Talonted Lex

London beauty blogger.
Obsessed with make up, nail art & gin.

Talk to me - talontedlex@hotmail.co.uk


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8 items you need from the Escentual French Pharmacy sale…

Every few months, escentual.com have a 1/3 off French pharmacy sale and every time I make an order. Or two. I have spoken at length about my love for French skincare products and I don’t get over to France enough to stock up on bits and bobs so these sales are amazing. I’ve picked my top 8 products from the sale:

Nuxe Reve De Miel lip balm - I use this lip balm every night as part of my evening skincare routine. It’s very thick and nourishing so I prefer to leave it on overnight to work its magic. Everyone needs this.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + - This wondrous product is the ultimate blemish product. As soon as a spot appears I whack some of this on and it nips it in the bud. It also helps with scarring and is also fantastic for clogged pores. I put this on my nose and chin every day to help keep my skin clear.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse - I spoke about this amazing stuff in my ‘what’s in my honeymoon/wedding make up bag’ video. It is a multi-use product that is a must-have in my opinion. This can be used as a body oil to give an amazing glow to your skin (with an incredible scent!), put on the ends of your hair to smooth fly-aways and frizz, on your cuticles to moisturise… I cannot rave about this enough.

Boiron Homeoplasmine - A cult product that can be used on cuts, scrapes, burns, sunburn, dry skin, chapped lips, sore nose when you have a cold - you name it! Antiseptic and really soothing, it’s a definite favourite of mine.

Biafine - Another cult product that has a similar use to Homeoplasmine - I don’t use it on my lips however. Aaron is super accident prone and as his job is so physical he is always coming home with scrapes and injuries, so Homeoplasmine and Biafine are a must in our house!

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque - I love a good face mask, it’s the perfect way to pamper yourself and give your skin a bit of what it needs. This is moisturising and nourishing and really calming so I always reach for this when my skin’s feeling a bit harassed.

Embroyolisse Lait-Creme Concentre - This is the moisturiser I return to over and over. It packs a serious punch of moisture without overloading the skin and it can also be used as a cleansing cream or a skin mask. Apparently it’s also good for a post-shave soothing cream for men as well. You only need a small blob of this, and you’re meant to rub it together in your hands and then lightly pat/slap it onto your face rather than rubbing it in which is great for waking you up on a morning!

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 - I get dermatitis on my face as a lovely accompaniment to my rosacea so I always keep this close by to blitz any dry patches. This is a really thick and rich cream that’s more like an emollient than a moisturiser. When my skin is dry or chapped, I cleanse my face and put a thick layer of this on. It doesn’t sink in for ages so I wouldn’t recommend putting it on when you need to go out or put make up on over it, but if you’re having a night in this is ideal. It also smells a bit medicinal which is reassuring to me!

Do you think you’ll be taking advantage of the Escentual sale? I have tried tons of the other products in the sale, so if you would like any more recommendations just let me know - I have lots for sensitive skins and rosacea-friendly products!

Lex

September Beauty Favourites (plus…)

Today’s post is all of the products I loved to death in September. I’m trying to mix a few non-beauty items in here too, so there are also some lifestyle and some fashion items.

Maybelline Color Elixir ‘105 Petal Plush’ - I bought a few of these and I am so pleased that I listened to the hype. These are designed to give the colour pay-off of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss and the hydration of a balm. I would agree with all of that. These feel so smooth and soft on the lips and aren’t as disgustingly sticky as a true lipgloss. The colour isn’t opaque but the colours are great. The packaging is also really lovely and reminds me of the Burberry Lip Glow’s bullet/lipstick packaging. The applicator is a leaf-shaped wand and, bizarrely, the description says it’s made from angora but I did some investigating and apparently it’s synthetic and Maybelline just used the word angora to make it sound soft? Ummm what. Is it just me that thinks that’s a seriously misguided choice of description? ANYWAY, one small descriptive issue aside, these are incredible and I need more. They are £6.99 from Boots but are on 3 for 2 at the mo.

Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream in ‘Petal’ - Weird coincidence in the names there. A friend gave me one of these Sleek matte lip colours in a vivid pink and I LOVED it and instantly bought a nude pink. This gives me those Kylie Jenner lips that seem to be everywhere at the moment. It applies like a gloss and takes a while to dry (during which you have that vom-inducing thing where your lips kind of stick together when you open your mouth) but once it is dry….hooooo boy. These are super soft. I described it to a bemused colleague as feeling like when you put your finger in really finely milled flour and it’s really soft and almost doesn’t feel real? Do you know what I mean or are you sat at your computer giving me the side-eye?… Moving on. I’ve seen people say these last all day on them and I can’t go that far. I eat a lot, drink a lot of tea and lick my lips a lot so I did need to reapply this a few times, BUT what I did love is that this wears off very subtly in the middle of the lip. It doesn’t bobble or go patchy, it just fades a bit. Also, it layers very well. I hate matte lip products where you have to take the whole thing off and start again. These are £4.99.

