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30.8.15

August Favourites




I really want to be one of those people that writes about how shocked I am that it is nearly September
... I have been spending like it is going out of fashion throughout July and August (perks of the summer job when you're a student) so I have tested and loved a lot of new products which has been so so exciting. Here are some of my August favourites, baring in mind it has mainly consisted of working, blogging or spending time with my boyfriend.

The highlight of my month in terms of beauty has to be the Fleur Loves lashes, they're the best lashes I have found to provide a natural difference. I hate the look of spidery fake lashes that are clutching on for dear life by glue, it just looks awful, these are the exact opposite and add a feminine and polished look without being uncomfortable. I have fallen back in love with the Nina Ricci - Nina L'Eau it is essentially a floral fragrance which is all I seem to go for, but more evening appropriate
or if I'm wanting to feel fancy from the musk undertones.

On my nails I have been wearing anything neural, The Collection 7 days wear polish in Suede has actually surprised me and the quality is pretty damn good for £1.99, this shade is pigmented only needing two coats and lasts around 4 days before I need to re do them, which for me is pretty good going. A new concealer that I can't stop reaching for is the L'oreal True Match Concealer - Shade 2 Vanilla, it has yellow undertones so works really well under my tired eyes, and the light weight and blendable formula make is really comfortable too. I haven't had problems with creasing and it is really long lasting, it had to be in a monthly favourites!

Last, but not least as this is on of my favourite single shadows that I own, MACs Amber Lights, it is a shimmery orange/ copper colour, the perfect all year round shade that adds something to a boring eye makeup day or looks amazing all over the lid. I have been applying this along my lower lash line with a pencil brush and I love the result, as you would expect from MAC the shadow is pigmented and long lasting. 

What were your favourites this month? I am so excited to move into September and slowly start making things more Autumnal...

28.8.15

The Repurchased Hair Favourites


When it comes to my hair, I am awful. I grew it out for about 3 years. it went lovely and long then I got bored and decided to cut it short (which yes I am now slightly regretting!). Blonde suits me so much better than my natural brunette shade, but that also comes with root growth and needing to be extra careful with keeping my hair in good condition etc. I have picked 4 of my most repurchased hair products, there should be an oil included in here too but I still need to go to boots and pick up my go to which is the Lee Stafford Argan Oil (full review).

THE LEAVE IN TREATMENT

Before the Sebastian Potion 9 I always considered leave in treatments as products that weigh down my hair and leave it looking greasy at the roots, however this "potion" actually is a little hair hero. I apply a pea sized amount to my damp hair after each wash, I remember the first time I used it having hair that felt like it had been wash and styled by a hair dresser. This product is hair management in a tube, leaving it feeling nourished, lightweight and ready for styling. Plus, the name "potion 9" comes from the fact that it is the 9th wonder of the hair world, I was sold!

THE SILVER SHAMPOO

I have a love hate relationship with silver shampoos, there is nothing worse than my hair being brassy but so many of them leave my ends so dry! The Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes Shampoo is the first I have used that makes a real difference in keeping my hair an ash blonde, and doesn't strip it leaving it feeling dry. I alternate this with a regular shampoo and find it works a treat at maintaining the colour I like.

THE SEA SALT SPRAY

One thing that I am loving about my shorter hair is the volume, a curling tong and some salt spray and I'm good to go. I'm not too sure why this is targeted at blondes but the John Frieda Sea Waves Salt Spray is the best of the bunch, whether you're a blonde or not! Firstly it smells like coconut so doubles up as a hair fragrance, but it also dispenses the right amount of product so you're not left with a crunchy strand of hair that looks like it has been attacked by PVA glue. When I use this my hair style stays in place all day and the volume doesn't drop even though my hair is so fine, another plus is that it isn't as drying as some other sea salt sprays I have used.

THE HEAT PROTECTION

I always use the Tresseme Heat Defence Spray, it is just routine but I feel like it really does make a difference. If I don't blow dry my hair it ends up being a frizzy mess that not even a messy bun would give some justice, so I make sure my hair gets a good spray of this before any heat goes near it. This helps prevent split ends and that horrible frazzled look that over styled and damaged hair has, an absolute must for all year round hair care!

I haven't actually found a perfect shampoo or conditioner yet, my perfect shampoo/ conditioner duo would be something that is nourishing but lightweight at the same time, plus it provides a bit of volume for good measure, any suggestions?

26.8.15

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge



I have been applying my foundation with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for around 3 years, so naturally being curious about other ways to apply my foundation I wanted to opt for something completely different. The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is such a simple concept and raved about all over a lot of other beauty blogs, but with me having an oily base I was curious as to whether my foundation would sit well on top of my skin being applied with what is essentially a sponge.

Using this does take me a little longer to have everything blended in, but yeah it is worth the extra minute for a more natural and seamless looking finish. I did think having an oily base that my foundation would move around a little more in the day, but thankfully it is still lasting just as good as normal with a little powder mid way through the day.

I like to dampen the sponge first and then use tapping motions to let my foundation sink in and blend into my skin (anyone else sick of the word blend?). My foundation is lasting just as long, the finish is a lot more natural than what I'm used to from the expert face brush, so for everyday it is perfect for providing a flawless looking finish. When I need more coverage I'll still be using the expert face brush, but when I'm wanting a finish that is natural and provides a finish that really looks like skin I'll be using this.

I think if you like a full coverage this may be more useful for blending out other cream products, I have started using this to perfect any contouring and it works really well at making it look as natural and as perfected as possible. I think personally this is needed for anyone that wears foundation, or likes to contour. Oh and I can't forget to mention how old school it feels to be using a sponge!


24.8.15

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polishes



Sunday night is my pamper night when a good manicure is usually on the cards, and for me there is nothing worse than chipped nails mid week. I decided to have a little splurge from my usual Barry M Gelly Polishs (which I still love) and picked up the Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish in the shades Baker Street (colbalt blue) and Hyde Park (pale grey). First off I love the packaging, it looks sleek and the bigger handle makes it easy to hold whilst I attempt to do a good job on my short nails.

The polishes are pigmented and I love the two shades I went for, two coats and the job is done. In terms of getting me through the week without chipping, they lasted till Thursday chip free and then I needed re do them on Saturday, which for me is pretty good going. I used a base coat and top coat for good measure. I think if you're looking for a luxury nail polish then these are a good buy, but I still love my Barry M Gelly Paints, or another cheaper alternative is the Maybelline Super Stay Gel Polishes. 

22.8.15

Fleur de Force Eylure Lashes Review

I have watched Fleur for years, I actually remember watching her videos whilst she was in uni and at that time I was deciding if I wanted to go... I'm now about to go into my final year, scary! I really wanted to show my support, plus the lashes are right up my street. I like lashes that look natural but are making a difference to the overall look as I only really wear them for special occasions. When I saw the Fleur Loves lashes I was really excited. Typically I go for lashes with more volume at the end as I don't like having thickness in the inner corner (it irritates my eyes, plus makes them look smaller, who wants that?!). So the lashes fit my criteria completely, I needed to have them!

Finally a pair of false lashes that are 3/4 length! These are the lashes I've been waiting for, and definitely the most flattering for my eye shape (and probably most eyes). The wispie style lashes blend into my own perfectly, and add a lot of volume. I think these are brilliant for day or night, and for anyone new to false lashes as they're so comfortable and wearable, whilst adding more "drama" to your makeup. I can see why these are Fleur's favourites, they are mine too!

These aren't usually the kind of lashes I would go for... However they are actually perfect for a night out. I think they look gorgeous worn with just black liner, or something really smoky. To look at in the packaging these are quite dramatic, but the woven detail at the lash line really helps them to blend in with my natural lashes and the different lengths make the volume wearable. Surprisingly these are really comfortable to wear too which is always a must for me when it comes to lashes
Not only has Fleur nailed the design but Eylure are a lash brand that can be trusted, I am so impressed by the quality of the lashes and will be repurchasing when I need to (although I think these will last for ages). They also come with a good quality glue, so no need to be messing around buying it separate.

Have you tried these lashes yet?

20.8.15

Product Empties #1



As ridiculous as it is I didn't even plan to do this post, I am a hoarder and just had these empty things lying around! I have now let go of everything, thankfully, (bar the MAC, keeping those for my free back to MAC lipstick) and picked some of to waffle on about.

Might aswel start with MAC, this lipstick is was "Creme Cup", featured in so many posts over the years as it was my first MAC lipstick it is the perfect pale, creamy Barbie pink that my 15 year old self was so happy with - oh the days when MAC lipsticks were £12! I actually repurchased this on the basis of nostalgia, it doesn't really work for me anymore, what a shame... My mum bought me the MAC Prep and Prime as a present for my 18th birthday, to be honest this was okay, but I have used much better, I'm more of a setting spray kind of gal.

 For brows I'm currently having a night mare with the L'oreal Brow Plumper. It's making mine way too crispy and is actually taking out some of my brow hairs when I remove the product *mini heart attack* The Maybelline Brow Drama is the better of the two, no crispy brows, just a good amount of hold with a little extra definition for a natural brow day, or is you're like me, on top of your already done brows to set it all in place!

The Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish is my Holy Grail cleanser and has been for about 3 years, without using this my skin reverts back to it's teenage self and punishes me for not repurchasing it. It is just one of those things that works for me, I use it morning and night to cleanse my skin and it leave it feeling clean and nourished at the same time.

The Lee Stafford Argan Oil is another product I have loved, I've tried about 4 different hair oils along the way of finishing this up, but they left my hair looking greasy rather than glossy and healthy. This oil really nourishes my hair, stops it from looking a complete frizz bomb when it's a no wash day and makes styling an easier chore, this is on my shopping list for my next trip to boots. Last but not least the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray, how a spray like this can actually enhance the thickness of my hair I don't know, but it left my very fine hair noticeably thicker and feeling thicker every time I used it. This is a must have for anyone with hair that needs some added volume and thickness.

What are your recent empties?

18.8.15

Drugstore Round Up #1



Recently Charlotte Tilbury, MAC and other expensive brands have been taking over my blog, but in the background I have still been loving what the high street has to offer (and I can save myself a lot of money in the process). I've included different brands and everything is under £10, yaay!

The Rimmel Match Perfection is the perfect starter foundation, it provides a medium coverage whilst being pretty much weightless on the skin so laaavely for everyday wear. Recently I have been wearing a light weight base then a heavy duty concealer for any bad bits, the Seventeen Phwaorr Paint (hate the name, makes me cringe) is thick and long wearing, it is going cover anything you set it the challenge to, not a good colour range (but when is it from cheaper brands) but I think you could find a match. In the summer I opt for a bronzer with some more warmth, the Bourjois Bronzer is an old favourite, it's a classic bronzer, none of this contouring business but a proper summer glow in a powder, dusted all over my face I feel a little less ghostly.

We all know the importance of eyebrows, so being truthful I do spent a little more on brow products out of choice. However if it is a powder that you like to use this ELF Studio Kit is actually pretty good, a mid toned brown that is long wearing, for around £3 you can't go wrong. My absolute new favourite mascara, high street or not is the Maybelline Lash Sensational, I've wrote a full review here but it gives me these thick lashes I've never  had before, lasts all day without flaking and is really black. A round up has to include a lipstick, so I've chosen the Revlon Colourburst Lacquer they are moisturising, easy to wear and pigmented, the range has bright pinks, corals and nudes this shade is always in my hand bag, I can just wear it on top of my favourite nude when it needs a top up.

What are your favourite drugstore products?

16.8.15

The Reading List - Part 1



I've decided to write a little series of posts, once in a while I will be posting about some of my favourite blogs, ones that inspire me in my own writing/ photography and ones that I read religiously! I have loved interacting with other blogging girls more recently over twitter and instagram, and I cannot wait to start finding more blogs that become essential to my reading list.

Firstly I stumbled across Jasmine's instagram and loved her photography, then I went to her blog/website and was actually blown away, it is fab! Not only is the photography perfect but the amount of detail in her reviews is amazing, from skincare, makeup and hair I can see it becoming a beauty bible!

JESSIE - ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL

A more recent discovery again but the variety of posts is amazing, I have loved reading some of her fitness posts and progress to making healthier choices, it is inspiring me to also make healthy changes. This blog really is a good all-rounder, lovely light photography, a proper explanation about a product rather than a half hearted waffle and her blog layout makes it super easy to find what you're looking for!

GEMMA - JUST LITTLE THINGS 

When I saw her Subtle Glam Eye Makeup post I knew I needed to click the follow button, this girl knows how to apply makeup! Gemma's blog is lovely, I have a lot of love for good photography on a blog, which she has.. She also has oily skin like me so I love reading her posts on different products that work for her.

So just a little overview of a couple of newbies to my reading list that I have been loving, for me I love a blog that is easy to look around, visually appealing and tells the truth about a product...

Please leave a link to your blog below, I love having a nosey around other blogs! x

14.8.15

The "Just Popping Into Boots" haul



The trip was purposeful, sudocrem and a sandwich... I came out with two new lipsticks, an eyeliner and a new concealer... No regrets, we've all been there!

Revlon isn't a brand I usually venture into for lip products, although the ones I own I love, so when I saw two for £10 I seized the chance to add more to my collection. The first and my favourite is "Carnival Spirit" a coral with a shine finish, so it just leaves a light wash of buildable colour on my lips, not very long wearing but I can forgive that due to the formula. This was exactly what I was after, easy to apply, glossy finish, and after watching one of Jaclyn Hill's recent videos and hearing her say that she loves a coral lip on a blonde, I knew I needed it.

