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Do you remember your first time? I do. I was visiting a friend in Edinburgh, and as she was in a lecture I went for a stroll along Prince's Street. I looked in a few of the shops, and then BAM! It hit me. Anyone familiar with Lush will now be smiling fondly (or perhaps looking for a tissue as even the memory of That Smell can bring sniffles to some more sensitive noses, so I?m told.) Yes, I was mere yards away from my first Lush experience. I had read about the store in J17 (ah, how young I was!) so I was excited when I worked out what the smell was. I went in, trying to look cool and calm (yeah, OK, I am overly enthusiastic about toiletries! Imagine my joy when I realised there was also a Bath&Body Works nearby?) After half an hour or so I came out, no purchase made but very very happy. I decided I probably shouldn?t try and carry half the shop back to Aberystwyth with me and to wait until I could get to a store in London. Unusually sensible for me - possibly also influenced by having spent £17 on 20 japanese comics in Forbidden Planet the same day? Anyway, it was a couple of months until I was next able to go to a Lush store, and ever since that second visit in Carnaby Street I have been addicted. I have been to Lush stores in Covent Garden, Victoria Station, Kingston, Lakeside, Sheffield, Leeds? If I ever go to the Phillipines I shall make sure to visit Makati City, in Sweden I have the choice of Stockholm, Vasteras or Goteburg - yes, Lush have plans for world conquest, and I support them all the way! Lush, for the uninitiated, are a purveyor of natural bath, body and skincare products. Not natural like, say Synergie by Garnier or Herbal Essences shampoo which show a bit of herb to a vat of synthetics and call the product 'natural' or 'organic' No, this is proper natural (although unfortunately there is still quite a bit of SLS used) as in great big dollops of cocoa butter, essential oils used for their skincare or emotiona
l benefits rather than vaguely 'sensual' bubble baths such as are available in Boots, and bath bombs full of flower petals or seaweed! All of their products are suitable for veggies, and many for vegans (the non-vegan ones will have either honey, milk or egg in) and where possible they use organic ingredients. Needless to say they are also against animal testing and their policy is 'We will not buy any ingredient from any company which currently carries out any animal testing at all.' the full policy is at: http://www.lush.co.uk/pages/testing.html This means that they are unable to make sun protection products as NONE of the companies that make these ingredients are completely cruelty-free. So, what are my personal favourite products? Well, I love their bath ballistics for a special bathtime treat - I love Uluru, which turns my bathwater pink and smells gorgeous, Butterball which smells of vanilla and softens my skin with cocoa butter and Ickle Baby Baff which is a darn sight better than that Johnson's bedtime bath foam for getting my daughter to sleep - shame I can't use one every night! (at 95p it would be a bit beyond my budget) I also adore the bubble bar slices (solid bubble bath so no plastic bottle ie less waste) aura suavis is pink and yellow with a smiley face and contains 'clary sage to help you see things in perspective and enhance your inner perception...Spearmint is used to refresh a tired mind so we bung that in too; as for the geranium, who could resist its reputation for waking you up and lifting the spirits?' so it's great for the morning for people with no shower to wake us up! My other favourites are Happy (to cheer me up!) and Creamy Candy, which is a delicious creamy vanilla and almond bath confection - I was in Lush yesterday and had to keep telling myself 'I already have some creamy candy' as I always want to buy more! Of course I couldn't review Lush without mentioning
the soaps [insert witty comment about looking like a cheese shop here] Well, I am not a fan of soap but they are handy for travelling, and last longer than shower gel (if you use it like I seem to) so I have a few of these in my bathroom. My favourite seems to have been a short-lived special edition so I am hoarding what I have left as it makes my bathroom smell fruity. Aside from that one, I like Banana Moon (karenuk has done a good review of this, I think) and Alkmaar which, OK, does look like pale Cheshire cheese, but smells of jasmine. Yum. You'd be forgiven for going past the soaps to the shampoo section and thinking 'huh? This looks like more soap?' For Lush are also the makers of solid shampoo. There are two sorts, the shampoo bars which are round and made of squished up little bits of shampoo (don't ask me why) and the solid shampoos which are sold as chunks cut off a big slab, like the soaps at the front of the store. Both work in much the same way, though the round bars seem more likely to dissolve into mush, and thus you can buy a little metal tin to keep