Tag Archives: Review


30 Oct

So Halloween is upon us and it’s got a bit spooky…

I’m a bit of a fancy dress fiend and decided to go with a ‘Twilight’ vampire theme, re-styling my Zombie Prom Queen dress from last year:

Lace fingerless gloves – H&M

Black and Gold Ring – Miss Selfridge

Silver Charm Necklace – River Island

Dark Silver Drop Earrings – Warehouse

Nails – Rimmel Lycra Pro in Trend Spotting

This was my face of the night which I used the fabulous VIVO cosmetics to create:

VIVO Lashes in Feather Boa

VIVO Very Berry Lipstick

VIVO Eyeshadows in Purple Passion and Black Sparkle

I also used VIVO Highlighter to create a dewy finish, which I forgot to include in this photo!

You can find VIVO at selected Tesco stores and it’s really quite a bargain with the products ranging from £1.50 to £6.

What are you wearing this Halloween? And have you tried any VIVO products yet?

LDNshopaholic xxx

Review: E.L.F. Brushes

18 Aug

E.L.F. were having a 50% off sale quite recently so I decided to try a few more bits from their range since my sucessful E.L.F. haul.

I’ve heard quite a lot about stipple brushes, so thought it was about time I got one so I bought the Studio stipple brush (usually £3.50).

This is quite a fine brush rather than an HD application brush like the MAC or Sigma dual fibre brushes. I have quite a heavy hand so fid this brush really helpful when it comes to applying  strong cheek colours. I’d definitely recommend it for use with cream blush – how I’ve been mainly using it.

Then I decided to get a cheap-ish brush set for my travels:

They are actually incredibly soft and much better quality than I was expecting. The wooden handles are upmarket and I love the simple design.

The complexion brush is very full and great for applying powder. I was equally impressed with the concealer and eyeshadow brushes which are great applicators and could be used in a variety of ways. The brow and eyelash comb are nothing to write home about but do what they’re meant to. The eyeliner brush however does not do its job well at all, the soft bristles mean it’s impossible to get a thin line or maintain control over a liner. So I’m not too sure how exactly I’m going to use this brush!

I’m not sure I’d pay full price (£20) for these but for a tenner, think they are pretty good.

I also bought five nail varnishes (£1.50 each) which I featured in my Accent Nail post. Good news, 7 days in and I’m still chip free!

Did you buy anything in the 50% off sale?

LDNshopaholic xxx

p.s. This is a scheduled post as I’m currently away travelling. I will do my best to reply to comments when I can.

Trendwatch: The Accent Nail

9 Aug

So I’m a tiny bit late getting on this bandwagon… my excuse is that I was waiting for the right colour combination which just happened to come along in the 50% off deal that ELF were having.

It consists of the shades Mod Mauve and Copper (usually £1.50 but an extra bargainous 75p on the offer – amazing!)

I felt it needed a little extra (and I’m a glitter fiend as you know) so topped up the accent with some Stargazer Glitter which I just happened to have in the exact same colour!

And this is the final result – left without flash, right with flash:

I’m absolutely loving my ring finger bling! I keep oohing and aahing everything I look at my nails. I can’t help but think we need the little things to help us keep smiling with everything that’s being going on in London and throughout the UK this week with the riots.

For 75p the nail varnishes were really good – although I did have to use three coats rather than my usual two and I’m not sure about staying power yet (will keep you updated).

Have you tried the accent nail trend yet? I’m slightly stumped about colour combos so I’d love it if you could recommend me any!

Please stay safe wherever you are,

LDNshopaholic xxx

July Favourites

6 Aug

Hello lovely readers!

Apologies for the lack of blogging this week. I’ve been really busy, mainly organising my trip to South East Asia later this month (exciting!) – will post more about that soon.

So here’s a bit of a belated product review day vlog, my July favourites! I did film it in July but only just got round to editing it!

What were your July favourites? Have you tried any of the Herbal Essences products and loved/hated them? I’d love to know, LDNshopaholic xxx

Bourjois Beauties

28 Jul

So some of you might have seen my distress on Twitter this week as I left home for 10 days without ANY of my make up brushes AND I’ve got a wedding to go to – ERROR! This is a massive issue as I wear mineral make up thus need something to apply it with!!

Rather than splurging on more make up brushes and having two of everything, I decided to treat myself to a liquid foundation/concealer and went for Bourjois’ Healthy Mix Foundation with the Healthy Mix Concealer and picked up 16 make up sponges for £1 at Poundland to go with. I know it’s been out for a while now, but as a Bare Minerals lover, I just didn’t see the need to try it when I’d already found my perfect foundation! Now I had the perfect opportunity:

The foundation was fairly reasonable at £9.99 and the concealer was £7.99 (a little dear I thought), but I bought it in a 3 for 2 offer at Boots along with Bourjois Volume Ultra Curl Mascara (£7.99). You also get a free pair of sunglasses with the deal (not the best, but alright!).

The foundation promises: 70% more radiance and flawless complexion for up to 16 hours, along with using natural ingredients to provide:

  • Apricot > radiance
  • Melon > hydration
  • Apple > antioxidant
  • Ginger > energy

Having naturally dry skin which never seems to look radiant/energised/glowy, these claims really drove me to try it! It was light and felt fresh on my face, like a moisturiser, but had really good coverage for its consistency – I’d say medium. I actually bought it one shade darker than my skin tone as I’m planning to fake tan, but it blended in seamlessly giving me a healthy looking glow.

It really evened out my skin tone, definitely boosted radiance and covered small blemishes, leaving my skin looking naturally flawless (even on an 18 megapixel camera!):

The foundation felt great on and my skin felt was dewy for a good few hours after (it promises ‘8 hour moisture’). I’m not sure about the 16 hour coverage promise though – I’d say more like 8 hours (good enough for me!).

The plastic bottle is nothing special and does get mucky fast, but it does the job and is compact/light to carry around – good for travelling. I also like that it has a pump so you can choose just the right amount of product to use.

The corrective concealer, which I bought in the darkest shade (53), was considerably lighter than my shade of foundation (56):

But it blended in beautifully under my eyes and over any blemishes. It is thicker and less ‘breathable’ than the foundation, but still feels nice on and definitely doesn’t cake like some other concealers I’ve tried. I also love that’s in a tube rather than a pot (I’m little germaphobic!). A little goes a long with this product, so I now think £7.99 is quite a good price really!

All in all I’m very happy with my purchases and would recommend these, particularly if you’re looking for a medium coverage moisturising foundation. Both products are incredibly easy/quick to apply (you could simply use your fingers) so are perfect for a quick application in the morning before work – it lasts for 8 hours after all! Or just for a day when you can’t be bothered to put your full face of make up on.

I think my next Bourjois product is going to be the Chocolate Bronzer which I’ve heard so much about. I’ve been a massive fan of their Little Round Pot Blusher for years now, so they’re fast becoming my favourite pharmacy make up brand.

What’s your foundation of choice? I’ve heard so much about Chanel Vitalumiere I think that’s going to have to be the next one I try!

LDNshopaholic xxx

Lovely Dove

21 Jul

Here’s my review of some of Dove’s latest products from the TOWIB event in (HD!) vlog form. I thought it was easiest to talk through and show you my likes and dislikes. Be warned… there is a mass of tangled hair which makes an appearance in this one, as well as my QVC sales person alter ego!

Thanks for watching 🙂

LDNshopaholic xxx


7 Jul

Like most girls, I have a slight obsession with all that glitters… whether it’s sequins, diamonds I can’t afford or the latest Barry M fine glitter dust.

So when I was away in New York I thought I’d take advantage of the reduced NYX prices in Urban Outfitters and bought TWO Glitter Cream Palettes (or GCP’s to you NYX lovers) as I’d been eyeing them up for a while.

I got them for a bargainous $6 each (£4) whereas in the UK they retail at around £8 and I was blown away by the choice of colours:

In the end I chose Royal Violets and Ocean Breeze. I got to fully test out these lovelies at Glastonbury Festival and boy did I love them!

The fact that they are a glitter cream means it’s incredibly easy to apply with no chance of fall out or spillage. The colours are absolutely gorgeous, and the combinations compliment each other beautifully. When wearing Ocean Breeze I go for a darker blue glitter on my lid and then a light blue one along my lower lashline, which really opens up the eye.

Swatched L – R as above. Royal Violets light purple across to silver, and Ocean Breeze light silvery blue to turquoise:

(Sorry about the photo quality, it would appear my camera doesn’t like glitter as much as I do!)

The glitter does go on in a ‘lighter’ fashion than others I’ve tried, so you get a softer look. I used the gold from Royal Violets all over my eye area (and well on to my cheeks, brow bone, etc.!) when I was Wonder Woman and it worked in just the way I hoped. I would say if you are wanting more of a striking glitter, this isn’t the best one to use, as layering it up doesn’t work too well. Also these only work a few times before ‘losing their sparkle’. After five days at Glasto, which to be fair involves quite a bit of glitter, there wasn’t too much left.

So because of it’s short life span, I’m not sure whether they are worth £8. However, some of the palettes have been reduced to £4 in the UK Urban Outfitters Sale – find them here! And to really get your money’s worth I’d recommend going all out and getting the GCCP – GIGANTIC Glitter Cream Palette (£18) – so much glitter, so litte time!

What are your favourite glitter products? I’m still a sucker for my Barry M fine glitter dust combined with a bit of Vaseline on the eyelid! Also this is my first time trying out NYX, so I’d been keen to know your NYX favourites.

LDNshopaholic xxx

p.s. I also mention the palettes in my latest vlog:

Benefit – Love it or Hate it?

30 Jun

I’m really not too sure where to begin with Benefit!! I lusted after their products for years, but could never really afford them. Then a few years ago I decided to splash some of my birthday cash at the Benefit counter in my local Boots. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted (as in fact I just wanted EVERYTHING!). The lady sat me down, and she had the most amazing rainbow eyeshadow going on.

I thought about what I needed in my make up bag… a primer perhaps? So she sold me Dr. Feelgood… she said it was a great base for make up, filling in fine lines (I was 20 at the time!!!) and it would make my look last all day long. I fell for it and splashed out £21.50 (a lot for a poor student!). Then she asked what I would be using on top of it, I said my usual foundation… she suggested You Rebel Lite Tinted Moisturiser as it has SPF 15 in it, to protect my skin. I went along with it, they only had one shade and I felt wary that with my (although fair) Indian skin tone it wouldn’t match. She convinced me it did… so I bought that too (£23.50 – ouch!). Then I still had a few more squid to spend and I love a good bit of blusher… so I said I tended to use pink and fancied something a little different. So I was encouraged into purchasing Georgia, a peachy blusher (£23.50).

So bedazzled by the rainbow eyeshadow and bright lights of the counter, I had spent over £70! So excited, I took them home and tried them all out, only to find the Dr. Feelgood didn’t make me feel good at all, in fact, it didn’t do anything. In the light of day, the You Rebel was all wrong for my skin tone and made me look a ghastly shade of grey, and the peach was so light that with my skin tone, it worked more as a powder than a blusher.

I was shocked and distraught, all those years of me worshipping their beautiful packaging, loving their slogans, their quirky products and the personality of the brand, this is what they did?!?! Obviously I haven’t been back to the Benefit counter again.

I mean it’s never a good thing to have nearly full expensive make up still in your make up bag four years later:

Then when I was in the lovely Sephora in the US, I couldn’t help but spot a mini trio of Benetint, High Beam and Posietint. It was only $18 (£12), cheap as chips considering in the UK a normal Benetint is about £24, so I added it to my basket, feeling wary but at least I wasn’t getting ripped off this time. (I actually came home to find they were giving away the solo mini’s in this month’s Glamour Magazine!)

I was so pleased when the Benetint actually showed up on my face and did something worthy of spending money on! I love using it as a lip and cheek stain, particularly on a day to day basis. And I was even more pleased when I deduced that High Beam was the best highlighter I’d come across (particularly good on the cupid’s bow). Posietint on the other hand blended away on my skin tone, potentially even washing me out.

I don’t know if I’ve just been unlucky with Benefit, perhaps the sales lady had only just started working there at the time… or she didn’t know much about other skin tones, but with the price of their products, it’s not really a risk I want to take again. What do you all think of Benefit? Are there any products you’d highly recommend? I still love their brand identity and would like to be persuaded.

E.L.F. Haul!

26 May

This week it’s about my E.L.F. haul!!! And a haul it truly is:

I was SO excited when the parcel arrived and I just couldn’t believe the price I’d got all these goodies for: just £33.81!!!!

To break it down I got:

Concealer Warm Concealer (for medium skin and neutral undertones)
Studio Pigment Eyeshadow NEW – Magical Maroon
Cream Eyeliner Black – Brush Included
Blush Rose
Studio Makeup Mist & Set Studio Makeup Mist & Set
Foundation x 2 Warm Foundation (for medium skin and neutral undertones)
High Definition Powder HD Powder
All Over Color Stick Pink Lemonade
Mineral Booster Large-Sheer (Weight: 17.8g)
Complete Coverage Concealer Medium
False Lashes x 3 Dramatic Lash Kit

Unbelievable eh? I discovered the brand (it stands for Eyes Lips Face) via Twitter and someone (unfortunately I can’t remember who and Twitter won’t find the tweet!) gave me an amazing  25% discount. It’s incredibly cheap anywhoo with products starting at just £1.50. I just thought this was WAY too good to be true and HAD to try it out.

