Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Big LOVE for Honeylove

CONFESSION – I’ve got a tiny girl crush on the Little Mix ladies. I follow stalk their MUA Celena Hancock on Instagram. I could tell you that I didn’t buy this lipstick because she used it on Perrie and Jesy… but that would be a big fat lie.

Honeylove Matte £15.50 described by MAC as “a light beige toned with rose”. I’d describe it as a soft honey toned nude – is beigey, browny and ever so peachy. You know I've got big love for Creme d'nude, but for many it flies a little too close to the concealer lips look. No danger of that here, the slightly warm tawny undertones add a lovely depth and prevents you from looking dug up, in fact it has a little warming effect on moi. It’s incredibly pigmented and even though it’s a matte finish, the formula is creamy and doesn’t drag on application (like the retro mattes).  It’s funny because I used to avoid matte lipsticks like the plague, but they’re fast becoming my favourite finish. Classic, effortless and requiring a lot less touch ups than the creamy ones. It looks perfect teamed with a classic smokey eye, but it's totally "everyday" wearable too.

If you're looking for that Kylie Jenner/90s throwback inspired look, try teaming it with Soar, Stripdown or Whirl lipliners, personally I prefer it by itself, blotted on in that effortless Brigitte Bardot way.

I think it's my new favourite nude! What's your fave nude lipstick?


Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Clarisonic: The Best Facial I’ve Had!

*Warning, this selfie contains coldsores and spots*

Despite what my fiancé thinks, this is NOT an oversized toothbrush for the face! It's the next generation of Sonic Cleansing, the Smart Profile from Clarisonic*

What's Sonic Cleansing all about?

Apologies if you're already in the know, but I've seen these gadgets and gizmos about and never really understood what they do. In their most basic form, they're electronic face brushes that vibrate and rotate to give a deep, deep clean. The Clarisonic Smart Profile is the Rolls Royce of the Sonic Cleansing World. It has a patented oscillation movement that moves the brush head back and forth between 200-300 times a second, yep a SECOND. The powerful turbo and smart, yet gentle brush heads clean skin and remove make up 11 times better than hands/cloths alone. In a nutshell, it’s the most deep cleaning cleanse you’ll ever experience… at home.

What's makes the Smart profile, smart?

Aside from the fact it's faster, cleans deeper and has an incredible battery life, the smart profile does all the work for you. Stick the head on and it knows exactly what to do - speed, frequency, cleansing time, it's all done for you, all you have to do it move it around the face when it beeps. Simples. Plus it's the first one that can be used on the body too. A total face and body skin pampering experience if you will. Read all the technical deats here.

My experience

I can honestly say from the first go, I noticed results. My face looked squeaky clean – you know that glowing, almost shiny look? I GOT THAT! I also looked more tanned, which I put down to the fact it buffs away really dead/dull skin to reveal true radiance. During the first week I did notice a few "detox pimples", but that's testament to the Clarisonic's deep cleaning powers bring out the nasty toxins, better out than in am I right? After two weeks of using this every other day I feel like I've had a skin transformation. My favourite base, bareMinerals Complexion rescue,  keeps my skin well hydrated and glowy, but lately it's been seriously lacking that lit from within luminosity. There's been a dullness that no amount of make up can conceal. This little gizmo has whizzed and whirled away the nasties to reveal new skin! Smoother, brighter, less pimpled and way more radiant skin.

Lazy girls indulgence

I'm surprised (and relieved) by how quick and easy it is to incorporate this into your skincare routine. I mean, I wasn't looking for any big commitments - cleanse, tone, moisturise is enough for me. A standard cleanse only takes 60 seconds. Simply apply your favourite cleanser to your face, pick up the devise and watch it magically swirl away all traces of make up and dead skin!It may not feel like a facial, but it definitely cleans like one.

Bottom Line

It is expensive. But how much do we spend on facials, massages, makeup and lotions and potions in that quest for better skin? Based on the results I've seen, and felt, it's the real deal!

Clarisonic Smart Profile with face and body brush heads £199 from Debenhams 

Who's in the Sonic Cleansing Club?


Monday, 21 September 2015

Build Your Own Beauty Box at Selfridges

Finally a beauty box that puts you in control!

I may have ditched my Birchbox subscription a few months back, but you’ve got to hand it to them, they really pulled it out of the bag, er box with this idea!

For the most part I really enjoyed my Birchbox subscription, but after a couple of years beauty box boredom set in and I was all sampled out… mainly with hair oils and Balance Me products. That’s why “Build Your Own” is such a good idea! No nasty surprises… just SIX products that you choose, all packaged up and beautifully presented in a limited edition Selfridges box for £15!

The pop up pick n’ mix style shop is only available at Selfridges London. Rock up, pick up a box and fill it with six luxury samples… and when I say luxury, we’re talking Elemis, Bumble & Bumble, Origins, Stila, Nuxe, Benefit and many more....

Benefit Air Patrol BB Eyelid Primer
YESSS! Really wanted to try this. It’s a great way to test the water without shelling out £21.50. It’s basically a BB cream for your eye lids – smooths the skin, evens skin tones, hydrates and locks onto shadow. I think I will be buying this!

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
When I spotted the UK’s no1 best-selling face mask I couldn’t get it in my box quick enough. I used it at the weekend – it smells divine and my skin looked and felt more nourished and plumped from just one use.

Eyeko Fat Eyestick in Gilt
These things are fab! This is my second Eyeko Fatty, my first came via the aforementioned Birchbox subscription. Gilt is a gorgeous golden khaki shade - very on trend and super quick!

Bumble & Bumble Don't Blow It
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t dry my hair with a hairdryer, it goes flat as a pancake! This first-of-its kind crème is designed to add some much needed bounce and texture to air-dried locks… here’s hoping!

Rituals Honey Touch Body Cream
This smells dreamy! I couldn’t resist. I’ve had a few Rituals products now and they always deliver.

This Works Pillow Spray +
Who actually uses Pillow Spray? I DO!

Be quick, the pop-up is only available in store until 28th September. Can’t make it to London? Don’t worry. There’s an exclusive-to-Selfridges Birchbox available online here. Although you can’t choose your samples, you at least know exactly what you’re getting before you get it. 

Have you built yours? 


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My Ultimate TOP 3: Volumising Mascaras

Gather around my fellow seekers of va-va voom lashes, I have the BEST THREE MASCARAS in the World right here.

When it comes to mascara we’re spoilt for choice. Pop to your local Boots and you’ll find at least 200 hundreds varieties! But if you could only have three, which would it be? I have loved so many over the years – Lancôme Hypnose, L’Oreal Telescopic, Maybelline Falsies, I’ve enjoyed you all, but these are the ones that I have/will/must replace when they run out…

Chanel le Volume de Chanel £25 Debenhams 

This isn’t a mascara, it’s a magic wand! It’s everything you want from Chanel – sleek, sexy and reassuringly expensive. The jet black inky blend of pigments and natural waxes cling to lashes making them look twice as thick, protecting and holding them in a curled position, almost like hair tongs. The quick-drying formula stays picture perfect all day without a hint of clumping or smudging. The Results: Volume in abundance. Bold, yet elegant!

Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Mascara £9.99 Feel Unique 

Bourjois really pulled it out the bag when they created 1 Seconde Volume Mascara. It’s not a million miles away from the Chanel lovely (above) but a hella lot cheaper. It coats lashes with a generous amount of formula and scoops them to new heights, fast! It fans the lashes perfectly, thickens and gives em a good ol’ curl. A quick sweep or two and the lashes are done – just what I need in an everyday mascara. Plus absolutely no clumping or smudging. The Results: Quick coverage, instant volume and nice curl.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara £17.55 Feel Unique

The one that divides opinion – it’s a love it or hate it product. Moi? Love, LOVE IT! It’s the triple threat - lengthens, thickens and curls lashes, and when I say curls, I mean CURLS! Seriously is there some perm solution in it? The precision brush separates lashes perfectly and gives a visible lift – it’s the a lash Wonderbra. The jet black, long-wearing formula doesn’t smudge or dry out and doesn't leave behind any fibre specks like some. The Result - va, va,VOOM, are you wearing falsies? lashes!

What’s in your TOP 3?


Friday, 11 September 2015

Real Techniques Eyelining Set - The Collectors Edition

£16.95 Escentual | £16.67 Amazon

Perfect cat flicks, how I covet thee! And no matter how much practice I get, perfectly matched lines still evade me. Real Techniques to the rescue…

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again WHAT DID WE DO BEFORE REAL TECHNIQUES! They've made amazingly high quality brushes AFFORDABLE! This perfectly edited four-piece Collector’s Edition Set contains everything you need to line, define and smudge it up!

The Smudge brush

“Designed for enhancing the eye with a smokey effect”. This one’s quite the chunky monkey. Not the kind of brush I’d typically line with. You could if you want a nice thick line, but as the name suggests you’re more likely to smudge with this one. Perfect for creating that smoked out look with powder or pencil.

The Pointed Liner brush

“With its flat tapered head, this brush creates both thick and thin lines with ease”. A fantastic brush to fill in the main body of your liner. Use the flat side to create a thick 60's style liner or turn it on its side to create the end flick. Doubles as a decent lip liner brush too.

The Eyeliner brush

“This firm angled head ensures perfect control and is great for winged looks”. This makes wings EASY! Dip in your favourite gel/liquid liner and let the brush do the work. The angled edge glides with ease and allows you to get the product into the edges of the eye. It’s firm, not hard, and also doubles as a good brow brush!

The Precision Liner

“A finely tapered brush that creates even the thinnest and most precise lines with ease”. This is the skinniest brush I’ve ever seen! I actually thought it was the one I was least likely to use, but turns out it’s the one I use the most. Maybe not one for beginners, and I’d recommend a steady hand but WOW, this one gets so close to the lash line! It allows complete control, you can literally draw the line you want and colour it in. Great for tight-lining too.

There’s also a sleek little brush pouch, but let’s be honest does anyone actually use these?

The quality of these brushes is superb! Hand cut, synthetic fibres - cruelty free of course and the price, well, the four piece set is cheaper than ONE MAC brush! Eyeliner can be tricky. Everyone’s eyes are different and we all have our own techniques, but the Collector’s Edition contains the perfect brush for everyone – beginners and pros alike!

£16.95 Escentual | £16.67 Amazon


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top Beauty Tips Nobody Told You

When it comes to beauty, today’s woman is in.the.know! Any look or skill you want to master – there’s a youtube video for that.  BUT there’s still the odd pearl of wisdom (or twelve) that nobody told you. Maybe they were keeping it back for themselves (mean girls) or thought you already knew.
You can thank me later.

1. Panda eyes anyone? I hear a lot of people complaining about liners and mascaras smudging UNDER their eyes. Guess what, eye primer isn’t just for the lids. Most primers – Urban Decay Primer Potion and Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray (which I can vouch for) can be used under the eye to prevent smudge and transfer, and here’s a Brucey bonus, it’ll also keep your concealer in place.

2. If you’re rocking a bold lip – try dipping a clean lip brush into foundation or concealer and gently trace the outside of your lips. This will give you clean, sharp lines and make that bold lip really POP.

3. Tightline your eyes, especially the upper. I promise you it will make your lashes look thicker and fuller. If you don’t know what this means, it’s basically lining your inner water line. Look down into a mirror, pull your lids up and rim the inner upper line with your favourite eyeliner. Instant Priscilla Presley eyes!

4. DIY dry skin fix. Steam your face then apply two thin layers of your fave moisturiser to lock the moisture in. Two thin layers can be more easily absorbed than one thick one and won’t clog your pores.

5. A weekly warm oil head massage will nourish your scalp, stimulate new hair growth and strengthen your locks. Choose your poison - coconut/olive/almond, give it a good massage and leave for two hours or overnight (with a shower cap over the top if you can). Wash with shampoo – voile hair appears shiny and new!

6. Speaking of shampoo…. Your once amazing shampoo no longer amazing? This is probably because of product build up clogging your hair follicles. Every week or so, have a good ol’ clean with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of build up. Next time you shampoo, amazing again right?

7. If you want to avoid cakey foundation… Start at the middle of your face where you need the coverage and blend it out. By the time it goes to the jawline, it will barely be there – no demarcation marks.

8. You know when you do your eyeliner, especially cat flicks, you always do one side better than the other? Well, do your worst side first, that way it’s much easier to match up on your good side. And if you really can’t master fierce flicks, try scotch tape.

9. No need to buy expensive brow mascaras/setting products. Go old skool - spray hairspray onto a spooly brush, comb through brows to keep them in place!

10. Never apply fake tan after a hot bath or shower. You need to be cold, otherwise it will sink into your pores. Applying tan to your face? Try running an ice cube over your face, especially around the t-zone. No more nasty black/orange heads.

11. Hair slides sliding out? Spray hair grips/bobby pins with dry shampoo first to add some much needed texture and hold.

12. When applying mascara, paint both sides of your lashes. It’s crazy how many people don’t do this. It’s the easiest way to create more volume and when you blink your lashes look s.LICK!

Feel free to share your tips and links. No mean girls here.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Unsung Heroes

The everyday heroes we take for granted. The unraved about but in no way shape or form unloved products that we pick up every day without even realising just how much we depend on them.

Batiste Dry Shampoo £2.99 Boots - The original. The best! I should be sponsored by Batiste. I’d estimate my mane’s around 50% hair, 50% dry shampoo. This life saver keeps me going between washes and adds some much needed texture.

Wet Brush £11.99 Cult Beauty – Tangles? What tangles! This wonder brush cuts through my fine, tatty tresses with complete ease and quicker than anything else I've ever tried. Simply put, it's a life saver!

MAC Paint Pot Soft Ochre £16 Debenhams -  This has been in my kit for ages but it wasn't until I went to the London Make Up School that I really appreciated its magic. I'm all about the multi-tasker. This one primes lids, covers imperfections, intensifies eye shadow and makes sure it.stays.put! Oh, and it pretty much works on everyone.

OPI Nail Envy £13 BeautyBay – Rescuing my nails my since 2003. There’s three nail envy's in my life – original, nude and pink – and they’re more or less on constant rotation. Left to their own devises my nails are weak, brittle and bendy. A bi-daily dose of nail envy helps to keep them strong, nourished and far more attractive.

MAC 217 Blending Brush £20 Debenhams - Okay I have raved about this one a bit, but not as much as it deserves. It’s my number one most used brush magic wand. I mean look at it, it's clearly loved/battered (note to self, maybe it's time to buy a new one). Blend, buff, apply – it does it all. If you only have one eye brush in your collection, it has to be this.

Liz Earle EyeBright £13.50 John Lewis – Liz, I’m warning you, if you ever discontinue this, there will be a riot. My morning saviour! I may be awake, but my eyes have other ideas. Eye Bright helps to wake, revitalise and most importantly, de-puff.

Anastasia Beverly Hills £15 Cult beauty - An integral part of my brow arsenal. The tiny brush head is perfect for filling in brows and the bristles are firm affording more precision than the average. It's the perfect partner to Anastasia's Dipbrow Pomade, but it works a treat with powders too.

L'Oreal Fibrology Shampoo £1.97 Superdrug - Holy grail shampoo right there! Many claim to thicken and volumise, this one actually does! When I started using this in early 2014 I was astounded by the results, nearly two years later, it's still my go-to. I do think my hair has gotten a little used to it, so the benefits kinda plateau, but I'll switch it up with another shampoo for a while before returning and reaping the benefits,

What are your unsung heroes? I'm always on the look out for new finds.


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The £4 Eyeshadows BETTER than MAC!

When it comes to MAC, eyeshadows are the one area I’ve never gone wild. Blushes yes, lipsticks for sure but eyeshadows – I have a modest collection of FOUR (Satin Taupe, Omega, All That Giltters and Dazzlelight if you’re interested)! The colour range is superb, but the formulas have hardly wowed me. And at £13 a go, you wanna be wowed. I’m super late the to party on this one, but I started to notice these MakeUp Geek Eyeshadows doing the rounds. They basically look a lot like MAC but they’re loads cheaper, and wait for it….. better!?

If you’re a youtube addict, chances are you’ve come across MakeUp Geek Founder Marlena. She’s been tubing for years and came up with MakeUp Geek – luxury cosmetics at affordable prices. Her eyeshadows are the jewel in the crown. Like MAC there’s a rainbow of shades and finishes, unlike MAC they cost $5.99 each (currently about 3.90 in English spondoolies). At a third of the price they absolutely blow MAC out of the water! I poured over the swatches and ordered a fabulous five:

Mocha – a rich, strong, deep matte brown. In true matte fashion it’s a bit “stiff” so you need to be a little more heavy handed with your brush. The colour payoff is fantastic and blends wonderfully.

Cocoa Bear – If there’s one shade that everyone seems to love, this is it! A warm, rich, reddish brown with a true matte finish. Incredibly pigmented and so easy to swatch. Hello autumn!

Latte – A medium matte brown with a subtle warmth. A great transition shade to connect light and dark colours. Very pigmented, and although it’s a matte, the texture is softer and more pliable than mocha.

Hipster - Dark sand/light taupey tan with a very slight shimmer. This one has a beautiful buttery soft texture. Sure it can be layered with other shades but it’s a great one-wash lid colour.

Vanilla Bean –  a matte finish neutral beige with a very slight sheen. It’s an essential neutral shade ideal as a base colour or brow highlight.

I don’t say this often but I am blown away with the quality of MUG’s shadows. The pigmentation is up there with the best I’ve ever had. The formulas are easy to apply and blend, last for ages and don’t crease. The pans are the exact same size as MAC shadows so they fit perfectly into the pro palettes, or any empty free-from palette like the amazing Z palette, which I already had. Oh and they’re talc and cruelty free!

Almost sound too good to be true? Well…

If you’re ordering form the UK

MUG are a US based brand. They DO deliver internationally BUT be warned you’re likely to be slapped with a fee. I ordered five eyeshadow pans. The delivery charge was reasonable $8.99, but I was slapped with a £12 customs charge *weep* (£8 of which was a handling fee! - Hang on, I had to go retrieve it from the sorting office, what did Royal Mail do?). Anyhoo, I took to twitter to have a rant and it seems these charges are a bit hit and miss. If you’re lucky you’ll escape it, but factor it in when you’re considering the savings. Delivery took just short of two weeks.

I think these eyeshadows are amazing, Melena you’re an absolute star! Check out MUG shadows here.

Any MUG fans in the house?

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