Monday, 27 April 2015

Event : #TheCityGirls

This past Saturday (April 25th) I was lucky enough to be invited to #TheCityGirls event right here in sunny Sheffield.  It was my first ever blogger event, so I was really nervous in the days leading up (I'm not even going to pretend like I'm not familiar with social anxiety haha) but once I got there it was so much fun, and I adored chatting with the brand reps and meeting the other girls who were invited!  And not only my first event, it was the first ever #TheCityGirls event, one of hopefully many more to come, and it was so exciting to be involved in the birth of what I believe is going to become an excellent blogger event network.

Photo nabbed from Lorna's instagram here

The event was hosted by Lorna and Holly-Lucy, pictured above, and honestly I'm so proud of all of the hard work they put into the afternoon.  Everything was thought of and catered for, and you could really see not just the sheer amount of hard work and planning that they put into this, but also their sheer passion for it.  I'm sure their next event will be just as successful, and can't wait to hear more news about it through #TheCityGirls hashtag.  Did I mention we even trended on Twitter during the event?  So exciting!!

As soon as we entered the venue (Bloo88 on West Street, which? amazing cocktails and even better pizza!) we were greeted by tables littered about with goodies for everyone to collect, interspersed with the brand tables, and a raffle area set up to raise money for the event's charity City Hearts.  The table in the very entrance was stocked with Voss water as well as Virtue iced tea (they had Lemon iced tea available but I chose the Strawberry & Peach flavour, which was delicious, if maybe a little tart).  My bottle of Voss came in very useful at the end of the event, on the long journey home to keep me hydrated!

Some of the goodies that were available at the event.  Voss water, a pretty light-up pocket mirror from Pebble Grey, a bottle of Henderson's Relish (which, of course, since we're in Sheffield - but would you believe I've never tried it??) and the prettiest mini bottles of perfume.  This smells so very delicious I want to wear it all the time.

Amber came from City Hearts to give us a talk at the beginning of the event before we got started mingling and chatting, to really give us an idea of why we were all here.  Amber gave a great talk to the group, which really hammered home the importance of the work City Hearts does, and I admit it made me feel a little emotional.

To quote from their website "As part of the National Referral Mechanism, we work with the Salvation Army, the Police, Social Services, the UK Human Trafficking Centre and other national organizations, to provide a safe refuse and immediate care for men, women and families who have been rescued from modern day slavery."  

To raise money, a raffle was held, with lots of amazing prizes up for grabs.  In the end, I was very happy to learn that the raffle raised £175 for the charity - and even better, Aviva is going to match the donation, bringing it to a nice, even £350!

There was everything from sets of flavoured instant coffee, bags, cinema tickets and artwork.  For my trouble I came away with a Sheffield Cook Book (swapped with new friend Sophie from Books and Beauty, as she said she didn't cook, and since I had never tried Henderson's it seemed like it had to happen!) and a really pretty silver necklace by Thomas Sabo which you can see in my next post, but you may just be able to spy in the photograph below!  

I also won an amazing clear/holographic clutch from Second Thread, but I felt bad hogging all the prizes and wanted the other girls to get a chance, so I donated it back in for re-drawing.  

I fully admit that I have since ordered the clutch and matching shopper bag direct from their web store though, which you can find by following the above link. #noshame #gottatreatyoself  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of Second Thread to share right now, the ones I took didn't come out clear (I need more practice at this blog photography thing) - but rest assured I will be sharing the bags when they get here.  They're so pretty!

I was really excited to see that Benefit had come to play!  Melissa came to give all of the ladies mini makeovers, mostly focussing on brows and lashes.  She was really lovely, and great to chat with as she talked about not just the products but blogging and beauty in general.  I considered getting her to look at my brows, but I'd already filled them in and thought it would be too much work to start over, so I asked her to let me try out the new RollerLash.  I've actually been needing to buy some new mascara for a few weeks (I'm finishing up my sample of YSL's latest offering pretty soon) and was considering They're Real.  But I really loved RollerLash when Mel tried it out on me - so I definitely know what my new mascara is going to be!

