Sleek Oh So Special Palette Swatches

I treat myself to this little gem the other day when I went to see Twilight, I've been looking for the Oh So Special palette for a while but it's been out of stock every time I've walked into a Superdrug which stocks Sleek; you must all know by now that my local Superdrug doesn't stock Sleek so I've had to wait until I went out of town. Sleek is now also stocked at Boots. I'd heard that this is THE Sleek Palette to own and I have to say some of the shades are really unique.



One thing I love about the Sleek palettes is the huge mirror on the inner side of the lid, in fact I love the packaging as a whole, it looks sophisticated on the outside with the Sleek logo and then the untouched shadows when you first open it look really good because they're waffled (if that's the word to describe them!) Ohh and can't forget the little sheet which tells you the names of the shades... shade names are a nice little touch I think. 



I like that they have mixed matte and shimmer shades in one palette and they've also included some pink and red tones. The shimmer shadows are beautifully pigmented; really easy to apply and build into some really intense shades. This is a beautiful palette but if you're more of a neutral lover, the Sleek Au Naturel Palette might be more up your street!

Liz Earl Skin System Review

Ever since I bought cleanse and polish I have harped on about how much I love it and how it makes my skin feel so clean I had to try the next 2 steps; it'd be rude not to! The next step after Cleanse and Polish is the Instant Boost Skin Tonic (200ml spritz bottle available in an ordinary bottle or spritz form this is a product which is for all skin types; one product suits all sort of thing like cleanse and polish. As most of you probably know, Liz Earle have a moisturiser suited to most skin types; combination/oily, normal/combination, dry/sensitive and very dry/mature skin. I have oily skin so I have the Skin Repair Moisturiser Light* (£21.00 for 50ml pump).



The Instant Boost Skin Tonic (£16.00) promises to 'Revitalise, Soothe and Tone for Instant Radiance'

I LOVE this product, the idea of it being in a spritz bottle is fab for me because it's just so convenient, I'll often go for an afternoon nap after university or before work so this product is ideal for just spritzing on my face to wake me up, it smells beautiful and doesn't sting my eyes (although I don't recommend squirting it directly into your eyes!). I have also tried this in bottle form, and although it's the exact same product I still prefer to spritz rather than use cotton wool. Like all Liz Earle products I've tried, this smells absolutely lush, so clean and not a chemical scent in sight; no wonder really seeing as it contains aloe vera, vitamin E, calendula extract, chamomile extract, hops, cucumber, geranium and a whole load of other 'naturally active ingredients' that give me the confidence to use this product without fear that it's going to block my pores. It does take a little while to soak into your skin properly so it's a good idea to do something else before you put on your moisturiser just so you get the full benefits of using this toner; the non-spritz toner does dry a little quicker but thats all about application and which one you buy is totally down to personal preference but I definitely recommend trying this one if you've already tried the bottled one.


Skin Repair Moisturiser* (£21.00) is 'Light, Gentle and Balancing for Fresh, Naturally Healthy Skin'
When I received this I was surprised to see that this comes in a pump bottle rather than a screw top jar which is what I have seen on so many blogs. When Liz Earle say light, they really mean that this product is light as it comes out of the pump it's a lovely consistency; one pump easily covers my face! I have noticed that my skin feels less oily throughout the day since using Liz Earle for just a week! The Skin Repair Moisturiser is absorbed by my skin super quickly and gives a great base for makeup.

I can highly recommend Liz Earle skin products if you're looking for a high quality skincare routine for combination skin.

Easy Children in Need Nail Art

You know I'm all for extremely easy nail art on Girl Up North so I wanted to share this easy Children In Need nail art with just one accent nail that makes the design unmistakable!

All you'll need for this Children in Need nail art is a shade of yellow, a white nail polish, a red, a blue, a green and a dotting tool. 


This tutorial doesn't involve any intricate bear drawings; just 3 simple steps to Children in Need nails:

Step 1:
Paint 4 fingers with your chosen shade of yellow, leaving out an accent finger next to your little finger

Step 2:
Paint your accent finger next to your little finger with the white nail paint. Leave this to dry completely.

Step 3:
Using the dotting tool, dot the red, blue, green and yellow nail paint onto the accent finger.

This nail art is a really fun and inexpensive way to show your support for Children in Need, don't forget to share it with me on Instagram if you try it!

Miss Sporty Grape Fit Swatch

Before I bought this polish, I did have a bit of an unfounded thing against Miss Sporty as a brand, the image I had in my head was a collection of makeup products which were used only by 12 year olds who got a fiver pocket money every week. But their nail colours have completely changed my opinion!

Clubbing colours nail polish has blown all that totally out of the water, my perception was completely skewed and I obviously hadn't moved with the times (and with Miss Sporty as a brand). As yet can't speak for the other products by this particular brand but I am so impressed by this polish.


The formula is not really thin and hard to apply, it actually goes on quite opaque even with the first coat. This particular shade is really creamy in consistency (I need to try others to see what they're like!) The above photo was taken with just two coats. The only thing I will say about the product itself is that it stinks; I know nail polish doesn't smell nice in general but this has a really strong chemical smell! It does say that it's quick dry on the bottle but I have so far failed to find a nail polish which dries quick enough for my liking (i'm always in a rush) but as long as you remember to put a top coat on, you should be fine with this as it does dry pretty fast in comparison to some!

The packaging isn't fantastic, very plain and its feels like such a small bottle, descriptions are very minimal on the bottle but who cares with a brush like this...


It doesn't actually say on the bottle about this beauty of a brush, it reminds me very much of the new Rimmel polish Brushes nice and wide but not too wide so that it goes all over the sides of your little finger. Absolutely love it, this was the final piece of the product that has really sold Miss Sporty well to me.

I will, without a doubt, buy more shades, theres a really nice pearl pink one called 'Tina Sparkle' and to top it all off, at the moment these are 3 for 2 in Superdrug. Unfortunately I can't get a link because there doesn't seem to be any of these on the website but they are around £1.99 where stocked. They are very much worth £2 and I can't wait to try some more Miss Sporty products, hopefully they won't disappoint!

Sleek Au Naturel Palette Swatches

Due to all the hype around Sleek palettes, I had to ask myself would this palette live up to all the rave reviews of previous Sleek palettes? Here are swatches and a brief review of the Sleek Au Naturel palette.




This really is a comprehensive nude collection, full of really gorgeous colours; perfect for autumn. For me these shades make this a really useable palette as I don't like to go too garish for university. I found that the shimmer shades were a lot more pigmented than the matt shades (which are slightly chalky) but I like using them nevertheless. I will be using the bottom shades a lot this autumn as I think the shades are gorgeous; my personal favourites are Regal, Mineral Earth and Taupe.

If you're looking for something a with a few more bold shades then the Sleek Oh So Special palette might be for you.

Rimmel Lycra Pro 393 Desire

I bought this for a night out last weekend, I was wearing a black dress and wanted a suitable colour to go with it. 'Desire' is a gorgeous reddy brown colour with a hint of shimmer, I took two swatch photos as without the flash I don't think it caught the shimmer very well, but I know how people appreciate natural sunlight photos too. If you love darker nail colours, you'll love Rimmel Lycra Pro Desire...


I can tell you now, the coverage of this particular shade is absolutely amazing (I can't speak for the whole range as this is the only one I have tried). I was in a massive rush when I was going out so I only had time to do one coat, this polish looks amazing just with that one layer. Obviously if you layer it up, the colour will be darker and probably last longer on your nail.

The application of this polish is amazing, Rimmel have decided to use a 'Maxi Brush' for this product for 'Mistake Free Application'. I was in a rush and this brush made it so much easier to apply! 

So rather than faffing with a thin brush and having to do numerous strokes and re-dips, this brush means that you can apply polish in 3 strokes (or less, depending on the width of your nail) and I didn't have to re-dip at all! I do believe that the Rimmel 60 Second polish has also had a brush overhaul, but it's a 'precision' brush... I must try that.

Without a shadow of a doubt I would buy more from this range, yes. I did grumble to myself a little when I bought it as it was £4.59, I'm used to buying Rimmel Lasting finish at £2.99 but the lycra one is definitely worth the price tag. 

MAC Blush in 'Style'

This is the first of my posts featuring products from my duty free haul; First up is the MAC Powder Blush in 'Style'. I've been looking for a peachy coloured blush for a while now, I was going to use up the rest of my No.7 one first but I couldn't resist the Duty Free offering. As I mentioned in the haul post, the lady at MAC was less than helpful, and I felt as if she really didn't want to assist me at all. I knew I wanted a peachy shade but I didn't know whether a matte look or a shimmer would suit me best. The lady said this was an 'inbetween' shade; not matte but not too shimmery



I have to say, I do love it. It's just what I wanted; it doesn't go 'OOOSH' look at me I have peach on my cheeks... it does give a really nice subtle glow; a nice alternative to bronzer for paler ladies and a nice change for those with a darker complexion. 

Everything about this blush is fab, the texture, ease of application; everything is good in my opinion; no complaints at all.

You can buy this from MAC's online store or Debenhams for £19.50

Aztec Nail Art Tutorial

Nail art doesn't have to be complicated and this aztec nail art design is so simple to recreate with just a few tools and nail colours. As with any nail art tutorials on Girl Up North, you can customise the colours to your liking; this is just an easy tutorial for aztec nails.

All you need for this tribal nail design is a striper brush, a dotting tool, a small nail art brush and a white nail colour for the base... the rest is up to you!



Step 1:
Paint your nails with a white base colour; I painted my nails with Sinful Colors: Snow Me White, to give a good base. Leave this to dry completely.

Step 2:
Paint over your whole nail again with a colour of your choice; pictured is Essie Lapis of Luxury. Let this dry completely.

Step 3:
Now take a striper brush, and paint a stripe 1/4 of the way up from the bottom of my nail using a contrasting colour. I used China Glaze: Shocking Pink (Neon). 

Step 4:
Use a striper brush again to paint a black line above the pink, I used Sinful Colors: Black on Black.

Step 5:
Now leave a gap and paint a white line using Sinful Colors: Snow Me White about halfway up the nail.

Step 6: 
Leave another gap and paint another white line, 2 black lines were painted around the white line. Then add the detail with a dotting tool and a small nail art brush.

Aztec/Tribal nail art is one of the easiest nail arts to do, if you make a mistake, you can easily cover it with a line and make it look like it was supposed to be there. You can also change it to your personal preference and make it as 'in-your-face' as you want!

Hope you have fun trying to create some aztec nails, if aztec nails aren't your thing, why not have a look at my leopard print nail art tutorial.

Guest blog by Paige from Nailsaholic.

How to Protect Dry and Sensitive Skin

The one and only skincare post by my guest bloggers is by Daisy from Pretty Green Tea, she has a lifestyle blog and takes amazing photos!

Hello everyone, Daisy here from the lifestyle blog; Prettygreentea. This is a guest post for Jade about what products to use if you have dry skin and sensitive skin. If you are from the UK you will know that we are already experiencing a little colder weather at the moment, though it does chop and change from day to day. When the weather gets cooler my skin becomes very dry, but also when it is really hot it also becomes dry, so my skin is always dry... So I tend to use really thick creams and moisturising products all through the year. I also am allergic to many products and chemicals, my skin reacts to them and becomes very sore. I have tested many different products in order to find ones that are kind to my skin. 

The products I am going to share with you are all products I have been using over the past year, purchased more than once and ones which I think are good value for money. 

Lovea Bio Burkina Shea Nourishing Body Balm
This is a very thick nourishing balm, it is by one of my favourite brands ; Lovea Bio. They are an organic brand so there is no fear of any horrible chemicals being in the balm which may affect your skin. The balm is very thick and fantastic for putting all over your body, I immediately feel my skin feeling soft and less dry, especially in the morning which is when it is at it’s worst point. I also use this before I go to bed, it’s smell is lovely and relaxing and I let it works it’s magic through the night.


I usually go for fragrance free products but as all Lovea Bio products are natural that means the beautiful smell they give off are perfect for my skin and I haven’t had any reactions thankfully. You can buy this brand from or if you live near me (a little town in Suffolk) there is a lovely little independent shop that sells all organic skin care products. If you do live in Suffolk I can give you the details of the shop. This tub actually arrived for me today, I made a little order of goodies from Mypure as I was running low on body cream. This nourishing balm is £6.49 which I think is a good price for a body cream which is kind to my skin, lasts a good few months (especially with the amount I use) and is made from organic products and not a chemical in sight. 

Day face cream : Botanics
I have used the Botanics range for quite some time, I usually try new products from the range when it is on 3 for 2 in Boots. I have found that this face cream with marshmallow and SPF15 in has been really good for my skin. It is another lovely thick cream which soaks into your skin to give it lots of moisture. People who do not have sensitive skin may find it too thick for a day cream. For those of us with dry skin and also sensitive skin this face cream is a dream. I have personally had no reactions to my skin from using this and I have been buying this for about a year now.


You can get this for £6.12 in Boots, which I think is a good price for a face cream, I often alternate what I use and sometimes spend more than this on a face cream, so I think this is quite cheap for really good moisturising cream. I recommend waiting for the 3 for 2 offers, there is always others things you need so saving a little money is a bonus.

Night cream : Comvita Replenishing Night Moisturiser
It took me a while to decide if I was going to include this night moisturiser, it is a little more expensive than the other products I am recommending to you, but I only use this or the Estee Lauder Night repair gel which is also another expensive product. I decided I would share this with you because I know what a pain and upset it can be when you wake up in the morning with dry and sore skin. Comvita Night Moisturiser costs £30.00, which is expensive but it has lasted me a good few months and I use quite a good few squirts of it each evening before bed. This is another thick cream (I bet your sick of reading that, but it has to be when you have dry skin) which quenches your face as soon as you put it on, it works it’s magic through the night and my face feels less tight when I wake up in the morning. I am always open to trying new night creams, as I mentioned before, I find that if you use the same products for over a year then your skin can become used to them, so I try to mix it up a bit and use other products (such as the Estee Lauder gel). If any of you know of other fab night creams then I would love to know which they are.


General cream: ASDA Dry skin cream protect
I think this cream is about 70p, you can pop it in your handbag and use it through the day, I always wear tights and of course that can dry your legs out, so sometimes I have to go and pop a bit of this on and it is just so handy and cheap. I use it as a hand cream mostly, when I don’t have any hemp cream (which is from the Body Shop). I am waiting for that to go on offer actually, then I will stock up on it for winter. 


I decided to keep this post simple and just focus on body cream, face, night and hand cream. I do have some favourite eye creams and a cream I use before swimming, but I didn’t want to bore those of you who don’t have sensitive skin. I can always give you more information for anyone who is interested; you are welcome to email me.  

I hope you have all enjoyed my guest post for Jade and can take away some useful information from it.

Daisy from Pretty Green Tea

Mavala Daring Pink Swatches

So here is the first of my wonderful guest posts, this one is by Liloo from 'Le Petit Jardin de Liloo'. Liloo is best known for her Nails, Eyes and honesty. Her daring looks are a refreshing change, she likes to experiment and never fails to please her readers. She's also on twitter as @Tsunimee; she's really lovely! She's bringing some colour swatches of Mavala Daring Pink.

Mavala Daring Pink

They say 'One man's trash is another man's treasure'. This expression couldn't strike a chord more than now. When I saw Mavala Daring Pink (159) nail in a beauty blog sale, I just had to have it.

If you're new to Mavala, they are a Swiss company, specialised in nail care. Behind their mini polishes (bottles contain 5ml of product) a refreshing concept: Little pots of colour that won't dry out before you reach the bottom. The company also prides themselves to create nail polishes which are free from parabens, formaldehydes, toluene, camphore, cellophane, animal ingredients and heavy metal.

