Benefit: They're Real!

The latest launch from Benefit is a new mascara that claims to be so good that people can mistake your lashes for fakes... 'Not true, they're all real!' you can respond. (See where they got the name from?) There's a flash sale of this new mascara taking place next weekend, where you can get your hands on the mascara three weeks before it goes on sale at selected locations around the country. In advance of that, I've been super lucky and have managed to get my own mitts on a tube to put to the test so you know whether to rush out and buy it as soon as you can, or spend that hour walking around M&S buying new socks, i.e. doing something boring.

The tube itself is a departure for Benefit, being super sleek and shiny. I don't know of any other product in their range with packaging even slightly similar to this, but I really like it. The brush is a plastic wand with lots of little short and angular bristles to catch every single lash. I normally don't get on with plastic bristles as I don't find they coat my lashes well enough, but this certainly does the job, getting in there with every single lash and imparting a large amount of formula to play with.

So the result? I wouldn't go as far as saying they make me look like I've got false lashes (that's a steep claim if ever there was one!) but the mascara is pretty good. The wand works hard to create definition to lashes, separating them and covering them in the jet black formula to create length. There's no flaking and the colour stays put all day - so much so that it's a bit of a mission to get off, so make sure you've got an oil based eye makeup remover to hand! The only downside is that the bristles aren't long enough to create uplift or curl, so although lashes look longer you can't see the length that well. It's a perfect day mascara or when you're going for a more natural look, but it stayed in my makeup bag come Saturday night. One to definitely pick up regardless though, so rush out on Saturday and nab one yourself.

Available nationwide from early September, but you can grab this three weeks early in the Benefit Flash Sale.


Living with psoriasis

Living with a skin condition is incredibly hard, as well as incredibly common. There's a stigma attached to something that you can do nothing about and that really needs to change. Kim Kardashian announced this week that she has been diagnosed with psoriasis - the first celeb I know to have admitted it. I don't normally link out to other sites, but Kate Shapland has written an article offering expert advice of how to live with (and manage) the condition and it's better than anything I could have written myself... so go, have a look.



Perfect Base

I find foundations hard to shop for. My skin doesn't have any major complaints, apart from the odd spot which appears just before a big event, and I'm lucky enough to generally be in good condition. (Lets stop this before I start advertising myself like a Ford Fiesta.) This sounds silly, but that often makes it difficult for me to find something light and simple enough to use daily, without erasing all my features - a lot of foundations are far too heavy/greasy/orange so they can be counted out straight away.

However, the Perfect Refining Foundation from luxurious skincare brand Shiseido provides me with everything I need and more. The formula is runny enough to only need a little, while covering imperfections without covering the skin's natural tint. It blends easily and feels incredibly soft - it has a velvety matte finish when it sets after a few minutes - so you're left with a beautiful complexion that still seems 'like you'. It lasts all day too without budging, so you can be confident that you'll look as fresh as a daisy whether it's 10am or 10pm.

The only negative thing I have to say about this is the packaging. Although you get 30ml in the bottle (which is the standard amount) it seems really small. A little goes a long way, but you do feel that for £35 you're spending a lorra lorra lolly on something teeny tiny. The squirty top makes it easy to take too much out of the bottle too, so you have to be extra careful if you're in a rush! Saying that though I literally can't fault the formula and will be stocking up on this come winter when we're all in need of some hardcore foundation!

Available in department stores and online, priced £35 for 30ml


The Only Way Is Lauren's Way

Shuuuuuuut uuuuuup. The Only Way Is Essex star Lauren Goodger launched her own range of fake tan a few months ago and it's been met with a whirlwind of fans eager to get their hands on it. My good friend Ree has been singing its praises continually, but I have to admit I was dubious. There were too many things going against it - the name, the celebrity face... was this going to be another endorsement that isn't worth its weight in vajazzles? I finally got around to trying the Lauren's Way mousse tan at the weekend though and within about ten minutes had tweeted Ree to tell her how much I loved it... "Oh my god, I think I've found a new favourite tan!" And honestly, I think I have.

I like it. A lot. What's different about this tan than the many others I've tried before, is that it's practically impossible to go wrong. A few pumps of mousse onto the mitt and you're well away, smoothing it into the skin to create an instant flawless golden glow. It practically melts away, leaving no kind of streaking or patchiness and drying within minutes. It's not scary, it's easy to get a good result and it doesn't streak or leave you with unsightly hands or feet because it's easy to buff any excess away even after it's dried to the touch. (You can even leave the house before washing it off as it still looks pretty awesome.) I've been applying this every other day and have built up a really natural and flawless colour that doesn't even smell of biscuits!

Just in case you're wondering - this is a tanned arm!

I love a fake tan, but what I don't like is that it takes ages faffing around before, during and after application. Lauren's Way mousse is the easiest, most fuss free and flawless looking tan I have ever used - and I'm not just being dramatic! Regardless of the endorsement or the name behind the brand, this really does stand the test and wins my complete and utter approval. So much so that I've managed to wangle a bloody good treat for you... Lauren's Way have been kind enough to give me an exclusive discount code to share with my lovely readers. For a limited time you'll be able to get 25% off any Lauren's Way tanning product when purchased through their online shop. Wowzer! All you have to do is enter the code BLOG123 at the checkout when asked for a coupon code and you can be bronzed and beautiful in no time. Don't be jel, be reem.

Full details of the offer: enter code BLOG123 at the checkout before 31st August to receive 25% off any Lauren's Way tanning product. Shipping will be charged as normal.

Follow Lauren's Way on twitter or become a fan on facebook. Shop the tan range here.

NB - This is an exclusive offer for London Beauty Queen readers so please don't re-post or promote the code through other channels without permission. 


Emma Watson for Lancome

Who knew that Hermoine Granger, with her frizzy hair and pompous nature, would turn into such a beautiful young woman with the style of a pro and the cheekbones of a supermodel? She was unsurprisingly snapped up by Lancome to be the face of their new campaign and here are a few sneaky shots I've managed to track down... She looks absolutely stunning and I particularly like the bowler hat. Every lady should have a bowler hat.


Prep and Prime

There seem to be a lot of eyelash enhancing serums hitting the market and MAC are the latest brand to jump on the train. Surprisingly though they're late to the party on this one, particularly as I've already tried a handful of these (albeit unsuccessfully as I either get bored or my uber sensitive eyes have a paddy.) They're launching their own 'Prep and Prime' lash serum in August which claims to 'promote longer, thicker, stronger looking lashes in eight weeks'. I have to admit my legal alarm bells went into overdrive when reading this... Having written copy for major brands over the years the inclusion of the words 'promotes' and 'stronger looking' makes me think the difference is purely cosmetic rather than fundamental, i.e. it makes your lashes look longer but doesn't actually make them longer. But then again, does any lash enhancing serum actually make your lashes grow? (It also doesn't help that the image is of clearly false lashes - who came up with that idea?)

If you want to give this a whirl you can crab it for £21 from August 1st in all MAC concessions, stores and online.


A Jo Malone Christmas

I've skipped most of the 'Christmas in July' events that have been happening, both because I'm in denial/can't deal with seasonal festivities six months in advance and because I barely know what day of the week it is. The one I managed to actually get to though was the fabulous Jo Malone, who literally created a Christmas haven in the middle of London Town for the day. You could pretty much give me an empty Jo Malone box as a gift and I'd be happy. I'm not asking you to mind - I'd rather there be something deliciously scented inside.

On offer this year we have some drop-dead-gorgeous smelling candles - Roasted Chestnut which smells just like you'd expect an old open fire to, plus Pine which literally has the scent of Christmas trees. By lighting one of these you'll instantly feel like you're in a Bing Crosby video or something. I particularly like the giant candles which have three wicks and really create an aroma in the room - pricey though, so you'll have to ask for one as an early present that you can unwrap!

As usual, there are also an array of great gift sets available for that special someone. My personal favourite is the cracker which contains a mini fragrance and body lotion, meaning you can make dinner a little bit more luxurious come the 25th December. I've already got six of these on my list for Christmas lunch - I'll bring the crackers and that's my contribution sorted. I also adore the cute treasure chest which contains lots of mini perfumes, meaning you can smell good while giving your dressing table a helping hand too. If fancy gift sets aren't up your street then you can always go for a simple fragrance or a pack of three candles - or stick to my idea of an empty box with some ribbon round it. Whatever you do though, make it a Jo Malone Christmas this year... even if it is still months away.



Nail tips

Back in my yoof I experimented with acrylic nails, which unfortunately left me with years of grief and paper for nail beds. Nothing has ever damaged a part of me so much than a guy from Vietnam armed with an electric nail file. Since then my nails have been brittle and weak, not helped by my need for constant colour. After discovering the Flawless French Manicure Kit from Elegant Touch though I feel I may have found the answer to some of my nail-related problems.

The kit takes the french manicure to a new level by having individual false nail tips that are applied to the nail with glue, then broken away from the housing to leave a flawless looking french tip. They're dead easy to apply and get in the perfect position, leaving you with a nail that looks like you've been down to the salon. I applied these in about ten minutes or so, so it's no longer than our usual indulgent manicure and the results last for days.

What I really like though is that they don't feel like false nails at all, just like you've had a bit of pampering. You file off the edges to make the tips blend into your nail and you can't tell the difference. They also eliminate the problem of chipping as the white bit is literally a thin bit of plastic that can't chip. I spent the whole of the weekend in a field, stroking cows, playing with ducks and generally getting grimy. There's no damage, no flaking or peeling whatsoever - I'm pretty darn impressed.

When you want to remove them you just use nail varnish remover and hold on for a bit longer until you can push or peel off the tip. It gives your nail underneath a little time to rest and grow out too, meaning it could be a simple long-term solution for bad nails. The set comes with a base and top coat to make sure the rest of the nail looks flawless and the tip stays in place, so you've got everything you need for a flawless set of talons. My nails are a bit short for them as they'd be ideally suited to someone with a bit of length, but they're pretty ace nevertheless. A definite thumbs (and fingers) up from me.

Available from major high street chains and online for around £14.99 for a kit. The kit contains 56 tips in 14 sizes, so you get 2-3 manicures out of it.

QUICK UPDATE - I've now had them on 4 days and I lost one tip so had to replace it. Another tip broke in half but I soaked off the remainder with nail polish remover and it literally melted away. Five mins and my talons are back looking fab again. 

Heaven sent

Last year I gave my 'brand of the year' award to MeMeMe who went from being a tacky, awful brand that I wouldn't touch with a very large stick, to a brand that is always within reaching distance and strategically placed in my makeup bag. I went along to see some of their new launches and collections a couple of weeks ago and we're in for a real treat over the next few months. First up is an extended range of lipsticks that contain the most amazing colours, as well as being super moisturising, have a sweet shine and generally look much hotter than their price tag. At around £8 each these cut a punch and will give you a much needed injection of colour when the clouds are as grey as they have been.

Next we have a really exciting product launch that had me giggling with glee. Goddess Rocks are basically very large bronzing balls that give you an ace three-dimensional colour. Although they're a blatant copy of the St Tropez Bronzing Rocks I really don't care... these babies are the same fab quality and inevitably half the price. These launch as part of the new 'face' collection in September, which also includes foundations, powders and more.

Within the new face range is also this face cream called 'Seventh Heaven.' I'm not quite sure what the 'seventh' has to do with it, but this is definitely heaven sent. The cream acts as a primer and moisturiser in one, softening and moisturising the face while evening complexion and creating a great base for makeup. It smells of beautiful citrus fruits and absorbs into the skin really quickly. So quickly that you can't faff around, but quickly enough that you don't have to wait before putting your makeup on. I normally avoid moisturisers under makeup as I feel it makes it slippy, but this is just the right balance and has been keeping my slap on all day long - even after a long day in a field with cows. (Stroking not milking FYI.)

You've got to love a brand who pull it out of the bag every time, whilst not charging you a fortune. The products they're launching are so blimin great I want them all. They've clearly thought of everything too as this Christmas they're launching a range of gift sets which take makeup gifting a step further, including little luxuries like candles, shower puffs, hand cream and nail files. They make the perfect gift for someone you don't know what to get - and with a range that starts at £10 and goes all the way to £50 there's a gift to suit every budget. I've said it before and I'll say it again - MeMeMe is all mine.



She's Electric

Vidal Sassoon has to be one of the most inspirational people ever. Not only was he a hairdresser that changed the way the world cut and looked at hair, reinventing the business and the links with fashion, but he's been a TV presenter, writer, health fanatic and still looks pretty ace considering he's in his 80s. I was lucky enough to be invited along to watch the movie that was released to accompany a book, in celebration of his electrical range re-launching. If you get a chance I would thoroughly recommend you take the time to watch the film as he's had the most incredible and inspiring life that makes me talking about hairdryers a little bit superficial... But talk about hairdryers I will.

Vidal Sassoon have been out of the hair electricals market for some time, but this summer they're back with bite, launching a range of styling tools into Boots, Argos and John Lewis. The range includes hairdryers, straighteners, curling wands and more, all reasonably priced and accessible to all. There seems to be a pattern for a 'celebrity' stamp demanding an extra few notes at the till, but Vidal is keeping it real with his electrical products all coming in under £50 and starting from under £20 - and that even includes their super swanky limited edition range. I've been trying the hairdryer for about a week and I'm really impressed, so much so that I've swapped my expensive, double-the-size-double-the-price dryer for this.

It's super lightweight, which for me is a big issue as my arms start to hurt after a while of trying to tame the tresses. The handle fold inwards for super storage and there are three speeds/heat options to make sure the settings are right for what you're trying to achieve. It has all the normal ion technology to get rid of water within the hair follicle to create sleek and smooth barnets, but it really works. My hair has been much better in the last week, keeping sleek, straight yet bouncy and not causing me any problems at all. I'm amazed that all this comes in a sexy purple package for only £19.99. This is a total winner for me and makes me want to run out and try every other product; there's a classic, contemporary and limited edition range which are all priced slightly differently - this is part of the contemporary collection.

Grab these while you can because I'm sure they'll be flying off the shelves at this price!

Hairdryer RRP £19.99, straighteners £19.99-£50.00.
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie available to watch on iTunes and available on DVD 6th September.


Social Sacrifice

You've got to love Illamasqua - not only do they make fab makeup but they come up with innovative (and most of the time a bit strange) ideas too. For their latest campaign they're encouraging you to commit 'social suicide' by deleting your entire facebook profile... that's photos, friends, wall posts all wiped. This competition runs on their facebook page and a winner is chosen at random to wipe their profile (don't worry, you don't have to wipe it to enter) and be 're-born' by filling it with fabulous photos and stories of their prize - the ultimate Illamasqua experience.

The winner will win a VIP trip to London, including a stay in a luxury hotel, a pass for London Fashion Week, £500 shopping spree, a personal stylist and much more. It's all to celebrate their new campaign 'Born Again' which is all about releasing your alter ego and the video above (which features Vicky McClure, BAFTA Best Actress 2011) sums this up perfectly. I think someone is a bit depressed at Illamasqua though - first funeral makeup and then 'born again'... Are they trying to tell us something?
Full details on their facebook page where there's also an exclusive discount code!

Benefit Flash Sale!

This year some of the most exciting and fantastic launches have come from exotic and quirky makeup brand Benefit. We've had Cha-Cha Tint, Finding Mr Bright and even a brand new skincare range. They're adding to their ever expanding offering with the launch of 'They're Real!' - a new mascara that is so good people will think you've got falsies on. This isn't launched until September nationwide, but as a little treat for you guys they're having a 'flash sale' three weeks early... For one day only you'll be able to get your mitts on a tube of the good stuff in boutiques and concessions across the county.

Put Saturday 6th August in your diary now... It's worth the wait, but getting it before everyone else is a bonus!



It's all in the technique

I love changing my nail colour and I adore playing with polish, but the problem with continually applying and removing nail varnish (as well as washing your hands, typing and abusing them in all kinds of ways,) is that your hands and nails can really suffer. Nailtiques have launched a range of products that not only capitalises on their expertise in protein formulas, but also adds colour. This means you get all the benefit of a great, caring, strengthening polish with an added colour on top so you don't have to compromise your fashion credentials.

The polishes are available in 14 different shades, from pale pastel pinks to deep dark plums. There's no compromise on the quality of the polish either - it's thick without being gloopy, applies well, dries quickly and leaves you with a smooth and classic nail. The polish lasts for a few days and does feel more 'protecting' than other polishes and my nails don't chip anywhere near as much when wearing it. I've got the St Tropez shade and I wear it a lot when I know I won't get a chance to change my polish for a few days and need it to last, whilst still protecting my nails. I'm sold on these and am dying to get my hands on some of the other shades...

There is also a pretty ace cuticle oil from Nailtiques which has become a staple of my nail and hand routine. Although it's supposed to be used to moisturise and soften cuticles, I actually use it all around and under the nail to get rid of any unsightly bits of dry skin and soften the nail bed. It contains sunflower, avocado and hemp oil so it smells amazing, as well as being absorbed into the skin quickly without leaving a greasy feeling. This has literally been a saviour to my nails and even helps to soothe cracked and flaky nail ends. When I've been neglecting my hands this is a really quick pick me up, as well as giving real results over time.

You wouldn't believe how hard this was to picture!

Available from Look Fantastic and other online retailers - nail varnish priced £10.95 each; cuticle oil priced at £13.80

One word: shoes

I'm really struggling with my wardrobe at the moment. It's July, but it's rainy. It's cold, then it turns warm. I wear sunglasses and then have to put on a scarf. Grrrrr. One thing that really suffers when the weather is so changeable is my tootsies - trying to keep your feet warm and dry without wearing chunky boots is a problem. I don't want to wear ugly, non-summery shoes, so these beauties from River Island literally haven't been off my feet in months... so much so that I'm now on to my third pair because I've worn them out for wearing them too much!

They're real leather, amazingly comfy, perfect for keeping feet dry and warm, but also have little holes to let the air circulate when it gets a bit humid. (Smelly feet are a big no-no. Not that mine smell!) They seem to go with everything too as they're not too chunky and give your feet an elegant line that makes even the biggest foot look cute. I got these a few months ago and they've obviously been a huge success as you can now also get them in white, pink and blue. When I wear these ones out I'm stocking up on more... the best pair of shoes I've bought in years.

Available from River Island for £29.99

PS - I know this is random, but I'm feeling in a random mood. Who knows, I may start doing more random posts and sharing my love of shoes, rings and cake... gotta keep the love alive somehow.


Nivea - Get Closer

How important are your mates to you? Well according to research commissioned by Nivea, they're vital for our health! (This is what the guy in charge, Professor Beattie, said anyway!) Yes, really  - there’s scientific research to prove it. In fact, studies show not staying connected poses similar risks to your health as high blood pressure, obesity and even smoking – your friends really do have that much impact. Not only does a close group of friends act as a shoulder to cry on, a drinking network and provide entertainment on those nights where you just want to watch The X Factor and eat popcorn, it also can offer the following benefits:

  • A healthier heart: close social contact helps lower blood pressure and overall risk of heart disease.
  • Lower risk of cancer: one study found women without a strong social and emotional support network were nine times more likely to be diagnosed with a malignant breast tumour during routine screening.
  • Better mental health: loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to Alzheimer’s disease.

There are probably several interlinking reasons for all this, say scientists, but whatever the reasons, it’s clear being close to others is as important for our health as getting our five-a-day and hitting the gym. So NIVEA are encouraging us all to value our relationships and prioritise ‘us time’ with our nearest and dearest with their 'Million Moments of Closeness' campaign. To get involved you just have to upload photos of you with your mates, mum, siblings, partner or even dog, to the Nivea facebook page: facebook.com/niveauk

You can also look out for the roadshows happening over the summer where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. But the best part is whether you share your photos on Facebook or at the roadshow, you’re in with the chance to win - every day! Professor Beattie will choose a picture of the day, and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100. That's a pretty good reason to get snapping and play around on facebook a bit more!

Sponsored post
Viral video by ebuzzing


Lip tattoos... really?

I've seen things bubbling around for a while, but only now have I seen the images for myself. You can now buy temporary lip tattoos from a brand called Violent Lips, available in Selfridges. What the hell?! Who came up with this idea and who did they think would wear these - outside of a festival or fancy dress party at least? I do love the idea and think it's innovative and different, but at £10 a pop they're not cheap enough to buy just to play around with - although I'm mega tempted to grab some just for the kick of it.

The designs come in a variety of extremes, from the more 'subtle' (if you can call it that) poker dot to the full-on 'out there' American flag design. Going by this video they're a bit fiddly to apply too, and seeing as they only last 4-8hrs is it worth the hassle? Would you tattoo your lips?


Morning Glory

There's something I do every single day that's as much a part of my routine as washing my hair, and that's using a face wash. Some people don't like it, others find them a pain to use in the shower, but I don't feel awake and ready to face the day until I've washed my face in something lovely. For ages I've used the same one as I feel it's really important to have something simple, fresh and cleansing without being drying... a lot of face washes clean while stripping all the goodness away. However, the new range from Clean & Clear is surprisingly gentle on the skin and definitely does the job of waking you up.

Within the range are two facial washes - a gentle 'energising' facial wash and a 'brightening' facial scrub. The claim behind the products is that they not only have the normal benefits of Clean & Clear (in that they get rid of excess oils for cleaner, fresher skin) but the scents and ingredients really awaken the skin and the senses. The brand is traditionally seen as a teen one; the products haven't been on my radar since I was about 14 so I was wary about trying them for fear they'd be too harsh for my adult complexion. These are much more sophisticated than the core range, meaning I'm not embarrassed for them to be in my shower, as well as being quite delicately formulated.

The energising facial wash comes with a pump top which really helps in the shower... two pumps and you've got enough to clean your face thoroughly. The formula itself is a pale orange with 'bursting beads' which literally split when you start washing your face. This is purely for cosmetic reasons and doesn't add any benefit to the product, but it makes it look pretty cool! The scent is citrusy, but that kind of chemical citrus smell that you know they've spent ages trying to get right - it's not offensive, but it could be better as it's the only thing that really lets it down. It cleans the face well without drying, leaves no residue and definitely wakes you up. A winner in my book.

Next up is the brightening facial scrub. (Apart from the fact that there's not really enough of the 'good stuff' to call it a scrub.) I really like this - it's a refreshing, uplifting product that really does burst through your brain and scream 'IT'S MORNING!' Again, the formula lathers and cleanses well without drying, but has the added benefit of a few bits of scrub to exfoliate skin and leave you with a clear complexion. The scrub beads give it a bit of an 'oomph', but not enough to prevent you using it daily. In a way it doesn't really do its job, but that's what I really like about it... you just have to use another, more powerful scrub once a week for a deep down treatment.

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by the range (which also consists of a toner and moisturiser - more on those later) which does a job without being too fancy. Especially as each of the products come in at under a fiver - you can't go wrong.

Available from all major high street stores for £3.99 each.


MUA Professional

Yesterday at the TOWIB event we were lucky enough to be joined by the team from MUA - the makeup brand that took the industry by storm last year by launching a complete range that cost £1. Due to the outstanding and unpredictable success the brand has experienced in Superdrug, they have just released a new 'Pro' range which takes the brand a step further, while still remaining extremely reasonably priced. It consists of foundation, eyeshadow, lip gloss, nail varnish... all the usual stuff, but also these amazing palettes of stunning eyeshadow shades that come in at an un-frigging-believeable £4 each. How they do it is beyond me.

The palettes come in five different collections, from natural browns to bright floro hues, and I managed to grab four of them. I'm extremely impressed with the fact that each pack comes with ten eyeshadows at such a reasonable price, especially when the quality and pigment is pretty damn ace. This brown palette called 'Heaven and Earth' was the most desired at TOWIB... so much so that girls were literally grabbling around trying to find the last one. The shades are perfect for anyone with any complexion, they're pigmented and contain everything you need to create the most nude of looks to the strongest smokey eye. Some of the browns have the most beautiful shimmer too, making them seem very bronze-like and way better quality than what you'd expect.

This is probably my favourite palette (Pretty Pastels) as it contains lots of pale shades that would see me through Monday to Friday without a problem. I prefer creating heavier looks with eyeliners during the week, so these would create a great base - especially when you're taking it easy. Some of the darker shades also contain the most fabulous hints of shimmer and shine, making them a bit more exciting than matte shades and great for using at the corner of eyes to catch the light.

I adore this collection of colour! Pop Tastic is the strongest of the six palettes and contains some fab shades that really go hand-in-hand with the colour blocking trend, as well as being perfect for Summer. Although I don't touch pink and purple eyeshadows with a barge pole (they make me look like I've been in a fight) the blues and greens more than make this a palette to be proud of. The yellow shade comes out practically invisible, but the orange is a beautiful metallic rusty colour that would look amazing on dark eyes too.

A more traditional collection of shades, Starry Night takes the classic greys, silvers, dusky taupes and blacks and creates something that every girl should own. Although there's nothing special about these shades, it's the way that they all complement each other that I like. You could create about twenty different smokey looks from these shades, as well as differing in intensity depending on your mood. The blacks are strong black too, not the pathetic 'half grey' shades you often get for paying less than a meal in Nando's.

I still can't get over how little these cost and how great the pigments are. The makeup artist at the event, Katie, gave us a top tip that if you rub the eyeshadow a couple of times and it doesn't budge, then it's top quality and will last the night. Every single one of these shades applied well and gave a great shade that's true to the bulk in the actual palette, proving that you can spend a little and get a lot. And at £4 you can afford to pick up every single collection without breaking the bank.

MUA Professional is available in store and online from www.superdrug.com
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