Saturday, 31 May 2014

Biore; Nose Pore Strips, Empty-Review

Empties: Mini Reviews

When I completely finish a product, I upload a quick blog post reviewing it.

Today I finished a pack of pore strips from Biore. I bought them from Superdrug about six months ago.

Around the nose is the biggest area of concern pore-wise for most people, and this is definitely the case with me too. These strips get placed around the nose, left to harden, and when you peel it off it takes out any dirtiness that was clogging your pores previously. You'll see the little black dots left behind- it's quite gross actually.

Each came in a packet like this, and there were 6 in one packet. It cost around the £7 mark, which I thought was quite a lot, but there didn't seem to be many alternatives to this product in the 'drugstore' and I had heard many people talk about these from this brand, so I thought I would give them a go.

They're really easy to use and quick. I normally apply this and do a face mask on the rest of my face at the same time. 

It really does harden (like having solid paper mache on your nose), and peeling it off is therefore quite the task- it hurts, but it's satisfying. Afterwards I cleanse my face to remove any residue, and then moisturise. It leaves the skin feeling really smooth- just like freshly shaven/waxed legs hehe.

Would I repurchase this? Probably yes. It's not a necessity in my skincare routine but nice to use once in a while and no doubt these really work well.

Have you tried pore strips before? Are there any other good products from Biore you reccomend? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Review: Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint

REVIEW: Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint

Today I'm doing a review of this super cool deep pink stain which is £4.49 from Barry M.

Nope, it's not a green lipstick.


I'd be quite up for a green lipstick.

Ooh I think they actually do a green one in this line. Crazy.

Barry M lip paints are known for being quite drying, but this one just isn't. It's a really moisturising longwearing deep berry stain that when brushed over the lips transforms from the green as seen in the bullet.

I'm gonna show you how it works:

Moisturised lips

 Colour starts to appear as soon as it touches the lips. And it gets deeper and deeper over the duration of about two minutes.

One coat over the lips:

It gets even deeper and richer in colour.

As you can see, the appearance is extremely glossy and even has a natural finish, as the product stains the natural lips rather than coating them- meaning you won't get that annoying gross emphasis of all the cracks in your lips that makes them look really dry.

And the best thing is- it's a stain! So this colour will last you all day. I really mean that- even when you scrub with remover it just won't come off.

So I guess it really just depends if you like this colour. It might not be a stain for everyone. But I like it. And it definitely does stain the lips.

I'm not quite sure why it needs to be green in the bullet, but it's fun I guess??

So there you go!

I really want to try some more Barry M lip paints after this! They have an amazing colour selection of unique colours you don't usually see much of at the drugstore.

I want them all!

Have you tried any Barry M lip paints? Which lipsticks are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Burt's Bees; Deep Cleansing Cream, Empty-Review

Empties: Product Reviews

When I finish a product I do a quick blog post reviewing it.

Today I finished the Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream from Burt's Bees. I got this around two weeks ago in a gift set which I believe was bought online for about £12.

It is a rich creamy white cleanser, despite being thick still foams well. I used it with my Clarasonic in the shower and I absolutely loved it. It gave a tingling sensation afterwards and my face felt amazingly fresh and clean. My skin was glowing and smooth. 

This is a 20g size because it came in a travel pack set. The full size, 100g I think, can be bought here, and is £10.99 from their website.

Burt's Bees isn't too expensive as a brand (but more than drugstore), their products are amazing and great for the skin in the long term because of their natural ingredients. 

I'll definitely be buying more skincare items from them in the future. So far I've only tried their lipbalms, which are amazing.

Would I repurchase this? Possibly. It's a bit more expensive than I usually spend on a cleanser, and it's not the easiest thing to buy because i'll have to get it online, but it was really good.

Have you tried this product? What Burt's Bees products do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

E.L.F. Loves and Loathes: Eyes Edition

E.L.F. Loves and Loathes (Eye Products)

This is first in a three-part blog post set, I'll be doing lip products next and then face products.

E.L.F. is an online brand but in other parts of the world you can even get them in drugstores! They're so popular because their products are really cheap, and yet they aim to dupe a lot of more expensive products out there.

