Issues with my Pony Shoes

river island leopard print shoes

Well I think that these “pony effect” leather court shoes from River Island are just marvellous. I ordered them for a shoot and when they arrived I was actually quite taken aback at how great the quality was; lovely leather, a sturdily attached heel and neat finishing at the seams. I also loved the black lining and the contrast leather on the toe and the heel height was ideal – sexy enough, but not “break your neck” high.

river island leopard print shoes

Can you sense that there’s a “but” here? Because there is! I ordered a UK6, my usual size, and when the pony shoes came they were absolutely tiny! I couldn’t actually get my feet into them. They were so small that when I re-ordered, I went for a UK8. The UK8 arrived and they were just a smidgen too big, but I love these shoes so much that I have ordered them again in a size 7! (Trial and error, friends, trial and error.)

These faux pony shoes look loads more expensive than they actually are and will look brilliant with anything from a sexy LBD to jeans and a t-shirt, so they were well worth the extra effort in terms of sizing. If you want to find them online, they have all the sizes at ASOS (£55) or sizes 3-6 at River Island  – reduced to the sale price of £30.

(The shoe in the background is from Dune; wasn’t so keen on that style, and again it seemed to come up quite small. Sudden panicked thought: I hope my feet aren’t just randomly growing! I don’t think so, though, because all of my own shoes fit…)

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Barry M Make Up Brushes

Barry M Brushes

Barry M Brushes

There are SO many new brush launches at the moment that it’s hard to keep up. But Barry M Make Up Brushes are an amazing price point and the quality is great. It’s very hard to say when you’ve only just started using something what the longevity is like – time will tell whether they last as long as higher priced brushes. Barry M Make Up Brushes start at £2.99 for shadow and liner brushes (above) and the kabuki, which is very fluffy and soft is the most expensive at £7.99. Everyone should have a kabuki – it changes everything!

Barry M Mini Brushes

Barry M Mini Brushes

There’s also a mini kit containing three brushes and a brow/lash grooming brush for £9.99 which is pretty good value. If I have one criticism, it’s that the bigger brush fibres are a little loose and wayward so if you like a snug brush they might not be quite tight enough. Otherwise, at the price, I can’t really find anything wrong! Barry M Make Up Brushes will launch into Superdrug (and on the BM website) – they’re not quite there yet but do keep an eye out – it’s soon!

We’re doing really well at the moment on budget beauty that’s equal to pricey rivals… maybe cheap is the new luxury?

The post Barry M Make Up Brushes appeared first on British Beauty Blogger.

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What’s In My Fantasy Christmas Handbag?

ruth crilly fantasy makeup bag

There are so many beautiful makeup morsels out there at the moment, so I’ve done a bit of a “Fantasy Christmas” roundup. Obviously if this was actually the contents of my handbag I’d be a bit stuck – no keys, no money, no phone – but at least I’d look presentable! The clutch bag is the gorgeous and incredibly sparkly Cayla bag from Jimmy Choo – they have the whole “festive season arm candy” thing completely sewn up, this year – and the contents of the bag are detailed below. Feel free to ooh and aah as you rifle through the luxury list…

(Moving in a snakey kind of pattern from bottom left):

YSL Touche Eclat Wild Edition: £25 here. We all know Touche Eclat, most of us have one (or something similar) knocking about in our makeup bags. For the true Touche Eclat fan, there’s now the “Wild Edition” – same formula, sexed-up packaging with leopard-print engraving.

Dior Golden Shock Illuminating Pressed Powder, £49 here (pictured below). This is just exquisite. A heavy golden case with the most delicate sparkling powder pressed inside, it feels very Christmassy and a little bit magical, if you’ll excuse my silliness. It reminds me of the little trail that fairies leave behind them in the cartoons – shimmery and golden and light. The powder itself is very fine and glides silkily onto the skin and it’s actually quite lovely applied with a large brush, all over the skin, rather than concentrating on cheekbones and so on. It’s not your typical “trail of light” highlighter, more of a soft all-over candlelit glow. You can see the shimmer particles, though, so it’s a definite party look…

dior golden shock powder review

Tom Ford Matte Lipstick in Flame, £37 here (pictured above). A vibrant, standout red with a matte finish, this is a brilliant winter lipstick choice. Though make sure your lips are well hydrated before you start dabbling with the mattes!

Aerin Lipgloss in Weekend, £22 here. A delicate nude gloss with a rose scent and a sophisticated sheen. Aerin’s products always feel like a proper ladylike treat – swish packaging and always-flattering shades. Perfect present material? I think so!

Buberry Beauty Complete Eye Palette in 25 Gold, £40 here (pictured below centre). Everything you need to create a shimmery, sultry smokey eye, whether you’re going in for subtle contouring or full-on dramatic looks. There’s a pale highlighter, two medium shades for blending into the lid and crease and a dark chocolatey shadow for pushing into the lashline and really defining the eyes. Pricey, but the shadows are smooth and apply and blend beautifully so well worth the investment – and even better if you can persuade someone to pop one under the Christmas tree.

holiday cosmetics 2014 review

Burberry Lip Mist in Oxblood, £23 here (pictured above, centre of bottom row). Not quite as scary as it looks in the flesh, this is a very sheer and juicy lip stain in a very seasonal berry shade. You can layer it up to intensify the colour, but one quick coat gives a lovely flush and the texture is great – very balmy and rich.

Glitter Lips, £12.50 from BeautyMart (pictured above, bottom right) – a bit of sparkly Christmas fun. You can’t get much more dramatic than unadulterated glitter! This isn’t for the shrinking violets amongst us, but it is a brilliant party look. And a good way to give the in-laws a scare on Christmas day…

Dior nail polish in Smoky, £20 here. An intense violet shade in the wonderful Diorific packaging, this applies well and only just needs two coats. I’m a big fan of Dior polishes and this doesn’t disappoint; it’s probably the only purple nail colour that I’ve ever considered wearing out of the house. (I’m not keen on purple.) Dark, mysterious and wintery in that deep, velvety night-sky kind of way, I love it.

One more from Dior, because their Christmas packaging is so spot-on: the Diorific lipstick in Ardent Shock, £29 here. Two for the price of one with this because you actually get a beautiful matte red (not far off the Tom Ford Flame, actually, though maybe not quite so bright) and then on the other side of the bullet there’s a pearly gold top coat that can either be layered or worn alone. It’s a nice idea and something a bit different; I’m not so sure about the pearly side worn on its own, but it gives a great highlight when dabbed over the red.

You can browse Jimmy Choo’s range of clutch and evening bags here.

The post What’s In My Fantasy Christmas Handbag? appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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Hot Off the Press: Puff Off!

Maybe you weren’t planning on an all-night text-a-thon, but it’s been forever since someone this hot popped up on your radar. It’s true, last night’s secrets have a way of surfacing. Now tell under-eye imperfections to PUFF OFF! once and for all… and keep those secrets secret.

Puff off! is our innovative new under-eye gel that helps bags and creases look satiny-smooth in a wink.


Iron away for a smoother day! This custom ironing tip is perfectly shaped to fit around the eye area. This genius tip is so PUFFing amazing because it cools on contact. Plus, the innovative formula delivers a blend of skin-smoothing peptides and optical blurring ingredients that help to smooth away the appearance of undereye puffiness and diffuse light away from fine lines.


Even if you’re a little woozy from last night’s cocktails or binge-watching reality TV, application is so easy you can do it in your sleep. Squeeze the tube once and dot the gel under each eye…then glide it on with the ironing tip.


Application tip: When applying puff off! over your makeup, gently dab the gel under your eyes with your fingers to blend in.

Puff off! dries colorless so it works for every skin tone. Plus it’s super lightweight and translucent. Keep it in your handbag, one in every purse!


Voila! Now whether you pulled an all-nighter at the bar (or with the books)…you’re bright-eyed and ready to conquer your day, gorgeous!

With our smoothest operator, you can tell those under-eye imperfections to puff off!

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Best Undereye Concealers for Dark Circles

ruth crilly makeup review

This has been a pet project of mine for the past few years; finding very high coverage concealers that will fade out dark circles without making them grey and ashy. I have tried – quite literally – hundreds, and though there are dozens of them that work well, I’ve narrowed it down to my top five to make life easy. Out of these, three are ultra-high-coverage (Laura Mercier’s High Coverage concealer, Amazing Cosmetics concealer and Dermablend Corrector Stick) and three have very slightly less but a more workable, easy consistency. Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place has been a firm favourite for years; creamy, crease-free and easy to blend. Benefit’s Boi-ing (despite the annoying name) is also very convenient and does a fine job on medium-to-dark circles, Bobbi Brown also has the concealing set, with creamy concealer and a setting powder, which gives a kind of “complete solution” to correcting any darkness.

If you’re trying to cover very severe darkness beneath the eyes then I would go for one of the ultra-high-coverage concealers, but be wary of the fact that they are slightly harder to blend. You need to really warm them up with the heat from your fingertips before you start dragging your fingers about all over the delicate eye area! Also, if you have lots of lines or wrinkles beneath the eye area, dragging the product about will only settle it into the lines and highlight them – patting the product in is the past way to go. Take a bit of time with it and you will be rewarded!

face makeup concealers

A note on shade choice: people are often advised to go “two shades lighter” with their concealer, others are advised to find the “perfect match” to their skintone. I say that it depends on quite how dark your circles are. If you think that they are bad but really they are just minor, you hardly need to go much lighter at all. One shade up from your foundation should do it. If your circles are severe, don’t think that by slapping on some really white concealer (followed by the infamous application of Touche Eclat!) you are going to somehow create an optical illusion. Better to start off by taking out some of the blue from the dark circles, so kind of doing a bit of rudimentary colour correction, and then going in with your proper concealer over the top. Benefit do something called the Erase Paste, a salmony-peachy coloured corrector that I think works very well – some people report back with gripes, but often they’ve used it as the actual concealer and it’s more of a skintone correcting base. (Find Erase Paste here.)

I’ll be doing another video on how to cover dark circles, including the correct way to use highlighting pens like Touche Eclat – used properly they can make a brilliant difference around the eye area. For now, here’s a run-down of the top five (six! I couldn’t choose!) best undereye concealers and any notes on how they apply or blend. For shades used and links to stockists, please check below the video pane.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place in “fair medium”:

Dermablend Stick Corrector in shade 15:

Amazing Concealer in shade Medium Beige:

Laura Mercier High Coverage Under Eye Concealer in 1.5:

Benefit Boi-Ing in shade 02:

Bobbi Brown Concealer in Cool Sand:

The post Best Undereye Concealers for Dark Circles appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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