Saturday, 30 November 2013

November Favourites

This month I've been continuing to love most of the products I featured in last month's favourites post, obviously I didn't want to repeat myself so here are a few other things I've been loving!

I've been absolutely loving my Caudalie Grape Water (full review), as the weather gets colder, my skin gets dryer and this has been a great life saver. It's great if you need a boost of moisture over the top of makeup.

My absolute worst spot for winter dry skin is around my eyes, they start to feel sensative and uncomfortable and the Clarins Special Eye Contour Balm is the only eye cream that seems to nip it in the bud. I usually just use this as night but when my eyes are extra dry I use it in the day as well. 

A rushed morning where makeup was done in the car and mascara was forgotten lead to the purchase of Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Xtra Black Lash Building Mascara, and I'm so glad because I love it. It's not the quickest to use but it's really buildable and gives great separation. Plus it's cheap as chips. (full review)

Avon Advance Techniques Nourishing Argan Oil Leave in Treatment has been used non stop since I bought it. It tames frizz and moisturises hair in one step. I use it pre blow dry or just on the ends as a touch up. (full review)

I've been continuing to love both my Avon 8 in 1 eye palette and MUA Undressed Palette this month, often being a bit bolder with a bronze or chocolate smokey eye. My Natural Collection Lipstick in Rose Bud has been a perfect partner to that, it pulls the whole look together really nicely without making it look over done. Definitely a 'my lips but better' type shade.

Last up is Avon Rare Gold Eau De Parfum, I bought this a few winters ago and everytime the weather gets colder I seem to pull it out and fall in love with it all over again. It's a very warm, rich grown up scent that smells much more expensive than it is! Keep your eyes peeled for a full review coming soon! 

What have you been loving this month?


Friday, 29 November 2013

Redken All Soft Supple Touch Review

This little gem, Redken All Soft Supple Touch has been my autumn/winter hair saviour. At times when the elements have been against me this has been well and truly on my side! 

Miserable weather over here usually consists of rain, drizzle or just a general dampness in the air. Which means my naturally curly hair frizzes up like crazy and resembles a dead animal on my head! That's where this wonderful product comes in, described as a softening cream-spray for dry/brittle hair, a few quick spritizes  smoothes out frizz and leaves a gentle wave behind instead, it's also really moisturising so it works a bit like a leave in conditioner as well. 

I often use it post hair serum, pre blow dry but mostly I use it for frizzy touch ups. When the weather is really bad this travels around with me in my handbag! On the rare occasions that I do wear my hair curly this works as a brilliant second day curl reviver. 

The only downside to this product? The pump spray seems to get clogged up quite often, which is really annoying! I've unclogged it with a pin a few times but when I'm in a rush I've had to resort to unscrewing the top, pouring a bit out, and working it into my hair with my hands, not ideal, but still a great product. 


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Jen's Sleepover Makeup

There's nothing more fun on a girly sleepover than having a nose through your friend's makeup bag and giving makeovers, apart from  eating an extensive amount of chocolate and watching terrible movies of course!

To start with I smoothed Benefit Porefessional Primer all over Jen's skin with my fingers to create an even base and make the makeup last well (even though we weren't going anywhere) I then worked in MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC15 with my trusty Real Techniques Buffing Brush, which left her skin looking absolutely flawless! We skipped concealer and went straight onto the fun bits, colour!

Using a Real Techniques Contour Brush I used the contour shade from the Sleek Contour Kit in Light to lightly accentuate Jen's cheekbones. This is such a great palette, we both own and love it, amazing really as we have such different skintones! Of course I had to be much more handed with it on Jen than myself. I then used a Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply Revlon Photoready Cream Blusher in Flushed to the apples of cheeks and Benefit Highbeam to the tops of cheekbones, down the centre of the nose and above the cupid's bow. The light pink, pearlescent tones in this highlighter complemented Jen's skin perfectly! 

