essjay23x

A Sincere but Light-Hearted Mission To Make More of Myself!

Posts Tagged ‘benefit

Handbag lipsticks!

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Handbag lipsticks!

Gemma recently talked of the gorgeous Ambre Rose as a ‘Handbag Lipstick’.

I love the term ‘Handbag Lipstick’. I think I have used the term ‘Go to’ before but that sounds so boring and functional in comparison to ‘Handbag Lipstick’.

Handbag lipsticks are those lipsticks that you keep in your bag everyday, the ones that you know you can just slap straight on to your lips, sans mirror, and they deliver a perfected finish without you giving a thought.

So this got me thinking what are my handbag lipsticks?
Please be warned, this post is picture heavy and some of them are not good but it should give you an idea of shades to google etc!

Ambre Rose, Patisserie, Hue, Beehive and Skinny Dip!

Ambre Rose from Maybelline

Firstly, I agree with Gemma. Anybody who has read my earlier Ambre Rose post will know that this is a lippie that I turn to. It is not particularly exciting but it always does the job and complements just about any look. It is also cheap and long lasting. With this in my bag, there is no reason why my lips should not look polished!

Patisserie from MAC

For some reason in reality, this reminds me a little of Ambre Rose and I tend to carry one or the other. I have to say that Patisserie is not a lipstick that I find myself daydreaming about or jumping out of bed to wear. I don’t find the colour of the stick or the swatch that inspiring but it does flatter the lips and add something once applied to the lips. I was surprised when Tanya Burr tweeted about this as a failsafe bridal lipstick. However, when I see pictures of looks using Patisserie, the lips always look lovely so I hope mine do too when I use it. It may not be my favourite MAC mate but there is no denying that Patisserie never really lets me down. There are never any tell tale lippie lines or patches. It almost looks so natural and maybe that is what disappoints me slightly but nevertheless, Patisserie does make the perfect handbag lipstick!

Hue from MAC

I love Hue. I have used her tirelessly. She gives a very pretty finish to the lips which I find particularly noticeable on camera. Unlike the pinky pinks, this peachy pink is less noticeable if you smudge or go over your lipline. It just seems to merge in to my natural lips seamlessly no matter how slap dash my application. I can’t resent paying MAC prices when I end up with a lippie as lush (and useful) as Hue, my very first MAC lippie and my original handbag lipstick!

Beehive from the No 17 MirrorShine line

This is currently my most worn lipstick. It has been endorsed by Holly and Laura and many others. It has been so well hyped and I’m pleased to say it more then lives up to all the raves. It is easy to apply and the colour is one I love, very similar to Hue although these pictures don’t really show this. Beehive is pinker then Hue but not as pink as my camera suggests and I certainly can not go wrong with Beehive. I have never noticed a blotched lipline(and I get a lot of those) with this gem. However, I have certainly noticed the mirror shine. This lippie finishes with the most flattering, subtle gloss and also as if it couldn’t get any better, Beehive also feels very soft and soothing when applied. This has been especially appreciated recently as my current skincare woes mean my skin and lips have become a little dried out and sensitive. This particular handbag lipstick was retailed below £5 in Boots and it is certainly worth every single penny!

Skinny Dip from Benefit

I have used this shade for years. It was my first ‘grown up’ lipstick. It is my perfect nude and for me, it can not be duped (let me know if you know one). It is a pinky nude, very pretty and feminine. I would say it doesn’t give me a lipstick finish but a pretty bare lip finish. My lips seem to be quite pigmented and so this works for me especially with my pale skintone which instantly looks softer after a swipe with Skinny Dip. It might not work so well for you but you never know, i it matches your colouring then I bet you will love this beauty. I suggest you all take two minutes to pop along to a Benefit counter just to check out my perfect nude, it may be the handbag lipstick you are looking for.

My handbag lipsticks all seem to be more nude then bright. I guess that is no surprise since handbag lipstick can be applied with no care and instantly deliver a polished look. You could hardly slap St Germain on and expect it to merge seemlessly in to your lips. However (and this is where you and I may differ) nor can I slap the notorious nude nudes such as Gosh Darling or Barry M 101 on my lips without chalky, tacky tell tell lines.

