Random Monthly Favourite | Hipiwe Portable LED Makeup Mirror

I hate monotonous routines. There’s nothing I despise more than being a creature of habit. I like to mix things up, step outside of the box and live a little on the edge. Sounds very cliché I know, but there’s nothing worse than being boring.

We talk about makeup, skin care, body care, etc, etc every week. While I’m not complaining (and I hope you aren’t either), I thought I would welcome you into my world of randomness. For those who know me personally, I’m forever finding gadgets and little knick-knacks; which make life a little easier. I avidly search the pages of Etsy, Amazon and even eBay for inspiration on what to add to my collection and today; I wanted to share with you all the newest addition to my weekly blog posts – Random Monthly Favourite.

Unlike my typical blog posts, I will dedicate a short, but sweet post on one item that I have been loving for the past month. Be it lifestyle, gadget, or even food, I will share with you one item that has been in constant rotation and the reason why I’m loving it. I’m constantly referring random lifestyle items to friends and family so I thought this was the best way to update you all on my random purchases in between the mass of beauty products that I accumulate – hope you enjoy it!

I take everything but the kitchen sink with me when I travel. I am a textbook over-packer, preparing myself for any scenario that comes my way. However, there’s one thing that fails me 99.9% of the time – poor hotel room lighting. I’ve been travelling quite a bit recently and while I’ve now mastered the technique of applying my makeup in a small palette/compact mirror, I still can’t get on board with terrible lighting.


Whilst searching the pages of Amazon, one particularly unproductive afternoon, I came across a listing for a portable LED makeup mirror. I’ve seen a fair number of YouTubers talk about their love for these after discovering the same despise for hotel room lighting as I have so I knew I had to have one in my life.


The Hipiwe Dimmable Battery Operated LED Illuminated Lighted Cosmetic Vanity Makeup Mirror is a lightweight, freestanding makeup mirror; which contains 16 dimable LED lights. Unlike many lighted makeup mirrors on the market, this contains white toned lights as opposed to yellow; which provides the most desirable illumination for applying your makeup. Warm, white lights mimic the look of natural lighting and reduces the risk over going overboard with your foundation or powder.


The 1:1 real display also contains a touch-sensitive button; which controls the lighting system. One short, sharp tap turns the mirror on and off while keeping your finger on the button controls the dimmer. Increasing or decreasing the severity of the LED lights allows you to be in complete control of your makeup application, along with providing comfort for those with sensitive eyes. Being a contact lens wearer myself, I have pretty sensitive eyes, but in all honesty, I don’t find the brightest setting at all uncomfortable.


The back of the display features an on/off switch; which ensures that you’re not running down your battery when your mirror is pressed up against other items in your travel bag. You can, of course, keep the mirror on at all times and control the lights with the touch-sensitive button, but being the OCD freak that I am, I love that I have a second option.


The mirror can be used hand held or freestanding. The arm can be adjusted to various degrees so that it sits fairly comfortably for a variety of heights. I’m fairly tall so I find myself having to scooch down in my chair when looking at a regular vanity mirror, but here I am able to coordinate the position of the mirror so that it fits comfortably for me. The arm folds down completely flat; which is perfect for when you want to slip it into your travel bag/suitcase. It also has very little physical weight so it won’t weigh your bag down.

The mirror itself comes in three colour options – black, white and pink; which are all equally functional. I opted for the white colour as it matches my bedroom decor should I need to use it at home. For £14.99 it certainly isn’t the cheapest of options for a travel mirror, but considering how many times I’ve used it I feel as though I have gotten my money’s worth.

You can find the Hipiwe Dimmable Battery Operated LED Illuminated Lighted Cosmetic Vanity Makeup Mirror here.

Workout For Your Nails | Nailtiques Formula 2

I admire women who are able to maintain perfectly manicured nails. It’s what every beauty enthusiast dreams of (that and perfectly fleeky brows). Despite applying copious amounts of industrial strength top coats, I can never keep a colour on my nails for longer than a day. My nails lack moisture, strength and flexibility – all of which contribute to a perfect set of talons. I used to put it down to the fact that I’m amazingly clumsy with my hands, constantly hitting something or clawing my way into a new online package, but in reality, I think it’s the copious amounts of dishes that I do each night (my husband can vouch for the sarcasm in that comment).

I indulged in acrylics during my late teens/early twenties. I don’t get them done much now as I can’t be bothered with the upkeep and I certainly don’t want to damage my nails further. When gel nail colours exploded onto the market, I was ecstatic. So much so that I went out and bought my own gel nail system – mostly to save myself £25 every two weeks, but also because I wanted to experiment with colours in the comfort of my own home. The love affair grew strong, and before I knew it I was painting and removing my gel colours every week – that was until my trip to Barbados.

My nails have always been prone to chipping and breakage. I banked on the notion that having gel nails meant that I could grow my nails as well as improve the strength without having to turn back to acrylics, but I was hugely mistaken! Throughout the holiday my nails became dry, soft and uncomfortably brittle. The gel colour did help in masking my peeling nails, but they did nothing for the strength. My nails were borderline painful and in the worst shape they had ever been. I knew something had to be done and done fast. It was time to bring the big guns out and invest in a nail strengthener that could whip my nails back into shape (well better shape than they were before).


The Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula is a small bottle of heaven for those suffering with dry, brittle and splitting nails like mine. The unique blend of protein and conditioners work hard at providing immediate relief for damaged nails. The special blend of hydrolyzed keratin, calcium and gelatin bonds the nail layers together, building a strong foundation; which allows for resistance against peeling, chipping and splitting.


There are two size options available; £12.50 for a 7ml bottle and £19.00 for 15ml. To be honest, unless you’re planning on using this treatment for a fair number of months, the 7ml version will suffice. Nailtiques is readily available at many online retailers such as Beauty Bay, Look Fantastic and Amazon, but if you’re not an online shopper (perish the thought) then you will need to search around at a few Boots stores. I got my bottle from Beauty Bay as they have been running a 30% discount on all Nailtiques products for quite some time; which was the perfect excuse to add a few more items in the bag (not that I need one).


Like many other nail treatments available, the solution is encased in a glass bottle complete with a brush applicator. This makes it easy to brush on the formula, even when on the move. The instructions suggest to apply a thin coat daily, with or without the inclusion of a nail colour. Personally, I abstained the nail varnish as I didn’t want to taint the solution, but it is allowed if you’re worried about naked nails. The solution is to be removed after seven days with an acetone free nail varnish remover to allow for a fresh weekly batch of applications. This is to be repeated until your nails are at their desired strength. I did find that after about 3 days upon the first application, the repeated layers began to peel off. It didn’t cause any detriment to the overall treatment, but it was slightly annoying to remove then re-apply that regularly. The treatment also discoloured; which was another con in my books. I’m an eater (obviously) and any foods that had the faintest bit of food colouring in made my nails for florescent yellow – not a great look if you’re trying to improve the quality of your nails, but again, this was quickly resolved with a fresh batch of layers.


With two months of continuous use, these are the results of the treatment. As you can see, the health of my nails has vastly improved. I’ve got about 1/4 cm growth above the tips of my fingers; which is the perfect height for me as I detest super long nails. My nails feel and look a lot stronger and I can actually bash my hands around (insert joke here) without fearing for broken nails. My little finger nails have made the greatest improvement as they were very bendy to the touch. They are now visibly stronger, much like the rest of my set. I was a little apprehensive during the first two weeks of the course as I did not see an immediate improvement. I had noticed that the peeling reduced a fair bit, but the length and strength of my nails remained the same. Nevertheless I carried on and I haven’t looked back. I do advise, for anyone looking to indulge in the treatment, to be warned that everyone’s nails are different. It may take some a couple of days to visibly notice a difference or it may take a month. Nailtiques do suggest that if the Formula 2 doesn’t provide you with your desired results then the Formula 2 Plus version is recommended. I would most certainly start off the with Formula 2 rather than going straight in with a stronger solution and allow myself a month to judge the difference. I’m very happy with the results and I now have nails I can proudly display.


You can find the entire Nailteques range here.

Japanese Beauty Edit: Daiso Natural Pack Black Peel Off Mask

daiso 1

Teppanyaki, cars, Muji, fashion, Hello Kitty and the love of all things cute and kitsch – it’s fair to say that the Japanese know how to get things right. When it comes to beauty, the western market takes a massive backseat against the innovative products that the Japanese have to offer. Since the release of Shiseido and SK-II and Shu Uemura into the mainstream market, Japanese beauty products have caught the eye of makeup artists, beauty editors and enthusiasts around the world.

The Japanese take a hugely different approach to beauty as to what we’re used to in the western world. Design, packaging and natural ingredients take priority in majority of their products; which provide solutions to almost any beauty ailment you can think of. Open pores, fine lines, dark patches, and so much more are all addressed in the Japanese beauty industry; which is not hard to believe as Japanese women are incredibly blessed with beautiful skin.

In recent years, the breakthrough of lesser known Japanese brands such as DHC and Suqqu have paved the way for Japanese beauty to become more accessible to our shelves. My skincare cabinets are filled with sheet masks, snail creams, lotions, potions and all that in between as I have discovered that the fountain of youth really does exist in Japan. Not only are these products oh so cute to look at with their kitsch designs, but the formulas exceed way beyond anything that I’ve ever bought in Boots or Superdrug. The Japanese just know beauty and they have dominated the beauty market beyond belief.

daiso 2

Daiso is Japan’s equivalent of Britain’s Poundland. With goods priced at around 100 Yen each (approx 73p), it’s a beauty lover’s haven. To be honest, I’m not particularly partial to trying any beauty products from the pound store (snob alert), but when it comes to Japanese beauty, I’ll give it a go.

I first discovered Daiso’s Natural Pack, Black Peel Off Mask when researching solutions for my enlarged pores and annoyingly obvious blackheads on my nose. I’m forever researching into the latest skincare trends and I was on the look out for a natural alternative to the typical nose strips that are readily available in the stores.

Having researched into the benefits of charcoal, I knew that this was the core ingredient to look out for when I’m looking to draw out impurities. I don’t normally gravitate towards charcoal as I feel it quite drying on my already parched face, but I love the feeling of squeaky clean skin and charcoal was definitely my best option. Apparently the Japanese have been using charcoal for many many years to maintain clear complexions and, well let’s be honest, you and I both know that if the Japanese smeared cow dung on their faces to maintain a beautiful complexion, I’m going to follow suit!

Daiso’s Natural Pack, Black Peel Off Mask works just like a standard peel off face mask, but supercharged with active ingredients to not just draw out, but practically vaccum all the bad stuff out of your face.Although it’s recommended for the entire face, I have been a little skeptical of applying this all over, mostly because the formula is so strong that I’m worried I’ll be left with only one layer of skin and no eyebrows. I do, however, love applying this to my nose area to really deep clean and extract what doesn’t come out with my regular skincare routine.

daiso 5

The packaging is fairly simple, but not much can be expected for a couple of quid. I like the fact that the formula comes in a squeezey tube rather than a tub, but the white packaging can become quite dirty after some use. It certainly doesn’t help that the ingredients, description and instructions are all in Japanese, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. Instructions of this mask found online does state that it is not to be used more than twice a week; which I would only recommend to those with problematic skin. I use this as a nose pack once a week; which leaves my skin completely clear and super soft for days after.

daiso 3

It’s recommended to apply a fairly thick layer of the mask to your face or chosen area in order to get the maximum benefits when peeling away the mask. You get around 80g in a squeezey tube, which will last you a fair bit, but considering how much you need to put on, I could have done with a bigger size. The product itself is a black, sticky consistency; which dries fairly quickly so you have to work quick. Luckily it doesn’t stain your fingers like some charcoal masks and certainly doesn’t smell like the remnants of a bbq.

daiso 4

I won’t gross you all out with the results of my nose peels, but just know – this is by far the most powerful and effective peel off mask that I have ever used! You can visibly see the ‘gunk’ that you never knew existed on your skin (and I like to think that I have a fairly maintained complexion). It even works well at removing the small hairs that may exist around your face. I’ve always found that my foundation never sits well around my nose and forehead areas due to the tiny bumps of clogged up pores, but this mask has made the world of difference. I must warn, however, that this mask is perhaps not suitable for those with sensitive skin, but for someone like me, it’s like taking an airbrush to your skin.

Upon first application, the formula feels somewhat cooling on the skin, almost mint like. My husband has also tried this mask and he felt it a little itchy and uncomfortable to use, but to be honest, he has a completely different skin type to mine. The mask takes no longer than 15 minutes to dry to a complete matte finish; which indicates that the mask is ready to be peeled off. If you’re going to apply this all over the face, I recommend that you do not talk, eat, drink or basically breathe during the time that you have it on as stretching of your facial muscles can cause the mask to lose its adherence to the skin.

So where can you purchase this Japanese miracle? Well it’s not easily sourced in this country, that’s for sure. I searched high and low for retailers in the UK offering the mask close to its RRP, however, I could only locate it on Amazon and eBay. I personally purchased mine through Amazon, because of it’s next day delivery (thanks Prime), but it did mean that I paid slightly more than other stores. Hopefully one day I can find myself shopping the beauty aisles of Japan, but until then this gem of a mask can be found here and here.

What Japanese beauty products have you tried? Comment below with suggestions of what I could try next.

