Selling 4 lipsticks every second globally, it would seem popular catalogue lifestyle and beauty brand AVON know a thing or two about customers and their lipsticks. This January AVON relaunched their 'Shine Attract' lipsticks (*), just in time for valentines day. Shine Attract lipsticks, available in ten shades, are AVON's first lip colour encased in a clear gel to make for a high performing, moisturising formula.
The super-shine plastic packaging is pleasing on the eye but not as sturdy as I'd like, I found the lids came off easily in my makeup bag which caused a few problems! The bullets turn nicely in the casing to reveal an interesting design, interesting but slightly impractical...application proved a little tricky, as the lipstick is formed in two parts I found I had to apply the bullet in small circular motions opposed to sweeping, application with a brush was near impossible. I noticed the formula has a slight taste to it, slightly minty, it isn't unpleasant but definitely noticeable for the first few minutes of wear; luckily the taste does fade.
I have to admit, when swatched against the skin the formulas look fairly lacklustre, what the swatches do show is how balmy and moisturising the formulas are. Take a moment to look further at the swatches on my lips to see the formula transform into a gorgeous, soft and nourishing lipstick.

HAPPY PINK
Happy pink is a punchy pink shade, it gives your lips a 'just bitten' pop of colour.
The formulation of Happy Pink is wonderfully moisturising, adding a tint of colour to my lips which lasted past the wear I got out of the lipstick as a whole, the shade itself lasted on my lips around an hour and a half but did tend to seep into cracks and lines on my lips, I'd suggest lipliner with this shade as a must.

MYSTERIOUS MAUVE
Mysterious Mauve is possibly my favourite shade of the three, it's something a little different and gives a gorgeous colour to the lips; it wears on my skin tone similar to Happy Pink, but with mauve undertones.
This is the most flattering shade with my skin tone also, I feel. It's a very deep shade when applied, though I found it applied far smoother than the other two shades. Wear time for this shade was around two hours before the formula depleted, the colour tinted my lips which stayed for an extra hour or so before fading completely. Again with this shade I would suggest lipliner as a must companion.

GUAVA
The inspiration from this shade interestingly came from London Fashion Week 2011, where the catwalks were 'awash with nudes'. Guava is a take on the 'nude' lip with a pop of peachy undertones; it's a very current shade.
Guava is wearable, unique and a great twist on the everyday nude lip, perfect for those who want a hint of colour. What really disappointed me with this shade is the wear time, it transferred very easily onto glasses and fabrics and faded in about 45 minutes. This was however the most moisturising shade of the three, it really nourished my lips, though as you can see it does highlight a number of lip sins so be sure to exfoliate the lip before wear!

Overall I found the Shine Attract lipsticks satisfactory - I really like the wide range of shades and the ultra moisturising formula but there are definite further improvements which could be made such as the wear time. With the present offer price they're definitely worth their retail value, but at their full retail price of £8.50 I'm not so sure I'd be entirely happy with parting with my cash.

AVON Shine Attract Lipsticks retail for £8.50 each, presently on offer at £5 each with every purchase qualifying for a free Glimmerstick lipliner worth £6! Get yours on this fabulous offer here.
'I Love...' cosmetics are the budget bathing brand of the 'now' - retailing a selection of fruity fragranced bathing products, face masks, lip pots, body butters and more. Fresh for 2012 'I Love...' have launched a limited edition new fragrance to give you all the fruity goodness at a bargain price.
'Juiced Up Blackcurrant' (*) comes as the latest offering from 'I Love' cosmetics, packed with juicy blackcurrant extracts ready to burst into action in your shower or bath. The 2 in 1 formula makes this generous 500ml bottle go the extra mile, lather it up with a bath poof in the shower and massage over your body or pour it under the tap for mounds of bubbles in the bath. You only need a small amount so be aware not to pour too generously!
The formula is quite gentle on the skin and cleans it nicely, the scent is long lasting and truly delicious - barely artificial and super juicy! I've been using 'I Love...' 2 in 1's for a long time, you may have seen my post about them way back in June and I've been hooked ever since, for the price they are such fantastic value for money and last me around two or three months if used carefully.

Juiced Up blackcurrant retails for £2.05 per 500ml in Superdrug and Morrisons stores for a limited time only; get your hands on one before they're gone!
As always the packaging is classic MAC - the black pan is sturdy and well designed to encase 6g of product. My MAC pans last me a very long time, I own about six and haven't hit pan on any yet; not to mention how many times I've dropped them and been relieved to find the packaging still intact.
In the pan Pinch O' Peach appears to have some plum undertones, the shade swatches as a cool and dusty pink, the peach tones are very feint which is a shame, though I guess this shade is a 'pinch' of peach! Needless to say, I find the shade stunning - its a subtle matte pink which adds a gorgeous 'flush' of colour to the cheek. As you can see, you can add more product to get a darker result or gently sweep the cheeks with colour for that lovely and subtle 'flush'.
It's important to give a nod to the fact the colour of Pinch O' Peach definitely depends on your skin tone, it may appear more peachy on paler skin tones and more pink on olive skin tones such as myself. This is definitely a shade you would need to swatch against your skin, but I think it's a fairly suit-all shade.

MAC Pinch O' Peach retials for £17.50 at MAC stores and online, and Debenhams concessions and online.
A few days ago I announced Good Things Skincare were due to launch a 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner. The product launches today in Boots stores nationwide, hopefully my review can help you decide if you need to dash down to the shops before closing to grab the Deep Pore Cleanser off the shelves.
PRICE: £4.99/200ml (*)

AVAILABILITY: Exclusively available to Boots during the launch period, then available from Superdrug and Sainsbury's

CLAIMS: (as pictured)

PRODUCT: I forever enjoy looking at the packaging of Good Things products, it's practical yet fun. The Deep Pore in particular has a pop-cap lid which reveals a pour-top mechanism, delivering a simple method of dispensing the product onto a cotton wool pad.
I'm not sure why, but I had half expected the formula to be creamy like a cleanser, when poured its very clearly a liquid which glides across the skin. Would anyone else expect the product described as a 'cleanser' to be of a cream-based formula or is it just me? Bewilderment aside, I quite like the formula - it's easy to apply and delivers and instant burst of super fruit goodness. The fig and strawberry scent isn't at all strong, overly artificial or off-putting, it's subtle and sweet, certainly something adequate for use before bed.
When applied with a cotton pad you notice the difference instantly, you can see the 'grime' (as it were) which comes off your face even after washing it, it's nice to see the product delivering some noticeable differences instantly.
I can't say the product makes any difference to my pores, but it certainly deep cleans my skin and reduces oils and dirt. Since using the product morning and night I have noticed my face to be less oily but no significant decrease in breakouts, though I am confident with prolonged use the product would help towards improving the overall appearance of particularly oily skin. The distribution of blackheads has been significantly reduced however which pleased me.
If you're looking for a product to quickly sweep away dirt and oil in an instant, and looking to skip your two step cleanse and tone routine then this product may be ideal for you!

RATING: 7/10 - Good Things Skincare have launched yet another fantastic product, although it isn't the best cleanser/toner on the market it's excellent quality for a high street brand; not to mention how unique and delicious the scent is. I am slightly let down by the results, which were only average

Good Things Deep Pore launches today exclusively to Boots online and in store, located in the skincare isle.
Make Up Acadamy (MUA) are Superdrug's latest budget beauty brand, running a 'Professional' line priced under £10 and a budget line with all products priced at just £1.
You may be aware following my post yesterday that the lovely Adrienne sent me a package with an MUA palette, to my surprise she kindly popped this lipstick in also.
As always, I'm disappointed MUA don't apply shade names to their products, but a number here is adequate. Shade #3 has no official description, I'd describe it as a deep raspberry pink. The formula is ultra-moisturising which really impresses me, and the taste reminds me of marshmallows which is lovely - it's subtle, but delicately noticeable.
The packaging is a little unstable, the plastic is something which could break quite easily so it's important not to drop it; this seems to remain classic to the MUA range but considering the price I can't complain at all! The bullet twists nicely, though I was surprised at how small it is compared to other lipsticks I own, however, £1 for 3.6g of product is not a bad deal at all.
The formula is very creamy and smooth, it glides on the lips nicely without highlighting any dryness or cracks. When swatched the shade appears quite pale and thin, when applied to the lips it transforms into a thick and punchy shade.
The shade is very 'Barbie', but I'd say its wearable nonetheless! If you look closely you can see some slight bleeding around the edges, which I'd expect with such a smooth and moisturising formula - a slick of lipliner can prevent bleeding from happening. Wear time is a good 5 or 6 hours depending on how careful you are with your lips, I did notice the lipstick transferred very easily so do watch out for that.