For me personally, it seems a handbag lipstick it needs to be a slightly muted pink or peach. Nothing brighter, nothing lighter.

What are your handbag lipsticks?
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Written by essjay23x

August 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Blush: Dandelion

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Blush: Dandelion

Dandelion is one of the ‘older’ boxed powders from Benefit.

Coralista and Sugarbomb got so much hype when they were released that I feel it is important to remember that some of the predecessors are still out there retailing at the same price (£23.50). I would imagine Benefit have a reason for this ie. Dandelion still sells.

Personally I tend to use this boxed powder as a blush. Benefit refer to the light pink as a powder ‘finely spun with delicate mauves and pinks’ and somebody else refers to it on Make Up Alley as a ballerina pink. This made me smile as the pretty powder does remind me of my little pink ballet shoes when I was little. This is a pretty blush but in a very subtle, ‘delicate’ way. I don’t think I’ve ever worn it out as a blush at night before. I don’t think it is a party powder and anyhow, I tend to have some kind of tan or glow going on when I go out and I think this pink would be too light to compete.

Dandelion is pink but unlike the almost red Thrrrob, Dandelion is maybe slightly off pink in certain lights which could be due to a very slight peach undertone.

I have never looked at my Dandelion dressed cheeks and thought, ‘shimmer’ but you can spot some in the box. Even though I’m scared to put this product all over my face, I have found nothing heavy about Dandelion when I use it as a blush. I finds it goes on quite lightly initially and needs building up a little to get any real colour. However even when I think I have applied it too lightly, it seems to add something and indeed the end result is that my skin looks healthier and more awake. I think I said Coralista makes your skin look more alive, I don’t think Dandelion has the same ‘look at me’ impact as Coralista. So rather then making your skin look more alive and up for life, I would say Dandelion makes your skin look more awake. It is a powder I would use on my cheeks whenever I want to look healthy and alert and once built up, I would say that it resembles the powder in the box.

Here you can see my cheek with only foundation.

Here with foundation and Dandelion.

I used about four swipes across my cheek to get this look. It does not appear quite as light in real life and in fact, it should be noted on my other cheek where I have few little marks, my cheek looked pinker a lot quicker. I’m not sure if this was because my skin was irritated further by the powder or if it was just because my skin there was obviously pinker to start with because it is irritated and therefore less colour build up was needed. I really could not tell. However I have seen some reviews that suggest this powder is very sheer. Now whilst I agree that you’ll probably get little colour with the very first swipe, you do get some kind of prescence and then some colour builds after one or two more swipes.

Dandlelion was my very first blush from Benefit. Like all of my Benefit blushes, Benefit describe Dandelion as a powder rather then a blush. Benefit suggest that you can use Dandelion wherever necessary to brighten. I don’t think I have ever done this. My skin is quite pale and I guess I have always been fearful of looking like a clown. I just do not think that this powder is as sheer as some reviews suggest and I’m still not happy applying to my whole face to brighten.

I’ve also heard people refer to Dandelion as a highlighter. I get that and indeed, I have used it in this way underneath my eyes to set my Erase Paste. It works but this is something I am reluctant to do unless I have time to blend properly, good light and a slight tan. Generally, I’m going to stick to my High Beam or MEMEME to highlight.

Blushwise, Dandelion can be flattering and lately I have tweaked the look layering it under Thrrrob. I like the effect. I will talk about this a bit more when I review Thrrrob.

Again Dandelion comes in the typical Benefit box with the little brush. I talk about this in my Coralista review here http://essjay23x.blogspot.com/2010/06/blush-coralista.html

Oh and yes, today I can certainly tell that this product has been perfumed.

Have you tried Dandelion? How do you use it? Do you have Well Dressed (MAC), how does this compare to Dandelion?

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Written by essjay23x

July 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Blush:Coralista

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Blush: Coralista

Coralista is a blush from Benefit. I actually have several blushes from Benefit (all of which will be reviewed at some point) but this is my most recent purchase.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this blush when it was first released. Many You Tubers and Bloggers were raving about it. Many citing it as a dupe for the infamous Deep Throat from Nars.

