beauty, cruelty free, make up, reviews

First Impressions: Urban Decay Naked3 Palette

I rarely buy pricey make up products, partly because I’m a high street shopper and also because I’m often on quite a tight budget. 

But on my way to the Bloggers Blog Awards last weekend I popped into the Urban Decay in Kings Cross (I was really early to the station thanks to C – I think he just wanted me out of the house) and treated myself to the Naked 3 palette with the last of my birthday money. 

Now this palette isn’t cheap, at just under 40 quid it’s at the pricey end and about £30 more than the last palette I bought. 

It’s a selection of quite warm pinky tones, which I tend to wear for every day, make up free make up (if you know what I mean). I asked the sales assistant her thoughts and she agreed this was the one for me. 

The shades are quite highly pigmented with a mix of matte and glitter colours, going from day colours to more smoky night ones. 

Although the shades are quite small in terms of pan size I think this will last a while as it’s well packed and pigmented. 

The packaging is nice too and feels quite well made, with actual brushes not those weird sponge applicators, and they feel quite good quality. 

Also UD is cruelty free so that’s happy bunny time too. 🐇🐇

Overall I really like this and am happy with my purchase. I don’t know if I’d buy another Naked palette as the others maybe wouldn’t work so well with my skin tone but I certainly like the look of some of their lipsticks and other palettes. 

beauty, make up

Body Shop Birthday Buys

It was my birthday last month and I treated myself to a few bits from The Body Shop’s make up range. Thank you for the Love Your Body Club discount. 

So what did I buy you ask? 

Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick – this might look rather odd, it’s a sort of purple/black in the stick but it’s designed to adapt to the unique pH of your skin to develop into a poppy shade that suits your skin with a matte finish. It also smells good too with a floral scent.

 At first I wasn’t sure about this but if you let it settle it really works – the soft reddish pink I got is really nice. 

Lightening Touch Universal Radiance – an illuminating highlighter which is super easy to apply (it has a built in brush) and leaves skin dewy. 

I really like this and can see it being used for brow bone and cheek highlighting. 

Lipscuff – this green stick contains lovely mint to buff away dead skin on lips and moisturise at the same time. 

My lips are super dry, especially in the winter so this is genius – a lip balm that’s also a scrub. 

Drops of Glow Lustre Finish Creator – a multi use illuminator – mix it with your favourite foundation or moisturiser to add all over glow, layer onto eyelids for extra sparkle or use like a highlighter. 

On days when I don’t wear make up this will be perfect mixed into my moisturiser to keep my skin looking healthy without needing foundation. 

Shade Adjusting Drops (lightening) – this is a pretty famous product, mix it with that foundation that’s just a bit too dark to lighten it and make it more wearable. 

Being quite pale I struggle to find foundations (and concealers) that are right so hopefully this will help level out the slightly too dark/orangey ones and make them more wearable. 

L-R: lightening drops, drops of glow, velvet stick, lightening touch. 

beauty, cruelty free, make up, skincare

A little high street haul

I had to pop into town and obviously went to Superdrug and Boots for a few bits and bobs. 

From Superdrug; 

Make Up Revolution Fortune Favours the Brave designed by British Beauty Blogger. This palette is my favourite and my original got dropped and broke so this is a replacement. 

B. Individual eyeshadow pots – these were 49p each as they’re being removed from stock so hello bargain. 

Make Up Revolution Amazing Make Up Fixing Spray – another restock item. I use this to fix my make up in the mornings. Personally I find this lightweight spray works great but like most things it depends on your skin/make up. It also lasts for ages. 

Superdrug 4 way nail buffer – this is the best nail buffer around. I picked up 2 but one is already in use. Plus total bargain. 

B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz – I haven’t used this before but I keep reading that this is really good for skin and because mine is so sensitive I thought a spray would be the best way as it won’t mean too much acid on my skin. 

B. Make Up Brush Cleanser – this contains a disinfectant and really gets my brushes clean. It’s my favourite cleaner and super easy to use. Restocking as my current bottle was struggling a little this weekend. 

From Boots; 

This was a total Soap & Glory shop – I think I might have a problem. 

Happy Glamper gift set – this has a lot of goodies and a shower proof jacket – which I unfolded and will now never be able to fold up again. There’s also face wipes, dry shampoo, folding hairbrush, lip gloss, eyeliner, hand sanitizer, body spray – all of which are just as useful in London as they would be camping or at a festival. 

Hand Food hand cream – a pump bottle makes this a lot easier to use, no trying to put a lid back on with freshly moisturised hands. 

Clean, Girls Body Wash – for that lovely soft clean feeling as I get out of the shower. 

So there you go, my little beauty shop. 

Any favourites in my basket? 

beauty, cruelty free, make up, reviews, skincare

Review: Arbonne Cosmetics 

As you may be mildly sick of me mentioning, I went to the Allergy & Free From Show recently. 

One of the brands I discovered there is Arbonne – a Swiss beauty company that makes cruelty free, vegan friendly make up and skincare. 

After a little test session with friendly make up artist and rep Sarah my lovely mum bought me a foundation and a blush. Sarah kindly threw in a primer for me too.

I love make up but the combination of sensitive skin, eczema and rosacea means I have to be super careful with what I use on my face to avoid breakouts and flare ups. 

Sarah explained the ingredients and ethos used by Arbonne – from their website; 

Ingredient Policy

Transparency and honesty. For over 35 years, this has been the hallmark of our product integrity. From the beginning, Arbonne has developed products by combining the best of nature with leading science. Our mission is to always improve and evaluate our ingredient policy as an ever-evolving standard of excellence. This means we continuously challenge ourselves to do better and better.

We formulate without

animal products or by-products | artificial flavors | artificial sweeteners | benzene | bisphenol-a | carbon black | formaldehyde-donating preservatives | hydroquinone | mineral oil | parabens | petrolatum | phthalates | sodium laureth sulfates (SLES) | sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) | synthetic dyes | talc | triclosan | triethanolamine (TEA) And so much more …

A lot of the things I avoid are absent from these products which is great for me. 

The foundation I chose is in the lightest shade of the range, quelle surprise, Alabaster, a gentle medium coverage liquid foundation that sinks in without looking chalky or leaving a residue. 

The blusher is in a light shade called Ballet – it seems a little pale in the pot but once on its peach undertones appear, making my skin look warm. 

The primer is quite gel like but blends down smoothly leaving my skin even and ready to apply my make up. 

I am definitely going to keep using these products and potentially re-purchase, although I also have my eye on some of the skincare Arbonne produces. 

If anything catches your eye – do contact Sarah and check out her Instagram too for some amazing make up looks. 

beauty, beauty boxes, glossybox, make up, reviews

Glossybox – Hello Summer

I know, I know, I said I was done with Glossybox but I kept seeing increasingly good boxes on other blogs and I just couldn’t resist. If they kept this gorgeous sunburnt pink as well it would be so good.

Inside are five summery beauty bits, four of which are fullsize. 

☉Bellapierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder – I am so fascinated by this, the yellow powder is designed to offset redness and discoloration on pale skin and add highlights to darker skins. 

☉Spectrum Collections Small Fan Brush – partnered with the setting powder, this brush evenly distributes the powder with cruelty free, synthetic bristles that are super soft. 

☉Monu Professional Skincare – Monuspa Soothing After Sun Lotion – a generous 100ml ‘sample’ of this summer essential. Try as I might I always get burnt somewhere. 

☉Cute Balms Macaroon Tint Balm in Crushed Berry – a fruity smelling balm for lips and cheeks. This is most likely going to be added to my collection of lipbalms I keep forgetting I have and then I buy more. 

☉Papanga Spiral Hairbands (pack of 3) – try as I might I can’t seem to get on board with these, they may not tangle other people’s hair but they snare up might like nobody’s business. 


