Re-discovering Barry M Cosmetics | Everyday Make-up Basics

Mention the brand Barry M Cosmetics to me and I immediately think of nail polish and glittery dazzle dust pots. In my teens and early twenties this was one of my go to brands. I have to confess though as I have got older, and my tastes have changed, I felt like I had outgrown the brand.

A couple of weeks ago though, I was contacted by Barry M and offered the opportunity to try a selection of their products. Barry M are wanting more Mum’s to rediscover how the Brand is not just about glitter but fits quite nicely into everyday beauty routines.

Having had a couple of weeks to play with the products I am pleased to say that I have discovered some great make-up basics that I am reaching for on a daily basis.

All Night Long Foundation Stick £6.99

This is the first time I have used a foundation that is in stick form. I am enjoying the fact that it is mess free and very quick and easy to use. Perfect for busy mornings then! I just swipe the stick across my face and using my real Techniques buffing brush I blend it out.

I was sent the shade cashew, which is a bit on the dark side for me. I can get away with it though as long as I’m careful about how much I use.

As claimed this definitely is a medium coverage foundation. It evens out my skin tone and helps to improves the overall appearance of my skin without looking unnatural. I do have to use a small amount of concealer to neutralise the redness around my nose or to cover any major outbreaks, but then that is often the same with most foundations I have tried.

The picture below show before and after application. I haven’t used any concealer.

The foundation lasts well at work, any colour fade is even and I don’t experience any shiny or cakey patches. Do bear in mind that I use a water based primer as well as a setting spray.

Overall I am more than happy with this foundation and will continue to reach for it on a daily basis.

Flawless Light Reflecting Concealer £4.49

Again Barry M have got it right with the packaging for this product. This concealer has a handy built in brush making it quick and easy to apply.

The concealer contains cucumber and aloe extract so it feels refreshing under the eyes. It’s not too thick and heavy meaning that it doesn’t settle into any lines around the eye area.

Flawless Mist & Fix Setting Spray matte finish £4.99

I always use a setting spray with my makeup as I find it not only helps my foundation last longer but also improves the appearance of my makeup overall. At this budget price point Barry M’s offering is a option for everyday use. It definitely keeps me looking matte and shine free without that tacky feeling you can get in some setting sprays.

Lash Vegas 2 Black Mascara £4.99

If you like feathery separated lashes then this mascara is perfect for you. It has a long thin spiral shaped brush that grips and separates the lashes.

I do find I have to try not to blink until it dries as it is quite a wet formula. Once it’s dry though it stays put. I am a hay-fever suffer so this is no mean feat where I’m concerned.

I love the packaging for this mascara it looks and feels very sleek. It feels quite weighty in the hand giving the impression of a more luxurious product.

That’s Swell Plumping Lipgloss £4.99

This might look like just a clear lipgloss but I have absolutely fallen in love with it. The gloss has a minty bubblegum taste to it that feels soft and plumping on the lips. It is very comfortable to wear, unlike other plumping glosses I have tried.

I reach for it so regularly that it now lives in my work bag as it’s great for a quick fuss free freshen up.

Overall I have enjoyed using all of these products. Barry M is a great place to look for those necessary everyday basics. If you want a bit of glitter in your life too then they’ve got you covered.

To see the full range from Barry M check out their website here.

*post features PR samples

Phase Zero Metal Veils – It’s Love! 

It’s not often I instantly fall in love with a product. These liquid eyeshadows from Phase Zero however have really impressed me. 


I have the shades Fancy which is  yellow gold, and Regal which is a warm red toned burgundy. 

The formula is highly pigmented and feels nice and creamy. 

It has a small doe foot applicator making it easy to work with. I find I can be quite precise with the areas that I am wanting to apply product. I then like to use a blending brush to soften the edges. 

Once the formula dries it doesn’t budge. This is great for lasting power but just remember you do need to work quickly if you do want to blend it out. 

I find this is a great product to use when I’m in a hurry. I love how the look below came out. It is something I would wear for an evening out and only took me little over a minute. 

This look was created using regal over the lid and a gold pressed eyeshadow dabbed into the centre. 

Priced at just £4 to Love Me Beauty members these are a great little addition to my makeup collection. 

If you wanted try these out for yourself I have a £5 off first order referral code KATY6849 (I would receive a £5 LMB voucher as well).

Organic Shop Lavish Avocado & Avocado Haircare |Product Review

I recently was given the opportunity to try out a new purse friendly haircare range that is now available in Tesco stores. The range is developed using natural and organic ingredients and is also cruelty free. It includes a selection of shampoos, conditioners and hair masks all of which are priced at just £2.50.

5 different formulations are available, each developed to meet specific haircare needs. I opted to try out the Lavish avocado and honey repairing formula. It sounded exactly like what my hair was in need of.

The formula promises to soften and restore dry feeling hair. Protein rich Avocado Oil contributes to stronger and healthier hair growth whilst Honey helps to restore shine and control frizz. It claims to do all this whist still being free from silicones and parabens. As it also has no synthetic colours, dyes, fragrances or GM ingredients it is certified by the soil association and Cosmos Natural.

So is it any good?

I found the packaging to be fairly basic. This doesn’t surprise me considering the low price point. It does have the benefit of a pump on the shampoo and conditioner bottles which I found really practical.

None of the products are very scented but you can smell a slight hint of honey.  I found the shampoo lathered well which is surprising considering it claims to have no SLS or SLES (that’s sulphates). A quick check of the ingredient list though and I can see why it lathers well for a ‘Natural’ Shampoo. It contains Sodium Coco-Sulfate which is usually  derived from coconut oil. This is where the lather comes from and probably why it states on the bottle that it is 98% of natural origin. Fortunately my scalp doesn’t feel irritated by this.

After using all three products together my hair feels soft and smooth without that weighted down feeling. That feeling has lasted between washes. It is worth noting that I usually wash my hair every 3rd day. My hair has continued to look shiny throughout that time period as well. I don’t feel it looks any greasier that it would normally do.

Overall I think this is a good option for someone that is looking for ‘as natural as possible’ ingredients on a budget. As it is stocked in Tesco it is easily obtainable, though you can also purchase the products directly from the organic shop website. Here you will also find the full range of bath and body products available including bath foams, salts, scrubs, body conditioner and much more. I know I’m interested in trying out more from the brand. They have a candy floss body scrub! 

There is also the opportunity to enter a competition to win a holiday for two in in the Carribean. 

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Dandi Patch – A viable alternative to deodorants & anti-perspirants? 

Let’s be frank here, we all sweat. It’s one of those necessary body functions designed to to keep us cool. It’s no fun though when it starts to pong or leave embarrassing sweat patches on your outfit. No wonder the top two selling brands, lynx and female sure,  net a cool £172 million in annual U.K. Sales. (Source: statista)

For years many of us have hardly given a second thought about reaching for chemical based products in an effort to combat the odour.

It is only fairly recently, now that Aluminium free options are on sale, that I personally have questioned the safety of such ingredients. Can they really contribute to breast cancer?

So far I’m yet to come across any scientific evidence that it does, but given my family history with breast cancer I now use such products with caution.

Here’s the conundrum…I am yet to come across an Aluminium free anti-perspirant that works as effectively as one with it in.

I recently came across this product the dandi patch on the Latest In Beauty website. I definitely had to try this out!

So what is a Dandi Patch?

These triangular patches are designed to be a discreet and effective solution to the problem of underarm sweat marks and the inevitable odour.

They are the brain child of sisters Theresa Pope and Hayley Leete, who won ‘British Invention of the year’ back in 2015, for the product. The pads can be worn for up to 24 hours and claim to hold up to 2000 times the average amount of underarm sweat.

As sweat is trapped within the pad it means you no longer have to suffer those embarrassing damp sweat patches, bad odour or ruin a light coloured top with yellow staining. Why does sweat do that?



I’m got going to lie and pretend these things are sexy. They’re not! In fact to me it looks like I’m wearing a giant plaster. I certainly would only ever wear these with sleeves.

They are not uncomfortable but did take a little bit of getting used to.

I deliberately choose to wear a blouse that I have previously had a sweaty patch problem whilst wearing. Off I went to deliver my work presentation, feeling a little hot and bothered. I could already feel the nervous sweat starting.

One presentation down and the patches have done their thing. I might have been internally sweating but on the outside you would never know. There were no sweaty marks or unpleasant odour. They work!

I don’t think I could use these on a daily basis. I am far too conscious that I’m wearing them. However for certain occasions they are a great confidence booster. I didn’t have to worry about my appearance or how I smelt and could focus on the task at hand. Did I tell you I nailed that presentation?

Dandi patches are available in a pack of 10 for £8.99. They also come in a male sized patch as well.

Let me know whether you would ever try these out or if you have actually come across an Aluminium free deodorant that works.


Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara – First Impressions? 

I’m not really one to get myself caught up in  the hype around new Mascara launches. In fact I never buy mascara as it’s one of those items that is so frequently given away as a gift with purchase, or included as part of gift set. I wasn’t in a hurry then to buy Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Bang volumising mascara. That was until I was able to get a free travel size (worth £10.50) as a new user of TopCashback. Not one to miss out on I deal I jumped at the chance, so here I am then sharing my first impressions. 


Marketed as a gravity defying mascara the formula contains space technology aero-particles, (mouthful), BADgal Bang promises to deliver massive weightless volume. The brush has been custom designed to provide 360 degree reach providing maximum impact. It also contains Pro-Vitamin B5 which with prolonged use helps to improve lash thickness. 

So is it any good…

I really like the brush. It has a conical shaped soft plastic flexible brush making it comfortable and easy to work with. 

I did find the formula quite wet though however because the brush is so easy to work with this isn’t a problem for me.

As you can see from the pictures below the difference this mascara makes to lashes upon application is dramatic, even with just one coat. I really liked how this looked. It was when I applied a second coat that I wasn’t so keen. I felt that my lashes now appeared clumpy. Not a look I personally appreciate! 

I didn’t have any problems with flaking, smudges or running throughout the day, even in the snow. However I did find that if you rub your eyes it will transfer to your fingertips. If you are habitual eye rubber this will have an impact on wear time. 

The mascara is easy enough to remove. I used a duel phase eye makeup remover on a cotton pad. I did find that I needed to hold the pad over my eye for about 10 seconds to allow it to dissolve the mascara before wiping it away. 

This isn’t a bad mascara. I do think it is a comparable to marmite though. If you don’t like that clumped lash effect you aren’t going to love it. 

Have you had tried out BADgal Bang Mascara yet? What did you think of it? 

What’s in my Makeup Bag? 

As a self labeled connoisseur of all things make-up related and a great big fat nosy Parker I am very interested in checking out the contents of other people’s makeup bags. You never know were you are going to come across the next holy grail product right? So when I saw Joanne Mallon author of Opposable Thumbs  looking to set up a blogger challenge doing just that I jumped at it.

My day-to-day make-up isn’t actually stored in a make-up bag. It sits in a set of acrylic organizers on my dressing table. Yes blogger cliché I know, but it works for me. I’m the type of person that likes to see everything sitting neatly in its place. There’s a reason why visual merchandising is one of my favourite tasks at work.

So enough waffle, what are my much loved day-to-day makeup items?

The Ordinary Full Coverage Foundation rrp £5.95. 

Cult Beauty seems to have the best availability across all shades at the moment.

This has been quite a hyped up product so of course I had to see what all the fuss was about. To be honest I had read some very mixed reviews. I wanted to try it out for myself though as it has such a budget price tag.

The negative reviews from other users complained about having problems with oxidising and caking, fortunately I have experienced neither.

I have the shade 1.1 Fair Neutral which is the perfect match for my skin tone during the current winter months. Crucially it doesn’t oxidize on me and stays the correct shade throughout the day.

It might be worth noting that I use a primer, topped with a light dusting of powder followed my a spritz of setting spray.

To apply I use my Real Techniques Miracle Sponge £4.49 currently on offer at Boots. I do have to go back in with my Real Techniques Expert face brush to buff around my nose otherwise it will shift. Using this method though It’s lasts well enough through an 8 hour shift at work so at this budget price this is my daily go to foundation.

Maybelline Age rewind Eye Concealer £8.99 (or 2 for £12) at Superdrug.

I have lost count of how many tubes of this concealer I have used. I love the application method, however I do admit the sponge can get messy. I love that the formula covers well, yet feels light and most importantly doesn’t settle into any of those tell-tale eye creases. Fellow 30 plus ladies will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Maybelline Brow define + fill duo rrp £6.99 best price £4.85 Feel Unique. 

This is such a handy product for those mornings when you are in a hurry. I’m that girl who will happily leave the house without foundation but just can’t be seen without groomed brows. It has a fine gel pencil for defining the brows at one end then a powder with a sponge applicator to fill the sparse areas.

This is actually a bit too dark for me so I won’t be repurchasing. Maybelline could do with bringing out a wider shade range as there are only four available.

E.L.F Expert liquid eyeliner £3 Superdrug. 

I have been using this product for years. It is really easy to use, stays in place all day and is ridiculously cheap. I’d be mad to buy another eyeliner.

NYX Proof it! waterproof mascara top coat £6.00

I get terrible hay fever during the summer months, during the winter the wind gives me watery eyes. You can imagine the mess my face can get in then. This top coat works with any mascara to make it waterproof meaning I can still experiment with different mascaras. It’s a must have for anyone who has similar issues.
Maybelline Color Tatoo’s £5.99 

I have an entire drawer in my set up dedicated to these. I use them either on their own for a super quick eye look or as a priming base.  I love them and will more than likely purchase again in the future.


MAC mineralize Skin finish in Stereo Rose

I went to great lengths to get my hands on this when it was released as a limited edition back in 2014. I had to take a trip to Selfridges in London to purchase it as this was the only place that had it left in stock. I have’nt linked it for that reason but felt it deserved a mention as it sits pride of place on my dressing table.

Originally I only used this when I was going out because I was worried about it running out. Daft I know! Common sense has since prevailed as I do not want it to expire before I have used it up. I am actually reaching for it most days now. I consider this to be a bit of a bronzing blush hybrid and is perfect for days I want some colour but am in a hurry.

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick in Palm Beach £26.50  John Lewis 

I treated myself to this when I got my promotion at work last year. (that and a BMW 5 series). It is has a gorgeous moisturising formula so I have been opting to wear this most days as it has been such a cold winter.

I have just been promoted again at work so I definitely deserve to purchase this in a different shade don’t I? 

I’m passing the baton on these these ladies. I’m sure they will be up for the challenge of sharing ‘What’s in their Makeup Bags’

Don’t forget to check out Joanne’s blog Opposable Thumbs

Beauty Blenders | Splurge, Spend or Steal? 

When it was first released The Original Beauty Blender caused quite the the stir on the beauty scene.  Developed by celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva It revolutionised the way many of us beauty fans  applied our makeup. 

Priced at £16 it definitely falls into the investment purchase bracket. That will be why everyone and their mama has since launched their own budget ‘dupes’. 


In the interest of research I decided to test out some of these ‘dupes’ and see how they compare to the Original. 

I’ve always loved splurge, spend or steal posts so thought heck, lets base my comparison around this format. 

Well…. Can a cheaper Beauty Blender hold its own against the Original?  

Packaging and Appearance 

When comparing to the original it is very easy to spot the dupes. Packaging is very basic. Once outside of their packaging though they are all very similar but with some variation on shape. 


Pictured from left to right.

The Original Beauty Blender retails for £16 from Beauty Bay

Avon’s offering, the precision makeup sponge, retails from between £3.50 & £6.50 depending on their current offers. 

Primarks 2 pack of blender sponges retails for a mere £1.50 

Contents

The original beauty blender is latex free and so is Avon’s sponge. Avon’s website describes it has a latex free PU sponge. Primarks sponge contains latex, so not good if you have an allergy. 

Feel

Avon’s offering is closest in feel and texture to the original. Something about it is off though, it just doesn’t feel as smooth. 

Primarks version feels very dense in comparison and doesn’t feel anywhere near as nice as the original. 

Reaction to Water

If you are familiar with the original beauty blender you will know that when it is held  under water it absorbs the water and expands. 

Avon’s blender does exactly this. In fact it grew a fraction bigger than the original. Primark blender doesn’t expand at all. 

Performance 

To try to keep a fair test I used the same primer and foundation with each blender. This was Smashbox photo finish primer and Loreal Infallible foundation. I also tried to stick to just using 3 pumps of foundation. 


Pictured left to right

The original blender by far gives the best and most even coverage. I feel my foundation looks very natural a flawless in this picture. 

Avon’s blender absorbed more foundation than the original so gave a less even coverage. It also makes an odd hollow sound when you tap it against you face. This im guessing is because the sponges fibres are less compacted and smooth and would be why it absorbs more foundation.

Primarks blender I found quite hard and uncomfortable on the skin. I had to work much harder with it as it seemed to move the foundation around my face rather than blend it in. This is especially noticeable around my eyes. 

Ease of cleaning 

All three blenders actually performed fairly equal in terms of getting them clean. They have all stained a small amount.



My Verdict – You get what you pay for! 

Primark’s offering as far as I’m concerned is a complete dud. I don’t like it. It doesn’t perform the same as the Original and actually felt a bit uncomfortable to use. As far as I’m concerned this is being passed onto the kids as a painting sponge! 

I was plesenty surprised by how well the Avon sponge performed. If you have never tried the Original Beauty Blender because perhaps you feel that £16 for the original is too expensive then this is a very good dupe. 

If you like the original beauty blender and want to save you self a good £10 then Avon’s sponge is definitely a good buy. I don’t think you would be disappointed. 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out SchoolRunBeauty.com.

What do people really think about grey hair? 

In recent months it’s has become much more noticeable that I’m getting the odd grey hair. At 35 this was bound to happen sooner or later. 

Worried about this ageing me, I’ve been pondering what do do with my greys. Ignore it, pull them out or reach for the hair dye. 

I decided to do a little bit of research as I was curious to see what people really felt about grey hair. Particularly as 2016 saw granny hair being a big trend. For the record, I didn’t get the ‘grey hair trend’.

One 24hr twitter poll later I had a slightly better understanding. 

Almost 3/4 of the people who responded to the poll agreed that they weren’t actually that bothered about going grey as it happens to us all. That’s kind of good to know, I’m not suddenly past it! 
Interestingly though 100% of people agreed that society is more acceptable of men having grey hair. 


From a personal perspective I sit very much on the fence with my feelings about my hair turning grey. 

My hair is currently its natural colour. I grew out any colourant that was present and then had the remnants cut off. 

I would describe my hair as mid brown, it is actually a lot lighter than I remember after it being dyed a darker brown for so many years. In the past year I have had my first noticeable greys. They actually sit under my parting so are only really noticeable if I pull my hair back. 

The texture of these are different though and feel much coarser. 

I can deal with this for now but am unsure how to proceed with my hair when it becomes more noticeable. To be quite frank I can be very lazy when it comes to my hair. One of the main reasons I stopped colouring it in the first place was that I found it such a chore keeping on top of the roots. 

I also think very white or silvery looking hair can look quite stunning on the right person. 

When it came to peoples response to grey hair, using hair dye was the most popular response. Though I was actually surprised that leaving greys alone was a very close second. 


I’m not rushing out to dye my hair anytime soon. I also get enough fall out all ready that I’m not going to voluntarily pull out any extras.   For now I’m in the ‘leave it alone’ camp and am comfortable with that. If these results are accurate people aren’t actually that bothered by the odd grey hair anyway. 

Do you agree with this poll? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Anne Semonin Express Radiance Eye Cubes | Product Review 

Today I have for you a product review. I’ve been having a play around with the Anne Semonin express radiance eye cubes. Some might say that this product is an expensive gimmick, I however quite like them. 


My misspent youth saw me have one too many late nights and regularly falling asleep drunk with my eye make up on? Yep I was a bit of a bad girl! 

Meanwhile my partner in crime bestie, no matter how drunk she was, would always remove her makeup. She has always had better skin than me. Hmmm….I wonder why that is? 

Eventually her good example did rub off on me. That and being freaked out by a story once told to me by a makeup artist.  Apparently every time you go to bed with your makeup on it ages you by 10 days. Bugger! 

Yes so I’m a changed women and and religiously remove my makeup of an evening, followed by a good cleanse and moisturise. 

Here’s the thing though…. very occasionally I revert back to that bad girl of my youth. Usually this is when I may have had one to many and had to put to bed by the husband. Yes the poor man has seen me in a few states. Trouble is now in my mid thirties that bad behaviour will show on my face the next morning. I end up looking a swollen puffy hot mess! Thank good for these stashed in my freezer then. 

Here is what the brand has to say about them; 

Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Eye Cubes are perfect for soothing stressed, irritated eyes whilst firming and nourishing the delicate eye area.
These little ice cubes are made using  Marine Spring Water & Hyaluronic Acid to help provide hydration & condition the delicate eye area.  Ginkgo Biloba helps stimulate micro-circulation and Gourd Extract alleviates inflammation and puffiness. Bioflavonoids dramatically improve the appearance of dreaded dark circles so eyes instantly appear brighter, tighter & well rested.

I keep my ice cubes stored in the freezer so that the are good to go when I need one. Each cube is  in individually sealed in a capsule to keep them hygienic. Once removed from the capsule you pop it into the little bag provided and press this under each eye till it has melted. Im guessing the bag is to protect yourself from accidentally giving yourself an ice burn. 

This does feel very refreshing, especially if your eyes are feeling sore and tired. 

Now I’m not going to lie. At £45 for 6 that is an expensive price to pay for being naughty. These are for emergency use only! 

Expense aside, If you look at my before and after pictures these do work wonders. Yes I got away with my bad behaviour on this occasion didn’t I! 


As these are so expensive I am going to have a little experiment to see if I can make my own. If I’m successful I will share a little DIY 

Have you any tips for getting rid of puffy bags? 

Do share in the comment section. 

The July Libbie Club Deals 

It’s that time again, a new box of goodies has arrived from Libbie Club. 

This month included some really great body care products and if I’m honest a not so great make-up product. Alas You can’t win them all!


The products included were;

Cowshed wild cow invigorating body lotion £20 

Bean Body coffee bean scrub coconut £14.95

CID I-smoulder smokey eye pencil & shadow £16.65 rrp £18.50 

Each month Libbie club send out a box of products to its members to test at home and review on their website. What’s the catch you ask?

It’s quite simple really, I have to share the Libbie club offers on my social media accounts and if anyone makes a purchase through my Libbie Page I am then sent the next months box. 

I’ve discovered some firm favourites through Libbie club so frequently make repurchases through my page. This also counts as a sale towards next month box  so I don’t feel I have to be annoying and push loads of sales on people. 

Libbie clubs current deals include: 

£5 off £20 spend on bodycare using code BATH5

FREE BeeGood cleanser (my current go to evening cleanser FYI) with any purchase. 

There are loads of different products and offers available through my Libbie Page not just the products shown here, so it’s worth checking out. You can also see how I have rated the products.
If you wanted to join Libbie club there is a one off joining fee of £34.99. There is currently a £5 off joining fee code available at the moment. 

It is TWIT5.