Monthly Archives

January 2014

Cosmetics Storage, Nails

Roo Beauty Zebra Print Travel Nail Polish Storage

January 31, 2014

Roo Beauty Nail Polish Storage


Roo Beauty Nail Varnish Storage Zebra



Today I want to share this awesomely cute nail varnish case from Roo Beauty!

I travel around a lot with my band (not to mention the frequent trips across the channel to see my boyfriend who is studying in Rotterdam!) and I always loose my nail varnishes in the bottom of a travel case somewhere. Cut to ten minutes before stage time and I’m frantically trying to find a black sharpie to cover up all the chips I picked up during load in!

Well since my partner-in-crime gave me this gorgeous polish storage I’ve had no trouble putting my hand to my polishes when out and out!

Roo Beauty Zebra Nail Case

This gorgeous case has space for twenty polishes in a roomy foam insert, and so far I’ve managed to fit almost every kind of polish in the circular spaces. The only brand I have that doesn’t fit is the Avon Nailwear Pro+ as they come in square bottles that stretch the foam out of shape.

The case itself feels very sturdy with a heavy duty zip, and even the mesh top (very useful to spot what you need in a hurry!) feels like it will stand up to lots of abuse being thrown in and out of my tour bag. Even the removable foam is great quality, and I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it crumbling apart any time soon.

I love anything zebra print, so this was the perfect case for me but if you are after a classier black crock print, or a trashier bright leopard there are plenty of designs to choose from!

Available from for £14.99.

Totally hellbent for perfect nails on the road!

– Gem



the Balm cosmetics “time balm” concealer

January 30, 2014


I know, I know … January is not the time for spending. But before I’m given the look of disapointment, I didn’t spend a penny! I promise! Thanks to Birchbox though, signing up to that wonderful beauty box of joy means that when I complete surveys on the products I receive, I get points. Luckily for me, these points can be used in their online shop which contains many beautiful products including a favourite of both Gem and I – Benefit. You can find out more about Birchbox here.

Enough of the beauty boxing though – this is the Balm “time balm” concealer. Having been a fan of theirs for a little while now and always wanting to try out new concealers, I figured I would give this a go. What can I say – once again I am totally and utterly in love. It came in quite a dinky screw top clear jar – slightly bigger than an eye shadow dust, but that’s Okay, not only is it packed to the brim but it’s small enough to sneak into my makeup bag when I’m running low on space. Consistency wise it’s nice and thick, but not too overbearing, I’ve worn this both under my foundation and without any at all and it blends beautifully. A nice fluffy brush to buff it in and my skin looks so much better. I’m also pretty impressed at how my skin reacts to this, it hasn’t made my skin feel tight or dry which is often the problem I face and despite looking a little darker, the colour is perfect for my daytime wear, but also works well even with my lightest foundation.


This is definitely a keeper and I even used it with my stage make-up last week. If you want to try this out they are available in the Birchbox shop for £12.00. The one above is in “lighter than light” and perfect for my paler complexion. According to the Birchbox website “It’s so pure that you can wear it 24/7. By day, it serves to hide our puffy circles and other flaws. By night, it works to undo the look of fine lines and wrinkles.” it suggests dabbing some under your eyes before bed, but I haven’t been brave enough to try this as I like my skin free from all make-up to sleep in but who knows, maybe I’ll give it a try?

Totally hellbent for hiding unsightly blemishes and red patches




Using Magnetic Nail Varnish

January 29, 2014


Some months ago now, I posted a Nail of the day which included Avon’s Colour Attract Magnetic Nail Varnish. Since then, I’ve had a few people asking me how to use magnetic wands/blocks with their nail varnish and I have to admit, looking back to when I first tried these out – I too was a little confused.

So to help you all out, I’ve taken a few photo’s to show you.

First off, start by painting your nails with the Magnetic Nail colour of your choice and leave it to dry. Once this first coat has set, you will need to do the next step, one nail at a time.

Next paint another coat on one nail and whilst this is still wet, you need to apply the wand/magnetic block:



You should start to see the pattern forming, hold the wand steady for about 30 seconds before removing carefully and allowing to dry.  I’ve found that if you move the wand accidentally then sometimes this ruins the pattern, but by the third or fourth nail, you should have got the hang of it!



The two colours used in this example were “Magnetic Metal” and “Blue Attraction”, both can be purchased from Avon for £6.00 each and the wands purchased separately for just £0.99 here. I have to say, I’m completely in love with “Magnetic Metal” even without the magentised pattern.

I hope this has been of some use to you all, I’d love to know if you’ve tried out other Magnetic Nail Varnishes and whether you liked them or not.

Totally hellbent for helping out the nail varnish community!




Models Own Velvet Goth Trio

January 28, 2014

Models Own Velvet


I can’t believe how long it has taken me to get a review up for this set – they’ve been on my nails almost constantly since December! I’ve only tried a few Models Own polishes, and despite my love for all things glitter they were all traditional finishes, but I can see my collection growing very swiftly on the basis of this set!

The Velvet Goth Trio is an ASOS online exclusive that takes three shades from the  collection (L-R) Amethyst, Sardonyx and Absinthe. All three are glitter polishes with a rather unique matte (and yes almost velvety!) finish beneath the shimmer. I’ve been wearing these a LOT, especially Absinthe which has become my go-to stage polish choice! I’ve only had to apply two coats once, as every other time the extremely thick consistency has been enough in just one quick coat.

Models Own Velvet Goth trio swatches

I love the mix of glitter sizes and the really pigmented colours, but for me it’s really that unique finish that makes these polishes stand out. If you’re not so much into the velvet finish you can turn all three into amazingly shimmer glitters with  any old top-coat!


Models Own velvet with topcoat swatch

Overall I have to say these are my new favourite polishes by a mile, and I think I’ll be seeking out the two other colours in the range sooner than later.

Available for £9.00 (reduced from £12.00) from

Totally hellbent for unique and rich glitters.

– Gem


Real Techniques Limited Edition Duo-Fibre Collection

January 22, 2014

real Techniques duo fibre collection


When the Real Techniques brushes launched a while back, the blogosphere went into total melt down over them, and my lust to own some grew and grew! It’s harder than you think to find synthetic pro-standard make-up brushes that don’t cost the earth, but finally I have found my match in make-up brush heaven!

IMG_7355The duo-fibre collection contains three brushes – a face brush, a contour brush and a eye brush. There’s no travel case as with the core collection sets, instead they arrived housed in a spongy tray. I don’t think it’s intended to be used as storage but I have kept mine for the time being as it makes them super easy to find in my brush collection!



All three brushes are made from ridiculously soft synthetic taklon that feel amazing on the skin, with a design that means they pick up only the minimum of product. The face brush is perfect for daytime powdering, there’s literally no way your powder can cake with how delicately this applies! You can also apply liquid and cream products, but I think by far this works best will loose or pressed powers.

The contour brush is perfect for building up blusher, bronzer or highlighter to a very natural look, no more frantic rubbing because your blush brush picked up half the pan! I reckon this would make a sneaky foundation brush too if you were hard pushed as it’s dense enough and a good shape!

The eye brush for me is a perfect blending tool, so light and fluffy! I’ve been trying this out as a crease brush too, and though it does work well enough I think I’ll be using it for blending more than anything else.

Overall I would definitely recommend these to absolutely everyone. The face brush alone is worth the investment – I’ve yet to find another brush that applies powder as flawlessly light. If you want to get your hands on this set, I’d do so quickly as they are a special edition so could quite easily be gone if you linger in indecisive territory!

Available for £23.99 from

Totally hellbent for fabulous affordable cruelty free brushes!

– Gem



Thriving off Thriftiness

January 21, 2014

Since I took up self-employment, I really do see money in a completely different light. Both my partner and I often assess things in hours – “Hmm, this food shop is half a day’s work” etc etc. Keeping in spirit with Gem’s “Wham Bam Jan Spending Ban” I too have banned myself from over indulging in the hope that I can get back on track after the Christmas spend.

Inspired by one of my fav bloggers “Miss Thrifty” I figured I’d share with you guys some of the things I do to save myself some money.


1. Save the empties

First off, how guilty are you of buying those adorable empty travel bottle sets? I hold my hand up to that one – pre self employment, anything I wanted, I bought. Most the time I’d throw the bottles away after I’d used them on holiday or at a festival, with the old “I’ll buy some more for next time”, same goes for air-beds and camping chairs – leaving them for the trash men because I couldn’t be bothered to carry them. Well, not any more!


This is one of many empty boxes – a recycled Birchbox package. Each time I use up a product, I wash out the container and store it. It means that I can “decant” moisturisers and body butters into smaller bottles to take away with me and it doesn’t really matter if I lose them. I also like to keep spray bottles so I can fill them with hair products and the really tiny ones can be used to use up some of those endless mini perfume samples.


2 a. Sell all the things

I acquired a lot of Body Shop products this year, which I am absolutely overjoyed about. Unfortunately The Body Shop tend to put a lot of soap in their gifts, so I sold these on eBay because I never use soap and as pretty as they looked with the rest of my hoard, they were gathering dust. I also scoured my drawers for some make-up items that I had bought and had no intention of using ever again – having only swatched them, they went to new homes.

2 b. Sell to buy

I know I’ve had a bit of a spending ban, well an ongoing spending ban that looks like it will creep it’s way into most of the year! One thing I really really wanted was a new pair of boots for on stage. This is both a want and a need, admittedly I can get by without new boots, however Dakesis pride ourselves on having a uniformed look and my trusty Wacken army boots are now starting to look a little sorry for themselves, not to mention how clunky they are when I’m trying to wield a 6 string bass. Alas, I chose three pairs of shoes that I have worn once and will never wear again on the understanding that if I sold these for the same amount as a new pair of boots, I could then buy them. Success! I sold my shoes, bought some new boots (which I am eagerly awaiting) and still had a little money left over.



3. Get rid of your loose change

I’ve known a few people to tell the cashier to keep the 1p or even throw coppers away! What a waste. Brains and I have a large  bottle where every few weeks, we empty our purse and wallet out of all the loose change and chuck it in the bottom. We don’t notice it’s gone, in fact it means we don’t end up spending it on a whim. Last time we cashed in the bottle, we ended up with £117. So next time you think about sodding off before collecting that 3 pence – think again.




4. Reuse everything you can

I love my beauty boxes, but the best thing about them is being able to reuse the boxes. Instead of buying purpose built storage boxes for documents, I’ve reused Body Shop gift boxes, which look cute stacked on top of each other, and for my drawers I organise my stationary in the office using old Birchbox boxes. I even store my sewing and crafty bits in Glossybox’s. The possibilities are endless though – we often buy large jars of coffee (own brand naturally), but once they are finished with, a nice long soak and you can store biscuits, flour and sugar, if your feeling really crafty, you can decorate them to your hearts content. Who needs ikea? (Okay – I still need Ikea, but maybe not as much!)


5. Do you really need to throw that away?

Gift wrap, Christmas cards even old jiffy envelopes. I keep them all. The envelopes are great for sending out things that I’ve sold, I just carefully peel off the label with my details on and stick a label over the top. I also keep ribbons, long pieces of thread and buttons. You’d be surprised how handy they are for crafts.

So embrace your inner scrimper and save your pennies, you’ll be needing them for Christmas 2014!

Totally hellbent for a green bank balance





Beauty Boxes

Birchbox January 2014

January 21, 2014

It seems like a lifetime ago that the December Birchbox came and after my completely overwhelming Christmas period where I was spoilt rotten, I had nearly forgotten about beauty box time. In fact I was at Gem’s house when suddenly the strange delivery lady appeared with her box, so I instantly hurried the fifteen feet or so back to my own house in excitement!


A new look to the Birchbox was pretty surprising, but great. Gem and I are suckers for packaging and one of the things we like most about Glossybox is unwrapping the beautiful tissue paper and delicately placed ribbon. Although I admit that the mini Birchbox bags we used to get were convenient, I now have so many of them that I have no idea what to do with them, they aren’t as sturdy as the boxes themselves so they don’t stack, thus they take up muchos room!

The other exciting thing about this edition is that Birchbox announced we would get a Benefit product in them, which Gem and I absolutely -thrive- off.

So what’s in the box?


Tommyguns Fig, Plum & Marshmallow Conditioner – £5.50 for full size product

This promises to guarantee frizz-free hair – and it smells pretty lush too, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a gigantic 250ml size bottle, as usually the smaller samples do me for half a wash, given the amount of hair I have!


Benefit – The POREfessional – usually £24.50 for full size product

This is one of the greatest primer’s on earth, I like to use mine on only problem areas and use another primer for the rest of my face, just to conserve what I have of this. But seriously – pores be gone!

Gem and I absolutely love this, and are always saying we need to double up on all our fav cosmetics – mostly so that on gig days we don’t have to go through the trauma of packing a make-up bag, but also after Gem had hundreds of pounds worth of make-up stolen a few years ago on our jaunt to Wacken, we like to cover all possibilities of our fav’s going walk abouts. A decent sized 7.5ml to add to my collection – thank-you very much Birchbox.

noble isle

Noble Isle – Willow Song Bath & Shower Gel – £20 for full size product

Well I was a little disappointed with the addition of this product, it doesn’t really smell that great and I have so many toiletries to get through after the festive period that it will probably end up in my “mini’s collection” bag ready for some sort of overnight outing I may find myself going on. I may find myself surprised, but it also seems a little pricey for something that doesn’t seem to claim any great feat. A mini 30mls, good for travelling though!


Vasanti – Detox Nutrient-Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser – £18 for full size product

A generic cleanser, claiming to wash away toxins and all traces of foundation – I’ll remember this and will give this a go after a night on stage to see just how well it performs! Can’t go wrong with miniature sized cleansers though really can you? Another generous 20ml bottle.


Premae – Anatomy Nutrients Instant Renewal Body Oil – £9.50 for full size product

“Moisturise, tone and detoxify skin” – I have to admit, I’m becoming a bit of a fan of body oils. Not only are they great for massages (I mean the actual massages, after a stressful day, when your partner does something completely selfless and doesn’t even expect any late night sessions ;o)) but they are also good if you suffer with dry skin, especially during the winter months, where all that heating tends to dry your skin out. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this out. Another 20ml bottle.


Itsu – Miso Soup – £2.25 for three sachets

This was the lifestyle extra, a light and healthy soup paste, that you just add hot water to. I’m a fan of healthy soups like this, I previously used to buy “1cal soup” which was Vegetarian, but chicken flavoured. Really nice for a snack, without the guilt trip of scoffing unwanted calories. This too is also Veggie friendly so next time I’m feeling peckish, I’ll try this out and see what I think. I’ll then decide if £2.25 is reasonable for just three packets.


Overall I’m pretty pleased with the first Birchbox of the year, although that may have something to do with the addition of Benefit! If’ you’d like to try this box out, head on over to their website here. It’s £10 a month with £2.95 P&P. You also have the added bonus of collecting points when you complete surveys on your products, which you can spend in their shop on all the lovely products you get in  your box each month!

Totally hellbent for the first box of the year



Beauty Boxes

Glossybox January 2014

January 21, 2014

Glossybox January 2014


It seems like only yesterday I was oooing and aaaahing over December’s Glossybox, and already here is the first box of 2014!

The first thing of note is that the box itself is bigger and well…glossier! This months theme is “Back to Basics” and contains five products, only one (almost sort of two!) of which is full size.


Glossybox contents January 2014

I have to say I wasn’t all that excited upon first impressions, the lack of a make-up item and the sample sizes too were a bit of a let down, but on closer inspection this isn’t a bad box at all.


Glossy Box Anatomicals


Anatomicals – Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches

I’m definitely not a morning person, so anything that can banish the night before the morning after is a good thing in my book. I love Anatomicals and their tongue in cheek packaging and marketing, and definitely got a giggle out of the name. You get two sets of patches in the cute pink pouch, but they are single use so I’ll be saving mine for really dire mornings!

2 x full sized products

£6 for 3 sachets from


Glossybox Vintage company floral slanted tweezersThe Vintage Cosmetic Company Floral Slanted Tweezers

I can’t say I particularly needed another set of tweezers, but theses are pretty adorable! Made of high quality stainless steel with a slanted edge and a pretty vintage look, they are better than the bog-standard but it is quite hard to get excited about tweezers really isn’t it.

