Friday 29 April 2016

Essie Nail Polish in Cocktail Bling

Essie Nail Polish in Cocktail Bling 1

One of the many products I was gifted at the Debenhams Press Day was an Essie Nail Polish in the shade Cocktail Bling.* Essie is my favourite nail polish brand, so I was thrilled to find this in my goodie bag.

A gorgeous mix of light blue, lilac and grey, Cocktail Bling is the kind of shade I always admire on other people, but tend to shy away from buying for myself. However, it's surprisingly flattering, and I really enjoyed wearing it on both fingers and toes for a weekend away recently. (I stayed in North Yorkshire, and will share all the details on the blog soon.) I was also pleasantly surprised by how well it went with everything I wore, whether that was soft cream, floral prints, black and white stripes or even different shades of blue. I wouldn't really have considered this a neutral shade, but it really did seem to work with all my outfits.

Essie Nail Polish in Cocktail Bling 2

I applied this over my usual base coat of Ciate Underwear. It was nice and smooth to work with and took two coats to get a nice opaque finish. I topped it off with Seche Vite and it lasted me the whole weekend with just a minor touch up needed, which is good for me.

Essie Nail Polish in Cocktail Bling 3

All in all this is a really pretty colour which makes a nice change from my usual pink/red/orange spectrum!

Are you a fan of blue-toned polishes?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Perfume Review - Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent

I always like to attend the events I'm invited to whenever I can, but sometimes it just isn't possible. The Thirty Plus event to celebrate the launch of Miller Harris's new perfume, Vetiver Insolent, was one I was really disappointed to have to miss, but I was thrilled when they offered to send me a bottle anyway.

Miller Harris is not a brand I'm familiar with, but it's London-based, and according to the website, blends the finest natural ingredients to create perfumes that combine Parisian elegance with London street style. Vetiver Insolent is their latest offering.

Perfume Review - Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent 1

I love the packaging. The simple green and black is really chic and elegant, and the etched floral design on the bottle is distinctive and looks great on my dressing table.

Miller Harris describes this fragrance as being "for the fearless" and I would definitely agree with that. I must confess that at first spritz, I didn't think I was going to like it. It's strong, very strong, and my initial impression was that it smelled more like an expensive room fragrance than something I wanted to wear on my skin.

And then it dried down, and I fell in love. It's a very sophisticated, grown-up scent - warm, earthy, and spicy. It also lingers for ages on the skin. This is definitely not one of those fragrances that vanishes into thin air after about twenty minutes, and I love that. If I'm going to wear perfume, then I want to be able to smell it!

Perfume Review - Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent 2

Describing fragrances is notoriously tricky and "warm, earthy and spicy" is the best I can do, so here's the fragrance notes for Vetiver Insolent from the Miller Harris website:

Top Notes - Bergamot Italy, Black Pepper, Elemi, Cardamom India

Heart - Iris, Lavandin Abs, Crisp Amber

Base - Vetiver Haiti, Tonka Bean, Moss

This perfume is really distinctive, and like nothing else I have in my collection. It also prompted my husband to ask what amazing scent I was wearing, so I'd say that definitely makes it a winner! All in all it's a great introduction to the Miller Harris brand and I'm curious now to try out more of their perfumes. I'm also very grateful to them and to Hayley from London Beauty Queen for arranging to let me have a sample.

Have you tried anything from Miller Harris? And what's the most distinctive perfume in your collection?

Kate x

Friday 22 April 2016

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16

Last Thursday, I headed down to London for the Debenhams Beauty Press Day. It was a real treat. Any makeup lover would be over the moon to have the chance to nose around a ton of new spring/summer launches, and with all the brands that grace the beauty department of Debenhams, it's safe to say that there were treasures around every corner and that I ended up leaving with a wish list as long as my arm! 

The event was held at the stunning Haymarket Townhouse. With beautiful products laid out in dream hotel rooms, the whole thing was a feast for the eyes and, quite frankly, an Instagrammer's paradise. I took hundreds of photos, so I thought I would just share a few with you to give you a flavour of the event.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 1

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 2

A gorgeous selection of Essie nail polishes cascaded across this table like sweets, looking good enough to eat.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 3 - Essie Nail Polish

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 4 - Essie Nail Polish

It was so much fun going from room to room, not only to explore all the pretty makeup, but also to admire the decor. How cool is this headboard? Especially if you like cats!
 Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 5

The Too Faced Sweet Peach palette is pretty as a picture and really caught my eye. I particularly liked the lighter shades and don't really have anything similar in my collection. Another one for the list!

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 6 - Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette

I also loved the Urban Decay Beached Bronzers and Afterglow Highlighters. The shades and packaging are equally stunning.
 Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 7 - Urban Decay Beached Bronzer

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 8 - Urban Decay Beached Bronzer

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 9 - Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 10 - Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter

Besides luxe bedrooms and lounge areas, there were also bathrooms. Stunning marble bathrooms, to be precise, with free standing tubs decorated with flowers. This one looked so inviting, but you'll be happy to know that I resisted the temptation to jump in. It wouldn't have been appropriate with all those people walking around, now would it? And the water would probably have been quite cold.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 11

On the side, a choice of perfumes to spritz on after your bath. I absolutely loved the Vince Camuto Capri fragrance, in the blue bottle at the front with the fancy silver lid. It's fresh, floral, light, conjures up images of yachts on blue oceans and is perfect for spring and summer. And isn't the packaging exquisite?!

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 12 - Vince Camuto Capri Perfume

And of course there was more super pretty makeup to admire, this time from Illamasqua and Clinique.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 13 - Illamasqua

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 14 - Clinique

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 15 - Clinique

Now, what do you think happens when you put three bloggers in front of a mirror with a marble backdrop?

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 16

Yep, that! A brilliant day was made even better when I bumped into Renata and Alina. Having like-minded people to coo over the makeup with and share a sandwich with afterwards really is the icing on the cake when it comes to events like this, and I had so much fun chatting and giggling with these two lovely ladies.

Another bedroom, another fabulous headboard!

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 17

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 18

And another marble bathroom, this time with some very lovely looking Estee Lauder products. 

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 19

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 20 - Estee Lauder

This is Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in Witty Peach. Isn't it a thing of beauty? It makes me think of summer sunsets. I think I need it.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 21 - Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in Witty Peach

A mantelpiece full of YSL Touche Eclat foundations, recently re-formulated. I was colour matched for a sample of this and can't wait to give it a try.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 22 - YSL Touche Eclat Foundation

As for this Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in 05... well, just look at it!

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 23 - Guerlain

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 24 - Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in 05

I could go on and on. This was such a fabulous event, positively dripping with beautiful products, and I'm so grateful to Debenhams for inviting me. Meanwhile, the contents of the goodie bag should keep me going in blog posts for some time to come! So incredibly generous.

Debenhams Beauty Press Day - SS16 25 - Goodie bag

Have you tried any of these products? And if not, which would you like to try the most?

Kate x

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Dainty Jewels from

Recently, I've noticed a few bloggers sporting gorgeous jewellery from a website called (Elle and Alina being the first to spring to mind.) Having drooled over pretty much everything I've seen from the brand, I didn't have to think twice when they got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to review one or two pieces.

When it comes to jewellery, I tend to favour either one statement piece or a few dainty items that compliment one another. have so many dainty pieces on offer that it's almost impossible to choose, so I was more than happy to leave the selection in their hands. And it made receiving this adorable looking package even more exciting. 1 2

Almost too pretty to open, isn't it? And absolutely perfect if you wanted to send someone a gift of jewellery. Inside, the presentation is just as lovely, with each item carefully packaged within its own individual box. 3 4

I was thrilled to see that I had been sent a necklace, ring and two bracelets in sterling silver. Each piece is beautiful in its own right, and in my opinion they look even better when worn together. Having browsed the website and seen numerous examples on various blogs, I was confident that I would love the design of my jewellery even before I opened up the package. However, quality is something which you can really only appreciate in full when you see something in the flesh (or metal, in this case) and I was seriously impressed with the quality of these pieces as soon as I lifted the lid of the first box. 5

I shouldn't really have been surprised at this. After all, according to, they're very proud of their status as Assay Assured jewellery retailers, which offers reassurance to customers that when they buy sterling silver and 9 ct gold pieces from the site, they are getting exactly that. are also passionate about offering their real jewellery at costume jewellery prices, and given that they've managed to do this without compromising on the design, I'm pretty confident that I won't be the only person checking them out again next time I'm shopping for jewellery.

My favourite of all the pieces I received is probably this beautiful, simple V charm necklace (£8.25). 6

I put this on as soon as I received it and basically haven't taken it off since. It looks fab on its own - I love tiny necklaces that give you that gleam of silver at your neck when they catch the light - but it will also make a great layering piece.

I was also sent the matching bracelet (£6.45), together with this Infinity Loop bracelet (£4.15). I absolutely love the effect of the two of them together. As I've mentioned before, I have spindly chicken arms, so these are a tiny bit big for me at the moment, but it's nothing that the removal of a few links won't fix. (Incidentally, if you too are cursed with spindly chicken arms and have a problem finding bracelets to fit, I highly recommend getting some jeweller's pliers and learning to remove links yourself. They don't cost much and it's an easy skill to learn. A trained monkey could probably do it. Not that monkeys wear much jewellery, of course. Can you tell I'm writing this on a very long, dull train journey?!) 7 8

Anyway, moving on swiftly, the final item I received was this gorgeous Heart and Arrow ring (£7.15). It's actually an adjustable midi ring, but spindly chicken arms come with teeny tiny little fingers, so it fits like a regular ring on me. I absolutely love it like this though, so it's all good. 9

I really couldn't be happier with the pieces I received from I particularly love layering up dainty pieces of jewellery in the warmer weather, so I already know that these are going to get plenty of wear soon. (There's going to be some warmer weather in the UK soon, right? RIGHT?!)

Have you discovered yet? What's your current favourite piece of jewellery?

Kate x

Friday 8 April 2016

My Cheapest Face

A little while ago, I created a makeup look using the most expensive products I have in my collection. (You can read it here if you like/haven't already). The grand total came to £265.50, which is a lot of money to be carrying around on my face! As I own quite a mix of high-end and drugstore makeup, I was also curious to work out what my cheapest face would come to, and a lot of you were interested too, so here it is! As far as possible, I've tried to create a similar look to the expensive one, using the same amount of products and similar colours. Just like with the high-end look, I haven't bought anything new for this post. Instead, I've only used products already rattling around in my makeup drawer.

Let's get started!

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 1


I began by applying Collection Illuminating Touch Foundation. I often find that drugstore foundations just don't measure up to high end ones, but this one is really impressive. It gives decent coverage and lasts really well. The finish is quite dewy, which I prefer whenever my skin is feeling a little bit dry. Cost - £5.99

Sticking with Collection, my cheapest concealer and still my number one favourite after many years of use is Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It gives the most amazing coverage and I use it pretty much every day. I must have got through dozens of these! Cost - £4.19


As it turns out, I don't currently own any drugstore brow products, so I used my Benefit Brow Zings palette again, just as I did with my high-end look. If anyone has any recommendations for good cheap brow products, please let me know, as I feel like I ought to try some! Cost - £24.50


I saved a bit of money here by using a little dab of my trusty Collection concealer instead of an eye primer. It's what I used to do before I got my Urban Decay one and it works a treat! For shadows, I turned to my Collection #YourStyleYourMood palette, which you are all probably sick of me going on about by now. I used the two smaller shades in the photo below - the lighter one all over the lid and the darker one in the crease. Then I lined my eyes with the dark brown shade. Cost - £5.99

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 2

A couple of coats of Rimmel Wake Me Up Mascara finished off my eyes. I really like this mascara - it gives good volume and definition, plus it contains vitamins to nourish your lashes and it smells like fresh cucumber. What's not to love?! Cost - £7.99

Bronzer, Blush and Highlight

I used a sweep of the bronzer from the Maybelline Master Sculpt palette to warm up my complexion. While sculpting and contouring doesn't really do a lot for me, this is actually a really nice bronzer to use the old fashioned way. If you like your bronzers cool toned without the least hint of orange, you'll love this one. Cost - £6.99

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 3 
For blush, I applied a dab of Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in the shade Pinkerbelle. This is a cream blush stick which is absolutely brilliant to carry around in your bag for touch ups on the go. Cost - £9.00

When I created my expensive look, I used a cream highlight with a dusting of a powder one over the top, so I did the same for this one. The Collection Speedy Highlighter is a fantastic drugstore substitute for Benefit Watts Up, and I can't recommend it enough if you're in the market for an inexpensive highlight. For the powder one, I used the highlight included in the Maybelline Master Sculpt palette, so I saved some money there! Cost - £3.99


The first product I knew I was going to include in my cheapest face post was my Natural Collection Lipstick in Raspberry. I don't really have a shade similar to the orangey red I used for my expensive face, but this is the brightest colour I own from this range, and I really wanted to use it because I don't think it's possible to buy cheaper makeup than this in the UK. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I haven't bought anything from Natural Collection (available in Boots) for a long time, and in fact I'm not even sure that they make this shade of lipstick any more, but the quality is surprisingly good for such an incredibly cheap brand. Cost - £1.99

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 4

And here's what all that looks like on my face.

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 5

My Cheapest Face - FOTD 6

As for the cost, my cheapest face comes to £70.63 in total. That's £194.87 cheaper than my most expensive face! And it would have been even less had I owned a drugstore brow product. I'm quite surprised at how big the difference is, and given that all the products I've used are ones I really like and find to be good quality, it just shows that you can build up a decent makeup collection without spending a fortune.

How much do you think your cheapest face would come to? Can you be cheaper than me?! Go on, I dare you!

Kate x
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