My favourite foundation which I’ve used for about two years now is Bare Minerals, but at £23 per 8g pot, it’s a bit of a splurge. But E.L.F. do their mineral make up for only £3.50 for just under 3g, so it just made sense to get some!

I went all out and bought the foundation, concealer, blusher and booster, which came to a bargainous £11.64.

Having tested them all out for over a week or so now, I honestly can’t tell the difference. I was impressed with the simple but effective packaging and couldn’t believe the amount of booster (18g) you get for just £5 (at Bare Minerals it’s £20 for 9g!).

They also have a ‘studio’ range for professional products which are a little bit more expensive with products starting at £3.50 (still unbelievably cheap in my eyes!).

My favourite product has to be the Cream Eyeliner (£3.50). I’m generally quite awful at applying liquid liner, but this creamy liner went on beautifully with the brush they provided. I got so many compliments from people asking me what I’d done differently.

I also loved the Pigment Eyeshadow (£3.50) which also comes with a really good brush. It can be a bit messy applying it as it’s a loose shadow, but it goes on very nicely and you can intensify the colour by adding several layers of pigment. I bought it in Magical Maroon but would’ve gone for the Naughty Noir, if I didn’t already have about ten metallic grey/black eyeshadows!

The Mist and Set Spray (£3.50) is really refreshing and has a lovely soft scent to it. It also felt much better on my skin than hairspray, which is what I usually use!!! My make up felt like it was sealed and lasted much longer (though I haven’t tested it on a full on night out yet). As I’ve been mainly using the Mineral Booster, I haven’t had a chance to test the High Definition Powder (£6) yet, I probably shouldn’t have bought two finishing powders at once!
Yet another favourite (am I allowed another one?!) is the Complete Coverage Concealer (£3.50):

As I tan quite easily I find it really difficult to keep track of the right bits of make up for my varying shades. This concealer has four shades in it which can be mixed/applied as necessary. And to think I was considering buying Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Concealer at £26!!!

I also went a bit loopy buying 3 pairs of Eyelashes (£1.50 each) as I always lose them after one wear. Much cheaper than the £6-7 you usually spend on a pair of lashes these days! They’re quite natural looking which I prefer to the obvious falsh-lash look.

All in all it was complete success 🙂 and I will be recommending E.L.F. to everyone! Have you tried any E.L.F. products? What would you recommend?

I’m off for a night out this weekend so will put the Set and Mist Spray and HD Powder through rigorous testing and report back 😉 xxx

Nailed It

19 May

So I thought being the product junkie that I am, it’s only right to share my favourite products with you and rant about the ones that I don’t like (and save you from spending money on them)! For this reason I’m making Thursday my product review day. I really do have a bit of a product addiction, which means my family bathroom is sprawling with my ‘stuff’ (as it is described by Dad and brother.)

Anyway down to business! This week I’m blogging about my favourite nail varnish IN THE WORLD: Rimmel’s Lasting Nail Finish Pro Enamel. They’ve revamped the packaging and name (it used to be Rimmel Lycra Pro) and it now looks like this:

To be honest, I think I preferred the round bottles they had before (see below) which made them easy to hold whilst applying but oh well!

Reasons why I love it:

1. The easy application ‘maxi’ brush.

The wide flat brush makes applying this a dream. No messiness and the coats (I put on two) are ever so even.

2. It doesn’t break the bank

Depending on where you go and what deals are on prices vary from about £3.50 to £5 per bottle. Rimmel often run 3 for 2’s where I buy about 6 bottles!!! I’ve tried Nails Inc. and O.P.I. varnishes which are more expensive and not half as good (might rant about these at a later date!).

My ever-growing collection of Rimmel Lycra Pro's!

3. It ACTUALLY lasts for 10 days (or more!)

It does what it says, here’s a photo of my nails on day 11 wearing Hot Gossip:

Obviously they don’t look freshly painted anymore, but the nails tips are almost perfect even though I have a job which involves A LOT of typing. It’s grown out at the nail base but that’s pretty much it!

Here are a couple of shots of my favourite colours at the moment. I did my fingernails in Coral Romance:

And my toenails in the ever so cute Peppermint:

I’ve actually been meaning to blog about this for ages (iPhoto tells me I took this photo on April 20), and my toenails are still in pristine condition (due to their slower growth rate). That’s an entire month, chip-free! Amazing or what?!

I bought their Matte Finish Top Coat which I can’t wait to try out with some sunshine yellow polish and short rounded nails (I’m thinking Glasto might be the occasion for this)! Will def. blog about that when I find the perfect yellow shade.

Definitely give them a go if you’re going away on holiday and want your varnish to last without having to fork out for a manicure.