The main focus of the look was the eyes, we went for a soft neutral smoky look. I started by filling in Jen's brows with the Benefit Brows a go go kit and then adding the lightest shade (top left hand corner) from the MUA Undressed Palette under the brow bones and in the inner corners of the eyes. I then added the colour next to it all over the lid and blended out the edges with a Sephora Pro Blending Brush 27, next I used the bronze shade (bottom left) and worked that into the crease using the same brush, continuing to blend to make sure there were no harsh lines. I then added a really thin line of Clinique Quickliner for eyes in Black and smudged it across the top and bottom lash line for a softer look. Lashes were then curled and a generous amount of YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara was layered on, leaving Jen's already amazingly long and curly lashes look seriously stunning. This mascara is amazing, It's now been firmly placed onto my wish list!

To finish off the look we went for Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey, it complemented the eyes perfectly while still being really subtle. Perfect! 


Monday, 25 November 2013

Chanel Coco Body Cream Review

When it comes to all round luxury, no one does it quite like Chanel, they really bring it on all fronts, packaging, formulas, fragrances and colours. 

I was lucky enough to receive their Coco Body Cream as a gift a while ago and I absolutely love it. It really is the ultimate body cream, in fact think of it as a 2 in 1, fragrance and moisturiser. Just rubbing this stuff onto your hands and arms is enough to leave you with that lovely Coco fragrance all day. No perfume necessary. 

The cream itself is really rich and moisturising, you only need the tiniest amount and it leaves the skin with a beautifully subtle, dewy sheen. 

The fragrance to me is the ultimate winter scent, while I find the Eau De Parfum and even the Eau De Toilette versions of this scent to be too overpowering for my liking, I find this one to be perfect. It's a very rich, warm, grown up scent which has a musky powderiness about it while still being contemporary. If you generally tend to prefer light, fresh fragrances then this probably isn't for you. It's definitely a fragrance you could describe as heady. Here's what's in it,

Top Notes - Angelica, Mimosa, Frangipani and Mandarin

Heart Notes - Cascarilla, Orange Flower, Bulgarian Rose and Jasmine

Base Notes - Labdanum, Ambrette Seed, Opopanax, Benzoin, Tonka and Vanilla

Although I find it a bit too heavy most of the year, I absolutely  love it during the colder months. I've been using it for a few years now and I associate the scent with the coming of Christmas! 


Sunday, 24 November 2013

NOTD #16

Today's NOTD is another Nails inc mini, this time in the shade Clerkenwell. It's a really dark, almost black green with a glossy cream finish. As I've said before I love Nails Inc polishes, the colours and formulas are great but these mini bottles are a bit fiddly to use! 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Revlon Colourstay Concealer Review

I seem to have accumulated quite the collection of concealers but the one I seem to reach for everyday is Revlon Colourstay Concealer in 06 Deep. Surprising considering most of my concealers are from high end brands. Unfortunately it doesn't come in a huge range of shades but I managed to find one that's perfect for me, just one shade lighter than my skin tone, it really brightens up the under eye area. It also works really well on blemishes, on no-foundation days, I dab it wherever I need it and quickly blend it in with my fingers, of course it works just as well over foundation.

It comes with a doe foot applicator which makes it really easy to use, and I find it never creases in the fine lines under my eyes, something that I often struggle with when it comes to concealers. It's also really creamy and blendable, and doesn't dry out the skin or cling to any dry patches. I'll definitely buy this concealer again and again!  


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Miss Sporty Mascara Review

First of all let me mention the fact that Miss Sporty Fabulous Lash Xtra Black Lash Building Mascara costs 1.99, yes 1.99! So it's bound to be rubbish right? Well actually no! I ended up grabbing this purely because it was the cheapest on a day when I was in a huge rush, needed to do my makeup in the car, and half way to my destination realised I hadn't packed my mascara!