The second lipstick is "Mink", the midtone brown lipstick that I can just about pull off. The "creme" finish is gorgeous and I want so many more from the range, it is pigmented and has a slight glossy finish making it wearable. This lipstick is best described as the whole of the 90's in lipstick format, I'm in!

L'oreal was next as I knew I wanted to try the Super Liner, I'll get the critique out of the way first, any girls with oily skin out there or planning on wearing this throughout the whole day may need to touch up, I have oily skin and it isn't (unfortunately) the most long lasting I have used... Having said that my winged liner has never looked so good, the shape of the pen nib makes it so easy to look like you know what you're doing (which I don't). The formula is also really pigmented, so when it does stay put, it looks great!

Last but not least, a new concealer... There was some sort of offer on, so as per usual I was sucked in. The L'oreal True Match concealer was a worthy little find, I prefer it for under the eyes as the super blendable and pigmented formula thankfully doesn't crease. I went for the shade 2 Vanilla, I expected it to be more cool toned but it is pretty much a yellow concealer, so good for cancelling out and unforgiving blue shadows around my eyes. I like the packaging, nothing worse than a concealer that you have to dip your finger into. This concealer is something quite new for me, I usually go for those that provide maximum coverage, but the medium coverage this provides I am actually learning to love, the Clarins Instant Concealer is next on my list!

What have your recent beauty buys been?

12.8.15

Maybelline Lash Sensational Review







With mascaras I almost always (bar benefit and I'm so tempted to try the Too Faced "better than sex" mascara) go for a high street option, there is plenty to pick from and so many good ones, plus they run out so quickly I find it hard to justify spending £20+. So many bloggers have been raving about this and I can see why, the before and after photo shows just how good it is.. Finally a mascara that lives up to it's name!

This is perfect for anyone wanting lashes that look false, I usually prefer a bristled wand as I like volume rather than length, but this plastic wand manages to reach the lashes at the root and provide so much volume and length at the same time. One coat is enough other wise I end up with spider lashes that my 14 year old self would have loved (bad times...). 

There is no flaking, it really is reallllly black and the formula isn't too wet when you first open it. I actually don't reach for this day to day as it provides that much volume and definition that it can look too full on when I'm working, or on those days that I just want to wear less makeup. I prefer to use this over the famous Benefit They're Real, with the money saved I could buy a new MAC eyeshadow, just saying.

I really recommend this and I'll definitely be making sure I have one stashed in my collection from now on. Who doesn't want their lashes to look long and thick!

What is your favourite mascara?

10.8.15

Ardel Demi Wispies Lashes






False eyelashes are a trap, after wearing them once on a night out I felt naked unless I had a pair to complete my make up. I've tried a few different styles of lashes but I always gravitate back to the Ardel Demi Wispies. I order them from www.falseeyelashes.co.uk and save around £2 per pack, plus they also do a pack of 4 that saves you around £10, they're a bargain! This site has free delivery and a lot of the time the lashes arrive the day after I've ordered.

The lashes themselves have a clear band, this just helps them blend into any eye liner and they're easily hidden. I personally won't wear lashes without a clear band, I find lashes with a black band are way too un natural (I know that these aren't exactly low key, but they're by some standards). The Demi Wispies have graduated length towards the end of the lashes, another reason why I love them as they blend in well and make my eyes look bigger.

In the day time sometimes I'll skip mascara on the bottom lashes, but with these or any other lashes it looks so much better with some definition under the eye aswel, this just balances everything out nicely. These don't come with glue from the site but I just have the Eylure lash glue which lasts ages.

Is there any lashes you think I would like? and I would love to know what your go to lashes are!

7.8.15

Charlotte Tilbury; Bond Girl






Bond Girl; the lipstick that is moving Velvet Teddy to the back of the queue (and I never thought I'd see the day)...

Pretty similar to my previous every day staple, Charlotte Tilbury Bond Girl from the matte revolution collection is described as a neutral berry, a brown with pink/ purple under tones.. This is the lipstick that is perfect for any skin tone and one of those that looks good with any base or eye makeup - you literally can't go wrong! It is also buildable, it can be worn more sheer or layered up, off course I went as bold as I could go.

Not only does the colour win me over granting it the Holy Grail title, but the formulation is like no other matte I've tried. The tree and orchid extracts within the lipstick claim to protect and soften your lips (agreed, and my lips get so dry). The formula is also seriously long lasting, I needed to touch up after 6 hours of wear (within that time I had scoffed a burger and drank one too many coffees) so it is hands down the most "comfortable" matte lipstick in my collection, which makes it perfect for everyday.

