Colours in the air…

I love it when a parcel arrives that I wasn’t expecting. Obviously it’s best when it’s a surprise from someone else. However, one of the few plus points of brain fog is I sometimes I forget what I’ve bought. Which means I end up sending myself mystery gifts.

When this Boots parcel turned up on my door it was exactly that kind of puzzle. I opened it to discover some colourful beauty treats. I can’t recall exactly when I ordered these things, but I must have been in a bright mood because the package was bursting with vivid colour. I must also have been feeling pretty cocky because this Nyx palette is not for the faint hearted.

Nyx ultimate eye palette

I have been admiring super bright eye looks on insta beauty accounts for a while now. I’ve also been lusting after this particular palette for a month or two. Truth be told, now that I have it I’m not sure my skills can do it justice. The blues, greens & purples I can handle. It was the yellow shades that grabbed my attention and after much messing around I’m still not sure I can conjure any magic with them. I suppose I’ll just have to keep practising.

ly h Kerr

The shadows themselves are a dream. The blend nicely and the pigment is strong with one exception. The lilac is for some reason a completely different consistency than all the other shades & to be frank, is utterly useless. That aside, their staying power is if anything too good, I struggled to completely remove the colour at the end of the day.

I wasn’t surprised to find nail polish in my haul. I can never look at make up without straying to the nail section. This Barry M gel polish in Flamingo is a great shade to counteract the winter blues.

ly h Kerr nail art

This is my first go at the coconut infused range, so can’t comment on the hydrating claims. I think I probably change my nails too to often to reap any benefits anyway. Application is very smooth, though and the gel finish is lovely.

Keeping with the pinkish tones is another Barry M (can you tell they’re my fav?) product. I love the Matte Me Up lip kits. The liquid lippie sets with a silky finish that does not budge. You can get through a whole day of eating, drinking & living with only a minimal top up required. I’m a fan of an exact match lip liner, the definition makes my lips pow!

Matte me up lip kit in Pose

ly h Kerr

Matte me up in Pose

My least favourite from my unexpected haul was this illuminating & setting spray. I had envisaged it giving a slight glow whilst holding my face in place. In reality it has a bronzey sparkle finish which is way to too deep for my skin tone & make up style. I might be able to repurpose it as a highlighter, but definitely can’t imagine spraying all over my face.

Mist & Fix illuminating setting spray

Advertisements

Cruelty free quickie, the dupe edition…

I recently watched, with amusement, some beauty bloggers on Twitter get a tiny bit annoyed with Aldi for it’s penchant for blatantly ripping off big brands. I am bemused at folk who not only want to pay £40 for something that can be produced for a fiver, but also want to defend the rip off merchants. I am all for dupes, in fact, I find Aldi’s bold faced copies hilarious.

Their latest target is Benefit. A brand I used to love, but have zero good feelings for since they resumed torturing small creatures. I was delighted to discover that they were doing a They’re real dupe, but didn’t raise my hopes for two reasons. Firstly, it seemed too good to be true and also my local Aldi is pretty small, so it doesn’t get always get the cool beauty lines. Well, colour me happy because I was wrong on both fronts. Too Legit is both available & kind of great in my neighbourhood. Listen, if I can get a cruelty free & amazing mascara for £5.99 I honestly do not care what brand it is. In addition to that I just don’t understand anyone who doesn’t find this kind of outrageous copying hilarious.

Lacura too legitToo legit/They’re real

As is always the case in places like Aldi, I bought other things purely because they were right there. One of which was this Smashbox dupe. I have never purchased any smashbox products. However, I do frequent social media where folks are always raving about their photo finish primer. So, of course I bought the Aldi dupe. I have not tried the original nor do I know if Smashbox are despicable, but I do feel ‘Insta ready’ wearing just this primer & aforementioned mascara. Again, I cannot not help but be tickled by attention to rip off detail.

Lacura snapshot readySnapshot ready/photo finish

Here is my very own face both completely bare and covered in solely these products. I am genuinely impressed and disgruntled that it is clearly so easy to cheaply make these potions. Seriously, if Aldi can do this ethically, stop giving those designer brands your money.

ly h Kerr

The first noel…

Now I know a lot of people feel it’s too early to be mentioning the C word. I mostly agree. I don’t want to put up my decorations or see Christmas dinner on the menu in pubs. However, I have a lot of gifts to buy (plus a tonne of December birthdays too), so I have to be organised. I started weeks ago, but I know lots of folk are about to get stuck in. It is for those ‘cannot wait til last minute’ people that I present my early Xmas gift guide.

I’m a bit mixed up when it comes to the festive season. I love some of the old traditions; I still send cards, I do not want pink trees & I’m definitely into a stocking bursting with fillers. On the other hand I have no time for gendered gift guides or waiting to open presents. Be assured if you give me a pressie before the big day, I will absolutely open it immediately.

With all that said here are some pretty picks with which to treat your loved ones. I have tried to cover all budgets whilst hopefully stretching across a range of demographics. I may also have thrown in a few items with a Scottish flavour.

Shall we start with the crimbo must haves? I think so.

I’m a fan of making my whole house smell like a cross between a Dickensian Xmas party & that stable the baby Jesus slept in. Fortunately M&S create those fragrances, package them up pretty & even stick a 3 for 2 deal on them. The sprays make a home smell divine. The pot pourri have equally delicious scents & also make great gifts.

M&S Xmas fragrances

In my opinion you can’t have a proper Xmas without a little booze or a lot of chocolate. My seasonal tipple is the delicious winter Pimms. I mix it with some ginger beer, but many yummy cocktails can be created with it. For chocs this year I’m looking to Fiars for their gorgeous vegan advent calendar & exquisite vegan boxes. I’m also very excited to try Vegan Burd’s new walnut whips.

Vegan burd walnut whip, friars vegan crocs

Next up are recommendations for a cosy cute Christmas. We all know there’s nothing better than slipping on some jammies & snuggling up to admire the sparkly tree. All of these festive comforts also make lovely presents.

Festive comforts

Stag Duvet, Asos Safari Pyjamas, Primark Grinch Boxers, Star Slipper Boots, M&S Velour Pyjamas.

Plus a little something that will make that tree really special

Bonnie bling still game de s

Bonnie Bling Still Game Decorations

Christmas is party season & everyone likes a bit of sparkle. Whether that’s to complete a glam look or soak in after one too many nights out, you can’t go wrong with beauty gift.

Lush is always a safe bet for smellies. This year they have some fabulous Xmas special editions. From minty fresh skin conditioners to decadent cognac infused bombs everything looks wonderful.

If you’re looking for something more personal I highly recommend Inara Candles. All hand

poured & using only soy wax they have some unique scents. They also offer a personalisation service, meaning you can add messages, intials etc to the candle label. Such a nice touch.

Inara candles

I’m looking to my old fav BarryM for a touch of shimmer with their amazing Unicorn Beauty Elixir & Liquid Glitter. Both can be used alone or mixed with other products to give anything from fresh glow to dazzling glitter. Then there’s the new kid on the block, Inglot. This is Jlo’s cosmetic range. As expected there’s a lot of highly pigmented products. One of the most Xmas gift appropriate is this vivid red liquid lippie with just enough sparkle.

BarryM & Inglot

Music & books have long been gifts I have enjoyed giving & receiving. It’s nice to have something to unwind with once the craziness of Xmas is over. These beauties are guaranteed to cheer up a dreary January.

Saltire Comic Book, Lily Allen’s No Shame, Challenge Accepted by Celeste Barber, My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen, The Beta Band’s 3 EPs.

I raved about Spunkrock Star before & I am sure I will continue to do so. Her sublime erotic art is perfect for any kink lovers in your life. Her beautiful portraits are also really smashing present.

Spunkrock star

If you want to make someone feel extra special this Christmas time I think Jewellery is the way to go. Rather than focusing on expensive fancy brand names I think you should check out these independent jewellery designers. They’re each creating breathtaking handmade pieces. What’s more your paramour will be donning something much more exclusive than anything you can source from the high street.

Oh Gosh Silver produce simple & timeless pieces.

Oh gosh silver

Chalso offer delicate beaded jewellery and silver work. Clean lines & skilful use of colour combined to make lovely pieces.

Chalso jewellery

Last, but the exact opposite of least is Kracken Jewellery. I have one of their pieces & I cherish it. Kracken have an eclectic range of designs. The incredible Gaudi inspired silver pieces are guaranteed to start conversations. Whilst the brightly coloured laser cut plastic rings will definitely brighten your days.

Kracken jewellery

It’s that time again…

Just like that it’s time for another Friday quickie. Of the cruelty free variety. Part of my little spending spree was a few beauty treats. All of which were shiny & lovely.

It was my actually my sister who needed a mascara, but it looked so damn good that I kinda want a tube too. When the Urban Decay goddess told me it was half price I was apple paying the shit out of it. It was a good impulse buy. One coat gives me luscious long lashes. Two provides just as much volume. Troublemaker is giving no trouble.

