Saturday, 20 April 2013

Summer Legs With Soap & Glory

At last! Spring has sprung in England! I am very happy to say the least, hopefully it will mean the end of badly lit indoor photos, and the start of crisp, clear ones.

Today it's been crazy sunny, and everyone is suddenly worried about having to get their 'summer bodies' out. If there's one thing I know, it's that I'm not sunbathing ready!

To get my legs silky smooth and ready for lounging around in shorts, Soap and Glory are the only products I call upon. The first thing is to slough away the dead skin. It's amazing how much better your skin looks after a good exfoliation. Flake Away is my scrub of choice. It contains sea salt, grapeseed and almond oils which give a thorough but gentle scrub.  The almond oil can leave slight residue on your skin, but it's nothing too greasy. If you can't stand that feeling, I suggest using before you go to bed so you don't have to be pulling on skinny jeans as soon as you get out the shower :)

Once my legs are feeling refreshingly scrubbed, it's time for The Righteous Butter, containing shea butter (a classic body lotion ingredient) and aloe vera. I'm pretty picky with anything cream related, I don't like the greasy feeling that hangs around with some products. This sinks right in, and leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft.

One of the best things about these products is that they both have the classic Soap and Glory smell which I adore. Both the scrub and the body butter retail at £10.50/$20 and are available at Boots for the UK people, and Sephora for anywhere else. For a drugstore product they're far from cheap, but these massive 300ml tubs will last for months, and come on, who can resist the quirky packaging and sayings?!

Sunday, 31 March 2013

March Favourites

I apologise for the crappy lighting, damn you weather
Top to bottom, Rimmel Scandal Eyes Bronze, MUA Blush shade 1, Maybelline On and On Bronze colour tattoo

What's this?! A post?! And not just any post, a post on time! I'm just as surprised as you. I've been ill the last week or so, and just generally haven't had any products worth blogging about, so I apologise for the lack of posts! I've been stuck in a rut this month with beauty products so it wasn't hard to pick these out.

Barry M Gelly High Shine Nail Paints, Lychee and Papaya: I jumped on the bandwagon buying these, at the start of the month every blogger and their dog was talking about them. Over all I haven't actually been that impressed with the formula.. They are pretty gloopy which I found makes them quite difficult to apply and although they may be high shine, you still need a top coat otherwise they chip fast. But the beautiful colours have made me keep coming back for more. This whole month I've been alternating between the two colours. It's nice to have a mix up of nude and something a bit brighter.

MUA Blusher, Shade 1: This fresh, light pink colour is all that's been on my cheeks this month, it brightens my face without looking too obvious, simples!

2True Clear Mascara: 2True isn't a brand I tend to use, but it was the only clear mascara I could find in Superdrug, and it makes a pretty good brow set! (hence the gross, murky colour). It has some pretty good holding power, and is cheap at £1.99.

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer: Your average sort of YSL Touche Eclat dupe, this concealer gives light to your face and generally makes you look a lot more 'glowy' (it seems like we're forever seeking the 'glow'). When I'm having a no foundation day (they do happen, sometimes!) this is brilliant at just perfecting my face. I place it under my eyes, down the sides of my nose, mouth and cheek bones and somehow it just makes my face look better

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Water Proof Eyeliner, Bronze: I've written a more in depth review here, where you can see I loved the Scandal Eyes when I first got them, and several months later I thought I'd try some new colours. This bronze is just gorgeous. It makes getting ready quick and easy, I just messily run it all the way around my eyes and smudge out. You get a gorgeous look in seconds.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow, On and On Bronze: I still remember the massive hype around these shadows when they first came out. I think most of the shades have been forgotten about, but like most people I'm still oh so in love with On and On Bronze. It's just the perfect everyday colour, so quick to apply and lasts all day. I've nearly used the whole pot, and will definitely be repurchasing straight away.

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner: Most days this month I've been lining my waterline, it makes my eyes stand out so much more. Pencils don't really do it for me, I find after an hour there's no black my waterline but lots down my face.. I can depend on this liner to last the whole day, with no need to top up.

I hope you're enjoying the Easter weekend, despite the awful weather :) xo 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nivea Eye Make Up Removers: Extra Gentle vs Double Effect

For years I've been using the Nivea Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover (phew). When I noticed that Nivea had another remover that claimed to be stronger I was intrigued as to whether it would do that job any better. I've always found removing eye make up such a chore so decided to give it a go and do a comparison post for you. 

