Monday, 27 April 2009


The P Stands for Payday.

Sometimes I don't think I'll ever get used to being paid monthly. Back when I lived in Canada, bi-monthly was the norm. However, when I helped out at my mom's workplace while I was in high school, I was paid at the end of the working day. Which, quite frankly, rocked hard. Then when I moved here and started temping, we got paid weekly. Which was again, awesome.

Now, I get paid at the end of each month, and to be brutally honest, sometimes I totally suck at budgeting. Even though I'm making a lot more money now than I did when I was temping, at the end of the month it feels like I've got nothing at all. I find it impossible to break my monthly pay down into 4 or 5 "weeks". Instead, the day I get paid I already know what money has to go where and budget accordingly. A amount for my Direct Debits and Travel money. B amount for my rent. C amount for food and incidentals. D amount for MAC. And, this month there's also E to pay off last month's credit card bill, and F to pay the deposit for my trip to Cancun. Next month I get to pay off my flights to Canada - all I can say is THANK GOD for the overtime I'll be getting at the end of May because seriously. It was a good hundred pounds more than the last time I went to Canada. Stupid inflation.

Anyway, I'm digressing. The whole point of this post was not really to rant about my finances (I mean, I'm always saying how I'm broke, but I'm paying off two vacations by September, so that's probably why=P)

The point of this post is to rant about MAC instead.

When I get paid, the first thing that springs to mind is the urge to go on MAC's website and compile a shopping list to take to my local MAC Counter (Meadowhall). The problem is, I'm also trying to save so I've got extra spending money when I go to Canada, so I've got a specific amount of money each month that is free to spend on makeup. So, however much I'm lemming the 109 and the 134 brushes, I can't. Because unfortunately, my entire MAC fund this month needs to be set aside for Rose Romance.

And there's also the fact that I'm on a strict No-buy until my Pro card comes. Why should I pay full price for things when I can use my card to get the discount? Exactly. The Pro card also means no more trips to my MAC counter, since they only take it at freestanding stores. So it's looking like all my MAC purchasing for the forseeable future will be mail-order on the Pro phone line. I'm just hoping the card gets here in time for Rose Romance (I've got the number already but not the card)

Rose Romance is released in the UK next Thursday (the 7th of May) and my shopping list, while I have cut it down, is still somewhat... expansive.

So far I've managed to get it down to:
Et Tu, Bouquet? Eyeshadow
Of Summer Eyeshadow
Blush of Youth Beauty Powder
Summer Rose Beauty Powder
Just a Pinch Gel Blush
Circa Plum Pigment
Mutiny Pigment
Secret Crush See-Thru Lip Colour
Loving Touch See-Thru Lip Colour
Tender Tryst See-Thru Lip Colour
Love and Friendship nail laquer (and I might pick up a second one of these for a contest prize later)

Sigh. Originally I also wanted two lipglasses, two lipsticks and another eyeshadow, so I've cut it down a BIT.

Finally, my first NYX lot sale haul came in the mail yesterday =] (the second should be here from America in a couple weeks) I'll post my haulage if and when my phone/computer will allow me to transfer pictures. I'm starting to get annoyed by this. Grr.

Anyway, what are you guys getting from this collection? I'm still on the fence about the eyshadows but I haven't decided yet. I need to go on the hunt for dupes.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Damn it

So, I was going to do an excited post all about how I did an awesome eye makeup tutorial for YouTube yay! Except that it was 13 minutes long so YT rejected it. Notyay!

I'll redo it. And now I suddenly realize why all the tutorial chicks out there do one eye already and then just do the tut on the second eye. Sigh.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Review: Soap And Glory "Clean Mary" Cleansing Milk

Yep, it's review time again! I don't have access to any of my photos still so other photographical things will be coming once I can get stuff off my phone. That includes an up-to-date Makeup And Skincare Collection, and I may do a Shoe Collection post after I move (all but 6 pairs are packed up in a box at the new house right now), since shoes are a total obsession for me, too.

