Thursday, 9 August 2012

Olympic Gold Medal Cupcakes

Hello,

In the spirit of all things Olympics 2012, and in light of Team GB’s recent gold medal successes, I decided to make some Olympic Gold Medal Cupcakes!


For the cupcakes themselves, I used a basic Victoria Sponge recipe, which can be found here.


For the icing, I used Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream icing and piped it onto the cupcakes. I then finished the cupcakes with a sprinkling of edible gold hologram glitter, and Haribo Gold Medals.

Grace xXx

Label: Cupcakes

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss

Hello,

I went to the Cosmetic Company Outlet (CCO) a few weeks ago, and whilst browsing the Bobbi Brown products I came across this lip gloss in the colour Bright Pink. So I picked one up and have been using it for a while now, so decided to share my thoughts on it.


This is actually my first Bobbi Brown product, as I’ve always thought that the brand was too expensive, but CCO have a wide selection of reduced products (most of which are discontinued), making them more affordable. For example, this particular lip gloss was reduced from £17 to £12, making it around the same price as MAC lip glosses.

I had wanted to try one of the Bobbi Brown lip glosses for a while, as I’d heard a few people comment that they prefer them to MAC lip glosses, due to their consistency. But I have to say that I didn’t really notice much difference between the two. In my opinion both the Bobbi Brown and MAC lip glosses have quite a thick consistency, which enables them to stay on for longer.


As for colour, this particular lip gloss appears much brighter in the tube than it does when applied. However, it is still noticeable, and leaves a natural pink gloss.

Overall, I am quite impressed with this Bobbi Brown lip gloss. However, I do still feel that the brand itself is quite expensive, and so would probably only ever purchase more of these products from CCO, at a reduced price.

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Benefit Erase Paste

Hello,

I’ve been using Benefit Erase Paste for over a year now, and can definitely say that it is one of the best concealers I have ever used. So I thought I would do a bit of a review as a good concealer is a makeup bag staple, and can sometimes be hard to find!


Benefit Erase Paste is a full coverage concealer that can be used to cover dark circles and imperfections. Unfortunately I no longer have the packaging to show you, but I’m sure that most of you will be familiar with it already. On the Benefit website, the Erase Paste is described as follows:

“This concentrated, creamy concealer brightens and camouflages in one easy step! Targets dark circles, discolouration and imperfections. Three shades with brightening melon undertones to suit every complexion. Comes complete with a fully illustrated, step-by-step lesson and mini-spatula for easy application.”

I use Benefit Erase Paste in the colour Fair, which is the lightest of the three available (Fair, Medium and Deep). However, although the Erase Paste does come with a mini-spatula, I’ve never actually used it to apply my concealer, as I feel it picks up too much product. Instead, I prefer to apply my concealer with my fingers, as this allows me to blend the product into my skin for a better finish.


I purchased my Benefit Erase Paste from my nearest Benefit counter in Debenhams, for £19.50. However, I did agonise over whether to buy this product, as it is very expensive for a concealer. But after trying Benefit Erase Paste for myself, I can definitely say that it is worth the price as it seems to last forever! As I said, I have been using my Erase Paste for over a year now, and I have still only used a tiny amount (as you can see from the photograph above).

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Birthday Cupcakes

Hello,

It was my Mum’s partner’s birthday a few weeks ago, and as he lives quite far away I thought it would be best to make some birthday cupcakes rather than a birthday cake, as they are much easier to travel with.


For the cupcakes themselves, I used a basic Victoria Sponge recipe, which can be found here.


For the icing, I used Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream icing and piped it onto the cupcakes. I then finished the cupcakes with some coloured chocolate beans (which are essentially just mini Smarties), and some Happy Birthday candles.


Grace xXx

Label: Cupcakes

Friday, 20 July 2012

NOTD - Strawberry Ice Cream

Hello,

Another simple nails of the day for today.


For this design, I used two coats of Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream. I also applied a base and top coat. My favourites are Rimmel Stronger Double Duty Base Coat, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. More information about these can be found here.


I love Barry M nail polishes as I feel there is a wide range of colours that are good quality and affordable, priced at just £2.99 each.


Grace xXx

Label: Nails

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Graduation Cupcakes

Hello,

As some of you will know from my last post, it was my graduation earlier this week, so I thought I would make some graduation themed cupcakes to mark the occasion!


I had been thinking about making some cupcakes for my graduation for a while, and when I was browsing the internet for ideas, I came across this lovely graduation cupcake set by Meri Meri.


I ordered mine from Ebay for around £8, but I’m sure they will be available elsewhere on the internet as well.

For the cupcakes themselves, I used a basic Victoria Sponge recipe, which can be found here.


For the icing, I used Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream icing and piped it onto the cupcakes. I then finished the cupcakes with a sprinkling of edible silver hologram glitter, and the graduation cupcake toppers.

Grace xXx

Label: Cupcakes

Friday, 13 July 2012

Graduation OOTD

Hello,

It was my graduation earlier this week, so I thought I would share a few photographs from the day, and also show my outfit of the day.


I had a lovely graduation day with my Mum, Auntie and Boyfriend, even though it rained for most of it! We had champagne before the ceremony, and went for a meal in the evening with the rest of the family.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photograph that shows my entire outfit, as I’m covered up by my graduation gowns in most of them! So I’ve put together a bit of a collage to show my outfit in more detail.


The blouse is by Lipsy, and is also available in pink. I bought mine from ASOS for £35, along with the skirt which was £28. The shoes are from New Look, and cost £22.99.

The shoes are actually from the Extra Wide Fit range in New Look, which put me off to start with as I don’t actually need wide fit shoes, but I tried them on anyway and found that the smaller size fit perfectly. I am usually a size 6, but I bought these in a size 5. But even though they only have a small heel, I still ended the day with very sore feet!

Grace xXx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Maybelline Colour Tattoo

Hello,

As some of you will know from my Presents from Florida post, I was given a Maybelline Colour Tattoo in the colour Too Cool by Clairabelle0306. I’ve been using it for the past few days, so thought I would do a bit of a review.


One the Maybelline website, the Colour Tattoos are described as follows:

“Dare to wear our longest-lasting shadow. Our ink technology creates super-saturated colour. Cream gel smoothes on for vibrant colour that does not fade.”

The product itself has quite a powdery consistency for a cream eyeshadow, but I still found it to be much less drying than powder eyeshadow. It also applies well, and really does stay on all day.


After seeing a video by Voussontbeauetbelle, I have been wearing my Maybelline Colour Tattoo as a highlight in the corners of my eyes. As this is only a small area though, I like to apply the product with a rounded eyeliner brush such as the No7 Eyeliner Brush.

Maybelline Colour Tattoos are available in seven different colours here in the UK, and ten in the US. Too Cool is actually an American colour though, and so may not be as easy to get hold of in the UK.

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

NOTD - DS Reserve

Hello,

Another simple nails of the day for today.


For this design, I used two coats of OPI Designer Series Reserve. I also applied a base and top coat. My favourites are Rimmel Stronger Double Duty Base Coat, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. More information about these can be found here.

 
I love the OPI Designer Series nail polishes as they are so distinctive, and apply really well. The only downside though is that they are quite expensive compared to normal OPI polishes, as they cost around £15 each.


Grace xXx

Label: Nails

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Baby Girl Cupcakes

Hello,

As some of you will know from my last post, one of my friends has recently had a beautiful baby girl, so before I went to visit her for the first time earlier this week, I decided to make some baby girl themed cupcakes to take with me!


For the cupcakes themselves, I used a basic Victoria Sponge recipe, which can be found here.

