Glossybox September 2013 – The London Edition

This is my second Glossybox, and as soon as I saw a sneaky peek of the box design a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to get it! The Union Jack – London themed box is in homage to London Fashion Week and is decorated with gorgeous red white and blue packaging.

The September Glossybox includes the first ever Glossybox magazine, which I think is a great addition to the contents. I was happy with my contents last month, but was delighted this month!


Glossybox September 2013 packaging

Glossybox September 2013 magazine

Glossybox September 2013 contents

So here’s what I got this month …..

Elizabeth Arden – Untold, Eau De Parfum 5ml

Full Size £48 for 50ml

I love trying a new perfume, and was really pleased to get this handbag sized bottle of Elizabeth Arden’s Untold. The fragrance is sweet and sophisticated which is perfect for day wear.

Eyelure – Pre-glued Lashes

One Set £5.06

I love Eyelure Lashes and have never heard of pre-glued lashes, so I’m looking forward to trying these. They can be applied straight from the box with no fuss so these sound great. I normally go for more natural feathery lashes, so will see how these look on.

Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe – Classic Shine & Gloss Serum

Full size £7.19

I have super dry hair and always use a shine serum, so this is a great item for me! I haven’t used any Toni & Guy products for a while so I look forward to trying this.

Be a Bombshell Cosmetics – Onyx Eye Liner

Full size $14

I have never heard of Be A Bombshell Cosmetics so assume it’s an American brand. It claims to be it’s ‘best selling’ eyeliner and having tested it, it seems very long lasting. This is a felt pen type eyeliner and is easy to apply and create glamorous flicks.

Rimmel – Stay Blushed Blusher (004 Sunkissed Cherry)

Full size £4.49

Rimmel is a great British cosmetics brand and I was excited to try this product. I normally use a powder blush, but this one applies beautifully and has a lovely scent.

Glossybox September 2013 contents close

Overall the September Glossybox is full of great products and I would urge you to purchase this one if it’s still available. I can’t wait to try all the products properly and will let you know if any make it into my September favourites.

Glossybox – £10 plus £2.95 p&p

The Starting Off Project: Week 3. Foundation

The key to beautiful makeup is your foundation. Having a smooth, flawless base will instantly make you look fresh, radiant and give your skin that perfect glow.

If you have young skin, remember less is more. Young skin is beautiful and doesn’t need lots of foundation. If you feel you need a foundation, make sure you get a good colour match and apply sparingly.

mac studio fix, rimmel wake me up concealer and stay matte powder

Application techniques

There are many ways to apply your foundation, depending on the type you are using. I highly recommend using a brush, as you and can build up colour easily and get a beautiful even finish. If you use liquid foundation, you can always use your fingers to apply, which gives a soft natural finish.

Brush application

Real techniques expert face brush and powder brush

Using a brush to apply your foundation will give you that flawless, photo ready finish. The ‘Expert Face Brush’ from Real Techniques is a highly recommended tool, as it makes foundation application really easy and gives a professional finish.

Apply the liquid foundation to the back of your hand (two pumps will be more than enough) and use this as your palette. Dab the product gently and start applying to the centre of your face working outwards. Use a circular motion to buff the foundation into your skin, concentrating on the areas that need the most coverage.

To avoid shine, and to set your makeup, you will need to powder your foundation. The Real Techniques ‘Powder Brush’ is great for dusting over your face. If you want to keep a dewy glowing finish to your skin, use a small powder brush and concentrate on the areas where your skin gets oily (nose, forehead and chin).

The video below from Pixiwoo shows you how to create a flawless skin look.

Foundation FAQ’s

When should I apply my foundation?

Generally, foundation should be the first product you use to start your makeup look. If you are using eye shadows that have a lot of fall down (eye shadow dust on your cheeks) then you will need to apply your foundation after completing your eyes. Another way of avoiding eye shadow fall down on your foundation is to use shadow shields. These are sticky bits of paper that catch the eye shadow without ruining your foundation.

How do I know what colour foundation to use?

