Thursday, 26 December 2013

Birthday Wishlist

Now Christmas is over, it's time for the Birthday countdown. There's just 16 days until my 23rd Birthday, eek and I decided to put together a Birthday Wishlist - just because. I don't expect to get any of these as I'm pretty sure the people that would buy me gifts don't even read my blog, it's just what I'm lusting after at the moment.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in 'Amused' - What beauty blogger doesn't want a Tarte blush? I've seen them raved about time and time again and would LOVE to get my hands on one. Amused is a gorgeous, bright girly pink and it makes me giddy just looking at swatches. They're supposed to be creamy, pigmented and incredibly long lasting.

Lorac Pro To Go Palette - After trying the Lorac Pro palette I'm now sold on this brand and would happily try anything they had to offer. I spotted the Pro To Go palette on Instagram a few weeks back and fell head over heels, it contains six neutral eyeshadows, a bronzer and two blushers. The shades in this palette are exactly what I'd go for if I were to buy the products separately, just confined to one case - ideal!

Bath & Body Works Three Wick Candles - I am so incredibly jealous of anyone who's got to visit a Bath & Body works. They have such a huge variety of products and scents and their three wick candles look and sound just lovely. Marshmallow fireside sounds particularly enticing. 

All three products mentioned above can be found at Rose's Beauty Store.

Canon 40mm Pancake Lens - This is similar to the 50mm in that it offers sharp photos with a blurred/soft focus background except you don't have to stand the opposite side of the room to take a photo! I really want to get to a stage where I'm completely happy with how my blog photos turn out.

Mac Lipsticks - There are two shades which I've swooned over whilst recently swatching at the Mac counter, these are 'Hue', a pale, pink toned nude and 'Dark Side', an intense vamped red. These lovely lipsticks are great quality, feel luxurious and smell of vanilla.

Chanel Loose Powder, Clair - After watching Amelia's latest YouTube video I'm completely sold on the Chanel Loose Powder. I've always used pressed powder, but Amelia swears by this and anything she recommends I immediately want. I basically have every product she used on my list of products to purchase on my phone.

Other beauties that have caught my eye.. Ben Nye Banana Powder, Anastasia DipBrow Pomade & Brow Wiz, Too Faced Lipsticks in 'Marshmellow Bunny' and 'Divine Wine' & Urban Decay Lipstick in 'Native', Vicky VIP Tropically Tanned Extra Dark Mousse, Ikea Alex 9 Drawer, Ikea Malm 2 Drawer, Lush, Jessica Simpson Fancy Perfume, Aquolina Pink Sugar Perfume, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, RapidLash, Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Body Cream, Dermalogicia Daily Microfoliant, Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium Plus, Studio Sculpt Foundation - NC30 & Prep and Prime Skin Refined Zone.

If money wasn't an option, ey?! What are you lusting after lately?

Monday, 23 December 2013

Fragrance Direct Bloggers NYE Look.

You may of seen me mention Fragrance Direct in a few blog posts as it's one of my most frequently visited online shopping sites. It offers an extensive range of products, from lots of different brands at discounted prices and who doesn't love a beauty bargain?! They recently contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in taking part in a Beauty Blogger NYE challenge. What this entailed was choosing five products from their website which came to £15 or less and create a NYE look with it. The final looks would then be shared on Facebook and the winner gets £100 credit to spend on whatever they like from the site. I've never taken part in a make up challenge before and it meant I got to try a few new products of my choosing, so even if I don't get a single vote it's still been fun!
The five products I chose were:
Korres Wild Rose Foundation SPF20, WRF2 - £3.50
I couldn't believe how discounted this product was and I've heard great things so I decided this would be my base covered. It offers a beautifully luminosity to the skin and surprisingly the coverage can be built to pretty much cover all sins. It does flash back so you'll end up with a lighter complexion, but you'll have no flaws in sight.
NYC Metallic Eyeliner, Liquid Gold - 99p
This was a lot more yellow gold then I expected so I end up smudging a little along the lash line for a little extra shimmer. 
Rimmel Glam Eyes Quad Eyeshadow, Sun Safari - £1.99
This pretty little quad offers a vanilla shade with shimmer, a pink toned pale shimmer, a copper and a deep bronze. I used the lightest champagne shade in the inner corner, the copper shade all over the eyelid and then built up the deep bronze in the crease and underneath the lower lash line. 
Girls Aloud Party Lashes, £2.49
These are super pretty fluttery lashes. They did have a few little gem stones on the outer corner but I trimmed them off as I thought it might be a little excessive with the bold eyes and lips!
Rimmel Apocolips Lip Lacquer, Eclipse - £5.50
This is amazing, super pigmented, easy to apply, long lasting, glossy finish and a beautiful vibrant vampy colour. I tend to opt for more vibrant colours on nights out as they need less touch ups! 
I love all the looks the other girls created so be sure to have a browse through the photos! If you did want to vote for my NYE look, no pressure, then follow this link and just like the photo! 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Nourish Argan Beauty Collection

