Archive for the ‘Illamasqua’ Category
I am going on holiday to Marrakech soon. It will be 7 days in the (here’s hoping for) scorching north African sun, and I am looking forward to getting my first sun tan in almost 18 months.
One thing I am determined to do is to minimise on my packing with make-up and beauty products for two main reasons: I will be flying by no-frills airline Easyjet who are notoriously difficult with luggage dimensons and weights (total size includes wheels and handles for crying out loud!). Also I want to leave enough room for any potential purchases I will find difficult to resist from the souqs.
I took a heaving bag of make-up on my last getaway and shamefully I didn’t even use two-thirds of the contents. What is it about going away that sends us into a panic that we might need several palettes and lipsticks? It’s a holiday, not a fashion shoot!
So here are the essentials I’ve whittled down to:
- Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara – my current favourite mascara (not photographed)
- Illamasqua’s Precision Liner in Abyss
- Illamasqua’s Skin Base (12)
- MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (NW35)
- L’Occitane’s Sublime Beauty Cream – BB Cream in Medium*
- GOSH BB Cream in Warm Beige
- Bourjois cream blusher in Sweet Cherry (04)*
- Nars cream blusher in Maui
- Avon Supershock Gel Liner in black
- Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose and Mightiest Marschino*
- Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush (005)
- Smashbox Megatint in Punch*
- Bourjois 3D Effet lip glosses in Brun Exotic and Brun Rosé*
- Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Icon and Empress
- Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm* – doubles up as a primer
- Liz Earle Sheer Gold Shimmer
I have purposely avoided products which need brushes as well as powders, and subsequently I am leaving out the eyeshadows because frankly I can’t be bothered with all that faffing around.
Bourjois’s new collection of cream blushers are not until 15th May but you can read a review and see swatches by Leanne of Do Not Refreeze. Light and slim in packaging, these are perfect for travelling so I’m popping one in the bag.
I am also looking forward to putting L’Occitane’s new BB Cream through its paces and I will be posting a review on it.
All of these fit nicely in my relatively small Bourjois make-up bag*. Honestly my make-up bag before was hand bag size!
Is there anything else I should take? I know I’ve overdone it with the lipwear but the trouble is, I don’t know which ones I will wear (depending on how I feel at the time) so I’m taking a few. Madness. I would love to know if you try to downsize your make-up when you go away or if you take more than what I am packing.
On a separate note, if you’ve been to Marrakech, please let me know your recommendations about what hidden gems I should visit or try. One thing that is an absolute must is a hammam and massage and picking up some argan oil. Can’t wait!
That’s how the song goes…here’s hoping I haven’t jinxed things with any imminent showers. Any way!
Today I want to share two nail polishes from Illamasqua. First up is Raindrops, a sheer light grey polish with a jelly finish. It dries to a beautiful smooth finish and has fine white irridiscent specks.
There is also a pink version, a cool light pink. Interestingly I only needed two coats of Pink Raindrops whereas for total opacity with Raindrops it was 3-4 coats as that one is very sheer.
They are very soft, dainty shades – completely off track from the unconventionality of Illamasqua but cleverly executed and a tempting invitation to lure those normally afraid to try this outspoken brand.
Raindrops and Pink Raindrops are available from www.illamasqua.com priced at £13.50. There is free delivery on all UK orders too!
A year (or nearly two in my case) feels like a long time but looking back, it’s gone quickly. Those who have been reading Just Nice Things for at least a couple of years will know the obstacle I had to face in 2011, leading me to stop blogging for a while. (Here’s a little reminder of that.)
I have openly talked about the drastic loss of hair I suffered as a side effect of taking harsh medication, and the sadness and distress it caused to see pretty much half my hair fall out. However, I knew it was just a temporary glitch and I was far more concerned with fighting my illness and recovering from that.
I stopped my treatment towards the end of March last year but I still had to be monitored with regular check-ups and tests, and that it takes up to a year for the drugs to leave the body. It’s also when the healing process began.
This February I was given the all clear and discharged. On Valentine’s Day funnily enough. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m back to my usual self and it’s as if the last 18 months never happened.
But back to the point of this post. This time last year, the above picture is how my hair looked – very thin and whispy. I barely recognise myself when a year prior to this, I looked completely different – I had a huge crop of hair!
Georgia had to cut my hair much shorter to regain its strength and to allow it to grow back healthy so it was like taking a step back to go forward. I wasn’t happy when I had been wanting to grow my hair longer but I agreed with Georgia that this was the way forward.
Yesterday I popped along to The Chapel and four hours later, I left looking like this:
Now I’ve had a little booster with some human hair extensions by Racoon but only in the sides as that’s where my hair is the weakest. I first tried them in the new year and decided I wanted to keep them (expertly done by Billie).
There is actually a logical explanation behind this and it’s not for vanity alone. Billie advised that by having some extensions added for fullness, they would also take the stress and pressure off my real hair at the sides from when I use straighteners. Think about it – when you run straighteners through your hair, you are pulling at it. My hair at the sides always seems to be particularly weak as a result of such actions.
After two months of wearing extensions, when they were removed we noticed a difference – the hair looked stronger. I have continuously used straighteners but running them over the extensions has meant they have guarded my real hair from damage.
Some friends have told me they aren’t keen on extensions as they ruin real hair. Not if they are applied correctly. These were attached by glue about an inch from the roots, so the new hair has room to grow and become strong and the extensions are completely separate from inflicting any potential damage. I also didn’t experience any hair loss, no headaches and after a day, I forgot they were there.
Although the extensions have been matched perfectly with my real hair, the only giveaway is they are longer in length (so I’ve cheated a bit!) but could you tell if I hadn’t made the revelation?
My real hair has been growing back quickly too; the back alone is sprouting new, healthy hair which I am so chuffed about. I try to use castor oil whenever I can as that stops hair breaking and promotes growth but my use of it is now pretty sporadic. My health bouncing back is most likely the main source of it all.
The extensions are something I don’t intend to keep forever, but they are very addictive and has made managing my hair so much easier. The important thing here is they are doing something positive to my real hair so it feels like a treatment at the same time (albeit an expensive one!)
It is a welcome change to find a salon which is concerned about progressing forward with the needs you may have, and the girls at The Chapel have done exactly this for the last two years with me. They’ve already got ideas in their heads about what they’re going to do to my hair in the summer and for Christmas and do you know what? I can’t wait.
If you’re wondering what products I used here, they are: Illamasqua Skin Base in number 12, NARS blusher in Taj Mahal (face), Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in On And On Bronze, Urban Decay’s Smoked palette, Bourjois’s Eyeshadow pot in number 16, Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express mascara (eyes), and MAC’s Chilli lipstick with Illamasqua’s lip gloss in Drag.
Ring the alarm, Illamasqua’s got a new collection for spring 2013 and if you know Illamasqua its latest campaign is nothing short of sending a message to the beauty industry.
Cleverly titled I’mperfection, the play-on words signifies how we ought to embrace our so-called flaws and not cover up our true beauty just because it is dictated by and digitally manipulated in the magazines we flick through. When we are so concerned in trying to reach unachievable standards of beauty, we miss sight of what makes each of us unique.
So tonight Soho played host to the unveiling of I’mperfection. It’s a small yet perfectly formed assortment and a quintet of new nail colours with a speckled finish is the star attraction. Just like a bird’s egg.
Want to see?
This is Fragile, a pastel baby blue with black glitter mimicking the speckles. Also in the nest is Mottle (green), Freckle (nude), Speckle (lilac) and Scare (pink), each one priced at £14.50. The bad news these are all limited edition.
I’ll stop with the waffling and let the pictures do the talking. After all that’s what everyone really wants to see.
I’mperfection is made up of the 5 nail colours, 2 new blusher duos (Beg & Bronzerella and Katie & Ambition), a pink lipstick (Immodest), an epic green lipgloss and an all-new Blush Up Brush angled to apply blusher under the cheekbone perfectly.
I’m off to play with a few goodies from I’mperfection and I’ll let you know how I get on. In the mean time you may be interested to know the collection will be available from 31st January at www.illamasqua.com and Illamasqua counters nationwide.