Sunday, 30 March 2014
Balmain is a brand I've recently been introduced to for their hair and nail products. I've heard of them as a fashion house before but I didn't have a clue they dipped their toes into the cosmetic industry waters, so you can imagine how excited I was to give the Nail Couture* polishes and Silk Perfume* (plus vaporiser*) a try.
I'll start with the not so fabulous here, which is the Silk Perfume*. Essentially, this is a finishing product for the hair which aims to add shine and condition before a model walks the runway (or in my context, leave the house). The scent is quite nice, and although not my favourite it does prove popular with others as I have received compliments after using this. It is also 'enriched with argan and silk proteins', to 'keep hair shiny and radiant'. The actual product is lovely, and does smooth the hair, reduce frizz and leave a gorgeous shine for me. However, I find the packaging really lets this 200ml bottle down as it leaks immensely, is plastic and the vaporiser must be purchased separately, bringing the price to £34. If I'm honest, I would have expected a little more in terms of packaging due to the price.
The Nail Couture polishes really are eye candy. The sleek oblong bottles are super elegant, and despite the colour range being limited, it has a rather exclusive feel. Nude* is quite self explanatory, a mannequin hands shade that I have way too many of but still adore. The brush on this was one of the best I have ever used, being slightly rounded at the tip so navigating around the cuticle was easy as pie. The formula was equally as brilliant, a solid two-coater. My only qualm here is that the finish is semi-matte, but I'm more of a gloss girl. Oh well, it's nothing a top coat can't fix.
The Mat Top Coat* is a great addition to my collection, as I don't own one of the kind. The formula on this is also very good, and I have an image in my head of matte black nails with glossy polka dots. This shares the same brush as the Nude polish, so application is very easy. Matte fingertips may not be to everyones taste, but for nail art purposes of when the trend comes back this is very handy.
You can purchase these items on the Balmain Webshop.
Friday, 28 March 2014
I think I love this so much because it is one of few colours that do not wash me out. It's the lilac trend for dummies *cough cough me* as the shade is somewhere in between that and a baby pink. I never thought I'd be saying that here, as usually I'm all about warm tones with my brown hair and eyes. The finish is a beautiful sheen, my personal preference in any lip product and I think that does help with making the shade appear less stark. I also have to mention the packaging here; a clear and gold tube that looks super luxe and way more expensive than the £7.99 price tag.
Overall, I think I'm learning to love lipsticks a little more one step at a time, and I'm feeling all the more ladylike for it. What do you recommend?
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
I'm one of those people that have tiny ankles that no shoes seem to accommodate for. I'm a size 7/8 so nine times out of ten brands assume the larger your feet the larger your ankles. (Aren't I selling myself here...) Pfft. New Look is one of the few places I seem to find decent shoes in. Most places *cough cough H&M* have hardly any bigger sizes on the shelves... do people think that us ladies do not want fashionable shoezies?! Seriously, looking for new sandals becomes depressing, and don't even get me started on boots...
Mini rant aside, I seem to have hit the jackpot recently in New Look and I came away with two brand spanking new pairs to show for it.
The first are some Black Heeled Gladiator Sandals (£22.99). I was so surprised that these fitted, and I cannot wait to start wearing them with anything and everything, from rolled up jeans to floral dresses. Obviously, black was the most safe colour but what doesn't it go with? Universal is the word I'm thinking of here.
The second pair are a rather 'I don't know if I love them or hate them but they fit' purchase. On the New Look website they are called 'Black Double Strap Wooden Heel Sandals' (£19.99). I think with bare tanned legs (haha who am I kidding...) and a pretty summer dress these could be the bomb.com, but I also think they could work with slouchy rolled up jeans and a t-shirt. The only downside is that the wooden sole means they are SO hard on the tootsies. Compeed, here I come.
Overall, I'll most definitely take shoe scouts in New Look more often. For the price? Muy bueno, muy bueno.
Monday, 24 March 2014
I'm quite the adventurous bean when it comes to trying new things, which is why I rarely repurchase old loves. However, some just leave a hole in my heart and I have to them in my life again, which was the case for these 6 products.
Pretty much the only reoccuring item in my skincare routine is the Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover. My inner child loves the separated oil and water liquids, and it does an incredible job at breaking down all things long-wearing - seriously, I recommend.
Of course, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is a no-brainer here. I'm only on my second tube but I can see myself purchasing countless more in the future. It's just too good for the price...
I'm not sure if brushes count, but I did buy another of the No7 Blend and Contour Brush because I loved it that much. I could not live (or apply eyeshadow) without it and at £7.25, it was hardly a crime against my purse to get another.
I'm working my way through a second Nivea Milk & Honey Lip Balm too, as I can't get enough of the stuff. I may own an infinite amount of lip balms, but I always return to this one. The scent, texture and effect on the lips is worth a repurchase any day.
The only nail polish I've ever repurchased is the Essie Good To Go Topcoat. It's glossy, dries nails quickly and is an all-round life saver for those of us who cannot bear to wait and have a tendency to commit the crime of nail polish smudging. (Warning - it will shrink your nail colour slightly and increase the likeliness of it peeling off.)
To conclude, we have the Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets. I love these SOOO much that
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Although I'm sure we all love a flawless full coverage face (myself included), there's some occasions when it's a little too much. Hence, there's three products I favour for a lighter base.
BB Creams have been raved and ranted about, but I think I'm one of the few who are fans. Yes, some are seriously overrated and downright awful, but the Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream is the complete opposite. This 15 ml sample size has left me wanting more, as it provides a beautiful light coverage combined with a dewy finish. It only comes in one colour (why Dr Jart...?!) but I find it adapts to the correct tone for me with ease. A big thumbs up from my corner.
For concealer, I adore Mac Select Moisturecover. I got this in a blog sale and have almost finished the small tube. It's pricey, but it offers very good coverage and a dewy finish without being cakey or drying. I'm always telling myself to repurchase, but have never got round to it.
With two non-matte products, I do feel the need to powder a little. I favour the Maybelline Fit Me Powder for the job, because it reduces shine without leaving that 'flat' appearance.
Luminous? Check. Glowy? Check. Natural? Check. Mission accomplished.
Thursday, 20 March 2014
Dainty Doll Eyeshadow Base // Collection Eye Pencil in Vintage Blush // Anastasia Eyeshadow in Ballet // Urban Decay Venus // Natural Collection Milk Chocolate // S&G Matte Lilac // Kiko Eyeshadow 126 // Max Factor Clump Defy Waterproof //
Anyway, when I have time on my hands I love to do a little experimenting with products, and above is what I came up with the other day. A subtle, soft pink eye look that seems rather fitting for spring. I think I may wear this more often, as I loved the outcome and it reminded me somewhat of looks that have been created with the Naked 3 palette. One day I'll try a lilac/purple version, would you like to see an attempt?
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Ah, a good ol' haul post today. I love to write them and you like to read them, so here's another of the bits and bobs I have purchased over the last two weeks.
Since Lily Pebbles wrote a post on Max Factor Ruby Fruit *thinks of Educating Rita*, I went on a hunt for the shade. This was a huge bargain; £2 in the clearance bin of Asda. Also for nails, I purchased two new Barry M Gelly High Shines in Rose Hip and Huckleberry *hellooo spring*, as well as two packs of Impress Nails. The colours I found were in 120 Totally Busted (neon orange) and 100 Ecstatic Cling (neon pink). I love having these in my drawers, for the day I decide I need some extra oomph on my fingertips. The best part is that these were in the clearance at Boots, £2 each. Score.
It seems I went a little loco on the bases too, having picked up the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (£4.99 in a Supedrug offer) and the Bourjois CC Cream which was £9.99. The latter was what my Boots points went on, and I'm now left with 37p on my card *sobs*.
The only skincare item I purchased was the Garnier Micellar Water, £3.32 in Superdrug. A heads up for those of you who are thinking about getting one - they're £2.99 in Savers. Pfft, I could have saved myself 33p.
Lastly, some randoms that consist of two Revlon Lip Glosses in Bellini and Sizzle Canicule (£1.50, Boots Clearance) and a Cuticura Sugar Candy Hand Sanitizer (£1, Primark). I can only imagine the glosses were discounted as the many new balm variations from Revlon booted them off the shelf.
It's funny, as I insisted I hadn't bought anything but it seems I've collected more than enough items... Perhaps a blog sale or spending ban is in the line for me!
Sunday, 16 March 2014
I'm sure I've mentioned this a few times before, but recently I have been really into haircare. I've never done anything drastic with my locks (I did rock a rather fetching Dora the Explorer cut as a child) so I like to maintain what I got given naturally. That includes a whole variety of products, one of which is the Neal & Wolf Harmony Treatment*.
As I have never dyed my hair nor use excessive heat regularly, the ends are in quite decent condition, but this just gives them that tip-top look. I find it gives just the right amount of moisture, and whilst some treatments weigh down the hair, this isn't one of them. I don't tend to use this for long on the ends unless I'm feeling extra specially pampered. Most of the time I apply it to the ends of my hair in the shower as I get scrubbing with a loofah, which I find works very nicely. I'd definitely say to keep this away from the roots and focus more after the mid-lengths, as things can get a little oily quickly.
I have really been enjoying using this product but I have to say, I don't think I'd repurchase. It's a good treatment no doubt, but there are cheaper Boots alternatives. If you're after something rather bespoke and luxurious (btw this smells GOOD), give it a go.
You can buy the Neal & Wolf Harmony Hair Treatment for £13.50 at their online store.
Friday, 14 March 2014
Whilst doing my Superdrug and Boots rounds, as I do every weekend, I came across these beautiful pastel babies from Barry M in Rose Hip and Huckleberry. I haven't seen many posts on them yet, but a quick google search shows a few swatches. I'm missing Sugar Apple, a mint *sobs* but that was no where to be seen on the shelf.
Barry M Gelly High Shines are highly glossy, pigmented nail shades that have quite an expansive line now. I own a few already, so seeing spring suited bottles made my heart skip a beat. Rose Hip is a very dainty pale pink, that makes Essie Fiji spring to mind (although I do not own said polish), whilst Huckleberry is a baby blue. This is more of a first impressions post (can you tell buy the awful paint job in the picture?) to show you the pretties as soon as possible. To reach opacity I used 3 coats, but two would probably have been sufficient. If you've had experience with these kind of colours before you'll agree that's very decent.
So now I'm sitting here, pondering with myself about which one to make my mani first. It appears I've gone spring mad... do you feel the same?
Thursday, 13 March 2014
One of the many reasons I love spring is because of the pretty pinks and peaches that come with it, and there's nothing I love more than a good blush. Put the two together and boom - the 'Spring Cheeks' edit is born. Ladies, pack away your plums and mauves to give these beauties a go.
Three of the four products above are of a cream formula, my absolute favourite and the key to a fresh complexion. My first ever of the type was the MUA Blush Perfection Cream Blush in Dolly, a perfect apricot shade that I've rekindled my love for. The best part is that these retail for £2, so if you haven't tried these there is no excuse. I'm sure if you collected all of the coppers from your purse you'd be pretty close to that amount!
I haven't tried a whole lot from Elf, but this HD Blush in Superstar has left a good impression. The pigmentation is out of this world, as well as the longevity. If you're careful with application, you'll discover that this is a great budget spring cheek colour.
Can you remember when Dainty Doll did its rounds on Fragrance Direct and everyone went a smidge crazy over the £1.99 prices? I know I do, and I have the Cream Blush in Paper Roses to show for it. The minute shimmer translates as a light sheen on the cheeks, one of the reasons why I love this cool toned pink so much.
The only powder here is the Stila Positively Pink Cheek Palette, which consists of two shades that create a beautiful luminous colour, so much so I'd say it doubles as both blusher and highlighter. Delicious.
*I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know what you think of the image in this post. I've started using Photoshop to edit my pictures and I have a feeling they don't look right!*
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
If you've been reading my blog since the start of winter, you may remember my post on the 'Skincare Revamp'. A lot of you enjoyed that edit, so here I am as spring dawns with another set of products that I hope to use more this season.
The most recent purchase is the much coveted Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. I've been using this for a week or so now, and have very much enjoyed having it in my routine as a morning cleanse or the first makeup remove of a two step duo. It says no rinsing, but I always do. If it's strong enough to take off my makeup, I'm not sure I'd want it stewing on my face under my moisturiser... anyone else do that?
I'm sure we've all heard rave reviews on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, but now I'm looking for a lighter alternative in the offering of the 10 Minute Mask instead. I've used this a couple of times, but I cannot wait to apply it regularly as a shot of moisture twice a week, whilst the flowers bloom and the rabbits hop in the golden fields. How poetic of me haha.
Lush - an old favourite of a store. I've been reaching for exfoliating toners recently, but there's nothing more refreshing than a facial spritz of the Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water. It's been abandoned, so I think I need to show it a little more daylight.