It’s really important that you use the correct colour foundation, as you want it to blend into the rest of your skin and look natural. Testing foundation on the back of your hand is not a good way to find a colour match, as your hands will generally be darker than your face. The best place to test a colour is on your jaw line. If it disappears into your skin, it’s a perfect match for you.

Why doesn’t my foundation last all day?

If you have oily skin, your foundation can start to move throughout the day. To get the most wear out of your foundation, apply a primer after moisturising, and before you apply your foundation. The primer will act as a bond between your skin and the foundation and will make it long lasting. Applying a powder after liquid foundation will set your makeup and help the foundation last longer.

Best Budget Foundation Buys

rimmel wake me up foundation, mac studio fix and rimmel stay matte powder

Liquid – Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

The Rimmel ‘Wake Me Up’ foundation is a favourite amongst beauty bloggers, as it’s a great value product which gives a beautiful finish. It has been compared to many high end foundations as it has a smooth texture and a moisturising finish. Apply this using the Real techniques ‘Expert Face Brush’ for a perfect dewy finish. Great for dry skin.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation £8.99

rimmel wake me up foundation and real techniques expert face brush

Powder/Foundation – Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

Mac ‘Studio Fix’ is a cross between a powder and a liquid foundation. I have used this product for over 10 years and cannot fault it. For everyday wear, a quick dust over your face using a powder brush like the Real Techniques ‘Powder Brush’ will give you a light matte finish. You can also apply the Mac ‘Studio Fix’ powder over liquid foundation to give a super flawless camera ready finish. I included this in budget buys, as one of these compacts lasts for months. Great for oily skin.

Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation £21.50

mac studio fix, rimmel stay matte and real techniques powder brush

Pressed Powder – Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Rimmel ‘Stay Matte’ pressed powder is another favourite amongst the beauty blogger community. It helps reduce the appearance of pores and leaves you shine free for hours. This can be used alone for a light matte coverage, or over a liquid foundation to set your look. At under £4.00 this product is a must have! Great for oily skin.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder £3.99


10 Signs You’re Addicted To Makeup

I am most definitely addicted to makeup! I love buying it, wearing it, testing it, eating it….. Okay not eating it!! But I could not live without it.

Comment below if you see yourself in any of the 10 signs below.

red lips







10 signs you’re addicted to makeup

1. You can name every Mac eye shadow. Blindfolded.

2. You know you already have five identical blushers, in baby pink, that you never wear. But this one’s Limited Edition! So you have to have it!

3. You prepped, primed, applied foundation, powdered, contoured, bronzed and added a little touch of blush. Because today, you are going for the natural look.

4. You go to the supermarket for milk, and leave with a bag full of cosmetics three pairs of eyelashes and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

5. You own more primers than there are days of the week. Because they’re all different! Right?

6. You trail your fingers along the high end beauty counters, gazing lustfully as you walk by. Because you love them. More than your boyfriend.

7. You bought a 100 colour palette, because you never know when you might need canary yellow or lime green.

8. When someone says “naked” you think Urban Decay, when someone says “orgasm” you think Nars and if someone says “bushy” you’re thinking of your perfect eye brows.

9. Your ideal makeup bag has wheels, and maybe a horse to pull it.

10. You have a favourite lipstick for the gym, doing the dishes and for bed.

The Starting Off Project: Week 2. Concealer

If you want to make your skin look flawless in preparation for makeup, you will need a good concealer. Concealer has many uses including covering dark under eye circles, covering blemishes and as an eye shadow base.

concealer - rimmel, collection, benefit, no 7

Covering dark circles:

To cover dark under eye circles, dab along the darkest area using the doe foot applicator or a brush in a crescent shape. Using your ring finger, lightly dab to blend (rubbing or pulling will only move the concealer and irritate the delicate under eye area). This can be done before or after applying your foundation, it’s up to you!

Covering blemishes:

Using a clean brush, dab a spot of concealer lightly on the blemish. Use your ring finger to gently dab the area until it blends into the skin. It’s better to cover blemishes after applying your foundation to avoid moving the concealer. Powder the skin to finish & set your makeup.

