Thursday, 30 April 2015


As it's Spring (with Spring cleaning and all that), storage company Mobile Mini challenged me to de-clutter a room in my house with a £50 Not On The High Street voucher. I chose my bathroom, as being a beauty blogger and journalist, it is more than full to the brim with products.

The windowsill in my bathroom used to take a real battering, as being the largest flat shelf in the room, it became the dumping ground for all my current and spare hair and bath products. So, I decided this would be the place to tackle- I wanted to make it look pretty, but also be able to see what I actually have, instead of just looking at a bundle of chaos.

I chose two organisational storage items from Not On the High Street- a rust-coloured wire trug (£19.50 plus postage) from Velvet Brown, and a two-tier white metal rack (£19 plus postage) from Dibor. I liked these as they both had pretty heart detailing. Now I can see, and store neatly, all my hair products; plus be able to display and smell all my bath bombs.

If you are planning on de-cluttering your bathroom too, here are my top tips...

1) If you can get storage with multiple vertical levels (like my new two-tier rack), opt for that, as you are increasing your storage volume without increasing the space that it takes up.

2) Don't be afraid to streamline and get rid of things that you had forgotten you had. If you haven't needed it in months, it's unlikely you will want to reach for it anytime soon.

3) Chose storage options that are easy to lift up and move without disrupting the contents, for when you want to clean. You don't want to have to decamp everything every time you need to get a duster out.

Let me know your de-cluttering tips, and what Spring cleaning projects you are taking on this year.

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Balance Me Radiance Face Mask

As you'll know already, I'm more or less sold on anything with a relaxing Lavender scent from the first sniff. The Balance Me Radiance Face Mask has a gorgeous blend of Lavender, Chamomile, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, and Rose- the perfect calm-inducing combination. However, it not only smells amazing, it works amazingly too.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask Formula

This is a quick and effective 5-minute mask that polishes, smoothes, hydrates, cleanses and brightens. Yes, all this from one product. The formula has a thin clay consistency (from its kaolin clay) with grainy ground walnut. The clay draws out impurities, while the ground walnut exfoliates. It also contains a brightening fruit acid complex.

I use this mask twice per week before bedtime (due to its relaxing scent). I apply a thin layer, gently buffing my skin with it as I go. After 5-minutes of drying time, I remove it with a warm cloth (and then wipe of any last grainy traces with Bioderma on a cotton pad) and my skin is left feeling incredible. It's soft, plump with hydration and very smooth. I have normal skin that can sometimes get dry in patches; but this is definitely a good all-round choice for all skin types.

I am so impressed with this mask (as I'm sure you can tell), and you only need to use a really small amount at a time; making it great value at £18 for 75ml. If you want to try it out first, you can also buy a mini 15ml tube for £4.50. Both are available from

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015


New Look Inspire Blue Denim Tunic Dress

I really like this simple and plain Inspire Blue Denim Tunic Dress (£24.99) that I got from New Look. I am wearing the smallest size in the Inspire range- a size 18.

I wanted to show you what this dress looks like without any accessories, as it isn't the most flattering cut. I really love this dress; but I would need to wear it with a short cardigan, as the fabric drops straight down without coming in at the waist. A cardigan would highlight the position of where my waist is, as at the moment, it doesn't look as if I have one. Wearing a cardigan or a light kimono is also a great way to cover up your arms if you aren't keen on showing these off during the famous bare-all months of the year. I will also be teaming this with a long-line necklace as it will lengthen my body and detract from the high neckline that makes my bust look a lot larger than it is. 

Overall though, this is a perfect dress for both Summer holidays and sunshine days at home as it can be worn in so many different ways; both casually and dressed up. The denim fabric is of a high quality- thick, but light and breathable at the same time. There is also a stylish chunky gold-toned zip at the back.

You can purchase this dress in New Look stores nationwide, or online at the New Look Holiday Shop.

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Monday, 27 April 2015


Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm

I have long been a fan of Aromatherapy Associates. Their Deep Relax Bath Oil, among their other offerings, have filled my bath many a time. Their scent blends are beautiful, and really have an effect on your mind and body.

