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

Dupe Alert! The UK’s answer to Colourpop Supershock Shadows.

I love Colourpop Supershock Shadows. The crème-powder formula is super pigmented and has just the right level of micro glitter. Whenever I wear it I get compliments and am regularly asked what eyeshadow it is I am wearing.  At just $5 they are a bit of a steal. Here is my predicament though. I live in the UK so suddenly they are not so cheap and accessible. If I want free shipping, I have to spend $50, and don’t get me started on those bloomin import taxes. That will be why I own just two then!

What If I told you that I’ve found a dupe for Colorpops Supershock shadows that is very accessible to us UK based fans? Well Love Me Beauty have only gone and done it with their latest Phase Zero product launch, Metal Foil Eyeshadows. 

I can’t compare shades but the formula is bang on. They have managed to capture the unique bouncy texture that Supershock shadows are known for. They perform in almost exactly the same way, dare I say but  actually find them a smidge easier to blend (the colourpop shadow is the first swatch in the picture below).

I am wearing the middle shade Goth Girl in the picture below.

Individually the shadows  are priced at just £4.75 to LMB members. If you buy a bundle they are even cheaper. Shipping is £3.95 regardless of the size of your order.

If you are already a Love Me Beauty member and haven’t tried these out yet do it, you won’t be disappointed. If you aren’t now is a good time to check the website out. They are currently offering 90 days free membership trial. Also if you use my referral code KATY6849 you can get £5 off your first order*.

I am in love with yet another Phase Zero product and will definitely be grabbing these in a couple of other shades.

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).

Feel Unique’s sample service| My latest picks

I love getting my hands on a variety of different beauty products to try out. This can prove costly though especially, if you have a weakness for high end products. This is why I love Feel Unique’s sample service. I get to try out some of those high end products without committing to a full size product.

This can avoid a lot of costly buyers remorse. Let’s face it not all products are going to suit everyone.

The service offers you the chance to pick 5 samples to try out at home. There is a small handling fee of £3.95 however you do receive this back in the form of a voucher to use against future purchases. If you remember to use this you are basically getting the samples for free. Some of those samples are worth a fair few pennies as well. So you can find yourself getting a really good deal. 

These are the samples I picked up in April. 

Burt’s Bees lemon butter cuticle cream rrp £6.49 15g 

At 8.5g this is a good sized sample and worth about £3.46. It comes in a sturdy tin as well, perfect for keeping in my bag. 

This is such an effective product. My cuticles had been looking quite rough and dry. After a couple of uses they are looking so much better. I love the refreshing lemon scent as well! I shall be purchasing a full size once I’ve finished my sample. Though as you only need a tiny amount this is going to last me quite a while. 

Elizabeth Arden Standing ovation Mascara rrp £22 8.5ml 

This is another decent sized sample. The 2.5 ml tube is worth £6.47. It gives you a good chance to try out a high end mascara before committing to purchasing the full size. 

The brush is supersized promising to amplify, build and curl lashes to create a bold volume look. 

Based on first impressions I really like the formula. It is very black, and most importantly stays put. I do find the oversized brush a bit cumbersome though. 

Clarins Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover rrp £20 125ml

This 10ml bottle is such a cute sample and actually would be perfect to hold onto for a weekend away. I couldn’t wait that long though and wanted to test it out straight away. It is worth £1.60. 

Clarins say the eye makeup remover has been ophthalmologist tested to be suitable for sensitive eyes and those that wear contact lenses.

 My eyes can be sensitive so I do have to be careful with some eye makeup removers. This though actually felt quite soothing and refreshing. It did a good job at removing my eyeshadow and eyeliner. I’d did have to hold it over my mascara though to allow it to soak in a bit. Considering I was wearing Benefits BADGal Bang, I feel it held it’s own. 

I’m not sure if I would rush out and buy the full size as it is expensive. It is perhaps worth considering if you have specific needs such as being a contact lens wearer or you have very sensitive eyes. 

Also from Clarins, I choose the Hydra-Essentiel moisturising reviving eye mask. Mouthful! 

This 5ml sample is worth £4.83. The full size is 30ml with an rrp of £29. 

This is an interesting product created to help combat dehydrated eyes and visible signs of fatigue. It can either be used as an express 10 minute treatment or overnight. 

So far I have only tried it as an express treatment. The product has a creamy gel texture. 

Below are my before and after pictures. 

Ignore my broken nose it makes my whole face look very wonky. That will be why I rarely show a straight on picture of myself. Needs must though for this post! 

There is a definite reduction in puffiness and an overall improvement in the appearance of my eye area. (These pictures were taken in different rooms so the lighting is slightly different.) 

I have to say I’m quite impressed with this product. 

Lastly I opted for another sample pot of Nude by Nature radiant loose powder foundation. Rrp £25 for a 10g pot. This 2g sample pot is worth £5. 

Having tried this in the past I quite like it with B.B. cream. It stays matte throughout the day with even wear. I’m still trying to find my correct shade though, hence another sample pot. This actually though seems to be the one! 

