Open up those big (brown) eyes

waterliner-makeup - 1You know when you are veeeeeery tired and your eyes barely open? I am guilty as charged of now having enough sleep, staying late on school nights and maybe having the odd cocktail when I should really be in bed.

Although it cannot alleviate my physical symptoms of tiredness, the right beige liner will make you at least acceptable to be seen in public.

Much less harsh than the white, the well known eye opener, beige, or nude, will have a similar effect in a much more natural looking way.

waterliner-makeup - 2Usually, I just line my lower waterline, but you can do the upper too for extra openness. And it works a treat.

I first discovered it using the multi-tasking NYX Wonder Pencil.

Recently, I encountered the Jelly Pong Pong Bare Necessities Highlighter pencil, which also doubles up on other parts of the face.

waterliner-makeup - 3Eyeshadow base, highlighter, waterliner, concealer…. the soft formula, enriched with natural extracts will ave you covered.

This is a lovely, sightly pinkier shade than my NYX one, so I alternate the use, depending on the mood.

waterliner-makeup - 1In all honesty, I just don’t use them only when I need to hide the night before, but every time I am focussing on eyes, especially if I have a dark smokey on.

And I will reach for one of those two keep my antics well concealed. Most of the time…

The NYX Wonder Pencil costs £4.50 and the Jelly Pong Pong Bare Necessities highlighter pencil, £14.95.


This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

So Many Lovely Things beauty retrospective 2015: makeup

beauty_retrospective_somanylovelythings2015. What a fabulous year for the blog. I never expected all the amazing things that happened, brands, products and, above all, people I met.

Just amazing; I feel grateful and privileged.

Among so many great products I tried this year, it is very hard to pick my favourites, but here it comes. Without further ado, the best makeup of the year goes to:

Overall highlights:

Black lipstick

If you asked me, I’d have never in my life said I’d wear black lippy outside fancy dress. During the day? Oh no. But I did, and I freaking loved it.

It did something to my face, almost softening all of my other features. Did I mention I love it?

MDMFlow Di La La is THE black lippy to have.

charlotte_tilbury_makeup_john_lewis - 2Charlotte Tilbury

After resisting that all important first purchase as I did find the makeup was on the pricey side, I succumbed after trying a few fabulous items John Lewis sent to me.  Since then, I’ve added seven extra items to my CT collection.

Massive big up to the Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil and even more to the Fat Lashes mascara, which is indeed a miracle worker (review coming very soon).

Foundation, lipsticks, eye pencil, lip pencil, brow pencil, eyeshadows… everything is fabulous.


rouge_louboutin_velvet_matte_lipstick - 2Louboutin Rouge Velvet Matte Lipstick: beautiful inside out. I don’t think  have to talk much about this one. Too pretty to miss.

charlotte_tilbury_makeup_john_lewis - 1 (1)Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Love bite lipstick: usually a finish I don’t go for, a kind of lustre, but oh, boy, this is pretty. An orange red, with a fab sheen, but not too much, and great durability.


hourglass immaculate foundation reviewHourglass Immaculate: replaced my long standing foundation and proved its price tag. One downside is the lack of SPF in this product. so close to perfection…

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation: not replacing the one above but worth of mention. Nothing I try for Tilbury is less than great. Together with my faithful MAC Studio Fix, makes for a cheaper everyday alternative to the pricey Hourglass.


hourglass_ambient_lighting_edit_palette_review - 4Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette: all the highlighting you will need, plus blushers and a bronzer. Just perfect.

thebalm_maryloumanizer_highlighter_review - 4The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: the shade on this highlighter is just great. Not too gold, not too yellow, and its a fab multitasking – looks great on eyes.

inika highlighterInika Light Reflect Highlighting Creme: a fabulous product which delivers a great glow. Plus it’s vegan, organic and halal.

makeup revolution vivid baked highlighterAnd a special mention to my favourite budget highlighter: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights. A bit 2014 but still going strong.


hourglass veil mineral primer reviewHourglass Veil Primer: reigned absolute this year. No contenders to this product; it fill all the expectations from a primer – it smooths, aids product distribution and duration, as well as making makeup sweat proof.


nyx_twotimer - 3NYX Two Timer: a great, precise, easy-to-use product with fabulous pigmentation and durability. Plus a friendly price tag.

gosh xtreme gel liquid eyelinerGOSH Xtreme Liquid Gel eyeliner: the finish on this product is superb, think vinyl, with incomparable shine. And it’s immovable.

Urban Decay Ink for Eyes: a tiny tiny pen with extra fine nib for precision lining. Very neat.


charlotte_tilbury_colour_chameleon_review - 1Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil: easy to use, great durability, fab colours. Enough said.

Urban Decay Naked 2: yes, you read it right. 2. Even with the Smoky buzz this year, which I succumbed to, that old palette remains my favourite and is used daily.


Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara: Definition and separation: check. Non-clumpy formula: check. Longer lashes: check. Natural volume: check. Perfect.

nyx doll eye mascara reviewNYX Doll Eye Long Lash Mascara: definition, fan-effect and a pocket-friendly price tag.

Benefit They’re Real Eyelash Primer: what a surprise I got with this product. Separation, fanning, conditioning and a flattering brown tint that makes it wearable on its own.

Tinted products

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur: what a great surprise this was. Its mousse consistency delivers a surprisingly good durable coverage and caters for blemish prone skin. Win. Launches early 2016.

caudalie2Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Tinted Moisturiser: good, radiant coverage, full of grape goodness and a handy SPF 20.

I am sure I missed some loved ones, but these are for sure, my beauty highlights.

What product was your favourite in 2015?


This post mentions some press samples.



Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: a little quirk

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 20I started this outfit with the shoes. There. I said it. I fell in love with these lovely boy-ish brogues in silver leather and cow’s hair (yes, how amazing is that?) from Office and had to style it.

Coords are another little obsession of mine and I am finding quite hard to find AW ones; but this Zara number fit the bill ok.

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 23The fabric is thicker and slightly textured; the trousers are super wearable. Although the sleeves are shorter than 3/4, it looks great under a little jacket! Also, I love the little buttoned up details on the back and the small roll neck.

Plus, it makes decent office wear, just add heels and voilá: it’s business proof!

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 7Bag wise, as I went for another little bit of quirk, I opted for my gorgeous Lulu Guinness Lips clutch, in black. I’ve wanted a LG lips clutch for forever, so I am glad I got one to call my own!

outfit_quirky_somanylovelythings - 12For the colder days, a fur coat, which is another obsession of mine. This one is short, from H&M, a discreet black ombré, with purple-burgundy “roots”.

Since I wore black lips for LFW, I’ve been dying to wear again. Admittedly, it is not a look that you can insert anywhere in your life, but I am trying to make some space for it.

That shift to striking lip colour really made me think more about different shades and purple was always something I wanted to wear. So I got my NYX Face Art Purple Blaze eyeliner and filled it in.

To amp it up, I added MAC’s impossibly bright Nicki Minaj Viva Glam pink in the middle, to create a subtle ombré.

Eyes were simple, with MAC’s Vex across the lid and brow bone and a little bit of MAC’s Iris, a fabulous lilac perfect for bringing out brown eyes (and lifting them when you are tired!) on the crease.

They were lined in a super flick with Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Perversion and I added my super fave Eylure Fleur Loves lashes for a discreet flutter.

A comfortable, simple outfit with a few quirky twists; a very easy way to incorporate a different touch to you neutral daily outfits – a bag, a funky lip, striking shoes. Only one will make your outfit pop!

And I am still on the lookout for winter coords! Send them my way if you spot any!


Styling and posing: Dani Dutra

Photography: Andy Edwards

Location: Stratford’s Gerry raffles square

A face all-rounder: meet the NYX Wonder Pencil

IMG_2774Don’t you love an all-rounder? Oh, yes, we do have that special affection for those products that offer extra value for money.

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Review: NYX Doll Eye Long Lash mascara

nyx doll eye mascara review

I never turn down the chance to discover a new mascara and previous experiences have proved that expensive does not mean good.

The latest on my lashes is the NYX Doll Eyes mascara, which has an hourglass shape brush to create unreal dolly eyelashes.

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: new romantic

dani's little book of fashion -

My plans to create a series of features on more fashionable looks started a long time ago. However, finally getting off the ground took some planning.

The aim of Dani’s Little Book of Fashion is to dissect looks into wearable chunks, that will work for the person carrying it, whatever their personal style.

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Olympia Beauty 2013

olympia beauty 2013 - somanylovelythings

This was my second time at Olympia Beauty. Just the idea of  over 520 beauty exhibitors under one roof is enough to make me forget how much I have walking around in crowds!

The show is free for professionals and I registered as press. On the day tickets for the general public can be bought on the day for £15.

This year the show didn’t disappoint. I was particularly impressed with their Press and Social Media Hubs – much bigger and better than last year’s, with more brands showcasing products – OPI, Dermalogica, Elemis, Lash Perfect/Hi Brow, Sienna X amongst others and a spacious area with refreshments (including cute Marc Jacobs Diet Coke bottles!)

The stands were fantastic! This year, a lot of gel manicures again, but also for domestic use and teeth whitening I think were the bigger presence for consumer products. Lashes and brows were also quite predominant!

Exhibitors were great – from huge brands for consumer (OPI, Elemis, Dermalogica, Ardell, Color Club, Essie, Fake Bake, Minx nail foils, NYX and many others!) offering discounted products to salon equipment and therapies machines to the professionals, and lots of and sample therapies going on.

I was very happy to se a bit more make up – Inglot and Illamasqua making an appearance. Although I was disappointed with Illamasqua – they were not selling products!

As usual, they held competitions – Nailympics – the international nail competition, The Art of Make-up and The Art of Body Painting.

