Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Return of Revlon's Fire and Ice!

Revlon's Fire and Ice Lipstick and Nail Enamel were launched in 1952 and became one of the most iconic beauty launches and ad campaigns ever. It featured the rather strikingly beautiful Dorian Leigh and a full page quiz that asked if you were made for Fire and Ice.

Roll forward to December 2010 and Fire and Ice is back!  This time featuring Jessica Biel, the ad is shot by Mario Testino

Red really is the most glamorous of colours and I chose to wear this on Christmas Day as readers of my blog will know....

It is not a colour I have embraced until recently when I felt I had finally found a red lipstick that suited me and so I was excited to try this red and I have to say it didn't disappoint but it is very bright !!

Fire and Ice Lipstick

This is a beautifully creamy full pigmented lipstick that is so smooth to apply and well I fell it love with it!

On Christmas Day

All Fired Up Nail Enamel

I have mentioned before that I always steered clear of red polishes as my hands and nails are tiny ...but have this year tried red and well it looks cute.

I love this version from Revlon (one of my favourite nail enamel brands) Such good quality, this is a simply gorgeous red. I only applied one coat for the picture below. I feel naughty lol!

Fire and Ice Lipstick - £7.29
All Fired Up Nail Enamel - £6.29

Available exclusively to Boots

Max Factor Xperience Collection - Review

Max Factor was one of the first make-up brands I purchased when I started using cosmetics and I still have a soft spot for it today. I think the tag line The Make Up of Make Up Artists lured me in. In particular, I love their mascaras and foundation so was intrigued with the new collection from Max Factor - Xperience

Xperience Weightless Foundation - from £9.99 *

This claims to be a medium-high coverage that feels really light providing a flawless look.

I have been trialling shade Raw Silk 45 SPF10

I think this is a great foundation at a super price. It has a velvety smooth texture (that will be the whipped- formula cream), blends and glides on beautifully providing a great finish. The foundation is available in 6 shades and are based more on yellow tones than pink which are meant to deliver a closer match to women's skin tones. The foundation comes in a tube that you squeeze the product out of, which I really like. It smells lovely and fresh too, a bit peachy.

It is incredibly light and you can barely feel it when it is on. I would repurchase this.

Barely visible blended in

Two pictures one with flash, one without!

Xperience Volumising Mascara - £10.99

This mascara claims to give full, striking volume lashes without clumping or looking overdone.

It comes in 2 shades - Black and Black/Brown. I tried the Black/Brown.

I must admit when it comes to mascara I love to have lashes that look like I am wearing mascara - nice deep, dark black fluttery lashes so wouldn't usually buy black/brown.

However, if I wanted to have natural looking, long full volume lashes then this is just perfect.

The brush is nothing out of the ordinary but you can see it would pick up all the lashes

A close up of my eye but you can see the full effect in my full face pics as I am wearing the mascara in those pics too.

It doesn't clump and leaves the lashes soft when dried rather than brittle. Very pretty!

Xperience Sheer Gloss Balm - £7.99

A gloss and balm in one - The colour of a gloss and the conditioning benefits of a balm with an SPF10 too. I love this product, good glossy colour with the lightness of a balm. 

I am wearing 07 Pink Oyster Shell

The gloss balm is only available in 3 shades which is a shame as I think the range could definitely be expanded. It is currently only available to purchase from Boots stores but will go nationwide from February 2011.

I love all 3 products, in the first two full face pictures I am wearing just the Max Factor 3 products and immediately I looked made up and ready to go out. -A fantastic new range from Max Factor that I believe is well worth checking out.

* Prices vary 

Monday, 27 December 2010

Two Christmas Days....

I was fortunate enough to experience 2 Christmas Days this year and thought I would try out two different looks ...

Christmas Day Number One

This was held on Saturday the 18th of December at my Mother In Law's house - She was flying off to Ireland for the Christmas break but didn't want my little boy, not to mention the whole miss out over here.

Snow was forecast but for some reason we thought it would be inconsequential and set off on our journey. 15 minutes into it and driving on the M25 down some snow came and by the time we had exited the Motorway it was descending thick and fast.

The journey slowed significantly and around us people were having difficulty driving, we witnessed buses covered in snow, cars struggling to climb hills, people getting out of cars and pushing them and others fighting to maintain control.

