Carmex, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
And what's that exactly?


When I was a teenager, I used Vaseline as a lip balm.
Then I remember the craze of the actual lip balms, that I think took over the world.

I remember the first pot I bought, with my pocket money.
It was from a local chemist, around 99p, in a glass jar and smelt of Oranges.

The actual balm was so 'liquidy' ( is that even a word? ) I remember it melting, instantly on contact with the skin. My mom used to ask:
'Why does it look like you have smeared cooking oil all over you lips?'

I actually loved the effect as it looked like I had a high shine lipgloss on.

Now, I don't remember, when I discovered Carmex, but I can tell you this.
When I did, no-one else I knew, had even heard of it, let alone used it.
I initially bought it because I loved the retro, eye-catching packaging.
I bought it from Superdrug. There were only a few on the shelf, and just the original, no fancy different flavours......

Anyway, I remember the very first time I used it. I remember opening it, applying it to my lips and thinking,
Wow, this stuff feels unlike any other lip balm I have used.

Anyone who has used it, will know what I mean.
You feel the product, working, on the lips. A slight tingle, almost a 'cold' feeling to the lips.
I was addicted. I loved it.
As with any product, I like to either feel it working, or see it has worked.

This did both.
You feel it working, and if you have sore, chapped, poorly winter lips, this stuff if a must.

Forget Vaseline. Sorry, but I never found it worked on my lips. If my lips were chapped, they were chapped, and Vaseline just provided a protective layer while my lips naturally healed.
Carmex provides a protective layer, heals and soothes.....

Now, as I said, when I first used it, people would ask, what is that?! I've never seen that before?
I had it a good while before it seemed, the magazine world caught on to it's benefits.

Then I remember reading a magazine article, the beauty pages (see, I loved makeup and beauty from an early age ) and reading that Sarah Jessica Parker was a fan of this little thing called, Carmex.

I remember feeling ever so clever that I too had discovered this little pot of magic and that I shared a love for a product that SJP also used.

Then the Carmex boom began, I have yet to find a person who has not tried it.
I use this in my makeup kit. I love it. I love using it as a lip exfoliator on clients. I apply a small amount and rub it away with a makeup wipe.
I also use it on most brides, especially if their lips are a little dehydrated or chapped. The lipstick glides on so much easier after.

My trusty tube of Carmex. Fantatsic for Makeup artist use, squeeze and go!

So what does this product contain that makes it so magical? I knew some of the ingredients, well, mainly Menthol ( the one that makes your lips tingle ) but I did not know it also contained all of the following. Read on my dear friends:

Camphor - Alleviates pain ( tingly ingredient )
Phenol - Kills germs, exfoliates and anesthetizes
Lanolin - softens, lubricates, and protects
Cocoa Butter - Moisturises and protects
Shea Butter - Prevents dry, cracked lips
Aloe Vera - Helps heal and soothe
Vitamin E - Reduces damaging free radicals
Petrolatum - A barrier that protects the lips
Salicylic Acid - Exfoliates and relieves pain
Menthol - Kills germs and relieves discomfort ( another tingly ingredient )

Yes! All of the above is contained in that little pot. No wonder it's so absolutely fantastic at healing chapped lips and reducing redness.
I always reach for this little pot when my lips are dehydrated or chapped. I didn't know how, but I knew, that just applying a little, instantly took away the stinging, softened, smoothed, hydrated, and without doubt, healed.
Well, now I know why!
What a fab product! The ingredients and results, speak for themselves.
This is a product, I have faithfully used for at least ten years, and will continue to use, on myself, in my Makeup kit, and recommend to others

Where do you keep yours?

Have you tried the Cherry one? I haven't, although I would love too.
What do you think.
Check out their fantastic website here!

Carmex, the lip balm Saviour of the world.


Kitten. No cats involved.

Ohhhhhhhh, how I adore this colour!

From the first time I used it, I was hooked!

I used it when Stila brought out their, 'In the Light palette'.

Check my bridal makeup post for further info.
Bridal makeup

Now, I have worked in the makeup field for 12 yrs this year, that's a long time. It's also a lot of time looking at, messing with, experimenting and finding the perfect colour's. Finding the colour's I feel are, 'fit and worthy' to adorn my professional makeup kit.

This colour is, oh so worthy.

The product is a powder, but it has a creamy texture. It gives the most beautiful illuminous, radiant glow to your skin.
The colour can only be described as a, champagne, gold , peach tone. Just perfect.

Sorry, couldn't resist the kitten......

I have gone through two, since March. Whenever I wear it, I can guarantee at least two, or more of the following.
'ohhhhh, what colour are you wearing on your eyes? '
I should have shares in this company!

This colour would look great on so many skin tones. If you have blue eyes, the gold, peach tone will really make you eye colour stand out. Perfect colour if your eyes look a bit tired. Pop on a little mascara, and you're good to go!

This colour would also be just perfect for a bridal look.
I use it on endless brides and bridesmaids and it is always met with... ohhhhh, ahhhhh, I love it!

If you haven't yet, get down to your nearest Stila and get swatching and buying.
At only £12 a pop, it's a bargain.
Well worth splashing your hard earned cash on.


Another skin care post - Bobbi Brown Face Oil

My pursuit for perfect, angelic, flawless skin is proving to be a little obsessive.

To you regular reader's, you will know only too well I am always on the look out for new products that will perfect my skin and get rid of all known ailments.

I have found some fabulous products that really work at curing and nursing poorly, acne ridden skin.
Again, I mention a lot that during my teenage years, the choice available for those of us with acne, was very limited.
We were subjected to OXY or Clearasil. If these did not suffice then there was always the doctors prescription......

It' great to see so many products out there now which genuinly help to control spots and also help minimise their appearance.

One thing, even more so now. I am thirty, and I have noticed a change in my skin. It still loves to erupt every so often, and the fear overwhelmes me that my adult acne is back to stay, but more so I have noticed it's need for more moisture.

I dont know why this is.
I know I do not drink as much water as I should, I also know working with air conditioning and central heating, full time, is not great for your skin either.
I don't think my skin thanks me for the fact I wear makeup everyday to work. ( I have too )

But in my defense I have never had a 'normal' skin type. More so, very combination and very erratic.
So what to do?

A while ago, when I worked for Bobbi Brown, ( who's skincare products I have an absolute weakness for )
I was introduced to her Face oil.

Funnily enough, and tell me if you agree, I was always under the impression if you had problem skin, you wouldn't want to add anything oily to it? Surely that would contribute to the oiliness?

Oh how wrong I was!

When I used harsh 'oil stripping' skin products as a teenager it seriously played havoc with my skin.
So, on one hand I had these angry, red spots, then I had excessively dry skin also, as the products dried my skin out.
Then I would overload my skin with moisturiser to compensate the dryness.
So all in all, my skin was a right bloody mess.

My skin was in overdrive, it wasn't sure if it was too dry or too oily. It didnt know how to react, the balance of my natural skin was completely off the scale.

What to do?

So I was told by a Bobbi Brown trainer that this oil is amazing.
I looked at him like, well for that price I should expect miracles.

I invested in one, again, in the pursuit of skin perfection ( keep dreaming Ruth )
Now, you may wonder, you just bought it, like that? What if it's awful?

I have read so much about face oils, and they are, it seems, the 'in' thing.
So many companies now sell them, and a lot sell the cleansing oils, of which I am a big fan.

The selling point for me though?

A girl who was at the training with me. I had seen her 6 months previous.
In the six months previous, her skin had been red ( roseacea ) and spotty.
Now six months in, her skin looked amazing!

She told me she was given the oil, to trial. As she had tried everything out there, with no avail, and she had serious skin confidence issues, nothing like me.

The oil had worked wonder's to balance her skin out, So, instead of stripping her skin of natural oils, therefore producing far too much and aggravating the skin. The oil had soothed her skin. Because oils are so light they absorb through the hair follicle quicker.
Also, the oils help to 'balance' the skin. So when the oil is applied the skin tells the brain:
'Hey, im okay here, my skin is in balance, dont produce anymore oil.'

Seeing the difference in her skin sold the product to me.

Who would I recommend it for?
Teenagers, it will calm and balance your skin, You WILL see a difference. Give it three to four weeks.
Normal skin - Use it as a weekly treat or a bedtime moisuriser
Dry skin. It can be used UNDER moisturiser for extra hydration, before makeup too.
Mature skin - I used it on a 50 plus bride the weekend, before applying her foundation. Her skin looked plump, hydrated and dewy. Heavenly.

Which oils does it contain?
Sweet Almond
Also scented with the following oils:

Now, something I am hot on, is this.
Do not expect miracles overnight. The amount of customers who complain that skin products dont work.
How long have you been using it? Four days.
Don't expect dry skin, to magically disappear overnight or your blemsihes to be gone by the weekend.

Skins natural renewal process is four to six weeks. The older you are, the longer it takes for your skin cells to renew. Younger skin renews a lot quicker than say a 30 - 40 - 50 year old.

Persist and be patient. I look at it a little like this:
You go to weight watchers, to gradually lose weight. It will take a while, not overnight. Skincare is the same. Give it time, you will see the results.

Liposuction or weight watchers?
Skin peel or good skincare regime?

Its worth the wait.

When I had more time on my hands, I would take a good twenty minutes, to half  hour a night, taking my makeup off, exfoliating, massaging oil in etc.
The condition of my skin, was fantastic. But it took time, and I have seen the difference to now, when I'm a quick cleanse and moisturiser kind of girl.

Another tip with this product? Usage.

Don't tip it into your hand. You will use far too much, and it will be gone in no time.
Use it properly and you will have it for months.

When you open the bottle, it has, what I call a 'well'. Tip the bottle, BEFORE you open it. The residue collects in the 'well'. Open and just use what is left in the well. More than enough.

Another great tip, if you crave that lovely dewy look from your foundation, with the added bonus of skin goodness and hydration, mix a tinniest bit of this in with your fave foundation.


£40 for 30ml.

If you cant justify this, think of ALL the oils that are contained in it, there is alot of oil in that glass bottle.
Spa facials are pricey, just one a month adds up. Here you have your own Spa facial.

I have tried other face oils, this, is my fave.
Other don't feel as hydrating. This feels richer, and the results are, I feel, second to none.

All skin textures, tones and ages will benefit, in some way.

Do you use a face oil already? Which ones do you rate?


And the winner is......

Really quick post here guys and girls!

The giveaway for my 100 followers has now ended!

Thank you to everyone who entered! If you haven't won this time, fret not! I will be doing another ( possibly bigger and better one! ) when I reach 200!

So, who would like to know who the winner is?

Drum roll please..............

Random Number Generator / Picker

Enter a number:


Random number code based on JavaScript documentation on the Mozilla Developer Center.

No 11 is Ashton Turnbull!

Well done honey!

You selected Shy girl. If you are still happy with that choice, email me your address!

Till next time!


PS. I did actually type between 1 -21, but it won't copy and paste that for some reason!

Dita Von Teese

I think Dita Von Teese is fabulous. She ( to me ) echoes true femininity, how I would love to look on a daily basis. I love her take on the 1940s - 1950s.
The fair, flawless complexion. The perfectly arched, dark brows. The matte, red lip.

Her ebony hair contrasts beautifully with her porcelain skin.

When I finally get a web cam, I will be uploading video's of certain looks. So, get requesting!

I have a few more looks up my sleeve for this week, which I will be uploading shortly. 
This is a series. Timeless beauty, on screen. Big screen or small. Who would you like to see me re-create?

MAC NC15 Studio Fix Liquid as a base. Full coverage. Fixed with Studio Fix NC15 Powder.

Eyes. All MAC. Painterly paint pot as a base. Brule eyeshadow on top. Wedge eyeshadow in outer crease. Blacktrack eyeliner. Spiked Brow pencil.

Lips. Russian Red, MAC. Worn by Dita herself. Brick lip liner by MAC

Sorry guys, no burlesque pictures.
So, who's look would you love to see next? Let me know!


Hair dilemmas

Funnily enough I used to have extremely greasy hair, and also extremely thick hair.
I loved the thickness, I did not love the greasiness.....

Now I'm 30, I've noticed my hair changing. Gone are the days of greasy fringes, and daily washing, but sadly, also are gone the days of thick, lustorous locks.

In my twenties ( the craze of the GHD and hair straightening in full swing ) I curled, waved, straightened and re-curled my hair, only God knows how many times. It's safe to say my hair was in dire need of some serious TLC.

After that fad was well and truly over, I got all my hair chopped off, into a lovely asymmetrical bob.
I loved it, for about a week. I like my hair long. I like the versatility of how I can adapt my hair to the mood I may be feeling, but more importantly the fact I can scrape it back off my face when I cannot be bothered to do anything creative or time-consuming with it.

With my ever hectic life, becoming ever the more hectic, I booked myself in for some 'me' time, at my local Rachel Hammond Hair Salon.

Anyhow, when the stylist saw the state of my hair, he slowly prised out of me my hair habit's.

In all honesty, I spend money on decent skincare and makeup, but my hair seems to get left out. I mean, it's only hair, right?
He asked what shampoo I used, and if I styled it.

Too ashamed / embarrassed to tell him that during mine and my husbands truly, skint, redundant, out of work years ( the past two ) I was using Tesco value shampoo. Yes, it really was that bad. Some might gasp in horror, but when the choice is eat for a week, or buy an expensive shampoo and conditioner. Food has to come out on top.
I no longer have the time to fit in curling my hair etc. I wash, and go. My hair is lucky if it gets to see even a minute of a hair dryer.

So, bemused at why my hair was so dry, and why my split ends were no longer split, more so tripled even quadruple split, he continued to explain that like skin, hair ages.

I explained that I only have to brush my hair and it breaks off, into the bathroom sink.

He told me that decent, salon quality products are essential, and especially with age, as like skin, hair deteriorates.
I knew this to be true, as I can physically see the difference in my hair.

He also told me that Silicon in shampoos can damage the hair. Especially over longer periods of time, creating a build up of product on the hair shaft.

Now, not one to splash out on expensive products, unless I KNOW they work, I went out and treated myself to a little Ojon product.

Check out there website for full details, but I tell you now, this stuff is not to be missed.

The Ojon company get their secret ingredient for their elixir from the Miskito people of native America.
When the founder first visited them he was astonished at how healthy, lustorous, full of body bounce and volume their hair was. This was due, they claim, to them applying this 'elixir' to their hair every day.

Now this lovely little product contains this fabulous Ojon oil, which is obtained from the Ojon tree.

Now, any company who can cultivate natural products to make your hair amazing, is good in my books.

So I treated myself to their restorative mask.

Smaller size as always, to see if it is worth investing full size next time.

What I love about this is it's is a mask, so the product is in solid form.
Instructions state to apply to DRY hair. Leave on for twenty minutes or longer.

When you apply it to the hair, it melts into the most wondrous smelling, divine, hair oil.
Imagine coconut oil. It's solid in the pot then melts on contact with the skin, this product works just like that.

I left it on while doing some house chores.
The smell was just heavenly. I cannot quite put my finger on what it smells like, but its something like this.

1) Christmas
2) Chocolate Orange
3) Nuts

I suppose you could leave this on overnight if you wanted.
Washing it out was easy enough. I didn't feel the need to double wash, so the oil was not that greasy.

My hair felt genuinely healthier, undoubtedly shinier, and fantastically fuller.

Serious hair envy will be yours.

Ladies, this stuff is great.
Granted, its not a quick fix. When I read you needed to leave it on for at least twenty minutes or more, I was like, hang on, that's too long! I want model like hair in no more than ten minutes!

But if you have things to do, maybe watching a double Corrie episode? Pop it on just before and Bob's your Uncle, you're done!

50ml - £16.00
100ml - £32.50
Ojon products online
I bought my product online. According to website sources some House of Fraser store also sell it.

Try it.
What are your favourite hair products, and why? Do tell, I'd love to know.


Mask of Magniminty


I love this company. When I was younger, single and living at home. ( In other words, had a lot of spare cash ) I would regularly treat myself to lush products.

I went through a phase of bath bombs, then I tried a few of their shampoos, then it was their bubble bars.

Now, after a bit of a bonus in my payslip this month ( very rare occurance ) I decided to treat myself to a little product I have heard so much about, and was dying to try.

Following on from my witch stick post. ( the one where I moan incessantly about my on/off adult acne ) I wanted to try something to calm down spots, you know the spots that wont budge, or the ones where they seem to reproduce, so what started as one now has another 5 sitting right next to it!

Now, I do try and stay well clear of face masks, I live in fear they will just bring me out in more spots.

This little pot of magic claims to actually clear breakouts. Perfect.

I have my sisters wedding tomorrow, so I've been on blemish watch the past week.

I smothered my face in this last night. I only tried it on one side. The right side of my face which seems to have erupted.

Again, I wasn't expecting miracles.

The mask feels like a thick paste. Its very grainy, which I love ( thats the Adzuki Beans ) .
Instructions state to apply to a clean face and leave to dry, when it has dried, wash it off, exfoliating as you go.
Its a very satisfying 'clean'

The first thing that hit me when I opened the tub was the smell. Gorgeooooooous.
When I was little my mom would buy After Eight chocolates, but they were only for her and dad.
'Grown up ' Chocolates she called them. I honestly think that was just her way of saying hands off, you have your selection box. ( I still sneaked a few )

Anyway......The smell of Magnaminty is like After Eight chocolates. I'm hooked already.

When you apply the product, it feels very cooling ( I'm guessing thats the peppermint.) It is a deep green colour, almost looks like you are smearing your face in swamp mud..... although I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have the same effect as using this product would....

I woke up this morning and the right side of my face looks considerably better. I had a particular spot on my chin that I was so tempted to mess with, but instead I popped some of this stuff on it.
It worked.

My skin looks fab this morning, very happy!

As the product is advertised as a treatment for spots, I would recommend just applying it to problems areas ( mine are my cheeks, jawline and chin )

It's also supposed to be fab for the back. You may have to get your other half to do that for you!

A fab product. Ideal if you have had a breakout, have a wedding coming up, special occasion etc and want a quick fix.
What I also love is the fact it's a spot treatment that isn't loaded with alcohol, so it wont dry up your skin neither.

When I was a teengaer, Clearasil and Oxy were the only solutions, which in hindsight, dried up my skin that much, I'm sure it made it all a lot worse.

Peppermint - Stimulates sluggish/tired skin. Your skin looks 'awake' after usage.
Honey - Helps to condition and moisturise. Is also midly antiseptic.
Evening Primrose and Adzuki Beans - Exfoliate

They do the two sizes, I opted for the smaller one to see how it worked. I'm thinking the larger tub next time is without question.

Im very impressed with this. Again, there are so many products out there now to help with problem skin, products that will help and not hinder. This is one of them.
Keep it in the bathroom cupboard and draw it out when the inevitable 'date spot' pops up...


Which stick? Witch hazel stick...

I'm sure I have mentioned many times before, in several other posts the struggles I have had with my skin, well, since forever.

I had teenage acne develop when I was only 12, right through till I was 16.
It then calmed down dramatically. I remember the absolute freedom I felt, not having to cake makeup on every morning, or dread looking in the bathroom mirror, to find yet another one staring right back at me.

Then in my late teens, early 20s my skin decided it missed the drama, and re-introduced itself ( without warning me first ) to acne. This time, it was what the doctors like to call, 'adult acne'. Far from impressed is an under-statement.

During this time, I experienced the angriest, reddest spots on my cheeks. Horrid.
Eventually they calmed down after, give or take three years.

I have decided, my skin will always have problems. I also get eczema, which decides to pop up even more so when I am particularly stressed or run down. Like now.

I am currently receiving from the acne world, the lovely red, angry spots, that dont need popping. Rather they sit on your face for days, and take at least a week to disappear.

Now, a few months back, I won flawless follower, with Witch. I got to choose a product to try. After having a snoop through their fabulous range, I chose the blemish stick.
To be perfectly honest, in my cynicism, I did not expect miracles. ( I have tried EVERYTHING )

How wrong I was.
This stuff is amazing.

Now, I had two whoppers this week. One right in the middle of my forehead ( perfect, right? ) and the other on the side of my cheek.

I took the stick and popped some on, BEFORE my makeup.
Now I didnt 'dab' it on. I used it in circular motions. When it dried it left a white-ish mark.

I applied makeup ontop.

When I got home in the evening, it had gone down completley. The one on the cheek, went down overnight.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it didn't completely disappear. But the intense redness? Gone. The huge lump? Gone.
I was left with a shrunken version of what was their previously.

My mom, when I was a teenager, kept a bottle of witch hazel in the bathroom cupboard for my breakouts, she swore by it.
Witch have harnessed the power of it, in this fabulous little, handbag sized stick.
Witch hazel is renowned in calming the skin and being mildly astringent.
In a word, fabulous.
Ideal for initial breakouts, pop it on the minute you feel the dreaded tingling I know only too well.

On application, it feels cool and refreshing. To really see how amazing this product is, try it on the large angry spots you get, not the little blemishes some people cry over. These are not a problem, really!

This nifty product wins RuthEs stamp of recommendation. I am impressed.

Invest. Now!