Monday, 27 February 2012

A pencil case full of tools...

Barry M's Wink Marker Pen, £4.59

My tactic for putting on liquid eyeliner is pretty much covering my whole eye lid, then shaping my flick with cotton buds. Until now that is. Introducing to you, a new liquid eyeliner from my good ol' pals, Barry M and for under a fiver, who could resist eh?
It took me just one time to put a strip of black on my lid with this product, no smudges, no mistakes and finally, no cotton buds!
It is literally like drawing on paper with a marker pen, I felt so much more in control than I have done with other eye liners - usually, it can get really messy!
The pen can create a thick or thin line across the top of your eye, depending on the angle at which you hold it. And, whether you fancy Winehouse style, or a discrete flick, both are easy to do.
The liquid dries fast, although, you may have to go over it once or twice, depending on how dark and bold you want your eye decor.
Quick tip when using the pen: when dry, lightly dap blusher over it to secure the liquid in position and stop it printing on the crease of your eye when you blink. This seems to be a common problem when it comes to both mascara and liquid eyeliner but, I've found that faintly coating it with a light layer of blush/powder locks the strip of black in place.
I absolutely love this product. It does what the name says: marker pen. I felt like I've grabbed one of my arty pens from the box and painting a perfect line on my eye.
Being easy to apply, quick drying and long lasting, this is a must have for your make up bag.
Watch out ladies, you'll be winking at every opportunity!

Until next time, happy pampering.

Tweeps, follow me:!/yasminduffin

Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Valentine Nail Makeover

I love all things pink, glittery and with hearts on.

So when February 14 is approaching, it is the perfect excuse to devote a full hour of my heart to my tips.
And ladies, this year, I've gone all out!
Give me pink, give me hearts and give me glitter - my nails look like as cute as candy.
As a student, I usually head towards the more 'bank friendly' brands but this time I've splashed out a little: O.P.I. Most nail bars use them and girls, I can see why!
Granted, I used my good ol' trusted friend Barry M as my pale pink undercoat - you all should know by now I can rely on them.
Then out came the hearts. I have never decorated my nails with anything other than glitter before, so I was very excited. Obviously as a nail sequin virgin and a self confessed perfectionist, I was determined to get my nails looking spot on this V Day.
Originally, I did try the brush to put the sequins on but failed miserably - the solution was far too thick and at a push I would get one heart stuck on my nail.
Tip: use a cotton bud to stick each heart on individually. It worked a treat.
As my nails have been ruined by those god awful acrylics, they are currently in the process of growing, so I could fit approximately 5 hearts on my thumb and 2-4 on the rest of my nails, depending on the size. Note that I didn't intend to cover my whole nail in hearts, although, come to think of it, this idea has definite potential and may be a follow up blog.
So, my hearts were set precisely in place and looked, although I say it myself, b-e-a-u-tiful.
But my tips wouldn't be complete without a layer of glitter - pink glitter, ofcourse, to keep up the romance.
Also, the layer on top secured the hearts in place - so if, you're not a big fan of glitter then a clear topcoat would do the job just as well.
And viola!
My nails were ready for love.
I love them, I love them, I love them! And, I couldn't stop showing them off to anyone and everyone I saw - even the boys appreciated just how fabulous they looked!
Ok Ok, so a few of the hearts fell off after a day but they weren't hard to replace. Anyway, I always think that things like this should be for special occasions anyway! Yes, make an effort with your nails all the time but adding that extra special something - for that extra special someone - should only happen occasionally...because then people notice and compliment you! And I'm never one to shy away from a compliment!
So ladies, whether you rate or hate Valentine's Day, I would definitely recommend spending a pamper sesh on your nails this February. If you're single, lur those men in with your eye catching nails. And if you're Facebook relationship status is 'in a relationship', then girlfriend, decorate those tips and show your fella exactly what he's working with!
 Each O.P.I nail polish is selling at £9. I'm not usually a big spender when it comes to nail paints but girlies, this is a must have. Splash the cash and treat yourself, trust me, it is so worth it!
(Hearts) Nicole by O.P.I 'Step to the beat of my heart'
(Glitter) Nicole by O.P.I 'Pink, I love him'


Until next time, happy pampering.

Tweeps, follow me:!/yasminduffin
Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

'Long lasting' nail polish...pfft!

"Pleeeeease find me a nail polish that doesn't chip"

When I found this comment on my Facebook from galpal Vicky, I knew she needed my help. And only one thing came to mind - experiment!
So, I did just that.
Out came my nail varnish bag and from there came five different nail varnishes.

