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

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Pink Shimmer!

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When I did my blush series, I concentrated on offerings from Mac and Benefit but today, I would like to consider a cheaper product from MeMeMe, Pink Shimmer, £6.99.

Technically, the Pink Shimmer palette is not a blush but a highlighting powder. It contains five different shades of pink which you are meant to run your make up brush over and swirl on to your face to highlight.

As you can see, the pallette can get a little messy!

Well to be honest, this little product remained more or less untouched in my draw for more then six months because yes, I had the mega hyped higher end products to show off but also because some of the colours in this palette scared me. A palette that supposedly delivers pink shimmer yet one of the five shades looks pretty much red to me and at least two more of the colours are heading that way. Another one is bright, bright pink. I was never going to use this as a highlighter. Aren’t highlighters supposed to be subtle?!

However for whatever reason, I picked this palette up the other day and took a swirl using the resulting shimmer (don’t worry, it is a slight shimmer that is delivered not a glittery mess) as a blush and wow, it worked. I have used this product in this way every day since, I don’t think I have even touched any of my other blushes for ten days plus.

This product does give a good colour payoff. It adds a subtle, healthy colour to my cheeks without been too much. It is hard to identify what the final colour is on the cheeks (possibly a very muted red) maybe because of the five different shades used to create it. I would say that it is darker then Benefit’s Dandelion .
Basically, the resulting flush seems to come close to my natural (red!) blush colour, it doesn’t look like make up at all when applied subtly. I would say two swipes or it can quickly, look clownish.
It actually says on the box ‘Pink Shimmer for a sassy cheeky look’. I wasn’t sure what sassy meant but to be honest, when I see this product on my cheeks I have to admit that MeMeMe may have hit the nail on the head. My cheeks look “sassy” and effortlessly healthy. I wouldn’t say that Pink Shimmer is particularly long lasting but I get through maybe four or five hours before I reach a mirror and think that a touch up is required. I have heard that these Shimmer Palettes are renowned dupes for the more expensive Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks (which I have yet to try). I have also heard that MeMeMe are renowned for delivering some good Benefit dupes. As I’m so impressed with the Pink Shimmer as a blush, I think I might be trying the real MeMeMe Blushes next, Blush Me. Ahem, Benefit Coralista, anyone?!

I have been using the ShimmerShimmer mostly in a very natural look with a bit of foundation, mascara – I have a new love:) – and Ambre Rose.

So low price and low maintenance. 
Got to love that!

What do you think of MeMeMe? Any more high street wonders, blush or otherwise, that I am missing out on?



Written by essjay23x

November 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

Perfume of the moment!

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Now as you know, I do love to try a new scent and the latest addition to my fabulous collection is Lady Million.

Now the branding would suggest that this perfume is not very “me”!

Lady Million is a scent all about excess, gold and wealth. Even the actual perfume looks like liquid gold. It seems destined for those Femme Fatales who want and get everything.

Hmm, nice idea but realistically I’m probably a bit small town and goody two shoes for this scent and, despite the enticing bottle, I’m not sure if I would have tested this perfume amongst the tens in Boots et al. if it was not for the fact that I had heard/read such good things about Paco Rabanne’s latest release.

However like Muhsine, I absolutely love this perfume. I have worn it every day since purchase which is quite unusual for me. I have quite a few perfumes that I really like so tend to swap it up a little but no, since Lady Million came in to my world, my old friends, Gucci; Givenchy and Pricey (!) have not seen the light of day.

I love Lady Million. I find it hard to describe perfumes despite my passion for them but I would say that Lady Million seems to me to be what I originally imagined the classic Chanel fragrances to be (but never quite were).

Apparently Lady Million is quite heavy and yes, I agree it is, in regards to the initial spray where it all seems a bit busy, chaotic and excessive. However, the notes seem to settle within the first couple of minutes and within half an hour I become enveloped in this happy cloud of scent and I smell lovely.

Well, I think so!

Actually to be honest, I’m not sure what I smell like. I don’t think this scent is a floral but more of a woody concoction that makes me feel warm, safe, cosy and very happy. And it is in the evoking of all these good feelings that my inner femme fatale is in danger of been awakened. When I wear this perfume, I almost feel that I can do anything. This scent just makes me feel so happy and worthy and what is more, the confidence boost and scent lasts all day.

For me, the warmth of Lady Million just caps it and makes it an absolutely perfect scent for his time of year. For those of you who are a bit more scientific about your scent purchases, and better at deciphering this note and that, then apparently Lady Million has notes of Orange Blossom; Bigarade; Raspberry; Jasmine Sambac; Gardenia; Patchouli and Honey.

I know that the scent will probably smell very different to you (and that my description is more of an incoherent rave) but I really do like this perfume and I think with Christmas drawing ever closer, you may want to get a sample and see if it is worthy of a place on your list for Mr Claus!

Have you been seduced by Lady Million yet? What other fragrances are on your wishlist? I have to admit, that since my infatuation with Lady Million, the only other fragrance to really, really catch my curioisty is Gucci Guilty? Have you tried that one? Should I be making a formal request to Father Christmas for that one? I have yet to find a Gucci scent that I can’t “work” in one way or another!


Written by essjay23x

October 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

Mascara, mascara. . !

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Mascara, mascara . . !

When I brought the Max Factor Lash Extension Effect mascara earlier in the year, I thought it would be my favourite forever. You will find an earlier rave here

I was wrong.

Let me introduce you to my new best friend, Volume Million Lashes, from L’Oreal.

I am shallow.

This mascara may look all classy, ladylike, sleek and striking in it’s gorgeous gold tube but Million Lash is actually a lot more demanding then Lash Extension yet J’adore!

One of the things I loved about Lash Extension -and let there be no doubt about it- was that it really did extend how long my lashes look. I’ve done a post and you’ve seen the pics but I would say that Lash Extension Effect probably extended my lashes by about a third and yet they always looked natural. I am very clumsy when it comes to make up and grooming. I can be slap dash and boy, can I product overload but no matter how many coats of this mascara I lashed on, my lashes were always perfectly defined, ever so long and clumpless.


Yep almost too much so.

To be honest, it got a bit boring. I was applying the same product every day and getting exactly the same pay off no matter what I did. So samey that I guess I wasn’t even noticing (let alone cherishing) what the clever old Lash Extension was doing anymore. We needed a break so maybe it was good that Lash Extension seemed to dry up quite quickly (and started clumping ever so slightly) probably within eight weeks.

Enter Volume Million Lashes!

This really is a mascara to get the party started (what a cheesy line). It is so different from Lash Extension. This mascara makes such a statement and is quite extreme to the degree that I would imagine it will gleam equally extreme love/hate reviews.

It is not particularly easy to apply or to play down. It is very black (which I like since the shade I chose was Black) and seems to coat the lashes with the slightest touch. It can very quickly add some length and volume giving the false lash effect within seconds but be careful, because it only takes a coat more to do the not so fetching spider thing. I imagine this is how mascara was back in the day when it was first discovered/created?!

This mascara is heavy but you can wear it in the day with the right attuide, the right make up and a very slight hand.

However for me, this is first and foremost my glam mascara as with this in my collection then there really is no other choice for nights out and special occasions. It seems to do everything. It adds length not as much as Lash Extension but still, it adds volume, it curls and it almost seems to comb through my lashes and give them some direction.

I have difficulty applying false lashes but am quite confident that if I look after my lashes daily then I should be able to build a look, to compete with false lashes, using this mascara. I feel that Lash Extension was overshadowed and disappeared when worn in heavier eye looks and with dazzledusts. I might be wrong (though I don’t think so) but I can not imagine this mascara ever been in the shadows.

Here are some pictures.
These show just a couple of coats across the lashes.

With Lash Extension.
With Million Lashes.

These show the mascaras built up with a few more layers.

With Lash Extension
With Million Lashes

Please bear in mind that Lash Extension has dried out  but I think you will all still agree, a Million Lashes just looks more complete. However it is not as effortless as Lash Extension.

Apparently there is an anti-clump wiper in the L’Oreal tube. Well, lets just say that the Million Lashes formulation overpowers it. In the same way that I never got clumps with Lash Extension (until it started to dry), I always get clumps, to some degree, with Million Lashes. You will get clumps and they are a devil to get rid of. In fact, you probably won’t succeed so just try to keep the clumps quite small by making sure that the mascara wand has a minimal amount of formulation on before you paint your lashes. Small clumps sitting at the roots are not going to ruin your look in fact, they can help to line the eyes and add a little something to your look.

This mascara does smudge and takes a minute or so to dry. If you do big, open eyes before it is dry then you are likely to end up with dots on your upper eye lid and in your eye socket. The formulation is soft but thick.

When I first used this L’Oreal tube, there was an overpowering chemical scent but I have not noticed this so much recently.

I am finding it quite hard to remove Million Lash (to apply my L’Oreal Lash Serum). I have been using make up remover but I remember with the L’Oreal Double Tubes, you had to use warm water and this dissolved the tubes. Any ideas what to use with Million Lash? I don’t want to pull my lashes out just to clean.

I brought Million Lashes in Boots about ten days ago, it was on offer for £7.99. I think the normal retail price is about the same as Lash Extension (£10.99?). Lash Extension has 6.5ml of product and Million Lashes 9ml.

Oh and by the way Girls, I mentioned that I’m using the L’Oreal Lash Serum. Tell me, do I want to buy RapidLash from Boots? I can not decide. The lash serum is more to keep my lashes healthy and looking their best, I think RapidLash should help them grow like Ardell and Lipocils.

However, Laura, Lollipop26, actually seemed to lose lashes but the lure of longer, longer lashes is tempting me. Please let me know if you have used RapidLash before or will be buying it. I’d love to know what you think. By the time I decide (funny how in the end, I know that I’m going to give it a go) there’ll be none left anyway.

So Max Factor, L’Oreal, RapidLash, eye products. . , any thoughts?


Written by essjay23x

July 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Colour Me In (No 1)

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Colour Me In (No 1)

I was looking through what I have been ‘hauling’ recently and it suddenly struck me as I considered the new gems that most of the products were about colour in one way or another. I guess that is not surprising really. Isn’t make up all about colour? If a product is not changing the colour of our lips or other features then it is there to enhance the colour we already have. Foundation just makes our colour look a bit more smoothed and refreshed. Even beauty products are all about enhancing our beauty through colour. Exfoliators scrubs away the baddies and gives us the glow while cleansers are meant to keep those nasty red blemishes at bay.

Anyway enough of the babbling. The next couple of posts will concentrate on two different types of products that I use to colour (me!) in. My next post will be about a couple of fake tan products but this one is all about hair dye.

Yes, those of you who follow me on Twitter may already be aware that I dyed my hair last weekend. It was very brave of me, I don’t colour my hair at home very often and there is a very good reason for this which is that on the odd occasion where I have dyed my hair at home, disaster has struck.

First when I was about 17, I dyed my hair jet black and much of my skin too. It was a permanent colour as well. Ouch, there were a few lessons that I should have learnt there but I think that I only learnt one and that is, that there is a world of difference in the colour between Jet Black, the blackest of black hair and dark brunette. Oops. It looked so wrong. My Granny used to shake her head everytime that she saw me.

The second time I used permanent dye again, duh! It was one of those highlighting kits where you dye your hair and add your highlights. The permanent hair colour was fine, the highlight one not quite so. They were a red, red, red disaster and why did I have to highlight so much around my face? Again it made me look ill and seemed to bring out a very uneven skin tone. Needless to say I was at the hairdressers within a week!

Not this time, I am very impressed with my new colour this time. The delightful colour is NATURAL MEDIUM GOLDEN BROWN 117, a semi-permanent from Clariol Nice n Easy. I heeded what I’ve learnt in the past. Stay away from red, home highlights and permanent dye.


