Monday, 14 April 2014

NOTD: Barry M LE 50 Years of Superdrug!

I knew as soon as I saw it that I was going to have to pick up the Limited Edition Nail Paint Barry M have released in celebration of Superdrug's 50th Birthday, which is now available in Superdrug stores. The polish is a super-bright, slightly metallic pink with a tonne of glitter in it - micro, small and medium hexes in both pink and white. It definitely brings Superdrug to mind, for me, and I absolutely love it!! It goes on quite sheer with the first coat, but two coats would be passable - I went with three as I wanted to really build up the depth of colour. You could also layer it over a pink polish in a similar shade. The photos below show three coats over a base coat of Nail Envy, with a layer of Jacava London's UV Filter top coat, which didn't smooth it off entirely but did add a lovely shine.
Barry M Superdrug 50th Birthday Polish
NOTD Barry M LED Superdrug 50th Birthday
NOTD Barry M Superdrug 50th Birthday Polish Pink Glitter
I love the way this looks on the nails - loud, bright and very summery, it's basically my ideal polish! I have to say, however, it is an absolute nightmare to remove, as you'd expect from a polish with that much glitter in. Barry M's Superdrug Birthday polish is priced at £2.99 for 10ml and is available from Superdrug.
What do you think? Will you be picking up this Limited Edition release from Barry M in collaboration with Superdrug?


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Tag: The 'Not Another Tag!' Tag

The lovely Hayley created this rather tongue-in-cheek tag which I thought was quite good fun; so, although I've not actually been tagged to answer the questions, I thought I would anyway - what a rebel! I hope you enjoy reading my answers, and if you've done the tag yourself please do let me know!!
The Not Another Tag Tag
The Rules
You must mention both Hayley & the person who tagged you in your post (and the rules too).
Once you've answered all your questions you need to tag 5 people.
Also if you tweet me the link to your post (@teapartybeauty) I will RT.
If you are tagged & don't do the post you will have bad luck for 68.5 years. FACT.
1. You've made it BIG & bagged some VIP Fashion Week tickets. You lucky devil, you. But in your rush to get there & get yourself noticed, you forgot your VIP Passes. The guy on the door says he will cut you a deal; you can go in only if you sacrifice either your Front Row seat, backstage privileges or goody bag. What's it gonna be?
I'd lose the backstage privileges - I wouldn't be that fussed at all as long as I had a good view of the actual shows, and I wouldn't want to lose the chance to get some lovely new bits and pieces to play with!
2. You're making a new Subscription box, what 4 items & which dreaded perfume sample would you include in it?
Ooh this is a fun one! Taking it seriously, I'd like to see a foundation actually suited to my skin tone - is that so much to ask!? I'd go for a blusher in a wearable shade, maybe a peachy coral for Spring? A pretty, neutral cream eyeshadow which would be perfect as a base for other shades... And a Tangle Teezer because I really want to try one! As for perfume - I'm really not too sure, maybe a Jimmy Choo scent as I do love those.
3. What's your biggest blogging bugbear? The one thing guaranteed to make your blood boil & have you screaming/eye rolling at your laptop?
Poor spelling and grammar; I honestly can't be bothered reading the same sentence three or four times trying to figure out what it's supposed to mean. I know not everyone can spell well but honestly, every computer has a spell/grammar checker!? They're not foolproof but some of the blogs I've seen have obviously never been anywhere near one.
4. No more joining in Twitter chats only slightly relevant to your blog. You can only join in one blogger chat a week for the rest of your blogging days, which one's it gonna be & why?
The only chat I ever actually (occasionally) take part in is the #bbloggers one on a Sunday (and Wednesday when I remember), so I guess I have to go with that!?
5. 'Fess up, do you actually own any MAC? If so what don't you like about the product?
I do. I have one lipstick, five eyeshadows, and one Mineralize Skinfinish. I do like them but think they're all way over-priced for what they are!
6. The Blogging Gods ban arm swatching, which body part will you swatch on now?
Ooh. Maybe my ribs. Just for fun.
7. You can no longer have Yankee Candles & Perfume Bottles in the background of your shots, what other inanimate object will you choose?
I don't use either as photo backgrounds! I actually just use some wallpaper samples, and occasionally my carpet/curtains. I really like flowers in photo backgrounds, though!
8. Your blog's Instagram - is it for cats or meal shots?
In my case it's actually dogs - and meal shots! Also sunrises/sunsets, and mega close-ups of my outfits/accessories/make-up. I'm such a cliché!

I'm tagging Kel, Laura, Amy, Jennie and Rachael! Your turn, ladies - you don't want 68 and a half years' bad luck, now, do you!?


Friday, 11 April 2014

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque*

I was recently sent a couple of Montagne Jeunesse's new face masks to try out, one of which was their Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque with Laver Seaweed and Sea Buckthorn. I have to admit I was pretty keen to try this one out almost entirely because it's black; it definitely appealed to my inner goth!! This interest was compounded by the peel-off nature of the mask, as peel-offs are definitely my favourite kind of face mask; everyone knows they're the most satisfying! Montagne Jeunesse say, "Our chopped black Laver Seaweed (from the Welsh seaside) and crushed Sea Buckthorn berries are pressed together to make our black peel off mask. A seaside detox to cleanse deeply and peel off dirt and grease weekly. Ultra deep cleansing straight from the sea."
Montagne Jeunesse Black Seaweed Peel Off Mask Review
I followed the instructions on the sachet, cleansing my face before applying in an even layer, avoiding my eye areas. The mask is quite a thick, black gel-like liquid which kind of made me feel like I was rubbing tar onto my face; nonetheless, it spread quite easily and didn't sting at all as I applied it. As it dried, I could feel the mask growing tighter around my nose and mouth, which is always the sign of a good peel-off in my book! The mask did seem to 'run' slightly on my face, hence the drips you can see below. After about twenty minutes I began peeling off from these areas first, followed by the rest of the mask. As it lifted away from my skin, I could see it pulling gunk from my pores, and all the dead skin cells were visible on the "inside" of the mask - gross but satisfying to know it's doing its job so well! The mask peeled off really easily with the exception of a patch on either cheek where the dripping had made it slightly too thick, but another ten minutes drying time saw that peel off, too. I followed this up with a shower as I invariably get bits of peel-off stuck in my hair and eyebrows... Once I was done, my skin was left looking much brighter and feeling smoother and softer than previously; I also had noticeably fewer blocked pores, particularly on and around my nose. These results have lasted a good few days which makes this mask a winner for me!
Montagne Jeunesse Black Seaweed Peel Off
Montagne Jeunesse's Black Seaweed Peel Off Masque is available directly from the Montagne Jeunesse website, priced at just £1 for a 10ml sachet, which I think makes it really good value and definitely puts it in the 'affordable weekly treat' category! I'd recommend this for those who need a good pore clear-out or are after a little bit of brightening; I'll definitely be repurchasing. Have you tried a black peel-off mask? How often do you use face masks? What's your favourite Montagne Jeunesse Mask?

[*Please note this product was provided for review purposes; this does not affect my review, as always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.]

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Six Mini Reviews #4: The Body Shop, Bochéry, Viktor & Rolf & More

