New From Bourjois: City Radiance / Radiance Reveal

A few weeks ago, on a rare shopping trip, I picked up a couple of new releases from Bourjois.  The City Radiance Foundation, and the Radiance Reveal Concealer.  It’s taken me a little while to get my thoughts together, but I thought I would check back in and let you know how I got on with both products.


Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer Foundation New City Radiance


The Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer got my hopes up,  I’ll be honest.  I genuinely have about 30 concealers.  If you aren’t familiar with me and my ‘issues’ then I will fill you in.  I have super dark under-eye circles.  A mixture of not looking after myself properly, not having slept solidly for about 11 years (kids),  and genetics.  I am fairly sure that they have become worse over the last couple of years, probably due to ageing (although – strangely – this also coincides with the birth of my youngest, who was definitely sent to test me). Therefore, I am constantly searching for a concealer that will work on these panda eyes. To add to the torture of dark circles that can break through every concealer ever made, the skin under my eyes is as dry as, well, a very dry thing.  So, anyway, back to the Radiance Reveal concealer.  It seems – on first application – to be a creamy hydrating concealer.  It applies beautifully, and blends out nicely without dragging the skin.  The coverage is light to medium (no good for me, but that’s not the fault of the concealer), but the creases! Oh, the creases.  Even after setting with powder, I was left with skin like an elephants knee under my eyes.  I don’t think Radiance Reveal is a complete waste of time, it may well work for more oily skin types, and it does cover redness well.  It just isn’t a match for my darkness, sadly.


bourjois radiance reveal concealer light


One of my favourite foundations is from Bourjois (this one), and I was expecting more from the City Radiance Foundation.  Especially as it is described as a hydrating foundation.  Apparently, it has ‘an anti-pollution screen that reduces the presence of carbon particles on the skin, resulting in a fresh and luminous complexion’.  Firstly, the coverage is not what I would expect from a foundation, it is more of a BB cream in terms of flaw hiding properties.  It is very thin, and I could barely see it on my skin.  Except for the areas of my face that are dry.  There, the foundation clung on for dear life.  Suffice to say, this is not attractive, and not what I look for in a base.  Perhaps it would work better when mixed with a moisturiser – although this would hardly increase the coverage.  I will not be beaten though, and will probably try again in the summer, when my skin is less dry.




So, while I can’t recommend either the Radiance Reveal Concealer, or the City Radiance Foundation for dry skin, it’s possible that they could work better on a different skin type.  I think the concealer could be great for someone with less of a problem with dark circles (and with normal skin under the eyes).  The foundation? I don’t know.  If you are looking for light coverage, and don’t have dry areas, then it could well work for you.  The SPF 30 is a plus, but I think I will stick to my BB cream for now.






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Why is it so Hard to Find a Good Mascara?

Mascara is one of my favourite things to buy.  I regularly get seduced by the pretty packaging, and the claims that my lashes will suddenly become long and full and fantabulous. I imagine that I will be talking to my 1 year old, I will blink and she will be wafted across the room by the force of the breeze created. So why doesn’t his happen?! Huh? Am I asking too much?

Anyway, I bought three mascaras in the last couple of months (yes, I have a problem, what of it?).  They are all high street, rather than high end, but do any of them perform what they claim? Let’s take a look.





The Maybelline Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara is a new offering from Maybelline.  It claims to give a false lash effect, with the ‘cup-shaped’ bristles.  These special bristles are designed to collect plenty of product, and then push up the lashes while also fanning them out.  I’ll be honest, I don’t hate this mascara, it does a reasonably good job of giving volume.  It didn’t lift my lashes though, and the brush is pretty evil.  The bristles are so pointy, I had to take a deep breath before I could bring myself to go anywhere near my eyeball with it.  The mascara itself is wetter than I would like, which unfortunately makes it too heavy to push the eyelashes up.  It’s also a bit clumpy; I know for some this would be a deal breaker.


revlon mascara lengthen black volume eyelashes


Revlon have a whole range of boring looking mascaras,  all offering some variation of length and/or volume.  After standing in front of the Revlon stand in Superdrug for approximately 2 hours, I went for the Super Length MascaraFirstly; The. Wand. Is. Huge.  It is massive, and bristly, and pokey.  I simply cannot apply this mascara without it getting in places it’s definitely not supposed to go.  I can’t pretend to be some sort of mascara applying pro, but to get it in your eyebrows is a bit ridiculous.  I could put up with that if it actually made a difference to my lashes, but it just doesn’t. After applying three layers, I do end up with slightly longer eyelashes.  The effect is nowhere near as dramatic as I would expect though.  I really cannot recommend this mascara.


Maybelline mascara lashes push up black lengthen


The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara has been knocking around for ages, but it’s taken me a little while to try it out.  Of all my affordable mascaras, this is probably in my top three.  The wand is curved, which allows for a closer than usual application. This is useful for getting in nice and tight to the base of the lashes, and means you can really get some uplift.  As is common with Maybelline mascaras, the formula is a bit on the wet end of the spectrum.  It isn’t the worst I’ve ever used, but I prefer mascaras to be a little more dry, so that the layers can be built up without weighing down the lashes too much.


My mascara collection is growing steadily, and the majority are high street brands.  As much as I hate to admit it, my top two are high end.  It’s a tie between YSL and Nars, currently.  I balk at spending more than a tenner on a mascara, but with the amount that I own there is absolutely no logic to this method.  I think my plan for the future will be to be less impulsive and save up for a high end mascara that actually exceeds my expectations (if there is such a thing *sobs*)


Can you recommend any mascaras that thicken and lengthen?  Please let me know below!




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Sunday Scent #7 – Valentino Donna

Donna by Valentino was probably one of my more exciting perfume purchases.  I had seen it many times in magazines, and had madly rubbed the sample over my neck and wrists – trying to get every last molecule of scent onto my skin.  Being Valentino, I assumed it would be expensive. I was not wrongIt was definitely a treat for myself, purely because I have so many perfumes that I need to be careful not to get carried away with cost.



Valentino Donna Eau de parfum 30ml perfume fragrance scent


TOP NOTES: Bergamot

MIDDLE NOTES: Bulgarian Rose, Iris

BASE NOTES: Patchouli, Leather, Vanilla


When I first spray Donna, it is very sweet – and a little overpowering.  Thankfully it does settle into a more subtle scent.  It’s actually really hard to describe, because it is so unusual.  It’s almost…. messy. There is a definite floral undertone, but it isn’t your typical flowery fragrance.  Donna is classy, and long-wearing, with a musky (or leathery) base.  She’s warm, feminine, but not girly.


valentino donna eau de parfum perfume fragrance


It is easy to overdo it with this perfume – a quick spritz on both wrists is enough – because the projection is impressive.  In all honesty, at £97 per 100ml, it’s best used sparingly. If I followed rules, then I would only wear Donna at night. I don’t follow beauty rules, and I never leave my house in the evenings, so that leaves me no choice – day time it is.


Have you tried Valentino Donna?  What do you think of her?



sssssssYou might also like to read these



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Getting my Glow on: How I Achieve Dewy Skin

Regardless of the latest trends in make-up, I will always favour a dewy finish to my skin.  A few years ago I decided to renounce all powder products.  I stopped powdering after concealing, and with the exception of eyeshadow would not let anything other than a cream or liquid within 5 metres of my face.  Over time, however, I have reluctantly reintroduced a setting powder.  Glowing skin is still my goal though, and there are several products that I consistently reach for to give me more glow than a sweaty, oiled-up mackerel.


dewy Pixi by petra maybelline MAC bourjois blusher highlight stila concealer cream blush strobe cream


Call me boring, but I have blogged about several of these products before, there are a couple of newbies too, though.


Firstly, after moisturising, I will slather plenty of MAC Strobe CreamThis thick pearly white luminiser is super moisturising, and leaves a pretty sheen to the skin.  An alternative to the Strobe Cream is the L’Oréal Lumi Magique Primer, which gives a similar effect, but is much thinner in consistency.   Next up is my favourite BB cream of all time; Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, I have been using this since last spring, and my love for it is still going strong.  It offers the perfect amount of coverage for a normal day, as well as being hydrating.  Next up I use the Stila Perfecting Concealer. Apparently I was a panda in another life, and my dark circles  seem to get darker by the day.  I also have the driest undereyes EVER, and struggle with concealers caking and looking generally disgusting.  This Stila concealer is one of the better ones I’ve tried, and is high coverage, without being drying.


h&m cream blusher revlon shimmer rose highlighter


I will skip a setting powder, but will sweep a generous amount of the Revlon Highlighting Palette.  This rose coloured powder has a hint of shimmer, and gives a healthy glow without being glittery.  The pinks in this little palette are also perfect for a bit of subtle colour on the eyelids, when I don’t want to go full-on smoky.

I have a few cream/liquid blushers, but my favourites are this H&M Cream Blusher, and the Bourjois Aqua Blush. I almost prefer cream blushers over powder blushers, and when I’m going for a glowing finish, then I will usually reach for one of these lovely pinky creams.


laura geller gellar highlighter gilded honey


To really get that glow going, my first choice of highlighter is – of course – the Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Highlighter in Gilded Honey.  When I finally got my hands on this highlighter I was beyond excited.  My feelings haven’t waned, and if I could only keep one highlighter from my collection Gilded Honey would be the one.

As if all that glow wasn’t enough, I will finish with the Pixi Glow Mist.  This spray looks pretty unappealing – it’s quite oily – but to give a dewy finish it really can’t be beaten.  For me it’s an essential step, except for on the hottest summer day, when it can be a little too much – even for my parched skin.


After all that, my skin will be left looking luminous, dewy and healthy.  Despite the number of products used, it is actually a fairly quick process too, and I can slap all that on and be ready to go in ten minutes.  Assuming I have somewhere to go that is….



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Nude Nails: My Top Two

If the recent Grammys are anything to go by, then nude nails will be a hot ‘new’ trend in 2016 (is there such a thing as a ‘new’ trend, or are they all just recycled now?).

In all honesty, I discovered this by accident.  I was browsing amongst the Barry M stand in Boots recently, and noticed a whole assortment of nude colours.  If you are not familiar with my blog, then you may not know that Barry M is my absolute fave nail polish brand.  I just can’t get enough, and love their Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints in particular.





In a moment of extreme self-control (are you proud of me?) I only bought three bottles.  Ahem. Yes, I do consider that to be controlled.  Two were interesting nude colours, and one a berry red (whatever made me think I need another red shade in my collection is beyond me).

Butterscotch Sundae is a peachy nude, and is supremely flattering, even on my scruffy nails.  Under certain lights, it can look a little yellow, so it’s worth bearing that in mind when choosing.  Pink Lemonade, on the other hand (if you’ll pardon the pun) is a more pinky nude, and is definitely my favourite of the two.


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Pink Lemonade Nail Pain Polish Butterscotch
Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in (L-R) Pink Lemonade; Butterscotch Sundae


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nude Pink Lemonade Butterscotch Sundae Polish

I have been wearing one or the other of these shades for the last couple of weeks.  Although they will be extra gorgeous in spring and summer, they even look great in these grey winter days.

As with all the Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paints, the formula is creamy and smooth.  I find that they are a breeze to apply (thanks also to the wide brush), and last reasonably well.  Do they chip? Yes, of course, but I have yet to find a polish that will last more than a couple of days on my nails.  I can’t say that it bothers me though, because it gives me the perfect excuse to take it all off and start again.


What do you think, will you be jumping on board the nude train (good grief, please tell me that’s not a thing)? Or do you prefer a more dramatic nail colour?



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Sunday Scent #6 – Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey

L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake is a light and uplifting floral scent.  It was a blind buy for me last year, and initially I was a little disappointed.  I first thought it was a run of the mill floral fragrance, and that it was too similar to other perfumes in my collection.  I have grown to love it though, and I always reach for it on days when I want something that lasts, but isn’t too heady.


Issey Miyake Eau De Toilette L'eau d'Issey perfume



TOP NOTES: Lotus, Freesia, Cyclamen, Rose Water, Melon.

MIDDLE NOTES: Carnation, White Lilies, Fresh Peonies.

BASE NOTES: Musk, Amberseed, Tuberose, Osmanthos, Sandalwood, Cedarwood.




On first spray L’eau d’Issey is a little like shoving one’s face into a bunch of flowers (not totally unpleasant), but it dries down to become a less obvious, musky fragrance.  I can really smell the Sandalwood as the perfume warms up on my skin.

The longevity is excellent, and the projection is just right: not stinking out the whole room, but not undetectable either.

Looking at my – embarrassingly extensive – perfume collection, Sandalwood and Musk are the most common base notes, and I always look for one or both when buying.  To have both is a bonus, and I think that is why I love L’eau d’Issey with a passion.


What is your favourite type of scent? Floral, sweet, or something else entirely?


You might also like to read the other posts in my Sunday Scent series.





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Face Brushes That I Lurve

Brushes for the face are an essential tool when applying make-up.  If you have the funds for high end make-up brushes then great, but if not is it possible to get quality for an affordable price?  I think so, and here are five of my favourites.


