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hi, I am a 41 year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly.My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Beak & Claws: Anna Sui Orchid Nail Polish

As the imagery and name of my blog is centred around a sparklingly magpie I decided decided to name my lipstick and nail polish series "Beak and Claws". Beak relates to the lipstick portion, claws to the polish. I purchased this Anna Sui nail polish in Orchid (no 202) as an add on to my Amazon UK order - £4.01 (8ml). The RRP is £11.  

Orchid nail polish is a very summery pastel purple shade.   The nail polish contains olive oil, raspberry fruit extract and grape fruit extract in order to maintain and hydrate nails and keep them looking healthy.  The polish is supposed to be be streak free with a high shone finish. The polish dries in thick layers and claims to have a quick drying, streak free formula which, due to the flexibility and thickness of the polish isn't supposed to chip or crack and instead last for a long time.  The polish has a high shine finish. 

  I found that I needed 3 coats of polish to make the polish completely opaque as it had a tendency to look streaky, despite claims that the brush is designed to prevent streakiness.   It dried really quickly, I didn't need to use any quick drying drops and it definitely has a high shine finish. In my pictures I have not applied a top coat and my nails look very glossy. I like the shape and length of the brush. The brush fits nicely over the nail and the wand is long enough that I am not concerned that it will touch my other nails when I am using it. 

The bottle is very elegant, vintagesque and fits in well with the overall Anna Sui aesthetic. . Shaped like a crown, the wand is black and comfortable to hold. The glass base makes it easy to see the colour of the varnish. 

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own. I always use the same base coat Nail HQ All in One to ensure a fair comparison of longevity etc of the polish I am reviewing. 

 Available here.        

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Anna Sui Beauty Tray A

The very first product I purchased from Anna Sui was the  beauty tray with butterflies embossed upon each side.  It is still available on some websites, BeautyBay still have it in stock (£10.75) but I think it had been discontinued. I now have several lined up on my bathroom window sill and I use them to store beauty products, medication, bathroom cleaning items  and the spare key to the window.  They look like are made from black lacquer but are, in fact, plastic which makes them easy to clean.  They are also are quite wide and roomy so it easy to fit lots of oddly shaped items in them.

Anna Sui has brought out a new  butterfly Tray  for Summer 2018.  It is £13 and it is Beauty Tray A.  It looks as though it is made from black lacquer but is made from a substantial thick black plastic so it is easy to keep clean and won't get damaged or chipped if you store glass bottles etc in it and happen to knock/drop them against the side. Measuring 86.4mm(H)x161.9mm(W)x109.4mm(L). the base does not rest on the floor as does the original, instead the Tray stands on elegant legs which adds a further vintage feel to the design. The Tray fits into the gothic, victoriana aesthetic favoured by and associated with Anna Sui, complimenting the other mirrors, boxes and accessories, some of which I have already reviewed.  She has upgraded one of my favourite and most used beauty accessories by adding legs and making the sides of the Tray curve in with the shape of the butterfly wings she has made the Tray even more elegant and eye catching in design.  "Anna Sui" is embossed on the front of the Tray between the two butterflies.  It is a multifunctional storage item, it could be used to store all the items listed above or used to store jewellery, special trinkets on a dressing table but shoul definitely be out on display, not hidden away somewhere.  This Tray would not only be a great gift for collectors of Anna Sui items but would also be a good thoughtful present for people who like butterflies.

I purchased the item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.
Available: BeautyBay.com

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Beak & Claws: Anna Sui Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lip Color

As the imagery and name of my blog is centred around a sparklingly magpie I decided decided to name my lipstick and nail polish series "Beak and Claws". Beak relates to the lipstick portion, claws to the polish.

Anna Sui has just released her summer lipstick range, a Matte Liquid Lip Color available in 7 shades, £23 for 6.6ml. The shades are very vibrant and wearable.  The lipstick names/ colours are: Dusky Pink; Dark Pink; Fushia Pink; Lilao; Gothic Purple; Anna Red and Moroccan Orange. The bottle is very Anna Sui in design.  The cap is black, it looks like black lacquer but is, in fact, plastic, and  has a victoriana, gothic, vintage feel to it.  The lipstick applicator is a tear drop doe foot wand.  The lipsticks are supposed to "glide on smoothly over the lips, drenching them in long lasting, full pigment colour".

I purchased the shade Dusky Pink (No. 200). The bottle is very easy to hold as the shape fits nicely into my hand.  The shape of the applicator makes it easy to outline the lips with the pointed end then fill in with the flat side of the doe foot wand.  The smell is a very light tea rose aroma, the traditional scent associated with Anna Sui products, but it is not over powering and soon fades away.  The colour is exactly the same in the bottle as when it is applied on the lips. The lipstick does not crack or fade and it lasted a good 8 hours before it needed to be reapplied.  I only needed one coat to get full opacity and it made my teeth look whiter.  It felt comfortable to wear, not tight and drying as some liquid lipsticks feel on the lips.

I purchased the he item myself from BeautyBay and the thoughts expressed in my blog are my own.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Anna Sui Loose Powder Case

This Anna Sui loose powder case is £13 from both Beauty Bay and Amazon UK.  The loose powder case and accompanying powder puff come in the very recognisable Anna Sui cardboard box, which is so pretty it is a shame to throw it away! The case itself is free standing and sturdy, even though it looks fragile, dainty and elegant. The case measures 10cm(H)x10cm(at its widest point). The case stands upon sturdy cabriole legs and looks like it is made of black lacquer, but it is made of a thick black plastic,.  The case has gold edging and is designed to resemble Anna Sui's conceptualisation of a fairy's house.  The outside of the case has raised flower embellishments which are instantly recognisable as part of Anna Sui's overall aesthetic.   The lid has a domed lid so can fit not only loose powder but also be used to store, for example, keys, spare change or favourite pieces of jewellery. It fits with the overall Anna Sui aesthetic of romanticism with a slightly gothic, victoriana, vintage feel to it. 

The powder puff feels and looks very lux and soft - I will feel very glamourous powdering my face it.

The only downsides to the case is that there is no separate compartment for the powder puff  so it has powder on it all the time as it is sat on top of the powder rather than you being in control of how much it picks up. The lid lid lifts off completely, it isn't hinged so it cannot be used for travel as it isn't really secure enough for that.

It is a beautiful, elegant, and decorative item that would be a great addition to any dressing table or vanity area! It is a well made, timeless piece that looks so much more expensive than £13.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in my blog are my own.
Amazon UKBeautyBay 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Dead Sea Spa Magik Dead Sea Bath Salts

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts I have severs chronic pain which can be partially revlieced for a few hours by soaking ins hot bath. I find that using Dead Sea salts relaxes my muscles even more and reduces the intensity of the pain for a few more hours. I enjoy using the Kneipp: Stress Free Herbal Bath OilDeep Sleep Mineral Bath Salts, and their Lavender Balancing Bath Salts but for that extra umph I will add a few handfuls of Dead Sea Spa Magik Dead Sea Bath Salts or if my skin and scalp are feeling especially dry and flakey (I have stress related psoriasis on my face, shoulders and scalp which is also made worse by my medication) I will just use (a lot) of the Dead Sea Bath Salts and soak for around 40 minutes in a warm bath.

The bath salts contain natural minerals, a combination of bromide, potassium and magnesium to help relieve dry skin and relax muscles and joints. Natural exfoliant leave skin glowing and smooth whilst antiseptic and antifngal properties help allocate skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.  The bath salts are white and dissolve into the bath water, leaving the water clear and odourless.

I certainly feel relaxed and in less pain after soaking in a bath of these salts.  The pain hasn't complete gone but it is considerably alleviated for a few hours, allowing me to get a few hours unbroken sleep. My skin does feel silkier. The psoriasis on my scalp, face and shoulders is, indeed, controlled l when I use these salts, as is the infection on my ear (I caught a skin infection on my earlobe when I was in hospital and it occasionally flairs up). I notice a difference in the condition of my skin if I stop using it.

I will never stop using Dead Sea Spa Magik Bath Sea Salts. They have considerably improved my skills n complaints and help reduce my neuropathic and muscular pain.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.

Dead Sea Spa Magik products are available at: Amazon UK, Holland and Barrett, Dead Sea Cosmetics UK and independent stockists. 

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Astrid & Miyu Rose Gold Horseshoe Ear Cuff

I have always been fascinated by ear piercings and promised myself one day I would have several piercings in my ears. Unfortunately life got in the way and due to my neuropathic pain I cannot have any more piercings - I have just the one in both my ear lobes.  Astrid & Miyu have created adjustable ear cuffs that don't need your ears to be pierced.  I first came across A&M when they had a jewellery subscription service (the secret box). I was always pleased with both the quality of their jewellery (was gutted when they finished it and I still have the little blue and cream boxes knocking around somewhere) and their customer service.   I follow them on Instagram and saw they had a Black Friday Sale (late last year) so I went ahead and purchased the rose gold horseshoe ear cuff (£39).   

The rose gold option is rose gold plated onto brass with diamant√© accents on the cuff itself.  There is also an adorable delicate little star charm dangling from it.  The cuff is part of the Charm Addiction collection and is also available in silver, gunmetal and gold. They are designed to be worn individually or layered up to together or combined with A&M's other ear cuffs or earrings. The Charm Addiction collection combines and has been inspired by both classic charms with a laid back LA twist and by A&M's minimalistic Nordic and Japanese aesthetics.

To put the cuff on your ear you gently pull the sides of the cuff apart until there is enough of a gap that you can fit it over the top or side of your ear.  You then place the open cuff on the top of the ear, slide it down to where you want it positioned and squeeze the sides of the cuff until it feels securely in place. I have worn it at the top of my ear lobe and further down, the star looks elegant hanging from the high point of your ear or more relaxed further down. As I do have problems with my hands I did find it difficult at first to open the cuff but once I had done it a few times I found it a lot easier to manage. I cannot reach up high enough to put it over the top of my ear myself, I have to get someone else to do that for me but once it has been moved down to where I can reach it I find it easy to squeeze the sides into position.

I like my cuff and get lots of comments and questions about where I got it from when I wear it. The gift box it came in will make a great travel Jewellery box.  I will most probably get the gunmetal version in their next sale.  A&M have a great collection of minimalistic and stylish ear cuffs and matching jewellery items.

I purchased this item myself and it is available at Astrid & Miyu's flagship store and online.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Review: Inner-Soul Organic Healing Night Balm

I was lucky enough to win 2 pots of Inner-Soul's award winning Organic Healing Night Balm in their recent Instagram, Mothers Day Competition.  Each jar costs £25 and contains 55ml.  The balm is supposed to heal, soothe and nourish your eyes, face and neck, soothing and protecting your skin as you sleep. The balm contains mango butter (a source of vitamin A) provides skin rejuvenation, arnica to heal and reduce dark circles, amaranth to reduce irritation, inflammation and dry skin, squalene to help reduce skin damage and outbreaks, and lavender and patchouli to  control sebum, naturally hydrate the skin and calm and relax the mind.

To use the balm I warmed a berry sized amount between the tips of my fingers then applied to my face, neck and under eye using upward and outward sweeping motions.

The balm is very thick and it takes a few moments to make it soft enough to spread over the face etc. Once it has warmed up it feels lovely to apply and the warm of the fingertips intensifies the aroma of  the lavender and patchouli.  I found it relaxing to massage into my skin and noticed a difference within around 6 days, especially to my forehead area.  The wrinkles didn't appear as defined and deep and in some areas the lines had gone altogether. I don't have under eye circles so can't comment upon the efficacy of the balm there but my under eye wrinkles were also less obvious.  Overall my skin does look clearer and I haven't had as many break outs. I did catch a skin infection when I was in hospital which resurfaces every so often. Once it had started healing I used the balm on it and it healed up without any scarring much quicker than usual.

I enjoy using this balm. My skin looks clearer and my forehead lines have significantly diminished.  I find the smell of lavender and patchouli relaxing and so will repurchase when it finally runs out!

I won this item in a competition but this has not influenced my review.

Available Here