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?