Thursday, 30 May 2013

US Beauty Haul

So today I have some more amazing beauty products from America to share with you. This is part two of my Beauty Swap with Yessie from Cinnamon and Zoey Kisses (see part one here). She's sent me some fabulous products and even included some treats for my little sister which was really sweet of her. The latest instalment of our swap arrived a few weeks ago and I've been busy "playing". There's lots of lip products... she clearly knows me well.

Don't Blink Pink, Cherry Bomb, Sangria.
I'm so impressed with Wet n Wild lipsticks, look how pigmented they are! I have 5 now would happily have to the whole collection... such a shame they don't sell in the UK. And a couple more Milani Lipsticks, I love both of these - my sister and I have been fighting over Naturally Chic.

Maybelline Baby Lips and EOS lipbalm in Summer Fruits.

There's a wonderful Milani Baked Blush in 05 Luminoso. It's a beautiful shimmering peach shade that reminds me of Benefit's Coralista. 

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow in 252B Nutty/Noisette. Highly pigmented, velvety and long lasting. I can add this to the palette Yessie sent me in the last swap, which I'm loving so much it deserves its own post.

I haven't had chance to use the mascaras yet (got to run some others down first) but I'm very excited to try my first Covergirl mascara. And just a final special mention for the Mint Choc Chip Extra - the best gum ever! Check out Yessie's blog if you want to see the UK goodies I sent her.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara V Guerlain Maxi Lash

When it comes to mascaras we’re spoilt for choice. The market is full of fab lash lovelies at every price point so when it comes to new mascaras they’ve got to be pretty fabulous to impress me.
Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara £22/8.5ml - here
"Guerlain Maxi Lash Mascara creates larger than life lashes with the a volumising and curling it-accessory for the eyes. The formula is made up of three polymers: the first wraps the lashes in thickening oils, the second conditions with supple waxes to shape and style, and the last forms a film which sets the curl". What a surprise this was. I love the brush, it’s an old school normal brush... remember those? No rubber, no spikes, nothing curved or zig zagged. A couple of strokes and my lashes were really maxed out! The formula instantly cups the lashes and drags them to new heights. It’s quick and easy to use and gives instant thicker lashes with a bad ass curl. I hardly had to work to get these results and if I wanted to really go for it I could of got some mega volume with this mascara. The formula is everything you'd expect from a top end mascara, I did however experience some smudging on the top lid but I'll put that down to the curl. The full size mascara is encased in a gorgeous gold bullet.. think that's me sold.

Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara £22.50/8g - here 

"A four in one mascara that creates intense volume, strong curl, infinite length and complete lash care" I was very intrigued by this mascara with its kooky spherical brush. Unfortunately I just didn't "get" the brush. It's so fiddly and time consuming. When using the wand it concentrated only on the lashes cupped by the spheres, the ones in between got left out, which resulted in a "spidery" look. It was also impossible to get to the root of the lash and I found myself having to tip the brush vertically and use just the top sphere  I did get good results .. eventually, but it took some effort. The formula is great, very black and long lasting with no smudging and if you buy this mascara it does come with a "regular" brush, which leads me to conclude the spheres are just a gimmick and not one I'll be buying into.

Of the two, Guerlain is the easy winner. One of the best new mascaras I've tried. Best deal I can find for this one - £19.80 from escentual - here. Next on my hit list... the new Chanel Le Volume Mascara

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Monthly Favourites... Bumper Edition

Ah a monthly faves post, something I plan, but fail to do most months... but not this month. So here are the products I've been loving most in May...

