Tag Archives: Beauty

Beauty: Paul & Joe Limited Edition 15th Anniversary Makeup Collection

Posted on April 28, 2017

Hi Guys!

If you know Paul & Joe beauty, you’ll know they’re all about the cute and kitsch – and of course cats. Their new limited edition 15th anniversary collection has just arrived at TSNC HQ and it’s simply BEAUTIFUL.

The 15th Anniversary Makeup Collection brings together some of Paul and Joe’s best selling beauty products in one handy collectible set – of course featuring their iconic feline design throughout, contrasted on a pretty floral background. The set includes a selection of colours for the eyes in pretty spring shades, as well as a couple of other lovely treats…

The large outer box opens to reveal a pretty pink and gold two tier vanity case, with a flip lid on the top and a drawer below. Paul & Joe haven’t skimped on the details here. The box itself is of high quality and even features a gold cat head as a drawer pull. This could easily be used as a trinket or jewellery box if you so wished.

The top of the case lifts up to reveal a six individual 3D cat shaped eye colours. They all have a pearl finish and come in a range of pretty pastel shades. There’s a mint green, metallic copper brown, shimmery pink, a yellow gold, deep purple and a light pastel pink. They’re so cute and so perfect, I can’t bear to touch them!

In the below drawer, you’ll find a Lipstick in Petit Princess – this is a soft peachy coral shade that was originally seen in the Spring 2012 collection, and of course the bullet has been moulded into a super cute cat head shape with a hat – I would expect nothing less. There’s also a mini Face & Eye Colour Case tin, which opens to reveal an eyeshadow brush and three spaces to house your top three kitty cat pearls from the eye colours, making them both portable an easy to use.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, the outer box also contains a cat head shaped makeup bag pouch, with a floral cream and pink pattern to match the design on the vanity case.

In my opinion this is a collection to be loved and cherished, and definitely not used (even though everything included is of course fully functional). This collection has been designed to the finest detail to make it as special, and precious as possible. As a child that always collected ‘special things’, like little trinkets and shiny stones, and kept them safe in a little tin – so this collection just really appeals to me. This is a truly stunning set that makeup collectors will absolutely love. I just want to sit and look at the cats forever!

The Paul & Joe Anniversary makeup Collection is £55.00 and available at ASOS now.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

 This post contains press samples

Hair: The Beautiful Miranda Wig from Joseph’s Wigs

Posted on April 27, 2017

Hi Guys!

You may or may not know by now that I regularly wear wigs – I know I don’t often share pictures of myself, but when I do I’m usually wearing a wig. I love them! It’s been a while since I’ve tried any new ones though, and I always seem to gravitate towards the same ones in my collection. So when Joseph’s Wigs asked if I’d like to review one of their wigs, of course I jumped at the chance.

They have a great selection available, but I went for the Miranda Wig by Amore at Renee of Paris as it just looked so effortless and natural…

Well I have to say it didn’t disappoint when it arrived! The Miranda wig was just as beautiful as I was hoping, and I’m SO happy with how well made it is – it literally needed no styling and zero effort. With this wig you can just throw it on in under a minute and you’re ready to go.

I should probably point out that some wigs require a lot of work before you wear them – they might need cutting, styling, adjusting etc. All I did with this before wearing it was spray a bit of dry shampoo through the lengths, which helps to dull down any shine so it looks more like real hair.

This wig comes with a wefted back and sides and a double monofilament top, which basically means the parting isn’t set in one place, and you can move around it to suit your style. I love that it’s so versatile and and the monofilament top also makes it look very realistic as it allows the hair to fall more naturally.

The cap itself is very lightweight, and made of soft, breathable materials. If you haven’t worn a wig before, they can really make your head quite hot, so it’s important that the cap is as light as possible. You can also adjust the sides on the inside of the cap for a really snug fit – there’s no chance of this falling off!

