Mascara Magic?

I’ve been so busy working and posting and going to events that it’s been hard to keep up with all the great things I’ve been trialling and testing and this week, when I received a gorgeous newly launched mascara I realised that there were a couple of other mascaras that I haven’t reviewed for you and so I thought it was time to introduce you to three magic mascaras right now!

Falsh Lash Effect Velvet Volume Mascara5

So this is the one that’s just launched and got me thinking about how it was good old Max himself that brought the mascara wand to the market. This is the Max Factor False Lash Effect Volume Mascara is the latest addition to the False Lash Effect range. It combines the “lavish volume brush” with a mousse formula mascara to give full, dramatic and glamorous lashes that are velvety soft to the touch.

Regular readers will know that I have short stubby fair lashes and it takes a lot for a mascara to even make them visible – never mind looking full, dramatic and glamorous.

The key things they are aiming for are:

  • Volume – I found that this mascara did give me defined, visible lashes that you could definitely notice. I wouldn’t say that they look like falsh lashes but they did look good.
  • Separation – this aim was definitely achieved. There was definitely no clumping even though I put on a couple of coats to get the best effect.
  • Velvety soft finish – another big tick in the box for me. My lashes weren’t stiff and brittle. To the touch they felt as though I didn’t have mascara on – yet when I checked in the mirror my lashes were clearly visible.

This one is a keeper and at just £8.99 it’s a bargain too!


Next I need to tell you about the Laura Geller Dramalash Maximum Volumizing MascaraI discovered all about the Laura Geller brand at an event in a couple of months back – more here.

This one is a gel formula with a lash thickening effect that thickens each lash with no flaking or drying out. It has a soft over-sized brush that I did struggle with a bit. That’s the short stumpy lashes causing problems for me again! I found it hard to catch the under eye lashes with sich a thick brush. I think I’ve become used to thinner brushes or ones with a bobble bit on the end that catches the small lashes.

The formula contains spherical powders to enhance the thickness of the lashes and also nourishes with vitamin B5. The creamy formula is buildable so you can go as glam as you like!

This is towards the higher end on cost but the Laura Geller quality is there so it comes in at £19.00 here.

Scream & Pout2

Last in this trio of mascaras is one that I got back in the summer – it was part of my discovery of the Scream & Pout brand which is part of the Fake Bake stable.

Part of my love for the brand was the experience I had at the event – you can remind yourself about that here. Still I’m here today to concentrate on telling you about the mascara. This is the Scream & Pout Fake Me Up Mascara. This is a rich dark glossy mascara. It’s said to create the illusion of thicker fuller lashes. I’m afraid this one didn’t work for me, it made my lashes dark and glossy, I can’t lie, but it didn’t make them longer or thicker. I think this is the kind of mascara that’s great if you have great lashes already and you just want to make them black and glossy.

It’s also a great conditioning blend with panthenol, candelia and beeswax and the brush is great at catching every lash with its curved design. This is in the mid price range at £14.00 here.

A rich, dark glossy mascara that creates the illusion of a thicker, fuller lash.
A conditioning blend of Panthenol, Candelia and Beeswax glides easily on to lashes while tiny nylon fibres, grip, build and create length to lash. The specially
designed curved and tapered brush coats from root top tip. Its time to Fake Up!

So that’s my mascara news – I think it can be really hard to find the right blend of formula, price and brush style. I’m not sure that any of these are my absolute perfect choice – but a couple are pretty close!

What’s your favourite mascara currently?


These products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own. The post contains some affiliate links.






Dragon’s Blood Range from Balance Active Formula

Dragon's Blood

Balance Active Formula has done it again with this new Dragon’s Blood range. They manage to capture some great active ingredients in their products as well as keeping their prices low with each of these products under £5!

I first discovered Balance Active Formula earlier this year when I reviewed the Skin Brightening Cream WashNow this new range has brought me just what I was looking for – a suite of products that lifts and firms my skin instantly as well as helping it to improve over time.

I just want to explain about Dragon’s Blood – no dragons were harmed in the manufacturing of these products.  Dragon’s Blood is a bright red plant resin that has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes amongst other things. So nothing scary to see here.