them in - I wouldn't bother as I've never managed to keep one from rusting (I know plastic is Bad, m'kay, but the shower gels don't come in metal bottles do they?? WHY a tin, why??) My favourite is Gentle Lentil, which is the chunk kind and smells of really posh white chocolate (the kind made with real vanilla) It leaves my easily-manky and often lank hair soft and shiny and smelling delectable, and is suitable for sensitive scalps. But my favourite Lush products are the ones for cleaning your face. I have really bad skin. Really bad. It's dry, yet spotty. This is because it's useless at shedding the dead layer, so that gets into my pores and bungs them up, causing spots. My skin also tends to feel rough and bumpy. Well thanks to Lush my skin has improved massively. I still get some spots, but not such bad ones, and my skin feels much softer and
smoother. I must admit I havent found a Lush moisturiser that I am happy with, but I love their cleansers. In the morning I wash my face with Angels on Bare Skin (which I have reviewed seperately) an unpreposessing grey gunk which exfoliates gently yet thoroughly and smells of lavender. I rinse it off and hey presto, smooth skin with no flaky eyebrows!! In the evening I either take off my makeup with Ultrabland or (if bare faced) wash with Queen of Hearts complexion soap. Both Angels and Queen... rinse off totally rather than leaving my skin feeling dry and tight where I havent managed to get it all off. Ultrabland is made of Peanut Oil, Rose Water, Beeswax, Honey, and a few more things, so it is quite greasy but it doesn't leave my face greasy at all. (see my op) Queen of Hearts is a rose-scented yellow soap 'the one soap with which you are allowed to wash your face' says the website! So, they make my skin soft, make my bathtime theraputic and my bathroom smell nice - what more could a girl want? Oh, and they even do mail order! www.lush.co.uk (also has a store locator)
What I like best about this dye compared to many others is that it really is easy (and thus quick) to use. I used to watch the ads and scoff (you know ? gorgeous girl with fabulously blonde hair talking about ?my first time? only it?s not what you think, you naughty people! She means the first time she went blonde with Belle Colour.) Ha ? only 20 minutes they said ? and the half an hour applying the damn stuff and ten minutes washing it off! Not to mention the fact that to get the right colour you need to add an extra ten minutes to the dyeing time! Then last summer I decided that the ?bleached my hair but didn?t colour over the top? look was actually not very attractive and grabbed a box of Belle Colour as it was cheap and had a nice shade of warm blonde (7.3) Imagine my surprise when it actually was super easy! Just mix it up and splodge it on your dry hair in whatever way you fancy (no fannying about sectioning your hair and applying it with sugical precision)- best of all the same ?rules? apply whether you have never dyed your hair before or have roots to touch up. Now admittedly this is how I apply hair colour anyway, but it?s nice to know that, should my hair come out patchy (or just come out) I can honestly march into Superdrug and say ?look! I followed the instructions and everything!!? And I?m not sure why, but it does genuinely seem a much quicker process than with just about any other permanent dye I can remember using. They have ?improved? it though and as always this is not a good thing ? it is a bit runnier now, but overall I was still very impressed. I can even apply this dye in the living room with toddler nosing around and not end up dyeing the furniture/child! An important consideration with hair dyes can be how easily available is it? Well, I can get about 6 shades in my local (rubbish) Boots, most bigger Boots have up to half the range (seem to concentrate on L?Oreal dyes for some reason) most of my local independent chemists s
tock it, as do Tesco. Best place I know to buy it is Superdrug who usually have just about every shade and it?s permanantly reduced to £3.99 (Boots charge £5.99 I think, though at the mo everywhere seems to have it on special so you might be able to get it for less than £3.99) They also sell nice cheap shower caps and disposable (but I reuse them) gloves. I must say that with this colour I don?t really need the gloves as it doesn?t seem to stain my hands or even my nails ? possibly it?s this shade rather than the product as I?ve not used this shade in other brands or vice versa. But I do like to use my trusty shower cap to keep it all off my face/avoid dripping. If you use a darker shade it?s probably worth smearing some Vaseline around your hairline/ears/neck to make it easier to wipe away smudges ? also if you forget and need to remove drips from bare skin, baby lotion or a creamy cleanser work well, or if desperate neat shampoo. For goodness sake don?t leave drips of black hairdye on your forehead as not only will it stain your skin but also the fine hairs! Trust me, I speak from experience ? luckily I had a long fringe at the time! As I said earlier, my chosen shade is number 7.3, which is a warm (some might say brassy but I would have to wallop them) blonde shade. They have a good range of natural looking colours plus some artificial-yet-natural looking red shades (by which I mean, noone naturally has hair that colour but they don?t look really synthetic, like some of the brilliant Schwarzkopf Live range! Think natural-look lipstick rather than Marylin Monroe pout) Generally the higher the number the lighter the colour. I am usually tempted by some of the dark red-browns as well as the lip-colour reds, but I am sticking with my 7.3 for the moment. My only complaint is there are about a dozen light blonde shades, plenty of light browns, but not much in between, but this seems to be true of most ranges, and at least Belle Colour do a mid blonde
shade that isn?t Ash ? which I suspect would make me look about 50! The colour is pretty true to the picture, my hair is middlish brown as far as I remember, unfortunately it does fade a bit but this seems to be the case with every dye I have used in the last few years, and it still looks a nice colour by the time I come to re-do it, just lighter. Still, it means that when I dye my hair I get a satisfying ?all my hair looks different? thing, rather than ?my roots now match my hair which is exactly the same as it was before? ? honestly, this is a good thing! (Or so I tell myself) The dye itself isn?t all that smelly, nor does it leave my hair heavily perfumed, which depending on my mood is either very good or a little disappointing. However it?s definitely better than some of the dyes I have used which left me feeling rather queasy whenever I got a whiff of my hair! As I mentioned, they have ?improved? this product, which basically seems to mean they have dispensed with the little phial of oil stuff that you had to add in (apparently it is still there, you just don?t have to do it yourself) and also it doesn?t smell as nice ? it used to have a nice, subtle perfume. Still, they havent replaced it with a stinky one so I shouldn?t grumble. Maybe I?ll have to get down to Superdrug and buy up any old stock? After dyeing my hair, I would say it is in OK condition ?I am not particularly keen on the conditioner that comes with it but I use it anyway (waste not want not!) If I used a different conditioner (such as St Ives Swiss Formula hair repair or Aussie 3-minute miracle) I am sure my hair would be in jolly good condition, and certainly after I have washed and conditioned it a few days leter it is lovely and soft. So overall, peasy application, nice colour, not too stinky, cheap (in the right shop) but not particularly nice conditioner? I am definitely sticking with this one, until I next want a really crazy colour at least!
Nice fashion "basics" (jeans, t-shirts) and the "trendy" items are good for a laugh! - Advantages: Not as expensive as some catalogues, Good home/electrical stuff, Good interest free options - Disadvantages: Most of the clothes are hideous, Stock availability is hit and miss, Some of the clothes are REALLY hideous
beauty, at what price? - Advantages: quite nice shampoo, smells nice - Disadvantages: l'oreal test on animals, and they are part owned by nestle, who aggressively promote formula in third world countries, contributing to the deaths of thousands of babies each month
Well, when I first came to dooyoo I got rather overexcited and wrote 7 beauty product reviews in one evening ? Bad Glitterfiend. Anyway, after being told off by certain people and having others gently suggest this might not be the best way to make friends and influence people, I came across this category ? d?oh! So, here are my top 10 non-Lush products (because I am all too enamoured of Lush and saving that up for a big Lush review sometime soon) Firstly a few explanations? I am a single mum, with little time for messing about using complicated products and 15-step home facial routines. No, what I require is maximum effect, minimum effort, and hopefully a little bit of luxury in the mix too. If something does 2 jobs, it will please me muchly, and I am also a sucker for nice packaging! I have funny skin and hair that gets on great with products for a while but by the end of a bottle it?s either stopped working or I?ve got bored. So some of my choices mention more than one actual product ? hope that?s allowed? So, on with the reviews. First and most important ? skincare. I always assumed because I had spots that my skin was greasy, but in fact the only place I really get grease is the sides of my nose, and the reason I get spots is cos my dryish skin doesn?t exfoliate itself very well, so the dead skin hangs about and clogs my pores ? great?I now use a gentle face scrub or use a face wash with a rough flannel or Buf Puf (you know ? those facial Brillo pads ? marvellous things, but don?t rub too hard!) *Cleanser* I like a fairly creamy face wash without much alcohol, unfortunately at the moment I can?t find a face wash I like, so I am sticking with my Lush Angels on Bare Skin (damn, broke my no-Lush rule already!) [£2.75] I have already done a review on this product, but suffice to say that, coupled with eating more fruit and less processed food, this gentle daily wash/scrub has worked miracles on my skin. If I have makeup
on I use a creamy cleanser such as Superdrug?s Vitamin E cleanser [about £1.79] which I wipe on with my hands, leave to dissolve the gunk and remove with cotton wool. *Toner* I tend not to use moisturiser cos I havent found one I like, so I usually follow washing my face by wiping over some Rosewater and Glycerin toner on a damp cotton wool pad ? the rosewater smells nice and the glycerin softens. Boots have a version of this in their Traditionals range (along with cold cream ? that most 50s of skin products!) and most chemists have some sort of own brand version, it?s usually about £1.30. *Mask* Once a week I use a face mask, two I really like are Superdrug?s radiance mask (comes in a metallic sachet with a punky looking girl for 99p) which can also be used in small amounts as a makeup base, I don?t know if it makes me radiant but it feels nice on my face, and Boot?s Starlet masque which is part of their new cheap-imitation-of-Benefit range and comes as a box of 5 sachets for £3.50. I don?t like to keep these once they are opened but either sachet could easily do two faces so perhaps good for a girlie night in. If I am feeling a bit skint I mix up a chunk of ripe banana with some porridge oats and Rosewater & Glycerin which makes a nice softening mask for about 20p! Ok, so that?s what, 3 choices? Cleanser, toner and face mask. So I?ve got 7 left?Well after good skin, the next basic thing for looking good (or at least not like something the cat dragged in) is hair. I?m going to use another 3 choices on this, tho technically I?m cheating again cos it?s more like 3 groups of thing than 3 individual products. *To get it clean and shiny* I use Charles Worthington?s Big Hair shampoo and conditioner ? to be honest it will take more than some shampoo to get my hair Big, but this does get it nice and clean without drying it (which causes a vicious circle as it then makes more grease) and it still looks shiny an
d bouncy a couple of days after washing. I just use the conditioner on the ends, to avoid gunking up the roots. I rarely blowdry, but when I do, I clip it into sections which makes it so much quicker ? can?t believe it took so long to work that out! Normally I just towel dry, and brush it (when it?s dry) with a bristly brush rather than one with thick plastic stick thingies (those are good if you have to brush it wet tho) This makes it much smoother than if I just leave it or use the latter kind of brush which tends to make it go a bit clumpy. The shampoo and conditioner are both £3.99 but Boots have 3 for 2 on all CW at the mo. The brush I use is a round vented metal brush with plastic bristles that stick out of the vents ? about £4. *If I feel like styling it* I use some mousse (I like CW Big Hair mousse) or blowdrying/styling spray (not hair spray, this stuff tends to be non-aerosol and more watery, it helps your hair ?take? the style rather than hairspray which ?sets? it, so they say) Generally I would use mousse on damp hair (for example if I want to sleep in my curlers to really get the curl strong ? don?t laugh!) and spray on dry hair. I am not much good at complicated styles so I usually go for my new fave items ? velcro rollers! They are fab, but do be careful as I have heard horror stories of people?s mums who lost half their hair after having to cut out tangled rollers! If I sleep in them, using the mousse and setting with some hairspray a while before taking them out, the curls last for at least 2 days, even with fairly careless brushing. If I do the dry hair method it?s a lot quicker but doesn?t seem to last too well. Good hairspray ? L?Oreal Elnett or Salon Selectives. Not sure of prices, SS is cheaper. Any old velcro rollers will do, mine were from the £1 section in Sheffield Co-op. I use smallish ones around my face and medium sized ones at the back so I have loose ringlets at the front and the rest is just a bit Bigger/tousled. Dear god, I have rambled on and still another 5 choices left! Erk. *Colour* Well, my final choice for the hair is Belle Colour hair dye. This is one of the only things I am inclined to stick to one brand, at least while I stay blonde. It is peasy to use (mix it up, bung it on dry hair, wash it off) and seems to take less time to apply than most brands, possibly as it is less drippy so less time is wasted swearing and wiping it off my leg/carpet/face?Of course it still takes quite a while to rinse off, but I can get the whole process completed in about 30-40 minutes, even with a small child around! I don?t bother with the rubbish gloves and hats/capes that come with most hairdyes, I buy disposable latex gloves, and have a special shower cap for dyeing? Belle Colour is usually about £5-6 but Superdrug sell it for about £4. I like the golden blonde shade, but there are plenty to choose from. Of course, they have Improved it now, which probably means it?s gone rubbish? *Toothpaste* I have always had lots of mouth ulcers, which are apparently made worse by SLS ? a detergent put into toothpastes to make them froth up. I decided to look in the local health food shop for an alternative and came across Weleda Ratanhia toothpaste, which not only has no SLS but actually helps heal ulcers and bleedy gums (another problem of mine)! I was a bit sceptical but it really does help, and I have recommended it to my friend who also has the same problems and she loves it too. It?s a little more expensive than colgate etc, about £1.70 for a smallish tube, but well worth it. It is not terribly minty and looks like pink mud, but once you get used to it it?s great. *Bath time* Ok, well my favouite treat bath things are all from Lush, but for day-to-day use, I love Palmolive Naturals bath&crème with milk protein or milk and honey (smells nicer) This comes in a litre bottle for about £3 and is jolly good stuff ? I can get away witho
ut body lotion most days. I also use superdrug Vitamin E body scrub (under £2 I think) and in the morning Shower Power orange and mango gel ? orange wakes you up in the morning, so I?m told. For bedtime baths I like Radox Time Out bubble bath with mimosa - £2 or so. Nice smell and v relaxing. And now the makeup? *Base* For daytime use, I love Collection 2000?s 3-in-1 compact. It comes in a pale enough shade for me, makes my skin look lots better without much fuss or maskiness, and contains UVA and UVB sunscreen. If I want to look a bit more flawless, I like my new foundation, Tesco MakeUp oil-free foundation in Porcelain (I think) it makes my skin look very smooth and covers any little blemishes, but doesn?t feel or look too heavy. If necessary, I use some of the C2000 as concealer and top with Kolor powder. I am looking into a yellow-toned concealer for my undereye circles. C2000=£2.99 IIRC, Tesco foundation just under £6, powder about £3.50. Also love Kolor blusher stick in Sheer Blush. *Colour* Eyes ? for a subtle daytime look, a dusky pink eyeshadow on the lid, Rimmel waterproof mascara in brown/black, plus maybe a touch of kohl pencil (love Bourjois eye pencils which come in a twisty plastic tube that you just twist and more pencil comes out) and a little Barry M dazzle dust in a subtle gold shimmer. For a less subtle look (not always restricted to the nighttime!) I like to chuck on some BarryM fuschia dazzle dust all over my eyelids and add a few more coats of mascara in black. At the moment at Superdrug you can get a free Rimmel Waterproof mascara with any purchase of Rimmel ? bargain! Lips ? my 3 faves right now are No7 Ultimate lipstick in Daring ? perfect 40s red pout, need very subtle eyes; 17 colour renew in Pink power (sadly no longer available, its very fuschia) again, caution should be exercised in eyemakeup; and Kolor lipstick in Sheer delight ? this is a sort of sheer pinky/red colour, more like
a tinted not-too-glossy gloss but in stick form. These are all fairly non-drying and the first two last well, the last like most glossy things needs reapplying fairly often. So there you have it. I hope this is useful to someone, if anyone thinks it?s total rubbish I?d appreciate a comment rather than just a ?not useful? so I can try to improve on it rather than just feeling stupid.
I got this after Christmas as I was given a voucher - normally I wouldnt spend £5 on a pot of cleanser (cheapskate, me!) but when this runs out I will be back for more! That said, I still have well over half a pot left which is pretty impressive. So, what is it then? Well, it's a little glass jar with a very thick creamy cleanser in. Usually when you take off the lid there is a little pool of oil which is off-putting at first but it is peanut oil and it mixes into the cream pretty easily. I have combination skin - some areas very dry and some fairly greasy, but this stuff is great for both. I have a friend with super-sensitive skin and she is also in love with this cleanser - as the name suggests it is great for sensitive skin. It is quite oily, so I can usually get away without moisturiser, but it doesnt leave my skin greasy. To use it, you dip in your fingertip and rub the cleanser between your palms then smooth it over your face. If you've got mascara on it's worth putting a little extra on your lashes. Leave it to work while you brush your teeth and then remove with dampened (hot water) cotton wool or a flannel. It doesnt always get off all my mascara at the first attempt but a little more deals with what remains, and as its so gentle it doesnt irritate my eyes, even last week when I was staying with my friend who has a dog (I'm allergic to dogs and it's hayfever season, so my eyes were already itchy!) Also, because you rub it between your palms to apply it, it leaves your hands soft.
