How to Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

How to naturally clean make-up brushes.

Hi. My name is Suzie and I have a Make-Up Addiction.

A few years ago, my make-up collection consisted of a few eyeshadows, a cheap mascara and a couple of nail varnishes that were so old they had separated and gone solid. Nice. However, one afternoon I was intrigued by a YouTube tutorial about creating an effective smokey eye look, and I was instantly hooked. I watched new videos several every evening, buying products and trying out new ideas. And with it came the brushes – blending, foundation, powder, fan, contour, flat liner… It’s been an exciting new education and I’m enjoying the journey, but they are beginning to take over my desk.

One thing I’ve become particularly aware of is the importance of keeping them clean – there’s all sorts of nasty bacteria that can develop on frequently used brushes that can cause all sorts of infections, and dirty brushes aren’t as effective. Generally, brushes should be washed once a week, but avid users should aim to do them twice a week. Continue reading

An Urban Decay Makeover in Selfridges, Birmingham

Urban Decay

Last week I received an email, inviting me to a bespoke Urban Decay makeover at their Selfridges store in Birmingham.

Urban Decay: beautiful products, cruelty free and the primary contributors to my ever-growing make-up collection.


I was advised to attend without any make-up on at all (eek!), so I made sure that I had thoroughly exfoliated and moisturised before my appointment, arriving with my red and windswept face on display in all of its blotchy glory. I was greeted by the manager, Ranjeeta, who then introduced me to my stunningly-gorgeous-with-flawless-skin make-up artist, Sana. Continue reading

Gruhme No.14

imageFor those of you who follow the blog regularly you’ll know that The Bloke enjoys a lot of the perks that the blog affords me, particularly when it involves reviewing a restaurant, piece of tech equipment or a show. There are certain elements, however, such as make-up samples and beauty products that he has never got as excited about – this is a guy who can’t differentiate between eyeliner and lipstick (mainly because he doesn’t wear either) – so when I was asked to try out a new fragrance for men, he stepped up and got his review hat on to test it out for me.

As a woman, I’m quite picky when it comes to men’s fragrances, as I find many of them to be rather strong and overpowering (particularly when half a bottle is used on one go as many of my teenage students do), and The Bloke only wears aftershave when we go out, so I was interested to find out what he (and I) thought.

Gruhme No.14 (which retails at £45), is the second in the brand, and is labelled as a more concentrated version of their original fragrance (14% instead of the 10% of the original). It is the brainchild of Rob Hallmark, a former corporate lawyer who developed his own men’s products after finding it difficult to identify with a prominent male brand. It’s already proving to be a hit, winning the Beauty Shortlist Award for Best Masculine Fragrance. Continue reading

An Evening with The Body Shop


I love the Body Shop – they were the first set of products that I ever used in my teens and over the years I have consistently purchased my favourites as part of of my daily skin-care routine.

Last Saturday I attended the grand re-opening of The Body Shop on New Street in Birmingham, along with a lovely bunch of bloggers from The Bloggers Parlour.

The store on New Street has undergone a revamp this year, and it looked stunning, with a nice layout, clean lines and beautiful displays. There has been some new introductions too, with an interactive section that allows customers to select products based on their skin type, and a new range of products that compliment their most popular fragrances. The Body Shop brand is known for their natural, cruelty-free products and I was particularly excited to get advice on their cruelty-free make-up range and brushes.

I immediately made a beeline for the make-up consultant, Jess, who spent some time going through the best type of products I could use for my skin, which is the ultimate combination of oily and dry. She then gave me some advice on making the best of my eyebrows (never my best feature), and showed me the range of make-up brushes that I could use for different parts of my face. If I could recommend anything in particular, it would be these brushes, particularly the fluffy blending brushes, and I was so impressed that I bought one immediately. I noticed that there are sets of brushes available too, at the extremely reasonable price of £20 and £30. Continue reading

How I Learned to Like Myself

imageIf I were given even a small amount of money each time someone I know told me something that they hated about themselves, I would be a very rich woman. With the apparent pressure on each individual to look perfect, according to defined aesthetics, many of us have issues with our own appearance, and of the appearance of those around us.

I did a post over a year ago, inspired by Tina Fey, that focused on accepting the flaws and imperfections within our bodies. It had a good response, and still remains one of my favourites, but I have a minor confession to make. At the time of publishing, I was desperately unhappy, not just with how I looked, but myself in general. There was little that I deemed to be positive about who I was – I was hugely stressed out and depressed, comfort eating, smoking more than I should and, while it was certainly never an issue, I was drinking more than usual too. I lived in an almost permanent state of anger at the poor treatment that I had received from others, and started to believe that it was because I deserved it. I was grumpy more often than not, I didn’t enjoy being around others as I felt that I had become sullen and boring, and I had developed this increasingly paranoid feeling that whenever I walked into a room, the people who were already in there either had just been talking about me and/or disliked being in my company. My close family and friends noticed, but most of the time I hid it with a forced smile. Continue reading

Review: Love Shea Whipped Shea Butter


After attempting to take many photographs that would flatter the product, I realised that I wasn’t doing it justice, so I took this image directly from the Love Shea Facebook page…

I’ve always stated that I’m not a beauty blogger, but over recent months I have developed an obsession with skincare, particularly when it is organic and natural. I was delighted when Love Shea asked me if I would try out one of their whipped shea butters.

Love Shea is an artisan beauty company that is based in the north of the UK, and produces natural and organic vegan-friendly products for use on both the skin and hair.

I was even more pleased when I received the ‘Bakewell Tart’ scented butter (being my favourite dessert), and it certainly smells good enough to eat!

I have issues with intense dry patches of skin on my hands and arms, particularly during the cold weather, so I tested it on the worst affected areas for a while. In the first application, I loved the whipped mousse-like texture, but I think that I used too much of it in one go as it took a long time to sink in. Over the next applications, I used a much smaller amount which was much more effective. Continue reading

Hairstyles By Drew at the Hershesons Blow Dry Bar, Harvey Nichols

imageWhen it comes to hair care and styling, I’m very much a novice. My usual routine is wash, dry, leave it in a ponytail, or if I’m feeling fancy, wash, dry, battle with my hair straighteners and then watch as it gets fluffier throughout the day.

So, when I was invited to the Hershesons Blow Dry Bar at Harvey Nichols to try out the facilities and get a new style, I was excited! The stylist, Drew, promised that she would show me different ways of being able to curl my hair without looking like I’m sporting a 1980’s Dolly Parton wig.

It’s a beautiful place, situated at the back of Harvey Nichols in The Mailbox in Birmingham. The facilities, as would be expected, are spotless, and the staff were all extremely friendly as I walked in, immediately offering to get me a drink. Continue reading

Beauty Blogger Event at Organique

On Thursday night I organised and attended another event at Organique in Birmingham. Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know just how much I love the store and it’s products – it’s only been open since August 2015 and is the only one in the UK, and in my opinion it’s one of the many hidden gems in the city. The products have completely changed the quality and tone of my skin, and I regularly recommend them to all of my family and friends. I was delighted to find that they have recently been nominated for Glamour awards – it’s great to see such a wonderful set of products start to get recognition!

Organique beauty products

Yup, I think it’s turning into an obsession!

Despite going to a number of events over the last year, it’s still an incredibly daunting experience. I attempted to distract myself from my nerves by spending extra time on my hair and make-up (which at the minute I thoroughly enjoy doing anyway), to the point where I was almost late. Continue reading

Want to Detox this January? Go Organique!

A little while ago I organised and attended a blogging event at Organique, my favourite store for natural beauty products in Birmingham. I discovered it in Autumn of 2015, and in my initial visit the manager, Justyna, gave me a consultation and recommended products based on my skin type. I’ve been using them regularly (to be fair, I’m a little obsessed with some of them), and I’ve noticed the quality and tone of my skin has improved immensely in the last few months.

The store has only been open for about six months, and is the only one in the UK, so the event was a great opportunity to introduce local beauty bloggers to the products on offer. I blog about most things, but beauty isn’t one of them (despite my recent obsession with make-up and vlogging tutorials), I was interested to see how experienced beauty bloggers did reviews.

After several weeks of emails, tweets, Facebook invitations, several last minute cancelations and lists, I found myself stood in a group of awesome young women who were all keen to meet and greet and try out the products. Justyna had done some lovely snacks (of which most of them my friend and I ate) and I loved the fact that everybody was chatting and getting to know each other.

What I love about Organique the most is the sheer variety and amount of things on offer, from beautiful salts and bath bombs, to face masks, cleansers, toners, shea butters… It’s a bath-a-holics dream. However, Justyna wanted to particularly focus on the types of masks available and gave demonstrations on how to mix and apply the products effectively. We looked at and tried different types of clay masks, which were fantastic. My favourite in particular was the algae mask, which turned into a rather rubbery consistency after a few minutes and could be simply peeled off after a while, and it left my skin feeling incredible! I also loved the Gold Corundum Peeling Cream (that contains real gold) leaving a shimmer on the skin.


Taken from the Organique website – click on the image for the link!

So, as resolutions are being made to change our eating habits and we are more conscious of the things we put into our bodies, why not examine the products we are putting on our skin too?

After the success of the first event, it is likely that a second one will be held later in January – if you are in the West Midlands and want to participate, drop me an email at or tweet me @suzie81blog and I’ll send you the details.

Organique Birmingham

Organique Birmingham

I’ve lived in Birmingham since 2001 and now consider myself to be an honorary Brummie and I absolutely love the variety of things to see and do, and the places available to shop in the city. However, what I particularly enjoy is finding the amazing smaller, independent businesses that offer a more personal touch and artisan products, and I was pleased to discover a wonderful store in the North Western Arcade, Temple Row last week.

Organique is a natural, environmentally friendly and healthy cosmetics store, specialising in beauty products that are safe and made from naturally based sources. As someone with extremely sensitive skin, I was intrigued by their products and was delighted when I was invited in to test some of them.

I fell in love with the store immediately – for anyone with an interest in beauty and skin care this is a haven where many hours can easily be spent browsing through the hundreds of different products on offer. I had a consultation with the manager, Justyna, in which we discussed my skin type and what I wanted to achieve from a skin care routine, and then I was very genererously presented with a number of items in which she recommended I try over the next week.

I have started by focusing on changing my routine on my face and arms. The skin on my face is the ultimate combination – extremely sensitive, dry and blotchy in places, greasy and spotty in others. Gorgeous. I have to be careful when using cleansers, toners and moisturisers as they often cause break outs, and even the most expensive products have caused my skin to react badly in the past. Justyna recommended two products for this in particular:

Melon Ritual Face Mask

Melon Ritual Face Mask

The Melon Ritual Face Mask (£12.95) immediately appealed to me because it smelled gorgeous. It was a light texture and felt lovely when applied. I used it three times over the week, as recommended, leaving it on my clean, dry face for twenty minutes, before rinsing with water. Amazing. I noticed an immediate improvement in the quality of tone in my skin, appearing brighter and feeling refreshed.

Rejuvenating Cranberry Serum

Rejuvenating Cranberry Serum

The Rejuvenating Cranberry Serum (£17.50) is designed for skin which is tired and lacking in energy. It was easy and quick to use – being massaged gently into the skin after washing and drying. It smelled lovely, it wasn’t greasy or thick and it genuinely left my face feeling soft and smooth. Better still, I found that some of the dryer parts of my skin were moisturised, and I didn’t have a single break out all week. It will definitely be replacing my regular moisturiser from now on.

Habibi Shea Butter Body Balm

Habibi Shea Butter Body Balm

I also suffer from mild psoriasis, particularly in the winter, which leaves me with patches of flaky, itchy skin on my arms. Nice. For this, I decided to try the Habibi Shea Butter Body Balm (£7.95), and it’s one of the best products I’ve ever used. Seriously. It smells wonderful, with a slightly masculine fragrance, and all I have done is washed, exfoliated and rubbed a small amount of the butter into my arms. My skin looks and feels absolutely wonderful, the condition has improved and it’s an absolute bargain at the price.

I’ve got a number of products still to test, which I will be doing so and posting about over the coming weeks (I know, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it), and I highly recommend that you get yourself over to the store so that you can try them too.

Need more reasons?

  • You can choose any selection of any products and have them put into a beautiful gift box. Perfect for birthdays, weddings and, of course, Christmas.
  • Products are suitable for men, women and children.
  • There are lots of products that are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Once a product is finished, you can bring the tub back to the store and get it refilled for £1.00 less.
  • There is a 10% discount for students on certain products (ask in store).

Want to to find out more?

Twitter: @organiqueBHM




Disclaimer: I was invited to review the products, but was under no obligation to provide a positive review. All opinions are honest and my own.