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Thursday, 31 October 2013

October Favourites



I hate to start a favourites post with a cliche, but I really can't believe october is over already! Christmas will be here before we know it and I am in no way prepared! But then, that's what november is for! Anyway, on with the favourites!


The first thing I've been loving and using no end of this month is the Palmers Coco Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil (Full review here). When the weather turns colder, my skin really starts to suffer, so I've been slathering this on post bath/shower to keep skin soft and hydrated. 


Next is Yardley London Peony Body Spray, if you're thinking, Isn't Yardley for grannies? I'll forgive you, because I thought the same. Then I spotted this and because I love the scent of peonies, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did because I love it. I believe they make an Eau De Toilette as well which I'm planning on tracking down.




My Avon 8 in 1 Eye Palette in In the Nudes has been used non stop this month, I did a full review with swatches earlier on in the month which you can see here. It contains a selection of matte and shimmery neutral shades housed in a compact the same size as my iPhone, perfect for traveling. The formula is really good too, very pigmented and buttery soft!


Next is the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder which I've been using constantly since my beloved (and discontinued) Chanel bronzer breathed it's last. It's the perfect shade, brown enough to add definition and ever so slightly orangey, just enough to warm up your face without leaving you looking like an Oompa Lumpa.


I've been being rather brave recently and rocking a dark berry lip, see it in action here. My lipstick of choice has been Avon Mega Impact Lipstick in Divine Wine, which suits my skin tone really well, looking autumnal rather that gothic. It has a smooth formula which lasts really well on the lips.


Last but not least I've been piling on The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter during the evenings and at night, the extremely nourishing formula helps to counteract the dryness which often goes hand in hand with wearing dark, long lasting lip colours. 


What products have you been loving this month?



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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Review - The Body Shop Hemp Face Protector




I'm generally a lover of all things from The Body Shop, and this brilliant moisturiser is no exception. Come the colder months, there are a few skincare items I like to add into my routine to keep moisture levels up and dreaded dryness (and eczema) at bay. I find prevention is most definitely better than cure!


One of these products is The Body Shop Hemp Face Protector, it's a brilliant skin hydrator that's ultra gentle, making it ideal for sensitive skin. It's quite rich so I tend to use it as a night cream, although I have on occasion used it in the day as well, as it sits well under makeup.




The great thing about it is, despite being a rich and nousishing cream, it leaves skin with a really natural looking finish, not at all shiny or greasy, it just sinks straight in.


If you have dry/very dry skin which has a tendency to be sensitive, or if you have eczema or psoriasis, I would definitely recommend giving this a try! 
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Monday, 28 October 2013

NOTD #13



I've spoken about Nails Inc polishes before, I love the formulas but wish they would improve the brush! Today's shade is Maddox St, it's a deep grey-black with a pearlised finish, perfect for this time of year. It's a good, dark, 'goes with everything' type shade that I've really been enjoying wearing. Unfortunately these mini sized bottles make the whole process a bit fiddly so I think I'll be sticking to the full sized bottles in the future! 




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Saturday, 26 October 2013

My Favourite Shampoos



My hair is pretty awful, it's course, frizzy and very dry. To make matters worse, I colour it, blow dry it and straighten it, so left to it's own devices, it resembles brittle straw.


After a lot of experimenting I've finally found 2 shampoos that work amazingly well for me. The first is Redken Extreme Shampoo which contains protein to help strengthen weakened hair, I felt a major improvement after using it for just a few weeks, my hair was breaking less and felt more resilient.


The second is Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo, which is formulated for dry, course and rebellious hair. This is hands down, the best shampoo I've ever tried, I've been using it for a really long time and have repurchased it more times than I can count! I leaves hair feeling clean but also really soft and nourished, which makes styling a lot easier. I don't know how it works, it just does!  


With both of these shampoos, a little goes a long way as they foam up really well, so a bottle lasts a lot longer than most, making them worth the higher price tag. I tend to alternate them, which I find works the best for me, my hairdresser informed me that you shouldn't use protein products too much because your hair needs moisture as well as strength. 

  

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

What's in my Makeup Bag?



I've recently changed up what's in my everyday makeup bag so I thought I'd share what I've been using. Base starts with L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer and MAC Pro Longwear Foundation in NC45, both of which I mentioned in my Project Use Up post. The foundation is a bit on the matte and heavy side for my liking at the moment so I've been mixing it with a bit of my daily moisturiser. 


To bring a bit of warmth to the skin I dust on Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder, and pat in a bit of Revlon Photoready Cream Blush in Flushed. I've also been reaching for Benefit Sun Beam, my favourite highlighter at the moment which gives skin a soft glow. 




For eyes I've mostly been keeping things pretty simple, a swipe of Avon SuperShock Eyeliner in Black, which is completely foolproof, and a quick curl and swipe of mascara on the lashes. For days when I want to put in a bit more effort, I've been using my Avon 8 in 1 eye palette in In The Nudes, which has some lovely neutral shades that I've been experimenting with. 


For lips I've been using Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey, which is a tinted balm that leaves lips with a subtle stain or Avon Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact Lipstick in Divine Wine (see it in action here) for when I want full on colour!


Also in my makeup bag I have Avon Glimmersticks Brow Definer in Soft Black, Sephora Eyelash Curlers and Avon SuperExtend Extreme Mascara


What's in your Makeup Bag?

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Review - Elie Saab Le Parfum



I've always loved Elie Saab as a designer, so when he brought out a fragrance, I knew it had to be good! I went to have a sniff and loved it immediately, the abundance of jasmine meant that it was right up my street! 


It's classed as a woody floral, so if you're not into florals, this definitely isn't for you! It's pretty heady, so I tend to reach for in the evening rather than the daytime. It's pretty special though, definitely a luxury 'occasion' fragrance. Here's what's in it.


Top Notes - Orange Blossom

Heart Notes - Jasmine Absolute and Patchouli

Base Notes - Cedar Wood and Honey Rose


If you like the sound of it, I highly recommend checking it out, it lasts really well so spray some onto your coat next time you're in boots!


Can we just take a minute to appreciate the bottle? The heavy glass means it isn't terribly travel friendly, but it really is the star of the dressing table. The cut glass reminds me of beautiful vintage perfume bottles that exude luxury, and the nude colour of the perfume itself is really pretty. 


Elie Saab Le Parfum is available in 3 sizes, 30ml, 50ml and 90ml

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Monday, 21 October 2013

NOTD #12



Nude nails are pretty classic really, whatever the season or occasion, they just seem to work. They are pretty much my go-to, especially this one, Avon Nailwear Pro in the shade Perfectly Flesh. It's a warm nude with a pinky peach undertone that works really well on my skin tone. 


What's your perfect nude?

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Review - The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask



I've mentioned The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask  quite a few times now, in my skincare routine post, favourites post and empties post to name a few. So I thought it was about time I did a full review! 


It's a brilliant hydrating mask that really plumps up the skin leaving it feeling baby soft. I like to apply it overnight instead of a night cream, it applies clear and sinks in so it works really well that way. 




It has a light jelly like consistency, it isn't at all heavy, but it still manages to give an incredible moisture boost, especially when paired with The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Oil. There's definitely no danger of this clogging pores on combination or oily skin, it's great for all skin types. 

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes



I don't get to bake often, but when I do, I like to go all out! Last weekend I had a bit of a girls weekend so I thought it was the perfect opportunity! I've made Strawberry Cheesecake cupcakes a few times before, but I thought I'd try out something different and make them with raspberries instead! So anyway, here's how I made them!


You'll need (for 12):

For The Base

4 Digestive Biscuits 
100g Butter


For The Sponge

115g Butter
115g Sugar
2 Medium Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
115g Self Raising Flour
1 tbs Milk


For the Topping 

60g Raspberries 
10g Sugar
200g Cream Cheese


To Make the base, melt the butter, smash up the biscuits and mix it all together. Spoon the mixture into the cases and flatten, them leave them in the fridge to set. 




In another bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Beat the eggs in, one by one, then sift in the flour and fold it in. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Spoon the mixture into the cases over the biscuit base, distributing evenly, just make sure you don't overfill the cases! Bake them for 15 minutes in a 180 degree oven. 




To make the topping, place your raspberries and sugar in a bowl and microwave for about a minute, take them out and mash them up. Mix in the cream cheese and leave the mixture to cool.


Once your cupcakes and topping have both completely cooled you can get icing! I just smeared mine on with a knife and popped a raspberry on the top, but if you're feeling adventurous, why not try piping it on! Enjoy!











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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Review - Sedu Revolution 4000i



If you thought all hairdryers were made equal, you'd be wrong. This one's in a league of it's own. It's the most powerful hairdryer I've ever come across. If you have super fine, flyaway hair that air dries in minutes, you definitely don't need this! If on the other hand, like mine, your hair is thick and curly and takes forever to blow dry then this will be a life saver! Mine can take 45 mins to dry with a normal hair drier but with this I've managed to cut it down to 15! 


It has 2 heat settings and 2 power settings, I use the stronger ones for both to save time. It's is also super lightweight, amazing considering how much more powerful it it! I got mine a few years ago from Space NK, but they don't seem to be selling them anymore. They are available directly from the Sedu website and although they are pretty expensive, they're definitely worth it! 

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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Streamlined Skincare



I went for a weekend away not long ago and instead of lugging my usually skincare products around with me, I decided to take along some of the samples I'm always stashing away. I though it would be a good idea to write this post afterwards, so that way I could actually tell you what I thought of the products and wether or not I'll be tempted into buying the full size equivalents in the future. 


Ren EverCalm Gentle Cleansing Milk was the first sample, which I got free along with the other Ren products in this months InStyle magazine (more on that here). It's a great cleansing milk which does everything you'd want it to do, removes makeup, throughly cleanses and leaves skin feeling soft. It also has a rich texture and delicate herby fragrance that make it a pleasure to use. I have in fact bought this cleanser in the past and definitely will again, and it's great for sensitive skin.


I've heard so many great things about the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner as was eager to try it for myself. I can honestly say it is well and truly worth the hype! It's a toner that contains exfoliating AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) which break down the surface layer of dead skin cells without the need for abrasive particles. After just a few days it leaves skin feeling softer and smoother. A full size bottle is at the very top of my shopping list!


Next up is Chanel Radiance Revealing Serum, this is great if you think of it more as an under moisturiser primer and less as an actual serum. In terms of skincare benefits, this did nothing for me, but that could also be because with it being a sample size, I didn't use it for long enough to see any benefits. What I did notice about it was that it contained the tiniest light reflecting particles, so when it was smoothed onto the skin it made imperfections appear blurred and also left skin feeling (temporarily) soft. It looked great under makeup in the day time but I didn't bother using it at night. I'd possibly consider buying this for a special occasion but definitely not anytime soon ass it's quite expensive for what it is.


To soothe puffy, tired eyes, I used Ren Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel both in the mornings and evenings. It cooled down the skin, definitely had a depuffing effect and didn't sting my eyes one bit (a lot of eye creams do). I'd definitely consider buying this in the future but not right away as I already have a couple on the go. 


To moisturise I used Ren EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream. I know it's a day cream but I also used it at night. It seemed to leave a nice enough finish for day but also somehow still managed to be rich enough as a night cream. It left skin feeling incredibly soft and plumped up. The only box this doesn't tick is that it unfortunately doesn't contain sun protection, but seeing as most of my foundations do anyway, I'm more than willing to let that slide for this lovely moisturiser. This is definitely going to be the next moisturiser I buy!


Do you like to 'try before you buy'?

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Monday, 14 October 2013

Empties #3



Another month, another empties post, I honestly can't believe how fast I go through stuff! Anyway, here's what I thought of it all!


Soap & Glory Heel Genius is definitely a 'pedicure in a tube', it's a super rich, blue, foot cream which contains exfoliating fruit acids. I've been slathering it on in the evening and following it up with some cozy socks. Come morning feet are super smooth, no scrubbing necessary! Repurchase? Yes.


I've throughly enjoyed using Soap & Glory's Foam Call Body Wash, it's so fruity smelling and it really wakes you up first thing in the morning, plus, it leaves skin feeling nice and soft as it contains built in moisturiser. Repurchase? Definitely!


Yep, you guessed it, more Soap & Glory! This one is the Butter Yourself Body Butter, an all time favourite. It has the same lovely fruity fragrance as Foam Call Body Wash and also contains exfoliating fruit acids, meaning your skin is left feeling silky soft. It also sinks into the skin really quickly which is a great time saver. Repurchase? Yep!


Next is The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask, it has a light gel-cream formula, gives skin a huge moisture boost and applies clear. I've been using it overnight and waking up to plumped up skin. Look out for a full review coming soon! Repurchase? Already have! 


MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC45 is a foundation I've been using for years. It's a medium coverage foundation that can be mixed with moisturiser for a light finish or built up to a full coverage without looking heavy or caked on. It's a great all rounder. Repurchase? Already have.


Sephora Softening Facial Mist is a very lightly scented facial mist that I picked up in France this summer, it's a great skin refresher that adds a bit of dewyness to the skin, and it's so much cheaper that other alternatives. (I paid 4 euros for it!) Repurchase? Yes, when I next go to France!


The Simple Moisture Boost Hydro Mist is basically the same thing as the sephora one, although not quite as nice because a single spray can be quite full on whereas the sephora spray produces a fine mist. Repurchase? Probably not.


Next up is the mini Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream that I took away on holiday, this stuff is amazing! Not only does it smell amazing, it really does your hands a world of good. As it's a balm like formula, you only need a small amount, it spreads easily and sinks straight into the skin leaving no residue. It leaves hands feeling lastingly moisturised so you end up using it a lot less often. Repurchase? Definitely at some point but not straight away as I got a few other ones stashed away already! 


I usually love everything by Chanel but unfortunately their Automatic Liquid Eyeliner was a huge disappointment! It has a pointed brush tip, you twist the bottom and the product is dispensed into the brush, sounds great right? But everytime I went to use it I found that the entire brush had dried out and the brush was full of dry, cakey bits of eyeliner. I would then have to wash it and dry it before I used it (every single time) and very soon the brush started to fall apart from all the wear and tear! Repurchase? Definitely not!


At the other end of the spectrum, I have another product by Chanel which I absolutely loved and was so sad to finish, as it's long since been discontinued! It's one of their old bronzers and the shade was just perfect for me, not too pale, not too orange, with the tinniest hint of shimmer! Repurchase? I wish! 


Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them?






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Sunday, 13 October 2013

NOTD #11




Today's NOTD colour is Sephora Colour Hit Nail Polish in Will You Jump? I love these little polishes,  it doesn't matter to me that they're so tiny because I barely ever get though a bottle anyway and for $5.00 they're super cheap and brilliant quality. I'd definitely recommend picking some up in you're in the US/Europe. This one's a great colour, it's the deepest, richest royal blue, my favourite!


I've also been experimenting with a different nail shape recently, I've filed them down a lot shorter and rounded off the corners a bit more. Much more practical! What do you think of this new nail shape?
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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Oh Boy!



When it comes to dressing I usually keep it pretty simple, jeans and T-shirts with an occasional pair of heels here and there. When I do make a bit more of an effort it's usually a bit more girly, I love vintage dresses and the odd statement necklace. 


Brogues were never really something that caught my eye but in the summer I thought I'd try something different and picked up a couple of pairs. If you live in England, you'll know we had a sweltering summer, so I ended up sticking to ballerinas, my usual shoe of choice as well as lots of sandals, and my poor new Brogues were soon pushed to the back of the wardrobe and forgotten.


Not any more! Now that the weather has well and truly turned, I've dug them out and they have so far been my autumn shoe of choice. They add great edge to an otherwise too girly outfit! I bought the Cream Pair from Asos, and the metallic pair from New Look, similar pair here.


What do you think of Brogues? 



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Friday, 11 October 2013

My Top 10 Under £10



A lot of Beauty Bloggers have recently be revealing their top 10 under £10 ($15), so I thought, why not jump on the bandwagon? When I first decided to do it I thought I'd really struggle to come up with 10, but when I started jotting things down I realised it was going to be quite the opposite! It's been pretty tough trying to narrow it down from my original 20+ products, but here's what made the cut!


Coconut oil, standard, if I had a penny for every time I went on about this stuff! It's a brilliant hair treatment, moisturiser, makeup remover and cleanser, plus it's cheap as chips! (find out all the ways to use it here)


Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk is a recent discovery but a definite favourite. The 100ml size is under a tenner and they also do a 200ml and 400ml size. It's super gentle, removes every last scrap of makeup and grime and leaves skin feeling really clean and baby soft. I'd recomend this to anyone but especially those with sensitive skins, (full review here).


Schwartzkopf Got2be Oil-licious Argan Oil Styling Oil is a pretty strong contender against it's much more expensive alternatives. A rich oily serum which glides into the hair easily leaving it soft and shiny while giving it a boost of moisture. Just don't forget a little goes a long way! (full review here)


When it came to compiling this list, the Sleek Face Contour Kit  in light was the first product that came to mind. A bronzer/contour, a highlighter and a peachy pink blusher all housed in a single slim no frills compact with a full size mirror. The shades are flattering on everyone and it's brilliant for travelling, everyone I know who's tried this loves it. (full review here)


Soap & Glory's Flake Away body scrub is not only my favourite body scrub under a tenner, but my favourite hands down. Its packed full of different sized particles which leave your skin feeling super smooth, the butters and oils leave it feeling really soft and for an added bonus it smells like Miss Dior! 


