles to a moisturising stain-like finish on me. They are very wearable and feel like a much more expensive, lightweight formula on my lips. If you hate the feel of lipstick or gloss, you’ll love these.

Color Boost Lipstick, £7.99




Black liner is a territory I only venture into when I’ve a lot of time on my hands (ie not often) as it’s a look I find tricky both to apply and wear. Three new options include:

  • Liner Pinceau liquid liner - best saved for the deft of hand and expert cat flickers among us. The brush is made of individual hairs and has quite a lot of give, so this requires control, but the final result is an opaque black line that doesn’t budge without effort.
  • Ultra Black Liner Stylo - the easiest to manoeuvre of the three, this is a twist up liner that applies easily and smudges out nicely.
  • Colorband in Abstrait - a thick, sooty crayon for full-on drama, smokey eyes be mine.

Eyeliner £5-6.99




If like me, you’re not a big powder fan, then this may be the one that converts you. Think soft-focus and brightening rather than flat-matte and you’re pretty much there. This minimises the look of my pores and holds make-up in place for longer while making my skin look better instead of worse. The High Street’s answer to Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder? Big shoes to fill, but the closest I’ve tried. NB I apply this with a soft, floppy powder brush or Duo-fibre brush, sweeping a light amount over my skin. Pressing it on with the sponge or a puff will give more of a matte finish.

Shade #52 (above left) is perfect for me. #53 is slightly more yellow toned, but there’s not a huge difference between them, as you can see in the swatches.

Silk Edition Compact Powder, £9.99




Well this arm took a heck of a lot of scrubbing to clean… especially the black liners! Color Boost, Colorband, liners and Silk Edition powder, as labelled.

My top picks from this collection are Color Boost in Proudly Naked, Colorband in Beige Minamaliste and Silk Edition Compact Powder. I’ve been wearing all 3 every day since these landed.

The Bourjois Spring Summer 2015 Collection is available now at 




Clinique Kiss it Better & Bad Hair Day: Gt Ormond Street Campaigns



For the 11th year running, Clinique has partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity for the Kiss it Better appeal, to fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer. 50% of the RRP for this pretty limited edition set will be donated to the appeal throughout February 2015 - that’s a whopping £10 donation for every set purchased.

Exclusive to House of Fraser, the 2015 Kiss it Better set includes a full sized Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Budding Blossom and a tube of Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief in a pretty pink trimmed purse with a Kiss it Better heart motif.

£2 will also be donated from every Clinique lipgloss or lipstick purchase at House of Fraser throughout February 2015 (£1 from Clinique & £1 from HoF). The Kiss it Better set is available here.

If you need a new lippy, there’s no better time to treat yourself!


Bad Hair Day 1 Bad Hair Day 3


Great Ormond Street is also running its own fundraising campaign this month: the crazy hair themed Bad Hair Day. The charity aims to get people all over the country wearing their hair wild or sporting a crazy wig on Friday 13 February to help raise vital funds to support the children and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital. All of the money raised will help to fund an ongoing redevelopment programme to help patients receive the best possible care.

You can get involved by:

  • Texting BADHAIR to 70007 to donate £3 (I’ve just done this so it’s working already)
  • Tweeting your #BadHairDay pic on 13 Feb, nominate your friends to #daretoshare & text BADHAIR to 70007 to donate £3 to @GreatOrmondSt

There’s lots more info on the campaign and how to get involved in Bad Hair Day here.


My friend’s baby may be one of the patients at St Ormond Street this year, so both of these campaigns are close to my heart.



Argento Valentines: Reader Offer


Argento Jewellers very kindly surprised me with some gorgeous Valentines treats this week, along with a special offer for my readers - 20% off at with the code LOVE20. Argento stocks brands across a wide range of budgets including Pandora, Links of London, Michael Kors and Dirty Ruby. Here are my Valentines picks…



Rose Gold Arabesque Necklace | Michael Kors Rose Bradshaw Watch |

ArgentoLovebirdsRing ArgentoLovebirdsSwingdropearrings

Ring / ear-rings / anything (it’s all so cute) from The Lovebirds Collection

ThomasSaboQuartzInfinityRing ThomasSaboInfinityRing

Thomas Sabo Rose Gold Quartz ring | Rose Gold Infinity Ring


Yep, I do have a weakness for Rose Gold! The other goodies in my Valentines Kit would also make great gift ideas… Chez Emily Artisan hand-made chocolates, Scent Cosmetics fragranced candle, Vita Liberata tan (great prep for your romantic night out!) and a voucher for a spa treatment at Merchant Hotel Belfast. Many thanks to each of these local companies for such lovely treats - and particularly to Argento for arranging it all!

Will you wait to be spoiled or treat yourself? Must admit my finger is already hovering over the rose gold Arabesque necklace (above), which matches the bracelet I blogged about here.

20% off at with the code LOVE20. A free selfie stick will be included with a £50+ spend.



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