L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Stay Fresh Foundation in ‘125 Natural Rose’ - I’m always on the hunt for a good coverage foundation that will stick with me all day. I have been mixing this with my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear Light for work and have really liked it. By itself it has great coverage, toning down my rosacea redness a lot; it doesn’t look cakey; it isn’t drying; it has a very sweet smell which I like but others might not. This was brought in to replace the Infallible 16HR foundation which I never tried but the main difference is the new foundation is (obviously) meant to last 24 hours. By itself I get maybe 7 hours until my chin and nose apparently eat my foundation and leave no trace of it. Powdering doesn’t seem to help, but I do have quite an oily skin type. I mix with the DWL and it tends to just about hold out for 10 hours. This is £9.99 and also on 3 for 2!

L’Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Color Riche Pure Red in ‘Blake’s Red’ - When L’Oreal Paris brought out their Color Riche Nudes range I thought it was genius: a selection of lipsticks inspired by celebrities, so you pick the celeb who matches your skin tone/hair colour etc and that should be your perfect nude shade. GENIUS. Now L’Oreal Paris have done it again. Using the same concept they have brought out a range of red lipsticks. I have heard so many women saying ‘I’d love to wear red lipstick but it just doesn’t suit me’. WRONG, you just haven’t found the right one. In the UK they have currently only released 4 red shades: Blake Lively, Eva Longoria, Liya Kebede and Julianne Moore. I chose Blake’s as I’m fair with blonde hair and I am OBSESSED with it. It is a true blue-based red but I was amazed at the depth of colour. It looks a lot more expensive on than you would expect. It’s a matte lipstick but isn’t drying and feels very comfortable on the lips. I would recommend a lip liner as you need a very crisp line with a lipstick this opaque. Can we also talk about the packaging? Matte black leather effect with gold accents? JEEPERS it’s beautiful. These are currently £6.99 in Boots and (you guessed it) on 3 for 2!

Kiko nail lacquer in ‘319 Light Dove’ - I’d like to say that as it’s officially autumn I’ve been breaking out my neutrals, greys and blacks but, let’s be honest, I wear those colours all year round. I have a THING for grey nail varnish. I just think it looks so chic. Plus it goes with pretty much anything. This is a gorgeous grey-pink-mauve that looks stunning on. Kiko nail varnishes apply really well and last about a week on me before I start to notice tip wear. Kiko nail varnishes are £3.90.

The Yorkshire Soap Co. Reed Diffuser refill in ‘Mango and Lychee’ - If you’re ever in York and you like smelly pretty things, you NEED to go to The Yorkshire Soap Co. I discovered this place the day after our wedding and we bought some bath bombs to help us relax after a crazy day. I went back up to York to visit my family a few weeks ago and took my mum and we went a bit crazy. I bought some more bath bombs, some christmas cards (THEY HAD BADGERS ON, DON’T JUDGE ME), some soap and this beautiful reed diffuser refill. I love reed diffusers and have them all over the flat. I just think they’re a great way to make your house smell nice without it being overpowering. I chose this one as I love both of these scents although I think it’s a bit summery. I don’t care, every time I walk into the bedroom and smell it I just feel a bit happier. This was £11.99.

New Look blanket scarves - Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have noticed that blanket scarves are everywhere. I have been drooling over the Burberry one (with embroidered initials of course) for ages and until I find a spare £1000 somewhere, these ones are serving me very well. Gorgeous tartan knit blankets: one in navy, white and maroon and the other in dark grey, white, and mustard. These make me feel like I’m still in bed, even when I’m packed on a tube with some man’s armpit in my face. They billow out behind me when I walk which makes me feel slightly like a superhero. You can throw one end of the blanket over your shoulder and stalk from a room when you want to make a point. Basically, long story short: blankets transform you into a badass. These were £19.99 each.

I hope you enjoyed reading me ramble about my September favourites. This was a pretty long favourites post but I had a lot to say. These are some seriously great items that will be remain favourites for a while. Do any of these catch your eye? What have you been loving this month?


Lex

Nanshy Masterful Collection Make Up Brushes*

I had heard a lot about Nanshy make up brushes from various blogs and had been very intrigued so when Nanshy contacted me and asked if I’d like to have a play with their brand new Masterful Collection I jumped at the chance.

At the moment my make up brush collection is a bit of a mixture: I have a few Real Techniques brushes that I rely on and the rest are made up of cheap brushes I’ve picked up along the way.

When I opened this box I actually OOOOH-ed (which is pretty embarrassing at work!). There are 12 brushes and I chose the ‘Onyx Black’ handles but they also do ‘Pearlescent White’ handles which look lovely as well. All of the brushes are made of antibacterial synthetic materials and are approved by PETA as they are 100% vegan and cruelty free.