So, I started going to Lush as I was drawn in by the yummy smells of the balistics and soaps... But soon enough I noticed the less glamorous items, and its these that have done the most to transform me from a spotty smelly greasy-haired teen into my glamourous 20-something self! While I adore Fairy Jasmine (glittery aphrodisiac ballistic) and Creamy Candy (sugar-sweet bubble bath) it's Aromarant, Angels on Bare Skin and the solid shampoos which truly have captured my heart. I have always had problems with being a bit sweaty, I'd get up, have a bath, go to school and already be smelling :( I have tried progressively stronger and stronger products, each of which would work for a few weeks or if I was lucky months, but by the time a bottle ran out they were usually next to useless, and even if I didnt sweat too badly the fragrance would start to smell wierd... Then I tried Aromarant. I thought "it'll never work" and the first time I tried it, it didnt - just made my armpits sore. Then I figured out you need to use it wet - duh! Well it was amazing! As a mum of a toddler I don't always get to have a bath every day, and some mornings I forget to even have my usual wipe-with-a-flannel - with Aromarant I have gone 2 days from application to application without even a whiff of stink! WOW!!! Fortunately or unfortunately I find that a 100g bar lasts so long that by the time I have got about halfway through a bar, it has started to go a bit funny, possibly because I havent figured out how to keep it dry/in circulating air. My latest bar smells a bit like frozen peas - huh? Anyway, it is about 8 months old so I can forgive it! At the moment I am using a different product as I havent been able to get to Lush.
Oh you have saved my skin you wonderful lumpy grey gunk. For 10 years I battled with my crappy skin, Clearasil got it clean but dried it out, creamy cleansers didnt get rid of all the gunk, and face washes left my skin feelin tighter than a brand new bongo! And through it all I still had spots :( But then I discovered you, my Angel and my skin is so happy now. I only get spots if I forget to use you for a while and you even help avoid ingrowing hairs when I shave my bikini line! My skin is soft and moisturiser actually works rather than clogging my pores. Yay! Well, in my enthusiasm I totally failed to make much sense, so... Angels on bare skin is a face scrub/cleanser, that is, it exfoliates but it is v gentle so you can use it every day as a face wash rather than having to use 2 seperate products. It's apparently based on a medieval recipe used by very posh ladies as it has all sorts of exotic ingredients that used to cost a fortune to import. Thankfully these days we have aeroplanes and big ships that can bring the same ingredients to Lush much cheaper, so this fabulous stuff is £2.75 for a 100g pot which is jolly good value, similar price to nasty chemical concoctions sold in other stores and all natural/gentle ingredients. To use you take a little lump of it and mix it with some water in your palm then rub over your face, especially round flakey/spotty areas. It contains cocoa butter which leaves your skin a little moisturised, and because it exfolitates away the dead skin whatever moisturiser you use on top is absorbed much better. Did I mention I love this stuff?
Well to start with I have really pale skin so any foundation that actually doesnt make me look orange is good! Hurray for Collection 2000 then, because not only does this product come in a shade that suits me, but it is actually pretty darn good too! Oh, and cheap, which is always nice - especially when my other option is generally MAC (ouch - pricey!) Apparently, you are meant to wet the sponge when applying this to get a better coverage, but I find that just by using the sponge dry it covers most spots (OK, not the big red ones - they need a little extra, more on that in a mo) and evens out my skintone pretty well, without looking or feeling heavy. If I have a big red spot (not that often these days thank Maude) I can just dampen the corner of the sponge and apply a little extra as concealer! That not enough for you? Well then how about the smart navy packaging, decent-sized mirror - I've even used it when doing my eye makeup. Still not impressed? Come on, it's under 3 quid! OK, well what about if i tell you it contains both UVA and UVB sunscreens? Now get down to Superdrug and buy some!