There are three products in the range. First up is the Lifting Cream a non greasy cream with Dragon’s Blood Extract and 3% Liftonin Express which helps your skin to look lifted and tightened. I found that it absorbs easily and has quite a matt effect. I used it on top of the Lifting Serum which also contains the same active ingredients. I find that layering the cream on top of serum means that the more powerful less dense product sinks directly into the skin and then is almost sealed in by the slightly heavier cream.

The Lifting Serum can be used all over the face and neck including the eyes but I only applied it to my face and neck as I had the Eye Lift Balm to use in this area. It smooths fine lines and has a cooling refreshing effect again with Dragon’s Blood and Liftonin Express.
As I said these products are great value with the cream and eye-lift at £3.99 each and the serum at £4.99. What’s even better though is that you can buy all three for £10.37 here right now.
My skin’s looking and feeling great at the moment and I’m putting it down to this lovely trio!
Have you tried anything from Balance Active?
These products were gifted to me for review.

Paul & Joe Beaute


When I first encountered Paul & Joe Beaute it was way back when I’d only just started blogging and it was love at first sight. I still have both the items I was gifted that night and treasure them – they are objects of beauty!

Last night, more than a year later I was invited to hear about the Paul & Jo Beaute holiday collection. What made it really special was that the event was held in the Paul & Joe flagship store in Bruton Street London.

It was so good to see the beauty products set against the beautiful background of the stunning Paul & Joe clothes. I may not be young or stylish but I did take note of the top autumn trends when I attended the catwalk show at Stylist Live recently and spotted some of them on the rails – bold checks and tweeds and furnishing style brocade fabrics were definitely featured.

Paul&Jo Fashion2

Paul&Jo Fashion10

MUA Craig Ryan French introduced us to the new glamorous holiday make-up collection Masked Ball Beauty! There are two looks, both gorgeous – Oh Carnaval and Le Bal Masque. We heard how the range designed by Sophie Mechaly, the designer behind the Paul & Joe brand had taken influences from the cat mask worn by Romeo in Zefferelli’s version of Romeo and Juliet.


Craig and his MUA wife told us how Sophie had styled the look of the products on those she remembered from her grandmother’s dressing table. They have a marvelous retro look.

We were shown one amazing product after another and got great make-up tips along the way. My favourite, which makes such great sense, was that when you apply foundation you should consider the thickness of the skin you are applying to. So for example, around the eye where the skin is thinner you should only apply it lightly or use a light formulation, whereas on the cheeks and brow where the skin is thicker you can build a thicker layer of foundation without it looking too heavy. Brilliant advice!


As always with Paul & Joe the limited edition nude and gold lipstick cases are sold separately and fit any lipstick from the range.  We were also introduced to the new bath and body collection in two fragrances, soothing Columbine or energising Arlequin.

After a glass or two of the ubiquitous Prosecco and a generous goodie bag we were sent off into the sparkly pre-Christmas Mayfair streets. I’m really looking forward to trying out my Paul & Joe treats and will let you know more about them in a review post soon.


140809 Paul&Joelippy&eyeshadow












Review – Airbase Colour Corrector Palette

colour corrector
This is the first product I’ve had from Airbase. This Colour Corrector Palette contains five shades of corrector that are designed to be worn under foundation. Each of the shades, Lavender, Mint, Pale Yellow, Rose and Tan are designed to correct skin colour. Not only can this be used under make-up but it can also be used to colour correct tattoos. It’s also good for your skin as it contains Soy Bean Oil which contains vitamins B, E and K.

The colour correction theory is based on the colour wheel and each shade colour corrects it’s opposite shade on the wheel. I think it’s a bit of a shame that the product doesn’t come with a bit more information on use either on or with the product. Even the website doesn’t really explain how the colour correction works. So I’ve done a little research myself so that I can tell you which colour you can use for each skin issue.

Green is opposite red on the colour wheel and so the mint shade will be useful in balancing out redness of the skin and covering blemishes like acne scars.

Purple is opposite yellow on the colour wheel and so the lavender shade will help you to balance out any yellow tones in your skin.

The rose shade (a mixture of red, orange and yellow tones that are opposite the blue purple and blue shades on the colour wheel) will cancel our under eye shadows and brighten up sallow olive skin.

The pale yellow shade will cover purplish bruises, veins or under eye shadows and can give a brighter base for your foundation.

Finally the tan (orange) shade is perfect for darker skin tones to hide shadows. Not really for lighter skin tones.

I wasn’t really sure about the product initially, if you know me you’ll know that I like my beauty products to look sturdy and luxurious and this has a bit of the look of play make-up that you get when you’re a child. On the other hand the palette isn’t inexpensive coming in at £24.95 here so I thought that there must be more than meets the eye with this one and so I gave it a try.

First I used the mint colour across my cheeks where I tend to get a bit of redness. The consistency was great, it covered my skin perfectly and left a smooth matte base for foundation. Then I used the pale yellow shade under my eyes and it really covered the shadows well, much better than my usual concealers.

When I added my usual foundation it went on perfectly and looked great, and what’s more it stayed on really well and didn’t sit in any lines or slide off my face during the day. I was really impressed with it.

Have you used this or any other colour correction products? How did you get on with them?


This product was gifted to me for review.











Review – Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair

overnight retinol repair2

Trialling the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair has been a bit out of the ordinary for me.  The reason I say this is that when I initially read about how to use the product and how powerful the ingredients are I wasn’t really sure it was for me. The cream contains 0.5% retinol which is the highest ratio that you can get without a prescription. I read that it can cause redness and inflammation and I was questioning whether I really needed to apply something to my skin that might cause irritation when it’s not in bad condition for my age.

I took advice and discovered that if you use the retinol along with up to three parts of the Buffer Cream that is supplied with it then your skin becomes acclimatised to it and over time you can increase the ratio.

Now I have great faith in Dermalogica and have loved all the products that I’ve tried so far. They care a lot about their clients and know a lot about skin care so I after a bit of thought I decided to give it a try.

They say:

“Powerful treatment cream accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of skin aging overnight. Active microencapsulated pure Retinol helps increase collagen production and cell turnover. Powerful peptides and antioxidant Vitamin C help fight signs of aging including uneven skin tone and discoloration. Formulated with a clinically-proven bioenergized Copper amino acid complex shown to reduce visible wrinkles and improve skin firmness. Includes a moisturizing Buffer Cream to help skin acclimate to this highly-active form of Retinol. Formulated without artificial fragrances, colors or parabens.”

I used it every other night for the first week mixed one part retinol with three parts buffer cream gradually increasing over two weeks to using it every day and just retinol alone. As you would expect my skin felt great, I didn’t see any effect at all the appearance of my skin at first but over time I did notice a little pinkness on my nose to mouth lines. It was never sore or dry. Then a few days ago I got a bit of reaction at the base of my neck. A bit of irritation and itchiness. I think it’s probably just below the area that I had been using the retinol/buffer mix and so my skin wasn’t acclimatised. I made sure not to apply the cream in this area for the next couple of days but it didn’t go away and so, even though I haven’t got to the end of the treatment I’ve decided to stop using it.

I took this decision because I remembered how at the beginning I wasn’t sure about using such a potent product and I felt that perhaps I should have gone with my gut feeling. I also think it’s probably advisable to use this kind of thing with direct and personal advice from a skin specialist in the Dermalogica store.

As you know, when I review products I just tell you about my experience of the product and how it was for me. My experience doesn’t mean that I think that it wouldn’t be suitable for others.

If you think this might be for you then I would suggest taking some advice from a Dermalogica store and you can find your nearest one here. If you want to buy it on-line you can find it here for £73.00.

Have you tried retinol before? How did you get on with it?


This product was gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Blooming Lovely Flowers! – from BloomonUK


I always think that having flowers in the house really makes it feels like home and even when pay day seems a long way away I try to find a couple of pounds for a bunch or two – my excuse of course is that I need them for my blog!

Bloomon1This week I discovered a new way to make sure that the house is always full of flowers. I came across BloomonUK when I was at a blogging event last week, although I didn’t really know I had. I mean I noticed right away that the flowers were amazing but I didn’t know about the concept behind the brand BloomonUK and how they’ve designed a home delivery service that’s a bit like those deliveries of organic vegetables that you can subscribe to – except that it’s much more creative and a whole lot prettier!


The flowers are composed using the flowers of the season and delivered straight from the field to your door – in the evening! How amazing is that, a company that understands that we have things to do during the day!

You choose the size of the “bunch” that you would like, small, medium or large (as in the picture above), how often you would like them delivered (choose bi-monthly or monthly) and they’ll be delivered to your home.


I had the medium size delivered, it costs £24.95 and if you take advantage of the special preview deal they have at them moment it comes with a vase as a welcome gift. One of the things I really liked too was that you receive a card that tells you about the flowers you’ve received – my included a Harlequin Rose and a Calla (considered to be a lucky flower by the Greeks and Romans).

If you take a look at the website  BloomonUK you’ll see more examples of the stunning flowers that have made up some of their previous deliveries. I’m loving mine and I’m sure that you’ll be seeing more of them in my blog photos over the next few days.



These flowers were gifted to me for review but the words are my own and aren’t prescribed.

Discovering Weleda – Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream Review


Back in September I got my hands on the Weleda Almond Sensitive Hand Cream and the Soothing Facial Oil. Such a lovely brand that was established way back in 1921. Weleda use entirely natural ingredients and none of the ingredients or products are tested on animals.

As the weather has been getting colder I’ve been reaching for my handcream more often and this Weleda hand cream has been the one I’ve been reaching for most recently.

The Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Hand Cream has a mild formula with organic almond oil to reinforce your skin’s own protective function and defends against the elements. It’s a  really comfortable formula that absorbs really quickly and doesn’t feel greasy. It’s designed to suit sensitive skin and has a calming effect as well as leaving your skin feeling soft. It costs £9.95 here.

I’ll be reviewing the Soothing Facial Oil soon but you can find out more about it here in the meantime.

Have you ever tried anything from Weleda? I’d love to hear what you think.


This product was a PR sample and the post contains affiliate links.

Discovering Omniya Health & Beauty Mediclinic


This week I went to my first event as part of the 30 Plus Blog Collective, the brainchild of Hayley Carr, aka London Beauty Queen. The event took place at the Health & Beauty Mediclinic – Omniya.

Omniya nestles in the heart of Knightsbridge in Montpelier Street. Its chic clean lines house health and beauty services, a pharmacy and a retail space that shows off a stunning range of skin, health and hair care brands. Some of the brands and treatments are better known than others but all are dispensed with the utmost care and expertise by a dedicated team of medical and aesthetic practitioners, beauty therapists, wellness experts, a nutritionist and a private GP.


We were all warmly welcomed by Hayley, (I needn’t have been nervous she was absolutely lovely) and fed and watered with (as you might expect) health enhancing food from Treat and surrounded by beautiful blooms from Bloomon

It was such a lovely place to meet up with our blogger friends and to make new ones but it was Omniya that was the star of the show. Alongside brands like Dermalogica, Vichy and La Roche Posay which I’m really familiar with I discovered others like SkinCeuticals, Zo and Fillerina and so many more.

La Roche Posay Redermic C10

SkinCeuticals Retexturising Activator

Zo Hydrating Cleanser

Fillerina Night Cream

Hayley worked some real magic to provide us with one of the most generous goodie bags I’ve had in a while and I can’t wait to try out some of the products and get acquainted with them. It does take a while to test skin care properly but I’m sure to come back to you with some really interesting reviews in the coming months.

If you want to explore them yourself at Omniya you’ll find:

Dermalogica, Environ, Fillerina, Mario Badescu, Medik8, Montale, Neom, Obagi Nu Derm, Oxygenetix, Revitalash, SkinCeuticals, Zo, La Roche Posay, Caudalie, Jane Iredale, Yon-Ka, Roger & Gallet, ANP, Natures Plus Age, Skinade, Solgar, TA65, Viviscal and more!


Roger & Gallet Christmas Crackers


It was such a lovely evening and an experience that I’d love to repeat. So many lovely people in a great beauty emporium and a chance to walk past the glistening lights of Harrods on the way back to the tube station. Perfect.

So thanks to Hayley, Omniyaand all the lovely 30 plus bloggers for making it possible. Let’s do it all again soon!


Freedom Make-Up – Pro Strobe Palettes

freedom palettes

Back in September I told you my first thoughts on the Freedom Makeup brand and what an amazing range of products were available from Superdrug. (It’s here if you missed it). And now I’ve had the chance to try out two Freedom strobing palettes – yes two? Why would I need two?

This was the first thing I asked on Twitter when I received the Pro Powder Strobe Palette and the Pro Cream Strobe Palette in the post. Some of my lovely MUA friends very quickly responded with the answer that I needed to use both – and at the same time. Apparently you use the cream one first and the powder (in the same shade) on top to set it – who knew?

Strobe cream palette

Each of the palettes comes with a brush, and the highlighting and contouring shades are contained in glossy compact with a great sized mirror.

For the cream palette there are three matte highlighters. From left to right in the top photo (top palette, top row) the shades are Beige Highlight, Yellow Highlight, Highlight. There are three contour shades (bottom row) Light Contour, Deep Contour, Medium Contour.

For the powder palette there are two matte highlighters and a shimmer highlighter. From left to right in the top photo (bottom palette, top row) the shades are Beige Highlight, Yellow Highlight, Shimmer Highlight. There are three matte contour shades (bottom row) Light Contour, Dark Contour, Medium Contour.

The brushes are a shape I’ve not used before (I’m sure that there is a special name for them but I’ll leave that to those who know to tell me what it’s called) but I found that they were soft and pliable and it was easy to use the corner for highlighting small areas like the cupids bow or down the bridge of the nose. I then used the broad edge for contouring on my cheeks and jaw line.

I can’t say that I got the look right the first time around but these are palettes that you can afford to play with and not worry about the cost. They’re just £10.00 each! Superdrug also have them on a 3 for 2 deal at the moment so you can afford to pick something else too!

There are so many great products to choose from this brand, like this Freedom Studio Glow Tonic or the brow pomades that you’ll find remind you of some other very famous brands and so so much more!


These products were gifted to me for review but the views are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Taking care of my smile!

Rapid White ExpressI recently had the chance to try out Rapid White Express Max Effect – 5 minute dissolving tooth whitening strips. I’ve often thought about having a whitening treatment but they’ve always looked scary to me and so this little pack seemed like a great idea and I thought I would give it a go.

The idea is that the pack contains a weeks supply of easy to use dissolving strips. The strips are mint flavoured, ultra-thin, flexible and transparent and designed to start to whiten your teeth and remove stains from the moment they are applied to your teeth.

I found them quite easy to use. You apply them twice a day by dabbing your teeth with the accelerator provided and then applying one strip to your top teeth and one strip to your bottom teeth. You need to leave the strips in place for 5 minutes each time while they dissolve.

After the first use I could already see some brightening of the colour of my teeth and was really pleased and I used them again for a second day. This time I again saw a great result but when I rinsed my mouth after the application my teeth felt really sensitive, almost painful from the cold water hitting the surface of my teeth. I do find that my teeth can be a little sensitive sometimes and on reviewing the instructions for the pack I did notice that this product isn’t recommended for sensitive teeth. This was  a  bit disappointing and so I decided not to continue with the treatment. If you think it might be for you, you can buy it here currently priced at £17.24. I think it’s a great innovaSensodynetive product but it just isn’t suitable for me.

So then I thought maybe I could do something more to address my tooth sensitivity by using  Sensodyne Repair & Protect Daily Repair Fluoride Toothpaste and a Sensodyne Precision Toothbrush followed by using  Sensodyne Coolmint Mouthwash

The idea behind using  Sensodyne Repair & Protect is that it continuously repairs, strengthens and protects your teeth. It’s also mice and minty to leave your breath fresh. It uses Novamin formula that releases  calcium and phosphate to form a protective layer to repair the vulnerable areas of your teeth. I applied it with a soft Sensodyne Precision Toothbrush. I hadn’t really considered before how different brushes affect your teeth. This one has been specially designed specially for people with sensitive teeth. The bristles are gentle and its small angled head is specially designed to provide effective cleaning.  To pair with this I used the  Sensodyne Coolmint Mouthwash which is designed to provide everyday sensitivity care, used twice a day. It also freshens your breath.

In the past I’ve bought mouthwash but not kept up using it but this one tastes pretty good and it seems that using the toothpaste and mouthwash together is starting to have an effect on the sensitivity. I don’t think that it will mean that I’ll be trying the whitening treatment again but I do feel it’s started me off on a routine of taking greater care of my smile!

Have you tried any whitening treatments? How have you got on? Do you have sensitive teeth? I’d love to compare notes with my experiences.


These products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own and aren’t prescribed. This post contains affiliate links.