The brushes have their designed use printed on the side which is great for people who might not have used make up brushes much before and need some guidance. The Nanshy Masterful Collection set includes brushes for: Powder; Blush; Stippling; Contouring; Foundation; Blending; Crease; Shader; Angled Detailer; Pencil; Liner; and Lip.

I have tried out all of the brushes except the lip one as I very rarely use a lip brush as I’m too lazy and tend to apply lipstick straight from the bullet! however my favourite brushes that I’ve used every day since I received this set are definitely the stippling brush, the powder brush, and the Crease, Blending and Shader eye brushes. The latter three in particular are fantastic for getting a flawless finish on your eyes, I am really impressed.

These brushes are super SUPER soft, so if you have sensitive skin that is sometimes aggravated by firmer bristles in make up brushes then have no fear. My rosacea and generally grumpy skin has been absolutely fine, no soreness or redness (no more than usual anyway!).

The set launched today and you can buy it HERE for £49.95 which may seem like loads but is actually under £5 per brush, which for this quality is flipping amazing.

Have you tried any Nanshy brushes? Do you like the look of the Masterful Collection?

Lex

An introduction to Burt’s Bees for their 30th ‘Beeday’…and a giveaway!

September marked 30 years since Burt’s Bees began selling their amazing products and I have somehow managed to live that whole time without trying any. I’m not really sure why as I love that all of their products are so natural. It all started with a lip balm and has now grown into a full range with gorgeous products.

I was sent loads of lovely products to try out and some to offer as a giveaway. Here are my first thoughts on them:

Hydating Lip Balm with coconut and pear - I got sent two of these and I’m so glad as I would not have been able to resist using it. The smell is just amazing. I’ve been using my stick every day under matte lipsticks as it’s not too greasy but feels really nourishing.

Milk and Honey body lotion - This is one of the prizes so I haven’t used it but it smells DIVINE. It also has coconut, grape seed oil and vitamin E.

Tinted lip balm in ‘Blush Orchid’ - this is a really pretty lip product that leaves a light pink wash of colour on the lip. It’s not quite as hydrating as the previous lip balm but is great for when you need moisture but want a bit of colour too.

Beeswax and Banana hand cream - Another product that smells like heaven. I’m a big sucker for banana scents, but the beeswax gives it a bit of dimension so it’s not too sweet.

Eye Cream with cotton extract - A lightweight eye cream that hydrates and counteracts under-eye puffiness. I haven’t tried this as it’s another prize but the natural properties of this really appeal.

Lemon Butter cuticle cream - Ever since this package landed on my desk I have been OBSESSED with this stuff. It’s a thick balm and I rub it into my cuticles as many times as day as I can. It sinks in really quickly and also smells so incredible - the lemon is really refreshing and clean smelling. I’m so pleased I have another pot of this to giveaway as I want everyone to try it!

Lip Gloss in ‘Autumn Haze’ - this is a really flattering lip gloss in a warm nude shade with finely milled glittery flecks mixed in to make your lips shine. The packaging for these glosses is really lovely as well, with embossed honeycomb on the lid.

Lip Shimmer in ‘Strawberry’ - This is another lip tint lip balm. The previous lip tint is more solid, whereas this is a bit softer. It also smells minty and makes your lips a bit tingly which I love.

Lip Shine in ‘Pucker’ - A pretty standard lip gloss that is strawberry scented. Nothing really more I can say!

Hand Salve - A really rich balm that I’ve been rubbing into my hands and elbows every evening. It smells quite strong, almost medicinal…a bit like Vicks Vapo rub but in an amazingly delicious way! It sinks in very quickly and leaves skin feeling super soft and well looked after.

Burt’s Bees Basics pack - this cute little pack has a honey lip balm with Vitamin E and a honey and grape seed oil hand cream. I love little sets like this, they’re great for stockings or little gifts.

Shea Butter hand repair cream - This hand cream is so rich and nourishing but I really didn’t like the smell. I don’t know what it is about it that I don’t like but it’s quite strong. I might use this on my feet during the winter so I can’t smell it!

Overall, this range has really wowed me. I feel like I’ve been missing out by not having some of these products in my life!

I hope you like the look of these products too as I have a GIVEAWAY! Hooray!

Talonted Lex’s Burt’s Bees Giveaway

Good luck!

Lex

September’s Birchbox ‘Happy Days’ review with discount code*

The lovely people at Birchbox sent me another box for me to rummage through. I’ve said it in a previous review, but I ADORE getting post. It always cheers me up, so what could be better than getting post that includes beauty samples? It’s genius.

So this month’s Birchbox theme is ‘Happy Days’…

Urban Fruit ‘Perfect Pineapple’ - 100% fruit snacks are always good with me, perfect for your handbag for those days when you can’t stop snacking and desperately want to avoid the 4pm chocolate bar moment.

