Tag Archives: makeup

Birchbox review – November

So I’m at home today feeling ill and grotty so I thought I’d finally get my Birchbox review up. Please ignore my awful nails, I had a bunch of breaks and so I cut them right down and it’s they are all chipped and horrid, sorry!


On first open it was nice to see a big box, a hefty looking full sizer.


First item to get pulled out are Drinkwel vitamins. Their tagline is…the world’s first multivitamin for healthy people who drink. I’m a bit up and down with how I feel about vitamins and supplements as so much of it it bollocks. I don’t get drunk that much these days so I just used them as a normal vitamin, unsurprisingly no difference noticed as there’s only enough for 2 days normal or one day drinking. Seems like pseudomedical wank, frankly.

P1150978 Lord and Berry Bronzer – I get that this is a sample, however I wasn’t expecting a single pan without even a proper box or lid, just a flimsy plastic pack inside the box. It’s a nice shade, called Sienna, but I just couldn’t get it to show up on my skin! Maybe I’m just so used to heavy theatrical makeup that I can’t even see a subtle glow anymore. I’m willing to keep trying though, as it’s a nice matte finish with no shimmer which is great for non-stage looks.

P1150981 A very cool bottle! Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle. It’s essentially a heat protection hair product. As I don’t really use heat stylers at the moment it’s not really that useful but I’ll keep hold of it for if I get the urge to curl my hair. It is vegan, paraben- and sulfate-free if you like that sort of thing.

P1150982I was very excited as soon as I twigged this was OPI. Very high quality nail varnishes and this is a lovely shade called A Grape Affair and it’s a very deep grape purple. Pretty hard-wearing so far! Though I’ve discovered that spirit gum remover also acts as a nail varnish remover…


The ubiquitous perfume sample…English Laundry by Christopher Wicks. Eh…another vaguely floral, synthetic smelling, alcohol perfume. PASS! Cute envelope though.

Dr Jart clensing foam. I’ve had Dr Jart and been pretty pleased, though I’m rubbish at skincare so it all seems the same to me. But I like cleansers where you actually wash your face rather than use cotton wool, so that’s a plus.

So, all in all a fairly average box. Nothing too terrible but only the OPI nail varnish got me proper excited.

In other news, if I’m any better tomorrow I will be putting together my first video tutorial!


September Birch Box Review – My first one!

As some of you may know I’ve been getting GlossyBoxes for a couple of years now and loved the little monthly treat, some of the items have become makeup bag essentials and have been used extensively in my first few weeks of college.

But last month I thought I should probably cancel what with college coming up and money being tighter but changed my mind at the last minute last week I decided to turn…not quite 360 degrees, maybe 200? And went ahead and signed up for Birch Box instead. So here it is! First impression….waaaaay smaller. But I always used to get irritated at how much space was wasted in the GlossyBox boxes, just full of stuffing.




A very cute little canvas bag instead of reams of shredded paper. I would much rather packaging I can use again rather than something that just goes straight into the recycling.


Agave Hair Oil: I can’t imagine this will do anything that any other hair oil will do but it’s always nice to have more as I have been considering switching over to using hair oil and not conditioner like my girl Tuesday Laveau. Also, my husbear uses oil in his beard now and then and steals mine all the time. This smells nice and fresh and really reminds me of some sort of shower gel or something from my childhood!


Model Co. Lip Laquer in Morocco. Apologies for the crappy picture, the lighting in my living room is rubbish today and everything is a bit dim. This is a very nice colour, a deep neutral beige, and smells lovely and fruity. I can imagine this being a nice new addition to my drag bag.


The Beauty Blender. Now this is exciting. I’ve seen these all over the interwebs as the latest big trend and I’m very excited to use it. It’s a very dense sponge egg used for blending foundations. I’ve not usually been one for using sponges for foundation as they tend to just suck all the product up but I’m willing to give this a go! It also comes with it’s own wee soap bar for cleaning it after use.


Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream. I’m not really a fan of Benefit. It generally seems rather style over substance. And I’ve never been one for eye creams either…and just how good can they be over any other. I dunno. I’ll try it but I’m not holding out hope for this.


Plush Therapy Mild Dermabrasion Face and Body Scrub. Apologies again for the awful picture, this did not want to be photographed at all. I love scrubs and the grittier the better, I’m a total masochist when it comes to body scrubs. There’s not much to be said about this in this instance, it’s a rather vaguely scented scrub.


Photo clip. Trash. Total rubbish. I’m not a teenage girl. Do. Not. Want.


And finally a nice yummy snack. Super tasty as most dried pineapple is.

So, all in all I’m pretty pleased. No worse than GlossyBox so I’ll be carrying on, funds permitting!

Be sure to check back later this week for more of my kit swatches including Ben Nye, Mehron and Kryolan.

College kit swatches!

My college kit FINALLY arrived and after 10 minutes wandering around an industrial estate trying to find the obscure courier it was in my mitts. So just for you fine people I’m going to swatch everything I can over the coming days.

Today it’s the powders!

P1150705 P1150706

So here we have from bottom right clockwise: Ben Nye lip pencil in Scarlet, Laval kohl eye pencil in black, and Professional Makeup white kohl liner, from the Mehron cheek pallet 202-pal Tropicoral, Rosewood, Mocha, Contour, Mojave, Wineberry, Just Peachy, Bold Red.

P1150707 P1150710

Bottom left clockwise: Mehron E.Y.E Powder Palette, White, Nat Wheat, Cocoa, Toffee, Fawn, Cinnamon, Espresso, Black.

P1150711 P1150713

Bottom left Clockwise: Mehron INTense pressed powder Fire palette, Ignite, Purple Heat, Fire Island, Electric Green, Yellow Spark, Inferno, Hot Pink, Pure Lightening.

College, days 3, 4, 5 and 6

Due to moving house I’ve been without internet since Friday. FRIDAY. 5 DAYS. I damn near died.

But we are now in the new house, hooked up and ready to party.

So Day 3 was our first half day, well…2 hours. Which is a bit of a dick to drag yourself in for but the short time does give a bit of practice for working with short time constraints, we have to set up, do our face and be cleaned down between 9.30 and 11.30 sharp. Day 3 was a face painting group challenge in which we had to simply use the hour and a half left to create super hero or super villain facepaints. We kinda just went with the flow, looked at some magazines for inspiration and got to it which I think was our downfall as all the other groups had themes and characters, we were a bit of a rag-tag group. But it was SO nice to use the Mehron paints for the first time, the black Paradise AQ went on like a dream and the gold metallic powder was just so lush, I neeeeeed it.


I went for a sort of Pierot look, as you can see the black has amazing coverage, this was just one layer. It’s a little patchy around the cheeks as I’d not yet learned to start from the cheeks and work out as the cheeks will absorb a lot more product. The Gold is llovely too, though very wobbly around the eyes. I’m still quite proud though, as I ended up with only about 20 mins to do my face. I also got to use my strong point…sticking stuff to faces. It’s my favourite thing. So, end of week one verdict? Love it. Even being the oldest in the group hasn’t hampered anything as I’m getting on with everyone so far.

Day 4! After a long and tough weekend of packing, and moving day 4 came around and gave us a long old day. First session was contouring. Learning the difference between a powder contour and full foundation contour.


Powder contour, needs a little buffing out but I liked this one.


Foundation contour, again needs buffing out but the foundations we had to use are SO thick and hard to work with I think I did ok with the circumstances.

In the afternoon we had our first planning session for the end of year show. We have decided on the theme of Freak Show as it gives us a very wide range to work with and still be comfortably within the theme.

Then we had skulls! We did a bit of study of the facial bones and were then set to a little task to naming the bones and writing them directly on the face.


Then we had to poke and prod and draw in the recesses in the face and create skull face using the actual bones of the model. This was really really hard. Especially with long nails…I’ve since had 2 breaks so they’re all trimmed right down now which does make things a lot easier but Whaaaaaaa, short nails!


I did no justice to Florian’s amazing bone structure.

Day 5! Airbrushing. At the start of the day we got to have our first go at the airbrush. Lots of fun but a little daunting as the kit is very expensive. We got in to groups to put on a face using full base, contour, sencils and whatnot. We made Penny into Lumpy Space Princess, I did the nose.


In the afternoon we had brows and winged liner. VERY HARD. This was so tricky, I’ve got it down on my own face but on others is going to take a lot of practice.


The brows were ok, though personally I would prefer thicker. The liner on the left is totally ugh, but better on the right.

Day 6. Another half day. We were set homework to research eyeshadow shapes and come up with a masquerade themed eye look.


I used NOLA Mardi Gras colours. Unfortunately my phone camera did not capture the colours well at all, I love the soft contour and blush and highlight on the lip. My liner is a little wobbly, and my rhinestone application a little uneven here and there but ultimately I’m proud!

Back to the day job with a bump but it’s made a whole lot better knowing it’s only 3 shifts a week and I get to spend the rest of my time doing makeup. I’m hoping to be put forward for day shifts at work too, so I can get a proper life back too!

So all in all a good fortnight. Next week is sugar skulls! Fun!



August GlossyBox review and NEWS!

So, I know it’s been a super long time since my last post. Life has right royally got in the way, however I plan to be far more prolific over the next year. Some of you may know that in just 2 weeks I will be starting a theatrical makeup course at college and I plan to write at least once a week as a journal of my course. So be prepared for lots of pictures and write ups. 

But first, the August GlossyBox. I had intended to cancel my subscription as money has been rather tight of late, but I cancelled too late to stop the August subscription coming through (shucks, what a shame, eh!). I really don’t think I’ve ever had a bad box, some are certainly better than others but for the meagre £13 ish it’s always more than worth it. I love the surprise and having this wee treat once a month it really nice. Though I have considered maybe switching to a different beauty box company for a bit…any suggestions are welcome!


Both the outer box and inner box have had a minor re-design. The inner box looks a little more sleek and sophisticated with it’s matte finish, and the edges seem much sharper. The outer box is now a slick, glossy black with pink ribbon and bow design. The usual scrunched paper, tissue and ribbon packing grace the inside, as always making it feel like a posh gift.


First impressions are good, though I hadn’t spotted the square pot at first so it seemed a little lacking at first glance. 



L’aour Lalique- I rarely wear regular, alcohol based perfumes as I much prefer the depth and longevity of oils. The June Glossybox, however, had a sample of Fleur du Figuire by Roger and Gallet which is absolutely gorgeous and bucked my usual anti-parfum feeling. This perfume however isn’t quite as nice, it’s very thin and light which isn’t very me – I like a bold, deep and thick scent. I like that the card lists the scents, which seems to be more common in perfumes these days possibly as a way of setting them apart from cheap, synthetic scents. And the bottle design is very innovative, rather than the usual spray top there is a small lid which you pull off to reveal a closed top with 3 small holes, allowing you to dab on a view drops rather than a huge spritz. 



PEP Cosmeceuticals, SkinPep Super C25 serum – This is possibly my least favourite item. I do dislike having anti-aging products in my box for 2 reasons…one being I object greatly to the whole anti-aging beauty complex. Aging shouldn’t be feared and wrinkles show a life of emotion. I think most anti aging products to be snake oil, when all we really need to be doing is moisturising, wearing an SPF, keeping hydrated and avoiding smoking and drinking. I may well give the product a try but it’s not even an actual moisturiser, I only have a few lines anyway, so this will probably be given away to someone. My second reason is that I’m actually only 28 and I object to being told I need to protect myself from the scary boogyman of ageing even in my twenties. Nice eye dropper style bottle though.



Figs and Rouge hand cream in Rose Berry – Right, from negative to positive! I don’t tend to use hand creams often however I’ve realised that during my course I’m going to be doing a lot of washing my hands, handling things like latex, alcohol and using my hands a lot in general so I feel that my opinions on hand creams may change a lot. This has a lovely design, brightly coloured and bold. The scent is exactly what it says…rose berry. General positives all round!



Philip Kingsley Elasticizer – I have similar ideas about hair care as I do about anti-ageing products – snake oil. A hair care really does have more than it’s share of bollocks ingredients, or so-and so- Technology, and ‘science bits’. This here is a pre-shampoo ‘elasticizer’. A glorified leave-in conditioner that you then shampoo out. It just seems like another bogus product designed to trick us into adding another step to our haircare routine. I might try it as a bit of a pamper at some point but I don’t hold any hopes for it.



Kryolan for GlossyBox highlighter in Cashmere – This is quite exciting. This is the second Kryolan for Glossybox product I have, the first being a gorgeous blush. I’ll be using quite a lot of Kryolan in my course so it’s nice to have some that’s just for me. I’ve tried to swatch but it’s very tricky to photograph but you can see the slight shimmer on my hand. It’s the first time i’ve seen a ‘dewy’ product that I like, as I personally prefer a more matte face myself, but this seems like it will be nice for day to day and may provide a good base for applying some more intense powder shimmer for the stage.



Yves Rocher nail polish in Rose. – I’ve got a proper addiction to nail varnish with an ever growing collection of probably around 30 shades. While I tend to go for bolder, darker colours I’m oddly drawn to this shade. It’s a lovely soft, dusky pink. More grown up than baby pink but not too pastel. It’ has a very high gloss finish too and feels pretty tough and hard wearing. This is a super teeny bottle but I’ll get a few uses out of it I think. Also, Yves Rocher brings back memories of being at my gran’s house and going through her catalogue and fantasizing about buying all the cool products, I always liked ‘smellies’ as bath products were known in my family. 

The good outweighed the bad in this box. And even then the products I feel are bad are down to my distrust of pseudo-science in cosmetics…I’m sure others would appreciate them. 


IIIIIIIINNNNNN other news! There’s some great things coming to Bristol burlesque this autumn. 

Coochie Crunch:Electric Ladyland at Smoke and Mirrors starring myself and a whole host of awesome babes. Tickets

Bristol Burlesque Festival 2014 – Across 3 days and 3 venues with a whole day of workshops. Featuring national and international stars of burlesque and cabaret, again including me! Tickets and lineup

Valentine’s GlossyBox Unwrap

Valentine’s GlossyBox

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this to arrive this week. I’ve been a little on the gloomy side and have been really looking forward to this little treat. And what with it being the Valentine’s special I knew it would be a good one, unfortunately last month’s box left a lot to be desired but they’ve saved themselves with this one.

P1150299My first reaction was ‘This is a good one. This is a very good one’, said out loud to my poor ill husband who is on the sofa with me. Look at all those full sizes!!

P1150300Toni & Guy Creative Stick It Up Gum, I’ve been thinking about some new hair product for a while and this is spot on for my short back and sides and big long quiff on top.

P1150301I rarely use eyeliner pencils, generally sticking to liquid liners for a cat eye flick, however this product really intrigues me. Maybelline Master Kajal in pitch black, it has that unforgettable Indian/Middle Eastern style khol liner look to it. I know this is not going to be one for precise application or a cat eye flick, but I think it could be great for a Theda Bara looklook.


Now I’m not a big red wearer, in burlesque it’s the typical look…red nails red lips and whatnot. But I like to buck trends and and avoid the typical colours in favour of things like metallic green or rich purple. Buuuut knowing how good Ciaté are as a brand I will definitely give this one a try. The shade is Hot Chili and is an orange toned red, or vermilion as I would call it, and reminds me of Chinese lacquer wear.

P1150305Now this is one I’m not so confident about. It looks and smells a bit teenage. But I do like a nice sheer pink gloss so it could layer well. It’s Miners Cocktail Kiss gloss in Manhattan.

P1150306This is Body Shimmer by Nougat, supposedly in ‘Cherry Blossom’ but just smells vaguely floral/sweet, I’ve tried a little on the back of my hand and is no where near sparkly enough for on stage but could provide a good base for body glitter to stick to. Not feeling too confident about this one either but it could mix well, I may be able to salvage it by adding some loose glitter or shimmer powder.

P1150307And last of all is a nice little treat, Lindt Lindor bar which I shared with poor husbear. Firm milk chocolate and smooth filling, yummy!

So I’ll try and do some more in depth reviews when I get round to trying these all properly.

Ally Katte



February’s Beauty Loves

As I’m working towards getting into makeup and beauty more I thought I would show all you guys some of my current makeup favourites!

February’s faves from ELF, Jelly Pong Pong, Too Faces, L’Oreal and Crown Brush.

Eyes Lips Face, or ELF, are an amazing budget brand. Their products are stupid cheap, cruelty free and great quality considering the price. This 100 piece pallet was bought in the sale for £7.50 and is still available at that price now! Even at it’s full price of £15 it’s still a bargain. There are some odd marbled shades, and personally I’m not really sure what that marbling effect really achieves but the colours are all really great, there are some lovely jewel tones, lots of nice neutrals and a mix of matte and shimmer shades.

Eyes Lips Face 100 piece marbled pallet.

Please don’t judge, yes I use L’Oreal. And the Superliner Blackbuster is pretty darn good so far, I don’t use felt tip style liners very often and I like to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to my makeup so I thought I’d give it a go. It keeps it’s intensity well, has a nice sharp point but it is very chunky so delicate flicks are not an option. Luckily for me I subscribe to the ‘bigger the better’ school of eyeliner.

Forgive the dodgy picture, it’s a tricky one to capture.

I’ve recently become a total convert to the idea of primers. I thought it was just another product being hawked by beauty companies but after trying it they really make a difference. I had the good fortune to actually win a tube of Too Faced Original Shadow Insurance, it’s more expensive than I would normally splash for on an item like this so I really lucked out. It’s a beige toned primer that really does help bright colours stick and stops any creasing.

Too Faces Shadow Insurance

I’m not much of a red lips kind of girl, it’s so common in burlesque that I like to stay different and usually go for pinks and nudes with occasional purples here and there. This Jelly Pong Pong Lip Frosting is a really nice shade, it’s less Barbie on the lips than on the hand. My only problem the tube doesn’t apply easy and like most glosses it’s not exactly long wearing. But it smells amazing and layers really well with dark colours! I got this in a GlossyBox last summer and it’s lasted me this long! It’s a shame they don’t have more flavour/colour combos in the range as a full desert range would be gorgeous! After a browse of their website I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to try more of their products.


Jelly Pong Pong’s delicious Lip Frosting

And finally we have my Christmas present from my lovely parents, my Crown Brush 7 piece HD Set. I love this set! The foundation brush is unusual, not what I’m used to, but works really well. The powder brush is just so so soft and so so big, I love! The liner brush hasn’t seen that much use yet, I’m a total liquid girl so I’ve not had call to. The brushes are best for liquid and creams so the shadow brushes don’t pick up lots of powder, so not great for really out there looks but great for more subtle, blended looks. The metal pallet and spatula haven’t have any use yet, but I’m hoping to give covered eyebrows a try soon so maybe they will get pulled out for that.

7 piece HD set from Crown Brush.

Most of these got brought out for my Introduction to Creative Makeup workshop that I lead last weekend and will continue to be in the future.


So, thanks for reading! I’m going to try and do a bit more beauty blogging in the future so stay tuned!