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?