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The Beauty Bite: February 2011

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Clinique Super City Block

The weirdest thing happened this morning.

I woke up. Went to the bathroom. Washed my Face. Whacked in my contacts and then BANG! It hit me.

There it was pouring down from the sky - the glorious, much missed golden glow of the sunshine. I couldn't believe it. That great big firey ball of flames had finally decided to let little ol' London in on it's beauty again. I stood motionless, bathing in it's light. I tell you now, I felt those vitamin D levels rising within my body like a super charged yo-yo.

However, with sunlight comes sun damage, and being a Pale Patsy myself I need to make sure to arm my skin with the most useful protection around. One product that's worked it's way into my make up bag for the past few years has been Clinique's Super City Block - a creamy SPF base designed to be worn either alone or under make up.

Super City Block swatched/ lightly blended

Available in the varying strengths of 25 or 40, Super City Block helps protect against environmental irritants that can cause problems to the skin. I'll admit, I was somewhat lapse with this primer last year, a decision which resulted in my face becoming a fabulous field of freckles. Whilst it looked cute, I've since noticed a lot of damage to the skin's surface, plus my complexion has definitely become more sensitive to strong UV rays.

In general I think this product is a clever thing to have in your kit. Whilst some of you love nothing more than soaking up the sun, this quick absorbing formula is perfect for adding instant protection either when desired or needed - a must if you want to prevent against premature ageing and potentially harmful nasties.

Clinique Super City Block is available from Clinique stands worldwide and for £15

*this product was purchased by The Beauty Bite*

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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Secret Blush

They say a lady never tells her secrets, but then again, I AIN'T NO LADY!

After falling head over heels in love with Bare Minerals iridescent Giddy Pink blush, I was eager to check out their much talked about matte formulas to provide a more natural and subtle warmth to the skin. Several hours were spent swatching, many sales assistants were told not to help, but in the end I finally stumbled upon this beauty...

Secret is a deep plummy rose pink that sits on the skin with an almost airbrushed effect. It's an absolutely fantastic choice if you're choosing to focus on a bold lip or strong eye, especially when you consider how smooth and natural it looks once applied.

Secret Blush swatched

Application is deliciously smooth and pigmented, meaning that - once again - a little dose of product sure goes a long way. Although the tone is not quite as bright and zingy as I usually go for, in terms of creating evening looks, Secret has most definitely been my weapon of choice.

If you're a fan of the more natural contoured look than this shade should definitely float your boat.

Secret Blush is available from Bare Escentuals counters worldwide and for the reduced price of £14.50

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Sunday, 20 February 2011

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara

Yes, I know, this post is literally 473 months behind but trust me when I say a good mascara never goes out of fashion...

Whilst the beauty blogging world goes up in arms over No7's latest mascara (and it's marketing techniques) I'm still secretly loving 2010's three-in-one creation designed to deliver deliciously defined results.

The clever innovative brush (one side for volume, one side for combing and a rounded tip to reach those hard-to-get-to-hairs) means all curves and corners can be covered with just a simple flick and wiggle of the wand. Enriched with vitamins and soy protein, this keratin rich formula claims to both protect and care for lashes during wear.



The results speak for themselves; length, volume, no dried out clumps - I can't see many lashes not being happy with this fluttery affair.

No7 Exceptional Definition Mascara is available from boot stores and priced at £7.50

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Tommy Guns Jasmine & Wild Nettle Haircare

Like most people, my hair seems to take on a life of it's own during the winter months; the combination of cold brisk winds and stuffy central heating sure as hell don't make a happy barnet! I've been desperately trying to quench my follicles thirst by switching to Tommy Guns' latest range of Jasmine and Wild Nettle Haircare, a blend designed specifically for brittle, coloured manes.

The shampoo itself smells delicious and certainly adds to my longing for spring. Sporting a very countryside aroma this refreshing scent doesn't linger too heavily on the hair when rinsed out, which in general makes this a great uni-sex product. Working up to a slight lather, the formula doesn't feel at all slick or greasy and is easily washed away in a matter of moments.

The conditioner - complete with the added bonus of Sweet Almond - not only smells delicious but also leaves my hair feeling super, super silky soft when removed. It too is easy to rinse out and doesn't cling leaving any greasy residue near the roots.

Once dried my hair felt nourished and hydrated, yet perhaps not as shiny and voluminous as I like. However, in a strange turning of events, my barnet actually looked better on the SECOND day after washing - so good in fact I actually shouted "WHAT THE WHAT?!" when greeted with my reflection. It's fair to say my boyfriend said something patronising in response.

In general this is a good winter hair care saviour, particularly if you're finding the dryness is causing random strands to knot and tangle. Whilst I wouldn't pick this to prep my hair before a big night out, Jasmine & Wild Nettle certainly makes my day-to-day style simple, soft and natural. If you're looking to put a bit of TLC back into your routine than this is a sweetly smelling way of doing so.

Tommy Guns Jasmine and Wild Nettle shampoo is available from waitrose and for £5.50

*this product was a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite*

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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Nars Copacabana Illuminator

After the success surrounding last year's launch of the highly praised Orgasm illuminator, Nars have upped their game to allow all skin tones to glow in glory...

Copacabana is a glistening pearl with a hint of shimmering pink. Originally available in the highly iconic form of a Nars' Multiple, this liquid formula allows the wearer to achieve a less waxy and greasy finish to the skin.

Nars Copacabana/ Benefit High Beam

Similar in tone to that of Benefit's High Bean, Copacabana is a slightly more reflective, less glittery version with a visibly more pearl based finish. Generally I prefer this formula, mainly due to the fact that I find it easier to manipulate and smooth the Nars' cream - however, the built in brush provided within the Benefit lid certainly makes portion control far more fool proof.

Nars Copacabana applied to cheeks and brow bone

The overall effect is beautifully subtle and arguably works best against pale skin. For those of you restricted to wearing Orgasm Illuminator as a blush, Copacabana will certainly work faultlessly as a simple all over highlighter. Anyone with darker skin should definitely check out Laguna - a bonze teamed with a decadent golden shimmer that will effortlessly enhance your complexion to perfection; quite simply stunning.

Extreme close up of product on skin

Nars is a wonderful and innovative brand and I'm absolutely thrilled to see them expand on the Illuminator range. £8.50 cheaper than the original Multiple shades, I'm sure these gorgeously reflective ultra light weight creams will become a welcome addition to make up bags all over the world - and rightly so, too!

Nars Copacabana Illuminator is available from Nars stands worldwide and for £21.50

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Marks & Spencer Perfection Super Gloss Lipstick SPF15: Peony

Whilst the Beauty world lusts over Chanel's latest Rouge Coco Shine launch, high street favourites Marks and Spencer have only gone and produced their very own range of gloss and lippie hybrids!

Available in a delicious spectrum of 12 extremely wearable shades, Perfection Super Gloss Lipstick is advertised as offering the wearer a 'long lasting vibrant colour for smoother, fuller lips.' I picked up Peony - a super shiny blue based pink boasting SPF 15 to protect the skin.

Presented in a sleek metal case, these are pretty similar in size to that of Chantecaille's Hydra Chic. In general the packaging feels quite luxe and doesn't obviously smack of a £7.50 item; in other words, this'll look well nice in your make up bag.

Peony Super Gloss Lipstick swatched

When applied on the lips the first thing that hits is the somewhat rank taste and smell. If you're used to your scented lippies than the chemical aromas of this blend might be rather off putting. However, don't let that distract you too much - the formula itself is remarkably comfortable to wear and generally doesn't feel too drying. The smooth texture allows the colour to apply evenly, blocking out the more heavier tones in my natural pigmentation - something that many premium brands have failed to achieve. Whilst visually my pout definitely looked more plumped, the overall staying power wasn't as great as I'd originally hoped.

Peony Super Gloss Lipstick applied to heavily pigmented lips

Marks and Spencer's make up is certainly growing in both quality and range, and for £7.50 these Lipsticks definitely stand up well. There is no doubt room for improvement in both the formula and texture, but if you're looking for a cheaper alternative to Rouge Coco Shine, then these might just make a happy compromise...

Marks and Spencer Perfection Super Gloss Lipstick SPF15 in Peony is available from selected stores nationwide and for £7.50

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Friday, 11 February 2011

OPI: Pirates Of The Caribbean On Stranger Tides

Arrrrg! Tis be a real swash buckling affair as OPI celebrates Disney's newest recruit to the Pirate family. Ahoy there - nautical nails lie ahead!

All pictures taken with flash

Silver Shatter Top Coat - a glittery silver metallic shatter

Skull & Glossbones - I love this shade! A grey putty tone that applies like a dream and is a far cry from the standard reds and corals seen in most OPI collections. Definitely one to check out.

Steady As She Rose - a dainty lilac based rose pink.

Sparrow Me The Drama - a bright and vivid yet dusky toned pink. The colour pulls slightly more purple in real life. I expect many dupes will be floating around.

Planks A Lot - a bold creme purple

Stranger Tides - a truly wonderfully quirky murky green. Tis the colour of a rocky sea!

Mermaid's Tears - I can't wait to get my hands on a bottle of this emerald gorgeousness. I know many are bored of the jade trend, but I still absolutely love it!

So, me hearties - what treasures are you tempted to behold? Fancy the whole booty!?

All bottles are priced at £10.50 - or as a quad mini set for £12.75

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OPI: Femme De Cirque S/S2011

Gorgeous, delicate, feminine shades for subtle but ever so pretty fingers...

I Juggle Men - a sheer icy white packed with tiny specks of elegant glitter

So Many Clowns...So Little Time - an ultra pale cream with the loveliest, albeit it very light hint of pink

In The Spot Light Pink - super soft candy pink. I love this shade!

Step Right Up - a sheer pink that works perfectly for french manicures

To some this collection may be bland, but I'm seriously digging these fresh spring shades. Any colours grabbing your fancy?

All shades available priced at £10.50, or as a quad mini set for £12.75

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Monday, 7 February 2011

The Beauty Bite's Make Up Staples: Eyebrows

When I was younger my mum forbid me from wearing make up - mainly due to the fact I was about 9 years old at the time - however, my sister developed a cunning plan which involved us buying a clear Miss Selfridge eyebrow gel and grooming our unruly hairs in secret. Man, those days were WILD!

Now, come 2011, I wouldn't be anywhere without my brow based essentials. After all, structured brows are crucial to finishing off any look, and all good make up bags wouldn't be complete without at least one trusted eyebrow pencil. Whilst reasonably pigmented matte shadows work gorgeously well at filling in gaps, pencils are without a doubt a more quick and precise way at pulling together a polished look in record time.

MAC Eye Brow Crayon in Fling swatched

The market is literally flooded with shades and textures to pick from; my ultimate go-to product is Eye Brows by MAC, an ultra fine self sharpening crayon that provides natural looking shape and definition in a matter of moments. It applies beautifully smooth and feels incredibly soft against the skin, regardless of how scratchy the nib may appear.

Another quick brow essential is Vaseline. By simply applying the tiniest amount of product to your little finger, the brows can be styled into place obtaining up to 8 hours firm hold. I've been doing this since I was 14 years old and love the sleek finish it gives. Voila! Abracadabra! Shazam! You get the picture...

What brow weapons do you swear by? Am I the only one too chicken to get them threaded?!

MAC Eye Brows are available in a wide range of shades from MAC counters worldwide and for £11.50


Friday, 4 February 2011

The Jersey Cow Company Jersey Milk Soaps

It's always a pleasure discovering new brands. Asides from the obvious joys of trying out fresh products and stumbling upon hidden gems, I absolutely adore getting to learn more about a company and it's overall personality. One launch that has really caught my eye is The Jersey Cow Company; a family run business who escaped the mayhem of London life to embrace all things natural in the gorgeous, gorgeous Channel Islands (if you've never been - GO!).

Soap is a bathroom staple and something that usually gets forgotten about in the fast paced world of beauty blogging. Whilst most of us research for hours over the latest cleansers or hair care, I know personally that I never think twice about what I wash my hands with. Which is silly really, especially when you consider there are such beautifully packaged, high quality products like these on the market.

Available in a trio of scents - Soothe (Geranium), Unwind (Jersey Lavender) and Refresh (Lemongrass, Grapefruit and Jersey Honey), each range contains natural essential oils designed to both balance and restore the skin. Sourcing the majority of ingredients from the Island itself, not a single paraben, silicone or sodium sulphate can be found in any of these luxurious goodies.

I don't know much about soap, after all, who does? But I can tell you now these milky bars are an absolute pleasure to use. They smell gorgeous, produce a deliciously creamy lather, are generously sized (110g), and each come engraved with their very own Jersey cow design. Priced at a reasonable £5 a bar, these gorgeously presented soaps also double up as fantastic presents. If you're into discovering new brands than this is a great, likeable company to explore.

The Jersey Cow Company Jersey Milk Soaps can be purchased for £5 each at or a mixed gift set for £15.

These products were a free sample obtained by the Beauty Bite

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua SPF 15 Foundation

Ah Chanel.

I've literally lost count of the number of times you've sat there looking tempting with your interlocking Cs, taunting me with your gorgeous fluid foundations. As someone with very pale skin I've often walked away with nothing but an orange swatch and a heavy heart. However, I'm glad to say that's finally all changed...

Vitalumiere Aqua is a sheer and delicate watery base that feels truly weightless when applied against the skin. Packaged in a plastic squeeze bottle, the product must be shaken thoroughly before each use to insure the fluid is dispensed with both a thick texture and even colour.

Vitalumiere Aqua B10 swatched/ sheered out

I genuinely love this base. Offering a radiant, buildable finish that lasts all day, this formula instantly lifts my skin tone making my overall appearance noticeably more polished and glowy. The colour applies incredibly sheer and builds up quickly to reveal a more intense medium coverage, however this is the part where I always seem to get a bit stuck...

Vitalumiere Aqua B10 applied to bare skin

Chanel have limited their release of the rose toned shades and are currently only stocking the beige collection in UK retailers. B10 - the palest shade - possesses dramatic yellow tones, and for this reason alone I am unable to build the coverage up beyond two layers. If you can get a perfect colour match with one of the five shades available then you're definitely onto a good thing - this foundation looks INCREDIBLE when built up. However, if like me the shades run too warm for your complexion, you'll simply have to make do with a lighter and sheerer application. Great for young skin, but perhaps not ideal for those of you who like a bit more oomph and coverage to your base.

Extreme close up of product applied to skin

I've no doubt the rose toned version of Vitalumiere Aqua would provide me with my holy grail base. The formula applies smoothy, dries quickly, looks healthy, leaves no residue, feels weightless...literally, the list of plus points is as long as my arm; I adore the way it blurs out my pores providing an almost airbrushed effect. I love the way it looks like my skin but better. I bizarrely enjoy using the squeezy bottle. I just wish it wasn't so darn yellow.

If you're interested definitely head down to your local Chanel counter and swatch away. This is honestly a fantastic product and one that I highly recommend - just be cautious of the rather limited tonal choice for those of us with pale or dark skin. Seriously, when will brands realise all the women of the world don't fit into their lack lustre efforts of 5 shades? If you're a fan of light weight, natural looking breathable bases than this will be right up your street; the perfect choice for delicate spring skin.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is available from Chanel stands worldwide and for £31.

*this product was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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