Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cute Yet Practical Nail Varnish Storage

One of the things I seem to be obsessed with right now is nail varnish. I buy one and seem to instantly find another I want to buy - so my small(ish) collection is ever growing! As you can see from the picture below, I'd been keeping my nail varnishes is a plastic zip up Clinique bag - I can't for the life of me remember where I got this, I think it came with an eye themed set I bought awhile ago. The varnishes were already teetering on the edge of this bag and the recent addition of my Barry M Chameleon varnishes meant I definitely needed something new. 

Then the other day I was walking past a Store Twenty One and spotted some cute storage boxes in the window. They had a quite a good range of designs and sizes and I ended up coming away with the two boxes below. You can tell they're not the best quality in the world, but they're decent enough! The smaller box was a bargain £1.99 and the larger box £2.99. The small box opens upwards on a hinge using a pretty bit of ribbon, whereas on the bigger box it has handles on the ends and the lid just comes straight off.
I LOVE the colour of these and the vintage type pattern. My boyfriend and I have been thinking we'll re-decorate our bedroom soon and now I've got my heart set on this pale shade of turquoise combined with cream/white. Not the most manly shade, but he'll get used to it I'm sure... :-)

I've almost already filled up the small box, but I've always got the bigger one for when space runs out! I might even go back and get another small one, then I can split my varnishes between the two and use the bigger one for makeup (or vice versa). On a different note, I'm not sure why the ribbon between the lid and the actual box is only on one side, but they were all like this, so it's a mystery!

What I really like about these boxes is that they're cheap yet nice to look at, plus they're really practical- easy to store on top of one another wherever you have space.

You can't seem to view or buy Store Twenty One's range of storage online, but they do have a store locator if you fancy seeing if there's a store near you. To go to their website, click here.

How do you store your nail varnish collection?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Barry M Chameleon Nail Varnishes

Ever since Barry M announced their new range of Chameleon nail varnishes, I knew I had to get my hands on them! The concept of this range is that you apply the varnish as normal, then when you apply top coat the colour will change in front of your very eyes. Ooooooooh. 

There are three colours in the range; I picked up Chameleon Pink and Chameleon Blue, but there is also Chameleon Lilac.

The stripe and writing on the lid indicates what colour the varnish will change to when you apply top coat. 

WARNING! My attempt at a bit of nail art to show you how these Chameleon varnishes work isn't particularly tidy!! (I've gone for a stripe across the tip of the nail.) But I hope it gives you a good indication of the colours.

Chameleon Pink

Chameleon Blue - complete with a chip on the thumb (I caught it on the tap while washing my face - boo!)

I love the metallic finish to the pink and the blue, I think they're gorgeous colours. As you can see from the pictures, the Chameleon Pink changes to a lovely deep yet vibrant purple. However, with Chameleon Blue, the chameleon colour that it changes to doesn't quite seem to match up with the colour on the lid. On the lid it looks like a plummy purple shade, but on my nails it looks more of a purpley brown. I still think it's nice, but the overall effect is that the varnish seems more muted and wintry- especially compared to the bright, summery pink/purple combo. 

The varnish itself dries really quickly. It's quite a thick formula though so you have to be a bit careful that you don't apply too much onto the nail; a little goes a long way. 

My Verdict
Overall I'm really glad I did pick these up. It's a fun nail varnish range that you can play around with time and time again and I'm looking forward to trying some different designs using my top coat. Or you can just go for one colour or the other- it's like having four nail colours for the price of two!

Barry M Chameleon nail varnishes are £3.99 each - click here to view the range on the Barry M website.

Have you tried any of the Chameleon range yet? What's your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx


Saturday, 23 June 2012

What's in my Makeup Bag - Essentials #1

I've been loving these sort of posts right now, so it's inspired me to do my own! 

I carry around a relatively small makeup bag, mainly to save space in my handbag (I carry a LOT of stuff...!) so it just contains my daily "essentials". Everything else lives in a large makeup bag on my bedside table (if you'd be interested in seeing a post on this one too, let me know). 

