Upcycle – Transform Chocolate Trays into Nail Polish Storage

Would you have ever of thought it, that a chocolate tray from a dairy milk tray box could come in this useful?

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How about this for a little upcycle project… Use the chocolate trays from a chocolate box to make perfect sized drawer inserts to store all your nail polish in. The variety of shapes cut out for the chocolates are great to fit your different polish bottles and will stop them rolling around in your dresser.

Here’s what you will need to make one for yourselves.

Tray From A Chocolate Box (mine is from a milk tray box)

Acrylic Paint. (I used a chocolate brown colour, how appropriate)

Mod Podge Gold Shimmer

Tools…

2 Glue Brushes
2 Sponge Applicators (Small)
Plenty of Nail Polish in Need Of Storage.

This idea is very simple to pull together. Here’s what you do.

Give your chocolate tray a good wash in warm soapy water to remove any yummy chocolate flakes. Be careful not to spilt the plastic. Dry fully.

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Next, take your chosen paint and one of your sponges and apply the paint to your tray. Use a paint brush for the hard to reach areas.

Give your tray a total of two coats of paint with a 20 minute drying time In between.

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Once your tray is dry use your second sponge to add a coat of Mod Podge Gold Shimmer. Use a brush in the hard to reach areas.

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Add thicker coats of shimmer to certain areas to give the tray both vibrant and subtle tones of gold.

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Once dry you can try it out for size, placing nail polish bottles in all the different compartments.

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Its a great little upcycle that not only cuts down on waste but also provides a pretty convenient storage solution that’s so easy to create, a toddler could do it.

Thanks for reading and have fun.

Tutorial – Papier Mâché and Mod Podge Makeup Bag

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This fabulous simmering bag has been put together by combining Papier mâché with mod podge. Its base that started as a cardboard box in Hobbycraft has received some super restyling, resulting in this handy storage bag for makeup.

Here’s what I used

Paper Mâché Box Bag (Hobbycraft)
Black acrylic paint – PoundLand
Mod podge gloss – Hobbycraft
Dark blue course glitter – Baker Ross Ltd
4 x Lace sequinned embellishments ( the type used for clothing and upholsteries)
Vintage Black bead and silver necklace
Small glass embellishments – PoundLand
2x small black bows – PoundLand
Old vintage broken brooch
Bag charm attachment (minus the charm)
Thick black lace (about 20 cms)
Extra strong glue dots (strips covered by plastic) PoundLand
4 metal bag feet with connectors (available from craft stores)
Electric blue felt -Baker Ross ltd

Additional tools needed

Paint and glue brushes
Paper plate ( to mix paint and mod podge)
Jewellery crimpers
Scissors
Large screw
Cork hammer

First take a paper plate and mix 4 parts mod podge with 8 parts black paint. You can add more paint or Mod Podge if required! You don’t want the mixture to turn grey, so it is important to add double as much black paint to that of the mod podge.

Once you have the mixture as it should be (gloppy and black) add a generous amount off your glitter. Because the mixture is so dark making it hard to see the glitter when mixed does mean its difficult to judge how much glitter to add! I tend to only know I have enough glitter, once my mixture has formed a very gritty texture. At first your mixture may seem dull and not very shimmery. This is only because the mixture is still wet, as it dries the glitter will become much more sparkly.

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Now, prepare your box for painting by removing the current paper handles. Just cut these with scissors and discard off.

With a medium size paint brush, apply the mixture directly onto the box. (excluding the inside and bottom base). Leave to dry between 30-60 minutes dependent on room temperature. You will know your box has began to dry as the glitter will start to come through and twinkle. You will need to apply two coats of the mixture to the box.

Once dry you can now decorate.

Work on one side at a time starting with the 2 biggest sides!

Take 2 of your sequinned upholstery embellishments and decided how you would like these to be placed on one side of your box. Once you are sure how you want them placed, secure them to the box with mod podge covering both the top and bottom of each embellishment.

Add some small glass embellishments at the same time and sponge over with mod podge to secure.

Once dry cover the entire design with a second coat of Mod Podge Gloss.

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Once this side is complete and fully dried, you can now start on the opposite side.

Again place the remaining 2 sequinned embellishments how you want them before finally securing with mod podge as before.

Add your 2 black bows to your design and then cover these with mod podge to secure in place.

Lastly cover the entire design in a layer of Mod Podge Gloss.

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When your two main sides are completely dry, its time to start work on the two small sides of the box.

Add a strip of black thick lace so that it runs long ways, down the centre of each off your two sides. You should do this by securing with Mod Podge by adding it directly to the box and over the top of the lace. You can cut any excess lace from your box once it has dried (this is easier as the lace won’t slide about)!

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Now leave to dry.

While your box is drying, its time to start work on your handle.

First take the charmless bag charm attachment and your old vintage brooch. I was able to secure the old vintage brooch to the attachment as it had a metal loop attached to the back of it, allowing me to just attach it to the keyring part of the bag charm. If your charm has no loop to attach the bag charm attachment then you can either attach one using some jewellery finishings and a solder or attach to the front of the attachment with some super glue. Once done place to one side for later.

Next, take your old bead and metal necklace and carefully break this in two equal halves, ensuring you break it where the metal connectors are and not the beads.

Use some jewellery crimpers to open the metal loops of the the beaded necklace on each end of your 2 pieces.

Now place to one side with your finished bag charm. We will fit the handles as one of the last steps before finally completing the bag.

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Bring forward your box which should have dried after around 30 minutes or so. With a medium size paint brush paint the entire inner section of your box in black acrylic paint. Leave to dry for 30 minutes or so.

Once dry turn upside-down and paint the bottom of the boxes base in the same black acrylic paint. Leave to dry for 20 minutes plus.

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Once all paint is dry take some electric blue felt and cut slightly smaller then your base like so. Now apply to the base using ‘Tacky glue’ leave to dry for a bit before cutting another piece of the same felt to fit the inner base of your box. This will line the box and provide padding for its intended contents. This doesn’t need to be glue in place, it should just simply slot into place but before adding it, you should secure your feet in place.

To secure the feet in place I used a long nail and a cork hammer. Turning the box upside down I banged a hole in each of the bases 4 corners. You will need to apply some pressure as you need to penetrate the felt too. Now push a foot through each of the 4 prepared holes. The feet can be secured inside the box by opening the metal connectors and lying them flat against the box. Once you have done this for all 4 feet, add the blue felt you prepared for the inner section of your box so that it covers the feet connectors and provides some cushioning for your makeup.

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Now take one piece of your necklace and thread the metal through one of the holes in your bag, pushing it flat against the box. Now cover the metal directly over the top with 2 strong glue dots leaving on the plastic.

Thread the remaining end through the opposite hole (like that of the original handles) and connect in the same way with the glue dots.

Do the same for the remaining necklace and the remaining 2 holes.

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Now cut through the charms loop and tie this to the loop of your bags handle nearest the bags body. Tie a double knot before finally cutting off any excess thread.

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Your makeup bag is now ready to fill and display!

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Here’s mine in action!

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La Durbin Boutique – The Chic Fulham Salon

Friday evening I took the train to Fulham for a very special launch party. The opening of the new salon,”La Durbin boutique”

I had no idea what to expect when arriving at the La Durbin, though I wasn’t to be disappointed.

This is a Salon that has opted to avoid that modern almost “clinical” look and have instead created a beautiful elegant French vintage inspired setting (we all know how much I love the vintage look, so its a winner for me)!

The salon itself is simply stunning with beautiful French inspired furniture and fittings. The staff are some of the nicest I’ve met in a salon and the treatments provided are all of the highest quality.

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Myself and a good friend arrived at the salon around 6.30pm and the party was already in full swing. We received the most warmest welcome from Latifa Durbin – salon owner and manager, who made it her mission to greet each and everyone of her guests Individually, and after being handed a glass of bubbly we were encouraged to enjoy the range of treatments on offer.

La Durbin Boutique offer a wide range of hair and beauty treatments from a cut and colour to a facial using products from the Dermalogica range or a Sienna X spray tan.

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I got chatting with one of the salons lovely stylists while having my hair straighten. I received some great advice on the best ways to take care off my somewhat fine and broken hair.

I also got the opportunity to step into the tanning booth and receive my first ever Sienna X spray tan. I’m a tad body conscious since having my third child and almost backed out. The lady who sprayed me really was lovely helping me to relax and feel at ease in no time.

Sadly I’m a girl who doesn’t seem to develop a natural tan in the sunshine and have therefore always been rather on the pale side.The Sienna X tan took to my skin really well and took no more than around 10 minutes to apply. I entered the tanning booth resembling Snow White and came out looking like I’d just stepped off a plane from Greece. The Salon offers Sienna X spray tans for around £30 which I thing is really reasonable and I’d highly recommend it.

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Representatives from the Dermalogica brand where also on hand throughout the evening and having established my skin type I was able to take home some product samples suited to my dry and slightly sensitive skin. I’ll be sure to update the blog with my thoughts on these samples soon. Looking at the salons treatment menu I’d possibly love to try out one of the facials using the Dermalogica treatments to experience the full benefits of such a product.

I also got to check out the Manicure bar that I was drawn to by its display off eye catching polishes from O.P.I and Shellac. Intrigued about the latter, I soon discovered that the salon offer the 3 Week Manicure which is created using the salon product Shellac. This promises exciting results, by opting for the Shellic manicure, its promised that 3 weeks in your nails will still look as good as the day they were painted. The prospect of a truly chip resistant polish for up to 3 weeks has defiantly left me excited. Its something I must try and am very keen to.

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So, having been freshly sprayed and having undergone a little hair restyling I was spoilt that little bit more when the salons makeup artist, offered to jazz me up a little. Not only did she do a truly wonderful job as I relaxed in the chair feeling totally pampered but I also managed to pick up a few makeup tips and tricks to take home with me. It was great to try a whole new colour pallet, discovering new colours that suited me, ones I never thought would. At first I was a little shocked at the prices charged by the freelance makeup artist, but can now say that these do truly reflect her work, work that is absolutely amazing. Whether its natural daytime, party eyes or bridal makeup, no Job is to difficult for this lady.

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The launch party was a magnificent evening. The atmosphere was perfect and the Salon manager Latifa was so lovely making all her guest feel very welcome. A perfect party host and ideal Salon Manager.

Though, I wasn’t the only one having a great time! There was also one or two celeb faces receiving some of that La Durbin magic! Below is a picture of Lucy Watson one of the made in Chelsea ladies leaving with a smile on her face. In fact everybody left smiling and feeling a million dollars, including myself.

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La Durbin Boutique has now fully opened for business. I’d recommend that you ladies close to Fulham Place Road go check it out! Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Check out La Durbin Boutique on twitter or like their Facebook Page for all the latest news and offers.

What’s In My Makeup Bag – My Top 5 Nail Polishes

I’ve done a few “Whats In My Makeup Bag” posts before but sadly not in a while! So, today I thought I’d share my favourite 5 nail polishes that I currently house in my makeup bag.

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So here we go… I’m counting down from number 5… Oh and check out the Vine clip at the end of this post.

Number 5…. Barry M 293 Grey

A very matt grey that looks great worn alone or with Leighton Denny pure white polish applied as nail art. The polish is pretty easy to apply. Its rather thick so its better to apply a couple of thin layers avoiding heavy coats. If a good top coat is applied the polish lasts well over a week before any chips appear and in my opinion this is much longer than some of the more expensive brands I’ve owned. Barry M is a high street brand that’s a true bargain for under a fiver.

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Number 4… O.P.I Nail Lacquer – Colour: “Just Spotted The Lizard” Collection: Spiderman Collection

This is a two tone polish that shines a gorgeous gold and green, though in some lights it sometimes has this amazing hint of teal/blue. I love how wide the brush is and how easy the polish is to apply. The only downfall for me is how quickly this polish chips compered to other O.P.I polish, this one started to chip in just a few short days.

But given I love the colour so much its still one of my current favourites.

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Number 3 Leighton Denny – Diamond Diva

This is a beautiful shimmering silver that looks amazing when it catches the light. The bottle makes the colour seem more like a glitter polish than a shimmer so I was actually really pleased to find it was the latter which I prefer. I apply two thin layers, the polish dries super fast and I’m then left with a non streaky finish that doesn’t lose its sparkle when a top coat in applied. I always find that if wearing a base and top coat the vanish is chip resistant for at least a week.

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Number 2 Leighton Denny – striptease

As you can see I’m a bit of a Leighton Denny Fan (my top drawer on my dresser is stacked full of it)! I love this colour which is perfect for both spring and summer. Its a really shimmery pink that seems to have lots of different tones coming through. These tones mainly consist of other pinks, as well as the odd hint of lilic and a little peach maybe even orange.

Again the polish is easy to apply (two thin coats work well for me). This one also lasts really well when worn with a good topcoat vanish. It was a strong contender for my number one spot!

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And finally the polish crowned my current favourite polish in my makeup bag for March 2013 goes to…

WINNER

Number 1: Nail Polish By H&M – Colour: Bella’s Choice

Yes, your not mistaken, the award did just go to the high street fashion chain H&M… Its the wonderful colour I blame for this! Ok, honestly, it doesn’t apply as well as my Leighton Denny and does probably start to look that little bit shabby a day or two ahead of my Leighton Denny Polish. However, I’m totally in love with this very pretty blue colour that is ideal for spring and summer. The polish looks as good on the nails as it does in the bottle. It reminds me of a tropical ocean, making it a perfect travel companion for them summer trips aboard!

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Verdict…. I love it!

And here’s the Vine Clip that demonstrates the colours much better.

Tutorial – Vintage Inspired Lace & Pearl Lipstick Case

Looking through my makeup drawer yesterday I found my little old Crome lipstick case and decided it needed a little TLC to make it pretty again.

This is a really easy upcycle and if you have an old lipstick case knocking about anywhere, you could easy make one too.

What you will need

A metal (or other type) lipstick case
Some pieces of ivory and black lace
Mod podge
A faux pearl
Black Textured Ribbon

This is a very simple look to create due to the magic ingredient of mod podge.

I basically covered my lid of my lipstick case in mod podge then applied a piece of ivory lace, adding a layer of mod podge over the top.

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I then gave it around 30 minutes drying time before starting on the body of the case.

For the body I opted for a nice black lace. I worked in the same way as my lid allowing to dry and then trimming of any excess lace. This is easier to do once dry as the material doesn’t slide around its more stiff and easier to cut.

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Once I’d done each part of the holders body and it was dry, I used some pretty black ribbon with pretty frill detail to cover the remaining exposed metal (the edging of the lid).

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Once dry trim any excess ribbon to create a tidy finish.

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Lastly, I added half a glue dot to the lip just above the opening of my holder and then stuck on my tiny faux white pearl.To make this stronger I added mod podge over the top and left in a warm place to dry.

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And there you have it… A vintage inspired pearl and lace lipstick case.

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Make Your Own Shabby Chic Box Bags

A few months back I grabbed some of these large paper mâché box style bags from my local Hobbycraft.

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I was instantly drawn to them with a host of different uses and craft activities accumulating in my mind! The fact that they were reduced a little in price also made these all the more desirable.

My plan… To make storage bags that if desired, could be hung freeing up more space. The size of these boxes are perfect for makeup, craft essentials and more besides.

They look really pretty once complete, tying in with the whole shabby chic theme I’ve got going on.

Materials….

Paper Mâché Box Bags (Hobbycraft)
(I created a set of 3)
Decorative Paper (pattern/design to suit)
Mod Podge Clear Gloss
White Acrylic Paint
White String (ribbon or twine works well)
Strip of Ivory Lace (enough to cover around the bottom of box)
Faux Pearl Bracelet (big enough to go over box)

Tools
Paint & Glue Brushes
Pencil
Scissors

Here’s a demonstration on how to create these box bags.

1) First use a paint brush to give your box a few coats of white paint (just to ensure the darkness of the paper mâché isn’t seen through your paper)!

2) Use scissors to remove paper handles.

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3) section by section apply mod podge to your box and cover with your paper. Press firmly to remove air bubbles or make some tiny hole pricks with a pin. Be sure to apply the mod podge over the top of the paper as well as the box.

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4) Once covered reveal the 4 handle holes on your box by penetrating with a sharp pencil.

5) with mod podge run your ivory lace around the button of your box. Remember to add mod podge over the top of the material also.

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6) Now take your faux pearl bracelet and place it over your covered box so that the bracelet sits around the middle.

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7) Cut 2 pieces of white string or other. Now thread through holes one side to the other. Tie in a knot to secure.

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Now simply fill with treasure, display on a dresser or hang from hooks for a great storage solution.

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Big Brand Makeup On A Budget (Bootfair Finds)

Just before Christmas on the Sunday I visited a car boot sale that took place in a Multistorey carpark in South Croydon.

We got there rather late, So late in fact that people were actually packing up to leave. However, this did mean that we got to grab a few bargains.

This was mainly in the way of cosmetics And I got to grab a whole bunch of new branded make up that hadn’t ever been open. This was expensive stuff, however I grabbed the whole lot for just £2.

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Here’s what I got…

Leighton Denny full size nail polish (12ml) in Pure White

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Leighton Denny full size nail polish (12ml) in Amazing Grey

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Laura Geller Invisible Oil Blotting Powder (Translucent Compact) full size (12m)

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Laura Geller Baked Cake Eyeliner in Plum Pudding/Black Forest (full size)

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Laura Geller Wonder Wand Eye Brightener (full size)

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Models Prefer Brush On Brilliance Aquavit Concealer (full size)

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I.D by Bare Escentuals Peal Lip Gloss (full size)

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Can you believe it? All this… Sealed and new for just a few quid. Anybody who likes their makeup will know these are not cheap brands. I normally buy my Leighton Denny Vanishes for at least £11 each and I’ve had Laura Geller makeup which I’ve brought from QVC and its never been really cheap. Given I’ve not had the luxury of buying good quality makeup in sometime, I was dead pleased with my bootfair finds.

The seller was a really lovely women who had some fantastic bits and bobs from makeup to shoes… I just wished I’d had both more money and more time.

So… Me being me, I got home and searched the Internet to try and discover just how much of a saving I actually made.

Most of my new Laura Geller Products are not currently on the QVC site but I found the blotting powder going on eBay for no less than £30 and that wasn’t even sealed (even though it states unused). The Laura Geller collection is highly available in the states but QVC UK does have quiet an extensive range on their site. There are some beautiful products listed and although being QVC you can spot a good deal or two, the prices are of course considerable more than I paid! Check it out for yourself Here.

As for my two Leighton Denny nail polishes I found these both listed on the official Leighton Denny Signature UK site. Both Amazing Grey and Pure White are listed at £11 each. I should mention I also discovered the most gorgeous blue vanish while I was searching and its seriously calling my name (I just might have to pay full price and order that one)! Naughty I know!

My Models Prefer Concealer pen maybe discontinued as this was hard to find. However I did unearth it on eBay at a buy it now price of £9.99 without postage. The Bare Escentuals Lip Gloss will normally set you back £11.99 as sold by Martyn Maxey UK.

Well… Looking at the evidence it would seem that I had a brilliant result. I’m keeping all the products as I like them all. However, seeing the prices some of these items and brands fetch on eBay it may be worth baring this in mind and keeping your eyes wide open next time you hit your local bootfair. I know I will be!

The fabulous contents of my makeup bag

Admittedly I haven’t been on here for a week or more and as you may have already worked out, the daily #366 photo is no more, I failed! However, I’m not to bothered and figured that I can post pictures I love anytime I like, which is the beauty behind blogging! Staying on the subject of beauty, I actually had a massive sort out of my overflowing make up bag today. Seriously, I have so much makeup that I’m storing it in both oversized makeup bags as well as storage containers. So, it was definitely the time to clear some of it out and I was surprised how much makeup actually remained sealed.

So, tonight on Valentines day as I’m not being wined and dined, I thought instead, I’ll share some of my favourite, can’t live without, pieces of makeup, for both day and night when I very occasionally hit the town to swing my pants.

Lemon aid £15 from benefit, designed to help reduce redness and can be worn alone or under make up. I’ve been using it for around a month now and wouldn’t go back. High brow from benefit £14, highlights the brow bone defining eyes giving them an instant lift. Mac Mineralize Loose Powder £23, I love this silky mineral rich powder that has SPF 15 for protection against the sun’s rays, I use this powder almost everyday. Bourjois Paris illuminating Touch £7.49, a great addition to the makeup bag, it’s a soft blendable powder that can be applied to cheekbones and temples to sculpt the face, plus it’s sells for a very reasonable price.

Dior 5-Couleurs lift palette £41, I love the Christian Dior makeup range and despite it being that bit more expensive, it looks good and last the test of time. SHU UEMURA Eye light pencil £16, a lovely soft white dual-ended crayon pencil eye liner with a matte white and pearl white finish. I got this for christmas and have fallen in love with it, this magic stick gives my eyes an instant lift even when little sleep has been had (which is often)! Elizabeth Arden Lash – Primer and Conditioner, £14, a regular addition to my makeup bag, it’s used daily and admittedly I do go through it but simply can’t live without it, my lashes look fuller after an application of this primer which I apply before my mascara. When it does come to mascara, I use Maybelline New York Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara £7.15, on a daily basis and just love the extra volume it gives just after the on coat, plus the great price I pay for it.

Kick ASS ConcealerTM from Soap and GloryTM, £10, is a new addition to my makeup bag and I use this often to conceal blemishes easily. I’ve been using YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat £25, for years now, having first brought it duty-free at the airport when I was 17 years old. I love it and although it isn’t cheap, it does what it claims to and I often find myself relying on it. AVON Ideal Flawless Pressed Powder currently reduced from £9 to £5, a great price for a product that actually works pretty well. I have it in shade light medium, which matches my skin tone really well. I love powder as it isn’t heavy on the skin and therefore gives you a flawless complexion. One of my favourite items in my makeup bag is ESTEE LAUDER Signature Silky Powder Blush, £24, it last for ages and sits really well, not creating the look of a clown or rosy rag doll. I find that I have to be so careful when choosing a blush as my complexion is quite pale.

DIOR Rouge Creme de Gloss lipgloss £19.50, isn’t sticky but soft and gives a really lovely satin rich finish while lasting a good proportion of the day so one gloss seems to last for ages, meaning it’s not as expensive as it may first seem. MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder £18.50, I love this silky finishing powder that is especially great over liquid foundation and sets your completed makeup really well. Yves Saint Laurent Duo Eyeshadow £30, another new addition to the make up bag, I love the natural colours and wearing them together, they blend well, giving a soft natural finish. Nails Inc Boltons Polish £11, a present from my mum who given she doesn’t wear makeup always seems to get it right when buying for others. This satin red is really beautiful.

PARTY EYES I have a makeup bag just for my sparkle. I love party makeup, just as much as I love a good party dress. This Biba Eye Palette £26 (but currently on sale for a fab £15.60) has 4 stunning metal and precious jewel shades that create stunning party eyes. A bargain party buy are these Barry M Supersoft Eye Crayons costing just £3.99 these bold matt colours let you create stunning smoky party eyes. My favourite party bag  are buy are fabulous Heavy metal metallic liquid eyeliner, £13. by Urban Decay, which I’ve been using for the last 10 or more years and still love them as much as the first time I tried them. Another great product is the collection 2000 Extreme Coloured Length Mascara at a tiny £2.99. This coloured mascara creates a big dramatic impression for a really small price and is therefore worth a buy. I got mine only a week ago, and can’t wait to wear it out.

When getting ready for a night out, I love Benefit Bad gal lash mascara £16.50, it’s a glam mascara for a night on the town and my lashes don’t leave home without it. NARS The multiple multi-purpose stick £29 is fabulous, it’s a must have makeup addition for young and old, use on the face and body for a beautiful glow. NARS Looks really great on cheekbones and I love it! Barry M instant nail Effects gold foil, looks stunning worn day and night but creates an extra special look for dressed up occasions, for just £4 its amazingly long-lasting.

Saving the best till last… Dior Diorskin Airflash spray foundation is amazing, costing £33 Dior revolutionises makeup with a spray foundation that goes on completely even and in my opinion creates the most natural flawless complexion, I’ve seen as a result of a makeup product. There is a downfall however, you cannot see how much you’re using and I tend to get a tad upset when I’ve run out! 😦

So, what’s in your makeup bag? Anyone with any of the above, or do you have a completely different mix altogether