It had to be bad.... Brent Cross Shopping Centre closed for the first time in its 34 year history!

We were lucky, we had no hills to climb and the traffic appeared to be going in the opposite direction. Our hairy, touch and go, journey lasted 3 hours, one that usually only takes 40 minutes.

We made it though and spent the rest of the day exchanging presents and enjoying food!

My Look

I chose to focus on my eyes and kept my lips neutral

What I used -

Foundation - Lancome Teint Miracle in 01
Lips - No7 Nude from the A/W limited edition collection
Cheeks - LilyLolo Clementine Blush
Eyes - Korres Sunflower & Primrose Eye Shadow in Gold
            Frontcover Cosmetics To Go - Black Spark
            Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds Eye Liner in Twilight Sparkle
            L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Black

Primers - Benefit Stay Don't Stray and Korres Silicone Free Colour Organic Face Primer
Christmas Day Number Two 

This was held on the actual day - 25th December. The much anticipated 'more' snow failed to thankfully materialise but the cold weather meant that ice on the roads hadn't thawed, much care had to be taken when driving. Not everybody holds this view however, and some people still drive as if it is a sunny day in warm Summer.

We had a fab day , a great Christmas dinner and even more presents opened, we even managed to indulge in Baileys, Sherry, Wine and Hot Chocolate, marshmallows and cream!

My Look -

This time I chose to make the focus of the day my lips  - I think I succeeded!

What I used -

Foundation - Lancome Teint Miracle in 01
Lips - Revlon Fire and Ice
Cheeks - LilyLolo Clementine Blush 
                New CID ID Bronzer
Eyes - Korres Sunflower & Primrose Eye Shadow in Gold
            L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara in Black 

Primers - Benefit Stay Don't Stray and Korres Silicone Free Colour Organic Face Primer

And I leave you with a picture of my dessert on Christmas Day - Iced berries with hot white chocolate sauce! 

Monday, 20 December 2010

Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa!

I have been trying quite a few balms this winter for the blog and have been really enjoying them, so much so  that I vowed not to go back to my tried, tested and beloved Vaseline in a tin....

When I found myself in Boots perusing the balms section for yet another pretty tin I was surprised to find that Vaseline had added to the range!

I picked up the Lip Therapy with Cocoa Butter, this has all the benefits of traditional Vaseline but the added benefit of the moisturising cocoa butter. The scent is unmistakeably the sweetness of cocoa butter and inevitably I fell in love with it the minute the tin was opened. I hasten to add I opened it once I had purchased it!

If you are a fan of cocoa butter you will love this!

The scientific bit - Vaseline helps protect your lips by maintaining its natural moisture barrier which forms a protective shield between the skin and the elements.

Lip Therapy now comes in 4 ranges - Original, Cocoa Butter, Rose and Almond Oil (next on my list) and Aloe Vera. Available in tins and sticks. They remain in their classic packaging.

Lip Therapy tins are priced just £1.29 for a 20g tin and are available from the usual stockists of Boots, Superdrug and Supermarkets.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds Eye Liner

I have quite sensitive eyes so have shied away for many years from using eye-liners. Recently however, I have found that my sensitivity has lessened and now I love wearing eye liners to frame and enhance. I have green eyes and my favourite shades are not only the obvious ones like black and brown but other shades like blues, greens, purples, gold and silver.

This is one of my current favourites - Avon Glimmersticks Diamonds in Twilight Sparkle

This is a pencil eye liner that comes in a roller-ball format that you twist when needed. It is soft and creamy and doesn't drag. I am using twilight sparkle which is a blue liner with a hint of glitter - very pretty indeed and perfect for party season. It is long lasting and doesn't really budge - I drew a line on my hand to test it and gently rubbed and it was still there without smudging, in fact it took quite a few rubs to remove, which is great!

Here I am wearing it

Glimmersticks Diamonds Eye Liner comes in 6 shades and is available to purchase from the Avon Catalogue and on-line at

They are currently on offer for just £3! (usual price £6)

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes Mascara - Review

I love trying out different mascaras and this one from L'Oreal has been on my list for some time now. I was attracted to this by its gold casing, the promise of volume million lashes and the lovely Eva Longoria in the  adverts.

This mascara claims  - to have a  'Millionizer' brush which has a multitude of bristles to separate lashes for a fanned-out lash effect. The applicator is ultra flexible with both long and short bristles to coat each lash evenly from root to tip.The excess wiper removes excess mascara. It leaves the brush coated with just the right amount of formula to achieve maxed up volume with no overload and no clumps' -

I like the brush on the mascara, It is not as big as the Revlon Grow Luscious so far less messy in application. I didn't find the mascara particularly wet or dry, just right and it dried relatively quickly.

I have 3 lists for products that I use - Love it, It's OK, Hate it  - and this one comes firmly in the Love it list.

As a reminder this is what my eyelashes normally look like

And here are my lashes after applying Volume Million

This was just using the Black version, so I am curious now to try the Extra Black that is available!

I wish I had taken a picture from the side as they really do look voluminous.

I have had quite a few comments since using this mascara, my sister commented that this is the best of the ones that I have used so far.. A lady in Selfridges asked me what I was using as I looked like I had lots of lashes..amongst others.

I am loving these lashes for this season's parties!!

The only reservation I have of this mascara is that after a while of wearing I would get little flakes under my eyes but these were easily brushed away.

Volume Million Lashes Mascara is available from Boots and Superdrug as well as other stockists of L'Oreal products priced at £11.29. It comes in 3 colours - Brown, Black and Extra Black.

So what do you think ?

Eyeko London Lips Lip Gloss

I am a huge fan of glosses and when this was included in my goodie bag from the Eyeko Birthday Party, I couldn't wait to try it. Mayfair is described as a creamy nude which sums it up perfectly.

This has fast become one of my favourites and most used as it is so wearable - it comes in a cute, small easy to apply tube. The gloss has a pleasant bubblegum scent, though not overly strong, and provides an exceptionally pretty natural colour with a gorgeous non ultra sticky pout.

On the lips

Eyeko London Lips Mayfair costs £6.50 and is available from There are 5 other glosses in the range. I have also tried Soho, which is a vibrant pink colour if you are looking for something a bit stronger.

Don't forget you can use my Eyeko code E11274 for a free gift when you order.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser - Review

I like the idea of natural products where possible, so was looking forward to trying this cleanser from Living Nature.
It is made from 100% natural preservatives, fragrance and ingredients. It contains Manuka honey and kumerahou (a plant).

For normal to dry skin
It claims to gently remove all traces of make-up and impurities, leaving skin clean, dewy and soft.

I found the cleanser to be runnier than expected so more than I needed would be dispensed. However, it felt nice massaging it into my face and it was easy to rinse off with warm water.

It didn't leave my skin with a tight feeling like some cleansers do, my face felt soft, incredibly clean and the cleanser was effective at removing make-up. For the results gained I really liked the product.

Unfortunately, I cannot get past the scent which I didn't feel was appealing and it was quite strong when applied. It reminded me of the cleaning products that were used in the toilets when I was at school.

Maybe this is because it is a natural product? I am not sure. 

If you would like to try the Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser it can be purchased online at £19 for 100ml

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask - Review

As I mentioned in the post reviewing SuperBalm, I have been getting through this winter with a few items to keep me protected and moisturised. Here I review another of those items -

Click picture to enlarge
This Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask is for dry, dehydrated or stressed skin. My skin was beginning to suffer from the elements (usually I have normal/combination skin) and needed a bit of a boost. It felt tight, dry and itchy so I knew I had to do something.

This promises to replenish, calm, condition and moisturise skin and lists the following ingredients -  St John’s Wort, Borage & Rose scented Geranium amongst others - a full list of the ingredients are available on the website.

I applied this after cleansing, generously covering my face with it. It comes out of the tube like a thick cream and the only downside for me is that it has no smell except well the smell of cream..(Looking at the ingredients that could be the Talc)
I  sat down with a magazine and waited 10-15 minutes for it to do its magic.. 15 minutes later my skin felt hydrated as it had literally drunk the mask  - there was just a slight amount to remove which was done with the accompanying muslin cloth. I soaked this in hand hot water (as per instructions) and wrung before gently wiping off. I finished off by using a toner.

Results - My skin felt incredibly soft, moisturised and hydrated.

I like this mask as it is so gentle, in fact it feels just like a normal cream and I would imagine you could put a thin layer on your face and leave it all night as the skin just absorbs it.

