Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas Party Makeup

Got a christmas party coming up? Need some makeup ideas?...

Don't want to wear too much, but you want to look polished & glamourous? Watch this video, showing you how to do a very simple, quick smokey eye

Want something a bit more adventurous? How about a yellow glitter eye, with a black lip? Check out that video here

If anyone has any specific party looks they would like done in a video, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do!

A xx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Not so much about the makeup...

The snow has meant I haven't left the house since Friday afternoon. When life gives you snow, make cupcakes!

These are Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes...

Sponge is made with muscovado sugar, butter and crushed toasted cashews.
Bake for 10 mins and cool

Mix Cocoa Powder, Icing Sugar and Milk to form the icing.

Smooth some Peanut Butter over the cupcake and top with Chocolate Sauce.

Dust with Icing Sugar for a snowy effect.

then do the washing up...

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Clinique '3 Things' App

I got an email yesterday from Clinique, bringing my attention to their new iPhone app. I'm not a big app fan and didn't really pay any attention, until I saw Lipglossiping's post on it this morning and thought it looked quite fun.

It's called '3 Things to do before you're 30' . I turn 29 in a few weeks, so this app might give me a good place to make my last year as a 20's something a winner! Once downloaded, you give it a shake and it gives you 3 random suggestions of things you could do that day. Here are mine!

Invent My Own Cocktail
Done. Tonight I am having a 'Hot Baileys'. It will be Hot Choc & Baileys. Ahh simplicity...

Buy Something for Someone Else
Done; did some xmas shopping this morning

Go Swimming, Indoors or Outdoors...
Not A Chance.

Friday, 26 November 2010


New video

A beauty blogger gets snowed in...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Naturally Polished Makeup

I uploaded this look a few days ago - a naturally 'polished' look that can be worn during the day, adding a slick of black liner on the lower lash line for a touch of office party glamour. See how to do it here!

Sunday, 21 November 2010


I forgot to post this when I put the video up a few days ago. This was done using the Bee Luscious Garden Girl Palette (click here to get 15% off one for yourself!).

I'm looking forward to creating some more looks with this. The shadows are ridiculously pigmented and blend out forever (make sure you have a couple of clean 217s!).

Last night was a friend's 30th birthday and instead of partying it up in town, we all piled round to his house for sophisticated drinks (read cocktails, jaeger bombs, cigars & twister...). Where we live in Scotland, it can be difficult getting home from the city after a night out so a house party is usually a preferred option for bigger get-togethers. It also means you don't get sore feet from wearing sky-scraper heels, you don't need to worry about a jacket or bag - it's great!

It also means that my makeup tends to be more relaxed than if I was going to a club and I took the opportunity last night to go for my current favourite 'naturally polished' makeup that I've been sporting for a few weeks now.

For daytime, I would wear this but without the liner on the bottom waterline. For evening, run a black liner along the waterline and et-voila! Daytime to Evening in one easy step!

There will be a video tut on this look up in about 3 days, but for the time being here is a list of products used...

FACEAtelier Foundation in Ivory
MAC Plum Foolery blush from Hark The Heraldry Tartan Tales compact
YSL Metallic Colourama Palette as a highlight on brow bone and cheek bones
MAC Patina & Satin Taupe E/S
Avon Gel Shock Liner in Black
YSL Mascara
Dior Lip Glow Lipbalm (read about the drama to actually buy it here!)
Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil Hard Formula 6 (Seal Brown)

What makeup have you been loving recently? do you have a 'go to' look? And what do you think of the perm a week on? I think I'm getting better at styling it and I am loving the volume!

A xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Boots & Dior... Poor Show


**edit: took 'Bourjois' out of the title. this is not their fault**

How many of you read blogs and buy your makeup online because the thought of having to deal with the pressure of buying a product in-store makes your skin prickle? Is it because you don't like the stress of having to make a decision in front of someone? Is it because you've experienced humiliation at the hands of an orange faced, talentless sales assistant?

3 incidents in Boots (2 very recently) make me feel that I never want to go back there and I am not a person who fits into the above categories. I adore going to into makeup stores, browsing; lingering over the new products at a luxurious counter, speaking to the usually very well-made up, talented & passionate sales staff (many of whom will want to make you feel your best & are very knowledgeable). If I am just browsing, I will tell them - I never pretend to be interested in something just to try it. By all accounts, I am a good customer. Have a read of this post by Caroline over at Beauty Mouth if you want to learn how to become a good customer.

And you know what? Caroline makes a very good point. Sales staff do a job. They are human and they are offended by rudeness, the same as customers are. But there are some bad, bad bad assistants out there, the same way as there are bad, bad, bad customers. What we need is some kind of super-makeup store, where the good customers are served by the good sales staff - a pipe dream perhaps?

Anyway, enough of this waffle. Let's get down to the nitty gritty of why I am writing this. See my disclaimer - I don't rant about things unless I am very very unhappy. Usually reserved for products, but in this case, my experiences with Boots, Aberdeen & it's staff has really left a sour taste in my mouth. So here goes...

Case Study 1
Where? Boots, Bon Accord, Aberdeen
Who? Floor Manager
When? Late 2009/Early 2010
What was I wearing? A suit

I am browsing the 'Bliss' stand. I don't know if other stores have Bliss staffed or not, by mine isn't. Neither do they ever have testers out to try the products. (Point 1 - who would spend £30 on a cellulite product if you can't even see a tester first? oh yeah. me...) So imagine my surprise when I spot a product open. I can't even remember what it was, some sort of miracle cream. I squeezed a little onto the back of my hand, it smells rank so I walk away, off to the till to pay for the rest of my purchases.

The till queue is massive. I am stuck in the middle - a queue ahead of me and a tail back of people behind. Someone taps me on the shoulder and says "excuse me can I have a word?". I turn around to see a man with a ripped box in his hand and the aforementioned product and proceeds to demand, loudly in front of at least 15 people, why I had seen fit to rip open a sealed product? He then informed me that the product was now wasted and I had cost the company money. Completely aghast (and shamefully embarrassed) I managed to stutter that it was already open and nothing to do with me, when he turned on his heel and walked off. By the time I had been served, anger swept over me, I tracked him down and asked to speak to a manager, only to be told he was the manager. So, I said "well I'd like to complain to the manager about how I was just spoken to by a manager". I told him that I didn't appreciate being spoken to like that and what made him think that it was me? He responded that a member of staff had seen me using the tube and how was he supposed to know it wasn't me? At that point, I walked off. Thinking about how embarrassing that was, still makes me cringe, a year on.

Case Study 2
Where? Boots, Bon Accord, Aberdeen
Who? Orange Faced Dior Sales Staff
When? 2 weeks ago.
What was I wearing? Work clothes, with a North Face jacket (it was snowing in Aberdeen!)

This incident has angered me (and hurt my feelings more than I would have thought it could), not because I was particularly offended by what she said, but because she saw fit to make a judgement on me and take the decision that I clearly wasn't good enough for Dior. What makes it worse is the fact that Dior should know about my complaint and they have my contact details and yet they have further seen fit to snub me and have chosen not to contact me.

Anyway, I was looking for this....

Instead of writing the whole incident again, I have copied the email I sent, via a contact, to Dior.

Popped into Boots at lunch to go buy the Dior Addict Lip Glow balm, dandered up to the counter and I kid you not, the woman barked at me, asking if I was looking for anything in particular. I said I was just looking and would give her a shout if I needed anything, but she continued to talk to me so I said I was looking for the colour glow lipbalm (couldn't remember the exact name!) but before I could continue she informed me that 'Dior doesn't sell lipbalms'. Again, before I could say anything, she waved to the back of the shop where the non-staffed counters are (you know... the Natural Collection etc) and said, "perhaps you'd be better looking around the brands back there, maybe somewhere like Too Faced might be more suitable for you"
Completely taken aback, I just sort of said, oh well it was actually a specific Dior product I was looking for, not just any old lipbalm, to which she just shrugged and said again that Dior didn't 'do' lipbalms! So I wandered off but turned back once I'd regained my usual composure, spotted the Lip Glow immediately on the stand and asked her for it (not pointing out that it was 1 of 2 products out on display with lipbalm in the name!)
It probably took her a good 10 minutes to then locate the product in the stock drawers and not once did she apologise for what she'd said, or that she was wrong and they did infact stock lipbalms or even acknowledge it!
I just really was shocked that a brand would take it upon themselves to judge a person and make suggestions as to where they should or should not spend their money! I'm a 30 year old professional woman who does not expect to be spoken to in such a manner and I was completely insulted. Such a minor point, but it really left me with a bitter taste! I'm not normally one to take such cheek, but she really really shocked me with her attitude. Really disappointed and a little bit hurt actually - so daft, but she made me feel like a 12 year old with sticky fingers!
Ummm, ok Dior doesn't 'do' lipbalms? For clarity, Dior, if you are reading this, please refer to your products Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm and see below for the Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lipbalm.

It's a shame this happened as that day I was also looking to purchase an Amber Diamond shimmer brick (and instead went for the LE YSL one) and a pot of the Capture Totale HD powder. Oh well, I probably would be better off buying something from the Natural Collection. At least I don't pay for rude, snidey service there.

