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The Monthly Roundup: April

This month I decided to take a look back at the beauty posts featured on I Covet Thee in April.
Here's a roundup of 10 of the best for you to catch up on if you missed any!

01. A look at Barry M High Shine Nail Paints in three amazing spring colours.

02. Hauling up a storm with some highstreet/drugstore makeup.

03. My everyday makeup routine gets an update, and a new video tutorial.

04. Four of the best dry skin savious, take a look at my Hydration Heroes.

05. My picks from the purse-draining beauty bible that is

06. A look at two of the new shades from the Revlon Lip Butter range

07. A quick tour of this month's instalment of the Beauty Box of the moment - Birchbox

08. My current skincare picks and those I've been reaching for the most

09. Chanel wins me over with the world easiest smokey eye.

10. The handiest brush washing tool you might ever come across, and my tips on getting the prefect clean.

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New In My Wardrobe

April 2013 Favourites


This month's favourites are short and sweet. I've been sticking to what I know and keeping it pretty simple in all areas of beauty. From a bright lip to some seriously Spring orientated products, here are my picks from the month!

MAC Vegas Volt Lipstick | Revlon Colourstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in It Girl | Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in 11 Fraise Remix | Benefit Stay Don't Stray | Clarins Bronzing Duo | Real Techniques Expert Face Brush | La Roche-Posay Effaclar M Mattifying Moisturiser (now changed to Effaclar Mat) | Hydraluron Moisture Boost | This Works Deep Sleep Shower Gel | Soap & Glory Pulp Friction

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Let Them Eat Cupcakes


On the rare occassion that a food post pops up on I Covet Thee you can pretty much guarantee it's going to be Cupcake related. Who want's a messy slice of cake when you can have your own individually sized bundle of joy! These simple vanilla cupcakes are my port of call whenever a BYOBG (bring your own baked goods) situation arises, and today it's my Mum's birthday!

You will need: 110g Unsalted Butter, 110g Caster Sugar, 2 Free Range Egg, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, 110g Self Raising Flour, 2 tbsp Milk

Cream the butter and sugar together then add the eggs and vanilla, the trick to get the cupcakes light and fluffy is to really got to town on the mixture with a whisk. Fold in the flour and add the milk last.

I like to use deep cases for maximum cake output! This mixture makes 6 large cupcakes or 12 small ones. Now just bake for 25 minutes at 180°C (15 minutes for small) and let them cool before icing.

Through a lot of trial and not so tasty error I've found the perfect buttercream icing to top these with. Beat 140g unsalted butter with a whisk until it turns almost white, add 280g icing sugar and a splash of vanilla extract then colour and decorate as you see fit. I went for yellow and pink with some edible daisies. Yum yum!

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The Brush Wash


I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that constantly washing an endless stack of makeup brushes might just be the bane of my life. I try to aim for a good deep clean once a week but I'm beyond lazy when it comes to sticking to a schedule so it more than often ends up being a lot longer - you have permission to judge me!

Saying that however, I recently stumbled across a few products that have made the whole process a lot faster and slightly more enjoyable. I guess I should address the issue of the pink rubber glove pictured above as I'm sure you're all wondering what on earth it is! Any like minded beauty worshipers should have heard all about Sigma's new Brush Cleaning Glove by now. A Silicone mitt with a variety of textures and surfaces designed effectively remove dirt and makeup from brushes a whole lot better than the palm of your hand. The only problem is the $40 price tag. As life-changing a beauty invention as this may be, I couldn't justify dropping over £25 on a piece of rubber.

I searched around all sorts of places for a similar glove, but couldn't find anything remotely close that was classified as a beauty product. However, after typing silicone glove into Amazon and being greeted with a sea of kitchen accessories I thought, why not! Enter my new best friend, the pink oven glove. While it doesn't have the three separate textures like it's Sigma counterpart (designed for washing, drying and shaping) the bobbly texture really does lift make up out of the bristles a lot more efficently.

Paired with a mild foaming soap, my favourite at the moment is the Dr Bronner's Organic Baby Cast Liquid Soap, I squeeze a small amount onto the glove for each brush and give it a good massage. The trick with this product is to apply it to a dry brush, it foams up a lot better as the soap already has quite a watery consistency and then after a quick rinse and blot I leave them on the windowsill to dry overnight. Voilà, good as new brushes with a pink helping hand!

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The One Step Smokey Eye


When it comes to eye make up these days I'm edging more and more towards the simple. If I can get away with a single colour swept over the lid and a touch of mascara I'm more than happy to walk out the door and a smokey eye has been no exception.

Chanel's Illusion D'Ombre have been calling my name ever since they arrived at counters in 2011. Originally the sheer pink shade Emerveille was on my wish list, but after many a swatch session I had to walk away with Ebloui. A rich, chocolaty aubergine with a hint of burgundy and an array of multi-coloured micro-glitters, I don't think a better colour colour possible exist for a one step smokey eye. I pat this all over the lid with fingers, then blend out the edges to a haze with a fluffy brush and continue layering all around the eye until the colour becomes rich enough. It could't be more straightforward. The formula is almost a mousse texture, but a lot denser. It glides on like a sheer powder, but does't take much to build up an intense shade.

Now it absolutely pains me to say this but after a few hours it does start to crease on me, even with a primer. Honestly though I can't help but forgive and forget as everything else about this product is just so incredibly beautiful. At £24 they're not the most easily purchasable of eyeshadows but I know I won't be able to stop myself buying another one (of four) in the future!

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What's On My Skincare Shelf: Current Picks


I've been making an effort to simplify my skincare down to a handful of great products that I know work for me as apposed to the masses of lotions and potions I usually choose between. It's been tough, but I've whittled it down to some real gems and have found a good core routine that my skin is really enjoying. I still like to supplement this with different products here and there and sometimes swap a few things around, but here's an insight into what's currently on my scaled-down skincare shelf.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution* | Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover | Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Foaming Cleansing Wash | EVE LOM Cleansing Balm* | EVE LOM Eye Cream* | La Roche-Posay Effaclar M Mattifying Moisturiser (now changed to Effaclar Mat) | Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair | Caudalie Divine Oil | Dr Jart Water-Max Sleeping Mask

* Gifted PR Samples

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This Week #43


01. A 1940s dress up day at work, victory rolls 'n' all! 02. Can't beat a burger on a Saturday night! 03. So I might have just gone to see Oblivion for some Tom Cruise Lovin' but woah, it's a goodun' alright. 04. Having a mini breakdown trying to choose a new colour for our bathroom - we went for Mellow Mocha in the end! 05. Planning out some recipes to try over the week, Rosie's Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins are most definitely first on the list. 06. I'm not quite sure how I managed to go 20 years without trying an avocado, but now I'm seriously hooked!

Must read of the week: If you do one thing this evening it needs to be sitting down and having a good pour through Amelia's notes from Caroline Hirons talk at Liberty which I'm currently trying to engrave into my brain. Musings from the skincare queen herself, there are some seriously interesting tips and amazing pointers that are going to blow your mind.

Product of the week: I've been embracing the dewey glow this week and shopping the foundation stash for a luminous yet covering base. Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation (a product I once professed some serious loathing for) has surprisingly come out on top. Good coverage, long wearing and with some serious radiance packed in it's become my go to for spring skin.

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April Birchbox


Birchbox* - £10 + P&P

The monthly subscription beauty box is something that we should all be familiar with by now. First Came Glossy Box, then Feel Unique, and now the company previously known as Jolie Box has transformed itself after joining forces with the cult American service that started it all to become; Birchbox.

As I already have a beauty product collection thats bursting at the seams I love trying out samples before committing to a full size. The great thing about these boxes is getting to try things from lesser known brands as well as being given some quite generous sized samples. A great little extra which really sets Birchbox apart is the mini magazine that comes with each box, packed full of information on all the brands from your box and host of other beauty articles. That my kind of reading!

The first thing that jumped out to me was the beautiful vintage packaging of the La Société Parisienne de Savons Cold Cream Soap. It has a very distinct fresh herbal smell with some deep lavender notes running through. I couldn't quite bring myself to tear open the gorgeous little package hidden inside so for now I'm using this as a draw fragrance. How very classy of me! The Weleda Skin Food is a product I've heard a lot about and have been meaning to try for some time. It's a fragrant, balmy cream which sees to all dry patches and leaves skin supple and soft. Victoria Beckham is a fan apparently so that can't be a bad thing!

Love them or loath them, I think beauty subscription boxes are a very smart way to try out products you wouldn't necessarily have though about. I've discovered some real gems from these boxes (Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleansing Balm to name a few!) and think Birchbox have created a great box with varied products here. And after all, who could say no to a special delivery of beauty goodies to look forward to each month!
* Gifted PR Sample

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Revlon Lip Butters - New Shades

When the Revlon Lip Butters originally launched back in 2012 people couldn't seem to get enough of them. Hailed as an all-in-one wonder lipstick/balm hybrid, they flew off the shelves and into everyone's pockets.. except mine. As much of a bandwagon-jumper that I am the hype never really swayed me, the colours weren't my cup of tea and the glittery filled formulas dried out my lips far too quickly.

Enter Revlon's new spring colours. Bright, luscious colour with no trace of the dreaded shimmer. I picked up two of the new shades, Juicy Papaya which translated to a soft pink with a hint of peach on my lips, the prefect day to day colour and Wild Watermelon, a beautiful red with pink undertones that brightens up my face instantly when applied. This one would be great for those who want a quick and easy to wear red without the commitment of a thick, opaque lipstick.

I have to admit, I'm in love with these Lip Butters now. They've been a constant in my makeup bag/coat pocket/anywhere I can stuff them! Juicy, rich and packed with moisture they might just be the perfect lip product. I'll definitely be taking myself down to Boots and picking a few more colours from the range. Sorbet, a bright fuchsia and Pink Lemonade, a baby pink both look perfect for the sunny weather!

Have you tried these new shades? What's your favourite moisturising lip product?

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Cult Beauty Wishlist


Ying Yang Rollers Jade Facial Roller: Hailed as the gym workout for the face, this funky looking roller brings the healing properties of jade to the skin to help the lymph system expel toxins. I'm itching to get my hands on one of these if for nothing other than de-puffing those morning eye bags which it is also highly reccomended for.

Jouer Replenish & Protect Hydrating Bronzer: Jouer are a brand that have been popping up on my radar quite frequently of recent, however their products are super hard to come across. Not only does this powder serve as the perfect honey toned bronzer, it also contains a hefty SPF 39 and helps keep the skin hydrated and stop any pesky drying that some other chalky bronzers can cause.

Sachajuan Ocean Mist: Somewhere inbetween a hairspray and salt spray this elegant looking little bottle is famed for adding grip and hold to a style without a crispy or 'over done' looking edge. It also bulks up hair thats on the thinner side and would be great for banishing that limp and lifeless 'just washed' feeling that my hair is so very prone to. Think Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray meets a can of Elnett.

Fig+Yarrow Cardamon + Coffee Body Scrub: I may not be the biggest bath person but theres nothing I enjoy more than a steamy hot shower (oh err!) and a good body scrub to invigorate my skin. The combination of Cardamon and Coffee sounds like an intoxicating bomb of heaven and with sugar granules and Cocoa and Shea butters to soften surely it can do no wrong. Again this one targets the lymphatic system, this time with the benefits of coffee which is well known to kick that ahem.. cellulite we all dread come summer.

Jouer Lip Sheer in Capri: The colour of this lipstick alone would have me swayed but the sheer consistency is something I love to wear in the summer. Loaded with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera this lip colour and balm hybrid gives just a hint of colour and a veil of glossiness.

Fig+Yarrow Pink Love Salts: I say I'm not a bath person, but could anyone say no to something with that name? I have it on good authority that bath salts are the new thing (according to Miss Bath Queen herself, ViannaDoesMakeup) drawing out impurities you never even know you had and softening the skin deep down. These fragrant Pink Love Salts contain essential oils of Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Orange, Geranium and Black Pepper which all come together to turn your bathroom into a 'sensual boudoir of ambiance'. I'll take one to go please!

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Hydration Heroes


When it comes to skincare I don't think theres anything more important than packing in the moisture. Although my skin is on the combo/oily side it gets very thirsty and needs a good bit of hydration to keep it at bay. Here's a rundown of the four products that have been my saviours this month:

The Mask: If you're looking for a mega rich and intensely hydrating mask, your search ends here. La Roche-Posay's Hydraphase Intense Masque* is rich beyond all comprehension and yet fresh and lightweight on the skin. Leave a thick layer on the face and neck for around 15 minutes then either massage in the excess or splash away with water and continue your routine. The is quite possibly the closest product I've found to my number one HG item (yes sorry, I'm going to mention it again) the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. It leaves skin with that same supple glow and banishes away any hint of dryness.

The Cult Moisturiser: I'm sure you've read about this one a thousand times but there's a good reason for the cult status of Embryolisse's Lait Creme Concentrate. When I first used this there was a bit of a flat moment, partly due to the fact I was expecting fireworks to burst from the tube. It felt nice going on, quite rich but with a thin consistency and gave an almost matte finish which I wasn't expecting. I put the tube down, walked away and forgot about it but when nearly five hours later my skin still felt incredibly smooth and hydrated I was suitably impressed and from then on hooked.

The Serum: Hydraluron Moisture Boost is the odd one out of the bunch as it has a gel consistency which once applied pretty much vanishes away to nothing. The magic happens though when applying a regular moisturiser on top. Moisture Boost is packed full of Hylaronic Acid which although sounds slightly scary is the ingredient-of-the-moment for retaining moisture. Using this underneath your regular moisturiser will leave your skin ten times more hydrated deep down. Basically this acts as a magnet which keeps all the hydrating goodness from other products locked in, a great one if you feel you use half a tube of cream everyday just to feel it working.

The Balm: Balance Me is a brand I'm slowly falling in love with product after product. Enter the Stellar Face Balm* and if this top four was in order you would most certainly be looking at number one. Although this is hailed as a multi-use balm for everything from moisturising lips to banishing stubborn dry patches (which it does excellently might I add) my favourite way to use it is by literally smothering it all over the face as the last step in my evening routine. This works best half an hour or so before bed giving the product time to soak in (sticking to your pillow is never glamorous) and although it might feel strange to use a balm in this way, nothing has ever made my skin feel so hydrated and supple. Baby soft skin, here I come!
* Gifted PR Samples

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My Updated Everyday Makeup Look


Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer | Liz Earle Signature Foundation* | Dr Jart Waterfuse BB Cream | Origins Plantscription Concealer | MAC Omega Eyeshadow | MAC Charcoal Brown Eyeshadow | Benefit World Famous Neutrals Most Glamorous Nudes Palette | Clinique Brush on Cream Liner | Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara* | Clinique Lash Power Mascara | Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder | MAC Harmony Blush | Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera | Topshop Crescent Moon Highlighter | Rimmel Lip Liner in Eastend Snob | MAC Patisserie Lipstick

An update on my daily makeup routine has been well overdue for a while now. My most reached for products have changed quite a lot and I think my whole approach to the everyday face has too. I've been weening myself off thick black cat-liner for the last few months in favour of a fresher eye look and have been getting into thinning out my base with a squirt of BB Cream to make things a whole lot more glowing and natural. I've actually filmed a tutorial (a rare sighting indeed) on the look which you can see below!

* Gifted PR Samples

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This Week #42


01. Tea, served in no less than a vintage tea cup, complete with Parisian spoon. / 02. The prettiest little tea room we found in Lee-On--Solent. If you live in the South I definitely suggest a visit! / 03. It would have been rude not to have a cupcake too. 04. Quick stop at Café Rouge for a pain au chocolat / 05. O.P.I's dazzling When Monkeys Fly and Which is Witch, front the Oz: The Great and Powerful collection / 06. Poor little Mulberry, your life must be so lonely without me. / 07. Laura Mercier's stunning new Folklore collection which I may have made a sneaky purchase from, keep your eyes peeled! / 08. New bedding is the best, especially when it looks like this / 09. The first pink sunset I've seen in a while / 10. A good curly hair day / 11. Doing sunday afternoons the right way / 12. The sunglasses are out and staying out!

Product of the Week: Without doubt I've still got whole lotta' love for the Barry M Gelly Nail Paints . They've adorned my nails all week and I've switched up colours at least four times, they're just so pretty. Read my review here!

Must Read of the week: If you haven't come across Gwen's blog before, you've been missing out on some serious fashion forward DIY. This week I was blown away by perhaps the simplest tutorial ever on transforming jewellery with nail polish. The possibilities are endless!

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Skirt* & Crop Top*: Mary Jane Fashion
Jacket: New Look
Boots & Bracelet: Topshop
Necklace: Asos
Watch: River Island
Lipstick: Topshop Beguiled

Today I braved a bare middrift, and immediately regretted it when it began snowing. Thank god for those trusty Primark Super Cost tights! I'm in love with this skirt from Mary Jane Fashion, the pattern, fit and length are all just right and I could see this making an appearance with a pair of sandals and a bandeau in the warmer months.

The Haul: Drugstore Makeup


It's becoming clear these days that I can't say no to an offer, so when recently pursuing the shelves of Boots and stumbling across that oh so beautiful sight of a 'three for two' sign hovering above the cosmetics, all else left my mind and I headed straight for it.

I do like a bit of luxury when it comes to makeup and don't think I'd ever desert the premium brands (sorry bank balance) but there's something fun and exciting about the lesser expensive 'drugstore' brands, always full of bright colours, regularly updated lines and of course, much more reasonable prices.

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Barry M Gelly High Shine Nail Paint


I'm always a fan of a seriously good nail varnish formula. Glossy, fast drying, well pigmented and long lasting are all traits that I look for when finding that perfect little bottle of colour. After slowly building up a collection over the last few months (and loving them even more with every new purchase) Barry M's new Gelly Nail Paint might just be the polish that takes the title.

The formula is supposed to emulate a gel manicure without the commitment of having the same colour talons for an entire two weeks. Personally I'd say they look just as glossy, even without a top coat, and although they last no more than three or four days before starting to look a little worse for wear, that's quite an achievement for a nail polish that costs just £3.99.

The three colours I have here are Papaya, which sits beautifully inbetween bright orange coral, Blueberry, a soft blue which got this whole craze going and Lychee, a light pastel beige newly crowned as my favourite polish of possibly the whole year so far. These all scream spring/summer to me and will more than likely be adorning my nails over the coming warmer months, but the range also consist of some good deep shades to keep us happy all year round!

What do you think of the Gelly Nail Paints? Whats your favourite colour?

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A New Look


Hello everyone and welcome to the newly redesigned I Covet Thee! I've been writing this blog for a whole two years now and thought it was about time to get rid of the tired old layout and bring it up to date. Fingers crossed you all like it as I know personally the aesthetics of a blog are very important to me when I read them myself! I've also added quite a few new links and features, so lets have a little tour.

I've introduced a Product Directory listing all the beauty products I've ever reviewed or mentioned to give you a quick way of find information on a particular item. These are also listed by brand if you want a bit of an insight into a certain range. You'll now also be able to find a few answers to my most asked questions in the F.A.Q page. I was a little hesitant about writing one of these as I know they can be perceived as quite impersonal, but I hope it will prove to be helpful and informative for you.

I've popped up a Blogroll too of my favourite reads - I'll also be doing a post on these lovely ladies soon. I seriously urge you to take a look as they're some fantastic bloggers. Last of all I've dusted off the old Facebook password and started up a page for which you can 'like' for regular updates on the blog, posting and a bit of everyday goings on.

Happy reading!

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