Monday, 22 April 2013

MAC Darkside Lipstick Review

My all-time favourite wine-coloured lipstick (Rimmel's Bordeaux) was discontinued a while ago and I have been constantly searching for a similar colour since. Although I found the formula to be lacking in some ways (lasting power! It slides all over the place!) the colour was soo perfect for me and I was absolutely gutted when I couldn't find a similar colour. Cue my wonderful boyfriend arriving at my doorstep after work with this beauty in hand. He told me he had spent ages with the assistant swatching burgundy reds left, right and centre until he found one he thought would be right for me - and he got it spot on. I had never even heard of this colour before he brought it back for me! Isn't it gorgeous!?
Dark Side is an Amplified finish, which means its creamy and soft whilst still having that amazing pigmentation and lasting power that MAC are known for. It's almost exactly the same colour as Rimmel's Bordeaux and I don't want to blow my own horn but it looks sooo amazing against my pale complexion - just like Bordeaux. I will definitely definitely definitely repurchase this shade again as it is my new "Holy Grail" red!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Foundation Comparison

 Hi guys! I thought I'd post a quick comparison post of two foundations I've been loving recently. As we all know, Illamasqua's Skin Base is my absolute holy grail foundation - it's buildable, natural, has decent staying power - and most of all it's light enough for my skin tone! 
I was complaining in the shop, however, that I wished it was easier to build up coverage quickly. I usually apply three or four thin layers of the foundation to get my perfect coverage but it takes me a while to build it up. Anyway - the shop assistant heard me and recommended the "Rich Liquid" foundation to me! Which is extremely thick and insanely heavy coverage. 

I got shade RF115 which was the lightest shade - because I am the palest person on the planet. A thing I love about Illamasqua is that they acknowledge that people have very diverse skin colours - extremely light, extremely dark, different undertones, etc - so it's easy to find a perfect match!

As you can see the two are packaged differently. I hate hate hate the packaging of the Skin Base - it's soooo difficult to squeeze! I reckon they only changed the packaging of the Rich Liquid is because it's so thick it would have literally been impossible to get any out of the tube if they hadn't!
As you can probably see, the Rich Liquid is a little darker in colour than the Skin Base, which I like as it is a sliiightly better match for my skin. There's not much in it, to be honest as the difference is only slight, but I prefer the colour of this.
The consistency of the Rich Liquid is a lot thicker than the Skin Base. It's also a lot creamier and a touch more whipped/mousse-like than the Skin Base which is very liquidy. This is probably what gives it it's high coverage. The Rich Liquid foundation is also very very pigmented. Only one layer needed to cover my whole face and all my imperfections - perfect.
On the skin, the two don't feel too different - they're both quite lightweight, comfortable foundations to wear. The finish is slightly different in the Rich Liquid foundation, as opposed to being a "dewy" finish, it's more of a "satin" finish. Swings and roundabouts, you might say, but to me the difference was very noticeable and I personally prefer a more dewy and natural finish. Lasting power was pretty much the same for both foundations.
The Rich Liquid foundation's only downfall is that is is sooo difficult to apply. I like to apply it straight over moisturizer, with my fingers, and then buff it in afterwards to achieve the right amount of coverage and flawlessness. It can look a bit cakey if not applied correctly but in all honesty I don't find it as difficult to use as a lot of bloggers would have you believe.
I like both of the foundation but I think the Rich Liquid is better value for money as it is £25 for 30ml, and so highly pigmented I find I barely use any at a time, as opposed to the Skin Base which is £27 for 30ml and I find myself using a considerable amount more.

Have you tried either of these foundations? Which was your favourite?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Beauty Tips for Dry Skin!

I haven't blogged in forever! I'm so sorry! It's literally been a month. I've been so busy recently that blogging has been the last thing on my mind. Anyway - now I'm back and I plan to keep this up regularly. I swear!

In this post I thought I'd talk all about my dry skin (and hair) and all the tips and tricks I've learned to keep them as healthy and hydrated as possible! As you all know my skin is super dry - no matter how much I moisturise, my skin aways gets tight and uncomfortable towards the end of the day, and no matter what primer I use or how hydrating a formula my foundation is - my makeup still begins to flake and separate and sit on all my dry patches.
My hair is a complete other story. It's frizzy, coarse and unruly unless I straighten it to death (not forgetting to pour half a bottle of serum into it beforehand) which obviously isn't good for it.
Due to all of this, I've learnt a couple of handy tricks in my life that have helped me handle these problems a little better.

1) Coconut oil. This wonderful stuff will be your best friend. I cannot stress this enough! It's cheap, it's moisturising, it's good for all kinds of purposes. It lasts forever. It's great as an alternative to butter, it's great for skin and hair - need I go on? I like to slather my face in this, and then rub a big chunk of it in the lengths and ends of my hair and sit like that for an hour or so in the bath whilst it all soaks in. I run a tiny amount through dried hair before straightening to make it soft and manageable. I also shave my legs with this as it's cheaper and lasts longer than both shaving cream and conditioner! Basically, it's the absolute tits! You can get it from most health food shops. If you haven't tried it already - I'd 100% recommend!

2) Vaseline. This comes in both big and small pots and is handy for sooo many wonderful purposes! My favourite is the cocoa butter kind as it smells amazing and is really moisturising in it's own right. I use it after I've covered my face in a thick layer of cream at night, as another extra layer to seal the moisture in so I can get the most out of my night cream! Which brings me on to...

3) Night cream!
I used to skip this step, thinking it was messy because it gets in my hair, thinking I didn't need it as I already use a heavy moisturiser morning and night anyway - I was wrong! Night-time is the perfect time for hydrating your skin, as your body is resting and of course your skin is squeaky clean after the day! This gives the creams lots of time to sink in and work it's magic. My favourites are The Body Shop's Vitamin E Intense Moisture cream for its extreme moisturising properties (althought it smells bloody awful - very "old lady" and floral) and REN's Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream because it is moisturising and prevents early signs of ageing - also, it smells diviiine and really herbal. 

4) See your doctor. This is going to sound like a really odd one but if you have really sensitive dry skin - speak to your doctor about it. I get rashes and spots all over my legs if I use any kind of shower gel (even the ones especially formulated for skin like mine!) and my doctor has really helped by giving me various steroidal/anti-inflammatory/antihistamine creams to use for flare-ups and giving me really thick emollient creams to combat my dry, flaky skin.

5) Protect yourself from the sun. We all know to use a heat protectant on our hair before using heat products on it - but what about the sun? I like to use SPF spray in my hair when I'm on holiday to give my hair that extra bit of protection! This keeps your hair from getting frazzled by the sun AND your styling products on holiday. I also always make sure to at least use a moisturiser or foundation with SPF on my face - I know in the blogging world the dreaded "ghost face" is a serious issue with SPF products, but I'd rather have a white face in pictures than a flaky face for life, amirite??

There's my top 5 tips for keeping dehydration at bay! Let me know if you'd like to hear more :)

Are you going to be trying any of these tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mascara Comparison post

I got a lot of positive feedback on my lip stain comparison, so I thought I'd do another one! This one is between my favourite mascara, Rimmel's Lash Accelerator, and the newest version of it which Rimmel have brought out called Lash Accelerator Endless. 
I've tried a lot of mascaras, from high-end to drugstore - including one by MAC (I'm unsure which), Clinique's High Impact (this is in fact a favourite of mine, however I cannot justify the £16.50 price tag when I know I could get a similar one from Boots for around half the price - sorry Clinique!), Benefit's "Bad Gal" (worst investment ever - this is a horrible mascara!) and "They're Real!" - although I've only tried a sample of this one and would happily buy the full-sized version except I dislike the brush.
I've also tried Maybelline's "the Falsies", 17's"Peep Show" (I liked this one!), Soap and Glory's "Thick and Fast" (disappointing) and Maybelline's "Colossal" - so I like to think that when it comes to Mascara, I know what I"m talking about. 
First up under my scrutinisation is my all-time favourite - Lash Accelerator. I cannot rave about this mascara enough!

I love the packaging of this mascara. I have the colour "Extreme black" so my tube is entirely black, but the ordinary version has a green lid. This mascara looks sleek and slim, and has gorgeous shimmery gold writing - this is easy to hold and looks super classy in your makeup bag. The rainbow effect on the gold writing detracts a little from this - but, in my opinion, the rainbow effect is super fun so I don't care!
The only gripe I have with the packaging is that the writing tends to rub off very quickly, leaving the mascara looking a bit grubbier.