Lastly, a moisturiser in the form of the Solutions Hydra Beyond Day Cream. It smells amazing, but isn't heavyweight enough at the moment to use on my dry skin. Hang in there little blue tub - I'll be putting you to good use as soon as spring rolls in.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
I'm also going to blow my own trumpet here and express how proud I am that I rode my bike without stabilizers... I didn't even use tape for the wing!
On the eyes I used the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette for a very simple matte look, and then focused on the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in O1 Black with the Nanshy Precision Bent Eyeliner Brush* to create a prominent flick. Mascara I think was Max Factor False Lash Effect.
I can guarantee my eyeliner won't turn out like this next time, but I am very please with my small accomplishment. Beauty goals, eh?
Thursday, 6 March 2014
As I'm all for the minimal makeup, natural appearance, I began digging into my collection for items that would be perfect as a 'five product face', and immersed with a small selection of bits and bobs to suit.
For base, I don't think I could ever use the same concealer for both face and under eyes (which is why I'm convinced I need the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, but that's another story). Therefore, I settled on the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19) for blemishes, and Benefit Erase Paste (£19.50) for dark circles, both of which are bordering holy grail ground for me.
I'm the biggest blush fan, but because I had to use up almost half of the dedicated amount of products on concealer (curse you dry eyes), there was simply no room at the inn. I settled on the Kardashian Beauty Cabana Bronze Waterproof Bronzer (£13.50) instead, for a little glow-getting and colour. I adore this so much, as it cannot be overdone and is literally perfection in a pan. I rarely leave the house without it now.
Eyes are probably the place I use the most product on daily, as it's quite nice to spend a few extra minutes defining and lining. However, I think mascara is a staple so I had to include the Max Factor Clump Defy Waterproof Mascara (£10.99), my favourite at current. It's such a good all-rounder, and pretty longwearing too.
Normally I forget about lips, but after discovering the Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Super Natural (£7.99), I've been paying more attention to them. This shade is such a pretty pink nude that is so universal as it goes with everything. The thought of it with a bronzed cheek bone makes me squeal slightly. #sad
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
So I'm back again with the third edition of the 'Switching Up The Stash' post. This week I got a new foundation, so kind of tailored the look around it, which resulted in a rather Rimmel-scentric Muji party!
We'll start from the top, with the base in question, the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Light Porcelain. I may have slipped up slightly on the shade (for a second time round, congratulations Megan) as this is a little too pink, but the only other option was Ivory which looked very dark... I guess I'll find out. Of course, I wanted to complete the duo with the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory for the under eyes. As always, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is the choice for blemishes. I think you may notice that the draws are a little jumbled, due to the huge Kardashian Beauty Cabana Bronze Bronzer. I haven't used this in a while, so I'm looking forward to getting a good swirl on in that jumbo pan.
I've gone for the Kardashian Beauty Kim Kardazzle Palette for my blush and highlight, as well as eyeshadow.
I love to apply a cream base for any eye look, which is yet again another Rimmel product in the form of the Bulletproof Beige Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick. I know it looks a little worse for wear, but that proves how much I love this nifty little product. To brighten the waterline I'm looking forward to using the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude, and to define I've included the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Black and the Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara. I'm a no-fuss brows person, so for a little taming there's the MUA Clear Mascara as a brow gel substitute.
To coincide the the bronzed eye and peach cheeks, I decided upon the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Luna. It's been a while since it saw the light of day, so I think it's about time I get applying.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
My mum and I have been on the ultimate tweezer mission for a while now. I'm a big-browed gal, so it is only the best of the best for the creatures on my forehead who seem to have a mind of their own sometimes. My mum used to be the same (and my nan), until they both plucked theirs to smithereens one day and they never grew back. For that reason, I'm quite cautious with my brow hair removal.
I got these Anastasia tweezers in my Lavish palette a while ago, and since then I haven't touched any rivals. They have the perfect amount of spring (I bet I'm making no sense), a great grip and just feel sleek too. I've had tweezers before that lacked in all areas, and it was just such a task to get those teeny hairs underneath without pulling out a whole clump. Yuck.
I can't think of much else to say about these really.They're quite pricey at £22 a pair, but no doubt they'll be a staple investment piece that will last years. Anastasia Precision Tweezers, you answered my desperate calls.