Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Max Factor Clump Defy w/ Before & After

Mascaras. I hoard them. Never have I finished one either... and yes, I know, you're supposed to throw them away after 3 months, which, I do not do *slaps wrist*. When I started testing the Max Factor Clump Defy Waterproof Mascara, I was seriously impressed. Perhaps this will be the first tube of long lash loveliness I'll finish?

You can see a dramatic difference in the above before/after images, but even that does not do it justice. My lashes are normal I suppose, medium length, medium thickness... nothing special... sigh. I always curl my eyelashes before mascara application as that makes such a dramatic difference. I have a feeling above is one coat, but I do spend a while on each coat. I do not take my mascara application lightly.

The brush (which I so should have showed you... *slaps wrist for the second time*) is quite large, with plastic bristles and little curve. I think I prefer plastic bristles, but I'm honestly not that fussy. If it does the job, then the last thing I'm bothered about is the bristle type! With the effect that this mascara gives, I just wish it didn't smudge. However, please take that with a pinch of salt because ALL mascaras manage to smudge on me, waterproof or not. Yes, even Clinique Bottom Lash.

As always, I like to touch on the packaging. Nothing really too special, a purple semi-matte tube that's actually quite bulky but does the job completely. It survived in my suitcase to Cyprus and back, which I was surprised at because if you've seen the airport staff manoeuvre the cases, they show no mercy and literally slam them down everywhere. I suppose they have a lot to get through!

After that tangent, would I repurchase? Probably not instantly, because I adore road testing every product under the sun, but if I never find anything better, I can see myself scurrying down to Superdrug or Boots for seconds.

Megan x

Friday, 25 October 2013

Bargain Haul

I've missed doing my bargain hauls, so I'm back with another featuring products that I did not pay the full price for any of.

Currently in the motherland of Boots, Toni & Guy is on 3 for £12. Considering each products individually sets you back £7.19, I saved £9.57 with this deal. I urge you to try some hair care bits from the range - on first impressions that mask is lovely!

The yellow tube of moisturisingness you can spot, is the Burts Bees Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry. Usually £3.69, I found the last one for £1.85 in Boots. Why not?

Then, on to the TKMaxx goodies. The whole store was full of unique, interesting purchases, not only for beauty. However, in the end, I came home with 3 Deborah Lippmann nail polishes in Billionaire (deep green), Through the Fire (festive shimmery ruby) and Glitter in the Air (words cannot describe how beautiful this milky blue jelly with baby pink, blue and iridescent glitter is). The best part? This set cost me £8. Take a moment to digest that information - with the RRP of each polish around the £15, this was more than a bargain. If Billionaire retails at £15, Through the Fire at approximately £15 as well (I cannot discover an accurate price) and Glitter in the Air £17, I saved an estimate of £35. There was a few packs, so someone restrain me from visiting the clearance section of the store again...

Lastly, we have two New CID 'cream' eyeshadows. I found nude (Moonbeam) and a bronze (Truffle), for only £5. Although I can find nothing but a slither of information on where the shades have come from, the other colours retail at £14 each so these should be no exception. Even if the texture is more of a mousse, I'm chuffed to bits with this find, as well as the rest!

RRP Total: £100.26
I paid: £26.85

Megan x

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Mac Amber Lights Eyeshadow

I broke my Mac barrier a few months back with a couple of blog sale items, but today I present to you the first product I got from an actual counter. Meet Amber Lights, my new eye love interest.
I had originally wanted Cranberry, however as that was out of stock I went for the next eyeshadow that caught my eye. Coincidentally autumnal, this shade is perfect for the season, being a coppery golden hue that is intensely shimmery, not to mention beautifully pigmented. In the eye look below (which I will also be describing in more detail, along with a lip combination) Amber Lights is displayed on the lower lash line, and pretty much over the entire lid. There's a few other shadows used but I'll leave that until my post explaining Autumn Look #2.
To conclude, I'm super impressed with Amber Lights. It lasts all day, has no problems in the pigment area and the packaging is sleek. I don't think Mac eyeshadows will overrun my collection due to the rather extortionate price of now £12.50 for a single, but for now, I'm pleased to own one.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Holiday Haul

Although I'm feeling the post holiday blues now, last week I had a lovely time relaxing in Cyprus with my family. I had saved up for a while to spend some money on more high end products in the airport, as well as one thing from the in flight catalogue and some great magazine freebies. I also took the pictures from the balcony edge, which I absolutely love! I wish I'd have taken more, however I didn't have my endless supply of beauty products there to photograph sadly.

I had £10 WHSmiths voucher, so I got a couple of magazines. For £2, there was Glamour, in which there was a free Eyeko liner that currently rivals my beloved Barry M alternative. This stuff is incredible, and so easy to use. For the same price, Instyle Magazine had some great Ren mini freebies. I used these throughout the holiday, but didn't think they were too special. My skin is completely knackered from the swimming pool chlorine anyway at the moment!

Having never travelled with my own hand luggage before, I didn't have a clue about liquids. Therefore, I took the easy option and just bought a Simple Light Moisturiser and a Rich Moisturiser (it was 3 for 2) and a Blistex Raspberry Lemonade lip balm from the tiniest Boots I've ever seen. In the airport, there was a Victoria's Secret store. I've never been to one before, and us British girls are quite deprived in terms of pink, gorgeous smelling goodness so you can imagine how restrained I had to be in order to not take the whole store with me on the plane. I would have loved to though...The only item I purchased, was the Sheer Love perfume. This was £9.20, and I did get two (*hint to Lauren there*).

There was a generous sized Mac store in the airport as well, in which I was after Soft and Gentle. I was disappointed when they didn't have it, nor Cranberry eyeshadow, but that didn't deter me from purchasing Amber Lights. Be still my beating heart, this is crushed autumn leaves in a pan. With the duty free, this was £10.50. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know how much I moan about my dark circles. At £16.55, Benefit Erase Paste found its way onto the till and magically managed to part me with my cash. Hopefully, if any of you would like, after I've spent some more time testing it I'll do a comparison between Bobbi Brown Corrector and itself.

The only beauty related item as such that was actually bought in Cyprus, was a Barbara Hoffman brush. This was 6.55 euro, and I had in mind to use it on my lower lashline. It's reasonably dense and a good size, so far so good.

Not photographed, but still purchased from the inflight magazine, was the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This cost me £20, so I saved a fiver there. Who wouldn't say no to saving £5?

Though it excites me to look at what I've got, there's that pang of guilt when I add up the total. Ah well, I haven't done this is such a long time!

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Slight Change

It's not often I write super quick information posts, but I'd like to let you know that I've changed my blog around a bit. Truthfully, I got a bit bored of the last design, so I made a new header and altered the colours here and there. Please please please, let me know if this is better or worse than before. After all, you're the ones who read my blog!

I'd love for you to leave me a comment and tell me whether you like it or not, as I can always change it back. I won't mind if you all hate it!

I've also stopped doing blog button swaps. I've got so many on my side bar that I think there's more than plenty. I'll leave the current ones there, but won't be adding any new ones. I hope that's ok!

Megan x

MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation

Matte foundations are not my cup of tea. With relatively dry skin, I like my base to be glowy, dewy and all kinds of natural looking healthiness. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement seeing that the MUA Undress Your Skin Illuminating Foundation was on offer at £3, usually £5. If I'm honest, my expectations were low. I didn't expect anything more than a slight oily tint, but I was oh so wrong!

You can see that I have two shades, 'Porcelain' and 'Golden'. The shade in the middle which is not featured is called 'Beige'. There's quite a large difference between the last 2, and something else to point out is that there is no colour for darker skin tones, which is quite unfair.

