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

NOTD: Two toned orange and pink nails

I felt like deviating from my usual pink nails and went for something different.

I used two coats of Barry M's Pink Flamingo as a base and added a diagonal stripe of Rimmel's Apricot Punch with the help of scotch tape as a guide. Pink Flamingo is a neon pink and the brightest one I own. Opaque in two coats and great consistency so no complaints from me. Apricot Punch could be one of my favourite colour polishes if it wasn't part of the fruity scent range. The colour is great but the apricot scent lasts for ages, even with a top coat and it was starting to annoy me.

Despite this one niggle, I like how it turned out even if the edges are a bit wobbly. Didn't realise orange and pink go so well together!

FOTD: A 3 minute smokey eye

Popped into Selfridges after work today to have a mooch around MAC. Whilst I was queuing for assistance, I watched a lady spend 10 minutes applying as many things as she could get her hands on. Including the tester lip gloss, straight from the wand to her lips. So GROSS! How many people have also used it before her?!

I didn't walk away with a lipstick for once but bought Teddy kohl pencil, a gorgeous dark bronzey brown with gold shimmer. Flash washes the colour out so I'll put up a swatch another day.

I was meeting the Mr for dinner and only had mascara on so I used this to create a quick smokey eye. I applied Teddy all over the lid and blended, then smudged a black eyeliner along the lash line and outer corner. Finished off with Teddy on the lower lash line and black eyeliner on my waterline. Didn't use any brushes at all, just my ring finger. Quick and really easy! By the time I got home, it had creased and faded a little but I didn't mind so much :)

Hair inspiration - Elle Fanning in Teen Vogue

Image source: Teen Vogue

Yes, even more braids! The second hairstyle is definitely my favourite and I quite like the first one, even though I know I would get strange looks if I wore a fishtail crown.

I wish I was this graceful and cool when I was 13 years old. I'm 25 and still not out of my awkward phase....

What I bought today

Whenever I go out I always end up shopping and there always seems to be things I "need". This is what I bought on my travels to Superdrug and Primark today :)

1. I've been watching a lot of youtube hair tutorials (namely by bebexo and binosusume) and I bought these hairpins (£1.69 from Superdrug) and hairbands (£1 from Primark) which are essential for doing braided hairstyles. Hope to post my results soon!

2. These espadrille styled shoes are everywhere at the moment (£3 in Primark in lots of colours!). They're quite flimsy and I'm not going to wear them out, these are for wearing around my house since my cat chewed up my flip flops :\

3. Collection 2000 Lasting Colour Lipstick in Sweet Tart (£2.99 from Superdrug). Really bright bubblegum pink which funnily doesn't actually last very long! Love the colour but next on my lippie list is another bright pink, Nars Schiap.

4. Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Elimination Cleansing Lotion (around £4). I use this astringent/toner all over my face rather than concentrating on blackheads. It gets rid of dirt and grime and I use it everyday when I get home from work.

Really need to stop spending....!


Peep toe shoes are my absoulute favourites for summer not only because they help keep my feet cooler than usual but also because I get to show off my brightly polished toes! These yellow canvas ones are from Primark and boy do they get grubby really easily, however I just pop them in the wash and they come out like new. They certainly won't last very long, especially if I keep washing them, but for £6 they'll serve me well this summer.


Hello lovelies! I feel a bit silly writing this post (don't know why) but I wanted to share my good news with you all. Come this October (iA) I'm going to become a Mrs!

I haven't actually told many people, not because I'm a secretive cow or anything, more because they start questioning all the things I haven't done yet and I start getting really stressed out. Seriously, I've had sleepless nights over this. It sounds really fun and exciting to organise a wedding but in reality it isn't at all. In fact, I'm fed up and wish someone else would do it :(

I haven't even bought a dress or shoes or decided on my hair and makeup. Argh!!! I'll be posting a few wedding related posts over the upcoming months and would love to get any tips/feedback xx

NOTD: Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday

Yeh baby! Finally got my hands on this after so freaking long. Costing £16, it's the most I've ever spent on a nail polish and probably the only time I ever will. Move over Chanel, your polishes are pretty but they chip and fade like a mofo. I wish I could afford to pay £14 a pop for the standard Deborah Lippmann polishes because they swatch like a dream. Most have a jelly like finish which I love.

Anyway, if you don't like glitter polishes then you're probably recoiling in disgust right now because this is like a multicoloured disco ball exploded on your nails. I love the chunky glitter particles and don't think I've seen anything else like it.

My cuticles and skin around my fingers are awful, I apologise. These photos show about three coats and it's a bit patchy but I prefer that way. I found that you have to "place" the glitter on the second coat rather than just brushing it on. Haven't got a clue about how long it lasts yet because I only bought this 2 hours ago.

It's still in stock on the HoF website but who knows how long that will last so get it whilst you can if you want it.

Benefit b.right radiant skincare

The other week I attended an event held by Benefit in their Spitalfields boutique where they introduced their new b.right radiant skincare line. We were also given the opportunity to have a mini facial to experience the products in action.

After my makeup was removed, I explained that my main problems were the blackheads around my nose and chin area, and that the skin under my eyes could get quite dry. Bearing this in mind, the beauty therapist used the following products on me in the following order:

Refined finish facial polish
This polish contains natural clay and seaweed extract. It was applied as a mask and left on for a good 5 minutes. It has little particles that gently exfoliate and it left my skin feeling really clean. It also contains Glycolic acid to help smooth away imperfections. Plus it really did get rid of some of the blackheads around my nose.

It's potent eye cream
I loved this eye cream because although it isn't overly rich, my skin felt very moisturised and it has an instant cooling effect.

Ultra radiance facial re-hydrating mist
This was used last of all and liberally sprayed onto my face. It contains Benefit's tri-radiance complex to deliver immediate and long-term hydration, which is exactly what it did as my face felt refreshed afterwards.

These are already on sale (prices and more products here) but the facial mist launches on the 21st May 2011 along with the Moisture prep toning lotion and Remove it make up remover.

I was impressed with the results of my mini facial and my skin looked far more polished and less dull than before. The products look and smell great. The scent is vey light and refreshing - in my opinion there's nothing worse than heavily perfumed products! All in all, I think this skincare line is really good quality and there will be something for everyone.

We were sent away with this mini trio kit which is brilliant if you're not quite sure what to get or whether you will like it or not. It's currently £7.50 from Benefit's website but it's limited edition so be quick! They also had this in Debenhams but I can't see it on the website. If you do want to buy a full sized product, Debenhams currently have 10% off on all beauty & fragrance products (in store tomorrow) and free delivery until the 21st May.

I've almost finished my sample pot of It's Potent and I've already bought the full sized version, so an in depth review on that soon. Is there anything from this new skincare line that you'd like to try?

Swimwear shape guide featuring Figleaves S/S collection

I own exactly two swim suits and they're both athletic ones from Speedo, designed for lengths in the pool not exactly prime for looking good whilst sunning myself on the beach. I'm not lucky enough to be going on holiday this year but if you are, here's a guide which may be helpful in finding the perfect swimwear for your body shape featuring the new collection by Figleaves.

Athletic and slender, with narrow shoulders and hips and a slightly defined waist. 
Show off your slim shape in a bikini and add volume to your hips and bust with bright prints and frills.

Shaped legs, shoulders and waist are balanced with a full bust and round tummy. 
Draw attention to your legs with high cut briefs and look for tummy shaping designs to flatter your mid-section.

Full, curvy hips with narrow shoulders and a smaller bust. 
A halterneck bikini top will give the illusion of wider shoulders which will balance out your hips. Ruffled or printed tops draw the eye upwards. Classic bikini briefs  will also flatter.

Full bust and rounded hips defined by a nipped in waist
Try a cup sized bikini top with underwiring for comfortable support. Show off your well-balanced shape in bold prints

Narrow hips and a slender waist with wide, athletic shoulders and a full bust.
Balance your lower half with patterned or detailed bikini briefs to draw the eye to your hips and waist. An underwired bikini top is a must for good bust support, comfort and uplift.

Sponsored post

My recent beauty buys

Charles Worthington Daily Defence Heat Spray: How can you tell if your heat protectant spray works well? I find it difficult because my hair always ends up splitting anyway. I guess I buy them and hope for the best? I'm ashamed to say I picked this up because the pink bottle stood out on the shelf. Only bought it this afternoon so haven't used it yet. Fingers crossed!

Gotta B Urban Bronzer Brush: Never heard of this brand but spied it in TK Maxx yesterday. I was instantly wooed by the chunky wooden zebra print handle and it was only £5.99. It's SO soft and despite being branded as a bronzer brush, I'm using this to apply my blush :)

Tweezerman for Benefit Pointed Slant Tweezer: I received this from a Benefit event I went to last week so it's not an actual purchase. The pointed tip is brilliant for tweezing out stubborn eyebrow hairs. I think everyone should own some Tweezermans. They are expensive but so worth the money as I use mine every day. I also have a mini slanted pink version which I carry in my bag.

Topshop Lip Polish in Melba: Popped into Topshop to get some shoes and couldn't resist picking up this lip polish. Like a less gloopier version of lip gloss and much more pigmented.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara and Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara: Both are highly recommended and I've never tried Voluminous before. I've been wearing it everyday but still can't decide if I like it or whether it's just "okay". I've used the MF mascara before and loved it but sadly I think this particular one is fake. I was being a cheapo and bought it in the market for a fiver and it's NOTHING like the one I used to have. Boohoo.

MAC lipstick in Vegas Volt: Wore this in my last post though can't see the colour well. I've wanted this colour for ages and I finally decided to buy it after Kaushal posted about it. Will eventually do a separate post on this at some point.

Bad gal waterproof liner: I hate the original version of this eyeliner but this one is much more pigmented. I bought it after seeing Lisa Potter-Dixon (head makeup artist of Benefit UK) use this on a model to create a really simple smokey eye with the smudger on the other end of the pencil. It doesn't hold a torch to Avon's waterproof eyeliner though!

What have you bought recently? :)

Experimenting with braids & an accidental FOTD

My hair is really boring at the moment and it's getting on my nerves. I have a few long layers and a grown out fringe which is becoming hard to style. If I don't straighten it I look like a frizz ball, and if I do, it becomes lank and lifeless.


Not that you can see much of my makeup but I'm wearing:

Eyes: MAC fluid line in Blacktrack, L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, Benefit Gilded eye pencil & MAC Moisturecover select concealer in NC44.
Face: Benefit Girl Meets Pearl & Sleek Coral blush on cheeks
Lips: MAC Vegas Volt lipstick applied sheer.

Anyway whilst watching Gossip Girl this week, I really liked the way Blair's hair was done and I tried to recreate it but my stupid fringe kept falling out. 

Episode stills taken from YKYLM

My solution? Braid it in any way possible and hope for the best. I had some help with the french plait (thanks Mum!) and I did a normal small plait on the left side and pinned it underneath. Doesn't look amazing but I feel it's much better than before. Keeping most of my hair up also kept me cool in the scorching summer sun.

I'd love to be able to do french plaits in my own hair and I really want to know how to do a dutch braid. I've been watching lots of YouTube videos and getting a dead arm from practising. Can anyone recommend any good video tutorials?

NOTD: Barry M Peach Melba + Pink Instant Nail Effects

Two of the latest polishes from Barry M. Chubby fingers ahoy!

Summer is all about soft peachy shades and Peach Melba is perfect. Sadly I don't think it looks great on me, perhaps if the colour was deeper? Also it was really thin/streaky to apply and you definitely need three coats.

I loved the black crackle polish so it was a no brainer that I would buy one of the new coloured shades. I was considering the white one but eventually pink won out. The finish is matte but I will be applying a glossy clear coat over this. You can't really see from the photos, but the crackle polish "ate away" at the colour underneath and thinned it out. Not that you can tell from a distance but it's certainly noticeable close up. So annoying :|

P.S I finally drew a winner from my Benefit giveaway, congratulations to Gaby!

My hayfever survival kit

Every May, my hayfever arrives in full force and if you're a fellow sufferer, you'll know how much of a nightmare it is: Painfully itchy, puffy eyes, sensitive runny nose and stomach wrenching sneezes. I don't like popping pills too often especially as most of them make me feel queasy, so I only take an antihistamine when my symptoms become unbearable. Otherwise I try my best to manage them with other methods.

My eyes are the most affected and keeping them soothed is what I prefer to concentrate on.

  • During hayfever season I always tend to wake up with puffy irritable eyes and using a cooling eye gel really helps. I have been using this Dr Nick Lowe gel and the cooling effect is instantaneous. It also tightens the skin around your eyes, getting rid of the puffiness.
  • I try not to rub my eyes too much so when my eyes get really itchy, I wash them out with water (hopefully washing away any pollen too) and put on a chilled gel eye mask. My mask is from Anatomicals but you could also use cotton pads soaked in cool water, or good old cucumber slices. I should probably buy some eye drops too but I'm terrible at putting them in (think Rachel from Friends).
  • And lastly the best prevention method I have, a pair of sunnies! It keeps pollen from entering my eyes and though it won't stop EVERY single particle of pollen, it makes a remarkable difference to me.

Any more tips from other hayfever sufferers? What's in your survival kit?