You can see the style is long and layered, and doesn’t feel heavy at all. And considering the hair is non-human, it really is fantastic quality, both in terms of the texture and the colour. There are a massive 24 shades to choose from for the Miranda wig, and I went with Toasted Brown which is a lovely warm toned light brown, with natural looking highlights.

You can probably tell by now that I’m absolutely thrilled with my new wig – I think it might be my new favourite! I’d love to hear what you think? And do let me know if you’d be interested to see more wig reviews on TSNC moving forward. I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Skincare: Multi Misting with Pixi Beauty #MultiMisting

Posted on April 24, 2017

Hi Guys!

Ok so we’ve all heard of multi-masking? Well now Pixi Beauty are taking things one step further with multi-misting! Which as you can guess, is all about layering up your favourite mists, and using them together in a way that suits your skin.

Pixi Beauty have just added a couple of brand new mists to their ever-expanding collection of products, including the Vitamin Wakeup Mist and the Sun Mist. I have the new Vitamin Wakeup Mist (£16.00 at M&S) – which is described as a boosting toner mist to revitalize and awaken the complexion. It has an orange blossom water base, which is blended with skin-loving citrus fruit extracts, lavendar, and arginine for a wonderfully zesty scent that instantly refreshes the skin on contact. You can use this any time of day just to cool the skin and give it a bit of a boost, though I prefer a spritz first thing in the morning. It also works well to freshen your makeup during the day, giving skin a shot of hydration and protection.

The Hydrating Milky Mist (£18.00 at M&S) is another favourite of mine. This is a featherlight mist that provides an instant surge of hydration to help plump up the skin. It contains hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, and a blend of black oat, provitamin A, and linoleic acid to soothe and calm, and add moisture to the skin before you apply serum or makeup. My dry and sensitive skin just loves this – it gives an instant boost of hydration leaving my skin feeling happy and plump.

The Glow Mist (£16.00 at M&S) gives you a dewy, luminous and smooth complexion, which works to set makeup whilst hydrating and protecting the skin. Out of the four mists I’ve been trying out, I’d definitely say this one is a must have for everyone. It contains 13 natural oils, plus propolis which has has antiseptic and antioxidant properties, and aloe vera and fruit extracts which help to hydrate, protect and nourish the skin, all together leaving you with a radiant, healthy looking glow.

And lastly the Makeup Fixing Mist (£16.00 at M&S) – as you would expect, this mist prolongs your makeup and prevents it from sliding down your face as well as melting and settling into fine lines. It contains rose water and green tea to hydrate, protect and balance skin, giving you a fresh looking complexion with a soft-focus finish. You can also spray this directly onto your makeup brushes before applying product, to help your makeup last longer still.

I’m actually really struggling to tell you which is my favourite out of these mists. I love the Vitamin Mist to ‘wake up’ my skin in the morning, I love the Hydrating Milky Mist and Glow mist equally for an instant hit of hydration, whilst leaving my skin feeling rejuvenated, and the Makeup Setting Mist does exactly what you’d expect. So I think there really is something for everyone here!

Have you tried any Pixi Mists? I’d love to hear what your favourite is!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Beauty: Kiko Less Is Better Limited Edition Capsule Collection

Posted on April 21, 2017

Hi Guys!

Can you believe Kiko is 20 years old this year! I really would never have guessed that it’s now pretty much 20 years since their very first store opened way back in September 1997.

To celebrate their birthday, KIKO have teamed up with Vogue Italia, who have chosen seven international designers to create their own limited-edition capsule collections for the brand. The designers will each interpret a make-up trend and use it to celebrate KIKO’s most important values: colour, creativity, talent and of course an all-Italian style.

The Less is Better limited-edition capsule collection has been created in partnership with the designers of SuperDuper Handmade Hats, a brand that I personally haven’t heard of, but they’ve won many awards for the design and quality of their hats.

