Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Hello all :)

As you may have noticed, I haven't blogged in a while and my posts have been quite sporadic. Life has been quite hectic of late and as a result I haven't been in the right head space to blog or as I'm increasingly finding, my passion for it has disappeared and my heart just hasn't been in it. Coupled with a new job and an ever decreasing amount of 'me time', I no longer have the time to dedicate to blogging.

It is with sadness that I must announce I will no longer be actively blogging at Kimtopia. I'd like to say a huge thank you to my amazing readers for supporting me from day one, especially with all of your lovely comments and interaction. I've been lucky enough to get to know a lot of people and make some good friends through blogging, as well as attending some great events and working with a lot of brilliant companies. So to all my readers, PR contacts and the brands they represent, thank you for supporting me over the last four years. It's been great. 

If anyone wishes to keep in touch you can tweet me, catch me on Tumblr, check out my Pinterest boards and stalk my Instagram feed :) 

My blog will remain on the interwebz however from October 5th it will be found at it's original blogspot URL.

And with that, comes my final goodbye. Au revoir petals!
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Monday, 19 August 2013

Benefit Go Tropicoral

As you may have seen in my July favourites post, I paid a sneaky visit to the Duty Free shop on my way home from holiday a few weeks ago, and I just couldn't say no to this pretty gift set from the Benefit counter!

Really, I did this the wrong way around and should have purchased this on my outgoing trip because it contains some ideal basics for when you're on your travels. The set contains a deluxe Cha Cha Tint mini (4ml), a deluxe High Beam mini (4ml), Coralista blush (3g) together with a mini blush brush that fans will recognise from their standard powder boxes, and a Coralista lip gloss (6.5ml). On the lid there is a tips and tricks guide for the products which conceals a decent sized mirror.

I first used High Beam a few years ago and wasn't a fan but I'm now a firm advocate of liquid highlighters and High Beam is amazing for giving a beautiful glow to the skin. I've not used a liquid blush before so I was really keen to try Cha Cha Tint. I won't lie, I am still trying to get the hang of it but the colour is super pretty when applied right. Less is most definitely more thanks to the amazing pigmentation. I've used Coralista before, and ended up selling it. Over the past few weeks I've been having a full on love affair with it again and I've used it every single day. It gives a lovely natural peachy flush to my cheeks which I absolutely adore. The one product I wasn't too keen on is the Coralista lip gloss. I had high hopes but its just not for me. It leans too much towards orange andd the colour payoff isn't as great as I'd hoped. Its definitely glossy but just not what I'd hoped it would be. I just need to find the perfect lippie to pair it with. Any suggestions ladies?

Overall, I think this is a great set and I'm really glad I bought it. Go Tropicoral retails at £25.50 in the UK although I managed to snap it up for just under £22.00.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried Go Tropicoral? Do you recommend any other Benefit gift sets?
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Friday, 16 August 2013

Review: Living Nature Summer Bronze Pressed Powder

My favourite bronzer ever from UK high street brand 17 has unfortunately been discontinued. I'm now on the hunt for a replacement before I run out. The opportunity to try Living Nature's Summer Bronze Pressed Powder* popped up and I decided to give it a go, having previously tried and liked their cosmetic products.

The compact is quite heavy as it's made from metal and it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It contains a mirror and a brush and whilst ideal for on the go touch ups, I wasn't a fan of the brush. I think its more suited to blush but that's just my personal preference. The bronzer itself is a buttery soft powder, a completely natural mineral product and certified organic. 

The Summer Bronze Pressed Powder currently comes in one shade, so it's not going to be for everyone. Personally I find it a little too warm for my skin tone but if you have a good medium colour this would probably be ideal for you.

Living Nature Summer Bronze Pressed Powder retails at £26.00 in the UK for 14g and is available from My Pure. If you're in New Zealand you can purchase for $50.00 from Living Nature.

♥ ♥ ♥

What's your favourite bronzer? Do you prefer to use natural brands?
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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Illamasqua Imperfection Speckled Eyeliner

So it's taken me forever to get around to trying out the beautiful speckled eyeliner look from the Illamasqua Imperfection range and I was surprised at how simple it is to create, and how stunning it looks.

Products Used

Bioderma Sebium Hydra - Moisturising Replenishing Care
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light 2
Missha BB Cream in #21
Illamasqua Brow Cake in Gaze
Sleek Blush in Chantilly
Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC Brule
Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Vow
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe
YSL Faux Cils Mascara
Topshop Lipstick in Confession
MUFE HD Powder

♥ ♥ ♥

I love how striking this look is and I got lots of compliments on it! Have you tried the look? Send me your links!
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Monday, 12 August 2013

Review: Ahava Softening Butter Salt Scrub

To keep my legs in tip top condition for summer, I like to use a good exfoliating scrub to help them stay silky smooth and hydrated. I recently had the opportunity to review the Ahava Softening Butter Salt Scrub* so I was excited to try it when it landed on my desk. I've only ever used sugar scrubs in the past so I was intrigued to see how a salt scrub would differ.

I've really loved the Ahava products I've tried in the past and I'm pleased to say this is yet another favourite. Combining a blend of Dead Sea salt crystals, Jojoba and Coconut oils all of which soften and hydrate the skin's surface to provide a renewed glow and energy, and Dunaliella Algae which is naturally rich in antioxidants and Vitamin A which help to reinforce skin's natural protective processes and moisturize skin, this rich-textured, energising scrub exfoliates and hydrates, leaving skin to feel amazingly soft and smooth. 

The scrub feels like any other regular exfoliating scrub I've tried. The texture and consistency is the same however I find its a lot easier to rinse off with no sticky residue left behind. My legs are left incredibly smooth and soft and there's no need to use a separate moisturising product. It smells clean and fresh like the rest of the Ahava range which is a refreshing change from the super sweet sugar scrubs. 

A 350g tub retails for £25.00 and is available from Ahava

♥ ♥ ♥

Do you prefer salt scrubs to sugar? Let me know your favourite! :)
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Monday, 5 August 2013

Products of the Month: July 2013

Hello all! I'm back. I had a longer than extended absence but things have been a bit crazy lately with my holiday, holiday blues and work related stuff. I lost my blogging mojo for a while but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things :) First up this week, a bit of a belated July favourites!

♥ Benefit Go Tropicoral ♥ 
So, when you're on holiday it's a bit rude not to check out duty free right? Exactly what I thought. On the ferry back to Blighty, I found the onboard shop with a treasure trove of make up goodies. As you all know I am obsessed with coral, it's my absolute favourite colour and my go to make up shade. When I saw this Tropicoral I had to have it. It contains the relatively new (to me anyway) Cha Cha Tint, High Beam, Coralista powder and Coralista lip gloss. Anyone fancy a review? I picked this up for £21.65 and it's RRP is £25.50. 

♥ YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof ♥
Another duty free purchase and now my absolute HG mascara in the whole wide world. A bit of a sweeping statement but I flipping love it! It's super black, lengthens and volumises my lashes giving a true false lash effect in a mere few seconds. It's a pain to remove but its a small price to pay for fabulous lashes! I bought this for £18.80 and it's RRP is £23.00.

♥ Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour in On & On Bronze ♥
This has been my go to product for my eyes for ages now. I took it with me on holiday along with a couple of other regular powder shadows (restrained much?!) and I wore this the entire week. It's so long lasting, and doesn't crease which is exactly what I wanted. And it really brings out the colour of my eyes. Bonus!

♥ Make Up Forever HD Powder ♥
Another amazing IMATS purchase that I wouldn't be without. MUFE's HD powder is nothing short of amazing. It's so finely milled and instantly sets my makeup, keeping it in place all day without any need for touching up. My skin feels so silky soft when its on too!

♥ Nivea Anti-Perspirant Invisible for Black & White ♥
A bit of an odd favourite you might think, but I seriously have been loving this! And to think I had only picked it up because Boots was out of stock of my regular choice. Invisible smells gorgeous and its perfect for wearing with dark or light colours (no pesky white marks) and keeps you dry.

Listening to: The Script #3

♥ ♥ ♥

Have any of these products been your favourites lately? Are you loving any of the above?

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Saturday, 13 July 2013


Guten Tag!

The time has come for me to pack my suitcase and head off for a European adventure. As you read this I'll be heading for Dover to say goodbye to Old Blighty. I'm going to Austria for a week for some well deserved rest and relaxation, sightseeing and of course, shopping!

I haven't had the time to arrange any posts for the next week so I'll be taking a short break from blogging. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for some holiday snaps!

I'll see you beauties next week! Auf Wiedersehen :)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

NOTD: Stargazer #104

I am loving really bright shades for nails at the moment so when a Stargazer package* landed on my desk I was immediately drawn to this beautiful, hot pink. Unfortunately the photos do not do this polish any justice. It's super bright with a subtle shimmer and reminds me of my pink Sharpie highlighter. 

I've not tried Stargazer before, despite it previously being available in some New Look stores. The brand were exhibiting at IMATS London this year but unfortunately I didn't get chance to take a look, but I wish I had after trying this. The photos above show one coat of #104 sealed with a top coat. I was so surprised at how opaque the colour was after one application. Colour me impressed! This lasted 5 days on my nails before chipping and it was super easy to remove with the Bourjois Magic Remover.

The one thing that I dislike when it comes to polishes is no shade names and unfortunately Stargazer number their polishes rather than name them although they do have different categories. The shade above is #104 from their Underground Punk collection which is quite extensive and there are several shades that have taken my fancy. At £2.50 for 14ml my new obsession won't break the bank either!

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you tried anything from Stargazer? Send your recommendations my way :)
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Monday, 8 July 2013

Makeup Shakeup #4

♥ Living Nature Foundation in Pure Taupe* ♥ 
I don't know about you but I never get through a full bottle of my 'summer' foundation. Now the summer is well and truly here, I'm definitely going to be reaching for this more often. It gives a lovely medium coverage without feeling heavy and if I'm having a good skin day this will be mixed with my usual moisturiser for a more sheer finish. You can read my full thoughts on this product here.

♥ Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Furore ♥
I love a bronzed look when the sun is out and what better time to reach for my pigments? Furore is a beautiful light champagne shimmer which gives a lovely finish to the eyes. This week for me is going to be all about skin so I'll be using sheer products to keep the look fresh.

♥ 17 Instant Glow Highlight & Bronze Powder ♥
This has been my favourite high street bronzer/highlighting duo. Nothing can compare to this for me but unfortunately it seems to have been discontinued :( The bronzer is just the right shade to give me a subtle bronzed look to my face. The highlighter is incredible and so finely milled, it's absolutely perfect.  I'll be gutted when its gone but can't wait to start using it again. Sparingly. Because you know, I don't want to hit pan on this. Ever.

♥ Illamasqua Cream Blush in Rude ♥
If you don't know it by now, I am a sucker for coral. I love it. Cannot get enough. Rude is a warm peach pink and used sparingly this gives a gorgeous glow to cheeks which I'll be embracing this week.

♥ ♥ ♥

Are you switching up your products this week because of the gorgeous weather? I'd love to know if you've found a great high street bronzer or have tried any of the newer Seventeen products!
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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Products of the month: June 2013

♥ Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser ♥

Moisturising is something I am notoriously bad at. I start off with the best of intentions then I get lazy and/or forgetful and before I know it I don't even think to do it then moan when my skin isn't in tip top condition. So anything that was going to make this a damn site easier to use and to remember to do was a winner with me. Simply pop this on after cleansing then wash off. I am left with such beautifully soft, hydrated skin that lasts. I absolutely love it!

♥ Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex ♥

Ok, so I know I tweeted that I didn't really 'get' this mascara, after a few uses I can see why people like it. I find two coats gives me volumised, lengthened, jet black lashes that retain their lash-like feel and don't go hard and spiky. It has been one of my most reached for mascara in the past few weeks because I like the effect it gives. Saying that, it flakes and its a pain to remove. Panda eye central, but nothing a bit of Bioderma can't fix. Still can't bring myself to love it though. Sorry Rimmel.

♥ Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh ♥

This is my go to summer scent and I have been reaching for this daily for weeks now and I can't get enough of it.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you discovered any new products you're loving? What do you think of Rimmel's latest mascara offering? Do you have a go to summer scent? I'd love some recommendations!
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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Swatched: My IMATS 2013 Purchases

There's nothing better than playing with pretty new make up purchases is there? A few days ago I had a sit down and dug all my IMATS purchases out of their bag (can anyone else not bear to throw their IMATS bag away?!), had a bit of a swatching session, a bit of a play and put them pride of place alongside my current collection. So what better time to show you what I bought in full, technicolour glory!

I'm sure you all know by now that when it comes to foundation, I'm a bit of a Casper. I find it really hard to come across a foundation that works perfectly for me colour wise. And I've always struggled with finding the perfect finish. I took the plunge and bought MUFE's Mat Velvet + in the shade 15  which is the lightest shade in the range and had the perfect balance of pink to it. The formula is oil-free and dries to a matte powdery finish. I've used it once so far and first impressions are good. I'll review it once I've been using it for a while. 

The second purchase I made at MUFE was a cherry red Aqua Lip Pencil. They claim to be waterproof, long-lasting and non-transferable so I'm intrigued to see how it fares against this. After all, when you want a perfect red pout, you want it to pack a punch right girls?

My second foray into the world of NARS found me purchasing two of the Velvet Lip Gloss Pencils. I liked the idea of an easy to apply glossy lip colour and whilst the bullets look lovely I find the colour payoff not to be that great and they don't last long on the lips. A bit disappointed with these but at least I didn't pay full price for them.

I love stopping by Inglot because they have such a huge range of products in all colours imaginable. I adore the colour coral and I couldn't resist picking up this stunning lipstick which is a really wearable bright coral. This will definitely be my lippie of choice this summer.

I also bought a couple of liquid liners, the first being 'Silver' which I feel is an odd shade name because its not remotely silver at all. It is definitely more pewter and reminds me of Illamasqua's Precision Ink in Wisdom. The second liner I bought was simply 28 which has no shade name at all. It's a rich deep purple with a silvery shimmer which you unfortunately cannot see in this photo.

I'm not really sure why I bought this Body Pigment Powder apart from the fact that it's very pretty. That's it really. I am such a magpie!

Naked Cosmetics is an American brand which I don't believe is available in the UK so its nice to see them exhibiting at IMATS. I've seen them at the last three London IMATS shows and whilst I've always thought the products looked nice, I've never bought anything from them. This year I think they learned from previous experiences and lowered their prices from around £60 for a stack of 6 pigments down to £30 a stack or 2 for £50. Bicky and I bought ours together to save ourselves a fiver each.

I bought the Cabernet Blush stack and the Matte Shadow Base. I feel a bit ambivalent towards my purchase. The pigments looked so pretty on display and this was an impulse purchase for me. As you can see from the swatches above, when used alone they don't look that great. The most impressive are the lighter shades. However I think they really come into their own when used with the matte base. Although this isn't a base; used as such, it does nothing for the pigment. And it creases. Where this really comes in to its own is mixed with the pigment, which it mattifies, then applied to a primed eye. The pigments really come to life when used with this although it really dulls down the shimmer. I think these would be much better foiled, which I'll try soon and report back. Oh. And there are no shade names. Just numbers. Irritating!

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you seen anything here you like? Is there anything you'd like to see me review? Please send me links to your IMATS hauls, I'd love to see them!
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Friday, 28 June 2013

IMATS London 2013: The Haul

I can't believe it's been a week since I went to London ahead of my favourite weekend in the makeup world! Now that you've seen some of what IMATS had to offer in my 2013 post, it's time to see which goodies I bought!

I think I was quite restrained this year. I didn't buy everything I laid my eyes on. I didn't buy things I wouldn't use. I bought some essentials and a few whimsical pretties to tide over the magpie in me. I'm pretty chuffed with myself that I didn't exceed the budget I'd set for myself. That would be a first!

Make Up Forever

MUFE was absolutely rammed this year, particularly the base section. After patiently queuing I did manage to swatch a few foundations and I settled on Mat Velvet + in 15. It's probably the lightest shade they do (or that I could see) but with a good pink undertone and I was interested to see in how it stands in the mattifying stakes. I've tried it and so far, so good. I'll keep testing it and post a review if you fancy? Whilst I was at MUFE I had a look at the powders and I just happened to pick up the HD powder and I popped it over my foundation swatched arm. The finish it gave was incredible so I made sure it went in to my basket. I've been applying it over the bases I've been using this week and I have to say girls, it's HG material. Amazing. Whilst I'm here I'd like to say another thank you to the super kind girl who gave me a make up wipe to remove the ridiculous amount of swatches I had on me at the time! I had a quick look at the MUFE lip products and nothing really took my fancy although I did pick up a Aqua Lip pencil in 8C which is a beautiful red which I'm eager to try out.


I can count the amount of NARS products I have ever used on one hand. And I don't even need all 5 digits. It's not a brand that I'm overly familiar with because its not stocked anywhere near me at all. Saying that, what I have tried has been good and I was intrigued to see them exhibiting at IMATS for the first time. When I got wind of them having a whopping 60% discount I made a beeline for the stand. I was really disappointed because the products I knew I wanted were there for everyone's swatching pleasure, but weren't being sold. Bit of a waste of everyone's time to be honest. However they did have some bundles for £30 and a stand of mostly cream based products, lip products, blushes, and nail polishes on the discounted section. I picked up two Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils in Frivolous and New Lover. 


I really wish there were more Inglot stores in the UK. Their products are amazing quality at such fantastic value. I didn't go crazy and buy any freedom palettes, although I was tempted. But I was afraid I would get duplicate shadows like Leanne ;) Instead I tried some new products and I picked up a gorgeous hot coral lippie in 231, a body pigment powder in 181 which is a pretty frosted cranberry with a hint of taupe, and two beautiful liquid liners, 28 which is a shimmery purple and 41 which is a stunning colour that is described as silver but reminds me a lot of Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Epatant.

Royal & Langnickel

It would have been rude not to visit one of the sponsors of the show, and after loving the two brush sets I got last year (I reviewed the Silk Line Pro range here) I wanted to pick up another C490 Eyebrow brush and I also decided to grab a C402 Mini Flat Smudge brush.

Crown Brush

By the time I managed to take time out to visit Crown, it was super busy. Think elbows at dawn. I didn't really need any more brushes anyway but I did pick up another C425 Tapered Concealer Brush.

Louise Young

I was desperate to pick up another LY24 Liner Brush because they're amazing to use with gel liner. The brand were discounted at PAM so I bought that together with the LY29 Lip Brush which I find convenient for popping into my handbag for fuss free touch ups on the go.

Naked Cosmetics

Naked is a brand I've seen at IMATS for the past couple of years and I've always admired the beautiful pigments on display but hadn't to date bought any. This year they had some much better deals and this year I picked up a beautiful taupey stack called Cabernet Blush with a matte 'shadow base' which is actually a mixing medium after seeing a demo by their super friendly staff.

♥ ♥ ♥

I haven't managed to properly swatch anything but I'm planning to as soon as the sun comes back! Is there anything you're desperate to see? Let me know if you'd like me to review anything you've seen here and I'll do my best to pop that up as soon as I can :)
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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

FOTD: Singapore Sling

Lately I have been opting for a simple look of black eyeliner and a statement bright lip. It's quick, it's easy and I love it. In a recent Makeup Shakeup post, I aimed to use the Sleek Curacuo Palette from the Caribbean Collection. Teamed with my trusty Illamasqua Sealing Gel, I used the hot shimmery pink Singapore Sling to create a pop of colour on my upper lash line above my beloved Maybelline Gel Liner.

My base consisted of Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream which quite frankly I cannot recommend highly enough, Illamasqua Brow Cake in Gaze through my brows, Topshop's Brighton Rock on my lips and my peepers are finished off with Illamasqua Vow pencil on my waterline and lashes have two coats of Rimmel's Scandaleyes Flex Mascara.

♥ ♥ ♥

What's your current favourite go-to make up look?
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Monday, 24 June 2013

IMATS London 2013

It makes a pleasant change to be writing this post in the summer. Previously both IMATS I have attended in 2011 and 2012 were in January/February which involved a lot of snow! For 2013, IMATS London moved from January to June along with a change of location from Alexandra Palace to the Olympia National Hall in Kensington. Cue a very early start on Saturday at Leanne's (5am - I think we're borderline insane?!), a journey from East to West London and some added transportation issues (cheers TFL) before we could gain access to one of the make up world's biggest events.

As usual, all the stands and stages were on one level and there was lots of space between stands for all the visitors to mill around in. The balcony section of the Olympia housed a small cafe area, the preparation area for the Student Competition and the Make Up Museum.

Make Up Museum

Lincoln created by Kazuhiro Tsuji

And some familiar faces!

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

The IMATS Experience

Saturday was by far the busiest day for me, taking in the artistry, watching the Student Competition, attending the Power of Social Media talk and of course shopping! IMATS is certainly a great experience but I feel its definitely better if you have a plan. Bicky, Leanne and I knew which stalls we simply had to get to before it got super busy. I bought the things I really wanted and I spent Sunday treating myself to some impulse purchasing!

Lime Crime and Sugar Pill at Love Makeup


Charles Fox

Pigment Stacks at Naked Cosmetics


Bobbi Brown Pro

Make Up For Ever


m•i•a by Einat Dan

Student Competition: Battle of the Brushes

This year, the beauty/fantasy competition was on Saturday. It's always a must watch for me because I love to see the results after we've had a sneak peek of the preparation area! I find it fascinating to see what the artists create in their two hour time limit. The 2013 theme was The Elements, inspired by—but not limited to—the four forces of nature: earth, wind, fire and water.

Michael Key, Make Up Artist Magazine Publisher and Heather Wisner, the IMATS Student Competition Director about to announce the winners.

Third place - Valko

Second Place - Laetitia Saren

First Place - Ya-Sui Tseng

The Power of Social Media

Being kept highly entertained in the Apex Room by (L-R) Ruth from A Model Recommends, Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and Caroline from Beauty Mouth

♥ ♥ ♥

Another brilliant IMATS weekend is now over. I had a great time and it was lovely to see a few familiar faces and meet a few more in the form of the very lovely and funny Grace from All That Slap! Especially as she convinced us to go to Pizza Express. Because you know, the trains were cancelled. And it was inside the Olympia. Would have been rude not to, right? ;)

Did you go to IMATS? Was it your first time or are you a bit of a pro now? I hope you all had a great time. Stay tuned for my haul post, coming soon.
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