Back to MAC

Hey Lovelies,
I hope you're all having a nice weekend.
Well, the weather has finally improved in London. We had a bit of sunshine this morning and I managed to take some pictures for my blog. 
I'm really excited to bring you my first Back to MAC post. 
 Back to MAC is a scheme that MAC do. If  you return MAC 6 empties to a MAC counter, you get a free full size MAC lipstick of your choice (excluding VIVA Glam lipsticks). 
You can also Back to MAC your empties online, click here to find out how.
Please note, the empties don't have to be lipsticks!
Here are my 6 MAC empties that I exchanged for a lipstick:
 Sadly it was neglected in my make up collection for about 3 years and had completely dried up. I didn't quite use this up but I decided to Back to MAC it as I knew I couldn't use it any more and there's no point in keeping it. I would repurchase this though as it's such a beautiful colour that works great on it's own or as an eyeshadow base.
  This is one of my holy grail products. I go through quite a lot of these and they are brilliant for cleaning your make up brushes. I love using this for cleaning my eyeshadow brushes!
This is MAC'S gel eyeliner. Another great product by MAC. I've got another one of these to get through but I'd really like to try the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner so I won't be repurchasing this until I've tried the Maybelline one as it's a lot cheaper and just as good I've been told!
This is a lovely foundation. It smells a little bit of pain and does not come with a pump. These are the 2 downsides to it. But other than that I like it because it gives medium to full coverage. It doesn't feel to heavy on the skin. It's also quite long wearing and if you like foundations with more of a matt finish definitely check this one out!
MAC Pro Lash Mascara in Coal Black (discontinued)
This product has been discontinued so I won't go on about it too much. It lasted me ages and didn't dry up which was the best thing about it. It's a shame that it has been discontinued.
This is a great pen for filling in your eyebrows. I prefer it to brow pencils. I find it quite tricky to fill in my brows with a brow pencil that's too short as  I've sharpened loads of times. This is great because you just twist the pen to bring out the product, so the pen never gets too short!
Does anyone know if you can use empty MAC wipes towards your 6 items?
The MAC artist wasn't sure so I've not used these towards and exchange yet. All other products are exchangeable, except for pencils as they are not 'plastic or glass' packaging.
Here is the lipstick I decided to exchange these empties against:
MAC Cosmo is an amplified finish. 
Amplified finishes are very creamy and shiny but not glossy. They are highly pigmented.

The colour is a pinky-brown. It's very natural looking. I would say it's definitely one of those 'your lips but better' lipsticks! It's going to be one of my new favourites so check it out next time your at a MAC counter!
What's your favourite MAC lipstick?
Nuala xxx

November Joliebox

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all well and having a nice weekend! I would like to start by apologising for my lack of posts this week The weather has been really rubbish and I work full time. 

So when I get in from work it's already dark outside which makes it impossible to take any good pictures for my blog. And when the weekend comes around, it's wet and gray outside, which doesn't make taking pictures any easier!

I finally managed to take some pictures of my November Joliebox this weekend and I thought I'd do a small review on it for you!

The theme for this box is ' Beauty in the City'.

My Joliebox arrived on Monday. By that time I had read quite a few reviews on it, and generally everyone seemed quite disappointed by it so I wasn't really holding my breath. However, when I got mine I was really pleasantly surprised!

 Here's what I got:
 Topicrean Body Glitter 3D Effect (15ml)
This is basically a body moisturiser with glitter particles in it. The glitter is quite chunky so it leaves a bit of a sparkle on your skin. It's not my favourite product but I'm sure I'll be using this in the upcoming Christmas party season!
Dead Sea Spa Magik Gentle Cleansing Facial Wash (25ml)
This is a mild facial cleanser that contains natural ingredients. I'm saving this for when I'm away for a weekend as it's a handy size to fit in your wash bag. It smells really nice and is very creamy so I'm looking forward to using this.
Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream
This is just a small sample that will give you 1-3 applications (depending on how much you use). I've tried it on my skin today and it's amazing! I've never tried BB Creams before as I prefer full coverage liquid foundations. I was worried that a BB Cream wouldn't provide me with the coverage I like. 
This gives medium to full coverage. It;s a mineral based BB Cream that feels and looks really natural on the skin. I think this would be great for summer and I am definitely considering buying a full size bottle of this!
VAV Moisturising and Regenerating Hand Cream (2ml)
This is just a tiny sample of an all natural French hand cream. It says that this will keep your hands moisturised all day so I will try it on a day my hands are feeling quite dry.
L'Occitane Hydration Cream (15ml)
I was really happy to get this rather than toothpaste in my Joliebox! I've not tried this yet but I have heard many good things about this brand and I'm sure I'll get a few weeks usage out of this cream. 
Glaenco SOS Stick Protector Labial
This is a Spanish lip balm. I do seem to be getting quite a lot of lip products from Joliebox, but I don't mind as they have all been really good. This one is very moisturising and it smells great too. I'm putting this on before I go to bed and my lips are a lot more moisturised now!
Well that's it for my November Joliebox. I have been really impressed with Joliebox. I only subscribed for 3 months so this is my last box, but I will be signing up for another 3 boxes after payday. I really don't want to miss out on the December Joliebox as I'm hoping it will be a good one!
The product that stood out for me in this box was the BB Cream. Have any of you used BB Creams? And which ones do you recommend? 

Nuala xxx

MUA Heaven and Earth Pallet Review

Hello Lovelies,

Hope you're all well and having a nice weekend!

A while back I bought the MUA Heaven and Earth Pallet from Superdrug. I realise this pallet has been blogged about loads in the Bloggersphere, so I hope you don't mind me adding in my 2 cents worth!

The first thing I noticed when I got this is that the eye shadows seem tiny!  
You get 9.6g worth of product with this pallet, so it works out at about 0.8g per shadow. For example, with a single Rimmel Glam Eyes Mono Eye Shadow you get 2.4g worth of product, so that's 3 times as much as a single eye shadow from the MUA Heaven and Earth pallet.

There is no denying that all 12 colours in this pallet are beautiful. 
However all shades are shimmery, and it's certainly missing 1 or 2 matt shades!
As you can see, the colours are very pigmented
I've numbered the colours in the pallet according to the swatches along my arm. 
None of the colours in this pallet have names.
Another thing I've noticed is that the colours are not very finely milled.
If you look at shades 5 and 7 for example, the swatch looks like it's got 'bits' in it. 
I tried using a few of these shadows to create a brown smokey eye but failed miserably. I don't know if it's the formula of the shadows, but used together they just created a muddy mess on my eyelids. Very apt, considering it's called the Heaven and Earth pallet☺!

I'm still getting a bit of use out of this though. I've used shade 5 quite a few times. It's the darkest shade in the pallet.  I like using it in the outer corner and blending it inwards to create a smokey eye. 

I think individually the eyeshadows work great, and for £4.00 you really can't go wrong, but this pallet isn't as versatile as I had hoped and I may well end up passing it onto my old dear when I see her at Christmas.

What do you think? Have you used this pallet and what are your favourite shades from it?

Nuala xxx

Boots Haul Part 2

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all having a good week! What has everyone been up to so far? And does anyone have any nice plans for the weekend?

I've got my second part of my Boots Haul today. For those of you who haven't seen part one (which is mainly about make up items I bought) and would like to have a look click here.

Here are the other bits I bought when I went shopping last Saturday:
John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Medium Ash Brown
This is a permanent home here dye. Well it says permanent but I've found that all drugstore hair dyes I've ever used are never permanent and tend to fade after a while. 
The application with this is quite very easy. It's a foam dye that you apply to dry hair. You leave it on for 20 minutes then rinse and apply the conditioner provided in the pack. 
What I like about this hair dye is the colour lasts longer than a lot of other drugstore hair dyes I've tried. I always use brown dye to colour my hair. 
My hair is quite a light brown and I prefer it darker. With most drugstore hair dyes I've used, browns always come out almost black rather than brown. 
This one however comes out a rich brown colour. If you'd like to see what the colour looks like have a look at the 3rd pic in my Battersea Coats and Collars Ball post.That picture was taken  4 days after I dyed my hair using the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Medium Ash Brown.
Carex Moisture Plus Hand Gel
I always have a hand gel in my handbag but recently I noticed that my hand gel had past it's sell by date. I never even knew hand gels have sell by dates but I guess their bacteria killing properties must expire after a certain amount of time. I decided to get this one after I saw my friend using it. The regular hand gels can be quite drying on the skin, so this one is great as it kills 99.9% of bacteria whilst also moisturising your hands. This absorbs very quickly into the hands and isn't sticky or drying. It smells  nice but you can still tell it's a hand sanitiser rather than a hand cream. This one does not have an expiry date on it, even though my old Dettol hand sanitiser did.
 The Original Tangle Teezer 
I've been meaning to pick up one of these for ages but kept forgetting. So finally I bought one. I decided to go for the dark blue colour with glitter in it rather than the pink one as I dye my hair myself so I didn't want a brush on which hair dye stains might possibly show (my bathroom is very nicely decorated with fake tan and hair dye stains!)
The lovely Daisy from Daisycakes posted a full review on the Tangle Teezers which you can read by clicking here. Thank you Daisy for your post. Reading it reminded me to buy one of these!
Original Source Shea Butter and Honey Shower Gel
I've never tried anything before by this brand but it was on offer in Boots for only £1.00 so I picked up a bottle. I've not tried this yet but it smells really nice so I have high hopes for this! Have any of you tried it yet?

Well that's it for the second part of my Boots haul!

I hope you've enjoyed the post. I need to wait until payday before I can go shopping again! What's on your Boots / drugstore wish list? I need some ideas please as I have a few double points vouchers I'd like to use up.

Nuala xxx

Battersea Collars and Coats Ball

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all well. This is going to be a slightly different post from me as it's non-beauty related.

This year I was lucky enough to go to the Battersea Collars and Coats Ball. I was invited by my pet insurance company Petplan to attend the ball and I couldn't believe my luck when I found out!

I know a lot of Beauty Bloggers (myself included!) are animal lovers, so I wanted to share my evening at the ball with you all!
The Battersea Collars and Coats Ball is an charity ball that takes place every year to raise much needed funds for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. The ball is now in it's fourth year.

When we arrived at the ball, the red carpet was layed out and dogs from the home (both current residents and former residents) were lining both sides of the red carpet to greet everyone as they arrived. The dogs were accompanied by Battersea staff. Everyone that works at Battersea is so friendly and it was so lovely greeting all the pooches and chatting to their handlers.

I made a beeline for the first staffie I spotted (they're my favourite dogs). The last dog on the red carpet was a slightly overweight Dobermann. His handler told me the Dobermann is on a diet and has been rehomed. He's off to his new home in the countryside soon!
Once inside there was a photo opportunity with a pug and a little chihuahua, followed by a champagne reception.
 After a while we were all asked to take our seats for a lovely 3-course meal (with the best Shepherd's pie I've ever had!). Amanda Holden and Paul o'Grady were presenting the evening.
 Lots of events were taking place throughout the evening to raise money for the home, including a raffle and a silent auction. I bought a raffle ticket and even ended up winning a £200 Kuoni holiday voucher!
During the course of the evening male model David Gandy presented the 'Dogwalk'. 
A host of famous designers including Julien Macdonald, Mulberry and Stella McCartney have designed one-off dog coats and collars (I always wondered why the ball is called Coats and Collars - now I know!) that are being auctioned off with all proceeds going to the home. 

The coats were all modelled by some gorgeous Battersea dogs! If you'd like to have a look at some of the designs click here
We were also shown a very touching video highlighting some of the amazing work the home does. 
 The video concentrated on the vital work the veterinary nurses do at the home and how much it costs to fully train a nurse. It takes 3 years to become a fully qualified nurse and sadly at the moment there is a severe shortage of veterinary nurses.

10 people including celebreties Paul o'Grady, David Gandy and Gary Linekar made some very generous donations to raise a total £30,000 to fund nurses at the home.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home don't only look after dogs but also cats. It's obviously quite difficult to get cats involved in an event like this, but we were all asked to be quiet for a moment as they bought an adorable 8 week old kitten onto the stage that has been hand reared at Battersea. The kitten was very playful and didn't mind being on stage in the slightest!
The story that touched me most was the story about Ethel the staffie.
Ethel is 10 years old. She's had cancer and has had her tumour removed. Nobody knows how long Ethel will live for. Hopefully she will carry on with her recovery and the cancer won't come back. Battersea made an appeal that evening to find an extra special home for Ethel to go to.
After hearing about Ethel, pet insurance company Petplan generously said they will insure Ethel free of charge and cover her for the rest of her life and for any treatment she might need.
I was lucky enough to meet Ethel and give her a cuddle and she is such a lovely dog!

At the end of the evening artists Jamie Cullum and Joss Stone preformed a set each. I particularly enjoyed Joss Stone's performance. I had almost forgotten what an amazing singer she is!
Everyone who attended the ball was also given an amazing goodie bag to take home! 
I was especially excited to discover that Urban Retreat have generously donated bottles of their Hydrating Mist that were included in the goodie bags! 
I had an amazing time at the Coats and Collars Ball! And a big thank you to Petplan (my cat Billie's insurance company) for inviting me to such an amazing event!
I hope you've enjoyed this post, I hope you don't mind that it's something a little bit different from me but Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is one of my favourite charities and I really wanted to share my experience with you all. Normal Beauty Blogging will resume with my next post, which will be the 2nd part of my Boots Haul.

Nuala xxx

Boots Haul Part 1

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you are all having a nice weekend!

I've got another haul post today. Last week when I went to Laura Mercier (you can check out my haul post by clicking here) I also ended up going to Boots. I've recently changes jobs and my old colleagues got me quite a few bits as my leaving present. One of my presents was a £20 Boots voucher so thank you very much to any of my former colleagues reading this!

This is what I ended up getting:

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
I love this brush. It's very dense and great for buffing liquid foundation into the skin. I think this brush and the Real Techniques Buffing brush are my all time favourite Real Techniques brushes. This brush is also a good shape that fits into the hollows of your cheeks, so I am going to try to use it for contouring with a cream bronzer.
 Real Techniques Blush brush
I love Real Techniques brushes for foundation and concealer. They are buy 1 get one half price at Boots so I thought I'd pick up a couple more. I'm quite disappointed with the blush brush. It's too soft and large to apply blush correctly. 
Instead of using this for blush I am using it to powder my face after I have applied my foundation. For that it work great, but I wouldn't recommend it as a blush brush.
Eyelure Evening Wear Lashes
Boots had sent me a £1.00 off Eyelure lashes with my Advantage card points, so I ended up getting some lashes. Somehow I find it a lot easier though applying fake lashes on other people than on myself!
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer
I have read many reviews on the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation. It's definitely a favourite in the blogging world. I thought I'd give the concealer a go as I already own quite a few foundations. I'm also a bit worried that the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation will be too sheer for me as I like full coverage foundations. 
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in Nude
I've been wanting a nude coloured liner for my waterline for ages as I don't really like using white (or heaven forbid putting any make up on my waterline at all!). This one is great. It's very creamy and long wearing. I will definitely be checking out more colours from this range.

Well that's it for the make up items I bought from Boots. I've also picked up a few non-make up items that I will be putting up in another post. 

Have any of you tried these products? And what other  products can you recommend from Boots as I have a few double advantage points vouchers that I wanna use up!

Thank you for reading!

Nuala xxx

Laura Mercier Haul

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you're all well and had a good start to the week.

I went shopping on the weekend as we got paid last week at work which is probably a bad idea as I spent way too much money. I am now officially skint again for the rest of the month!

I got a few bits from Laura Mercier

Sorry to  moan a little bit, but I was quite disappointed with the service I got at the Laura Mercier make up counter. The lady who served me was quite moody and pretty off with me. Usually all the staff that work on make up counters are very friendly and bubbly, but this lady seemed pretty inconvenienced by my presence even though I knew exactly what I wanted and spent a fortune!

 I asked the lady which primer she would recommend for the Silk Creme Foundation but she just mumbled something at me. Anyway I told her not to worry about it and had a look at them myself and decided which one to get as they have quite a large selection.

What makes me mention this is that I watched Zoe from Zoella's October Favourites video where she mentions a similar bad customer service experience at Laura Mercier.

Have any of you been to Laura Mercier lately? What kind of customer service did you get? I really think they could take a lesson from MAC, where all the staff are so lovely and have excellent knowledge on the products!

But enough whingeing here's what I got:
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation
This is a repurchase for me. I owned this foundation a while back. I have been reading so many rave reviews about it so I decided to buy it again. This foundation is medium to full coverage (more on the full side) and very pigmented so you only need a small amount. It feels very creamy and luxurious on the skin. It gives a dewy finish and photographs beautifully. Out of all the foundations I've tried (and I have tried many), this one looks amazing on pictures! It lasts quite well but as I do get oily around my T-zone I find that I do have to powder during the day when I have this on.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer
I bought the primer to go with the foundation. When I buy foundation I like to buy the primer that goes with it. I  feel that foundation works best with the correct primer. After looking at all the different primers Laura Mercier do I decided to get the oil free one as my skin can get  a bit oily in the T-Zone area. I really hope this primer will work well with the foundation. Oil free primers do not work with water based foundations and vice versa. (Water and oil don't mix and the same concept applies to primers). If I find my foundation slides off using this primer I will return it.

Laura Mercier Hand Creme Quartet

This is part of their Christmas collection.  You get 4 hand creams (30g each) for £20, which I thought was a bargain.  Laura Mercier hand creams smell absolutely amazing and are very rich and moisturising. They work out at £5.00 each, and I though they make a great stocking filler (even though I may keep one or 2 for  myself!)
The 4 different hand cream types are:
Creme Brule
Creme de Pistache (Pistachio)
Almond Coconut Milk
Fresh Fig 
You get one of each in the pack and they all smell amazing!

Well that's all I got from Laura Mercier. I hope you've enjoyed this post and thank you for reading! Let me know if you've had any good or bad shopping experiences at Laura Mercier at the bottom. Hopefully Zoe and my separate experiences were one offs. We both still ended up spending money there so I guess they must be doing something right!
Nuala xxx

October Empties

Hello Lovelies,

I hope your all having a nice weekend! 

Well it's the beginning of a new month so once again time for everyones Empties posts and here is mine!
As I did in my September Empties post,  I will add HG (Holy Grail) in brackets next to the products I love and I keep going back to!
 Pantene Repair and Protect Shampoo
This shampoo is recommended for dry and damaged hair. Pantene say it protects against styling damage and prevents split ends.
I found this smells very pleasant, and creates a rich lather. I haven't noticed and increase in my split end while using this, but that's be due to the fact that I've been getting regular haircuts lately.  Would repurchase? Yes
Pantene Repair and Protect Conditioner
As with the Pantene Repair and Protect Shampoo, this product is recommended for dry and damaged hair. Pantene say it protects against styling damage and prevents split ends.
The conditioner is a thick and creamy consistency that rinses out easily. It smells nice and I like how it made my hair feel softer after using it. However I don't think this conditioner helps to combat frizziness. Again I didn't notice and increase in my split ends while I was using this.
Would repurchase? Yes
Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel (HG)
This product was in my September Empties as well as my What's in my Shower post.  It's a gel formula that creates a rich foamy lather when you apply it onto wet skin. It contains shea butter, so it's very moisturising. It leaves my skin feeling really smooth and I rearly get shaving cuts when I use this. 
Would repurchase? Yes, already have

Aquafresh Iso-Active Whitening
I love this toothpaste! The cool mint flavour reminds me a little bit of Wrigley's Extra Peppermint chewing gum. It's a gel toothpaste that foams up in your mouth as you are brushing your teeth. The foam gets to all the little bits in your mouth that regular toothpaste can't reach.
Would repurchase? Yes

Garnier Body Replenishing Lotion for Dry Skin
I've been using this as my moisturiser on the days I'm not using my Garnier Summer Body or applying fake tan. This is really moisturising without being greasy or oily. It absorbs into the skin quickly.
Would repurchase? Yes
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
This is a floral scented toner that's recommended for all skin types. It contains natural ingredients such as chamomile, cucumber and vitamin E. I don't love this as much as I love my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish but it's still a really good product. Some toners can be a little bit harsh, but this one feels very soothing on the skin. As with all Liz Earle Products, it's not tested on animals and it does not contain any animal extracts.
Would repurchase? Yes

Lancome Softening Hydrating Toner
I got this as a free gift a while back when I bought a moisturiser from Lancome. This toner is really gentle and left my skin feeling softer. I actually prefer this to the Liz Earle one because it also removed any last bits of make up that were still on my face after cleansing.
 Would repurchase? Yes

Clarins Multi Active Serum
This serum is recommended for people in their early 30s. (Clarins do serums for all age ranges). You only need one pump of this for your whole face. I use this before my moisturiser and hopefully it will help combat the first signs of ageing! I love the smell of this. I have been using Clarins serums on and off since my early twenties and I'm sure they have helped me maintain quite a youthful complexion so I really recommend Clarins skincare!
Would repurchase? Yes
Xen Tan Deep Bronze Luxe Weekly Self Tan (HG)
Xen Tan Dark Lotion Self Tan (HG)
First of all please excuse the messy bottles!
I'm a bit of a fake tan addict. I've tried a lot of fake tan brands and Xen Tan for me wins by about a mile. I love both these products the same. I apply my fake tan once or twice a week (depending on how dark I want to go). These products smell great (no fake tan biscuit smell) and give an even, streak free golden tan.
I apply my fake tan at night and wash it of in the morning. Once the Dark Lotion or the Deep Bronze Luxe are  dry though you can go out with them on as they apply so well.
For me the main difference in these two is the formula. The Dark Lotion is a very dark coloured lotion, whereas the Deep Bronze Luxe is a lot lighter in colour and also a lot thicker.
Would repurchase? Yes

Well that's it for my October Empties! I hope you've enjoyed this post and if you've done an empties post please link it in the comments below so I can check it out!

Nuala xxx
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