Product review: JN Beauty Camera Ready Face Primer

JN Beauty Camera Ready FAce Primer

Throughout the years, I have been creating a makeup routine for myself. From only slapping some (wrong colour, btw) powder in the late 90’s to my 5-step face base makeup today, lots of product came and went.

The primer, however, has been one that never left since its addition around five years ago. I could go on for hours on why you should wear a primer, but I will save it.

The JN Beauty Camera Ready Face Primer provides a good base for makeup. It is a transparent gel like product which applies really well, leaving the skin velvety to touch after application.

It really helps foundation glide better and have a smoother finish – it helps prevent the makeup falling into enlarged pores, fine lines, dry patches – and in my case, in the scars (that is why a good primer is very important for me, especially!).

Packaging is actually of high quality and very effective  – metal and glass which are sturdy and have a lovely weight to it, even though I don’t think it looks that way, for some reason, you can only feel the quality when you touch it.

In terms of durability, this one proved to have a similar holding power as some of the ones I have been using lately: Beautiful Movements Mixing medium and Lancôme LA Base, which have a very similar colour, consistency and feeling on the skin to this one. Thumbs up!

You can get the Camera Ready Face Primer from the JN Beauty website – it costs £25.

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

Red lipstick: how to apply

how to apply red lipstick - somanylovelythings

It was love at first stroke. And I knew it was going to be for life. There are colours I like on my lips. But love, red is the only one.

Being a 90’s teenager meant nothing but lipgloss coloured (?!) my lips for a very long time. Until I had the red lippy epiphany and my life was never the same. I realise THAT is my real self – the expression of my personality via a red lip.

I consider myself quite fortunate as blue-ish, orange and true reds suit my skin. Being olive-skinned, the oranges do look much nicer, but jointly with MAC’s Lady Danger (which I believe is the best shade for me), Russian Reds reigns.

However, there is nothing worse than a badly applied red lipstick (I lied, there is, but for dramatic purposes, I won’t elaborate), and lots of people ask how I do it and keep it all night. Well, I’ll tell you how. It happens in stages. At the moment, my skin is extra dry – weather and medication being the culprits.

  • Look after your lips. I use Lush’s sugar lip scrub to exfoliate. When my pucker is feeling rougher, I do it every night. If not, from time to time, when I need. My dad used to tell me off an awful lot when younger “Ni, stop licking your lips”. Well, no surprise, he was right. Avoid. Use a balm instead!
  • Use plenty of lip balm when not wearing lipstick. I apply every night before bed, generously, without fail. It is part of my night routine, just as cleansing, toning and moisturising. I realised some make my lips drier, even though they work for most people. At the moment, I am loving Nivea Lip Butter, any flavour!
  • For unexpected roughness and dry skin, put some lip balm on and use a toothbrush to gently scrub away the dry skin, preparing your lips for colour.
  • When I start my makeup, even before I start prepping, I apply lip balm on my lips. And do my makeup. By the time I get to them, the balm has almost been completely absorbed (I usually wipe if off anyway, not to interfere with the lipstick) and my lips are ready! I don’t use a lip primer, I tried a few but didn’t think it was any more effective than my current routine.

how to apply red lipstick - somanylovelythings

  • First, I line my lips (01). Use a good liner with a colour close to the lipstick. doesn’t need to be the same. I use Redd from MAC with almost any red I have (but not burgundies). If I want it a bit more vibrant, I use an orange-y one (Lasting Sensation is a fave). Line within your lip line for a natural effect. I paint a bit of the lip with the pencil (02), to help blending  the colours.
  • Then, using a lip brush (MAC 318 retractable lip brush is my godsend) fill the lip, blending the lines (03). I just go over them carefully with the brush.
  • Sometimes I pat a tissue on the lips to remove excess, repeat application and remove excess again.
  • Finally, I apply my saviour product Lipcote (04). I cannot live without it. Really. Make sure you apply it correctly. First, around the edges, then fill the lips. DO not eat or drink for 30 minutes. If you follow the instructions and use a matte lipstick, it is very likely it will hang in there for a few hours, even when drinking, Oily foods will remove it for sure.

how to apply red lipstick - somanylovelythings

And that is it! To be honest, I wear red day or night – and highly recommend, as long as you feel comfortable!


Product review: Guinot Lait Hydra Fraîcheur (cleanser) and Lotion Hydra Fraîcheur (toner)

guinot cleanser and toner

Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise. We all know the drill. I’ve been doing it for a very long time in my life and am always very happy to try new products for the life-long routine. This time, we are talking steps one and two with Guinot’s Refreshing Cleansing Milk and Refreshing Toning Lotion.

The Hydra Fraîcheur products aim to keep skin fresh by helping to balance hydration.

First, the cleanser – the Lait Hydra Fraîcheur has a fluid milky texture and it is not too thick. Spreads well on the skin when applied with circular movements. Removed make-up well, including eye makeup. Skin felt soft after, not greasy or heavy, but I am not a huge fan of any milk cleansers – I prefer to wash – so I did it after application. The pump delivers the right amount of product and a small amount goes a loguinot cleanser and tonerng way.

The Lotion Hydra Fraicheur  toner has rose extract and is suitable for all skin types, just like the cleanser. It is liquid, alcohol and foaming agent free and indeed very fresh, with a subtle sweet-ish fragrance. Skin felt comfortable during and after application there was no stinging or dryness.

When I first used the duo in the evening, my skin woke up bright and plump.

You can get more details on the Lotion Hydra Fraîcheur toner and the Lait Hydra Fraîcheur cleanser from the Guinot website, and buy it from selected salons and some online retailers.

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


Nails of the week: Essie “For the Twill of it”

essie for the twill of it - somanylovelythings

This polish was picked up at Olympia Beauty 2013 (that’s how slow I am getting through stuff – so much!) – no surprise I was attracted to it, given my undying love of duo chrome nail polishes.

“For the Twill of it” is a beautiful metallic olive green which shifts to metallic mauve. Sometimes, it can look a bit gunmetal grey.

essie for the twill of it - somanylovelythings

Application was great – funnily enough, this is my first Essie polish (weird, I know, just realised it when applying it!). The brush is a good size, the polish applies well and there are no brush strokes. it also dries quickly.

essie for the twill of it - somanylovelythings

Durability is also great, went through my usual seven days with looking fantastic.



Product review: Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-powder at Powder Room event

Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder and powder room event - somanylovelythings

Bumble and bumble, hair extraordinaire, invited me to their Powder Room event in London, to launch their newest product, Prêt-à-powder.

Stylists were at hand creating fabulous hair dos using Bumble and bumble’s fantastic range – but specifically showcasing their limited edition Spray Chalk, which is so pigmented that will colour the darkest of hairs and of course, their new launch Prêt-à-powder.

Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder and powder room event - somanylovelythings

Prêt-à-powder really brings back my teenage memories of using talcum powder as a late 90’s dry shampoo. Yeah, some days my head smelt of a (clean!!!) baby’s bottom!

The bottle has a gorgeous pink-ish pearlescent shade with a tiny hole from which very fine translucent powder, with a subtle fragrance, comes out. The powder contains a blend of clay and oat powder for dry cleansing and silica that sticks to strands creating volume and grip!


Photo booth fun with my new hairdo! Cobalt and mint anyone?

This product is described as a “blow dry extender”, a “lifeline for styling, giving it a second day to survive” and “essential for textured ponytails and easier to manage updos”.

Even though it does work as both, I see this more like a styling product than a dry shampoo. Applied on the hair, it soaks the grease and takes away a bit of the dirty look of a second day hair, giving back oomph, but I think a dry shampoo is still more efficient if the wash happened more than a day or two days prior to application! Be careful not to apply too much, especially if you have dark hair, as you need to pat a bit to get rid of the whiteness, even though the powder is not too white.

It delivers good volume  and grip – it lifts the roots and really (really!) amplifies your backcombing, giving your hair some zhush!!! The effect last well through the day. This is great news for me, owner of a limp mane.

A lovely little thing that is! It now lives in my bathroom for a morning hair pick me up!

Prêt-à-powder will be available from the Bumble and bumble website, Space NK, John Lewis, Selfridges, Liberty, selected Boots nationwide and network salons from the 27 of January 2014. Not too long now! Suggested price is £21.50 for 2oz.

The lovely event took place at the Ice Tank in Covent Garden and the delicious candy floss was supplied by the lovely ladies from Hot Spun Sugar. Thank you Chalk PR and Bumble and bumble for having me!

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

Goals for 2014

Job-Search-Goals - image credit corbisBEWARE: this is not a beauty, style or shoes post (boooo). However, I think it affects all of that, as the blog is a reflection of who I am and what goes on in my “real” life, so I am going to share this here.

I don’t think I ever made new year’s resolutions. Really. Partly due to the expectations and subsequently disappointments they bring. I mean, to start 2012, I had a couple things I decided I had to do: my post-grad course and get British citizenship. After getting that, I just relaxed and 2013 was a bit lacklustre.

Maybe I am being a bit hard on myself but that feeling of “nothing has happened” made me feel my life is lacking a bit of direction and maybe it is a jolly good idea to focus on some aspects. Some things just need sorting out with no procrastination.

So I am not going to call them resolutions (I admit I am a bit scared of the word), more like a to-do list. Here is what I am trying to achieve this year. No pressure. None at all. Argh!

  •  Do a layout overhaul on my blog. Last year, I bought the .com. Now I think I got to the point I need new branding, less generic and more me and I know what I want. Just need a talented designer to bring it to life. I also want to customise my theme, which will bring me to my next “resolution”.
  • Learn a bit of code. Not that “oh yeah, I look at that and kinda know what it means” type, as I already know as it is part of my daily job. I want to primarily customise my blog, so really need to pull my socks up. After being out of formal education for soooo long, starting my post-grad (and finishing!) made me realise how much I miss structured learning. I started already and am doing ok.
  • Save money. Not save more, as at the moment I cannot control myself. I actually want to start putting money into my savings account again. I used to be good at it but the last years have seen no pennies going into the savings account. Sad times. This needs to change. Measures include shopping less for clothes, organising food to bring into work and week’s meals. Stop buying things for the house. Buy less makeup.
  • Aerial hoop. I used to be in love with silks and finally took the plunge last year. Literally. I tore a muscle deep in my abdomen and got traumatised – four weeks of pain. But I think now I can give hoops a go. Until I get another injury.
  • Go back to my gym routine. 4 times a week. No less, maybe more. This wasn’t a problem when I had the amazing Danny Salfairso as my PT, but since moving to a new work building and having to leave him behind (sniff), I am finding hard to keep it going.
  • Eat healthily and avoid alcohol during the week. About 5 years ago I said I wanted to lose 5kg. Never happened. This time it will.
  • Look after my health. This is hard for me to talk about, but lately my anxiety has reached unmanageable levels. To the point I’ve been feeling sick – hair loss, pains in back, stomach, palpitations, dry mouth, constant knot in throat, heartburn, and at one point dizziness and difficulty breathing. I’ve been panicking over anything and everything, always making up worst case scenarios and working myself up with worry. Sometimes I just get filled with desperation and sadness. I’ve been irritable, moody, without patience. A horrible person to some around me. That is not who I am or who I want to be.
  • Finally make some big decisions I’ve been postponing in my life. That includes moving countries, career definition and family. All massive decisions, but I feel it is crunch time.
  • Tell people I love them more often. Fearlessly. Because I should be doing this all the time. We all should.

So it looks like 2014 is going to be a pretty big year, one way or another. There are a few more things I want to do, like learn another language, travel to a few places, do more sewing, but they will come on time. I hope I get to achieve a few at least, and be careful so they don’t cause me any more anxiety. Small steps…

Image credit: Corbis

Product review: Lancôme Doll Eyes mascara by Alber Elbaz

Lancome by Alber Elbaz Doll Eyes mascara

Vanity. I am guilty as charged. And will confess I wanted this mascara so much because of the gorgeous – and gorgeous doesn’t quite describe – packaging. Something about the hearts and the words “limited edition”. The Lancôme loved Doll Eyes mascara has received an adorable gown. Yes, it shall go to the ball.

Packaging aside, the review boils down to the Doll Eyes mascara. The wand is funnel shaped, to give inner corner lashes more definition and outer corner more volume. The bristles are medium-long size and of a medium consistency – not too hard, not too soft. The formula is medium weight.

Lancome by Alber Elbaz Doll Eyes mascara

I am a big fan of Lancôme mascaras and this product didn’t disappoint; it gives good volume, but lacks a bit in definition. You can also notice the heavier coating on the outer corners for the desired doll eye effect.

lancome Doll eyes mascara tested - somanylovelythings

lancome Doll eyes mascara tested - somanylovelythings

Lashes do look lovely with only two coats, as seen above. Three coats make lashes look quite lush. Four makes them start to clump. Admittedly, I don’t  spend as much time carefully applying each coat as I should, so I stop at three.

Lancome by Alber Elbaz Doll Eyes mascara

Pretty with content. What else does a girl need?

Have you tried the Doll Eyes mascara? What do you think?

Product review: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

eyeko skinny liquid liner

Confession: I cannot go one day without eyeliner. And I mean it. I tried all types: pencils, felt tip pens, gel pots, eyeshadow+slanty brush… you name it, I’ve been there. And I settled for the pen, which is the most practical. For that reason alone, I was more than excited to try the Eyeko Skinny Liquid eyeliner in black.

To start with, I love that the tip is super long. I don’t know why, but I just do. And it is indeed very skinny and precise.

Now, I used this one to the end. Using everyday, it lasted about three months. I mean, the liquid is clearly ending, but the tip remains pretty sharp. It is still going – if I leave it upside down or shake it a bit, it will go back to almost new glory. It is still going but I know it is at the bitter end – it has given me all the signs it wants to retire. And I am re-purchasing. I don’t think I will ever let this one go, as I tried many liquid eyeliner pens and this one is really the best one!

eyeko skinny liquid liner

The liquid is smooth and very black. It dries quickly and I cannot remember having any transfer after applying, at any point.

Application is easy, it glides very well with just the right amount – not too dry or too wet. One stroke and you have a solid colour. With any liner, a steady hand is always welcome, but the strong tip really helps. And because the tip is so fine, you can create perfect flicks, with precision. It is also easy to build up to create thicker lines.

eyeko skinny eyeliner - somanylovelythings

Durability is also great. I do use an eyeshadow primer, but this baby stays in place all day and doesn’t smudge – even through my spin class (my best and probably unfairest test to makeup durability!). After 8 hours, it starts to fade, but stays in place. It is easy enough to remove with a good eye makeup remover and rubbing is not required – just wipe gently with the damp cotton wool!

eyeko skinny liquid liner

I especially recommend this to those who are new to eyeliner – as mentioned, the tip really helps if you are not that confident with other eyeliners, and you can create delicate lines! actually, there isn’t a single Eyeko product I tried and did not love. Seriously. Eye wizards!

The Skinny Liquid Eyeliner retails from £10 from the Eyeko website and they . At the moment, QVC has a brilliant twin pack for £15 plus p&p – which will come in my Christmas stocking, through “very subtle” hints!

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

What I’ve been wearing – 28/12/13

And here is the last of the outfit posts for 2013. As promised, after the latest jumper fest that was my previous post, I’ll give you sequins!

Thanks for being around in 2013 – and here is to more outfits in 2014!

Outfit #1

outfit 1
Black loose crop top with sheer panel from Forever 21, black, gunmetal, green and blue sequin pencil skirt from Topshop, black patent court shoes from Christian Louboutin (Rolando), necklace from New Look, rings from Accessorize, Forever 21, H&M and Topshop.

Outfit #2

Blue, red and white blouse from Primark, full midi skirt with sheer panel from Boohoo, black and white court shoes from Viviana calçados, necklace from Accessorize, rings from Forever 21, Primark and Topshop.

Outfit #3

outfit 3
White crop top from Miss Selfridge, black cigarette trousers from Topshop, black court shoes from Christian Louboutin (Decolette 100),  necklace from Primark, rings from Sobral, Zena & Me, Topshop, Stella & Dot.

Outfit #4

outfit 4
Floral long-sleeve playsuit from Forever 21, black court shoes from Christian Louboutin (Decolette 100), necklace from Primark, rings from Topshop and Primark.

Outfit #5

outfit 5
Red Christmas jumper with snowman and leather effect skirt from Primark, black leather ankle boots from H&M, necklace from Primark, rings from Topshop, New Look and Primark.