Monday, 27 October 2014

The Library of Fragrance (AKA 'Demeter') Hit the UK

Ever wanted a perfume which smelt like something a little...out of the ordinary? Fresh cut grass? Rain? Moon beams? Dirt? Gin and tonic? dough? Well, you're in luck, because 'The Library of Fragrance' have (probably) got you covered with their collection of scents - from the fabulously bizarre (sushi scent, anyone?) to utter classics such as jasmine and amber. 'The Library of Fragrance' have actually been going for years under the name 'Demeter Library of Fragrance', name ring a bell, scent lovers? Yup, Demeter are finally in the UK.

I was lucky enough to be able to try out four scents, three of which are included in the 25 available at Boots (there is also a UK site where you can pick from 101 fragrances!) I opted for two fairly deep, potentially masculine scents ('Amber' and 'Whiskey Tobacco') as well as a lighter one ('Moonbeam') and also received 'Patchouli' as it would mix well with the deeper scents.

Amber has long been my favourite base note for perfumes, so 'Amber' was obviously going to be my first pick! I'd say that 'Amber' has a light - medium amber base, musk heart and vanilla top notes. The vanilla is extremely evident at first but wears off quite quickly leaving behind a warm, musky type scent.

Patchouli is a scent I've never quite been sure on, it's somewhat nostalgic as it reminds me of hippy shops and the incense my Mum used to burn, but it's not quite to my taste as a straight up scent. However, it's great for mixing with other natural type scents such as 'Amber' to make it a little more mysterious...

I'm partial to the occasional whiskey and lemonade (Jim Beam, thank you) and I've always loved 'real' tobacco scents. Seriously, I could spend hours in a tobacco shop just sniffing away and probably scaring the shop assistant slightly! Anyway. 'Whiskey Tobacco' is everything it sounds like it should be - warm, dark and sexy. I've described it as 'What rebels with old souls smell like' and I think that says it all!

My last pick was 'Moonbeam' quite simple because I was curious as to what exactly a moon beam might smell like! To 'The Fragrance Library', they have a light floral scent - vanilla and chocolate, green leaves, jasmine, lily of the valley, amber and precious woods. Combined these scents make quite a fresh, light perfume which wears down to something somewhat powdery and delicate - beautiful.

The beauty of 'The Fragrance Library' is that half of the idea is that YOU get to create your own special fragrances depending on what you're after. 

Maybe the perfect light floral? -  Neoroli, orange blossom and jasmine. 
Something sexy, masculine and a little old school? - Leather, pipe smoke and licorice.  
Why not get festive? - Gingerbread, fireplace and caramel.
Missing the beach? - Salt air, sunshine and fresh coconut.
Or fancy a sweet treat? Vanilla ice cream, waffles and marshmallow.

I love putting combinations together! It's half the fun!

Boots now stock 25 fragrances which you can find both in store and online, £15 per 30ml bottle or 2 for £25. Alternatively, pick from 101 scents on the 'Library of Fragrance' website.

Products received for review purposes. All opinions 100% mine and 100% honest - as always!
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Makeup Revolution Velvet Matte Lip Lacquers

Not so long ago, Lime crime took the make-up world by storm with the unveiling of their extraordinarily long lasting liquid lipsticks - 'Velvetines'. Since then, a few brand have had a pop at duping them - MUA, Pretty Zombie, Sleek, Rimmel and now purse friendly budget brand, Makeup Revolution. Curious to see how they held up, I ordered two lip lacquers to try for myself.

[ 'I'm in a death metal band' font *swoon* ]

[ Rose gold outer sleeve, it's like they were designed with bloggers in mind...]

The tubes themselves are your typical gloss tubes, nothing fancy. These come with doe foot applicators which allow for more precise application than those silly whippy brushes you sometimes get with glosses. Look at the golden gothy font, too, oh how I'm a sucker for such things...

[ Makeup Revolution 'Velvet Depravity' matte lip lacquer swatch ]

For some reason, all of the names have 'Velvet' as a prefix - why, I do not know. Maybe in homage to 'Velvetines' it odd, don't you think? Bizarre naming aside, 'Velvet Depravity' is a bright, slightly blue toned creamy purple - eye catching and unique. I think 'Velvet Depravity' would suit pale folk best; it would also look amazing worked into a darker purple to create an ombre effect.

Makeup Revolution 'Velvet Vamp' matte lip lacquer swatch ]

'Velvet Vamp' is right up my street. Unapologetically deep, dark, gothic purple-red - it's actually so close to black I'm having trouble describing its colour in exact terms. All you need to know is that if you're after the statement lip for Autumn/ Winter - you've found it.

[Apply over a balm/ lipstick with a synthetic brush for maximum precision and comfort ]

Texture and application wise, they're identical. Fairly thick (thicker than MUA's and Sleek's equivalents), extremely well pigmented and veeery matte with a faint smell that could best be described as acrylic paint. Once dried, these STAY PUT. They will not budge unless you're eating greasy food, as it's only something oily which is capable of removing them.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about these lip lacquers. On the one hand, the pigmentation and colours are unbeatable, the longevity is ridicuously good and I do love a strong matte finish -however, the matte texture is very drying without a heavy dose of lip balm and the removal process can be a pain. Is it worth it, though? For me, yes, but only just...