Left hand, with base coat
As Valentine's Day is looming, I thought it only appropriate to paint my nails with a variety or pink shades and, me being me, I had plenty to choose from. Furthermore, I decided to see whether having a protecting undercoat actually does keep the polish on for longer. Why not eh, may as well kill two birds with one stone.
Right hand - Protecting undercoat
Left hand - No protecting undercoat

I made sure that each product I chose was both well known and affordable.

Right hand, without base coat
The order goes as follows (from thumb to baby finger): 1. (Thumb) Rimmel PRO, 'keep colour fresh and vibrant for up to 10 days'
2. 17, 'Lasting Fix'
3. Miss Sporty, '1 minute quick dry'
4. Barry M Nail Paint, 'long lasting'
5. (Baby finger) Rimmel, '60 Seconds Quick Dry'

17, chipped after one day

Ok, so fair enough not all of them promote themselves as 'long lasting', but it's kind of an unwritten rule that nail varnishes should last long enough to show them off.

17 'Lasting Fix' was first to go. And when I say first to go, I mean literally. My paint on my tips had already started chipping the next day. After speaking to my friends, it seems that 17 doesn't have that many fans anyway and I can see why.
My two forefingers looked horrible - especially next to the other nicely painted nails.
And, I don't know about you but, I really don't like wearing chipped polish but, for the sake of the experiment I was determined to leave it a week.
Yes yes, I know it is common for nail varnish on that finger to always come off first but c'mon, it took just one night before it started to chip.
And before you think I've been biting and picking away, I'll correct you. I have made such an effort not to fiddle with my nails all week.
But, after daily showers, washing up, a snow ball fight and a week or uni work, not one of my nails has failed to stay completely perfect.
Seven days later and all but one has got nail varnish still one - that one being my right hand baby finger, the non-protected 'Rimmel, '60 Seconds Quick Dry' nail. That said, the protected tip on my left hand is just as bad as the others, proving that having the protecting base really does make a difference.
17 and Miss Sporty have both chipped to nearly half way down.
Rimmel, 'keep colour fresh and vibrant for up to 10 days', lived up to half it's slogan - it only lasted five days but it's still looking pretty good.
And the winner - my personal favourite - Barry M. On my left hand, my Barry M painted nail barely looks touched.
I knew you'd do me proud Barry, you always have and you always will. OK, without the base coat you didn't do quite so well but you are definitely by far a clear winner.
Left hand, after one week

 So, in order from best to worst:
#1: Barry M
#2: Rimmel, '10 days'
#3: Miss Sporty
#4: Rimmel, '60 Seconds'
#5: 17 

Oh and a protecting base layer is a necessity if you want long-lasting colour.

Right hand, after one week
And, ofcourse, the famous 'Sally Hanson, Maximum Growth' does the perfect job to cover your tips before painting them with colour.

Single or taken, why not splash a few pennies on a bottle of Barry M this February? Treat yourself with a pamper session with your best buds this V Day or make your tips look uber sexy for that special someone.
So Vick and, all the other girlies (and some boys) who wish they knew which brand would last longest, I hope I've helped.
I love and always will love: Barry M, it never lets me down!

Until next time, happy pampering.

Tweeps, follow me:!/yasminduffin

Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Acrylic or Au Naturale?

Ready for NYE: Me and Galpal, Kirsty
New Year's Eve - new dress, new accessorise, new hair...

How about new nails?

I'd been growing my nails for nearly three months and they were either breaking or err... I was biting them back down.

God forbid, I was to have NYE photos showing off my 'beautiful' chewed down nails! So off I set - spare of the moment decision - to the manicurist in town.

Last time I got acrylics I swore I would never do it to my natural tips again. So why on earth did I chose to go there again? 
My New Tips
It's not like the movies you know: you go into the nails bar, get a cocktail, get pampered for an hour, chat to the manicurists like they're your best friend and come out thinking you have the most fabulous fingers ever.

I was plonked on a stool and it began.
My hand was grabbed, my fingers were pulled and my nails filed down aggressively - not to mention the constant 'relax your hand, relax your hand', I was receiving from my 'new best friend' doing my nails.

And now they use an electric file? I flinched so much when it caught my skin, I'm can't believe it didn't draw blood.

After my nails were filed down so there was no white left and thinned so much it hurt when you touched them, the acrylics were put on.

No effort was put into this at all - the tips were actually cut wonky before I pointed it out to the 'lovely' man who was applying my tips. 
My New Tips
Although they said to me they had glitter, they failed to point out it was silver and not gold. Like me, you might spot the huge difference between the two, especially when all of my accessorise were gold! But, oh well, I love glitter, so I wasn't complaining too much.
 After what I'd say, was about 15 minutes, my nails were done.
My New Tips
Granted, they looked nice but still, being me, I could spot the imperfections if I looked closely enough.

Definitely not worth the £30 I paid for the 'extra-long lasting' new acrylics.