I rather liked this box – but I will only be sticking with this subscription if the quality remains high. I cannot afford more crappy boxes of cheap and unwanted make up. 

beauty, beauty boxes, birchbox, make up, reviews, skincare

Birchbox Merry & Bright 

This month’s Birchbox has arrived. Instead of the classic box they’ve sent a pop top style box, which they claim can be used as a keepsake box. However it is smaller than the usual box and I can’t really work out what I’d keep in it. 

Inside are five beauty items – they tie into the colour scheme rather neatly. 
💋Ciatè London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner (fullsize RRP  £15) – felt tip style eyeliners are my preferred kind, mostly because I can’t quite handle gel and I have never managed to get a decent line from a kohl pencil. 

💋Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (RRP £23) – I’m not entirely sure what makes this specifically a smokey eye mascara but there you go. 

💋Benefit Cosmetics Benetint  (RRP £24.50) – teeny tiny Benefit samples I’ve had a few. I used to love benetint but I haven’t used it in years. 

💋Leighton Denny Nail Polish in Just Perfect (fullsize RRP  £12) – this is a really baby pink polish which I really don’t see getting used. Which is a shame as these are good quality polishes. 

💋Amie Skincare New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish (RRP £5.95) – this uses rice proteins to exfoliate away dead skin cells rather than nasty plastic beads so yay. Plus this range gets on well with sensitive skin – I just wish it was a bigger bottle. 

This box was a bit mixed, it’s nice that the colours all tie together and I will definitely get some use out of most of the contents which is nice, especially considering the very hit and miss year Birchbox has had. 

beauty, make up, reviews

Doing the Dupe Shoop…

For a while I was a bit of a snob about buying dupes, thinking it was always better to buy the fancy, expensive version. 

But buying dupes allows you to try the product before spending your hard earned pennies on the premium version. 

EBay and Amazon marketplace are a dream for dupe hunters – ok so the quality isn’t 100% but at these bargain basement prices it’s hard to argue.  

Shipping is often from China and pretty cheap or even free so while it does take a whole to arrive, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg just in postage. 

These are some of my favourite dupes so far. 

Kabuki brush – Sal Ummbaby mentioned this a while ago and I had to give it a go. It’s probably my favourite dupe item ever – and despite being cheap as chips it’s lasted really well and washed nicely, holding its shape and not shedding much – better than some of my pricier brushes have. 

Beauty Sponge – I wanted to try a sponge but didn’t fancy paying 10 quid for one so these beauties were a great alternative. They last a while and wash ok, although be gentle when washing them as the sponge shreds if you’re too vigorous. 


Brush Egg – I saw a very expensive brush washing mat on a blog post somewhere and wanted something a bit less pricey to get my brushes properly clean and this little gadget does the trick. You swirl the brush over the ridges and the grime shifts (I use a little blob of gentle shampoo and warm water too). 

Oval brush – these seemed to be a big thing and once again a bit pricier than I was willing to pay to try it out.  I don’t think they’re for me.  And it didn’t cost much to find that out. This was OK as cheap brushes go, fairly soft and stiff, washed well without too much shedding. I just prefer my sponge blender. 

Rainbow highlighter – I think it’s wanting to be a mermaid/unicorn/pirate/spacewoman/superhero/princess that attracted me to the idea of a rainbow highlighter. Swooshing colour across my cheeks. I blame Rainbow Brite. Again this was expensive and almost impossible to find. But this cheap and cheerful knockoff was easy and simple to buy and while it isn’t the fanciest packaging ever, it’s good for a bit of the ol’ I’m a rainbow shimmy. 

Nail Polish holder – this is pretty ingenious, although the original is more than some of my nail polishes. It sits on your fingers and holds the polish bottle so if you haven’t got a flat surface (or surprisingly firm and well balanced thighs) it keeps the polish from spilling. 

I haven’t written about high street dupes because they’re everywhere and I think most of you know about them, but feel free to suggest them, or any other clever alternatives in the comments.