 The tube is 35ml, but feels like it's only half full which is rather strange. The style of packaging is ok, not the best but for £3 it should be what's inside that counts. I have no qualms with it however, it does the job well but sometimes dispenses too much product.
The actual product inside the tube is definitely a creamy, glowy liquid. It dries to a natural, quite dewy finish which is my preferred look. To apply, I prefer my hands as I find it gives the most streak-free coverage. It's quite a light foundation, covering minor imperfections but unless you only suffer from redness here and there, a concealer is mostly needed to hide dark circles or blemishes. I found it lasted surprisingly well, fading throughout the day but mostly retaining patchiness and keeping even. When I arrive home from school, there are still traces of the product but nothing dramatic, therefore I'd say the lasting power is 6-7 hours, bearing in mind I don't tend to powder or use primer (naughty me).
Overall, it just goes to show that the saying 'you get what you pay for' has its exceptions, this being one of them.
Megan x

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Barbie Pink Nails

It might be approaching Autumn, but I'm not quite finished with the bright colours of Summer, as you can probably tell by my nails. The shade painted all over was Gosh Bubblegum Pink, a firm favourite of mine for a few years now. It's such a flattering shade in that it makes the skin appear more tanned - always a bonus. Two coats was all it took to achieve opacity, but of course, a manicure is never complete if there isn't an accent nail.
To emphasis the ring fingers (and thumbs) I applied one coat of Urban Outfitters Ice Cream, a shimmering pink topcoat with an array of iridescent glitters and teeny pinch of gold. I call them my Barbie nails, and they seem popular with my friends and family too, with them giving me compliments on how nice the colour is. To give it a diamond-like shine, I used Essie Good to Go, but looking at the above image it seems to have given me some shrinkage. Hmm...
You may also notice my slightly rounded nail shape. I have been filing my nails square from the get-go, but after some frustrating chips, peels and breakages, I filled them au-circular and I actually love them. They're more flattering on my very long fingers and large hands!
Megan x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fudge Urban Sea Salt Spray

If I was to do a 'Products I Have a Love/Hate Relationship With' post, the first item on there would be a salt spray. My hair is really thin, and unable to become messy. You're probably thinking that's a good thing, but all it wants to do is be poker straight. Curls don't hold, and dishevelled buns are always too perfect, and the odd bits that stick out look ridiculous. Hair woes aside, I want something which makes my barnet look wavy, natural and beach ready. After trying (and miserable failing) with 101 other products which claim to do the same job, my love has been discovered in the Sea Salt Spray by Fudge.

Buying this was actually a total accident. My 11 year old brother wanted a hair gel, and didn't read the writing so he picked this up. I'm not complaining though!

For starters, the orange packaging. Perhaps too bright for some, however in my case should I need to find it, it's very visible amongst other hair care bottles. The spray nozzle is also quite unique, and it did have a lid which has already been lost. I swear they run away from me all the time...

 Before bed, as my hair was on the verge of drying, I spritzed some evenly from mid lengths to ends and rubbed it all in, in a very messy way. After about 8 hours sleep, I awoke to a change from my normal do, something more textured which is exactly what I would like a salt spray to do for me.
For £6.99, this is definitely something I'd buy again.
Megan x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation

Around a year ago, when I first started to properly become interested in beauty blogs, youtube and makeup, one of the first products I purchased was the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundations. With rave reviews all around, I knew it would be a safe choice and one year on, having almost finished the bottle and reminding myself to buy another, my thoughts have been gathered and I can confirm that yes, it's as good as everyone says.

The amount of product seems less than other foundations because of the bottle's tall, thin shape, but it's a standard 30ml size for £10.99. The pricing is the higher side of the high street, but worth a few extra pounds. With various fruits and berries scattered on the bottle, you can only expect how nice it smells inside. I have to sniff this (in a non-weird way, I promise) every time before I squirt a pump (behold, it has a pump hurray!) or so onto my hand. If the scent isn't something you particularly like, you'll be glad to hear that it disappears almost immediately when buffed into the skin.