Benefit ‘It’s Potent!’ eye cream - I’ve had very good things about the Benefit skin are but I haven’t had a chance to try any. This eye cream aims to get rid of dark circles and smooth fine lines. I’m always on the look out for a new eye cream so I’m intrigued to try this. Plus isn’t the packaging super pretty?

Agave ‘Healing Oil Treatment’ - I always use hair oil after I wash my hair. I find it adds shine, smoothes frizz and helps to define the layers in my hair. I can’t wait to use this at the weekend.

Model Co ‘Power Lash’ mascara - My name’s Lex and I’m a mascara addict. I admit it. I have at least 10 on the go at the moment but there’s always room for more. Although this is a smaller sized mascara, the brush is still nice a fat and looks like it’ll give a good thick coat of mascara: not like these namby pamby fluttery mascaras!

Jane Iredale ‘Just Kissed Lip Plumper’ in Rio - Lipsticks are exciting enough, but teeny tiny lipsticks? AMAZING. This is so cute. It’s not a colour I would have gone for (a browny pink) but it’s still lovely and smells divine (that’ll be the mint and ginger).

Premae ‘Mild Dermabrasion Face and Body Scrub’ - Any skin care catches my eye as I love everything about it. However, microdermabrasion is a big no no for me. My rosacea means that anything harsh is asking for a flare up and angry, red skin for days. Which is a shame as this one sounds very good, containing olive granules to polish the skin. I will regift this to someone.

And that’s what I love most about Birchboxes. You might not like everything in the box, but you’re guaranteed to know someone else who’d like to try these products. I also usually end up putting bits and pieces from Birchboxes in my drawer at work: sample sizes are so great for stashing away for those days when your make up disappears or you have a last minute drink after work and want to perk up your day time make up.

The team at Birchbox have offered me a £5 discount code for any of my followers who want to give Birchbox a whirl. All the details on the subscription are here so have a nosey HERE. If you do decide to subscribe, simply enter the code: BBX5LEX (this is valid until the 30th of September) to receive £5 off your first box. Bargain!

What are your thoughts on subscription boxes?

Lex

Trevor Sorbie salon, Hampstead review.

I had been bored with my hair for a while: it was just long blonde hair and I didn’t feel like I ever did anything with it. It wasn’t even a hairstyle, it was just…hair growth.

I promised my mum I wouldn’t cut my hair until after the wedding and ever since then I’ve been toying with the idea of lopping it all off but needed a while to build up the courage. I haven’t had hair anywhere near my shoulders since about 2008. THAT’S A LONG TIME AGO.

I had never been to a Trevor Sorbie salon before but I looked for salons near me and the reputation of TS made me intrigued. I also assumed it would be crazily expensive but it was pretty reasonable (£58 for a cut and blow dry - better than other hairdressers who shout at you, tell you your hair is in awful condition, and wash your hair with freezing water *cough*Toniandguy*cough*).

My hairdresser was Sarah (pictured above) who was truly lovely. She was that perfect blend of hairdresser who chats to you and makes you feel comfortable but also doesn’t talk so much you can’t read your trashy magazine. These are like gold dust and now I’ve found her I’m keeping her (not in a creepy way…)

The hairdresser’s itself was beautiful: bright, clean and the staff were friendly and not at all standoffish. PLUS they allowed dogs in which proves they are good people. I was staring at a cocker spaniel for most of my appointment trying to work out how I could get him in my handbag.

I went for a messy lob (or long bob for those who aren’t familiar with the term). I wanted something I could still tie up but something that still felt like a dramatic change. I was a bit nervous but Sarah put me at ease by chatting everything through with me before we started. I am still getting used to it and have had a slight case of phantom-hair-syndrome when I go to play with it and it’s half gone. But overall I’m thrilled and think it looks so much healthier.

I am definitely going to go back to Trevor Sorbie and would really recommend it to anyone in that area. I’d recommend having a wander round Hampstead while you’re there as well: lovely restaurants and shops and the most enviable houses in London. We were walking around planning our lives after the inevitable lottery win ;)

Lex

OOTD: We’ll Always Have Paris (…in North London)

This is my first proper outfit post and I really want to start doing more. I had to rope Aaron into being my photographer and felt pretty stupid stood on the street but am really pleased with the pictures.

It’s getting chillier in London and I am actually really enjoying wearing clothes with a bit more coverage. I complain about the temperature but I’m definitely an autumn/winter girl!

Bonjour jumper - ASOS own brand

Waffle texture midi skirt - New Look HERE

Shoes - ASOS own brand HERE

Bag - Prada

Glasses - SpecsPost

Nail art using Revlon ‘Grey Suede’, ‘Gold Coin’ and Natural Collection ‘White’. Base coat - OPI Nail Envy. Top Coat - Seche Vite.