The Less is Better collection focuses on the “no make-up” make-up trend which emphasise natural beauty using nude and neutral colours to accentuate the features and cleverly play with light and shadow.

This limited-edition collection includes products for highlighting the face, concealing small imperfections and also putting emphasis on the eyes and lips. The colour palette is warm, natural and elegant, and all of the products come in nude and neutral shades.

Starting with the Less is Better Matte Lipstick (£6.90 at Kiko) – this mini collection of matte liquid lipsticks contains four beautiful nude shades, offering a quick drying ultra-matte finish and high coverage. They have quite a moussey texture, similar to the Burberry Lip Velvets, which feels lightweight and velvety on the lips. The formula is also enriched with peach extract and Brazil nut oil to help provide exceptional coverage. I have shades –

  • 02 Silky Cashmere – a light nude beige
  • 03 Essential Rose – a light petal pink
  • 04 Impeccable Rosewood – a deep nude brown

The Less is Better Fluid Highlighter (£11.90 at Kiko) is a lightweight highlighting fluid that’s perfect for fans of subtle strobing. The formula contains pearls and pigments to give a light sheen to the skin, rather than a full on intense highlight. If you’re looking for glowy skin, this is the perfect product to mix in with your day to day foundation to give a radiant complexion. This is available in two shades and I have shade 02 Mild Golden Sand, which would best suit medium skin tones.

And the Less is Better Cream Blush (£8.90 at Kiko) – this is a water based cream blush, combining the softness of a mousse with the fresh feel of a lightweight emulsion. It contains soft-focus powders that blend and build easily, and the water in the formula leaves the skin feeling refreshingly cool. You can’t see it too well but it is swatched on my hand above, I love that the product sheers out nicely for a flush of colour that’s easy to wear. This is available in two shades, and I have 02 Tenuous Mauve, which is a beautiful muted mauve shade.

The Less is Better collection is available now at Kiko Cosmetics.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

My Experience Using an Instagram Bot…

Posted on April 20, 2017

Hi Guys,

Ok so before you start losing your mind. Let me tell you the story from the beginning… (sorry it’s a long one)

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about blogging and social media in general, and the conversation turned to Instagram and bots. This was before the whole thing blew up on Twitter over Easter, I’d heard of bots but never really given them a second thought. From the little knowledge I had, I understood they were one step away from buying followers and really not a good idea. My friend actually made them sound quite appealing though and came up with quite a few positive sounding points…

So this got me thinking. Could this actually be a useful way to help your Instagram grow? Is this like an electronic PA, working on your behalf to get your profile out there and noticed? I don’t use Instagram very much. Apart from the fact that I’ve been unwell recently, I’ve never been a big user, I often go weeks between posts and don’t have a big following, so I decided to sign up and trial one of the services to see if it actually works, and if it could give my profile a boost. It’s not like I was buying followers, so what could go wrong??

I should point out here that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of sites offering a combination of paid for followers (across all social channels, not just instagram) as well as different bots. I was quite surprised at how big a business it really is.

I went to the site that was recommended to me and considered signing up – but it felt wrong. It felt like cheating… or was it? The site told me I’d be growing my following organically, so it can’t all be bad, right? I thought it was worth a shot.

I just want to point out that didn’t intend this to be malicious. I didn’t want to follow and unfollow thousands of accounts every day in order to gain a zillion followers like some people have. I was just curious and wanted to see if this could be a useful tool for bloggers to help grow their Instagram following in a genuine way.

So I signed up, and once I got the hang of using the dashboard I was extremely impressed with how sophisticated the technology was. You could literally specify what you want to do in terms of following accounts, liking posts and commenting, down to the finest detail. You could select which hours you want the bot to run, which hashtags you want to target, wether you want to like, follow, unfollow, comment, or a mixture of all of them, and how many per hour. You could also specify the location of the users you want to target, how many followers they have, and which of their posts you want to comment or like. So just for an example – you could say you want the bot to run for two hours on a Saturday morning starting at 9am. Where it will comment on 10 posts per hour which it randomly selects from hashtags that you input to the system, and like 20 posts per hour. You could also further drill down so it only chooses people in a specific country, and with specific followings too.

It really was very clever. So I set up my dashboard, input some hashtags that I use, which are mostly beauty ones, and let it do its thing by following and liking new accounts. This didnt really do much in terms of gaining more followers, though I did get a few more likes where people reciprocated, but nothing noticeable.

I then decided to try the comment feature. You’re advised to use a ‘neutral’ comment that can be applied to pretty much any instagram image. I went with ‘Love! Your feed is fab!’ which I though is friendly and positive but still quite generic. I then let the bot do its thing again.

This is where I really saw a difference. People notice comments. This definitely drove new users to my profile, and suddenly my followers started to increase, and so did my likes and comments. After my initial ‘yay this is working’ reaction, I looked at my profile and saw I had quite a few responses to my generic ”Love! Your feed is fab!’ comment – and I felt terrible.

These people were thinking this was actually me commenting on their profiles. I received some lovely replies, and this is when it first hit me that bots really aren’t a good idea at all. I felt so bad and that I’d basically duped these people. I try to be a straight up, what you see is what you get type of person, so when I realised this was happening, I just had this terrible feeling of disappointment (in myself) and guilt.

And sure some of these accounts were actually great, and had I had the time I’d definitely have commented on them myself. But plenty also weren’t, or just weren’t to my taste or wern’t of interest to me, and this bot was running around pretending to be me, telling all these accounts that I loved them – it just felt very wrong.

I have to say, there’s no doubt that the way I used this bot did give me real followers. Those that followed me decided to follow me (and / or comment) off their own back – BUT – the method you use to get people to notice you in the first place just didn’t sit right with me. Commenting on random posts, following accounts you’re not actually interested in – and of course there’s f/uf (follow / unfollow) which is something else that people have been using bots for (this is following and instantly unfollowing accounts, with the hope that those people will follow you back) It’s just all quite dishonest at the end of the day. My bot was originally set to unfollow but I changed this partway through my trial to follow to see how it changed the results. I found I received a higher rate of followers when I stopped unfollowing others – surprise surprise.

In terms of stats, overall the bot did over 6000 likes for me, nearly 2000 comments, nearly 2000 follows, and nearly 500 unfollows, all within a couple of weeks. This resulted in just over 1000 new followers plus plenty of comments and likes received (the bot didn’t give stats for these) I can’t even begin to imagine how much time this would have taken if I was doing all this manually.

To conclude, do I think Instagram bots are a good idea? The answer is no I don’t. To make new users discover you, your bot is acting as you, following, liking and commenting on random accounts, and this deceptiveness has definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. It feels wrong and dishonest. Bloggers treat themselves as businesses now – could you imagine if businesses used bots to leave generic comments on customers profiles? Its one thing having a real person work for you and represent your brand to follow and leave genuine comments on relevant users profiles, but bots completely remove the human element, they feel false, repetitive and deceptive, and after trying this one out I don’t think they can be used in a positive way at all.

So where does this leave things? Well my trial is now over, and even though my account technically did receive a boost, I’m now left waiting to see who unfollows me, when they realise that I won’t be liking or commenting on their posts anymore. As well as this, I also now need to go through my profile and unfollow all the accounts that I’m not actually interested in, so in the long run it’s actually made me more work.

In terms of Instagram as a whole though, I’ve learned that it’s pretty much a full time job to grow your account yourself. You need to be constantly on there posting new content, following, liking and commenting on new accounts that you’re interested in and that are relevant to you, as well a liking and commenting on the current accounts you already follow. Who has time for this? Definitely not me at the moment. But if you do, I applaud you and you definitely deserve success after putting in so much work. After this experience (and ending up feeling bad about the whole thing – I’m still receiving replies to my generic comment) I’m happy to just let my account sit there and not do much like it always has done.

