Golden Delicious

Here’s a couple of tanning products that I’ve been using recently. It’s a pretty basic routine but it works well and doesn’t leave me with the dreaded ‘Essex’ look – yey!

The first product I use is the St Tropez Bronzing mousse which I use on my body. I haven’t tried many self-tans but I think this is a really nice product and has always worked well for me (touch wood!). It has a greeny tinge to it which means it gives an olive-toned colour rather than an orange-based one.

I do the usual routine involving exfoliating and moisturising knees and elbows before applying with a mitt. I use a cheap mitt I got from Boots by pumping the mouse one pump at a time and applying it to the skin making sure not to miss any – this is the only way it won’t be even St Tropez claim. I always make sure I blend out towards hands, feet and other areas that are normally paler too.

I’ve used St Tropez on my face lots of times with great results but I wanted to try something specially formulated for the face. The Clarins Liquid Bronze was the one everyone raved most about so that’s where I started. I’ve only used it a couple of times but so far so good. It’s buildable so you can pick how dark you want to go but it’s such a lovely natural colour that even one application gives you a glow.

This is a cream formulation that you can’t see as it goes on like you can with the St Tropez. I apply it with a cotton wool pad and it’s like wiping your face with a cleansing cream. Unlike the St Tropez you don’t need to wash this one off and can be applied under make-up whilst your tan developes over the next few hours.

I’m really happy with the combination of these two products and don’t think I’ll be changing them anytime soon. I think it always feels like such a risk to try a new tanning products so if you find something that works for you it’s a good idea to stick with it.

St Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse – £30.69 (240ml) Boots

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning for Face and Decollete – £17.50 (125ml) Boots


Instagram #4

Best beer ever, Retro snacks, Truffle schnitzel at Jamie’s Italian, Jamie’s ice-cream bomb, Cookie Monster cupcakes I made from my brother’s birthday, Ice Bar, scrummy dinner.

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past couple of weeks – if you’d like to follow me on Instagram my name’s gemmaberry. Hope everybody’s enjoying the sunshine! x

Bioderma Vs Dior Instant Cleansing Water

I was lucky enough to be gifted a bottle of Dior Cleansing Water last year – it was the first time I’d heard of a ‘Micellaire’ solution. Basically it feels as clean and natural as wiping you face with a water that magically disolves all traces of make-up – cool right? Just a squirt on a cotton wool pad wiped over the face morning and night and your face is ready to go.

Shortly after I discovered this little miracle worker the beauty blogasphere went crazy for a french product called Bioderma. I fully intended to repurchase the Dior cleanser but worried I was missing out, I opted for the H2O de jour and ordered a bottle of Bioderma.

After using the Bioderma for a couple of days I haven’t noticed any difference between the two products. Nada. They’re both fragrance free and shift even the stubbornest of mascaras no sweat.

But there are two points to consider when choosing which one to go for. One is availability. Bioderma is a French pharmacy brand and isn’t yet available in the UK. If you go to France (and other European countries I believe)  regularly or know someone who does then you should grab it when you have the opportunity. If not, there’s a host of Ebay sellers that offer a good service with fast delivery.

The Dior is available from department stores like House of Fraser which makes it much easier for a spur of the moment or emergency restock purchase.

The second point is price. The Dior is a whopping £23.50 for 200ml which is fairly pricey for a cleanser. I found that the bottle lasted just over six months so I guess it doesn’t work out too badly really. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get a bottle of Bioderma from France I believe it’s as little as 8 Euros for 500ml of product. The cheapest I found on Ebay was £10 plus postage which still works out a hell of a lot cheaper. Plus it arrived the day after I ordered it which is amazing!

One other point to consider is the Dior has a pump which makes applying it to the cotton pad that little bit easier. All in all I think I’ll be sticking to the Bioderma from now on – simply because it’s almost half the price for more than double the product.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Over Night Mask

I can’t tell you how much I love this! As I’ve said before my skin hasn’t been at its best lately – when it’s not breaking out it’s been tight and dry. Not fun.

After a bit of research I found that this was the product that came up time and time again to help with ‘I love my skin’ days.

After taking your make-up off you slather this stuff all over your face and leave it on for the night. While you’re sleeping your face literally drinks it in and you’re left with happy skin.

I found that my make-up applied so much easier the next day and the dry patches I had were completely gone.

At £19 it isn’t the cheapest face mask in the world but the tube is quite big and I can see this lasting me quite a while. It has a lovely earthy smell too.

Which Origins products should I try next?

Benefit Powder Swatches

As I have quite a few of Benefits blushers and bronzers I thought it might be helpful to do a little comparison for anyone thinking of making a purchase.

As you can see I’ve used some more than others but I have to say I love them all. I find them really easy to blend and really buildable.

‘Dandelion’ is a really pretty, girly pink. I like to use it dabbed on the apple of my cheeks over a bronzer.

‘Coralista’ is my go-to everyday blusher. It gives a really flattering peachy glow to the skin that looks just as good on a tan as on winter skin.

’10’ is shimmery bronzer and highlighter duo that I use as a bronzer in the winter and a highlighter when I’m more tanned. It gives a really nice finish on the skin without being sparkly – too shimmery to be used for contouring though.

‘Dallas’ is plum toned blush that Benefit claim makes you glow. I have to say I love this colour, it’s surprisingly flattering even on my pale skin. It’s quite dark in colour but much more wearable than bronzer.

‘Hoola’ is Benefit’s quintessential broonzer and as you can see I’ve had it quite a while! I really wear it unless I already have a tan as I find it a bit too dark otherwise. I’ve heard lots of people say they love it for their pale skin (Caggie Dunlop, I’m looking at you) but you would need to be very careful with it. A perfect matte colour for contouring though.

Hoola, Dallas, 10, Coralista, Dandelion

Benefit have recently changed the style of their packaging which means you get slightly less product for your money but as it’s hard to get through a blusher I don’t think it’s too much of a problem. There are three more cheek powders that I haven’t got but they look gorgeous too.

Benefit powders are available for Boots at £23.50.


On account of the fact that my local Topshop doesn’t stock the colour ‘Coy’ which I’ve wanted for ages I decided to try ‘Whimsical’ which is fairly similar – and I love it!

It’s such a pretty colour for spring, not too heavy, not too invisible. Since I bought it a week ago I think I’ve worn it everyday.

The wear on it isn’t great, I think it lasted a couple of hours on me. But when it starts to fade it leaves a peachy flush to your lips which is pretty as well.

Topshop describe it as a ‘pinky nude’ but I’d say it’s more of a coral nude or peachy nude really.

As I’ve found with other Topshop lipsticks, the formula can be a bit drying but that’s typical of most matte lipsticks. This isn’t as drying or matte as their pencil lipsticks by quite a long way though. I’d say this is a good starting point if your unsure about trying a matte colour on your lips x

24-hour tattoo

An eye-shadow that stays put for more than a couple of hours on me is a bit of a holy-grail. Any product along my lashes ends up on my brow bone and whatever’s on the lid always creases. Attractive right?

It’s something that really annoys me and I’m always trying out primers that claim to keep eye make-up in place. So obviously Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo gel-cream eyeshadow was going to be something I’d have to try.

I picked up the Permanent Taupe colour at Boots for £4.99. Maybelline haven’t launched as many colours in the UK as they have in America – I think there were only five in my local Boots. I knew that the taupe would be the colour I’d find the most wearable although there was a gorgeous bronze which would look amazing with a tan.

I’m in love with this colour – it’s perfect for a neutral smokey eye. The texture of it goes on really easily with just a finger. Be careful though, it’s super pigmented and it’s easy to put too much on in one go. One dab gave this colour swatch:

So – staying power. I have to say I was massively disappointed the first time I tried it. I went into the toilet at work expecting to see my eyes how I’d done them that morning but there was hardly any colour there, what was there had creased.

I actually felt a bit sad when I saw how rubbish it had worn but I gave it another go anyway. It seems to work better either on top or underneath a powder shadow and that’s how I’ve been wearing it. I wouldn’t say it’s 24 hours by any means but lasts about 6  on me when primed.

Don’t take my word for it on this one though. The swatch on my hand was actually really hard to get off. I have a feeling that I have something about my eyes that makes it difficult for eyeshadow to stay put. Deep-set eyes? Greasy eye-lids? Yuck!

Something Old

Thought I’d mix it up with a bit of a different post today and show you my antique haul from the past couple of weeks. Last summer I spent more Sundays than not trawling antiques fairs and markets looking for quirky one-offs for my house. The weather hasn’t been encouraging but the first few events of spring have started to pop up and I’ve already bought quite a lot.

These are my lovely bedside tables that I picked up with my friend Amy at our local antiques fair at Detling show ground. They were £55 for the pair – French, don’t you know. I love them but I have to say they had a funny smell until they were aired but I guess it’s part of the charm :s

This crabby looking contraption is actually a foot-stall but I will paint it and use it to store blankets at the end of the bed in our spare room. I paid £30 although it’s pretty fugly.

Sorry for the rubbish picture but I picked this Victorian table up for £25 and I think it’s adorable (the glass and the air freshener are both available from Sainsbury’s ;))

I picked these fire-pokers up at Ardingly for £20. My brother thinks they look a bit old-lady-ish but I think it’s quite cool. Well maybe not cool but quite unique at least.

By far the best buy (I’ll post pictures when I’ve cleaned it all up) was a collectors edition Monopoly board. It was lying in a puddle and water came flooding out of it’s draw as I picked it up – it was like a relic from the Titanic. It’s a beautiful wooden board with gold plated pieces and a leather-bound property portfolio.

The receipt for £390 was inside the draw sopping wet but I got it for £20 because of it being drenched. I took it home and dried it all out and it’s absolutely fine. I just need to touch up the varnish as it’s a bit chipped and it’ll be good as new. Out of curiosity I googled the name of the edition and found them selling for up to £2000 – not a bad profit! I won’t sell it though, I love it.

Let me know if you enjoyed this kind of post or not x



Real Techniques Core Collection

I feel like I’m a bit late to the party with this one but in case any of you haven’t heard about how amazing these brushes are – they’re amazing!

They’re super soft and I haven’t experienced any shedding after three weeks of use. This set is called ‘The Core Collection’ which focuses on brushes for applying your base.

The one on the far left is a foundation brush which I found distributed my liquid foundation around my face easily. The next one along is a contouring brush to use with a bronzer or high-lighter. I really like this but I could have done with it being a smidge bigger, but I think I have quite a big face :/

The lip brush does what it says on the tin. Well, it’s actually a concealer brush that they say doubles up as a lip brush. I found it wasn’t fluffy enough to blend concealer so I use it for lipstick, which it’s great for. I’d say it’s slightly larger than the average lip brush but I like that. Not sure how easy it would be to use if you have a thinner lip though.

And to the far right is the star of the show – the buffing brush.

 A quick wipe over the face after applying foundation with this and it looks like you’ve been airbrushed. It’s that good. This is the reason I bought the set as I’d read it was worth buying for this alone more times than I can remember. If I remember rightly the set was about £21 from Boots – unfortunately the buffing brush isn’t available to buy separately yet. It’s a really good price for four brushes, especially if you get it on a 3 for 2.

If you’ve tried the Real Technique brushes, what do you think? I’d love to hear from someone who DOESN’T like them!