Monday, 29 August 2011

NOTD - 29.08.11

My boyfriend announced the other day that he wanted to paint my nails! Who was I to pass up the opportunity for a manicure?! After a few teething problems of him trying to dab the polish on with the tip of the brush he got the hang of it and this was the final outcome.

Pretty yes?

Both polishes were chosen by him too - give him a round of applause!

The Miss Sporty polish definitely stood up better than the last time I used their brand (post here).

Sara xx

Sunday, 21 August 2011

FIGHT! Makeup Academy vs. Rimmel vs. Clinique

Today's FIGHT! is a little bigger than usual. There are three blushes competing- all great in their own right, but which will come out on top when they're put up against each other?

Here at Shutter Shimmer we will be considering three main competition areas: colour, application and price.

So, introducing our contenders today!

Apologies for the pan in Rimmel - you'll see why!

The darkest colour of the three blushers is Clinique, with the shade 'smouldering plum' (since when do plums smoulder?!). The next lightest (but most pigmented) I'd say would be MUA, while Rimmel provides the most delicate light colour. When it comes to colour, I have to say that Rimmel provides the widest range of colour, as the compact actually contains three colours; a delicate and matte light pink, a slightly darker shimmer shade and finally a deeper coral-like hue (which is strangely similar in colour to the MUS blush).

My winner for the colour round has to be Rimmel. The plum shade of Clinique isn't actually very pigmented, it required a good scratch to the surface for my brush to pick up any colour. MUA on the other hand is too pigmented, it's far too easy to apply the colour in a clown like manner, even with the lightest of hands. I also find the colour too a bit too dark for my pale skin. Coral shades really don't work for my vampire-esque colouring!


I applied each of these blushes with a fairly large and fluffy blusher brush - simple you might cry! However I found this not to be so simple, as you may expect. The first blush I tried to apply was Clinique. Tried being the operative word. As I mentioned in the last round, this blusher is harder than the Rainbow Road Mario Cart track (read: very hard). Try as I might, my brush just wouldn't pick up any colour. This made application rather difficult! I managed to swatch it reasonably well using my fingers on my hand, but I really don't fancy applying my blusher with my fingers, so that's a no no.
Rimmel applied with a light but buildable colour. I found it was easy to apply quite a lot of product without looking like a circus performer, so I can see why I hit the pan so soon, I'll have to cut down on my usage!
MUA however actually disappointed me (aww no!). The application was so difficult because the product is so pigmented. I don't know whether a different brush would help (which picked up less of the blush), but I'm finding it nigh impossible to apply without looking ridiculous. Sorry MUA! I love that it's so pigmented though, because you really don't need much for intense colour, it's just a shame that the colour is so intense!

Rimmel again, is my winner! Can you see a pattern emerging here?


Price is a round that always plays in MUA's favour in these FIGHT! posts! For only £1 you get an amazingly pigmented product (which unfortunately didn't agree with me, but alas). This is obviously much cheaper than the £5.19 of the Rimmel (at Boots) or the £19 of the Clinique (also at Boots). 

Final rankings

3rd- Clinique.
2nd- MUA.
1st- Rimmel.

All for, as I'm sure you can tell, obvious reasons. Even though MUA provides the cheapest and most pigmented product, an extra £4 gives you the lovely Rimmel - a gorgeous colour and perfect application. Clinique really needs to up its game to keep the high end status it has achieved. 

Did you enjoy this FIGHT! post? Let me know if there are any product combinations you'd like to see put head to head in the make-up arena!

Sara xx

p.s - don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!

WANTED: my bag for sixth form

Just a short little Sunday post today.
Here is the bag I'm after for Sixth Form, it's proving harder than I expected to get my hands on since I saw it in NEXT a few weeks back.

So, if anybody has seen the lesser-spotted birdy NEXT bag - please let me know! Apparently it was featured in the Summer Catalogue, but I've yet to see it online other than on ebay for twice the RRP! (Which, incidentally, is £28).

Please help, if you can. It'd make a young girl very happy!

Thank you!

Sara xx

Friday, 19 August 2011


Sorry this has taken a while (thank you to you 9 lovely followers who've come since I hit the big 1-0-0!) - I've had to wait for all the bits to arrive before I could start the giveaway - I realise I should have probably planned it in advance, but I never dreamt that my baby blog reach 10 followers, let alone 100! I realise that everybody says this, but it's true! I expected to just be like the crazy cat woman, discussing fashion and beauty with myself in a corner! The world of style blogs has been so welcoming to me and my rambling posts, and you all have no idea how much I appreciate your support!

SO.. I wanted to thank you all by hosting a little giveaway - I know it's not much, but I just wanted to give a little back to all you lovely people who read my blog!

Drumroll please..

The prizes are:

- Looking For Alaska by John Green - one of my all time favourite books (I reviewed it in this post - this is a new copy, don't worry)
- A range of The Body Shop body lotions - in all my favourite scents (Strawberry, Mango and White Musk - mmmm!)
- Some Ted Baker goodies (these smell amazing!)
- Some friendship bracelets from H&M, because y'know.. we should hang out ;)
- A lovely handwritten card from me!
- Whatever else catches my eye in the next three weeks!

How to enter:

For 1 entry (everything here is compulsory):

1. Follow my blog via GFC!
2. Comment on this post with your name, your GFC name and an email address I can contact you at.
3. Cross your fingers and wait!

Extra entries, I hear you cry!

For 1 extra entry: Follow me on Twitter here and tweet this: '@shuttershimmer is having a giveaway at - go and try your luck!' or words to that effect, making sure to include a link to my blog (or this post) and to mention me in the tweet! Then add your Twitter name to your comment on this post, and a link to your tweet.

For 2 extra entries: Blog about this giveaway, using the picture at the top of the post and a link to this blog post. Then link me to the post ( I'll make sure to check out your blog too!) in your entry.

Also for 2 extra entries: Add my giveaway to your sidebar, with the picture above and a link to this post, then link me to your blog!

If you do all of the above you will have 6 entries to my first giveaway!

- I will ship internationally but won't be held responsible for any custom charges, so enter at your own risk!
- Entries without a name or email address, or by anybody who doesn't follow my blog are void.
- If you're the lucky winner you must respond within 48 hours of me emailing you, otherwise I will pick another winner.

Giveaway ends on FRIDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER - 3 weeks! So get your entries in before then!

Thank you all again for your support!

Good luck!

Sara xxx

Thursday, 18 August 2011

OOTD - 18.08.11

Shirt - ASOS
Shorts - H&M

I've had these shorts for a few months now, bit have never worn them because a). They look awful without a tan, and b). I've never found anything that actually goes with them until this shirt arrived!

The shirt is technically for Sixth Form (next Sixth Form outfit coming soon!), but I just thought it was so cute with this outfit!

What do you think? :)

Sara xx

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Back to Sixth Form - Outfit 1.

Here's potential outfit one for Sixth Form. I teamed a simple, but gorgeous little black dress (from the lovely Laura over at Through The Eyes Of Laura) with a studded belt and a birdcage necklace.

I think that this would be perfect teamed with a blazer and some cute pumps such as the ones below from Topshop.

Topshop - £22

What do you think?

Sara xx

OOTD - 16.08.11

Dress - Debenhams
Belt - Internacionale
Bracelet - Primark
Pashmina - eBay

This is my outfit for my friend's cocktail party last night. Well, I say party - there were four of us sat around chatting and generally not liking the cocktails we made - more practice needed I think! I won't be becoming a bartender any time soon though.

What's your favourite cocktail?

Sara x

Monday, 15 August 2011

My trollbeads.

Today I present to you the love of my life (other than my boyfriend, obviously!). My Trollbeads! I got my bracelet and my first beads last Christmas, and have gradually buildt my collection up on special occasions, such as birthdays, Valentines Day and days out. I love that you can change beads around based on what outfit you're wearing  (although I don't quite have enough beads to do this yet - one day!). I think it's great that you can buy a bead to signify an event in your life, and every time you look at the bead you're reminded of the event -  it lets you create your life story in bracelet form!

My favourite bead has to be 'Endless', which is the silver bead to the left, fourth from the end of the chain. It's a curled around circle of silver, with no end or beginning, gettit - endless? It was bought for me as a gift on Valentines Day from my boyfriend.

My Trollbeads are a staple in my day to day jewellery - I feel naked whenever I forget to wear them!

Do you have any pieces of jewellery that you feel naked when you forget to wear? What are your opinion on charm bracelets such as these?

Sara xx

p.s -  Thank you so much for following, each and every one of you! Hitting 100 followers means so much to me, and I'll try and reward you all very soon! *wink wink*

Saturday, 13 August 2011

MUA nail polish review

I'm certain that by now you've all heard of the budget line MUA (currently only stocked in Superdrug - but soon to get it's own website that you can order from anywhere in the world!) so I'll just get on with the review of my latest purchases from the range.

I'm making a feeble attempt to grow my nails before I start sixth form in September. I've been blessed with 'man hands' all of my life. Not so much in size (I have the tiniest hands you could imagine) but in the fact that my nails just don't grow beyond a certain length before I nibble them off. I know this is such an awful habit, and my boyfriend hates it - so by painting them pretty colours it's putting me off making them ugly again.

I'm definitely attracted to nail polish more than most other types of cosmetics, which is odd because I have the most awful nails in the world. I think it's the lovely colours the polishes come in!

I hope you don't mind that I've reused the picture from my haul post featuring these polishes. My mum has taken our Nikon DSLR out for the day, leaving me with only my dodgy Samsung point and shoot - so I figured I may as well have one decent photo in this post. Apologies for the rest of them!

A minty turquoise (shade 5), a fiery coral (shade 3), a shimmering light gold (10), and a rich plum (3). 

The quality of the bottles were the first thing that hit me, they're chunky glass and feel a lot more expensive than the £1 they cost. This is until you unscrew the lid. The lids feel really light, and I worried that if I tried to screw them tightly they would crack.

The quality of the brushes actually seemed to vary between the polishes, with shade 10's being the worst, and 4 being the best.

Shade 10

Shade 3

The quality of application of the polishes varied too. Shade 4 (the corally red) went on perfectly in just one coat, whereas Shade 5 (the minty turquoise) took 3 coats to get a good bold colour.
The polishes are all thick, but the turquoise seems least pigmented.

As you can see, the 'shimmery gold' is confusingly definitely silver. Still nice, but I would have preferred a gold personally.

If you haven't already noticed, the use of 'shade 5' is ridiculously annoying. I wish MUA had gone for actual colour names, it makes them so much easier to identify, and I think would also make them seem more expensive.

As for longevity, I've been wearing these polishes for over a day now, and there isn't any sign of tip wear or chipping yet - and considering that the coral has only one coat, I think this is pretty amazing! I think I'll add a clear topcoat, as the polishes seem to be somehow less glossy than I'm used to. I know some of you will like this however - so each to their own.

On the price front, they're £1. Seriously. This is such an amazing price for these polishes. It really makes me question how MUA can get away with making such high quality products for less than a pound, while higher priced polishes can have a much worse formulation! I'll definitely be purchasing the full range of polishes, just because you can get the full range for less than the price of one higher range polish.

All in all these varnishes are amazing. The colours are mostly rich and long lasting, everything you'd want. Admittedly for some of the colours you may require a few coats, but they are so quick drying that this really shouldn't be an issue.

I'm looking forward to trying MUA's new professional line of nail products, featuring crackle effect polishes!

How about you, have you tried any of MUA's polish range?

Sara xx

Friday, 12 August 2011

MUA haul!

I was so impressed with MUA's last offerings of the blusher and lipstick that I bought earlier in the week (lippy featured in this FIGHT! post) that I went back to Superdrug and picked up not one, not two but FOUR nail polishes, an eyeshadow in Pearl shade 11, and also a pressed powder in shade 1. I also picked up a jazzy nail file, and some veggie Percy Pigs!

Shades (left to right) 5, 4, 10, 3
Eyeshadow in shade 11, pressed powder in shade 1.

MUA eyeshadow - Pearl Shade 11

Delicious, glad they're finally catering for vegetarians!

I'll do a FOTD with my new MUA products later, and also reviews the products!

What have you bought recently?

Sara xx

OOTD - 12.08.11

The weather was weird today, it wasn't sure whether it wanted to be hot or cold, plus it was windy - so I figured a summer dress with a jumper was the best idea!

Jumper - New Look
Dress underneath - Primark (as seen here, doesn't come up small anymore - I've lost about 10lbs since then!)
Tights - New Look
Pashmina - eBay

I thought it was a pretty cute outfit! 

Sara xx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My back to college wishlist!

Exactly two weeks today until I get my GCSE results - I'm so nervous it's untrue! This also means that I have exactly three weeks left of my summer holidays! I realised that it's about time that I start thinking about what I need to buy for sixth form. The dress code is smart casual, in blacks and whites. I'm thinking pretty woolen dresses with peter pan collars and studded pumps with thick black tights.

So here's my back to college wishlist!

1. A cream blazer! I've wanted one for so long, but have never got around to shelling out!

2. A black skater dress.

3. Baggy vests to be worn with the blazer.

4. Some pretty dolly shoes.
River Island

5. A long cardigan!

6. A tusk necklace.

7. A new Trollbead!

8. Black skinny jeans.

9. New leggings.

10. A pussy-bow blouse!
River Island.

What's on your wishlist at the moment?

Sara xx

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What are your dreams?

Bought from a small gift shop in Yosemite, California.
This is my favourite necklace, mostly with sentimental value.

My dreams for today are that the madness of the riots in Britain stops soon. It's heartbreaking watching livelihoods destroyed by uneducated thugs.

What're your dreams?

Sara xx

OOTD - 09.08.11

Tee - New Look
Acid wash jeans - Primark
Cardigan - River Island

Feeling rather 80's today in these jeans.. I need a perm now!

Sara xx

Monday, 8 August 2011

Blog sale!

Some bits that I decided I needed to clear out. More will be added periodically - don't worry!

Postage will be £1.50 with 25p added for each additional item, unless stated otherwise.

Payment by Paypal Gift ONLY (to stop nasty hidden charges!)

Lush items, all unused - £2 each (plus delivery) or £13 delivered for all as a package.

Active Vanity Case and makeup - perfect as a gift - all unused - £13 delivered

Grapefruit body butter, brand new - £3

Blue and silver bracelet from France - £3

Unused Milan No7 nail polish (duplicate to the one from my NOTD post) - £3

Just comment here with your choice of items, and an email address/ twitter for me to send you my paypal address.


Sara xx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

FIGHT! Makeup Academy vs. Clinique

Next in my series of FIGHT! posts comes lipsticks! Budget companies are challenging the age old myth that you need to spend a whole paycheck just to get a good lippy. Today we'll be watching up-and-coming budget beauty company MUA fight it out against the high end, and equally high priced Clinique.

Let the battle commence!

First up, MUA!
The budget contender today is available from Superdrug stores across Britain (more are stocking MUA every day) for the price of *splutters and gasps* only ONE POUND. That's right, for less than the price of a bottle of Coke you can pick up items of cosmetics ranging from highly pigmented eyeshadows, to glitter eyeliners, to lipsticks - all for £1. The lippy contender today is in the awfully memorable shade 10. Packaged in a shiny black tube it certainly looks more expensive than it's meagre price tag.

Now the competitor- CLINIQUE!
Clinique products can be found at beauty counters across the world, and their high reputation follows their equally high prices. This lipstick costs £16 - 16x more expensive than MUA! The high end contender is in the shade 'Wow Violet'. A sleek green tube encases this lippy, making it look very high class indeed - old chum!

3, 2, 1 - FIGHT!


I found MUA to go on rather dry, and didn't feel very moisturising as it swept across my lips. For a product costing £1 I guess you can't expect the finest jojoba oils or shea butter infused formula, and it's nothing a good lip balm base couldn't handle. The end result was smooth and even lip coverage, but not really anything to write home about. It went on well.. exactly how I expected a lipstick should. It did everything it needed to do, but didn't really stand out.

Clinique however, went on as a rich, creamy swoop of gorgeousness. I felt it nourishing and caressing my lips with it's expensive oils, and I must say it was all very luxurious. Applying this lipstick actually made me smile- and that's exceedingly worrying. It was just.. lovely.

How about a swatch on my hand for you lovely people?

On top, MUA, below is Clinique - although I'm sure you could tell.

How does it look?

Here's where the surprises start. From the 'meh' application of MUA and the 'MMMMM' equivalent of Clinique, I was a little worried that Clinique would be miles ahead throughout the rest of the right. I'm pleased to say that this isn't the case. They're actually very similar in terms of colour. Of course Clinique looks far more.. moisturisy, but considering MUA costs only £1 I'd say that what we have here is an exceptional 'dupe'. I think that with a slick of clear gloss, MUA could look much better.

I do have to say though, the colour is much less rich in MUA's lipstick contender.



Long lasting?

MUA yes, Clinique no. Simple as. I found the Clinique just slid off my lips (too much moisture?) and rubbed right off whenever I moved my lips. MUA however behaved more as a lip stain, and stayed put for much longer than you'd expect from a product costing only £1. I got a good 5 hours out of it before I had to reapply, and I'm happy to say that even though it did fade, it faded evenly, rather than leaving a horrible uneven mess.

Zooming through Clinique!


Another round to you MUA- congratulations. I would easily pay many times this price for this product (pleaseplease don't put prices up though, affordable is amazing!). I'd like to know whether your Pro range lipsticks (priced around £2, available soon!) will have a more moisturising build however - I can't wait to try and see!

For £16 Clinique, you certainly do perform. Your formula is silky smooth and colour payoff is unbeatable BUT I can imagine me powering through this lippy if you don't just make it last a little longer! Is this your aim? I don't wish to sound cynical, but it does seem odd that such an amazing product can have such little staying power. I'll look into it!


Another interesting FIGHT! Clinique's 'Wow Violet' is the better product overall, but for £1 MUA's shade 10 isn't half bad. It lasts hours, and the colour is pretty good. It's certainly much better than I expected it would be.

I'll definitely be trying more MUA products, just to see if any others surprise me as much as this lippy did. 

A shorter post this time- hope that's okay with everyone! I need to ready myself for the #bbloggers chat on Twitter in a few minutes.

Remember, any products or brands you'd like to see compared, just drop me a comment here or throw a tweet my way over at @shuttershimmer.

Thanks for reading!

Sara xx