Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MUA Launch Standalone Online Store!

Popular purse friendly brand, MUA's standalone store/website has now gone live, meaning that if you previously found it difficult to get hold of MUA products from your local Superdrug, you now have a treasure trove of MUA products to browse through and purchase.

I think this is great as not all Superdrug stores sell MUA products, and those that do, don't always have the full range in stock. Plus it also means that your MUA goodies will arrive untouched and unopened so that you can be safe in the knowledge that they've not been fiddled with by (potentially) dirty hands!

Today they're offering their Immaculate Collection palette for FREE when you spend £8 in one transaction in the store (subject to availability - ends 20th December 2011) - the Immaculate Collection palette is worth £8 in itself so this is a brilliant deal.

They also have the raved about (and constantly sold out in stores) 'Heaven & Earth' palette in stock, for now at least!

Wordless Wednesday - Ellie Goulding!

I'm really not sure what I think about this hair colour, it's a bit on the grey side, don't you think?

I did a post last year about celebs embracing grey hair but I still can't help but feel that there's plenty of time for grey hair in later years... or not, as I expect that I'll continue to colour my hair for as long as possible - although maybe a more natural colour when I get to that age! I just can't fathom why somebody would want to dye their hair grey!

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cheap Chanel on Buyapowa - RIGHT NOW!!

Quick quick, if you fancy getting your mitts on a gorgeous 'Les 4 Ombres' eyeshadow palette (shade 83) for £28 (as I am certain it will get to that price) then you need to visit Buyapowa right now! I'm not going to waffle on any longer as this post needs to be up!

Claire. x

Guy Kremer Professional Salon Style Shampoo & Conditioner!

I was recently sent a selection of products from the new Guy Kremer Salon Style Range and the first 2 products I'm going to tell you about are the 'Repair & Replenish Cleanser (Shampoo) for Colour Treated Hair' and 'Add The Bounce Rebalancer (Conditioner) for Fine/Fragile Hair'!

Now I was actually also sent the matching shampoo and conditioner for each of the products above, but since I have both colour treated AND fine hair, I thought it might be a good idea to mix the products up so that I (hopefully) addressed each characteristic of my hair by using them in this way... and I think it has actually worked!

The shampoo is a clear shampoo that lathers VERY well and feels ultra silky on the hair, with only a fairly small amount of product needed in each wash! The scent is quite herby, but not excessively so and I think would be suitable for ladies and men alike. It left my hair feeling clean and fresh but not stripped of colour or moisture - so basically it does what it says on the tin!

The conditioner is creamy and white and again, only a small amount is needed. I applied mine to the ends, then working through to the mid-lengths of my hair before using the tiny amount left on my hands a little closer to my roots. The conditioner moisturised my hair perfectly without weighing it down and left it feeling silky soft and VERY smooth.

I could not stop touching my hair after washing it, I can't remember the last time it has felt so soft and smooth (other than when I've been to the hairdressers)... and styling it was a dream, so easy!!

I hadn't actually noticed how much the products cost until I had already used them (something I try to do with new products that I try that I don't already know the brand's price point so that my opinion is based only on the product itself), and after using these, I was expecting them each to be to be around the £15-20 mark, but to my complete surprise, they only cost £6.97 each which is VERY reasonable indeed for such fantastic products.

They're available from Guy's Salon or online at the Guy Kremer website and I will definitely be repurchasing when these run out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Follow By Email!

Just to let you know that you can now follow The Beauty Scoop by email now. Just enter your address into the subscription box as shown above and you're done!! Easy! x

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Celeb Sunday - Michelle Williams!

Now, I'm not usually a fan of hair cropping these days - every hair style I get drawn to always has a little length to if, even if it's just a bob (I think this is due to my mum having my cut REALLY short when I was young, and against my will)! So, it's quite strange that I was drawn to Michelle Williams new hairstyle, since it is exactly what I'm not drawn to - a crop!

It's got to be said, I think she really suits it - I mean I like her with long hair too, but she has such amazing bone structure that she pulls off the look beautifully. I think her simple make-up is amazing too; her lashes look fabulous, her skin and cheeks glowing, and her lips luscious, implying a natural beauty that needs no time spent on make-up (but we all know how difficult it is to achieve the no make-up make-up, don't we)!

What do you think, do you like it? Or do you prefer her with long hair?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Your OPI Heaven - New Colourcopia Store @ Westfields, London!

The new store, Colourcopia, in London's Westfield Centre is a polish lover's dream, stocking the full range of over 240 OPI shades (the only place in the UK to do so), and also the Nicole by OPI shades (including the new 'Kardashian Kolors')! If you fancy a nail treatment, you can also get one of those in there too - it basically appears to be a one stop shop for nails, bliss!

Part of me wishes I lived closer, but part of me (namely my bank balance) is a little bit glad that I don't as that would be *so* dangerous, since I have no self control where pretty colours and cosmetics are concerned!

Weirdly, I've never actually been to the Westfield shopping centre in any of my visits to London, but if I do ever make it there then there is no doubt in my mind that this place will be one of my first ports of call!

Will you be popping in?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another Harrods 10% Off Weekend For Harrods Rewards Members (Free To Join)!

This weekend you can enjoy an exclusive 10% off* a wide range of luxurious products online and in-store. This 10% offer is available online from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011, and in-store on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2011.

If you didn't manage to partake in the last 10% weekend (not so long ago) then you have another chance to grab some goodies for yourself, or for others (well it is Christmas VERY soon)!I'll certainly be checking out yet more beauty products to really give my bank balace another battering!

This may well be out of most of our budgets (by a lonnnng way) at £1,400 (bloody hell) but this La Prarie 'Swarovski Edition Skin Caviar Luxe Cream' (shown above) looks gorgeous - I'm actually not bothered what the pot contains, I'm just drawn towards the sparkles. I can dream, can't I!?

Anyway, there's plenty of more realistically priced products to be bought - why don't you pop over and have a look! x

Thursday, November 24, 2011

EOTD - Featuring My YSL & Chanel Favourites!

I've been totally in love with my Yves Saint Laurent Midnight Garden Palette and Chanel's Illusiuon D'Ombres, especially in Épatant ever since I got them, and think they work really well together, so this is another EOTD using them, but in a slightly different way!

This time I used the gorgeous forest green AND the beautiful purple from the YSL palette with the Chanel Épatant - and I think it worked out quite well, especially as I was in a rush to get ready after being out during the day of the party (my nephews birthday party) and didn't have much time to get ready!

I forgot to curl my lashes, and also I only put a light coat of mascara on (shhhh) but it didn't affect my night and we had a great time all the same - nobody died. ;-)

As per usual, these photographs are end of the night fodder, so they're not the best and neither if my full face below, but you get the idea and next time I'll try to remember to take a photo before I leave the house!

Any tips for me to be more organised? Ha! x

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The Cat That Owns The Paw!

You saw the paw, now see the cat attached to it, the very beautiful and VERY cute, Chloe. I thought she definitely deserved her own full feature today after the few cameo's she's made on here so far. I'm thinking I might include her a little more on here in some of my swatches, she's very photogenic - more so than her owner anyway - that would be me; although not in the photograph with her, I hope that was already obvious though!

What do you think, should she be more involved with my pictures where possible?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

InStyler - A Review!

The InStyler is a multi-function heated styling tool with a rotating barrel that can straighten, curl, and volumize hair - and everything in between too. I first saw the InStyler on QVC quite a while ago, and had always been intrigued by how it worked. Now I’ve finally been about to try one out, and I am actually really impressed with the tool and its performance.

My hair has been a bit of a pain in the bottom recently, as I am still growing out some layers that a scissor happy stylist forced (long story but I was powerless to stop him) upon me. This means that I have been a bit more limited in how I have been doing my hair lately, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a few layers, but this was some ‘organic’ freehand thing which roughly translated to a mess on my head that I have no control over.

This also means that my hair doesn’t quite work for tight/defined curls with this tool at the moment - well some parts do (and those that do, do it very well indeed) and then there’s those that really do not (unruly layers that just won’t curl around the barrel) so I decided to go for getting a bit of movement into my hair with some very loose, none uniform curls, whilst trying to tame the wayward layers too. Please excuse my make-up free face in the following photographs – I look hideous but I had to go make-up free for 24 hours after a facial!

My first couple of attempts at using the InStyler were a bit more cack-handed than even I am used to, since the barrel rotates and also has a brush attached – something that felt completely alien to me; however after a bit of practice I think I’ve got the hang of it, or at least as much as I ever will, being the cack-handed muppet that I am. ;-)

I first used the InStyler to straighten my hair, as I thought I should start with the basics and work my way up. My hair was fresh from washing with only a comb put through it (see pic above) and straightening with the inStyler took no time at all to do.
After this I moved onto the curling/movement style (on my pre-straightened hair) which I also found surprisingly easy, and quick too (about 15 minutes to curl my whole head, using fairly large sections for the looser look) – although those with very thick hair who want tighter curls may find it takes a lot longer!

I didn’t use any styling products whilst using the tool, just freshly washed hair with my usual drop of MoroccanOil as I wanted to see how well the tool did on its own merit. The curls dropped, which was to be expected as they were only very loosely and quickly done, but even after dropping they left me with that movement I had wanted.

I also find that my hair is SO shiny after using the InStyler both when straightening and curling – in fact the shine after curling has impressed me hugely as I never seem to get those glossy curls I long for. I think this is due to the rotating barrel as it must smooth the cuticle of the hair whilst it shapes it (much like hair straightening does). It is a bit noisy, but most things that have a motor for a moving part are the same, I've come to expect it and just turn my music up a bit louder to counteract this.

I've included 2 very short videos showing how I created my loose curls - sorry about the quality, I am still very much a beginner when it comes to moving on camera (and doing anything on camera, if I am honest - ha!).

The InStyler comes with a thermal shield to stop you burning yourself whilst using, but frankly I prefer it without as I find that it gets in the way. It also comes with an instructional DVD but I didn’t use that either as I am rubbish with reading manuals with things that I am too excited to try out – although I did go to their YouTube channel to watch some of the content on there in the end! Oooh and it also comes with a very handy bag that doubles up as a heat resistant mat to place the InStyler on whilst in use.

There are just a couple of things that I would change or add, and they are:

  1. Put a heat proof end on the barrel to help when curling to stop fingers catching and burning at the end (I found that this only happens rarely, but it’s still a nice idea for future models)!
  2. One press of a button to turn off/a separate temperature control as I’m sure many of you are only used to one step to turn off an appliance, where this requires 3 ‘clicks’ as before it turns of, it decreases the temperature twice – which is a nice feature for the finer haired among us, but a bit impractical when it comes to turning the InStyler off – and could pose a bit of a problem for anybody who forgets and ends up leaving it on, accidentally.
  3. It would also be great if the barrel was detachable so that you could add smaller or larger barrels to make tighter/looser curls and volume whenever you fancy it!
  4. I'd love for it to beep when it's at the correct temperature to use like my straighteners do! 

You can buy the InStyler for £100 from InStyler and you can find out more on their Twitter and Facebook pages!

Sponsored post - views (and bad photographs) are my own!

£4.95 Latest In Beauty 'You' Fragrance Discovery Box!

Beauty Boxes are everywhere now. I have 2 on the go, Glossybox and Feel Unique (although I'm thinking of getting rid of Glossybox) and I do quite like them - I like the surprise of getting something different each month, but I generally don't like getting perfume vials in them. I feel a bit cheated most of the time if they're included as one of the main products as most of the time, you can get these for free in stores etc.

However, I've just found the Latest in Beauty 'You' Fragrance Discovery Box (which looks like a one off box, not a recurring monthly subscription) that looks well worth purchasing at £4.95 (£2.95 plus £2 postage) - which may seem weird after me saying the above, since it contains perfume vials.

There is a method in my madness though, as the box also contains a 5ml L'Occitane Peony 5ml Sample AND a 15ml SpaceNK Laughter mini spray 'sample' - I say 'sample' as it's actually sold for £20 at SpaceNK so it really isn't so much of a sample at all, and is obviously worth a lot more than you pay for the whole box!

Frankly, at under a fiver, this box is worth a punt as even if I only like one of the fragrances, the rest can (and will) be put in with Christmas gift boxes so they won't go to waste!

Does this box grab your interest? Will you be purchasing one too?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just a Paw Picture!

For various reasons, I haven't managed to get anything posted today, but I thought I'd just come on quickly and post a little picture that I thought was quite cute. It features a paw that belongs to my cat, Chloe, just after she'd turned over the Sky channel whilst she has having a cuddle with me (it was a race to get my camera and take the photo before she moved her paw completely) - I was quite impressed with her abilities, but less so with her choice of TV (some old western film... really?). I think paws are really cute, is that weird?

You'll notice the bright pink fluffy robe behind the paw - that's one of the few robes that I have to have on my knee when Chloe wants a cuddle as she LOVES it. Bless.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Reminder of Today's Elemis QVC Today's Special Value!

As posted about here: 

  • 1 x Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (30ml) - award-winning moisturiser helps to actively reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst hydrating your skin
  • 1 x Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser (150ml) - formulated to deeply cleanse your skin, gently dissolving make-up and daily grime to a radiant, youthful-looking complexion
  • 1 x Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream (100ml) - luxuriously rich hand cream quickly absorbs to instantly hydrate hands and condition your nails. Only available at QVC
  • 1 x Frangipani Monoi Body Oil (100ml) - super-hydrating oil designed to leave your skin feeling silky soft and beautifully fragranced. It can be used as a massage oil and a hair treatment
  • 1 x Tranquil Touch Bath Elixir (300ml) - enriched with cocoa butter, patchouli, cedarwood and vetivert to leave your skin felling soft and delicately scented
  • 1 x navy patent wash bag - 26.5cm x 17.5cm x 8cm (10.3" x 6.8" x 3.1")

QVC Site!

Celeb Sunday - Emily Blunt For Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Opium!

It would be rude not to show you the gorgeous (and exclusive) behind the scenes footage I've been sent of Emily Blunt in the new TV Campaign for Yves Saint Laurent's Opium fragrance. Opium hasn't had a TV Campaign for 10 years, so it's nice to see that they're putting such a classic fragrance back on our screens, don't you think?!

I think Emily looks amazing, I am totally loving the smoky eyes and glamorous hair and am looking forward to seeing the ad in full - weirdly, I only really like beauty advertisements, the rest get fast forwarded! :-)

The full advertisement will be showing from December 4th but have a little preview with some behind the scenes footage below!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Selling/Advertising Tactics - A Little Rant, If You Please!

My mum called a couple of days ago, and told me to put Ideal World shopping channel on to see if I thought that some Silk 'Oil of Morocco' products showing on there were worth buying. I couldn't help but be a little wound up by the selling tactics used on the show though.

Firstly, they kept talking about 'another well known Argan Oil product' and how it was full of rubbish, not good for your hair and didn't get good results etc - it was quite clear to me, that they were talking about MoroccanOil, a product I use very regularly and a product I am over the moon with, every time I use it... and a product that many others that I know feel the same about, including reading on other beauty blogs.

They then demonstrated the 'other oil' on a model, and put it all literally in one small section of hair, which would make any hair oily and limp, using ANY product - even their own. I assume this was to make it appear that using this 'other' product would give you greasy, lifeless and limp hair which is simply not true. Look at the difference in how they apply it in the photographs below (please click to enlarge):
Now look at the finished result of the  (what I believe to be) MorrocanOil hair:
They then applied their Oil of Morocco to the other side, in a much different and much more normal manner. This of course gave the appearance of a better result, and thus a 'better product' - am I being cynical? Have a look:
See, a much lighter and natural application!
The other issue I had with the show is their before and after photographs. Their before pictures (on the left) are clearly un-styled and untreated by anything, in fact I'd say in the blonde model's photograph, they looked like they might have messed her hair up for the before photo, what do you think? Then, in the after photographs, the hair had clearly been styled to within an inch of its life for a lot of the photographs.
The red-headed model's hair actually looked greasy by the time they had put their product in, I don't know if it comes across in the picture but it really stood out to me, probably because they were going on about how it DIDN'T make the hair greasy at the same time. It's also quite obviously been properly curled, using some tool, which will always make the hair less frizzy - especially if it's a heated tool.

Surely it would have been better for them to style the hair in BOTH pictures in the same way, so that the result being shown would be a fair, and realistic comparison for people to then make an educated decision on whether to buy the product or not?

I know this is a tactic used by many brands, to make their 'after' results look even more amazing (I'm thinking lash inserts and other, similar advertising 'tricks'), but to do it so blatantly and whilst slating another brand just seems to be taking it a bit too far if you ask me... which you didn't, but I'm telling you anyway, haha!

It actually made me feel that I couldn't really trust the products being shown, it's like they can't show more realistic results because they wouldn't have as much of a 'wow' factor to them (or any factor, maybe?)! I obviously told my mum to just continue to use MoroccanOil as she knows and loves it, and I didn't want her to waste money on, or be disappointed in another product that neither of us knew much about!

I would much rather see a realistic image/piece of video footage that shows exactly how the product performs - even if it had less 'wow' factor. It would make me have a million times more faith in the brand, and product and would surely cause them less problems with advertising standards and complaints being made! This is why I rely on blogs (and why I started mine) as for the most part, you know you're getting real people showing real results! :-)

What do you make of it, is this something that annoys you with advertisements? Have you tried this brand's Argan oil products before?

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Beauty Deals and Codes!

Cheap Smells - Use code 'SkinCare10' anytime before Sunday and get an extra 10% off Roc, Guinot and Darphin!
Cheap Smells - 25% off Nail Rock nail wraps and also Wella Weekend where everything is £4.99 (and I LOVE this Wella range, it has been a staple for many years)!

Superdrug - For 4 days only, selected Ghost fragrances are 2 for £26, normally retailing at £23.50 each. Plus, if you spend £50, there's still the £10 off code GIFTGUIDE11 available to use until 22nd November. Perfect for Christmas presents!

Debenhams - 20% off when you spend £50 (although it excludes quite a lot, including beauty, which I know doesn't fall under beauty deals, but I thought some of you might be able to make use of this anyway?!) using code RX92 (between 21st and 27th November)

Gorgeous New Kooky Nail Wraps For Christmas!

Just how gorgeous are these? I adore Starry Night, Christmas Eve & Baby It's Cold Outside in both red and gold... I have no self control or decisiveness when it comes to choosing between things I like so I'm thinking I'll end up with all 4 designs and not enough fingers to wear them on over Christmas - ha!

Available from priced £5 per sheet (I think it's £2.50 postage per oder), with lots and lots of other designs also available on there!

What do you think, would you wear these? x

Gel Nail Swatches - Final Thoughts!

You may remember the gel nails that I had done at Professional Beauty North a while back?! Well I thought I'd do a quick update post showing the polish after 3 and a half weeks of wear and what I thought about how they left my nails after.

As you can see, all brands stood up well in how well they lasted, none of them chipped, wore away or changed in appearance at all - and that is pretty damn impressive. Nothing I did made any difference to how they looked. In fact, they were all still so very pretty, that I did feel a bit bad when I removed them.
Saying that though, I was definitely ready to remove them as you can see, my nails have grown quite a lot and there was a huge gap between my cuticle and where the polish started - and normally, I'd have taken the polish off way before I did, but this was an experiment, and so they stayed put.

After removing them, the only nail that appears to have suffered any damage was my thumbnail, which had the Calgel on. It feels so dry and is hugely marked, even buffing didn't smooth it out - I'll spare you the photographs I took, it's not pretty at all!

I'd certainly recommend the NuBar Gelicure and Artistic Colour Gloss without hesitation, and would just say to make sure that the Calgel system isn't going to damage your nails before you have it done as other than the damaged nail, I was still very impressed. I can't honestly say if this damage was a one off as this is my one and only nail/experience of it, just approach with caution and make sure you know everything there is to know.

Do you have gel nail polish? If so, which one and do your nails ever get damaged with it? x

P.S - The Kooky Nail Wrap lasted 2 weeks, although there was tip-shrinkage quite soon into that but it wasn't awfully noticeable!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fake Bake Beauty Salon Launches In Selfridges Beauty Hall, Manchester!

Two weeks ago, I attended the brand spanking new and totally fantastic Fake Bake Salon in (also brand new) Selfridges Beauty Hall in Manchester. It’s a gorgeous little salon, light and bright and with the most amazing chandeliers hanging from the ceiling (instantly alerting that magpie in me – ooooh sparkly) – everything you’d expect from a salon located in a Selfridges store! Refreshments are provided with a smile (I even had a glass of the fizzy stuff) and it really feels that nothing is too much trouble – great service.
I was very surprised to see the range of treatments available as I expected that it could just be mainly focussed around tanning and possibly nails too but there’s a whole host of treatments to choose from, from bronzing to Botox – just have a look (and apparently there’s more to come)!!
I went for a resurfacing facial, using a Dermaquest 10% Glycolic mask which isn’t a nicey nice facial where you relax, but it is a facial that delivers results almost immediately (I will do a separate post on that very soon)! The therapist was informative throughout the treatment, telling me exactly which step was being done and what it did. She was also very friendly, and seemed genuinely interested our conversation whilst doing the treatment!
Whilst there I also met, and had a great chat with the king of tanning, James Read, who has bronzed the bodies of many celebrities throughout his career, and who was giving fake tanning master classes for 2 days in the Manchester salon. I found James to be utterly fabulous and so friendly too - he definitely knows his stuff where self tanning is concerned and this knowledge really shone through as he talked me through tanning trends and the Fake Bake range.

All in all, I am VERY impressed with the salon and its staff. If you fancy a visit, you can find it nestled in the new downstairs beauty hall at the side (ish) just near to the MAC and Illamasqua concessions.
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