Thursday, 28 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | Kate Moss Lipstick '16'

I've been looking out for the Kate Moss lipstick collection for Rimmel, but as usual with a local Boots, the stand is always raided, all the lipstick bullets have been mashed up (thanks 12-year old delinquents) and the shade selection is rubbish. This week though I managed to get to an out of town SUPER-Boots (yay) and found this beauty which has been added to the range for S/S12.

I love the simple black packaging with a cute Kate signature and the infamous Rimmel crown. I think it's fairly sleek for a drugstore lippie case! I LOVE this shade. When I have previously perused the collection it has mainly featured darks and nudes, but this new addition is going to be a firm favourite with a lot of us I feel!! Its a beauutiful coral pink, not dissimilar to Mac Costa Chic.

Rimmel Kate Moss 'Lasting Finish' in 16

It's sad that this shade is named '16' as it really doesn't do justice to the formula, colour and longevity of the formula. It's like its just been shelved with all the other '009' '12' etc dull crappy drugstore things that we have to wade through to find gems like this one!!

It claims to be a lasting finish and I have to agree, it goes on smoothly but has a semi-matte finish that lasts for so long. You definitely need to have moisturised / exfoliated, whatever you need to do as the matte-ness and opacity of this shade will show up chapped lips terribly.

All in all I'm sure you can tell that I love this and it will be a firm favourite for the summer! Now that I am pleased with the formula of this collection I would love to pick up a few more ... maybe a nude?

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | Project Samples

Spurred on by the gorgeous Leanne Marie, who has ventured on a mission to use up all her samples, I am starting on Project Sample!
I too am guilty of hoarding samples, I have soo many, mini-sized bottles, sachet samples, foundation testers ...

I'm hoping that during this mission I will find some new things I love, save money on splurging on other things to try (hardly likely) and create some space on my dresser! I will probably be sad to see them go, but I will always collect more :)

If you wonder where I manage to collect all these samples from - here are a few tips:

1. Keep an eye out for magazine promo's that offer free samples of high-end cosmetics, recent examples are Glamour and Benefit, InStyle and Nails Inc, some other magazines were offering Rituals bodycare, Leighton Denny and Ciate nail polishes, Body Shop Make-up ... there is always something. With most mags priced under £3, even if you never read it the product will be bargainous!! But don't be sucked into thinking that you have to buy something just because there is something free on offer - if you wont use it then shake off the advertising that is slooowly sucking you in ... buy me.. buy me. (As if I am trying to give that piece of advice, hypocrite.)

2. If you buy something from a high-end counter, e.g Chanel, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Mac etc etc, ALWAYS ask for some samples! They are happy to give them out it's their job to promote the brand's product!

3. If you want to try out new foundations, do some research into one that you might like, then pop up to their counter and sound like you know what you are talking about. Give them some spiel about how you usually struggle to get on with foundation, or you are really excited to try out a particular one but you would like to see how it works on your skin. They will match you up, squirt a little into a bottle and you will have a 10-day sample!

4. Some of my samples are from beauty boxes. Personally I wouldn't overly recommend them unless you are overflowing with spare cash. If you are, the most well-known are Glossybox or Joliebox. If you're not, I've found a great site called Latest in Beauty, where you can purchase small samples or beauty boxes for great prices - and know what you are getting first.

Hope any of these are helpful, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into my sample trialling!! Is anyone else on Project Sample??!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | NOTD - Nude Work Nails

The other week I had to work at the Aegon Championships at The Queens Club in Kensington. For those of you who arn't tennis fans, it's a tournament that bridges the gap between the French Open (clay courts) and Wimbledon (grass courts) for male players.

It was a looong tiring week, with a lot of drama. Anyone who was watching may have seen the final in which Nalbandian kicked a board in fury which collapsed and injured a linesman (Who now is incidentally pressing charges for assault, after the player received an £8000 fine and was immediately disqualified.) It was also full of booze, glamour, and celebrity. (Hello Andy Roddick, Holly Valance and Alan Davies - woop). (I my job...)

