Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Review - Ultimate Beauty II Collection, Makeover Essentials

I had an interesting shopping trip the other week where I bumped into a Makeover Essentials pop up stall.  I had never heard of Makeover Essentials (ME) before, but after chatting to the charming sales assistant he said that they are an American brand who are promoting themselves in England before they sell in the likes of Debenhams.  This was part of a promotion to get customers acquainted with the brand as they are rather expensive and they didn't think people would be willing to spend a huge amount on a brand they are unsure of - too right!

I was inticed over with a full goodie bag, obviously as things are never free, there was a deal:

Buy a Bronzer shimmer brush for £34.99 (discounted from the original £50) and as I was one of the first ten customers I would get 3 products for free.  Now I wouldn't say I'm the most gullible person, especially when it comes to paying money up front but I was intrigued and really probed the guy.  He insisted that the free products were worth over £100 and proceeded to show me them in some detail. (I may do future posts on the others when I have tested them out).   

One of the three products was the Ultimate Beauty II Collection - a palette including 27 eyeshadows, 9 lipglosses and 3 blushes, plus a slim rectangular mirror at the top (underneath the ME logo).


I am really pleased with the eyehadows and blushes in this palette. They have a good pigmentation, although some have a lot of fall out.  I am so happy with the selection of colours, especially the blushes.  Everything by ME is made from minerals (so the man told me) and therefore they blend out  to look natural, something which I like to see in makeup.

I'm not the biggest fan of large palettes as they are not travel friendly and this one does not feel high end however I am really loving the products inside!  I'm particulalry liking the two end ones on the second row - a shimmery purple and dark brown.  I have been applying these in the morning without primer and they have lasted for a few hours on me which is fantastic as I have oily eyelids and shadows tend to fade quite quickly normally. 

Blushes - left on arm is right in the palette, middle is middle and right on arm is left in the palette.

A few eyeshadows, camera is not the best quality but they are highly pigmented. 

I am really impressed with this product however I'm pleased I got it in this deal as I would not have paid the $64.99 price tag (currently $59.99 in the sale) shown on their website.  The sales assistant claimed that ME are a high end brand in America selling with the likes of YSL, Chanel and Lancome, which would explain the high price.  However if I knew the brand and it's reputation maybe I wouldn't be so shocked by the price?

So if you see this promotion near you I would definitely check it out as the quality appears to be really high, there is a great colour selection and the products are long-lasting, I'm really pleased I have the palette. 

Have you tried anything from Makeover Essentials? What do you think?

Jen xx 

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Clear Water Haven - Dubrovnik, Croatia

For our holiday this year my boyfriend (Jon) and I went to Croatia.  It had been a destination we had wanted to travel to for a while and so we were excited to book a reasonably priced holiday there.  Everyone we spoke to commented on the beauty of Croatia and they were not wrong, so I thought I would share some pictures and (helpful) information for those who may wish to travel there.

Dubrovnik - Old town. 
As with out last three holidays we booked with Expedia.  I personally have found them to be really good, they have deals and are friendly and helpful when I ring with pestering questions!  We flew with Easy Jet (as unlike some airlines they were direct) and we stayed just outside of Dubrovnik in Lapad Peninsula in the Adriatic Hotel.  We found this area ideal for us as we had a 1 minute walk to the pebbly beach/restuarants galore and easy access to the main parts of Dubrovnik. 

Croatia uses Kuna, although a lot of the tours/restuarants also took Euros, but I would always take some Kuna just incase.  We found everything really reasonable, food ranged from 65kuna for a main meal (meat and side) to over 150kuna for some posher restuarants.  When we exchanged our money 100kuna was around £12.  We ate good, yummy, presentable food and on average I would say I spent 80-90kuna on a main meal.  Drinks were around 20kuna (non alcoholic) although beer was similar to coca cola, sometimes less.  For lunch you could always find lighter menus with sandwhiches around 30kuna, so when you convert it, it was actually pretty reasonable!

Views from hotel area

We stayed for one week and spent two days on the beach outside the hotel - lovely food from the beach restuarant, great views and HOT weather! The sea is amazing in Croatia, it is extrememly clear and we found ourselves paddling and swimming amongst the fish, scary at first but also delightful!  We also went rock pooling, although I was not brave enough to try to catch anything! If you visit the Lapad area make sure you look up the cave bar, it was beautiful and a cosmopolitan cost me around £6.50 - very good in my opinion! My camera is not the best but I hope these pictures share some of the beauty.

This holiday was a mix of sight-seeing and relaxation - the perfect mix.  Dubrovnik was a 10 minute bus ride from our hotel (12kuna single from our hotel or 15kuna single on the bus) and the stop was right outside!  In Dubrovnik we climbed the walls - I recommend you do this eary morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat.  We paid 90Kuna.  This gives you beautiful views of the old town and surrounding sea and Islands.

Dubrovnik old town   
Walking tour - 70-90 Kuna (my silly brain can't remember!)
Lots of great restuarants - ranging in price and specialities.
Lovely little shops for souveniers and shopping if that's your thing.
Boat rides around the island Lokrum or to the island - we paid 90kuna for a glass bottom boat tour.
Kayak tours around the island.
Cable car up to the top of the mountain/hill - 95kuna return - great views of Dubrovnik - see first picture - and there is also a museum at the top about the war.

Three Island Tour
We took a three island tour with a tour company and they take you by boat to three of the islands surrounding Dubrovnik for 250kuna, including lunch on the boat and all you can drink (soft drinks and alcoholic).  I personally wouldn't recommend this tour.  In other countries the tours we have been on have been well lead, with the guides giving ample information about the areas you are visiting and what there is to do there (see below also).  However the boat ride was silent (no information given about what we were passing) and we were told nothing about the islands we visited apart from the name and time to be back so we felt a bit lost stepping off the boat.  All three islands had their own charm and you were able to swim at each island at different beaches but I would not personally recommend it.  The lunch however (fish or chicken) was delicious! I could have had more!

We also took a day trip to Montenegro with a tour company we paid 290kuna each, normal price 320kuna.  This was much better - on the coach journey the guide told us lots about the country and how it had changed and gave us a paper guide for the first city we went to.  Again the scenenary was amazing.  We visited a UNESCO town and also went to a beach area where we could swim and eat if we wanted to.  I would recommend this if you have time, you also get your passport stamped! However bring Euros as this is their currency. 


I would definitely go back to Croatia and recommend it to anyone, we stayed in the one area but there are many opportunities to travel around this fantastic country and visit many different cities and islands. 

Any questions let me know and comment if you have been/recommend anywhere. 

Jen xx