The brush on this mascara is perfect for me. I have super-fine eyelashes and waaay sensitive skin around my eyes. The brush is a super slim bristle brush that tapers at both ends and has evenly spaced and sized super soft bristles. I find that this shape lets me get all my teeny tiny lashes in the corners, but also create a good amount of volume towards the central, longer lashes.

The mascara itself applies beautifully - it doesn't build up too much, just lengthens and defines lashes whilst making them look super black. I like that you don't get a super dramatic look from just one coat of this mascara as this makes it very versatile and wearable in all situations. You can, however, build it up with a couple of layers without it clumping and it always looks relatively natural and "barely-there" makeup-ish without this detracting from a dramatic lash look - it just looks like you have super long, thick lashes! Brilliant?!
You can see it compared against my natural lashes in the photo above.

Now for the latest offering from Rimmel - Lash Accelerator Endless. I hate the packaging of this product - I know a lot of people love the big chunky mascara packaging that high street brands seem to be favouring right now - but I think it looks cheap and tacky and downright gaudy. Having said that, however, I do absolutely love the zingy lime green colour of this and how it matches the rest of the Lash Accelerator collection. 

The brush... I hate plastic brushes. I find them scratchy and uncomfortable, and I find they almost always are the main culprit of a "spider lash" look. This brush is quite small so it is good for corner lashes and bottom lashes, which is a plus point.

As you can see, the mascara applies really well. The difference between this mascara and no-mascara is incredible. It makes your lashes look volumised and lengthened in one coat! It also makes your lashes curl upwards - which is amazing from my point of view as I have always had to curl my eyelashes or they just stick straight out. This mascara does tend to make your lashes clump a little near the root, so often a clean disposable mascara brush (a spoolie?) is needed to fix this.
This mascara does not layer very well. One coat is pretty much it with this mascara - however it does deliver quite an "oopmh" sort of look with only one coat!

All in all, the original Lash Accelerator wins for me. I like it because of it's buildability and soft brush, however I do wish it would curl my lashes like Lash Accelerator Endless does!

Have you tried either of these mascaras? Which was your favourite? Let me know in the comment section below! 

Thursday, 14 March 2013


This is my first empties post! They are one of my favourite posts to read on other girls' blogs, as I find the reviews to be more trustworthy and reliable as you know they've been given a good test run! I hope you like mine...

L-R: James Brown Rich Moisture Conditioner, James Brown Rich Moisture Shampoo, Doublebase Gel, Mac Studio Fix Fluid in NC15, Body Shop Shower Gel in Mango, Superdrug Coconut Oil, Cath Kidston Hand Cream in Bluebell, Gosh Velvet Touch Lipstick in Darling, NYC "Smooth Skin" Loose Powder

James Brown Rich Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner: I picked this shampoo up because it was on offer in Boots and I was running out of my usual Aussie Miracle Moist. The sleek packaging and promising name drew me in - who doesn't want a hair product entitled "rich moisture"!? Despite the awesomeness of the packaging, I found that the product itself failed to deliver. Instead of feeling moisturized, the shampoo left my hair feeling tangly and the conditioner made my hair feel heavy and unclean. I would not repurchase this product because of this. Sorry, James Brown!

Doublebase Gel: Love this. I've gone through about four of these massive bottles in the past year or so. This is the perfect heavy, hydrating formula. It's a gel so it doesn't feel sticky, and applies smoothly. Before bed, I like to apply a heavy layer of this and although it takes a while to dry, the results are soo worth it when I wake up the next morning with super smooth skin! I also like to use it thinly after showers and baths, because applied lightly this product glides on and sinks in like a dream. It also provides the perfect hydrating, non-greasy base for primer and makeup in the morning - you can't lose! My boyfriend also tends to use this when he's giving me shoulder rubs (perfect boyf?!) as it moves around well and makes his hands nice and soft. As you can see I have a little bit left - but I've already got my next bottle ready and waiting. I will definitely continue to repurchase this for a long time. 

MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation in NC15: I want to like this - I do. It was my HG foundation maybe two years ago or so but since then I've stopped fake tanning and found it's too dark for me and doesn't cover up imperfections as well without. The coverage is good but not really buildable which I don't like. I like to mix this with my Illamasqua Skin Base foundation to get the right colour and consistency for my skin. This is an okay foundation, I know a lot of girls swear by it but I probably wouldn't repurchase unless I started tanning again. It's a decent price for a high-end foundation, but I reckon I could probably find one to suit me more (hello Revlon!) for a much lower price at the drugstore.