Urban Decay Troublemaker
Urban Decay Troublemaker

Next is a staple for me, Barry M Plumpy Toocoat. It’s always the final touch on my nails. It provides a convincing gel finish & definitely gets me a few extra days out of my manicures. I love how much extra shine it gives my nails. The only down side is that it goes gloopy a little quicker than I’d like. I’ve yet to actually get to the bottom of a bottle. That said, at under a fiver and still giving a professional look I’ll forgive the small amount of waste. I don’t see me switching topcoat anytime soon.

Barry M Plumpy Toocoat

I have a bit of a thing for Barry M. It was one of the first ‘drug store’ brands to go completely vegan & cruelty free. It’s also one the best. From reliable beauty essentials to super funky fun cosmetics Barry is always ahead of the game. All of which is my excuse for never being able to buy just the one thing I needed. Case in point, this holographic eyeshadow topper. Shimmery two time goodness on it’s own. Multi coloured light catching magic when applied atop another eye shadow. I went for a purpley blue, but there’s three more shades & I suspect I’ll purchase the lot. I recommend that you get your hands on some too.

Barry m holographic eyeshadow topperly h Kerr

Troublemaker & Holographic Topper

Another cruelty free quickie…

It’s Friday and after a rough week I’m ending on a high. I got some unexpected, but very good news yesterday. Now I am sailing into the weekend relaxed & very ready to have some fun. I have a mini break planned, bunch of new clothes to show off & a tiny little nephew to smother in kisses. Before we get to all that, I have a cruelty free quickie for you.

I love being a ginger. I’ve always loved being a redhead. Sadly, the older I get, the lighter my hair becomes. To the point that people have started calling me strawberry blonde. That may not seem like a big deal, but it breaks my heart. Ginger nut is part of my identity! I’m too low maintenance to keep up with dying my hair, but the thought of losing my burnished tones altogether is just awful. Enter, Infuse My Colour, my salvation. It’s a colour infused shampoo that stops the fade in coloured & enhances the tones in natural hair. I bought copper in the hope that it would revitalise my natural colour. I was not disappointed. I’ve only been using the shampoo for 7 days and have already noticed a big difference.

ly h Kerr

Infuse my colour

I’m impressed at how quickly I have seen results & will definitely continue using the shampoo. Infuse My Colour is of course vegan & cruelty free. In case you were curious, here I am in my younger days as a proper, hardcore ginger.

Today I have a bonus quickie, lucky you. One of birthday gifts from my darling sis was some Kiko Milano products. I tried out the eyeshadow duo yesterday & it was a hit. It’s super soft & glides right on. Excellent pigmentation, even better staying power. I saw A Star is Born last night & wept like a baby; the eyeshadow stayed put. I love it.

ly h Kerr

Kiko Milano bright duo

A Star is Born incidentally is excellent. A beautiful interruption of a wonderful film. Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga blew me away, both displaying talents I didn’t know they had. Word of warning though, all those people saying it isn’t as sad as the Streisand version are LYING. Prepare to be destroyed.

Cruelty free quickie (the Aldi edition)…

I didn’t intended posts like this to become a regular thing, but I just keep coming across lovely products that I want to share. I’ve never been a brand snob, so where a product comes from really doesn’t phase me. If it works & it is cruelty free, I’m happy. Thus, I bring you some more budget beauties.

Aldi would not usually be my go to for beauty shopping. However, a beauty & skin care expert friend tipped me off about their Lacura range. Their skincare range has the ingredients you’ll find in premium products, but for a fraction of the price. On that recommendation I decided to try some of the products about 18mths ago & haven’t looked back. I quickly fell for their Q12 serum. Like a lot face creams it claims to prevent wrinkles & smooth fine lines. I’m lucky enough not have much of a wrinkle problem yet, so I can’t verify the veracity of those of those assertions. What I can say is it’s an excellent moisturiser plus my skin feels softer & firmer. It’s also significantly cheaper and delivers much better results than the more prestigious brands I was using. I swiftly added Lacura’s Expert Intensive Care serum as a night cream & am equally pleased. In short my skin feels soft, smooth & my dry patches are a thing of the past. Oh & the both smell divine.

The Lacura eyeshadow palette was a complete impulse buy. In typical random Aldi fashion it was beside some light bulbs I needed. I brought it home & promptly forgot about it. That is until bloggers started to moan about it on Twitter. Apparently some beauty bloggers are sick of ‘dupes’ & just want us all to buy the real deal. Well, their distain reminded me that I had just such a faux & I promptly gave it go. Guess what? This palette is lovely. It’s a standard natural type collection with some neutrals & metallics. The shades are cool, the brush is nice & it it has staying power. I really don’t see what anyone is complaining about. If you need things to be from Urban Decay, go ahead and buy your heart’s desire. In the mean time I am totally behind these purse friendly versions that are also great quality. Not everyone has the ability to splash out on the big names; I love that there are now good options to accommodate that. For my own part, even when I do have extra to spend I have zero interest in rewarding high end brands for overcharging. If Aldi can create fantastic (& cruelty free) cosmetics for less than a tenner, anyone can. If you want me to pay you much more, you better be offering much more. I’ll definitely drop some cash on something excellent, but if its equal is in the supermarket, it’s going in my trolley!

Five cruelty free products you need in your make up collection…

Today is a first for the blog. I love reading & supporting other blogs, so I am excited to introduce my first guest post. Madie is an awesome beauty blogger who can offer much more expertise than I could ever hope to muster. I hope you enjoy her tips for cruelty free must haves.

It is so exciting to see beauty companies making an effort to be cruelty-free! As an animal lover myself, it was not until recently I realized just how many products are tested on animals. In an effort to support a cruelty-free lifestyle, I have put together a list of my top five favorite cruelty-free products I can’t live without:

Tarte Shape Tape – $27.00

(Buy in UK here)

This concealer gives me incredible coverage and brightens up any area I place it. I like to use this under my eyes, on my nose, on my chin and my forehead as well as a spot concealer on my pimples and scars. I adore the doe-foot applicator as it applies the concealer effortlessly. A little bit goes a long way here so it truly is worth the money! Be aware, you can only find this (to my knowledge) at Ulta or on Tarte’s website.

Tatted tape @beyoutifulxm

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette – $42.00

(Buy in UK here)

Can you say, holy grail?! This is by far one of the best palettes I own! I was so nervous to invest in this palette but it truly has never let me down! I love to use this for soft and natural looks as well as bold and creative ones. The formula of these shadows is amazing and the pigmentation is nothing short of incredible! If you don’t have this in your collection, you need it!

Anastasia renaissance @beyoutifulxmAnastasia Renaissance @beyoutifulxm

Wet n Wild Highlight – $4.99

( Buy in UK here)

These are by far the best drugstore highlights I have found to date! The formula of these highlights is so creamy and soft. I really do cover my whole face in these– it’s so hard not to! If you’re looking for something inexpensive but still pigmented, these are for you!

Wet n wild highlighter @beyoutifulxm

Buxom Lip Gloss – $20.00

(Buy in UK here)

This lipgloss is so good! I use this almost daily as it adds not only intense shine to my lips but plumps them up as well with its tingly mint scent. My favorite shade to use is “White Russian” but all of them are stunning! This formula is extremely buttery and doesn’t leave too much of a sticky residue. But, I get that $20 is a lot for a lipgloss; if you want something comparable in pigment and wear, I would suggest the NYX Butter Gloss (also cruelty-free!).

Buxom lipgloss @beyoutifulxm

Colourpop Eyeliner – $5.00

( Buy in UK here)

Ah, Colourpop, how I love you so! Colourpop is one of those brands that you become instantly obsessed with as soon as you try their products! I am a huge fan of their glosses, highlighters, eye palettes and lippies; but, their eyeliners are really something special! At only $5, these liners come in tons of shades, apply effortlessly and are long-lasting– even in the waterline! And, if you buy $30 worth of Colourpop (trust me, it’s easy to do!) you get $5 off of your order.

Colour pop eyeliner @beyoutifulxm

I love that beauty brands are finding other methods of testing their products. There is no sense in a helpless animal suffering in order to make a lipstick, am I right?! What are some of your favorite cruelty-free makeup products? Do you make a conscious effort to shop cruelty-free brands? Let me know with a DM or a Tweet.

Hi, Everyone! My name is Madie and I have been writing this beauty blog for just over three years now! I am from Chicago, IL, USA and work full-time while managing my blog. While it gets hard and sometimes I fail, I ultimately love this blog, and the blogging community, too much to give up. So, if you want to follow me on my blogging journey, click here to subscribe so you never miss a post! I also am active on Twitter and Instagram. I even do live GRWM’s on Instastories!

Thank you so much for reading! XO