GBR Jamie Baker vs FRA Tsonga

Sadly though while I am away with work I'm not allowed to wear nail polish, so my nail of last week was a plain nude with french tips.

These are my own nails, which were in pretty good nick if I do say so myself, (not so much after a 72 hour week at work) and I used Revlon Pink Nude and Rimmel Pro French Manicure in French Ivory.

Quite a boring one I'm afraid but a fun week for me indeed!
Love to you all and new followers who I'd love to chat to. I'm a newbie to Twitter and am just figuring out how it's all done, so I'd love you to follow me and introduce yourself! @S_ammyantha  xxx

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | June Glossybox

My poor Glossybox has been sitting outside for a couple of days, gone completely unnoticed by me! When I eventually brought it in last night he was a little sodden! Hence why I was wondering why everyone was managing to do their June Glossy post and I hadn't had mine! (Excuses, excuses)

Anyway, as I say every month, for me Glossy box is on probation and I'd given it one box more to impress me before I made the decision to cancel. At risk of sounding grumpy, I have gotten a bit fed up of shower gels, tiny perfume samples and just generally pants things.

Glossy is back to it's classic pink packaging, with this months theme supposedly 'Sexy Summer'. Here's what I got this month:

Vichy Dermablend Foundation Cream Stick - this is quite exciting and I'm looking forward to trying it out, as with anything that is championed by the Pixiwoo sisters!!  

BM bronzer - so far I have found a little orange, but I will stick with it and do a proper post on the results.

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara - The wand looks amazing.

Dermalogica Clean Start - With a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Quite keen to try this as I have heard good things from the brand.

... and something that really doesn't deserve a pink title ... a Glossybox brush. I won't be putting this anywhere near my face as it's ugly, scratchy and sheds so badly. The fact that they have named it a 'Pro Beauty' brush and priced it at £15 is a bit of a joke. Plugging their own brand line of accessories over giving us luxury samples is also a little shameful.

This month's box is okay, its certainly not the worst one I've had and all of these things I am keen to get trying and see if I like them. But sadly I have seen other people have not had such luck and got some really rubbish things ... much like I myself have previously found from the Glossy lottery.

 I hate to be negative but it's got to be said or more people will be wasting their money. You only have to look at the facebook page to see all the ranting from unsatisfied customers, and absolutely zero response from Glossybox, who in the mean time are boasting about parties they are throwing for beauty 'gurus' or taking their staff off to the races. It's sad how much money they have probably raked in - they are laughing their way to the bank with this business plan!!
My advice to anyone who has not yet subscribed to a beauty box, buy a cute lipstick that you will love for months with your £12 instead. While your at it, put on your best smile and enthusiastically ask for samples of things you would love to try out from your favourite beauty counters. I guarantee you will get some amazing stuff, for free and it will be something you actually love and try out. In future when I need an injection of samples and new things to try, I will be heading to Latest in Beauty, where you can see the samples you will receive and is a hell of a lot cheaper. Read my post on it here!

Samantha's Secret | MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

Another one of our super-cheap faves, this new palette from MUA 'Heaven and Earth' is hailed as the bargain Naked palette- and at £4 or something ridiculous, is really surprising in quality. The palette has 12 perfect nude and smoky shades.

It comes with one of those yukky sponge applicators which I will definitely be chucking, but apart from that negative I am really surprised by the quality and texture of the shades. They are all shimmery which makes the pigmentation great.

First row of shades, L-R
Second Row of shades, L-R
 As you can see they are pretty, wearable shades. They blend nicely and will go perfectly in anyone's daily make-up routine in place of the horrendously priced Urban Decay palettes. (Not that I don't love mine!!)

