Sunday, 28 September 2014

Laura Mercier Undercover Pot

I thought I would do a little mini series of the concealers that I have at the moment after reviewing the MAC Pro Longwear one here. This time it's the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot which is another YouTube inspired purchase. I spotted Sam Chapman using this in a video and quickly headed to the shops and picked up the lightest shade number 1.

This is the most expensive concealer I have ever used retailing at £29 but you do get three different products for that.

On the bottom is the loose setting powder, which is worth the £29 alone in my opinion. Before becoming obsessed with YouTube and blogs I never set my under eye area. I then bought a generic drugstore one thinking loose powder is loose powder - how wrong was I. This stuff is amazing, it keeps my concealer in place all day and somehow adds a touch of brightness. It doesn't cake up and I think that this small little pot will last much longer then the other products in the trio. I did read that if you are being photographed to use this very sparingly especially if a flash is involved.

Now onto the cream products the first the lighter of the two is secret camouflage. This is the product that I have used the least mostly due to the texture. It is very dry and is meant to cancel out redness but I just can't make this work. I can't put on blemishes as I find it impossible to blend and it just clings and makes them look worse This is also much to dry to go anywhere near my eyes. If anyone knows if I am doing something wrong please let me know.

Lastly is the secret concealer the more salmon toned concealer and this is designed to cancel the darker tones. This is the best concealer I have used to conceal my dark circles, it doesn't get rid of them completely but is definitely the best result I have ever had. I apply with my fingers as find that with their heat it blends beautifully. Once set with the loose powder this doesn't bunch all day.

As much as I love two of the products I can't see me buying this again, and there are two reasons for that. One is the secret camouflage, I just don't get on with this and can't see me using up the one in this let alone another one. The second reason is that I don't feel that you get enough of secret concealer I hit pan alarmingly quickly and now only use on special occasions, however there is still loads of the powder left, and I use daily regardless which concealer I am using.

I will definitely buy the full size loose powder which is £29 at I don't know if I will buy the full size secret concealer as I am convinced that there is something that will cover them completely maybe that is just wishful thinking but that is what I am on the hunt for.

I am glad that I tried this and would recommend to others with bad dark circles. You can pick this up for £29 from

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

I have been searching for the perfect concealer for years. I have 'suffered' with dark circles since I was a child and one of the main reasons that I still wear my glasses is that they help hide them. My left eye has got worse recently with the darkness spreading. 

So if I see someone rave about an under eye concealer and especially  if I see one being used on YouTube then I want to try it. I am not ashamed to admit it but I love Jaclyn Hill, she always looks flawless and after watching one too many of her videos I decided I needed to try this.

Even though Norwich has a MAC store I haven't bought much from there. I popped in to ask whether empty brush cleaner bottles can be used in the back to MAC program (which yes they can) and asked if I could be colour matched for this.

I don't know whether it was the lighting in the store or the way she applied it but I thought yes I have found it. We both decided that NW15 was the best as it really brightened my under eyes. I skipped out the store happy as Larry and ready to never worry about dark circles again.

Sadly my happiness soon faded, firstly the pump on this drives me insane. Half a pump of this is way too much and I feel like I end up wiping more off my hand then I put on my under eyes. 

Talking of applying unless you have a damp beauty blender type product I wouldn't bother. I usually use my fingers to apply concealer but this was just a hot mess. I tried brushes but they just seemed to move it around. The only way I like to apply is generously thankfully with the pump issues you have plenty on the back of your hand to work with, and then dab with a damp beauty blender - I use the Real Techniques one.

This does need to be set and although it called Pro Longwear I do find it does crease. If you have very dry skin I would find something else as I do find it quite drying.

Now all these little gripes I can live with but I am not convinced that NW15 was the right shade, I find that this can make me look a bit grey. I think I need something more warm, usually I go for more salmon toned concealers which seems to cancel out the darkness better. I have just used it suggests NC15 as a foundation so guessing I picked wrong. You live you learn.

This might not be perfect but I think it could be damn close with another shade.  I might see if I can get another shade and do a bit of mixing as I love how this brightens. I am meant to be on a spending ban but that is another blog post.

This is available for £17 for 9ml from

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Recent Empties More Skincare

This will be my last empties from the products I used up whilst having a blogging break, they should go back to monthly - fingers crossed.

Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser I haven't got much else to say about this. It is still my favourite cleanser, I have already repurchased two of these. If you want to see my full review you can here.

Caudalie Cleansing Water I have had this for ages as I got it the Christmas before last, you can see what else I got here. I held off using as it's expensive but decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I must say I do like it, it smells amazing and doesn't dry out the skin unlike other cleansing waters I have tried. The only issue I have is price, I only use cleansing waters to take off my makeup. I don't think they cleanse well enough to be used alone and for that I don't see the point in splashing the cash. This doesn't do anything that cheaper brands don't apart from smell nicer. Now if money was no object I would buy this again, but sadly it is. You can pick up 100ml for £8.55 from

Neal's Yard Power Berry Daily Moisturiser I picked this up with InStyle last year, as I am rapidly approaching 30 something that has Youthful Skin on it meant I had to try. I can't say that my skin looked more youthful but it does also claim to give you 'brighter dewy- looking skin' and it definitely makes your skin dewy maybe too dewy. I don't mind a bit of a glow but my forehead and nose were just really oily. If my skin was more on the dry side, I imagine I would have liked a lot more. It does have a scent but I liked it and was a light easily absorbed formula. This is available for £12 for 50ml from

L'Oreal Age Perfect Refreshing Toner I bought this as I am sure that this was recommended by Caroline Hirons. The first thing I noticed about this is the scent. It smells very strong and is not very pleasant, if it did wonders for my skin I could over look that. Sadly it didn't, it left my skin feeling tender and a bit red. I was tempted to stop using but I hate wasting products so carried on. My skin didn't get used to it and remained tender. Safe to say I wouldn't repurchase again. I am now on the hunt for a budget friendly toner I do like the Liz Earle toner but that isn't exactly budget friendly so if you have any cheaper alternatives please let me know. You can pick this up for £4.49 for 200ml from

As always none of the above links are affiliate - just like to be helpful.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Troubles

If you read my recent(ish) post here you will know I touched on going through a bit of a rough time recently. I wish I could say that it has now passed but that would be a lie. 

Firstly I would like to point out that I know I am very lucky to have what I have and secondly yes there are a lot of people a lot worse off then me. But when people point this out to me it makes me feel worse not better. When people say that life is a gift I actually feel guilty for being here. I don't want this post to make anyone else feel bad or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I guess I just want to share what I am going through maybe by putting it out there it will help me.

Having suffered before I realised that I was heading down the same path. I became obsessed with things and trapped in a cycle of deeply unhealthy and disturbing thoughts. In some ways having been through something similar was both helpful and unhelpful at the same time. On the positive side I knew the signs so could seek help sooner but on the other hand I was terrified. I knew what was coming and I knew how bad it could get.

I went to the doctors and felt that they just wanted to put me on medication, I don't personally believe that my problems are 'medical' I don't want to offend anyone and I am no doctor but I don't think that taking pills without trying other options was the right thing to do. That hasn't been to say that it hasn't been extremely hard and at times I have wanted to go back to the doctor just to take the edge off. 

I guess it would be a good idea to say what I have been suffering, which is difficult as I do not agree with my doctor.

Again I don't want this post to be here to slag off the NHS I understand that we are incredibly lucky to have free health care but I don't believe that speaking to someone for five minutes who I have never seen before and ticking a few boxes actually counts as a diagnosis. 

I believe that I have anxiety which seems to be backed up by other services. I read somewhere, sadly I can't remember where, that depression is where the mind is focused on the past, either on a sad event or longing for past happier times. Anxiety is where the mind is consumed with fear of the future. 

Right now I am unable to enjoy the now, everything could be perfect I could be having the best day of my life, but I can't enjoy it. All I can think is how the next second it could all be smashed. The trigger seemed to be new neighbours moving in next door, I am not sure why this has had such a profound affect. I think it was it highlights the lack of control you have over your life. 

When I am most anxious is the weekends, most people count down to leaving time on a Friday but I dread it. I hate being alone at the weekends I feel trapped in my home and head and will do anything not to be home alone. If I go out I dread going home. Ideally I would love to move, but everyone is convinced that I would simply become fixated on something else.

After going to my doctor I was refereed to my local wellbeing service. The first stage was attending stress control classes. It was not group therapy more a of workshop and if you want more information you can visit

Every week you had to complete a questionnaire and after all the sessions you chat with another member of the  service and are evaluated. I was deemed to need more help so have been seeing a CBT therapist. I have been to counselling before and this is not the same at all. It is much more focused on the here and now, there are some questions about the past, but only in as much as how has your past made you view the world and how you fit into that world.

You are set homework, or at least I have been. I have been given relaxation exercises to do and been recommended to try exercise and meditation. I am also trying to not control my thoughts but to be able to focus on the ones I want to aka not the unhelpful ones.

Being happy is a lot more work then being unhappy it seems, but I am hoping that by following the advice I can get there.

If anyone reading this is struggling with any similar issues, I urge you to seek help, if you don't want to contact your GP there are several sites such as and I only know UK based sites but please don't face this alone.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Recent Empties - Bath and Body

Another post on my empties I accumulated on my little break from blogging and this edition is on the bath and body products.

Avon Strawberry Sorbet Bubble Bath I have mentioned before in other empties how good Avon's bubble baths are, and this was no exception. Now they might not smell the most sophisticated but they create lots of bubbles and don't dry out my skin. They are also usually on offer in the brochures and are often real bargains.  I usually get the big bottles but this was only the smaller 500ml size. It still lasted ages and I would definitely purchase again. It is available from your local representative or from for £4.00 (but as I said it's frequently on offer)

L'Occitane Mango Flower Hand Cream I got this as a freebie with a magazine back in October 2012, you can see what else I got here. This smells gorgeous and like all the other L'Occitane hand creams is practically a miracle worker. This can be a bit greasy if you apply too much and less is definitely more when it comes to this. The packaging also gets a big thumbs up as you can get all of the product out. This was limited edition but there are several other hand creams available from I probably wouldn't buy one for myself but would make a lovely present.

Herve Leger Femme another Avon product and this one I have had for ages, I think I purchased this when I was an Avon Lady so many moons ago. I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan of this, there was something in it that I wasn't keen on. The notes aren't on their website but it is described as 'enticing freshness, exotic florals and addictive honeyed woods' My personal feelings on this is that it is more of a mature scent. It lasted well on my skin and hasn't put me off Avon fragrances, I just wouldn't purchase this again. It is currently half price at £10.00 from

Soap & Glory The Scrub of your Life I have mentioned this a few times but not done a full review, which I should as I do love this. This summer I have tried to embrace self tanner well one of the gradual ones, and have found if I use this every few days it gets rid of any dry flaky skin. I am not going to say that it helped me get perfect bronzed skin but it wasn't a disaster. I also love these little travel sizes for holiday. I am not going away until October but will definitely take one of these. The large 200ml is available from for £7.

L'Occitane Fleur Cherie Bath and Shower Gel my best friend got me this for Christmas last year, you can check out what else I got here. I decided to take this away with me when I went to Cheltenham at the height of my 'troubles' the scent now both comforts and also reminds me of very upsetting time. The scent is very sweet and lingers. I didn't use as a shower gel just as a bubble bath, as I felt to wash it straight off would be a waste. I do love L'Occitane products but not the price tag, they are excellent gifts though. The full size 250ml is available from for £14

Friday, 5 September 2014

Recent Empties #Makeup

Another post on all the empties I have collected whilst having a break from blogging and this time it's makeup.

MUA Pro-Base Fixing Mist I bought this after lusting over the Urban Decay setting sprays and thinking I would be frugal and try this budget one first. To be honest I am not sure whether this does much, I never really struggled with makeup lasting, but I do get a shiny T Zone. This hasn't stopped that at all, and I am not sure if it is really designed to. I have bought another one but  I have also just ordered an Avon version which is cheaper and bigger. If that doesn't work I am going to bite the bullet and get an Urban Decay one. This is available from for £5.

Benefit They're Real Mascara if you haven't tried this where have you been? I got this in either a beauty box or free with a magazine I can't remember now. As with the majority of reviews I love the look you can get with this. Your lashes are super black and dramatic, I also love the wand especially the spiky end which makes bottom lashes nice and easy. What I don't like with this is the hassle involved with removing. It doesn't matter what I use it takes several attempts to get rid of all traces of this. I just don't have the patience for that on a day to day basis. For a night out this is hands down my favourite mascara. I will continue to pick up these little samples but can't see me shelling out for a full size. Mascara is just not a product I am willing to spend a lot of money on. You can pick up the full size for £19.50 at

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer another product that you can pick up samples from anywhere, I think that this is my second sample and I still have one unopened. This is also another product I am happy to pick up as a freebie but wouldn't hand over my cash for a full size. I don't think this does anything for my pores and I don't love the feeling of this. It also doesn't stop me from getting shiny. Like the setting spray I use a primer but never sure whether it actually makes that much difference. The full size is available from for £24.50.