I bought this makeup bag about a month ago from H&M at a bargain £2.99. I love the floral pattern and the big bow just makes it that bit different. The inside is a lovely teal colour to match the bow, complete with a gold zip.

My carry around items are:

  • Cover FX Natural FX Water Based Liquid Foundation SPF 15 in shade E0 - for a full review click here
  • Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder in Light Beige
  • Powder Brush
  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
  • Clinique Airbrush Concealer in Neutral Fair
  • Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Brown - for a full review click here
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24H Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze - for a full review click here
  • Witch Anti-Blemish Liquid Concealer in Light - for a full review click here
  • Bourjois Effet 3D Lip Gloss in Rose Romantic (old version - bought cheaper from the internet)
I also have a couple of Born Lippy Stick Lip Balms that permanently live in a zip up compartment of my handbag - full review here.

In the week my makeup is very basic - lazy really! I always use my foundation, concealers and powder without fail, but often don't bother with mascara. However at the weekend I definitely make more effort and use mascara with either the Maybelline eyeshadow or gel eyeliner.

If you would like a review on any of the above items that I haven't reviewed already, please leave me a comment below and I'll add it to my post list! :-)

What's in your makeup bag? Is your makeup look different in the week to the weekend?

Beauty Bird xx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Eye Love - Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

I've been using this eye cream for 6 months now and it is well deserving of this review. I've tried many "budget" eye creams, including Simple and The Body Shop, as well as higher priced ones such as Origins, but found they did little more than hydrate. I seem to have inherited my dark circles as I've had quite pronounced ones since I was little (thanks Mum!), complete with a wrinkle. This means I generally always look tired, even if I'm not. I was on the lookout for an eye cream that really delivered and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye kept cropping up. I finally gave in and parted with £36.00 for the 15ml pot. In the rather large box (bit deceiving!) you also get a little applicator and a paper booklet with more information about the complete Advanced Night Repair Collection.

The "Science" Bit

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye works on three areas (extracts taken from the accompanying booklet):

1. ENHANCED REPAIR - Chronolux Technology helps skin optimize its natural repair processes to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 
2. ENVIRONMENTAL REPAIR - AGT Repair Technology continuously repairs the appearance of past damage caused by UV light, smoke, pollution and even emotional stress. Keeps the entire eye area looking fresher, rested and revitalised. 
3. PREVENTION AND HYDRATION - Hyaluronic acid helps skin lock in moisture and strengthen its protective moisture barrier. Powerful anti-oxidants help neutralise environmentally generated free radicals before they can cause future damage. High levels of soothing anti-irritants and targeted technologies help reduce the look of dark circles, puffiness and crepiness.

The formula is fragrance free, non-acnegenic, dermatologist tested and ophthalmologist tested. It is not really a cream formula, Estee Lauder describe it as a "serum-gel".

My Verdict

After a couple of months of using this morning and night as advised I did notice an improvement in my under eye area; I can tell that the skin there is in so much better condition now than it was before. My skin is well hydrated, my skintone is less uneven, and the texture of my eyes is smoother and brighter. As mentioned before, my dark circles are permanently bad but I have noticed a small reduction in them- perhaps not significant enough for anyone else to notice, but significant to me. I haven't noticed any improvement in the wrinkle under each eye though.

Is It Worth The Money?

For me, yes it is. I haven't had as good as results from any of the other eye creams I've tried. It is expensive, but my first pot lasted me five months, so it works out as costing £7.20 per month - that's like the equivalent of a day's lunch or buying a couple of monthly magazines. Not bad really! Plus both times I've ordered this on the Estee Lauder website, they've offered free delivery for orders over £30.00 and two free samples with every order!

I'm really tempted to purchase the Advanced Night Repair face serum now, but holding off until I have a quiet month and some spare cash!!

Click here to view the Advanced Night Repair Eye on the Estee Lauder website.

Do you use an eye cream? What's your favourite? Have you tried any of the Advanced Night Repair Collection?