ABH Sun Dipped Glow Kit | Review and Swatches

How fickle the cosmetics industry can be. Trends, understandably, come and go, but as a consumer, it can be incredibly hard to keep up. First it was contouring, then it was brows, then came the explosion of liquid lipsticks and now – let’s just say, we are not short of options when it comes to highlighters. We live in a glow-obsessed society. From high end to drugstore; it seems as though there’s not a brand out there that hasn’t put their stamp on a highlighter/illuminator.

In my day (yes I’ve reached that age now) there weren’t as many highlighters available on the market. The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks were my first and only love when it came to giving my skin a cosmic glow. However, as beautiful as they still seem to me, I just can’t get away with that much glittery shimmer on my skin as I could when I was young(er). Luckily for me, and my fellow glow fanatics, there are now an abundance of options to choose from when you want to add that touch of sparkle to your skin.

sun dipped 2

If you read my blog post last week (if you haven’t, shame on you), you would have witnessed me gush about the wonders of the ABH Renaissance Palette. In keeping with the theme, I thought I would share with you my review on the Sun Dipped Glow Kit palette; which is the latest addition to the ABH Glow Kit family.

So what is the Glow Kit? Well in simple terms, it’s a palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills, released since 2015; which contains a selection of 4 highlighters, all within the same colour family. In not so simple, dramatic, out-right diva terms – it’s life in a cardboard box.

sun dipped 5

The Glow Kits Glow Kits are available in three different colour selections and are suitable for a number of skin tones. The Gleam Kit contains an array of peachy pinks and silver tones, perfect for fairer skins. That Glow Kit contains bronze, copper shades with reflects of gold, perfect for darker complexions. Last, but certainly not least is the newest addition to the family, Sun Dipped; which is a perfect hybrid of its predecessors.

sun dipped 4

At £39 the kits aren’t exactly budget friendly. However, you do get 4 pretty huge sized pans; which is equivalent to 4 full sized highlighters, therefore the price is justified. I don’t think ABH were being extortionate with their price point. In fact, I think most of their products (except for their liquid lipsticks) are fairly priced.

I have a slight love/hate relationship with the packaging. I LOVE the fact that the pans easily pop out for replacements or even interchanging between the other kits for your own custom palette. I do, however, hate the fact that there’s no mirror and the packaging feels quite cheap and cardboardy (I realise that’s not a word, but you know what I mean). For £39 I want something that’s one, going to protect my highlighters when travelling and two, a damn mirror so I can see my highlight bling. Saying that, I suspect that if they were going to up the quality of the packaging they would have reduced the size of the pans; which would have been a real let down.

sun dipped 3

Similarly to the other kits, there are a selection of 4 colours in the palette. ‘Bronzed’ is a warm toned coppery shade; which would be right up my alley, but I feel it’s a little too dark for my skin tone. I would be great as a bronzer topper or even as an eyeshadow, but I would definitely reserve this shade for when I’m on holiday. ‘Summer’ is a pale yellow gold; which is perfect for that intense highlight look or precise application i.e. inner corner or cupid’s bow. It’s quite a versatile shade so it would suit a fair number of skin tones, but it’s not for the faint hearted. ‘Tourmaline’ is the most unusual of all the colours. I can only describe this shade as a purple-y, taupe-y, rose gold-y neutral shade – not much of a description was it! It’s not the first colour that I would go for in the palette, simply because I don’t understand it, but I reckon it would be good as a blush topper. ‘Moonstone’ is my favourite shade of all. A luminous golden beige, it’s colour bares a close resemblance to Becca and Jaclyn Hill’s Champagne Pop. I feel that this shade is the most universally flattering out of all of them and I can see myself working through the pan quite quickly.

sun dipped 1

I love how blendable every one of the shades are. The pigmentation is fairly strong as you can see from the swatches, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they’re on par with ABH Illuminators. The texture, however, is just as buttery and not gritty like some glitter infused highlights. You can build up the intensity fairly easily with the right highlight brush and it will never look cakey.

If I had to make a decision between all of the Glow Kits, I would say Sun Dipped is by far my preferred choice. The colour selection is far more versatile than the others and the golden undertones works perfect with my medium toned skin. I would certainly say that the palettes as a whole are great value for money considering that I’ve forked out £30-£40 on a single highlight with a very similar pan size. I would definitely consider taking this palette on my travels as it offers a variety of shades if you mix and match. My most favourite combination is ‘Moonstone’ mixed with a little ‘Summer’.

You can purchase the ABH Sun Dipped palette from Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay.