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!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

MAC Paint Pot - Bare Study Review

The other day, Tom and I were waiting in York for our ride home. It was absolutely throwing it down with rain, so we went to hide in Fenwicks. Of course, being a beauty junkie, I couldn't help but run around all the makeup counters feverishly swatching all the products. I'd heard a fair bit about the MAC Paint Pots in 'Painterly' and 'Bare Study' and also the Fix+, so I was having a good old nosey at those. Tom, being the wonderful boyfriend he is, decided to treat me to an item of makeup and I chose the 'Bare Study' Paint pot.

Bare Study is described on the MAC website as a "soft beige with gold pearl". I think this is fairly accurate, however I think it is more of a warm rose-gold pearl effect with tiny silver glitter particles. This colour looks stunning as a brow and inner corner highlight - and best of all it is totally crease-free and lasts ALL day. 
In comparison with UDPP, I think I prefer Bare Study as it doesn't do that horrible "clumping" thing that UDPP does when you accidentally apply a little too much. 

This colour looks beautiful on pale skin as it matches the colour subtly, but still adds a beautiful shimmer and a hint of colour to the skin. I found that this looked stunning worn alone with a bit of UD's 'Tease' in the crease for depth, but it also looks amazing layered under matte beige shades such as MAC's Orb, to add a little bit of subtle shimmer.
I absolutely love this paint pot - it is very similar to 'Painterly' but with more shimmer and a bit more yellow-toned. It is an absolutely gorgeous colour worn alone or with other eyeshadows and I can't wait to expand my Paint Pot collection after getting this one!

Do you like the MAC Paint Pots? Which is your favourite? 

Makeup Tag!

So this is a tag I've seen floating around the blogosphere a lot recently, and I really like this one. I've really enjoyed reading it on other bloggers blogs, so I hope you guys do too! I'm sorry about the text-heavy post! 

1) How long have you been wearing makeup?
I started wearing makeup when I was about 12 or 13. Like literally EVERY other girl, I had an "emo" phase so I started wearing foundation and eyeliner. I started getting really into makeup around age 15, and that's when I started wearing it "properly".

2) What was your favourite makeup product in the beginning?
I used to LOVE eyeliner and mascara - black pencil eyeliner (rimmel) and liquid liner! Like all girls, my favourite foundation was "dream matte mousse" - which did absolutely nothing for my dry skin. It's an absolute makeup abomination.

3) What is your favourite makeup product now?
Lipsticks and stains. Definitely lip products! Dark stains or nude lipsticks are my absolute favourite. I can't wait to try the new Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape!

4) What were some of your favourite makeup brands in the beginning?
I used to love Rimmel - for eyeliners, mascaras, etc. I loved Maybelline and Bourjois for their foundations - I still love Bourjois foundations. I also used to (and still do!) love Laura Paige nail polishes!

5) What are some of your favourite makeup brands now?
Although I don't own much from them, I love NARS. I constantly find myself lusting over the blushes and eyeshadows. The only problem I have with NARS is that their foundations are far too sheer for y liking. Illamasqua is another favourite - they're never afraid to take a risk and their foundations and precision liners are fantastic.
A high street favourite of mine is Revlon - I absolutely love their lip products. Also I love Sleek's powder products and MUA's eyeshadows.

6) How would you describe your makeup style?
Heavy and grungy, inspired by the 50s and 60s. I always wear a lot of foundation and concealer to try and hide all my freckles and create a clear complexion, I almost always do either a toned down eye with a dark lip (although now it's getting sunnier I've often been trying out a brighter lip!) or dark smudgy/smoky eyes with a nude lip.

7) What is your everyday makeup like?
At the moment I tend to do a clear base, with a hint of contouring (bronzer and highlighter). I tightline my eyes and curl my lashes before adding mascara to emphasise my eyes without using too much black product as I like to keep my eyeshadow simple - champagne shimmer or creamy and matte with a taupe cut-crease. On my lips I'll wear a dark colour - either Rimmel Kate Moss 04 (dark purple) or an old discontinued shade called Bordeaux by Rimmel which is discontinued. A similar colour is "starry-eyed" however.

8) What is your going out makeup like?My going out makeup is much the same except I almost always add a pair of fluffy eyelashes such as Ardell's Demi Wispies. I often do a cat-eye with this look, and wear a darker shimmer shade in my crease as opposed to a matt shade. Often I'll leave my face blank (no blush, and only a touch of contouring) and wear a deep brown smokey eye with a berry lip. 

9) What makeup look are you known for?
Probably caking on the foundation!! On a serious note, though, probably either winged eyeliner or berry lips - these have pretty much been my staples since I was 15.

10) What's the worst beauty crime you have committed?
Oh, I've probably committed them all in my time, unfortunately. What stands out most is my eyebrows. I've often been known to accidentally fill them in too dark for my hair and ended up looking a bit grey, or pluck them much too thin. Once I accidentally shaved them off!! I know, I know, what was I thinking. I also used to draw hearts on my face, like enormous beauty marks - oh God! I'm probably guilty of the concealer-lips look too, in the past. I have very pigmented lips so often use concealer as a base for my nude lipstick and sometimes I come out looking a little too "nude" in the lip department - like I have no lips at all! Also - lipstick on the teeth. Shudder.
11) What's the worst beauty crime you are proud you have not committed?
Too much bronzer or blush. I'm experimented with fake tan in the past - but I have NEVER had that horrific muddy orange face that I've seen some girls have. Nor have I ever packed on the blush so much that I've appeared feverish. 

12) What is one beauty trend you were part of but are now not a fan of?
Fake tan! I used to love it - especially in the summer! Now I'm all for embracing my natural (white) skin. Albeit I have been known to still put the occasional thin, light layer on just to add some colour before a holiday or a summer night out, but most of the time I just walk around accepting the fact that my pale body is blinding people!

13) What is one trend you are proud to say you were never a part of?
The blue eyeliner trend that rolls around every summer - I will never understand and never embrace it. I will admit, I have dabbled but it just makes me feel like an 80s throwback. It's really not a good look for me (or anyone) it's my opinion!
14) What is one trend you will never be part of?
Scouse brows. Thick brows in general! No. Just... no. Cara Delevigne, I'm looking at you. Make friends with your tweezers, girl!!

15) If you were brave enough to wear any look, what would it be?
I'm not sure. I'd like to think I'm very adventurous when it comes to makeup, and I'd try anything once. Maybe being a bit more bold with my eye colours. I do often wear colour on my eyes but only really reds, coppers, navy blues, olive greens etc. Slightly more "neutral". I'd like to be able to rock a brighter eye!

16) An old holy grail product of yours?
Rimmel's Bordeaux lipstick. It's discontinued (sob) and it's my absolute favourite red-wine/berry lip colour! It's gorgeous!!

17) A new holy grail product of yours?
Illamasqua foundations. I'm currently using the Skin Base foundation, and have been for a while, but I think I'd like to try the Rich Liquid foundation next. They are pretty much the only brand who make foundations pale enough for my skin - although if you have any other recommendations - hit me up! I'm always open to try new things!

Do you agree with me on any of these? Hope you guys have enjoyed reading this! Now it's your turn - I tag all of you to do this!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Apocalips Review!

From the top - Nova, Apocaliptic, and Stellar.

Pretty much everyone has heard of these new "lip lacquers" by Rimmel at the moment - if you haven't... where have you been?? 
I think I'm a bit late to the party on this one but I was so excited about trying them so I jumped at the chance when I was lucky enough to be given some to test out. I picked the colours Nova, Apocaliptic 
and Stellar as I hadn't seen many reviews on these colours yet.

L-R: Stellar, Apocaliptic, Nova

 Nova is a light blue-toned pink which looks absolutely beautiful on the lips - it's bright enough to be fun, but still classy and simple enough to be suitable for a work environment.
Apocaliptic is a bright, fuschia pink, not unlike Topshop's 'All About Me' which I reviewed here. This colour looks absolutely stunning on pale skin, in my opinion. It stands out so well and is such a beautiful colour.
Stellar (my absolute fave!) is a pinky-reddy-coral kind of colour. That's definitely not a technical term, but if you imagine Ruby Woo and Vegas Volt getting together and making a slightly more pink-toned baby - you've got the right idea. This one is 100% my favourite colour, however I think this will look best on tanned, olive skin.

How they look on the lips. This one is Stellar.
Wearing 'Apolcaliptic'

The formulation of these really surprised me. They're thick and incredibly pigmented, whilst still being glossy. I don't know what the wear time is like as I haven't tested it out yet, however I will say that they DO transfer all over your boyfriend's face if you kiss him whilst they're still damp. They are quite smudgy, however they have not budged off of my hand so I am assuming the lasting power is extraordinary.