Does anyone recommend any other MUA products? I love a bargain as much as anyone but I hate wasting money on crapola products!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | Accessorize Highlighter

So as many of you will know, Accessorize have forayed into the make-up world and have produced a line of prettily-packaged, fairy-like cosmetics. This is my first try of the line, although their baked eyeshadows and powders look incredible, reminiscent of Mac MSF's. (Also loving the look of the infamous Lovely Day palette which is sold out EVERYWHERE... argh, I want!!

I was in London this week and managed to find an Accessorize stand in a large Superdrug, which had been totally raided as it had reductions, but managed to get this highlighter.

I love the packaging, its not exactly high-end, but its pretty and girly and I payed under £5 for this which I think is great for 50ml of product!!

The product itself comes out quite salmon-toned, it has a strange water-based consistency not really a cream and has a bit of a plasticky smell (not really a problem once its on your cheekbones though)

The result when blended is an iridescent mermaid-like glow that looks different in all lights and angles!
I can't wait to try out more Accessorize things as I'm so impressed by this at the price it was at, and it's one of those rare brands that you can get excited about as the packaging is so fun and exciting.

Have you anything to recommend next time I'm faced with a stand in Superdrug?!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | Raspberrygrape Jewellery

Last week I ordered some really pretty bits from Raspberry Grape. I am in love with turquoise and always have been - and I can't help myself when I see pretty turqouise things! I have been looking for a turqouise cross bracelet for a while and I loved this one - at £3.85. I had to buy it. I also got this turqouise pendant for about the same! They both come in lots of other colours!

I'd so much rather buy jewellery from small boutiques like this rather than say Topshop or Asos. Not only was it super cheap, unique, delivery fast and personal but it's supporting individuals who are making / selling their own goods and I like to be part of spreading the word!

Have a look at the Raspberrygrape shop here.
Lauren also has a blog - Raspberrygrape.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | 'Latest in Beauty' Samples

Not so long ago I found this great site called Latest in Beauty. It's a website that offers samples of products to try that you can then buy directly from their website, based on you giving feedback on the products you have sampled. Some products will then become avaliable for you in a small space of time to buy at a discounted rate. There are a few different options of products you can recieve from them:

Little Beauty Box - A box of 3 basic samples, delivered for 1.50. These are the small sachets of product - the ones they will give you free at beauty counters etc. They are not everyones favourite but at least offer a way of getting a feel for a product without having to pay a premium price.

Luxury Samples - These are bigger samples, more like travel size - similar to the ones you recieve in monthly beauty boxes. They are individually priced

Themed Boxes - You can also create a beauty box, similar to that of Glossybox and Jolibox, but the key thing is what the other beauty boxes are lacking - that you can choose which samples you recieve from a selection each month!!

I think that this is such a great idea! I ordered the small beauty box last month to get a feel for their service and how it would work. You pay for postage via text message and it came delivered within the week in a cute, sweet-smelling pink box!

(Photographed in a Glossybox lid not original packaging)
I got the Liz Earle Skin Tint, Tresemme Split End Remedy shampoo and conditioner and the hideously expensive Dr Bragi Marine Enzyme Age Management Moisturiser - which the Pixiwoo girls have said they love!

At the moment great luxury samples on the website are Burts Bees Body Lotion for 2; Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for 3; and a full size Nails Inc polish in Porchester Square for 6!! It gives you an opportunity to try out products you have heard about but don't want to rush out and spend your hard earned pennies on straight away! It also erases that awkwardness that I know some people feel in asking the bitchy cosmetic-counter girls for samples (we've all encountered it before haven't we - some forget that it's their job to promote the products to us not be so stuck up that we wouldn't return again!)

Go have a mooch around Latest in Beauty here - it may be replacing Glossybox for me since you can choose what you recieve!!
Has anyone else discovered this website or anything similar?! I hope to do a post on how I find the LE Skin Tint!xx

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | CK One Shock

At the moment Boots are giving out both vouchers for 5 off No.7 or 5 off certain brands' fragrance. Calvin Klein is one of the brands included in the promotion and I was instantly drawn to this - CKone Shock. It's a feminine twist on the original classic CKone which most people love, but I just also love the cute white bottle.