In the meantime, I thought I'd review a new product I picked up last week =]

I have to be honest and say that Sarah is how I discovered the Soap And Glory brand. She did a couple of videos about Soap and Glory products, and I was intrigued. I needed an eye moisturizer anyway, so I hit boots and checked them out. Of course, Boots also had a 3 for 2 sale so I stocked up =]

Product Name: Soap And Glory "Clean Mary" Cleansing Milk
What is it? The answer is in the name: it's a creamy facial cleansing "milk" with a body-lotion-like texture.
What the manufacturers say: "Clean Mary includes a natural, seaweed derived non-acidexfoliating complex – PORESHRINK-RS that helps reduce dead skin cell build-up (and therefore helps prevent blackheads!) "
Skin Type: The bottle says suitable for all skin types

In A Nutshell: Essentially this is just a facial cleanser, but in reality it's more than that. First of all, because it's a milk, it goes on the skin like a lotion - pump it into your hands and apply to your face, rubbing in circles. Because it's also got "pore shrinking" complexes in it, you can concentrate your efforts on problem areas where you may have enlarged pores. The active ingredients in it also get rid of excess sebum - which is the yicky white stuff that clogs up the pores. Sebum oxidizes and turns black when it comes into contact with oxygen: this is what we call "blackheads".

What I like about this is that you don't necessarily have to use it on wet skin. When I'm feeling lazy I just pump it into my hands, rub all over my face, and then rinse off and pat dry. Don't ask me why splashing my face first is such a hard deal, I have no answer other than that I am lazy sometimes.

It's a cleanser but NOT a makeup remover, so please remember to remove your makeup before you clean your face with this. Its job is to clean your skin and pores, not to take a truckload of gunk off your face.

What it actually did: Personally, I think this cleanser does do what it says on the bottle. I know that the general consensus is that "anything that claims to refine or reduce pore size is lying" and I'm very careful not to buy into the hype surrounding skincare products. I'm pretty cynical and jaded when it comes to that kind of thing. But the truth is, I have noticed that my pores don't look as big and obvious, which may be in part to the fact that the sebum-reducing ingredients in this seem to work. I usually have dark speckled pores all over my nose, that aren't quite proper blackheads but still darkened sebum deposits. And this cleanser does seem to have made them less noticeable on the whole. It also didn't dry my skin out, which is always a plus with anything, since I have very dry skin to begin with.

>> Smells wonderful
>> Gives me a slightly cooling, tingling sensation while it's on my skin. I like this because it seems to signify to me that it's doing something other than just rolling around on my face.
>> Didn't dry my skin out, which is something a lot of cleansers tend to do
>> Super handy pump bottle - I love that you can lock the bottle. Some cleansers don't let you re-lock the pump after you've released it, and that is a huge pain in the ass to me. I might re-use the bottle for a travel bottle for my shampoo or something when I've used it up.
>> No hefty price tag!

>> Because it doesn't "lather up" like most cleansers do, at first it can seem like it's not doing much more than any lotion would do to clean your face. But the tingly feeling tells you that it is!
>> Due to the nice smell, some people who are sensitive to fragrance may have allergies

Recommended? Yes
Product: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Quality: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Review: Johnson's Baby Wipes (As used as a makeup remover)

Product: Johnson's Baby Wipes - as used as a makeup remover
Area of Use: Face
Product Claim: "As mild as pure water to skin and eyes."
Response: If water was really this "mild" I'm pretty sure we would all be dead.

Overall Rating: 0/10
Recommended? Definitely not

Note: I was going to try to break down my rating system - or rather, create an actual rating system and structure - but I think that will come later. On this particular product, it wouldn't work. Because while I could give this product maybe a 4/10 for packaging and a 6/10 for value for money... I would still have to give it an overall ZILCH, which wouldn't really balance out. So, look for a new rating system in the near future!

So, here's the story all about how... I decided to buy these wipes in the first place! (Had you going there for a second, hey? ;]) I've been in the market for a new makeup remover for a while. Or I really should say, ANY makeup remover. I didn't use removers for a long, long, LONG time. First, I was one of those who used to just go to bed with a full face of makeup, all the while knowing how damned bad it is for you. (Sidenote: the turning point for me was learning all about the wonderful world of milia. Click the link, you'll never go without washing off your makeup again) After I got through that phase, I would just use whatever cleanser I was using at the time to take my makeup off. And as I'm sure most of you know, the majority of cleansers on the market are not forumated to take off makeup AND clean your skin at the same time. So I can be honest and say it was a half-assed job.

When I finally did start using makeup removers, it was because of a little bottle of Take The Day Off makeup remover that came with the Clinique 3-Step Skincare System my grandmother bought me for Christmas 2007. I used it, and I have to say it really did the job, and I continued to use it. Because of two Gift With Purchases (otherwise known as Bonus Time! at Clinique) I wound up with two more little bottles of the stuff and have continued using it since. But, this isn't a review on the Clinique remover (which I may do later, but I'm digressing).

I decided that I wanted to try a different makeup remover, because the Clinique one always left my skin feeling oily, and the oil would stop my facial soap/cleanser from lathering properly, so I always felt like I had to wash my face twice - which to me, defeated the purpose of taking off my makeup first. First, I bought a L'Oreal one at Tesco, a "milk-to-toner" remover. Of course, most toners are alcohol-based and you can therefore imagine what the process of trying to take off eye makeup with that stuff was like. So, back on the market.

About a week ago I went to Tesco, and while wandering down the baby/beauty/etc aisle, I remembered: baby wipes! I'd read all over the internet how baby wipes are supposed to be amazing for makeup removal. The rumours all said that baby wipes were "just as good as MAC wipes, but a hell of a lot cheaper". And, because they're formulated to be used on a baby's skin, they're meant to be super-gentle, and everyone said it left their skin feeling super soft. (I'm not going to go for the obvious pun here, but you know what it is and I'm sure you were expecting it!)

The first night I tried them, the skin underneath my eyes felt rather raw and after a while there was a quazi-severe burning sensation. I splashed my face with some water to cool it down and then put on some more moisturizer, and it soon went away. I thought maybe I had over-wiped or had been too aggressive, and soon forgot all about it. I used the wipes every night after that, trying to be careful but still coming out with some unpleasant tingling under my eyes.

Really, I should have learned then and there, but they were on sale and I bought TWO packages, and yeah, it was taking my makeup off and the raw feeling was totally endurable. In other words, I'm dumb.

Tuesday night, however, was the turning point, and I will never, ever, use these on my face again. On Tuesday I was wearing the following makeup: Liquid and kohl eyeliner, black mascara, concealer, foundation, and a dusting of MSF. Ordinarily I'd also be wearing blush, some lip product (I didn't because on Tuesday I was at the orthodontist), and anywhere from 2-5 colours of eyeshadow. That night, when I took everything off - very gently, I might add - my skin felt more raw and sore than usual, but I mostly ignored it. Though I'll admit that by this point I was getting ridiculously irritated with the wipes anyway. When I went into the bathroom to wash my face and spend four hours brushing my teeth, I glanced into the mirror - and almost died.

I looked like I had some kind of serious, nontreatable skin condition.

I had come out in a raw red rash in splotchy areas of my forehead, cheeks and around my eyes. But the worst part was the "bruises" - I had come out in a ton of teeny tiny red-blue-purple abrasions, which looked like someone had poked me in the face repeatedly with the dull head of a pin, leaving literally hundreds of teeny bruise-like abrasions. It was scattered all over my face, but it was far more pronounced around the eye area. These marks are still visible today, and I'm really hoping they hurry up and fade.

So, due to the havok they have wreaked on my skin, the score I give these babies is 0/10, and I would never, ever recommend them to anybody else.

I concede that yes, it might just be my skin - although my skin can be sensitive, it doesn't usually react to things, especially like this - and I'm not dropping the hammer on every brand of baby wipes out there by any means. But this experience has made me very wary of trying any other brands because, well, you never know.

Here's the video version that kind of shows a little of the damage these did to my skin. I still have marks today, but they look like they're starting to fade a little so hopefully they won't be around much longer. My webcam isn't amazing at detail-shots, and it's auto-lighting-fix thing can make images look smoother and more soft-focus than they really are, so you can't see anything SUPER clearly, but... well, whatever, just watch and have a look-see for yourself.

Yes, that's me without makeup. But I swear my skin isn't usually that bad - those baby wipes did some serious damage >.<

Thank goodness my Studio Sculp Concealer and Studio Fix Fluid Foundation managed to cover the brunt of it so I didn't look like a leper at work today...

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


So, a couple of things to update. I got my Sugarsweet and Colour Ready haul last week - yay! - and I've taken my photos and written up my haulage. It'll be posted once I get my photos uploaded. And this is not an empty promise this time (read: Hello Kitty =/) I swear. It'll be up in the next couple of days.

I'm going to do some more reviews as well, once I've made my mind up about a couple products - like the Skin Refined Treatment that came out with Colour Ready - and I know for sure I'm going to be re-reviewing Studio Sculpt foundation and Studio Fix Fluid.

If there's anything else y'all want to see reviewed, just drop me a line (you guys can get me on email at - take out the #, I put it in to stop spambots finding it). If I can get a hold of it and have the cash to buy it to try it, I will definitely oblige =]

The second update is that my MAC Pro application was approved today and I'll be getting my card soon. So excited - but now I kinda wish I waited to get all my other MAC stuff until this came through. Oh well, it will be a huge help in the future. I hope they do some of their master classes nearby so I have a chance to attend too.. Yay!

Anyway, more soon!


Thursday, 2 April 2009

MAC Collection: Euristocrats II

And another one for you. Enjoy! I can't wait for the product and promo photos, they help me compile my mental shopping list. Once again, I'll update once I've got that info.

MAC Euristocrats II Collection
U.S. Launch Date: July 2nd, 2009
UK Launch Date: Unknown

Lipstick (Limited Edition)
Costa Chic Light coral (Frost)
Naked Paris Mid-tone brown with multi deminsional pearlized pigments Lustre)
Patisserie Creamy neutral pink (Lustre)
Milan Mode Deep pink with multi-dimensional pearlized pigments (Lustre)
London Life Deep berry with multi-pearl pigments (Lustre)
Saint Germain Pastel pink (Amplified)
Cockney Yellow red with multi-diminsional pearl pigments (Lustre)

Date Night Deep plum with blue and gold pearl (Permanent)
Euro Beat Peach coral with gold pearl (Limited Edition)
Internationalist Yellow pink with blue pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Local Colour Neutral yellow pink with gold pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Roman Holiday Med brown coral with pink pearl (Permanent at MAC Stores Only)
Rue de Rouge Light red with pink pearl (Limited Edition)
Vie Veneto Light violet with blue pearl (Limited Edition)

Lip Pencil
Magenta Vivid pinkish-purple
Cherry Vivid bright bluish-red
Subculture Underground pink
Whirl Dirty rose


MAC Collection: Colour Craft

So, thanks to the lovelies over at Specktra, I've got some information on a new colour collection for you all. No product or promo photos yet, but I'll update once we've found some more information. Enjoy!

I'm looking forward to this one, since I missed the Mineralize craze last time around - and I really want me some Porcelain Pink!

Also, this collection marks the repromote of the 226 Tapered Blending Brush, so those of you who couldn't get it, here's your chance! I'll probably pick up a backup - the brush is just THAT amazing.

MAC Colour Craft Collection
U.S. Launch Date: July 9th, 2009
UK Launch Date: Unknown

Madly Creative Pink neutral with white pearl (Frost)
Ever Embellish Plum brown with red pearl (Lustre)
Made with Love Bright coral pink (Lustre)
Colour Crafted Milky pink (Frost)
Trimming Talk Bright fuschia (Frost)
Most Popular Purple with yellow undertone (Lustre)

Pretty Pattern Warm mid-tone beige
Crazy Haute Blue pink
Nice Mix Up Burnt ginger
Funky Fusion Pink coral
Eclectic Edge Cool violet
Miss Marble Muted pink

Mineralize Skinfinish
Three of these are the normal style, the other three are similar to the BBR style, but with three colours.
Sunny by Nature Rich bronze with pink pearl pig
Cheeky Bronze Soft golden coral wth bronze pearl
Porcelain Pink Soft pinky coral wth gold veining
Triple Fusion Left: Soft champagne gold, Center: Soft golden peach, Right: Rose pink with gold nuances
Smooth Merge Left: Soft champange pink, Center: Deep rose, Right: Pale cool pink
Warm Blend Left: Antique gold, Center: Mahogany Bronze, Right: Copper

Mineralize Eyeshadows
These are in a pinwheel style assembly, with four colours in each one
Assemblage White with silver pearl / Deep grey / Black with silver glitter / Warm yellow gold
Odd Bits Mid-tone silver grey / Dusty rose with gold pearl / Dark burgundy/ Peachy bronze
Fashion Patch Ice blue / Off white / Black with silver glitter / Light white pink
Eccentricity Rich gold / Light violet / Deep plum/ Rich bronze
Natural Flare Copper / Yellow orange / Mid-tone brown / Rich gold
Girlish Romp Mid-tone violet / Yellow white with gold pearl / Light pastel coral / Mid-tone pink

Mineralize Blush
Hand-Finish Light pink with deep gold veining
Fab-dabulous Mid-tone burnt coral with yellow gold veining
Daft Pink Deep blue pink with light white gold veining
Improvise Mid-tone neutral coral with light white yellow gold veining
Cheek & Cheerful Mid-tone bronzy brown with yellow gold veining
Style Demon Mid-tone brick red with copper veining

226 Small Tapered Blending Brush Small tapered blending brush (Limited Edition)
109 Small Contour Brush Use on the face to apply, blend or contour powder products. Softly rounded dome tip delivers just enough colour; smoothly blends colour into the face. Of natural fibres. (Permanent)
130 Brush Flat Tapered Face Brush with short natural hairs and long synthetic fibres (Limited Edition)


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Oh Man...

It embarasses me to admit this - or rather, if I had any deep sense of embarassment it would, but I'm actually super hard to embarass - but I just tripped out over something ridiculously tiny. I loaded up MAC's Canadian website (the American one always redirects me to the UK one if I go to the homepage. I can bypass it by doing a google search and clicking a link direct to a product page but seriously, who has that kind of patience? I don't) so that I could compare notes re: my previous post. I wanted to see if the same items were lacking the Limited Edition symbols, to see if I could get in any research and find out for sure.

Then the collection photos started to roll over on the front page. And I swear to god I did a double-take when I saw the Hello Kitty Kouture one and immediately clicked it all "dude, what!" and then when I went to price them, I was like "Why is this in dollars?" and then everything clicked into place.

Yet more evidence that yes, I'm a natural blonde and no, I'm not the smartest person in the world.

Sugarsweet and Colour Ready are Live!

Just a quick note to let all my lovelies know that the Sugarsweet and Colour Ready collections are up on MAC's UK site as of right now!

I've already placed my order but I'll post about that once I've got everything and will do a haul post/video.

Good news is that it looks like the Transparent Finishing Powder and the Prep + Prime Line Filler from the CR collection are permanent - there are only a couple of items in the collection that have the Triangle Of Death. Which makes me happy, since I've been psyched about the Finishing Powder and if it's as good as I've heard it could fast become a staple.

The Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone, however, IS Limited, and sounds like a great product - makes large pores disappear? I'm sold - so if you want it make sure to snatch it up while you can. Aside from that, the only other Limited Edition item in the whole collection is Bitter eyeshadow, a bright lemon-lime colour. I could've sworn it was permanent before, but I can't be sure...

Also according to MAC's website, the only lipstick from the Sugarsweet collection that is Limited Edition is Sweet Thing, the bright pink one. The other four have no Triangle of Death. Interesting. Could it be that Lollipop Loving has earned its right to be permanent? And Saint Germain, the perfect matte bubblegum muted baby pink could really be available for always?

MAC, you spoil me.

But seriously, you NEED to make the 226 permanent too. The makeup universe begs it of you!

Don't quote me on this because it's entirely possible that I'm wrong and the LE symbols are simply missing from the website. But how hard would it rock if I was right?

I was also relieved to discover that Stars N' Rockets isn't going Limited after all. It's a colour that I'm after, but hasn't reached the top of my list just yet, so I figured I could hold off on that one. But the other day, I could not find it on the website. Even a vague search for "rocket" was giving me zilch, so I was beginning to think they'd made it Limited and were taking it out of the Permanent line completely. BUT that doesn't look to be the case, which makes me a happy bunny.

Happy April Fool's Day!

If MAC send me an email telling me this was all an elaborate joke for April Fool's Day, and the order wasn't really processed and I still have to wait until next week before I can buy anything, I am going to be SO PISSED.

XOXO, Vix =]