The Extra Gentle remover is exactly that, gentle. It doesn't irritate my eyes in the slightest. It's relatively good at removing make up, it does the job but does tend to struggle a bit with eyeliner. It comes in a clear liquid, simply pour on to a cotton pad and wipe over your eye. Nice, non-offensive smell, doesn't leave greasy feeling - all round it's pretty good, but you can end up scrubbing a bit at your eye. 

Double Effect has quite a different formulation. It has an 'oil phase' sitting on top of an 'aqueous phase' (in simply terms it's an oil sitting on top of a watery formula). The oil being hydrophobic floats on top, and you have to vigorously shake the bottle to get the two to combine. The oil supposedly removes the make up (even waterproof) and the water based part nourishes your lashes.

Now down to the important bit, does it remove make up better than Extra Gentle..? And the answer is a firm yes. I did a side by side comparison and soaked a cotton pad in each remover and left them on for 30 seconds, and Double Effect had removed practically ALL of my make up, where as Extra Gentle left over half of the make up still on there. Double Effect melts away your make up so quickly, there's no need for any scrubbing. 

But. There's always a but. Double Effect claims to be gentle, but I'll have to disagree. I don't have overly sensitive eyes but this does tend to irritate mine rather a lot. Not to the point where I can't use it, but it's not a pleasant feeling. If you have very sensitive eyes or wear contacts then this might not be for you. Another downside is that is does leave quite a greasy residue, but as I follow up with a creamy cleanser (Body Shop Cucumber Cleanser for those interested) it doesn't really bother me.

I've decided that Double Effect is best left for days with heavier make up. On a day to day basis I only wear eye shadow and mascara, and so Extra Gentle can cope perfectly fine. Days which include eyeliner and waterproof mascara, I will definitely be reaching for the Double Effect.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

February Favourites

Top to bottom: UD Faint, UD Walk of Shame, No7 Amazing Eyes Pencil (brown), Topshop Highlighter (Crescent Moon)

I can't believe how long it's been since I've done a favourites post! But this month I had some particular products I wanted to share with you, so let's jump right in!

Topshop Highligher: I wasn't massively keen on this when I first picked it up, and it sat in the draw for a month or so without much love. However this month I've really started to love this highlighter. Although it doesn't pick up in the photo, it has quite a pink shimmer which was what put me off. This pinky colour  means on my skin tone it gives such a lovely glow which looks incredibly natural.

No7 Amazing Eyes Pencil, Brown: I was given this in a christmas set last year but I've never really had much time for brown eyeliners until recently. Most mornings I've thickly run it all the way around my eyes and then smudged it out with my finger. A slightly smokey defined look in seconds. It's rare any eye makeup will last my whole day at college and this is no exception, but I love this as it's easy to redo in seconds.

Balmi: I'm sure most of you will immediately think of the EOS lip balms when you see this. It's a good lipbalm, very moisturising but not greasy. I like the ergonimic little dome, the only problem is that once you've worn it down a bit it's not quite as easy to use. I seem to be going through this pretty quickly, and they're a little more expensive at £5 so I probably won't repurchase, but I've enjoyed using it. One thing I can't fault is the smell, that strawberry scent.... I can't get enough of it!

MaxFactor Clump Defy Mascara: Another American dupe! This is apparently the same as CoverGirl Clump Crusher. I've certainly fallen in love with this mascara. It gives good volume and is just the easiest to use. Like the name suggests, it doesn't clump in the slightest, something that I'm very picky about with mascaras. I never thought I would like a curved wand but this is a beauty. It fits the shape of my eyes perfectly and gets right into the corners.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: I've been loving this palette for a simple, natural matte look but my particular favourites are Walk of Shame and Faint. W.O.S is actually very hard to see on the swatch - which is exactly why I love it! It is the perfect matte base, and I often use it before the No7 pencil. I've used Faint everyday, it's my perfect brow colour!

Real Techniques Brow Brush: This doesn't really need much explanation, it's perfect for filling in brows (obviously). It has the right amount of stiffness but not so much that you pick up too much product.

I thought I would throw in a couple of other favourites as well! It's been over a month since I saw Les Miserables but I'm still obssessed with the whole film. I may have spent several nights watching behind the scenes from the film and Eddie Redmayne interviews.. You don't need to tell me I have a problem! My favourite songs are definitely Master of the House, ABC Cafe / Red and Black, and Do You Hear The People Sing. Thank god for Spotify, that's all I'm saying. My main musical favourite without a doubt has been Tom Odell. His album is coming out soon and I cannot wait. I seriously recommend Another Love and Can't Pretend.

I'll leave you with Another Love, have a good week guys! xo

Saturday, 23 February 2013

She's got you high and you don't even know yet

FACE: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation / Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer / 
 Collection Translucent Loose Powder /  MUA Clear Mascara (to set brows) /
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette (Faint) to fill in brows

CHEEKS: Topshop Cream Blush Duo Up in the Air (the coral of the two) / 
Topshop Highligher in Crescent Moon / MUA Bronze Perfection 

EYES & LIPS: Urban Decay Naked Basics palette (Venus, Naked 2, Crave) 
/ Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara /
 Rimmel Apocalips in Celestial 

When writing out a FOTD post it's always scary seeing how much makeup you actually wear. Today I'm savouring my last piece of freedom (otherwise known as half term) before going back to college. I'm also balancing the guilt at all the work I have left to do.. 

I've been listening to She's Got You High all morning, it's a such a cheerful song to dance around the room to as you get ready. 

Much love, xo 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Rekindling an old love: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, shade 52, Vanilla 
Boujois Healthy Mix was the first foundation I ever used. I went through several bottles before moving on to Revlon Colourstay. Colourstay was a god send, it gave my skin a flawless finish and kept my skin beautifully  matte. At first, I was truly in love. Fast forward 8 months, two bottles of Colourstay later, and I'm getting a bit tired of it. It takes so much work, (you have to give it a thorough old blend to get it to sit nicely) and all of a sudden I just felt like it was too much for my skin everyday. So I picked up a bottle of Healthy Mix and I've fallen straight back in love.

Healthy Mix may not sound like a match made in heaven for oily skin with it's satin/dewy finish, but it's light to medium coverage and weightless feel is what I've been craving. It just looks like skin. Colourstay was so thick and full coverage (not always a bad thing I may add) that I just felt my skin was left looking a little flat. Healthy Mix makes my skin look so much more radiant. I do find that I have to do a bit more covering with the concealer in some places, but for everyday I'm okay with that. I feel fresh with it on.

Given a good powder I'm not left looking like an a greasy chip pan and although the wear time isn't nearly as good as Colourstay that's something I'm willing to compromise. Maybe during the summer it won't be as easy to get away with, but until then I'm loving the lighter coverage. Other positives to Healthy Mix include the soft, fruity smell and the oh so handy pump. Revlon, I'm paying nearly thirteen pounds for your product, please just include a bloody pump.

Don't get me wrong, I still love Colourstay (I still picked up a new bottle of it when I purchased Healthy Mix, not good for the purse..) but I was in to deep with it. We needed some time apart.. For days when my skin is playing up a bit, and for nights out, Colourstay will definitely be making a come back. But until then, Healthy Mix has a firm place in my makeup bag.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Topshop Cream Blush Duo: Up In The Air

I'm not sure the Louise Gray makeup collection for Topshop went down all too well. I think most people were put off by the bright, not entirely wearable colours, and the makeup seemed to float around unwanted for months in store. However I was browsing though a small box of makeup in Topshop, filled mainly with scary red eyeshadows when I saw this little blush duo. Sitting there for £3, when the previous price was £12.50, there was no way I was leaving it there.

These blushes do look a little intimidating, but they apply a lot more muted to the cheeks. The pink is my favourite out of the pair. In the pan it is quite purple, but it gives a natural flush of colour and warmth to the face.The corally orange is nice and subtle, but the pink really steals the show for me. The texture is lovely, they're a dream to apply, blending easily with a nice matte finish. They last well throughout the day and are easy to top up.

I really love the funky packaging, it stands out in my makeup bag which is always a positive! Two shades in one, combined with the massive mirror inside makes this a great travelling product. The only thing I'm slightly concerned about it that the hinge seems a little weak, but fingers crossed it will be fine.