Once again, I've managed to amass a few samples which I've used up; I've actually had this little heap quite a while but for one reason or another, never quite got round to writing about them... Until now! This is actually quite an unusual selection in that I'd consider buying almost all of them in full size - in the past, these posts have been much more evenly split into yeses and nos! Anyway, here are six little samples I've used up recently, and my thoughts on them.
Six Mini Reviews #4 Bochéry B, Body Shop, L'Occitane, Viktor & Rolf
Bochéry Nanoface Eye Cream* I was kindly sent a few sample sachets of Bochéry's Eye Cream along with the full-sized Cicatrizel I received to review; I have to admit that it's very hit and miss whether I remember to actually use eye cream but I did pretty well with this, remembering to use it most evenings. I really enjoyed using it, the cream had a gel-like texture which felt light and hydrating on the eye area. I found it worked quite well to reduce puffiness, but dark circles aren't really a problem for me so I can't comment on how effective it would be on those. At £35 for 30ml, this is a pricey product but one that I would consider buying in full-size in the future as I found it so pleasant to use.
B. Pure Micellar Water This travel-sized bottle was part of a gift-with-purchase I received from Superdrug a few weeks back now; I used the micellar water of an evening as a pre-cleanse, sweeping it over my face on a cotton pad to remove make-up before cleansing properly. I found it really effective in removing my make-up, including eye make-up, although it did struggle with my waterproof mascara. I really liked this product as a quick and easy way to remove make-up before cleansing and will definitely consider buying the full-sized product, which is £4.99 for 150ml (though it's currently on offer at £2.47, so now would be a good time to buy!)
The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream I received this sample at the #TBSXmasBonanza event I attended back in December, but held off starting it until I'd finished the day cream I was using at the time. This tiny sample pot lasted me a good three weeks of daily use, which I think is really good going! The lovely, light texture felt really nice on my skin, leaving it soft, smooth and well-hydrated without being sticky or oily. Make-up applied beautifully over it, although I'm not sure whether I'd say it lived up to its mattifying claims or not. Nonetheless, it's a lovely moisturiser and I think I'll be getting the full-size, £10 for 50ml.
The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask Again, this sample came from the #TBSXmasBonanza event, and the little sample pot was good for two uses. The mask had quite a distinctive, though not unpleasant, scent, and felt pleasantly cooling on the skin. It hardened as it dried, and took a little bit of effort to remove, but left my skin feeling clearer, softer and smoother straight away. I'll definitely be investing in the full-sized version of this just as soon as I've cleared a few more face masks from my stash! 100ml of this will set you back £12.
L'Occitane Angelica Cleansing Gel This was a magazine sample quite some time ago now and I found it at the back of my cupboard with just enough left in for one face wash; I remember quite liking it when I was initially using it, it was effective for removing my make-up, smelt beautiful, and left my skin soft and clean. However, it contains SLS, so I wouldn't buy it again purely for that reason. The full-sized product is £16 for 200ml.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum I already knew I loved this scent, so I tried to make this 1.5ml sample last as long as I could. I am honestly hopeless at describing scents, but apparently this consists of top notes of Osmanthus, Bergamot and Tea, heart notes of Jasmine, Orange Flower, Rose and Orchid, and base notes of Musk and Patchouli. Either way, it's a gorgeous perfume and one I really loved wearing, so hopefully one day I'll be able to treat myself to the expensive full size - starting at £48.50 for 30ml.
Do you use sample products? Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts? I'd love to know what samples you've tried recently!!


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

FOTD: In The Light

It's been a while since I've shared a FOTD post just because, rather than as part of a review of a particular product, but recently I was inspired by a post by Kate over at Gh0stparties and decided to try out the look she'd created using Stila's In The Light palette, which I've had for a while now. I love the In The Light palette and think it's absolutely beautiful, but I've only really worn the shades individually; I've never experimented properly with combining the shades until now. Here, I've used 'Kitten' over the whole lid, 'Gilded Gold' in the crease, and 'Luster' in the outer corner of my eye and along my lower lashline. I also used the Smudge Stick which came with the In The Light palette, 'Damsel', along my waterline and to tightline my lashes before applying mascara. The shadow is all blended out to give a lovely smokey effect which isn't too dramatic for daytime wear; I actually really enjoyed wearing this look and will definitely be trying a few more combinations from my In The Light palette!
FOTD Stila In The Light
The rest of my face is really pretty standard; W7's lovely HD foundation buffed out over my Holy Grail primer from Pop Beauty, with Soap & Glory's Kick-Ass Concealer to cover dark circles and blemishes. I used MUA's Pro Brow Kit to fill in my brows, as usual, and kept my lips bare to allow all the focus to be on my eyes. I used two blushers, although I find that MUA's Mosaic Blusher in 'English Rose' is really more of a highlighter as it doesn't give much pigmentation but rather a lovely glow. 'Stereo Rose' is an old favourite and one I go back to time and time again for an effortless glow. Finally, my mascara is just the one I'm using at the moment, which I'm not especially in love with, but it does a reasonable job.
In The Light FOTD
in 'Barely There'; MUA Mosaic Blush in 'English Rose'; MAC Mineralize Skinfinish
in 'Stereo Rose'; 'Kitten', 'Gilded Gold' and 'Luster' from Stila In The Light
Palette; Stila Smudge Stick in 'Damsel'; Max Factor False Lash 
Effect Mascara in 'Black-Brown'MUA Pro Brow Kit.]
Do you like this look? Do you keep on experimenting with your palettes, or do you find you fall into habits of using certain shades certain ways?


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review: Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream

Shopping for stocking fillers for myself just before Christmas last year (one of the many pleasures of being an adult!), I picked up Sanctuary Spa's Hand Cream in Boots on something as a whim, as the ingredients list looked pretty eczema-friendly and I seem to recall it being a bit of a bargain at the time. As I've mentioned many times previously, I suffer quite badly with eczema on my hands and consequently get through an unholy volume of handcream! I've been using this little tube for a couple of weeks now and have been pretty impressed.
Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream Review
The description on the tube actually sums up the product quite well, making it sound appealing and luxurious: "A velvety cream enriched with shea butter and sweet almond oil, used during spa manicures to soften and care for hands." As handcream tubes go, this is quite a nice one; white plastic with an orange flip-cap, and the product information printed in dark grey. I find the tube practical as well as pretty, with the flip-cap making it easy to dispense product. The cream itself is a medium consistency, not too thick nor too runny, and spreads easily over the hands. It has quite a strong, spa-esque scent to it, which personally I'm not a lover of, but I know others really enjoy this type of scent, so don't let me put you off. The cream absorbs super-quickly without leaving behind any greasy or sticky feeling. As claimed, I find this product works quite well to soften my hands, although I have been using it in conjunction with Bochéry's Cicatrizel as my eczema has been particularly bad the past few weeks. If you have "normal" skin and are just after a bit of extra care, this will be ideal!
In all, Sanctuary Spa's Hand Cream is a lovely option for adding softening and moisturising the hands, with a spa-like scent and hydrating ingredients such as Shea Butter and Sweet Almond Oil. Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream is available from Boots, priced at £3 for 30ml of product.
Have you tried Sanctuary Spa's Hand Cream, or any of their other products? What do you think of typical 'spa' scents?


Monday, 7 April 2014

NARS & Guy Bourdin 'Crime of Passion' Palette

I was incredibly lucky recently to win the beautiful Crime of Passion palette by NARS & Guy Bourdin, from the lovely Nuala at Dolled Up London - thank you so much Nuala! ♥
NARS Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette
The collaboration between NARS and Guy Bourdin has been much-hyped amongst bloggers so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get my hands on this palette. Described as an 'Eye, Cheek & Lip Palette', Crime of Passion contains three eyeshadows in the shades 'Jezebel', 'Naïade' and 'Pandora (II)'; a blusher in the shade 'Deep Throat'; a bronzer in 'Laguna'; and a Larger Than Life lipgloss in 'Deep Throat'. I actually already own the 'Deep Throat' blusher and it's one of my all-time favourites, so it's lovely to have this as a back-up.
Nars Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette 1
The packaging is the typical black, rubberised finish of NARS products, with the name of the palette on the label underneath; the Guy Bourdin products are differentiated from the regular NARS range by the splash of red "lipstick" over the logo. Upon opening, the first layer contains the three pressed powder eyeshadows; these lift up to reveal the blusher and bronzer. Behind these is a mini-tube containing the lipgloss, whilst in the lid is a good sized mirror. All in all, the packaging is neat and compact, and would be ideal for travelling with. The rubbery packaging can get quite grubby, but I find it cleans up nicely with a baby wipe!
NARS Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette Eyes 2
The three eyeshadow shades are very wearable; 'Jezebel' is a peachy-golden champagne shade with shimmer, whilst 'Naïade' is a red-toned brown with shimmer, and 'Pandora II' is a matte black. None of the shades are particularly unusual or special in and of themselves, but I'm hoping the formula will make up for this; high-quality basics are always good to have. I have to say, when I swatched them (below), I found that 'Pandora II' was quite chalky and lacking in pigmentation for a black shadow, so I'm hoping that it'll fare better on my lids with a proper application!
NARS Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette Eyes
'Deep Throat' is a peach-pink blusher with a golden shimmer to it, which I find very flattering on my pale skin; it really wakens my face up and highlights beautifully. 'Laguna', meanwhile, is a mid-brown with a golden shimmer to it. I am not a bronzer wearer as I'm always scared that it'll look weird on my super-pale skin, but I have heard a lot of people say that they use 'Laguna' for contouring, so I'm looking forward to trying it out for that.
NARS Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette Cheeks 2
NARS Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette Cheeks
Finally, 'Deep Throat' lipgloss is, again, a peachy pink with golden shimmer which will be beautiful for summer and will look lovely paired with the matching blusher; in all, I think this palette is a great 'all-in-one' offering, giving you the products you need to create a look which ties together nicely. I'll be doing a full review of the palette once I've had a chance to have a proper play with it - I've just been looking at it since I received it, it's just so pretty!
Nars Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion Palette Swatches
What do you think of the Crime of Passion palette? Have you bought any of the NARS & Guy Bourdin collaboration products? Which has been your favourite of the products released? I really love the look of the 'One Night Stand' palette!


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Recipe: White Chocolate Brownies

Fudgy White Chocolate Brownies Recipe
Doing a spot of baking on Friday, I decided to try something a little different, on a suggestion my step-son made a few weeks back; White Chocolate Brownies. I basically followed the exact same recipe I use for regular brownies, but swapped out my dark chocolate for white chocolate!
White Chocolate Brownies Recipe
Start by beating three medium eggs with 325g Caster sugar in a stand mixer; beat until they're thick, white and fluffy. Meanwhile, break 200g White chocolate into a glass bowl, and add 175g Butter, cubed. Melt this, either over a pan of simmering water, or in thirty-second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between.
White Chocolate Brownies Recipe 1
Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg and sugar mixture, and continue to beat for a few seconds until combined. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add 140g Plain flour and ¼tsp Vanilla extract; beat until just combined. Pour the mixture into a baking tin lined with baking paper; my tin is around 30cm x 20cm. Place in the oven at 170°C for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove and allow to cool before slicing into squares.
Gooey White Chocolate Brownies Recipe
These are actually really easy to make and worked so well; they taste amazing! They're quite gooey and fudgy in texture, which is exactly how I like my brownies. If you're a lover of white chocolate, I'd definitely recommend you give these a go, and I'd love to hear how you get on.
Have you tried adapting any chocolate recipes to use white chocolate? What would you like to try?


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Review: Neal's Yard Lip Gloss in 'Goji Berry'

This wee lipgloss tube was a freebie with Marie Claire last month (the April issue with Katy Perry on the cover, if you happen to see it still in the shops!) - I did intend to review it much sooner so that you'd be in with a chance of being able to pick it up if you liked the sound of it, but as per usual life didn't go quite as planned and I'm only just getting around to it - sorry!
Neal's Yard's description of this product makes it sound like the perfect mixture of lip care and colour all in one handy little tube: "Lipgloss with organic orange oil and antioxidant white tea, to moisturise, smooth and protect." With 94% organic ingredients, and a wealth of natural ingredients including Hemp Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil, this sounded like a really promising way to add a hint of colour and gloss to the lips, with the added benefits of moisturisation and protection!
Neal's Yard Lipgloss Goji Berry
The tube is pretty basic; a clear plastic, squeezy tube with a dark blue screw-cap and an angled applicator for easy use, the Neal's Yard logo and product information are printed in dark blue to match the cap. It's easy to squeeze the product from the tube, and it spreads easily across the lips. The first thing I noticed was the scent, a beautiful orange flavour which comes from the Orange Oil in the formula, which makes it really quite pleasant to use. The scent lingers on the lips and becomes a taste which I'm less keen on but it's not unpleasant per se. The shade I have, 'Goji Berry', is an orange-red with a slight shimmer in the tube and, indeed, when swatched on my hand. On the lips, however, it just appears as a lovely finish with no real colour added, making it perfect for a really natural look, but less so if you prefer to add some colour with your lipglosses. You could, of course, layer it over your lipstick of choice for the best of both worlds! My favourite thing about this lipgloss is how it makes my lips feel; smooth and moisturised, without being sticky in the slightest! I rarely wear lipgloss as I can't stand having sticky lips, but I've been reaching for this almost daily since getting hold of it, which says a lot for me. I don't find it lasts particularly well on the lips, around an hour or so, but I guess that's because all the lovely, moisturising ingredients are soaking into my lips and making them healthier - so I don't really mind reapplying.
NYR Lipgloss Goji Berry
[Ingredients: Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil, Hydrogenated castor oil,
Cera alba (Beeswax), Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) wax, Mica,
Citrus sinensis (Orange) peel oil expressed, Linum usitatissimum
(Linseed) seed oil, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) Seed oil, Tocopherol,
Camellia sinensis (White tea) leaf extract, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower)
seed oil, Persea gratissima (Avocado) oil, Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil,
Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) oil, CI 77891 (Titanium dioxide),
CI 77491 (Iron oxides), Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool]
Neal's Yard Lip Gloss is available from Neal's Yard, priced at £9.50 for 15ml; it's quite expensive for a lipgloss, but then again it's cheaper than the likes of MAC's lipglasses and much better in terms of caring for your lips! The lipglosses are available in seven other shades so if 'Goji Berry' doesn't sound like quite your cup of tea, you should be able to find something to suit you!
Did you pick up this freebie? Have you tried any other Neal's Yard lipglosses? What do you think of 'Goji Berry'?

[Please note that although this product was received as a freebie with a magazine, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!]

Friday, 4 April 2014

Joyful Dresses

The weather today suggests the north of England may have had what Spring it's going to get, but I'm ignoring the facts and looking at pretty Spring dresses with unrivalled optimism. Joy have some absolutely beautiful dresses at the moment which will be perfect once the weather finally gets its act together; until then, you'll find me looking at them longingly and daydreaming about picnics and butterflies and topping up my Vitamin D levels...
Joyful Spring Dresses
(Clockwise from top right):
The beautiful bright print of the Syreta dress would be perfect for a wedding outfit, this is definitely my favourite of these picks! I really like the asymmetrical hem of the Chica dress, with its pretty floral print. The graphic print of the Ivette is equally gorgeous, and I love the lace across the shoulders and in the back of the dress. The playsuit is, obviously, not strictly speaking a dress, but it would be perfect for casual Spring/Summer attire over a plain white top, with bare legs and tan sandals. The Cathleen dress is another favourite with its lovely peach colour; this would be so nice for picnics! Finally, the Slash Shoulder dress is a really nice mint colour and the cut-out detail around the neckline makes for quite an unusual look.
Which is your favourite of these dresses? What are you most looking forward to about Spring? Have you ever shopped at Joy?