As I have a bad anxiety disorder, I have trouble sleeping and relaxing, so when I spotted that Aromatherapy Associates made their Deep Relax scent in the form of a balm, I had to try it.

As usual with this brand, the packaging of the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm (£19) has a very luxurious feel, and smells amazing and instantly calming. It is a blend of Vetivert, Chamomile, Sandalwood and Patchouli that is designed to soothe your mind, and it does. Now, in no way am I saying that this allows me to overcome my anxiety; but it does allow me to breath a bit deeper and to drift off to sleep a bit easier due to its powerful smell.

Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm Review

I love how the tub is so small and portable; making it a great handbag addition for wherever you may need it. I tend to use this at night however, so keep it on my bedside table. My daytime relaxant is usually Origins' Peace of Mind On-The-Spot as it contains a reviving peppermint scent to it, along with the relaxing ingredients; so stops me getting too sleepy during the day.

At bedtime, I apply a little of the Deep Relax Balm to my temples and my wrist pulse points, take a few deep breaths of it and settle down to sleep. You can purchase the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm online at

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Saturday, 25 April 2015


How To Create A Flawless & Radiant Makeup Base

Before                                                      After

I went shopping online for NYX products, and have amassed quite a haul of complexion-perfecting, dewy-skin creating face makeup items. I love the look they create- a gorgeous radiant base. If you want to create this makeup base look using NYX items, this is what you'll need.

NYX Anti-Redness Primer Swatch

I began by using the NYX Studio Perfect Anti-Redness Photo-Loving Primer (£11). I chose the green one in the hope it would even out any red areas of my skin; but it didn't. It looks very green in the tube, but the product itself is actually quite sheer in colour and does nothing to combat redness. It does, however, create a very smooth base for makeup; which I love, and as the foundation and concealer I picked up provide great coverage, I don't really mind about the anti-redness aspect of it failing.

NYX Sunbeam Illuminator Swatch

Next, I used the NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation (£10), in the lightest shade Ivory. This was a great match for my incredibly white skin and offered an excellent full coverage. I mixed some of this with some of the NYX Liquid Illuminator (£7) in Sunbeam. This adds a beautiful glow to the foundation, meaning that I can wear this foundation matte by using applying it on its own, or dewy through adding the illuminator. The illuminator can also be used on its own as a highlighter, by lightly dabbing onto the cheekbones or brow bones. It's a fabulous multi-purpose product.

L: Stay Matte But Not Flat Lightest Shade, R: Invincible Lightest Shade

I also picked up the NYX Invincible Fullest Coverage Foundation (£12) as a possible alternative to the Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation. I got the lightest shade Fair but it was literally close to orange in colour when it came out of the tube. Not impressed. I wouldn't recommend you purchase this online as the shade range is limited and you'll need to closely match it to your skin.

NYX Dark Circle Concealer Fair Swatch

I then used the NYX Dark Circle Concealer (£7) in Fair to tame and even-out the colour of my under-eye area. I really like this concealer as it offers good coverage, and has a thick consistency that reminds me of Benefit's Boi-ing.

At this stage, you would apply all of the other eye, lip and cheek make-up you wanted, before finishing off with a light spray of the NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray (£8). This sets your makeup really well and helps it last longer, without losing any of the radiance or dewiness you created with the foundation-illuminator combo. It's definitely one of the best setting sprays I've tried.

You can purchase all of these NYX products online at Do you like this look?

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Thursday, 23 April 2015


Real Techniques Core Collection Review

After I loved the Real Techniques Bold Metals 200 Oval Shadow brush (which I reviewed here), I wanted to try out some more of their brushes.

Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes

The Real Techniques Core Collection (£21.99) contains four full-sized synthetic, soft face brushes in a handy black stand/case. There's a buffing brush, a contour brush, a pointed foundation brush and a detailed brush.

Real Techniques Core Collection Set

The buffing brush is definitely my favourite. It is great for applying both liquid and powder foundation, and really working them into the skin rather than just painting them on. I use this to apply my liquid foundation, as it leaves a very natural finish.