Charlotte Tilbury being as amazing as she is, hasn't just made a matte lipstick that looks flat on the lips, but through the use of reflected pigments and powders made a formula that makes my lips look fuller and more plump, it is amazing! Another impressive asset is the beautiful packaging for one, but also the shape of the lipstick, it makes application so easy, why don't all lipsticks have a square flat top?

It will set you back £23, but I don't even care it is worth it. Be prepared to see this lipstick in most instagram's/ blog photos for the next few weeks months..

5.8.15

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads


After browsing the Beauty Bay website in the search for some Zoeva brushes, I also happened to stumble across First Aid Beauty (a review on their daily face cream). First Aid Beauty is a brand I have seen floating around some well known bloggers monthly favourites, (icovetthee expecially) so I decided to bite the bullet with the Facial Radiance Pads.

Not only resembling those clearasil pads you would rub over your face as a teen but at a whooping £22 I wasn't sure what I had let myself in for. That evening I cleansed my face as normal, used one of the pads all over my face (avoiding the eye area off course) and neck, then applied my moisturiser afterwards. The pads didn't sting or irritate my skin at all, it was just a quick and easy step as you don't even have to rinse your face afterwards (YAY for us who just want to roll into bed at night!!).

Bold Statement: I have never used something that has shown me quicker results, I woke up with skin feeling soft, more visibly even in tone and brighter, which I've never really had before. 

This is obviously all down to the ingredients of the pads: lactic and glycolic acids. The sound of acid on your face isn't that nice, so after doing a little research I found that glycolic acid is very safe to use in your skincare routine as it helps to exfoliate the skin by removing the top layer of dead skin cells - sounds lovely doesn't it. If you're still not convinced and need a full run down then I think Caroline Hirons is your lady to help convince you a little more.

So at first my skin felt a lot smoother and redness was reduced, and generally my skin looks a lot brighter, after 2 weeks of use the results are just getting better! I have been using one pad at night and I find that is just enough to keep my skin exfoliated. I still can't get over how much of a change I have seen in my skin injecting these little pads of wonder into my routine. 

These are a must have if you suffer from breakouts or if your skin is dull, It is now safe to say that these pads are a valued member in my skincare basket, and I am definitely going to be trying more products with similar ingredients.  

3.8.15

Satin Primer By Illamasqua | Strobing Essential



Recently strobing has become massive and kicked contouring out of the lime light (which I'm actually kind of happy about). I have oily skin so there is often a fine line between a dewy/ glowy finish and the "I've just ran a half marathon" skin look... Annoyingly I'm recommending a £26 primer that I managed to pick up for £9.99 (a very lucky TX Maxx find). When the time comes that I need to repurchase and pay full whack, this stuff is that good that I don't think I'll hesitate.

It is the primer that could actually be worn on it's own, it gives the most natural looking glow I've ever had from a base product. As a primer it keeps foundation looking like skin and your makeup looking light and fresh. My foundation is also lasting so much longer even though I have an oiler base (which I thought would clash with the illuminating effect of this, but it doesn't!). I can imagine this being perfect for a bride on her wedding day, long lasting makeup that doesn't look cakey- perfect.

I think if you're on the hunt for something light weight, provides a glow and holds your foundation in place (and have the money to splurge) then you should give this a whirl! Not a product I've seen much mention of from beauty blogger, has anyone else tried this?

1.8.15

Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette






I never used to be drawn in by palettes, always happy with single shadows and collecting lipsticks, but when I spotted this highly raved about wonder mentioned by Vivianna I knew I needed to join the hype and buy it. I'm so glad I picked this up as it hasn't left my eye lids for evening make up looks since I bought it. 

I am so in love with the chocolate concept, anything warm on my eye lids is my absolute favourite. The palette contains the perfect mix of colours to create day time or evening looks. My go to evening look has been Bitter Start all over the lids, Freshly Toasted as the transition shade, Subtle Blend in the middle of it all and then add a little Beans Are White in the out corner... The smoky eye was so lovely, not too full on and heavy looking because of the warmer shade but it looked gorgeous! 

I think this palette will flatter a lot of skin tones too, although honest;y haven't reached for the shades "infusion," and "Delicate Acidity," but maybe in time, I'm just lusting over the others, especially Warm Notes and Pure Ganache. The price point for this palette is spot on, I bought mine from Beauty Bay for a reasonable £15 (love a good bargain) and there was no delivery charge which is always nice. In conjunction with a priming base these shadows are very long lasting (haven't tried them without, but I think they will still be long lasting). The creamy formulas are really pigmented but easily blended with the trusty MAC 217.

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