Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My Saturday Saviour - Maybelline Express Finish Lacquer

On Saturday I went to a big family gathering to celebrate an 80th Birthday, I'd worked late on Friday night and slept through my alarm on Saturday morning, nightmare situation!

As I rushed around showering/blow drying/straightening etc etc I looked down at my nails, my nail polish was chipped and looked less than presentable.

I thought I had two choices -

Go Bare - Not an attractive option, I really can't abide bare nails.
Waste 30 Minutes - After the 1st and 2nd coat, plus drying time, I couldn't really afford it.

I had resigned myself to bare nails when I noticed this little gem hiding at the back of my polish draw -


I don't remember buying this but I somehow have the same shade in both 60 seconds & 40 seconds...worrying!

"From Wet To Set in 40 Seconds!"

I'm usually cautious of quick set products, as I find they always need two or three coats to do the trick. I was proven wrong with express finish!

It took just one coat to cover the nail and the brush is so BIG! This made application so quick and easy. The formulation is really good, creamy and left a good finish.

This nail varnish does exactly what It says on the bottle, by the time I had finished painting my right hand, my left was dry. It stayed put and didn't smudge or mark. It even stayed flawless after i'd pulled on a pair of tights in a hurry.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of this on my nails, I've already swapped to Barry M in Grey :) BUT it looked like I had spent 40 minutes, not 40 seconds, on my nails!

I googled the price of this and It comes out at around £3-4 for the bottle, a bargain!

So this is my Saturday Saviour, hope you're having a good week.

Laura xxx

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Winter Essentials

It's absolutly tipping it down outside today, the full force of winter weather is upon us, blahh.

Autumn & Winter are my favourite seasons, I love autumnal colours and cosy winter fashion!

On the other hand, the majority of Autumn and Winter weather is TERRIBLE. Even the white gold that is snow really does annoy me when it holds me up and then turns to grey sludge...yuck.

Everybody needs to alter their beauty routine around this time of year, and these are my absolute essentials to take me through to spring!


This has to be No.1 on my list. I think it's important to moisturise throughout the year, but I tend to switch it up to a richer moisturiser around this time of year. I've been using Soap & Glory Flirtigo Moisturiser over the summer, you apply the product by spraying it over you so it's quick and easy. I prefer to use a richer product in winter, choosing body butters :) I get drier skin in winter so they're perfect. I'm currently using Boots Almond & Pistachio Body Butter that I got as a present but I really like it.

I've also added a hand cream to my routine, I'm pretty lazy with this in the summer but my hands really suffer in the cold so I'm using another Boots product, Lemon, Rosemary & Walnut ,It smells good and it leaves my hands soft.


Your hair suffers just as much in winter as it does in the summer sun. We're all careful to protect our hair from holiday sun, but wind and central heating have a similar negative effect.
I treat myself to a hair mask once a week (Umberto Giannini Idulgent Beauty Moisture Mask) and leave it for as long as i'm showering, It leaves my hair feeling really nice.


Dry lips are not sexy! I'm prone to getting dry lips so I take extra care to keep them moisturised, I'm a carmex addict! I use Vaseline Rosy Lips too give me a kissable lip :) The Hello Kitty lipbalm is from H&M, not the most moisturising balm in the world, but it smells good enough to eat!


Autumn & Winter means darker colours :) I'm currently addicted to Barry M Nail Paint in Navy & Grey such a nice change from my usual pink/red pallette!

The Navy is my favourite favourite :)


A Hat!!

Such I lifesaver in the winter for my hair, I always carry one with me in the winter in case I get caught in the wind and rain.

I love my red beanie, I bought it from Topshop about 3 Years ago and It's still my favourite, apologies for the lack of modelling on the red hat front! My hair is all up in a scruff and I looked like a matchstick...

So these are my winter essentials! What are yours?

Laura xxx

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Product Rave - Max Factor Second Skin Foundation

I have recently sung the praises of Nars Sheer Glow Foundation on here , even adding a Hallelujah!


This may have been slightly premature...



I was interested to see if this foundation could equal (or even better) Nars and boy has it done so!
I got mine from Boots for £9.99 (currently on offer, RRP £13.99) so a point goes to Max Factor for sheer value for money, Nars Sheer Glow comes in at a pricey £29.00.