Over all an impressive lipstick considering the price, it ticks all the right boxes for me in terms of formulation and the shade itself is very fun and girly, though I'd perhaps put it away until the summer months.

MUA Lipsticks are available exclusively to Superdrug in store and online, priced at a fantastic £1!

Valentines Gift Guide 2012

25 January 2012
Valentines Day, it's that age old day on February 14th which causes the love it hate it debate; nevertheless we can't deny that January is almost over and it's time for the shops to turn cupid crazy for two weeks. If you're anything like me, you're probably not that bothered about it. Whether you're single or in a relationship, I think everyone can enjoy valentines day...who doesn't like being treated and pampered for no real reason?! Being a single lady myself, I take valentines day as a day of pampering, watching Bridget Jones' Diary and eating heart shaped sweets...it's sad but well, why not?
I've hand picked a few products that I love for Valentines 2012, whether they be a treat to yourself, a partner, or a possible gift idea to share with your loved one.

ON A BUDGET
Whether you've agreed with your partner to save money on the gifts and splurge on a date, or you're giving yourself a treat, we're all feeling the pinch of the pennies this year. I've chosen my top picks for 'on a budget' beauty gifts, all available in time for Valentines day for under £15.
Clockwise: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
'I Love...' Cosmetics have valentines all wrapped this year for under £10! These gift sets are truly scrumptious with the scent of fresh cherry; you can choose from either a gift pack with 500ml bath/shower creme, 250ml body lotion and a puff or 100ml bubble bath/shower creme, 10ml body moisturiser and a puff.

Marshmallow Blends, created by wonderful beauty blogger Nicoletta, retail delicious and girly scented handmade products at bargainous prices! I love the Massage Candles, made from natural oils which burn at a lower temperature than wax, once you've blown out the candle pour the moistened oil onto your skin for divine moisturisation! Available in three delicious scents for just £5.99.
If you're looking for a gift, I love the Triple Temptation Massage Bar gift set, for an amazing £5! You receive a triple selection of White Chocolate, Strawberry Cheesecake and Cookie Dough massage bars, perfect for massaging into the skin pre-date...or post date...I'll let you decide!

Lingerie Please have dedicated an entire section of their website to Valentines day. Whether you're single or loved up we can all enjoy some luxurious lingerie, and let that be every day of the year! These gorgeous knickers in a tin are price slashed from £17 to £11.50, a perfect treat. If you're looking for something inexpensive, these gorgeous Baci knickers are an incredible £3!

Topshop are well known for their on trend fashion, but did you know they retail gifts all year round too? These gifts make great fun if you're single and spending Valentines with friends or for a bonding get-to-know each other session with your partner! I love the T-shirt pens, perfect for writing a message to your partner and hiding in their draw to find. The friendship bracelets would make for a great evening with friends, or make them yourself and give them as valentines gifts to your best friends.

The Body Shop have an exciting new 'Chocomania' range launching at the start of February, just in time for Valentines day! As well as body butters, shower cremes, lip butters and scrubs this range comes with a huuuge gift set and these gorgeous soaps for just £2! Run your chocolate obsessed loved one a bath and pop these by the side.

SPLASHING THE CASH
Sometimes it's hard to resist splashing the cash on the one we love, they're special so why not? Even if you're single this year, there's always time to relax and unwind and take care of number one. These are my favourite more expensive gifts this valentines, to shower that special someone with gifts.
Find-me-a-gift.com have your valentines all wrapped up this year! These frozen petals available in seven colours are perfect for sprinkling over the bed, in the bath or across your gifts, they don't come cheap at £23.99 but make the ideal finishing touch.
Have a chocoholic partner or have a penchant for chocolate yourself? The Thorntons chocolate hamper priced at £34.99 has an incredible selection for everyone. Buy and share with your friends or give it as a whole gift to that special someone...even if the special someone is yourself!

Dolce and Gabbana are said to be releasing a valentines line as a representation of love and luck on February 1st exclusive to harrods, with all editions in the range will costing £18.50. Each lip liner and eyeliner is accessorised with one of four gorgeous charms, themed around love, luck, femininity, fashion and romance. I'm so excited about this launch, they're the ideal gifts for any beauty obsessed lover!

The Malvern Spa have created a 'Sweethearts' package to be enjoyed especially for partners; it's the ultimate indulgence for your loved one. Priced at £140 per couple you can enjoy a delicious light spa lunch, champagne, full body massage in the couples room and full access to the extensive spa facilities.
To take your experience one step further and really show your loved one what they mean to you, take your Sweetheart package on an overnight stay in boutique bedrooms at £225 per couple for an overnight stay and breakfast and £275 per couple for dinner, overnight stay and breakfast. If you fancy treating yourself or someone special to a spa experience you can read my low-down of the packages on offer here.

So, if you see anything here you fancy be sure to leave this post 'accidentally' open on your partners computer! I have a very exciting giveaway coming up where you could win one of these fantastic gifts! To find out which it is, keep checking back over the next couple of days.
How are you feeling about Valentines day?

All featured brands and products were chosen by myself to feature, I wasn't paid or compensated to include anything you see here.
I introduced you to Daniel Sandler a few days ago in my round up of the Look Fantastic bloggers event. In the goodie bag we received a choice shade of one of Daniel's best selling products, the Velvet Waterproof Liner; I chose brown to compliment my hair and eyes.
Daniel Sandler Velvet Waterproof pencils have a high content of silicone to help give them a velvet touch and longevity, making them totally waterproof. Thanks to their ingredients, the velvet touch liners can be used to create a strong line, blended or used on the waterline for a smokey, sultry effect.
The packaging is slimline and simple, it's straight to the point - exactly as I like it. I'm not used to a twist-action applicator but I actually quite like it - I can control the end well and deliver a precise application with ease. What I really like is how there's no fussy sharpening or splinters in your eyes. The nib appears quite small but you can angle the applicator to achieve a thicker line or build a few strokes together; it's a very versatile design.
'Brown' is a deeply pigmented earthy brown shade, of a matte texture. It's very clean, crisp and true to it's colour, perfect for complimenting brown or green eyes.
I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of the shade 'Brown' when blended, it feels a little...murky, if you will? This is the only shade I reckon isn't so pleasing when blended, however, when blending the other four shades at the event they achieved a wildly different and outstanding smoky look.
What grabs my attention is the gorgeous and sharp line achieved with one simple sweep; which doesn't budge or smudge for as long as you wear it.
Perhaps I can demonstrate the results better on my eye; the pencil delivered a really clean line which I didn't expect from such a creamy formula. It feels so light on the lid you barely notice it's there, until you check back ten hours later to notice it's still completely intact and flawless!

Daniel Sandler Velvet Waterproof Eyeliners are available in a range of colours including black, brown, grey, green and purple at £9.25 from Look Fantastic and the Daniel Sandler Shop


Please click here for swatches of Daniel Sandler pencils in grey, green and purple.
As a lady who is never without her lipstick, I tend to hope it will last through talking, sipping coffee and the occasional kiss on the cheek and hopefully more! You may have been following me on my Urban Decay Primer journey recently, and having been so impressed with the Eyelid primer and Complexion Primer I decided to purchase the Lip Primer from the range. What more could a lipstick obsessed user want than long lasting, true-to-colour lips?

PRICE: £13.00/2g

CLAIMS: 'Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion will prepare your lips for the day ahead. Urban Decay's invisible primer lays a silky foundation for your favourite lipstick or gloss. Colour is truer, applies smoother, lasts longer and will not fade or feather. The easy-glide formula feels velvety-soft, without the drying feeling often associated with long-lasting lip colour. The formula includes SPF 15 (yay!) and moisturising Vitamins A, C and E for a primer that protects and perfects. The pretty roll-up tube and slanted bullet make for precise, easy application' - beauty bay

AVAILABILITY: Selected Debenhams stores and online, I purchased mine from beautybay.com.

PRODUCT: The fairytale-esque packaging is lovely, and somewhat mysterious! Naturally the packaging is small and sleek to allow for portability.
Packaging aside, I fail to find a single positive attribute to the product. The packaging twists to reveal a balm-style stick of primer, when swatched it dragged against the skin, there was no 'balmy' or 'silky' feeling in sight, it felt very tacky to the touch and thick - no feeling of moisturisation at all.
When I applied to the lips I instantly noticed they looked, quite simply awful, as though I had applied concealer carelessly and blotted. The primer potion highlighted any flaws on my lips, such as dry skin or lines, and when I pursed my lips I was left with a foul taste in my mouth - very unpleasant.
Naturally I persevered, keeping in mind the primer potion remains underneath my lipstick. I apply lipstick in two ways, straight from the bullet or with a brush. When applied from the bullet, the primer potion stuck onto the bullet and left it quite messy; the lip stick swept across my lips with similar ease to having applied lip balm, but remained to highlight any imperfect areas. When applied with a brush the lipstick slid about my lips and harder to apply, it was a nightmare achieving a clean line too; having used a MAC lipstick in trials I would expect better, the results I achieved were worse than lipstick alone.
In terms of helping my lipstick to last and remain a truer colour, nothing of the sort occurred. On application my lipstick appeared the same shade each time, and somehow faded quicker than it usually would. It also transferred onto almost everything it came into contact with! Every time I pursed my lips I was left with an unattractive 'halo' of lipstick build up in the crease and it was a nightmare to remove.

RATING: 1/10 - so there it is, the dreaded one mark out of ten. I feel I've wasted £13 on a product making high claims and living up to none of them - my lips feel even worse following application and my lipstick does anything but last. I can't believe a product which made so many promises near in fact did the opposite, I've wasted my time and money on something I'll never use again!

PRICE: £9.25/50ml tube, £13.00/70ml pump

AVAILABILITY: Liz Earle stores and online

CLAIMS: 'A gentle exfoliator you can rely on to give your skin an extra boost if it is looking dull or congested. That naturally active ingredients gently buff away' - product packaging (pictured)

PRODUCT: I chose the tubular packaging because I prefer to dispense my product that way, the availability of a tube or pump gives you more freedom with your packaging preferences. As always, the muted yellow shading is classic to the Liz Earle skincare line, it has an elegant feel and arrives wrapped in tissue, sealed with a sticker.
Naturally, the product will dispense differently depending on the packaging you choose. For the tube the cap reveals a squeeze mechanism opening, this is really easy to use and you can easily see how much product remains.
The scrub has very fine jojoba beads, not so saturated it doesn't feels harsh or scratchy however, when you run your finger across the formula they're noticeable. When you scrub the formula a natural and delicate scent of eucalyptus is revealed, I thought it was divine and very soothing!
When scrubbed across the skin and washed away, dead skin cells are gently buffed away to reveal soft and smooth skin...it really was baby soft and possibly delivered the smoothest results to date! The effects are very pleasing after just one use, I can only see myself using this one or twice a week at most, also to prevent over-scrubbing the skins surface.
With repeated use of this scrub I've seen may extra benefits, my skin is so much clearer, less 'flaky' and much smoother, making makeup application a breeze. This one product alone has made me feel far more confident in my own skin and wearing less makeup.

RATING: 10/10 - yet again Liz Earle has produced an outstanding product which delivers exactly as it says and I can't fault it - I'm so glad I decided to purchase it!


Please note: this product, like many exfoliators, is not suitable for sensitive skin.
Good Things skincare are a favourite of mine, featuring regularly on my blog their all natural, totally vegetarian, completely vegan and delicious scented range of body care and skincare remain a prevalent and affordable line of products on the high street.
For 2012 Good Things bring you a new addition to their skincare line - 'Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser'. The cleanser comes as the sixth addition to the five-strong range of blemish fighting products, formulated especially for 'young' skin, generally those under the age of 25.
Sweetly scented of fig and strawberry, the two in one cleanser and toner pours easily onto a cotton pad and sweeps away excess dirt, makeup and oil; results of smoother and clearer skin are noticeable from the first use, when used morning and night the effects are even more noticeable.
Beauty boosting superfruit ingredients such as wild strawberry fig and liquorice not only add to the delicious scent, but also act as anti-imflammatories, a source of minerals and purify, refresh and clean the skin.

Good Things Deep Pore Anti Blemish Cleanser retails for £4.99/200ml exclusively to Boots during the launch period, which is in only a few days time. 
LookFantastic.com, home of luxury hair and beauty brands, held an event for selected bloggers at the FOUR London Salon in Oxford Circus last night.
Bloggers were greeted on arrival with champagne and delicious macaroons, before being escorted to the depths of the salon for colour consultations, haircare tips and a makeup-masterclass with Daniel Sandler.
If you're after some juicy haircare tips or makeup ideas, read on to see what the experts have to say!

HAIR & COLOUR
FOUR London Salon opened merely a year ago, offering clients a luxurious haircare experience - with such an excellent reputation in Mayfair FOUR London has a list of many celebrity clients.
Just some of the colourists and stylists from FOUR London, on hand to transform your locks
With specially trained hair-stylists and colourists on hand, you will feel right at home with a drink in your hand and a magazine in the other. Your stylist will style your hair exactly as you wish, using state of the art technology such as iPad's to show you just how your finished style could be.



DANIEL SANDLER
As a makeup artist with over 20 years experience, adored by celebrities such as Davina McCall and Claudia Winkleman, Daniel knows how to transform your face from dull to delicious in simple steps with natural, enhancing makeup. His award winning, capsule line of products for the face and accessories are sold at professional retailers, including LookFantastic.com and Urban Retreat.
Daniel's core values lye within the beauty of the individual - 'makeup shouldn't just sit on the skin and create a new face, it should mould and blend into the skin to enhance your natural features - that's true beauty, it's in all of us'.
Daniels top-sellers were showcased at the event: Lipsticks and Waterproof liners. With his limited edition two in one candle and body oil burning in the background we watched his step by step instructions for creating two brilliant looks with the products.
Daniel showcased his two favourite looks: smoky eye and statement red lip with some of his best-selling products. You can recreate the looks we saw with the following simple steps and image guides!

THE ULTIMATE SMOKEY EYE
Smoky eyes have been a hit on the catwalk for as long as we can remember, they can be worn all year round for daytime chic or evening glamour, oozing sophistication and femininity. Daniel Sandler breaks the mould with his smoky eye look with grey and blue, using pencils instead of shadows! The reasoning behind this is pencil blends smoothly, it has less fallout and give a more striking line.

Step 1: Draw the liner across the eyelid as close to the lash line as possible; get a nice bold line so you have some product to work with.
Step 2: Taking an angled brush, blend the line you've just created outwards and across, taking a gentle sweeps.
Line those eyes then blend, blend and blend!
Step 3: Continue blending until you're happy with the smoky effect you've achieved. Then take a darker shade, such as black, and draw a more defined line across the lash line once again.


Step 4: Finish the look with a black liquid or pencil classic flick and mascara.

Finish the eye with black mascara for added glamour. Have straight lashes? Invest in a good eyelash curler, hold them to the root then press for 6 seconds to achieve a gorgeous curl. Daniel recommends Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.
STATEMENT RED LIP
For Daniel, the key make up artistry everyone should learn is the statement red lip, it's something oh so simple which can go oh so wrong. Ever taken a bullet of red, slicked it onto the lips and two hours later noticed a bleeding (not literally), tooth-stained mess? Me too. Drawing inspiration from post-war Britain when the only shade on offer was red, Daniel reminds us of our 'glamorous grandmas' who in their day were the pinnacle of seduction and the centre of attention with that statement red lip pie.
Daniel argues every woman can wear the red lip if done correctly, following his simple steps can take you from natural lip lover to bold and glamorous, perfect for first time wearers or the experienced!


Step 1: Remove any product residue from the lip to give a blank canvas to work with - any oily or greasy formulas will stop the lipstick from bonding and cause it to slip or fade.
Step 2: Prep the lip with lip primer, or use Daniel's favourite method with a touch of concealer.

Daniel works his brush into the bullet then applies carefully to the lip
Step 3: Working a brush into the bullet of the lipstick, build colour and then apply directly to the top lip, keep building a strong colour.
Step four: Pat the top lip with a finger and define the cupid's bow with an angled brush.
Step five: Repeat steps 3&4 the bottom lip, applying less colour than the top lip.



Step Six: Blot the lips with a soft tissue to remove excess lipstick and give a natural, tinted finish.
Daniel pats the lipstick onto the lips with a finger before blotting with tissue.


I was lucky enough to also model a statement red lip for Daniel in one of his masterclasses; as someone who shies away from red shades I was over the moon to be shown how to work the red! With my cool-toned skin and olive hues, Daniel chose his best seller 'Micro Red' to pat onto my lips for a 'stained' effect. Micro Red has a bright bullet with orange undertones, it applies very bright straight from the bullet but the true beauty comes from brush or finger application when the hue adds a bright and natural red 'tint' to the lips. The formula lasted around 8 hours with eating and drinking, with very little transfer, I'm so impressed I'm certain to be purchasing it myself!
Huge thank you to Clare for taking this photo!


It was a pleasure to spend the evening at FOUR London with such a great and informative team of stylists and colourists; Daniel is a dream to chat with about makeup, he really knows what works for his clients and what doesn't, channeling his experiences straight into his products to create a wearable and user-friendly makeup line.

To get your natural beauty fix with Daniel Sandler, head to LookFantastic.com now for free worldwide delivery on all orders.
Primer, or 'face base', features as a vital component to any Make Up Artists bag. Primers are popular for evening skin tone, smoothing fine lines and creating the perfect base for makeup. Some higher end primers may seem expensive, but to give excellent results they contain ingredients such as polymers and silicones to give a professional, plumped and smoothed effect which can last for hours.
I'm becoming increasingly aware of products on the market claiming to help makeup last for a given number of hours; especially at a time where I'm now finding myself applying makeup and hoping it lasts me all day or a all night without touchups. For me, primers act as a safety net, if I havn't got the time in my day to touch up my makeup then I know my primer will keep it in place for me, so I hope.
Having fallen in love with the Eye Primer Potion in my UD Naked Palette, I wanted to try the facial primers to see if they were just as good. Urban Decay offer two primers: Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer and Brightening Primer Potion, I'm not the biggest fan of brightening products so picked up the Pore Perfecting Primer in Debenhams.

PRICE: £18.00/30ml

AVAILABILITY: Debenhams in store and online, House of Fraser

CLAIMS: "Smooth on a little Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion before foundation (or alone!) to totally minimize the look of pores and fine lines. The velvety, paraben-free formula flashes down to a soft-matte finish, without the greasy, heavy feel sometimes associated with foundation primers. The result? Flawless skin with an airbrushed look and feel. Foundation applies smoothly, evenly, and won't fade away" - product packaging.

PRODUCT: The packaging is classic to the Primer Potion family, the magical somewhat fairytale tube features a pull-cap end; I can't say I'm the designs hugest fan because I can't stand my primer up and the large open end gives little control.
Be sure not to squeeze too much product, you will find a little does indeed go a long way, the amount in my swatches (below) will do a full face application easily; for me this justifies the hefty price tag. The formula is velvety soft and blends from a smooth white paste to an even finish with no 'white' in sight; I smooth mine with a brush or finger depending on the time I have to spend, either way it always blends beautifully. It isn't greasy or oily, I don't feel so guilty if I forget moisturiser either because it's very soothing to the skin.
The finish is divine, my skin feels beyond smoothed, it's velvety soft and completely even - imperfections are blurred well. My complexion is more even with an 'airbrushed' look, it feels very professional, in my pictures my skin looks lens-blurred but its in fact completely smoothed, you can see the lines on my skin are finely blurred which I am wholly impressed with.
Foundation applies smoothly over the base and lasts twice as long as it usually would without any primer, blushes also apply easier too and blend to a far more even finish. With Primer Potion applied I feel confident in not reapplying my makeup all day, my makeup even stays in place through the gym; I'd say I get around 16 hours of wear from my makeup with this primer, possibly even more.

RATING: 10/10 - I can confirm the Urban Decay Complexion Primer potion does everything it claims, keeping my makeup looking perfect from morning to night, dusk to dawn giving me a smooth and even complexion. I'm really pleased so I've purchased the lip Primer Potion too to see how it fairs, I'm so impressed by the UD Primer Potion so far and will definitely repurchase.
We're nearing the end of the Illamasqua sale, plenty of products are still reduced up to 70% so there is still time to make some great savings. Having made my order I've been working my way through reviews and swatches to help you decide over particular products which are my 'top picks' of the sale.
Fine Pencils are a multi-purpose product for making fine but precise lines on the body, eyebrows and to line the eyes. Illamasqua pencils are also available in Medium and a charity special named S.O.P.H.I.E; they pricing at £13 with a vast shade range so I definitely recommend taking a look if you're looking for a particular shade. As always with Illamasqua, you can tailor the product to your specific needs and experiment endlessly. For me my primary and only use for the pencil is for lining the eyes.
As you can see from the swatches, the formula isn't pigmented at all unless pressed firmly, which as you can imagine isn't so pleasant on the delicate eye area. When applied to the body or brow you can apply more pressure and get a strong, definitive line.
Eerie is described as a 'true black', for once I disagree; the shade doesn't seem as black as I had hoped either, its quite smokey and pale opposed to a true, dark black.

Personally, I'm disappointed with the product as it isn't as pigmented as I had hoped for, it barely shows on my waterline and just about lines the eyes, it's very feint. If you're looking for something to line the eyes and give strong colour I'd steer clear of this product, but if you're looking to give your brows a dark definition or are a fan of body art, this may perhaps be right up your street.

Fine Pencils are reduced from £11 to £5 online and in store, available in 'Eerie', 'Uncanny', 'Classic' and 'Peace'.
Comfort Zone comes as the cosmetics division of Davines S.P.A, founded in Italy by the Bollati family and now available worldwide. Popular with top hotels such as The Berkeley, Comfort Zone offers spa-quality products to fit in with your busy lifestyle, delivering a 'sublime experience for the senses'. With a range of face, body, sun, man, ambience and sacred nature products, there's a wide selection to choose from - there's something for all whether it be a treat for yourself, your partner or your friend.
Comfort Zone's Hydramemory range comes under their facial skincare category, it's a specific system to offer deep hydration and restore hydro-lipidic balance, inspired by the desert.

Hydrolipidic: The skin has a 'hydrolipidic barrier' or 'film' which maintains moisture and protects entry against invasive germs. Taking care of the hydrolipidic barrier is vital for keeping the skin supple and moisturised; it can be cared for with deep-moisturising creams and masks.
A core product of the range which can be used alone is the 'Hydramemory' mask; key ingredients such as trehalose and baobab extract help to protect the hydrolipidic barrier and infuse it with moisture.

PRICE: £27.95/50ml - I found it for £19.76 on SalonSkincare.co.uk

AVAILABILITY: SalonSkincare.co.uk, Comfort Zone spas (tel: 01827 280 080), www.comfortzoneskincare.com

CLAIMS: 'Rich mask with active ingredients which restore skin compactness and a deep hydration' - product packaging

PRODUCT: The spa-inspired packaging flows well with the company ethos, the calming blue and easy-use tube make for a relaxing experience from the offset. Clear instructions make using the mask a dream, and an inclusive information leaflet gives you something to read whilst you lye back and wait for the mask to sink in.
The formula is a creme-consistency, it glides over the skin and takes around ten minutes to sink completely in. A walnut sized amount will allow for full-face coverage, but you can use a smaller amount to target specifically dry or dehydrated areas if you so wish. The aim of the mask is to give a surge of moisture, so you shouldn't get any tight feeling which comes classic to clay-based masks, instead your skin will feel cooled and relaxed.
Once the mask has sunk completely into the skin a gentle film of moisture remains, I smoothed this away with a flannel to instantly reveal plumped and baby-soft skin. The results are incredible, after just one use my skin was smoother than ever before, any dry areas had been completely banished. With repeated use the noticeable effects are clear, skin remains smoothed and plumped throughout the week if used two times a week, it's ten minutes which fits comfortably into my busy day.

RATING: 10/10 - This mask has a high price, making it a more luxurious item - it's something which is out of my price range but sits well as a treat. Having said that, I will be repurchasing the mask when it runs out because  I'm so thoroughly impressed with the results, my skin has never been so soft following a moisture mask and the results last a good few days.

The products in this review were sent via The Spa PR for the purposes of review on Fashion Capital. To see the original article written by myself, click here
Check your emails this month if you're signed up to The Body Shop newsletter, they're bringing you a new years treat!
All Love Your Body cardholders at the Body Shop are entitled to one free lip butter worth £4, simply show your Love Your Body Card and the email (if you've missed the email you could be super sneaky and show mine). This offer ends Wednesday 18th January 2012.

'Love Your Body' is a card scheme set up by The Body Shop to reward the most loyal customers. The downside is you have to pay £5 for it, but the upside is this pays off fairly quickly if you're a regular customer. Receive rewards for every third time you spend £10 and get 10% off all purchases all year round, you even get a free gift on your birthday. Not only that, Love Your Body cardholders have access to exclusive deals and offers, such as free delivery, 30% off vouchers and freebies! I love my card and always have it handy when I'm in store.

Choose between three delicious flavours: Mango, Coconut or Lemon, bound to get you in the summer spirit bright and early.
I chose 'coconut', it transports me to that summer holiday feeling in an instant. The butters are gentle on the lips and ultra-moisturising, they smooth rough skin and create a perfect base for gloss or lipstick. I'm carrying mine everywhere I go now, with a smile on my face that it was completely free! Enjoy girls!
© All content Copyright to Holly Arabella unless stated otherwise.