Sunday, 29 September 2013

MAC & Smashbox Payday Treats

Well it didn't take long to grab a treat or two once pay day arrived. These two items were definitely heart over head purchases. 

The first is the MAC Antonio Lopez face palette in Coral. These palettes have amazing designs on the compact cover, which to me seem very 80's retro and to be honest just looks great in the make up drawer. OK and I am definitely jealous of those lips!

Behind the cover is a full sized mirror (always a plus for me) with a delightfully displayed golden peach highlighter for that iridescent shimmer on top of the cheek and then a satin powder blush in the shade coral (obviously).

This blusher has some serious pigmentation and a little goes a long way but unfortunately the same cannot be said for the highlighter which is a little bit 'meh' in my opinion. 

Then for the best bit...the top layer pushes to one side which just excites me so much. Pushed to one side it reveals a terracotta base bronzer/contour powder. This is particularly orange for me and so I do use it sparingly but the powder is wonderfully soft and blends beautifully .

Summer will live on just a little bit longer with this item in my make up collection and it can be part of your collection here

Smashbox is one of those brands that I don't really know much although everyone raves about their primers. I have recently been really interested in cream eye shadows mainly because I don't necessarily need to use a brush for the wash of colour I'm likely to add at 7.15am in the morning when the less work required the better. 

The packaging is similar to that of other premium brands - glass jar and black rubberised top - so no points there for individuality although it does look and feel premium.

I am afraid I don't get any points for individuality either when I picked up the limitless 15 hour wear cream shadow in the very natural looking rose gold colour toned 'Quartz'.

This shade is extremely wearable and as it says on the tin long wearing, although I do use the Urban Decay eye primer underneath. It is packed full of shimmer and so can give a sheer wash of colour (bottom swatch) or can be packed on to give a more vibrant opaque glimmer (top swatch).

I've used this on its own and also as a base colour when building a smokey eye for evenings and get just as a good coverage and staying power whether it has been applied with fingers or a brush.

These are very much welcome additions to my make up stash.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep...

New York has been top of my places I most want to visit for as long as I can remember. So I was so excited when I knew that we were going to visit as one of the cities on our East Coast tour. This was part of the trip that was planned meticulously. We only had 2 full days in the city and I wanted to make sure that we hit all of the main tourist spots. For such a little island it certainly crams a lot in.

We arrived into a very wet Penn Street Station, early on a Sunday evening and scuppered the 100 or so metres to our very well placed, given the down pour, hotel - The Affinia Manhatten on 31st and 7th in mid-town.

I want to say that we lived the dream from that moment onwards but every day was packed and so after settling into the hotel we took a little stroll, although in New York that was about 30 square blocks, and settled on a small pizzeria off Time Square for some sustenance before hitting the sack, ready for a day of exploring the following day.

Day 1 was planned as uptown, the park and some of mid-town. Shopping was planned at every stage of the trip.  Without knowing it, 7th Avenue was a good place to actually start out. We headed North towards Up Town looking for the park and after our small foray the evening before knew that at some point we would stumble across Times Square. This was not before small diversions into American Eagle, Macy's and MAC.

Nothing can prepare you for the noise and busyness of this city and Times Square just epitomises it.

As you walk up you walk some more and then some more and then finally there is a hint of green and then a wall of luscious leafs and you know the park is in sight. I wanted to hire a bike and cycle around but the hubby totally disagreed so instead after another stop in Starbucks (it is air conditioned) we made our way into the park via Columbus Circle.

This photo was taken from the 'Sheep Meadow' and I just love how you see the city popping up over the tree line. Manhatten doesn't look that big on a map and Central Park is only a small part of that but let me tell you this is one massive park. We were in there for 2 hours and didn't even make it the whole way around.

There is a section of the park along The Mall and near The Terrace (recognised this from Gossip Girl) where the street performers converge and we spent a little while just wandering around and taking it all in. There were lots of people making huge bubbles which were so pretty.

We finally made it to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir with slightly sore feet (I think my husband was regretting the choice not to get a bike by this point) and I thought of all the movie and television scenes that use this as a back drop.

We exited the park at the east side on to 5th Avenue next to the Metropolitan Museum and slowly made our way back down towards the city. The east side was just magical, not a neon sign or Starbucks in sight just row after row of gorgeous park side apartments full of the worlds wealthiest people!

On 5th Avenue we had a little shopping break and browsed around Bloomingdales, Sephora, Apple and Dylans Candy Bar where we literally acted like kids in a sweet shop wanting to buy everything. It is a total playground full to the brim of every sweet treat imaginable!

After another pit stop at the hotel to rest those weary feet we freshened up and headed to the Empire State building wanting to watch the sun set over the city from this famous landmark.

Followed by a walk to Times Square to take in all the lights at night - and it is still as crazy at night as it is in the day!

Day 2 was our chance to see some of down town and we started with a helicopter tour from the pier close to the South Ferry terminal port. This was a birthday present for my hubby and we couldn't of been happier with it!

The flight takes you around Ellis Island so that you get a great view of Lady Liberty, before heading up the Hudson to see the island of Manhatten from this unique perspective. From this aerial view you really can see the distinct up town, mid town and down town areas. The flight took us all the way up to The Bronx and over the Yankee Stadium before heading back down The Hudson with views of New Jersey. 

We've never been in a helicopter before and I would recommend a couple of travel sickness tablets before hand if you have a sensitive travel stomach like I do. 

Our flight was with and I couldn't recommend it enough.

 Whilst down town we really wanted to visit the 9/11 memorial garden and new freedom towers. These are very impressive and I thought the garden was a really apt and tasteful memorial to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the city. 

As a tourist be warned that the queues to get in this are massive and on a hot day there is absolutely no shade until you make it into the garden so do make sure you have water with you and visit the bathroom before getting in the queue!


We were so lucky that the ice hockey league play off's were under way during our visit and as our hotel was right outside of Madison Square Gardens we were lucky enough to get up in the build up to that nights game. There was a total buzz as the fans arrived and the drummers tried to get the atmosphere up.

I love the fact that walking around this city is like walking around a movie set. Everywhere you go from Central Park, to 5th Avenue to Down Town there is a location you remember seeing in a film and we were lucky enough to see them filming part of the next Spider Man movie.

I have to say that the countless blogs, tourist guides and guide books I had read while planning couldn't prepare me for this city there is just too much to see. I can't wait for the next opportunity to go back and spend some time seeing a little bit more of the hidden city rather than the tourist hot spots that we packed in to this trip.  

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Reflecting on Summer Bourjois

Summer is over (sigh) and I don't think I'm the only one to have noticed that Bourjois has been totally knocking it out of the park when it came to their summer offering. So much so that my make up collection grew significantly while my bank balance unfortunately went the other way.

The number 03 was my first foray into cream blush and I'm not ashamed to say was one of those products that I picked up after being inundated with reviews on other blogs. I really like the finish of that this product gives, going from a blendable cream to a powder finish. There is a slight shimmer and it is very buildable to give that pop of colour. I think this will transition well into Autumn as the colour resembles that flush of colour one might get on a wind swept Autumnal day.

This was one of those products that I wasn't looking for but upon spying it I knew it had to be mine. These photos in the sun show it as a bright orange but it is a pale coral/bright peach that screams summer. 

The brush is amazing making sure that enough product is placed on the nail and in one sweep covers everything. The formula is good and whilst one coat gives great coverage it is a little streaky although the second coat totally sorts that out. A Seche Vite top coat makes this so glossy and long lasting. I've enjoyed having this lovely colour on my nails this summer.

The lipstick offering this summer was great and every blogger in the land was shouting from the roof tops about the Shine collection and the Colour Boost lip crayons. Above I have swatched the two that I picked up (this was me reigning myself in) on the left is Shine Edition in Colour 24 and to the right is the Colour Boost lip crayon in 'Peach on the Beach'.

The Shine collection caught my eye as I had continuously swatched the red offering that they launched earlier in the year but red lips are just not my thing. These are moisturising and seriously glossy with a shimmer running through. They are very similar to the Revlon lip butters.

The Colour Boost crayons are the latest Clinique Chubby Stick dupes. I loved this shade the moment I saw it. One sweep gives a feint glossy sheen and a second coat gives a brighter coral lip - the type that boys don't understand but girls compliment. 
I really like the pens as they are so easy to apply and are glossier than the Revlon offerings as well as not having that horrible minty flavour.

I also picked up the Bourjois Bronzing Primer which I reviewed here.

Have you picked up any new favourites from Bourjois recently?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Nailing It

For me O.P.I was always in the realms of salon only manicures and I only recently realised you could buy these in places like John Lewis (my spiritual home)...where have I been all this time!

Anyway in the States the O.P.I range is available in make up heaven Ulta which is where I picked these up on a 3 for 2. I got one FREE!!!!

I didn't stray too far from the normal here with a nude, pink and red/orange and then went on and painted my nails every day as I couldn't decide which one I loved more.

The first that I picked up was 'Cajun Shrimp'. A vivid red with hint of coral this has livened up my summer fingers and toes. I know that loads of bloggers have swooned over this colour and I am not surprised. I'm in love and I can see this taking me straight through Autumn and Winter by providing me with that much needed pop of colour.

As with all reds it is hard work; the slightest chip will take you from perfectly groomed to scraggy nailed but for me it is worth the maintenance.


The perfect nude nail is illusive as far as I'm concerned but this does come close. 'Mimosas for Mr & Mrs' is surprisingly that perfect shade for when you don't want to your nails to clash with your couture like at a wedding. 2 coats will mean your own nail tip shows through but with a creamy and classic finish.

 Last is the baby pink which comes from the OPI Minnie Mouse collection called 'Chic from Ear to Ear'. This plays to my inner child and those days when the only colour that would do was Barbie pink and this is exactly what it is. 
It takes 3 coats to get to the opacity that I prefer and it has a feint fine glitter running through it. This is a frivolous colour if you will and has lasted well through the summer days. I'm not sure it will get quite so many outings as we head into the winter months but I look forward to pulling it out of my nail collection again as Spring starts to show in March.


Is this not the most perfect colour collection ever? I could last the rest of my life with just these 3 colours...but what fun would that be!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Summer Boots Haul

I have an addiction and seem to only be posting haul posts recently but there is so much on the wish list and so little time! This is simply the outcome of my last little walk around Boots in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.

First the not quite such exciting stuff; deodorant (I will only use Sure - guaranteed to work), double face pads and Batiste, which as far as I'm concerned is now an essential.

I like to have my 'everyday' make up which doesn't always include the high end products as they are often expensive to keep replacing. As a result I picked up these 2 Rimmel products; the Stay Matte powder in number 1 'Transparent' is raved about by almost everyone and I have had a few comments about it on my own posts when I've written about more high end powder products and the Wake Me Up concealer.

I really do like both products. The stay matte powder provides a gentle coverage and if buffed on with a slight hand avoids looking too chalky. It is not as long lasting as the Benefit Stay Flawless but topped up during the day keeps the oil at bay. I brought the concealer as day time alternative to the YSL touche eclat and actually think that it provides better coverage but of course isn't quite as easy to apply or as long lasting. It is certainly much needed by Friday of every week. 

There was a 3 for 2 on Bourjois so I chanced on the Healthy Mix foundation rather than repurchase the Rimmel Wake Me Up. I genuinely really do like this and can't tell much difference between the 2 drugstore products. It certainly provides good coverage and the finish is as you would expect from any foundation promising a radiant finish. 

It is here I must admit that the full reason for my trip to Boots was to pick up this simple lip crayon after reading rave review after rave review. I am loving the burst of bright glossy colour that 'Peach on the Beach' leaves me with and had lots of compliments from friends when I wore it on a recent night out.

I have been wanting to wear a white nail varnish for a while and think that they can look great on their own as well as provide perfect base coats for those brights. I wasn't so lucky with this one and the Maybelline option is the only drugstore white I could find. It is very thin and took 3 or 4 coats to get totally opaque.

The micellar solution from L'Oreal is an attempt at replacing the irreplaceable Bioderma which is now finished! This does not remove waterproof masacara and is a little more drying around the eye area than its French competitor but I am enjoying using it as part of my evening skin care routine, and first thing in the morning to refresh my eyes.

Please link up any drugstore hauls you have been posted about recently.