When I tried it I was pleasantly surprised! Now it's not the most amazing one swipe and you're done mascara, it does take a bit of work but it's extremely buildable so it's well worth the effort. The brush is quite narrow, not something I would usually go for, but the bristles are packed really close together so you don't get any clumping, just really separated, full, dark lashes. Definitely worth a try! 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Caudalie Facial Sprays

Over the last few years Caudalie Beauty Elixir has become quite the cult product, and with good reason! They also make a facial spray called Grape water which I've been using everyday since I bought. 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir claims to smooth features, tighten pores and give the complexion a burst of radiance. In my experience it does make pores appear less noticeable and definitely adds a lovely radiant glow to the skin. I use it in so many different ways, as a toner, to set makeup, to soothe tired, puffy eyes and of course to revive and refresh the skin. The lovely glass bottle contains a thin film of nourishing oils at the top and when you shake the bottle before use, it all mixes together. The spray itself comes out as a fine herbal scented mist which you just can't help but love.

Their significantly cheaper Grape Water is also lovely to use, the main difference is that it doesn't add radiance to the skin but instead gives in an incredible boost of moisture which is great this time of year when skin is feeling a bit dry. It's also great for sensitivity, a quick spritz just seems to calm and cool angry skin. As is doesn't have the lovely fragrance of Beauty Elixir, it doesn't feel like as much of a treat but it definitely gets the job done. 

I tend to use both in exactly the same way but steer more towards Grape water in the winter for it's moisture giving properties and towards Beauty Elixir in the summer for it's refreshing scent and radiance boosting properties. 


Saturday, 16 November 2013

NOTD #15

Yesterday's post was all about my favourite autumn nail shades and seeing as YSL La Laque in No 37 (discontinued) is the only one I hadn't featured in a NOTD post, I thought it was about time!

It's a really dark, almost black navy that reveals it's colour in some lights. It's very similar to nail colour of the season, Essie's After School Boy Blazer. I've really been loving wearing it as it goes with everything. 


Friday, 15 November 2013

Autumn Nail Edit

It's no secret that I'm quite into nails so I thought I'd put together an edit of my favourite autumn nail shades. Here's what made the cut!

This nude shade works really well with my skintone, it looks good all year round really but it's a particularly nice option in the autumn for when you don't wan't something dark.

YSL La Laque No 37 (discontinued)

This dark inky blue looks stunning on short nails, it's black in some light but has just a hint of navy. It's been filling the Essie After School Boy Blazer sized hole in my collection nicely. 

A two toned grey and purple that somehow has a neutral quality about it and seems to go with everything. The formula isn't great, as with all Chanel varnishes, but the colour is spot on.

Quite possibly my favourite polish of all time, this is another one that works well all seasons, but particularly autumn and winter. An ever so slightly darker take on a classic red that you just can't go wrong with.

A concrete grey with a subtle metallic finish that I can't help but love in spite of generally being someone who sticks to cream finishes. It only needs one coat, and is super glossy making it a great last minute nail option that adds a little somethin' somethin' to an otherwise boring outfit. 

An amazingly rich royal blue which is bang on trend that I just can't seem to stop staring at when it's on my nails. I love these polishes, the brush is great, the formula is great and there's a huge variety of shades. 

What have you been wearing on your nails this autumn?


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Review - Avon Moroccan Argan Oil

It's a similar type of thing really, a frizz taming serum containing nourishing argan oil which smoothes out hair, leaving it easier to blow dry. I've been working a couple of pumps through dry hair before blowdrying and a tiny drop to ends every now and then as a touch up. 

As far as helping the condition of hair long term I'm not really too sure how much this does but it is a brilliant styling product. 


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Empties #4

I've been trying to use things up and avoiding buying new  products recently in an attempt to prepare for my house move next month. Here's what I've recently got through.

Ted Baker Hand Cream

I touched on this in my Project Use Up post, it's a decent hand cream which smells nice but doesn't seem to do much longterm. Repurchase? No.

This protein enriched shampoo is brilliant for strengthening damaged hair (full review here). A little goes a long way with this one so it's lasted ages! Repurchase? Definitely. 