Real Techniques Sedona Lace Topshop Brushes Brush Make-Up Face Powder Blusher Setting


The Topshop Blusher Brush is my first choice for blusher.  Apart from the fact that I am obsessed with the pink fluffy tip of the brush, it is the perfect size and shape for applying a flush of colour to my cheeks.  I have a few Sedona Lace brushes, and the Synthetic Small Round Dome 217 brush is the only one that has survived being washed repeatedly.  The eyeshadow blending brushes have become a little scratchy, and are not my favourites.  However, this little dome brush is excellent for blending out concealer under the eyes, and sometimes I use it for setting my concealer.


Real Techniques Powder Brushes Brush Face Make-up
Real Techniques Powder Brush


For affordable beauty accessories Real Techniques offer some of the best, in my opinion.  The RT Powder Brush is gorgeous; it is so soft and fluffy, and makes applying powder a most pleasant sensation.  For highlighting, I use the Contour Brush, because it is the perfect shape for applying some glittery loveliness to the high points of the face.  If I am a bit heavy handed with the blusher and highlight (this happens frequently) then I will use the soft and dense Buffing Brush to diffuse it slightly.


Real Techniques Buffing Brush brushes face make-up
Real Techniques Buffing Brush


These are my top five face brushes, they are all affordable and have retained their shape and texture even after washing.  Although the range isn’t huge, I do love Real Techniques for affordable, quality make-up tools.  I adore Morphe’s eyeshadow brushes, and I will be choosing some of their face brushes next, as soon as my bank balance will allow it.

What are your favourite brushes? Do you favour high end, or high street?

You can see my top picks for eye shadow brushes here.        




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Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation : Tried and Tested

Foundations can be very hit and miss. Especially if, like me, you have dry skin.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather not bother than have cakey, lumpy, dry patches on my face.  Overall, I don’t have a lot to cover, but there are some occasions when a BB cream just isn’t enough.  There has been a lot of hype around the new Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation.  Maybelline presumably sent a huge batch out to all the beauty vloggers on YouTube, because they all suddenly started featuring it at the same time.  So, being the mug that I am, I decided to jump aboard and try it out for myself.



As I mentioned above – and in my haul post here – I have dry skin.  It’s bad in the summer, but in the winter, it’s just….uggh.  My problem areas are around my nose, and on my forehead.  So the idea of a matte foundation kind of makes me want to run away screaming.  So far, my favourite two foundations are the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, and the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation.   I wrote about both here if you want a read.  FYI: I have never bought a high-end foundation. Say what?!

So, how does the Dream Velvet Matte Foundation shape up? Overall not bad, not bad at all.  I have worn it a few times, and have mostly been impressed.  The colour, 10 Ivory, is excellent for my pale (but not the palest) skin.  I have yet to figure out if I have warm or cool undertones, for the record, so I can’t comment on that.  The texture is soft, moussey, and almost fluffy.  I found that it is most like the Bourjois Nude Sensation Foundation in texture, but the Maybelline foundation is slightly thinner and lighter.



It applies really nicely, and goes on smoothly. ( I am just going to stop here and say, Maybelline, what the heck were you thinking with this little sponge doohickey? It is some sort of joke surely? It certainly cannot be used to apply foundation with, it is too small and rubbery.  Useless.  Don’t bother buying it, even if it is on offer) Right, anyway, back to the foundation.  Applied with a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, it leaves a smooth matte base.  One thing to be aware of is that (in my case) the foundation applied much more evenly on exfoliated skin.  I also used my favourite moisturising primer (Too Faced Hangover Primer).  I wore it for around six hours each time (that seems to be my average for needing to look presentable, after that I am ready to wash my face and get my PJs on), and it lasted well.  There wasn’t a lot of fading, in fact it wore extremely well.  It didn’t go patchy, and still looked natural at the end of the day.  The first time, I did apply my Pixi Glow Mist, which may have defeated the purpose of the matte foundation, but I just couldn’t help myself.  After that though – in the interest of giving a fair review – I did refrain, and left the foundation to do its thang.

By itself, the finish is definitely matte, but not overly drying.  It took a little while to ‘settle’ on my skin, and looked infinitely better around 30 minutes after application, than it did initially.  By then my skin looked a lot more natural and less like a mask.  The coverage is medium, and although I didn’t have a great deal of luck building it up (it started to cake on me), that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.


Can I recommend the Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation? In a word, yes. I think it is a good foundation for the price point (it’s £7.99 here), and if you can find your shade in the limited selection, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  Personally, I prefer a more dewy finish, but if we have a hot summer (ha – as if) then I think it would be more successful on my skin.


What do you think? Are you keen to try this latest offering from Maybelline, or are you going to give it a miss?

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Sunday Scent #5 – Clean Cashmere

You may remember from last week’s Sunday Scent, that I love Clean Skin the mostest out of all my perfumes (just don’t tell the others).  Clean Cashmere is up there in my favourites too.  What I didn’t mention in my Clean Skin post, is that the Clean scents are perfect for layering.  Cashmere, in particular, is excellent for changing other fragrances to create a unique scent.


TOP NOTES: Cedar Leaf; Bergamot; Lime; Lavandin

MIDDLE NOTES: Mimosa; Jasmine; Guaiacwood

BASE NOTES: Heliotrope; Tonka Bean; Musk; Sandalwood


By itself Clean Cashmere is a gorgeous creamy, clean-laundry-type scent.  It has the perfect projection, it sits close to the skin, but not so close that I can’t smell it at all.  It wears well throughout the day, and doesn’t change significantly.  I have an issue with fragrances that become a completely different scent during the course of the day.  Of course perfumes all change, but some more than others.

When layering, I like to apply Clean Cashmere first, and the other fragrance over the top, and I’m really not fussy what I layer it with.  This could mean that I have some sort of super power for combining fragrances.  Or it could simply mean that I smell like a muddled mess all day.  Something to think about….


Do you layer fragrances, or stick to one at a time?

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Monthly Favourites : January

I know, I know, it’s not exactly January any more.  I am properly late this month.  But it’s the thought that counts right?  I also haven’t written a favourites post since November.  Rubbish! November and December involved minimal spending, but I did treat myself a little more in January, so it has been a little easier to come up with some faves.



Murad Age Reform Refreshing Cleanser.  Ok, so apparently I also included this in my November favourites.  So…… Awkward.  I think that means I must really like it though.  It is just really lovely, and it makes my skin feel so soft! And it makes my skin look so bright! Anyway, if you want to get in on it you can buy it here.


Too Faced Matte Eyshadow Palette.  Despite having an abundance of eyeshadow palettes, I don’t have many matte shadows.  Sometimes, though, I don’t want to be shimmery and colourful.  Sometimes I want to be matte.  So this palette is very useful, and the lovely blendable colours make my matte dreams come true. I tried to find a link for this palette, and got very distracted.  Twenty minutes later and, well, nothing (but I have decided I am probably going to buy the Natural Matte palette as soon as humanly possible).  Basically, this palette is no longer available as far as I could tell.  I purchased it in the most excellent post-Christmas sale on  Even with the high shipping, it worked out to be extremely good value.  I don’t regret a thing.


Too-Faced-Matte-Shadow-Palette L'Oreal-Telescopic-Mascara

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.  Love, Love, Love this mascara.  It lifts and separates my lashes, and is about as close to the perfect mascara as I have found so far.  It is easy to overload my longish eyelashes, so I have to build it up slowly.  If used sparingly, however, it gives excellent lash. Buy it here. You know, if you want.


Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint in Pink Lemonade.  Oh my goodness. This nail polish is the perfect nude.  It is on the pink side, and is gorgeous. It is almost classy on me and, believe me when I say, I am no classy lady. It is such a pretty colour that is suitable for any occasion. Barry M is probably my favourite nail polish brand, particularly the Gelly Hi Shine variety.  They are shiny, glossy and a pleasure to apply.  Pink Lemonade is no exception.

Barry-M-Gelly-Hi-Shine-Nail-Paint-Pink-Lemonade Maybelline-Baby-Lips-Balm-and-Blush-Innocent-Peach


Maybelline Baby Lips Balm and Blush in Innocent Peach.  I touched briefly on this lip balm in my recent haul post.  I had only used it a couple of times then, but I already knew that I loved it.  There are four colours to choose from  (here.)  Innocent Peach is a shiny, sheer, peachy-pink.  It is subtle, but super flattering.  Some lip balms are hard, and drag the skin, this one glides on easily.  It also moisturises, which sounds obvious, but unfortunately not all lip balms do, in my experience.  Now, I’m off to buy that other Too Faced palette.  Naughty.


So these are all my favourites for the month of January, what are yours?

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