The educational part of the show was even bigger too and was divided in “Business of Beauty”, “The Creativity of Nails”, “The Art of Make-up”, Make-up Artist Guest Stage” and “Aesthetic Beauty”, covering an amazing amount of topics around beauty and therapies.

As a blogger, it is great to get direct contact with brands. As a consumer, it is fantastic to pick up lots of great products at a very good price. As a beauty lover, and amazing opportunity to see what is going on in the market. It’s an overall win!

Needless to say, I came home with  bunch of products that will soon be gracing the blog – fun times!!!Always a pleasure to go, and I will for sure be there in 2014!

Product review: Eye primers – Urban Decay x e.l.f. x NYX

It is not a surprise my eyeshadow tends to crease after a full day at work; our eyelids are the one of the greasiest part of our faces, even for people who don’t have oily skin.

Using an astringent on the lids before applying make up can help, but a good primer is the best bet to keep your peepers looking freshly made up all day.

I had used MAC’s Moisturelush eyecream, used by a MAC MUA as a primer, but I felt it was more like an eye are cream than anything else. It has a nice sheen to it though.

E.L.F. Eyeshadow primer

The first real primer I bought was the e.l.f. one; at £1.50 and alright reviews, it was a no-brainer! I was quite happy with it for a while, and although shadow durability didn’t seem to be much better with it, it really made shadow colours stronger, and that was enough for me.  I bought the sheer one, and it has a wand applicator, which is quite practical. The consistency is quite nice, a bit on the thin side compared to the others I am reviewing, it applies evenly and dries colourless. It served me well for many months!

NYX Eyeshadow Base

Also based on reviews, bought the NYX primer, priced at £5. I went for the white pearl one. Its consistency is quite hard, and I found it quite difficult to use from the pot as it is small, round and quite deep. For someone like me, with long nails, it is a nightmare, so I had to use a make up spatula in order to avoid having tons of the product under my nails everyday. Again, durability wasn’t amazing. A bit better than the e.l.f. but nothing to write home about. Also did the job well on making shadows colours stronger.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Now, the star of this review has to be the Urban Decay primer.  Seriously. AMAZING!!!!! I went to their counter at House of Fraser to pick up the All Nighter long lasting make up setting spray (review to come soon), which I had tried a few days before in the same counter, and the girl was sooooo nice (seriously, I cannot say this enough!), she offered me a sample of their new foundation (reviewed here) and  when I asked about the eye primer, she put a little bit in an empty foundation sample bottle so I could try at home.

Next morning, I used it on my morning make up routine; went to work and went for a spin class on my lunch break. I kid you not, after sweating buckets (as you do on a spin class!), I went off to the changing room and when I looked in the mirror, to my surprise, my eyeshadow and liner were still intact. It didn’t all melt into the crease, I had no smudges; I didn’t look like a panda, as I often do after the mentioned class.

So I am sold, with no doubt, the Urban Decay is the best from this lot. I bought the product since, at £14.50 for a 11ml tube and have been so happy I cannot describe. On holidays, baking in NY and then at an outdoors wedding, the primer, used in conjunction with the make up setting spray, kept my make up in place and eyes and face looking fresh for a whole day.

I am very impressed and have now developed a love affair with Urban Decay!

Eye make-up look challenge – black and silver

Haven’t posted an eye make-up look trial for quite sometime now; but I managed to get this one out and wanted to share how it went.

My aim was to create a dark silver smokey look, with black, as I had just bought a black silver-studded crop top! I wanted it to be dramatic so I added extra big lashes!

I started with the primer (e.l.f, not shown), and brushed the silver pigment all over the lid. I then lined my upper lash line with the gel liner, extending the flick at the end, and my lower water and lash lines with the eye kohl, also extending the flick parallel to the top one. Then, I generously applied the matte black eyeshadow and smoked it, with the pencil brush for definition, just in the corner and around the crease shape, blending just a little bit towards the centre.

I applied the supracolour cream on to the inner corner of the eye and between the upper and lower flicks, as well as to 2/3 of the way of the lower lash line. I brushed the sparkles all over the lid and the highlighter on the brow bone. Finally, I applied the lashes.

Happy with the look, definitely wearable on a night out! I would however, tone down the lashes, and wear a slightly smaller pair!

Products I used:

  • NYX loose pearl powder pigment in silver
  • H&M eyeshadow in Party Silver (sparkles)
  • MAC eyeshadow in Carbon (matte)
  • Bodyshop brilliance powder (highlighter)
  • Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama gel liner in black
  • Kryolan Supracolour in silver
  • Maybelline Volum’ Express One by One mascara
  • MAC eye kohl in Smolder
  • Duo eyelash adhesive (clear)
  • Eyelashes from eBay (given to me by my dear friend Gisele)
  • MAC brushes 219, 239, 283, 209, Maybelline eyeliner brush and Elf brush (for the Supracolour)

Difficulty level: