Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Beauty Scoop!

I’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t managed to post very much – Christmas is hard work for just one day, but I do love it; so this is just a very quick message to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to every single one of you that reads this blog. It’s still early days with it but I appreciate every single one of you and hope you do continue to read (and enjoy doing so).

I hope you all have a perfect Christmas, and if I don’t manage to blog before then also I hope you have a fantastic New Year too.

Claire. x

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alpha-H Age Delay Hand & Cuticle Cream Duo - Bargain Price @QVC (UK)

I ordered myself this duo from QVC yesterday as I’ve heard so many good things about this brand (I’m actually going to be testing some of their skincare range soon too), but I noticed these on the QVC site as they are SUCH good value.

Normally one 100ml tube of these would set you back around £17 (depending on where you buy it, of course) but for around £23 (including postage) you get TWO of them. The reviews on the site look great (or at least the majority do) so I thought I’d go for it and order them for myself.

They aren’t in stock at the moment, but you can order them on a waitlist as I’ve been informed that they will be back in stock in January!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TriPollar STOP - Session One!

So I’ve now had my first STOP session, I thought I’d report back my thoughts. I rather enjoyed it actually, the warm feeling on my face was lovely and relaxing and it actually felt like I was having a proper facial – aside from the fact that I was doing it myself. Next time I think I may get Mr Beauty Scoop to do it for me, and then I can just relax and enjoy the experience whilst he makes himself useful – ha!

I found it very easy to use the device, doing circular motions around my face until just after the light on it turned orange, indicating that it had reached optimum temperature in that area. I think my first session was more like 30 minutes or so, but that was more to do with following instructions and wanting to make sure I did it all correctly.

Sometimes my concentration lapsed ever so slightly whilst carrying out the treatment and the device did get a bit too warm on my skin which reminded me to keep it moving, it wasn’t boiling hot and I did not injure myself in doing this either. In the video I watched, it did say that my face may go slightly red after the treatment, and it did (well during, actually) but this went away very quickly and left no further redness or marks.

I haven’t noticed an immediate change in my skin, but I am keeping it in mind that this is only my first treatment out of about 24 so I’m not expecting miracles - at least not straightaway, anyway. My next ‘treatment’ is tonight, and from then on I will probably only do once weekly updates, unless I there’s any specific reason or change to my skin that means I feel that I should update you sooner.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Front Cover Wide-Eyed Set - Swatches!

More swatches of Front Cover, this time it’s their Wide Eyed set and I’m swatching the shadows and pencils from the set. This is currently available in Boots stores (sold out at, priced at £22 but also included in their 3 for 2 offer.

This box set is really well thought out both in terms of content (pencil sharpener that is suitable for chunky pencils, mascara and sealer etc) and also the colours; I especially love Nightshadow, Coffee Liqueur and Pewter metallic pencil (the chunkier ones) but all the colours included are very wearable really - with a number of looks included on the 'inside cover how to guide' which is not only very useful, but also inspires me to try new things too.

The daytime shadows seem a lot more pigmented than the baked shadows when used dry, but the baked shadows really come into their own when used wet, I really recommend you using them wet. I love using the shadowline, as this allows me to be more creative with my choice of liner colour, since it turns the shadows into eyeliners.

The Kohl’s come with a smudgy tool at the other end, which is always handy. They’re really pigmented and seem slightly metallic/shimmery – especially the brown. All the pencils are easy to work with but I would definitely recommend that you use a primer with them to help them last longer when being worn.

I really like this set and feel I’ll be getting a lot more use out of it throughout the year.

L-R Iced Green, Tandori Spice (No flash - day lamp):

 With flash:

L-R Nightshadow, Hades, Vanilla Ice, Bluebell (No flash - day lamp):

 With flash:

L-R Vintage Peach, Coffee Liqueur (No flash - day lamp)

With flash:

The pencils:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

25% Discount @ MeMeMe Cosmetics Until February 15th!

Just a little heads up that MeMeMe Cosmetics are offering 25% off your order using the code CHRISTMAS2010 until February 15th. I’ve yet to use the brand but just noticed some fabulous looking swatches on (if you’re not already following her, you should be) which prompted me to go and have a proper look at the products available.

My friend then gave me the code so I thought it was a bloody good time to make my first order with them. I'll be sure to show you them when they arrive, but why not have a look at LBQ and the MeMeMe site until then?!
Just so you know, Christmas delivery isn’t guaranteed with them now, but these seem like they’ll be great at any time of year so I am happy to wait.

TriPollar STOP Age (For Face) Trial - Part 1 - The Pre-Trial Post!

I’m really lucky to have been given the chance to test a very interesting piece of kit from TriPollar. Their Stop device claims to turn back time and reverse the signs of aging, bringing about a fresh, younger look without the use of professional treatment... sounds good, doesn’t it?!

The device comes in 3 colours and is only about 13 centimetres tall; it actually wouldn’t look that out of place in a modern room as some kind of ornament, and I quite like that it’s not big and bulky too as it makes it easy to store.

I’m not very clued up on the technical side of how this works but from what I can gather it stimulates your skin to produce collagen and thicken the dermis, thus creating firmer, tighter skin - if it works, then I honestly don't mind how it gets the job done.

Tripollar recommend that I spend 12-15 minutes, 2-3 times each week for 6 to 8 weeks using the device for the best results, so I’ll be starting my treatment this weekend and posting weekly on my progress and thoughts along the way.

I’m actually really excited to try this, as whilst I’m not aging too badly (apparently, well I have been told twice recently that I look at least 5 years younger than my actual age – which is 29, almost 30) I do feel like I am starting to see fine lines and other changes that I’d rather not be seeing so I’m hoping that I can reverse it, stop it progressing, or at least slow it down rather than try and cure things when it’s too late.

Further information from the website:

The Claims:

"STOP Facial Skin Renewal Device is Painless, Effective and Easy to Use:
Non-invasive, relaxing treatment
Creates a noticeable clinical effect from the very first treatment
Significantly reduces wrinkles and fine lines
Improves skin texture
Long lasting anti-ageing results

STOP Non Invasive Anti-aging Treatment Results Speak for Themselves:
Very satisfied with immediate treatment results - 95% Agree
Very satisfied with long term treatment results - 91% Agree
Noticed skin lifting effect – 86.4% Agree
Noticed skin texture improvement – 77.3% Agree
Noticed improved skin smoothness, reduction in wrinkles and fine lines – 63.64% Agree

* Self assessment of 23 women in clinical trial

How TriPollar Facial Contouring & Skin Tightening Treatments Work at Home?

As our skin matures and is subjected to environmental effects the connective tissue (Collagen fibers) begins to break down, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

The TriPollar RF energy penetrates the skin layers to selectively heat the skin tissue and the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) where the collagen fibers are embedded. The local heating causes an immediate contraction of the collagen fibers, and at the same time increases the metabolism of the fibroblasts thereby accelerating the production of new collagen and elastin fibers.

The contraction of Collagen fibers and the regeneration of the collagen and elastin deposits tighten the skin layers creating smoother, healthier and younger looking skin."

The device is currently on offer at Boots, for £211.65 – it’s not cheap, but if it works then maybe the price would be justified.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Boots Offer Of The Week: Soap & Glory Pink Big Tote Bag

Last year when Boots offered a Soap & Glory Hatbox on their “better than half price” offer of the week, it sound out pretty quickly; so when I noticed that they had a Soap & Glory ‘Big Pink Tote Bag’ gift as their offer of the week earlier today in my local Boots store I didn’t hesitate, and I bought it straight away using my Advantage Card points that I had accumulated recently.

I’ve just got it home so I’ve finally had chance to look inside, and whilst I didn’t doubt that I would like what was inside (as I do love Soap & Glory in general), I was actually really impressed to see that the products included are ALL full size and include lots of my favourites too.

Below is a list of what is included:

* Clean On Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel (500ml, RRP £5)
* The Righteous Butter Body Butter (300ml, RRP £9.79)
* Flake Away Body Scrub (300ml, RRP £6.50)
* Girligo Scented Body Moisturising Mist (100ml, RRP £6.25)
* Glad Hair Day Ultra-Shine Super-Shampoo (250ml, RRP £5.11 )
* The Breakfast Scrub Body Smoother (300ml, RRP £9.25)
* Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream (125ml, RRP £4.75)
* Scrub Your Nose In It Face Scrub And Mask (125ml, £7.25)
* Super Colour Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in ‘Pink Apricot,’ (7ml, RRP £8.25)
* Off Your Face Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes, RRP £4)
* Giant Super Sudsy Shower Puff (RRP £3.50)

You can see above the RRP of these items, and it all adds up to (without including the cost of the box or bag) £69.65 so you can see it really is a total bargain and perfect present for anybody – especially if they haven’t seen the offer of the week price, as it’ll look like you’ve spent so much more on them.

The box and bag for me will be great to store some of my beauty bits and bobs in, so good on them for using packaging that can be reused rather than thrown away (that’s the hippy in me talking there) – more companies should take note of this in my opinion.

One thing I would say is that inside the bag and box, there’s no filling - so when you open the box there’s just a load of products that look like they’ve been thrown in there, which is a shame.

I think if you’re planning on giving it as a gift that it would really benefit from some pink tissue paper or something in there to fill it up and hide the goodies in, and to make it look prettier. This is easily added though (as the box isn’t sealed, or at least none of the ones in my store were) and pink tissue paper, or other gift packing materials are generally easy to buy.

I don’t think you can go wrong with this gift as I really do think it would suit anybody from a teen to a pensioner (my mum was definitely coveting mine when she saw it, and she’s 63!!) - especially if they like quite sweet smells. The offer is available until midnight on Thursday if I’m not mistaken (and if it doesn’t sell out) from Boots stores and .com for £25, go get one. x

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Superdrug MUA Nail Polish 'Shade 1' - Quick Review & Swatches

This is a quick review and swatch of Superdrug's MUA nail polish in 'shade 1' as I wanted to get a post up today before things got to hectic so apologies for the rushed nature of this.

The polish is actually a really lovely colour; it’s what grabbed my attention as I walked past the display. I’d never used this brand before so didn’t know how well it performed, but for just £1 (6.2ml) I didn’t have much to lose.

The bottle ^ reminds me of a mini Chanel bottle, which is quite cute!

On the nail the polish is very dark blue, almost black and glossier than I had expected. You can’t really see the sparkly flecks unless you have a direct light on it though, none the less, I do like it.

The polish itself took 3 good coats to look opaque and fairly streak free. It also doesn’t really last that long, I think it was about 2 and a bit days before chipping (without any base/top coat as I wanted to test it without any help from other products) – which is kind of what I was expecting for the price, maybe a little bit better; however it would be fine for a night out as it dries relatively quickly and will no doubt last the evening without chipping.

I’ve also put glitter polish over the top of it on a couple of nails, which looks even better... and if you want a picture of that adding please do comment to let me know.

With Flash:

No Flash (day lamp - showing different angles):

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Beauty Scoop Christmas Gift Guide 2010 - Part 1!

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself at a loss as to what to buy my loved ones for Christmas. Now I know it’s the thought that counts, but I like buying gifts that are loved and actually used by the person I buy them for; not just given a polite acknowledgement and then stuffed to the back of the cupboard, waiting to be recycled into a present for somebody else because they secretly hate it!

I’ve decided to give a little run down of items, to suit all budgets that I think anybody would love to receive over Christmas; from stocking fillers to main presents I hope to give you a little inspiration from both the products that I have been using and loving and those that I would still love to receive in my present pile this Christmas!

Aveda have some utterly fabulous gifts available, and if you (or your intended recipient) haven’t had chance to try Aveda products then now is a great time to do so! Their Ritual of Repair gift set (£49) comes complete with Damage Remedy Shampoo, Conditioner, Intensive Treatment, Daily Hair Repair and Tagua Hair Band – it also has a £28 saving on the individual retail prices of the products included.

Burts Bees – Get lovely lips for kissing under the mistletoe with this fantastic Burt’s Bees ‘Lip Balm Tin Ornament’ (£9.99) that has 3 of their fabulous lip balms (Beeswax Lip Balm, Replenishing Lip Balm in Pomegranate and Honey Lip Balm) packaged in a metal tin that can be reused – so it’s also great for the environment too.

Clinique have a selection of gifts available, from candles to skincare, they’ve got it all. Two gifts of note (ie that I would love to receive) are:

Laser Focus Repair Gift Set (£50, shown above), a silver travel bag containing Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector (30ml), Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturiser (in dry/combination) 15ml and Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream 7ml.

Pretty Day Into Night Looks Gift Set (£38), a gorgeous pink bag containing a Round Compact with 4 Eyeshadows & 2 Powder Blush Shades, High Impact Mascara 4g in Black, Double-Ended Lipstick in Different Grape 1.3g/Long Last Glosswear SPF15 in Bamboo Pink 4.5ml, Cream Shaper For Eyes in Starry Plum 1.1g and All About Eyes 15ml.

Dermalogica products would be a lovely gift for anybody who likes to look after their skin as Dermalogica, in my opinion are still one of the best skin care brands around (I thoroughly recommend that you try their PreCleanse if nothing else as it's suitable for all skin types, review coming soon to the blog). You may not be able to keep this one a secret as a skin mapping session is always recommended to find out the best products for your skin but you could actually make that part of the present if you were to pay for a facial too.

A Denman Brush (approximately £7) – If you want to give a gift that will just keep on giving then one of these bad boys would be great, they look fab and are built to last. There’s an assortment of great designs available (I’ve shown just a few of them here) and you just know they’ll be used as everybody brushes their hair, right?!

Elemis have a fabulous range of gift sets available, many of them offering a saving off the RRP of the individual products which is a winner to me. I especially like the Exotic Spa Secrets gift box (£49.50), which contains 3 full sized products including: Skin Nourishing Milk Bath, Exotic Frangipani Monoi Bath & Shower Cream and Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt and offers a £38 saving from the usual retail price of each item. Other Elemis gift sets that are worth considering are: Elemis Skin Brilliance, Elemis Perfect Pro-Collagen and Elemis Timeless Radiance.

Front Cover Cosmetics have a selection of gift sets available but the one that stands right out for me is their Moonlit Metals set (£16, swatched here), as I think that the colours contained in it would suit most people -plus it also offers such fantastic value, is on trend and generally just looks like a nice present to give/receive (and is easy to wrap too)!

Molton Browns’ gifts are to die for. Their Treasure Island (£65) and Colour Purple (£42, shown above) gifts immediately caught my eye. The Treasure Island gift includes Heavenly Gingerlily Moisture Bath & Shower Gel, Body Cream, Shimmer Fragrance and Airlight. I haven’t had the pleasure of smelling this set but it sounds beautiful. The Colour Purple set contains Relaxing Yuan Zhi Bath & Shower Gel, Body Cream and Airlight - and might I add, smells divine.

No7 have some beautiful gifts and palettes available right now, I've recently swatched their Precious Metals Mini Nail Polish set (£8) here, and their Limited Edition MirrorBall Eye Palette (£12.50) here but there are so many other gorgeous gifts and fantastic products available (to suit all budgets) that I really do think that it's worth looking to the brand for both stocking fillers and main presents alike.

OPI's Burlesque range is causing quite a stir because it includes a great range of polishes, that all have a Christmassy feel (in my opinion) and I feel would be well received by most people as a gift for Christmas. If you didn’t want to buy them individually, there are gift sets available such as their Little Teasers Mini Lacquers Gift Set (available for around £12.15 online).
Better still QVC have a brilliant set available (shown above). For just £34.10 plus postage (this is an introductory price and could end anytime and go back to the usual price of £37.50) you can get a super gift box which includes: Original Nail Envy (15ml), Avoplex High Intensity Hand & Nail Cream (50ml), OPI Crystal Nail File, Bring on the Bling Lacquer (15ml), Tease-y Does It Lacquer (15ml), Let Me Entertain You Lacquer (15ml) and a mini cuticle stick. Bear in mind that the polishes alone usually retail for £9.95 each and you can see what good value this gift set is – and the person you’re buying for will think you’ve spent even more on them!
Perfumes or perfume gift sets are a safe bet for most people, I’m currently loving Paco Rabanne; in particular their ‘Lady Million’ and ‘Black XS’ fragrances. Other perfumes worth checking out are Viktor & Rolf’s ‘Flowerbomb’, Armani ‘Code’, Marc Jacobs ‘Daisy’ and/or ‘Lola’ and Nina Ricci’s ‘Nina’.

Talking of perfume, Penhaligon's have some beautiful gifts available (as well as some stunning standalone perfumes) a few gifts of note are: the Crystal ‘Bullet’ Atomiser (in Amethyst £120), the Ladies Fragrance collection (£32) which includes 5 miniature 5ml bottles in a lovely bow-topped gift box, and their Votive Candle Collection (£45) which includes 4 miniature (70g) scented glass candles.

Sisley has a fantastic new autumn/winter makeup collection that may just hold a few potential gifts within it. Shown above, the collection contains 10 pieces – all of which I’d be happy to own. If the makeup collection doesn’t grab you then maybe a piece of their award winning skincare range may be more to your taste? After all, who doesn’t want to take care of their skin?!

Sleek palettes (£5.99 each) are cheap in price but fantastic in quality, there’s also a decent amount of palettes for you to choose from so you can be sure there’ll be something there to suit anybody you’re buying for. They’re currently on 3 for 2 at Superdrug, making them even cheaper – in fact if you have a secret santa present to buy then this could be a perfect purchase – much better than socks anyway!

Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (around £27) is bound to be a hit, you can’t really go wrong with neutrals as they suit everybody and this palette is currently one of the best to be had.

Anyway, this rounds up my first gift guide - I hope you've found it useful and maybe solved a few gift dilemmas too!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Swatches: No7 Limited Edition Christmas 2010 MirrorBall Eye Palette!

Another set of swatches, this time it’s the No7 Limited Edition MirrorBall Eye Palette which contains 4 shimmering eye shadows.

I love the shimmery effect of the shadows, and 3 of the colours are perfect for me... but I’m not a big wearer of light blue eye shadow, at least as a main colour; it just doesn’t suit me but I’m thinking maybe I could use it in conjunction with a darker blue – what do you think??

With flash (both with and without day lamp, sorry I mixed them up):


My mum has been eyeing mine up, she’s just like me – a magpie, anything that sparkles and she’s straight on it! The shimmer actually seems to be made up of very, very fine glitter particles which give the glistening, rather than glittery finished effect – I really like this, but I’m not sure my camera has caught it very well.

No flash:

No flash (day lamp):

Pigmentation is fine, it’s easy to build up the colour you want to give the effect you’re going for; it’s just a lovely little compact that I think most people would be happy to receive on Christmas day and at £12.50 it won’t bankrupt you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Swatches: Front Cover Moonlit Metals Gift Set!

If metals are your thing then this offering from Front Cover is perfect for you. It’s genius, its bang on trend and at £16 it won’t break the bank – not least because it’s currently included in the Boots 3 for 2 Christmas gifts offer (but if you want to buy one to keep for yourself then I won’t judge).

The set includes 6 pigment powders (Dawn Chorus, Cloud Dancer, Nightfall, Deep Lake, Darkly and Prism Violet) and 2 glitters (Sparkler and Moonshine), plus a tube of ‘shadowbase’ and a double ended... application brush!

Without flash (under a day lamp) L-R Sparkler, Dawn Chorus, Darkly, Cloud Dancer:

With flash (under a day lamp):

I have to say, I really like this set as it has such a great mix of colours, all of which are fabulously metallic and perfectly pigmented. The brush included is ok, the smaller end is great for more precise application but I’ve not got on quite as well with the larger end – that could just be because I’m used to my own brushes though.

The ‘Get The Look’ guide (shown above, kind of) is a great addition to the set as it tells you how best to use the products in the set, and also how to achieve the look shown on the box. It does keep going on about a sponge applicator which I don’t understand as both ends of the applicator are brushes!

Without flash (under a day lamp) L-R Nightfall, Deep Lake, Moonshine and Prism Violet:

With flash (under a day lamp):

No flash and slightly dark but I thought it showed the colours quite well, still:

Application is a little trickier because they are powders, and there can be a lot of fall down with most eye shadow powders, but it’s definitely worth spending a little extra time and care as the looks you can achieve are nothing short of amazing.

Also the tip to dab the product on rather than sweep it is one of the most important included in the guide, in my opinion as you get better coverage and a more precise application – I generally do this anyway with powders but it’s always worth noting for those that aren’t used to using them.

With flash:

Without flash:

The ‘shadowbase’ is definitely needed to help the shadows and especially the glitters to adhere better to the skin, and stay where you put them.

I really don’t think I could pick my favourite colour(s) as I think they’re all equally lovely and I am happy to wear all of them (not at once) without hesitation. The glitters are great for party season, I especially like the holographic glitter but I can’t seem to get a photo that shows just how stunning it looks.

My only real issue with this set is that it’s hard to get the plastic inlay out of the pots without splattering product everywhere – in fact it’s a bit messy all round, but again it’s really to be expected with powders and glitter products.

I hope you found the swatches useful; I’ve tried to catch them in different lights and show you in the pictures but I don’t think any amount of pictures can completely capture how brilliant the powders look.
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