I find most Benefit products (apart from the Creaseless shadows) very strong. There is no doubt that this blush immediatly impacts on your look as soon as the powder meets your skin for the very first time. Although the colour appears a lot brighter and so much more vibrant in the box then it does on my skin, I still advise using a light hand to apply this product and then building up gradually. If you do so then a you can create a very pretty peach flush to flatter your skintone, no matter what it is.

However if you apply this product quickly and heavily then like all blushes, it will look just a bit odd and clownlike. In addition to this, I would say that with Coralista, you could also end up looking “Cullenfied” because like Photoready, there is some shimmer in Coralista.

I would say Coralista is a very pretty blush and compliments my skin tone (and in fact, flicking through reviews, most people say it suits their skintone whatever that maybe). However, I don’t think it is a particularly natural shade for me and it could come across as product rather then a natural glow but applied in the right way, this does not necessarily make it any less flattering. Make up can be attractive. Sometimes!

 

I would say the colour of the product sat in the box was an accurate indicator of the peachy pink shade which materalised on my cheeks but maybe the one on my cheeks was more subtle and teasing.

 

Coralista certainly stands out in my blush collection. I have a peach cream blush from Maybelline and there is no doubt that the cream product is peach. Meanwhile my other blushs such as Dandelion and Throb are obviously more pink. Even BlushBaby is different more of a matte (mature) product but Coralista is a very vibrant shade combining pink, peach and a shimmer which almost talks to you. I find it quite teasing and tantilising which maybe is why I think it is the blush to use for more casual fun occasions. The shimmer helps to awaken the skin (as I read in a review on Make Up Alley and thought ‘oh yeah, so true’) and keep the years at bay. I would say Coralista is a great blush for looking younger and well, more alive.

As is standard with Benefit blushes, this product comes in a beautiful little box with the standard brush (which I never use, I use my Sigma skunk). A lot of people find this cardboard box thing very annoying. I have mixed feelings, the box is very pretty and summery but if I wanted to take Coralista out with me, it would be very diffcult to do so without damaging the box and possibly the product. Maybe Benefit should design travel back ups in more pratical packaging. Some people say that Coralista is scented, when I think about it and sniff, I think I can smell something pleasant but I wear so much perfume that it might be better for you to test the product out for yourself (and have a sniff) next time you are at the Benefit counter.

The price of Benefit blushes are quite expensive, £23.50. I think that I would happily forego the smell and box if the blush was £5 cheaper. Like all Benefit blushes, this product seems to last. You need so little for it to do its job that even if you use it everyday, one box may well last almost a year.

Although Coralista is not strictly a straight peach, I count it as so and have worn it a lot lately with my friend, Frenched. Tanya Burr suggested in her wearable red lip tutorial that you wear peach blush whenever you wear a red lip. I must say that I have started to take to Coralista. When I first brought it, I was slightly disappointed because I struggled to apply it well. However now that I have got used to the product, I’m liking Coralista again. I think it is quite an original blush which can only mean a thumbs up for me and then of course, it quite a fruity peach, tropical and summery. Double thumbs up, I’m liking all things summery at the moment. Actually Benefit’s promo spill for this product is quite apt, ‘Our warm coral-pink cheek powder is your “coral blush for a tropical flush”! This shade cheers up every skin tone in seconds.’

Oh and I have just noticed that Benefit suggest that you sweep this across your cheeks starting from the hairline and working in. I always work out from inner side of the apple and slightly up to give those cheekbones a little tug and lift. What do you do with your blush? Do Benefit suggest this because there is more colour in the brush to start with and there should be more colour on the outer apple then the in? Argh, now I am confusing myself . . ?

What do you think of Coralista? What Benefit blush would you like me to review next? And also moving away from Benefit, what blushes do you recommend? I’d love to know :)

Girls, I do have a better picture of Coralista on my cheek but uploading seems too mammouth for my connection. I will try to edit it in soon!

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Written by essjay23x

June 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm

A Benefit FOTD!

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A Benefit FOTD!