Combined these samples are worth £21.36. So a bit of a steal really considering you only pay a £3.95 processing fee for your five samples, and your getting a voucher. 

Here is a little tip also if you are looking for the larger samples. Refine your search by sample types. Select the options pot and tube, these tend to be the larger sized samples. 


Have you used the Feel Unique Pick n mix sample service before? Do you think it is worth 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

My first Pink parcel Experience 

Who else hates their period? I do, with a great big fat capital H! Saying that I do greet it each month with a ‘Halle-friggin-lujah’…I’ve dodged the pregnancy bullet. Those inevitable cramps and that not feeling truly clean experience are not welcome though! That’s why I decided I was going to give Pink Parcel a try. 

Pink Parcel is a monthly subscription service that promises to make those monthly visits ‘fuss free and fabulous’ The service combines treats, beauty products and those essential femcare products all delivered to you at home. This arrives in a discreet and well packaged parcel on a date of your choosing. 

My first concern was whether it would arrive in time. Fortunately it actually arrived roughly a week before my selected date. No problems there then.

Secondly, would I be sent the type of femcare product that I prefer to use? Thankfully you get to choose from a wide variety of brands and can pick, tampons, towels or even a combination of both. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this part of the box isn’t just an afterthought. You receive a good amount with a combination of items for both daytime and nighttime use. There is also even a little well filled ‘for now’ bag to keep in your handbag so you don’t ever get caught out. 

Also included in the box is a treat food item along with a healthy tea bag. I don’t know about you but I always crave chocolate around my time of the month. I also love a cup of tea!

January’s box theme is Positivity, so the beauty related products included reflect this. 

My favourite item included is the Made by Coopers Apothecary Happy Mist value £12. 

This can be used to spray in the air or onto fabrics. The lime, clementine and basil scent is very uplifting and definitely triggers the pleasure sensors. 

I was also pleased to see Browcote Waterproof Brow Gel. Value £6.99

Brow products are one of my favourite make-up items so I will definitely be trying this out. I’m that person that can happily leave the house with a bare face but I always have to have groomed brows. 

Laritzy is a makeup brand that I haven’t heard of before now. This eye pencil is what I consider to be a ‘safe’ introduction to the brand. This is the most expensive item in the box with an rrp of £18.00.

I have the shade shimmer which is a silver shade. I shall be trying this out in my waterline as an eye brightening product. The packaging states that it is free from Parabens and after checking their website I found out that they also do not test on animals. Both positives for me! 

The last item is a set of Bandzee Hair Ties value £5.95. 

I love this type of hair tie as they are strong yet don’t leave kinks in you hair. I do feel they are often very overpriced though, especially as I’m always loosing them. This was definitely a useful addition to this box. 
Over all I am really pleased with my first experience of Pink Parcel. The value of the contents far exceed the £12.95 price tag. I’m not going to lie sanitary towels are one of those essential items that I resent have to spend money on. This subscription service takes the pain out of it! I’m looking forward to seeing what February’s box brings. 

Nude by Nature Perfecting Concealer 

I’m always on the look out for a good Concealer. To be quite frank when it comes to Concealer I’m hard to please. 

I want something that provides high coverage, blends easily, doesn’t cake and  stays put, all without clogging my pores and aggravating any breakouts. Oh and I almost left out non creasing. 

As part of Feelunique’s pick & mix service I recently tried out this Concealer from Australian brand Nude by Nature. Though it’s not perfect, it does come very close. 

Nude by Nature produce Mineral Makeup using Australian native ingredients.The products do not contain any synthetic ingredients or preservatives, and are 100 % Cruelty Free and PETA certified 

The combination of ingredients offer Makeup with skincare benefits. 

Key Ingredients includes;

Kakadu Plum – An anti-oxidant and natural source of highly concentrated Vitamin C.

Ceramic Extract – Provides anti inflammation and hydration.

Avocado oil – Moisturisers, repairs and protects.

Jojoba Oil – An anti-oxidant and helps to restore skin elasticity.

Kaolin Clay – Purifys and helps to remove toxins. 

Shea Butter – Provides an intense hit of moisturisation. 

The packaging is Gorgeous. It looks and feels luxury with its rose gold caps and lids. 
I have tried this out as both an under eye and spot covering Concealer. 

The formula is very creamy and feels hydrating. As an under eye concealer it works great. It blends well and doesn’t crease or settle in fine lines. I like to use the pointed end of a beauty blender to tap it on.    With setting spray it lasts well enough throughout a full 8 hour shift at work. 

I found that it covered skin discolouration and imperfections well but didn’t fully cover major spots. A key pro for me though is that it didn’t aggravate or make spots any worse. 

As Concealers go this is teetering towards the more expensive end of the spectrum with an RRp of £20. Feelunique are currently selling it with 20% off at £16 

At this price I am definitely tempted to purchase a full size of this concealer. Fortunately for now I do have a second sample of this concealer that I am currently using. 

Find Your Perfect Red Lipstick With Avon

Now that we are into Autumn It seems only right to pull out some deeper lipstick shades. I love red lipstick but finding the perfect shade can be a little tricky.

Avon have made selecting the right shade so much easier with their latest launch. Perfect Reds features 8 shades of red created to compliment a range of skin tone and hair colour.

I am a Brunette with fair skin so the suggested shades for me are Scarlett Siren and Red 2000.


Scarlet siren (top) is a rich warm toned red.

Red 2000 (bottom)  is a cooler blue toned red.

Both shades have creamy texture and are comfortable to wear.

The lipsticks are currently priced at £7.50* each with a free makeup gift if you spend £10. The prices do tend to change each campaign with Avon though depending on special offers available

 

*disclaimer – link to my Avon Facebook page.

How I repress my powder make-up

There’s nothing more annoying than dropping you favourite blusher. It’s one of those ‘oh crap, how bad is the damage?’ moments. No one wants their favourite blush to end up a powdery mess all over the floor do they? 

 Best case scenario, and this is providing the packaging remains closed, it’s going to have broken into a few pieces. That’s okay though, we can salvage it still by doing a little bit of DIY repressing. 

Here’s how I repress my broken powder make-up. It’s very quick and simple and I actually find it kind of fun to do. I learnt this method from watching a girl called Ammie on YouTube a few months ago. I’ve linked her video for you to watch as it works so well. 

I have even have begun to use this method to repress nearly finished products that become awkward to use. You know the ones, you’ve hit pan, and all you have left is that little bit left at the side of the pan that you brush won’t pick up. 

All you need is a cheep bottle of rubbing alcohol (I use the brand haz which is available on eBay very cheaply) , an orange stick and a cotton pad.

Step 1 – Using the orange stick, crush the remaining product into a fine powder. 


Step 2 – Measure out half a capful of rubbing alcohol. Gradually add this to your powder mixing to create a smooth paste. Spread the paste across the pan as evenly as possible.

Step 3 – Take your clean cotton pad and press this firmly on top of your smoothed out paste. The rubbing alcohol will be absorbed by the cotton pad. Repeat process until you have removed as much of the alcohol as possible. 


Ta dah! You now have your repressed and much easier to use powder product. 

Please note this method does change the formula of the original product slightly. I find though that it’s not enough to effect the performance of the product.?
If you try this out for yourself at home let me know how you get on. 

My Top 3 Beauty Subscription boxes 

What can I say? I’m a bit of a beauty subscription box tart. I’ve tried most of them over the past couple of years. It stands to reason then that I will have recieved my fair share of the good and not so good  subscription boxes. 

With experience the not so good boxes have been cancelled, but I’ve remained loyal to my favourites. So I thought it would be a good idea to share with you what I consider to be my top 3 beauty subscription boxes. 

So let’s begin the count down. 

In 3rd place is the You Beauty Box. This is the cheapest subscription boxes you will find in the UK. Priced at just £6.95 including P&P you are able to choose two items from a menu on the 1st of each month, plus you then recieve some extra little treats. 


I have discovered some fantastic products through this subscription service. There are often full size products available making this box a steal. 

There are often mini’s of high end products to choose from which I love as They would normally be outside of my beauty budget. 

This hasn’t rated higher because it is one of the slowest shipping services. It can take a week from placing you monthly order to then recieving it.

Coming in 2nd is the Look Fantastic Beauty Box. These are usually themed boxes, with June’s box being the #LFJETSETTER box. 

Some of the brands can tend to be a little bit repetitive, Korres, Caudalie and Murad feature regularly. However there is usually a good variety of products in each box. It is rare that I recieve a product that I wouldn’t actually use. 

Focus tends to be on skincare and body care though there is usually at least one make-up item in each box. 

All the products featured are available to purchase at Lookfantastic.com.


Prices for the subscription service start at £11.25, billed per month depending on the length of subscription you sign up for. This is the price for a 12 month subscription and increased slightly if you sign up for a shorter subscription. 

Lastly my Number 1 beauty subscription box is from Love Me Beauty.


If you like to recieve a lot of make-up items in your box then this could be your perfect subscription service. 

It also works differently to most other subscription boxes, as you have complete control over what products you recieve. This includes selecting your own make-up shades, so no more recieving shades you don’t like. 

Brands that have featured in the past include Rodial, Nuxe, Too Faced, Cailyn. That is just a tiny selection and as you can see they are all high end brands. 

It works on a credit based system, that you spend in the boutique. You can also buy extra credit if you want to add more to your box than your monthly allowance. 

A monthly rolling subscription costs £10 plus p&p which is £2.95.

Every 3 months you also recieve some bonus loyalty credit. 

I have a reveral code for Love Me Beauty that offers 30 extra credits on joining. (Worth approx £21) *

Code: KATY6849
So those are my Top 3 Beauty Subscription boxes. Let me know if you think there are any new subscription services you think I should be trying out. 

* I recieve referral credit also if my offer code is used.