; une tasse: a beauty and casual fashion blog: January 2011

Hand Cream - my handbag essential

I hardly carry any makeup in my bag, just a black pencil liner but I ALWAYS make sure I have hand cream. For me, there's nothing worse than having dry crusty hands!

I wash my hands a lot more during my working week. I take the tube to work and have to hold onto rails with lots of sneezy/coughy people. I don't even want to think about what else could be on those rails. Also as I'm on the computer all day, I wash my hands everytime I eat and the handwash at work is very drying.

I have tried a lot of different hand creams but these are the ones I'm currently using:

Dr Organic Rose Otto Hand & Nail Cream - If you like the smell of rosewater then you'll love this one. It's a very rich but effective cream and is paraben/sls free. It has lots of natural ingredients such as rose flower oil, olive oil, geranium oil and clove oil which is why I suspect it's so moisturising. The tube is huge and you really only need a little blob of the thick cream. Any more and it would leave your hands feeling greasy. I even use this on my elbows as it's good for rough skin too. (£6.69 for 125ml).

L'Occitane Fleur Chérie Hand Cream - This cream on the other hand is the total opposite, very light and the consistency much thinner. If you suffer from very dry hands then I wouldn't say this is the best hand cream for you. Even though it contains shea butter and grape seed oil, it's not very moisturising and  I use this mostly during summer. It does however smell really nice - a light floral scent. Mine is the 30ml travel size which was free in a magazine but is otherwise £7. I prefer their shea butter version but I think I'll wait for another magazine promo to get one.

What is your favourite hand cream?

ELF Bamboo Angled Blush Brush

Dodgy out of focus photo so the stock photo is here if you want it. I finally got my hands on this new brush from ELF's new bamboo line and it is brilliant. The quality is the same as their studio line brushes and it looks and feels more expensive than its £5.50 price tag.

It isn't as fluffy as I like my blush brushes to be but it makes contouring and blush application much easier with it's angled head. The bristles are cruelty free, antibacterial Taklon and very very soft. I've already washed it twice and there has barely been any shedding and it retained shape easily. Apparently they're great for use with mineral blushes though I've yet to use it with my plum one. It works fine with all my other blushes anyway.

ELF are currently offering 20% off bamboo brushes until midnight this Sunday the 30th January (min £10 spend, code: BRUSHUK or BRUSHEU). Even if you don't want this one, there are lots of other brushes in their bamboo line that might tickle your fancy.

The Body Shop Body Butter Offer

Just a heads up that The Body Shop have a buy one get one free offer on the body butters which are already in the sale for £6 each. This includes Almond, Papaya, Passion fruit, Blueberry, Brazil Nut, Raspberry and the Christmas ones (see here).Considering the 200ml tubs usually retail for £12.50 each, this is a huge saving. The BOGOF offer is also available on sale body scrubs and shower gels. Instore only but I don't know how long it lasts for, so if you're interested get down to your local Body Shop.

 I bought almond and brazil nut for a total of £6 and I may just go back for more! 

MAC Mehr lipstick

I try my best to steer clear of Temptalia because I always give into temptation. When I saw the lipstick swatches from the Mickey Contractor collection, I fell for Mehr big time.

It sold out very quickly online and I went to three different MAC stores before I found it. Even then, it was by chance as the sales assistant happened to find one lurking in the backroom.

It is a neutral shade of pink which I find very flattering and easy to wear. It probably would suit all skin tones. It's creamy and easy to apply but I wish it wasn't matte as it shows every dry patch/flaw. Lots of carmex is needed because I need all the help I can get when it comes to chapped lips - see photo below :(

Did you get anything from the Mickey Contractor collection? If I had the money, I probably would have bought all the lippies!

Alphabet tote bag

I am not an Urban Outfitters person. I think the majority of their clothes are poor quality and ridiculously overpriced. I mean £32 for a bog standard Nirvana tee shirt? No... just no.

Their accessories on the other hand I can't get enough of, as well as their gifts/home section. I bought this alphabet tote bag last week in the sale for a fiver (though it was marked £7). As much as I love the look of designer handbags, I prefer to carry a tote as I don't have to worry about it getting dirty/damaged/lost etc.

This one is perfect and personalised just for me - or anyone else who has a name beginning with 'T'. They also have loads more styles on alphabetbags.com (where it's originally from) though you could easily DIY.

NOTD: Nails Inc in Heather Grey (Diet Coke)

I only ever buy Nails Inc when they're on promotion with Diet Coke, which is also the only time I ever buy Diet Coke!

I wasn't that keen on any other colour but Heather Grey when I saw the promo. However it looks more pink in the promotional photos than it does in real life which is misleading. Application was a doddle and it stayed chip free for a good few days without a topcoat. That said, I think this purple colour is too murky for my liking, especially in this dreary weather. I'm going to switch to something bright and sparkly!

Favourite nail look at the moment

The minty base colour is a cheapo Asda one (from this post) and it is unbelievably streaky and downright horrible. It's turned into gloop even though I've only used it several times and is full of stringy fibres?? Don't know why! Anyway, with the help of the Barry M crackle polish it turned into something decent. My favourite nail look only because it's so easy :)

Revlon Grow Luscious mascara

Image: Google

The first Revlon mascara I have ever tried and to be honest I was wary as I have not read good things about them. However after seeing how well it worked for Sarah from Tacky Blue Eyeshadow, I had to try it out!

What do Revlon say about this mascara?

"Lash enhancing formula complements the natural growth cycle of your lashes, improving their overall appearance and conditioning with each use".

"Get lashes that look instantly longer and lusher and will also grow stronger day after day".

What do I think?

I like the green tube and the brush is HUGE! It took a while to get used to it but I no longer poke myself in the eye. So if you hate big brushes, stay clear.

I can't say I've noticed a considerable difference in the condition or length of my lashes but I do really like this mascara nevertheless.

It  makes my lashes look really long and isn't clumpy at all. I don't have the waterproof version but for me this doesn't flake, even after a long day. It's the perfect work mascara.

Not sure I would buy this again because there's so many other mascaras I want to try but if you were curious about it and like lengthening mascaras, I would reccommend you try it.

New year, red hair

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Just before the new year I decided to go red (inspired by Lina's hair from Make up to Make out). Well... just the ends of my hair as they were already bleached. It looks more like a reddy brown - a subtle change but noticeable to me.

Also wanted to announce the winner of my Dr Ogranics giveaway. Congratulations to Sami! Will be contacting you shortly :)

P.S. The sales were absolute pants this year and I hardly bought a thing.