So the colour range is smaller, and you don't get the choice of warm or cool tones to your foundation like the Nars range, but I found a really good match for me, 040 Creamy Ivory. Yes I'm a pale pauline at the moment! (I'm Mont Blanc in the Nars!) Max Factor does this foundation in five different shades which appear to cover a wide spectrum of skin tone. BUT I'm going to give this point to Nars, as their colour range cannot be topped.


I'd previously been using MAC Studio Sculpt in NW15 and I literally felt like it was getting to the point where it was suffocating my skin. I have pretty good skin, so that amount of product was just not needed! Sheer Glow was the initial revelation and Second Skin has just carried it on. I apply this with my 190 Flat Foundation Brush and I only need a pea size amount on my brush, it does my whole face! It has amazing coverage without feeling like i'm wearing any product at all, major bonus. It dries to such a wonderful finish too, my skin feels touchable, not greasy like the SS.

With a little Studio Sculpt Concealer under my eyes and on the sides of my nose, I look airbrushed.

I'm tempted to give this product the ultimate accolade, is it the best foundation i've ever used? Possibly!

I will add this though, a bit of MSF Natural over this is essential for me, I like to be dewy but after a few hours I teeter on the edge of looking oily if I go it alone with the foundation if i'm rushing around.

I still adore Nars Sheer Glow, it's my perfect shade and it has flawless application, but can I really justify the £29 price tag when I've found a serious competitor for a tenner??

What's the best foundation you've ever used??

Laura xxx

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

thisiscaz giveaway!

I really enjoy reading thisiscaz's blog and she's having a giveaway, so I thought i'd just spread the good news!!

Includes some lovely prizes :)

Laura xxx

You Make Me Blush...

I put this product as one of my most definate IN things on Sunday and I just wanted to give it a post all of its own.

E.L.F Mineral Blush in Coral

Winter is upon us and I've become bored of my usual pink blushers. I wanted something that would be a bit more subtle but still give me a healthy glow.

I took a bit of a punt of this blusher and bought it on a whim, but I have worn it everyday since! It's natural, light and is a lovely hue of peachy coral. My perfect autumn blusher, and at £3.50 who can argue!

I couldn't get any pictures up of me wearing it as my camera has no battery, its late at night and I need my sleep :)


p.s I LOVE my new pink owl background, could you get more perfect than that?!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday In & Out

I have been rediculously busy this week, work has kept me busy and I had a few interesting things go on that I'll keep you updated on if it goes well!

Basically I'm pushed for blog time in the next weeks, but I'll do my best to keep everything ticking over!


- Green Tea.
I feel so much better swapping my usual Diet Coke for this, I feel like I have more energy and my skin looks more radiant, thumbs up all around!
- X Factor .
It's official, I'm hooked. It's television crack.
- Benefit Her Glossiness in Didn't Hear It From Me
I've had this for ages but I've started to use this more and more, it's the right amount of pale for me and it smells like sweeties, bliss.
- ELF Mineral Blush in Coral.
I only got this in the post on Thursday but I've worn it everyday since, It's lovely. I also love the super quick shipping by ELF, I've never waited more than a day for my parcel.
- Twitter
I'm becoming a bit addicted! Follow me haha!! www.twitter.com/thebeautyspark

- Spillages.
Bare with me on this one! My antibacterial hand gel leaked in my beautiful Guess Handbag, so sad. The Silk is all stained now.
- Sore Feet.
I've been on my feet all week and i'm constanly running around at work, so my feet have been taking a beating. I need a pedicure and a foot spa, stat!
- Diet Coke
I think my Diet Coke consumption was more out of habit rather than need. Now that i'm making a conscious effort to swap to a better alternative I don't really want it anymore.
- Beautiful Coloured Eyeshadows = I will NEVER wear them.
I have an array of bright and beautiful eyeshadows that sit redundant in my drawers. I always reach for the Bronze and the Shroom of the eyeshadow world. I need somewhere to wear them!! 


I want to do a requested post for my next post, so tell me what you want to see below, if it's a Tutorial/FOTD/Review etc. tell me! I'd love to hear from you!

Hope you all had a great weekend,

Laura xxxx

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

So Long Diet Coke...

I don't have many vices in life, I don't smoke, I don't take drugs and I can easily go without a drink. Diet Coke is my one true vice!


I'm becoming more and more aware how much of this stuff I actually drink, I can't say I have it every day but if its on offer, I'll probably drink it.

I'm trying to cut fizzy drinks out of my diet, because they make me feel bloated and after the buzz has worn off I just feel rubbish. Definate thumbs down.

I'm also worried that drinking Diet Coke is going to affect my teeth. I think it's so important to look after your teeth, have you seen the coin put in coke trick? Scary.


I went to Waitrose this evening and instead of putting a bottle of Diet Coke in my basket, I went straight to the Tea and chose some Green Tea :). Waitrose have a good selection of Tea, so many to choose from!

I chose Clipper Green Tea -

I went with the original no fuss one, but you can get it with Lemon, Jasmine etc.

I decided upon Green Tea because I went to Wagamama's on Thursday for lunch and you get unlimited Green Tea with your meal, and It reminded me how much I like it :)

So now when I feel the urge to reach for the Diet Coke I'll hopefully pop one of these into a cup and go for the this!

I had my first real test tonight when I went to McDonalds drive thru (I know tut tut!) to get a very shoddy dinner. I ordered water with my meal which I've never done before, but I honestly felt better about myself for doing it, despite the Big Mac Meal sitting infront of me!


What is your main vice??
Have you ever battled the Diet Coke demon before, how did you do it?!

Tell me below :)

Love Laura xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hallelujah! Nars Sheer Glow

I went to the Nars counter in Selfridges on Thursday and I had the most wonderful experience. I was going to tack this on the end of my previous post but I want to give it it's own space!

I've been interested in the Sheer Glow Foundation for a while now, as I've been searching for a light, dewy foundation. I'm growing sick of MAC Studio Sculpt, it feels too heavy for my skin as I simply don't need that much coverage, my skin needs to breath!

The beauty consultant couldn't have been nicer when I visited the counter - yes I know it's there job, but she was really helpful and pleasant.

I've never used a Nars foundation before so I asked to be colour matched. She matched it EXACTLY to my skin, It's perfect! My shade is Mont Blanc (winter pale!).

Yes I've read the hype on this and I will admit thats what caught my attention in the first place but I wasn't prepared to comment on it before i'd properly tested it.

I have to add one negative to this post though! When I actually went to purchase it the consultant searched high and low but couldn't see any left! But she was more than helpful writing me all of my information and giving me her name and the number of the counter if I wanted to ring up and reserve one.

I did think about purchasing this off the Nars website, but with the delivery cost I'd rather go and pick it up myself.

I'm going to run in if I get a chance tomorrow and pick it up as I can't wait to start using it :).


I'm thinking of doing a feedback blog next so I can see what everybody thinks of my efforts so far and what you'd like to see etc. Would that be ok??

Lots of Love,

Laura xxx

p.s 32 followers, yaaay! Thank you everybody :) My next goal is 50, spread the word, love you all! xxx

Friday, 9 October 2009

Shopping!! MAC/Drugstore/Topshop/Muji

Ok, so this might be a tad generic on the MAC side, I have literally seen these products on so many youtuber/bloggers recent posts BUT I thought i'd show you what I bought when I went shopping this Thursday.

I had such a great day, we had such a great catch up, and just as we were having lunch she got a phone call to say she has an interview for a new job in the uk which would be so amazing!

In the end I didn't buy too much, and I couldn't see ANYTHING clothing wise which caught my eye, but then I wasn't really looking that hard.


Firstly I went to the MAC store in Birmingham and it was rediculous, everything was sold out, the staff were, not suprisingly, unhelpful and everything in the store just looked grubby and used. I used to go to this store regularly and I was at how it had gone downhill, thumbs down!!


I went over to the MAC counter in Selfridges and I recieved excellent service, I got everything on my list and I was asked by two very helpful MA's if I was ok and needed help, I know MAC has a less than squeaky clean record with customer service but I really think they deserve a mention, the service was quick, polite and nobody tried to hound me with suggestions whilst I was browsing. Very Impressed :)

I was quite restrained in the end, and ended up with a quite modest bag of products:
(top picture l-r)

  • Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask

  • Greasepaint Shade Stick

  • Feline Kohl Power

  • Bare Study Paint Pot

I haven't bought anything from the last few collections that MAC have bought out, as nothing has really grabbed me, but after losing my eyeliner in a taxi a few weeks previous, I thought I was justified in treating myself to a few bits from the Style Black/DSquared collections.

I'm yet to try to try the thermal mask, but I'm excited to, maybe tomorrow night!? Feline Kohl Power is lovely; creamy, fiercely pigmented and stays on well! I've only played around with Greasepaint on the back of my hand but I can't wait to do a smokey eye with it and finally Bare Study was my Wishlist Paint Pot and I love it! I've been using Rubenesque as my daytime PP and I've been getting bored of the golden tone it gives all of my neutral shadows, so i'm hoping Bare Study will give me a base to really showcase my lighter shadows.


Muji candles are my favourite candles, I've had my raspberry and papaya candle for so long now and its still as fragrant as when I bought it. I got the Maderin and Cinnamon candle which is winter in a candle! I can't wait to light this warm spicy mix.

I went into Topshop and whilst most of the clothes didn't inspire me much I picked up these two things,
the owl earrings are so cute, I wore them tonight to go the cinema (Fame is amazingly cheesy by the way) and the ring is amazing, I got it home and realised that its a bit too big, but it'll be ok on my middle finger aslong as I keep an eye on it!

I only picked up two things from Superdrug, Barry M Lipgloss in No4 and L'Oreal Studio Secrets Primer. My mini review/first impressions are -

Barry M Lipgloss - I love the smell (Petits Filous!) and i've raved about the general formulation of these before but it its scarily pale, its basically 101 lip paint pale, so i'm going to have to wear this with something more vibrant underneath for it to work for me.

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Primer - for the price (£12.99) this thing is tiny, But I've really wanted to try this for a long time so I got it. I used it tonight before I went out and I have to say it is a really good primer, I could see the difference it made right away, the consistancy is bizarre but overall I like it!

So that's everything!

Have a good weekend guys and tell me what you think!



I want a blusher that will bring me into winter a bit more, I'm bored of really bright pinks and want something a bit more autumnal, suggestions in the comments below please!!

Laura xxx

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

In & Out

It's late and I'm tired and a wee bit stressed but In & Out's are my therapy!


  • No work tomorrow! I'm meeting up with one of my very best friends as she's over in England for work (She lives in Ireland), we're doing lunch and going shopping!
  • Finding the perfect pair of boots, they're on order and should be here soon :)
  • Finding my love for lipstick again, I'm generally a gloss or lipbalm person, so rediscovering the joys of lipstick as been wonderful!
  • Wrapping up in lots of lovely layers, cosy and fashionable!

  • The bumper has fallen off my car after a small incident with a kerb, so needs to be fixed!
  • Being stressed out about work
  • Reduced Daylight Hours, it feels like everything has to be done so much quicker, and who wants to leave work in the cold and the dark, thumbs down!
  • Fake Tan - It's winter, whose supposed to be tanned anyway! I'm embracing my natural skin tone (pale pale pale) and saving time.
What are you In & Outs?? Let me know :)

Quick mention to my supercat, Tara. I had nasty scare with her this week after finding a lump on her neck, after being told it didn't look good, she came out fighting from the biopsy and it was only a giant cyst. (err!)
So she will live to fight another grumpy, vicious, crazy day!!!


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Halloween Special FX!

Beware: Not for the faint hearted!

I haven't felt like I've done a really creative blog for a while now, so I again roped in my sister to do some spooky special fx make up!

I did this last year for my own Halloween costume, so I'll include the pictures of my own make up to show you too! This is going to be a picture heavy blog!

For this make up I used -

  1. Special FX Wax
  2. Cake Blood/Fake Blood
  3. Purple Face Paint
  4. Foundation
  5. Brown Eyeshadow
  6. Paint Brush
  7. Vaseline
You can really improvise with most things to get the desired effect, I experimented with many different things to get the right look!!!

I did a head wound, black eye and cut throat on my sister.

Head Wound

I did this by warming up the wax on the heel of my hand and then moulding it into a mound on the forehead, then made an indent in the wax and built up the sides to create the "hole".
The I took some foundation and just added some to wax to blend it to the skin, then took some cake blood on a paint brush and stippled it into the hole and around the area. The I finished it with touches of brown eyeshadow in and around the wound to make it look dirty, add a touch of fake liquid blood and you have a lovely gun shot/head wound!

Black Eye

This isn't an excellent picture of the eye but it is the most simple of all three to achieve if you're not confident working with the fx wax. I started by adding concealer to the whole area then started from a base of yellow and brown eyeshadow to build up the bruised look. Then I added a darker brown/purple and blue into the inner corner of the eye and worked it outward, I also put some cake blood on the lower lash line. I stippled all of the colours on until they looked suitably bruise like, then added a sheen of vaseline to give it that sore/swollen look.

Cut Throat

Using the same principle as the head wound, I layed a thinner layer of wax over the neck and using a  paint brush, scored out an incision in the wax and added cake blood into it, then I took the purple face paint and brown eyeshadow to give the wound some depth. I finished this with a touch of fake blood in the wound to give it a more gory appearance.

Ignore the messy bedside table!

You can go as dramatic as you want on all three of these injuries, make the slit bigger, make the bruise large and add as much fake blood as you want!

As promised here is my halloween make up from last year, with a more dramatic black eye.

you really can extend the bruising as much as you want.

My complete Halloween look last year.

I have a cut throat underneath there but you can't see!!
It's very similar to the one I've shown you above.

I don't have any grand plans for Halloween this year so they'll be no dressing up for me.

Do you have any plans for Halloween and will you be going all out or staying in??

I'll be back with a less morbid post tomorrow!

Laura xxx

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Lazy Sunday Post

Good Afternoon :)

I'm having a nice relaxing Sunday, I went out for Sunday lunch and I'm now just chilling out for a wee while until I go and drive over to see my Dad this evening, which will probably involve more eating, I'm not sure I can manage it!

I'm meeting up with one of my very best friends on Thursday as she's over from Dublin for a while so we're going to meet up and do lunch and shopping, i'm rediculously excited!

With this in mind, I'm definatly going to go into MAC and pick up a few things which I've been meaning to get for ages, and maybe treat myself to something from the new collections?

I'm also dying to get a new winter coat, I can feel the cold weather creeping in and nothing would please me more than a nice cosy coat!

I'm thinking of doing a Halloween make up post, including some special fx make up so I might do that tonight and try and post tomorrow??

I hope you've had a nice relaxing Sunday,

Laura xxx

p.s I'm in love with my nails today, george nail varnish in streamer, I salute you!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Top 5 MAC Eyeshadows

I've come over all High Fidelity so its my top five favourite MAC eyeshadows of the moment. I'm not going to lie, the majority of my eyeshadows are MAC so it would have probably ended up as a top 5 MAC anyway!!

Just from that picture you can see that is a pretty neutral pallette. But these are my favourite ones!! I've bought all of the crazy colours (hello electric eel) and they do mostly sit in my pallette.

From the bottom and going clockwise:

Grand Entrance
Strike A Pose

A Close Up - Phloof has been whited out a bit by the camera!

Phloof -

This is my ultimate favourite of the moment (It's in my September Favourites!) I've been using this over either Girl Friendly or Rubenesque PP for work a lot lately as it brightens up my face when i'm looking tired.

Woodwinked -

Sable and Woodwinked look very similar in these pictures but on the skin Woodwinked is much warmer, I love this all over the lid for a more bronze look.

Grand Entrance -

My ultimate favourite from the Starflash/Love That Look collection even though I bought nearly all of them! Its just amazing for a quite wash of subtle colour and for making me look like I've made the effort even if i've had 2 minutes, the formulation of these is just so easy to work with as well.

Sable -

Sable is my favourite crease colour, its a wearable shadow that adds effortless depth to my look, I won't ever get bored of this!

Strike A Pose -

Such an amazing rich colour, I love just using this on my lower lash line for a bit of a pop and I think this is perfect over Moss Pit Paint Pot, it reminds me of a peacock!

Tell me what yours are!

Hope you're having a great weekend,

Laura xxx
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