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

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Z for Accessorize: Santorini Collection

The Z for Accessorize Santorini collection has very summery, warm vibes.  I have already  blogged about the pendant here and I still wear it all the time.  I have since purchased the matching bracelet and stud earrings.  These are also gold plated and have cubic zirconia stones as part of the design as well as the blue semi precious stone.

The studs are small and elegant, fitting comfortably against the ear lobe. They measure 1cm lengthways and fasten with butterfly backings. The bracelet has a built in extender and measures 19cm with the extender which is 3cm and 16cm without.  The stone measures 2x2.5cm.  I like the contrast between the gold chain aand the vibrant blue stone, which looks like the sea.  They make an eye catching and unusual combination which looks equally great against black and dark winter clothing, giving a pop of warm colour and will also go with more summery colours.  There is also a matching ring available.  

I purchased these items myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.
Available here:
Earrings (£15)
Bracelet (£15)
Necklace (£17)
Ring (£15)

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

NYX Powder Puff Lippie Powder Lip Cream in Puppy Love


NYX have just launched their Powder Puff Lippie Powder Lip Cream line. It comes in 8 shades and retails for £8 (12ml).  Their are 8 vibrant shades in the range and the colours range from warm peach to a hot pink and true red to a cool plum. The lip powders come in squeezy tubes with a cushion applicator.  The product feels and looks very moussey on application but it dries down to a powdery soft matte finish without losing any pigmentation.


The product is both easy to apply and easy to build up layers of colour in order to increase the  intensity of colour. It feels incredibly light on the lips, there is no sticky residue or tackiness.  The cushion applicator leaves a blurred or fuzzy line, it is difficult to be precise so the look I achieved was just kissed rather than Instagram perfect! The cushion applicator also makes it easy to sheer out the product so you can create an ombré effect with just one product. I found it wore off after a few hours and there was a little transfer when I had a hot drink. I didn't find the formula drying and it didn't crack on my lips.  There was a slight coconutty smell when I first applied it but the smell was slight and soon dissipated. The shade I purchased was  Puppy Love which has warm peachy tones. I thought it really brightened up my skin tone and will make a great spring time lipstick staple.

I purchased this item myself. NYX is available from Boots.com, ASOS and their own website.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

New Sass & Belle Blog Props


A new season means new colourways, new blog props and new ways of presenting blog and Instagram photos. As I use this's blog primarily as an outlet to relive my boredom and only upload when I feel well enough to do so I restricted myself to purchasing only 2 new items to use in my Spring/Summer photos and they are both from Sass & Belle.

The cat's whiskers trinket dish is £6 and measures 9.8x10cm.  It features a little sleepy cat's face which looks adorable but not overpowering and doesn't dominate any blog photos, instead it adds cuteness to the overall photo. I use the trinket dish to display jewellery, prop up makeup and use it as part of my back drop clutter in flat lays.

The artificial succulent plant in a glass planter is £7 and measures 7.5x7cm.  The contrast of the different colours (green and different shades of brown stones) and textures (stones, plant and glass) means that it is great for using as both a flat lay prop draping jewellery artfully across it and as part of a backdrop.  

Available here:
Cat's whiskers trinket dish (£6)

Sass & Belle Aiko Panda Kawaii Friends Night Light

The Sass & Belle Aiko Panda Kawaii Friends Night Light is £13 and it is adorable.  I purchased mine via ASOS but it is available from all Sass & Belle stockists and their own website.  The panda head measures 18.8x15x8cm and it needs 3x LR44 batteries to work (it comes with these already fitted).  It has an automatic shut off after 15 minutes which is great in case you go to sleep with it left on. The only difficulty I have with it is that as someone who has problems with their hands I find the on/off button hard to use as it is tiny! Other than that it is useful as it can keep me company at night when I keep waking up every few hours! There are lots of matching items in the panda range and they are all reasonable priced. 

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

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Children in Crisis Pippa Small Lapis Lazuli Bracelet

Pippa Small and her team at the Turquoise Mountain Foundation based in Afghanistan have designed and made an exclusive bracelet which is sold by and in aid of Children in Crisis which is a charity which aims to improve the lives of children who have the misfortune to live in areas of conflict through education. The charity sells the exclusive bracelets and keeps the profits to help fund initiatives etc.  I have written about the Turquoise Montain Foundation in a previous blog post.

  The bracelets are designed and hand made  by Pippa and her team of artisan jewellers who trained and now work at the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan. The bracelets are available on EBay and prices rage from £50 (bidding) to £70 (buy it now) plus £3.82 P&P.   The chain is Sterling Silver washed with gold.  The chain measures 7" and is adjustable (6-7" with a 1" extender).   The chain itself  is very unusual and closes with an S clasp. The chain is easy to un/fasten and lies flat against the wrist.  The lapis lazuli stone is hand cut, measures 1x1/2"  and fits comfortably against the wrist bone. The bracelet came in a little gold material bag, and was packed securely in a Jiffy bag.  The bracelet made by artisans using locally sourced stones, materials, traditions and influences creates a piece of jewellery which is unique, timeless and retains a  special place in my jewellery collection because of the history and story behind it from Pippa Small and the Turquoise Mountain Foundation and also because it suppports a much needed charity.

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

The bracelet is available here

Josie Maran Cosmetics' Bear Naked Wipes

Josie Marian Cosmetics' Bear Naked facial Wipes  can be purchased from either Sephora or her own website and cost £9 or $12 for 30 wipes (mini or regular size). They are a gentle, natural make up wipe, infused with chamomile, aloe vera, cucumber and vitamin E. they are fragrance free and do not contain parabens and petrochemicals.  The wipes are soft and bio degradable. A portion of each sale is donated to Natural Resources Defense Council's Polar Bear SOS Initiative.

They are expensive but they do work.  They cleanse all my makeup and skin impurities away, leaving my skin soft and refreshed.  They smell very gently of grapefruit which I find very relaxing.  I love taking these on holiday so I can clean and refresh my face after a long flight!

I purchased these wipes myself.  They are available from Sephora (UK customers/ worldwide) Josie Maran Cosmetics' website (US customers).

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

It Cosmetics: Your Skin But Better CC Cream, Original v Illumination Version

It Cosmetics has just brought the Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream with SPF 50+ To the UK.  They launched their original version, the Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ several years ago and I thought it would be interesting and illuminating to do a comparison of the two light versions.

The original Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream costs £30 for 32ml and is packaged in a squeezy tube with a pump to dispense the product. It is available in 7 shades.  It is full coverage.  It leaves a natural finish to the skin.    It is a colour correcting full coverage Cream which offers SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Suncream.  It also contains an Anti Ageing Hydrating Serum which is infused with hydrolysed collagen, peptides, niacin, hylaronic acid, peptides, antioxidants and vitamins A,B, C and E.  As it is very full coverage it helps conceal dark spots.  It reduces the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. It is hydrating and acts as a brightening colour corrector.  It doesn't contain either parabens or phthalates.

I found that it applied more evenly and that I got more coverage when I applied the cream using a brush rather than a sponge.  It doesn't make my skin look cakey but flawless - I don't need to use concealer when wearing this cream.  It feels very light to wear and has a fresh lemony scent.  It doesn't break me out and even though I have very oily skin it lasts all day without cracking or creasing around my nose or eye area. I don't need to wear a moisturiser under the cream as I find it is moisturising enough on its own. I like that it has a physical spf as chemical spf breaks me out.    The downside, for me, is that as it is so full coverage that I cannot go out wearing just the cream as my features are completely erased.  I need to apply blusher etc or I look odd (and have been told so).

   The Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream SPF 50+ costs £30 for 32ml. It is packaged in a squeezy tube with a pump dispenser. There are 7 shades. It is full coverage.  Leaves a radiant, luminous, dewy, glowy fininsh and sheen to the skin.  It is full coverage, colour correcting, has anti ageing benefits, contains UVA/UVB sunscreen protection and illuminators (Drops of Light technology).  The cream diffuses the look of fine lines and wrinkles and minimises the look of pores.  The cream leaves a sheen rather than a cast of glitter to the skin.  It doesn't crack or crease. It doesn't contain parabens or phthalates.

I find that the Illumination version of the CC+ cream smells exactly the same as the original as is the texture and feel of the cream as it is applied. Again I found it applied best when using a brush rather than a sponge.  I bought the light version of both creams and this one does appear darker when I squeeze it out of the tube and does need more blending than the original to get the colour to look like my skin.   I didn't find it glittery or sparkly as some reviewers have found, it just left my skin looking natural , healthy and luminous as opposed to the natural finish of the original version. My fine lines and wrinkles appeared diminished as did my pores.  As I have very oily skin I did find that it didn't last as long as the original version.  It didn't crack or crease it just faded away.  I could wear this version without having to apply blusher etc to make me look defined, I could see my natural cheek colour through the finish for example.

Overall I liked both versions. They are great for travel as they have travel friendly packaging. Both versions have pros and cons and I hope that this post helps you decide which one to go for.

I purchased both these items from QVC UK and the opinions expressed in this blog are my own.
It Cosmetics are available at Selfridges, QVC UK and the IT Cosmetics UK website.