I recently came across a great little interior design company called Pebble Grey, who specialise in contemporary mirrors and modern bathroom accessories, and they kindly sent me one of their newest products to review – an LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror.
When I first received the mirror, I was instantly struck by how beautiful its packaging is. The mirror comes presented in a sleek, dark grey presentation box which feels lovely to the touch, and comes with a velvet black pouch to store it in when you’re out and about, to prevent any scratches or scuffs. It’s obvious that a lot of care and thought has been put in to the packaging, and it gives the product a luxury edge that would make it perfect as a gift idea for a loved one, or even as a treat for yourself.
The mirror itself is matte grey in colour, and is adorned with the Pebble Grey logo on the front, and a feminine, swirly pattern on the back. It is elegantly slim, but very well made with a strong hinge, and feels very sturdy, so it won’t break easily like some cheaper pocket mirrors do.
Inside the compact are two mirrors with 2x magnification, one of which is studded with six powerful LED lights. The lights are very useful and make for effortless make up application, as they highlight the areas of your face that are often in shadow, meaning you can blend your make up perfectly with no unevenness. They’re also bright enough so that you can check your face in darker areas with no trouble. My favourite use for the mirror, however, is for plucking my eyebrows, as the magnification and LED lights make it easy to see any small, stray hairs.
Pebble Grey’s Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror comes everywhere with me, and is extremely handy, and several people have asked me where they can get one. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality, versatile mirror. The mirror usually retails for £14.99, but is currently on offer for £9.99 on the Pebble Grey website, so grab yourself a bargain whilst you still can!
*This LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror was sent to me be Pebble Grey for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
A couple of months ago, Clair of Bags, Bows and Boots and I decided to do our own little beauty swap. Clair is one of my favourite beauty bloggers and a lovely girl to chat with, so I had a lot of fun choosing products to send to her. We had a budget of £15.00, and let each other take the reins and buy what we wanted, so we both sent and received products we may not usually have chosen. I actually received my package of pretties a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post about it for a while, so here are a couple of pictures of what I sent and received… Apologies for the bad quality photographs!
What I Sent
Owl Makeup Bag
Pin-Up Manicure Set
NYC Smooch Proof 16h Lip Stain
Colortrend Kajal Stick
H&M Smoky Eye Quad
Dainty Doll Powder Blusher
Avon Magix Illuminating Face Perfector
What I Received
Coldora Sparkly Rainbow Eyelashes
Benefit Smokin’ Eyes
Bourjois 1 Seconde Nail Varnish
MUA Undress Me Too Palette
Bourjois 3D Max Lipgloss
Benefit Erase Paste
GOSH Effect Powder
I’m really happy with everything I received, especially the MUA Undress Me Too Palette which is a pretty impressive dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette. I will be reviewing everything I was sent individually in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out if you want to know what I think of each product!
You can see Clair’s swap post here.
Trying to find a suitable foundation for your skin can be difficult at the best of times, but when you’re looking for a natural, vegan, cruelty free foundation like I was earlier this year, your options suddenly become very slim. So, when INIKA agreed to send me a product to review I naturally chose their Certified Organic Liquid Foundation, which fits all of the above mentioned criteria.
INIKA is a certified organic brand with a focus on producing natural make up, all of which is Vegan, Halal and isn’t tested on animals. All of their products are free from synthetic substances and nasty chemicals, and to go along with their ethical image, INIKA’s tubes, pots and brushes are made of recycled materials, and are also recyclable.
The bottle of foundation I received looked different to the one pictured on the INIKA website, but what struck me about the packaging is how classy and high-end it looks. In my experience some ethical brands, particularly those with recycled packaging, tend to be lacking in the image department, but INIKA’s black, sleek packaging with its gold font looks (and feels) wonderful, and would give any luxe brand a run for its money. Also, the bottle has a pump press top, which I prefer to a squeezy tube or pour bottle as it means you can easily control the amount of foundation you want from bottle (either with a half pump or full pump), and because the hole is small there is minimal mess.
Quite usefully, the INIKA website recommends different shades to suit specific skin tones, so I was able to choose the best one for me, which happens to be Cream. According to INIKA, their Cream shade is for ‘light to medium skin tones and perfect for those with an ‘English Rose’ complexion’ – a description which suits my skin down the ground, and the foundation is indeed ‘perfect’ for me!
The foundation itself is very light in texture, almost like a moisturiser, meaning it allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t clog the pores, and it also has a slight cooling effect when it touches the skin. I always apply this foundation with a brush, starting at the eyes and nose, working down to the chin, across the cheeks and finally across the forehead and neck. In the past I have always struggled to apply foundation with a brush, but because this one isn’t too thick it blends extremely easily.
Despite its light texture, INIKA’s liquid foundation has incredible pigmentation which makes for beautiful, flawless coverage which still looks natural. As you can see, it evens out any redness or blotchiness on the skin, and due to the lack of harsh ingredients it covers breakouts without aggravating them. The foundation balances the skin quite nicely too, adding moisture to avoid drying, but also without causing any unwanted oiliness.
The above image shows the coverage that INIKA’s liquid foundation gives (with a little bit of translucent powder applied over the top). The only thing it doesn’t cover fully is the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s nothing a small amount of under eye concealer can’t fix. To top it all off, this foundation lasts a very long time. Whenever I wear it, my face looks as smooth and flawless after a day at work as it does in the morning. It even looks great after a night at a bar or a gig, which is very impressive!
INIKA’s Certified Organic Liquid Foundation is available online in four shades, and costs £29.50 for 30g. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but its top quality reflects the price and it is honestly one of the best foundations I have ever used. I think I’d struggle to find another foundation to match it, let alone an organic, vegan, cruelty free one, and I will definitely be purchasing another bottle when I run out.
*This INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation was sent to me by INIKA for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying the bank holiday. Yesterday was my friend’s birthday, and to celebrate a small group of us went for a Mexican meal before going to one of my favourite bars in town. For some reason I struggled to find something to wear, so I decided to keep it simple with smokey eyes, nude lips, monochrome stripes, a few stackable bracelets and one of my favourite necklaces that I don’t wear often enough. Considering it was a last minute job, I was pretty pleased with last night’s look, and here it is…
Inikia Organic Certified Liquid Foundation in Cream
Colortrend Perfect and Hide Concealer in Light
MUA Matte Perfect Loose Powder
17 Smokey Eye Palette
MUA Pro Gel Eyeliner in Underground
Dress, Tights, Bag – Primark
Boots – Deichmann
Necklace – Alchemy
Bracelets – Thrifted, Primark, Celliana
What did you do with your Easter weekend?
Early last month I launched my Budget Beauty Blogger Swap. The budget for the swap was £10/€12/$16, and the aim was to buy your swap partner as many beauty products as you could within the budget – quite a challenge, but not impossible! So far, I have already seen quite a few posts from bloggers sharing their swap parcels, and everything sent and received has been brilliant.
Today it was my turn to receive my parcel all the way from Beverly Hills in LA. My swap partner was the lovely India, a US beauty blogger who runs beautynthbrains. I answered the door to the postman this morning to see him holding a box with the US postal logo on it, and I knew what it was straight away. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was really excited to see what was inside the parcel so I opened it in a hurry, and was met by this pretty pink, spiralled package, packed full of amazing products.
When I saw this little haul I was over the moon! Everything India sent is exactly my colour, and I was really happy to receive products from so many brands that we don’t have in the UK. I will be reviewing each of the products separately in the coming weeks once I’ve had a chance to use them properly, but here are my first thoughts on everything…
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Shimmer The Night Away
I was incredibly happy to receive a Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette, as I have heard a lot of good things about them and they are highly sought after in the UK. The palette I received is Shimmer The Night Away, which features eight shimmery shades – four suitable for a smoky eye look, and four pinks and purples which are my go-to colours – perfect.
Everyday Minerals Stay Cool Matte Eyes Eyeshadow
Everyday Minerals isn’t a brand that I’m familiar with, and I don’t own many mineral eyeshadows, so I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this. The colour is a deep grey with a lovely violet undertone, which will incorporate well into my usual colour palette.
Sephora Nano Eye Pencil in Midnight Black
India and I told each other a few items that we had been lusting after, and Sephora Nano Eyeliner was one of mine. I adore bold, black eyeliner looks so this is ideal for me. I’ve swatched the liner on my hand and, as the Sephora website says, it is highly pigmented and glides on easily as it’s enriched with shea butter.
Sephora Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Pink
Sephora’s Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Pink was another of my requests, and it hasn’t disappointed. I wore this today and it applies smoothly and lasts a very long time. The bright pink shade is absolutely stunning, and the micro-glitter finish gives incredibly shine. I think it’s reminiscent of Barry M’s Lip Lacquer Crayon in Party Pink. Gorgeous!
Sephora Pencil Sharpener
I’ve been meaning to buy a new pencil sharpener for ages now as my old one is on its way out, so this was a great little accessory to find in my swap parcel. India must have read my mind!
Model Co Lip Gloss
Model Co is another brand that I’ve never used before. The gloss doesn’t have a name or colour labelled on it, but it’s a bright shimmery pinky red with a sheer finish. I didn’t find the gloss overly sticky when I tried it on earlier, and it has an intense strawberry scent and flavour which I love. The mirror on the tube is so handy too. I’ll definitely be using this gloss on a regular basis.
Beauty So Clean Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes
India also sent me four cosmetic sanitizer wipes which are for cleaning cosmetics before or after use. Another nice little addition which will be carried in my make up bag for cleansing on the go.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with what I received in my swap parcel. I imagine India went over the budget with her buys, so thank you India for being so generous and sending me so many fantastic treats. I feel well and truly spoilt today! Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph everything I sent, but hopefully India will share everything in a post of her own when her parcel arrives. I posted almost two weeks ago so fingers crossed it will reach the US soon!
I plan on linking to everyone’s swap parcel posts in a blog post very soon, so if you’ve received your parcel and have blogged about it please let me know!
On my birthday I got quite a few bottles of nail varnish, and the one I chose to wear on the day was this one from my mum – Layla Hologram Effect in Ultra Violet. I’ve always liked the look of hologram nail varnishes but have never got round to buying one myself, so I was very pleased to see this in my pile of presents, especially as it’s my favourite colour. Thanks mum!
Layla isn’t a brand that I’m familiar with, but according to their website they are based in Milan, Italy, and sell a wide range of make up as well as nail products.
This varnish has a fairly thick consistency, but it comes with a decent brush so applies easily and evenly, and despite the glittery look dries smooth to the touch. However, it does take a little while to dry, and if you attempt to apply the second coat whilst the first is still sticky it can cause some streaking, so it’s best to be patient with application if you want to achieve neat coverage! It only takes two coats to create an opaque finish, which is always my test of a good quality varnish, and this one passes.
In the bottle, Ultra Violet looks a dusky purple colour with an undertone of grey, but on the nails it looks slightly paler. However, once you’re in the right light the hologram effect really comes alive, and it’s impressively strong! The hologram looks 3D and shines a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple in both natural and indoor light, and at the same time the glitter shimmers beautifully underneath. It’s difficult to put into words just how stunning this varnish is, so here are a few pictures of it in different lights to give you an idea…
No hologram effect.
Hologram effect without flash.
(It actually looks a lot more colourful than this in reality but it was difficult to capture on camera.)
Hologram effect with flash.
I have been wearing Ultra Violet for three days now, with a top coat, and it has lasted really well. The ends have started to chip today so I will probably remove the varnish soon, but other than that the coverage still looks neat and vibrant.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish as it is excellent quality and the hologram effect is powerful and very, very pretty. A lot better than the Boots 17 hologram varnish I’ve seen in reviews! The colour is a bit more interesting than the typical silver hologram too. If you’d like to try this range for yourself, it may be difficult to locate in shops, but Ultra Violet is available on Amazon here, and you can find other shades here.
Do you like the look of this varnish?
Every woman needs a good quality red lipstick in her life to emphasise her confidence, and without a doubt, Illamasqua’s Tramp is mine. I bought Tramp last month in Illamasqua’s January sale for just £5 and instantly fell in love with it, and here’s why…
Firstly, how gorgeous does this lipstick look? I’ve always been a fan of Illamasqua’s classy black packaging, and this is a fine example of such. The packaging is practical too, as the lid is quite large and clicks firmly into place so there’s no chance of it coming off in your bag, which we all know can lead to a messy disaster!
The first thing that hit me when I opened this lipstick was its scent. It doesn’t smell plasticky or chemically like some cheap lipsticks do, rather, it smells exactly like Krispy Kreme doughnuts – delicious, AND without the calories! I honestly spent a good minute smelling it before I even applied it. It’s just that good.
In terms of application, Tramp has it all. I can honestly say this is the creamiest lipstick that I own, which to me is the sign of a high quality lipstick. It smooths on effortlessly and feels extremely moisturising on the lips, and believe me when I say that the feeling lasts… Not once have my lips felt dry whilst wearing this. In fact, they feel noticeably softer after use, and there’s no need to apply a lip balm underneath or over the top. Illamasqua lipstick has decent staying power too. It always survives numerous drinks throughout the day, but it doesn’t stay put completely after eating, so does need a bit of touching up every now and then.
Tramp is a bright rose red, with an undertone of blue – a beautiful, classic shade that makes me feel sophisticated and sexy. Ideal for Valentine’s Day! I have experimented with several red lipsticks in the past and have found that blue reds look best against my pale skin tone and, though it doesn’t really show in the picture above, Tramp really brings out my blue eyes! My eyes are my favourite feature, so I’m always happy when I find a product which shows them off. Tramp also has a matte finish, which I prefer in red lipsticks as I don’t think bold colours need shine as they’re already eye-catching enough.
Unfortunately, I have just discovered that Tramp has been discontinued, which is really disappointing as I have lost it as soon as I found it! So, for now, I will be keeping this beauty for best, and in the meantime I will attempt to find a duplicate, or an Illamasqua replacement shade. Any suggestions?
To find your perfect Illamasqua lip product, you can check out their full range here.
*I bought this Illamasqua Lipstick in Tramp myself. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Next Thursday (Valentine’s Day) is my birthday, and yesterday I went out with four of my closest friends for an early celebration meal. We went to Prezzo for pizza and cheesecake, and had a good old natter, as we always do! I decided to dress down for the evening as we weren’t doing anything too fancy, but I managed to combine polka dots, skulls and bright lips – three of my favourite things!
This is the make up look I went for (apologies for the badly lit photos!)…
Avon Magix Face Perfector
Colortrend Perfect and Hide Concealer in Light
MUA Mosaic BlusherModels Own Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Black
e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner in Black
And here is what I wore…
Dress – Store Twenty One
Leggings – Primark
Boots – Deichmann
Bag – Primark Oxford Street
Necklace – Avon
Yesterday evening I received a very exciting email from BUAV to say that, after over twenty years of campaigning, the EU have announced that they will be banning the sale of cosmetics which have been tested on animals. According to BUAV’s article, “the import and sale of animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients is to be banned in the EU on 11th March 2013″, meaning that any company wishing to sell new cosmetic products within Europe, must not test them on animals anywhere in the world. The ban will not just affect beauty products, but also toiletries and essentials such as soap and toothpaste.
As I’m sure you will all agree, this is a huge step in the right direction to banning animal testing worldwide, and as BUAV have said, hopefully it will send “a strong message worldwide in support of cruelty free beauty and in particular to countries such as China, who still demand animal testing for cosmetics, to also respond and ban testing on animals”. I personally couldn’t be happier with this news, and I look forward to seeing what positive changes this will bring to the cosmetics industry.
To read more about the proposed animal testing ban in the EU, you can visit the BUAV article referenced above here.
Firstly, I would like to apologise for my elusiveness lately. January has been an incredibly busy month for me but it seems to have dragged on forever – I’m sure many of you can relate to that feeling! On top of starting back at work after Christmas, I had an important assignment to do for my Master’s Degree this month, so I spent most of my evenings researching, writing and editing, hence my lack of blog posts. Luckily, I handed the assignment in yesterday so I’ll have a bit more time on my hands now (although I do have a dissertation proposal to complete…), so expect to see a lot more from me during February!
Hopefully February will be a bit more fun than January has been. On Sunday my fiancé and I are going to London, just for one night, but we have a lot planned. I will be taking my camera on the trip so expect a rather photo heavy post when I get back! Also, Bewitchery turns one year old on the 7th of February, which is very exciting indeed. The main event in February for me though is my birthday! On the 14th of February I turn 23, and (fingers crossed) I won’t be working that day, so I am going to spend the next couple of weeks planning fun things to do! Birthdays for me are mostly about surprises, cake and having a nice time with my loved ones, but I do have a few things on my Birthday Wish List this year, so I thought I would share them with you here…
If you’ve read this post, you’ll know that I’m a Dr Martens fangirl, and I have been lusting after this pair for months now. I recently noticed that they were in the Schuh sale, so I dropped a massive hint with my dad and I think these babies will be mine in two weeks time!
Layla Hologram Effect Nail Polish
I know I’m extremely late to the hologram polish party, but I really love the look of Layla’s hologram range, especially this Ultra Violet shade.
Real Techniques Core Collection
I’ve been after a decent set of make up brushes for a long, long time (my current set are falling apart), and lots of you lovely beauty bloggers have recommended Real Techniques’ Core Collection. I’ve done some research, and they really do look like a quality set of brushes, so these are now on my list. They pass the cruelty free test too!
Real Techniques Starter Set
Because my eyes deserve fabulous brushes too… And they’re purple!
Kate Bush T-Shirt
Kate Brush is my hero, and has been since I was tiny, so this t-shirt is perfect for me. The design is just so pretty!
Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Smother
This is one of Sleek’s newest shades in their True Colour Lipstick range. It’s an extremely pretty pinky purple colour (it’s actually a bit darker in reality than it looks in the picture), and every time I go to Superdrug I can’t resist swatching it on my hand.