To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the word Golden as when I’ve previously gone ‘golden’ at the hairdressers, the colour quickly became straw-like but I was reassured by the fact that this was predominantly a medium dye.

I was right, there was no need to panic. This dye worked for me!

My barnet was quite dark when I first dyed it but the ‘golden’bits which are more shimmer then golden broke it up just enough to keep the colour soft and flattering. My eyes seemed to look quite bright and more awake.

Since the initial dying session last weekend, I have washed my hair twice and the colour has lightened a little but I still like it. Now it is more or less a glossier and more lively version of my natural hair colour. I doubt you can see the difference in photos hence the lack of. I just look more groomed and that is ok since that is a major part of what my mission is all about!




I also just need to say how impressed I was with the conditioner included in the box with the dye. My hair felt so soft once it was applied, while it was left in and after it was washed out of my hair. It really felt like my hair had enjoyed a good going over and pampering. A softness I did not really expect when I had just dyed my hair.  I left the dye on my hair for about 20 minutes at the most and although the colour change is there subtly, the vibrancy of my colour has increased immensely. There was also plenty of dye in the box. I purchased two boxes (It was 2 boxes for £8 in Boots) because it said you might need to if your hair is longer then shoulder length but one was enough for me. I did panic because I caught my skin a little (again!) but within 24 hours and a couple of scrubs, any staining seemed to disappear. You can never use too much vaseline when dying your hair though!

So do you feel the need to change your hair colour or even just liven it up a little once the summer comes? What hair colours do you recommend?


Written by essjay23x

June 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Babble, Hair

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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!


Written by essjay23x

June 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Big Beautiful Eyes

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Big Beautiful Eyes

I know that this is yet another review of a Benefit product. As you know I have only recently took a real active interest in make up. Until then, I stuck with what I knew or what I was told about. Benefit is one of the few higher end brands with a counter near my home. I also guess that the gimmicky and fun nature of their marketing made them a little less intimidating so when I couldn’t find something in Boots or Superdrug then Benefit was my go-to brand.

Obviously I’m now extending my reportoire of brands (MAC!) and products but at this early stage, I can only review these new brands to a point because we are still getting to know each other;-). So for today, it is back to Benefit and Big Beautiful Eyes which was on my wish list for a long time.

There are three shadows in the palette, all of them colours that I (as make up naive as I was)already had something very similar in my make up collection (Gift sets, Argos gifts, Rimmel, Maybelline etc). So for months, I hurried past the Benefit counter and then one day, the promise of Big Beautiful Eyes was too much and I brought the palette. I thought it would change my eyes forever. It didn’t matter that I already had almost the same colours just in a different brand. Benefits were the ones that were going to give me big, beautiful eyes!

The palette is currently retailing on the Benefit website for £21.50. Twenty pounds plus may seem quite expensive for a box that fits easily in to your bag. However, it is Benefit so the box is beautiful and I think, you will find that they have managed to get quite a lot of product in to this little palette. You also get two mini make up brushes to apply the eye make up and a lesson plus a mirror to see how you are doing.

I have lost the lesson but I do remember that the instructions and diagram(s) were very easy to follow. They showed you which shadow should go where and for what effect. I think it showed you how to achieve two different looks. One more everyday and then one, with a bit more contour/liner when you want your make up to be more obvious. I have heard presenters on the shopping channel say that this palette contains all the eye make up you need for every occasion. I’ve got to say the looks are gorgeous but I don’t think, somebody like myself with no particular make up skills could get a look to compete with a full on black smoky eye using this palette alone. In a way, the colours are too nice. The lesson is very useful and as I said, explained well. It seemed to go in first time and it has not bothered me that I have lost the lesson now. You probably could use this kit for the first time without the lesson but I wouldn’t, it only takes a couple of minutes to read, and so many brands just expect you to pay a high price for the product and work the rest out for yourself, so it is nice to see what Benefit suggest.