Beauty Bird xx


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24H Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze

I'm not very experimental when it comes to eyeshadow, perhaps even boring! I tend to stick to the same colours - browns, bronzes and taupes, as I think they complement blue eyes. They're also great colours that can translate from day to night depending on the depth of colour. Maybelline Color Tattoo 24H Eyeshadow in On and On Bronze* is therefore just up my street. 

This is a new range of eyeshadow from Maybelline and is marketed as a cream gel eyeshadow. I do love the formula; it's silky, smooth and easy to apply. The colour is a gorgeous, intense bronze that really catches the light. 

I've worn it quite a lot and in different weathers just to give it a good old test drive. Although I can't say I've worn it for 24 hours, I've worn it for a good 12 or so hours and the staying power is impressive! I haven't applied eye primer when using this and it still lasts ALL day! To carry it on into night I have had to touch up a little of the eyeshadow around the crease of the eye though. 

This eyeshadow is only £4.99, which I think is a great price considering the size of the pot and the quality of the formula. I absolutely recommend trying it and when it runs out I will definitely go and buy a replacement.

Are there any negatives? The only one that comes to mind really is that the complete colour range offered isn't very wide. To view the range of Maybelline Color Tattoo 24H Eyeshadows, please click here.

What eyeshadow are you loving at the mo? Have you tried any of the Color Tattoos?

Beauty Bird xx

*Item won in a giveaway.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sweet Treats: The Body Shop Born Lippy Stick Lip Balms

I thought I'd share with you a couple of lip lovelies that are now permanent features in my handbag - Born Lippy Stick Lip Balms by The Body Shop. This is a relatively new range to The Body Shop, which come in 6 yummy flavours. It's a welcome addition for me as I'm not keen on the Born Lippy Pot Lip Balms - I find them too gooey and a little sticky.

The two flavours I have are Lychee (left) and Pomegranate (right), the first was bought for me for my birthday and the second I bought myself.

Swatches - Lychee (top), Pomegranate (bottom)
Lychee is a clear, shimmery lip balm. The shimmer however is fairly subtle and definitely doesn't stand out as much as shimmery lip gloss, but gives a nice shine to the lips. The scent is quite sweet, I've never smelt lychee before so I can't comment on whether it's authentic, but it reminds me of sherbet rather than fruit!

Pomegranate is a red-dy orange tinted lip balm. It gives a subtle wash of colour to the lips with a nice sheen. The smell is lovely, very fruity but not overpowering.

Bare lips



Both lip balms glide on easily and feel lovely on the lips. The balms aren't just about the quirky packaging and yummy flavours, they are moisturising too and my lips feel soft for ages afterwards. One of the ingredients is Beeswax, so this explains a lot! However if you're after a highly pigmented lip balm then these probably won't be for you.

You do have to re-apply these after a few hours but the flavour does linger - my boyfriend gave me a kiss a few hours after applying and moaned that I was wearing "lip stuff" (he hates it!!).

Other flavours in the range include Toffee, Plum, Pink Berry and Strawberry and they retail at £3.00 each. To view the Born Lippy Stick Lip Balm range on The Body Shop's website click here.

Have you tried any of the Born Lippy range? What lip balms are you loving right now?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 10 June 2012

My Skin Tips for Spot & Acne Prone Skin!

This post is based on my own experiences and advice I've been given from others. It's primarily aimed at spot/acne prone skin, which is what I've suffered with since my early teens. Although the acne has thankfully gone, I'm still very spot prone and do hope for the day when I only get that a once-a-month-breakout. Even if you are lucky enough to have clear skin, please still have a read as I think most of these tips will translate across all skin types.

I do believe that what doesn't work for one person works for another, so it's not that these are necessarily guaranteed, but I hope you like!

  • Have a skincare routine and follow it as religiously as possible. Always take off makeup! You can view my skincare routine here.
  • I cleanse and moisturise my skin morning and night. At night I double cleanse- the first cleanse takes off surface dirt and makeup, which means the second cleanse is really getting to your skin and into pores. 
  • Wash your hands before touching your face to stop transfer of bacteria - I wash them before cleansing and before applying/touching up makeup. 
  • Wash your makeup brushes regularly- I do mine once a week.  
  • Of course most people will say no to picking your spots. I agree, but it's often easier said than done!! If I do, I only pick if the spot is ready. I wash my face first so that the warm water opens up pores and softens any horrible whiteheads. Don't pick down into your skin with your nails, as this pushes the gunk in further. Pick upwards with your fingertips - making sure your fingertips are covered with cotton wool or tissue to stop spreading of bacteria.
  • If you're really despairing over your skin, go and get advice from a skincare professional. Read my experience with Dermalogica Face Mapping here.
  • When looking for foundation, powder and blusher look out for labels such as "non-comedogenic" (won't cause/worsen blackheads) or "non-acnegenic" (won't cause/worsen acne). "Oil free" is another one to look out for, but this can be deceiving because some products that say this may actually contain other ingredients that will cause spots. 
  • My beauty therapist advised me to avoid using products on my face that contain the following spot promoting, pore clogging ingredients:
          - Talc - often used as a "filler" in powders and blushes    
          - Mineral Oil - this is difficult for skin to absorb
          - Paraffin Liquidium - another term for mineral oil
          - Lanolin - a waxy oil made from sheep's wool
         - SD Alcohol / Alcohol Denate - a pure form of alcohol. Using this regularly on your skin will dry it out and your skin will then overproduce oil to make up for the oil that has been removed by the alcohol. 

Of course this list is not exclusive. I'd be interested to hear what ingredients in cosmetics you avoid!


Of course leading a healthy lifestyle will contribute to healthy skin, though it's not guaranteed that this means no spots. However I recommend trying the following:
  • Drink lots of water! It keeps your skin hydrated. 
  • Start the morning with a hot water and lemon drink. I read this tip on the internet a few years ago and I personally think it makes a difference to my skin. The reasoning behind it is that lemon is a natural antiseptic and contains Vitamin C, which helps your skin from the inside.
  • I often find that I get a breakout when I've been really stressed, so I'm more aware of how I react to stressful situations now.
So there you go, my skin tips! Sorry it's been such a wordy post with no piccies to break it up. Hopefully it doesn't make me sound too skin obsessed...!   

What are your favourite skin tips?

Beauty Bird xx                                                                                                                                           


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Nail Love & **First Ever GIVEAWAY**! (Closed)


I am in love. With a nail varnish. I bought this a few weeks ago and have ashamedly, only just got round to wearing it. Models Own in Indian Ocean is from the Beetjuice range, which is a range of shades inspired by the colour-shifting wings of a beetle (click here to view the range). Indian Ocean is described by Models Own as "a calming, iridescent blue with soft pink undertones". It is GORGEOUS. I don't want to take it off my nails!

At certain angles you catch just the blue, then a hint of pink, then a big burst of pink. I found it quite hard to photograph the colours, so I've taken them in a range of lights and I'm still not sure my photos quite do the nail varnish justice. If you love shimmery, sparkly nails then you must give this a try, it is officially a new favourite of mine!

Partly because I love it and partly to celebrate a little three month blogiversary, I am going to GIVE AWAY a Models Own Indian Ocean to one lucky person! I also couldn't resist picking up for the giveaway a Models Own Mystic Mauve as well, I haven't tried it but it reminds me of a lighter version of the gorgeous Topshop Eyes of Steel. (I must do a NOTD on this varnish, but in the meantime click here to view it.)

I want to say a big thank you to everyone for their support since I've started this blog, whether you've followed my blog, commented on a post, read a post, followed or tweeted me on Twitter. It means a lot!

The Rules:

  1. All you have to do is comment below with your email address, so I can contact you if you win!
  2. To gain an extra entry, you can tweet about the giveaway: "I've just entered Beauty Bird's Models Own giveaway on". If you don't follow me on Twitter, please include the link to your tweet in your comment below so I know you've done it (if you follow me, tagging me in the tweet is fine - @beauty__bird). 
  3. This is a UK giveaway only - sorry!
 This giveaway closes on 30th June. The winner will be chosen using the website

Beauty Bird xx

01/07/12 - Congratulations to Tattooed Tealady for winning!
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