Despite all this goodness, I've never really indulged in Mavala. The first Mavala polish I tried (a present from a friend) didn't wow me. Most of all, I couldn't help but thinking that £2.99, whilst remaining ultra affordable for a nail polish, was a little bit steep for just 5ml. Until Daring Pink came along...





Daring Pink is a gorgeous bright pink nail polish with a strong iridescence of blue. The shade is nothing unique. I am ashamed to confess that I own 3 other bright polishes with vivid flashes of blue. Nails Inc ‘Montrose Place’, Rimmel ‘Pulsating’ and NYC ‘Love me’ are very similar but Daring Pink is a different kettle of fish altogether. Application was a dream and in 2 coats I was able to achieve a perfect finish.

None of my other pink with blue shimmer nail polishes are so easy to apply and cute to look at. The travel size of the bottle is adorable and I am totally, madly, deeply in love.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Review

If you have combination skin, you'll know what a struggle finding skincare for combination skin can be but given that Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish has achieved 'cult product' status in the minds of so many skincare gurus, I decided to give it a try. 

This product is different to any skincare product I've ever tried before, not only because it feels lovely after use but also in the way it is applied. It comes with an instruction sheet as its not just a case of slapping it on and leaving it to soak in which in my opinion, makes the application process is a much nicer experience, much like part of a salon facial. 

If you're looking to turn your skincare routine into a bit more of a luxe experience then I'd highly recommend looking into Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.



Firstly, it smells lovely. Not a sniff of a harsh chemical, it smells so fresh; exactly what I want to put on my skin. On reflection I'm thinking that my constant breakouts may be as a result of using crappy chemical-ridden products. Liz Earle prides herself on using natural ingredients; Cleanse and Polish contains rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil. Secondly, there are 2 main steps to application instead of just rubbing it in and leaving it you massage into the skin and then soak the muslin cloth in 'hand hot' water and wipe away the cream (and hopefully the skin impurities aswell!). 


As far as consistency of the product goes it's beautifully creamy which means that a little goes a long way. On the instructions it says 1-2 pumps of product, so I imagine this 100ml bottle will go a long way, even when used morning and night like the instructions say. I have to say, this product wasn't what I thought it would be (not in a bad way), I expected a fine gritty cream but only because the name has the word 'polish' in it. It was a pleasant surprise when I found it was a smooth formula!!

The Instant Boost Skin Tonic was just the icing on the cake, just a sweep over the face with a loaded cotton button et voila! My skin felt alive, instead of dull and oily like it normally does!  

I definitely recommend Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish as an introduction to the brand and I would suggest . If you are a little weary of whether you will like it or not, you can buy a 30ml tube for £7.00

3 Step DIY Leopard Print Nail Tutorial

I'm a huge fan of leopard print and wanted to transfer my love onto my nails in the easiest way possible so here's a DIY leopard print nail tutorial that you doesn't require any expensive equipment or skills, you can use colours of your choice and the more random you are, the better!


To create this nail art I used a black nail art pen, a nude colour for the base and a pastel blue colour for the detailing. I found that nude was the best base and obviously black to guide your spots but the colour around the black can be totally your choice; I think a pastel green or pink would also look fab.

Step 1:

Paint the nails with a base colour (preferably a light nude shade). Leave this to dry completely.

Step 2:
Pick up a light blue shade (or the colour of your choice) and do rough dots around the nail, don't have too much nail polish on the brush otherwise the dot will end up too thick and won't dry properly. The size of the nail will depend on how many you do but again, make sure these have dried completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3:
Using a nail art pen or tool, draw little C shapes around the blue dots and add some more rough C shapes around the nail.

(let the polish dry in between each step, otherwise it'll be a smudged mess)

The key with this leopard print nail design is not to be too precise, since when were leopard prints all the same? You can do as many dots and dashes as you like, it's down to individual preference; that's what I love about this design, no two are ever the same. Don't worry if you don't have a steady hand, especially when using the nail art pen, I found that instead of doing a solid line it was easier to do tiny little joined up dots.

Leopard print nail design not your thing? Have a look at my other nail art tutorials.