Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Depotting Everything: Large Z Palette

I bought a large Z palette to house my new shiny Makeup Geek foiled eyeshadows, and they looked pretty lonely in there all on their own.  So I decided to de-pot a number of my favourite neutral eyeshadows and stick them into the Z palette too.

Doing the actual de-potting was a mixed bag - some shadows, like Makeup Forever's large circular pans, were meant for arranging in palettes like this, so de-potting them was as simple as poking a pin through a hole in the back of the compact.  That's because they're already held in with magnets rather than glue.  Pro brands are often this easy to depot - but high end brands like Clarins, Laura Mercier, and Burberry are pretty dependent on glue, meaning that I had to prise the pans out of the compacts with a knife.  Most of the time that worked just fine, albeit with some warping - you can see that the long, thin, rectangular Clarins pan got warped pretty badly.  In some cases though, the eyeshadows were damaged - like the wine coloured Burberry pan in the bottom right - or completely destroyed, as happened with my Estee Lauder Raisins duo.  They were too soft to be depotted, and they shattered. Boo.

Anyway, inept knife handling aside, the process of depotting and rearranging my shadows was a lot of fun.  The large Z palette comes with a set of sticky-back magnets so non-magnetic pans can be put safely into it, which worked really well for most of the bottom right hand corner.  I've still got a few left for future de-potting adventures too.  At £14.95, I'm really pleased with my large Z palette - some of my buried treasures are getting use for the first time in ages.

Disclosure:  Z palette bought by me.  Depotted eyeshadows a mixure of ones I bought myself, and PR samples.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Beauty Kitchen cooks up some handmade treats

Disclosure - PR sample

We like lo-fi beauty solutions - Gemma's oat baths and home made aspirin masks are cheap and effective. We like knowing exactly what goes into home beauty recipes too, and that we can tweak the formulas to work for our skin type or the kind of day we've had.

Beauty Kitchen is a company who take the lo-fi home-made approach to a wider market. Based in Glasgow, the company is headed up by Lacy MacFarlane, who at just 23 has driven the business from grass roots up. Customers can order their own bespoke products which are freshly prepared in the Beauty Kitchen itself and sent out in upcycled/recycled packaging. You can select the base ingredients, the scent (from a selection of pre-mixed essential oil blends), the colour and design of the label and even what name you want printed on the front. Kind of a nice idea for personalised gifts.

I tried out one of the Bath Oils (£5.95 for 100ml) made with Spoil Me essential oil, one of the scent options. Its description on the website; "An indulging and soothing blend of natures sensuous smells. Ingredients: Cedarwood viginian, benzoin resiniod, petitgrain, aniseed, fir needle, bay, mandarin, coriander, orange sweet." The oil came in what I think might once have been a tabasco sauce bottle.

The hot water has been pretty useless at our place recently, but I managed (by dint of turning the heating on full whack) to get a hot bath on the go to test this out. I found the instruction to "pour generously" is not to be taken too literally - I glopped a good bit into the bath and ended up with a bit of an oil-slick on my skin. Unlike some of the very pricey bath oils we've tried, the Beauty Kitchen version doesn't dissipate evenly over the surface of the water, and doesn't emulsify. So you need to swish it around thoroughly and use it in moderation to get a good effect. The scent is quite a 'foody' herbal rather than an aromatherapy kind of smell. It reminds me of the smell I used to get when I opened my mum's kitchen spice drawer as a kid. It's nice, but somewhat unexpected. I would definitely pick this up as a comforting bath product for a cold winter night.

I think I'll be trying more from this range. I'm charmed by the idea of customising products, and I'd love to try out some of the other scent options and product types. I love that you can buy the scrub, for example, with three different bases - sugar, epsom salts or sea salt.

Browse the Beauty Kitchen range, read about the company and make your own products at

Monday, 29 March 2010

DIY Beauty: Colour Conditioner

Many colour conditioners promises the world, but don't really deliver, in my opinion.  Most contain very little colour, and so at best only enhance your colour if you use them frequently.  My previous favourite, Aveda Madder Root, was the only one I'd found that actually made a noticeable difference to my hair - unfortunately it also made a noticeable difference to my wallet!  I've been mixing my own colour conditioners for a fair old while now, and they are a fabulous way of refreshing colour between salon visits, brightening up an easily faded colour, or adding a tint to dark hair.

Read on for simple instructions and tips on making your own.

Friday, 26 February 2010

DIY Beauty: Clarifying Aspirin Face Mask

Sometimes, outside of all the lovely luxury products, and even the high-street reasonably priced products, you can find a little gem of a DIY recipe that makes a big difference for a very small price.  A while ago, I read Very Good Things on about Aspirin Masks.  So I dived right in and tried a couple of variations, and was very impressed.  As I'd heard, my skin was smooth, more even in tone, very clear looking, and the pesky spots lurking on my chin had dried up and calmed right down.  Some people even report that regular aspirin masks have helped clear their acne scars.

So, here is a short guide to how to make your own aspirin mask.  Read on afer the jump for many photos and step by step instructions.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

How To Make Lip Tars More Portable

Lip Tars are lovely things, being mixable, highly pigmented, and high impact. But for me, one of their selling points - that you need so little to get opaque coverage - turns into a downside; they're not particularly portable. You need to carry a little tube and a lip brush, or if you mix your own shade, a sample pot and a lip brush.

Years ago, I bought a few bits of lip product packaging as one of my favourite LE lipglosses had burst on a plane and wasn't usable. Recently, I found the dial up pen applicators I had bought and realised that they are fabulous for Lip Tars.

The picture above shows a peachy-neutral shade of Lip Tar which I mixed up in one of the applicators. It's a dial up pen format, like Stila use for their lip glosses, so you can make the compartment as small as you like - I doubt anyone would mix up enough Lip Tar to fill the thing to capacity. Once the compartment is full, you snap the sponge top into place and voila, you have a portable Lip Tar.

When you turn the dial, the Lip Tar saturates the sponge applicator, and it's easy to control the flow of product to get the opaque coverage. The photo on the right shows my custom blended colour applied to my lips with my dialup applicator.

I got my dialup pens from, for the reasonable price of $6.50 for a set of 10. Sadly, they're out of stock until April, but a viable alternative might be the click pens, which are $6.80 for a set of 10. Shipping is a fairly reasonable $10. There are other places to buy these containers, but they are often more expensive.

Since I have quite a few spares, we'll be giving a few away - six randomly selected people will receive two sponge tip dialup pens, and a bonus brush tip pen too. Leave a comment with a valid email address to enter - closing date is Saturday 27th at midnight, as with our other giveaway!
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