Thursday, 24 February 2011

NOTD Avon Romance

Hi everyone, I had hoped to do this earlier in the week but as you might have seen from Twitter I'm suffering with the cold (woe is definitely me).

Generally I'm quite a fan of Avon products but I admit to finding some of them love/hate. I got this polish as part of some Christmas promo or another I think - its usual price is £6 and is currently priced at £5 on the website (might be different through a rep).

According to the website these Nailwear Pro Nail Polish:

Gives you the look of a professional manicure. Shine lasts up to 10 days* The advanced formula contains diamond dust and acrylic known for its strengthening, and protection properties giving your nails a high-gloss finish.

*10 day Consumer Study #08-381 with 55 people

Not entirely sure what the * part means exactly but anyhow, onto this particular polish in "Romance". The colour in the bottle looked pretty - a metallic, almost lilac soft pink. The brush was easy to use when I got used to it (slightly thicker one, well two sides) and the formula seemed a little runny but ok. I had hoped the runny formula would mean it was quick drying as from the first coat I could tell that at least one more was needed. Also the visible brush strokes meant I'd need to be a bit neater with my final coat. So I waited. And waited and then I applied a second coat. The second coat is what is pictured and while I felt another coat or two would help build a stronger finish I didn't really have time. I wanted to put on a clear top coat so again I waited for this to dry. I waited a bit more. Kept waiting. Eventually I was getting a bit fed up and resigned to the fact I wouldn't have time for a clear top coat. When my nails felt dry I had to move on. About 2 hours later my nails were already noticeably chipped and peeling from the tips.

All in all, although the colour is nice enough for me it isn't worth the time or effort and to be honest I'm not sure a clear topcoat would have helped that much anyway. Disappointing.

Anyone else tried any of the range? Or this particular colour? I'm not sure whether to let it put me off Avon Nail Polishes...

LoubouLush x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Jessie J Inspired Make Up

This is the first make up "look" I've blogged about and I'm more than a little nervous if I'm honest. I had to rush it in the end and couldn't find some of the products I'd have liked to have used but I think I have blogged about most of them if not all before.

Anyway it's inspired by Jessie J (if you don't know who she is, definitely check out her music...)

Here is a photo of her taken from last night's Brit Awards. Personally I love her style and her sort of vampish look.

Photo from OK site

And my version...

Scary "before" shot, ugh.

And the "afters"

Products used - in this order (though I would leave foundation until after the eyes if doing again)

- Boots No.7 Lift and Luminate Foundation in Alabaster

- MAC Brule Eyeshadow over eyelid

- MAC Carbon Eyeshadow on the outer corners of eyelid and some along the lower lash line with a little through the brows

- MAC Dalliance eyeshadow on the inner corners of eyelids and highlighting

- MAC Blot Powder

- Avon Superschock Gel Eyeliner in Black

- Boujois Volume Clubbing Mascara in Black

- Models Own Scarlett Red Lipstick

Phew, so there we have it. I hope you like it? Be gentle with me. Eeeeeek. If I'd had more time I may have added some false lashes and contoured my cheeckbones a little.

Did you see the Brits? Anyone you thought looked particularly fab?

LoubouLush x

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mini MAC Haul

Hi Lovelies

I hope everyone is having a good day. I dared to drift by my local MAC counter the other day and picked up some eyeshadows so thought I’d give you the lowdown on my thoughts thus far...

Dalliance - Part of the Peacocky Mega Metal Eyeshadow range, this was the one that caught my attention most. It’s a gorgeous, pigmented, rich gold with a stunning metallic sheen. I love this shade. I’m not a fan of brassy gold – I prefer the frostier almost silver golds – not sure if only I know what I’m talking about here but to me this is a cool sort of gold which I think is good for me as although I have dark eyes, warm tones aren’t usually great for me. It seems to have slight green undertones also which I think can look great on the eyes. It is supposed to be crease resistant and although I haven’t tested it properly yet for 3.4g at £15.50 I think it’s pretty good value for a high quality and versatile shade.

Carbon - a matte black eyeshadow and in my hunt for a truly black eyeshadow I’ve found they are hard to come by! Like most, a light layer is more of a grey than black and it’s all about the build up to get the black. It is versatile too as a liner with or without liquid added and another good staple for my make up bag. For 1.5g at £11.50 it is quite a bit more expensive than the Dalliance but hey ho, it seems you have to pay for quality!

Brule - A satin nude shadow which I’ve been meaning to get for ages. Sometimes I just want something simple as an eyeshadow on its own or as a base for something more adventurous. This is a lovely pale nude colour and applies supper smoothly – just what I’ve been looking for. Again this is approximately 1.5g pot priced at £11.50.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Sleek palettes and some of the other bargainous eyeshadows out there but I do find myself having the odd splurge on MAC especially for colours I know I’ll get a lot of use out of. Are you a spender when it comes to your eyeshadows? Can any other brands beat MAC?

LoubouLush xx

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Chocolate Pots

Happy Valentine's Day lovely readers *MWAH*

I know lots of people aren’t keen on Valentine’s Day and either see it as a commercial con or a day of misery if they don’t have a love interest to share it with. I don’t think it has to be either day. I think it’s a fab excuse to spoil yourself or someone in your life who you appreciate – be it a friend or a parent or someone you work with who helps make your life a little bit brighter. In addition it doesn’t have to cost a fortune – an extra few kind words or a small gesture is probably enough to brighten up someone’s day.

Personally we had a special meal at home and I made my husband his favourite dessert of pavlova. I made myself “chocolate pots” which are basically pots/cup/glasses of luscious chocolate ganache – amazing!!

Now personally, pavlova doesn’t rock my world but chocolate does so I thought I’d share the recipe...

200g milk chocolate & 100g plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) (you can play around with the ratios here depending on your own chocolate tastes)
450ml single cream
knob of butter
1 tsp of brandy
(can be substituted for other flavours – e.g. orange juice, rum, flavoured liquoer and increased depending on your tastes)

Place the cream with the teaspoon of brandy and the knob of butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. Break up the chocolate and add to the cream and butter and slowly heat until fully melted and incorporated. Keep mixing the contents of the saucepan and be careful not to allow anything to stick or burn at the bottom.

When everything is fully mixed, add the mixture to your containers of choice – shot glasses, espresso cups are perfect for a small chocolatey hit! Allow the ganache to set in the fridge and after a couple of hours it is ready to serve – be it with compote, coulis, fruit, cream, ice cream etc...

Makes about 6 medium portions


LoubouLush xxx

Friday, 11 February 2011

NOTD Barry M Emerald Green

I've been wearing this for a couple of days now so the colour looks a little dull in the photo - also I haven't added any topcoat. It's worn well and is a nice metallic green. It is a bit Christmassy for this time of year perhaps but could be a nice dark alternative to pastels and neons for Spring/Summer. As with most of the Barry M Nail Paints - it applies easily and has a good solid finish. Not one of my all time favourites but a nice metallic green all the same...

LoubouLush x

PS - please feel free to post any ideas of what you would like to see more or less of on the blog - I'd be really grateful for any input xxxx

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Bargain Jewellery Haul

Just a quickie post on this as I grabbed some bits in the Miss Selfridge sale earlier and you might have to be quick to follow suit. I picked up all this for £10. Yes ten pounds. They have lots of jewellery reduced in the sale AND one buy one get one free - most of it looks very current and there was a good selection in store. Going by the prices on the back of all of these it should have cost me £53.50.

Bargainous or what?!

LoubouLush x

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

NOTD - Illamasqua "Collide"

This nail polish was very much an impulse buy and when I got it into daylight I was less than sure. There's lots of talk of neon at the minute and of course Valentine's Day so I thought now was as good a time as any to give this a proper whirl.

I wasn't sure what I was going to make of the satin finish but I think it's actually really pretty - I think it really works with such a bright poppy colour. The application was super easy and the finish is beautifully smooth and my nails feel lovely to touch (weird but true!). So far it's holding up really well without a top coat (impressive given previous Illamasqua experience) as I only have gloss at the minute and don't want to ruin the look.

In different lights the colour changes vibrancy but I think it's actually really fun and more wearable than I expected. At £13.50 a bottle it isn't cheap and for a fad such as neon I'm not sure it would be worth it. I do like the idea of something so bright being a matte satin though and so I think for a twist on a typical glossy pink it is worth a go as a little treat!

What do you think? Will you be giving neon nails a go?

LoubouLush x