I was impressed with the results and I use this now whenever I feel like my skin needs some real TLC

Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask comes in a 50ml starter kit which includes a muslin cloth for £12.75.

Available to purchase from Liz Earle and John Lewis stores or on-line from

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Batiste Dry Shampoo- Review

I have always been a traditionalist and dismissed dry shampoo as for the lazy and something I would never, ever try..but there has been a real buzz about it recently so I felt compelled to find out what all the fuss has been about.

I thought dry shampoo was like a talc that I poured all over my hair so was surprised to find it was available in a handy and easy to use spray can.

Silver Shimmer - £2.99 for 150mls

I made sure my hair was looking a bit greasy and in need of a wash before trying this out... (luckily I wasn't going anywhere..) and then I just took the can to my hair and sprayed, probably a bit too much as when I saw the reflection in my mirror I thought I had ages 40 years - I had grey hair!

A quick brush through  (to remove the excess) and I had a glamorous hint of shimmer to my hair, it was back to its usual colour and looked full of life with body and bounce. It smelt amazing and fresh, a nice perfume type scent.

I must have over sprayed though as my can no longer works :-(

This version is ideal for party season although next time I may try the Gold Shimmer.

Original On The Go - £1.49 for 50mls

This handy little can is just perfect for the handbag and when you need to freshen up when out and about..from office to party! I like the original version as the scent is so delicate it is barely detectable (it is a citrus scent) but does exactly what it promises on the can.

Fresh - £2.30 for 150mls

This scent is described as forest fresh and is another great scented product. I loved the way it left my hair smelling fabulous. Just remember to protect your clothing if you are wearing dark colours as it covers it all. I wore a black top and it took a while to remove the traces of spray over it... really easy to use, spray and then with your fingers work product through the hair, use a soft brush to remove excess if necessary.

So, to sum up Batiste dry shampoo is a quick, convenient way to instantly transform your hair until the next wash.

Batiste Dry Shampoo is available from Boots and Superdrug stores including their on-line stores.

Do you use dry shampoo - which is your favourite?
Or will you now try some ?

*PR samples

Elemis New Year Detox

After the excesses of Christmas and New Year I have a feeling that I will be in need of this Anti Ageing Detox Regime from Elemis...

This collection is only available during January 2011 and contains two of my favourite Elemis products The Marine Cream and Papaya Peel.

* Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, 30ml
* Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml
* Pro-Intense Eye & Lip Contour Cream 5ml
* Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 15ml
* Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules x 14 capsules

I think this is excellent value at £35 (It is worth £68!)

This limited collection is available online from and in-store from John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and Debenhams as well as spas and salons across the country.

Liz Earle SuperBalm

Liz Earle's SuperBalm is a thick salve that can be used on lips, dry skin on hands, heels and your elbows to soften and soothe dry, chapped skin. It is packed with Vitamin E, Echinacea and pure oils of Rosehip, Avocado, Hazlenut, Neroli, Lavender and Chamomile and smells divine.

I would advise to gently warm it up between your fingers before application as it is quite waxy.

As this winter has been particularly harsh I have been using a few products to keep me soft, moisturised and protected. Balms have been an essential of mine and this is one my favourites.

I used it on my lips after a day out in cold, windy weather when my lips felt like they were cracking and on the verge of splitting. Come morning, my lips were soft, smooth and perfect.

I must admit to being quite lucky that I don't really suffer from dry skin so this 30g jar would last me ages. I have however also been using the balm on my nails and cuticles as suggested. My fingers look oily for a few seconds but this disappears quickly. I am hoping with long term use it strengthens my nails that have a tendency to become brittle and break.

The packaging passes my all important bathroom test - The balm  is packaged in a gorgeous clear jar with frosted silver lid and looks great on my bathroom shelf.

SuperBalm is priced £15 for a 30g jar or £4.50 for 5g (the portable version) and available to purchase from and selected stores - see website for more details.

Keep reading BeautySwot to find out what other products have been protecting me against the elements this winter.

What have you been using this winter?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Have a Lush Christmas!

Lush have created some wonderful products this Christmas which are perfect for a pampering treat or cute stocking fillers for Christmas.

Hurry and get yours before these disappear from Lush stores!