Case Study 3
Where? Boots, Bon Accord, Aberdeen
Who? Boots floor staff
When? 1 week ago.
What was I wearing? Jeans, Top & Chanel handbag. (maybe I should've had this the day I went to Dior...)

This is short and sweet and I kinda feel bad as it will reflect negatively on Bourjois, but it was Boots' fault. Bourjois - you might want to take this up with them?

I wanted to buy this mascara.
There was no tester and as I hadn't tried it elsewhere, I wasn't parting with the £10 odd quid that it cost without at least seeing what the brush was like. I took an unopened one over to a sales girl and explained there was no tester, did she have one she could open to replace the missing tester? Her reply? No. Now, if it was "No, I'm sorry I don't have the authority to do that/it's not company policy/I wouldn't know how to unwrap it" I might have had a bit more sympathy, but she just said "no" and looked at me blankly. I handed her the mascara and just said, ok in that case I'll leave it and headed to superdrug. I still haven't tried the mascara but I know I wont be going back to Boots to do it! If this had just been a one off, it would never have bothered me, but coming so soon after the Dior incident, it was the last straw. At Boots apparently you can't get good service from highstreet brands or high end brands!

Is it me? I have included details of what I was wearing - I know that shouldn't make a difference, but I could understand a little if each time I was wearing rags and smelled a bit funny. So what's up then? I've no idea. And don't get me wrong, I'm not not normally one to complain and in isolation, these incidents would be annoying at best, embarrassing at worst, but as a collective, make for pretty poor reading.

What I do know is I will be sending a link to this post to Boots & never shopping there for makeup again. I will still need it for toiletries, but I have John Lewis beauty hall & Superdrug in the same place which can more than cater for my needs. Speaking of John Lewis (and further evidence of my good customer skills), I spent an hour at Bobbi Brown a few weeks ago and asked the SA for help choosing some brushes. I let her divulge all her hints, tips and tricks for looking after & cleaning brushes and tell me all about the differences uses you can get out of different brushes, you never know - I might have learned something and she felt good that she'd really helped someone. I also then bought £130 worth of said brushes. Ahh - so that's good customer service!! She made me feel good, attended to and got me to spend more money than I'd intended. Dior - are you listening??

Thursday, 18 November 2010

OPI Black Cherry Chutney

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that when the weekend rolls around, my love/hate affair with the X Factor is usually the only thing that's on my mind. That, and biscuits.

Crunchy treats aside, I do love a bit of the old 'Factor and whilst I sometimes think I need earplugs during the performances, I can't help but admire the work of the make-up team, stylists etc. I've been covering a few of the stand-out makeup looks on my YouTube channel and so imagine my delight when I find out that it is OPI, one of my own personal favourite nail polish brands, who is in charge of transforming each contestant's digits every week!

When I spied Black Cherry Chutney in this photo and immediately fell in love, the perfect peeps at OPI were all too happy to send me my very own bottle (yay!).

As someone who normally favours either Rouge Noir by Chanel or various shades of blue, black or grey on her nails, my lust for this shade is not really surprising. With it's dark cherry/berry/purple deep tones and a beautiful golden highlight shimmer, this shade is (in the words of Cheryl) "right up my street".

You can usually buy OPI Varnishes at John Lewis, at QVC uk, at Lena White or instore at Selfridges or Sally's.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Garden Girl Palette

In Aberdeen, it's rained so hard there is a river running through my street, the wind nearly blew an old lady away in the car park and it's about -3c outside. Inside my house, however, there is a ray of warm sunshine because look what arrived* this morning from Coco Beau...

Inspired by the colours of a spring garden, the palette is made up of 16 eyeshadows; some metallic, some shimmery, some matte, some reflective, some satin (I could go on...). There are 4 blushes; 2 of them are mineral blushes with a lovely subtle shimmer and the other 2 are matte mineral blushes. The palette is finished off with 2 'Micro Bubble' lipstick pans.

I've had a wee play with it already, but it's so pretty I didn't want to start messing everything up! The shadows are mega soft, but not dusty (Sleek - take note!) and blended brilliantly on the back of my hand, so I have high hopes for when I get to take this baby out for a full spin!

These are just a few of my initial favourites in the palette...

So, if you are now thinking hmmmm that's not bad, 16 eyeshadows, 2 lipsticks and 4 blushes. I could get me some of that action, then you'd be right! The palette is exclusively sold at Coco Beau for £67.50 (just over £3 per pan!) but as a Beauty Blogging Blonde reader, you can take advantage of a 15% discount - you just need to enter the code BBB15 at the checkout.