A week later and they were off. They began to hurt me and the sharp corners were getting in the way. So, after one fell off naturally, the others were picked off one by one - which might I add, felt like my nails were being ripped off my fingers.

My poor nails have been left thin and damaged, I'm not happy!

You can take my written word for it, I will definitely not be getting acrylics ever again. It could have been the dreadful place I got them done but, in my opinion, they are not worth the money.

They might look pretty but so do my home-grown nails, painted my favourite colour, with gold sparkle on top!

Real nails 1, Acrylics 0.

Au naturale all the way baby!

Until next time, happy pampering.

Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Too Faced Double Lip Injection Plumper, £22

Too Faced Double Lip
Injection Plumper
'Too Faced Double Lip Injection Plumper' is like Marmite – you either love it, or you hate it.

I for one absolutely love it!
It’s like Botox but without the painful injection and reoccurring costs.
Oh and it’s not permanent, so you can choose when you want to wear it.
The lip injecting gloss has two ends: one gives the pout up to an extra 20% plump and the other smoothes and repairs any cracks.*
Lips Before
Everything needed to make your lips extremely luscious.
But like everything these days: no pain, no gain.
Well, I wouldn’t say painful exactly. It just tingles. A lot. For about two minutes. Some like it, some don’t.
It’s like plucking your eye brows. I actually like that pain. It’s not like a painful pain but more an irritating pain which lasts for minimal time and you know that you’re going to look amazing when it’s done.

Lips After

The pink end - lip plumper – not only gives your smile volume but also adds colour. In fact, my pout looks so glossy, healthy and pumped after using this, I don’t need to use anything else. The idea is it stimulates the blood to the surface, making them bigger and brighter.
The faint shimmer of glitter gives you that extra sparkle and shine as well.
Totally Kissable!
And let me tell you ladies, your lips look deliciously kissable, believe me!
You can use the other end 24/7, when you’re awake or just before you sleep. The repairing serum really does smoothen out those cracks in your dry lips – something we all suffer with this time of year. Apparently it offers long-term effects, proven by scientific research!* It must be good eh!
Not heard of the brand: ‘Too Faced’ before? Join the many other cosmetic lovers who have only just been introduced this beautiful selection of beauty products.
If you love brands like Benefit then you are sure to love Too Faced.
Unfortunately, it does match their price range.
But at £22, I think that Too Faced has proven, yet again, to invest is best.
You don’t need to carry anything else for your lips other than this double-ended gloss plus it seems to last a long time. I’ve already had mine two months and it barely looks touched.
The tingling sensation that hits when the gloss initially hits the lips is the only thing that could turn customers of the plumper.

Too Faced Double Lip
Injection Plumper

90% of the girls who've borrowed mine love it. The other 10%, along with my boyfriend - who I forced to test my new buy - weren't the biggest fans. I suppose you can't please everyone ey!

Overall rating: 4/5
Until next time, happy pampering.

Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Benefit: ‘day to night look’

Benefit Make Over
So last week, the girls and I went for our very own makeovers at ‘San Francisco’s Beloved Beauty Brand’: BenefitCosmetics.

This was the perfect time to see whether investing is best.
When making the latest additions to my beauty bag, I’ve found myself asking: does breaking into the bank equal quality? Or should I save my pennies and hope for the same perfect products but for a smaller price?
And although my purse tends not to agree, more and more I seem to be investing in cosmetic products and, as I thought, the majority of the time they last longer and look better.
Benefit is the perfect example to support my argument: quality is definitely better than quantity.
The first make over achieved a look that could work during a day at the office and carry on into the night out.
Now girlies, before you do anything – moisturise!
I always moisturise before applying my foundation. I don’t like it when you can ‘see’ that you’re wearing foundation. Do you know what I mean? It makes your skin look crackly and dry. Bleurgh!
Note: I have dry-ish skin, so moisturising is good. If you have more oily skin then seek advice from a professional on a beauty counter to see what suits your skin type best.
‘Triple Performing Moisturiser’, £19.50 – an ‘oil-free facial lotion*’ which locks in water.
After moisturising, I used ‘The Porefessional’, £23.50 – a primer used to ‘minimize the appearance of pores*’ and stops oils coming through, thus stopping that gradual greasy look that progresses throughout the day.
Another daily debate: tinted moisturiser or foundation? Here, I had ‘Yourebal’ tinted moisturiser, £23.50, which adapts to the skin tone of each individual. I often find a tinted moisturiser a lot lighter to wear than a thick foundation. I prefer it when you don’t feel like you have make up on – that sticky face feeling - you know what I’m on about ladies!
Next up:  a mixture of 'Boi-ing’ concealar, £16.50 and ‘Stay Don’t Stray’ concealer, £19.50 around the eyes and T-Zone.
And after a hefty base for my face, my eyes were ready and waiting.
As a base for my lids: ‘Velvet Eye shadow’, ‘Leggy’ shade, £13.50. I absolutely loved this colour! I’m not gonna lie, I am completely and utterly in love with the moroony plum colour that is so in trend at the moment. If I could, I would dress head to toe in this, and wear a face full of the colour! So of course, I loved my eyes when they were coated with this colour.
My lashes were lined with 'charcoal liner', £14 and painted with the current UK’s #1**: ‘they’re real! Mascara’, £18.50. Now, I don’t know how I felt about the mascara. It fanned them out nicely but it didn’t seem to curl them. I suppose you can’t have it all, can you?!
I was given a cheeky tip by a good friend though, after applying mascara, put your hairdryer on cool and then blow on your lashes for a few seconds (obviously from arm’s length). The blowing creates a natural curl to your lashes, so you don’t have to use a curler! Result!***
My cheek bones shined from ‘Watt’s Up’ highlighter, £24.50, followed by ‘Bella Bomba’ blusher – a blush which I was told suits any skin tone.
Brow before being 'zinged'
My brows! ‘Brow Zings’ brow shaping kit, £22.50.  
I've always been scared to do my brows but after having this done, I plan on doing it a lot more! I loved them! I found that having defined eyebrows highlighted my other features, in particular my eyes. I would definitely recommend doing your brows! 
But just be sure you don’t get too darker shade – you don’t want to look like you’re meant to be on stage! 
Half and Half
Finally: my lips. I adore showing off my lips with bold colours. And out came the plum colour again. ‘Full Finish’ lipstick, £14 – colour: Rumor.
My three favourite products: 
1.'Brow Zings’ eye shaping kit, this should be on every princesse's Christmas list!
2.‘Full Finish’ lipstick, mainly because of the gorgeous colour and how soft it felt of my lips.
3.'Velvet Eye shadow’, again because of the amazing colour but also I love the smoky look it gave me that I could work day and night.
The Full Make Over
 The total cost of all products used on my face: £209.50
Ok, so maybe not that much investing but a couple of items won’t hurt.
The best bit is, all you need to do is book a free make over at a Benefit counter and you can test the products that are best suited to you before you buy! Fabulous!
To find any of those products mentioned and many more, visit:
But, if your bank balance can’t justify spending this much dollar on cosmetics then do not fear...
Soon I will be reviewing alternative products on the market, for half the price!
Until next time, happy pampering!
**Nov/Dec 2011
***Catriona Harris

Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Rimmel 'Scandal Eyes' £6.99

Rimmel Scandal Eyes
I am definitely a lashes girl.

When I'm dolling up, the majority of my valuable time will be spent on making sure I have long, black and thick lashes lining my upper lid.

So, when I saw Rimmel's new 'Scandal Eyes' - "a scandalous mascara, ready to take your lashes to the next level"* - how could I resist?

Yeah, a next level of difficulty to put on!

After attempting to coat my ashes with the "30% wider and denser"** brush, I cannot begin to tell you the difficulty I faced when attempting to comb on the jet black gloop.
The mess made

It was in my eye; on my cheek and all over my eye lid. If you could have seen the amount of cotton buds I used to try and get the black mascara from those unwanted places, you would have thought I was the make-up artist for a whole circus!

After finally cleaning up - which meant taking half of it off my actual lashes in the process- it all started again. Put a layer on, clean up, put a layer on, clean up and so on until I gave up and decided to just stick with what I had.

"So big yet so precise", sorry Rimmel you've got it wrong this time.

If you're a working gal who needs a quick coat for your lashes in the morning, then unless you are willing to practice, I don't recommend this product.

On the other hand, if you're going on a big night out and want to look totally "Scandalous" and, unlike me, have the patience and time to create the perfect lash, then go for it - prove me wrong and work those lashes girlfriend!

Lashes before
I thought a bigger brush meant more thickness. I soon found out this is not the case.

Lashes after
Note, this mascara did give me length - I suppose it can't be all bad eh!

Oh and remember, this is only my opinion and my eyes, we're all different, you never know this could be the perfect coating for your lashes. After all, if we were all the same, life would be boring!
Length: tick
Volume: no tick
Precision: no tick
Easy to apply: definite no tick

Rimmel Scandal Eyes
At only £6.99, I thought I was getting my dream mascara at a bargain. In actual fact, this turned out to be a complete rip off.

C'mon Rimmel, we know you can do better.

Overall rating: 1/5

Until next time, happy pampering.


Note: This has been written for entertainment purposes only. This is all my own opinion, I am basing it on my own individual experiences.