Saturday, 21 July 2012

Illamasqua – My growing collection.

Hi guys today I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the most amazing make-up brand and my steadily growing collection.

Illamasqua is a British brand that makes professional make-up available to the public. They began their life in 2008 as the brainchild of Yorkshire man Julian Kynaston and have utterly exploded on to the make-up scene with their slogan “make-up for your alter ego”. Illamasqua's whole ethos is about challenging conventions and having fun with make-up, going a bit crazy and loving every minuet of it. Illamasqua are full to the brim with creativity and this even comes across in their product creations. I love the idea of making products to be used in all different ways and Illamasqua have promoted this idea by having multi-use products. So instead of having lip pencils or eye pencils they just have 'pencils' that are formulated to be used on eyes and lips. They also have the Cream Pigments, the Pure Pigments, the Liquid Metals and a multitude of other products that can be used all over the face and body. Illamasqua are also proud sponsors of a very worthy cause, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which just makes me love them all the more. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in memory of Sophie, who in 2007 was beaten to death for looking different! Now I personally think that there could not be a more apt partnership and I applaud them both for the sterling work they are doing to promote the right to be individual and safe (I cant believe people don't have this right already. It makes me very sad!). I could literally go on all day about this incredible brand but lets just say, I am a little in love with them.

The Collection.

I like to think of this as a proverbial dip of the toe in to the extravagance and sheer brilliance of Illamasqua, soon to be followed by a full on dunk when monies become available.

So what have we got here?

Midnight Vixen.

This box set was chosen by my hubby's own fair hand as a Christmas present. It includes False Eye Lashes No.26 and Precision Ink in Abyss. These eye lashes are beautiful. With a pliable band and the funkiest feather tips. Loving that it comes with the black liquid eye liner as well. Just the box set to achieve seamless, show stopping eyes.

Nail Varnish.

As you know I have already reviewed one Illamasqua polish for you which can be found here, but just recently I purchased another two (in the sale of course, did I mention that the Illamasqua sale is ACE!!). The two I went with are Swinger, which is a gold molten metal, and Loella, which is a candy pink with a slight duo chrome purple. I find that these polishes go on so nice and smooth and when you are getting them for £5 in the sale who can complain?

Medium Pencils.

Also bought in the sale for £5 each, such a bargain, were three medium pencils in Strumpet, Rump and Devotion. Strumpet is a classic cherry red and was bought specifically to go with Box Lipstick. Rump is a sky blue and Devotion is a pastel jade green. Both were chosen purely because I liked the look of them and they do not disappoint.

Precision Ink.

I adore liquid eye liner, I actually think it is my favourite make-up product so I was bound to have some of Illamasqua's offerings. As you already know from the above I have Abyss, but I also have Havoc and Scribe as well. Havoc is a dark plumb colour which looks so much better than black on pale skins like me, and Scribe is pure white and absolutely rocks my world!

Cream Pigment.

Cream Pigment is a wondrous creation that can be used literally anywhere on the body. The two colours I have were chosen specifically to use as under eye correctors, I have dark circles no matter what I do!, they are Bedaub and Emerge. Bedaub is a matt mint green and can be used to counteract redness and Emerge is a peach colour and can be used to counteract blue/purple. Obviously you don't have to use the cream pigments like this, as Illamasqua says they can be used for anything.

Pure Pigment.

Pure Pigment, like Cream Pigment can also be used anywhere and any way you like, so versatile, and I have three in my possession at this moment. The first is Zeitgeist which is a black pigment with silver shimmer running through it. The second is Berber which is a rust red colour with a gold/green shimmer. And the third is Static which is an iridescent duo chrome of pink/silver. Pure Pigments are finely milled, have beautiful shimmer and apply like a treat, just remember to watch for fall out.


And last but not least, the Pièce de résistance and the one piece of Illamasqua finery that I have been wanting for a long time is Box Lipstick. From the creator Alex Box comes the ultimate vintage lippie. Just looking at it makes me want to put on my circle skirt and twin set and pearls. It is matt finish and deep scarlet red. It's definitely a beauty and teamed with Havoc Precision Ink for those 50s flicks your on to a retro winner!

Well after all that I think that's everything – for now. And on my wish list? Everything else.

Hope you have enjoyed.

Stacey x x

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Original Eau De Cologne – Erfrischungstuch.

HI guys today I would like to show you something a little different. Grandma and Grandad in-law have just been on one of their many, MANY jollies, this time to the The Rhine, and they brought me back a little present. For those of you that don't know, The Rhine is a really big river that runs through six countries in Europe: Switzerland, Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea at Rotterdam. And it was on this voyage that they did a little sight seeing in Cologne in Germany, and this is where my present came from.

