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The Beauty Bite: June 2011

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Nars Mayflower Lipstick

It may look easy to the untrained eye, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, make up is a damn tricky thing to review. Take Nars Mayflower for instance, a creamy raspberry shade plucked directly from the sizzling 2011 summer collection:

For me, it was love at first swipe. Happily playing at the counter for a few self indulgent moments, it was clear from the word go this masterpiece was coming home with me whether my bank balance liked it or not. Ok, so it doesn't look vaguely interesting in the bullet - or even the swatch for that matter - but there's something about Mayflower, a certain je ne sais quoi if you like, that seems to have got me completely and utterly hooked.

And that's when things start to get a bit tricky...

Mayflower swatched

Why? Because Mayflower looks completely different on everyone. You know that picture of me wearing it on my lips below? Yeah, it's kind of pointless, because I guarantee it won't look anything like that on you. The sheer pigment and glossy finish marry together to provide each and every wearer with a completely unique shade, inevitably creating a perfect 'my lips but better' tone in the process.

Mayflower applied to heavily pigmented lips

Whilst the tiny flecks of silver glitter mightn't be everyone's cup of tea, Mayflower works effortlessly at providing a gorgeous, delicate and subtle effect. The consistency is creamy and hydrating, sitting comfortably on the lips without sinking into cracks or highlighting dry patches. Whilst the staying power is relatively modest, the sheer formula enables the colour to fade without any embarrassing lines, making this ideal for a fuss free make up choice.

It mightn't be the brightest or boldest colour, but it's certainly one of the prettiest - and lets face it, who doesn't love a pretty lip? Versatile with an absolutely cracking formula, here's hoping it transforms into something equally as gorgeous on all.

Nars Mayflower is available from stands worldwide and for £17.50

*this item was purchased by the Beauty Bite*

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Friday, 24 June 2011


I'm not usually one to get involved with heated debates, especially on the internet, yet after the reactions on Twitter today regarding June's Glossybox, it seems a good time to express thoughts on the beauty programme that seems to have quite firmly split the blogging world in two.

I won't lie. When I opened my box this morning I was a bit disappointed. I fully understood when I signed up that the whole point of the company was to offer luxury miniature samples, and that's what I got (well, apart from the 50ml Batiste can...) - a sample bottle of serum, a sample bottle of perfume, a 3ml OPI polish and a travel sized shower gel. Fair enough, it's not as dazzling as the NARS orgasm but hands up, we all knew deep down that was merely an amazing tactic to build up the launch, and I, being the beauty junkie I am, completely bought into it.

It wasn't until later on today when I logged online that I started to get miffed. £20 Rouge Bunny Rouge glosses? £14 body scrub? £20 foot lotion? Suddenly my £7 shower gel was looking a bit, well, crap. Yes, I guess it's the whole "his toy is bigger than my toy" complex, but when everyone is paying the same amount of money it feels a bit unbalanced that a selected number of customers are being rewarded with not only more expensive products, but full sized ones at that. I guess it's a bit like going to a restaurant with a friend, both paying £5 for a sandwich, only for the waiter to bring one of you a baguette and the other a slice of toast. Besides, if the content is based on your personal survey answers then why did so many people who'd stressed their interest for make up receive a product developed for pregnancy?

In general I think Glossybox is a great idea. Whilst I'm fortunate to live in a city where many beauty brands are stocked, most people aren't a tube ride away from central London and can only do their research online. Being able to test, smell and feel items that would otherwise be unavailable to the masses is a great thing, especially in the unreliable world of cosmetics where almost every product promises to change your life. For me though, I just don't feel comfortable spending £10 (soon to be £12.95) a month on what is essentially a lucky dip of items that I might not even want. For instance, the products I got today: British Beauty Blogger arranged for readers to receive the Bio Effect sample for free last year, the nail polish is a colour I'd never wear, I don't use shower gel and the scent of the perfume just isn't for me. Effectively because of my tastes I've ended up paying £10 for a £1.25 can of Batiste.

I fully understand why some people feel disappointed, yet at the same time I fully understand why others think both this system and its products are great; the items contained are all fantastic quality and sourced from brands that generally aren't widely available (except for you know what)! I also love Glossybox's packaging and in theory the scheme itself, after all, it's a young company and is clearly finding it's feet. But for me, I'd rather invest my £12.95 on items I really want, picking up samples along the way from the likes of SPACE NK, Debenhams and Boots. I guess it just wasn't for me - after all, I'm not really one for surprises - which means I probably should never have signed up anyway. Damn my vulnerability to clever marketing!

How do you feel about your Glossybox? Are you pleased with the items you received or do you feel let down by the selection you were sent?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Trevor Sorbie Hampstead

Trevor Sorbie is the multi award winning hair dresser who's styled the locks of some of the planet's most famous faces. He's also the owner of a quartet of salons that have picked up industry prize after prize after prize. To cut it short, this man has major hair skills.

After setting up shop in London's Covent Garden the brand has recently decided to expand it's capital based clientele by venturing North to the beautiful, less hectic surroundings of Hampstead. Situated opposite a generous sized Space NK and slap bang next door to an Organic Pharmacy store, this really is the dream spot for any beauty lover who enjoys a browse...

My hair colour a few weeks after visiting the salon - still very blonde!

Inside the salon is beautifully bright and airy giving the perfect feeling of space without being at all clinical in its tone. I was quickly whisked away to chat to both my hair and colour stylists about what I wanted, what they thought would best suit, and what would help my hair's general condition. Eventually we plumped for a light trim, focusing on adding both height and volume to the crown which had become embarrassingly flat and heavy. As for colour a full head of highlights were applied, mixing in cool and warm shades to help visually lift my hair and tone down any areas of brassiness. All I had to do was sit back, relax, drink free cups of coffee and indulge myself in endless pages of weekly gossip magazines - marvellous!

Throughout my whole experience I felt completely in good hands, not to mention criminally relaxed thanks to the reclining massage chairs (dark light + warm water + lying down = so comfortable I actually nodded off for a minute). The staff are incredible and a real credit to the salon. Having all worked within the Trevor Sorbie family for years, it was refreshing to hear honest advice on haircare without feeling like I was merely being sold products to bulk up the cash register. If you're a resident of North London or merely popping down to the Capital for a few days, this is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for some hair TLC. A few weeks on and both my cut and colour are still in tip top shape, something which I think is the real testament to how good a salon truly is.

You can find out more about Trevor Sorbie Hampstead by clicking here.

*this appointment was arranged via PR*


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Beauty Bite Loves - Heather Does Make Up

It's been a while since I wrote up my favourite blogging discoveries, but trust me when I say this site is far too good to hoard...

All photos from

Heather Does Make Up is...well, bloody marvellous! Featuring detailed product reviews and amazing step by step tutorials, this site has all the makings of a blog to bookmark. Written by a professional make up artist, it's always valuable to see products used to their maximum. If you haven't already dropped by then definitely check it out, click the follow button and get practising at your winged liner; Line, wing, connect! Line, wing, connect...!

Check it out by clicking here:


Monday, 13 June 2011

'The Beauty Collection' by Dove & Nails Inc

This summer between June 15th and July 12th, Boots have teamed up with skincare mega weights Dove. Offering a free exclusive Nails Inc. polish with the purchase of any 2 Dove Deodrants (Roll On RRP £2.24, Aerosol RRP £3.20), I'm itching to get my hands on the gorgeous, vibrant coral of Copacabana.

Staying dry in the heat whilst rocking uber pretty summer nails? Err...YES PLEASE!

Friday, 10 June 2011

NIA 24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF30

It would be foolish to try and dress sunscreen up as something it isn't. Whilst I'll happily sit online comparing coral lipsticks for hours upon end, sun cream has never been a product I've ever put much thought or effort into - which is a bit stupid really, considering not only am I very pale but I also break out with sunburn just by standing next to a window. However, this summer has seen me stumble upon one formula that takes damage prevention to a new level of fancy...

NIA 24 is possibly one of the most advanced - and interesting - sun protection products on the market. Containing Pro Niacin (which improves skin tone, texture and hyperpigmentation) , this non-greasy lotion quickly absorbs into the skin, decadently moisturising the surface with lashings of yummy yummy mango butter. Snazzy!

Nia 24 Swatched/ lightly rubbed in

I've been using this SPF 30 lotion for the past 3 weeks and have been hugely impressed with the results. Offering the highest PA level available, NIA 24 helps protect the skin from harsh elements that can cause both weakening and premature ageing. Light enough to be used under make up without adding shine or grease, I've been fortunate enough to experience no break outs since my trial began- surprising, considering the richness of this cream.

Priced at £37 you'd be right to wince. Whilst I don't think this is a must have for all (stick to the soltan!), those of you with mature or very pale skin might appreciate the technology packed inside this tube. As someone who can visibly see their skin become damaged during an afternoon in the sun, this formula has really helped not only reduce the pigmentation of my freckles but also the prominence of any wrinkles (yes, I know! I don't have many but they are there!).

Summer is a difficult time of year for my skin, yet I'm confident with NIA 24 this season will see a lot less redness and a bit more radiance; great for both my confidence and my health. If you want a bit more oomph to your sunscreen than this is a brand to definitely check out.

NIA 24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF30 is available from for £37

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

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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Nars Dogon FOTD

OK, I admit it; I'm a little bit terrified of heavy eye make up.

Whilst I gaze longingly at sooty black shadows smouldering seductively on others, I can never seem to make the look work for me. Whether it be down to general lack of skills or utter wimpiness at making "statements" via my face, heavy lids have always been THE make up mountain I'm desperately determined to climb. So last week, when my boyfriend surprised (I say surprised, what I actually mean is we went into a shop and he made me physically pick up what I wanted and give it to him) me with a birthday treat of the highly coveted Nars Dogon duo I took this as the perfect opportunity to finally start taking baby steps into the world of smokier shades...

I know, I know - it's hardly "heavy", is it? After liberally applying both shades I spectacularly freaked and started to buff the pigmentation down with a finely tipped sponge brush. The effect is quite cute, but not the full blown sexiness I know this duo is capable of achieving.

Eyes: Nars Dogon Eyeshadow, Hourglass Film Noir mascara, Korres Black Eye Liner, NO 7 Eyebrow pencil
Skin: Max Factor Smooth Effect
Lips: Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Vesuvio (heavily blotted down)

What make up looks are you intimidated by? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation

Lately, Max Factor seem to be hitting a bit of a winning streak when it comes to coveted affordable foundations. After the roaring success of Second Skin and Xperience Weightless, it's fair to say there's most certainly a buzz surrounding any new M.F bases. I was lucky enough to be sent a sample of their latest formula, Smooth Effect in the lightest shade 045.

Advertised as being both oil free and suitable for use on sensitive skins, this creamy formula possesses an interesting texture offering the qualities of both a gel and liquid. Gliding effortlessly onto the skin it applies smoothly, diminishing pores whilst providing a bright and even medium coverage - perfect for fresh daytime skin.

Smooth Effect Foundation Creamy Ivory swatched/ sheered out

Like a lot of chemist cosmetics Smooth Effect offers a somewhat chemical smell upon application. In all honesty it's not a particularly pleasant aroma but luckily it doesn't tend to linger on the skin for long. Giving around 5 to 7 hours wear depending on the temperature, in general I found the foundation sat on my skin relatively trace free; even if it did feel a tad greasy to initially begin with.

Smooth Effect Foundation Creamy Ivory applied to bare skin (blusher applied to cheeks over base)

With a slight tendency to appear somewhat cakey when heavily layered, if you're someone who wants a thick, full on base than this probably isn't the right option for you. If you're a fan of the overall finish Xperience Weightless gives than Smooth Effect should probably float your boat - it's creamy, good for hiding pores and relatively comfortable to wear.

Extreme close up of product on cheeks

The above picture shows Smooth Effect foundation applied to my cheeks but not the tip of my nose. As you can see, the skin is visibly more porous around the nostrils, which gives a good example of the finish this base gives. Priced at £7.99 for 30ml (although at present you can pick it up on offer for a mere £5.99 at Superdrug) I think Smooth Effect is a worthy addition to the Max Factor make up range. Whilst I can imagine some people finding this formula a tad heavy on the skin, those of you with enlarged pores should consider checking out this base for its smoothing credentials.

Not a must have but definitely worth a swatch in store.

Max Factor Smooth Effect Foundation is available from for £5.99

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

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