The Body Shop Shower Gel in Mango: I'm going to be honest - my boyfriend used most of this. He loved it and used it every morning in his shower. I feel I can write an apt review on it though because I adored how it smelled on him! I used to go up and sniff him after he'd gotten out of the shower because it smells so gorgeous - much like most of The Body Shop's products! The few times I did use this, it left me smelling good and didn't irritate my skin. I have a lot of other Body Shop shower gels kicking about, because I always get them in sets for birthdays and other special occasions but I would probably consider repurchasing this just for Tom (and my nose)'s benefit!

Superdrug Coconut Oil: This is okay. I don't rate it as a moisturizer - it's much much too greasy. Makes me feel like I've rolled around in butter, ick ick. It does make your hair feel good when used as a hair oil; I like to apply it to my hair ten or fifteen minutes before blowdrying and it leaves a soft silky sheen (and glorious smell!) in the hair but does leave a bit of residue. I found the best way to use this is to scoop a ton out and use it as a hair mask before shampooing - I swear, I've used nothing like it! It's so damn gooooood! I've got another tub of this to use up, but once that's done I'll definitely be rushing out to buy more coconut oil as I think it's a must-have item.

Cath Kidston Hand Cream in Bluebell: This is okay. I received this as a gift from a friend for my 13th or 14th birthday. It's taken me this long to use up - it smells divinely floral but is a bit thick and buttery for my hands. It also does that awful thing where it rolls off in little balls if you use too much. I probably wouldn't repurchase this again, but I will keep the packaging to store things in as it is soooo adorable!

Gosh Velvet Touch Lipstick in Darling: The perfect nude! I plan on buying MAC's Myth to try out but I will still be repurchasing this as it is an old faithful of mine. Soft, moisturizing and creamy - and also the perfect colour for my super-pale skin! Enough said.

NYC "Smooth Skin" Loose Powder: I used to love this, I really really did. Recently I've noticed my skin getting drier and bumpier, and I have some of those tiny "milia" things around where my dark unereye circles are. I find that because of all this, whenever I use this powder my foundation tends to flake and separate all over my face, especially under my eyes where the tiny bumps are. I've switched up everything in my makeup routing trying to find what it is and I've narrowed it down to this. Although it's the perfect colour, it doesn't leave me with the flawless finish it used to. I will be sad to say goodbye to this super cheap, super good powder, but I am excited to hunt for a new one! My next try will either be Rimmel's Stay Matte, or ELF's HD powder. A very kind lady from the "Random Acts of Makeup" section on Reddit said she'd send me over a little sample of MUFE's HD powder, which I am super excited to try also! Let's hope I can find a suitable one ey?

What have you used up this month? Have you tried any of these products? How did you get on?

If I had £600...

I've seen on a couple of girls' blogs that Money Supermarket are running a bloggers' challenge which entails designing 3 outfits under £200. Now, this sounded absolutely perfect for me because even I'm all about high-end beauty, both fashion and bargains are two of my specialties!  I put together these three outfits which I feel are both affordable and totally me!

Look 1: Holiday
Leopardprint bralet: House of Dereon £53
Fluoro skater skirt: Topshop £34
Hi-tops: Nike Blazers £70
Tie-dye pink socks: Topshop £3.50
Chain: Forever New £14
Lipgloss: MAC Archie's Girls Betty Lipglass in  Kiss & Don't Tell £15
Total: £189.50
I went to Ibiza last summer with a friend, and these sorts of outfits were what everyone was wearing in San Antonio! The bralet and skater skirt will make a chic, but cool and comfortable outfit, together, whilst the clashing prints and neon colours are bang on trend. The ankle socks and trainers will make a fashionable but comfortable option for walking around in during the daytime, whilst the chain looks stunning against the leopard print and also adds a bit of luxe to an otherwise casual outfit. The skirt could even be switched up for a pair of denim shorts for ultra-casual cool! This outfit would take you from sightseeing to the restaurant to the bar on your girls holiday!

