November 2013 archive

What happens when your favourite lipstick is discontinued.

So here begins the lipstick dramas. My ID Bare Escenutuals lip palette runs out of my favoutie colours. I love this palette. And Bare Minerals, as they now like to be known, don’t seem to have a dupe. I tried.

Lipstick colour palette

Lip colour palette well used

I bought these two lipsticks thinking from the on screen shot at  thinking they would be a good substitute. I knew I was taking a gamble, as they don’t accept returns for wrong colour choice, but they looked a pretty good match on screen. The colours are Parfait and Spiced Raisin. Spiced Raisin is the darker of the two. I think I would use the Parfait lipstick but the spiced raisin is really too dark for my skin tone.

Parfait and Spiced Raisin lipstick

Lipstick colour swatch

I put the lipsticks away thinking I would use the lighter of the two, (I actually put them back in the jiffy bag they came from and left them in a cool place, on a north facing window sill that gets no direct light,)but on returning to the package some two weeks later, I noticed these beads of what can only be called, wax deposits. Almost like a crayon had sweat. I used the Parfait lipstick on my lips and it tasted like a wax crayon and smelt like a candle.


I paid £14 plus P&P for these lipsticks. I remember it wasn’t an easy transaction because their web site was playing up, and I tried to place the order over the phone only to be told that they didn’t take telephone orders. I nearly gave up, but my desire to have the right lipstick shade in my makeup bag just got the better of me. What women will do in the name of beauty!

As my husband is an IT consultant as well as a photographer, I got him to locate the error on their website and he made a note of it to show them the problem. When I told them this, the response of the lady on the telephone was to send it to them by email and they would get their IT department to “look at it for you.” At this point my attitude was that actually  we were notifying them of a fault that could lose them money and she had just made it sound like they were doing me a favour. So needless to say no email was sent.

As our American cousins would say, all this just kind of “sucks.”  I went to a lot of trouble to find a duplicate of my favourite colours and it seems like I have ended up with a waxy poor substitute. I  did think of ordering the two lighter colours in this range. In fact I went to Debenhams to see if I could find them, but there was no assistant on the counter, and try as I might, I could not find these lipsticks, just the Moxie range. I do understand this range contains wax, but honestly, this lipstick tastes like some cheap lippy from the 80’s.

Usually at this point I would just through them away, but after I had gone to so much trouble, and I do in fact like the brand, despite some issues, I thought I would give them a call about the waxy build up. It was Saturday, in peak Christmas buying season and their website had no support. I called the number on their website and I was given a recorded message that their office hours were Monday to Friday. I don’t really have a lot else to add really. Perhaps I will call Monday or  perhaps I should just use another brand.

Balance and Brighten – A Foundation by Laura Geller

I am a big fan of QVC cosmetic shopping due to having a very sensitive skin, after all there are not many places where you can try a cosmetic product or skin care product for thirty days and then return it for a refund.

One of their brands is Laura Geller cosmetics. And I just love their baked formulas. It would be fair to say that Laura Geller’s baked formulas were available in the UK through QVC long before I saw any similar brands on the high street.

Balance and Brighten Foundation

Mouse Foundation Baked to a powder

The Balance and Brighten foundation starts its life as a mouse and then bakes to a powder consistency.  It is sold as a foundation product but unless you have a pretty good skin to start with, it would be best to use over a beauty balm or light weight foundation. To use you just swirl around the product with the retractable brush and buff over the skin. It instantly warms the complexion.

As the pan contains a mix of colours from its originally mouse consistency it really is one of the most versatile products I have ever come across.  I can use the Balance and Brighten formula as a contour product, a bronzer, an eyeshadow or even as a highlighter. To do this I just dip a brush into one of the many colours in the palette to achieve the desired effect.

What I most like about the product is that it is made in Italy. I just love products that are either made in  Europe or  the United State. I think quality control is much easier to handle in these regions. The next best thing is to have a formulation developed in the West and then manufactured under license in the Far East.

What I really do not like, and try to avoid at all costs, is to buy private label products that have not been developed in a controlled region like Europe or the States. Products which are developed cheaply in China and then shipped by the container load to the West concern me greatly. So I just love that Laura Geller champions the fact that her baked products are made in Italy.



Lancome Teint Miracle, the perfecting concealing pen

This is a must have product. The concealing pen has light reflecting capabilities which help sculpt the face.

Lancome concealing highlight pen

One of the best concealing and highlight makeup pens

A small application along the nasal labia area gives a lift to the face. It is equally useful to add a touch down the centre of the nose and run along brow furrows. My favourite application is just beneath the eyebrows. A light touch under  the eyebrows gives instant lift to the eyes. But you don’t have to leave it there. You can add a touch of colour to the highlight with gentle sweeps of highlighting eyeshadow.

All in all this makeup product is great for multitasking, the brush on application makes using this highlight and concealer an absolute dream.

A Blush for All Seasons

This Collection 2000 blush quad is great. Use the individual pigments or take a sweep of all four colours and mix it up a bit.

Although entitled Shimmer Shades, I could not detect much of a shimmer when I used it. And for me that is fine, I am not a great fan of shimmery blushers in makeup.

I am a big fan of the Collection 2000 range of cosmetics, their mascara is my favourite of all the mascaras that I have tried, and believe me, I have used a lot. So when I saw this blush quad in boots I was going to give it a whirl. After I bought the blusher set, I saw that Lisa Eldrige had used the very same blush in one of her tutorials. Like me she decided to mix the shades.

If you are looking for a versatile blusher, then look no further. The pay-off is great. The pigmentation is just right, and the price is very low.

One of the best handcreams ever!

Loccitane Dry Skin Hand Cream contains twenty percent Shea Butter. It is so thick, that it is almost hard to squeeze it out of the tube. But it goes on beautifully and sinks into the skin leaving a beautiful aroma. The Loccitane cream penetrates the skin quickly leaving the skin looking visibly hydrated and feeling soft.

Locciane Hand Cream

Loccitane Dry Skin Hand Cream

Loccitane are known for their fabulous toiletries and can often be found in high end hotels and in the business section of certain airlines. This how they first came to my attention, and to be fair, it is a great marketing technique. Once you have tried their products, they are hard to forget. And now stores to seem to be popping up in shopping malls across the country, however Loccitane likes to call them boutiques. As they are a French company, I think they are entitled to do so.

My favourites from the Loccitane range are the Shea Butter soaps, in particular the Verbena fragrance. They are rich and creamy, due to Shea butter, and work in perfect harmony with the handcreams.

So if you get a chance, pop into a Loccitane boutique and check out the divine fragrances. Your nose will thank you for it.

Revitalash Advanced lash conditioner

At first the claims of this product seem far- fetched. However after using Revitalash Advanced for 3 months I saw an improvement in my lashes. My eyelashes seemed fuller and stronger. After that period I became a little complacent about the condition and decided not to use it every night, but just for a couple of nights a week. This did seem to work. But as with most things, life gets in the way, and I forgot. My application became very haphazard.

Revitalash Advanced

Revitalash lash conditioner

Because of ill health, I recently decided to start using this again. I want the longer looking lashes I had a year ago, which was at the end of the three month trial period.  I knew it wasn’t my imagination because even a good friend of mine asked if I was wearing false eyelashes.  Who wouldn’t want their own lashes to look as good as false eyelashes?

So despite recent ill health I am going to leave the Revitalash Advanced out in my bathroom where I can see it, to encourage me to use it as part of my nigh time routine.

Whilst expensive, the use of false eyelashes also mounts up, and really I just prefer my eyelash curlers, my Estee Lauder eye lash primer, and a good coating of mascara. So if I can have the look of false eye lashes without the hassle, I am going to take it.  To find out about my current thoughts about the best mascara, (which may surprise you) just click on any of links in this article.

One of my favourite Liz Earle skin care products

Liz Earle Instant Skin Tonic Spritzer, has a lot of things to recommend it. This product is great to set your make up after powdering, or for refreshing your make-up during the day.

Liz Earle Skin Tonic

The perfect tonic for your skin

I have mine in a 30ml bottle which can be refiled from the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. As it comes in at under a 100ml it should be great for air travel when your skin so desperately needs extra moisture.

For years I have been either using Evian water spray, or more recently, Eau Thermal Spring Water which is cheaper to refresh my make-up. But neither of these products is convenient for popping in your handbag or make-up bag . The 30 ml spray is ideal for this. And what’s more, the smell is devine.

This Liz Earle spritzer is a must have. I got mine in a set from QVC, but cannot find it as a stand-alone product on the Liz Earle web site. So if you see it in a kit, grab it when you can.

No 7 Essentially Natural Foundation Review

This is a very recent purchase, I am a big fan of the Lancome foundations and Estee Launder’s, but this No 7 product was a revelation.


The texture was easy to work with and the coverage was light to medium. For a greater effect try using a powder like Bare Minerals or the Laura Geller Baked powder range to finish off.

There is no ingredient list on this product. I am guessing that I would have to go online for that to However, as I recently sent an email to Boots asking about how Boots as a  company assessed products and ingredients used in them, which has so far gone unanswered, I can’t say that I am that impressed. I think at the very least there should be some kind of leaflet at the point of sale. I am allergic or sensitive to lots of silicones and dimethicone products, so it would be nice to know what I am purchasing, or at the very least, taking a risk on.

But focusing on the positives, so far this has performed very nicely, but I have only worn it once. It is something I will keep in my kit to use again and on clients.

Ok, so curiosity got the better of me. I went online to Boots No 7 and found the product online, but still no ingredient list that I can find. Surely there are others out there who want to know just what they are putting on our faces? Even, if it is just a leaflet to discard. I guess I will just have to trust the powers that be on this one. I have to assume that Boots will adhere to all EU protocol.

It is just no good. Had to make a call to Boots and ask them. They are getting back to me. The man I spoke to confirmed there were no ingredients listed on the website. But as we were talking and I was looking at the product. I could see on the very tiny bar code label a “peel here” instruction. I peeled it carefully, but the whole label came off. I am guessing that, just with some medicinal products,this label is meant to separate and reveal ingredients. I am determined now to solve this mystery.

No 7 Foundation

Tools required to get at ingredients

With the help of my husband, two pairs of pliers, and a knife, we managed to separate the label and reveal what appeared to be a microscopic list of ingredients So I guess this means that Boots do comply with EU law technically, but I am not so sure about the spirit of it.

Liz Earle Lipstick – Azalea

I bought this lipstick shade last year in Leeds in one of the Liz Earle Stores. I bought it along with another shade Rosewood. The Rosewood lipstick I initially found more wearable, however yesterday I decided to go for a completely different make-up look and the Liz Earle Azalea shade seemed to fit the bill.


The initial problem for me with the Azalea lipstick was that it seemed to have pinky undertones and that just did not fit in with the more coral warm shades that I seem to favour. I am blonde and blue eyed with a fairish skin tone, and the Azalea lipstick just didn’t sit right. But yesterday when I was wearing teal, the bluish undertones in the lipstick just seemed to pop. So I highly recommend it if you are going to be wearing blues.

The other product I wore was an Avon Khol eyeliner in cobalt blue. I would have been better off with a teal eyeliner shade, ( which I have in another product line, ) but at the time I forgot all about it. I love Avon products, but I hate, the way they sell them. I love the old Avon, the one of the fifties, sixties and early seventies. But the way they treat reps today, well, I just don’t agree with it. Wouldn’t it be great to have the old Avon lady back; the one that sat in your living room and opened her cosmetics box and brought out a tonne of lipstick shades to try? Those were magical days.


Well I digress. So Azalea lipstick from Liz Earle, it’s a winner when worn with the right colour. If you have dark hair I think it would look great without the additional worry of wearing blue tones. But for very fair blondes, make sure you wear it with the right blue.

Finding The Perfect Mascara


The perfect mascara, the best mascara, the mascara that will provide you with the most fantastic lashes; it’s like finding the Holy Grail in the make-up world.

All we can hope to accomplish is finding the mascara that works best for us without being ripped off. And I think that I have found one that ticks all the boxes

The mascara I use is the Collection 2000 Multiplier. I always use eyelash curlers and then use Estee Launder’s Lash Primer and top off with Collection 2000 Multiplier mascara.


I have wondered about other mascaras in the range and so recently I bought the Colour Lash All Day Mascara by Collection 2000.( Oh Ok I will admit it, it was a bit of a mistake. I was looking for an alternative lash primer to the Estee Lauder version and bought this new mascara thinking it was a Collection 2000 primer.)

On trying the Colour Lash All Day Mascara, I have to say that this product was a bit of a let down. The only way that I could recover the situation was to use Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara and add some of it to my lashes before they dried. I don’t really like this particular Maybelline mascara. They used to do a perfect formulation a few years back, but it appeared they changed the product range, yet again, and so that mascara was discarded from my make- up kit. So the Colossal Volume Express Mascara was just one I happened to have lying around.


I have to conclude that the perfect mascara is Collection 2000 All Day Multiplier. It performs well with and without lash primer. But for perfect results get the Estee lash primer. At the moment of writing the Estee lash primer is £18.00 but it is worth every penny in results when used with a great mascara. The collection 2000 Lash Multiplier is around the four pounds mark, but I think it is far better than many premium brands, so to me this is the perfect mascara.

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