I hope you liked this post, let me know if you’d like more outfit posts from me :)

Lex

August Favourites

Hendricks teacup - My little sister got me a Hendricks gin set for a wedding present and it came with a bottle of Hendricks and this adorable cup and saucer. There’s a little slow loris on the front (which is amazing as I always say my husband looks like a slow loris!) and says “A dreamer is one who can only find his way home by moonlight” which is a great Oscar Wilde quote. I didn’t want to risk smashing this by using it for its intended purpose, so I decided to use it to put tea lights in. It looks so cute!

Klorane nettle shampoo - I had heard great things about Klorane hair products so when I saw this come up in the Escentual sale I knew I needed it. It is a non-foaming shampoo so you really need to work it into hair but it leaves my hair super clean and gets all my product build up out so I am a big fan. It also smells like green smoothies which I love, but if you prefer a prettier, floral scent maybe this isn’t the one for you!

Cos metal and wood bangle - Cos own my heart. Minimal, simple and stylish clothes and accessories galore. I got this bangle in the sale and I love it! It’s metal on the outside and dark wood on the inside.

Bourjois Poudre de Riz de Java - I absolutely love the packaging of this loose powder: it’s based on the original powder by Bourjois that was hugely popular in the late 1800s. It’s designed to set make up and illuminate the face. I have been using this to set my concealer under my eyes as the light-reflecting properties are very flattering. The tub has a plastic turning section inside, with small holes at one side, so you can shake out exactly how much you need so no wasted product. Love, love, love.

Maybelline Great Lash mascara* - I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try this mascara. It has been a cult product for such a long time but for some reason it never caught my eye. What a fool I was. I have been so impressed - it gives me super long, defined eyelashes, doesn’t flake and is easy to to remove. It does slightly transfer to my under eyebrow area by the end of the day but I have oily eyelids so I’m not holding that against it.

Rimmel lip liner ‘Tiramisu’- I wanted some pinky toned lip liners and this Rimmel one is wonderful. It matches the colour of my lips perfectly, is soft, easy to apply and stays put.

Bill Bryson ‘Made In America’- I am a big fan of Bill Bryson anyway and have read a lot of his travel books. This book is about the development and growth of America: from language, to people, to food, to commercialisation… I’m only half way through but I don’t ever want it to end! If you like books where you learn something, but that are interesting and funny to read at the same time then I highly recommend this. The sections on etymology and changes over time are absolutely fascinating, I’ve been boring Aaron by reading the best passages out to him!

Michael Kors nail varnish ‘Envy’- My colleagues at my old work bought me some Michael Kors items as a leaving present and this nail varnish is a stunner. It’s a rich purple creme polish and is perfection in two coats. I wore this for over a week with no chips - love it.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s favourites. I am going to try to do these every month going forward as it’s quite fun to reflect on what I’ve been loving each month!

Lex

Birchbox Manithon in aid of Coppafeel
Want to get your nails painted while raising money for an amazing charity? Of course you do!
This Friday (29th of August) Birchbox are holding a Manithon in Soho Square. They will be taking over the central London location with 20 manicure stations, staffed by marvellous Models Own manicurists (alliteration – oh yeah!) offering express manicures for a minimum £5 donation, with all proceeds going directly to Coppafeel. Coppafeel are a fantastic charity who raise awareness of breast cancer: signs, symptoms and encouraging regular boob checks.
The event is on all day but I would recommend booking a space to make sure you can get your nails done: www.birchbox.co.uk/manithon. I’ll be there at 7pm so say hi if you see me! Don’t worry if you can’t attend, you can still donate by buying one of the amazing t-shirts designed especially for the event, only £12 here: www.birchbox.co.uk/shop.
All visitors will also receive a free Birchbox tote bag, with a choice of three luxury beauty samples from 10 best-selling brands, along with an exclusive Birchbox scarf and subscription offer.
This is such a great cause and you end up with freshly painted fingers – what could be better?
Lex

Birchbox Manithon in aid of Coppafeel

Want to get your nails painted while raising money for an amazing charity? Of course you do!

This Friday (29th of August) Birchbox are holding a Manithon in Soho Square. They will be taking over the central London location with 20 manicure stations, staffed by marvellous Models Own manicurists (alliteration – oh yeah!) offering express manicures for a minimum £5 donation, with all proceeds going directly to Coppafeel. Coppafeel are a fantastic charity who raise awareness of breast cancer: signs, symptoms and encouraging regular boob checks.

The event is on all day but I would recommend booking a space to make sure you can get your nails done: www.birchbox.co.uk/manithon. I’ll be there at 7pm so say hi if you see me! Don’t worry if you can’t attend, you can still donate by buying one of the amazing t-shirts designed especially for the event, only £12 here: www.birchbox.co.uk/shop.

All visitors will also receive a free Birchbox tote bag, with a choice of three luxury beauty samples from 10 best-selling brands, along with an exclusive Birchbox scarf and subscription offer.

This is such a great cause and you end up with freshly painted fingers – what could be better?