Look 2: Casual
Smoke print dress: £35
Quilt-detail leather jacket: Topshop £58
Cutout leather boots: 'Adonis' boots, Topshop £75
Glitter ankle socks: Asos £3.50
Lipstick: 'Beguiled' by Topshop £8.00
Total:  £179.50
This is something I would 100% wear. I like to look girly but edgy, and I also like to stomp around in heavy boots and girly dresses - perfect! I tend to go for shift or tunic style dresses most of the time, but I absolutely love the skater dress trend that's been around for a while now. I spotted this dress online and new I had to have it. I love the patter, and the lace-up detailing in the back! I love the Jeffrey Campbell 'Coltrane' boots - but when I saw these ones at Topshop I loved them even more! I adore them! I chose the lipstick because although it may not seem casual to a lot of you, I wear a neutral eye with super dark lipstick pretty much every day of my life. I have a couple very similar to this colour and I thought it finished the outfit off perfectly. The glitter socks add a bit of girly cutesiness to the outfit, but the leather jacket and dark lipstick toughens it back up again. This is the perfect 'shopping' or 'cafe date' outfit in my book - just watch that lipstick on your coffee cup! 

Look 3: Party
Disco pants: American Apparel £70
Cream mesh crop top: Topshop £26
Boots: 'Ashaya' Topshop £90
Hoop earrings: Topshop £8.50
Cream stone ornate ring: Primark £3
Total: £197.40
This is my favourite look out of the whole three! I love disco pants, I've had my Americal Apparel pairs forever and they're still going strong and looking fine! They look soo good dressed up or down and make every outfit look infinitely more glamorous. Crop tops are huge at the moment, as is lace, so this cream lacy crop top is bang on trend. The colour is perfect for adding class and a ladylike edge to this party outfit, and the ornate, vintage-inspired jewellery pretties it up even more. To balance out the cuteness, I included these seriously fierce platform heeled peep-toe boots from Topshop. How perfect are they? I think I'm in love... 

What do you think of these outfits? Do you like them? Would you wear them? Let me know in the comments below!

John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioner Review

So I recently showed that I had bought this product in my first haul post. I've tried it a couple of times since then and figured it's now time to write a review as I feel I've used the product enough to get a good idea of what it does and how well it does it.

This is a deep conditioning mask containing "lightweight Inca Inchi oil" that claims to "revive overstyled hair". It also claims to "restore and strengthen". I for one sure as hell have overstyled hair that needs restoring and strengthening! I bleached it seven times in three days about four years ago and I am still paying for it. My hair is dry, thick, curly and brittle, and I use straighteners and blow-dryers on it regularly. I also colour it darker every 4-6 weeks, so as you can tell I need a little extra moisture in my hair.
I currently use Aussie's Miracle Moist shampoo and conditioner or the Macadamia shampoo and hair mask. I've tried the Full Repair shampoo and conditioner and did not get on with them, but I've heard glowing reviews about this product and could not wait to try it.

I love the packaging of this product. I know a lot of bloggers can be divas scooping product out of tubs - but personally I think this is way melodramatic. Scooping product out of a tub to put in your hair is in no way gross or unhygienic, unlike with a lip balm. You're in the shower for goodness sake!
That being said, I find that the packaging looks sleek and professional and it's easy to control how much product you get with this - if you get too much, you can put it back instead of washing it off and wasting it like you do with hair masks in sachets or bottles. Top marks on your packaging from me, John Frieda! I will say, however, that there is not much product in here which means I only got about four uses out of it. Sad face.
The product itself is quite thin, much like an ordinary conditioner, which means it's quite easy for it to slip out of your hair. I find the best method of application to counter this is to wring out your hair (gently to avoid strain or damage to your hair!) and then apply this from the ends to the mid-lengths to the roots, then comb back down with my fingers or a wide tooth comb and leaving it there whilst I shave my legs and exfoliate and do all the usual girly shower activities. I always put masks and conditioners on my roots because they are also very dry however I understand that some girls prefer not to do this.

 The packaging of this conditioner says to "smooth through the hair and leave for 2-5 minutes", however my favourite way was to apply liberally to dry hair, blow dry on hot for 10-20 minutes, and then wrap in a towel and sleep on it before rinsing it out in the morning. Although my hair felt nourished when I applied it according to the directions, doing it this way made all the difference! My hair felt like angel's breath! So soft and smooth, it was like wearing a silk scarf on my head.
All in all, I loved this conditioner for an overnight deep treatment and will probably be repurchasing it as I feel it does compete with other higher-end brands and makes my poor hair feel significantly better!

Have you tried this product? What were the results? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!