NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in 170 Expresso

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

NYC Grand Central Topcoat over

This color is a gorgeous dusty rose color in a cream finish. This is kind of surprising considering the name, but I’ll go for it. I was so impressed by this polish: its pigmentation is incredible (this is literally only one coat!) and it did dry extremely fast. Thanks to the wide, stiff brush, application was also a breeze. It isn’t the shiniest polish out there, but this doesn’t  bother me because I always use my fabulous NYC topcoat (review here) anyway. I am looking forward to trying more from this line, if they are all like this my wallet may be in trouble!


Review: Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist

Boots: ₤5.99

Douglas: €9,45









The Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist is supposed to protect your hair from the damage heat can wreak on your hair, whilst keeping your hair straight for longer and providing moisture and shine. It contains antioxidant-rich green tea extract to combat free radicals formed by UV light and styling. You are supposed to spray into towel-dry hair, and then blow-dry and straighten.



Alcohol Denat., Aqua (Water), VP/VA Copolymer, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-8 Dimethicone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Cetrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Coumarin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Amyl Cinnamal, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben

This is a pretty good heat protectant. It does the job well, and does leave my hair soft and shiny. The packaging is just fabulous as well… c’mon. You can’t not love it. It’s PINK! My only real issue is the smell. It is a very strong, sickly sweet smell. I absolutely hate it. It does dissipate after a while, but until then your hair smells very strongly of it. Other people who have used it are really divided about the smell; my sister for example really loves it. It’s kinda like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it.


It works quite well and is pretty affordable, so I would recommend it… just make sure to smell it in store to make sure you like it!

Rating: B











Review: ELF Studio Lip Stain (Fashionista) $3 £3.75/€4.50

Can also be found at Target









L: Built up R: Sheered out










ELF describes this product as a long-lasting, “full-coverage” lip color. It is formulated with vitamins A and E that apparently keep your lips soft all day. It is double ended, with the stain on one end and the gloss on the other. The idea is that if you want a matte look, you apply the stain alone, but if you want a glossy look, you wait for the stain to dry and then apply the gloss.


Isododecance, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Triacontanyl PVP, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol. 
Gloss: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides (CI 77491 , CI 77492 , CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red No.7 Lake (CI 15850), Red No.27 Lake (CI 45410), Red No.6 Lake (CI 15850), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow No.5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow No.6 Lake (CI 15985).

Let me start with what this stain has going for it. It has a gorgeous color, for starters. It is an amazing bright pink-lemonade pink (I’m sorry, that is the only way I can describe the color), and the pigmentation is good, so you can make the color on your lips look like the color on the tube, but you can also wear this color really sheer and it looks great. By the way, the color on the ELF website is misleading, the color in person looks much more similar to the picture of First Date on the site. The packaging is quite good as well. They’ve managed to make everything pretty compact, which is not always a feature in the packaging of other ELF products. Exhibit A: the Studio Cream Blushes. The packaging is also very professional looking, which I like. Another bonus is that you can see what the actual product looks like, which is very good for choosing colors.

Now lets get into the not-so-great stuff. The first thing you notice about the stain is how it applies. The color does not distribute evenly, so you end up with patches of really thick color and then places with hardly anything. This is annoying as hell. Then, the texture. It has the weirdest consistency EVER. When you put it on at first it feels really slick, and then it dries to what I can only describe as a powder finish. It almost feels as if you put a cream-to-powder blush on your lips. Having put an ELF Studio Cream on my lips before (don’t ask me why, I have no clue), I can testify that the experience is very similar. And it really isn’t a feeling you really want on your lips… The product also tends to settle in any flaky skin you have on your lips, as well as drying them out. Not cute. When you put it on, I also experienced a slight tingling feeling. Not like a plumping gloss feeling, either. Like an I-think-I-am-having-an-allergic-reaction feeling. I didn’t seem to have any sort of reaction to it, but the feeling was unpleasant nonetheless. I don’t have much to say about the gloss, I hardly ever used it because I am not a gloss person. However, when I did try it, I formed the impression that it was terrible. I do not have a lot of experience with lip gloss because I personally do not enjoy them , but this one seemed to be more on the thin side and felt almost gritty after the initial glossiness wore off. So like 2 seconds after application.

And to sum this review up, I shall talk about the staying power. Despite having a weird texture and less than stellar application, did the product actually perform in terms of longetivity? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is no. Not only did it wear off quite quickly, but it wore off in unevenly, contributing to that lovely patchy effect.

To sum up, despite its absolutely gorgeous color and good packaging, this product failed in pretty much every respect. In short, it sucked. Which really is a bummer because I really want a good stain!

Rating: C-

Review: Bourjois Volume Glamour Max Definition (Black)

Boots: £9.49   Bourjois describes this mascara as an extra-black volumizing mascara (surprise, surprise) that lasts up to 16 hours and is good for the eyes. It should be safe for contact-wearers and people with sensitive eyes, although I am neither so could not tell you.

As you can see, just a tad too much product…

All clean, with a normal amount of product

The wand is plastic, with tiny bristles and a spiky ball bit on the end, a la Benefit They’re Real. The brush does coat every lash, and even catches the little tiny lashes on the inner corners. I am pleased to say that not only is this mascara volumizing, it is lengthening as well. The problem is, that the mascara is very fickle. When applied properly, it makes my lashes look absolutely stunning. Applied badly… well, my lashes turn into Clump City. However, I have found that instead of using the traditional wiggling-the-wand-at-the-roots-and-pulling-up method, it is much more effective to slowly roll the wand away from my face while pulling up. It takes a little practice to master the technique, but I promise that you will be rewarded once you do. The only other thing that I don’t like about the wand and application is that the wand tends to come out of the tube with far more product than is necessary, and I normally have to spend like a minute wiping away the excess product.



The two things that you cannot possibly fault the mascara for are blackness and wear time. The mascara is really black, and seriously lasts forever. The mascara definitely reaches 16 hours looking perfect, and after that the lashes start to droop, but do look better than naked lashes. I have seriously slept in this mascara, and the next morning the mascara was still there, looking just as tired as me. It hadn’t smudged or flaked at all, though. This wear time does make it a little difficult to get off, but it’s honestly not that bad. The consistency is quite odd. It is a drier mascara, and is not really creamy. It almost separates into clumps in the tube. I make it sound really bad, but it isn’t really. I just don’t know how to describe it. It doesn’t cause flaking, the only real impacts that it has are on clumping (which can be avoided using the application technique I mentioned), and when the mascara is taken off , it doesn’t melt off the lashes like other mascaras do, it comes off in little clumpy bits. Not a huge problem.   The packaging for this, though, is pretty awesome. The curved handle fits nicely into my hand, allowing for more control over the wand. This is especially good considering that the special rolling technique is required to achieve optimal results. There is also the fact that the tube is a shocking, unapologetic hot pink.   I’m not entirely sure if it’s actually good for your eyes at all, but it does have beeswax in it that supposedly “fortifies you lashes”. Who knows? It might be true.

The bottom line: This really is a good mascara, but because of the difficulties with the application and the fact that the wand comes out of the tube with too much product, I’m still undecided as to whether I would repurchase this product. It is conceivable. Although I must say that for a drugstore mascara, it is pretty pricey. Hm.

Rating: B