Thursday, 29 August 2013

August Beauty Favourites

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser
Coming in at the top of August’s list since I’ve practically worn it every day this month. It’s creamy, glowy, light weight and dewy – I just love it.  Read my full review here. Available from Space NK £33/50ml here and John Lewis here.

Murad Acne Spot TreatmentThank you Murad, you’ve really helped me out this month. Luckily for me spots are a rarity but every now and then I get a pesky breakout, and my have they hit me this month. Cue Murad Acne Spot Treatment – A fast-acting spot treatment that reduces the appearance of breakouts and supports healing of blemishes. Apply a small amount directly to the spot and hey presto, watch it disappear. Ok, maybe not straight away, but this really does work. Helps to stop infant blemishes in their tracks or heal the nasty’s that have already developed. £15.20/15ml Feel Unique here

NYX Cream Blush in Glow
Deserving their own post, and they’ll get one soon, I’m super impressed with NYX Cream Blushers. I’ve been wearing Glow (a lovely bright pink) a lot this month. Don’t be fooled by its bright appearance. Despite being well pigmented it’s quite sheer yet buildable. This cream blush really makes my cheeks pop and gives a pretty youthful glow.  I apply with my Read Techniques Expert Face Brush for flawless application. Cream Blush £5.50 here.

Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil
I once called this stuff my skin saviour, then stopped using it, recently rediscovered it and have fallen in love all over again. For hair, body, face... you can even eat the stuff! My three favourite uses 1) Hair mask – massaging into the scalp and through the ends, leave for an hour or overnight if you can and rinse off – stronger, softer hair at your service. 2) Mix with rock salt to create the most amazing scrub. I did this in the bath the other night and my skin has never felt so soft. 3) An all over moisturiser. Apply after shower or bath for a truly intense moisturising experience. It melts into the skin and stays soft for days. Coconut Oil from £6.99 Holland and Barrett here

And this is me wearing the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser and NYX Glow blush


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

God didn't give me thick hair, John Frieda did

Big hair, how I covet thee. I can’t tell you how much money and how many products I’ve wasted in my quest for bigger, better hair and the only thing that’s really worked for me has been John Frieda Luxurious Volume Mousse. It gives body, volume and a great lift at the roots. But can the rest of the Lux. Volume line cut it?
Luxurious Volume Shampoo £5.99/250ml
I’ve used this before (when the packaging was light blue) but stopped because it was a little harsh. It gave good volume but it tangled my fine tresses so much, even the tangle teezer couldn’t get through.  So I was intrigued to see if the formula had changed with the packaging. This new version gives a real deep clean without stripping. The light weight formula works up a good lather without tangling and gives good body.
Luxurious Volume Conditioner £5.99/250ml
The jewel in the crown – the best “volume” conditioner by far. See this one achieves what most others cannot – conditions AND gives volume. A rich, creamy, luxurious conditioner that instantly strengthens and detangles but at the same time it doesn’t flatten or soften the hair too much. I don’t apply to the roots – mid to ends only, leave for a few seconds then rinse.
Luxurious Volume fine to full blow out spray £6.99/125ml
This light spritz smells lovely and can be sprayed all over damp hair before blow drying. After spraying all over it left my hair feeling a little fuller but it didn’t give me any volume at the roots. Great for natural all-over strength and thickness, but not the va va voom volume I was hoping for.
Luxurious Volume Thickening Blow Dry Lotion Root Booster £5.99/125ml
Now you’re talking! Again it can be srayed all over damp hair, paying particular attention to the roots. The completely light-wight, non-sticky formula thickens and lifts from the roots. I could see and feel the results immediately. Make sure you really get into the under sections and tip your head upside down whilst drying – I guarantee some serious lift. I used this together with the mousse (moouse all over, this on the roots) and oh my fat hair!
Dry Shampoo Volume Refresh £5.99/150ml
First of all, this isn’t a dry shampoo in the traditional sense. If your hair’s greasy this won’t rescue you. It’s more of a volumising texture spray – and I love it. Spray it all over – root to tip, mess it up and voila – texture and volume. Great just after your blow dry for that messy/textured look or any time you need a refresher. In fact, it's going straight in my handbag.

Results: Using Moouse and Root Booster (excuse the poorly lit iphone pic)

Luxurious Volume really sums up this range. It gives good volume and at the same time feels luxurious and salon quality. I wouldn’t bother with the fine to full blow out spray but the rest get a big thumbs up from me. If it works on my flat, fine hair, it should work for anyone. See the range online at Boots here and Feel Unique here.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Make up Storage UPDATE

Argh, make up storage, one of my favourite subjects. In fact organising my make up is one of my favourite past times - tell me I'm not alone? Gosh, I remember when my products fit in a standard make up bag, what happened? But lately it's been looking a bit cluttered so I've had another re-jig.

I'm still using Muji Acrylic Wide Drawers from £7.95 here 

Powder Blushers
Bronzers, Face Powders and Highlighter
Cream and Powder Blushers

The Dressers is from Ikea, part of them Hemnes range. The drawer version that I have is no longer available but the dressing table version is still for sale £190 here.

It houses a whole lotta products.....

I found this handy little drawer organiser in Ikea (sorry it has no name) which is perfect for storing the "spill-over" products in the top drawer....

I keep my most used brushes in this pretty pot (from a local interiors store, added the ribbon myself) on top of the dresser, the rest are in the top draw. It's less cluttered than having multiple pots up top and protects them from dust.

This gorgeous vintage glass tray is an amazing charity shop find and keeps my skincare and candles looking tidy, plus my YSL lipstick because it's too gorgeous to hide away. Hand held butterfly mirror £2.95 dotcom gift shop here.

Candle holder and love heart light from Next here.

Hope you enjoyed having a peek through my space. Let me know what you think and please leave any links to your own storage in the comments box - like I said, it's my favourite past time.

Monday, 19 August 2013

I've seen the light - Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Yup, I've seen the light. I'm a tinted moisturiser convert. See recently my foundations have felt too heavy. Maybe it's the heat or just a summer thing, but I started feeling like I wanted something lighter. I'm over the BB craze and can't be bothered with the CC thing, so naturally I looked to tinted moisturisers. And none have earned their stripes like Laura Mercier's.

The product is fairly thick and creamy, like a rich moisturising cream, yet it's super light weight. Like a moisturiser it glides on and melts into the skin giving instant hydration. Now this is not a mask! The coverage is pretty sheer and if you're new to tinted moisturisers it can take some getting used to. It gives just enough coverage to disguise dark circles and discoloration but it won't block out your skin. My skin looks plumped, hydrated and dewy with a natural glow that lasts all day. No makeup makeup, achieved! 

I apply with my fingers for a soft natural look and if needed, buff with a stippling brush - probably more through habbit than anything else because this melts in by itself. I've tried wearing it alone on bare skin, over moisturiser and over primer. All work well. Personally I need a bit more moisture around my mouth and nose so I pat some moisturiser on those areas first then apply the tinted moisturiser. Although sheer, the coverage is buildable. I apply a little extra around my nose and cheeks where I need a bit more coverage and it helps to even out my skintone. There's ten shades available in the UK, I matched closest to sand. I personally think it's a little on the light side right now, but once my summer glow fades (and it's starting to) it should be perfect. I guess the one drawback would be the price. At £33 it's more expensive than most of my foundations, but it's a 50ml tube. Most foundations are 30ml so you're getting more bang for your buck. FYI, I'm not turning my back on foundations, just reserving them for evenings, occasions and bad break out days.

Over the years this tinted moisturiser has earned cult beauty status and now I know why. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser £33 here. Also available in Oil Free and Illuminating all with SPF30.

Friday, 16 August 2013

The best of Summer Nails


Summer nails mean two things to me - pastel or bright. Metallic, glitter, blacks and reds... there's no room for you here, you'll be back once the nights start drawing in and the boots come back out. But as long as the sun's a shining, I'll be clinging on to these top picks....

SensatioNail Guilty Pleasure - there's nothing "guilty" about this one. It's a bright orange/pink-fluro, in-yer-face and it knows it. Review here.

Revlon Strawberry Cream - a bright, milky pink that's a real tan enhancer. The perfect summer shade and it's scented!  Review here.

Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams - a true baby blue with a gorgeous creme finish.

Nails Inc You're a Peach - a peach indeed. This one's the perfect milky pastel peach.

Essie Cute as a Button - a beautiful bright coral with a glossy finish. I always take this on holiday, goes well with a tan and makes me feel very tropical. Review here.

Essie Bikini So Teeny - needing no introduction. A pale baby blue with a hint of lavender and a gorgeous subtle shimmer. Review here.

Sinful Colors Coral Reef - clearly I have a thing for corals. This one's a true coral. Not as bright and Cute as a button and not as milky as Strawberry Cream.... just sitting nicely in the middle. Did I mention it's just £1.99!

Essie Mint Candy Apple - I'm going to say it... this is my favourite ever shade. Mint green pastel perfect. It never fails to impress. I'll wear it all year round but it's definitely a summer hit. Review here.

Revlon Buttercup - this one screams summer. I mean when else could you rock a yellow nail? A creamy pale yellow with a cream finish. They'd look a bit sickly next to my pasty winter hands, but in the summer they make that tan pop! Review here.

Essie Avenue Maintain. Another Essie and another blue. Described as a Parisian Light Blue with a crème finish... how could I resist! I got this one from Fragrance Direct for £1.99 here.

Avenue Maintain, Strawberry Cream, Havana Nights, You're a peach, Cute as a button, Buttercup, Mint Candy, Coral Island, Bikini So Teeny
Excuse the photo bomber!

Which is your favourite? 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My MAC Capsule blush collection and Pro Palette

Let me introduce you to my capsule blush wardrobe - a collection of my favourite MAC powder blushes. From peachy corals to soft pinks to bronzy shimmer, I've got it covered.

MAC Pro Palette Large  £14 here insert £6.50 here

MAC recently overhauled their pro palettes so I’m glad I held out. The new and improved versions are more like the Z Palette, an empty magnetised palette with a see through window so you can see exactly what’s inside. They’re slick and sturdy, can store blushers and eyeshadows and can be used with or without inserts.
The Capsule Collection
Not just the first six blushers I saw, some serious care and attention went into it. I depotted them myself, there's tonnes of tutorials on youtube so I'll not bore you with the instructions but FYI I used the lighter and sharp object technique (one did get damaged in the process but only slightly). This is now my go-to palette. I can pick it up and find, or mix a shade for every occasion. It loosely goes from peach to bronze to pink to plum...

Top Row L-R
Melba (matte) -  Described as a “Soft coral-peach”, I’d say it’s more of a medium peach with a tiny hint of rosiness. Despite the “bloggers hype” I dismissed this shade so many times. It looks pretty dull and dirty in the pan and I’m not a fan of matte... or so I thought. It’s just one of those shades that magically transforms on the face. It’s great everyday shade that really warms my face and despite the “matte” tag it’s not at all flat. Give in to the hype, it's worth it!
Margin (frost) - Described as “Peach with golden shimmer”. It’s a great everyday bronzy blush with a natural shimmer. It's a guaranteed pick me up. I love a frost finish on my cheeks – almost like a blush and highlighter in one. It’s one of my most used shades and is lovely mixed with a bit of Melba or Prism. See full review here.
Prism (matte) – Described as a “Muted pinkish-brown”  it’s the perfect neutral shade. It might look super boring in the pan but I swear it’s one of MAC’s hidden gems. Not too pink, not too peach. If you’re rocking heavy eyes or lips or BOTH and you need something neutral on your checks, this is the one. Also works well with a red lip. 

Bottom Row L-R

Fleur Power (satin) – Described as a “Soft bright pinkish-coral” I’d say much more pink than coral. I love this colour, it’s a very wearable medium pink that gives a natural flush of colour. Not my favourite finish though. Satin’s aren’t really my thing, the colour pay off tends to be terrible - it took some serious heavy duty swatching for it to show up on the picture below. For a bit more life I like to mix it a little with its next door neighbour... dollymix
Dollymix (sheertone shimmer) - "Pure candy pink". Argh, Dollymix... it’s not just for dolly birds like I previously thought. Despite looking like clown makeup in the pan it actually applies quite sheer. A pretty, brightened rosy pink with a subtle shimmer and a gorgeous sheen. Full review here
Plum Foolery (sheertone shimmer) - Representing the plum family, this “Faintly plum” blush is a gorgeous plummy pink with a strong shimmer. I like plum shades, especially in autumn/winter and this works really well with berry shades and darker lips. It's quite a dark blush and very pigmented so go steady.

What would be in your capsule collection? 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

High-Flyers Glossybox August 2013

This month's box is filled with handpicked beauty goodies from around the World. From Sweden to Brazil, hero products that will keep you looking fab during your summer travels....

Oceane Make up Remover Pen from Brazil

For mobile, fuss-free, mess-free, makeup touch ups/removal on the go. Sounds good? I think this could be a useful addition to my stash. When it comes to winged liner, there's always one eye that goes wrong, right? Unfortunately there's no price information on this one and it's not available in the UK yet.

Jelly Pong Pong 2 in 1 shadow/liner from the UK Full Size £10.50

The perfect multi-tasker for travelling, this creamy 2 in 1 crayon can be used to line the eyes or be smudged and blended as an eyeshadow. 

Emite Make Up Eyelash Curlers from Sweden £20

Developed with professional make up artists these eyelash curlers certainly look the part and they come with three additional refill pads. I'm not really one for eyelash curlers. My lashes are long and look pretty ridic if curled, but it's been a while. I'll give them a go.

Tresemme  Keratin Smooth from USA £1.49/15ml

Concentrated rinse off treatment shot in a handy little size, ideal for summer holidays to help combat sun, sea, chlorine damaged locks.

UrbanVeda Daily Radianc Face Wash from India Sample size 20ml 

Well not from India exactly, but founded from ancient Indian principles. The UrbanVeda range has been formulated to naturally combat pollution, leaving skin less vulnerable to the environment. This daily radiance face wash contains turmeric, papaya and coriander... interesting.

Remember last year's "International Superstars" box (see it here)? Filled with cheap tat from around the World, it was the worst box ever! Fortunately one year on Glossybox have learnt their lesson. I'm not saying I'm in love with this box, but it's an interesting mix of products and I think I'll find use for all five products. Is it worth £12.95? This month, probably not.

Find out more and subscribe to Glossybox or buy one off boxes here. Anyone get the same as me?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Dewy Bronzy Peachy Look

Here by popular demand my very first WOMF – that’s What’s on my Face to you and I. WOMF’s have been on my to do list for a while now, but there’s one reason I’ve avoided them – the dreaded selfie. I’m not very techy, I don’t have studio lighting and I don’t have anyone (capable) to take my head shots so you’ll have to make do with the selfie for now. I’ll call this one the dewy bronzy peachy look....

The base is pretty standard for me – I lightly buffed in MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation NC30 with my beloved MAC Duo Fibre 130 brush. It gives a medium coverage and a very dewy finish (full review here). I applied some MAC Prep and Prime highlighter in Light Boost under my eyes and along the bridge of the nose, again buffing with the Duo Fibre brush. To finish I dabbed a little Mineralize Moisture Skinfinish Powder along the T zone to minimize the shine.
Next, the super product that is Sleek Face Form. This sculpts, bronzes and highlights (full review here). Using the Real Techniques Contour Brush I very lightly traced the brown powder under my cheeks to create something that resembles cheek bones and swept the bronzer around the usual places – hairline, temples, jawline, cheeks... you know the drill. I dabbed a tiny bit of the highlighter on the top of the tops of the cheekbones and rounded off with a pop of Milani Blush in Luminoso (from America) on the apples of the cheeks. It’s a beautiful glowy peach.
Keeping the eyes pretty simple I swept MAC Soba – my new do-it-all shade over the lids and paired with Maybelline Expression Kajal liner in Brown. As always I filled my brows with a touch of HD Brow palette and coated my lashes with a quick slick of L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.
Lastly a swipe of MAC Shy Girl lipstick straight from the bullet and Voile... a peachy, dewy, bronzey face.

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Holy Grail Series... The Finale

It's the last in the current series of Holy Grailers. These three are so good, I could exist on them alone....

MAC Crème Cup Lipstick
Not all pale pinks are equal and this one, in my opinion, is the best! It's a blue toned baby pink, that suits my complexion perfectly. It's similar to Angel, but without the subtle lilac tint and slightly pinker than Hue. The cremesheen finish is so creamy and moisturising, yet surprisingly pigmented and long wearing. As someone prone to dry, chapped lips it's important for me. It glides on easily straight from the bullet and is so versatile. It's so easy and flattering to wear, it's also the perfect partner to the smokey eye. MAC Lipsticks £15 Debenhams here

Benefit They’re Real

This almost didn't make the cut. Not because it's not fabulous, because it is! But there's a lot of fantastic mascaras out there but if pushed to give my favourite this would be it. I love everything about this mascara - the brush, the formula, the results. Noithing gives volume like it.. va va voom lashes everytime. Full review and pictures of it in action here

£19.50/8.5g Currently with a free mini mascara from Lookfantastic here and Debenhams here

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base

Of course I saved the best till last. This is one the most expensive item of make up I own, but it's also the most exquisite. There's something about those interlocking Cs that oozes style and sex appeal. Despite being a staple in my collection since last year I haven't blogged about it yet. Why? Because I don't feel like my words can do it justice. And with a name like "Bronzing Cream Makeup Base" nor did Chanel. It's a makeup base, a cream bronzer, a contour, a face tint and so much more. The unique solid whipped cream texture is lightweight yet powerful and blends seamlessly into the face. I swirl my Real Technique Expert Face brush into the pan then buff all over the face after foundation, concentrating on my cheek bones, forehead and jawline. It adds immediate colour, warmth and definition to the face giving a beautiful lit-from-within glow. I do find it odd that it only comes in one "universal" orangey brown shade. Pale beauties need to exercise some caution with this one, but it can work, especially under foundation as a base. It's also handy on those no makeup days when I want some colour without caking on foundation. 

Tan De Chanel £31/30g Available from House of Fraser, Boots and Debenhams.

Catch part one here and two here.

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