I absolutely LOVE the name of the product - I think it's very witty and 'punny'. Everyone loves a play on words it seems, as many people have commented on this in their own posts.

Wearing 'Nova'

These lip lacquers are incredibly creamy and comfortable on the lips, they do not feel at all drying on me. I do find them difficult to apply, however I absolutely love the applicator. The doe-foot makes precision a lot easier than I think a brush would, and I love the little "reservoir" thing where the product can collect before you put it on your lips.

Top to bottom: Apocaliptic, Nova, Stellar

All in all, so far I think these area fabulous new addition to the world of drugstore lip products. Rimmel are probably my favourite brand for lipsticks in Boots, and these products are absolutely no exception. I can't wait to buy 'Big Bang' or one of the more nudey shades!

Do you own any 'Apocalips' yet? Did you love them or hate them?

Monday, 4 March 2013

Beauty/Hair/Skincare Haul?

This is the first time I'll have ever done a haul post. I don't really buy many things all at once, I tend to space them out, but I've been feeling pretty crappy recently with a chest infection, so my mom picked me up a couple of bits to cheer me up.

Clockwise from left:
1. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum 50ml £5.99: My hair is very thick, dry, and porous whilst also being very curly, so I need a smoothing serum and heat protectant to keep it healthy. Recently I've been loving VO5's "Smooth me Softly" serum, as it smells great and is quite lightweight whilst still giving me soft, sleek, shiny hair. I've used the original version of this product before, and it is hailed as a cult "affordable" product in the beauty world, I've heard. It's a very thick serum aimed at hair just like mine - thick and frizzy - so I'm hoping this heat protecting version will measure up. Can't wait to try it!
2. Veet EasyGrip Ready To Use Wax Strips (Face) £6.69: I've given up on waiting for an appointment at my local salon for an eyebrow wax, and was also too nervous to see a different lady as so many people have messed up my eyebrows - so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I've used the bikini versions of these before and they were excellent, so hopefully these will be just as good.
3. John Frieda Full Repair Deep Conditioning Hair Mask 150ml £6.29: I have heard rave reviews about this product, and am always on the lookout for the next miracle conditioner to help me control my unruly, damaged hair. I will admit, I have used the shampoo and conditioner and thought they were awful - they felt heavy in my hair and made it look dull and greasy, but I thought I'd give this product a chance. Fingers crossed!
3. Vaseline Aloe-Fresh 24hour Protection Deodorant 250ml £2.80: Pretty boring thing to include in a haul post, but I thought I would anyway. This is actually repurchase of this product, and I do think it's a very good, moisturizing deodorant which smells very fresh and keeps you protected all day, which is excellent for only £2.80. I will say about this, it does tend to do that white-powder thing some deodorants do if you don't spray it far enough away!
4. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Midnight in NY £6.99: I've read many brilliant reviews of this nail polish brand so asked my mom to pick one up whilst she was out. She picked up the shade "Midnight in NY" which is a lovely black colour infused with multicoloured glitter. These nail polishes claim to be a base, colour, and top coat in one so I absolutely cannot wait to try it out!
5. MasterPlast Heel Balm £1: This is a pretty boring and gross thing to include, but my mom picked this up for my boyfriend (who has very cracked heels - sorry Tom!) and I to try out. She says it's exactly the same as Flexitol but a bargain at only £1. We've already tested this out, and I have to admit it did soften and smooth our feet quite a bit!
6. The Body Shop Camomile Eye Make-Up Remover: This is actually a sample product my mom gave me, in the size 60ml. The full 250ml size retails for £8.00. I love love love this so I was glad she gave me this miniature one! I for one hate to scrub at my eyes with a makeup wipe of an evening, so I gently dab this over my eyes until it removes my makeup. It's extremely gentle and makes your skin feel so fresh afterward. It can be used on the face also. 
7. Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara in Extreme Black £8.99: My HG mascara! I'd run out so I asked for another one from my mom's work. Look out for a review on this soon!

What beauty treats have you picked up recently? Have you tried and loved any of these? Send me your thoughts! 

Friday, 1 March 2013

quick post - clearasil pads

Just wanted to do a quick post to let you all know about this amazing skincare product!! They are rough pads soaked with a formula that is designed to keep spots at bay. Although they do dry my very very dry skin out quite a bit, they are FANTASTIC at keeping spots at bay and making skin smooth and clear looking.
They retail for £3.79 in Boots, I think, and are really good for every-day exfoliation. My skin always feels very clean after using these.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

weekly wishlist: one

A wishlist is a feature I often see on a lot of beauty blogs and love. It's nice to see what other bloggers have tried and are lusting after, or are interested in etc. These and 'empties' posts are in fact two of my favourite types of post. 

My first wishlist features products I've heard amazing things about and products I need to repurchase. I plan  on making this a weekly feature on my blog!

Clockwise from left:
1. NYX Powder Blush in Taupe £5.50: I've heard this is an amazing, natural contour for ladies with pale skin, so (obviously!) am DESPERATE to try this for a natural razor sharp look. I'm sick of having muddy orange-brown patches on my cheeks where I've tried to contour with a bronzer. They're just far too warm for my skin tone and I think something like this will look a little more natural.

2. Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector £18: I have pretty bad dark rings around my eyes - just underneath my eyes and on the sides of the bridge of my nose (where glasses sit!) my skin is a horrible blue-grey-purple colour and I've heard about this being brilliant for correcting the colour and brightening the area, making you look more awake. At the moment I either use The Body Shop's 'Lightening Touch', which I HATE the smell of, or MAC's Studio Finish concealer, which is really drying and flaky, so I think this would be a good alternative to try.

3. Revlon 'Just Bitten' Kissable Balm Stain £7.99: I am constantly on a quest to find the perfect lip stain, and these are ones I've heard good things about. They are supposedly very moisturizing, which is a definite must for me in this cold weather, whilst still maintaining deep colour. I want to try nearly all the shades - but I think I'll start out with Crush and Cherish!

4. MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush £26: I desperately want an angled contour brush! A makeup artist used this one on me at the MAC store when I was trying out one of their blush colours at the counter one time, and since then I've been in love with the way it made the product look on my cheek. The blush looked far more 'controlled' than I've ever seen - it sat perfectly in the hollows of my cheeks, without over-blending the product. The large price tag puts me off a little though as I'm not sure I could justify it on a product such as this.

5. K√©rastase Oleo-Relax Nutritive Serum: £17*: I used to use this serum back when I was 14 or so and had unruly, frizzy, over-dyed, thick, and curly hair that absolutely WOULD NOT behave no matter what I did to it - flat iron, deep condition, nothing. I used to massage 2-3 pumps of this serum into damp hair and then apply one more after blow-drying but before flat-ironing, and it made my sleek and soft like no other. I would kill to have this again to help make my crazy hair more easy to manage, whilst still keeping it straight and smooth and nourished.

Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts?

*I'm unsure of the actual price of this serum, as the internet says different prices for different sites. I know at my salon it costs £17.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

topshop makeup - first impressions

I received some Topshop vouchers for Christmas, and have just used up the last of them on these two products. I'm a bit late to the parade here, but I've wanted to try a Topshop cream blush for a long time (even more so after trying Illamasqua's crush!), and also wanted to buy another Topshop lipstick after I lost my beloved Hazard. 
I think that these products are very pretty and a very reasonable price at £6 for a cream blush and £8 for a lipstick. 
I purchased the Topshop blusher in the colour 'Flush' (what is it with me and buying blush that rhymes with blush? Crush, flush.. What is that about??). I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BLUSHER. It is the perfect inbetweeny-peachy-rosy shade, as you can see in the swatch below. It looks so so natural and applies so easily. It makes me look so healthy and 'alive'. The only downside is that this needs to be blended really really lightly, as it does have a tendency to move foundation around. I find this applied best with fingers.

Left: Flush blended, Right: two circular swipes.

I also purchased a lipstick in the shade 'All About Me' which is a very bright, neon fuschia shade. I have been CRAVING the colour pink recently and this satisfied my cravings wonderfully. It is SO PINK. I think it would look gorgeous with a simple black cat-eye and UD's 'Kinky'. 

'All About Me' applied straight from the bullet on top of E45 lip balm.

I find I have to wear this lipstick on top of a balm as the formula is very very drying due to it's matt texture. It lasts all day, however, even with a lip balm and doesn't feather or bleed which is always a plus.
The Topshop packaging is beautiful but I can see it becoming really grubby and gross in my makeup bag!

Have you tried the Topshop Makeup range yet? Do you love it or hate it?

Monday, 25 February 2013

comparison post: smashbox limitless lip stain v max factor lipfinity lip stain

Hello again!!! Sorry I haven't been around in a while. Been very busy with coursework deadlines, work and general laziness. Takes up so much time!! 

Anyway, here I am with a lip-stain comparison post. I love love love berry coloured lips - berry lips has been my "thing" for a good few years. Some favourite lipsticks are Rimmel Bordeaux (sadly discontinued, cry cry) and Starry-Eyed. Also, Revlon Black Cherry. Love it! Anyway, I find that lipsticks don't quite cut it when I'm going out - they constantly smudge all over my face and wipe off, leaving a ridiculously unattractive ring around my mouth, I leave prints on glasses and around bottles even when I wet the surface first, and worst of all, I leave red marks all over my boyfriend. He hates it and won't give me kisses when I'm wearing lipstick!!! Due to this, I decided to try some stains! Yay!

I wanted to try one high-end one, and one from the drugstore (Boots). I purchased Max Factor 'Lipfinity' in 06, and Smashbox 'Limitless' in 'Berry'.

Smashbox 'Limitless' on the left, with the balm and Max Factor 'Lipfinity' on the right.

 I was originally going to try the Revlon 'Just Bitten' stains, but I couldn't find a berry coloured one. So I went for the Max Factor 'Lipfinity' in 06, which retails for £7.99. I used that for a couple of days - and HATED it after a while. It looks amazing at first, but after the first couple of uses the colour is nowhere near as pigmented, and is in fact more of a bright fuschia-pink than a deep berry-pink. However, it builds up to quite a nice colour with a couple of applications and I like this about it. As you can see from the swatch photo, this does have quite a gritty texture.
The staying power for this one is okay, it does need reapplication throughout the night and after a drink but holds up fine when eating. It fades evenly all over the lips. It does have a tendency to bleed and feather quite quickly after application, however, as can be seen in the photos.
The packaging is HORRENDOUS. It looks horrific in the picture! I (stupidly) just threw it in my makeup bag after I bought it, and that is what has happened after a couple days of being knocked around in there. Shudder.
It does in fact transfer, it is not completely immovable. I tried the 'kiss test' - where I applied the product, waited for it to dry, and then gave my boyfriend an enormous wet kiss, and it did transfer quite noticeably.

Excuse my lack of makeup! Also, look at how badly this product has bled??
Not a happy bunny

Next up I tried Smashbox's 'Limitless' lipstain with 'Colourseal' balm in the colour 'Berry' - which retails for £18. This applied very neatly which I liked, and was a far deeper, truer red-pink berry colour than the Max Factor one. I liked how it applied, and especially liked how it looked with the balm as it was very drying. It was supposed to have some kind of anti-feather technology thing going on, but of course it did feather a little bit, albeit much less than the Max Factor stain. 
This does tend to migrate to the edges of the lips, which does give that dreaded 'ring' look which I was trying to avoid. Aaaaaah!! 
The pigmentation and lasting power of this product however, is like NO other. I LITERALLY could not get it off!!! No matter how hard I tried I could not get it out of the lines in my lips. It will not move when on your lips either - it doesn't transfer on to food, drinks, or my boyfriend - result!

Foundation smudge on my nose, oh no!

Sleepy cat... Also my teddy bear sneaking in the corner there.
I would probably score both of these lipstains at 7/10. Both of them have their good and bad points. I think I possibly prefer the Smashbox one, but I don't think it's worth paying an extra £10 for. I will however continue to use it on nights out. I would not repurchase either of these and will probably have to continue my quest to find the perfect berry lipstain. Next up on my list is Revlon's Just Bitten Balmstain in 'Crush' I think.

What is your favourite lipstain? Have you tried either of these?

Sunday, 27 January 2013

lush sunnyside bath bar review + samples review

Yesterday I went shopping in York and Leeds, and popped into Lush to purchase myself one of their bubble bars. Lush's bubble bars are my absolute favourite (maybe a close tie with those bottles of matey!) for bubble baths, nothing foams up like them. I've tried 'the Comforter' along with some others before, and I found that it was lovely and relaxing so this time I decided to purchase "Sunnyside".

The lady serving me was lovely and gave me loads of wonderful advice on my skin type and what products I should used on them. She gave me two samples, one of lush's infamous "Dream Cream" and one of their new 'Willow' soap, so I'm here to review all three.

This is a gold bubble bar covered with gold glitter. You crumble the bar under the hot tap and it creates tonnes of frothy bubbles in your bath, and turns the water a pale yellow-gold full of tiny sparkles. I can imagine that using the whole bar would make your bath look like liquid gold (so glamorous!!!! I can't wait to try), however I only used about a quarter to a third of mine as Iind that a little goes a very long way with this product. The shop assistant compared the smell to Tropicana juice, and I can agree with her there.
It contains notes of tangerine, lemon and sweet wild orange oils, which makes it smell so summery and bright.
The bar is supposed to be "for grey days" and make you feel uplifted and relaxed. This is definitely the case with this bubble bar, as my bath put me in an excellent, chilled mood afterward.
This made my skin feel SO soft and smooth, and (I don't know if this is just me that suffers this) did not feel like most bath products, which make my skin uncomfortable, oily and itchy whilst in the bath, and then dry it out completely when out of the bath. A lot of products give me a horrific rash also. Cry cry. I have never experienced ANY of this with any Lush product, and Sunnyside was no exception.

Dream Cream
The shop assistant gave me a sample pot of this emollient cream to try after we spent some time bemoaning our horrible dry skin.
'Dream Cream' is supposed to be a soothing, cooling, moisturising cream for sensitive skin. I looked forward to trying this because I have very dry skin - which is probably a genetic thing, as my dad suffers from many similar skin complaints also. Problem areas for me are my hands (around my knuckles, palms, and in between my fingers), shins, and the tops of my thighs.
I used this cream after my bath last night, and rubbed it into my hands this morning, and it made my dry, cracked shins look shiny and smooth, without any flakiness. My hands felt soothed and moisturised and this cream basically healed all the cracked scabby areas where my skin had bled due to being overly dry. This is an amazing result as I normally don't see this kind of effect with ordinary moisturisers!!!
The cream is made with oatmilk and rosewater, but this does not affect the fragrance. Dream Cream smells like lavender, which is supposed to have a soothing effect. Personally, I strongly dislike the smell of lavender, but I know a lot of people love it and find it a very relaxing scent so this here is a matter of opinion. I personally loved Dream Cream and will be rushing out to purchase it as soon as possible.

Willow Soap
I was also given a sample of Lush's new Valentine's Day release, "Willow soap". I absolutely love that they have chosen to do this soap for Valentine's Day, as the story behind the Blue Willow pattern is very sweet and romantic, and therefore very apt for the occasion. 
This soap is scented like rose and lemon, which is also a very romantic scent suited to Valentine's Day. /The soap is supposed to be "particularly good for sore or dry skin" and the rose ingredient is supposed to soothe irritation. I placed this soap in my bathroom and used every time I went to wash my hands (which was a lot, apparently.. I have been told I wash my hands far too much but WHO wants dirty, germy hands??). 
As previously mentioned, after only around 16 hours of using this product in conjunction with the Dream Cream, the skin on my hands is well on it's way to being back to smooth and soft, as opposed to flaky, dry, and bleeding. This is brilliant and I would definitely consider trying more of Lush's soaps in future.

What's your favourite lush product? Have you tried any of the products featured? What did you think?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

week in photos

Pretty snow on my hedge; more pretty snow on my hedge; even more pretty snow on my hedge; me and the boyf; me and my good friend hazza b; snow on my dog; look how long my hair's got; first day on reddit; fabulous dog

Friday, 18 January 2013

another foundation review!

I actually took these pictures the other day when I was getting ready and reviewing the blush in the previous post here. I've only just got round to making a post and a proper review...

This offering from Illamasqua is DEFINITELY, without a shadow of a shadow of a doubt my 'Holy Grail' foundation. It is 100% the best I've used so far. 
This is my second repurchase of this, meaning my third bottle! I wear shade 02 which is just one step up from white, and the more pink toned out of the pale shades. I did originally try out shade 03 but it leant far too yellow on me. This foundation is AMAZING - honestly, I couldn't sing it's praises any more (I can always try, however). It is supposedly Illamasqua's take on a BB cream; it has a natural flawless finish, whilst still maintaining heavy coverage. You literally only need the tiniest bit of this and it covers your whole face.

Two layers stippled onto my face with a MAC187 and then blended in with my fingers
As you can see the foundation has pretty high coverage, and matches my skin perfectly. the only problem I have with this foundation is that it is quite matte when dried, although it has to be set with powder around my nose and eyes because it does tend to slide. It can also be quite drying on the skin. This isn't a problem for me though I just slap on the moisturizer and highlighter!!

Have you ever used this foundation before? How did you find it? Did you love it as much as I do?