Lancôme Flash Bronzer Anti Age
I've finally found a self tan that doesn't clog the pores or result in black heads. I've been using this since I returned from holiday (back in March) to prolong the my tan and it's working a treat. It has a silky cream texture that blends easy with no streaks and is enriched with active ingredients to help fight the signs of anti-aging. Now anti-aging isn't top of my wish list (yet) but a self tan that isn't drying and doesn't clog the pores is! Comes in two shades Golden and Bronze, I've got Bronze which is the darker of the two. It is pretty dark on application but not at all orange. £25/50ml Feel Unique and Boots

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Body Oil
Clearly I've been enjoying this a LOT. You know how much I love my body oils and last time I ran out of Weleda Pomegrante Body Oil I went in search of a purse friendly alternative... and this is it. Palmer’s Cocoa butter used to be one of my staples until I ditched it for oil, so thank Palmers for bringing this out. With pure Cocoa Butter enriched with Vitamin E. Oh how I’ve missed that trademark cocoa scent. This oil is just lush. I slap it on after showers and baths, it absorbs pretty quickly, isn't sticky and keeps my skin soft all day. £4.60/250ml Amazon here or  £5.10/250ml Boots 3 for 2 here.

EOS Lip Balm
How can something so small and simple bring so much joy? This little cutie is the best lip balm I’ve ever used (Thank You Yessie). They smell divine (I have Summer fruits and my sister has Starwberry Sorbet Smoothie) and they’re over 95% natural. Easy to use without getting sticky fingers and keep lips soft and supple for hours... they’ve even had the Kim Kardashian seal of approval. If you live in the US you can pick these lovelies up for less than $3 in the likes of Walmart and Target. I’ve found a couple of sites selling them in the UK but they’re three times the price.. Cute Cosmetics £5.99 delivered here and Bath and Body shop £4.99 plus p&p here.

Bourjois Khol and Contour Eye LinerEasily my most loved product over the last month. In fact I haven’t put it down. It’s the perfect everyday liner and helps to create a gorgeous brown/bronze smoky eye. See my full review here.

Nioxin Starter Kit System 1
I didn’t really have high hopes for the latest product promising thicker hair – I mean I’ve used them all over the years and none have revolutionised my fine, flat hair... until now. So it’s early days (I’ve been using the system for three weeks, and Nioxin promises thicker hair after 30 days) but my hair already feels thicker. And not just immediately after use but all the time. I’m going to keep using Nioxin for now and I’ll let you know my final verdict. Find out more about Nioxin here If you’re intested in trying it, Lookfantastic seems to be the cheapest

MAC RiRi Woo
Oh I love you RiRi Woo! Now I know I suit nudes more than I suit reds but I can’t help falling in love with Rihanna’s take on MAC’s Rudy Woo.  I wore it last Friday night and it did make me feel sexy... enough said! Read my full review here.

So there you have it, this months long list of favourites. I’d love to hear what you’re loving right now.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Free Back2Mac Lipstick

I’ve mentioned Back2Mac a couple of times on Instagram  and not enough people know about it... so I’m spreading the word because I don’t want my girls missing out on a free lipstick.  Here's the deal... MAC has a recycling program called Back2Mac. If you return 6 empty MAC containers* you’ll be rewarded with a lipstick of your choice... simples! I returned 3 empty blushers (which I depoted into my Pro Pallette), 2 foundations and a face powder and swapped them for this....

MAC Freckletone lipstick
Since it was a freebie I thought I’d take a gamble and pick a completely new shade. I told the MUA I had lots of pale pinks, corals and brights and I wanted something different. Freckletone is described by MAC as a “neutral peach” with a Lustre finish. I’d describe it as a nude peach with a hint of  brown. It’s hardly striking in the bullet so I’m not surprised I’ve never picked it up, but on the lips it’s a sultry toffee nude that works perfectly with a bronzy look. It’s semi-sheer, semi-opaque if that makes sense, i.e. the colour is buildable. It has an easy slip application (no dragging) and a creamy glossy finish. As it’s a Lustre finish the wear time isn’t amazing, but it will hand around for up to two. If you find creme D'nude too pale, Freckletone could be the nude for you. It’s a much more wearable nude and won't wash you out.

After a little post purchase research (got to know what my fellow bloggers think) I discovered it’s a favourite of Kim Kardashian and my Queen, Beyonce... bonus!
Queen Bee
*MAC accepts returns of its primary packaging such as empty foundation bottles and tubes, lipsticks, lipglasses, blushers, face powders etc (This does not include Viva Glam, Pro Long Wear or Sheen Supreme). Find out more about Back2Mac here
If you don’t have enough empties but fancy a new lipstick, there’s currently 10% off cosmetics including MAC, online at Debenhams so bag one for £12.15 here

Friday, 17 May 2013

Summer on the Riviera Bronzing Collection from Bourjois

Bourjois are on fire with hot new product launches. First the Rouge Edition Lipstick, then the Cream Blushers and now, the bronzing range to end all bronzing ranges... Introducing Summer on the Riviera, the new three piece bronzing collection from Bourjois designed to enhance complexions with a natural glow. The range includes a BB Bronzing Cream, Bronzing Primer and a Maxi Delight Bronzer.
BB Bronzing Cream 8-in-1 £9.99/30ml
This one got my immediately attention, a BB Bronzing cream... interesting. Promising 8 actions in 1 for a sun-kissed radiant and natural glow;
1.Evens skin tone
2.Sheer tint
3.Boosts radiance
4.16-hour moisturisation
5.Smooths skin
6.Prolongs tan
7.SPF 15
8.Refreshing sensation.It has a light easy to blend formula and an addictive chocolate scent.'
The universal shade apparently suits all skin colours. Now this I’m not sure about, it is very dark. I’d say I have a medium olive complexion (MAC NC30) and this product is much darker than my usual foundations. It is however very sheer and works for me to give a dewy, bronzy glow. On lighter skin tones it will probably look dirty. It has a lovely light gel like texture that’s sheer and creamy at the same time. It’s the sort of product that’s ideal for holiday – when you want some colour but not full coverage. It will also be great post holiday to enhance your natural tan.
The Bronzing Primer £9.99/18g
As soon as I saw this I thought “Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel”.  It has that wonderful  cream/mouse texture. The Bronzing Primer smoothes, evens and mattifies the skin. It has an addictive chocolate fragrance and luxurious velvety texture making this a summer must have. The velvety formula perfectly blends onto the skin for a flawless complexion with no marks. It can be used under make up as a primer, over make up to contour or alone to add a hint of colour. It’s early days so I can’t say if it’s as good as Chanel, it is slightly darker and has more of a whipped mouse texture.
Maxi Delight Bronzer £8.99/18g
A supersized powder with a light texture for the face and décolleté. The super pigmented bronzer really warms up with face and is perfect for all over colour. There’s a slight shimmer running through it so I wouldn’t recommend for contouring. The fragranced bronzer comes in Light/Medium and Dark/Tanned shades.
The Summer on the Riviera collection is out now and currently exclusive to Boots, where you can save £3 on each product – here.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

It's the 2nd Birthday box... Glossybox UK May 2013

I can barely believe it's been a month since the amazing Pearl Lowe box (see it here) never mind two years since Glossybox was born. To celebrate turning two this month's box is filled with "incredible treats from our most trusted and beloved brands".

This month we have...

Caudalie Divine Oil 15ml size worth £4.05
It was an ooooo moment when I spotted this. I love Caudalie and I LOVE oil. Divine oil can be used on the body, face, hair nails, added to the bath or used as a massage oil. It's pretty small so I'm surprised it's a full size product but a little oil does go a long way. Can't wait to try this! Full size £22.50/100ml

Nails Inc Portobello 4ml mini
I can't knock a bit of Nails Inc and this is definitely my kind of colour. Portobello is a brand new neon orange shade. £11/10ml available in the 3 for £22 online at Nails Inc.

Premae Harmony Balm 10ml sample
Apparently a skin protector and primer that gives skin a silky, dewy glow. Formulated with lemongrass oil and aloe vera to sooth brakeouts and reduce excess oil...Sounds good! £26.50/30ml.

Beautiful Movements Cosmetics Prime & Create Mixing Medium 2.5g sample
According to Glossybox an "excited new product alert". The clear aloe vera based gel can be used as a primer or mixed with foundation, powder blushers and bronzers to create a cream tint? I'm not sure where this magic's supposed to happen since they've crammed the product into the tiniest tub but I'll suss it out. £20/20g

Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 Mascara 1.5g sample
Okay it's a little diddy tube but they do come in handy for travelling or sticking in your handbag and it's a great way to try before you buy. Full sizetube costs £22.50/8g.

Plus there's two bonus gifts - a pack of mini emery boards and some Green and Blacks chocolate - thanks Glossybox. I got to say, despite there being 7 products in this month's box, I did think it was a little on the empty side. The goodies are very small this month - hopefully what they lack in size, the make up in fabulousness. Overall I'm really happy with this month's box and will find good use for all the products. Find out more about Glossybox's monthly subscription service here.

Happy 2nd Birthday Glossybox!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Bourjois Khol and Contour... makes your eyes SPARKLE

I've been finding myself wanting to wear brown eyeliner recently. It's much better for during the day and works really well with my eye colour (hazel), but the No7 liner I was using wasn't up to much - too smudgy, you know the kind. I also wanted a bronzy/gold liner to smudge into the brown so imagine my delight when I discovered this 2 in 1.

Bourjois Khol and Contour Shadow & Light 13 brun & caramel eye liner is, as the name suggests brown at one end, caramel at the other. I've honestly never noticed these before and have no idea how long they've been out but they're simply genius! Brun is a dark chocolate long wearing matte brown, perfect for precise liner application and the caramel is a gorgeous bronzy gold with a hint of shimmer to highlight the eye perfectly. I apply the brown to the entire top lash line, tight lining the inner and outer edges and to the outer edges of the bottom lash line. I then smudge to make it look more natural before adding caramel to the inner and outer corners of the bottom lash line, and a little up top. The quality of the eyeliner is fantastic. Not too soft that it smudges too much and not too hard that it drags and unlike the No7 one, it lasts all day. The caramel is a bit softer and can also be used as an eyeshadow if you get smudging. The result - a brown, bronzy everyday smoky eye. I'm hooked!

Bourjois Khol and Contour Shadow and Light Eyeliners, available in 5 shades £5.49 Boots - here

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Woo Hoo It’s RiRi Woo

Rihanna and MAC's RiRi Woo is in the house and it’s just as hot as I wanted it would be.

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock MAC and Rhianna have joined forces for what promises to be the coolest co-lab ever. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until June to get our polished talons on RiRi’s goods but just to tease and whet our appetites they released a limited number of RiRi Woo’s online last week – Rihanna’s very first, very own signature red lipstick.
RiRi Woo is MAC’s cult classic lipstick Ruby Woo with a little RiRi mix. RiRi Woo is described as a “matte cool red with a retro matte finish.” It’s a deep, medium red with strong cool undertones and a matte finish. Red can be hard to wear but this one suits most and as it's a cool, blue based red it doesn't make your teeth look yellow. As it's matte, there is some dragging - you might want to use a brush to apply this one, but once it's on, it stays on and it's completely opaque. I'm not normally a big fan of matte, but there's something about a matte red, it's very iconic, very Marilyn. 
So what’s the difference between RiRi Woo and Ruby Woo?
If I’m honest, not a lot. RiRi Woo is very, very similar to Ruby Woo (and that was the point).  RiRi’s is slightly deeper and feels smoother and is of course etched with her signature. If you have Ruby, do you need RiRi... absolutely not, but do you want it? Hell yeah! And in the words of the Badgal herself it's “epic as phuck”.

MAC RiRi Woo might be currently sold out, but never fear, it’s coming back in June along with the rest of the collaboration. Sign up at MAC online to be the first to know when.
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