Benefit also brought a little goodie bag for each of the attendees, which included a sample of The POREfessional - which I've been wanting to try as I'm in need of a primer that actually does what it says - and a sample of the They're Real Remover, which I think I'll wait to try when I've got some heavy duty eye makeup going on.

Lush had a stand in one corner, and when I approached they were busy making some Catastrophe Cosmetic face masks.  It was interesting seeing it all come together, especially with the fresh blueberries!

Here the masks are being packed into the iconic black pots - and as we chatted away with one of the brand reps, she slipped one of these masks into our goodie bags.  It worked out really well for me, since I have quite dry and sensitive skin, which this particular mask is perfect for.  I'm planning on a long bubble bath with a mask tonight before bed ^^

They had also brought some of their most popular and limited-edition shower gels (the pink one smells like very sweet pomegranates and the purple one smells like parma violets).  We got a choice of taking one of these home with us, but I opted for a Yummy Mummy body conditioner instead - it's a skin conditioner that you wash on in the shower and it hydrates your skin without having to apply a separate moisturiser after drying off.  We got a couple other goodies from Lush as well, but you'll have to wait for my goody bag recap for the details!

I didn't get a picture of Cinnamon Buns Designs table either - I got a little distracted talking to the lovely lady showing off all of the prints they had for sale, but you can see her own photo of the display here on Instagram.  The print I really wanted had sold out by the time I got there, but I bought the one pictured above instead as it's similar - the only difference is that the one I had my eye on had white text with a multicoloured "splash" design around it.  I think this one is just as pretty though!

The only brand I didn't get to spend time with was Panache, which was a shame since I'm already a fan of their lingerie and would recommend them especially to any plus size ladies, since I've never had a problem with underwire breakage or stabbing with their bras and have always found them comfortable.  I was really excited for Panache to visit, but so was everybody else since the rep was so busy all afternoon with everyone getting bra fittings. I really wanted to be fitted myself as well, since I always tend to order bras online and just try on and return what doesn't fit, so I have no idea what bra size I am anymore.  But at the same time I guess it was for the best at the time since I felt pretty warm and a little uncomfortably sticky so I wouldn't have liked to inflicted sweaty boobs on the poor woman haha.  Since we're both in Sheffield though I'm hoping to be able to get a fitting sorted sometime soon anyway, so if I do I'll definitely update with more information!

Between the Raffle items and the Benefit table, there was a lovely display of pretty chocolate cupcakes, baked by Holly.  I'm really sad to say that I forgot to go back to try one, but the other girls said they were delicious!  I had planned to have one as dessert after our pizza lunch (seriously the girls thought of EV-RY-THING) but when we came back upstairs it seemed like a whirlwind.  I can't express how fast the whole day seemed to go!

Speaking of pizza!  When I told my friends that I was going to an event at Bloo88, the first thing everyone said was that they do amazing pizzas.  And seriously, they were right.  We were spoilt for choice as well - I lost count of the number of different toppings on the many, many pizzas that were served to the group.  My favourite had goat's cheese and tomatoes on it (I had to pick off the olives, but it was delicious!).  Even the crusts were perfectly crispy - I'll definitely be going back for pizza and cocktails sometime very soon.

By the end of the afternoon we were all pretty lumbered down with goodies, but I'm definitely not complaining!  I was astonished by both the size and quality of the goody bags that we got at the event (not to mention the canvas totes from The Blogger Programme - I am a total hoarder of printed tote bags, it has to be said).  But you'll have to wait until next time to find out what was inside, since this post is already way longer than I had originally intended!  

Really though, I have to say that the best part of being involved in this event was the real sense of community.  All of the girls came together on twitter, and I felt like I'd made some new friends even before the day - and it was really great to meet and talk to some girls with similar interests and who really "get" the blogging thing.  I hope to see you all again soon!!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Get To Know The Blogger : Liebster Award

Kelly A at Amour Tera has nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is a tag that’s currently making the rounds in the blogosphere. Thank you for the nomination Kelly ^__^! 

Click the link above to go to Kelly’s blog and see the questions she’s answered - she has two sets up as two people nominated her, so check it out~

So here's how it goes:

Link your nominator(s) and provide links back to their blog. List 11 facts about yourself, then answer the 11 questions your nominator(s) posed to you. Then, create 11 new questions for 11 new nominees who have under 200 blog followers. Let your new nominees know, and that's it!

Kelly A’s Questions:

1. What's your favorite album?

So first of all you guys are going to quickly find out that I’m a Kpop addict and I have… less usual taste in music I guess? Honestly at the moment my favourite album is 2NE1’s CRUSH, possibly tied with FEMM-Inize by FEMM. I love every single track off both albums so I’d be hard pressed to choose a favourite (FEMM is a Japanese duo but their music is in English so even if you’re offput by Kpop I would recommend checking them out ^^). If I had to choose a favourite album from the English speaking world I would have to say Meds by Placebo or Crash Love by AFI.

2. What's your favorite lipstick color?

Right now I’m on the hunt for My Perfect Lavender, which I feel is going to be unending, but I can’t really mark that as my favourite can I? I wear a lot of pinks and pink-neutrals but my favourite has to be red; I can’t think of anything else that can make you look so put together with absolutely no effort than throwing on a red lip.

3. If you could have one wish, what would it be?

Honestly it would probably be for teleportation to be a legit thing so I don’t have to spend a small fortune, holiday days at work, and hours on a plane to visit my family back in Canada. It’s been four years now since I’ve been back – how amazing would it be to just blink and be able spend the weekend with them?? Or to spend an evening in Japan during sakura season. 

4. What was the last thing you laughed at?

I don't even know - I joke around a lot so it was probably something inane and stupid haha.

5. How was your day today?

It’s been okay I guess? Not great though, as I found out a friend of mine had some devastating news this weekend, so I’m feeling for her – also still stressing and waiting for news about what’s happening next with my cat’s cancer, the vet just said she'll call again later in the week after she's had a second opinion. And I only had around four hours of sleep last night so I’m exhausted. But on the whole today has been okay so far; I’m ready to get into my bed though!

6. Where has the best coffee?

Tim Hortons, which is a damn shame since they don’t have a presence where I live (still holding out hope that the BK buyout means they’ll expand internationally!) In England I admit I tend to stay by the big franchises – Starbucks for Frappucinnos, Costa for flavoured lattes or other cold drinks (iced tea, blended lemonade)

7. What kind of phone do you have?

White/Gold iPhone 5S (with the biggest memory available because apparently I don’t know how to function without ~6,000 songs at my disposal at any given moment.

8. What’s your favourite Instagram account?

This is probably bad but at the moment I’m not sure I have one? I follow a few amazing makeup artists but I don’t spend enough time on Instagram to have a firm favourite yet! Something I really need to rectify ^^;

9. If you could go to any concert, front row, what would it be? Where?

If I could go to ANY concert, no restrictions – it would be a Michael Jackson show, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen (though I was lucky enough for my first ever concert experience to be a Michael Jackson tour around 15+ years ago). If we’re talking something that could actually maybe happen, I’d probably choose one of the groups from my Favourite Album answer. 2NE1 is my top-top-top answer, but I’d love to see FEMM live, or be front-row at an AFI or Placebo concert!

10. Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada until I was 18 years old – then I moved to England the beginning of the summer after I graduated from high school ^_^

11. What’s one thing that happened today that made you smile?

When I got up this morning I had a nice little cuddle with my kitty-cat before I had to get ready to work, which was lovely. Honestly, it’s the simple things sometimes.

I tag:

1. Holly-Lucy of Tea and Blush

2. Lorna of Life by LDE

3. Julia of Miss Julzies

4. Danielle of Dot About Town

5. Chloe of ChloEllio 

6. Kathryn of Kathryn Charlotte B

7. Freddy Friday of My Sister Monster Disaster

8. Chloe of Love From Lucky 

9. Michelle of Teach In Fashion

10. Ella of Truthfully Ella

11. I also tag you, the reader! (most of the blogs I follow have more than 200 followers haha)

My questions:

1. How did you get started blogging?

2. Who is your fashion role model?

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have any three things with you, what would they be?

4. Do you have any pets? What animals and what are their names?

5. If you could visit anywhere in the world for any length of time, where would you go?

6. What is your favourite song? 

7. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

8. What is one thing you love about yourself? 

9. What is one thing you love about your best friend?

10. Who is your favourite superhero?

11. If you could have any one superpower, what would it be and why?

Friday, 17 April 2015

In The Life - April 17th, 2014

This is a new series where I'll just do some... lifeblogging.  Catching up with you guys about stuff that's going on, or maybe not even about anything in particular but just.  Life!

To start it all off, I just wanted to take a moment out from the usual beauty/fashion/etc related stuff to talk about something that is very important and dear to me, more to get this off my chest than anything else.  After all, this is a personal/lifestyle blog more than just a straight-up beauty blog, and this is a big part of my life right now.  If you’d rather read about product reviews and hauls, or are at all squeamish about the idea of surgery or stitches (or just generally have no interest in reading about my cat) feel free to skip, I won’t hold it against you ^^

I'll put the rest under a cut, because it's quite long and you may not want to read.  But click to read more if you so choose.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

In & Out: Volume 1


Skin Care: I’ve been so lax about my skincare routine more or less since the beginning of this year, and my skin has really let me know how unhappy it is.  I ran out of my usual moisturiser and went back to an old one I didn’t like all that much, “until I find a new one” and that turned into a couple of months of inadequate hydration.  I’ve recently purchased a bunch of organic skin care however and am being more stringent with my routine, and already my skin is in a much happier place.  More details to follow!

Blog Events: I was lucky enough to be invited to an event being organized by Holly-Lucy and Lorna of #TheCityGirls (be sure to click the links and check out their blogs) and I really can’t wait.  The event is taking place in less than two weeks and I’m so excited to be a part of it and meet a bunch of fellow bloggers!  I admit that I’m a little nervous, because aside from Holly I won’t know any of the other attendees, but I’m still very much looking forward to the event and meeting some new people who will actually understand my addiction to the world of beauty, fashion, and blogging.

Organization:  The last month or two have been about trying to organize… well, my life I guess haha.  I’ve finally invested in some decent storage for all of my beauty bits and bobs, and find myself keeping obsessive To Do lists to keep everything in order.  Next I really need to get a diary to carry with me so I can keep track of schedules and leave myself reminders!


Default Blogger Layouts:  I think it’s time to invest in a customized layout, but I’m so picky that I haven’t found one I love enough to splurge on just yet.  Mentally kicking myself for letting my HTML/CSS knowledge lapse, otherwise I could do a beautiful one for myself!

Hair Frustrations: This one is a bit of a personal rant that I want to avoid haha.  But late last year I finally left my old hairdresser (who has been doing my hair since I moved to England ten years ago). Constantly cutting off too much length, butchering my layers, uneven colour, overbleaching/burning my hair…  I persevered because it was cheap, but finally decided it wasn’t worth it to be so unhappy with my hair.  So I’m happy to say I’ve finally moved to a new salon, in a more convenient location, with a stylist I adore and who listens to what I want.

Insomnia:  I wish this one would go, anyway.  At the moment I feel tired all the time and find myself waking up a dozen times during the night and then struggling to get back to sleep.  I’ve suffered from insomnia to varying degrees since my teen years, so this is nothing new, but it’s worse at the moment than it’s been in a while, so just hoping that it’ll settle down again soon!

That’s it for now, but check back soon as I’ve got a couple more reviews up my sleeve and ready to go; and I’m planning on reviving the Fashion Fix posts as well, since my Polyvore addiction is getting a little out of hand~

Until next time!


Monday, 6 April 2015

Tried & Tested: Korres White Tea Gel Fluid Cleanser

£15.00 -

So I'm finally back with another review for you all!  I'm sure you've noticed that it's been a while since my last post, and I want to apologise profusely for that before I get on with the product review.  I've had quite a lot of changes going on in my work-life that's meant some busy times, as well as another illness that turned into quite a bad chest infection.  I'm still getting over the last of the bronchitis now, but I'm feeling much better and have a lot more energy than I have for the last few weeks, so I really want to get back into the blogosphere!

Anyway let's get on with it, shall we?

You may recall one of the earlier posts on my blog was a skincare haul, and one of the items I was the most excited about trying was the Korres White Tea Gel Cleanser pictured above.  I'm maybe a little bit of a tea obsessive, and I'm a fan of the Korres products I've tried before - all in all, I had high hopes for this and couldn't wait to try it.

My initial thoughts were that I wasn't really sure about it application-wise, as I'm used to foaming cleansers that leave me with ample bubbles to gently spread across my face.  However I also know that the foaming agents that help create these suds are a very potential enemy to those with dry skin, as they can be incredibly stripping.  This is why cleansing milks and creams are often recommended to those of us with very dry skin types.  I never really got along with cleansing milks though, and it's purely from a personal taste perspective.  I'm just so used to washing my face with a more traditional cleanser and water, and just couldn't get used to using other types.

So, I persevered with the White Tea Gel Cleanser and eventually got used to the lack of foaming, and will add that it paired especially well with my Clarisonic.  However I did find that it made my skin feel very dry and tight, and was pretty uncomfortable.  I tried to compensate by toning and applying moisturiser immediately after use (or spritzing on a hydrating spray), but honestly I had to draw the conclusion that this cleanser isn't the most suitable for very dry skin types.

I think if you have oilier skin, or moderately dry skin which isn't also dehydrated like mine is, you may well get along with this so I think it's worth a try.  I did like how clean it made my skin feel; again, especially paired with my Clarisonic.  But personally I felt it aggravated my already dry skin and helped contribute to extra flakiness here and there, which my moisturisers couldn't really get rid of on their own.

So all in all I would tentatively recommend it, but not for extremely dry or dehydrated skin.  If you get along well with foaming cleansers (which can often be drying or stripping for drier skin) then you'll probably do well with this one so it's worth a shot.  I'm marking this lower on Does What It Says specifically because of the claim that it's for all skin types, as it really did not work with mine at all.


  • I personally like the scent
  • It did make my skin feel very clean so I feel like it accomplished that part of the job
  • May be a suitable cleanser for normal or oilier skin types


  • Made my face feel quite tight and dry, overall uncomfortable after use
  • Though it's marketed for All Skin Types I really don't think it's suitable for very dry or dehydrated skin


Quality: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Does What It Says: 1.5/5
Packaging: 4/5
Bonus*: N/A
TOTAL: 11.5/20

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; please see Disclosure page for further information.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Tried & Tested : Lente Designs Multi-Angle iPad Case

£24.95 / $38.04 -

I'm really excited for today's review because I think it's something we all have a need for in our lives, not just in the Blogosphere but as a person living in the 21st century; a sturdy tablet case. offered to let me choose an item from their website for review, and since I was in the market for a new iPad case anyway, I decided to take them up on the offer.  Let's get the disclaimer out of the way before we go any further: while the case was provided for review consideration, my reviews are always honest and all opinions posted here are my own.

So let's start the beginning.  Pictured above is the case I've had on my iPad for the past two years.  I love anything Hello Kitty and I love anything pink, so this was a perfect Christmas present from my aunt.  It was a cheap purchase from Ebay but it fit the bill; it was cute and provided screen protection when not in use, which was my main priority at the time.  However, the design was definitely flawed.

Because this is what happened to my iPad.  Yes, it's small and yes, it's my own fault for dropping the thing in the first place.  But the way the metal is pushed up is actually bunched a little under the edge of the glass front.  I tried to get a picture but because of the reflective surface of the glass I couldn't get one clear enough.  My point is that it's safe and functional, but it doesn't look pretty - and if I really wanted to I could probably lift the corner of the glass off the front because there is now a small gap where the dent is.  Because of this I wanted to get a new case that provided more coverage for the Danger Zones.  Aka the corners.

So when I got the opportunity to choose one to try out and review, it was perfect timing to be honest with you.  I perused the website and fell in love with a birdcage design (which you can see here) but it was out of stock with no real idea of when it would be available again.  So instead I chose the above flower print.  It's the same case design, just with a different fabric covering.  You can see the one I bought (and the birdcage print as well as a pretty one with butterfly prints on it) here.

So the first thing I liked about this, aside from the cover design, was the inside, which sounds weird.  The right side of the above photo is where the ipad slots in, and it's super easy to insert.  Just put it in and gently press around the edges until it 'clicks' into place.  The first case I had was a leather affair that just clipped in at the corners very snugly, and I really struggled to get my iPad in and out of it without busting the thing in half.  So I was happy with how this one was designed.  Plus, it doesn't come across in the photo, but the back part that hugs the back of the iPad is a soft material.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's much nicer than just having the iPad snuggled against hard plastic - it would probably be fine, since it doesn't move, but I'd be afraid of scratching it all the same (I totally scratched my first iPod and iPhone just by virtue of them sliding across a tabletop -.-).

Also, see those ridges on the left?  This is a multi-angle case, and those ridges are deep enough to really feel secure when the iPad is tilted or stood up like in the above photo.  My Hello Kitty case had a similar design, but the thin, wide magnets in the cover were also used for the 'wells' to stand the iPad up in, and they weren't deep enough.  I lost count of the number of times I tried to stream Running Man or watch Netflix in bed and it kept sliding down.  So annoying.  And so far, I haven't had that problem with this case.

As you can see here, the case is much more secure around the corners of the iPad - it completely covers up the portion that I managed to damage with my previous case in place, so I don't have to worry about doing further harm.  Not that I plan on dropping it again anytime soon but, then again, do we ever really?  Like any good phone or tablet case, it also leaves the side controls free, so I can adjust volume and turn the lock switch on or off without messing around with the case itself.

Again, as a multi-angle case this is quite useful.  Although the product description mentions "three different viewing angles" I found there were actually four separate angles you can use to lean it upright in landscape orientation - plus you can prop it upright in portrait orientation if you wanted to, as you can see folding it as above creates a sturdy triangle base for the tablet to rest on.

Aside from the general protection and handy multi-angle use, the case also has magnets in the front cover, which both add security (it won't flop open if you're carrying it around in a bag with you) but also serve to automatically lock the screen when you close the cover.  The inside of the front cover is also a very soft fabric to make sure the ridges don't cause any scratches or marks on the cover as well.

So all in all, I'm a fan!  I usually manage to find some kind of con when it comes to these reviews, but this is a really useful and well built piece of gadget accessory.  I will say that I suppose it's on the pricier side if you're used to Ebay fare, but it's comparable to what you'd pay in a high street shop.  And honestly, since my last Ebay-acquired case wasn't actually as protective as I thought it might be, I think it's worth it.  But even if you'd rather not shell out £25 for a tablet case (as beautiful as it is), CaseHappy does have a variety of designs and price points available, so it's worth a look.  They also sell cases for different tablets as well as a variety of smartphones, but I'm really happy with my cheap-o Neko case for my iPhone right now so I didn't give their phone offerings too deep a look.


  • Multiple viewing angles with sturdy supports
  • Full front, back, side, and most importantly corner protection
  • Magnet closure at front which also locks the screen automatically when closed
  • Comparable price point to high street accessory shops

  •           This particular design might be a bit pricey for some more casual users
  •           Packaging consists of a cellophane wrapper - not superfluous but a bit more minimal than I like

Quality: 5/5
Value: 4/5
Does What It Says: 5/5
Packaging: 2/5
Bonus*: N/A

TOTAL: 16/20

Until next time,

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Tried & Tested : Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette : Semblance

Today I’ve got one of Illamasqua’s palettes to review.  The one featured here is called Semblance; I also purchased the Aura palette so a review will follow for that one as well.  I actually got both of these before Christmas, but took some time off for the holidays and while work was busy at the end-of-year review preparation front.  But I'm back so let's get straight back into it!

Each of these palettes features eight colour cosmetics; both include four eyeshadows, a cream highlight shade and a powder blush, as well as cult favourite cream contouring shade in Hollow and brow cake in the shade Thunder.  The four shadows included in the Semblance palette are: Obsidian (a deep, matte black),  Dizzy (a mauvey, matte greyedpink-purple), Tango (a reddened brown with a satin-frost finish) and Slink (a frosty champagne).  The highlighter included is Mirage (a medium bronze with fine shimmer) and the blush is Hussy (a bubblegum pink):

£22.50 (normally £45) - Illamasqua 

I must admit, I really really like this palette.  Although not marketed as such, because of the products included in both this and the Aura palette, it seemed to me that this one was more geared toward those with medium to darker skintones – this idea came in large part by the Highlight shade included, as it’s far too dark for me to use as an outright highlight.  So at first I was a bit unsure as to whether I should order it or not, but ultimately decided to take the plunge.  And you know what?  I’m really glad I did.

The blush is a standout shade to me, very pigmented but wearable at the same time when used with a soft brush.  I also really love the eyeshadows that came in this palette - I like wearing the mauvey pink-purple all over the lid and use the frosty cranberry shade to define the crease before using the matte black to line the upper and lower lashline.  Sidenote: the included brush is really perfect for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner, it’s just firm enough and slim enough to be very precise in its application.  As well as included brush, the lid contains a very large mirror - so be careful if packing this in your handbag, but I find the mirror incredibly handy.

The only shade I’m not sure I’ll get much/any use out of is the brow cake in the shade Thunder.  As you surely already know, my bottle-blonde hair is quite a pale ashy shade, and my natural brows honestly aren’t much darker.  I’ve been hunting for suitable brow products for years (having only very recently discovered a pencil that doesn’t make me look too severe or drag-queen) and while I’m sure this shade is one of Illamasqua’s most universal, it’s still far too dark for me to even imagine filling my brows with.  However, being a powder shade, I may well get use of it as an eyeshadow or brown liner instead.

All in all I've found everything well pigmented and easy to apply and blend, which I don't find surprising at all from my previous experience with the brand. 

Product photos and swatches below if you want to check them out:

Gleam: Mirage

Powder Blush: Hussy

Cream Pigment: Hollow

Brow Cake: Thunder

Powder Eyeshadow: Slink

Powder Eyeshadow: Dizzy

Powder Eyeshadow: Tango

Powder Eyeshdadow: Obsidian

Swatches in same order as palette arrangement


  • Very good pigmentation, easy to apply and blend
  • The colours in the palette work well together
  • Brush included, and it's actually good!
  • Good value for money even at RRP of £45.00 - using retail prices the value of the products is £61.28 (plus the mini-brush).
  • Even better, at time of posting this is currently on sale at Illamasqua for £22.50 in their winter sale!!


  • The packaging has a glossy finish and I don't like that it attracts fingerprints
  • The highlighter may be too dark for pale beauties to use in that sense, but I'm sure there are a multitude of other uses.
  • While Thunder is probably the most universal of Illamasqua's brow shades, it's still about fifty thousand shades too dark for me, so some may struggle to get much use out of this.  Although again, it can double as a powder eyeliner or eyeshadow instead.


Quality: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Does What It Says: 4.5/5
Packaging: 3.5/5
Bonus*: 2
TOTAL: 18/20

*Note: Bonus points awarded for the Illamasqua brand in general, as they're a company I truly believe in and are trying to do some good in the world.  From their clear Against Animal Testing policies, to the S.O.P.H.I.E. foundation, to the stand they've taken to battle the hugely uncreased price point of cosmetics in Australia, this brand does a lot that I respect.  So bonus points for being an amazing company.  This may make my review sound biased, but my thoughts are all my own - it just so happens that, aside from how much I like this palette and other cosmetics I've tried from Illamasqua before, it's also a brand that I can believe in and be proud to support.

So, dear readers, have you tried either of the Multi Facet Palettes, or any of Illamasqua's cosmetics? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!  And check back for my review of the Aura palette!

Until next time!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the radio silence lately, a couple of illnesses and busy times at work have kept me more or less out of Internetland, but check back soon for more reviews, fashion posts, and more.  I've got a few drafts up my sleeve to come, and new products to test out in the new year.

But really I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!  I hope you're having a fantastic holiday season and wish you all the best for the coming year and those to follow.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Tried & Tested: Nails Inc Nail Polish - Victoria

£11.00 - Boots | $14.00 - Nails Inc

Nails Inc is definitely one of the industry leaders when it comes to nail art and trends – it seems every other month there’s a brand new gimmick to check out.  I haven’t been too impressed by some – the feather effect polishes are a perfect example of this – but when it comes to others, like the Leather effect and Concrete effect polishes, I am nigh insatiable.  The colour collection is quite vast as well, so you certainly won’t be short of options.

Today there’s one in particular that I’d like to review for you: Victoria.  My namesake in polish form, and I must admit that if I were to choose a nail polish to represent me, this is actually exactly what I would have chosen.  Classic, blood-red, off-black, with a high shine cream finish.  This is everything I’ve been searching for in a vampy wintery red for years. 

I must admit that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one, though.  The consistency of my bottle (and I admit I may have bought an older product that’s been on the shelves for a while, or part of a bad batch, so as always your mileage may vary) was very thick and gloopy.  I applied a coat of OPI’s Nail Envy beneath my Seche Clear base coat, as I’m trying to regrow healthy nails following a spell of brittleness, breakage and peeling.  Once the base had dried down, I began to apply Nails Inc Victoria and… well I was immediately unhappy.  The thick texture applied very unevenly and streaky, and when I went over it to try to even things out it felt like the brush was just removing the polish it had just so haphazardly applied to my nails. 

However I persevered, and I’m glad I did – after three coats (allowing each to fully dry down before applying the next) the polish was perfectly opaque and had an even finish, and the colour.  Oh, the colour.  I instagrammed this a few days into wear and one of my favourite online acquaintances commented on how it looked like blood, which I love so very much!  I feel like I've done a bad job capturing the subtle red tones in these photos, so you may want to head over to said Instagram post, where the red shows through much clearer than it does here.  

Even better, however, was the wear time.  The photos in this blog post are after five days of wear – as you’ll see there may be very minor tip-wear but absolutely no chipping whatsoever – and when I eventually removed the colour after seven days there were still zero chips.  Now I must be honest and put this down in part to my Seche Vite topcoat, but I must also add that even with that topcoat I have experienced chipping and peeling of nail polish from time to time, so I’m impressed by the wear time of Victoria all the same. 

When it comes to removal, this came off very easily using a cotton pad and whatever remover I happened to have around (a Sally Hanson one I picked up from Asda, nothing special).  Although to be honest, it’s rare I have any issues with removal unless there’s glitter involved. 

All in all I would still recommend this shade based mostly on the colour, though with the warning that you must be very patient with application to achieve optimal results.  And so dear readers, as much as I like this polish, I must ask; if you know of a similar shade with a more user-friendly and less-fiddly formula, please do share!  I’m happy to work with Victoria to get the look that I want, but would be even happier if I could get the same look without all of the extra time and effort to get an even finish and application.


  • Absolutely beautiful colour, I've been on a long hunt for the perfect off-black red like this!
  • I love the finish when applied opaque; lovely glossy creme
  • Long-lasting and zero chipping experienced over a week of wear


  • Nails Inc is a pricier brand, so this polish retails for around £11 which some may find a bit pricy
  • The texture is quite thick which makes application quite difficult and the first coat or two will go on very streaky.  So this takes a fair amount of work to get the best results, which I know a lot of people do not have the patience for, particularly at this price point
  • Requires 3 coats for fully opaque coverage


Quality: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Does What It Says: 3/5
Packaging: 4/5
Bonus*: N/A
TOTAL: 13/20

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; please see Disclosure page for further information.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Giveaway Winner Announced!

If you've been following my MAC + RHPS giveaway post, you'll already know that it closed to entries on Friday.  I didn't get a chance to select the winner this weekend, but I did so this morning: Rafflecopter randomized the winner as Gemma from Touch of Belle who happens to be one of my current favourite bloggers as well!  Congratulations Gemma ^_^ I can't wait to see how the shade looks on you!

The giveaway gained over 700 entries in total, which absolutely floored me as a new blogger.  I want to thank everyone for your participation and for following Lipstick and Lightplay.  I sincerely hope you stick around as readers, and it's been really nice having some audience participation during this event.  I've been so excited to see who the prize would go to!

I'm certain there will be more giveaways to come, although I can't promise what or when - the next one will probably be for a milestone.  But check back and following on BlogLovin' and you'll be the first to know :)

Until next time!