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

Reading In Heels | A book based subscription box

I am bit of a sucker for a good old subscription box. That’s why when I found out about Reading In Heels I immediately signed myself up. If you love reading and are open to reading something that you haven’t picked yourself, then this box is for you.

Each month you receive a book plus some extra luxury treats. This month the treats seemed to be themed around products designed to help you relax and get a good nights sleep. I’ve had a lot on my plate at work at the moment so this is something I really appreciated.

Included was a relaxing tealight sample from hopping hare candles. This has a gorgeous lavender scent with top notes of ylangylang. Full size candles range from £10-£38 and you can also pick up the tealight samples for just £1 from their website.

Next we have sleepy head beauty balm from Made by Coopers Apothecary . This 10g mini tin retails for £5 and you can get a larger 60g tin for £15. It has a Lavender and Frankincense scent. The top notes are much warmer than the candle.

Included also are two t2tea sleep tight Teabags, £7.50 for 25 and 2 pieces of Chins Kitchen Rose and Cardamom Nankhatai, £6.50 box. These are little fragrant Indian shortbreads. They were nice but not something I would rush out to buy myself.

This months book is Bad Romance by Emily Hill. The book is a selection of short stories that are darkly funny. I often have found myself literally sniggering as I read this book. Each story takes a fairly ordinary situation and then adds an unexpected twist. Often the heroines behave in way that society norms could consider to be fairly outrageous, they do so with a charming defiance.

I’ve found this perfect for keeping in my bag when I have a spare 5-10 minutes and feel the urge to indulge in a spot of reading. Life is often far to busy and fast paced and I sometimes just am looking for a spot of instant gratification. I don’t have to worry about getting to ‘the good bits’ and then having to stop reading.

A subscription costs £12.40 including P&P. This also includes access to the Reading In Heels digital book club, a place where you can leave reviews and discuss the book with other members.

As you can see it is well packaged so you items arrive safely.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of Reading in Heels. I am looking forward to seeing what next month brings.

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!

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.


The One We Fell In Love With – Book review

 

The Blurb

PHOEBE  is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

ELIZA is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was…And her dream of becoming a successful musician seems to be vanishing before her eyes.

ROSE is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. to make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. ANGUS. The one they fell in love with…

This is probably my favourite story that Paige Toon has written. From the very begining the plot is intelligent, its gets very messy and complicated. I found I didn’t always fully like the main characters as I didn’t agree with their reasoning behind certain actions and behaviours. There is a lot of secretiveness and sneakyness. Having said that It does have me questioning how I would behave in a similar situation. For example, given the chance, would I give in to the temptation of reading someone elses diary. Would I continue with a relationship that I knew was making my sister unhappy?

Mid way through the story there is a very major plot twist that completely changes the tone and direction of the story. It is definately a bit of an ‘Oh shit!’ moment which I didnt see coming. It actually does make me sympathise with and grow to like the characters more. I want everyone to have a happy ending.

I do feel that the way the last chapter has been written that individual characters stories are not finished. I would like to hear more from them in the future. This is actually something Paige does regularly. In this story we briefly catch up with Lucy and Nathan from her first book Lucy in the Sky. Im pleased to report they are doing well.

I don’t want to give too much away so am going to leave my review there. If you have never read a Paige Toon book before this is  good place to start. It is classic Paige writing at he best!

Let me know whether you have read this book and what you thought of it .


 

 

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? 

Fashion Mini Haul – Trying out a new Budget Clothing Website 

Regular readers of Schoolrunbeauty.com will know how much I love a bargain. That’s why after seeing an advert pop up in my Facebook feed I was suckered into clicking through to discover what offerings the website Lessthan10pounds.com had.

The premise is ex branded fashion mostly on sale for less than £10. Some items are actually priced higher than this, and sold under their label rather than as ex-label. 

As per usual with this is type of website not all the items will be to everyone’s taste. In my opinion though it has some absolute Gems so it definitely worth a look. 

I ordered three items that came to £23.24 including postage. They arrived within 2 days of ordering, well packaged and via Royal Mail. 

I’m so pleased with everything I ordered that I had to share them with you straight away. So excuse the messy hair and lack of Makeup…


Ex New Look Wide Leg Burgandy Jump Suit – £7.75

I love a Playsuit. I always feel a bit more sophisticated when I wear one. This one was originally from High Street retailer New Look. The quality is good though as the fabric is so fine you will need to be careful with underwear choice. A VPL is definitely not sophisticated! 

It comes up long, which for me is great, it may though be a problem for shorter people. 


High Neck Textured Jumper – £5.95 

This is so warm and cosy. Most importantly it isn’t scratchy. I ordered this a couple of sizes bigger than my dress size as I wanted an oversized fit. 


Blush Sequin Dress – £7.95

The quality of this dress is amazing! I love it and need and excuse to wear it out. 

The top is made from a thick stretchy scuba material so is very flattering. I feel I could get away with eating a hearty meal wearing it. It feels quite heavy due to the sequinned skirt and hangs beautifully. 

As the label has been cut I can’t see which shop this originally came from. Size wise though I would say it is true to size. I’m typically a U.K. Size 6, which is the size ordered. It does come up very short on my 5ft 7 frame, but I have very long waist to leg ratio so everything comes up short on me. 

At the moment there is a coupon code that gives you an extra 15% of ex branded items.  This is 15EXBRAND  

Have you bought anything from lessthan10pounds.com before? If you have let me know what your experience was like.