My Love for Gorgio Armani Lipsticks

A beautiful selection of Georgio Armani Lipsticks!

A beautiful selection of Georgio Armani Lipsticks!



I have had a love and respect for Armani since I first saw it at the UK launch in Harvey Nichols London. I fell in love with the packaging at first. It was sleek, well made and very high quality like a Armani suit. I was in my mid twenties living in a London so lets be honest buying some Armani make up and exploring the Armani counter was the closest I was going to get to purchasing a Armani suit and that suited me just fine. They quality is amazing and there is something special about taking a lipstick out of your cosmetic bag and applying it onto your lips. It feels like luxury. The are a soft and as comfortable as wrapping yourself in a cashmere cardigan.

It was National Lipstick Day yesterday so I should have published this post then but I thought that I would give a shout out to Armani for their fabulous collection lipsticks. My particular favorite is ROUGE d’ARMANI SHEERS 503 a fabulous nude sheer that is just the right amount of colour to tie a look together but as comfortable to wear as a lip balm!




I am a little funny about primers. There isn’t a lot on the market that I actually like! I must admit that I think if a foundation is doing its job properly then you don’t really need a primer. I see primers on the market that promise to create that “blurring smooth effect” but silicone can be listed as one of their top ingredients. Silicone does feel nice initially, it creates a sort of slip on the skin that can feel wonderful and smooth, but if you have a oily t-zone (like me) your primer may slip right off your face taking the rest of your makeup with it. Also if your hair frames your face prettily you may find that your hair becomes greasy when you use a primer. This is because your hair naturally touches your face and silicone mixed with your hair can create a flat, limp and greasy do!

Dior AIRFLASH CC primer come is a incredibly Paris in the spring time scented refreshing spray that is full of energizing minerals and hyaluronic acid which plumps your skin nicely. It uses thousands and thousands of tiny pigments that cancels the colour noise of your skin meaning if you are too red it tones your colour down and if are to sallow if pinks you up nicely resulting happy glowing skin and less foundation needed!

I apply this after my skincare, I give a quick 2 second spray of the Dior CC Primer and inhale the stunning fragrance magically improving my mood and then I continue onto my chosen foundation whether it being a BB cream, liquid, spray….. and I always give a good powder for long lasting hold.

For more information on foundations then click here

A French Manicure in 5 minutes!


Cheating a French Manicure in 5 minutes!

Cheating a French Manicure in 5 minutes!

When I had my children the basic pleasure of painting my nails become more of a chore. I was tired, I was busy, I wanted something that I could apply quickly and the upkeep had be minimal. I needed faith that I would be able to find a product that make me excited to give myself a manicure again. Then I discovered Dior NAIL GLOW and all its transparent pink glory about a year ago! All I do is a quick file of my nails then I apply a coat of Dior NAIL GLOW, it makes the pinks of your nails appear pinker and the whites of your nails appear brighter cheating a French manicure in 5 minutes.

Lancômes new Perfecting Fluid Foundation


Available in 12 shades

Lancôme Miracle Air de Teint, Available in 12 shades

I have been doing some research into foundations recently and have come across one that is truly revolutionary. Its a new generation in foundation. Its is so light that 100% of woman trying it didn’t even feel it on their skin! My word, could this perfecting fluid take the spot light off the every  so popular BB Creams? The Lancôme Miracle Air De Teint is the ideal perfecting fluid for the woman that does not like the look or feel of foundation but wants to see a better version of herself when looking in a mirror. It is so light, it is comprised of volatile and semi-volatile oils and miracle aerogel particles composed of 90% air. It creates a Blurring Effect that provides sheer coverage painting the skin with a remarkable veil of light, transparently blurring away its imperfections. Your skin will feel soft, smooth, have a matte glow (that does sound rather strange a matte glow? You will see what I am talking once you see this foundation) and will have a refined skin texture. It contains a SPF 15.  Lancôme has put a lot of thought into their new products. They have spent many years sending teams of investigators into woman’s bathrooms world wide to better understand our expectations and makeup habits. (Lancôme didn’t visit my bathroom but you can by clicking here

Something else that I really liked about this Lancôme Miralce Air de Teint foundation was the Fusion Shades meaning that because the formula is so light and airy it fuses with the skin so well several shades can match your skin tone resulting in perfect colour matching and no make up masks. This perfection fluid is available in 12 shades so there is something for everyone!

I like to apply this foundation by dropping a few drops onto a foundation brush and buff it into the skin using small circular motions, then conceal where needed and give it a nice powder. I also saw the girls at the Lancome counter giving away samples of this revolutionary foundation to try so what are you waiting for? Grab your bag, lets go!

My Bathroom Beauty Products


My Bathroom Beauty Products

My Bathroom Beauty Products


I have a weird obsessions with other people’s bathroom and all of their beauty products they have in there. I think it’s because it is a very honest place. Nothing is on show like a handbag. I have always like to have a good nose around in there. My best friends have the best stuff! It reminds me of them. I am not going to lie to you. Some of these products have been provided as gifts, some as gratis as I do freelance for a few different brands and some I have purchased myself. If it makes it into my bathroom then I like it.

I also have a very varied choice of products some I use together, some alone. Some are almost gone (so sad) some are new. I do believe that our skin likes a variety of products much like our bodies with food. A varied diet is better than eating the same thing every single day. Learn to listen to your skin. This take practice but it’s worth listening to if you can after all we only have one face so we better take care of it.

Things you will find in my bathroom at the moment, I do swap things around every once and awhile:

From left to right as pictured as the picture above

Shu Uemura Skin Refining, Anti Dullness Cleansing Oil – I have used this on and off for probably 10 years but didn’t truly appreciate it until I reached my mid 30’s. I insisted on needing a foaming cleaner. I like this because it takes everything off, it doesn’t dry out my skin and it smell nice.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – I have been using this for about a year. I sort of shift from the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and this balm depending on my mood. It last a while as you only need a tiny amount. Take the Day Off literally takes off everything, waterproof mascara, stubborn eyeliner and lipsticks… I really like this cleanser as I have combination skin. I find that it doesn’t strip away all my natural oils leaving that squeaky feeling nor is it too oily it make my skin feel like an oil slick. All I do is take a tiny amount like the size of a chick pea, rub it all over my face in small circular motions (you could do a facial massage if you are that include) rub it gently around my eyes making sure I remove my eye makeup and then I rinse it away with a face cloth/flannel then I give a final splash of water. Job done!

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam- I use this in the morning mainly to remove my night time moisturizers and to “wake up” my face. You would be surprised how far this goes. You need to use the same amount as a grain of basmati rice, I am not kidding. First time I used this I use a penny sized amount and I could have done my entire body! I was a little dubious about this when I first saw the word white in the title. I don’t want to be white. I want to be sun kissed and glowing ideally but this cleanser give more of a brightening effect.

Dior Skin Nude Tan – This is a self-tan for the face as well as a makeup primer. It is in my bathroom rather than my makeup bag (as it is a primer) because it is imperative you wash your hands very well after applying this.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner – I have been using this twice a week for the past 6 months. I wanted something that was exfoliating but not an actual exfoliator in the winter. It’s pretty good. It uses fruit acids to eliminate dull skin leaving it smooth and happy. I apply this with cotton wool.

Shiseido White Lucent Softener- as you can see this is a little size. It come in a handy sample pack including the Shiseido Brightening Cleansing foam mentioned above and the Brightening Protective Emulsion mentioned below. Shiseido calls what we know as a toner a softening because they believe that softener is the beginning of the moisturizing process. This softener isn’t the slightest bit drying, rather moisturizing. I use this and the Clarins Exfoliating Toner on alternative days.

Shiseido White Lucent Protective Emulsion – Now, I like emulsion and fluid as I can have oily skin so this is fabulous for days when I need quick hydration without a heavier cream. Those of you with combination skin will understand that we can be dehydrated as well as oily all at the same time… Isn’t Mother Nature great sometimes?

Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover, Lids, Lashes and Lips – Why do I need this as well as the other cleansers that I have listed above you ask? Well my lovely mum bought it for me last Christmas and to be honest there are days when I fancy taking extra care in removing my eye makeup.

REN Radiance Perfecting Serum- Ah REN. Lovely REN! REN is like my secret weapon to all skin problems. About a year after my little girl was born my skin went berserk, little did I know at the time I was pregnant with my son! One of my dearest friends said “you need REN darling” and I so did! The entire REN Radiance range is superb. It is like radiance in a bottle with added even tone, plumpness, reduces hyperpigmentation…… Packed with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. Even tastes a little like oranges FYI!

REN Keep Young and Beautiful Serum – There is no messing around with this name. I want it. I want to keep young and beautiful! This is a little antiaging powerhouse. I instantly noticed my skin appeared happier the following day and my fine lines were a lot less apparent. Very hydrating and a lovely little serum indeed. Use this morning and night under your moisturizer.

REN Rose O12 Moisture Defense Serum – This serum is so soothing. Smells divine and will lock in moisture into your skin. Loved this during a long haul flight. This bottle is nearly out and I am a little sad about that. There is only a little bit left so I am using this very occasionally like when I am going somewhere special or my skin is a little sunburnt (naughty me).

Boitherm Blue Therapy Serum-in-Oil – I have only recently started using this. I tend to use this at night without anything else. It is summer so my skin is looking pretty good at the moment. This is an almost weightless serum and absorbs very quickly into the skin. Perfect for people that don’t like the feeling on products on their skin.

REN Global Protection Day Cream – My brother got me onto this moisturizer funnily enough. I had heard it was good so I bought it for him for his birthday or Christmas and he loved it. He said he loved how his skin felt after a cold day skiing so I had to buy this. This day moisturizer hydrates, soothes and makes the skin feel lovely a calm after you have been out in the sun, freezing cold, or wind or riding a London tube all day and have sustained some lovely pollutants.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – My good friend got me into this serum. I wasn’t very sure about using this. I am so glad that I tried it. I have so many serum and potions on my bathroom shelf it is crazy but this one is there for the long term. I noticed a difference in my skin the following morning. This is one of Lauders bestselling items and I can understand why. I apply a few drops of this under my night time moisturizer. This is oil free and is ideal for all signs of aging.

REN Clear Calm 3 Acne Treatment Mask- As I have combination skin I am prone to break outs and they did actually get worse after I had my children. Lovely! My feet have become 1 size larger too. May as well wear the boxes my shoes came in as shoes now…….. Anyway when I am experiencing a blemish attack I pop a little of this mask on. This lightens the red spots you can get with a breakout. It also helps absorb excess sebum and helps dry up the blemish. I apply this mask whenever I need to, at night or even in the morning when I am picking out my outfit and what shoe boxes, silly me I mean shoes to wear!

Biotherm Aqua Source- This is like a hydration gel. It is perfect for summer time. Light hydration, soothes and I am going to try to keep this in my fridge for days where I need a refreshing burst of hydration like after too many glasses of summer time sangria (shhhh)! Smells lovely too.

Clarins Double Serum- I was so excited to try this when it was launched. It a great serum, everyone can use it, oily, combination, dry, it balances everything out for you. Pores are less visible, my skin appeared firmer. I use this during the day under my day time moisturizer of choice.

Clarisonic – This is also relatively new. I actually won this on twitter! I have noticed that my large pores on my nose are less visible and I do not need to exfoliate very often. I am fair-ish so when I do get a break out along my jaw line they are usually very noticeable. I haven’t had some many since I started using the Clarisonic. I use it once a day either at night with my cleansing balm or oil or in the morning with my foaming cleanser. I like how conscious you need to be when using this. Rather than going on auto pilot you need to pay attention. This is a really good thing. We need to pay attention to the way we cleanse our beautiful faces.

Beauty the Guide

Hello lovelies, I am not even sure if you know this but I have written a few makeup stories for Beauty the Guide online magazine. Its a fantastic online magazine full of makeup news, skincare advice and fragrance information that you don’t always get to see. Its available world wide. All you have to do is click the link My Summer’s 10 Best Gloss Shades is on page 47. Its such a honour to write for this fabulous magazine. I hope you enjoy it!

Creating the perfect smoky eyes!

Ok ladies and gents, I am going to break down how to create the perfect smoky eyes. There are a number of variations of the smoky eye but this is a classic, quick and easy look that is perfect for any eye shape! I am going to use a classic colour combination which is black MAC Print , brown MAC Charcoal Brown and neutral tone MAC Brule for this look but you can use any variation you want purples, greens, blues, greys……….. the list is endless. The only rule is that you need to use a dark, medium and light shade. The following are the basic steps, but if you also wish to apply a cream eyes shadow or primers then please do. They can help stop creasing and hold the colour on better, but for now here are the basics…..

Smoky Eyes Face Chart

Smoky Eyes Face Chart

The Basic Steps

  1. Apply a light neutral tone eye shadow (in this case MAC Brule) all over your lid from your lash line all the way to your brow bone.
  2. Using a small firm eye shadow brush, apply by stippling your darkest colour MAC Print all the way along your lash line from the inner corner to the outer corner about a quarter of the way up your lid. By using a small firm brush you will not get eye shadow fall, which is when the eye shadow dust falls onto your cheek leaving you in a massive mess that can be a pain to remove. I use both a Laura Mercier Eye Colour or MAC 213 brush for this.
  3. Picking up your blending brush, gently blend the eye shadow so there are no harsh lines. MAC 244 or NARS 13 is perfect for this.
  4. Apply some of the medium eye shadow like MAC Charcoal Brown on to your lid slightly overlapping the dark colour and  up to your crease.
  5. Take your handy blending brush and blend the two colours together using an upward circular motion creating the smoky effect. The general guide line to a smoky eye is that your lash line is the darkest point and your brow bone is the lightest. There should be a gradual shift in colour from darkest to light. There should be no harsh lines, just a blur of mystery.
  6. Smudge some of the darker shadow / MAC Print to your lower lash line using a small slanted brush. My favorite brush is MAC 266 for this. Apply the shadow all the way from the start of your lower lashes (leaving the inner corner bare for now) to the outer corner of your eye.
  7. Clean off your slanted brush on a piece of tissue and apply some of the palest to the inside corner of your lower lash line. Lightening your inner corner of  your eye is very flattering and will give you a ‘wide awake’ look. For a little variation it is nice to add a shimmer to the inner eye corner for a little highlight, MAC Shroom is perfect
  8. There should be a gradual transition of light to dark so you may need to blend along the lower lash line.
  9. Line your top lashes with your chosen liner. My favorite liquid liner is the Dior Show Art Pen.
  10. For intensity and drama you may wish to apply some liner to your water line, if so tilt your head down, gently pull down your lower lashes and draw your liner on from inner to outer corner. I absolutely love the  Shu Uemura Drawing Pencils, the black is perfect. They are amazing quality, soft  and come in so many colours.
  11. Curl your lashes. I love the Shu Uemura eyelash curlers.
  12. Lashing of mascara, massaging the mascara wand into your lower lashes and continuing to the lash tips. Remember to apply mascara to the lower lashes. To see more mascara tips and tricks click here http://


Preventing and dealing with eye shadow ‘fall’

You can prevent eye shadow ‘fall’ a number of ways:

  • Using a cream eye shadow as a base will give something for the powder eye shadow to cling to.
  • Using a small firm brush such as the brushes mentioned above will give you control when using dark eye shadows. Stipple the eye shadow on with a gently patting motion rather than brushing it on.
  • Hold a folded piece of tissue right under your lashes when your eye is closed. This may be tricky but its a way of preventing a big mess.
  • You may find it easier to apply your foundation and concealer after your eyes are done. This way you can use a little eye makeup remover to wipe the mess away.

Dealing with ‘fall':

Dior Skin Flash
Dior Skin Flash
  • Using a cotton bud gently roll the bud over the fall to remove excess.
  • Using your foundation brush with left over foundation gently wipe away the fall.
  • Retouch up your concealer. A favorite is DIOR SHOW SKIN FLASH  – light reflective enough to conceal the darker circles and not give you the white look in photos.

The Chick Reads Face Chart

I was asked by a lovely lady on twitter to help her design a makeup look for a very important day coming up later this summer. She is wearing a sort of salmon pink dress that can be hard to match makeup with, but you can always use makeup that will compliment it instead. This particular face chart design can be adapted to look lighter or darker and can be worn for a new job interview or even date night to a nice restaurant.

Perfect for any occasion!

Perfect for any occasion!

Key Products used:

  • Dior Ready-To-Wear Trio in Smoky Pink 051
  • Dior Show Art Pen
  • Dior Over Curl Mascara
  • Dior Universal Brow
  • Clinique Precious Posy
  • Giorgio Armani Rough Sheer 503


Here is the break down:

  1. Apply your regular foundation, concealer and powder really well (for foundation tips read here:
  2. Pencil in your eyebrows using something like Dior Universal Brown Eye Brow Pencil making sure you have well groomed brows. Well groomed brows can take the years off too.
  3. Starting with the Dior Ready to Wear Trio in Smoky Pink 051 apply a dusting of the pale pink shadow all over the lid to just above the crease remembering not to apply any on the brow bone.
  4. Next using the darker grey shadow from the trio palette and a small eye shadow brush apply some shadow to just higher than your natural crease and the outer corner. Next pick up your blending brush and without putting any more product on the brush follow your natural crease to sculpt and really blend it very well so there are no apparent lines.
  5. You may want to add some of the lighter grey from the trio palette onto the lid if you want a darker look
  6. Apply some of the darker grey shadow along your lower lash line with a small slanted brush. I love using the MAC 266 brush for this.
  7. Apply some liquid liner to your top lash line. I used Dior Show Art Pen for this, its my favorite.
  8. Curl lashes and apply loads of mascara massaging at the roots with the wand and gliding the wand up to the tips. For more mascara tips click here :http://
  9. Moving onto your blush apply some Clinique Precious Posy blush to your cheekbones.
  10. Finally the a lovely pink nude lipstick will finish the look off perfectly and the Giorgio Armani Rough Sheer in 503 is so beautiful, its a dainty and feminine pink.

Using the YSL Palette Bleus Lumiere


The YSL Palette Bleus Lumiere is so beautiful! I freaked out when I saw the packaging let alone the seeing the actual eyeshadows inside! It is part of the Yves Saint Laurent Summer 2014 collection. The turquoise, honey beige and gold packaging is divine. Its simply stunning isn’t it? You feel like you need to open it immediately!

YSL Couture Palette Collector

YSL Couture Palette Collector


When I did eventually open the compact I let out a gasp of excitement! It contains 5 eye shadows, a copper, a rosy coral, a navy, a deep sky blue and a torquiose green, a nice big mirror as well as 2 sponge applicators. The mirror size is essential for me as I find silly little mirror useless as I can’t see anything. I find it extremely important to see both my eyes at the same time for symmetry when I apply my eye makeup so a big mirror is crucial! One of the sponge applicators is pointed so it makes a fantastic eye liner and you can get into little corners with it. I am not someone that uses the sponge applicators included in palettes generally, but its nice to know that someone went through the thought process to included good quality ones. The pigments are lovely, rich and blend beautifully. You can use them in any colour combination you like. The navy eye shadow along the lash line, blended into the deep sky blue or the turquoise for a summer smoky eye look. The sky blue in the crease and the rosy coral on the lid. You need to have a play with it and if you are still stuck for ideas there is a clever little guide on the back of the box.




I designed the face chart below especially for this fabulous palette.  I chose to use the navy shadow in the crease and the copper eye shadow on the lid. I lined the lower lash line with the torquise and the sky blue. Add some black or navy eyeliner and even line the water line for a dramatic evening look. Lashings of your favorite mascara. Keep your eye brows well groomed but simple. Add a dusting of bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks, hairline and under your jaw line for a sculpted look. Apply some blush in a peachy coral shade, something like NARS Orgasm and finally I thought that this SHU UEMURA Tint in Gelato CR02  looks perfect with this on the lips, its a strong coral and you can even use this on your cheeks too!


Don’t be scared of colour. Start off light and build the colour up when you are more confident using it. Hope my Face Chart give you some inspiration and you add this palette to your makeup wardrobe.


The Nina Method of applying Self Tan to the Face

Ok ladies and gents, I have never been formally trained in applying self tan; hence the title of this post, but I have been applying it for easily over a decade and a half (closer to 2, gulp) so I do consider myself a bit of a expert in this field. Being fair, with loads of freckles a little self tan can be all you need in the dead of winter to lift your spirits but also its essential for my summer time glow. I have tried a lot, some good, some bad, some look flawless, some look terrible resulting in me looking like a ginger snap biscuit or even dirty like I need a wash!

The Nina Method of applying self tan to the face:

  1. Tie your hair back off your face. Cleanse and remove all traces of makeup, get a flannel/wash cloth involved really making sure it is all off.
  2. Exfoliate, there are loads on the market at the moment, some are exfoliating toners, Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner is my favorite (use it twice a week) or some a little more traditional like Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains For Face. 
  3. Moisturize with your favorite product. I prefer using a fluid moisturizer not a thick cream at this stage as a fluid penetrates quickly and a cream sits on the skins surface for longer.
  4. I then apply a light layer of moisturizer to the web of fingers and to my brows to prevent stains and self tan evidence.
  5. Next, apply some tan and warm it up a little by rubbing it between with the pads of your fingers. This will help to get a even distribution.
  6. I apply a little dab to my forehead, cheeks, a little on my chin and nose and work it in in quick upward strokes paying attention to around your eyes and hairline.
  7. I try not to apply anymore product to my hands as generally there is enough to move to your ears by lightly applying a little then your neck, it is crucial that you apply it in small soft strokes blending from you collar bones up (not down as we are helping gravity pull it all down and we don’t want that) continuing on to the sides and back of my neck.
  8. Once I am happy with my application after admiring it in the mirror I was my hands very very very well! This is  a give away if you do not manage to get all the product off and it will leave a hideous orange, yellow brown or even green stain! If you are unfortunate to have some stains you can try lemon juice, I have even heard of using ash from a fire can help lift the colour out but I have discovered by accidents the very not so glamorous way, which is cleaning my bath without rubber gloves then moisturizing very well with hand cream. I am not recommending you do this but I have used it in the past.


Diorskin Nude Tan Prime And Bronze 002 I have recently discovered the new DIORSKIN NUDE TAN Prime & Bronze. This is a great self tan as well  as a foundation base too. From the first application is creates a natural healthy glow. You can use it everyday and after one week you have a fantastic natural-looking tan. You apply it as you first step of your makeup routine, making sure to wash your hands well with soap afterwards. Ideally you would wait a few minutes to let the product sink in. “Soft focus” pigments target imperfection to deliver a perfect sheer base for your foundation. The Prime & Bronze isn’t oily or sticky, its a ultra-fresh gel that delivers radiance and a even looking tan.  This is a great little primer too, your foundation will sit beautifully on top. This tan is available in two different shades so there is a perfect shade for everyone!

St Tropez self tan deserve a special mention here too. They are great. I love the non pore blocking Bronzing Lotion Face.

Happy Tanning!