I hope you enjoyed my post – please do let me know your thoughts xx

Beauty: New Spring 2017 Lip Launches

Posted on March 29, 2017

Hi Guys!

There have been SO many new lip launches over the last few months, I really didn’t know where to start with them! So I decided in the end I’d just group everything together and talk you through them all. Some are pretty decent, some are really good, and a couple really are excellent. Let’s get stuck in!

Starting with the new Lord & Berry Timeless Kissproof Lipstick (£15.00 at HQ Hair) – now I must admit, Lord & Berry isn’t a brand that I’d usually gravitate towards, for no other reason than I’m just not overly familiar with their products. But I have to say their new Timeless Kiss Proof Lipsticks really are fantastic!

They have a lovely, creamy formula that contains a nourishing blend of Neem, Sesame and Indian Frankincense Essential Oils, making them super comfortable on the lips, whilst being incredibly pigmented with a transfer-resistant matte finish. I really was impressed with these and they’re definitely worth checking out. I have shades –

  • Brave Red – a true red
  • Pop Pink – an intense magenta
  • First Lady – a mid brown with gold sparkle

(I should just mention that I took my photos before the products had a chance to dry, so just letting you know they do dry down matte)

Next we have the Chantecaille Matte Chic Lipsticks (£33.00 at Space NK) – you probably won’t be surprised to hear these are the most expensive products in this round up. The Matte Chic lipsticks have a light, whipped texture that’s very similar to the new Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets. I love that they feel barely-there on the lips, whilst being moisturising and also long wearing. They’d make a great treat if you’re a fan of Chantecaille products. I have shades –

  • Jerry – a nude pink
  • Carmen – a true deep red

And at the opposite end of the spectrum, the Clinique Crayola Chubby Stick in Wild Strawberry (£17.50 at House of Fraser) is perfect if you’re looking for a nourishing lip product with just a hint of colour. The formula contains mango and shea butters to keep lips feeling comfortably soft and smooth, and the Crayola theme is really fun and playful.

Back to liquid lipsticks now, the LA Splash Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks (£9.95 at Beauty Bay) have been a long time favourite of mine. I picked some up direct from LA Splash in the US a while ago now, and I was beyond impressed with how well they lasted on my lips.

Their Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick collection is inspired by desserts, and comes in a range of muted, neutral shades. The formula is full coverage, and completely transfer proof, and it’s also worth mentioning that you don’t want to apply this too thickly, as I’ve found it wears off the lips quicker if it’s applied too generously. I have shades –

  • Dark Mocha Mousse – a light warm brown.
  • Buttermilk Cheesecake – a natural nude with pink undertones.
  • Macaroon –  a deep rosy pink.

The Ciate London Pretty Stix Lipstick (£16.00 at Lookfantastic) is another new product that’s now a favourite of mine. This is more along the lines of a sheer lipstick, offering a moisturising formula which combines Brazilian Murumuru butter and Amino Acid to give the soothing and conditioning properties of a balm, combined with the pigmentation of a lipstick. I love that the Pretty Stix make my lips feel so smooth and moisturised. I’ve been wearing Vintage Blush quite a lot this week!

  • Vintage Blush – a light coral nude
  • Romcom – a bright magenta
  • Heartbreaker – a deep purple

Next we have the brand new Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks (£19.00 at Smashbox) – it’s been quite a while since I’ve used Smashbox products so I wasn’t too sure what to expect with these, but the Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks are some of the most highly pigmented lip products I’ve ever tried – I was so impressed!

They promise to stay put for up to 8 hours, and contain Advanced Polymer Technology and Primer Oil Complex to give a super smooth, intensely pigmented, budge-proof finish. I have shades –

  • Let’s Dance – a bright purple toned magenta
  • Shockaholic – a super bright magenta pink
  • Big Spender – an intense rose pink

For those looking for a budget product, I always recommend checking out Sleek Cosmetics. The Sleek Cosmetics Matte Lip Cream (£4.99 at Boots) is a great product for less than a fiver, and they’ve now brought out a selection of fun and bright pastel shades for spring. The formula isn’t the most pigmented in the world, but it’s decent enough to give good coverage with a couple of swipes, and it lasts for a good few hours before you need to think about touching up. Overall this is a great budget product. I have shades –

  • French Fancy – a pretty mid cool toned pink
  • Crushed Lavender – a light lavender purple
  • Apricot Blooms – a light coral-apricot

If you’re not a fan of liquid lipsticks, the new Makeup Forever Artist Acrylip Glosses (£17.50 at Debenhams) could be right up your street. Inspired by bold, high-pigment artist acrylic paints, the MUFE Artist Acrylips give lips the most intense, glossy color with just one swipe. I really love the smoothness of the formula, as well as the amazing pigmentation. I should reiterate that these are glosses and do not dry down or set in any way shape or form – but they also don’t move around the mouth at all which is great news. I have shades –

  • 202 Coral Pink – an intense petal pink
  • 400 Iconic Red – an intense true red
  • 600 Dark Purple – a deep aubergine purple

And the Pixi Beauty GelTint & SilkGloss (£14.00 at ASOS) – Pixi is one of my favourite beauty brands, and I love that their products are always so interesting and innovative. This double ended tint and gloss is just a fantastic idea that I’ve never seem before. One end contains a gel formula lip stain, and the other holds a glossy top coat.

And lastly, MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick (£17.50 at Selfridges) – this collection includes some really beautiful shades, and I was drawn to ‘So Me’ which has a real 90’s vibe about it. I’m not actually a fan of MAC’s original Retro Matte Lipsticks as I find them to be incredibly drying, so I was interested to see how the liquid version fared. Well I have to say I was impressed! As expected the formula was richly pigmented, but it was also pleasant to wear and lasted all day. I definitely want to pick up some more shades now!

I’d love to hear which lip products you’ve been loving lately?

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Ideal World TV Big Birthday Celebration #JoinTheIdealParty

Posted on March 27, 2017

Hi Guys!

Hopefully you caught my post a couple of weeks ago about the Ideal World TV’s Girl’s Night In? The Girls Night in Twitter chat we had was so much fun! I was then so pleased when Ideal World asked me to join in again with their next upcoming celebration –

On Wednesday 29th April it’ll be Ideal World’s 17th birthday! And to celebrate they will be holding an extra-long, extra special 5 day event – look out for their biggest and best deals of the year, including free P&P, exclusive bundles and brand new offers from many of their favourite brands.

One of the fab offers available during the birthday celebration is the Skinn Collagenesis set, containing Skinn’s 24 Hour Cream, Stem Rejen Face Serum, Stem Rejen Eye Serum, and Lip Stem Rejen. These four products usually cost a hefty £120, but Ideal World TV will be supersizing all four products during their birthday event, as well as adding two extra goodies (the Skinn Insta-Fill for Lips and Insta-Fill for eyes) to create a fantastic 6 piece set, and the absolutely amazing price of all six products will be reduced to just £39.99 – what a bargain! This is just one of the many deals which will be coming up very soon.

Ideal world TV’s Birthday celebrations will be starting at 5pm on Wednesday 29th March and will run until Monday 3rd April at 9pm. There will be plenty of fun and excitement happening on the channel, with new deals launching throughout the event, and one lucky viewer will also have the chance of winning an Ideal World TV shopping spree too.

I’d love it if you could join me on Wednesday night for Ideal World TV’s Big Birthday Celebration – just tune in to Ideal World TV on any of the following platforms: Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin 747, Freesat 812 or via live stream at www. idealworld.tv. Then hop over to Twitter for 7.30pm and follow hashtag #JoinTheIdealParty. Hope to see you there!

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by Ideal World TV, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.