Monday 30 May 2011

Collection 2000 Vintage Romance Event

I was recently invited to attend a Vintage Romance Event by Collection 2000 to showcase some of their new products. The setting was a delightful afternoon tea provided by the rather excellent Vintage Patisserie.

We were treated to delicious sandwiches containing rose petals and honey and Brie sandwiches with walnuts. These were followed by scones and the cutest bitesize chocolate desserts. This was just perfect to preview the make-up and have a chat and mini makeover with makeup artist Athena Skouvakis.

I must admit Collection 2000 is one of those makeup ranges I had noticed in the shops but never taken a closer look at or even bought from. I think I have been missing out,these are such great value on-trend products and in nice packaging!

I am most excited by and have been wearing nearly every day since...

Shimmer Shades - £3.99 each 

I love, love, love these quads.

The one on the left is Way To Glow - this is a really nice light bronzer if you swirl your bronzer brush all over the quad. I have found it to be really natural and not too shimmery. I like the way it brightens my skin, as there are four shades you achieve a multi-tonal look as opposed to a flat colour. You can also use each shade alone or even as eye-shadows  if you so wish. The lightest colour can be used as a highlighter on the brow bone which is what Athena used on me on the day. My summer essential, great for a sculpted appearance!

On the right is Blushalicious - I was really impressed with this blusher, this has great pigmentation. It can be layered for a more intense colour but as a pink blusher it is really rather fabulous. Once again I found the beauty of the quad is it can be swirled together or each shade used individually..

I have applied the blush over the bronzer here

Another favourite of mine was the new range of matt cream lip puffs in a lip-gloss style applicator tube.

Cream Puff Lip Cream £2.99

I received Cotton Candy, however they are available in 3 other gorgeous neutral shades. I am going to pick up nude (Powder Puff) and coral (Fairy Cake)as soon as these are in the shops as they are such great value.

The gloss like applicator

This applies like a dream, is wonderfully creamy, and smells deliciously like Cream Soda! I love the matt look that this provides, it makes a nice change from the many glosses that I own. They are also apparently packed with vitamins. I have been wearing the Cream puff daily and although it is matt with a powder finish it feels so nice on the lips, not drying at all.

This was taken with flash

In natural light

Shimmer Shades and Cream Puff Lip Creams are available from 9th June 2011

In the shops now are Hot Looks - The Summer collection of polishes which actually I cannot believe the price of. These are just £1.79!

A pretty collection of pastel colours, I have already made one of these my NOTD. They are creamy, easy to apply and fast drying. Look out for more NOTD featuring the range.

St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse - Review

I rarely sit out in the sun (I neither have the time or the inclination) but if I am getting my legs out on display, like most people in the Summer, I like to have a hint of colour.

I was recently sent a bottle of St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse for review.

It has to be said I am not a tan queen so I tend to use tanning moisturisers but I think I may now switch to actual tanners as the results of this were so good...

The claims

Instant Bronzing
Longer Lasting
Fast Drying
No Streaks

The results

As directed I exfoliated first and then moisturised the dry bits of my skin - ie my knees, ankles etc

The mousse dispenses out of a pump action bottle, a scary (messy) dark brown runny froth. I think this is best applied with gloves or a mitt. Application by hands are best avoided unless you want orangey pink palms ( I know, I tried!)

You have to work quickly as it dries fast, I applied it with my hands and rubbed it into my skin. I found the scent quite fresh but only when I smelt the bottle. I couldn't detect any visible smell when applied or after it had dried. I even asked my husband to confirm for me.

As it is instant you can see exactly where you have applied it, which I liked. The instruction on the bottle advises to wait 4-6 hours for the tan to develop before showering off...

I am going to admit that I didn't shower it off.

Next day I woke up with a lovely natural golden colour (perfect for my yellow toned skin) and happily it was streak free which was fabulous for a tan novice like me. I can see a clear difference between my stomach area (milky white) and my newly golden legs. In fact my legs now match my arms that have seen the sun.

I did end up with slighter darker knees but I put that down to me perhaps not being thorough enough with my moisturising.

All in all this is a great product, I found it foolproof and for the price I would definitely purchase this!

I tried St Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse (original) RRP £4.99 for 200ml

Friday 27 May 2011

The Friday Column

This week I thought I would share with you the music that moves me (sometimes literally). I am actually finding this quite hard as I have so many songs that I love and that mean something to me.

I know that music is very personal and it is something that can conjure strong emotions and memories in people. I like my music to lift me but I also like music to sometimes be thought provoking and contemplative. I don't take my music too seriously and most of the time I just want to sing along!

I shall start with probably my favourite song of all time

Endless Love - Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

It has to be this version and not the Mariah Carey version which I find too saccharin and warbly. I like the words of this song and want to believe that out there there really is endless love. It was the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding and brings me out in a smile whenever I hear it.

Dolly Parton 

I am cheating a little here as I am a huge fan of Dolly's country style and in my head she can do no wrong, she does upbeat (9-5) just as well as those angst ridden songs that she is most known for .. I love singing all her songs and will put her CD on whenever I fancy a good sing song. If I had to be pressed I would say Music Man is my number one.

Cowboys and Angels - George Michael

George Michael is my favourite male artist of all time, his voice just transports me to heaven and I have all his CD's. The man is a genius. The lyrics to this song are amazing and the Saxophone (sexaphone!) solo is to die for.

Insatiable - Darren Hayes

This has to be the most sensuous song ever,  the music and lyrics are just sheer and utter perfection.

In The Ghetto & Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

In The Ghetto has to be one of the saddest songs I have ever heard, if you listen to it you will know exactly what I mean. What saddens me is that society hasn't really changed since he sung this, I really wish that we could change it to avoid so much hurt and anguish for all.

Suspicious Minds is an Elvis classic, I adore Elvis's look and voice and well this song is all about jealousy..

Moving on the dance floor

Anything by Michael Jackson - The man was a dance legend. I had tickets to his This Is It concert and was devastated when I heard that he had died. I never had the chance to see him perform live.

Killin' Time - Tina Cousins

Euro pop at its finest, this has a fabulous beat. It is a shame she didn't do as well as she deserved to.

Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
Lambada - Kaoma

These are both hot, sultry Summer dance tunes

Finally, my list would not be complete without mentioning Christina Aguilera and more specifically her Stripped album. There is not a dud song on there. My favourites though are Fighter, The Voice Within and Can't Hold Us Down (duet with L'il Kim)

She has the most powerful and incredible singing voice I have ever heard. Every song I feel the emotion, I feel her pain and most of all I feel her energy. She is a truly versatile artist and if I could sing like anyone it would be her. Christina is the complete package.

What songs 'move' you?

Thursday 26 May 2011

Boots No7 Autumn/Winter Collection 2011 - Sneaky Peak!

Last night I had the pleasure of pre-viewing the Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection from Boots No7. I say pleasure because we were treated to fabulous cocktails and canapés, a chat with top make-up artist Lisa Eldridge and a chance to see the new products up close and personal.

This limited edition collection is called 'Modern Minimalism' .

I have to say that I am really excited about the launch of the products as they are so wearable and so me. I love the idea of a few products providing a simple yet polished appearance.

My absolute favourite and 'must have' product is the No7 Limited Edition Eye Colour £9.50  in Pewter - (shown one in from the right) This is a cream formula shadow that literally glides across the skin,  when blended it is a beautiful wash of colour, otherwise it is a really nice intense metallic grey. I can see myself getting a lot of use of this.

The Eye Colour also comes in Buff - a natural tone.

No7 Limited Edition Lip and Cheek £12.50 

These were causing quite a stir last night as they are soft to apply, non sticky and blended well with an ever so subtle shimmer for a healthy look. They are available in 2 shades. Pink Tint (more suited for fairer skins) and Bronze Tint (for darker skins). I would use both.

The other item that appealed to me from the range were the Double-Ended Pencils £9.50

Once again these are going to be sold in two shades Mid Brown-Ivory and Dark Brown-Ivory. Make-up artists have long advised to use the trick of a light pencil in the inner eye to open up the eyes and give the appearance of bigger eyes. In the past I have used a white pencil but chatting to make-up artists recently they have advised using a creamier colour for a more natural look so ivory is ideal.

All items shown are available from 10th August 2011 - 4th October 2011

Other products also to be released  - I have samples of these in my possession so look out for the reviews coming soon.

Stay Perfect Primer £11 
Lash Adapt Mascara £12.50 - This is apparently a mascara that you can add up to six coats and it will remain soft and the lashes defined.

For those of you who love your false lashes No7 are launching their first ever range of false lashes to complement their range of mascaras.

There are going to be 6 variations available 

Natural Volume
Extreme Length
Exceptional Definition
Intense Volume
Extreme Volume
Extravagant Lash

False Lashes, £7.50 will be available from late August 2011 

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Lavera Eye Cooling Roll On - My summer saviour!

The Lavera Eye Cooling Roll On is an Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible winner. To celebrate, Lavera held a Facebook competition to win one of these roll ons and a copy of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible which I was lucky enough to win.

This little bottle contains 7ml of summer saviour for me - It is no secret I suffer from quite bad hayfever and my eyes were looking and feeling rather sorry for themselves. They were sore, dry, lined, dark and I had big bags. This arrived on my doorstep just in time.

The claims - 

Lavera Faces MY AGE Organic Cooling Eye Roll On refreshes the eye area, dimishing puffiness and dark circles. It contains powerful anti wrinkle ingredients, Organic White Tea and Karanja Oil. Co enzyme Q10, Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera, cools, moisturises and firms the skin around the eye area.

All sounds wonderful, packed with goodies like Green Tea (which incidentally I love to drink!) and is suitable for contact lenses wearers.

I really feel that this has made a difference, it is really nice to use at the end of the day. The roll on smells lovely and fresh and when popped in the fridge is extra cooling. I have no bags or puffiness under my eyes at all. The dark circles have reduced considerably and the area feels hydrated and my eye area just generally looks much improved.

I quite simply enjoy using this product.

Lavera Cooling Eye Roll On costs £16.90 from

Monday 23 May 2011

The Hunt For The Perfect Bag

I have been looking for the perfect black bag for some time now. I am the kind of person who doesn't shop often but I have a clear idea of what I am looking for and have in mind. If I cannot find it I will not settle for second best.

Criteria Check List -

Black - I haven't got a black bag so the need for this colour
Leather - I like the fact that a leather bag can improve with age and that they are wipeable
Medium size - I am only tiny so a big bag looks ridiculous on me but I need it to be big enough to carry all I need plus any bits for the toddler where necessary.
Strap - I need the strap to be long enough to crossover my body or wear on my shoulder and as I have narrow shoulders it needed to be a bag that wouldn't keep falling off.
Style - On-trend but classic so that it doesn't date too quickly.

After searching many stores and sites and trying lots of bags...The hunt is over...

Close up of the clasp


The Bunty Satchel from Nica matched my criteria perfectly. It costs £135 which I think is extremely reasonable for what you are getting.

As soon as I laid my eyes on this bag I just knew I had found the perfect bag and it had to be mine! You know that feeling when you know it's the one...that was it.

It has a twist lock fastening. Inside it has a zip pocket and a nice bright floral lining and even comes with a matching floral dustbag to protect it when not in use.

I rarely write about clothes/accessories but felt I really had to share this find!

Bringing Makeup To Your Door - GlossyBox

I was recently contacted by the team behind GlossyBox with details of a brand new service that brings maxi sized samples every month to your door for a subscription cost of £10 a month. In the US there is a similar service called Birchbox and apparently the service is popping up in other countries too.

I was sent a complimentary box for review.

Twitter was abuzz with excitement on when the May boxes would arrive and what they would contain in them... Hints were sent out by the team re something from Nars. I was keen to see what that would be as I am a Nars virgin and finally my Glossybox arrived on Friday. Even the outer packaging is pretty!

Inside this box is another dusty pink box  - this will be useful to store things in!

All beautifully packaged inside, looks and feels luxurious

And finally the products

In my box I found -

Nars Orgasm Illuminator (full size) - This alone costs £21.50!
All For Eve - Eve Red Lipstick - RRP £10 - A red lipstick with a bluetone that should suit most
Bionova Lab Bioactive Cleanser  - For Normal/Dry Skin - This is a teeny sample
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Rapid Repair Spray  - I am looking forward to trying this hair product
Como Shambhala Invigorate Body Lotion - A good sized sample

As you can see even if they had just sent the Nars Illuminator the box would have been worth it.... The question remains as to whether the quality of these boxes can be maintained month in month out, however, as a first box this was pretty exciting stuff!

Once you sign up you can fill in a beauty profile so that Glossybox can tailor your box to your requirements, it would be interesting to see how this works and if you could exclude certain products being sent to you ...

I have to admit I like the concept as from a beauty fan's perspective you will get to try out products you may not have known about. The quantity of product sent does vary though so that may be something to be aware of. Glossybox say that they work in partnership with internationally renowned brands in the high-end bracket and emerging cosmetics companies, which means you could receive product from brands you have not heard of before..

For more details and full terms and conditions visit the glossybox website

Saturday 21 May 2011

NOTD - Collection 2000 Hot Nails In Fruit Loop

I am currently loving all things coral, peach and orange this season and today was no exception.  I applied one of Collection 2000's newest nail polishes - Hot Nails in Fruit Loop. This is a fast drying and glossy polish, a pretty pastel in a creamy peachy shade. I think this is just perfect for a bright, sunny day!

Best of all it is priced just £1.79!

I applied two coats for full coverage

Friday 20 May 2011

The Friday Column - Changing Bags At Dawn

Changing Bags at Dawn

Once Upon a Time... it was the playground  - who is wearing what, who has the most popular darling, who receives the most party invitations - but today's mums have started a new war and it is in cyberspace.

The modern mummy is running her online business, blogging, tweeting and facebooking everyone and anyone who will listen to her. These mums are not waiting until their little darling has gone to school - no it is starting when their tender baby is still in nappies, using their iphone or blackberry to catch up or update their followers during naptime or playdates.  Woe betide the mother who is 'just' a stay at home mum, stop procrastinating and get on and do something - look at what the other mums have achieved during rhyme time.
In every toddler group you will see at least one of these creatures - perfect hair and make-up, down to size 8 within 6 weeks of having baby, making it all look effortless, baby fast asleep whilst she is sipping her latte.

Behind the sunglasses she is busy sizing up the competition, who doesn't want to have the most twitter followers and comments on their blog. Have you seen the amount of mummy bloggers there are out there ? It is truly mind boggling and each one wants to convince you that they are the most witty, having the most interesting of a mundane life whilst also being overworked and frazzled, supplying endless photos of their days.

The need for swathes of adoring fans/followers and friends on facebook telling us how great we are has never been stronger. If they are lucky, the lightbulb moment may arrive when, inspired by watching Dragon's Den, they create this incredible (most probably) online business that takes off within weeks and before they know it they are on the cover of magazines and on radio shows telling everyone else how exactly how they did it.

Social Networking has never been so important. Phew.. talk about trying to have it all, come on ladies, shouldn't we just be putting our feet up and enjoying a slice of cake ?

Monday 16 May 2011

Miller Harris Breakfast & Launch Of New Candle Collection!

If you are in London next week you may like to visit the Miller Harris tea room on Bruton Street, from Tuesday to Friday next week (17th-20th) from 9-11am they will be serving breakfast featuring their very own Orange blossom marmalade.

The Breakfast Menu

This breakfast is to celebrate the launch of a new candle collection.

The new Edit collection comprises of three new designs of natural wax candle. Discover these exquisite fragrances presented as a giant candle, pillar candle and tall dinner candles for candle sticks.

Large Candle in Bois Figuier - £65 for 615g

This oversized, double-wick candle is presented in a luxurious glass jar printed with their iconic botanical design. Made from 100% natural wax, the candle is richly scented in Bois Figuier, a fragrance that captures the green and fleshy notes of ripe figs. A heart of pulpy fruit is followed by santal, cedar and tree moss with top notes of rosemary, cypress and Sicilian lemon to add a twist of the Mediterranean.

Pillar Candle in Bois Sauvage - £55 for 2kg

This statement candle is scented with Bois Sauvage, a scent that evokes the heat, vegetation and terrain of the garrigue with fresh and aromatic notes of Italian bergamot, Tunisian rosemary and thyme absolute from France. The candle is completed with a black cameo seal stamped with the pom flower design, creating a beautiful contrast with the warm grey wax of the candle.

Dinner Candles in Bois Fumé - £30 for 6 x 7”
These elegant candles have been dipped with a light wash of fragrance so that they impart a subtle hint of fragrance that will not distract the palette if used at the dinner table. Scented in Bois Fumé, they create an immediate impression of smoky birch and black tobacco, which then reveals an undertone of nutmeg and cumin. The base is cedar, vetiver and santal.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Eurovison Song Contest 2011 Beauty Winners

After vowing I wasn't going to watch the Eurovision Song Contest this year I somehow found myself sat in front of it to watch Jedward perform and then remained glued to my seat until the finish!

It seemed to be the year of the boy band with quite a few countries having one representing them including our very own Blue but alas it wasn't to be the United Kingdom's year this year.. will it ever be our year again? I don't know.

However, it wasn't so much the music that was keeping me watching but the make-up and so without further ado here are the results of the BeautySwot jury...

In 3rd place - Azerbaijan

Nigar had gorgeous honey and bronze tones in her makeup that really complimented her hair colour.

In 2nd place is the 2010 winner Lena representing Germany.

Lena opted for natural lips and heavy smoky eyes with a hint of silver, was she matching her backing dancers who were dressed in silver suits?  - a very effective look that stood out for me on the night.

The winner is the gorgeous Mika Newton from the Ukraine!

This make up was just perfect allowing her outfit to be the star. She had the ultimate flawless complexion. The prettiest of natural lips and stunning eye make up that made her beautiful brown eyes really stand out.

So who stood out for you?

All pictures from

Saturday 14 May 2011

Results Of The Beauty Bloggers Star Sign Survey

I conducted a mini survey to see if there was a particular trend to the Star signs of beauty bloggers..

Here are the results!

Out of 100 beauty bloggers who took the survey

The top Star Sign was LEO with 13 beauty bloggers being of that sign.

Followed by Libra with 11 beauty bloggers being of that sign

And the rest of the make-up...(no pun intended!)

Sagittarius 10
Pisces - 10
Cancer - 10
Gemini - 9
Aries - 9
Taurus - 6
Virgo - 6
Scorpio - 6
Capricorn - 5
Aquarius - 5

So there you have it - probably not scientific but definitely fun

As a Gemini I was thinking there would definitely be more of us but I am probably not surprised that Leo's feature strongly!

Wednesday 11 May 2011

My Stylish New White Blackberry!

Today I arrived in the 21st Century...My Blackberry 9780 was finally delivered (if you follow me on twitter or on FB you will be aware of the saga!)

I love it! Pictured with it is the gorgeous white case to keep the blackberry in and it even has matching white earphones...

BeautySwot has joined the digital revolution.

I hope you agree it is indeed an object of beauty :-)

Calling All Beauty Bloggers

I am conducting a survey to see what Star Signs we all are - I find these kind of things interesting...

It is just one question!

Click here to take survey

I would love if you could take the survey and spread the word so I can have as many beauty bloggers taking part as possible!

I will be closing the survey on Friday at midnight

Thanks in advance :-)

Superdrug Loyalty Card - Beautycard Arrives

It has been a long time coming but it is finally here - Today Superdrug have launched a loyalty card - Beautycard 

I love shopping in Superdrug - The beauty section is like a sweet shop to me and the launch of the Beautycard makes it just that little bit sweeter!

 Earn 1 point for every £1 you spend, bonus point promotions instore to help you earn even faster (see below for some of them)

• Extra bonus point promotions when you sign up to email.

• Every 100 points you earn = £1 to spend instore.

• You can pay for your shopping using a mix of points and cash.

• When you spend your points you'll also earn points back, the same as you would have received had you paid with cash

• Pick up your Beautycard instore. Collect your Beautycard from your local Superdrug store from     Wednesday 11th May and you can start earning points instore straight away. To spend your points you'll need to register your card. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online at Once you've registered online you'll also be able to earn points at too!

Don't miss these great Beautycard offers to start you off!.. (available 11th May - 7th June 2011) 

•  Earn 10 points per £1 when you shop online at 
•  1000 chances to win 1000 points each week when you register your Beautycard online 
•  Earn 50 bonus points for every £5 you spend on Superdrug Own Brand 
•  Earn 250 bonus points when you spend £10 on Rimmel cosmetics 
•  Earn 300 bonus points when you spend £15 on selected Olay products

I almost forgot.... the card also doubles up as a compact mirror!

Monday 9 May 2011

Decorate A Doll For The Chance To Win £50!

The lovely people at are running a fabulous competition until the end of May to celebrate  the launch of Gwen Stefani's latest Harajuku Lovers Collection fragrance - 'G of the Sea' . This is a limited edition Summer scent costing £20 for 30ml.

How cute is this bottle!

Buy ANY Harajuku fragrance from Escentual and they will send you this free 'Create a G' set to customise your own G containing everything you will need..

Upload your G to their facebook wall and the best design will win £50 to spend at Escentual.


Here is my design - Meet Bejeweled G - She loves her accessories - It is a tribute to my little sister :-)

If you like my design, go see it on the Escentual Facebook Page and hit that like button, thank you!

Sunday 8 May 2011

20 Years Later

You may remember the post a little while ago in which I mentioned that my dad had wanted to recreate one of his favourite photographs that he had taken of me.. you can read the original post here. A few people mentioned to me that they would like to see the original photograph and the photo that was taken recently.

I finally have the photos but sadly it looks like they were photos of photos... Clicking on them will enlarge.

Aged 13

20 years later standing in front of the same tree

Friday 6 May 2011

The Friday Column - Phobia


The definition of phobia is a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer will go to great lengths in to avoid, despite the fear often being recognized as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely, the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.

According to the Royal College of Physicians 1 in 10 of us has a phobia but as a lot of people don't admit to them it is hard to really estimate exactly how many people are affected by them. There are social phobias - An example would be public speaking (glossophobia) and specific phobias - An example would be arachnophobia - the fear of spiders.

The phobia that has really affected my life is zoophobia - The fear of animals.

I have an 'irrational' fear that I am going to be bitten by them.The one animal that I am most scared of and find the hardest to avoid in real life are dogs. As they are considered a domestic animal they are a popular pet, they are in the streets and parks, on and off their leads.

My mum thinks that my fear may have started when I was about 3. I was playing in a park and a huge Alsation dog ran up to me (off the lead) and was drooling and displaying its gnashers! I was a tiny little doll of a girl so this dog seemed huge and threatening.

Ever since that day I have avoided parks if I can help it. I would make up excuses why I didn't want to go. I would cross a road if I saw a dog coming towards me in the streets. My hands would sweat and my heart would race.

As I have got older my fear has lessened but a dog off the lead still gives me the fear and I just want to run from the situation. I have learnt to hide my panic to some extent as it comes across as being ridiculous.

A few years ago my parents bought a dog. I never thought they would do this as they know how bad my phobia is.. I have got used to that dog and it is pretty much the only dog I tolerate off the lead, but I still won't be left alone with it!

I have a 3 year old boy and I have tried not to show my fear of animals to him. I have to pass a big green almost on a daily basis to get to the children's playground and I pray that I don't come in contact with a dog along the route. In a way I am unable to avoid situations that I would have in the past in order that he doesn't miss out on the normal things that children do and suffer the way I have in life.

Do you have a phobia? Will you admit to it? 

Monday 2 May 2011

NOTD - Mavala Gold & Bank Holiday Celebrations

With the Royal Wedding on Friday and my son Aaron's 3rd Birthday Party on Sunday and his actual Birthday today the 2nd May, I thought it only right and entirely appropriate that I choose Mavala's Gold Nail Polish to apply in celebration.

This is a pretty and shimmery yellow gold that glistens in the sun.

I had to apply 3 layers though to avoid the whites of my nail showing as it is quite sheer. The application is easy, with a short handle and really smooth brush strokes.

Sunday 1 May 2011


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