You can see a swatch of the make up products above. We start with boing the concealer then the light pink shadow and then the lid colour a medium brown and then the heavy chocolaty brown contour.  I tried to swatch them all over the boing as this is how they should go on your eye lid. The shadows are in neutral colours which I expect could be duped by products within most make up brands. However, these seem to blend and do what you want them to do very easily. They also seem quite soft and at home, on my skin. There is no irritation or fallout. I have used this palette several times and I’m pretty rough with it. I expect that I have sat on it, thrown it in to the drawer and trodden on it. Yet unusually for a palette, all of the shadows are still sitting in their correct slots and not falling out all over each other which is very handy as the liner shadow is a very heavy brown. The shadows seem to work well with the Boing concealer (my concealer is a little mucky but I don’t think it is directly from the shadows in this palette maybe my mucky fingers or brushes!) which I use as a base for the shadows to stick to. I think Benefit suggest that you can use it around your eye area for dark circles etc but the Boing in my palette is 02 and I prefer to use my 01 Erase Paste for this. I’m not sure if Benefit offer some Big Beautiful Eye palettes with different concealer shades or not.

The packaging is gorgeous, brown and. . . cardboard! So for a palette which you might use going from A to B, this may not always be that pratical. I always keep my cardboard palette in the cardboard sleeve. I expect a lot of people just throw the sleeve away but I’m glad I didn’t. My actual palette is in the same condition that it was when I purchased it. The sleeve is battered but still manages to protect the palette inside.

As I have said, I have used my palette quite a lot. About a third of the time, I try to use it as suggested for big, beautiful eyes. I think the look is lovely and the eyes certainly look wide awake and alert when I apply it as suggested. I do not normally use the brushes provided but some of my own eye brushes. I think I do still have the brushes somewhere though (and Benefit labelled what they’re for on them) and they would be useful if I was going away and wanted to take the palette with me which I may well want to because as well as the Big Beautiful Eyes look, there are other ways you can use these shadows. Sometimes I have used a shade alone on the lid. I have also layered the shades over each other on my lid for a really nice soft brown colour (almost plummy) as the (bad;-)) picture below illustrates. On occasions, I have used the pink to highlight above my cheekbone and used the two browns to fill my brows in and although a little dark for me, blended in to my foundation even the concealer could be useful.

I would recommend anybody to buy this palette. You can do a lot with it and if you’re starting a collection. Buy this palette because you are going to want these colours anyway and these are really good quality and great value for you! You will learn about make up and get some great looks but just remember it is still your eyes that you are applying the make up to and make up can only change you so much. A lot of the Benefit titles are so aspirational and deep down as silly as it seems, I guess I was a little disappointed that it was still my eyes! I’ve got this bad habit of expecting miracles. . !

If you got this far, thanks for reading yet another Benefit review. Don’t forget I love comments and it would make my day if people continued to subscribe.  If you’re considering either of these then see my competition post, you may just win a prize.


Written by essjay23x

January 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

Rimmel Glitzed

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Rimmel Glitzed

I brought this Rimmel Colour Rush Mono eyeshadow a couple of months ago. I think it was just under £4 and I had hopes for it. A beautiful disco silver. Very shimmery, shiny. I thought it would be beautiful for party eyes. Around that time, I was buying a lot of shadows and this one was forgotten until I read a post on about this shadow. The post suggested that the outer layer of shadow was not the same colour as the bulk of the product underneath so I had a rummage and dug mine out and da dah. . .

TWO different colours. The outer shinier edge is what remains of the outer colour (the colour I wanted and the one that I thought I had brought). The darker mass is what I actually got.

Now, I’m not saying that the second colour is horrible but it so different and I would use it in a totally different look to the first silvery fun colour. The second one is heavier, more sombre and serious looking.

I just don’t understand why Rimmel did this. Did they really think nobody would notice? There are no indications on the packet (a mono!) that there are two colours here. The two colours maybe complement each other but to be honest, there is so little of the outer colour that you wouldn’t be able to wear them together long before you are just left with a heap of the second colour.

Is this something I need to be aware of? Are Rimmel known for this? Are other brands? Has anybody got Rimmels side of the story?

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Written by essjay23x

January 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm