Sunday, 19 March 2017

Bitesize Blogpost: Customised Acrylic Lipstick Storage

There's no escaping it - clear plastic / acrylic makeup storage is a firm favourite amongst beauty lovers. Everyone who is everyone organises their makeup in crisp, clear, acrylic drawers, boxes and trays. They're ideal.

But...they're not very pretty are they?  They're not very personal, or even very original nowadays.

I've always had a bit of a 'thing' about doing things, or having things, that everyone else does or has. And for this reason, for a while at least I had a quite strong aversion to acrylic storage for my makeup.

I resisted for so long. But then I found a lipstick tray in TK Maxx, and I had to have it. I wanted my favourite lipsticks out of my dressing table drawer - both for access and for display purposes. I caved.

However, I was still twitchy about how it looked on my vintage / shabby chic inspired dressing table. Then I had a small wave of inspiration.

I had some pretty, vintage style, lace ribbon leftover from wedding crafting. A quick bit of double-sided tape, et voila! My boring old lipstick holder was customised.

My lovely mum bought me another holder for my birthday, a cute heart shaped one from Primark, and I gave it the same treatment with my last bit of ribbon.

I now have the ideal storage for my lipsticks and my liquid lipsticks, and still feel like I have a touch of individuality on my dressing table.

Sometimes the simplest ideas give the best results!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review: Happy Place Cosmetics Parma Violet Unicorn Brush Cleanser

Some time ago (I'll be honest, I can't remember exactly when), I stumbled across a lovely brand on Instagram, called Happy Place Handmade Cosmetics. I was drawn to their pretty pictures of soaps, makeup brush cleaners, face scrubs and more, a lot of which are themed around traditional sweets and treats. The brand makes products which are Vegan, Cruelty-free and SLS-free.

Photo: Happy Place Cosmetics
Photo: Happy Place Cosmetics
They recently released a Parma Violet scented Makeup Up Brush Cleaner, and I was completely sold as soon as I saw it. I love the sweets, and I adore the scent of violet. To add to the appeal - the solid brush cleaner features a sparkly purple unicorn in the design. Like I said, sold!

When my order arrived I was really pleased with the parcel. I had ordered solely the Parma Violet brush cleaner, but when I opened up my package I was pleased to find I had also been sent a small brush cleaning 'egg' tool and a sample of the company's Chocolate Brownie Face Scrub.
My lovely parcel from Happy Place Cosmetics

I tend to think brush cleaners are 'much of a muchness', but I have to say this one really did impress. Prior to getting this, I was using Lotti London Soap Star Brush Cleaner, which is a cheaper solid brush cleaner (costing £7, compared with Happy Place Cosmetics' option costing £17). I was happy with Lotti, but it wasn't very pretty or exciting.

Enter Happy Place. This product is really, really great.  It's a solid brush cleaner in a metal tin, so you simply dampen your brush and/or the soap, swirl the brush around to get a lather, and then rub on your cleaning egg. 

I chose to use my Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove, rather than the brush egg I was kindly sent. The main reason for this is that my hands get irritated being in water for too long, and the Sigma product is a full glove that lets me clean my brushes without getting my hand wet. I think I will be popping the brush egg sent by Happy Place into my 'gifts' box, to pass onto a good home.

The Parma Violet brush cleaner is very impressive. It smells lovely and that smell carries whilst washing brushes - it doesn't just keep its scent in the tin, if that makes sense. My clean brushes also now have a slight scent of Parma Violet on them, which is lovely.

They came up sparkling clean - the brush cleaner cuts right through thicker product such as foundation with ease. My brushes were not left stained, they came up as good as new. Once dry, the bristles were uber soft.

I will definitely repurchase this product when it runs out (though sadly Parma Violet is limited edition so I'll have to try another scent!) True, there are more affordable alternatives on the high street, but in all honesty, I think it is worth the price. I can see already this will last me a while - the tin contains a good chunk of soap and it is barely touched after cleaning a full set of brushes. The unicorn has now lost its sparkle, but it's worth it for a full set of squeaky clean, soft brushes.

I can't wait to give the Chocolate Brownie Face Scrub a try, although I might struggle to resist eating it - it could not look or smell more like chocolate cupcake batter if it tried! I've already got my eye on some of the other products Happy Place offer -  the Unicorn Bath Dust and Fluffy Marshmallow Hair Mask may just find their way into my basket on payday.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Can you recommend any other handmade or independent brands you think I'd like?

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Bitesize Blogpost - One Night Sleepover; Product Essentials

I recently spent one night at my mum's - we went to see the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour and as it would be late night it made sense for me to stay at mum's; she lives closer to the arena than me.

Mum was absolutely gobsmacked when she came into the room whilst I was getting ready - she couldn't believe how many products I had with me for one night!

Here's a run down of what I felt to be the 'essentials' that I simply had to pack:


  • Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Oil - for removing makeup
  • Pixi Glow Tonic - it was an acid toner day!
  • Nip+Fab Dragon's Blood Serum - my favourite daily serum for morning
  • Sanctuary Spa Facial Oil - great for my dry skin
  • Facial SPF - I recently started using this because...anti aging!
  • May Lindstrom The Youth Dew serum - this is my night serum. It's gorgeous but I'll cry when it runs out because it costs a bomb!
  • Pixi Beauty Sleep Night cream - for on top of the May Lindstrom
  • Balance Me Dragon's Blood Eye Cream
  • L'Occitance Ultra Rich Facial Cream - for daytime
  • Simple Facial Gel Wash - for cleansing in a morning
  • Deodorant & Perfume - because who wants to smell?!

  • Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Palette - my favourite eye palette at the time
  • Makeup Revolution Contour Palette
  • Collection Translucent Loose Powder
  • Collection Highlighting Concealer
  • Benefit Gimme Brow
  • Forgotten-the-name-of-it lip plumper
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
  • Rimmel ScandalEyes Nude Eyeliner - for the waterline
  • Urban Decay skin and eye primers
  • Beauty Blenders
  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector 
  • Maybelline Eye Eraser Concealer
  • Clinique Mascara
  • Mac Fixing Spray
  • Mixed L'Oreal setting Spray and GOSH Lumi Drops
  • A gazillion brushes

  • No Oil Oil (forgotten the brand!)
  • Ouai Salt Spray

So, what do you reckon? Too much for one night away?!