Pictured from left to right are just a a small selection available -

Snow Fairy Shower Gel - £3.25 100g

Sweet and fruity scented like a bag of sweets, this shower gel left my skin feeling soft and moisturised and smelling yummy!

Satsumo Santa Bath Ballistic - £2.90

I love this Santa shaped ballistic, he comes complete with a sack on his back. This is citrusy scented with mandarin oil, orange blossom and bergamot oil. Be warned though it will turn the bath water orange!

Sugar Plum Fairy Shower Scrub - £1.95

I love this gorgeous and effective scrub which claims to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It has a fab scent of Jasmine, ylang, ylang and plum kernel oil and the sugar is fairtrade.

Winter Bath Ballistic - £1.95

This ballistic is shaped just like a snowball, but instead of making you feel cold this winter it will warm you up with clove bud, lemongrass and ginger oil.

Lil' Lush Pud Bath Ballistic - £1.95

A cute little pudding that is scented with a marzipan like scent. this ballistic contains clove powder and lemon peel. Aloe vera has been added to soften skin

Glögg Shower Gel - £3.95 for 100g

Glögg is a traditional mulled wine that is drunk while perusing the Christmas Fairs - Lush have taken this recipe and adapted it to a shower gel - what an innovative idea... The shower gel is a runny, warming concoction of red wine, brandy, cinnamon, clove and fresh orange and lemon juices!

Available in store or online at

Sunday, 12 December 2010

My Hair Of The Day HOTD

Something a little bit different  - My hair of the day!

I used Aussie products - Take the Heat Shampoo and Conditioner (which were the ones that I received at the Aussie Blogger's Market), and curling tongs.  I set it with Silvrikin Hair Spray.

What do you think ?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Aromatherapy Associates Relax Candle

This candle from Aromatherapy claims to be relaxing so needless to say I  was curious to see if it was true to its description...

The relax candle is scented with spicy West Indian bay, Geranium and the precious oil appealing blend at this time of the year.

This candle is simply beautiful, it looks attractive in a heavy frosted glass and packaged in a soft gold box. - first smell and I was hooked - so delicate with a hint of spice. Within 5 minutes of the candle being lit there was a beautiful, gentle aroma swirling around my living room. Soon I was transported to far away shores in a dreamy haze. This scented candle had the ability to relax and calm me down after the hectic day I had had and melt away any worries..

 I was so impressed, usually in the evenings my mind is working over time, going over the day I have had and what I need to do the next day, added to that anything else that has cropped up that might be praying on my mind.

The way I felt having had this lit for an hour was interesting when compared to the claims from Aromatherapy Associates - The beautiful aroma of spicy West Indian Bay warms and comforts while Geranium uplifts the room and helps to balance the emotions. The precious oil of Myrrh traditionally known to protect the spirit, completes the aroma, helping to cleanse the mind.

The piece de resistance? Once I blew out the candle and retired to bed I quite simply had the best night's sleep in a long, long time. Now I want this lit every night!

I think this is a beautiful gift for anyone in need of some relaxation. With the presence of Myrrh it is so apt for this time of the year.

Relax Candle is priced at £24 and is available to purchase from Fortnum and Mason and Liberty of London  or online at

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Aussie Blogger's Christmas Market

On Saturday I attended a bloggers Christmas Market hosted by the very lovely Aussie team.

The event was great fun with an Aussie BBQ, lessons on how to flirt, how to be a better blogger, how to walk catwalk style, lessons in blog photography and a guide to Vintage Chic.

Also on offer was an opportunity to have your hair styled depending on what hair tribe you belonged to. One of the most interesting was a sensory experience featuring ingredients used in Aussie products.

In the centre of the room were stalls hosted by some Aussie Angels - featuring things like cupcakes, a book swap, make up, make your own Christmas cards and colour matching for a more peaceful life!

A few pics from the day

Watching the flirt guru -


Some stalls -

The Luscious Long Zone

Sensory Experience

How stunning is this up do, it has an intricate fishplait ?

2 of the other zones

My turn in the Frizz Miracle Zone

Ta Da! - What do you think ?

This event was to promote the new range from Aussie - Take the Heat. So, as we were leaving we were generously handed a Shampoo and Conditioner to try out.  Check back for a review on these products at a later date!


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