Sunday, 30 June 2013

Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin!

Now I'm not techy in the slightest, in fact I'm technologically inept so I'm blogging about something I don't entirely understand BUT i don't want to lose my lovely blog readers so here we go...

From tomorrow Google Reader will be no more. Google Friends Connect will still exist (phew) but if you keep tabs on the blogs you love through that handy little dashboard Google Reader (yep, me too)  you'll need to find another way to stay connected. Disastrous I know! So a little plea to you from me, come follow me on Bloglovin' here or click on the + symbol to the right. Simply set up an account and follow all the blogs you want... just make sure Beauty and le Chic is one of them. It's easy to use, obvs since I use it, and looks pretty similar to the google reader. You can also import all the blogs you currently follow. Or, if you prefer to do it Gradma style, add me to your favourites. Just please don't forget about me...

Claire x

Friday, 28 June 2013

June Favourites

See I told you I was no good at this monthly favourites thing. Just squeezing in, in the nick of time are June’s faves...

MAC Cream Color Base in Hush

This cream highlighter is like second skin! Hush is a gorgeous peachy pearl shade with a frost finish that adds a really pretty glow to the face. I use it as a highlighter on my cheek bones, brow bones, forehead and the bridge of my nose to create an all-over healthy glow. It’s the perfect partner to a cream blush if you really want your cheeks to shine. See my full review here
£14.50 Debenhams here

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
“I knew you’d be mine sooner or later” she cackles to herself. If you read my post on No7 Luxurious Shower Oil you’ll know how much I love oils and how much I wanted this lovely. I finally have it and guess what.. yep, I love it. This shower oil transforms into a lavish, softening foam that leaves a satin-like softness all over your body. It smells divine and leaves my skin so soft I can skip the moisturiser.
£16.50/250ml Lookfantastic $24 Sephora
Maybelline Color Tatoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadow
So good they deserve their own post (and they’ll get one soon)! These cream eyeshadows give vivid, intense metallic colour and are seriously long lasting with no creasing. Easy to apply with fingers, a quick swipe and you’re done. Think MAC Paint Pots but a lot cheaper. Barely Branded is a warm, creamy beige with a frosted, metallic finish. This one came in my US swap so I’m not sure if it’s available in the UK. Obviously I loved it so much I had to go out and buy another... On and On Bronze is a gorgeous metallic bronze with a hint a taupe and I’ve wore it on my eyes everyday this week... I’m addicted.
£4.99 Boots and Superdrug Currently buy one get one half price

Vichy Normaderm Deep Clensening Purifying Gel
Vichy Normaderm Purifying Gel targets dilated or clogged pores, shine and  imperfections. Finally a face wash that lathers generously, removes my eye make up and doesn’t dry out my skin. Plus it has a handy punp, one to two pumps and I’m done. I know it’s pretty pricey for a face wash (it had a third off in Boots when I bought it) but it’s lasted an age – this one was purchased 12 weeks ago (as verified by instagram).
£10.50/200ml Boots here
Sinful Colors Nail Polish
Premium quality with a petite price tag. These £1.99 polishes knock the socks off pricier alternatives. I started with Be Happy (review here) and was so impressed I had to go back for Sweet Nothing and Island Coral.
£1.99/15ml Boots here currently buy one get one half price

MAC 109 small contour brush
This used to be my go to blush brush until it got cast aside for Real Techniques blush brush. Which let’s face it, is a fabulous brush with the softest bristles ever but I said it from the start, it’s too big for brush application... especially on my pea head! The 109 is small and perfectly formed for applying blush to the apples of the cheek. The bristles are soft and densely packed helping to pick up a good amount of product – swirl it on then blend upwards, job done! As for Real Techniques, I’m moving it to the bronzer/face powder department.
Brush £26 Debenhams here
See last months' favourites here I'd love to hear what you're loving right now....

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Wedding Make Up

I’m talking guest, not bride! Still, it’s a tricky skill to master. The problem with wedding make up is finding the right balance...You don’t want to scare people during daylight hours but you want to look sexy and "done" come the night do. Fortunately I’ve had a lot of practice lately (it's an age thing). This is the make up I wore for Amy's gorgeous wedding...  
I started off by smoothing a small amount of Murad Skin Perfecting dewy finish primer over my face, followed by MAC Studio Sculpt foundationIt has a generous, long lasting coverage but looks natural and dewy. I applied with my fingers to melt into the skin before buffing out with Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

Contour, highlight, blush, bronze
Base done, I wanted to add some definition to the face. Starting with MAC Prep & Prime Highligter in Light Boost under my eyes, cupids bow, length and side of the nose to both conceal and highlight. Next, my holy grail product – Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel. It is the most flawless cream bronzer EVER. Using the buffing brush or Real Techniques Expert face brush I applied under the cheek to create what resembles cheek bones, then buffed around the hairline, jaw line and nose to add some definition and all over colour. I then added a glow to my high points with Philosophy Divine Illumination love at first light. Check out Miss Maven if you want some help with contour and highlight. I decided to use a cream blush instead of powder dabbing Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera into the apples of my cheek then blending out with the buffing brush. You can read my full review on this here. It gave me a natural, dewy glow that lasted all day, plus I popped the compact in my bag for touch ups. Once I had all the cream products down I set the make up with MAC Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep
To help the look last all day I started with a primer (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion). To create my light smoky taupe/brown eye I covered the lids with Tease from NAKED 2 Palette then I worked MAC Satin Taupe into the crease and outer lid. There's something about this shade that really makes my eyes pop. It's sultry and smoky without being too heavy. I finished with a light dusting of Suspect in the centre of the lids, also from NAKED 2 Palette to add a subtle shimmer. I used my beloved Bourjois Eyeliner in Caramel & Brun to line the upper and lower lash lines before smudging with a rubber smudger and going over the top line with Lancome Khol Pencil Noir. To finish the eye I applied lashings of Benefit They’re Real (currently on offer at Debenham’s £16.25 by the way). As for brows I filled  them with my forever favourite HD Brow Palette and a slick of Benefit Speed Brow to help keep them in place.
Preparation is key for a long lasting pout. I exfoliated my lips the night before with a Lush lip scrub and applied plenty lipbalm before I did my make up. I pulled out the big guns with the beautiful Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Volupté Lipstick (full review here) along with MAC Lipliner in Nude.
All finished off with a spritz of Caudalie Beauty Elixir for that extra summin' summin'.

Of course all decorum went out the window by the night do...

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer Blush duo from RiRi Heart MAC

Hibiscus Kiss bronzer blush duo is the jewel in the crown of the RiRi heart MAC Summer Collection. Two of my favourite things - blush & bronzer with a little RiRi sass!

Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer is described as a “matte neutral bronze.” It’s a medium-dark tan with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a matte finish. I'd say it's suitible for medium to dark skin tones. It does look a little dark in the pan but it applies lightly so if you have a paler complexion you could get away with a little. It has a good, buildable colour payoff with a soft, smooth texture that doesn't look powdery and because it's matte, it's really good as a contour.

Hibiscus Kiss Blush is a warm pinky coral with a satiny sheen and a very subtle gold shimmer. In the pan the colour is quite bright but the initial colour pay off on my skin is a little poor (as with most MAC satin finishes). It takes some building but once you get there it's pretty damn striking. Gives my face a really pretty warm glow and it layers beautifully. I can't compare it too closely to any other blush in my collection. It has a brightness that reminds me of Benefit's Bella Bamba but more coral. The pinkness reminds me of MAC's dollymix but it's less shimmery.

Now neither are the easiest to swatch and since they just arrived this morning I can't comment so much on wear time but I'll share some pictures of them in action very soon. As for swirling the two together, I'm not a big fan of that - hate it when the bronzer bleeds into the blusher and makes it look dirty... separates all the way for me.

Overall I'm really impressed with Hibiscus Kiss £20/10.5g, a sassy two in one that will definitely help you chanel your inner bad gal. The bad news is the RiRiHeartsMAC Summer Collection sold out in minutes, sign up at MAC online here to be the first to know about the Fall (that's Autumn for us Brits) Collection.

UPDATE 25/06/13: Wear time is fantastic! Today I wore the blush and brozer and they're both still going strong... ten hours and counting...


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Lust Have: Stila Convertible Color Trio in Warm

I was trying so hard not to add any more blushers to my collection, but as soon as I locked eyes on this beauty I knew it would be mine. Stila Convertible Trio is my newest and currently most favoured cream blush.   
Stila launched two limited edition palettes available in Cool and Warm, each includes two permanent shades and one exclusive limited edition shade. Once I saw that the elusive Gerbera was included in the Warm version, the decision was made. Warm contains Gerbera, Camellia and HoneySuckle
Gerbera - a creamy brightened pinky peach.

Camelia - a warm tan brown which doubles beautifully as a cream contour.

HoneySuckle - Peachy pink with rose gold shimmer, reminds me a little of Nars Orgasm.

And what do you know, the stand out shade for me is in fact Gerbera.
I love the texture of Stila’s convertible colors. They’re everything I think a cream blush should be –  rich, creamy and kinda sticky... you know the kind that goes on glowy and stays glowy – no mouse or cream to powder textures here. They’re a pretty close match to MAC’s sadly discontinued Blushcremes (that’s Blushcremes NOT Cremeblends). Pigmentation is pretty good but varies depending on the shade Gerbera is very pigmented and gives instant colour payoff, HoneySuckle is a little more sheer and takes some building and Camelia is somewhere in between. In terms of application I find that good old finger application works best. I dab a little with my for finger then buff with Real Technique Expert Face Brush or a Duo Fibre. Wear time is really good, around 8 hours, and if you want to touch up, this compact was made to come with you. It’s small, flat, lightweight and comes with a mirror. They also double as a lipstick, I tend not to use them this way but they're a great back up when you're on the move.

Gerbera, Camelia, Honeysuckle

At £23 it’s not bad value considering singles (4.25g) are £16 each. Available from Space NK here Feel Unique here and ASOS here. Tempted?
If you love cream blushers, check out application Tips here 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

RiRi Hearts MAC... the Summer Collection is here!

Yes! RiRi's back! Stop what you're doing ladies, you won't want to miss this... and if RiRi Woo was anything to go by, blink and you will. 
Rihanna's second collaboration with MAC launches this week and it's an online exclusive.... Set your alarms for 12pm GMT 20 June 2013 because if I've learnt anything this year, it's stick Rihanna on it and it WILL sell out. The elusive RiRi Woo sold out in less than three hours. 

Riri Hearts MAC Summer Collection 

RiRi Lipsticks £14
RiRi Woo matte cool red (retro matte)
RiRi Boy matte vivid lavender (retro matte)
Heaux matte berry (retro matte)

Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush Duo £20
Hibiscus Kiss cool coral blush and matte neutral bronze duo

Lustre Drops £17.50
Barbados Girl rose gold bronzer

It's a small, but oh so mighty collection. I'm drooling over the blush/bronzer duo... how about you?

RiRi Hearts MAC Summer Collection available exclusively online in the UK from 20th June here and US now - here. Computers, phones, tablets at the ready...

RiRi ♥ M·A·C And ♥ it I do.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Beauty Steal: Sinful Colors Be Happy

Happy indeed! This is one of the hottest nail polishes I’ve tried and it’s less than £2! Hurray for Boots for bringing Sinful Colors to the UK. My first pick is Be Happy, a creamy aqua blue/mint green that’s a close dupe to Essie’s Mint Candy Apple (review here) and a nod to classic Tiffany Blue. I’ve heard some complaints that Sinful Colors aren’t so opaque but this beauty was amazingly opaque from just one coat. Of course I added another for good measure and finished with Leighton Denny’s One for All. These pictures were taken after three days wear – how fresh does it look (it’s day 5 and I’m still rocking it by the way). The brush is small, but mighty. It somehow seems to hold a lot of polish in such a small brush head so make sure you wipe off the excess. It’s not too thick or glupey and dried reasonably quickly with a creme finish. With a formula and quality that easy stands up to the likes of Essie and Nails Inc it kinds make me wonder if I’ll ever spend a tenner on a polish again.

Sinful Colors are available in Boots £1.99/15ml here and they ARE included in the current Buy one Get one half price promotion – 2 for under £3... yes please!
What do you think of Sinful Colors? Yes or no?

Friday, 14 June 2013

Beauty Giveaway... MAC Fix +

It's giveaway time and what better to give you than one of my all time favourite products.....

MAC Fix +, the aqua-spritz of gorgeousness. Packed vitamins and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. It adds radiance and finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up! Read my full review here.

It's easy to enter, all you have to do is follow me via Google Friends Connect (links on the right). New and existing followers welcome. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post "enter me etc" you know the drill and don't forget to include your GFC username.

Thanks for following me and good luck!

The boring stuff... One entry per person, open internationally, closing date Sunday 30th June  23:59 gmt. Winner will be chosen randomly by and will receive a brand new, boxed and unopened 100ml MAC Fix +.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Face Form: The Ultimate Contour Kit from Sleek

Ladies prepare to drool because Sleek have done it again. Face form is the ultimate 3 in 1 contour kit with a sculpting powder, highlighter and blush or bronzer.  Available in 4 different shades – Fair, Light, Medium and Dark.
Fair and Light – contouring powder, highlighting powder, and Rose Gold Blush
Medium and Dark – contouring powder, highlighting powder, and shimmering bronzer
I went for the Medium. I’m MAC NC 30 and already have the infamous Rose Gold blush (read my review here) so that obviously ruled out the first two. In the medium kit you get...
  • Contouring powder – This flat, brown, matte powder is ideal for contouring. The powder is blendable and really easy to work with. I know it looks very dark, fear not as it needs to be significantly darker than your skin tone to create good contours – remember you’re not applying this all over your face. It’s highly pigmented so use a light hand and layer lightly. I apply with a slanted brush (currently using M&S Blusher Brush) just underneath my cheekbones to create definition, along the hairline and under the jaw line.
  • Highlighting power – Oh this highlighter is dream. A light, frosty, champagne coloured highlighter with shimmer, not glitter. It illuminates key facial features that catch the light naturally. Apply to the upper cheekbone, hollow of the chin, length of the nose, high points of the forehead etc. I do this step last AFTER contour and blush/bronzer but that's just me.
  • Shimmering bronzer – A lovely soft, shimmering blusher that reminds me of Nars’ Laguna Blush. Given that you’ve already contoured with a brown powder I tend to go lightly with the bronzer and apply to the areas of the face that naturally catch the sun – cheeks, forehead, a little dusting to the nose etc

Wearing contour powder, highlighter and bronzer
Overall I think the quality of this compact is incredible. If this was Nars or MAC it would be three times the price and I swear you wouldn’t know the difference. I do have one issue  – not sure about the whole blusher OR bronzer situation. If I’m using this kit as a complete contour/highlight package, I’m definitely missing the blush. That said, each of the three products are top quality and can all be used on their own, plus I aint short of a blush or two. Since I tracked this palette down two weeks ago I’ve barely put it down. That reminds me, there’s one more problem... Sleek have to be the worse stocked brand on the market. Stock levels are low, irregular and the range varies from shop to shop. I “found” this palette rummaging around in the stock drawers under the make up counter in Superdrug! Be careful... this is frowned upon.

This is a product I’d recommend to everyone. If you’re new to contouring it’s a great way to get started and contains everything you need (especially for fair and light skintones). It’s small, compact, great for travelling and extremely good value.  Face Form £9,99 from Superdrug, Tesco and Sleek online.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Summer Looks from Glossybox June 2013

I love this month's Glossybox. It's not often I can say that with such conviction but June's Summer Looks box is a winner. Five products, four of which are full size that I will actually use. There'll be no pass-me-ons from this box... sorry Mum.

Organic Surge Conditioner £4.99/200ml
This brand is new on me but it smells lovely and it's full size, can't wait to try.

MONU Hydrating Moisturiser £29.95/50ml
This is about the fifth Monu product Glossybox have sent me... just as well I love them. Each one has impressed so I've got high hopes for this hydrating moisturiser, plus it contains SPF 15 which is really important to me. This 30ml tube is worth £17.97.

MeMeMe Long Lasting Nail Gloss £5/12ml
You won't hear me complaining about a full size nail polish. The shade, 90 Tenacious, is a lovely creamy teal and the brush is super fat, ideal for quick application.

Figs & Rouge Coco Rose Lip Balm £5/12.5ml
More than just a lip balm, it's smooth, soft, moisturising, 100% natural and tinted pink.

Helen E Eye Pencil with Smudger £8
A good, full sized eyeliner in black with a smudger, perfect!

So there we go, a really good all rounder this month - hair, nails, skincare, make up... it's all taken care of. Glossybox is a monthly subscription service costing £10 + p&p per month. Find out more here.

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Nail Polish Effect

As you’ve probably figured out, I’m nail obsessed.... I can’t tell you how much better I feel when my nails are coloured in and I’m not the only one. Sales of Nail polish have rocketed in the UK in the last year, cosmetic brands are investing more money than ever before launching bigger, brighter, better ranges and women of all ages are sporting colours they’d never dreamed of wearing ten, even two years ago... myself included. Not that long ago I thought blue nails were exclusive to corpses, now it’s my go to colour!
Glitter, crackle, magnetic, marbling, caviar, concrete, you name it, we’ve got it! Brassy, adventurous, even garish shades are everywhere these days. So why the shift? It could be attributed to the “lipstick effect”, a theory that dates back to the 1930s Great Depression. When times are tough, consumers stop spending on expensive items like designer clothes and shoes and “trade down” to cheaper items like lipstick to make them look and feel better... and now it seems nail polish. You might not be able to afford a new frock but you can always stretch to a little jar of polish. Nail polish is a very affordable and attainable fashion to follow, it’s quick and easy to do, there’s thousands to choose from and it suits everyone (regardless of size and shape). For me if I’m having a night out, or going on holiday I’ll treat myself to a new nail polish, whether it’s to match my outfit, the season or just on a whim, it’s a guilt free pleasure that’s here to stay. Now cracked/concrete/caviar aint really my thing (I’ll leave that to the young uns’) but pastels, brights and DIY manicures I can’t get enough of. These are myt top picks and tips...
Top Picks

Revlon Strawberry Cream, Essie Mint Candy Apple, Nails Inc Baker Street, OPI Where's my Private Jet

Nails Inc Baker Street Picking my favourites was tough, but Baker Street was an easy choice. Without doubt my number 1 and guess what... it’s blue! Famed by Beyonce (who stepped out wearing it after the birth of Blue Ivy) it’s now one of Nails Inc’s best sellers. Plus my customised version has a diamante lid and is called “Beauty and le Chic Blue” so what’s not to love? Read my review here RRP £11/10ml, Beauty Bay £8.69 here.
Essie Mint Candy Apple Cute by name, cute by nature. Essie know how to rock the pastels.  Read my review here £7.99 Boots and Superdrug. 
Revlon Strawberry Cream One of the cutest nail colours ever... plus it’s scented. A bright milky pink with a touch of coral, it’s the perfect summer shade. See more review and pics here. RRP £6.49/14ml, currently £4.49 Boots here

OPI My Private Jet Another shade I thought I'd never wear but some how became one of my all time favourites. My Private Jet is a deep, dark grey with glamorous glints and shimmers. In some lights it looks black, others, grey, others brown, but always fabulous! Full review here. £11/15ml here.
Top Tips
Wear a top coat. Just do it! I can’t stress how much longer your nail polish will last, even the cheap ones. My current favourite is Leighton Denny’s All for One, which triples are a top coat, base coat and ridge filler, boom!
Invest in a glass nail file. Yes they’re expensive, but provided you don’t smash it, they last forever. Did you know what filing your nails back and forth with a regular emery board can actually splinter your nails? I switched to the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File last year... once you go glass, you never go back. £12 - £15.50 here And it comes with a life time guarantee. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Kiko Nails 336 Electric Blue & 358 Peach Rose

My sister went to Germany last week and brought me back two Kiko Nail Lacquers (she’s 14 so it’s very sweet). I’ve seen Kiko Cosmetics online and I’ve heard some buzz in the beauty world but because we don’t have an actual store in the UK (outside of London) I haven’t got around to testing them out. She picked two cracking shades, unfortunately they only print the number on the bottles so I had to go online to find the names...
358 Peach Rose is a bright and beautiful peachy coral

336 Electric Blue is a stunning royal blue that reminds me of Nails Inc’s iconic Baker Street.

Application is effortless. The brush is nice and wide, cupping the nail perfectly and holds the polish nicely without dripping. Both colours were fully opaque with one coat, but I added another for good measure and finished with a top coat (my usual Leighton Denny’s All for One). The finish looked really glossy and professional.  Wear time wasn’t the greatest, after a couple of days there was some chipping but with a couple touch ups I got 3-4 days wear. There’s a vast range of colours to choose from and they’re really affordable... I’ve a feeling they won’t be the only two Kiko’s in my collection for long.
Buy Kiko Nail Lacquers online £0.50-£3.99/11ml - here
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