  *Nourish Argan Beauty Collection - £24.95
A luxurious collection of shimmering gold, rejuvenating frankincense and revitalising myrrh, with omega-rich organic Moroccan argan oil and a stellar array of ultra-moisturising and radiance boosting bioactives, to enhance your natural beauty.
Nourish are an Organic brand that uses biodegradable ingredients and plant extracts from organic farming to create their products. The creator of the brand is Dr Pauline Hili, a skincare specialist with over 15 years experience in the beauty industry. It's just a generally lovely brand that's creating effective products, with minimal harm to the environment. Recently Nourish offered me the opportunity to try their Argan Beauty Collection, which I couldn't turn down. It's a three piece set containing gold, frankincense and myrrh - very festive, plus how cute is the packaging! Each product is in miniature glass bottles or jars and they're aimed at all skin types which could make this an ideal gift for skincare junkies.
The three products you receive are the Argan Skin Renew, Argan Skin Rescue and the Illuminating Face Shimmer. Here's a quick run through of each product:
Argan Skin Renew (15ml) - £21.50
This is an intensely hydrating moisturiser that boosts moisture by up to 80%. It contains Frankincense, Rose of Jericho and Argan oil so it's a real treat for the skin. This has a really thick consistency, it almost feels like a balm but it melts in to the skin easily and doesn't leave you feeling greasy.
Argan Skin Rescue (5ml) - £18.95
This serum helps protect your skin from the signs of ageing, reduces blotchiness and helps prevent scarring from acne, injury and eczema. This feels like a luxurious treat for your skin, I prefer to use this at night and my skin looks healthy and in a better condition in the morning.
Illuminating Face Shimmer (15ml) - £14.95
This contains golden mineral powders to lift and define your complexion and aloe vera to stimulate collagen production, resulting in a firmer, smoother skin. This offers a beautiful, healthy sheen to the skin that could be used all over the body. It's subtle but very pretty and it feels incredibly lightweight on the skin.
This is a lovely little set for anyone who loves skincare, wants to try Nourish products, or deserves a pamper. All three products are very luxurious and feel like a real treat to use. To me, the Illuminating Face Shimmer and Argan Skin Renew really stand out and I think my mum especially would love both - I wonder what she might be getting for her Birthday..
Have you tried any products from Nourish before?

Friday, 13 December 2013

Chocolate Rose Swirl Cake.

Over Christmas usually we'll all get a little extra time off, be it an extra day or a few weeks I like to try and put my time to good use - baking sweet treats. Whether it's for yourself to enjoy or to impress family, friends - your partner perhaps, it's a fun way to pass the time. Plus, homemade goods are better for you as you're in control of what ingredients you use. This means you're adding no nasty preservatives, additives and you can alter recipes to your liking. Not that I don't indulge in a few store bought goodies from time to time - hello Cinnamon tear and share buns, I'm talking to you.
My latest attempt at cake baking was a gluten free rose swirl cake to share at work for one of the girls birthdays. Although I am a chef I sadly don't get to make Birthday cakes very often so bear with me, I'm learning and sharing with you at the same time!

You can use any cake recipe you'd like but for a gluten free sponge cake I used:

400g gluten free flour 
2tsp of gluten free baking powder
400g caster sugar
400g butter
8 eggs

I baked it at 180 in an electric fan oven for 45 minutes, it does take quite a while and if you find it's getting a little too brown on top, just cover it with tin foil. Once baked and cooled I sliced the cake in half and filled the middle with nutella and fresh whipped cream, mm!
For the buttercream I whisked up two packs of butter on a high speed until it was thick and pale in colour. I then slowly added in cocoa powder, a little vanilla and icing sugar followed by a bit of milk to loosen up the mixture. The slightly tricky part comes when you're piping the swirls. Although it's called a 'rose swirl cake' they're more like rosettes. You'll need a large star nozzle, a disposable piping bag and a bit of patience. Slowly squeeze the buttercream in a swirl motion starting from the centre and working your way round. If you're struggling click here for a handy video that shows you exactly how it's done! Once you've got the hang of it, it's pretty easy! To finish I just grated up a milkybar and sprinkled it on the top and it can't of been too bad as half of it was devoured almost instantly!
Next week I'm making homemade chocolate truffles as part of a Christmas Hamper for my boyfriends parents so if you'd like me to do a post on that too, let me know!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer in 'Reckless'.

MUA recently released a 'Luxe' line to add to their make up collection and this included Velvet Lips, Power Brow, Precision Liner and Glitter Palettes. Upon release these were snapped up instantly and left Superdrug awaiting stock both in store and online, I however persevered and got my hands on one to try. There are five shades available 'Atomic', 'Criminal', 'Funk', 'Kooky' and 'Reckless'. 'Atomic' is a much lighter orange based red, 'Criminal' and 'Funk' are both vibrant pinks, 'Reckless' is a deep, vibrant red and 'Kooky' is a daring purple. These lip lacquers retail at a mere £3 and are already being compared to the Lime Crime Velvetines, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks and Hourglass Rouge Liquid Lipsticks.
Out of the five shades available 'Reckless' is the only shade that really appealed to me, the others are all a little out there and bold - especially for Winter months! I was really surprised by how much I liked the packaging, they've kept it simple with a frosted plastic tube, black lid and gold writing that makes it look more expensive than it is. Similar to the Lime Crime Velvetines, this has a doe foot applicator which I don't hate but you do need a bit of patience when trying to get a precise shape. As with most lip lacquers the consistency is a little thicker and combined with the intense pigmentation you only need one coat for an opaque finish. You'll also want to let these fully dry before you put your lips together as I find any parts that touch wet surfaces completely remove the product. Say for example you licked your licks and then put your lips together, it pulls off the product in that area. To see what I mean in photos, have a look at the Green Story blog post. Once completely dried these wont transfer or bleed but as soon as you start drinking or eating it'll remove the lacquer, particuarly in the centre of your lips. You could carry this with you thanks to its sleek, simple packaging but I wouldn't attempt to reapply more than once or twice because it'll just look uneven. Although these dry to a matte finish, I didn't find them drying to wear at all, they're a little stubborn to get off but you'll just need a firmer hand - no need for extra strength make up removers!
So to round up: These have great pigmentation, lovely packaging, they're affordable, apply easily, they're not drying - BUT they're not at all long lasting as they crumble off as soon as they have contact with any liquids. Nice as they are, I can't imagine a time when I would want a vibrant red lip but not be either drinking or eating and there's no way I'm avoiding a Nandos or a Costa just for a little longevity of my lip lacquer. Not for me. I'll stick to the Stila Liquid Lipsticks - if you're on a budget the Elf Lip Stains are lovely too.

What're your thoughts? Have you suffered with the same problem of the product coming off easily?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Current Beauty Favourites.

I find it incredibly hard to whittle down my favourite products to just a handful - this month so more than ever. I recently went a bit mad and had a few excessive shopping trips so I have bags and bags, literally, of exciting new products awaiting trial. I have however not been able to resist trying a few bits and pieces, so here are some new loves and a few rediscovered old favourites.
Now that Winter has kicked in to full swing with chilly mornings, dark evenings and freezing temperatures I need full proof make up that I can rely on to save myself precious minutes in bed every morning. I've rediscovered my love for Estee Lauder's Double Wear - it's ideal for oily/combination skin, medium to full coverage and a matte finish. Combined with Estee Lauders matte primer and my new firm favourite Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder my make up doesn't budge throughout the day. I usually just need a single blot throughout the day or dust of powder and I'm good which for me, is amazing. To complete my flawless face round up, a new concealer discovery is the 17 Stay Time Concealer which offers great coverage without a heavy, cakey finish.
The Clinique Chubby Stick in 'Fuller Fudge' was purchased purely off a recommendation of Estee (Essie Button) in one of her recent videos and she does not steer you in the wrong direction. These are richly pigmented, creamy, blend like a dream and stay put throughout the day and I'll be sure to invest in more once I've got some spare cash! 
Another old love is Illamasquas Cream Blush in 'Sob' which is raved about by many, unfairly so as it's discontinued and therefore unattainable. The Illamasqua cream blushers feel very light on the skin, apply easily and add a subtle dewy glow, 'Sob' is the perfect pale, pretty pink and you could even use this on your lips! If you're desperate to find something similar the bargain brand MUA have cream blushers that are also lovely and a fraction of the price!
My final two products are both lip related, one being the Nivea Lip Butter in Caramel Cream which smells good enough to eat and has been soothing my dry lips. The other is a Dior Lipstick in '457' which is a pretty candy pink that doesn't dry out the lips.
I do have a few other recent loves that I didn't think to include which are the ELF powder brush, Zoeva brushes, Estée Lauder cream eyeshadow in 'Halo', Mac 'Style' blush and 'Mulch' eyeshadow. 
Do we share any current favourites. If not what are you loving?

The Best Sites for Online Beauty Shopping.

This blog post is completely inspired by one of my favourite bloggers Kayleigh. She recently posted some of her most loved beauty sites for a cheeky shopping spree which got me thinking of all the websites I love for window shopping or a little splurge. We've definitely got a few in common, with a few little extras chucked in for good measure!

BOOTS and SUPERDRUG - Doesn't everyone love Boots and Superdrug? The bonus to online shopping with either is you can keep a track of your points, easily scout out the best offers and find newly released products that might not be available in store. The Superdrug website could use an update to make it more user friendly, but if you're willing to hunt through the slightly unorganised online stock you'll find everything you need.

SPACENK - What Beauty Blogger doesn't like SpaceNK? It reguarly offers online product exclusives, such as the recent popular palettes from Nars and Hourglass, as well as a beautiful selection of products. The brand list alone will make you drool and they have a points system too!

FEELUNIQUE - This is a favourite of mine because it carries a nice selection of high end and high street products, it's easy to browse and offers free delivery. TheBalm are a great brand to check out and if you're interested they even have the Kardashian beauty line!

BEAUTYBAY - Another site that offers free delivery, doesn't that just make shopping that little bit sweeter and more guilt free? You'll find some amazing brands on here, from Mario Badescu to Too Faced, CoverFX and First Aid Beauty - all which make me squeal with excitement and they offer competitive prices.

LOVEMAKEUP - I adore this website. It offers some unique brands, including Kryolan, RCMA, Sugarpill, Zoeva - even Wayne Goss's newly released brush collection. I've found some brilliant products through this site!

CULTBEAUTY - I really like the 'Top 10' section on the Cult Beauty site where you can see popular Bloggers or Beauty experts share their favourite bits and pieces. If you're looking for luxury, slightly hard to find brands such as Anastasia, Aesop, Dr. Lipp, Face Stockholm and RMS Beauty, you're in the right place.

FRAGRANCEDIRECT - This is a great site for anyone looking for a beauty bargain, I blogged a while ago about the Dainty Doll products I found for a fraction of the retail price on there, plus they also stock lots of other popular brands - all for discount prices!

DEBENHAMS - I love that you can now collect and spend your points online. Debenhams usually have some kind of beauty offer on, either being 10% off or extra beauty points and they stock all the big beauty brands, plus beauty card holders get free delivery!

- Have a browse online to make sure you can't get it cheaper elsewhere or if there's any available discount codes.
- I always search for product reviews if I'm unfamiliar with a brand or product. To easily find a Blogger based review just type ' product name BLOGSPOT ' in to googles search bar.
- Search on google for swatches of shades to get an idea of the true colour of the product, if I'm buying foundation I try to find Bloggers with a similar skin tone to mine and see what shades they use.

So there we have all of my favourite places to visit if I'm feeling like a beauty splurge or just a little browse. Do you have any new beauty spots I can add to my list of bookmarked pages? Also don't forget to check out Kayleigh from Couture Girl for her list of beauty sites not to be missed!

Monday, 25 November 2013

ELF 50% off Haul.

Elf recently hit a Twitter target and offered up a 50% off code so everyone could share in their success. I've tried a few bits and pieces from Elf but they've expanded their range since I last placed an order so I decided to buy a few bits and pieces - I clearly don't need any more make up, but who can resist a half price sale?!
The only item I specifically wanted was the yellow HD powder which ironically, I forgot to even add to my basket. All of the products I did pick up where chosen on a whim so here's a quick run through of the products I ordered.
Lip Stain in 'Heartbreaker' - £3.75
I have a lip stain from Elf in the shade 'Red Carpet' and love it, these are quite pigmented and long lasting and offer up the option of a gloss to wear over the top. I found this shade to be a little watery compared to the other one I own but it still applies nicely. The colour is a dreamy Barbie/pale pink and all of the lip stains dry down to a matte finish.
Blush in 'Pink Passion' - £3.75
I picked this blush purely because I'd seen Tanya Burr use it in a budget beauty video. It's a gorgeous pink that's quite vivid and a little daring in the pan but translates as a girly pink flush on the cheeks. It reminds me of Nars Gaiety, without the shimmer at a bargain price.
HD Blush in 'Headliner' - £3.75
This stuff is pigmented. The packaging is quite sweet and it comes with a pump which is always a bonus, just be careful how much you dispense as you need the TINIEST amount. It comes out as a thick cream but blends easily in to the skin. Headliner is a rosy, pretty pink that adds a flirty flush to the cheeks.
Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream in 'St. Lucia' - £3.75
This is, as the name suggests, a cream contour and blush duo. Packaged in a sleek Nars style compact, it also offers a large mirror (as do most of the Elf powder products!). Both shades are incredibly pigmented. Also too pigmented, if I dare say so. You literally need to touch your brush to the product and you've set.
Cream Eyeshadow in 'Candlelight' - £3.75
This is a very pale champagne shade that when swatched looks almost white and quite frosty. It applies a little unevenly and I'm not overly keen on it so far but I'll give it a try underneath eyeshadows and see if its any use to me!
Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in 'Antigua' - £3.75
An apparent dupe for Nars Orgasm/Laguna duo, but I think not. As it seems to be a common trend with Elf product, these are very pigmented and a light hand is needed. The bronzer is very dark, not for pale skinned girls and the blush is a similar to Pink Passion but LOADED with glitter. This is the main drawback for me, the glitter. I don't mind a little shimmer but glitter is a no go so I think I'll be passing this along.
All Over Color Stick in 'Toasted' - £1.50
I got this shade purely for the purpose of trying to create a golden goddess look on nights out. It's a gorgeous golden bronze shade that when sheered out adds a really beautiful shimmer to the skin. I'm also tempted to try this out as a cream eyeshadow, we'll see. Oh and did I mention this smells of oranges?! Yum!
Eyebrow Treat & Tame in 'Ash' - £3.75
This is a dual ended brow tamer with one clear side and the other tinted with the shade of your choice. I've not tried this yet but heard reviews of it leaving brows slightly crispy, eek, so lets hope it performs well when I trial it!
 Maxiumum Coverage Concealer in 'Nude' - £3.75
This sounded promising and having tried it a few times, it's not a bad product. I wouldn't say it's full coverage, definitely more a medium coverage with quite a dewy/satin finish that needs to be set with powder. It's very creamy and thick, plus the shade range is quite limited but for the price - it does the job! If I was on a budget I'd definitely repurchase.
I also brought two brushes, the powder brush and the studio small stipple brush, the powder brush (£3.75) - get it, the stipple brush (£3.75), pass. All of these goods only ended up costing me £20, not bad at all.

Friday, 15 November 2013

12 Nails of Christmas with Marisota.

I was recently contacted by Marisota to see if I'd be interested in participating in a '12 Nails of Christmas' campaign. They would send me a mystery box of nail goodies and I had to create a nail art look that I'd wear over the Christmas season and an accompanying outfit. A few days after I'd sent them my address a little pink box turned up at my door, full of exciting goodies. Inside were three *Essie varnishes in 'Licquorice', *'Big Spender' and the *'Let it Shine' top coat. To accessorise there were *Andrea Fullerton crystal gemstones and nail tattoos along with two *Barry M Nail Art Pens in White and Silver.
I'd initially really wanted to incorporate a matte effect combined with a glossy finish and perhaps a cut out V shape but I had no masking tape or matte top coat in sight. So I settled upon a french manicure styled nail with a bit of bling on the ring finger. For nail art novices like myself, it's simple enough to achieve this look yet still looks glamorous and polished. I painted my nails with 'Big Spender' and then carefully swiped 'Licquorice' along the tips finishing off with 'Let it Shine' for a glossy finish. Then I picked up a few of the gemstones and placed them along the contrasting line on my ring finger.
To pair with my nails I chose out a black sequin dress and studded Religion clutch combined with a Rimmel matte lip in '107'. As it draws closer to Christmas, the nights are getting colder so don't forget a jacket or a coat on nights out. I found this lovely fuchsia/red fitted coat to chuck on over the top to keep warm.
What's your favourite Winter nail look?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Who can resist a beauty 3 for 2?!

L'oreal Nude Magique BB Powder, Medium - £6.99
Barry M Matte Nail Paint, Vanilla - £3.99
Barry M Matte Nail Paint, Crush - £3.99
Loreal Super Liner Perfect Slim, Intense Black -  £6.99
Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream, Petal - 4.99
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick, Glam Plum Fulham - £6.49
Rimmel Colour Rush, Give Me A Cuddle - £5.99
John Frieda Blow Dry Lotion - £2.89

**Multibuy** = £10.48
Whenever Superdrug has a 3 for 2 offer on I just can't resist popping in there for a browse and to pick up a few items. I'd wanted to try the Barry M matte polishes, as I mentioned in my previous Wishlist post but then got sidetracked by a few other bits and pieces along the way. I decided to put together a brief 'first impressions' of each product, just in case you were tempted by the multibuy offer too.

John Freda Blow Dry Lotion has been a repeat purchase for me for a while now. It's recently been repackaged but it's still the same product, a liquid spray you spritz on to your roots to give you voluminous, yet non-sticky hair. This is currently half price too, bargain alert!
Barry M Matte Nail Paints are the hot new products to hit the Barry M shelves. The colour selection is limited but the formula is spot on. They're opaque in one coat and dry to a very smooth, satin/matte finish. I love that they don't look dry or chalky like others I've tried. 'Vanilla' is a pale lilac/grey shade and 'Crush' is a deep wine red.
L'oreal Nude Magique BB Powder, I know, I know. BB powder?! I think 'BB' is becoming a term stuck to any product that companies can think up multi uses for. It offers a 'shine free finish, smooth resurfaced skin, undetectable coverage, 8 hour matte finish.' So pretty much it's just another powder. I brought it because it was a good colour match and felt very silky and finely milled.
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick 'Glam Plum Fulham' what a beauty. This reminds me of Mac's Rebel/Diva but with a satin finish, perfect for Winter and Christmas!
Rimmel Colour Rush in 'Give Me A Cuddle' has the cutest name, ever. This is a really pretty Bubblegum pink but lips need a good exfoliation before application.
L'oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim is one of the best eyeliners I've tried so far. It's slim enough to create a delicate, thin line, it's completely opaque, long lasting and I'd imagine it would be great for beginners.
Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream in 'Petal' reminds me of the Stila Liquid Lipsticks, especially this one which is similar to 'Bellissima' a cool, rosy pink. It applies really smoothly, it's well pigmented, a lovely colour but it does dry down to a very matte finish. Be warned, these innocent looking lip creams will suck all the moisture from your lips so lip balm is definitely your friend.

Soap&Glory. Party season is approaching.

Last week a package from Soap & Glory popped through my postbox containing some beauty treats to prepare you for the upcoming party season. Instantly the products inside caught my eye. They sent me the popular *Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker, *Archery Brow Tint and Shape and a *Super-Colour Fabu Lipstick. I already own the Archery and love it so I'm happy to have another as a back up! It's double ended and one size is similar to a felt eyeliner that you run through your brows to draw on little hairs, the other is a waxy crayon that fills brows in while holding them in place. I adore how quick and easy it is to use this product, I can't ever go wrong with it! The shade I've swatched below is 'Love is Blonde'.
 Their lipstick have sleek, black packaging and I was extremely excited when I twisted the bullet up to reveal the colour inside. I believe this is called 'Pom Pom' and it's a deep raspberry red shade, perfect for colder months and the Christmas season. I was unsure of the name as it had no sticker on the base but I've studied online swatches and I'm 90% sure I'm right! These are marketed as matte lipsticks but I'd say they offer more of a satin/matte finish, they aren't glossy but they also don't feel drying on the lips either and are really comfortable to wear. One swipe will offer an opaque colour which last really well on the lips, meaning minimal touch ups which is always a bonus.
Then we have - Sexy Mother Pucker. How could you ignore a name like that? I'd heard a lot of good things about this lipgloss, I wont lie though, I was definitely put off by the shade. 'Half Naked' comes out a taupe/light brown shade which I just wouldn't ever give a second glance. If it was a pink or a deep red it would of been right up my street which is a shame as I like the formula of these. They're slightly thicker than most glosses and they really adhere to the lips, without being overly sticky. You'll also notice a slight tingling sensation when you wear these as it gently plumps your lips. You wont end up with an Angie pout, lets not be overly ambitious, but you it does make your lips appear slightly fuller and helps fill fine lines.
All of these products are available from Boots which are currently offering 3 for 2 on cosmetics. If you're wondering, the Sexy Mother Pucker is £9, there are six shades, The Archery is £10, available in two shades and their Matte Lipsticks are £9 and come in three shades.

Have you tried any products from the Soap & Glory make up range? If so, what would you recommend to others?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November Wishlist.

I always write wishlists on my Iphone or in my notebooks of products I have my eye on so I thought I'd make a collage of my top picks for November. I've put together a general mix of items I'm lusting after, these are the beautiful things I can't get off my brain!
Barry M Matte Varnishes, £3.99
These came out recently and they've been getting good reviews on beauty blogs, there's a limited colour range but all are very inkeeping with the season. I haven't ever tried matte polishes, but I've seen quite a few photos of nail art on Instagram where they mix matte with glossy finishes. Also, Superdrug and Boots currently have 3 for 2 offers on, so who can resist a High Street splurge?!
Nars One Night Stand Palette, £45
As soon as this hit the virtual shelves of SpaceNK everyone went mad for this palette. It contains three new shades and just looks so sleek and gorgeous. I've been so torn over whether to puchase it or not as I recently brought the Adult Content palette which has Laguna in, as well as a full size Laguna. I also added Albatross and Gaiety to my collection a few weeks ago which are similar to two shades in the palette. Blogger problems.
Yankee Candles, Christmas Cookie, £14.99
Winter is all about snuggling up under a furry blanket with your onesie on, a mug of hot chocolate in hand and a good movie on tv with a candle burning in the background. I love sweet scents and I absolutely love Christmas Cookie and Vanilla Cupcake, they smell so scrummy!
Ikea Alex Drawer, £90
This is a Youtuber / Blogger favourite for storing make up and I absolutely love how much you can fit inside these. It looks chic and compact and would definitely help the clutter situation in my room. The only thing holding me back? The £30 shipping cost, eek.
Alex Monroe Ring, £225
I absoutely love this ring. It's a bit in your face but the dainty band combined with the big warm stone, wow. At £225 it's a little pricey but Alex Monroe jewellary is very pretty and unique, I tried to get to a Liberty store when I was in London for a browse but the Tube was closed off and I had an impatient boy with me.
What do you have your eyes on at the moment? 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Everyday Makeup. Eyes.

As Winter is fast approaching mornings are getting a lot colder and I want to stay cosy and warm as long as possible so I decided I needed to find a basic make up look that's quick, yet polished. I'm not one to wake up, pop on some moisturiser and mascara and head out the door, oh no. I enjoy applying make up and accentuating certain features so I'll always apply a medium coverage foundation, a little concealer and powder, followed by a light application of blush, then create a natural eye look and pop on a balm or lipstick. For work anyway.
I've managed to cut my whole face routine down to about 15/20 minutes which is a massive achievement for me. My latest eye routine creates a really lovely wide eyed, natural look so I thought I'd share that with you today.
I first lay down a base which is usually either Mac's Soft Ocre Paint Pot or the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Bone. These both neutralise any redness on my lids and leave me with a blank canvas. To ensure this stays in place I dust a pale ivory shade over the lid, usually it's Blanc Type from Mac or I'll use my Soap & Glory quad in What's Nude. I then quickly blend a light brown/taupe shade in to the crease for a little definition and that's my eyeshadow finished. I then run a liquid liner, usually from Collection along the outer two thirds of my eye, I don't bring it in to the inner corner or flick it out. This adds fullness to the lashes and gives a bit of definition without looking like you've tried too hard. I always apply lashings of my mascara and my current favourite is Rimmel's Lash Accelerator Endless and lightly fill in my eyebrows with Soap & Glory's Archery pencil. For a final touch I run a nude pencil along my waterline, the NYX Wonder Pencil and Rimmels version are both good and then also from Rimmel I use their Scandal Eyes jumbo pencil in Bulletproof Beige to the inner corner/tear duct area. This shade is a really lovely champagne with shimmer that accentuates your eye shape and makes your eyes look bigger.
I do plan on posting a photo wearing this look to show the finished look but hopefully you get the general idea and I even attempted a face chart to explain further. Today is the first day of my week off work so it felt criminal to even get dressed, let alone apply make up. Onesies and Netflix is the way forward.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Zoeva Brushes.

I'm a sucker for anything beauty related and my most recent obsession is make up brushes. A quality brush can change how your eyeshadow is blended, offer an airbrushed finish to your foundation and precisely place products to get your desired effect. I'd recently heard of a brand, new to me, called Zoeva, a German based brush and cosmetic line that offer quality products for an affordable price. You wont be able to find their products in your local stores but their website offers international shipping and some of their line is available on LoveMakeUp. This is where I decided to get a few brushes from as I'd used LoveMakeUp in the past and knew their delivery was quick and items come well packaged. I initally placed an order for just four brushes to see what the quality was like and I was so impressed I placed another order a few days later.
These brushes are incredibly soft, well made and I haven't had any problems with shedding hairs or bleeding dye when they've been washed. I feel like the brushes I picked were ideal for me as I had specific reasons as to why I 'needed' each brush. The powder brush I've been using for powder, obviously and an all over bronzer brush. The face definer is a beauty for getting a precise but blended contour with powder products while the face shape is the perfect size for cream bronzers for a Kim K sculpting effect. The concealer buffer works well for buffing in concealer, as the name would suggest but also for laying down cream eyeshadows. The smoky shader works amazingly for placing eyeshadow and laying down base colours, or precise placement. The eye blender is brilliant for blending stubborn shadows or for underneath the eyes if you're going smokey. Finally, the soft definer that's brilliant for general blending and working a transition colour along the crease.
All of the brushes I ordered are amazing quality and well priced, considering I'd debated purchasing their high end Sigma and Mac dupes which are far more expensive. They're dense and hold their shape well, look sleek and when combined with my Real Techniques brushes offer me the perfect selection of brushes to cover every need. I'll definitely be browsing their official website as it has more variety, although shipping will set you back £7.50.
Brush Update: I've been using these for four months now and am still as in love as when I first got my hands on them. I've had no issues at all with shedding, they hold their shape after washing and perform brilliantly. I am SO impressed with the quality that I would recommend these over Mac any day of the week. They're not over priced, yet offer the luxury of a high end product. OBSESSED.
If you fancy having a browse for yourself:
Zoeva Official Website

From LE to RI:
Smoky Shader - £5
 Eye Blender - £5
 Soft Definer - £5
Concealer Buffer - £6.50
 Face Shape - £7.50
 Face Definer - £15
Powder - £9

Friday, 25 October 2013

Mini Primark Haul.

