Bella Pierre Mineral Eyeshadow – Earth & Calm

Bella Pierre Mineral Eyeshadows come in a variety of shades, and can be used for a multitude of things. As well as being general eyeshadows, you can use them wet for more intense looks, or for eyeliner, or you could mix them with nail polish, or use them for the body, or highlight (colour dependent!) 
I tried Earth, a shimmery pale golden copper, and Earth, a browny purple.

Both colours are really highly pigmented and can be built up well for added intensity. They are fairly shimmery, but frosty rather than sparkly.

The colours work really well together as a highlight and a smoked out edge – for this look I applied Earth all over the lid with a flat eyeshadow brush – packing it on to avoid fallout, then with a different flat brush, applied Calm to the outer corners of my eye. I blended the two together, and the edges, using a blending brush. I then added a thin line of kohl liner to the upper and lower lash lines and went over the bottom lash line with Earth on a small brush, then finished with mascara.

They are really easy to work with and I will definitely be checking out more of their range.

You can find Bella Pierre eyeshadows at Beauty Expert for £12.99 each.

Clarins Splendours Palette

Clarins Splendours Palette is part of their limited edition collection for this summer – a collection inspired by South America in terms of colours and print.

The Splendours Palette looks fairly plain in standard maroon and gold colours – but once it catches the light, an amazing design appears within the lid, it is just gorgeous!

Inside are four neutral, complimentary eyeshadow colours all embossed with the Splendours print – gold, champagne, maroon/bronze and pinky gold. There is also a waxy, deep plum eyeliner which I adore! It goes so nicely with all of the colours and is perfect to wear smudgy or as strong liner. 

The eyeshadows are really highly pigmented and creamy – they glide onto the eye with ease and leave so much colour on the lid with just one swipe. The colours last all day too – my eyes tend to look the same by evening as they did in the morning!
Here are a couple of looks I did using the palette. 

I am loving using it – it is delicate, fresh, feminine and somehow, feels ‘sunny’ to me! The shimmer in the shadows isn’t too overpowering – it leaves a nice satin finish to the eyes, and that liner is absolutely amazing!
Clarins Splendour Palette is out now priced at £31 from www.clarins.co.uk

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Everyone (myself included) went crazy when Urban Decay released their first two Naked Palettes – a range of 12 shadows on the neutral scale which are perfect for creating brown toned looks and smokey eyes. The only issue some people had, was that most of the shades were shimmery – some people preferred matt finishes, and they would like to see a more matt version along the same line. So that’s what Urban Decay did! They created the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette – a palette containing 5 matt and 1 satin colour.



The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is a lot smaller than the original Naked & Naked 2 palettes – there are half the amount of shadows, but there is no brush or eyeliner included with this one as there was with the first two. It makes it a really good size to be able to put in a standard sized make up bag without being too bulky, and contains a nice range of colours.

Venus is the only satin colour in the palette – it is a white frosty shade which is perfect for highlighting under the brows, inner corners of the eye, or to add over another of the shadows to give less of a matt finish.

Foxy (which also exists in the Urban Decay permanent line) and Walk of Shame (W.O.S) are both pale fleshy toned shadows, Foxy being more peach, Walk of Shame being more pink. They can be used as a base to any of the shadow looks, or used on their own with a darker colour for contour for a softer looking result. They are also good for neutralising any discolouration your eyelids may have – Foxy knocking out any blue tones, W.O.S taking away redness.

Naked 2 is latte coloured, creamy brown also found in the Naked 2 palette, with Faint being the darker big sister. These two would work well together to create a smokey brown eye look.

Then there’s Crave – the blackest black eyeshadow which is very highly pigmented. This can be used to add definition to the more neutral shadows, or for a full-on black smokey eye.

The colours feel creamy and glide onto the eye easily and last all day – they contain the Urban Decay Pigment Infusion System to ensure you get a great colour pay off from each shadow. Despite there being only 6 colours, it’s a really versatile palette which you can use for both day and night looks.

Here I have created a neutral, daytime look.

For this look I used W.O.S all over the lid with a little Venus over the top, Naked 2 in the socket and blended out, Faint in the crease, blended out and a little crave on the outer V, taking it into the lash line, and blended. I also used a little Naked 2 under the lower lash line and finished with liquid liner and mascara.