I have been looking for a good 40s red lippy for ages, something fairly matte but not drying, not too pink or orange... I have seen many a "red" lipstick and rushed to test only to be disappointed as the colour on my hand is quite blatantly pink. Bah. Then one afternoon I was meandering around Boots and my gaze fell upon the No7 display. I was initially drawn to Siren, but after much glaring at the back of my hand I decided on Daring, not such a good name but a better colour and I can always tell myself it is called Siren ;) Anyway, I handed over my £6 based purely on the colour so imagine my surprise when not only is it the perfect balance of matte and not-drying but it actually STAYS ON MY LIPS!!! All day! Ok, it also ends up on my sandwich, fingernails, child... But hey, my lips are still in a timewarp so who cares!
Oh Barry, how I love you. I spent far too much time as a teenager eyeing up the spectacular range of nail polishes in this range on trips to Carnaby Street. Now Barry M is in Superdrug, which is darn handy as being a single mum I don't have so much time for Carnaby Street. Anyway, unfortunately the nail polishes never lived up to expectations but I have now discovered Dazzle Dust... It's like being 17 all over again, I find myself drawn to the bewildering array of colours of these tiny, cute, glass pots of sparkle. I have already splashed out on a shimmery subtle gold and a beautiful, but BRIGHT pink. I am now dreaming of sea green and sapphire blue and after reading some of the reviews on here I'm sure I'll be looking more closely at the "white" and skintone colours next time I am in Superdrug (er, tomorrow then!) I can dab a tiny amount of pink on the corners of my eyelids and look cute and bright eyed (not bad for a tired mum!) or slather it on my lids and blend over the brow bone for a bright punky look (did i mention it's bright?) Have just had a look and it's shade 64. The gold is very pretty, the pot looks like it is full of yer actual gold, and shallow as i am I like makeup that looks nice before I even put it on! Again this can be used very subtly or in a more full-on way, tho i havent tried to get an opaque-gold look... It is also nice for giving a bit more sparkle to other shades - the pink for instance tends to come out fairly matte so a bit of gold on top and it's razzle dazzle all the way. gold = 29. One big hint tho, wear very boring lipstick with the pink stuff if you dont want to look like a crazed drag queen. I tried wearing it with my equally lovely fuschia lippy and I looked like an explosion in the paint factory. Took off the pink and put on some "nude" stuff and instantly looked great! Unfortunately at £4 a pot you cant buy all the colours you'd lik
e to (well, i cant) at one go, but that's probably not such a bad thing because I'd be tempted to wear them all at once cos they are all so beautiful. It's also fun to think up new uses for them... The gold can be mixed with some body lotion as a highlighter for collarbones, shoulders or cleavage, it can be used in the same sort of way to enhance cheekbones (mix with a dab of foundation on the back of your hand and apply with fingertips) The pink, being so bright, is a bit trickier, but it can be applied with a thin damp brush as eyeliner and you could try it under some vaseline as lipgloss. If you're feeling creative, you could possibly use it with the damp eyeliner brush to give your friends (or yourself if you're quite bendy) wash-off tattoos.
I have very pale "english rose" type complexion (only a bit spottier ;) and so dont really suit the browny/tawny blushers that most ranges seem to have 6 near-identical shades of. I also am not that keen on powder blusher which was the only kind i had previously found in a pinky shade... I was getting to the stage where i thought i might have to shell out the £20-odd for a bottle of BeneTint, when I happened upon Kolor's blush stick in Sheer Blush. In the tube, it looks quite scary, but as the name suggests, it goes on to give a lovely sheer delicate pink look. Just dab it on your cheeks and rub in with fingertips. If you want to look a bit more slapped-cheeky then you can simply reapply and reblend till you get it as bright as you want. Or dont blend, that'd be v v bright ;) Anyway, it is a lovely lovely thing, and possibly fits well with the Victoriana look that is meant to be in these days, as you dont look tanned or heavily made up with this on. This blusher comes in about 4 shades I think, the others are more typical tawny colours, and they also have a similar-looking thing called something like Glimmer, which I think is a contouring highlighter in a sort of pearly pink shade... So, it's a pretty colour, it's creamy rather than powdery (I always find powder blusher looks too, well, makeupy) and it is ever-so modern as it comes in a stick rather than a pot. What more can a girl want? Well, it doesnt come with free chocolate...