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.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Rimmel Apocalips: Big Bang

I'm sure you've all been waiting for them, this week the Rimmel Apocalips finally hit the shelves. The people at Rimmel clearly know what they're doing, by the time I'd seen several posts by the big beauty bloggers about these I was desperate to get my hands on them.

After trialing the Apocalips for a few days I've decided I love them, but every silver lining has it's cloud so there are some niggles I have with them. There's a lot of points to make so I've compiled them into a nice list for you all (let's face it, we all love a good list). 

The good!

v The colour is absolutely beautiful. It's a classic red which I find suites my skin tone well, and has a gorgeous glossy finish. After an hour or so it does lose the glossy look, and turns into a satin finish. If you so wish, you can easily top it up to get back the glossy gorgeousness.

v They are incredibly easy to apply. Whenever I try and apply any sort of bright or dark colour I end up spending forever putting it on, and then carefully wiping around the edge of my lips with a tissue for the next hour. Due to the smooth formula these glide on so quickly, you really have to try it to believe it. The doe foot applicator has a little well in it which holds a lot of product, so you're not dunking the wand back in the tube every five minutes.

vThe texture. I can't stand anything sticky or suffocating on my lips, which is why I hardly ever use lipglosses. When I first pulled the wand out of the tube I thought it would be a disaster, but once applied there is no stickiness and is very comfortable to wear.

v These have some serious lasting power. Like I said, they stay glossy for about an hour or so, but overall the colour lasts for a good 4 or 5 hours without topping up. When they begin to fade they can tend to go a bit patchy, but it's nothing a quick blend out with your finger can't solve.

      The not so good...

v Due to the liquid consistency, they can smudge. Unlike a lipstick they don't really set or dry, and although that isn't a problem with a normal lipgloss, these are so intensely pigmented so it can get messy. I also found it does bleed slightly.

v Now this can be seen as both a positive and a negative, but these stain, and they stain bad. Normally this would please me and stain normally equals more longevity, but when they smudge so easily it's not a great combination. You pretty much need to be accurate on first application, which isn't hard due to the wand, but it's nice to be able to wipe away any slips if you need to.

 v The smell isn't great. To me it smells quite sort of like artificial watermelon, but it doesn't bother me too much as once it's on you can't smell it. However if you're one of those people who can't stand anything scented near their face, then you may have a problem. 

Overall I can't deny I love the Apocalips, mainly down to the gorgeous colour and ease of application. I definitely think I'll pick up some other colours, maybe the nuder ones. What are your thoughts on the Apocalips? Did they live up to your expectations? Let me know!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lush: Let The Good Times Roll

I was pretty excited to get this product. Many people reviewed it over winter, but mentioned it was only for the Christmas collection. This cleanser sounded like heaven, but I didn't want to get attached to a product when it was limited edition. Until the other day my sister came home with a little pot. After sneekily  using it a few times I thought I'd ask the lovely people at Lush what was going on, and it turns out it has been moved into the permanent collection, hurrah! On hearing this I bought my own pot straight away.

I think Lush products are very subjective because of their strong smell, but Let The Good Times Roll is right up my street. It was love from first smell! It's a mixture of popcorn, caramel and general buttery goodness. Yum. It comes in a massive golden yellow blob. You grab a  pinch of the squidgy product and mix into a paste. It says to rub it first in the palm of your hand, but generally I just go straight to my face, going in circular motions. What draws me most to this cleanser (apart from the smell) is the texture. It exfoliates your skin, but ever so gently. The exfoliant keeps your face fresh and clean but is gentle enough to use everyday.

As with all Lush products, the ingredients are oh natural. It has a total of ten ingredients, one of which is popcorn! It seems unusual to have a whole piece of popcorn in a scrub, but there are only a few in there so the texture isn't too chunky. The cleanser doesn't dry my skin out, neither does it make it oily. I can't ask for much more than that!

It is a little bit more expensive than my usual morning cleanser at £5.95, and truth be told I think I will go through it pretty quickly, but all in all it is completely worth it.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

MUA Bronzed Perfection

I've mentioned before on my blog that in many ways I am very much a make up newbie. I would definitely describe 2012 as the year I properly 'discovered' make up, so you're all sort of joining me on my make up journey. Okay so that was lame, but moving on!

I don't think there is a massive selection of high street bronzers. I know the Bourjois chocolate bronzer (I don't think anyone calls it by the full name) is a favourite amongst many people, but even though it's pretty affordable at around the £8 mark I still didn't want to pay that much for a product that might not get used. For all I knew I may decide bronzers aren't my thing - thus product and money wasted. I'd seen in one of Fleur De Force's Get Ready With Me videos that she used this MUA bronzer. I'm sure you all know I have a certain soft spot for MUA so I thought I'd give it a go.

I was a little bit scared to use this, I don't want to end up looking like a pumpkin. However I found this it very easy to use. The powder is very soft and so blends well. It suits my skin tone well, even in the depths of winter, and isn't orangey. In the pan it does look a little shimmery, but that disappears completely once applied. I've found I like to use the Real Techniques contour brush to run it under my cheek bones to give some much needed shape to my face. I then use the buffing brush of the same collection to blend it all out nice and softly.  MUA is always good value for money but this is insane. You can see how massive the product is in my hand, you get a whopping 15g of product for £3.

You can pick up Bronzed Perfection from Superdrug, or direct from MUA here.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years Resolutions 2013

First and foremost, Happy New Year!

I've never really been that into making New Years Resolutions, but after watching a few videos (Fleurdeforce's and BertiebertG's) and a few blog posts (Sprinkleofglitter) I've been inspired to do my own. I have a good feeling about 2013, and while I'm in this good mood I thought I'd jot down a few of my own. Who knows, maybe I'll review them at the end of 2013! (unless I fail at all at them, then I'll probably delete the post in shame ;)

Numero uno!

Put more effort into college: This is definitely the one to focus on. After I left school with some reasonable GCSE's, I (very stupidly) thought A-Levels would be a doddle. I thought I could breeze through two years, come out with 4 A's, and then travel on through to a top university. Ha. Ha ha ha. I hadn't prepared  myself for how bloody hard they would be. And to be quite frank, it's panicking me a bit. So I need to up my game. My main target is to get up off my arse and do some work! Being a massive 'goody goody' I've never not handed in work, but I consistenly leave it till the last minute. As hard as it is, I need to stop scrolling through tumblr, and get on with work when I get it, instead of leaving it till a Sunday night. The other part is to do some extra work. Every time I have a test I spend the weekend before manically making flash cards. If I revise as I go along, one, I'll make my life a lot easier, and two, I'll probably do far better. Also, I need to set aside more time for making sure I fully understand each topic, in maths and biology in particular, seeing as I'm a tiny bit... rubbish at those subjects!

Tone up!: It really is such a cliché, but this year I have some serious motivation. In July, I'm going on a college trip to Arizona (whoop whoop!). I'm massively excited, but it's going to probably involve spending a lot of time in the hotel pool. I'd like to feel semi confident in a swimming costume for once, so I can enjoy my time instead of worrying what people are thinking of me. A specific area to work on, is definitely my arms. I can deal with a jelly belly and thunder thighs, but for once I would like to be able to wear vests and sleeveless dresses. I think when making resolutions it's important to know how you're going to change, so for me, my methods of weight loss will be going to the gym and cutting down on the junk food. My college has a free gym, so I really have no excuse. My free periods Mondays and Fridays will now be spent sweating it out (literally) at the gym. Also from now on, no more naughty (but nice) food between Monday and Thursday. I pay the vending machines far too many visits, so it's time to cut down.

Last but not least;

Organise my blog: You all know it, I'm a terribly infrequent blogger. Now pretty much the main reason for this, is that I don't organise taking my photos. I can't stand having bad quality photos, but taking good ones with lots of light is often difficult. During these darker months I need to make sure I'm taking them when the light is right. The second part of this is redesign my blog. Considering I have no artistic talent I don't think I've done too badly, but I don't feel that my design really reflects me, as lame as that sounds. I have a graphic designer for a sister, so I should really ask her for some help so my blog can be the best it can be.

There we go, I've written them down now so I have to stick to them!

Now that's all out the way, I really want to just take the time to get a bit slushy gushy and say thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my blog. I had a lot of doubts about starting this blog, but now I'm so glad I did. To a lot a people, 41 followers isn't a lot, but I'm just pleased that even that many of you have followed me. Okay I'm going to wrap this up now before the violins start playing, but here's to a year of many more (infrequent) blog posts! *cringe*