And here a more full-on, night time look.

To create this look I used W.O.S to give a nice neutral base, then Faint into and above the crease then blended out. I then patted Crave on all over the lid and into the socket, then blended it into the Faint. I used a small amount of Venus under the brow bone as a highlight, and in the inner corners of my eyes, then with a small brush, applied Crave under the lower lash line. I finished it with black eyeliner in the waterline, and mascara.

I really love it – the range of colours is perfect for me, and a touch of black can vamp up any look! The fact the colours are so highly pigmented and long lasting means this is a perfect little palette for me!

The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette costs £20 (fab value too) from Look Fantastic

Lash Boutique ‘Jenny’ Lashes

Lash Boutique is a brand I was first introduced to when I started working as a make up artist – they were the lashes we were using backstage at a show…. then more recently we used them on the models at Essex Fashion Week, the TOWIE mob and Desperate Scousewives love them… and they continue to go from strength to strength.

The company was created by Jenny & Elaine who both work in the beauty industry (Jenny is a make up artist herself) – they provide 100% human hair lashes which are handmade. You’d think that for a product of that description you would be paying a high price – when in fact, they’re cheaper than the lashes you’d find on the shelves of Boots!

They have 12 styles of lashes varying from very subtle to full on glamour-puss. I was sent some of the ‘Jenny’ lashes to try out (named after Jenny, one of the company directors) – a fab daytime lash.

All of the lashes come in a very sturdy black case which is great for storing them in safely between uses. Also included in the box is a tube of black eyelash glue. I find the glue much better than what you normally get in high-street lash boxes – the fact it’s black means you hide the lash bar better, and also helps to blend the look together. Its also super-sticky. Once these lashes are on, they are definitely on for the night! The only thing worth noting with the glue is you don’t need to leave it as long as you would with other glues to go tacky – the first time I tried applying the lashes I’d left them too long and the glue had dried. 

The Jenny lashes are perfect for daytime – Jenny herself wears them every day! They add impact to the eyes without being too over the top or obvious. They are feminine, pretty and feel very lightweight on the eye so you aren’t conscious of wearing them and can just get on with your day with your lashes all a flutter!
I’m definitely going to check out more of their range as each time I’ve used their lashes I’ve been impressed.
Lash Boutique lashes are available at BowtiqueInc.com  priced at £6.99 per set.

