Shot of Beauty

Need vs Want: Japonesque’s Safari Chic Brush Set
February 14, 2013, 9:54 am
Filed under: Accessories | Tags: , ,


Go on – feast your eyes on this fabulous brush set. I want to, you want to, we all want to! In fact, I don’t think there’s a single b-blogger who wouldn’t want to know more about this tres unique safari-themed brush set from Japonesque. It’s so different to the usual block colour brushes we are used to, and it really does intrigue me.

Having said that, is the aesthetic of a product more important than how it works and its quality? Is it a case of don’t judge a brush book by its cover?

In the name of rare rational beauty shopping (because the two can go together?!), I teamed up with one of my favourite b-bloggers Callie Rose from to answer the all important question: do I need or want this product?

Here’s what Callie had to say about the Japonesque Safari Chic Brush set:
This gorgeous little set contains 3 different brushes to help you complete your desired look. Contains: Safari Chis Powder Brush for blending blusher and bronzing powder, Safari Chic Shadow Brush for shading and diffusing shadow over the eyelid and Safari Chic Crease Brush for creating depth and drama by smudging pigment along the socket line.

Does Callie want or need this product?
NEED: I need some new eyeshadow brushes as the one that I’m currently using is the brush that came with my Naked 2 palette. It does the job okay, but I’ve had it that long that it is falling apart. I usually put shadow into the crease of my eye to add that extra effect. I like having big dramatic eyes, so the crease brush would be perfect.

WANT: I suppose they could wait as I already have a powder brush, so don’t need the full set – but just look at them! They’re so pretty! And the price is within my budget (well, maybe after Lent as I’m on a spending ban). Not only are the brushes vegan-friendly and made with the highest quality synthetic material, they also come in a a micro-fibre travel case so they’re always on hand. If it wasn’t lent, I’d buy them now.


Do I want or need this product?
NEED: It doesn’t take a beauty genius to see how incredible these brushes look. And as I am in an eye make-up phase lately, the safari brush set would make a great addition to my ever-growing palette and mono shadow collection. Another thing is that my biggest problem with eye looks is creases – those damn things always get in the way of a good look! So I need a good crease brush in my life. I also really love that all three brushes have been designed with contouring in mind. Overall, I think it’s priced well for a high-quality, vegan-friendly set.

WANT: If I’m really honest, I do have a great powder and eyeshadow brush already, so could my money be better spent elsewhere? For £28 I could indulge in several items and mix and match lips, eyes and cheeks. But it’s better to spend money on quality beauty essentials than splurge it on 15 purple eyeshadows when you only need 5 (OK maybe 10…). My biggest problem with spending money on beauty is that I don’t make enough long-term investments, so this a good place to start!


So, what’s the overall verdict?
We both need this ultra unique brush set.

Natasha says:
Let’s face it – we didn’t need much convincing! All we had to do is look at it to know how special it is. The truth is there is nothing else like it, and for that reason we just have to have it!
Callie says: Personally, I think these babies are worth buying. They’ll be going onto my wishlist until the end of Lent when I shall purchase them. What’s not to love about them? They are vegan-friendly, travel-friendly, and eye-friendly (as in they look amazing with their safari print). Well worth the £28!

What do you think? Would you have made the same decision?

P.S If you would like to write a need vs want post with me, tweet me @shotofbeauty or send me an email at Why not tweet Callie at @catdicko also and have a look at her blog?



Superdry’s new affordable luxuries launch tomorrow

The wait is over (well, almost) for the brand spanking new beauty collection by Superdry, and I am SO excited. Ever since I caught a glimpse of the brand’s new cosmetics range in the latest edition of Company magazine, I have been waiting patiently to try a bit of everything.

And I must love it, because I want the make-up brushes more than the make-up, which is very rare! My ultimate Superdry Beauty must-have product is the hot pink Kabuki Brush (£14.00), which has been inspired by Japanese theatrical make-up rituals. Superdry claims it has soft synthetic hairs and is recommended for use with bronzer and blusher, as it blends and contours. 

I need it as of yesterday – it is so different to all the other brushes out there of this kind, it just looks amazing and I love the wooden handle too. It has simple clear plastic packaging, which I think is cute and well-suited to the brand.

If the hot pink brush is a bit too ‘out there’ for you, you will be pleased to know that there is also a black one.

Superdry Beauty - Kabuki Brush - PinkSuperdry Beauty - Kabuki Brush - Pink - PackagingNext on my wishlist is the basic but bloody brilliant Jet Black Eye Marker (£8). Designed to create precision lines, the liner is non-smudging, which would be a bonus I reckon. However, I think I would have to see it to believe it, as I have a tendency to smudge my liquid liner!

Superdry Beauty - Eye Marker - BlackAlso in the make-up range there is the super cute ballerina-esque Pearled Pink Highlighter (£12). It’s made to suit all skin types and can be used with foundation to create a dewy complexion. Use on the cheeks and browbones.

Superdry HighlighterI also love this funky multi-season Grape/Sunflower Eye Shadow Duo (£9.50). Out of all the different combos, this one caught my eye as I see it as two different looks, so you could have a subtle gold one day and a deep purple the next. It’s a highly pigmented product and can be used wet to create a different look.

Superdry Beauty - Eye Shadow Duo - Grape, Sunflower

Apparently 1000 lipsticks isn’t enough, so of course I had to find one I liked from the range. Lip Paint in Electric Pink (£8) is a great shade for S/S 2013 and a real eye brightener. It’s highly pigmented and non-drying.

Superdry Beauty - Lip Paint - Electric PinkIn this cold climate we seem to be having at the moment, I always have a lip balm at hand, so I was really pleased to hear about the non-greasy, moisturising Peppermint Lip Fix (£6). I love mint in lip products; as well as having a great smoothing effect, it also smells and feels uber fresh. From the packaging, I reckon it is quite rich as well – so you will get more for your money.

Superdry Beauty - Lip Fix - PeppermintLast but not least are these beauty accessories for daily use. I love the wipe clean PVC Turquoise Neon Beauty Bag (£10) for my make-up or skin care products and also the silicone-covered Lime Mirror (£5) to carry around in my bag for those last-minute touch-ups!

Superdry Beauty - Neon Beauty Bag - Turquoise

Superdry Beauty - Mi#285C97

What do you want to try? Tweet me at @shotofbeauty or even better leave me a comment.

Are you as excited as I am?!

New in from Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser
January 28, 2013, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Face, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Perfume, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s about time I had a look at the new offerings from some of my favourite department stores for beauty – Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed with what I found, especially when I realised Selfridges has some new exclusive additions to offer!

The most interesting exclusive was Rodial’s Bee Venom Moisturiser (£150 for 50ml). The first thing that came to mind was the price, as it is certainly way over what I would usually pay for a moisturiser, but I think this is more of a high-end anti-ageing skin care product, and so the cost could be justified in that respect. I love the bright yellow packaging and that the cream is infused with hyaluronic acid. Having said that, there are probably better products on the market for less, so it would be interesting to see how this one compares with the industry’s current ones to beat.


The only thing related to bees that I would come close to!

Next on the list at Selfridges are the bold and beautiful new nail polishes from Bobbi Brown in Valentine Red and Valentine Pink. Both cost £11 and are completely gorgeous. Bobbi Brown has managed to get just the right tone of each colour for these beauties.


Valentine’s day date no.1


Valentine’s day date no.2

The final must-have product from Selfridges is the Dior Vernis nail polish in Tutu (£18 for 10ml). This shade is so cute and would be perfect in Spring. What I love about this shade is that it could be worn day and night and still look amazing with different outfits. A chic twist on the nude trend.


SO god damn cute

At John Lewis, there is a new Philosophy Lip Shine in Cinammon Buns (£10 for 15ml). Anyone who loves cinammon swirls will be on this straight away, sticky fingers and all! I just love the smell and taste of cinammon and would love to try this. Plus the shade is great for a barely-there shimmer in the daytime. I love it.


I’m licking my lips already!

How cute is this Catseye (£12.50, small; £17.50, larger size) make-up bag? It’s girly, I’ll give you that, but I think it’s adorable. Perfect for day-to-day storage and a weekend away.   


One for the girly girls

Finally, at House of Fraser, I will start with this SUPER cute new facial cleansing oil from Shu Uemera (£56.50 for 450ml). It looks divine and I love the colours this brand uses on all its products. This one is a limited edition product and was designed by the company’s artists. A little pricey, but I’m not put off at all by that, as you get a lot of product for your money.


Round trip to Japan, anyone?

Second on my wish list from House of Fraser is Molton Brown’s Rok Mint Antibacterial Handwash (£16), which sounds tres tres fresh. Infused with basil, blackcurrant and mint, this one looks to be a real treat.


Blackcurrant, basil and mint make this handwash amazingly fresh and revitalising

Finally from House of Fraser is this Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Polish in Private Grey (£13). I surprised myself with this one big time, as I would usually go for bright and bold colours, but this one was so smooth and sophisticated. Mocha to go, anyone?


Mocha latte miracle

Have you bought anything lately from these stores? Let me know below!

Etsy: homemade beauty heaven
January 24, 2013, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Eyes, Face, Hair, Lips, Make-up, Nails, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve always admired Etsy for its quirky jewellery ranges and gifts, but I have never taken the time to look at its beauty offerings – until now. As soon as I browsed the beauty section, the inevitable happened; I clicked favourite on almost everything I saw, including products that I would never usually consider (like blue and green lipsticks?!).

Quite frankly, the things I found were just too amazing to keep to myself, and so I couldn’t wait to do my next blog post and share them with you. So here’s my top 10 favourite products so far. Let me know if you make any impromptu purchases – I probably will (on pay day of course!).

1/Rose Wood Make-Up Brushes, £19.44, MICUSTOMCRAFTS


Little, large and lovely

I love a good make-up brush, so I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this gorgeous honduran rose wood pairing. They are a little pricy, but any good make-up brush will always be a bit more expensive than you would expect, and these two just ooze high quality and class.

Buy them here (includes shipping).

2/True Green Eyeshadow Natural Mineral Make-Up, £3.24, Lovemyskincosmetics


Beautiful jade green mineral eyeshadow

Hazel eyes love green eyeshadows, especially those that are jade in tone, so I know this colour would be great for me. I already have a MAC pencil eyeliner in this foresty shade, but it would be good to alternate with the eyeshadow and possibly add a thin line of black liquid eyeliner to make my lashes pop. Great price for a natural product.

Buy it here

3/Hair Chalk (Temporary Colour Pastels), £2.59, Sharee Boutique 


Great for a temporary style switch up!

I just love the rainbow tips hair trend that is around at the moment. Although I have brown hair, i think it makes blonde hair look fab and love the look, so I had to share it with you! If anyone know how these colours can look good on dark hair, I am all for a learning curve! Good price for a multi-use product and easy to wash out for those looking for a quick style fix! Buy it here.

4/Medusa Opaque Matte Lipstick, £4.53, Impulse Cosmetics


Temptress, here I come

The first thing that struck me with this product is the finish of the colour and how good the matte effect was. I also loved that it was called Medusa as I thought it could bring out the siren in everyone. Very good price and the shop owner claims it is creamy and moisturising, which it would definitely need to be to maintain a matte effect. I reckon it’s worth a try, or two! Buy it here.

5/Indigo Blue Liquid Eyeliner, £5.51, MilkFancy



I’ve never tried a gel eyeliner before but I love the idea of choosing different colours to suit my mood and having the freedom to be a bit more creative. Having dark hair and hazel eyes, I can get away with using strong colours on my eyes and lips (not at the same time though, obv), and so this shade of blue is totally perfect. Buy it here.

6/Make-Up Bag in Ecru and Black Natural Coloured Weave, £16, Olganna


Neutral and practical make-up bag

It took me a while to find this make-up bag as I had to skip through all the floral, black and bright-coloured ones, but then I came across this beautiful and practical everyday nude bag and I really love it. There are plenty of pockets for brushes and products and the price indicates it is made with quality fabrics. I definitely want this. Buy it here

7/Cinnamon Bun Sugar Scrub, £6.80, SunKidGifts


yum yum yum

Don’t worry, you did read that right – CINNAMON BUN BODY SCRUB. I can smell and taste it already. Looks like brown sugar – I want it bad! Buy it here

8/Mini Dragonfly Glitter Nail Polish, £1.90, HitPolish


Under the sea…

Completely love the mermaid look that is trending at the moment and using this nail polish is a quick way to join the party. Either lay a coat on top of a block colour or layer it for the ultimate deep blue sea experience. Fab price and worth a try. Buy it here

9/Coconut Cabana Whipped Sugar Scrub, £6.48, BungalowBathBody


I’m taking mine to the beach, pronto!

This is summer all over and would be perfect to take away on holiday. It looks like pina colada ice cream and I bet it smells fantastic. I love a good sugar scrub. Buy it here

10/Moroccan Red Clay Facial Beauty Mask, £11.66, The Soap Opera Soaps


Pure and simple spa-like goodness

There’s something about clay that will always woo beauty lovers. This product would be perfect for a home spa day and it packs an extra punch with the argan oil included. I’m really intrigued by this one – try it! Buy it here

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January sales: best beauty buys
January 19, 2013, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Eyes, Hair, Lips, Nails, Skin care | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The first month of the year means one thing – killer beauty sales. As its 2013, I thought I would do a bit of digging online and source 13 of the best products currently on sale from a range of beauty stores. All links included.

I would love to know what you’ve found in the sales this year – why not leave me a comment below or tweet me at @shotofbeauty?

1/Guerlain Eye and Lip Calligraphie Palette, £27, Selfridges

Siren lips and shimmery eyes make this combo a definite steal

Siren lips and shimmery eyes make this combo a definite steal

2/Illamasqua ASOS Exclusive Nail Duo, £15, Asos

Candy nails here I come!

Candy nails here I come!

3/Baylis and Harding Mixed Fragrance 6 Piece Set, £3, Debenhams


Six bottles of bath and body heaven

4/Cath Kidston Buckingham Palace Mirror, £1.75, John Lewis

Cute, scenic mirror from CK

Cute, scenic mirror from CK

5/Raspberry Body Butter, £6.50, The Body Shop

In my dreams, this would taste as good as it smells

In my dreams, this would taste as good as it smells

6/Uplifting Grumpy Cow Duo Gift Set, £9.60, Cowshed

The ultimate uplifting duo

The ultimate uplifting duo

7/Babyliss Pro Nano Green Hair Dryer, £7.50, House of Fraser

Just admit it, you love the colour so much you don't care if it works!

Just admit it, you love the colour so much you don’t care if it works!

8/Cheek Duo in Up in Up In The Air by Louise Gray, £3, Topshop

Candy pink or peachy and dreamy - the choice is yours

Candy pink or peachy and dreamy – the choice is yours

9/Velvet Eyeshadow in Like What You Sea, £6.75, Benefit

Purchase today, be a mermaid tomorrow

Purchase today, be a mermaid tomorrow

10/Ted Baker Leather Quilted Bow Cosmetic Bag, £36.50, Asos

Plenty of room for all my matching lipsticks

Plenty of room for all my matching lipsticks

11/HydraQuench Cooling Cream-Gel, £23.45, Clarins

Give dry skin a coat of hydration to protect against extreme weather

Give dry skin a coat of hydration to protect against extreme weather

12/Sparkling Lemon Medium Jar Candle, £10.19, Yankee Candle

Lemony fresh morning scent

Lemony fresh morning scent

13/Geranium & Orange Body Scrub, £17.50, Neal’s Yard

Dry, dull skin has met its match

Dry, dull skin has met its match

Ten beauty essentials for £10 and under
January 17, 2013, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Accessories, Bath and body, Eyes, Hair, Lips, Nails, Skin care | Tags:

All this talk of Dry January is reminding me of my rather empty Fiorelli purse. Although this month is meant to be about new year, new me, it looks like I won’t be trying any new looks until Fab February, which is now in the not too distant future. Luckily, I can lean on my tenner-and-under beauty essentials until then. Here’s my top 10 lifesavers, in no chronological order. As always, I would love to know your favourite beauty essentials, so why not post a comment below and inspire me?

1/Garnier Simply Essentials 2-in-1 Make-up Remover

Removes all my make-up in a few sweeps. Trust me, I wear a lot of make up!

Removes all my make-up in a few sweeps. Trust me, I wear a lot of make up!

As most of my morning time is dedicated to making my face look shiny and new, I need to invest in a good face and eye make-up remover. This simple 2-in-1 formula, which doesn’t cause skin stripping, is great for removing bits of make-up from unwanted places in the morning, like my lips, the corners of my ears and my eyebrows. It is a dream to use in the evening; all I need is a 2 or 3 thick cotton pads and 5 minutes to shake and sweep the remover over my face. It takes off waterproof mascara pretty easily, but I have to say it does leave a bit of shine on my cheeks after, so I go over my whole face with a dry cotton pad to soak up some of the product left on my skin. As most of the make up removers I could find were advertised just for eye make-up removal, this simple product packs a punch by covering both bases for under £5. Result. Continue reading