Friday, May 9, 2014


Urban Decay... or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? 

Hey Guys!

How are you? Recovering from the last bank holiday? Hopefully you won't hate me when I say I am writing this from Brussels...with a butter croissant in hand. Okay, that last piece of info was uncalled for and may have cemented my place in the bad books but I'm hoping this sneak peak will make-up for it - literally. (poor joke).

I had the pleasure of turning 23 last weekend, and with it came a one off sneak peak courtesy of the Debenhams beauty team at Intu Merry Hill. I think it's safe to say that alongside the 4 varieties of cake and entire bottle of rioja that I 'sampled', this experience came out trumps. I was lucky enough to be taken through the entire product ranges at Elemis, Urban Decay and Elizabeth Arden, get a pretty groundbreaking make over, and leave smelling like a mixture of gin seng and seaweed = AMAZING. 

Having met the loveliest and most helpful team, I'd like to say a personal thank you to the beautiful Lianne Gillard for making the day so wonderful. The beauty bloggers may well have something to look forward to this Saturday, but the single biggest take away I have is that these gorgeous, approachable women live, breathe, sleep (maybe not eat) skin care and make up! So whatever you do - please go and say hello... you will leave having been made to feel so so special.  :)


The lovely Kelsey showed me the ropes at Elemis. I couldn't have been more delighted because I've been wanting to try out the British company renowned for kicking skin care ass for so long now. Loaded with anti-oxidants, natural ingredients and the most sensational variety of calming smells, it's little wonder Elemis is known as a staple at Spas up and down the country. 

Today I thought I'd give you guys a round up of what I'd deem the very best bits:

1) Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

1 of these bad boys is sold a minute. That’s right – one a MINUTE. Selling at a steeper £80 per 50ml/£135 per 100ml, I think we can appreciate that this is their wonder product that clearly has people coming back for more (every minute). Lasting approximately 4-5 months, the sacred ingredient is said to be 3% of ‘Padina Pavonica’. A form of algae, it was located one the side of a submerges ship by a French marine biologist. When the algae was peeled away, this was the only part of the ship preserved in its entirety.

With such an intact visage, Elemis have gone on to apply the same logic to their skin care. Whilst I haven’t used the product long enough to mention the exact return on investment, a little pea sized amount goes a long way and it has already left my skin feeling very soft and silky. 

2) Pro-collagen Serum

To go hand in hand with their face cream, one half of these tiny serums (those teeny tiny tubes visible above!) in the morning, and the other in the evening is part of a 30 day treatment. Made to accompany the Marine Cream, your skin should be looking plump and radiant in no time.  Elemis claims the serum alleviates fine lines by 78% and improves skin hydration by 45% in the space of just 15 days. As usual, I’ll be the guinea pig and get back to you on specifics - particularly the yummy mummys for whom I have a new found appreciation since the birth of my niece. Treat yourselves! :)

3) Papaya Enzyme Peel

Please – just SMELL it. No words. That’s all I can say at present. That and the realisation I wanted to eat it? 

4) Body Performance Range

Since I've been gymming a lot harder lately I could not have had more appreciation for this product. Not only does it smell healing, it leaves your skin feeling tingly and your body AND mind relaxed. 

I think I'm actually in love. First bath in ages, and I felt so calm and ready for bed. 

5) Total Glow 

Need a summer glow?

Check these out! This new line has been brought out to get you guys going from spring sheen to summer fever. For those of you like myself who needn't go searching for a tan but like to look illuminated, a couple of products in the line don't include self tan - just natural glowing goodness. 

4)  Separate SPF 30:

A few highlights from the extensive range

Interestingly enough, unlike many other brands Elemis don’t include SPF in their face creams. Instead, they provide a separate thin liquid layer to further support their belief in lightweight products that are easy to absorb. A little goes along way is key here - it's also a novel idea when you want to avoid what I'd call 'caking'. 


...ALL HAIL! The eye specialists to end ALL eye specialists... URBAN DECAY. If the caps lock doesn't give it away, I was VERY excited for this and it didn't disappoint. This is after all the company that unleashed the primer potion, creamy eyeliners that DON'T move and over 68 colours of tight pressed pigments. At Urban I was greeted by the equally as lovely (and beautiful) Neeru and Aseelah. Whilst I’m already quite familiar with the brand and a loyal naked 1 supporter, it was a case of extreme makeover when they took to my make up. They pushed my boundaries and showed me that glitter has it’s pros – not just its cons. J

The Best Bits:

1)  Electric Pressed Pigment Palette

Price: £38
The latest arrival to their list of notable palettes is not for the understated. Loaded with pressed pigments (as the name suggests) this is a no colours barred palette with eye shadow confidence a definite pre-requisite!
However, if like me, you are convinced you look like you've returned to your early teens when you've used bright colours all over your eyelid, please do stop by and ask Neeru or Aseelah to show you otherwise. Because they will. You will leave looking less like Boy George and more like Beyonce. 
SO a definite must for those bold enough to experiment and those who need to dive into the deep end. The shades were GORGEOUS, fun and nothing short of tropical. Perfect for summer. :) 


Would I lie to you? Get £10 off a Naked Palette with any 2 beauty and fragrance purchases. Pretty damn good deal if you're off on a make up spree and on for a limited time only in Debenhams, the deal's available on all Naked Palettes including the £22 mini for basics! Palettes range from £22-£37 come in a variety of shades and textures (matte/non-matte) and I can confirm - last a lifetime.

Do it to it!

3)  Primer Potion

I swear by primer potion - it's become the go-to product for Urban in the past few years. Say no to creases and YES to bolder, long lasting colours. It really does make the pigments pop – there's no two ways about it.

The most iconic eyeshadow primer of all time is available in it’s original translucent format but now also in ‘naked’ and ‘sin’. The former is perfect for a 1950s matt eye, whilst the latter is reminiscent of the colour ‘sin’ from naked palette 1. For those of you who're after a day wear eyeshadow that isn't glaringly obvious, I'd recommend sin. A hint of shimmery day wear that would add that edge under other colours or when worn alone.

4)  Setting Spray

      The girls were kind enough to give me a sample of their 'Setting Spray'. I'm usually quite apprehensive about these ever since I used the MAC version, but I have to say, I was honestly surprised with the results - nothing budged a good 8 hours later.

    Whilst the original product is oil free, there are two others in the range also: 1 for my fellow oily's and   the other for those of you looking for a bit more hydration throughout the day. 

    Price: £20

5)  24/7 Gel Eyeliner

Simply: They don't move, they're creamy and there are a ton of shades. Number 1 - not number 5. 
Go and have a play - just trust me. 
6) Skin & Lips

Urban have branched out into lips not so long ago and now have a selection of fabulous shades and creamy textures that really do pack a punch. Starting at £14 (mac-esque) I'd definitely recommend giving their nude shades in particular a gander. They seem to appreciate the need for facial balance; if your eyes are popping, your lips needn't do the talking (so much). 

Which brings me to their liquid foundation - Naked Skin £27, this has been worn by my best girl for the past 6 months. Rad's really liked it and has noted the following: it feels lightweight, it's dewy and really good news for dry skins. 

OILIES - as happy as Rad may be, I wouldn't advise this one being for you. 

Elizabeth Arden 

Last but by NO means least I had the utterly gorgeous Hayley show me around Elizabeth Arden. This  brand is synonymous with two things for me: 1) quality 2) my Mum (a fan of quality).
From 'red door' the parfum and their 'sponge-on' cream foundation to the 8 hour cream - these are products I've played with and smelt in my house from a young age. Perhaps unsurprisingly with such positive connotations, I'm a huge fan. 


As both Hayley and this fab little hand out explained quite clearly, we have the tendency of taking care of what we perceive to be our most delicate area - our eyes - and the skin around them, without paying a quarter of the attention to our all important pucker. (FYI: a spot of vaseline does not count as TLC. In fact, please stop using it - petroleum will make you dependent!)
As anyone who's tried to apply Matte Lipstick knows, the condition of your lips is imperative. Elizabeth Arden have tried to remedy this with their famous 8 hour range.

1) The 8 Hour nourishing lip balm (£18) has an spf of 20. A little more wearable on the lips than the original 8 hour which is a little thick (£26/50ml) I've fallen in love with this lip hydrant over the past few days for the simple fact that it WORKS. Grab a tester and check this and the rest of the 8 hour collection out no matter what you do! 
2) The Elizabeth Arden Target Sun Defence Stick with an astonishing SPF of 50 (the yellow stick that can be seen below) is an all round product that can be worn on the lips or wherever else you deem necessary. A fab product with a really nice clean smell - perfect for your holiday away and those days on the beach! 
For such good quality, I think £15 is a decent price for a little amount that goes a long way. :)

P.s How cute are these foundation samples!? In love and will double up as the perfect lip balm pot when I'm finished!

ABOVE: The iconic 8 Hour Cream - a cult dry skin saviour. This is the night time miracle Moisturiser available for £32.


Continuing with the lip theme, the Arden range has upped it's already rather impressive game with their lip coverage.


As visible above, EA have introduced their lovely new 'Beautiful Colour Smooth Line Lip Pencils' (£17). Of course, I had a proper play around with these. A range featuring 8 shades in total, 'Bare' and 'Honey' really stood out for me for a defined nude lip. Very creamy, I followed them with a slick of lipgloss and was pretty impressed to see that even when the gloss had faded, the liner was working it's magic a good 4 hours 4-5 hours later without reapplication. Impressive stuff!


These two beauties are very similar in colour to the Gloss Sticks - but more MATTE for those of you who favour a traditional lipstick and lasting, bold colour. 

EA have released to GORGEOUS Limited Edition Summer Gloss Sticks (£17)

With a thick crayon design, these feel much more like a balm than a gloss, but also without aiming to confuse, much more like a lipstick than balms such as Clinique Chubby Stick? Very wearable and surprisingly long lasting, the 2 shades couldn't have been more spot on for summer.

Shades to ask for and try: 'Coral Reef' and 'Pink Sunrise)

The two shades in the photo above are incredibly similar in colour, but matte lipsticks of the existing Elizabeth Arden collection. I fell in love with Pink Punch - definitely give it a go!


This was the best find of the ELIZABETH ARDEN portion of my day: introducing the 'Beautiful Colour Lip Gloss' 

With all good quality glosses I look for ranges that aren't too gloopy, still manage to have some staying power, have decent pigmented colour whilst NOT harsh, or drying on my lips. With such a list, it can be hard to find the right fit. But I think EA may have just about done it. 

For £17 each, there's a cracking selection of shades - ranging from nude (perfect on a nude lips/worn alone) to bright red, the colour is so fabulous wearing a lipstick and liner is very much optional the pigments are that good. 

Add to this the fact that on the side of the gloss you get a dinky little mirror, I'm a total goner!

Personal fave is 'Latte' in 05. Just Gorgeous. 


Arguably the hardest shout ever is finding the right red. All of us have been there, done that - and definitely regretted it.

Elizabeth Arden are all too aware of that fact, with a fab range of red lipsticks that fall into either their Warm or Cool tone packages. Still struggling? Pop by their counter, and Hayley will be sure to sort you out.

General Rule of thumb:

Power Red '01' : For the warm tone amongst you
Red Door Red: Their cult all rounder

Whatever you do guys, make sure you check out these counters when you next pop by Intu Merry Hill. You won't regret it!

Let us know how you get along...!

Lots of love,



1 comment:

  1. This looks great! Need to visit Debenhams Merry Hill more often hehe. Have you girls got Bloglovin' so I can follow you? :) x