Laser Eye Surgery at Optical Express

After nervously counting down the magic time to my laser eye surgery, it had come.
At my initial consultation I had been told not to travel home on the tube after surgery as it is dusty – living an hour’s tube journey, or a million pound cab ride away from any of the London locations, I decided to stay at my boyfriends house while I had my surgery. He lives 20 minutes from Bluewater so it was very easy to drive to and from Optical Express, plus the added bonus of someone to look after me afterwards – win/win!
My appointment was for 8.45am which meant that although it was half term, Bluewater was eerily quiet. I think Optical Express was the only place open, bar the coffee shops, and off we went to the back of the store to the special waiting area for the laser patients.
Although the surgery itself normally takes around 10 minutes, I had been told to allow 2 hours for various tests… and so the wait began. I couldn’t help but look at the other patients waiting; were they getting their eyes lasered too, were they post-op, could they see now?! I made the mistake of eavesdropping on a lady sitting too far away from me for me to hear properly, and thought she was telling her partner that they had stuck needles in her eyes, which clearly hadn’t happened. My nerves were getting the better of me.
Once I’d filled in a health form there was a short wait before I was called through for some scans of my eyes, just to check my prescription again and that everything was fine for the go-ahead. I then went to meet Panos, my surgeon, who ran through what was about to happen. Meep! He told me that my right eye would need 14 seconds of laser and left eye needed 16.
After another short wait, I was called through to surgery. I was extremely nervous, despite having all of my fears and questions answered. I requested that I had someone from Optical Express to hold my hand, wuss! There were two ladies in the room, initially, who were both very friendly and introduced themselves – although due to my nerves everything they were saying was going in one ear and out of the other. While one of them cleaned around my eye area, the other was asking me how I was feeling. Panos had told me that there is a part of the surgery where your vision goes black for 30 seconds – that really worried me, and when I voiced my concerns she told me she had had the surgery herself and not to worry, she would count it down for me. She also turned the laser on so I could hear what it sounded like – a very loud clicking noise – so I wouldn’t get a fright once it came on for my eyes.
Panos entered. Eek, this was it!
Once my hand-holder was doing his job, the surgery began. Panos put anaesthetic drops into my eyes so I wouldn’t feel what they were doing. I don’t know exactly what he did do to my eyes, I didn’t want to know – but I liked the way that every step of the way I was told what was going on.
My left eye was covered with a hard patch-like thing. With my right eye I started by looking down a ‘tunnel’ of darkness at a red light, which then lead to the suction going over my eye. This was the part when the vision goes completely black, I’m guessing while they cut the flap. I kept the left eye open, and through my patch could see a little bit of light, which made me feel better in the knowledge I still had some kind of vision. It is scary though, as your eye is open yet all you can see through it is black. Panos told me once we were half way through, then the lady counted down in seconds for when it would be over. Phew. It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, and pain wise, although I squeezed my hand-holders hand and oohed and ahhed a fair bit, there was no crying or screaming.
The bed was then moved round to the laser machine and a clamp (I realise clamp makes it sound awful – and it’s really not that bad) or peg-like thing was attached to my eye to make sure it stayed open and I didn’t blink. It felt just like you pulling on the skin around your eyes to open them more, due to the anaesthetic I didn’t really feel any discomfort from this at all.
The laser machine then came over and I was told to look at the light. I saw lots of dots which I remember thinking looked like fireworks. The desire to close my eye was immense. Panos told me to stop frowning, which I hadn’t realised I was doing. I couldn’t really feel pain from this, it was just a strange sensation. I was glad Panos had pre-warned me that the gas from the laser will let off a smell, otherwise I’d have assumed it was my eye burning!
After the required 14 seconds of laser treatment Panos removed the clamp, put some drops in my eye, and put something across my eye which I assume was him putting the flap back over, I didn’t want to ask *vom*.
Then off we went for round two with the other eye. It was all pretty much the same, however with the laser part, I was trying to close my eye so much that I moved. Any slight movement and the laser stops, which it did. I relaxed and on we went with the rest of it.
We were done.
My total time in theatre had been around 10 minutes.
Panos then took me into his room to check my eyes with the microscope. He said “they’re looking great” – I misheard and thought he’d said they were red. He laughed and said they were red too. And boy, were they red! I was told these are burst blood vessels from the suction, and they will go in a couple of weeks.

It was then off to see someone else, who happened to be my hand-holder – he went through my aftercare; what I can and can’t do (no eye make up for a week, no rugby for 2 weeks – damn 😉 ) and explained how I might be feeling.
After getting the debrief from fellow Team 21er, Ellen, on how her surgery had gone, I had decided to take some Nurofen Plus before I left the house that morning, ready to fight any pain that may have come along after surgery and it did the trick very well.
Initially, after the surgery, I could see, albeit very hazily, and my eyes were very sensitive to light. I must admit I was relived I hadn’t been blinded, even though that has never happened to anyone having laser eye surgery before, vision is such an important thing and a big thing to trust by putting it in someone elses hands.
As I sat listening to Rob the hand-holder, my eyes began feeling very heavy, and eventually I sat there with my eyes closed. I think my body had gone into shock too as I was freezing and shivery, so put on by big coat and scarf. Thankfully my boyfriend had joined me by this point, and was listening intently on which drops I needed to use when.
I left Bluewater clutching his arm, sunglasses on, with my new eyes closed behind them, excited for a world where everything was crisp.
I am glad we only had a short drive to get back, as as soon as we had I wanted to eat then sleep. Trying to put the drops in before I went to sleep was quite fun as it literally took everything in me to open my eyes only a millimeter. Eventually we got them in, and off I went to bed with my very fetching protective goggles on, dreaming of a crystal clear future.
Once my vision has stabilised, I shall fill you in on what happened next. In the meantime, if you’d like to see how any of the rest of Team 21 are getting on, you can follow their stories via the Team 21 app here.

Liz Earle’s Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion

Liz Earle’s Eyebright – Soothing Eye Lotion is a product designed to clean and revitalise tired, puffy eyes. I’m really bad with eye products (as in, I use none – eeek!) so when I was asked if I’d like to try some for myself, I was really intrigued as to what it would do for me.

It is called a ‘lotion’ – so I was expecting something of creamy consistency, whereas actually it’s a see through liquid, which could be mistaken for water if it wasn’t for the smell.

Eyebright contains witch hazel, cornflower, organic aloe vera and a grassland herb which is actually called eyebright – it is very gentle so even sensitive eyes can use it. The smell isn’t strong or overly herbal which is something I really don’t like in a product. It’s a soft, delicate scent which just adds to the “gentle” feeling of the product.

It can be used in a number of ways;

You can use it to remove light eye make up… which I discovered means light! It could get rid of my eyeshadow, but Benefit’s They’re Real mascara could not be budged!

It can be used to wake up your eyes first thing in the morning by squeezing some onto a cotton wool pad then sweeping it across your eyes. I like the fact this adds no extra time into your daily routine but feels so lovely on your eyes – it’s cooling and refreshing and gives your eyes a little kick start to wake up!

My favourite way to use it is by soaking two cotton pads with the lotion then putting a cotton pad over each eyelid while you relax for 5-10 minutes. I have had lots of tired times while using this, what with Ibiza, V Festival and then getting back into the routine of school – this has been a luxurious treat that has really helped! It’s not often I sit and do absolutely nothing – so this is my chance to just chill while Eyebright works it’s magic. After using it in this way, my eyes seem to lose their tiredness and I’m ready for my day!

Eyebright isn’t something I would have bought for myself, as I said before, I’m bad with eye products – but I’m so glad I got to try it out – it really does make a difference when you’re feeling tired and your eyes need that little extra help!

A massive 150ml bottle is only £10 from the Liz Earle website  so once this one runs out, I will definitely be repurchasing!

Have you tried Eyebright before? What is your verdict?

Topshop Meteoric Eyeshadow Duo

Last week I purchased my very first pieces of Topshop make up. Well I might be lying… I think they used to have a cosmetics line back in the 90s which I owned some of, and loved. Anyway, I digress… one of the pieces I bought was the Meteoric eyeshadow duo. It looked to me very much like a special kind of MAC shadow, in it’s shiny packaging and colours swirled into each other. At £8 for 2.5g it seemed quite good value, for essentially 3 colours – the silvery shade, purpley shade, and mixed together.

I swatched them on my hand, silver, purple and then mixed together. Even the silver on its own has quite a few lilac tones in it, and together they made a gorgeous metallic purpley fawn colour. This photo was taken in the shade outside.

One thing I was disappointed with, is that the shadow is quite powdery. There was quite a lot of fall-out when I applied it to my eyes, and after using it, you can see just how much excess powder there was on the shadow itself.

I see it will be quite a messy product to use!

I applied it to my eyes using the silver all over, the two colours mixed together in the outer third of my lid, and the purple in the crease. I then used MAC Smoulder eyeliner on the top and bottom lash line and finished with Revlon CustomEyes mascara.

I took this photo indoors. I noticed that it looks slightly more brown in these photos, I think it depends on the kind of light you are in. There is definitely more of a cooler tone to them… I am used to wearing warm toned eyeshadow so think I will use it most often as the two colours mixed together…. very very carefully trying not to spill any of that excess powder!

What do you think? Do you own any pieces of Topshop make up, or Meteoric eyeshadow?

My MAC Make Up Lesson & Tutorial

For Christmas I had been given a £50 MAC gift card. With this, you can have a 1.5hr make up lesson with a MAC make up artist – or rather, you book a 1.5hr MAC make-up lesson for £50 which is redeemable against products in store on the day. These can only be done at ‘proper’ MAC stores not concessions within House of Fraser etc. I booked mine in with Tabby at the Kensington Church Street branch, who I would definitely recommend.

Tabby asked if there was a particular part of my make up that I would like help with – I said my eyes as I have quite hooded lids and small, down-turned eyes which I would like to appear bigger and brighter. We discussed what kind of colours I liked, and which brushes I already had at home so she could try to work with those so I could recreate the look on my own. She explained that she would be doing one side of my face, and I would do the other. If it looked un-even at the end she would sort it out – phew!

I told Tabby that I wanted a look that was suitable for bright evenings – i.e. made up but not too ott for the sunshine – I personally prefer much fresher, less made up looks for the warmer days, but wanted something that I could wear when meeting friends in the evening but was still light. Tabby first suggested pinky tones for my eyes, but I said I haven’t really got on with the pinks I’d had in the past and would prefer to go down the gold-toned route (figures as most of my collection falls into the gold/nude/brown category!)

This is what we ended up with:

Tabby started by taking off my existing make up using MAC wipes and Cleanse Off Oil, she then used the Complete Comfort Cream as a moisturiser which is good for sensitive skin, and then added a layer of Prep & Prime using the 130 brush in circular motions.

I had told Tabby that my skin was dry in patches, gets shiny throughout the day and is prone to spots. I was after a foundation that didn’t look too cakey but had enough coverage for my skin, which is red in places and has old scars (I sound such a treat, don’t I!?). She picked out Studio Sculpt foundation in NC25 which is medium-full coverage and buildable but with a satin finish. This was applied using the same 130 brush, but what I was really surprised at was how little product was actually on the brush. Tabby stippled on a small amount, then wiped off the excess before using small circular motions on my face to apply the foundation. She then used it much more lightly to get rid of the lines that had been made. I felt this was too sheer for me so we did 3 coats in this way.

She then used the 209 brush, which is actually a very fine-tipped eyeliner brush, to apply my concealer – Select Moisture Cover in NC20. She used the very tip of the brush to dot the concealer on to any blemishes, then used the 224 fluffy brush to smooth out the edges.

Using a 187 brush she put a fine dusting of Mineralize powder in Medium all over my face to set the foundation and make it a little less glowy, making sure to leave out the cheek area as she felt that its nice to have that part a little ‘glisteny’.

Tabby used a 116 blush brush to pick up some Give Me Sun bronzer, which I really liked as it a flat colour, similar to Hoola by Benefit. Shimmery bronzers have their place, but so do flat ones. She showed me the area below my cheekbone and applied the bronzer in the corner near my ear. It looked rather scary at one point, but she then blended it down underneath the whole of my cheekbone and then up my temple a little as well as a small bit under my chin / on my neck. She then applied a very fine layer of it all over my face.

For the blush, we used Sunbasque which is a terracotta toned colour – I’d say it was in the same family as Stereo Rose which is what I use most often (and guess what? it’s coming back again this year!). Tabby got me to smile, then applied it to the apples of my cheeks in circular motions.

Once the face was done, I was sprayed with Fix+, which is another MAC product I love, for setting my make up. When I had seen just the founation with concealer I have to admit I was a little scared, wondering if Tabby had ‘got’ me – it just didn’t look very nice and loads lighter than I would normally wear. Once we had got to this point, I was far more pleased – it had all come together perfectly.

Next were the eyes! We used a Paint Pot in Soft Ocher as a natural coloured primer. This took out any pigmentation from the eye, helps the eyeshadow to be its true colour, and helps it to last longer where it’s meant to be! We applied this just over the eyelid using a 239 brush.

We then used All That Glitters all over my eyelids using the 239 brush. Tabby showed me to pack the shadow on to both sides of the brush – using one side do one side of your eye, then using the other side of the brush do the other side of your eye – this is for maximum colour and coverage. Using the same brush we used Naked Lunch for a bit of a ‘pow pop’. We drew a line of this right down the middle of each eyelid, then used the 224 fluffy brush to very gently buff away the edges of the line. We also added a little of it to the inner corners of my eyes, near the tear duct, to open them up more.

The next part was slightly tricker – I was a bit scared to do my side, but it turned out fine! A great tip that Tabby told me, is that when you do your eyes, tilt your head up slightly – this helps you to see the definition in your crease and whole eye shape and will make things easier to apply, especially when contouring. Using the tip of the brush we put Cork eyeshadow into the corner of my crease, and down into the ‘V’ of my eye, then blended it using the 224 brush. We brought the crease line quite far over when blending, probably to the middle of my eye. For a little more oomph we brought in another shade – using the same technique as with Cork, we applied Handwritten in the crease but not so far over.

We then used Technakohl eyeliner in Brown Border in the lower corners of my eyes, at the bottom, then went over the top of the line with a small amount of Handwritten on a 219 brush. We also put a bit of All That Glitters under the eye before the darker part, so it didn’t look too stark. As a highlighter, Tabby applied a small amount of the concealer under my brows.

I cheated and got Tabby to do the eyeliner on both my eyes! She used a 208 angled brow brush to do my eyeliner, with Bootblack liquid liner, which I wish I had purchased now, as it’s just so black and lovely! Lifting my lid slightly from above, she started at the outside of my eye, going in in small lines. She then went over the lids with one line to give the lines definition and smoothness. She then drew a flick by looking where my eye naturally goes upwards, drawing a small dot, then joining that dot to the rest of the eyeliner. The flick looked rather long for me, but using a 212 flat defining brush and Fix+, she got rid of a lot of the eyeliner on the flick to make it much more defined, thinner and flickier! We finished off the eyes with the Wonderwoman Haught + Naughty in zig-zag movements, which to be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with – it didn’t make my eyelashes as fat as I normally like! To clean up any smudges Tabby used a dry make-up sponge which is another fab tip I picked up!

Tabby first brought out a combination of Lady Gaga Viva Glam 2 and I <3 U for my lips, but I told her I didn’t really want a gloss and I wasn’t particularly keen on the Gaga shade… so she came back with Cherished, which is a nice peachy brown colour, probably darker than I would normally choose but nice nonetheless.

I was given a sample of Prep+Prime and I spent my £50 on 2 eyeshadows – All That Glitters, and Mulch, a 239 brush and a Select Cover-Up concealer.

I tried taking a pic on my phone quite soon after but was quite conscious of the passers-by thinking I was taking photos of myself! I also realise I look like I have a spam-head in this pic, but it’s the best one I got, trying to do it inconspicuously!

I did have an evening out after this and received lots of compliments on how I looked, one man on the bus asked if I was on my way to a film premier! I took this pics once I got in – the foundation has gone a bit shiny, but the eyes are still looking good – I  love how she lined them! (I’d added lip gloss by this point)

All in all it was a wonderful experience which I feel I have learned a lot from. Tabby made me feel comfortable the whole time and I wasn’t made to feel stupid for asking questions. I think next time I know I want to have a big MAC spree, I will pre-book one of these, it was really interesting. I thoroughly recommend anyone to do it!

Neutral with a Twist

I joined Twitter on Friday (come and follow me @Super_Gorgeous), where one of my fellow bloggers, Modesty Brown was involved in a conversation with a few other bloggers saying that they would all post a picture at 9pm on Saturday night of a neutral eye with a twist. Kenneth Soh mentioned purple and bronze, and with that, I was inspired! I hadn’t even realised it until I was getting ready to go out for the evening and deciding what make up to wear, it popped into my head.

I know I’ve not had all that good things to say about The Original Sleek palette, but I actually rather like it now. It’s a great way to try out colours you want to play around with before buying a high-end brand.

I should mention I did have a bit of MAC Sable still left on my eyes that I’d been wearing during the day.

First I swept the lid with the purple from The Original Sleek palette, then patted a bit of the gold to the middle third of my eyelid. I then used a light shimmery pink (shade 09) by Paul & Joe in the inner corner of my eye using a thin brush.

I used the same brush to take a small amount of the purple under the outer part of my lower lash line. I used a blending brush and dusted some of the dark brown Sleek colour into the crease of my eye, then adding some of the black, lightly went over the outer V.

I then lightly swept all over the colour with the pinky gold Sleek colour.

I applied Smoulder kohl liner by MAC to the upper lid, then using a wet eyeliner brush, some of the purple Sleek colour over the top. I finished off by lighty lining under my lower lash, and then applying MAC Zoomlash mascara in Lofty Brown.

Thank you for the inspiration guys, this is something I probably wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for your Tweets!