M&S's new Beauty department

Is finally here!

The first store to adapt this phenomenon is the High Street Kensington branch which you have to pop over by if you're around.

How is it different from a gazillion other departmental beauty halls?

- It is quite spacious for once and there is plenty of room for people to walk in the aisle and test and choose products without being suffocated.
- It stocks other inaccessible niche brands, mostly organic and science led such as Dr Renauds, Filorga, Nuxe, Deborah Lippmann, Apivita, Acorelle and a tonne more.
- It has some in-store exclusives from brands specifically made to fit into M&S's ethics about the Beauty area, ones that you won't find any where else.
- It promises no pushy and only helpful assistance by the staff who are all trained in their fields to provide expert advise.
- There is also a virtual make-over device cum mirror that lets you upload your photo from Facebook and see how in store products and looks would appear on you. It also lets you order and shop online, if you are not in any mood for human interaction that day.

They have also reformulated and repackaged their own Autograph range which I couldn't get my eyes off from. The variety, shades and the prices were simply unbelievable. They also had a Limited range that was slightly cheaper than Autograph and more suitable for the younger consumer.

Another section where I remained glued on for quite a while during the launch was their Fragrance area. Especially because the brands here were not your usual high-street ones but in fact niche global brands you hadn't come across before, so beautifully packed and so unique when sniffed, that I already have a wish-list.

The Beauty Hall currently only exists at the High Street Kensington store but there are plans to spread it out to 100's of M&S stores nationwide within months.

A refreshing change from the usual Boots & Superdrug, do you see yourself shopping beauty at M&S?


Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base - Holy grail or Hyped?

Hah. I am recycling the title for this post from my MAC Face & Body Foundation one. That was just as hyped as this god-sent bronzer in the blogosphere. Remember when people started using the Face & Body Foundation to achieve 'dewy' skin? That was when Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua hadn't arrive you see.

So I wasn't planning to jump on the 'Bronzer Universal' bandwagon for this one-of-a-kind cream bronzer. Primarily the price deterred me. I wouldn't mind spending £30 on a Foundation but a bronzer, considering that I am already tanned...nah.

But it is a birthday present (seriously prompted by me of course!) so that's what I am using as a guilt-free reason to possess this.

The Chanel packaging as usually is a stunner. I don't care if its bulky (although I personally find it compact) or not travel-friendly. If I like something, I make sure it gets squeezed into my luggage. The black and gold just wins my heart.

Inside is a very beautifully placed cream bronzer, so pristine and picture perfect. I have spoilt it now with my stippling brush but oh well, its meant to be used used eh.

I quite like the consistency, it's just as I imagined it to be, dreamy to use and almost textureless. It's as if someone has simply injected pigment on to the skin without any grainy texture or residue. This is one reason it's a bit hit I suppose as opposed to powder bronzer's that tend to look made up and harsh overall.

What I am not in love with is the colour. Shocker I know. I agree that it's more golden, yellow based and naturally sun kissed shade that will flatter most skin tones but what about those with darker skin tones than NC40? I sometimes find it difficult for it to show up on my NC30 skin tone for that matter.

Perhaps it all comes down to personal preference I suppose. I like my bronzer to be considerably more visible in colour, if not harsh. This leans more towards a natural shadow that subtly emphasises the contours of the face. I can see it being perfect for those with already defined cheekbones but for barely-any-cheekbones chicks like me, it can be slightly difficult to work with.

And who in this world thinks of dipping their natural hair brushes in to this pot? There is absolutely no point in cribbing later on that it looks like a bit old gunk of mess. Just use synthetic brushes before hand for heaven's sake.

There are uncountable options out there. My favourite are (starting from the right) the Foundation brush by Lauren Luke, Expert Face brush by Real Techniques and Sigma Small Duo Fibre brush. They apply the product beautifully and without shedding a single hair in the product.

Plus there is an entire Real Techniques range of synthetic brushes that can be used with this product as well as Sigma's Synthetic Sigmax range. Spare your MAC brushes the trouble and invest in something more appropriate now, will ya? :-)

My conclusion then I hear you ask? 

It's surely not Holy Grail for me. I will use it up of course but there is no chance for a repurchase. There are too many Bronzer's in the world to make a repeat purchase I say. 

Tom Ford do some gorgeous ones as well as the new Summer 2012 Dior Nude Bronzer's that I have been eyeing recently. Of course one cannot go wrong with the classic Guerlain Terracotta range.

If you have tried out any out-of-this-world bronzer lately, do let me know.


Blusher Bricks & Mood Gloss

Although I love absolutely everything from Miner's Cosmetics including their Lipsticks, Lip glosses and Blushers, their Summer Collection is not up my street. Why? Because the pigmentation would only make it suitable for paler skin tones and it won't show up as well on skin tones darker than NC30, which is a bit of a bummer.

I quite like the Blusher Bricks. These are matte for once which is shocker considering almost every blush brick I have tried till date has been full-on shimmery. I am not sure about you but I don't like to go overtly shimmery in the summer as the daylight makes the glitter much more obvious.

They come in two shades, ones a gorgeous one full of cool pinks, quite blue toned hence more flattering and brightening on the skin and a warmer brick consisting of beigey-terracotta shades, for those who don't like doll-like, flushed cheeks.

There cannot be a summer collection without Lip glosses eh? Here we have two namely 'Mood Gloss' that apparently change their colour depending on the colour of your lips and the temperature of your body and so on.

Don't believe it? Well then do, as I have tried a tonne of these and they actually work every freaking time! Call me kiddish but I love myself these glosses that go on clear and adapt to ones lip colour.

Can you see the clear one changing colour on my hand already?

My kiddish fascinations aside, it's not a bad collection overall. As I said, more suitable for the fairer/paler ladies out there who don't want shimmer but still want to wear fun colours in the lovely sunny weather.

For the prices these retail for, you really can't go wrong. Check out www.minerscosmetics.co.uk for more deets.


Top 3 Favourite Sunscreens

Yes I know we all hate wearing them don't we?

Why? Well I'm not sure about you but I personally use a lot of products when it comes to Skincare in the first place and the added obligation of slapping on another layer of cream on top of all that, which won't provide an extra glow but will 'protect' skin against the sun is simply not appealing or glamorous you see, it's plainly boring.

But guys and girls, as the rule goes, we HAVE to wear sunscreen, sunblock, sun cream, SPF or whatever else you like to call it. It's not optional!

One reason I always despised sunscreen is because they were always so 1980's in texture and consistency. So thick, goopy, even slightly lavender coloured sometimes and basically just... eugh.

Over time, I have come across some brilliant ones however and thought I'd share them for the sunscreen rebels just like me.

1) In order of preference, Laboratoire Remede Transluscent UV Coat. It's expensive at £30 a pop but worth every penny as it's oil-free so suitable for all skin types, boasts of a comparably high SPF of 30 which is superb and its formula is just like water! You simply cannot detect it on the skin as it feels so light and leaves nothing besides a silky, soft-focus finish. Mine's clear but it comes in various tinted shades as well, in case you just want to wear it on its own.

 2) If you suffer from dry skin in the Summer however, B.liv Shield Me by Cellnique for you. It's moisturising and anti-ageing at the same time, offering an SPF of 25 which again is not bad at all. The texture is not sticky besides its hydrating quality, in fact very much like a face primer that absorbs in quite quickly. It has a nice tropical smell to it, not offensive at all. This might get a bit shiny on the t-zone after a few hours hence more suitable for those with combination/dry/normal skin types. Available for slightly cheaper at $32 from Bliv Skincare and they currently offer Free Shipping & Free Samples with each order!

3) L'Oreal Paris Solar Expertise is the only drugstore one that I like. Although it appears like a thick moisturiser, it absorbs on to the skin very well without leaving any of that nasty white cast or residue. It has an SPF of 15 which is not great but better than nothing if you don't want to invest in expensive sun creams. This one comes in a huge tube and I like to slather it on the hands as well. I believe they have a few new ones in the Solar Expertise range that are fluid like consistency and higher in SPF so definitely check those out.

Don't forget, unlike make-up, the 'less is more' rule doesn't apply here. No amount of SPF is ever enough. Plus it needs reapplication a few times a day if you are outside or go for a swim and so on.

I am on the hunt for Sunscreens with substantially high SPF over 50 and if I do find some, they shall be up here soon. Do you have any recommendations in the mean while?

Cover FX Foundation Winners

Thanks a lot for entering girls. Your entries were truly inspiring and I totally agree how the perception of beauty has been distorted in the society these days and needs to be redefined.

Anyhoo, coming back to the winners.


Beauty Bird
Pwincess Kam

Congratulations girls!

All I need from you now is your Full Name and shipping address so please email it to me at getgawjus@hotmail.com so we can get the prizes shipped out to you =D


The Body Shop - Lily Cole Collection

Here we have the highly anticipated Lily Cole collection from The Body Shop guys. Jealous much? Don't be! It will be available to purchase in a month or so in stores, plus its highly affordable and won't break the bank :)

Besides, The Body Shop have revamped their collections recently and have made them much more fun, structured and the product quality amazing, so you won't regret a purchase.

Starting from my very favourite, the Shimmer Cubes Palette. I remember when I initially started out buying make-up in my teens, I was so fascinated with these little pots of eye shadows that were so shimmery and just perfect.

Well, not much has changed since then. These ones however are particularly stunning in quality. They are considerably smooth, more pigmented and have a gorgeous iridescent shimmer to them but injected in a subtle manner so they don't look over the top.

A must have from the collection if you're into such shades.

Aah the Lip & Cheek Domes. These are an innovation as I haven't seem a similar product in UK as of yet. A bit like EOS balms from the US, these are slightly chunkier in size but work in a similar manner, either as a lip balm or a cheek tint.

The formula is quite moisturising but not sticky to cause breakouts on the cheek. It's moderately pigmented to work as a sheer hint of colour. It can be build up gradually however.

I personally have already pigmented lips on which these shades don't transfer very well. But it looks fabulously healthy and fresh on the cheeks. I also like the pink shade better than the peach.

The Pearl Radiance Primer is also quite a unique and a multi tasking product in the sense that not only does it make a lovely radiant primer to apply on the skin before Foundation, it also can make a subtle highlighter for the cheekbones due to its dewy finish.

It offers a healthy sheen instead of shimmer-glimmer. I usually don't get along with primers but this has helped quite a bit recently as I have been suffering from dry, dull skin. Of course the process of seeing the beads squirted out in liquid form is a fascinating reason alone for a purchase.

Surely check it out in store!
The Eye liner is a liquid one with an almost matte finish to it. It's a subtle purple shade, one that's quite easily wearable if you get easily bored of blacks and browns.
The Hi Shine Lip Treatments make a nice Lip Gloss cum Lip Blam in one. They are very moisturising and slightly sticky but stay put for hours without budging, sliding or smudging. Not very pigmented, they come injected with some very pretty, finely milled shimmer particles that reflect beautifully in daylight and flash.

I would suggest trying out the darkest shade from them all so you get the most pigmentation out of the product.
Quite a fun, girly yet refreshing collection overall for the summer when you don't want to clog your face with heavy powdery blushers, smokey eyes and a full-on lip. It gets a two thumbs up from me as it's right up my street and something that I will get a lot of wear out of.