For me at the moment, it is all about Benefit! I think the Glamour promotion got me digging out my Benefit products  again. As you all know I am currently besotted with Benefit Frenched so I decided to give the other Benefit products a chance to shine and do a Benefit FOTD.

So here we are

 

FACE

Some Kind of Gorgeous Foundation faker

Erase Paste

It Stick

Coralista

(Touch of Mac Mineralise SkinFinish in Light to Medium)

EYES

Erase paste

Birthday Suit Creme Shadow

Skinny Jeans Creme Shadow

Eye Bright

Bad Gal liner

Get Bent Mascara

LIPS

Skinny Dip

I like this look. It is perfect for everyday. Boring maybe but quite tidy and groomed. I feel comfortable wearing it.

I’m not too worried about the lipstick wearing away and leaving patches. Skinny Dip is an ideal nude for me (and one that seems to last a few hours), it is like a mauvy peach. Not as peach as Hue but not as pink as Angel. I have just made a You Tube video about Frenched and Skinny Dip http://www.youtube.com/user/essjay23x  and when I was swatching I found that the Benefit lipsticks seemed more pigmented then MAC.

 

For the eye make up, there is also little to fret about. I’m not thinking is this eye make up too much or too bright! It does just enough to highlight my eyes. It is very rare that I wear the creme shadows as the eye look. Normally I use them as a base in the same way that I would use my MAC paint tube or Erase paste. It is slightly more subtle then powder shadows but there is certainly colour there. Birthday Suit is a lovely light brown shade remniscent of Satin Taupe from MAC. While Skinny Jeans is probably the equilivent to Carbon. However, it is not quite as black more a dark grey and does need building up for impact. These Benefit shadows are meant to be creaseless. Um, not on me but my shadows are old and my application amateurish so I would imagine that most of you could get a better finish and to be honest, even my creases wouldn’t stop me from picking up these shadows for an everyday look again. I do like the added sheen, the subtle gloss, that you seem to get with these creme shadows but I find the shadows have a very subtle impact on the ovarall look. Somehow the color impact from the pot seems to disappear when applied to my skin, as if my skin sucks it up or something. I know that Lisa Eldridge has done a tutorial for a Smoky eye using only Cream Shadows but I would be surprised if a cream look could ever have as much impact on my eyes as powder. Personally I would use cream shadows to support a powdered eye or alone to complete a look which needed light eye make up.

 I have used the Get Bent mascara to slowly wean myself off the Max Factor Lash Extension Effect and it is working a little. The consistenancy of the mascara is similar to the Max Factor one and creates defined lashes with very few, if any, clumps. However, the innotative brush means the lashes are pulled up a little and slightly curls. Sometimes make up seems to close my eyes especially eye liner and mascara, the curl that this product gives lashes creates more of a wide eyed look. Yay!

 Oh and going back to the cream shadows, I tried to apply them with a brush but I found that the product seems to get lost in a eye shadow brush and it was just easier to use my fingers THEN a brush to define the edges once the colour was on my lid.

I haven’t really used the Foundation Faker for a long time. I used to use it a lot but the shade is a little dark for me. As with many Benefit face products, I think there are only limited shades available (in this case,2?) and even though I have the lighter one. I find I either need to be tanned or I need to work to ensure good application down my neck and decollatage area. I do love the product concept though because the foundation faker is in a little compact and almost like a cream shadow until it hits your skin and seems to matify. It does work well with the Erase Paste which as you all know is a much loved everyday staple for me. When I did this look, I was also very impressed with some of my Glamour freebies. The Eye Bright does brighten the eye but I’m not sure if you would see a big difference in the final look as to a time when you haven’t used it so I am not sure if i would actually buy this product again. However, the IT stick is magnificent just like my Erase Paste really but in pencil form even the shade for the IT stick suits me. I can see how my skin appears younger and more awake when I have used it. Very, very impressed. So much so that if my worse nightmare happened and when I run of Erase Paste, I can not get a replacement then I would not be so worried if the IT stick was available instead.

As for Coralista, well, it is with this product that I am going to leave you hanging as it is the next in my blush series so expect a review very, very soon.

I hope you are all well. Please let me know what you think of Benefit, I’d love to know! Don’t forget you can follow and comment at http://essjay23x.blogspot.com; https://essjay23x.wordpress.com; http://www.youtube.com/user/essjay23x and http://twitter.com/xessjay23x

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Three Things!

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Three things!

Here are three things that I’m liking at the moment.

1/ FRENCHED

This Benefit lipstick has defined the last week. Ever since the PixiWoo Christina Agrilia trutorial and Pixi2Woo wearable red lip one, I have being heading towards pan with this beauty. I am going to do a post/vlog very, very soon (I am wearing it in my new perfume collection videos http://www.youtube.com/user/essjay23x )  but this is a true, true red. No compromise or safe bet like the pretty but nowhere near as daring as Viva Glam Cyndi. Frenched is a berry red, a real red and I can wear it! Yay! And what is more, no gloss is required, a beautiful pigmented creamy finish is delivered by Frenched all by itself.

2/ SATIN TAUPE

I’ve always liked this one. It is so verstaile and can be used just for the lid or it can be the lid in a smoky eye or the contour in an everyday look. I’m favouring the mono look in the day and then smoking it up with carbon and sable (or one of the browns from my Sleek palettes) at night. I knew I liked this one but didn’t realise how much I wore it until I was flicking through some photos earlier. I love Sable but I think sometimes that is a little bit red for me. Satin Taupe is more of a greyer brown akin to Barry M Mushroom rather then chocolater colours.

3/ CURLIER HAIR

It must be the green tea because I am a ‘Sleek’ freak and almost always wear my hair straight on a day to day basis but I would say I have curled, flicked or waved in some way at least three times over the last month and I think I act differently with curled/waved hair. I’m more relaxed, more ‘blonde’, I guess. Maybe I think that I’ll get away with more as curly hair is so not me. It does take some heavy conical work to curl/wave my hair so that it wearable. My hair is not straight so I presumed (pre-curling action this month) that it was wavy or curly but no, curls actually fall out in a quicker time duration then the transformation from my straightened hair to frizz. I have come to the conclusion that my hair is just one great big puff ball. Although the Garnier Fructis Bamboo Finish and Hold Extreme (obviously) hairspray seems to help a lot!

What are you liking at the moment?

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Written by essjay23x

June 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Action time!

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Action time!

So I have been doing a lot of talking on my mission lately and maybe not enough applying. I think because my make up collection is now almost adequate (ahem, I do really want to try some more of the Famous range though), I have being less inspired to try things out.

So over the last couple of days, I have been trying to mix it up and try out some different looks. Some of them wearable, some of them not so.

Now my photos are still not great but I am going to show two looks that I created. Both of them are based on tutorials from Pixiwoo.

The first is Sam’s Festival look

See the tutorial here 

 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xJR_4sU3Dw&playnext_from=TL&videos=KkWH-dFZaLg

 

 

BASE

Benefit Hollywood Glo (instead of foundation)

Maybelline Peach cream blush

EYES

Sigma Indian Girl Powder shadow (This was a free sample, I can’t decide if it is a grey or brown shadow)

A Rimmel liquid eyeliner

Max Factor Lash Extension Effect mascara

LIPS

Collection 2000 Baby crystal

I had to impromise a little with products. I don’t think that I had any of Sam’s suggested products to hand. Her version seems to appear more bohemium and festival-like then mine but with a proper base, I’m actually quite liking this one for a daytime look. Saying that I will probably keep Hollywood Glo in the mix somewhere. I had forgotten that I had this product and I’m liking it. For a festival, I’d imagine it would be able to hold its own without a base. Also the Sigma eyeshadow was a bit of a revelation, I have heard Sigma make up been slated more then once but this shadow was a pleasant surprise although I can not decide what colour it is. Grey or brown?!

 

The second look is Nikki’s Christina Aguilera look.

See the tutorial here 

 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzEbNG8MxS0&playnext_from=TL&videos=XoapB9QIWrg

 

BASE

Revlon Photoready Vanilla

MAC Harmony (to contour, no blush)

EYES

RSVP from Benefit (as base and eye highlight)

Rimmel Glitzed eyeshodow (for the lid)

Maybelline Fudge( for the inner socket and then outwards to contour all the way to outer corner and brows)

Max Factor Lash Extension Effect Mascara

A little liquid eyeliner (applied to the roots of upper eyelashes)

LIPS

Rimmel red lip liner (until it broke)

Barry M Cherry Red Lip Laquor Crayon (to line and fill)

Benefit Frenched lipstick

My look ended up as a bit more of a Pin up vintage look rather then a Christina one. Maybe because I had no glitter (for the lips) or false lashes. Nic said that the lashes needed to look spiky so ideally next time I would use my double tubes (messy) mascara but this time I just tried to apply the mascara in very short, jerky movements covering bits of each lash at a time rather then brushing the mascara all the way through. Does that make sense?!

I felt a bit let down by Rimmel when I did this look. Firstly the red crayon type pencil from them snapped when I tried to use it to line my lips and secondly, I just feel that Glitzed (which I have posted about before https://essjay23x.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/rimmel-glitzed/ ) was struggling to speak for itself. The pigmentation seemed weak and the colour difficult to build.

So what about you? Do you use tutorials on You Tube to try and develop your make up pisazz? What teachers do you recommend?

X

Written by essjay23x

June 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Leaping in to Blush!

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Leaping in to Blush!

It came to my attention when the Top Shop make up range came out that people thought a lot of the Top Shop blushes. From what I have read, the blush products seem to be the strength of the brand.

Now I have yet to investigate the Top Shop make up range properly yet but I am determined to get a blush from the range.

The main reason for this, aside from the rave reviews, is that blush seems to be the one make up, pretty thing that I don’t get that excited about.

I have blushes and I wear them but to be honest, my eye sight can be shoddy and I can’t always see the difference it is making to my complexion and the chances are when I am thinking ‘ooh, this blush does make me look radiant’, it does not necessarily mean that the product is great or that I look fantaboulous to others. It is more likely the case that if I can see the difference a blush is making to my look then I have applied too much and in fact, look like a clown to everybody else.

So I guess that the relationship between Blush and I is difficult and I need to make a little more effort to try and embrace blush so this post is a bit of an introduction to an occasional series of Blush posts where I am going to celebrate all things blush. I will consider how I can make blush work and I will share the blushes I already have with you.

And hopefully this series will include at least one Top Shop blush so girls, please let me know, which one I should get!

I think Neon Rose and Flush look very pretty. What do you think?

 

Flush at the top and the brighter Neon Rose below.

Of course, they are quite different. I think I read once on Make Up and Beauty,Ie (Dazzledust25) that blushes are either coral or pink based and each individual is either suited to one or the other. So how do I find out which one suits me the best? I’m thinking it is probably whatever brings out your eyes etc best. That seems to be the bog standard make up test and using that I usually buy a lot of pink toned blushes but I do like Coralista and peachy eyeshadows so am I just sticking to the pink because that is more conventional for us English roses?

The blushes at Top Shop cost £6 which is maybe middle of the price range for a blush. It is probably one of Top Shop’s better value products. I just happened to notice (it wasn’t as if I intentionally clicked on to the lippie page and reviews or anything . . , aherm) that the lippies are £8.

Also as you will find out soon, most of the blushes I have are from Benefit. However, the ones I have are powder products and I’m very interested in getting a liquid blush for the summer.

Could Benetint or PosieTint be what I’m looking for? The rosy Benetint is the cult product but would pale old me get more use out of it’s little sister, Posietint?

I’m also struggling to find other liquid blushes. I think MEMEME have a dupe for the Benefit tints but I don’t really know how they compare. I have tried some of the Maybelline mousses but I’m not sure if that is what I’m looking for now.

And Elf and Nars, are their blush products worth investigating? I know that you hear a lot about Laguna and Casino.

So girls, I know that this is a very rambly post but I’m just leaping in to the world of blush full heartedly for the first time and there seems to be so much to discover so I’d love to hear your thoughts blush style?!

Images from The Top Shop website and Google Image Search

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Written by essjay23x

June 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm