Thursday, 27 March 2014

Packing for Paris... Inside my Beauty Bags

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Pareeeeee! Whilst most people will spend ages trying on outfits, agonising over what to wear, me, I agonise over lipsticks and blush! 


Starting with the easy one - my hair squad doesn't change much. From now on I'm going nowhere without my amazing Parlux Hairdryer (review coming soon) and THE Wet Brush! I know that I won't have time to do full glam rollers but I'm packing a few Sleep in Rollers for my crown and a Fringe Roller. I'm still in love with Elvive Fibrology range (more deats here) and I decanted some of the conditioner into a small bottle from Primark. I recently discovered Charles Worthington Dry Shampoo, the mini version is really handy for traveling. It's a dry shampoo/texturising spray hybrid, perfect for adding some va va voom!

Skin/Body Care

Thank beauty for minis! I'd be hauling some serious weight if I traveled with full size versions of all this! Every time you place an oreder at Liz Earle you receive a free 30ml Cleanse and Polish, so I store them up for travelling. Caudaile Beauty Elixir is my holy grail travel companion. Perfect for re-hydrating dry skin in-flight, setting make up and generally giving some radiance... plus it's French.

Make Up

No surprise that this is the hardest part. Sometimes I wish I was a normal person, with one little make up bag I can pick up and take at a moments notice. But I'm not, so I have to go through the stash, deciding what's in and what's out. I always take too much, but it's better to have options. I'm trying to travel light on the lipstick front this time...

MAC RiRi Woo - I don't wear red a lot, but when in Paris.... MAC Hue is a wonderful nude with a hint of pink and YSL Rouge Volupte in Peach Passion, the perfect pinky peach.

In-Flight Beauty

We fly at 6am so I'm going sans make up (Yikes)! Before the flight I'll plaster my face with lots of skincare and whilst I'm up in the air I'll top up with with a little Beauty Elixir and my trusted Eight Hour Cream for my lips. Towards the end of the flight I'm going to do my makeup. I don't want to arrive in Paris looking dug up! There's a some L'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation decanted into a little tub, MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter to disguise those bags and Stila Convertible Palette for some dewy cream blush. I'll pop on some L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara to open and brighten the eyes and HD Brows and Maybelline Brow Drama to fill and tame my brows.

I can't wait to hit the French Pharmacies - any product tips or tips for Paris in general, I'd love to hear them - leave a comment below.

Au revoir chérie

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pull out the Big Guns

It’s Monday morning, you’re tired, your brain’s still asleep and your face hasn’t woke up. An all too familiar scene? So, I got-to-thinking... when I’m having a “I feel bad about myself” day, what are my go-to pick-me-ups?
To Prep the Skin....
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser from £3.25 here 
My holy grail! Even if I’m pushed for time, it’s worth spending a few minutes on this skincare essential. Packed full of goodies including eucalyptus, rosemary and chamomile it awakens the senses, sooths and calms the skin. The cleanser visibly brightens my complexion and the hot cloth action helps to wake the face, and buff away dead cells. Full review here.
To Awaken and Brighten the Eyes....
Optrex Brightening Eye Drops £3.29/10ml here
This is my secret weapon. When I’m tired and it shows – this is where I go. With a specially designed formula enriched with natural plant extracts and a special whitening agent, Optrex Eye Brightening Drops gently restore the natural brightness of your eyes so they can look and feel their best.
Urban Decay Naked Palette £37 here
Everyone has that one shade that brightens their eyes, for me it’s Sin from the Naked Palette. The pretty champagne pink frost opens and brightens my eyes every time... Eyes be brighter!

L’Oreal Volume Million Excess Mascara £9.35 here 
This one’s great when I need a quickie! If my eyes are small and piggy, I’ll skip the eyeliner and rely on mascara to widen the eyes.  A true volumising mascara, the large brush fans and coats the lashes generously and the silicone gel formula gives quick and easy volume. Full review and results here.
To get a Glow...
MAC Strobe Cream £23.50/50ml Debenhams here
For some reason Strobe Cream gets overlooked in my stash. But when I need a glow, this is where I go. I use the highlighting cream as a primer or mix it with foundation for a fake it to make it glow. For added sheen and polish. Lightly dab anywhere you want to highlight – cheek bones, brow bones, forehead.
Benefit Bella Bamba £23.30 here
When I need a pretty pop of colour, I know Bella won’t let me down. It’s a real face brightener. One sweep gives a pretty wash of colour and sheen and it’s laced with shimmering gold undertones which create the illusion of sculpted cheekbones. Read Full review here.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle £22 Debenhams here
Another pick me up for dull days. The beige, golden colour makes it very natural looking and the finely milled powders blend into the skin effortlessly, to give a “my skin but better” kinda glow. It gives me a soft, illuminating glow (subtly shimmery, not glittery) without being too in your face.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir £10.95/30ml here
To round it all off, a burst of radiance for lack lustre skin. A spritz on bare skin before my moisturiser, followed by a spritz or two after my make up and voile – dewy, glowy, fresh skin at your service! Full review here.

So they were my secret weapons... What are yours?


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Grey is the new Black! Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Eyeliner in Grey Velvet

Watch out black eyeliner, your days are numbered! I’d already ditched the noir in favour of a brown line (during the day at least) but who knew grey was actually the new black?

The Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Waterproof Eyeliner in Grey Velvet* feels amazing to apply thanks to its high silicone content. It’s wonderfully soft (but not in a melting way) and super easy to work with – create a line as strong or as soft as you like. Go neat or smudge to your heart’s content. It’s absolutely waterproof, super long-wearing and yields amazing coverage.  Grey velvet is a rich matte charcoal. Like brown khol, it’s much softer and easier to pull off and doesn’t make the eyes look “piggy” – an essential when applying liner at 7am! I’m not usually a fan of the retractable style non-sharpen pencils - I like to rock a rather skinny line, but this one’s super fine so there’s no difficultly being precise if you want to be. On the flip side, it’s perfect if you fancy doing a “lived-in” smoky eye because it smudges effortlessly and doesn’t leave harsh lines. It also washes off like a regular liner. I hate it when waterproof, means wash proof. But this one melts away with my regular eye make up remover.

Buy Daniel Sandler Long Lasting Eyeliner £9.25 from Lookfantastic – here. Also check out black, blue and brown velvet.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

What’s in the box? UK Glossybox March 2014

March’s Beauty Blossom box is here and it’s a real mix of so-called goodies.  First impressions, it hasn’t won me over (shock). The stand out item is a £4.49 Sleek lip balm, but I’ll show you what I got and let you decide.
Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Lotion 6ml worth £1.50
I’m confused – 2X3ml sachets – what am I supposed to be tanning? My foot! It’s a shame because I really like the sound of a tan that lasts 2-3 weeks. Sadly a full sized 150ml bottle will set you back £37.50 – although Glossybox have included a 20% off code (GLOSSY20 if you’re interested).

Dove Hair Therapy Intensive Repair 60 Second Thermal Treatment Shot Full size £1.49/15ml
I’m pretty tired of receiving hair masks and serums. Don’t like them. Pass them on to my Mum/Sister. Plus this one’s cheap as chips – classing it as a luxury sample is OFFENSIVE!
Michell and Peach Body Cream 40 ml Sample Size worth £8 (£36/180ml)
With English honey, organic cocoa, vitamin B5 and shea butter, this Mitchell and Peach body cream is perfect to leave you feeling as though you've taken a walk in the English countryside". I had a quick test of this stuff, it’s nicely fragrances and very soft on the skin. It will no doubt come in handy, but I’m kinda swimming in body cream right now.
Bellapierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder in Deja Vous Full size £12.99/2.35g
"This 100% pure Mica shimmering eye shadow will provide you with a long lasting vibrant colour without smearing, creasing or fading". I already own a some Bellapierre shimmer eyeshadows and they are pretty fantastic. Deja Vous is a lovely champagne colour, I look forward to trying it.
Sleek Pout Polish in Bare Minimum Full size £4.49/10g
So this is the product I’m most excited about. I whipped it out, opened it and slapped it on in seconds. With SPF15, almond oil, shea butter and vitamin E, this tinted lip balm it will keep lips soft, nourished and looking great. This shade is more or less see-through with a little nude tint and it has a wonderful vanilla scent – ala MAC lipsticks. It’s also very glossy and will look great over a lip colour.

Just as well this month’s box was free (I redeemed my Glossydots). I know I’ve said it many times before, but I think this will be my last Glossybox. I’ve subscribed since the very start and instead of the service getting better, it’s got worse. Good boxes are few and far between and it’s a long time since they introduced me to a gem like the HD Brow Palette or Weleda Body Oil. Find out more about Glossybox here.
Do you still subscribe? Are you happy with Glossybox?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Big Beauty Blog Sale - MAC, Nars, Clinique and more....

There comes a time when every beauty hoarder has to de-clutter and down size. As you can imagine I have more than my fair share of product and I hate to see them sitting there unused. Some items are brand new and some have been swatched for blogging purposes. Please look on Beauty and le Chic or Google for swatches before purchasing.

Important information
Paypal and U.K only (sorry but international postage is too expensive, plus the whole “liquids” thing is a nightmare)
Postage & packaging is £2.50 plus 50p for each additional item.
Please comment below with the items you would like and your Paypal email address. I will then total it up and invoice you. If payment isn't completed within 24 hours the transaction will be cancelled and the next person in line will be contacted. Therefore, if you want something that’s already gone, it’s worth sticking your name down as reserve.

MAC Buffer Brush 182 RRP £33.50 SALE £22
This is the softest brush I have EVER come across. Made from finest goat hair, it’s specially created to flawlessly blend powder onto the skin for an immaculate polished finish. You can see from the picture it’s barely been used.

EcoTools Bamboo Buffing Brush Flat Top Kabuki Brush RRP £9.99 SALE £5
Another high quality soft brush, but for some reason I never use it. Like new.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge Pale Pink RRP £19 SALE £8
Multi use cream blush and lipstick in one pretty little pot. It’s a gorgeous shade but doesn’t get a look in thanks to my Stila Convertible colour palette. Approx 10% used.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 125ml with pump (over 2/3rds full) RRP £28 SALE £15
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser 75ml (used once) SALE £7
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 for Dry Skin 30ml (New/unused) SALE £3
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-use Dry Oil (New/unused) 10ml SALE £3

MAC Brow/Eye Shadow Duo Brunette RRP £22 SALE £16
Fantastic duo for brows and eyes contains two MAC shadows from the permanent range – Coquette and Brun. Tested for blogging, almost new.

Eldorado Hand Made False Lashes H107 (New/unused) RRP £5 SALE £2 (REDUCED POSTAGE FOR THIS ITEM £1.50)

Nails Inc Baker Street (New/unused) RRP £11 SALE £5
One of my all time favourite shades, only selling because duplicates.
SensatioNail Gel Polish Disco Fever (Used once) RRP £15 SALE £6

Revlon Kissable Lip Stain Cherish Devotion (90% full) SALE £3
Nars Turkish Delight Lip Gloss RRP £17.50 (80% full) SALE £9
Sleek Lipstick OMG (used once) SALE £2
Body Shop Lipstick Innocent Pink RRP £10 (Used twice) SALE £3

Percy & Reed Volumising Mousse 200ml (95% full) RRP £12 SALE £3.50
Percy & Reed Really Rather Radiant Colour and shine shampoo 100ml New/unused £2

Happy Shopping!

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Perfect DIY Dip Dye with L'Oreal Intense Ombrés Kit

Ombré hair is the trend that keeps TRENDING! And with celebs like Kylie Jenner and Cheryl Cole recently joining the club, it’s showing no signs of fading! I’ve always sported some form of this look, before it was even a “look”. Grown out highlights, lemon juice accelerated sun bleached locks and even the hair killer that was Sun-In (remember that?). But thanks to L’Oreal Wild Ombrés kits, the look got a whole lot easier.
I did my first L'Oreal DIY dip dye nearly two years ago  (see the post here) and was thrilled with the results. It couldn't have been easier! The results were perfect – even my hairdresser thought I’d had it done at another salon. Thanks to a couple of summer holidays, my ends have stayed quite light, but recently I felt like it needed a little lift and when I discovered L'Oreal recently added two more shades to the range... off to Boots I went (scroll down for before and after).
L'Oreal Paris Préférence Ombrés kits are available in 6 shades
No 1 Wild Ombrés for Light Brown to Dark Brown
No 2 Wild Ombrés for Dark Blonde to Medium Brown
No 3 Wild Ombrés for Blonde to Dark Blonde
No 104 Ombrés Intense Light Brown to Dark Brown Intense Effect
Coloured Ombrés Red
Coloured Ombrés Copper
The kits come complete with a nifty little brush that gives you complete control over where you apply the dye. Simply comb on, wait 25-45 minutes, rinse off and voile... DIY dip dye at your service. Last time I used No 2, which was my perfect match. This time, I was intrigued to try the new No 104 Ombrés Intense. It’s basically the same kit, but with more intense results. I must admit the word “intense” scared me a little so I only let mine develop for 25 minutes (last time I left it for 30-35). I probably could have left it longer because the results were still fairly subtle, but I definitely achieved the look I wanted. Not the obvious dip dye, but more of a graduated ombré effect. To do this hold the brush horizontally, applying the cream higher in some areas, lower in others – rather than making a line and colouring everything below it. I also went a little higher at the front because I’m always trimming my long fringe. For more tips and details of how to apply, check out this L’Oreal video. The shade itself it a beautiful caramel hue, with multi tonal effect.

Second time round I’m just as impressed with these kits. They’re easy to use (I mean bomb proof), kind to hair and really long lasting. L'Oreal Paris Préférence Wild Ombrés kits £6.99 Boots and Superdrug. Have you tried them yet?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

CND Solar Oil – The Best Cuticle Oil Ever, FACT!

Listen up because this stuff is downright miraculous! Remember what I said about the InStyle Beauty Awards being a dangerous time for me? Well it happened again, my second purchase from said “beauty bible” (and I’m not gonna lie, there’s already been a third... more on that soon). Whilst winner of the best mascara category (full review here) didn’t quite set my world on fire, this one has!
CND SolarOil cuticle conditioning treatment is an award-winning favourite among nail pros. SolarOil’s synergistic blend of naturally light oils and vitamin E offer intense therapy for dry, damaged cuticles. Jojoba oil carries the vitamin E deeply into the skin, reducing visible signs of aging and keeping hands soft and supple. Repeated use actually drives the oils deeper in the natural nail, for results that only get better with time. Nails hold colour and enhancements better, feel stronger and more flexible.
As a regular nail painter I get fed up with my cuticles staining and constantly having to push them back. I used to use OPI Avoplex Oil, which is a great little oil, but this one’s so much better. It’s thicker, richer and the super-penetrating formula sinks in quickly, working wonders on my nails and cuticles. PLUS it smells like Battenberg cake!
I massage it into cuticles once or twice a day and can already see a difference. My cuticles are softer, with less build up and much less prone to staining. Best of all it won’t break the bank! The small bottle will set you back just over a fiver!

CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle £5.89/7.3ml from Amazon here and £11.95/15ml from Cult Beauty here Do you use a Cuticle Oil?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Going Out Makeup

I was back home a few weeks ago for a night out with my school friends. Before the jaegers bombs and twerking (both very BAD ideas) I managed to snap a few shots of my "Going Out" make up.
MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation (NC30) buffed in with my beloved and overworked 105 buffing brush. I gave my trusted MAC Prep and Prime highlighter a rest (actually I was getting ready at my Mum’s and forgot it) and instead used the Bourjois CC Concealer. I really like this, it’s very creamy and blends under the eye area seamlessly covering dark bags.
In an effort to travel light I doubled up on Nars, using the At First Sight Palette to service my bronzer and blush needs. I’m wearing a little bit of Laguna bronzer all over and D**p Throat on the apples of the cheeks. I find Laguna a little light for me so I went back in with Sleek Glo – a rocking bronzer and highlighting shimmer brick (full review here).
This look was inspired by the lovely Using the Naked 3 palette (bad beauty blogger for not doing a post on this yet, it’s coming I promise) I applied Nooner to the outer half of the lid, making a “C” shape with MAC 217  blending brush, followed by a little bit of Darkside to darken the look with a smaller eye brush and finished off by patting a little bit of Dust with my finger to the centre of the lid. I used the black powder from my trusted HD palette instead of a pencil liner and for mascara, well for a night out, it can only mean one thing - Chanel Le Volume de Chanel (full review here).

I kept my lips dead simple, I just wanted something that would complement the eye. I went for Wet n Wild Think Pink, a gorgeous pale pink lipstick with a unique creamy matte texture that lasts for ages.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

LUST HAVE: YSL Touché Éclat Go Wild Leopard Print Edition

Hats of the YSL – how can we make people buy more a product they already own? Stick leopard print on it of course! A purely frivolous, indulgent, lust driven purchase.... but I couldn’t resist. I’m a sucker for Touché and a sucker for animal print.
The Go Wild Edition is an exclusive collector's edition of the iconic Touché Éclat - the World's No.1 highlighter for over 20 years. Inspired by the famous leopard print motif cherished by the house of Saint Laurent, it adds a dash of 'wild' to the original - with a black and gold motif delicately engraved onto the product's golden surface. Basically, it’s sex on a stick!