Available - In store at Superdrug or online at Makeup Revolution

Price - £3
Selection - 11 shades

Have you tried Makeup Revolution lip lacquers? What about other brands equivalents? Tempted by these? Let me know!

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Makeup Revolution 'Atomic' Lipsticks

Budget brand 'Makeup Revolution' haven't half been doing the round on blogs, have they?! First the highlighter heart tins, then the palettes, now the 'Atomic' lipstick collection. I parted with a fiver and picked up the entire collection (how often can you say that?!) for your viewing pleasure...

The 'Atomic' lipstick collection comprises of five lippies, ranging from a cute as pie pin-up red to a shade Medusa would have in her 'Everyday Make-up' posts if mythical beings had blogs (how amazing would that be?!)

Packaging is basically the same as MUA's £1 lipsticks (which aint too surprising) - black casing with a small amount of the actual product in a clear cap in the lid.

'Atomic Ruby' is a true 50s cherry red, with a creamy satin type finish. 'Make Me Magnificent' is a frosty/ metallic pale purpley pink shade, I think only the pale could really pull this one off! 'Make it Right' is simply diviiine - glowing shimmery medium 'true' purple - gorgeous! 'Make Me Tonight' is a purple toned brown, an ace Autumn/ 90s shade. 'Atomic Serpent' is a medium forest green with slight shimmer.

Now, everyone keeps calling shades in this collection 'unwearable' - stop it! Lets clear this up - purple isn't that odd a colour choice these days since MAC made it popular in recent years, the brown is entirely 'wearable' especially for those with dark skintones and the green can be used to darken reds if nothing else. Even if shades are a bit out of your comfort zone, at £1 a pop you may as well give 'em a go!

The formula has a lot of slip, which means wear time isn't excellent but what do you expect at £1 really?! 'Atomic Ruby' has a creamier formula than the others, and wears much better. I'd recommend lipliner bases with the shimmer shades.

Overall, not a bad collection at all! Nice colours to experiment with, pigmentation is pretty good and you can't argue with the price. After trying these I may make a purchase for some more of their £1 shades as I actually really liked the formula for 'Atomic Ruby', which I think is the standard formula across their other shades.

Price - £1 each
Availability - Superdrug stores or online at Makeup Revolution

What do you think to these shades? What are your favourite Makeup Revolution products?

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Darling Girl Cosmetics Swatch Fest!

It's about time I showed you some new pretties from Darling Girl, after all, I have had two orders arrive since my last post *eek* This lot however, is only one of those orders seeing as I seem to my other lot (oops) - no doubt I'll find them somewhere totally obscure. Anyway, on to the swatches! 

Those of you new who don't know who Darling Girl Cosmetics are, where have you been?! Clearly not reading this blog for long, that's for sure! Darling Girl are a little indie company over in America, cooking up fabulous cosmetics in a range of gorgeous shades. They make incredible, unique eyeshadows which I can never seem to quite resist...

Nerpette - Pink purple with blue duochrome, a very bold and striking colour. If you love 'Obviously a Wig', you'll love 'Nerpette' too.


Ladyhawke - A warm, medium grey-brown with green shift. In some lights it takes on a dark brown toned purple appearance, it's quite the colour shifter. If you like 'Scarab', you'll love 'Ladyhawke'.

10 Chalupas - This is such an epic shade! It looks like a fairly standard neutral tan in the jar, but once applied - BOOM! A shimmery pink with aqua glitter, talk about a transformation. This was a 'gift with purchase' so it may not be available to buy (oh how evil I am...)

Tainted Love -  Who doesn't want a 'shadow named after a Depeche Mode song?! I sure as Hell did. Of course, it helped that it was a super dark, dusky lavender and pretty frikkin' beaut'. Plus it would (and does) make an ace liner shade - win win win! It's part of the MILF ('Matte I'd Like to Find') collection, a bunch of buttery, well pigmented shades of very useable colours.

Bodice Ripper - A medium, pinky purple which is also from the MILF collection. It looks lovely paired with 'Tainted Love' or with bold metallics.

Burning Love - Yup, another MILF! I've never ever owned a bright matte orange and I thought it was about time. I also think this would make a pretty nice blush with a light hand - potentially a dupe for NARS 'Exhibit A'...

Tank Taupe - You guessed it, another MILF. I bought this because I thought it would make a crackin' contour shade - and I wasn't wrong. If you've got a light-medium skintone, 'Tank Taupe' is the one for carving out some cheekbones with a little make-up trickery. Apply a little at a time, lightly, buffing away to avoid any obvious brown smudges - not attractive!

Pretty Mistakes - 'Pretty Mistakes' are what happen when Susan (the lady behind 'Darling Girl' makes a bit of a slip when mixing eyeshadows and a happy accident is created. Pretty shades are popped into jars which you can snap up pretty cheap. You don't know what shade you'll get, but you can write in the notes anything you really don't fancy (no yellows for me, please!)

All in all some beautiful colours! I'm just waiting for some free time so they can actually get some use!

Which shades catch your eye? What are your favourite Darling Girl colours?
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Friday, 10 October 2014

#Alprotops Day 3 - Healthy Pizza Dough with Just 2 Ingredients!

A while ago, one of my Mum's friends shared her secret to perfect pizza dough - a mix so simple, so basic, that we were both a little doubtful. However, after giving it a go it became our favourite way to make the most beautiful, light pizza dough - plus it's utterly fool proof!

[ Beats takeaway pizza any day! ]

All you need to do is mix plain yogurt (I used Alpro's) and flour into a 'dry' dough (enough flex to move, dry enough not to be sticky), roll or stretch it out, cover with your favourite toppings and cook! As a guide, I cook mine for about twenty minutes because I like it just a tad well done.

No salt, no oil, no bullshit - possibly the healthiest pizza going...]

Pizzas are a great way to use up things which just aren't going to get eaten otherwise - I used some tiny little peppers, the last of a block of feta, the remnants of a can of chopped tomatoes, mushrooms and a bit of onion, all topped with strong cheddar and mixed herbs. Lovely!

[ Do you SEE that super light, fluffy base?! DO YOU?! ]

Pizzas are also ace to make with kids, they love choosing their own toppings and making silly pictures (so do I, but hey...) plus these guys are a much better option than store bought or takeaway pizzas anyway! Also ideal for cooking with the other half before settling down to watch Netflix, making in advance and freezing or just a change to your usual butties at lunch time.

 Oh yogurt, thank you for making pizzas even better.

Have you tried this way to make pizza bases before? What's your favourite topping?

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Monday, 6 October 2014

#AlproTops Day 1 - Vanilla Yogurt Scones

This week I'll be taking part in the #alprotops challenge - which is basically to see how creative you can get with what you scatter over your alpro yogurt at breakfast. I thought I'd take a little diversion off script this week, as yogurt shouldn't be pigeon holed as a breakfast food - it's actually pretty versatile!

I decided to make scones using yogurt, as I actually prefer them made this way - they tend to be less dry, flavoursome and it's an ideal way to use yogurt that's a bit past its best. You can use any flavour yogurt you like - I've had them with plain yogurt, strawberry, peach and now vanilla and they've all been lovely. 

The recipe I used was from BBC 'Good Food Guide', generally the recipes on there are ace and it's actually my 'go to' site when I fancy something I don't already have a recipe for. The comments below the recipes are really useful too! As you can see, yogurt scones don't call for anything fancy. I used vanilla yogurt and also a good dash of vanilla essence, it makes the scones smell diviiine, works well with jam and sure beats plain scones!

I'm a sucker for sultanas in anything cakey, so I launched a handful in. You could also use glacé cherries, candied peel, dried berries...

After fifteen minutes in the oven, they're a gorgeous, golden, glossy brown - just waiting to be sliced in half and smothered in butter or strawberry jam. Ideal either served up for afternoon tea on a fancy plate, or wrapped in foil and thrown in your bag for a treat at work.

You just can't knock a good scone, can you?

Yogurts received for PR purposes. All opinions/ words 100% my own and 100% honest, as always!

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Bathory Bath Salts

Nothing can be quite as relaxing as a good, long soak in a steaming hot bath at the end of a long day. Sometimes it's a necessity to survive, I swear...

The clever people at The Bathory have come up with a pretty inventive way to make sure that in that sacred 'me' time, you're getting just exactly what you need. How? By allowing you to go all mad scientist and come up with your own blend of oils which they'll mix up into your own custom bath salts. Ace! So how do you pick?

First, choose your salt mix (detox, soothe or bask), then three oils (out of ten), then place your order and let The Bathory do some wizardry, blending it up and sending it on its way to you. I must say, they're pretty quick on this whole process, especially considering they're made to order! My salts arrived just a couple days after it must have pinged up on their system - impressive.

I chose a detox base with lemon, bergamot and eucalyptus oils. The oils are three of my favourite scents and I'm happy to report that they work b-e-a-uuutifully together! The salts come in a weighty, violet glass jar with a modern design which wouldn't look out of place either re-used in your Dad's garage to store his pens or in a teenage girl's bedroom keeping her make-up brushes tidy (just like the leaflet suggests!) I love designs which transcend both age and gender - seriously refreshing.

Now you've got your salts, simply pour your desired amount into your long awaited bath (1/3 a jar is perfect by my judgement), swirl the water about, clamber in and enjoy the soak! 

All in all, an ace product for when you fancy a bath with a bit of ooomph - the customisation, the beautiful scents, the lovely (reusable) packaging, the fabulous bath...However, at £18 a jar, you're best saving these salts for when you want something a bit special - after all, you'll only get a max of 3 baths out of it!

, Available from - The Bathory

Priced at - £18 for 200g product

Do you use bath salts? Which oils would you pick?

PR sample - all opinions/ words 100% my own and 100% honest, as always!

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