Covering acne and scarring

If you suffer from acne or scarring, makeup artist Lisa Eldridge has a fantastic video on spot covering, with amazing results. Lisa Eldridge shows a step by step guide from preparing the skin, to the finished flawless base.

Watch the video here:

What if concealer isn’t enough?

If concealer doesn’t do a good enough job covering dark areas, use a corrector beforehand. A corrector has yellow tones which help brighten, and will cancel out any purple tones in the skin.

How do I choose the correct concealer?

When choosing your concealer, go for cool undertones to hide blemishes and redness, and yellow and peach undertones for under the eye. To brighten, but keep a natural look, select a shade that is one half shade lighter than your skin tone. Be careful not to go too light, you want the concealer to blend with your foundation.

Types of concealer:

Pot concealer – Heavily pigmented and thickest type of concealer, apply using your finger or a brush.

Tube/wand concealer – Liquidy , offers medium to full coverage and easy to blend.

Stick concealer – Creamy, soft and easy to blend.

Budget buy concealers:

concealer - rimmel, collection, benefit, no 7
L – R: Rimmel, Collection, Benefit, No 7.


Rimmel London – Wake Me Up Concealer

This concealer has an ‘anti fatigue’ effect and gives a radiant glow. It has a doe foot applicator and blends in beautifully using a fluffy brush. If I could recommend any budget buy concealer it would be this one.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer £5.49

Collection – Lasting Perfection 16 Hour Wear Concealer

This concealer from Collection is an absolute bargain and is favoured by many makeup artists and bloggers. This moisturising concealer gives a light coverage that really does last all day.

Collection Lasting Perfection 16 Hour Wear Concealer £4.19

Benefit – It Stick Conceal It All Stick

Benefit’s It Stick is a pencil concealer that is soft and creamy, and blends seamlessly. It dries matte and stays put all day. A bit on the expensive side but Benefit offer great quality beauty products.

Benefit It Stick Conceal It All Stick £17.00

No 7 – Quick Cover Concealer

A great concealer for covering blemishes. Dries to a powder finish and gives a great coverage. I wouldn’t recommend this one for under the eye. Stick with a concealer like the Rimmel Wake Me Up for that job

No 7 – Quick Cover Concealer £7.50

concealer - rimmel, collection, benefit, no 7
L – R: No 7 Quick Cover (05 Medium), Collection Perfection ((2 Light), Rimmel Wake Me Up (010 Ivory), Benefit It Stick (one colour).

August Favourites

Wow! Where has August gone? We’ve been blessed with week after week of glorious sunshine in the UK this summer, which almost seems too good to be true!  My least favourite thing about August has been wasps, (they have been causing chaos everywhere!) but I can’t complain as the sunshine has been amazing.

So without hesitation, here are the products I have been loving this August:

August favourites

Soap & Glory Gloss Stick in Raplumzel

The Soap & Glory Gloss Sticks in Raplumzel, Nudist  and Bashful were my first cosmetics purchase from the ever so popular bath & body brand.  I love all three colours, but Raplumzel really stands out for me as a beautiful wearable plum shade.  I have been applying this lightly during the day to give a flash of colour, then applying generously with a smoky eye for evening makeup.  I can’t wait to purchase some more products from the Soap & Glory cosmetics range.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick £5.00

Soap and glory raplumzel
Soap & Glory Gloss stick in Raplumzel


Soap and glory gloss stick in ramplumzel
Lips – Soap & Glory Raplumzel


Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

After religiously using Mac eye shadows for such a long time, I decided to branch out and try some neutral shades from Urban Decay.  I had heard so many good things about the Naked palettes, that I had to test one out for myself.  The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is such good value for money and contains six matte neutral eye shadows.  I have switched between ‘walk of shame’ and Naked 2″ for a base shade, and contoured with ‘Faint’ for every day wear.  The eye shadows are really blendable and the packaging is the perfect size for throwing in your handbag.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette £20.00

Urban decay naked basics palette swatch
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette


Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Shine Deep Treatment

The hot summer days have really dried out my hair and I have been suffering from uncontrollable frizz.  I wouldn’t say I have completely solved my frizz problem, but the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle conditioning treatment has definitely made a vast improvement to my hair.  You leave on for 1-3 minutes after shampooing, then rinse for visibly smoother and shinier hair.  I would really appreciate any other suggestions for controlling my frizz, so please let me know in the comments below.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment £4.99

Essie summer 2013 Collection – Sunday Funday

Being a baby pink kind of girl, I was unsure of how much I would use the bold, bright pink ‘Sunday Funday’ from the Essie summer 2013 collection. BUT! I have not had it off my nails since I purchased it.  I have rotated between the three colours in the mini set weekly, (yes they last a week!) but my firm favourite is ‘Sunday Funday’.

Essie Summer 2013 Mini Collection £12.99

essie shade sunday funday on nails
(Essie shade: sunday funday)

Mac Woodwinked Eye Shadow

Lots of my friends had mentioned Mac’s ‘Woodwinked’ as their all time favourite Mac eye shadow colour, so I had to try it out myself.  It’s a beautiful coppery gold shimmer that looks great blended with a brown.  As with all Mac eye shadows, the pigmentation is brilliant and it blends easily when used with a Mac 217 brush.  Mac’s ‘Woodwinked’ is a very dramatic colour that I have been loving wearing on a night out.

Mac Woodwinked Eye Shadow £12.50

Mac cosmetics woodwinked
Mac – Woodwinked Eye Shadow


Vaseline Pink Bubbly Limited Edition

Vaseline is a great back to basics brand, which makes products that are cheap and really work.  The Pink Bubbly pocked sized tin of Vaseline smells of turkish delight and adds a hint of pink to your lips.  This has been in my bag all summer, and has been a staple favourite throughout August for hydrating my lips.

Vaseline Pink Bubbly Limited Edition £3.49

Collection Eye Shadow Pencil in Vanilla Sky & Hot Chocolate

Collection is a cheap and cheerful brand that brings out some great products.  These waterproof eye shadow pencils caught my eye, and were a total bargain at £2.50 each.  The Collection eye shadow pencils are really easy to apply, and work as great base colours that last all day.  Just a warning, they need to be blended quickly as they dry fast!  ‘Vanilla Sky’ is a light shimmery ivory and ‘Hot chocolate’ is a gorgeous deep coppery brown.

Collection Eye Shadow Pencils £2.50

collection eye shadow stick vanilla sky and hot chocolate
Top – Vanilla Sky, bottom – Hot Chocolate


I love beauty recommendations, so if you have a product you have been loving this month please let me know in the comments below.

The Starting Off Project: Week 1. Skincare

I am no skin care expert and could do with a little bit of help myself!  So for week 1 of the #theSOproject I am going to guide you towards some experts that will be able to give you the best tips for perfect skin.

Caroline Hirons from is a skincare genius who I discovered a couple of months back when she teamed up with the Pixiwoo sisters Sam and Nic.  Caroline Hirons gives straight, honest advice and is a true expert in her area.

The most memorable and humorous tip I got from this video was cleansing wipes should NEVER be used in your daily skin care routine.

Caroline said:

Cleansing wipes should only be used for the three F’s: Fanny’s, Flights and Festivals!

See the full ‘Caroline Hirons: Pixiwoo’s Body Talk’ video here:

If you’re into organic skin care products, Anna from Vivianna does Makeup has recently put together a video of some great products that not only feel great, but smell delicious.   Most of these products can be purchased online and contain no nasty chemicals.

See the full video here:

And finally… Wayne Goss from has just uploaded a brilliant video on ‘Teenage skin: What to do and not to do during your teens’ with some great advice!

See the video here:

Skin types can vary so it is difficult to recommend products that will suit everyone.  In fact, this would be impossible!

If you’re on a budget, and visiting a drug store, my brand recommendations for young skin would be:

Face: Simple

Body: Soap & Glory

Extra hydration: E45

Next week on #theSOproject: Concealer

Visit every Tuesday for the next installment of #theSOproject

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The Starting Off Project

The #theSOproject (The Starting Off Project) is a brilliant concept thought up by beauty blogger Stephanie to give advice and information to young girls experimenting with makeup and skincare.

I can still remember my first ever beauty purchase at the age of about ten.  It was a pearly pink nail polish bought from a pharmacy and I loved it!  I also remember my second ever beauty purchase….a black (yes black) lipstick bought from Cardiff’s indoor market.  I have no idea why I wanted this, and would not advise either! Let’s just say it didn’t come off that easily and my mother was mortified!

The #theSOproject will run for the next ten weeks covering all aspects of beauty and skincare; giving tips, advice and tutorials.  There are over 100 beauty bloggers involved, and the schedule is as follows:

Week 1: Skincare
Week 2: Concealer
Week 3: Foundation
Week 4: Bronzer
Week 5: Blusher
Week 6: Mascara
Week 7: Eyeliner
Week 8: Eyeshadow
Week 9: Lips
Week 10: Make up tools

Visit every Tuesday for the next installment of #theSOproject

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My Wedding in a Week: Part 7. It’s the little things

It’s the little things that can really make your day special.  From day one, we wanted the focus to be on everyone having fun, and we hope we achieved this.

Guests love things they can interact with.  Photo booths always go down amazingly, but I wanted something a little different.  I had recently been to Brighton and loved the face-in-the-hole boards that they have on the pier, which gave me the idea of building a wedding themed one.  Our talented friend crafted the whole thing and painted on a cheeky wedding scene.  We set it up outside our marquee, and was great fun for our guests to have their picture taken.

wedding face in the hole board

Tip 1:  Think of fun quirky things that your guests can interact with.  It will make your day far more memorable.

The one thing we really struggled with was wedding favours.  We had already ploughed our guests with cocktails, sweets and the wedding breakfast so we didn’t want to add any more food into the mix.  In the end we settled on cute little badges, which we had personalised for every guest.  It was a good ice breaker and a good way for the guests to get to know each other.

personalised badge wedding favours

Tip 2: If you’re struggling with the favours, think of something that represents you as a couple.  At a recent wedding, we were all given Kinder Eggs as the groom had proposed with the ring hidden in one.  Ahhh!

Weddings can be a long day in heels, so to make sure our guests danced all night long, we provided flip-flops to rest their tired feet.  Our guests were so thankful for these, and practically everyone on the dance floor was wearing them!

wedding flip flops

Tip 3: Look after your guests and they will love you for it!  As our wedding was approaching summer, the guests were delighted to take the flip-flops home.

I’ve saved the best ‘til last, and to cut a long story short, my husband and I met over a lost shoe!  It was inevitable that the shoe was brought up in the speeches, so we planned for a huge ice sculpture of the missing shoe to be waiting for us at the evening party.  The ice shoe doubled as a vodka luge which our guests did not leave alone all night!  The drinks were flowing and we had an amazing night of dancing and laughter.

Tip 4: Not all of your guests will know how you met, so try and include this in your day, even if it’s funnier than it is romantic!

wedding shoe ice sculpture



My Wedding in a Week: Part 6. Cake, Cars and Candy

As Kate Middleton and Prince William got married during my wedding planning process, I had to keep telling myself our weddings were not comparable and we would never need a cake that grand!  Their’s was the most fantastic wedding cake I have ever seen, and Fiona Cairns makes the most beautiful creations.

Tip 1: If your guest list is for example 100 people, don’t go for a cake that feeds any less hoping that not everyone will eat it.  They will.  Wedding cake portions are normally classed as a 1×1 inch piece and people might want to take some home.

After setting my heart on an iced tiered creation, we settled for cupcakes.  Due to allocating budget elsewhere we just couldn’t afford a big cake, and cupcakes are much better value for money.  We picked out five different flavours, and our cake makers also made us a fantastic chocolate marshmallow top tier for us to cut.  This leads me on to cake stands.

wedding cake stand cupcakes

To display all the cake, I found an amazing carpenter who crafted a bespoke 6 tiered ivory and gold wedding cake stand.  It was statuesque to say the least, and lucky we couldn’t reach the top tier to cut the cake as it had become unscrewed! Had we put any pressure on it, the whole stand would have fallen apart and ended in a cake mess all over the floor.  Oops!

Tip 2: If you have multiple flavoured cupcakes, make a cake menu.  This will help guests decide what to pick and looks really cute.

wedding cupcake menu

There’s not too much to say about cars.  This is one decision you can leave in your groom’s hands (but emphasise no mini buses or fire engines!).  We picked a beautiful black and white Beauford and the driver was so helpful and courteous.

Tip 3: To cut costs. ask your wedding car company if they will do multiple trips. Mine took my bridesmaids first, then came back for me and Dad.

wedding car beauford

As we went low key on the favours, we decided to hire a Victorian candy cart so that our guests could indulge in treats throughout the day.  I was really conscious not to make it look tacky so purchased beautiful glass apothecary jars that I filled with red, pink and white sweets to match our colour theme.  I collected jam jars which I tied with ivory satin ribbon to hold swirly lollipops which was a pretty touch.

Tip 4:  Leave personalised paper bags so your guests can take sweets home.  A couple of our guests even ate some for breakfast the next day!

victorian candy cart candy jars

Cupcakes: Madame Fromage

Beauford car: Brecon Wedding Cars


My Wedding in a Week: Part 5. Beautiful Bouquets

Choosing the wedding flowers was one of my favourite parts of the wedding planning process.  Your groom won’t be interested in this part.  He is only interested in the car and eating cake.   Don’t punish him.  The first question every bride will ask the wedding florist is when is the right time to choose the flowers?  The answer to this is when you have found your dress, and subsequently picked your bridesmaids dresses.  See part 4. Bridesmaids.

Tip 1: If you have chosen your bridesmaids dresses, you have chosen the colour theme for your wedding.  Now is a good time to start thinking about your flowers.

The wedding florist will want to see a photo of your dress.  I thought this was just to be nosey, but there is reasoning behind it.  If you go for a large skirted dress your bouquet will also need to be large, and possibly cascading to balance out your whole look.  If you have gone for a vintage style dress, your wedding florist will be able to put together a beautiful rustic style bouquet to compliment your dress.

As I had chosen black and white bridesmaids dresses, I wanted something vibrant and bright to lift the look.  I asked for a mix of red and pink roses, accompanied by smaller white blooms to add texture to my bouquet.

bride pink and red bouquet

Tip 2: When looking through wedding magazines and online, remember that not all flowers will be in season for your wedding.  Take pictures of bouquets you love and your florist will be able to advise you.

I set my heart on having glass or silver pedestal bowls for the table centres, which I had seen in a wedding magazine.  Could I find these exactly to my specification anywhere? No.  It took me months of searching online, visiting eBay and going to antique shops to find what I was looking for.  Eventually I found some beautiful pressed glass pedestal bowls in John Lewis, which I was able to sell on to another bride after the wedding.

Tip 3: If you are buying your own vases, buy extra.  You wouldn’t want one to break before your big day and not be able to replace it.

As we also had a marquee with an English tea party theme, I collected vintage looking votives, small bud vases and teacups.   These were filled with small stemmed flowers for the centre of the tables, and looked beautiful.

vintage wedding flowers

vintage wedding flowers

Tip 3: If you’re going for a vintage style floral arrangement, look for vases or votives of different heights to make the display interesting.

My last thought on the subject of wedding flowers is always throw the bouquet!  This is such a classic element of a wedding day and is so much fun for the female guests.

Tip 4: Like I did, ask your florist to put together a throwing bouquet with any spare flowers.  This way you can take home your bridal bouquet, but still enjoy the fun of throwing one.  Mine looked like a mini version of my bouquet and I don’t think anyone knew the difference!

bride throwing the bouquet

Flowers by The Bee Orchid