Full size

£8.00 from


GLossybox Vaseline essential moisture lotionVaseline Essential Moisture Lotion

I tend to think as Vaseline as a very plain and budget brand, something I wouldn’t usually pick up for myself. I gave this a quick try and I feel pretty indifferent towards it to be honest, but I knew there are people who prefer to keep skincare simple and for them this might be okay for a post-shower pick me up.

50ml Sample

£4.99 for 400ml from


Glossybox Balance Me super toning body washBalance Me Super Toning Body Wash

I’ve become quite a fan of Balance Me thanks to various samples from beauty boxes and magazines, so despite shower gel being a bit of a meh product, this was one of the more exciting finds this month. The smell is a delicious mix of juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender, and it’s always great to know they come from natural oils rather than synthetic sources. The brand  promises 99% natural origin in all it’s products, so great for us eco-types!

50ml Sample

£10.25 for 250ml from


GLossybox Yu-Be skin creamYu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream

Another “cult skincare sample”, hrm. I wasn’t overly interested in this, but gave it a quick try and WOW that scent is way way too overpowering to use anywhere near my face! It smells like a very herb heavy vapour rub which is a shame because despite a heavy texture it left my skin feeling amazingly soft. Maybe I’ll save these for next time I have a blocked nose!

2 x 3g sample

£19.50 for 70g from


So overall a very skin-care heavy box, but I suppose that makes sense for a Back to Basics theme. Let’s hope next month is filled with lovely shiny make-up and exciting treats!

You can order a Glossybox of your very own here for £10 (+ P&P) per monthly box. 

Totally hellbent for a bigger, glossier box – bigger glossier treats to come?

– Gem 



Nails, News

Shatter by O.P.I

January 16, 2014

Shatter by OPI

I am very much a latecomer when it comes to the crackle nail polish scene. I had one or two when they first hit the market but never really bothered with them much, I think these three polishes from O.P.I have completely changed my mind!

I found these in Pound World of all places, and picked up Shatter the Scales, Super Bass Shatter and Black Shatter.

I remember reading a review on these somewhere that hinted that if you applied them directly to the nail they didn’t crack, but as you can see below Shatter the Scales is the only one you could really wear alone, Super Bass Shatter was far too streaky and Black Shatter crackled even without base coat.

Crackle by OPI



Used over a coat of polish ( I chose Soho Silver by Nails Inc) they crackled up right away, though Super Bass Shatter and Shatter the Scales seemed to only break vertically.Black Shatter  was very impressive however, and I think I’ll find myself using it more and more to cover up a manicure after a few days of wear.

Crackle by OPI


If you fancy getting a hold of them then your best bet is Amazon or Ebay where all three can be found at discount prices, though it’s worth checking the pound stores if you get the chance!

Totally hellbent for getting into a trend years after it shows up!

– Gem


Contouring here I come … (featuring W7 & Benefit)

January 15, 2014



I have been most spoilt over the festive season. My dad Neil brought me a benefit tin which I was absolutely over the moon with (I’m guessing it has something to do with his beautiful daughter pointing him in the right direction and I don’t mean my good self!) the contents of which contained the Hoola bronzer. Gem also brought me Candy Floss highlighter and Africa bronzer by W7.

Although the Africa was largely due to the beautiful animal print inside, Gem highly recommends the Candy Floss as one of her (many) fav’s when it comes to highlighting.

I’ve been after a good bronzer for a while, one that I can use for contouring that isn’t going to make me look like I’m auditioning for a part on “The Only Way Is Essex” and thankfully once again to the Christmas fairies, I can now play to my hearts content.

I am overly chuffed with the swatches:



The Candy Floss gives a perfect shimmer and I can’t wait to try this out.

Similiarly the Africa bronzer has a subtle shimmer to it, but looks to be an absolutely perfect shade for contouring. The Hoola is also fairly light and once teamed with Africa is going to make for some beautifully chiseled cheek bones!


contourswatchFrom left to right: Candy Floss, Africa, Hoola

Now I just need to spend some time working on my contour skills ready for the next social outing!

Totally hellbent for Christmas Piggies