In Cologne city centre you will find Glockengasse 4711 which is the birth place and home of the world famous 4711 Original Eau De Cologne. As legend goes, on 8 October 1792 a Carthusian monk gave the merchant Wilhelm Muelhens a unique wedding gift: the secret recipe of a so-called "aqua mirabilis" a miracle water for internal and external use. From the outset Muelhens was sold on this extraordinary formula and went in to production of his “Kölnisch Wasser” Cologne Water. The formula of this product is so heavily guarded that when Napoleon issued a decree in 1810, that all formulas for internal use had to be made public Wilhelm Muelhens positioned his Kölnisch Wasser for external use only. Thus avoiding disclosure of the secret formula. The numbers 4711 are also steeped in history. In 1794 during the French occupation it was decided that all buildings were to be given consecutive numbers to eliminate the jumble of street names and make it easier to billet troops. The house belonging to Wilhelm Muelhens was given the number 4711, which was later adopted as the name of the brand.

This excites me some much! It's like owning a piece of history and I love using products that have a story behind them. 

So the G's brought me back The Original Eau De Cologne – Erfrischungstuch. Which is a box of 10 refreshing tissues infused with 'The secret formula'. My present came beautifully gift wrapped in the classic gold and blue colours that are synonymous with this brand. And when I opened the box I was delighted to find that each tissue is individually encased in it's own opulent packet. The packaging of this brand and product absolutely oozes elegance and grandeur! Just as I like to think I do lol.

Also the tissues themselves smell lovely! There is a slight alcohol scent to them but this does not transfer on to the skin. Like I say, the formula is still shrouded in mystery today but what the website does tell you are the essential oils that are used. These are Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Lavender, Rosemary and Neroli. This combination of essential oils and what ever else is in there, left my skin feeling clean and fresh, with a subtle hint of citrus. These refreshing tissues are specifically to be used on the go and they will definitely be getting some use here. I will be taking them on holiday, keeping some in my bag for when I have to run for the train, and if I ever go camping again these will be coming along too. They are ace, so glam and lovely! Thank you G and G for thinking of me on your hols and bringing me back a slice of history.

Stacey x x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

O.P.I - The More the Marry-ier.

Yes that time of year is upon us again, where ladies get fraught and crazy and men get hot under the collar and cold in their socks, it is in fact Wedding Season. Actually that is not completely correct because in the UK you can get married at any time of the year but the summer time is the most popular. I am guessing that the allure of a dry day and sun shine is what spurs the 'To Be's' on for a summer wedding, but as we have seen from my last post and the fact that it wee'd it down on my own wedding day, just goes to show that in the UK you can not guarantee the weather!

So in my quest for the perfect wedding nudes I came across the very aptly named O.P.I gift set - The More the Marry-ier. I absolutely love O.P.I's play on words when it comes to the names of their polishes, they always make me smile. 


In this set you get four 3.75ml mini polishes including: Alpine Snow, Princesses Rule!, Sweet Heart and a RapidDry Top Coat. Alpine Snow is a pure, matt white. It applies lovely and opaque and is perfect for those classic white tips. Princesses Rule! is a pink polish with a beautiful shimmer running through it. It applies quite sheer which is a nice change. One coat will leave you with a subtle shimmer on the nails but this can be built with more coats to a full on pink shimmer-fest. (Shhhh don't tell anyone but this is my favourite from the set). We then have Sweet Heart which is a light nudy pink. I found that one coat of this baby was a little streaky so I would definitely suggest two coats as the optimum. Also I found it too opaque to be used as the pink in a French manicure but it is a lovely nude when used on it's own. And last is an old faithful of mine, the RapidDry Top Coat. This is the only top coat that I use at the moment simply because with this there is no need for any other. It works a treat. 

 (left to right: Sweet Heart, Alpine Snow, Princesses Rule!, Sweet Heart)

Don't worry if these arnt really what you are after for your big day as I do have some other nudy treats up my sleeve.

Until next time.

Stacey x x

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Beautiful Jess.

Good morning and welcome to a super quick post this fine morning. And when I say fine I do actually mean it today because it is not raining. Wait for it – not only is it not raining, it is SUNNY! For those of you waking up to a little sun in the UK this morning you can heave a sigh of relief that at least for one day the flood warnings wont be sounding. For those of you that don't live in the UK we have had rain for forever and so much in one go that it has flooded many places. Even in my small town parts of the roads have sunk! But we are not going to think about that today, as I say the sun is out, it is a fine day and I thought I would share with you The Beautiful Jess.

This photo shoot was undertaken months ago but Hubby had decided that not a single picture from this shoot was good enough to be viewed by the public. He had decided this without letting me see any of said pictures so I could not have an opinion on the subject. So after some incessant pushing and general wife wearing down Hubby gave in and Voilà. 


I have to say this is not the first time that I have had no clue what Hubby has been going on about. I personally love this picture – yes I may be a little biased because I love Jess ;0) but I think this is beautiful. Of course I did the make-up, otherwise why would it be on my blog – that would make no sense lol. But this time I did a little something extra and had a go at doing hair as well. Now I am by no means a hair stylist, I actually get my own hair cut short because I am so rubbish with hair! So I bit the bullet and gave it a whirl. As you can see I only curled it with some curling tongues but I really do like it. Jess has the most gorgeous fiery red hair anyway so that helped a lot.

As well as the hair and the make-up I also painted the nails. I wanted to give the effect of leaves on the nail so I used a matt green base and a nail art pen with a striper in gold to do the veins. I didn't want them to look too uniform (I am a sucker for symmetry so this was really hard for me) so I varied the thickness and position of the stripes for each nail and I really do like the effect.

As for the make-up I am really sorry that I don't have a run down of the products used for this one. As I say I thought this shoot was never going to be shown so I didn't keep a list of the products and it was shot so long ago I cant really remember what I used. I could take a guess but I feel that wouldn't be much help to any one, but what I can say for definite is the super full-on, amazing lashes are from Stargazer and they are the Feathered Eyelashes in 54. I had been dying to use these beauties and they were everything I wanted them to be. They are immense!

I think as a whole doing the make-up, hair and nails has given the photo a more rounded feel. I think this is the most complete picture I have done so far and I think I would go as far as to say that it's my favourite.

Big thanks has to Jess as always, for just being plain beautiful and a big WOOP to the Hubster for taking a stunning picture (cant believe you weren't going to show these, you should listen to me more often lol).

Hope you have enjoyed and I will see you again soon.

Stacey x x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Glossybox June 2012 – Beauty

Hi guys yet another Glossybox post coming to you this fine morning. This months box is all about sexy summer beauty. Glossybox state “With products covering your every summer beauty need, you can be sure you'll be beach beautiful in no time”. Well I am currently nowhere near a beach, but I do need to be some kind of beautiful so I will take what I can get ;0)

Today I am going to start with my least favourite from the bunch and work up to my most favourite, so lets begin.

Glossybox – Serie Exclusiv Pro Beauty Brush

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to try anything that is specifically from Glossybox and unfortunately I didn't think it was great. This was a blusher brush which Glossybox states is made from goat hair and it is meant to give a “super-soft make-up application”. I have to admit that I just found this brush scratchy on the skin. It's dense enough don't get me wrong and it looks pretty nice as well but I like my brushes to feel lovely and luxurious on the skin. Maybe I have been spoilt with the brushes that I have in my kit because this one just fell flat in my opinion. However Glossybox it's self is amazing value for money and with the rest of the goodies that came in the box I am amazed they could fit a brush in there. And it is great for someone who does not use brushes for their make-up normally, so not a complete downer.

BM Beauty – Summer Warmth Bronzer

BM Beauty is a mineral make-up company founded by Laura McComiskie who is a celebrity make-up artist and Kimberly Wyatt who was that PussyCat Doll who used to put her leg over her head all the time (she is so flexible!). Their products are free from chemical nasties and they are veggie friendly. The bronzer itself was ok. It was finely milled and left just the right amount of shimmer on my cheeks and high points. The down side, the colour was just too dark for me. I had to put the tiniest amount on for fear of looking like I had been punched in the face with a sparkly fist. Also there is only one colour of bronzer on the website as well, come on people what about your dark skinned beauties and your porcelain pretties? * sad face *

Caudalie – Eaux Fraiches Fleur De Vigne

This fragrance was lovely. Light and refreshing. With Grapefruit, Tangerine and Cedar this fragrance had a real scent of summer. I have been using this constantly since receiving it and would love to try the other two fragrances in the range. At £26 a pop I would say it's a little on the pricey side, because it is more of a body spray then a perfume, but on the other hand - it smells divine! 

HD Brows – Precision Tweezers

I was initially not bothered about trying these tweezers because I already have tweezers that I love and have used for ages. So I left them down stairs on the table to be used when I could not find my others (that happens often). Low and behold a few days later I had some eye brow maintenance to do and my beloved tweezers were nowhere to be found! But guess what? The HD tweezers were just there, waiting and wanting to be used, and they were AMAZING. They removed even the tiniest hair and they were super sharp. I was suitably impressed. I love it when something surprises me! 

Vichy – Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Foundation Cream Stick

WOW! I love this. I have been wanting to try the Vichy Dermablend for a long time now but I already have foundations in my kit and it's expensive to change brands, especially when you still have some left. Also I didn't know, and still don't know if this foundation causes flash back, this foundation is SPF30. I have tried this foundation on myself but I have never had flash back with anything because I am as white as the flash itself!.

I used No 11 Porcelain which was the lightest shade in the starter kit (and it was still a little too dark, just one shade lighter and this would have made me the happiest person in the world, as it is I could only use a little of this foundation otherwise you would have seen the colour change).

However the foundation itself was lovely. It was quite sold and dense, as this is the stick formulation, so you have to really work this into the skin. But once it was on and I powdered it was not going any where. I am definitely going to give this a try on some other people and check for the dreaded flash back and then it may make it's way in to my kit.

So there you have it. Another delve in to the Glossybox world. As ever if you would like to be part of the crew then you can sign up here

Hope you have enjoyed and I will see you soon.

Stacey x x

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Glamping and Massage.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to the most amazing and most bizarre hen do. Amazing because I had a fab time with the loveliest group of ladies and bizarre because I have never camped a day in my life. Actually I tell a lie, age 12 me and my best friend pitched a tent (not a euphemism, she is a girl too) in her parents garden. We slept in said tent all night and I hated it and never camped again! So when I received my invite for this excursion I was a little anxious to say the least, but the promise of a bed that was off the floor and a jacuzzi spurred me on (and the fact that the hen is undeniably one of the most beautiful, sincere, thoughtful people that I have ever met).

So on a very wet and windy weekend 15 chicklets and one hen met at York Yurts. Yurt? Yep I didn't know what one was either. Here is the low down; A Yurt is a posh tent that is secured like a Trojan to the ground (lucky for us because the wind was gale force). Ours slept 3 and had a wood burner, rustic furniture and a cow hide bed. Now that's what I call camping! 


The entertainment was provided by the wonderful Maid of Honour who invented and organised some highly competitive games. I actually won Bop It once and am now the self proclaimed champion!

We also stuffed our faces with some hearty, home cooked grub which was supplied by the owners of the site. And in true hen do style there was many a shot drank and many a mother dancing round a pole. Well actually just one mother and that was the hen's. Legend!

As well as craziness we also had some much needed relaxation and recovery time. We spent all day Saturday at the Spa - Bannatyne's Health Club in York to be precise. We arrived around 10.30am and duly collected our spa bags. These contained, to my delight, a fluffy robe (some spa robes are so scratchy) and a pair of slippers. We then chose our lunch and sauntered through to the pool area. This Bannatyne's Health Club has two sauna's, two steam rooms, two jacuzzi's, a pool, and what I can only describe as a cool (as in the opposite of warm) jacuzzi that is free flowing in to the swimming pool. All were exceptionally clean and in good working order. I specifically liked the fact that each of the heat rooms used different essential oils in them, adding to the benefits of the treatment. I was also happy that the scent in these rooms was not too strong because I have been in some that literally blow your head off! For lunch we ate panini's and jacket potatoes in our own private room, luxuriating in our robes like ladies of leisure. 


After lunch it was then “treatment time” and we had all been given our time slots and been advised to be there 5mins before. The treatment rooms were all upstairs in their own special area. As well as beauty rooms there is also a hair salon and a relaxation room (which is more like a waiting room). For the treatments we had a choice of either a back, neck and shoulder massage (BNS) or a mini facial and both treatments also came with a head massage. I went for the BNS because I LOVE massage! My therapist, Melissa was simply adorable. She was just the right balance of professionalism and friendliness which made me feel calm and at ease. The treatment room was cosy and warm, immaculately clean and tranquil. My treatment lasted about 45mins and it was superb. The pressure was just right (Melissa checked this with me which is good) and all the techniques and movements were there and well executed. Melissa noted that I had tension in my shoulders (too many hours at the computer blogging for you guys lol) and worked some knots out. Afterwards I received some sound after care advice and Melissa showered me with smiles and loveliness. I literally floated out of that treatment room and the rest of the day went by in a blissful haze. Until the night that is ;0)

So the weekend was an utter success filled with fun, frolics and a little pampering. What's not to love? I had a brilliant time and I am sure everyone else did too. Big thanks have to go to the owners of York Yurts who made sure we were well fed, warm and toasty and safe at night. Also a massive thanks and WOOHOO needs to go to the Maid of Honour who organised the whole thing and kept us rowdy ladies in check and on track for the whole weekend. Fay I salute you misses! And the final thank you has to go to the Groom, with out your proposal Jonny-boy we would not have had this fabulous weekend so a yay goes to you as well.

What do I have look forward to next? The wedding of course!

I am doing the make-up and nails for the wedding so I will be posting these on here soon for you all to have a look at.

See you soon.

Stacey x x .