If you follow me on Twitter you might of seen that I recently went on an impromptu trip to London for the day. I'd originally planned to visit a nearby town which has a small Primark after one of the girls at work found some berry coloured ankle boots that I convinced myself I needed. My car's been playing up recently which meant we'd be taking the train anyway so whilst arranging times and ticket costs my boyfriend made the mistake of suggesting we go to London instead. Before I'd even given him an answer I was already making mental notes of all the shops I wanted to have a look in. Selfridges, Space NK, Mac Pro were a few but I also still wanted to visit a Primark and went to the huge store on Oxford Street. I've never seen so many people crammed in to one shop before, claustrophobic people beware.
I'd of loved to have a proper rummage through all the accessories, shoes and clothes, throws and random bits and bobs but I could barely squeeze myself down the isles so hastily picked up a few items as we made our way around the shop and joined the ever growing queue. I managed to get a few bargains whilst there, including a new cosy coat for Winter, £18, a lovely little bag, £8, a statement necklace, £4 and some super comfy imitation uggs, £5. I know some people hate faux uggs but I wish I'd brought two or three pairs, they're so warm and comfy and when they get misshapen I'll just chuck them in the bin! I never did find the berry ankle boots!
I also managed to pick up a pink gym bottle for £2 and a cute cupcake gift bag for £1 and socks, of course. Who doesn't stock up on socks in Primark?!

You may of seen some of my beauty purchases on my Instagram, if not look me up - lisamichellexx and if you don't use Instagram, don't fear as I'll be posting my London Beauty haul soon!

Have you picked up any bargains recently? And have you ever visited the manic Oxford Street store?

Monday, 21 October 2013

Skincare Faves.

If you've been a follower of my blog for a while now you'll of realised that skincare products aren't mentioned frequently. This is purely because I'm a bit perplexed by all the different products available and what you really NEED in your routine, rather than what brands what you to believe you need. I have oily/combination skin so I'd say the only issues I have are trying to mattify, without drying and avoiding blackheads, which is a common issue for those with oily skin. My skin isn't sensitive skin and I don't often suffer from breakouts.
For many years I just used the Simple face wipes to remove my make up and I still do every now and then but I try to have some kind of routine as I know make up wipes are frowned upon for containing alcohol and stripping the skin of its oils. My job means I work until 10:30/11 pm most nights so I need something quick and easy and this is where the Loreal Skin Perfection Michellar Solution comes in. A few squirts of this on a cotton pad removes all my make up without irritating my eyes and I usually do this twice to make sure all my make up is removed. I know some people use multiple cleansers and perhaps I should but this does the job for me! I then pop on some of the *HealGel Eye Serum which helps to de-puff, brighten and moisturise the eye area and has an instant cooling feeling.
Once the eye serum has sunk in to the skin, which is pretty instantly, I've been using a sample of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair which I'm in love with. I'm secretly hoping someone will buy me a full size bottle for Christmas as it leaves your skin plump and nourished without feeling at all greasy or heavy!
And that's all I do in the evening, it's quick and simple - just as I like it.
In the morning I just splash my face with cold water and use the No.7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for normal/oily skin which is a light, refreshing moisturiser that works well underneath make up.
I also like to use a face mask every now and then and I chop and change depending on what my skin is like. If my skin's a bit greasy and I have a few blemishes I use the Origins Clear Improvement mask which helps clear pores and mattify, followed by the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. Dehydrated? I use the Hydraluron before the Estee Lauder serum or the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask. This deeply moisturises the skin and leaves it plump and smelling delicious in the morning. I'm also a huge fan of exfoliating and my all time favourite product is the Dermalogicia Daily Microfoliant (also on my Christmas wishlist), although I'm trying out a Mario Badescu version at the moment. I also have a few Ren products to trial out which I purchased recently but haven't got around to trying so perhaps I'll have a few new additions to my skincare routine in the near future!
That is all the skin care products I have to mention at the moment. Recommendations for oily/combo skin are welcomed, feel free to rave in the comments about your favourite products.

Monday, 7 October 2013

NYX Haul.

Having eyed up products from NYX for the longest time I decided to finally place an order on their website. Like most of my online purchases, the spending spree was spurred on by a photo that I came across on Instagram, this time of their 'Butt Naked' palette. This contains 15 eyeshadows, four blush shades, a contour and two highlighters. I'd not tried any of NYX's powder blushers or eyeshadows before and at £27 I knew it was a slightly risky purchase but I went ahead anyway. I do wish I'd gone for the Wicked Dreams palette instead which comes in at a bargain price of £15 for 24 shadows but that is a slap on the wrist for me for making spur of the moment purchases. Not to say it isn't worth the money as I've yet to try it out properly, I just feel at £27 it's a bit expensive for NYX, am I wrong?
Having already put one potentially overpriced item in my basket I decided there was no point stopping there and proceeded to do what I like to call 'speed swatching' where I speedily search on my IPhone for swatches of colours, etc. I'm turning in to a beauty obsessed monster that justifies every purchase with 'but I'm going to review it on my blog' when 75% of the time, I don't. Shameful.
In a quick run through I treated myself to a Butter Gloss in the shade 'Eclair' after hearing rave reviews, a Wonder Pencil in 'Light' intended for the waterline, two lip liners in the shades 'Pale Pink' and 'Plum', both beautiful colours, two Jumbo pencils in 'Milk' and 'Iced Mocha', which is gorgeous, a loose pearl shadow in 'Nude', powder blushers in 'Peach', which isn't really very peachy at all and 'Taupe' which I'd heard is a coveted product for subtle contouring. My final purchases were a matte bronzer in 'Deep', I know - hardcore bronzing right there, a double pencil sharper, always an essential and their full coverage concealer in 'Beige'.
I could of happily added more to my basket but I think I'd already racked up a £80 virtual shopping basket at this point and I really couldn't justify spending anymore. Not on one brand at least, haha. I intend to have a massive swatchfest either tomorrow or next week so if you're interested in seeing what the colours/shades look like.

What are your must have products from NYX? Are there any products you've been lusting after? Do you find that Instagram leaves you lusting after cosmetics?!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

High End Beauty Haul

A recent visit to a local Department store always starts with an innocent wander, maybe a few swatches, an 'Oh ok, I'll just buy one treat' and then I become an unstoppable shopping monster.
So, what did I pick up?
Estee Lauder's Double Wear Mascara, this came in a set with a moisturiser and make up remover sample, so far it's a winner for the bottom lashes if smudging is an issue!
YSL Touche Eclait which is a cult product with Bloggers and YouTubers alike, I've yet to try this but when I do I'll report back on whether it's worth the splurge.
Ren's Resurfacing AHA Concentrate which exfoliates the skin, leaving you with smoother skin and a more radiant finish - or at least that's what they claim!
Mac 'Style' powder blush, a gorgeous peachy pink with golden shimmer which looks amazing with a tan.
Mac 'Blanc Type' eyeshadow, a matte ivory shade that really opens up the eye, ideal for a neutrals palette.
Mac 'Cherry' lip liner, another hyped product, it's a classic red which works well with most shades of red lipstick, it's creamy, pigmented with a matte finish.
Mac 'Blankety' lipstick, a pretty pale pink, I love nudes and this was a must have when I spotted it on the counter.
Mac Prep and Prime Highlighter in 'Light Boost', similar to the YSL touche eclait, adding radiance to the face and brightening areas.
Mac Zoom Lash mascara - having never tried a mascara from Mac this was a last minute grab at the till, I've yet to try it out but I've heard many good things.

And there's everything I purchased on my shopping spree and my lame excuses as to why I needed each item, isn't there always a reason why? haha. Let me know if you'd like any of these products reviewed!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A normal cupcake wont do, I want a GIANT cupcake.

Whilst perusing the shelves of TKMaxx recently in search of a bargain, my eye was caught by a giant cupcake tin. I've wanted to pick one up for a while now as everyone loves cupcakes, so who wouldn't love a GIANT cupcake?! I can't recall the exact price but I think it cost me around £10 and today was its first test trial and it went incredibly successfully! Even though it may look a difficult project for baking novices, it's actually pretty easy and quick to make and you can decorate it however you please!
I made this on my day off so I decided to speed up the process by purchasing a few quick fix products like the Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix, which just needs eggs, oil and water and the Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Icing. Having used the Betty Crocker products before I knew the cake mix would produce a light, fluffy sponge that remains moist even after being in the fridge for a few days and the icing has a perfect consistency for spreading. I used the Dr.Oetker Cake Release Spray, poured in the cake mix 3/4 full - you want to start by just putting the mix in the base and cooking for 10 minutes before adding the remainder of the mix to the top and placing back in the oven. 
Once out the oven and cooled I neatened up the sponge by trimming off any excess that came above the mould and left to cool. I cut the base in half and filled it with the Fudge Icing and a layer of whipped cream then put it back together, iced the outside and stuck on chocolate fingers, securing it all in place with a lace ribbon. A little more icing on top of the base section was needed to stick the base and top together and then we piped whipped cream in a swirl and scattered Malteasers and Cadbury Snow Balls. 
So if you're ever in need of a quick fix Birthday cake or just want to treat friends or family try your hand at a Giant Cupcake, make your mix and icing from scratch or use packet mixes - shh, no one will know any difference! And then you just need to decide on your flavours - red velvet, lemon, chocolate, vanilla? the decorations and enjoy demolishing your cake after!
Here's a link to a similar Giant Cupcake tin if you're on the lookout! 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Benefit World Famous Neutrals - Most Glamorous Nudes Ever

 Benefit World Famous Neutrals, £23.50
Benefit are well known for their adorable packaging and handy travel kits. Quite a few of their sets have caught my eye but I was never drawn enough to actually make a purchase, however when the World Famous Neutral palettes launched it was lust at first sight. The Most Glamorous Nudes Ever version caught my eye immediately with its beautiful, subtle colours. Each palette contains a mixture of satin and shimmery shadows in four complimentary shades along with two cream eyeshadows that can be used alone, or as a base. Most Glamorous Nudes Ever contains a satin ivory shade (call my buff), a pale pink with golden shimmer (it's complicated), a golden bronze (gilt-y pleasure) and a deep chocolate brown (kiss me, I'm tipsy), all three contain shimmer.
The cream shadows are in the shades 'my two cents' - a gorgeous, coppery bronze and 'birthday suit' - a taupe, again with shimmer, both of which are available in full size. I adore both of these shades but do find that they crease a little which is always disappointing. All four of the eyeshadows work well to create a range of natural, femine looks and they remind me of Victoria's Secret and glowing Grecian Goddesses with the pale pink, gold and bronze shades. They're not the most pigmented eyeshadows you'll ever come across, but the colour pay off is good and they're soft, which means they blend easily. Packaged securely inside cardboard packaging, which can take a few hard knocks, this acts as a nice all rounder for quick makeovers or travels. Improvements could be made, but overall I really like this little kit.
Currently, there's 10% off in Debenhams, you know - if you're tempted! ;)
If I could make my own compact eye kit, it would consist of Mac's 'Soft Ocre' and 'Constructavist' Paint Pots, 'All That Glitters', 'Bronze' and 'Blanc Type' eyeshadow, 'Half Baked' from Urban Decay and a cheeky travel size Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Mascara and Loreal Super Liner wouldn't go amiss. We can dream hey?! What would your perfect compact eye kit consist of?