For the icing, I used Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream icing, mixed it with a few drops of red food colouring, and piped it onto the cupcakes. I then finished the cupcakes with a sprinkling of edible white hologram glitter, and some jelly milk bottles.


Last but not least, as I was giving these cupcakes as a gift, I placed them in some cupcake boxes. These cost under £3 for a packet of two, from my local supermarket.


Grace xXx

Label: Cupcakes

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Gift Ideas for New Mums

Hello,

Just over a week ago one of my friends gave birth to beautiful baby girl (who is also my Goddaughter), so I thought it would be nice to get her a little something for herself, as I know she already has lots of lovely baby things. So I started thinking about gift ideas for new mums, and came up with this!


I had been looking for a beauty related gift for a while, but all I could find were expensive bath sets such as this, which in my opinion are just everyday bath products with fancy labels. But then when I had just about given up hope on a beauty/new mum gift, I was browsing the OPI website (as you do), when I came across a lovely baby pink nail polish called It’s A Girl!


So I headed over to Amazon (as I’m not sure if you can order from the OPI website here in the UK), and ordered one from there!

But although I decided on this gift, I did have some other ideas that would also be suitable for new mums with baby boys, as unfortunately OPI do not make a nail polish called It’s A Boy (a bit sexist I know). So here they are!

Choconchoc It's A Girl, It's A Boy
Yankee Candles Baby Powder, Soft Blanket

Each of these gifts costs under £10. The Choconchoc gifts are available from some Hallmark stores, and also from the Choconchoc website. The Yankee Candles are a lot easier to get hold of though, as they are sold in most of the larger gift shops, such as Clintons and Peter Jones, and online at Amazon.

Grace xXx

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

NOTD - Princess Grace

Hello,

Another simple nails of the day for today!


For this design, I used two coats of China Glaze Princess Grace. I also applied a base and top coat. My favourites are Rimmel Stronger Double Duty Base Coat, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. More information about these can be found here.


This nail polish was a gift from my friend Clairabelle0306, and is actually my first China Glaze nail polish. But after trying Princess Grace, I am definitely a China Glaze convert! The product itself has a lovely thin consistency, which I much prefer as I often find that thicker nail polishes have a tendency to go gloopy after a while.


Grace xXx

Label: Nails

Sunday, 24 June 2012

EOS Lip Balm

Hello,

As some of you will know from my last post, I was given a Strawberry Sorbet EOS Lip Balm by Clairabelle0306, and I’ve been using it for the past few days, so thought I would do a bit of a review.


EOS Lip Balms are highly moisturising, lightly scented, solid balms that apply clear. As the packaging reads:

“EOS lip balm is 95% organic, 100% natural, and paraben and petrolatum. Packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil, EOS keeps your lips moist, soft and sensationally smooth.”

But before I talk about the product itself, I think the packaging certainly deserves a mention! This is the first and only egg-shaped lip balm that I have ever seen, and it definitely makes the product stand out!


I also love the shape of the product inside, as the rounded lip balm allows for quick, easy and mess-free application. The lip balm itself is very moisturising, and stays on your lips for quite a while. I like to apply this product underneath lipstick, as some can be quite drying, and before bed to moisturise my lips whilst I sleep.


I hadn’t really heard much about EOS Lip Balms before receiving this one, as I think that EOS is an American brand, and not as widely available here in the UK. But just from a quick Google search, I found that EOS Lip Balms can be purchased online from Amazon, for around £5.

EOS Lip Balms are also available in five other scents (Summer Fruit, Lemon Drop, Honeysuckle Honeydew, Medicated Tangerine and Sweet Mint), and are all free from animal testing.

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Friday, 22 June 2012

Presents from Florida

Hello,

Today’s post is a little different. As some of you will know, my friend Clairabelle0306 has just been on holiday to Florida, and when I saw her yesterday for the first time since she returned home, she gave me a lovely gift bag full of beauty goodies from her travels! So I thought I would share my presents with you, as I’m sure most of them will be appearing in blog posts very soon!


Above is a photograph of everything together, but I realise there is quite a lot to take in! So I’ve taken a few more to show some of the products in more detail.

Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Hand Gel, Showel Gel, Body Lotion, Fragrance Mist

Strawberry Margarita, Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It, Popular, Princess Grace, Luxe and Lush
Peach Candle, EOS Lip Balm, Flowerbomb, Maybelline Colour Tattoo, Shea-Infused Bed Socks

I can’t wait to try all of these lovely new products and get reviewing! Thank you again Clairabelle0306!

Grace xXx

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Crème

Hello,

I was given a set containing Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème just over a year ago, but when I had by bedroom redecorated last summer, I tidied it away into a box and forgot all about it! Then a few weeks ago, I noticed that my heels were getting a little dry, so I went shopping for a new foot cream and came across the Burt’s Bees section in Boots. But for some reason I thought that my Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème was only a miniature, so I invested in the full size product, only to find when I got home that I now had two the same! So I decided that if it was good enough for me to buy twice, it was definitely worth reviewing!


Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is an intensely moisturising foot cream. As the packaging reads:

“This pampering natural foot cream combines coconut oil, lanolin and vegetable glycerin to revive and rejuvenate even the driest, most neglected feet. There’s also a hint of rosemary and peppermint oils to refresh tired feet.”

The product itself has a thick, gel-like consistency, and is slightly scented. But unlike the packaging suggests, Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is not overly coconut scented, which I actually prefer as I sometimes find coconut products a little overpowering. Personally I think that the cream is more peppermint scented (as it contains peppermint oils), than anything else.


Due to the consistency of this product though, it does take a while to absorb into the skin, so I only ever apply it at night before going to bed. I also wear socks to stop the cream from rubbing off onto my bed sheets. But for me anyway, I definitely think that the consistency of this product is a positive, as I often find that lighter foot creams are too thin to properly moisturise dry heels.

I purchased my Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème from my local Boots for £11.99, but it is also available from Debenhams and Waitrose. This product is also free from animal testing.

Grace xXx

Label: Skin Care

Monday, 18 June 2012

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

Hello,

Until recently I had been using all Clinique makeup brushes, as after trying a number of cheaper brushes by other brands, I found that these worked best for me. But although I clean my brushes regularly, I noticed that my Clinique foundation brush was starting to leave my foundation looking streaky. So after hearing a lot of good reviews about Real Techniques brushes, I decided to invest in a Real Techniques Stippling Brush, to try and solve my foundation foibles!


Unfortunately I no longer have the packaging to show you, but I’m sure that most of you will be familiar with it already. On the Real Techniques website, the Stippling brush is described as follows:

“This dual-fibre stippling brush is the trade secret for creating airbrushed, high definition results with all types of makeup.
- Look pixel-perfect even in harsh light.
- Ultra-plush, synthetic taklon bristles are hand cut and 100% cruelty free.
- Self-standing for easy storage.
- Extended aluminium handle is light and easy to use.”

There is also a Real Techniques Stippling Brush Tutorial available online that demonstrates how to use the brush, which can be found here.

This tutorial shows Samantha Chapman, creator of Real Techniques and Pixiwoo blogger, using the brush to buff liquid foundation into her skin. However, when I came to try the brush out for myself, I found this method to be a little harsh for my skin type. As you will know if you have read some of my earlier posts, I have quite dry and sensitive skin, and I found that applying my foundation in this way only served to highlight the problem.

Nevertheless I persevered, and the next time I used my Real Techniques Stippling Brush I did exactly what the name suggests and lightly stippled my foundation into my skin, which worked perfectly! This method enabled me to apply my foundation quickly and easily, whilst providing an even, streak-free coverage.

I also found that this brush is well suited for use with cream blushers, such as Stila Convertible Colours, and cream highlighters.

I purchased my Real Techniques Stippling Brush from my local Boots for £11.99, but they are also available online from the Real Techniques website.

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Saturday, 16 June 2012

NOTD - La Pazitively Hot

Hello,

Another simple nails of the day for today!


For this design, I used two coats of OPI La Pazitively Hot. I also applied a base and top coat. My favourites are Rimmel Stronger Double Duty Base Coat, and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. More information about these can be found here.


This nail polish was a gift from my friend Clairabelle0306, in fact I think most of my OPI nail polishes have been! I love OPI nail polishes as there is a wide range of colours that are professional quality, and apply well. The only downside though is that they are quite expensive compared to some other brands, as they cost around £11 each. 


Grace xXx

Label: Nails

Friday, 15 June 2012

Korres Lip Butter

Hello,

Korres products first came to my attention a few weeks ago in Waitrose (of all places), and I hadn’t really heard much about the brand before then. But in the past few days I’ve noticed quite a few blog posts about Korres products popping up in my reading list, so I thought I would invest in one of the Korres Lip Butters, to see if it lives up to the hype!


After searching online for Korres products, I came across the Korres website, which if I’m being honest, I didn’t find particularly user friendly. So I headed to ASOS, my new favourite online retailer, and was pleased to find that they stock a wide variety of Korres products.

But when I started looking at the Korres Lip Butters, I found it difficult to choose between the colours as I was worried that the darker shades may be too dark, and the lighter shades too faint. So I searched online for Korres Lip Butter swatches, and found this blog post through Google Images, which proved to be very useful!

From this, I chose the Wild Rose Korres Lip Butter and ordered it from ASOS for £7, with free delivery. It arrived within two days, and I’ve been using it ever since!


The product itself is very smooth and moisturising, applies well, and leaves a natural rose pink tint on your lips. I am glad that I ordered one of the darker shades though, as I do think that some of the lighter shades (such as Jasmine) may apply clear. But from trying this product alone, I am definitely a Korres convert, and can’t wait to try some of their other products!

Grace xXx

Label: Makeup

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Clinique Skin Care Routine

Hello,

I switched to using Clinique skin care products just over a year ago, after trying a variety of products that caused one reaction after another, and I haven’t looked back since! So I thought I would do a review of the Clinique 3 Step skin routine (or 4 steps in my case), that I have been using.


The Clinique 3 Step skin routine consists of a cleanser, a toner and a moisturiser, each tailored to your specific skin type. These skin types are categorised as follows:

Skin Type 1 – Very Dry to Dry
Skin Type 2 – Dry Combination
Skin Type 3 – Oily
Skin Type 4 – Very Oily

If you’re not sure of your skin type, there is a link on the Clinique website entitled “Find Your Routine” that can help to determine which products are most suitable for you. Or alternatively, you can go to a Clinique counter and ask for a skin consultation.

This is exactly what I did, as I wanted to ensure that the products were suitable for my skin type and did not cause a reaction. From this, the Clinique consultant recommended that I look at the 3 Step routine for Skin Type 1, and after sampling the products I came away with all three and one extra!

The cleanser that I use is Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra-Mild. This is exactly what it says on the tin, but I would say that even though it is the mildest of the cleansers, for sensitive skin such as mine, it still takes a little getting used to.

The next step of the Clinique 3 Step routine is the toner. I use Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1. This is a watery solution that you apply onto cotton wool, and wipe over your face to remove any excess dry skin, dirt and oil.

Step 3 of the routine is the moisturiser. I use Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, which is one of their most well known and best selling products. The moisturiser has a thin consistency that applies well, and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy.

Although not part of the 3 Step routine, I also picked up Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. This is a multipurpose makeup remover that can be used to remove all makeup, rather than using separate products for eyes and face.

If you’re unsure about purchasing the full size products to begin with, Clinique also sells 3 Step Introduction Kits for each skin type, which contain smaller versions of all three products for £20!

Grace xXx

Label: Skin Care
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