It is described as:

"A juicy, flavourful floriental that warms into a sexy skin musk... opens with a fierce bouquet of passionflower, pink peony, and jewelled poppy flower. The intensity deepens with blackberry, jasmine and narcisse flower drizzled with a liquid accord. The addictive signature finishes with magnetic ambers enveloped in vanillin and patchouli, wrapped in second skin musk.

Sounds amazing huh! But basically it's a beautifully fruity smell with an underlying musk which I absolutely love. It's great for everyday use, light and fresh enough for work.

For reference my other favourite perfume is Vera Wang Lovestruck which is quite similar and I also wear Chanel No5. If your a fan of these I'm sure you will be with me on loving this!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Samantha's Secret | Natural Collection Lipsticks

Having a mooch around Boots this week I stopped at the Natural Collection counter and had a look - it's usually a make I would skip over in favour of more renowned brands or high-end makeup. But with the recent developments in makeup I am constantly surprised at the quality of drugstore make-up (Collection 2000 for instance - who would have bought cheapo concealer from them last year?!) and thought I would give some of their products a try.

I've heard good things about their lipsticks, and since they are ridiculously priced at £1.99 I picked up a couple.

L-R: Sheer Natural in Lotus, Moisture Shine in Pink Mallow
 I was so pleasantly surprised by these lipsticks. Firstly, although they are in two different formulations; Sheer Natural and Moisture Shine, they are both extremely soft, moisturising and don't feel cheap and nasty.
Lotus is a lovely sheer, slightly gold nude and amazingly, Pink Mallow is so similar to Mac Viva Glam Gaga - a teeny bit darker and obviously more sheer but so wearable and lovely.  The only thing I disliked about this lippie was that it gathered a little on the inside of my lip - that dreaded white line.

L-R: Lotus, Pink Mallow

I would definitely recommend checking out these lipsticks and finding a shade that you like - as the texture is great and they are easy, daily lippies that you can chuck in your handbag and not worry about the plastic mundane packaging.

I haven't tried the NC individual eyeshadows yet either - any to recommend girls? Helloooo to new followers - do introduce yourself in comments if your reading this would be nice to know you all!!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Glossybox 1st Birthday Box

I know ... it's super late - but one for the archive!!?

My boxes have been delivered to my uni house while I was in term time - now I am home and I didn't get the chance to go pick this one up until this week! I've had about 4 or 5 Glossy boxes now and this months was their first birthday box.

So... Happy Birthday Glossy!!

Like I have said in the review of last month's box, and as you will be aware if you subscribe, Glossy boxes can be quite hit or miss and all 5 products are rarely exciting. But its a great way to discover new brands and sample products before you commit to buying them. Here's what I got in this months box:

Noble Isle Shower Gel - Surprise surprise, another token shower gel! I think I have had one in every box.

Lolita Lempika Fragrances - In L'eau en Blanc and Si Lolita eau de Toilette. These are pretty fragrances and the full sized bottles are beautiful. Si Lolita is described as the 'sweet spicy freshness of Sweet Pea', and L'eau en Blanc 'a bouquet of White Violets with a hint of Raspberry and Musk.' (It smells a bit like those Granny Violets sweets - or whatever they are called haha!)

Weleda Face Cream / Body Milk - I'm entirely unsure if I have the face or body cream since all the writing on the packaging is in foreign languages. I'm going to guess face since its a teeny tube. I used a Weleda toner from a previous Glossy and really enjoyed it so am keen to see how I get on with this.

Uniqone Hair Treatment - I am so into my hair oils and masks at the moment, while it is getting longer and growing out bleach I am really concentrating on it's condition so I can't wait to use this and hope it makes a difference.

Let's Go Lashes - I got a set of black lashes in 'Tease'. They look pretty full and long - perhaps something to try for a big party!

And a cute free Glossy pocket Mirror!

Another so-so bunch of products, the most exciting probably being the hair mask. The most disappointing thing about Glossy is that I am yet to recieve any stand-out make-up products, even though that is what my beauty profile stipulates. I'm also sad to see that some people got HD Brow products which I would have loved :(

What do we think girls - stick with Glossy for another month? Switch to Joliebox or competitor? Or has the novelty worn off entirely? I'm struggling to justify the £12 anymore.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Nars Gina

Last week I went into Space NK to find a pretty Nars blush that might shake up my everyday makeup a little. I rarely use blusher as I am pink-toned anyway, and get redness on my face. I have Nars Orgasm in the twist-up cream version of their shades, but I find it too glittery for everyday use.
So I ended up with this gorgeous orange blusher - 'Gina'. 

 It looks hideously unwearable, but applied sheer and blended well I think it really suits my skin tone. I have green eyes and usually wear bronze or copper tones on my eyes so it freshens up my complexion, doesn’t war with the pinks in my skin and I wear with a coral lip!
Nars products are lovely if a little steep in price but I know this will last me a while!
What are your suggestions for fave Nars blushers? I'd like to get a couple more!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Exciting new blog unveiled!!

Oh Haiiii!!! I am just a little excited right now - to introduce the Samantha's Secret new blog design and it is ALL thanks to the lovely Steph from Bonjour Belle. I'm really rubbish with technical things, and made do with a handmadey header for a bit while I figured out where I wanted my blog to go, to look like etc and see if I actually got followers! Its been going about 2 months now and I was have been surprised and happy by the interest my posts have got and wanted to do something about the presentation of the blog.

Steph offers a personalised, super-cheap design service that can provide you with a header, backgrounds, images etc. She also offers packages that include a full blog design with header, widget images, signature and a blog button for a crazy six pounds!!!

Besides the fact that result is beautiful, incredibly cheap and tailored to individual needs, Steph offers a friendly, professional service and aims to turn around your design in a day.
Go check out her design shop here - she also has a pretty awesome blog which you should definitely follow - Bonjour Belle.

I'm so so pleased with the new look, and I definitely recommend looking up Steph's design service if your blog needs a re-vamp - before the prices are hiked up!! (Steph I definitely think they should be!!!!)
Hope you all like the new look - what do you think??!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Benefit Freebies with Glamour!

I'm sure most of you already know but here's just another rave about the Benefit freebies included in this months Glamour magazine. For £2 you can buy the magazine with 1 Benefit product inside, which is a great price to be able to collect all 3.
Theproducts you can collect are: 'That Gal' brightening face primer, 'The Professional' pore minimising balm, and 'Bad Gal' mascara. I picked up the primer and pore balm, as I really don't need another mascara!

I would also suggest that you get your Glamour asap this month as I can see them all going! I was lucky that I was travelling to London on the morning they came out and got in very early to a well-stocked train station WHSmiths!! Glamour claim that the freebies are worth £35 altogether - which is not exactly true, if they were full size they would be worth that much but they are only teeny tubes.

I'd also like to add a scolding for all those naughty people who go through all the magazines and steal the freebies - you are stingy and mean!  :) xx

NOTD: Essie Tart Deco

Another day, another beautiful Essie shade. It's a shame that a) they are pretty expensive and b) it doesn't make a difference to me because I have a problem with money. (Spending it that is) So I'm sure I will be collecting a few more!!

Tart Deco
It's a really beautiful summery shade, opaque in 2 coats with a pretty fast drying time. I think I've found my favourite nail polish brand! This is also now on my toenails which is pretty much an honour for any polish, lets be honest.

Hope you all have a fantabulous Jubilee bank holiday, I would love to try Union Jack nails but I don't have all the colours and am seriously lacking in patience. Here are some of my favourites: Glossy's tutorial, Sabrina's patriotic glitter nails, and Merle Brown's crown art.

EDIT: Apologies that I first listed this as Cute as a Button - It is actually Tart Deco!!