Lex

August’s ‘Away We Go’ Birchbox*

This month’s Birchbox is a summery special which feels a bit out of place with the bloody awful weather we’ve been having in London: it is so cold I’ve considered putting the heating on. IN AUGUST. However, this box is aimed at those lucky people who are heading away on their holidays. I’ve already been away this summer on my honeymoon, but who doesn’t love a mini beauty product?! No one, that’s who.

For those of you who don’t know, Birchbox is a beauty subscription service: every month they send you a box with 5 carefully chosen items around a set theme. They are usually sample size, with some really good brands and you can then go on their website and purchase the full size should you wish. Usually they come in little canvas bags but this one comes in a ziplock see through bag which can therefore double as your carry-on toiletry bag which is GENIUS. The box is £10 + £2.95 p&p for a recurring subscription and you can see what I got in some previous boxes HERE and HERE.

So let’s dive in shall we?

'Super Comb Prep & Protect' by Number 4 - I’d never heard of this brand but the packaging instantly stood out to me. I love slightly clinical and simple packaging, especially on beauty products. This is a leave-in conditioning spray which smells divine and even boasts UV protection. Perfect for treating chlorine-soaked and beachy hair.

Creme Eyeshadow in ‘Paradise’ by Wild About Beauty - *sigh* just look at this beauty. I am a sucker for an embossed pattern or picture on beauty products and this little bee is just too cute. The outer packaging is pretty standard, fairly flimsy plastic but it comes with a big mirror and doesn’t waste space with those silly sponge applicators that no one uses. The colour is a yellow-gold which may be too warm for my skin tone but I’ll give it a whirl.

'Resist Me' Eau de Parfum by Liaison De Parfum - I love perfume samples as I can chuck them in my handbag for those days when I’m halfway to work before I realise I’ve forgotten to put on perfume. There are 4 possible scents in the Birchbox this month and I got ‘Resist Me’ which contains “Top notes of bergamot, lemon, tangerine, lavender and immortal. The heart is made of cedar, patchouli, iris and geranium. The base comprises of sandalwood, leather and musk.”

Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream by ‘Supergoop’ - Supergoop are a company that set out to make products that had protection from the sun at their core, something I can definitely get on board with. I tested the CC cream this morning and loved how it felt on my skin but it was just too orange for me. This is the shade ‘Light to medium’ which is something CC/BB creams tend to do and it’s just not helpful: no one who would consider themselves to have ‘light skin’ would suit this colour in my opinion.

Miracle Skin Transformer Hydro-Active Microderm by Sarah McNamara - I love skincare so this caught my eye but as soon as I saw the words ‘microderm’ I was instantly disappointed. As I have rosacea, any that offers microdermabrasion is a terrible idea (I’ve learnt this through painful and upsetting experiences in the past). People with rosacea already have thinner skin that the regular person, so using something that actively removes layers of skin is never going to go well and they tend to make my skin very angry and trigger a huge flare up. This will be going to a friend which is a shame but these boxes can’t please everyone.

I still think the Birchbox subscriptions are a great idea, even though this one wasn’t the best one I’ve had. As I said in my last review, I think these are great for people who love trying new things or for people who want to get a tester of many different products.

Lex

Nail varnish blog sale

I recently had a nail varnish de-stash (if you haven’t seen the video you can find it HERE). I threw away about 40 that we so far beyond saving that I don’t know how they were still in my collection. I also sorted some to sell that I either have two bottles of, don’t wear or that don’t suit me.

I have listed all polishes below with prices and how full they are. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you want more information. If you want a nail varnish, just leave a comment below using Disqus and it’ll be first come first serve. Leave your email ad in the comment and I will send you an email to confirm and give you my paypal details. Prices are not inclusive of P&P so please add £2.50 to overall cost. Only UK buyers I’m afraid due to the Royal Mail hating nail varnish. Remember I can only post 4 items per package due to RM.

Thanks!

Lex

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OPI:

Suzi Says Feng Shui (never used - £5)

It’s Totally Fort Worth It (swatched once -£5)

At First Sight (SOLD)

Do You Think I’m Texy? (swatched once - £5)

Be A Dahlia Won’t You? (never used - £6)

Pompeii Purple (SOLD)

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Revlon:

Ruby Ribbon matte suede (SOLD)

Emerald City matte suede (SOLD)

Gold Coin (worn twice - £3)

Steel-her Heart (never worn - £3)

Jaded (worn twice - £3)

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 Nails Inc (and LOOKbeauty):

Blair (swatched - £5)

Chester Square (half full - £3)

Elizabeth Street (worn once - £5)

High Society (SOLD)

Holly Walk (never worn - £5)

Lily (swatched - £5)

Sloane Mews (2/3 full - £4)

Sequin Effect - £3

Privileged - (SOLD)

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Models Own:

Pink Paradise (swatched - £3)

Absinthe (worn once - £3)

Purple Blue Beetlejuice (2/3 full - £2.50)

Hayley’s Comet (never worn - £3)

Hayley’s Comet (never worn - £3)

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Collection - £1 each of 4 for £3

Fruit Loop (never worn - £1)

Fruit Loop (never worn - £1)

Fruit Loop (never worn - £1)

Siren (SOLD)

Hip Hop (never worn - £1)

Hip Hop (never worn - £1)

Angel Wings (never worn - £1)

Angel Wings (never worn - £1)

Angel Wings (never worn - £1)

Show Off (never worn - £1)

Button Moon (never worn - £1)

Bongo Beat (never worn - £1)

All That Jazz (never worn - £1)

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La Femme Beauty - £1.50 each of 4 for £5

Ice Blue Cream (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Blue (never worn £1.50)

Grey Cream (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Yellow (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Raspberry (never worn £1.50)

Pink Cream (never worn £1.50)

Coral (never worn £1.50)

Iceland Pink (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Orange (never worn £1.50)

Mocha Pink (never worn £1.50)

Classic Silver Crackle (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Magenta (never worn £1.50)

Ultra Gold (never worn £1.50)

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La Femme Beauty - £1.50 each of 4 for £5

Venus (never worn £1.50)

Purple Glitter (never worn £1.50)

Gold Glitter (never worn £1.50)

Cosmos (never worn £1.50)

Disco (never worn £1.50)

Silver Glitter (never worn £1.50)

Jupiter (never worn £1.50)

Sapphire (never worn £1.50)

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Golden Goddess (SOLD)

Smoky Brown (SOLD)

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Aqua Ice Blue (SOLD)

Crystal Mallard (SOLD)

Star Emerald Green (SOLD)

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Taupe of the World (SOLD)

Blushing Beauty (SOLD)

Misty Haze (SOLD)

Glamour Girl (SOLD)

Smoky Brown (SOLD)

Dazzle Diva (SOLD)

Violet Velvet (SOLD)

Green Machine (SOLD)

Gold Star (SOLD)

Desert Haze (SOLD)

Chic Confetti (SOLD)

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Blue Moon (worn once - £1.50)

White Glitter (never worn - £1.50)

Spring Green (worn twice - £1.50)

Mushroom (SOLD)

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H&M - £1.50 each or all 3 for £3.50

Beauty Bandit (worn once - £1.50)

Wanna Pepperoni (worn once - £1.50)

Chica Boom Boom (worn once - £1.50)

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Jewel Tone (swatched - £1)

Atomic (swatched - £1)

Electra (SOLD)

Salt n Pepper (Swatched - £1.50)

Lava Flow (worn once - £1.50)

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1067 - pink with heart shaped glitter (SOLD)

34 - bronze with multicoloured glitter (SOLD)

03 - sheer pink with pink glitter (SOLD)

20 (black with multicoloured glitter (SOLD)

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311 (never worn - £1)

314 (never worn - £1)

Sweet As Sugar (worn once - £1.50)

Navy Glint (never worn - £1.50)

Mellow Yellow (never worn - £1.50)

Forever (worn once - £1.50)

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NFU 61 (swatched - £4)

Pearly Nude (never worn - £4)

430 (swatched - £3)

Maybelline Mudslide Tote (worn once - £2.50)

Essie Sexy Divide (SOLD)

Lac Attack Death Day Party (SOLD)

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345 (SOLD)

398 (never worn - £1)

Coral (2/3 full - £1)

Black Glitter (worn once - £1.50)

Tea At The Glitz (never worn - £1)

Beige Babe (never worn - £1.50)

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Sephora for OPI ‘Already Famous’ (worn once - £3)

340 (worn once - £1)

26 (worn once - £1)

Retro Red (never worn - £1)

Intergalactic (never worn - £1)

Rosy Sand (worn once - £3)

Silver Plum (SOLD)

Ruby Fruit (worn once - £3)

White (never worn - £1)

Rose (never worn - £1)

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Praline (SOLD)

Mulberry Pie (never worn - £1)

City (never worn - £1)

Gold Struck (never worn - £1)

Accessorize ‘Butterfly’ (worn once - £2)

M&S Blue (never worn - £1)

M&S Teal (never worn - £1)

Edinburgh Gate (SOLD)

Bruton Street (never worn - £1)

Leicester Square (never worn - £1)

Burlingtons Arcade (never worn - £1)

Phew!! That’s a lot of nail varnish!

Again, don’t forget that P&P will be £2.50 per package (small package prices due to nail varnish not fitting through the 2.5cm hole for a large letter, and RM rules say I can only send 4 polishes per package (have I mentioned I hate Royal Mail?). Comment to let me know if you have questions though!

Thanks,

Lex

The Big Nail Varnish Destash!