I feel like I haven't stopped talking about this stuff recently, it's a new descovery and I absolutely love it, massaged on and flanneled off it removes all traces of makeup and leaves skin feeling silky soft. (full review here) Repurchase? Already have!

I loved this conditioner years ago and never used to use anything else but after trying it out again recently I don't love it quite as much. Most probably because I've tried a lot of other conditioners since and my hair is in a lot worse condition! That said it does leave hair feeling soft and lightly fragranced. Repurchase? Maybe, but there are some others I want to try first.

Sephora Express Body Scrub & Mask

I picked this up when I went to France in the summer and had very high hopes for it but unfortunately I wasn't that impressed. It's a 2 in 1 product that contains traditional exfoliating grains as well as exfoliating AHA fruit acids and can be used as either a scrub or a mask. For me it didn't do much because I like scrubs which are quite course and really 'scrubby' and found this one was too gentle for my liking. I didn't find the AHAs to do much either. Repurchase? No

This one was unfortunately another disappointment, I usually love all Kerastase products but this one is the exception. It's a shine perfecting mist take settles into two parts that you shake before you use. I found it to be very watery and therefore cause my hair to get a bit damp, obviously not ideal if you've just spent ages straightening your hair! It also doesn't leave a great finish, I much prefer my Lee Stafford Shine Spray which is a third of the price! Repurchase? Definitely not.

This is a great budget argan oil serum, I've been using a few pumps on damp hair before blow drying and it leaves hair with a lovely finish. full review here. Repurchase? Definitely

It's not often I get through a foundation because I have quite a few on the go but I really enjoyed using this one on sensitive and dry skin days. It's very moisturising and leaves skin with a dewy finish (oily skinned girls this is definitely not for you. This was the only thing that worked for me when my skin was reacting to everything. Repurchase? Yes, if my skin gets reactive again.

This technically isn't an empty because I still have more than half the pot left, but I've had it a while and it has separated so definitely needs getting rid of. I didn't use it because it just didn't work for me, I found it to be very greasy and not last very long on the skin. Someone once told me it made my skin 'glisten like a basted turkey' needless to say I never used it again! Repurchase? No

This is a brilliant lip balm that actually treats dryness rather than just keeping lips comfortable till it disappears. It doesn't have a fragrance and leaves lips with a natural finish meaning it's great under lipsticks and on girls and guys alike. Repurchase? Definitely.  


Monday, 11 November 2013

Review - Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter

The Righteous Butter by Soap & Glory is a lovely rich body butter that is perfect for dry skin during these cold drying months. It contains Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter and Aloe Vera which all give skin a huge moisture boost and leave it feeling soft and smooth. 

In spite of it being an extremely rich, moisturising product, it applies easily and sinks into the skin quickly without leaving any residue. Meaning you can get dressed straight away instead of standing around a cold bathroom waiting. 

Being their best selling product, a lot of people will have already tried this and know how amazing it smells, if you don't  know then go smell it immediately! It has an amazing fruity floral fragrance that smells very similar to Miss Dior, and if you like to layer it's the same fragrance as their Clean On Me shower gel and Flake Away body scrub, both of which I also love. All Soap & Glory products are currently on 3 for 2 at Boots, so if you're thinking of trying them out, now is a great time!   

Have you tried any Soap & Glory products?


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Review - Clinique Lash Building Primer

Everyone looks better with a quick swipe of mascara, it opens the eyes and brightens the face. If you like to take it a bit further like me and like quite a full on lash look then listen up!

I've been using the Clinique Lash Building Primer for a while now and absolutely love it, it makes lashes look so much fuller and longer in just a few seconds. It's a thick white formula that has tiny little fibres in it, when you swipe it on, the fibres attach themselves to the ends of your lashes making them appear longer and around your lashes making them appear thicker, I then usually give it a few seconds to dry and follow with my normal mascara, which coats everything in black and merges it all seamlessly together for fuller and longer lashes.