The downside, it appears to be available in shade 1 only. I’ve taken to using shade 2 in recent times as it’s more yellow toned, but it’s nice to have the original shade back in my life – I’d forgotten how good it was. Read my full review of Touché Éclat and shade guide here
Available at Selfridges  here, nationwide from April 01st. Will you be going Wild?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara... InStyle Beauty Award Winner, but do I agree?

It’s a dangerous time of year for me when the Instyle 100 Best Beauty Buys (aka The Bible) is launched. I frantically tear through the pages to check what I already have (smug pat on the back for discovering it first) before going back through to see what must-haves I NEED next. Lots of gems have caught my eye this year – CND Cuticle Oil, Parlux hair dryer, Laura Mercier Primer, to name just a few and Max Factor Masterpiece High Definition Mascara, Winner of “Best inexpensive mascara”. When InStyle’s said “this should be in every girl's cosmetics kit” you can guess what I did.
Masterpiece mascara is all about the brush. The iFX brush delivers great precision and definition, cupping and separating every lash – even the hard to reach corner lashes. It coats them evenly and stretches them to new heights. For me, it doesn’t coat them quite generously enough, I feel like I have to dip the wand back in for some more “juice” but on the plus side, there’s absolutely no clumping. I’m using Rich Black, which is a jet black formula. It’s easy to work with, allowing enough “play-time” before is dries. No smudging, flaking or fall out, even when applying on the lower lashes and it lasts all day. One coat gives a naturally defined day time look that really emphasises the eye, and if you want a more dramatic evening look, just layer it up.

I’ve got one minor gripe. Max Factor has been a little sneaky when it comes to the size of this mascara. If you find it doesn’t last very long, that’s because it’s a super stingy 4.5mls. Compare this to Maybelline Falsies Mascara – 9ml, L’Oreal Lash Architect Mascara – 11ml or Max Factor’s very own False Lash Effect Mascara, a whopping 13ml you’re getting MUCH less bang for your buck. For that reason I’m not sure it deserves it’s best “inexpensive” mascara gone, because you have to buy twice as much.
Still, it’s a very good mascara. If you want definition, sleek black lashes and a brush that makes the most of every lash, you’ll love this! Masterpiece £9.99/4.5ml here.
If I was dishing out the awards, I’d give the “Best inexpensive mascara” gong to L’oreal False Lash Telescopic Mascara £9.35/9ml – full review here.
Have you tried this? Do you LOVE Masterpiece or do your favour another mascara?

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Believe the Hype... Models Own HyperGel

If you follow me on instagram you'll know I've been crushing over Models Own's new HyperGel polishes. I'm a big fan of gel nails, but let's be honest, it is a faff! If you want the effect without the faff, gel-LIKE polishes are ideal No UV light, no curing and easy to remove. Barry M have done a stellar job with their "Gelly" range, and now Models Own want in on the action. 

The Hypergel collection contains ten brand new mega-shine shades. From pretty pastels to vivid brights, the colours are highly pigmented and ultra glossy. As ever it would tough choosing between the shades, if it wasn't for the fact I already have way too many polishes, I'd have happily taken them all. Cornflower is the standout shade for me, that was first in the basket. Turquoise Gloss was so striking I couldn't resist. I adore Naked Glow, but it's almost identical to Barry M Gelly in Lychee (review here) so I left it... for now. 

Cornflower gleam is a true cornflower with beautiful cream gloss finish - my favourite kind. The pretty pastel shade is the perfect spring hue.

Turquiose Gloss is very bright and striking turquise - more on the green end of the spectrum than the blue. It's a fun holiday shade, can't wait to wear it in the summer.

The formula is quite thick, slightly thicker than the Gelly range - be careful not to apply it too thickly, my first attempt peeled off. They're super opaque and give even coverage from two regular coats. They dry quickly and to the untrained eye, they do look like gel. 

Which colours would you choose? Models Own HyperGels £5 each and 3 for 2 at Boots here.
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