Thursday, 10 September 2009

REVIEW: Smoke and diamonds by MAC


I had to have this based on the looks I'd seen done with it, but to be honest I'm well used to being dissappointed when i give in to hype.

Not so with this eyeshadow.

Today I wore it VERY simply: base of soft ochre, s&d patted on my lid and blended softly over crease...and a touch of signed sealed to add dimension to the outer crease. I then lined with zero from ud.

The shadow blends like a dream. It is hands down the easiest to blend shadow I ever had. People had raved about the starflash formula and I happily join in, and beg mac to make it permanent. Everyone should experience this.

It is the most delicious smokey taupe grey...I LOVED how it looked, and it made my eyes look glassy which i also loved. It's a multidemensional colour on the lid...on my inner lids it looked more taupey gold and outer more grey smokey.

Oh man - I'm so so happy to add this to my kit. If you don't have it yet - and it ever becomes available again: GRAB IT!!!

Youtube Guru's and Twitter

I'm in 2 minds to post this but I'll write it and then decide.
I joined twitter very recently, mainly because i'm off work ill with flu, and I followed some "guru's" to get to know them a bit better...

Most of them never respond to you was my first finding. Now they will argue that they have too many followers replying to them, and they are too busy and that, so ok - but personally twitter follows have no point to me unless i can converse with a person. That's my opinion, and you may disagree. You may find their daily lives updates enthralling (I did not)

Was that worthy of me blogging - nope. No, the main reason for my blog is the conversation that went on between a large amount of them on twitter yesterday giving off about people complaining about them not answering them.

The tweets went on, and on, and on - whinge whinge, moan, we are not understood, its just a hobby for me, not a job, and blah blah blah.

Again - they are entitled to have a moan. But in the time they all spent whining and patting each other on the back, and generally doing nothing productive - they could have been answering a couple of emails / questions. You can bet your backside if it was an email offering them more free products, or inviting them to another event with free goodie bag - they'd find the time.

This is my point (and the biggest irritant I think)

You girls choose to stick yourselves on youtube, call yourselves a "guru", and make video's in which you tell people "If you have any questions, leave a comment, or send me a message". Then when people take the time (their time is just as precious as yours), to send you don't bother replying.

All the while you have time to make video after video (sometimes of the most unimportant mundane crap imaginable), twitter, blog, and the latest addition to your arsenal -blogtv.

I think my point here is that instead of bitching, you girls (and guys) need to prioritise your time. So, less time on twitter telling us every minute detail of your day, - less time on blogtv, less time blogging, and more time connecting with the people who have put you in the position to get freebies, and invites to special events.

Choose only one of the options if you are truely stuck for time and give it your full attention - after all you guys keep making videos and saying stuff like "Thank you so much for taking the time to watch - it means so much to me". Well - it is OUR time we take to watch you, which is just as important to us as your time is to you.

Lastly: stop bitching about your fans.
Without them - you are nothing.

(ps I no longer follow any of them on twitter, and removed a lot from my youtube viewing....felt good :))

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Products that blew me away

This post is a reflection of products I've purchased, and instantly fallen in love with, only to continue using them day to day. Price ranges vary considerably, which is proof that you don't always have to spend big money to find treasures.

In eye makeup - my best buy...the one men constantly comment on (even a romanian paper seller when I stopped my car at traffic lights knocked on the window to say he liked my eyes!) is by elf. A £1.50 quad called eye brightening in LUXE.

I can't imagine these colours not looking amazing on everyone, regardless of eye colour. I wear the gold packed on my lid (over either mac bare study paint pot, or revlon mettallic creme shadow in the gold colour) with the bronze in the crease, and the dark brown to darken the crease up. I don't really use the red shade, although I could probably add it to the crease colour to warm things up if I could be bothered!

I use something like blanc type by mac ( a matte neutral ) as my highlight as the gold is shimmery and I don't like being overly so. Although people always guess my age as early 20's - I am 37, and I feel my eyes have the skin of my age (less taught), so I try not to use too much shimmer. This may be me being overly paranoid, but rather that than look garish.

Another eyeshadow love - more recently is ricepaper. It's a yellow based neutral with a lovely sheen to it. I use it as an all over eye colour - on the lid and as a highlight. I also use it as a cheek highlight as it gives a really pretty sheen without glitter.

I also adore the SLEEK original palette which I bought in London. The colours have to be swatched to really see how beautiful they are, but they seriously rock as good as mac, and for a fraction of the price.

Mascara - I have thick eyelashes but they aren't as long as I'd like, so the mascara I find to be best for making them long and lushious is doll eyed long from NYX. I have to get it on ebay which is a pain but it is worth it. One thing though - don't overload this or you get spider lashes...ick!

In the blush department:

I was so close to selling off my pretty baby beauty powder from the mac hello kitty collection, as I didn't really understand how to make it work. Everyone seemed to say to use it as an all over powder, but to me it just felt like making my skin all flushed...not really my thing.

As a last resort I went over to MUA and browsed the reviews. Recent reviews stated that pretty baby worked amazing as a subtle blush on pale skin, so I gave it a try. I used my 181 brush to apply as its densely packed, and WOW! A totally natural looking slight (very slight), natural healthy glow. I fell in love instantly, and hope to never run out! I'm so pleased as I LOVE LOVE LOVE the compact.

Bronzers - Up to now I've been happily using rimmel's natural bronzer which works great but is nothing to scream about. Then lollipop26 (the girl is bad for my credit card I tell you!) reviewed ELF studio warm bronzer recently, and although I resisted for a couple of months...once elf did a free shipping offer, I was all over it like a rash ;)

I apply this with a large flat bronsing brush, but with a light hand as it's really well pigmented. It gives a nice peachy sheen, which I really like. I actually love this most when applied over my rimmel bronzer. I love how this looks - I go from pasty to interestingly peachy glowing. Adore it and recommend it most highly.

Lips - I have to be careful with lipstick to work as I work in a humid environment for 4 hours with no break, and my lips suffer horribly for it. My current favs are pink fish lip conditioner from mac, and barbie lipstick (also a balm) from gosh. Both give a pop of colour without drying.

Gosh Barbie

Body Exfoliator - the exfoliating gloves from the body shop. These are absolutely fantastic, and I love them.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

When project 5 pan meets mac's latest collections... know we got issues!!

I have avoided specktra and collection videos like the plague, alas this week I made the mistake of peeking, and project 5 pan hit an unexpected dip in the road.

I spied smoke & diamonds...but it was sold out on the website. This of course made me want it even more, to the point that risking being late for work, I called up my local counter to ask if they had any left. They didn't.

One thing you should know about me - I'm a VERY determined lady when I want something, so I called the pro line to ask. THe girl said they had 2 left. At this point I was late for work, but not willing to risk missing out, so ordered. "Would you like anything else?" she asked provacatively. "Oh...umm...sure throw in a soft ochre paint pot too" I said knowing full well this was an extra I did not have any right to order.

But, I hang my head in shame admitting this - that was not the end of my failing.

I noted the makeup art collection, and primarily the photo realism quad (I blame tiffanyd for the tutorial). I love the name, love the colours, and stalked the website until it appeared. Did I stop there?

Of course not - I ordered the colour matters liner, and....even though I'm not buying any more makeup (yeah right), another empty 15 eyeshadow pan.

I know. I fail!

Friday, 14 August 2009

My project 5 pan decision, and a big thank you!

The first I heard of project 10 pan was in a lollipop26 video, so I'm not sure who started the bandwagon, however I'd like to sincerely thank them for a GREAT idea.

I will freely admit up til very recently (say the last year...), I did not buy much makeup. I had my stash - small but functional, and wore the same look daily. Having been a beauty therapist, and freelance makeup artist in years gone by (before kids), - I had obviously fallen into a deep boring rut without noticing.

Enter youtube, and people lie lollipop26, pixiwoo, petrilude to name a few - my eye's bulged with new possibilities for my face, and the buying began. It started with mineral companies - everyday minerals (blah), fyrinnae (love), then NYX, and next moved rapidly to mac. But mac is expensive, and I only have one face to paint.

I also have 2 kids to feed, clothe and keep happy, a house that needs a new kitchen, and lots of improvements to prevent me going crazy, and no rich husband to spoil me! Therefore something had to give - and project 10 pan gives me the motivation to do it.

I am going to concentrate on the following:

Shampoo & Conditioner
Fake Tan

I had already started on the shampoos and have used up a good 4 bottles, but I'm not going to count them. So we begin - no more purchases until I have used up 10 items. Will I manage it? I may have to stop reading blogs / watching youtube but I'll try ;)

Lastly and even more important I want to THANK each and every one of you who has followed me. It means the world that people with as much choice as you guys do here - would think my blog is worthy of reading. So, many thanks!!!

I will continue to reiew products I have purchased, so stick around, and if you have any ideas of things I should do, or try with the blog...feel free to throw them in a comment.

Happy friday guys x

Sunday, 2 August 2009

REVIEW: St Tropez Whipped Bronze Instant Self Tanning Mousse

My first review, and its gotta be for the tanning mousse, why I hear you cry?

Because self tanning is something I find hard work and pretty much only do once in a blue moon. I'm lazy and proud of it!! I'm always looking for a tanner that I will use regularly, and not find a chore to apply.

Also because there is a rumour we are in the midst of summer. In saying that the weather seems to have missed that particular memo...

Not to say I don't adore the way I look all brown and healthy, as opposed to my normal pale and sickly shade...but because I hate standing in one spot, hands out to the sides, legs spread and stark naked, whilst the sticky, stinky lotion I just applied dries.

Not to mention stained sheets, and blotches where you missed a bit. We've all been there - right ladies?

The alternative is stripping off in a beauty salon, standing in a cold room reminiscent of a prison shower block (not that I've ever been in prison...honest!), whilst being jet sprayed like a car. I'm not sure about you guys, but I find it a bit, well, humiliating. The only thing more humiliating is leaving said salon, dressed in old loose clothing and flip flops, resembling a cross between an oomp loompa and an over cooked sausage. Pretty.

So, back to the product at hand.

The blurb states:

When you want a tan and you want it now, Whipped Bronze Instant Self-Tanning Mousse is what you need. Streakless, instant color dries in just 60 seconds allowing you to "Whip-it-On" anytime, anywhere for a perfect tan, every time. This self-adjusting mousse is oil free and complements your skin tone, while your tan deepens over 3 hours - all without the damaging effects of the sun.

Onto my thoughts...

Out of all the self tanners I've tried, St tropez was one I shied away from based on my observations of others using it. St Tropez was, in my mind, that tangoed older woman, with sun damaged leathery skin, trying to reclaim her youth with a "healthy" colour, and ending up looking like she'd been spit roasted over the course of a week.

That's not quite the look I was going for.

But, I read reviews...on MUA, and I watched video reviews, and instead of leathery skinned oompa loompa's - I saw pretty faces with a gorgeous, natural looking sun kissed glow. I wanted to be like them. Oh how I wanted to look as good as them, and so I ordered my very own...


  • The smell was not over powering or unpleasant as expected. A plus.
  • The mousse is tinted so it's easy to see where you have put product and avoid missing bits
  • I like the dispenser too - rather than having to pour product out, its so much easier just to push the button down.
  • A little goes a long way, but I went too lightly the first time. I guess the moral (if you are nervous like moi) is start lightly and build up daily if you want to avoid going too dark - over 2 days I got a pretty nice colour...not too dark at all.
  • This product dries really fast. Another bonus. However it did feel sticky when I went to bed a few hours later...and I didn't sleep well as a result. Maybe it was the heat of being under my covers that made the product feel like that.

I woke up the next morning and jumped in the shower. The water turned a lovely shade of chocolate brown. Fear not - its just the colour guide washing off, revealing a lighter tan underneath.

My covers were slightly stained.

The colour is a gorgeous natural brown colour - nothing fake looking about it at all, however it is not streak free as everyone claims it will be. My legs are the worst affected by this nastiness...but my legs, even at the tanning salon - rebel, so might be me, rather than the product.

I am not sure, but I think it broke my face out - use it on your face with caution.


The product is expensive, but it is worth it because the colour is so natural looking. I think it's a question of practising to find your own perfect application technique...but that's the same with any tanning product. The first time you try it - maybe do it when you don't have anywhere important to go the next day...just to be on the safe side (this advice for ANY tanning product)

The tan lasts about 3 days on me, with me showering every single morning - sometimes twice a day. I wish it lasted longer, but you can't have everything. It fades naturally without leaving that patchiness that makes you look like you have a nasty skin condition.

All in all this product, if you aren't a lazy arse like moi, is a god send for us pale skinned girls who need a glow and don't want to cook our skin to get it.

Highly recommended!

I give St Tropez Whipped Bronze Mousse a healthy, glowing 8/10

Saturday, 1 August 2009

My July 2009 Buys

I am currently on a self impossed no buy, however we all know that we always find ways around this fact!

I just got a new puppy, a maltese named Tobey, so my money has been spent on him, his toys and little extras because his sweet face makes me melt. See...?!!!

Tobey's first trip shopping was to superdrug in N'ards. I'm not sure who enjoyed the trip more...myself or him. I'm guessing superdrug is more a girlie heaven than pooch paradise!

My trip was all about purchasing a nail polish by NYC that I'd seen on Konaddict's blog
, called Big Money Frost.

I was so excited that they had it, and they also had a "buy 2 for £2.99 offer" so of course I picked up another one too - named east village (avert eyes left!).

NYC polishes go on pretty sheer initially, but with 3 coats hit the same colour as the bottle. Excuse the non perfect application but I was rushing...

Other products purchased in July were

Aveda Scalp Benefits Shampoo and Conditioner: so far seem great, but I'll review properly after further use.

To date, after 3 uses - my scalp remains calm and my hair doesn't feel like it needs washed the day after washing - always a plus!

St Ives Body Scrub: I bought this after reading great reviews on mua. So far I'm impressed enough with it but I've had better ;)

I think my fav all time body scrub has been st tropez one, however the price is crazy so I only buy it when I'm feeling flush.

St Moriz: Hello lollipop26!...yet another product I've been convinced to try because of the sweet one's review. It is on it's way so no review just yet.


Hello lovely readers,

For any of you interested in konad nail stamping kits - the fabulous Kathleen over at OC nail art
is offering a very special discount. This offer is meant for returning customers from what I can gather, so might only work if you have purchased in the past from ocnailart.

(please note: If you are a first time customer, you can still purchase with discount of 20% plus free shipping on orders over$20, using the coupon code: casuallavish)

Here are the details:

This is a one-time discount of 25%, plus our customary FREE SHIPPING (even internationally) on orders over $20 (after the discount is applied).

When you check out, use coupon code client1 and you will receive 25% off of your entire order!

Be sure to select the appropriate "FREE SHIPPING" choice from the drop down menu under shipping.

For anyone unfamiliar with oc nail art - trust me when I say her customer service is the best I've EVER encountered. I don't know kathleen personally, but anytime I have made an order she has been so friendly and helpful.

The fact she offers free international shipping alongside the usa free shipping is something so unusual, and so appreciated by me, and I'm sure all customers from overseas.

So - if you were thinking of trying out Konad - NOW is the time to order. You have until 31st August to use this offer.

If you are a first time customer, you can still purchase with discount of 20% plus free shipping using the coupon code: casuallavish

Enjoy, and let me know if you go ahead and order anything, or if you have any recommendations on plates or special polishes I should order! You know I'm ordering more stuff. Oh yes!!!

Friday, 31 July 2009

Tag: Overhyped and Underwhelmed

This is in response to Lollipop26 's post of the same subject.

To begin - I blame youtube for all the overhyped crap that now collects dust in my makeup drawer. When I first started watching "guru's" I had no idea the stuff many were reviewing had been sent to them free by companies to review. I think all guru's should state if products were bought or sent to them free, and also give unbiased reviews regardless - it would have saved me a fortune.

On to the products.

Everyday minerals - the daddy of the overhyped products. Every guru on youtube was raving about this stuff when I first joined the video age and still I hated this stuff. It is powdery, and not suitable for anyone with dry skin. It made me look cakey and it broke me out. The only saving grace for this company was the nice brushes they sold. Those I did like, but I still never use them now.

Urban Decay Ammo Palette - whilst I concur the shadows are gorgeous...they are also shimmery nightmares. Not suitable for me, which dissappointed me greatly.

Clarisonic - I debated getting this as shipping it from the us was expensive. Heck even before shipping it was around £100, but the promise from guru's and mua reviews was that this was a wonder product which would magically unclog my pores and leave my skin clear, clean and baby soft. The reality was much uglier. Within about 3 days, my skin had rebelled and I looked like I was in the throws of teenage hormone hell. A mess. I've tried it again since, in the hopes that it might work, and again...acne city. This little bugger is going to be sold on ebay any day now.

MAC 226 brush - I hate to drop this one in here, because the hype was huge and everyone raved about it. I was so thrilled I managed to get my mitts on one before the SOLD OUT icon appeared on the mac website. (doncha love when that happens and you got one?!! heh), but I can honestly say, with hand on heart - the brush is not that great. It is scratchy, and I don't think it deposits colour that well. I love my 222, and this one pales in comparison to it's perfectness.

MUFE HD foundation - I got this expecting everyone to comment on how well my skin looked, after reading all the reviews. In reality I was told my skin looked less dewy than normal, and over the course of a few days wearing it...the underlying skin grew more and more congested and guessed it...I broke out.

There are more but I caught on to the over hype on youtube pretty fast, and now only trust a few guru's reviews (lollipop26 included!), which has saved me a lot of money, and dissappointment.

Feel free to jump in with your tags too. Thanks for reading :)

A new beginning


it's oh so quiet as i open this little blog of mine, but we all have to begin somewhere, right?
Fluffy puffy was the name given to this new creation by my 12 year old daughter. I thought it was girly and a little bit fun, and that's what I hope to provide with this blog.

My interests are:

  • make-up: fav brands would be mac, E.L.F, rimmel, revlon, maybelline, NYX. I went through my make up snob phase at thre beginning where I only bought MAC, but soon came to realise the price doesn't always agree with the quality.
  • nails: fav brands would be: china glaze, opi, essie, NYC
  • nail art: I'm a HUGE konad fan...the only issue is finding time to do it nowadays with 2 daughters and a puppy to look after. I'm hoping this blog will encourage me to return to my evening rituals.
  • skin care: I am a dermalogica lover as it seems to be the only thing that keeps my sensitive skin clear and calm
  • hair: my big problem area...always on the lookout for a great shampoo that doesn't irritate my scalp.
I hope to get posting more often, and include images etc...and maybe someone will actually read this ;)

bye for now!


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