And the best news? The code is valid until New Year, so if you think the man in your life could do with a nudge in the right direction when looking for your perfect Xmas gift, just send him a link to this post!

I will be filming with this palette very soon, so keep an eye on my YouTube channel and subscribe to receive notifications of new videos!

*Received for review. See disclaimer for full details

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Clinique Strawberry Fudge 2010 Holiday Collection - Video


Following on from this sneak peek post, you can see me using the whole collection in my latest video...

A xx

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Clinique Strawberry Fudge 2010 Holiday Collection

I recently received* the Strawberry Fudge Holiday Collection from the lovely peeps down at Clinique. I have filmed a video using the whole collection which will be up in a few days, but in the meantime feast your eyes on some pics.

*PR Samples for review. Please see disclaimer for further details

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Poodle or Babe? Part 2...


So, as you may know, I was having my hair permed on Monday at Toni & Guy. I thought I would give you a peek into the very looong process!

I had been in on the Friday before for a strand test & a chat with Catherine, one of the lovely technicians, but as it wasn't her who was actually perming my hair, I had a 2nd consultation before the appointment, with Kasi, my technician.

There's something about hair salons which intimidate me (I don't know why!) but both girls (and Peter & Tom) made me feel at ease and allayed any concerns I had. Kasi advised that the idea I had in my head of big rolling babe curls was probably quite unrealistic, but that the perm would give me hair enough texture that it will be much easier for me to style in that way. We settled on a compromise of a 'loose beachy wave' and got going!

The process started with my hair being washed and rammed full of bendy rollers. The sections of hair had to be tiny and it felt like Kasi was rolling about 3 strands of hair at a time (she seriously must have the patience of a saint!). Once all my hair was rolled up, the perming lotion was applied all over and I was wrapped up in plastic...

I got a lovely, jubbly cup of tea thrown into the mix!

I was sat through the back, away from the rest of the customers. I assume this was because the perming lotion was very strong and very smelly. Reminiscent of a fart bomb...

I hoped to get a shot in the Star Trek armchair, but sadly it was not to be. I'm not sure what sort of distress you need to be causing your hair to warrant a seat over there!

The appointment took just under 3 hours from start to finish. Kasi advised waiting 48hrs before washing to allow the perm time to set. Washing it any earlier would mean effectively washing away my curls. Which is why I was delighted with the extreme stormy wet conditions we had all last week...

Unfortunately, when I did wash my hair on Wednesday morning, the perm had not taken at all. I phoned the salon and they advised that this can happen with hair that is too soft, (and in my case too good condition!). There's no way of knowing for sure if this would have happened before they permed it - it might have worked fine, but ever the professionals, they made room for me that afternoon and had me back in the salon at 4pm!

Cue 3 more hours of rolling, plastic bags and smelling of farts... I had Heat Mag tho, so all good in the hood!

We went through the exact same process again and...

... thankfully it worked! This was the result after a very brief wash (and no styling!) on Friday afternoon. Yay!

I realise it wont be to everyone's taste and my gran will have a fit when she sees what I've done to my 'lovely hair' but I'm genuinely delighted with the result. My hair feels so much more textured and manageable. I've had no 'fly away' bits or static in 3 days now and loving it! I'm going to probably give it another few days before I start messing around with it too much, but for now I'm just happy to have a bit of interest around my bonce!

I was genuinely impressed with T&G. Everyone I met over the 3 days was very friendly, helpful and most importantly; honest and knowledgeable! I love my regular hairdresser, but I think for extra special treatments, I would definitely go back.

The perm itself cost £85, but I also had a cut & bought some products so the total was a bit higher. This was all paid for by myself.

If anyone has any hints, tips etc for looking after long curly hair, lemme know! I'm a bit frightened of it!!

A xx

Friday, 12 November 2010

New Video...


Another request from Twitter saw me filming this video...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

'Feather Goddess' Couture Lashes

I recently received some lashes from Girls With Attitude. My favourite pair were the 'Feather Goddess' pair, which were some massive, winged out feathery lashes. Surprisingly light-weight, easy to apply and comfortable to wear, the only problem I have is finding something to wear them to!

You can see me using them here

Monday, 8 November 2010

nothing much...

I've been looking for some art work for our spare rooms for a few months now and really getting stuck for ideas, but during a trip to Ikea yesterday, we stumbled across these 2 massive canvas prints...

Having recently been in NY, we were both delighted to have some huge scenes of places we'd actually been and could recognise!

This one has gone into my studio

This might give you an idea of the size! They are huge - 2m x 1.5m

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Dita Von Teese Inspired Makeup

Reference material for my latest video...