Can I just firstly say that these are my opinions and my opinions only- some of you may love the products I hate, and vice versa!

So let's get into it!

I'm gonna start off with the loathes, just to get them out of the way.



Cream Eyeshadows

It's not often I really hate a product, but these I really didn't get along with.

The packaging is beautiful and sleek and you seem to get a lot of product in them, but they're not smooth at all and therefore give you a patchy application. They also crease on the eyelids which is just not something you want for a cream eyeshadow- just go for the MAC ones; in this case it's worth the price.

Patchy and not that pigmented- I'm going to throw these products away unfortunately
They won't last very long because the product dries out. I've tried 4 of these and both the lighter and darker shades are all awful.

I also got free once the 6 in one to-go palettes, or something. They weren't horrendous and the blushes and bronzers especially were quite nice, however a lot of the eyeshadows really weren't great.

I don't have them anymore because I threw out a couple of the bad sets and gave the rest to a friend who doesn't have much eyeshadow.

I didn't have any pictures of this and couldn't find it on the website, but here are some pictures on google if you're wondering what it looks like.



The Mineral Infused Mascara

This is something I liked, but I can't say I completely loved.

It's a good enough mascara, and the brush shape means this is amazing for reaching the lower lashes without smudging mascara everywhere!

However the formulation is very liquidy and thin- with this mascara you get more of a lengthening effect than volumising. Further, it's not as long-wearing as I'd like in a mascara. But this product really isn't bad by any means! And I do get a lot of use out of it.



Wet Gloss Lash and Brow Clear Mascara

This is a great product, and sadly i'm almost out. You can see my spoolies are a bit tinted from use, but they were originally completely clear.

I used this over the top of my eyebrow products to set the brow hairs in place. And boy does it set the hairs in place! If you want a brow gel that means your lashes really won't budge at all throughout the whole day, then try this out. But if you prefer a more natural setting gel, and one that doesn't make them feel slightly stiff and very set-down, then perhaps try another one. The Body Shop one is good but a bit more natural-feeling.

Eyeliner and Shadow Stick
£1.97 reduced from £3.95

I got this in a free Halloween bag in 2012 and I've grown to love it. This is a much better cream eyeshadow than the ones in the pot first mentioned in this post.

It comes with two cream eye products.

One thicker end is a lighter shadow stick which I use all over the lid- it's a beautiful colour
Green is a colour which isn't really too far from the standard brown, but adds something new to an ordinary eye look. Try doing green all over the lid and pushing a brown into the crease, or alternatively doing a usual smokey eye but running a slight dark green amongst the brown in the crease.

The 'moss' shade is a slightly darker and thinner colour which is amazing as an eyeliner. It's not too noticeable as a green than a slightly off-black, so I've used this as an upper eye liner before, but it also works amazingly along the lower lash line.
 I really reccommend this product, and will hopefully try it in other shades too.

This is in the shade green/moss

Eyelid Primer

Sorry I don't have a picture for this one, I've just run out. I don't need any more primers right now but if i'm ever searching for a cheaper alternative, I definitely will. It's like a thinner version of the Urban Decay primer potion, and although I can't say it works exactly the same, it's a primer, and it primes well enough. I can't really fault it, especially for the price.

I got it in the shade sheer, as it was before they started having the options of other shades. It's here on the website.

Eyebrow Kit

This is another product I don't own anymore- so sorry, no pictures for this! But I'm sure you've seen it before on blogs or in videos as it's quite talked about. I had it in the shade ash, and you can find it here on the website.

And for good reason! It's not too thick of a consistency so looks quite natural, the colour selection is good and the powder nicely sets the wax in place whilst adding a second dimension to the just one sole colour.


What are your favourite eye products from ELF? What are your least favourite? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Burt's Bees; Hand Cream, Empty-Review

Empties: Product Reviews

When I finish a product I do a quick blog post reviewing it.

Today I finished the Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey and Grapeseed Oil Hand Cream from Burt's Bees. I've had this for a few months, and it was a present, I believe bought in a set from amazon.

It is a thick white cream consistency. 

It came in a package with a selection of 4 or 5 other Burt's Bees products.

This is amazing for hand and nail care. I also even used this as foot cream.

It sinks in and doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy, despite its thickness.

Would I repurchase this? A hand cream isn't really a necessity for me, and I have other ones i'm currently using, so probably not. But this is one of my favourite hand creams I've tried so far.

Have you tried this product? What Burt's Bees products do you like? Let me known in the comments below.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Throwing Out: Opia Hair Brush

I'm Gonna Have to Get Rid... Hairbrush from OPIA

I've had this hairbrush for many years now and it's just not of use to me anymore. As you can see it's deteriorated in condition and just doesn't work the same way it used to.

I have two other hairbrushes that I just prefer to use- would a haircare routine interest you guys?

It was from Primark I'm pretty sure, so probably very cheap around the £2 mark, which is great! It was good condition, nothing wrong with it at all.

Opia isn't a brand I've heard much about at all.

What's your favourite hairbrush? What are the crucial steps in your haircare routine? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Ultimate Nail Polish Tips: Everything You Need To Know

My Top Nail Tips

First of all, I did a whole post on how to achieve healthy and strong nails, so check that out if you want  tips on that and to find out my top products.

This post will be on specific tips: longwearing polish, diy matte nails, quicker drying times and fixing dried up polish. Hopefully you guys will find this really helpful!


1. All you need to know about matte nails.

Matte nails is always a beautiful thing. Bored of your current nails? Just mattify them and transform them into a completely new look.

You can quickly and easily achieve matte nails by using steam. After painting your nails, boil some water and place your nails in the steam for quick and easy matte nails. However, clearly you have to be careful this, as you can easily burn yourself with steam. A much easier way is to simply paint your nails with two coats about 10 minutes before taking a shower. In the shower, the steam will matte your nails! This is a safer and easier way to achieve DIY matte nails.

Matte nails applied to an originally shiny nail polish!
Alternatively, use a matte topcoat.

These are my favourite matte nail polish topcoats. The Rimmel one is amazing for its price, around £5, and has a great big brush. The American Apparel one is more expensive and also works fine.

American Apparel Matte Top Coat, Rimmel London Pro Matte Finish Mattifying Topcoat

2. Basecoats

Quite simply, always use a basecoat.

My favourite basecoats: NYX ridge filler, OPI natural nail, and ORLY bonder

Basecoats prevent staining (especially with deep purples or reds, we all know how annoying and horrible-looking this permanent stain is), and mean you need less coats of the polish to create an opaque look, as well as giving you a smooth nail base and therefore a much better final look to your finished nail polish application.

Another note on basecoats- if you're using a polish that just isn't that pigmented and you want it to show up better, try painting a coat of white on first. It makes a huge difference, I promise.

OPI Nail Lacquer in White, Next nail polish in White from their French Manicure set

3. Fix dried up nail polish

One of the most annoying things is when your favourite nail polish becomes thick, clumpy and begins to dry out.

There is no way to properly prevent this, but when this happens there are two ways to fix it. Either buy a specialist thinner, I know seche do one which is specially designed for their topcoat seche vite, but will probably work on other polishes, or otherwise just add a bit of nail polish remover! It really thins the polish out and won't affect the quality of your polish. Bear in mind that this only works to an extent though.

4. Quicken drying time

I have a few tips on how to quicken the drying time of your nail polish. There's nothing more annoying than that feeling of being disabled for like 40 minutes after freshly painting your nails- we've all been there.

First quick tip is don't paint the layers too thick, and always wait at least ten minutes until the layer is dry before adding your second coat. If the nail polish isn't quite dry and you add another coat, it'll only make it more prone to smudging.

To quicken the drying time, straight after painting your nails plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Any cooler water works really, but they'll dry even quicker the colder the water is. Hold them there for a minute or a couple of minutes and they'll be rock hard and non-smudgable! 

Or use a specialist drying spray. Spray it on your nails and it hardens them much quicker.

5. Finally, quickly get rid of any overdrawn nail polish on the skin around your nails

Easier than using a q-tip dipped in polish remover- just wash your hands with warm water and it kind of lifts up the product on your skin, it works amazingly. Or try this in the shower, and most will go.


Did you find this post useful? What are your top nail tips? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

E.L.F; Mineral Mist, Empty-Review

Empties: Product Reviews

When I finish a product I do a quick blog post reviewing it.

Today I finished the Mineral Mist by E.L.F, which you can buy from their website. I've had it for probably around a year now.

This is meant to be a makeup setting spray, so to use after makeup application to make it last longer on the face. I've never tried a makeup setting spray that I've noticed makes a huge difference to the wear of my makeup, but it's something that's hard to tell.

It's probably around the £5 mark, which is really good, the packaging is nice and it doesn't spray too erratically. 

What I mainly used this for was for making powder eyeshadows more liquidy, as this makes them stay longer and appear more metallic. This is especially amazing with liners, use an angled brush, get some product and wet it. Also baked eyeshadows work even better with this method, they were meant for this! If you've never tried this technique before I highly recommend it, I can even do a whole blog post on it if you wish.

In terms of other makeup setting sprays I've tried, I'd prefer to use Fix + by Mac or the All Nighter by Urban Decay. Granted, they're a lot more expensive, but for actual makeup setting they are much better.

Will I repurchase this product? Probably not. I didn't really like using it as a makeup setting spray, but did like it as a medium for making powder eyeshadows into a more liquidy liner form, wetting pigmets for greater pigmentation or using as a fixing medium for glitter.

Have you tried this product? What makeup setting sprays do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Bake Your Own Boyfriend Cookie Cutter Product Review

'Bake Your Own Boyfriend' Cookie Cutter Review by the brand Niion

This product I got in the mail a couple of weeks ago is a boy-shaped cookie cutter, a fun way to spice up your standard cookies and get super creative!

I'm going to do a full review of the product as well as sharing the recipe which comes with it and showing you how to make these cookies step by step.
"Is your love life looking a little dull? Can't seem to find Mr.Right? Why not bake your very own boyfriend with this hunk shaped cookie cutter. Just add all you favourite things into the mix, plus a little spice to heat things up, and "taa-daa" the perfect edible man."

The packaging was secure and it was delivered to me within two days which I thought was amazing, plus the customer-service was extremely friendly.

You can find this cutter on amazon here for just £3.59 with free UK delivery! It's also on Ebay and the Niion website (x), a fun new brand who do a bunch of cool products. 

first batch! Here's the finished product
The cutter has the perfect proportions so that bits don't break off during the process, but the finished product still looks like a man when the cookies come out after baking.

The great thing about this cookie cutter is that it comes with the perfect cookie recipe on the back! Even if you don't have the cutter yet, just follow along with the recipe. It makes classic and simple delicious cookies that are not too sugary, not too floury. And you can even customise the recipe by adding fruit, nuts or anything else of your choice.

After they had cooled I decorated them individually to make unique cookies (-spy the mutated marshmallow half-man at the bottom, the bottom broke off and I ate it). I'll explain later on in the post how I individually decorated them.

The recipe says it makes 10, but for me it actually made 14 (plus I made a funky heart-shaped one with the left-overs).

The brand says:
"Girls are forever talking about finding the perfect man, whether it’s because the current one just isn’t measuring up or all the good ones are taken. Well this product provides the perfect solution, just bake your own.What could be easier than whizzing up a mix, adding all your favorite things, popping him in the oven and ‘ta-da’ the perfect hunk shaped man. No girl could be left unsatisfied after such a delicious and tasty treat!
 These cookie cutters don’t just have to be brought as a gift you can buy one for yourself…we won’t judge…we’ve already made loads of perfect men! These cutters are fully functional and come with a quick, easy and delicious cookie recipe. If you have a girl’s night, a hen do or simply a sweet tooth and a love of baking, you'll impress all the girls with these hunk shaped cookies. Add a little bit of icing to turn these tasty treats into the perfect man for you, for example add glitter, tattoo, a string vest etc.
…and if he starts to cause trouble, bite his head off and start again, or have a couple on the go at any time so you can pick and choose depending on your mood!"

It's a really funny thing to do with your girl friends- get them to come over and bake boy-shaped cookies with you, and then decorate your perfect man! It's a laugh.

You can choose from three types; a boyfriend, house husband or sex god! (although I couldn't see the 'sex god' one on the website or amazon)I have the 'boyfriend' one.


1. Baking!

150g butter
100g sugar
300g flour
1 egg
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla expert

The recipe is super simple and easy- you'll probably definitely have these basic ingredients in your cupboards, and use whichever sugar you have as it doesn't specify.
First I creamed together the butter and sugar,

then I added the egg

Then I added the flour, and here you'd add the salt. (Not gonna lie, I didn't add a pinch of salt, I never do, whoops for disobeying the rules but do what you want, I just find it usually doesn't make much of a difference.)

action shot!
Then I added the vanilla extract- I used a tablespoon and a half because I love the vanilla flavour to be really strong

It combines together really easily into a ball, and just pop it into the fridge for an hour wrapped in clingfilm.

After the tantalising one hour wait, get it out and roll it out between two sheets of baking paper with a rolling pin.

When you've got a layer about 7cm thick, use the cookie cutter!

Press into the rolled-out dough and make as many as you can.

Peel away the excess dough, scrunch out and re-roll. You'll do this process about 4 times.

handwash the cookie cutter after you've made your cookies- they aren't dishwasher safe!

As you can see from the picture above, when you use the cutter a bit of dough almost always gets stuck between the muscles and the head on either side. It's not like this is a huge issue but a slight annoyance. At least it means the cookie actually ends up looking like a muscly man.
After using the baking-sheet method for one batch, I decided to abandon it and just do the classic of sprinkling some flour on your work surface and rolling it out straight onto there. The dough kept getting stuck to the baking sheet and becoming tacky which made the first batch really hard to make.

It's a good tactic for perfectly shaped and textured cookies but it just didn't quite work for me.

I laid out as many cookies as I could fit onto each baking tray, lined with a sheet of baking parchment so they don't stick.

Place in the oven until lightly browned, this takes 7-10 minutes.

Beautifully browned cookies straight from the oven- they calmed down a bit after this initial look and had a smoother appearance.


2. Decorate!

Here are my decorating weapons of choice! I just had a look in my cupboards and picked out anything and everything I could use.

Weapons of choice: betty crocker chocolate fudge icing and vanilla frosting, icing sugar, icing writers, raspberry glaze (I didn't use this in the end), flake bar, chocolate bar, mini marshmallows and raspberries

I broke up slightly a flake and chopped up a bar of chocolate so sprinkle onto a couple of the cookies.

Here are all my decorated cookies:

Slightly closer-ups.

The green one is the whole tube of writing icing spread out onto a cookie, I know it looks a bit like snot- but it tasted delicious!

Above: The one on the right is the chocolate fudge icing by Betty Crocker. It tastes absolutely amazing and has a thick rich consistency.

Above: The one on the left here has the chopped up Green & Blacks milk chocolate sprinkled over a spread layer of the ready-made icing.

Above: I used the same icing method for the one on the left here too, but this time added strips of cadbury flake.

One of my favourites- a layer of the vanilla icing and raspberries cut in half sideways

For this one above, I drew strips of yellow and orange writing icing.

For the heart-shaped cookie I made icing using icing sugar and water, and spread it over the top. Classic and simply delicious!


My cookies looked and tasted amazing. They kept a sense of uniformity as the cookie cutter allowed the shape to be perfect every time, but I added a touch of uniqueness to each one by decorating them in my own special way.

The cookie cutter is completely sturdy and well-made so there's no need to worry about it breaking.

I just find the process of baking your own 'boyfriends' so amusing, and I'm sure you will too. Cooking these with friends you're guaranteed for comments such as "you broke my boyfriend's leg off!" and "stop eating my boyfriend!" etc. It's great fun.

I hope this post was interesting and entertaining for you guys to read- can't have been as great as my experience of making and eating the cookies though -yum! 


If you want to pick this product up, get it from amazon ( or on the Niion website for just £3.49.

For more information:

Will you be checking this product out? Which cutter interests you most and what toppings would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.


* Although this product was sent to me, I was under no obligation whatsoever to write a post unless I wished to. All opinions are as always 100% my own and completely un-biased.