I've never had any problems with the fibres falling down onto my face/under eye area throughout the day, which can happen with some fibre mascaras, but I also think it depends on what mascara you put on afterwards, it definitely works better with some than with others. 

I know Dior make a similar product but as it's double the price I'll definitely be sticking to this one for now because it works so well! 

Have you ever tried any lash primers?


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

NOTD #14

I usually reserve bright nail colours for the summer but thought I'd make an exception today, I went for Barry M Block Orange, a bright pumpkin orange as a base and swiped a coat of Sephora Purple Jewellery Top Coat on top. 

The result was a lovely autumnal finish than reminded me of the falling leaves, unfortunately it was a bit difficult to capture on camera! 

What have you been wearing on your nails this autumn?


Monday, 4 November 2013

Review - Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

I recently got a mini Philip Kingsley Elasticizer free with InStyle Magazine but I thought I'd wait till I'd used it a while before writing a review. Seeing as it's one of the most hyped up hair products, I obviously had very high hopes for this one and it definitely delivers. 

It's a great hair strengthener and deep conditioner which leaves hair feeling a lot softer and more manageable. I've been using it every other hair wash and so far the results have been amazing, I'll definitely be buying a full size when it runs out and I'll definitely be recommending it to anyone who colours or regularly heat styles their hair. 

The only slightly annoying thing about it? It's a pre shampoo treatment which needs to be applied to wet hair, meaning you have  to wet your hair, apply it, leave it on for a while and then shampoo it out and follow it with a conditioner, it's not your run of the mill conditioner replacement mask. I get around it by wetting hair and applying it in the evening and washing it out the next morning, that way I'm not sat around twiddling your thumbs! That said I definitely think it's worth the effort because the results are just amazing, and I've only been using it a few weeks!


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Escentual French Pharmacy Haul

I seemed to have run out of what feels like everything at once so a spot of shopping was in order! Escentual had 25% off all french pharmacy brands throughout October so and I managed to squeeze in an order right at the end! Here's what I picked up.

First thing into my basket was Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk, which I've been going on and on about lately (full review here). I'm almost at the end of mine so I thought I'd stock up while it was on offer. I also got the Caudalie Grape Water which I tried a few years ago and loved, it's not as good as their Beauty Elixir, but it's a great moisture boosting spray and it's a lot cheaper.

I've been wanting to get an exfoliating toner for a while now and tried out a sample of Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, which I spoke about in my Streamlined Skincare post, I loved it but decided to try out the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Astringent Micro-Exfoliant Lotion instead as it was less than half the price. I have high hopes for this product as I've read some good reviews!

Lastly I picked up the Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo and Conditioner, I've never tried anything by this brand before but Amelia recommended it on her blog and seeing as she has the best hair ever I immediately knew I had to try it! I'm hoping it will restore my dry hair which I'm really trying to keep long!

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

Friday, 1 November 2013

Kerastase Hair Saviours

As I've mentioned several times recently, my hair is in terrible condition. It's extremely dry and damaged from heat styling, colouring etc. So I thought I'd share with you the 2 products that I've have been using in an attempt to help the situation.

The First is Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Slim, which is described as a volume control intense smoothing cream designed to tame the dreaded frizz. I apply a tiny amount just to the bottom third while it's damp, you definitely don't want this anyway near your roots, it is after all designed to get rid of volume! I then blow dry it as usual, I find it tends to keep frizz at bay even when the weather is a bit on the damp side. It's also brilliant for touch ups on dry hair, a tiny amount applied to straggly ends and frizz is a great quick fix. 

They always say that prevention is better than cure right? Well that's where Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique comes in, described as nourishing care with heat-styling protective agent, it's an essential if you heat style hair. It's really moisturising, I use it like a leave in conditioner, a pea sized amount distributed evenly though lengths and ends before blowdrying means hair gets damaged less and dries to a smoother finish. 

I love both of these products, a little goes a long way so they last ages. I'll definitely be buying them again when they run out!

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