I thought it was time for me to go through my nail varnish collection and try to whittle it down. I have so many polishes that I never use (or have never used!) because they just get lost in the pile. So I’m sorting through them, picking out my favourites, throwing some away and putting some up for sale.

Hooray!

Lex

Make Up Revolution ‘Flawless’ eyeshadow palette

That thing you can see in the distance is a bandwagon and this is me chasing it to jump right on! Make Up Revolution appeared out of nowhere a few months ago and the blogging world has gone crazy for it. Affordable make-up with an amazingly wide range of products? GIMME.

I decided to try out their eyeshadows first as they looked so gorgeous and were so affordable. I got the ‘Flawless’ palette and ‘Girls On Film’ and have been using them every day since.

The photos above are of the Flawless palette and as you can see it’s a gorgeous mix of 32 shimmers and mattes in a range of neutral colours. They are seriously stunning. I would recommend wearing an eyeshadow primer with these as they have a tendency to crease by the end of day but apart from that I really can’t fault them. They come in a sturdy black case with a huge mirror.

This cost £8. Yep, you heard me. EIGHT. POUNDS. Such a bargain.

Have you tried this palette? What are your favourite shades?

Lex

July favourites

It’s that time! Time to tell you about the products and items I’ve been loving in the past month.

Alpha H Liquid Gold - I have been coveting this stuff for a long time. It’s a cult product that most beauty bloggers rave about and I was lucky enough to win it (along with lots of other Alpha H products) in a Twitter competition! I was a bit nervous about using it due to my rosacea but I am loving it! I’m going to do a full blog post on it soon as there’s too much to say here!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum - this is my current favourite foundation, mixed together with the La Roche Posay* CC Rosaliac cream. I was sent the LRP CC cream by Escentual a few months ago and it was too dark for me but I loved its coverage. After the honeymoon I had a bit more colour to my face so the mixture of the two is perfect. The Bourjois feels light, covers all my redness and looks really natural. 

Sephora Formula X nail varnishes - When I was in Dubai, these were some of the only things I got in Sephora (don’t get me started!) I haven’t tried the third one yet, but these two are seriously stunning. The blue and black one is called ‘Turbulent’ and the multicoloured pastel glitter is ‘Demolition’.

Crazy Colors ‘Lavender’ - As you may have seen, my hair is currently purple. I have been trying to resist the urge to cut all my hair off and the only way I’m doing that at the moment is by dying it silly colours. I actually love this purple shade but it fades so quickly which is a shame. If anyone knows any bright hair dye that lasts longer, let me know!

Topshop lip crayon in ‘Wave Goodbye’ - I bought this in the John Lewis sale, I think it was about £3. It’s a lovely pretty pink nude colour and the finish is very creamy and moisturising.

L’Oreal Color Riche Mono eyeshadows - These are gorgeous little beasts. They have a range of mattes and shimmers and they are all glorious. I have been wearing these most days and cannot recommend them enough, I got ‘Breaking Nude’, ‘Cafe St Germain’ and ‘Little Beige Dress’.

Rimmel Scandaleyes eyeliners - I am always on the hunt for a simple black eyeliner and this one is pretty much perfect: it’s the Waterproof Kohl Liner and it’s soft enough to not be scratchy, hard enough to give you something to work with and it stays put! I have very watery eyes and this does last until the end of the day. The other liner is a Shadow Stick in ‘Bad Bronze’. This is chubby eyeshadow pencil and I use it to line my eyes before smudging out.

A signed print from Niki Pilkington - Eeeeee!! I’ve wanted something from Niki for ages and I am so happy with it. I decided to treat myself as a ‘you got an amazing new job yay!’ present. Her stuff is so beautiful and you can find it HERE.

Like the look of any of my favourites? Let me know in the comments!

Lex

Rimmel ‘704 Sweet As Sugar’ nail varnish review with swatches

Occasionally I find myself wandering the aisles in Boots or Superdrug and I knowing that I want something but I also knowing I won’t wear it very often. This is what happened with this nail varnish. I knew I wanted a baby blue polish but also knew that I’m not a huge fan of blue on me so wanted something good quality but cheap enough that it wouldn’t matter if I only wore it a handful of times. In those situations I usually go for Rimmel: their nail varnishes are great quality - long wearing, shiny, easy to apply, good brushes - plus they’re usually under a fiver. Perfect.

*sigh* I was really disappointed with this nail varnish. Rimmel formulas are usually so good, even their pastels are great. But this one needed so many coats to reach full opacity. The above photos are after 4 coats of nail varnish. FOUR. And you can still see bald spots. I also tried this over a white undercoat and you could still see the white through the bald patches which made it look really uneven. BAD. I have quite a few of their pastel polishes and none were anywhere near this bad so I was pretty miffed. It’s a good job I’m not a huge fan of the colour really, I will probably just use it as a base for nail art.

What are you favourite ‘I need something but a cheap something’ brands?

Lex

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