Like pretty much everyone with a beauty blog these days, I love the Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butters, they are most definitely worth the hype! Soft, creamy formulas, buildable colour and an amazing shade range, there's at least one for everyone. Did I mention they're currently on buy one get one half price at Boots? 


Essie are by far the best nail varnish brand in my opinion, their formulas are really long lasting, the brushes are wide and flat making application fool proof and they have every colour you could ever want.   


Real Techniques do an amazing range of brushes, you might as well just forget about more expensive makeup brushes because these do everything you need. Most of then are under 10.00 and some come in sets that are brilliant value. My favourites are the Buffing Brush and Pointed Foundation Brush, both from the core collection kit.  


I have an extensive collection of Avon SuperShock Gel Eyeliners (review here), they're a brilliant budget buy. The gel formula means they'll never drag on your eyelids, they just glide along smoothly and once they set they just don't budge. 


Lastly it's the Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara, another recent discovery, this completely blew my previous favourite Dior Diorshow Blackout out of the water. The wide, closely packed bristle brush gives volume, separation and length in a few quick sweeps, saving time and money. 


I hope you liked my picks, what are your favourites under a tenner?





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Thursday, 10 October 2013

FOTD #1




I've always loved reading Face of the Day posts but never felt quite brave enough to do one. Today I felt a bit brave so I said, why not? bit the bullet, and went for it! I thought for my first one I'd keep it simple and show you a look I've been wearing a lot lately. It's my version of an autumnal look with berry lips and cheeks.  




So here's what I used! I started with L'Oreal's Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer which I spoke a bit about in my Project Use Up post. It takes a bit of working in with fingers but smoothes out the skin and makes makeup last all day. 

I then worked The Body Shop's Extra Virgin Minerals Cream Compact Foundation in 408 Rose Caramel into my skin using a Real Techniques Buffing Brush, this foundation is quite thick so I always remove any excess from the brush first. It gives a good finish and moisturises dry skin.

Next I hid dark under eye circles using the tiniest bit of MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC45, a little goes a long way with this concealer so use it sparingly under the eyes, too much and it will just crease. I apply it with the Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush, which is perfect because you can really get into the corner under the eye where most of the darkness is. 

I then dusted on some of Benefit's Dallas Blusher onto cheeks and into the cheekbone hollows, it's a dusky plum colour so it really brightens up the face as well as bringing out cheekbones. I then added a bit of Sephora Highlighting Compact Powder in Golden onto the tops of cheekbones and along the centre on the nose, all using the Eco Tools Blusher Brush and that's face done!




I kept eyes simple by filling in any sparse areas of my brows in with Avon Glimmerstick Brow Definer in Soft Black. I then added a touch of the highlighter to my brow bone using the Sephora 27 Pro Blending Brush, put on a quick swipe of Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in 01 Intense Black and lashings of Avon Superextend Extreme Mascara

To complete the look I applied Avon Ultra Colour Rich Mega Impact Lipstick in Divine Wine. I'm really loving this colour at the moment, I've been wearing it constantly as the formula is really comfortable to wear and it has good lasting power! 


What do you think of this look?
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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Avon True Colour 8-in-1 Eye Palette - In The Nudes



Avon have just brought out a new eyeshadow palette and it's a good one! It's the True Colour 8-in-1 Eye Palette, which I bought in 'In The Nudes'. It's a super compact palette, I checked, It's exactly the same size as my iPhone, so great for travelling and quick on the go makeup changes. 




The formula is soft and blendable, and the pigmentation packs a punch. What more could you want for an eyeshadow? The colour range is pretty good too, 1 matte and 7 shimmers. Although I would have liked to see a couple more matte shades in there I'd still quite happily wear all the shades, so no complaints from me! 




As you can see here in the swatches the colours apply nice and smoothly and the finishes are really pretty. They are swatched in the same order that they appear in the palette. 


If you have your eyes on the Urban Decay Naked Palettes or the new Bobbi Brown Chocolates Palette this is a great budget alternative! You can get it online here, or from your local Avon representative. It's £12.00 but currently half price so just £6.00!














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