My chosen colour is the lightest of either 5 or 6, which is 51. I use the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, a sponge or my bare hands to blend. All 3 work well, but my favourite has to be the sponge (damp). Consequently, more product is used but the finish is so beautifully natural and dewy I wouldn't have it any other way. You can tell it's a serum, because of the creamy, light texture which I'm finding hard to put into words. Although the coverage is on the lighter side of the scale, it can be built up to more of a medium point depending on preference. I find this wears for around 6-8 hours, bear in mind I'm very lazy and neither powder nor use primer but no doubt that should increase longevity if you choose to apply them as well.
I don't wear foundation everyday, but as it's practically one of three I own, I'm sure that's enough to tell you it's a good 'un.
Megan x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Best of the Nudes

In terms of nail colour, nude polishes are so versatile because they can be worn from Winter to Summer and inbetween. Therefore, I thought I'd show you the best...

Gosh High School Flirt £5 - This nude is more of a pinky tone compared to the others you'll see above. It's very glossy and almost the perfect manikin-hands shade for me, as well as being relatively long lasting and easy to apply, usually opaque within 2 coats.

MeMeMe Ambitious £4.50 - An adorable 'ballerina' shade if you ask me. It's a pink nude, but seriously opaque with a fab wide brush. I've had this for a few years now, and still love it! Can we also take a moment for the packaging? MeMeMe does that so well!
OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh £10.50 - This was from the Holland collection I believe, but I'm sure you'll find it somewhere hanging around on the interent. Its a weird nude colour... yes, it's a beige, but it is has quite a taupey grey tone as well and looks like it has green in there somewhere... call me crazy! This one is my favourite out of the four, because of its almost one coat formula, perfect brush and longevity. Perfection.
Barry M Cappuccino £2.99- If you've got Mushroom, Cappuccino is the long lost taupe sister. The shade is quite dark, but I'd still class it as a neutral shade. There's some purple in that bottle, which looks so elegant and regal on the nails. It's also the cheapest and applies like a dream!
And my nude nail addiction continues...
Megan x

Monday, 7 October 2013

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag?

I'm off on holiday soon, and I'm starting to get excited at the fact that I can finally use all of my summer products properly and put them to the test. Well, that, and because I do like an all inclusive buffet...! Anyways...

For my dark circles, I can't live without my Bobbi Brown Corrector. I've hit pan, which says it all. To go with it, I'll be taking Mac Moisturecover Concealer in NW15 - the best concealer for my under eyes I've found, plus it's bang on the right shade for me so I can always do some mixing with the following product if I get a tan. If I get a tan, I'm taking the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. It's too dark for me, so hopefully I can wear it as I bronze up a bit! I'm also taking the Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets. I'll pack some in my hand luggage too, as these are life savers! You can imagine in 25+ degrees whether that my nose won't be oil-free. Powder is sometimes too heavy, which is why I'm refraining from packing any at all.

Previously, I didn't get on with the Revlon Baby Stick in Sunset as I think it's best for use on bare skin. Hopefully with a tan I can salvage my relationship with Sunset and make it work on holiday. For something less dewy and more of a pool-side long wearer, it's the E.L.F HD Blush in Superstar - a super pigmented coral pink liquid blush, something I can see being a gem in the hot weather. Also because I think it'll go nice with my lip products, I'm packing Topshop Prime Time Cream Blush, a clean blue pink cream to powder formula. Lastly, Sleek Face Form, a holy grail item of mine that had to come with me. It has a highlight, blush and contour so I've got multiple products housed in a super slim compact.

My staple eye product of the moment,  Benefit Bikini-Tini Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow. It had to come with me, as it's a perfect base for every shadow under the sun! A mono I'll be jetting off with is
17 Walnut Pearl Eyeshadow - I'm on the lookout for Mac Woodwinked at the airport so this is more of an alternative. It's a very pretty shimmery brown, as I felt I needed some slight sparkle because most shades I'm taking will be matte. Speaking of matte, the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette contains 5 and one highlight called Venus which is practically perfect for everything! It's also super compact and easy to travel with. If I'm feeling adventurous (which is highly unlikely but a girl cannot pack light), I've included the Dior Eyeshadow Duo in Purple Look - a car booty buy, possibly the best bargain I've found all year. There's a matte purple and a shimmery pink in case neutrals aren't what I fancy for the evening. For a base, there's the Collection Eyeshadow Pencil in Vintage Blush, that's also great on its own and very long lasting. Lastly on the eye front, I had to bring the Max Factor Clump Defy Waterproof - mascara smudges on me anyway, so it was compulsory for me to bring something that won't give me panda eyes as I jump in the pool. It's also a fabulous all-round lengthening, volumising and defining product.

For lip balm, I wanted something trusty, moisturising and multipurpose. The thisWorks Turbo Balm sprung to mind, as I can apply it to dry patches as well as my lips. For colour, it had to be the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains - I think these have quite mixed reviews, but they're the best lip products I've ever tried which is why I'm taking 3 - Honey, Rendezvous and Lovesick. A nice variety of shades!
There you have it... what I'll be taking on my holiday. The bag itself was sent from Gosh.
My brushes are currently dirty, which is why they're not included but for an insight, there's my EcoTools Kabuki Collection, a few Real Techniques and a No.7 Blending Brush.
It all fits snuggly and my case is well under my limit, which means there's no stopping me from 'expanding' my collection a little with prices minus VAT at the Duty Free! If you'd like a 'skin and body travel products' post I'd love to write one, I've purchased things especially to take.
Megan x

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets

Before I get in with the review, I would like to mention that these infamous sheets are blinking hard to find. They were in Asda, went down to 20p, then disappeared. They were in Tesco, went down to 72p, disappeared and then came back at a whopping £2.99. No, I will not pay that. They were even in Boots and Superdrug, but disappeared. Kleenex, your magic acts are not funny. You left me panicked that I would never find my beloved blotting sheets again - mean.
Therefore, I literally smiled gormlessly at my iPad when an iMessage from Lauren came through, saying her mum had found them in Home Bargains for around 29p, and was kind enough to get me a pack. I kid you not, I got a further 10 packets today. Sad? Me? No...
Now, I've given you the back story, I better make this review good haha!
In each pack there is 50 sheets, which last me around a month, perhaps a little longer. The packet is very slim, so it's easy to fit in my pocket at school to avoid shine throughout the day. They are dispensed through a sticky patch, which adheres to the sheet and pulls it out from the packet as you open it. Hard to explain, but very efficient. Unlike other blotting sheets, these ones don't have any powder on them. They just absorb the oil, which you can see below. It's quite disgusting but fascinating at the same time...
The darker areas/dots on the sheet are the oil. This was a blot from my nose, a few times. The most interesting part is looking at what's on the sheet... it's quite horrible but a good way to amaze your friends I've found! They leave your skin feeling normal again - minus the oil. Another great thing is that they do not alter or smudge makeup underneath them.
Obviously, I'm a girl, but there's no reason why a boy couldn't use these either. Sometimes I want to give some to people on the street and say 'BLOT! You'll be amazed!'
Megan x

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Babyliss' Version of The Tangle Teezer

Regular hairbrushes have gone completely out of the window for me after using this. Although my hair is not very thick, it still is prone to nasty tangles which are difficult to get out, leaving me very frustrated sometimes! When I started using the Babyliss Tangle-Ease, I was shocked at how much better these types of hair brushes are compared to the standard ones (I'm sure you know the ones I mean, you know... long handles, not many bristles...).

I must admit, I'm not the biggest fan of the ever so gaudy looking hot pink leopard print, but there is also a black and a purple version so you can pick and choose. The bristles are plastic, with there being one length slightly shorter than the other. Whether this alters how it combs through the hair, I don't know, but it definitely isn't harsh and scratchy! My favourite part is that it has a slight handle, meaning it's easy to grip and quite ergonomically designed to fit into your hand.

I've always wanted a tangle teezer so my needs and satisfied for now!
Megan x