I also really like the contour brush. It is shaped well to get into the hollows of the cheekbones with bronzer, and can also be used to dust on blusher and highlighter powders. I found that it doesn't pick up too much powder from the pan, and applies lightly too.

Real Techniques Buffer Brush and Contour Brush
L: Buffer Brush         R: Contour Brush

The pointed foundation brush in the set is good for applying concealer. It's definitely too small to apply foundation with. I found this brush a bit redundant however, as I prefer to just dab concealer on with my finger and then go back in with the buffing brush to blend.

Another of the brushes that I'm not overly keen on, and could do without, is the detailer brush. It is very small, and really only works well as a lip brush. I much prefer my makeup brushes to be multi-purpose.

Have you tried any of these, and can you recommend any other Real Techniques brushes?

You can purchase the Real Techniques Core Collection at Boots stores nationwide, or online at

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Wednesday, 22 April 2015


I don't believe in putting people down or judging them- people (including myself) are overweight for all sorts of reasons. However, the world has gone PC crazy, and we have to use our brains and accept that being obese (i.e. normally over a size 18) is unhealthy. Whatever you want to argue back at me with, it's true- there's an increased risk of pregnancy complications and surgery complications, an increased risk of diabetes and an extra strain on your bones etc. It is just as unhealthy as being a size 0- an extreme at the other end of the spectrum. It's nothing to do with beauty (as of course you can be beautiful at any size and shape), it's to do with health.

Whilst we shouldn't be body shaming anyone, we shouldn't be encouraging being obese either, as quite simply, it is life-threatening. Maybe not now, but later on in life, there will be complications as a result. I have yo-yo'd all my adult life (I'm aged 30 now) between a size 10/12 and a size 24. Believe me, I know more than anyone the different reasons for becoming obese. I am now a size 18, and am on a healthy eating/exercise plan to get to at least a size 16 by the end of this year, as it is a healthier life choice. Bodies aren't designed to carry about that much of an extra load on their frame.

We simply shouldn't be promoting being obese with extra large clothing brands and putting obese models in magazines, any more than we should be having size 0 models on the catwalk. Being obese isn't the same as just being overweight, as its an extreme, and extremes are unhealthy. Fact.

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Photo Credit: Jeans via photopin (license)


I was doing my regular online window shopping when I came across the London-born Australian fashion designer Alice McCall on Avenue32. I had never heard of her before, but she makes some of the most beautiful clothes that I have ever seen and they suit my style perfectly.

Before launching her own label in 2004, she worked in design at Sass & Bide, and as a celebrity stylist to the likes of Beyonce and the quirky Blondie.

Her designs are bright, whimsical, girly and are cut in the most amazing shapes. Here are some of my favourite pieces from her SS15 line...

Lavender Multi Eye Candy Dress, £345 | Nautical Blue Eyes Wide Shut Top, £130 | Pink Lips Mystery Occurences Dress, £290 | Indigo Denim Straight Sets Shorts, £175 | Multi Cotton Imagine Jumpsuit, £260

I can't wait to see what she does next. Do you own anything from Alice McCall?

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015


I Heart Makeup Goddess of Love Highlighter

I Heart Makeup is the sister brand to Makeup Revolution- the quality is just as good; but the I Heart range comes in cuter packaging. It was the heart shaped box that first attracted me to their Goddess of Love highlighter (£4.99), as it just looks so pretty.

I Heart Makeup Goddess of Love Highlighter Close-Up

This triple-baked champagne highlighter gives a very natural sheen to the skin, and doesn't contain annoying flakes of glitter as it's so finely milled. I'd have liked the powder formula to be a bit creamier, as you do have to put your brush in quite a few times to top up when applying.

I Heart Makeup Goddess of Love Highlighter Swatch

I like to put this on my cheekbones, down the centre of my nose, on my Cupid's bow and on my brow bones- all the areas where my face would naturally catch the light, to add an additional delicate glow.

If you are looking for a subtle highlighter, then I'd recommend trying this budget one out. You can purchase it from larger Superdrug stores nationwide, or online at

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Monday, 20 April 2015


I am obsessed with trinket dishes- we've all seen the marble H&M Home one right?! Not only do they make great storage for the likes of your daily jewellery, hair bobbles and kirby grips; but they look cute and make for great blog photo props too. I need all of these...

Trinket Trays UK

Daisy Place Medium Square Dish, | Halcyon Days Palm Trinket Tray, www.amara,com | Pineapple Trinket Dish, | Candy Sweet Stripe Heart Tray, | Marble Ceramic Dish, |Sass & Belle Bird Trinket Dish, | Je t'aime Trinket Tray, | Glass Floral Trinket Tray, | Salvage Collection Trinket Tray,

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Saturday, 18 April 2015


I am giving away this excellent line-up from Benefit Cosmetics. One reader will win everything above- a full-size black They're Real Mascara, a full-size black They're Real Liner, a full-size They're Real Remover and an exclusive large Benefit Cosmetics 'Laughter Is The Best Cosmetic' tote bag. You don't want to miss out on this! All you have to do to enter is follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. The giveaway will close at 11.50PM on Friday 1st May 2015, and is open to UK residents only...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, 17 April 2015


This anti-wrinkle serum reduces the appearance of crows feet, wrinkles and lines. Now, I don't have any wrinkles yet thankfully, but this serum plumps my skin and really gives it an improved, smoother texture- filling temporary sleep lines, and adding radiance with its 10.5% Vitamin C.

The problem I have with it is that it is quite thick and you need a good few pumps to cover your whole face as directed. It contains silicone too, so I really feel it on my skin. I am used to serums being very lightweight and one or two pumps spreading quite far, so this took some getting used to and I'm still not keen on the formula of it. It's not a serum I would use at night (due to the silicone), but it does make for a good base for makeup in the morning.

I'll use this bottle up as I do like the results from it, but wouldn't re-purchase as I like the application experience of a lot of other serums much better.

You can buy the Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (£49) from or at Kiehl's stores nationwide.

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Thursday, 16 April 2015


A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess
This is a really warm, comforting and amusing chick-lit novel. It's an easy read, but will definitely keep you entertained. It's about newly-single Abigail,who is more than out of practice at the dating game. She starts to date various men, following strict behavioral instructions of her lothario flat-mate Robert. We see the ups and downs of her quest to find true love, when all along it may have been closer than she ever thought.

Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie
This is a really gripping, but very disturbing thriller story, and I very much regret having had to read it at bedtime. You won't sleep easily after a few chapter of this. Livy's sister Cara was brutally murdered decades ago at university, and the killer was never found. Cara and Livy's best friend Julia is then found dead in her flat (all these years later) after a suspected suicide. However, Livy knew Julia, and knew that she would never kill herself. She suspects the two deaths are connected, and the novel follows her detective spree to uncover the culprit. Everyone is a potential suspect in this book, which keeps it so interesting and exciting.

The Good, the Bad and the Dumped by Jenny Colgan
This is a very easy read- one of those perfect beach books. I really enjoyed it, although the story is a bit unbelievable and far-fetched at times. Posy Fairweather is proposed to by her long-term boyfriend (who she doesn't have much in common with) and she accepts. However, she soons starts to have doubts and thinks about the potential lives she could have missed out on with the ex-men of her life. She visits each one in an attempt to convince herself that life with them wouldn't have worked out and that they did the right thing to separate. Her new fiance doesn't take it well however, and Posy has to scrabble to get her mind back in order before she loses everything.

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson
This novel requires a bot of thought and concentration, as it jumps back and forth in time quite a bit, so can be a tad confusing. If you have seen the film of this, it is really nothing like the novel, and is a poor adaptation of an excellently crafted story. I did feel at times that it dragged on a bit; but it's worth persevering with for the epic twist at the end. It's about 40-something Christine Lucas, who suffers from a special type of amnesia, and wakes every morning thinking she is still in her 20s. She has to learn all about her life for the last 20 years, and her marriage, from scratch every day. Eventually she suspects things are being kept from her, and rather than being a passive participant in her own existence, she seeks to uncover the real truth about her past.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
This is an excellent psychological thriller. It's not at all scary, but just very very intriguing. It's about a young woman Rachel who has a lot of mental and personal problems. She hates her life, so she becomes obsessed with what she perceives as 'the perfect couple'- two people she sees in their garden from her train window every day. When the female of the couple suddenly disappears and is announced as missing in the newspaper, Rachel can't resist launching an investigation of her own. There are lots of twists, turns and surprises as the truth is finally uncovered. If you only manage to read one book, make it this one.

It Felt Like A Kiss by Sarra Manning
This is more of a grown-up chick-lit novel than the other two i've reviewed, so is a little less 'frivolous' as it deals with some thought-provoking issues. Ellie, the protagonist, is really likeable however, and I just couldn't put this book down as I really cared what happened to her. She is an upstanding member of society, whose only downfall is her poor taste in men. She kept the identity of her father secret from everyone she knew, as he's a famous rockstar who had never wanted anything to do with her. One day, her secret is exposed in the press, and the tabloids paint her as a sex-crazy, celebrity-stalking nutcase to make their story more interesting. Ellie is besieged by paparazzi, and her life is turned upside down. Her father's lawyer David Gold is sent in to manage her situation, as Ellie battles between resentment of him and a crush on him. Will he turn out to be the one good boyfriend she desperately needs?

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Kylie Jenner Nude Lips
Official Kylie Jenner Instagram Image

Last week I attended House of Fraser's #BeautyConfidential event at their Glasgow store, where I watched a great private press masterclass from Laura Mercier in how to achieve the Kylie Jenner nude lip look. This is a very retro way to do your lips, so it won't be everyone's 'cup of tea'; but if you're into this look, this is how to do it and the best products to do it with.

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Biscotti

Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Biscotti Swatch

This look is all about volumising your lips by making them appear fuller and poutier, with makeup rather than with injections. First you begin by outlining your lips just past their natural borders (to make them larger) with a nude liner darker than your nude lipstick shade. Make sure that your really define and sharpen your Cupid's Bow too. The Laura Mercier MUA used their Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in shade Natural Lips (£18.50) with their moisturizing Creme Smooth Lip Colour in shade Biscotti (£21.50).

Kylie Jenner Nude Lip Tutorial

Next, fill in your lips with the lipstick. It is best to use a lip brush for this instead of applying directly from the bullet- so that you don't lose the precise line you created with the lip liner. The final step is to apply some pearlescent lip gloss to the centre of your bottom lip to add a highlight and create added dimension.

The model in the images is Gemma from the blog Do you like this look, and is it something you'll be trying to rock yourself?

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Lavitta Black Crepe Jersey Duster Jacket

I wanted to show you my new Black Duster Jacket (£25) from Lavitta, as I absolutely love it. It is very light, and is made from a crepe jersey material.

This is such a versatile addition to my wardrobe, as it can be worn in so many ways. It is smart enough to be teamed with black trousers for office wear, plus it would look equally at home over a cocktail dress for a night out. Due to its unstructured flowing material, I also can't wait to wear this in the Summer over cut-off jeans and a vest top in the evenings.

Lavitta is a new brand that caters for sizes 12 to 24, and makes affordable  clothing (nothing is over £40) to flatter every woman. You can check out their SS15 collections, and order the Black Duster Jacket, online at

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Monday, 13 April 2015


I am all about cute rings at the moment. You know that way an obsession for something just takes hold and you stop looking at them online? Well, that is me with pretty rings recently. These are some that I am absolutely loving...

Petal Ring, | Dainty Kiss Ring, | Gold Bunny Rabbit Ring, | Bill Skinner Mini Strawberry Ring, | A Knot To Remember Ring, | Alex Monroe Love Ring, | Pretty Flower Ring, | Pink Rose Ring,

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The Body Shop Fragrances

It is an extremely rare occurrence that you'll see a perfume post on this blog. I haven't been able to wear the stuff for years as it gives me a migraine. I also can't be in a car with someone wearing a strong one either. However, I have discovered The Body Shop's fruit and nut scented fragrances, and they have changed my life. They have such natural scents that my head doesn't even flicker.

The Body Shop Strawberry Eau de Toilette

The Body Shop Coconut Eau de Toilette

The ones I've picked up first are their Strawberry Eau de Toilette (£8.50) and their Coconut Eau de Toilette (£8.50). I love that they are so affordable, even although they do come in quite small bottles. These scents are so fresh and authentic- food smells like these have the potential to be quite sickly, but these aren't at all. I can finally wear perfume!

I am going to be wearing these all the way through to Autumn now, and they can even be layered on top of each other. I also fancy trying the Satsuma and Mango versions for Summer too, and think that their Shea nut one would be great for the darker months of the year.

You can get hold of these from, or from any The Body Shop store nationwide. Have you tried any of these fragrances?

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Saturday, 11 April 2015


I was invited down to the Giorgio Armani beauty counter at my local Debenhams in Glasgow's Silverburn shopping centre as part of their #SpringBeautyFix celebrations, where they treated me to a makeover and masterclass in all their new and cult products.

My make-up artist Laura began by cleansing my face with their Velvety Cleansing Milk (£35). This felt very smooth and luxurious on my skin, as all Giorgio Armani beauty products are designed to feel as good as their fashion catwalk fabrics. It is a pleasantly scented gentle cleanser that removes makeup well.

She followed this with their Regenessence Youth Regenerator Serum (£90). I've also been using this at home now for the past week, and really like it. It comes in a gorgeous mirrored bottle and it firms skin, reduces wrinkles and adds radiance. It's a pricey one though, and I can't honestly say I think it's justified over other more affordable serums.

Giorgio Armani Light Master Makeup Primer

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer

Next, it was time for the primer and foundation. To prime my skin, their Light Master Makeup Primer (£36.50) was used. This added a gorgeous sheen to my skin, which highlighted my cheekbones. I hadn't tried their Maestro Fusion Foundation (£35) before, so Laura chose this to introduce me to it, and used shade 5. This foundation is very light in texture and dries to a matter finish. It adjusts to your own skin textures and tones to help even out your complexion. I wasn't that impressed with this foundation- I don't need much coverage; but I didn't feel this really did anything in terms of evening out my complexion. The same goes for the Maestro Eraser Concealer (£28.50) in Shade 2 too unfortunately.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Swatches

Once my base had been applied, Laura used two of their Fluid Sheer (£36.50) shades (2 and 5) as a radiant flush of highlighting colour to my cheeks. I really liked these as they have a very natural finish. You can also mix the skin-toned shades in with your foundation, or use them on their own as an illuminating base; so Fluid Sheer can be a great multi-use product.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint Shadows

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint Shadows Swatches

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Classico Mascara

On my eyes I got to try out their new Eye Tint Shadows (£27) which are pigments suspended in water. These looked great swatched on the back on my hand; but when they were on my eyes and blended out, I felt they looked quite greasy. Maybe this is just with the lighter shades (8 Flannel and 12 Gold Ashes), so I'm keen to have a play with some of the darker ones.
I was, however, really impressed with the Eyes To Kill Classico Mascara (£26)- it lengthens and adds volume in a great intense black shade.

Giorgio Armani Dark Brown Eye & Brow Maestro

On my eyebrows, she used the Eye & Brow Maestro in shade Dark Brown to darken and fill-in my brows to accentuate them. I love this multi-use product- you can use it on your brows, as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner, and it comes in 7 different shades to suit everyone.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick Shade 400

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick Shade 400 Swatch

Finally, on my lips, we went for a classic red, with their Smooth Lip Pencil in shade 5 (£18) and the Rouge d'Armani lipstick (£26) in shade 400. These are both really creamy and highly pigmented, and the lipstick has a great shine and stays intact for hours.

You can purchase all these products at Debenhams online or in stores nationwide. Is there anything you fancy trying or have tried already?

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