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base I have mentioned many times before that I have very oily eyelids. I can't not use a primer and even then can suffer from creasing. I bought this as I had previously been using the Urban Decay Original Primer, but found it worked best with Urban Decay shadows. I thought maybe this would work better with other shadows. It really didn't, this works amazingly with Urban Decay shadows and less well with anything else. Nars is not readily available in Norwich sadly and also this is more expensive then the Urban Decay so I won't be repurchasing. If anyone has any budget recommendations please let me know. This is available from for £19.50.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory as well as suffering oily lids I have dark circles. This looked different with its focus in colour correcting so picked it up. I really liked this, my circles didn't vanish but were better. It was also a nice consistency for under eyes and once set didn't crease. The actual colour was a good match for me and generally I liked it. I am still on the hunt for something that will get rid of my circles 100% but I am starting to think that without a good few layers of different concealers that isn't going to happen. The only downside I found to this is that it didn't last very long, but I would repurchase again if on offer. You can pick this up from for £7.99.

Monday, 1 September 2014

My Morning Skincare Routine

I thought it was about time I shared my morning skincare routine, this does change quite frequently mostly due to the number of samples I have picked up due to freebies and beauty boxes. This is my current routine and one I am quite happy with.

Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know I love this. I have raved about this time and time again, my full review is here. I do have some other cleanser that I am trying but I like to use this in the morning as I know my skin reacts well to it and feel like if I tried to many different cleansers my skin would freak out. This is available from for £4.99 but is often on offer.

Naked Skin Up Tone Girl I picked this up at my local Savers as I heard some good things about the brand. I really like this toner as it gentle to my skin and smells gorgeous. The last toner I used left my skin feeling tender and looking a bit red, so I felt like my skin needed something gentle. I am upset that I can't find this anywhere, I am guessing that is why it was in Savers, but if anyone does see this I would recommend picking it up.

Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair after finding myself in the position of not having any eye cream samples I had to take to the shops and buy one. I don't know why I didn't buy the full size of the Benefit B'Right It's Potent Eye cream which I reviewed here but alas I bought this instead. I have loved many Liz Earle products but often find a more budget alternative which I like just as much, case in point the Hot Cloth cleanser which has been replaced by the above Superdrug one. I don't know whether this will be the case with this, in fact I would say I like this just as much as the Benefit one. This does include light reflective particles to brighten the eye area and it can also be used on other fine lines. After reading the back this does say to use in the morning but I use am and pm. I do feel that my circles have gotten a tad better with this. I might alternate this with the Benefit if I ever remember to buy the full size. You can pick this up from for £14.75.

Decleor Aroma Solutions Engerising Gel this was given to me by my lovely sister, a few months ago I was going through a lot of stress and my skin really took a hammering. My skin was dry all over my body that it started cracking and nothing would get rid of it. I was quite distressed as I would wake up at night in pain as it felt my skin was shrinking. I ended up getting rid of it by slathering tons of Palmer Cocoa Butter available from on. But everyone had a suggestion and my sister said she had bought a set from Decleor and that this was included. She didn't know what it was but that it could be used on the face or body. When we looked online it was obvious that this was very expensive but bless her she said she wouldn't use. I didn't try this on my dry skin but have used in my morning skincare routine. I can't say exactly what this has done, or how much is down to this or other products. But my skin is looking and feeling a lot better then it has in months. I can't say my fine lines are gone but they haven't gotten an worse and also spots have been very few and far between. I can't say that I will repurchase but this 200ml will last months as I only use a small blob every morning.  A smaller 150ml size is available for £36.52 + p&p from

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream I got this as part of the most recent beauty box from I used to always think that I had dry skin but as I have got older my T zone has been getting oilier. I tried using products for oily skin but they parched my skin and made my forehead worse. I have therefore come to the conclusion that my poor skin is probably combination and dehydrated. I know I should drink more but I can't spend all day on the loo, anyway this is for normal to combination skin and although my forehead still gets rather dewy I can live with that. This is designed to fight, ageing so tackles wrinkles, dullness and uneven skin tone. As with the above it is hard to tell which part of your routine has the biggest impact but I do really like this. It has a light texture which absorbs quickly and leaves my skin soft. It also has a nice scent and I like that it is in a pot as you can get every last bit out. The full size is available from for £22

So that is my current routine - am I missing anything?