Friday 30 March 2012

Models Own - Hed Kandi Collection

Ah Ibiza how I love you. I have spent many a fond Summer in the gorgeous Ibiza Town and partied the night away in San Antonio Bay...

Inspired by Ibiza, the party capital of the world and to celebrate Hed Kandi's 10th year on the Balearic Island, Models Own have collaborated with Hed Kandi to create the the 'Hed Kandi' collection.

These five shades are guaranteed to take you from day to night and back to day, from city to beach and sunset to sunrise!

Beach Party - Sunny, bright and intoxicating polish inspired by the world famous sunsets on the White Isle
Balearic Cool - A crystal aquamarine blue inspired by the waters of Formentera
Disco Heaven -A glittery, gold disco bomb
Ibiza Mix -A dense multi-coloured day-night sparkle
Hedonist -A hot neon coral.

£5 each from Boots stores nationwide, launching in Boots and online from March.

New - Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes! Autumn/Winter 2012

These gorgeous looking shadow tints are not going to be available until November 2012 but I am super excited already. I absolutely love the Clinique Chubby Sticks for Lips, so much so that I think they were my favourite beauty product of last year.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for eyes. Available in a range of appealing and wearable shades from nudes, to pastels and deep berries, the cream eye shadow glides on effortlessly for a sheer wash of colour. They can be worn alone or layered.

Cannot wait.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Hay Fever Allergy Relief - Prevalin Allergy Review

Summer, who doesn't love it?

I must confess that it is not my favourite season, I much prefer Autumn. Warm, sunny days spent outside without the nasty, horrible pollen and the symptoms of hay fever appearing...

I have suffered from hayfever since childhood and I believed everyone when they told me I would grow out of it but here I am aged 34 and still a sufferer. I did have some respite however when I was breastfeeding, has anyone else experienced this?


Itchy, watery eyes
Sneezing, itchy and runny nose (sometimes blocked)
Itchy throat

I suffer from all of the above and each year I have been known to use tablets, nasal spray and eye drops to gain relief from the misery of seasonal rhinitis.

When I mentioned on twitter that my symptoms had started I was tweeted by @hayfeverfree who offered to send me a month's supply of Prevalin Allergy to try. It is non drowsy, antihistamine and steroid free.

The way it works

Prevalin is a nasal spray that blocks allergens that cause the allergic reaction. It works directly where the allergic reaction starts, on the respiratory mucosa of the nose. It uses a combination of oils and emulsifier which transforms from gel to liquid. It forms an allergen-impermeable micro-gel barrier.

Prevalin is to be used as soon as you start to get hay fever symptoms and for best results before coming into contact with allergens, as it prevents them from reaching the nasal mucosal lining to limit symptoms.

How to use

Blow nose thoroughly before each application. Apply 1 to 2 sprays into each nostril, 2 to 3 times a day.

Does it work ?

Yes it does. My symptoms of hay fever are quite bad and this works extremely well. I use it in the morning when I wake up and I have no symptoms at all for a good 5-6 hours. The downside of course is that you have  to take it again during the day to remain symptom free.

The first couple of times I used Prevalin my nose felt blocked for a while after use, this is normal according to the instructions accompanying the product. This will disappear with continued use.

I detected a slight minty after taste to it which is pleasant (don't purposely eat it! This just comes from the nose being connected to the throat)

Although I blow my nose before using Prevalin, after using it my nose sometimes tickles and makes me sneeze, so this is best used before you apply any make-up. I also notice that some white product comes out when I sneeze, I assume this is product but it hasn't seemed to affect the effectiveness of Prevalin.

Overall I have been very impressed that this one nasal spray does the job of the 3 items I was using previously.

Of course, we have yet to have a very high pollen day to test its effectiveness to cope with that but according to the BBC Weather page pollen has been high for the last two days.

Prevalin Allergy is suitable for adults and children over 12 years. Prevalin is suitable for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women. One month's supply costs £9.99 and is available from Boots.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

From Day To Night - Hourglass Cosmetics Film Noir Lash Lacquer

Some days I know that I will be heading out for the evening after a whole day out and rather than come home and start with the makeup all over again, I think it would be nice to add to it instead. One of the hardest things to add to is mascara once it is already on, I don't wear false lashes and depending on what I am doing during the day I may prefer to keep the lashes defined but light. On a night out I want lashes that give me more impact, thicker and darker lashes. It is too messy to try and remove mascara and then attempt to re-apply without ruining the rest of the base.

I was introduced to a rather clever product from Hourglass Cosmetics that solves this problem - Film Noir Lash Lacquer in Kohl.

Lash Lacquer is described as an ultra glossy, inky black top coat for lashes that creates length, volume and shine. It is apparently best used with Film Noir Mascara but I have tried it over my own mascaras and it works really well. The only thing I would mention is that on the packaging it says Lash Lacquer is not to be used with thickening, tubing or otherwise heavy mascaras.

How to use

Lash Lacquer has a brush applicator (like a nail polish brush) and you literally paint it onto your lashes in short strokes whilst holding the wand at a horizontal angle.

The results

Thicker, more dramatic lashes. The product can stick lashes together so you will get less lashes but they will be creating more of an impact, I don't personally mind this but if you prefer a soft and plentiful lash look this product will not appeal. I found that my lashes didn't go crispy and hard when this was applied on top of my day mascara.

Lash Lacquer is ideal to keep in your handbag to apply after you have finished work at the office for a night out and it will look good as you whip it out to use as it comes in a gorgeous bronze mirrored casing.

Formulated without parabens, fragrance, sulfates, and phthalates.

Stand out lashes for evening 

Hourglass Cosmetics Film Noir Lash Lacquer costs £25 and is available from Liberty.

*PR Sample

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Neon Lips Of The Day - Lord And Berry 20100 7272 Fucsia

Hot lips!

These lips are so bright and vibrant, they are almost neon, which is perfect for the neon trend this Spring. I matched it with a pink blush but kept the eyes understated by using a gorgeous light mushroom taupe eye shadow and a couple of coats of mascara.

My lips were doing all the talking.

Products used 

Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick Pencil in shade 7272 Fucsia
L'Oreal Glam Shine Reflexion in Sheer Watermelon Lip Gloss

Monday 26 March 2012

Foundation Rave - Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation

Whilst in Brighton last week I was taking a walk through the lanes and came across a Shu Uemura shop. In the window was a sign that said 'come in for your sample of Smooth Fit'. OK it may not have been in exactly those words but I think you get the idea. I have never tried anything from the Shu Uemura brand so I found the invitation too good to resist.

Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation 

Shu Uemura say - 

Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation glides on instantly camouflaging imperfections, blending onto skin for a flawless canvas finish, allowing you to effortlessly achieve make up artist quality beauty at home. The new precise fit formula envelops skin for a translucent complexion and satin finish. This spectacular moisture rich foundation also veils skin to lock in moisture to maintain healthy looking skin. Achieve an effortless pro finish, comfortable fit and flawless complexion.

My thoughts - 

Reading the above it seems to be promising a lot doesn't it?

The assistant matched me up to a shade in store - the shade I was given was 774 light beige which is a yellow based tone. Smooth fit does come in pink based shades too. I was given a generous sample pot of foundation to take away with me and I have been using it almost daily ever since.

As the title of this post says, this is a foundation rave. I absolutely love it. There is nothing at all I dislike about it. It does EXACTLY what it claims.

It makes my skin look and feel so incredibliy soft, flawless and beautiful.

Texture wise, it is a nice fluid, runny foundation. Easy to blend and it covers pretty much everything. The only thing I would say is that if your skin is particularly problematic you would need to use a separate concealer, but coverage wise it is adjustable.

Shu Uemura Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation shade 774 light beige

It is not at all heavy, it does not look caked, in fact it is really light. I found it so comfortable to wear on my skin, not drying or tight. My skin felt lovely and looked wonderfully smooth and satin like. It is a matte foundation so skin does not look dewy but it does look lovely and bright. The plus side of this is that I didn't develop any shine at all.

On Friday I wore it for 5 hours, then applied my evening makeup over this foundation base (more blusher, highlighter and heavier eye makeup) wore it for another 4 hours and it still looked perfect and fresh. I would say it stayed in place for a good 9/10 hours, I don't wear powder on top.

This was how it looked a couple of hours after application

I adore Smooth Fit, this is one foundation definitely worth trying if you haven't already and certainly worth the price tag.

Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation is available in 14 shades and costs £34 for 30ml.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer - Review

I have been wanting to try Origins A Perfect World SPF25 moisturizer for a little while now seduced by the inclusion of the ingredient of white tea and the fact it contains a SPF, which is pretty much a prerequisite for me now. I love drinking white tea so am curious to try facial products that contain it too... I have asked a few times at Origins counters at a variety of stores and each time been told they have had no pots available to decant. On the last occasion, the counter assistant having listened to what I was looking for in a moisturiser suggested I try the new Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 skin tone correcting moisturizer and gave me a rather generous 15 ml sample to take away with me.

Origins say - 

This clinically-proven protective moisturizer with skin-illuminating Japanese Basil Leaf, Cucumber, Peony and Vitamin C plus nature's brilliant new advance, Palmaria, helps to restore clarity and brightness to dull, uneven skin.
Formulated with SPF35 to prevent new spots from forming.
Best for dark spots & discoloration
Best for combination/dry skin

My thoughts -

My skin concerns are to prevent more lines and wrinkles forming as I age and also to prevent dark spots from  appearing, I already have one on my forehead so am conscious of the fact I do not want any more.

The moisturiser is lotion like in consistency, as it has a high SPF, it feels to me very much like a runny sun cream. It even has that 'summer holiday' scent, slightly citrusy. I personally find the scent quite pleasant. I have normal/combination skin but after using this over two weeks I found that I had patches of dryness, so it couldn't have been providing quite enough moisturisation for my skin. However, during one of these weeks I spent 3 days by the sea and wind in Brighton and the water (when cleansing) was much softer than what I am used to at home so whether that had a bearing on the results I am not entirely sure!

I liked the feel of my skin immediately after application, it felt nice and soft but the soft feeling didn't remain as the day went on.

Plus points

SPF35 - Good, high protection
I felt that the dark spot I had was getting lighter with use of this moisturiser.


This was my first ever use of an Origins product. Although the moisturiser was quite pleasant to apply, my skin wasn't exuding the brightness or a healthy glow that I was expecting. It didn't leave it looking nicely hydrated, in fact it showed signs of being quite dry and dehydrated. It is a shame as I wanted to rave about this product.

I still want to try A Perfect World SPF25 to see what it is like in comparison. 

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 costs £34 for a 50ml pot

Saturday 24 March 2012

The Winners of the 17 Makeup Goody bags are...

Time to reveal the 2 lucky winners of the 17 Cosmetics goody bags....

As selected by the winners are ...

Lucy V Morgan


Congratulations ladies. I will be in touch to arrange your prizes :-)

Thank you all for entering and look out for more chances to win in the future.

Bettina x

Friday 23 March 2012

A Short Stay In Brighton

On Monday we packed our weekend size bags and headed off to Brighton for a mini break. I have been to Brighton many times over the years and can honestly say that I have had a great experience every time, whether it was for just the day or a stay for a couple of nights.

If you are looking for sandy beaches, Brighton beach is not the place to go as the beaches are pebbly.

Here are a few pictures from our visit. We were lucky with the weather, sunny and relatively warm for March!

Like pebbles on a beach

You cannot go to the seaside and not eat fish and chips

On the beach 

There is a rather wonderful children's playground that has a sandy area so you can make sandcastles

Shops on the beach - these ones sold wonderful artwork

3 Little Birds

Views from our Hotel room 

Brighton Pier 

The burnt out West Pier 

No holiday is complete without a bit of Crazy Golf.. Our 3yr old loved it

The 18th Hole - where I got my hole in one!

A sad sight on the road, a lost Starfish - I wonder how it got there?

The Grand Hotel at night

And finally my favourite photo from our trip ..

Like father, like son

Friday 16 March 2012

March 2012 GlossyBox - The Harrods Edition

I was so excited when the postman knocked on my door with this month's GlossyBox. The March box was to be a collaboration with Harrods no less! There were a few hints of what might appear in the boxes from GlossyBox Ambassador's but the products could have been any combination of 5 products from a selection of 15..


I have to say when I opened this box up it probably elicited the most favourable response since the first box I received and admittedly it was all down to the tiny box at the top of the photo... The Burberry Lipstick. Now I don't really ever squeal but this made me happy, very happy indeed. I have been wanting to try Burberry makeup for so long now but not yet managed to get to Harrods. The inclusion of the Lip Cover was a perfect representation of the GlossyBox and Harrods Special Edition and just oozed luxury to me.

The products 

Narciso Rodriguez - For Her Eau De Parfum 1ml - I LOVE this perfume, smells incredibly grown up and sensuous, just a real shame it was so tiny!

Molton Brown - Heavenly Ginger-Lily Moisture Bath & Shower 50ml - I have been using Molton Brown for many years now, this is not my favourite scent of theirs but it will get used and it is a nice generous sized sample.

YSL - Forever Youth Liberator Serum 5ml - I am at the age when I am using serums as well as facial moisturisers and I am really looking forward to trying this particular one from YSL. The sample comes with a dropper lid. With promises of improved radiance, plumping and anti-wrinkle lift, I will let you know how I get on with it.

Clarins - Extra-Firming Body Cream 30ml - This is a beautiful, instantly absorbing cream. This smells gorgeous and refreshing, like watermelon. I like the inclusion of Clarins products, they are not overly expensive but neither are they that cheap. I for one, definitely like to try before I buy and this is a perfect way to do so with a good sized tube.

The Piece de Resistance 

Burberry Beauty - Miniature Lip Cover Rosewood No4

An object of beauty doesn't quite cover it, this is one of the cutest miniatures I have ever owned, a perfect replica of the actual item. It is really funny actually as my hands are quite small, the lip cover doesn't look that small in the photo above but placed against the perfume sample and you get an idea of the actual size.

Soft, with a satin sheen this feels so moist on the lips. Rosewood is a very wearable warm shade.

The Burberry Lip Cover warrants a lips of the day post so keep reading!

To sum up, I was immensely happy with the GlossyBox sent out to me this month. No, there wasn't a full size product in there but all of the products I would use.

*PR Sample

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel has to be one of the nicest smelling beauty products I have used and as regular reader's of BeautySwot know, scent means a lot to me. I have actually been using the Papaya Enzyme Peel for a couple of years now and I have just realised I have not done a review of it!

The claims - 

The natural exfoliating fruit enzyme action of Papaya and Pineapple smooth, brighten and clarify the complexion. This unique, non-granular exfoliating cream contains nourishing Milk Protein, Anti-Oxidant-rich Vitamin E and Marine algae to moisturise, repair and protect the skin. Perfect for complexions which are sensitive or mature.

How to use - 

My thoughts - 

This is a real pamper treat, I use it probably every 2 weeks. The face peel is creamy and luxurious and is a really gentle exfoliator with no scratchy granules, it is completely smooth. It doesn't harden, I feel a slight tightening on my skin and the product appears to sink into the skin a bit. Rinsing it off leaves me with instantly softer, smoother and clearer looking skin. Whenever my skin needs a little pep, I turn to this delicious peel. 

Papaya Enzyme Peel is one of my favourite face masks of of all time. My only disappointment when I used it for the first time was that I wanted to peel it off!

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel costs £28.60 for 50ml 

*This full size tube was part of a gift set which was a PR sample but I have purchased this product before.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Derma -Re-Work DreamWeave Mascara - Review

DreamWeave Mascara is apparently dubbed the 'Eyelash extensions in a tube' so naturally being the mascara junkie that I am I had to try it.

The Claims 

The silicone formula coats each lash with a fibre wrap, giving the wearer dramatically longer lashes and is completely smudge free. A magnet-like formulation lengthens and locks onto lashes remaining long enough to wear for a whole weekend, but gentle enough to be removed by any cleanser.

My thoughts

The packaging was unremarkable, but the wand and brush really surprised me. It is nice and small, easy for me to use and coat my lashes.

Just look at how short and tiny the brush is, you will not find big bristles here!

The first time I used this mascara I was really wowed by it, the first eye I did I saw a dramatic difference after one swipe, fantastic length and nice black lashes! Moving on to my second eye and the experience was quite different, immediately I had a massive clump of mascara hanging on to my lashes. I had to brush it out with a comb. I am really not sure what happened there...

I stuck with the mascara, I wanted to gauge how much I liked it after a few uses and not just after the first go. You can see from the picture above that each time it comes out of the tube, there is an excess on the end.

The mascara feels quite wet to apply. I find the wand quite hard to control, which may sound a bit odd but as it works almost 'magnetically' I want to brush the mascara on but somehow I am not able to do it. The mascara really does wrap around the lashes and you get a great result from one swipe but I find myself wanting to coat a second time and this is when I find that it sticks lashes together.

Once the mascara is on it really does not budge or smudge until you remove it. I found it quite hard to remove, I had to go over and over my lashes to make sure it was all gone (this mascara has serious staying power!) and it comes off in clumps, is that the fibres?

Unfortunately my beauty regime is such that I am unable and unwilling to leave a mascara on overnight (personally I am not comfortable with it and I tend to rub my eyes a lot so was finding bits coming off onto my fingers) so cannot say if it has the staying power for a whole weekend, if you don't touch it!

To sum up - This mascara is quite different from anything I have used before, the formula is really strange but it works at dramatically lengthening lashes in one coat.

As ever, here are the before and after photos, just take a look at the lengthening on the outer lashes, amazing.



DreamWeave mascara costs £12 and available to buy from

*PR Sample

Friday 9 March 2012

The Friday Column - Is Your Name Holding You Back From Success

This week, whilst out and about in London,  I picked up a copy of the Stylist Magazine. Inside was an article by Anna Hart entitled 'Who Will Grow Up To Be The Most Successful?' with a picture of 3 babies and three names - Layla, Elizabeth and Sophie.

The gist of the article was that your name, not intelligence, looks or even personality could be the most influential in determining your success in life.

I love articles that appear to analyse things like names, star signs, position in the family and enjoy reading about how all these can appear to affect or map out the destiny of the person that we will ultimately become. I find them really interesting and then start comparing how my life is different or mirrors what the research has shown...

Apparently research has show that what we are called influences the treatment we receive from our friends in the classroom to teachers and later employers.

Anyone remember headlines like this in 2009 'British teachers make assumptions about a child based on their names, it has been revealed, with boys called Callum likely to be billed as the most naughty'? They also perceived a child named Alexander to be a bright child.

Apparently teachers were giving higher marks to those with attractive names and employers more likely to promote those who sound successful! Food for thought... But is it really true, I am off to think of those in my class and people I have worked with.

Research also showed that females with less feminine sounding names were most likely to go into the sciences and those with softer sounding names were more likely to excel in creative jobs.

A name can also determine whether people think you are attractive..for example in online dating some names turn people off, or conjure up an image of the person before they have even seen a photograph! Those with 'cooler, more attractive names receive more profile visits than those who have names deemed as plain or boring.

I must admit to scribbling on my school exercise books and matching my first name with boys that I fancied and seeing if our names went together, and then moving on to their surnames and seeing if it flowed nicely with my first name and if it looked pretty as a signature *laughs*.

My name

It got me thinking about my own name 'Bettina' When I was growing up it was quite unusual, and for that reason memorable. People rarely forgot my name and I never went to school or even came across someone with the same name. I often received and still do comments like 'oh that is a pretty name' So in a way, following on from above it seems that it was in my destiny to gravitate to more creative subjects - like English and Drama. Although I am quite simply awful at Art or using my hands for creative pursuits.

When it came to suitors I was never short of any, but could that really have been attributed to my name?.. the jury is out on that one!


I found this section even more interesting than the research on first names. I admit to having a vested interest in this as before I married, and took my husband's name, I had a long, hard to pronounce surname that began with a Y!

Notable research conclusions -

A study of the progress of 500 international university graduates concluded that those with more pronounceable surnames were fast-tracked over their peers.
In 2006 American economists found a link between surnames and academic prominence stating those with initials nearer the beginning of the alphabet were more likely to work in prestigious university or win a nobel prize!

In essence those whose surnames started with an A or B were more likely to be successful in general. The thought behind this was that at School the teachers would start at the top of the register and therefore they received more attention. In time this could have a psychological effect of these people used to being the first at things.

This resonated with me, I hardly ever got seen by the teachers as my name was the last in the register, rarely would I be asked to read to them or show them my work By the time it was my turn,the bell would ring for the end of the day. This was the 1980's though, I am sure things have changed now... However, it didn't stop me from learning, I was a good reader before I started school and had lots of support at home.

As it happened when I started my working life I did shorten my surname to make it easier to pronounce for others. One friend of mine had an unpronounceable first and surname, he submitted 100's of applications and received no interviews. They did an experiment by submitting the same CV with a much plainer name and got called for interviews. He changed both his names for professional purposes and is now quite eminent in his chosen career. Have you adapted your name for career purposes? Plenty of people in the arts do.

More worrying for me was the research that showed that women who take their partner's name at work are regarded as caring but less intelligent, less competent and less ambitious! I only got married, I didn't lose brain cells overnight...

My new surname is MUCH easier to pronounce and is nearer the start of the alphabet ;-)

Have you ever felt that your name has held you back, has had a detrimental effect? Or do you have a name that has had a positive effect on your life?

Do you think there is something in this, or do you think your life is in your hands and has nothing to do with a name?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Models Own Spring/Summer 2012 Beetlejuice Collection

More nail polish gorgeousness arrives today with the release of 3 new shades for Spring/Summer 2012 in the phenomenally popular Models Own Beatlejuice range.

Taking inspiration from the colours of a hot Summer haze these duo chrome polishes each contain four pearlescent colours and feature a high gleam finish.

The collection consists of the following -

Copper Pot - a deep olive tan
Tropical Sun - a glistening sunset of orange
Indian Ocean -a calming iridescent blue with soft pink undertones

Available from Boots and costing £5 each


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